Riding Elephants Bareback through the mountains in Chiang Mai
While in Chiang Mai we booked a tour to visit an Elephant Farm in the mountains. It takes a little less than an hour to get to most reserves but it is a very pretty ride once you are out of the city. After getting to the elephant farm we were immediately greeted with a large spread of food while the owners went to round up the elephant.
Most companies have a few local farms that they work with and the one we went to only have 4 elephants which made for a very intimate session. Each person was assigned an elephant, of course my wife got the baby that she had been hoping for and I got the largest female on the camp (only about 8 foot height difference between the two :) ).
Once you are assigned your elephant you jump on their back and then it's off for an hour ride through the mountains. The scenery was absolutely gorgeous.
When back at camp you take your elephant for a bath which was probably the highlight! Nothing is cooler than being in a small pond hanging out and washing your new friend. The elephants were so friendly and fun to be with.
After the bath was feeding time. Each person was given a huge basket of bananas and sugar cane which the elephants would sometimes steal 2-3 and store them in their mouth before you could even get them out of the basket!
Overall it was one of the coolest animal encounters we have ever done. If you are in Chiang Mai this is an absolute must!
See the link for a full description of our trip to Thailand.