Trip Start Nov 20, 2009
106Trip End Nov 02, 2010
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Where I stayed
Chilax Guest House
We stayed in a village called Sauraha on the edge of the park in a crappy place called Chilax (the chill part apparently meant cold). The room was little more then a shed with a terrible bed and barely functional shared bathroom and we had to use our mozy nets for the first time. However the sights and activities in the village and park more then made up for a couple of bad nights sleep. Domestic elephants wandering down the road is the norm, along with pony carts instead of taxis and we even saw a couple of camels.
We only had one full day in Chitwan as the various activities weren't cheap but it was definitely one of, if not the best day we have had so far
The elephant breeding center was really good, once you got over seeing the elephants chained by the ankles. We learned that they are allowed to graze in the jungle for a time each day but it was still a sad sight to see them chained. They had about 5 adult elephants 2 babies (twins) and another 3 younger elephants. Our guide attracted one of the young ones (which was not chained) and it came over and allowed us to pat it and would nuzzle your hand with its trunk if u held your hand out. By far the highlight of the morning!
We walked back to the village just in time to watch the elephant bath time in the river. A couple of them also had tourists riding who would be thrown off when the elephants rolled in the river - very funny!
After lunch we went on an Elephant Safari! This involved riding on the elephants back on a little platform (4 people squeezed in) through the jungle for two hours. During the safari we went through undergrowth and across rivers taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle; we saw deer mostly but towards the end came across two wild rhinos - awesome!
The one downside to the elephant ride was the handler, who sometimes would whack the elephant's skull with a big stick to control it. The sound it made was nasty!