25.09.2010 91 °F
Finally the day that I have been waiting for the visit to the Elephant Conservation Center. In the morning given we are a small group we decide we would like to visit Tiger Temple. The place was just amazing, I never once thought that I would get so close to such a wild cat. The place was clean and well organised, so much so before I knew it, I had agreed to get into a big cat enclosure with not one but three big cats, I know what you are thinking I must have lost my mind!!!!! Well I have not, maybe it is all the buddhist blessings I have had, that has made me feel fearless it is hard to explain really, anyway I went in and was told two rules; walk slowly and no sudden movements, when I touch one of the large cats I do so with force, otherwise if done gently they will think it is a fly and swipe at me. Believe you me it was a strange feeling bashing a tiger on the back, he just sat there like a house cat but on a larger scale, yes I also have photos of this will share all my photos when I return home and get a chance to upload, once again have far to much going on to do now, am busy day and night. An adventure like this you need to make sure you appreciate and experience as much as possible, not wasting a second, minute, hour or day.
Elephant Conservation Center
We arrive at the centre in time for lunch, whilst sitting eating our lunch I see a baby elephant with a girl riding it, when our tour guide calls out to it and the elephant comes over to say hello. It was just amazing, our tour leader said that it was a very special elephant to her given she had seen her born 5 years ago. Funny enough once again I was not frightened just curious how such an animal could be so beautiful and loving yet so large a gentle giant.
After a brief chat with her trainer, he invited me to come and take a look at bath time/playtime in the river. You really had to be there to appreciate it, they were so lovely and with there own personalities, plus clearly enjoy it at the centre and were having fun. The people at the center have a real love for them and in return the elephants feel the same, one big happy family of various shapes and sizes. It truly has been the best day of my trip so far... I will never forget this day for as long as I live, as I also got to ride an elephant, plus feed them and cuddle them, and have them talk to me was just mind blowing. The good news is that you can pay to stay at the center and learn more about talking to the elephants and you get your own elephant to work with, this will have to be another trip as I don't have time to fit it in this time around basically you train to be a mahout, which is such a shame and I would have loved to have learnt more about them with working with them up close and personal.
Well worth a visit www.thailandelephant.org
All the money the centre makes goes towards the care of the wrinkled giants, who are just so beautiful.
We spend the evening in Lampang, known as Horse Cart City.