Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre: FUN
Trip Start Jan 25, 2010
9Trip End Feb 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Elephant Conservation Centre
Baan Sabai Dee Guesthouse
I LOVED the elephant conservation centre and spent 3 days bathing elephants,riding elephants and taking naps on my bed. It was an amazing 3 days and I saw so many cool things.
We arrived at 8:30 and got changed into our new mahout clothes. Then we went to the showground to meet the mahouts and the elephants. My mahout's name was Tet. He was a tiny Thai guy with a big smile and his hobbies were telling the elephants to spray me with water and pulling twigs off passing trees and sticking them in my ears.
We learnt how to get on and off the elephant from the side and the front and how to tell them to sit down, lie down and pick something up. At first it was a bit hard to get up on the elephant because she was quite big and tall and I'm not that fit. The mahout would grab an ear, take one step up and jump easily onto her back but I looked a bit like I was rock climbing and not having a good time of it for awhile. But I figured it out. My elephant's name was LUKARN and she was beautiful.
Then a bunch of tourists came and we performed the tricks for them, and they fed the elephants sugar cane. We went to take them for a bath and I got soaking wet, which was fun!
After that we checked into our accommodation which was really nice, and got changed. We went for a visit to the elephant hospital, where we saw some elphants with various issues (not psychological) and saw the cute baby :)
The food was really good at the elephant camp, we had a delicious Thai lunch and then another show. I liked the shows because there was a bit of pressure like if you can't get on the elephant gracefully....I tried to but on several occasions I'm sure the audience had trouble distinguishing me from the elephant!
Well not too much more to say about it but it was a fantastic experience, and when I can get photos up, I will. My mahout gave me a ring made of the hairs from my elephant's tail :) I'm no good at keeping rings but it fits well and I'm going to try not ever taking it off.
Well anyway we finished that, and my mahout dropped me off in Lampang where I had left my bike. now, unfortunately, all I had was the name of my guesthouse and no directions, no thai or anything. So I stood for a bit on a corner flagging down tuk tuks who couldn't understand me or didnt'know the name of my guesthouse. I went on the internet but they don't have a website.
This was a problem. I walked in the direction of where I remembered it, there was a huge market and I wanted to shop but needed to find the place first. I walked around teh market and couldn't see it so I sat down on the side of the road and rested my head in my hands trying to figure out what to do. Might I also say here that despite food being plentiful and cheap, I had not eaten anything and my blood sugar was lower than my elephants sagging butt.
'So I felt a wee bit discouraged. I tried to think what I should do. THEN just as I was in the depths of dispair, a lady parked her ute and came up to me and asked if I was OK. "How can I help you"she said, Ï'm a Christian." I told her where I was staying and she had a think before declaring OH YES I know where baan Sabai Dee is, I went there once"and drove me back to the market. It turns out that it was right in the middle of this huge night street market (how's that for a location) and I han't recognized it because there was no market last time I was there!
I was so happy! And may or may not have thrown in a few "praise the Lord"s just to make her happy :)
Anyway so I was OK, and Dood (the guy who ran the guesthouse is soooo nice, and had reserved a room for me after I came back from the elephant thing :) So I stayed that night and decided to stay the next too. There was a girl from California/Argentina there too and we decided to go on a bike ride the following day. So we went. It was quite nice until the road ended and we decided to go off roading....we got stuck and had to rough it for a bit till we made it back to the street. Several minutes and one snack later, I looked at her tyre, which was flat. "Hey! Lets see if I can use my bike pump!"As we tried like idiots to figure it out, a guy came and pumped it for us. It didn't really work. Upon closer inspection, there were a bunch of thorns stuck in it. I looked at my bike whose tyres were rapidly undergoing deflation, and pulled out a thorn. As I did so, I heard "pffffffffffff"Very bad. We went up the street where a nice man told us "mai mee"I don't have.
Sowe decided to try and walk home. By this time both my tyres were sagging and I didn't want the rims to ruin the tyres so I tried to carry it. We had only been going 5 minutes when some guy cam e and put our bikes in his ute without saying a word/
We went to a bike repair shop kind of place and waited while the guy replaced our inner tubes.
It took about 40 minutes and we were getting hungry. It was dark when we got back and so we were able to peruse the markets again and again I couldn't decide on a watch but bought a couple of bracelets.
The next day all I needed was to wait for my laundry, so I checked out and Dood gave me some info: Becky, be careful in Ayuthaya. Many travellers said in Ayuthaya many bad dogs. Careful, please."I knew that I would have to watch out.....(see next blog for more...)
And I bought a brownie for the road, because the brownies at that place are sooooooo good!
Everyone who goes to Lampang needs to stay at that guesthouse, it's the best!