Un éléphante, deux éléphantes...
One evening as we were driving back down from a visit to some hilltribe villages in the northern border area, we passed a herd of elephants out grazing in a pasture.  This was neat, I thought.  Well have to go back for a closer look.  We did.

September 30 -- An excursion today to the Mae Ping Elephant Camp.  We watched elephants dance, then we went for a ride on one.  Elephants are quite intelligent, as it turns out.  Carol sang to the one she was riding on, but alas, it would not dance for her.

 They seem to be pretty good at soccer and basketball too. However, I doubt that will be enough to sustain them in these difficult economic times.  Most Thai elephants were formerly employed in the logging industry, now victims of corporate downsizing.

Note from Carol:  "Ive also become fascinated by elephants.  After the show we saw last week where elephants played soccer, danced, lifted their mahout (permanent caretaker and trainer) in various fashions and played drums and rhythm instruments to music, and kept time (Yes, elephants got rhythm!), we took elephant rides through the jungle.

Then, on a two day trip to Sukhothai, the historical site and former capital of Thailand, we asked Noi, a guide who drove us around for a couple of days, to stop at the Elephant Hospital in Lampang.  There were six elephants being cared for, including the  famous Modala, a young female elephant who had stepped on a landmine near the Burmese border and had a good piece of her right foot blown up.  I fed her some bananas and found out she was recovering okay."

Carol takes her first elephant ride

In the Mae Ping River at the Elephant Camp
Carol and a new friend at the Elephant Camp
At the Elephany Hospital near Lampang
Carol made a few new friends when we stopped in at the Elephant Hospital near Lampang.  Almost all of the elephants at the hospital were injured by land mines.

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Visit the hill tribe villages

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Bamboo rafting on the Mae Ping River
When we left the Mae Ping Elephant Camp, we traveled downriver by bamboo raft to get back to our bus.