Friday, May 31, 2013

Champions in Chiang Mai - Part 2

Friday, 19th April 2013.

I think the highlight of this trip was our trip to Maetang Elephant Park. My roommate had told me that she had previously ridden on an elephant with her daughters in ... Hatyai or some place else in Thailand so this time, she won't go on the elephant rides again.

Spotted an elephant at work whilst on our way to the elephant park.

The first and only time I rode on an elephant was in Zoo Negara when I was probably 10 years old.

Es was supposed to partner me (each elephant takes a couple) but somehow there was a confusion later on and I ended up going with Amran.

Everyone was so excited!

The elephants were 'free' to roam on their own with their mahouts riding on their back.

(I must confess that I couldn't look the elephants in the eyes because they looked a bit sad. :S)

Taking a bath at the stream.

We were in time for a show and it was so crowded. I was hoping it would not be a boring show, and I was pleasantly surprised. Everyone enjoyed the show!

Four elephants demonstrated their painting skills to us and WE WERE SO AWED!

It was amazing! They are better artists than I would ever be!

Suda was the best painter among them all and you can purchase her paintings for RM100 each.

After the show we went on an ox cart ride. The fee we paid for the elephant ride included an ox cart ride as well.

Along the way, we chatted about how we couldn't imagine our forefathers riding on  bullock cart for days to get from Point A to Point B. Gosh, it was slowwwww.

Riding on an elephant and gripping hard on the bar to stabilise yourself was fun, but my butt would clench every now and then, tensing as I adjusted my butt-hold on to the slippery PVC seat. I had to make sure that I didn't slip off or unintentionally fall into Azman's lap!

Azman took a video of our ride and plenty of nice photos, of which I have yet to obtain from him.

Our next stop was visiting the Long Neck Karen or Padong, and Lahu women. tribe at a village.

Lahu, women with large ear lobes.

The classroom for kids.

This lady is one of the oldest Karen women there. She entertained us with a song, which I confess sounded rather sad. Our tour guide informed us however, that it was a happy song.

Legend has it that the rings around their neck protect them from tiger bites. But a few years ago, you may have read about a doctor (I think) who tried to convince these women that they will not die when they remove the rings. Most of them refused to remove it, but only a handful agreed to remove them as the rings are quite heavy.

They were so relieved to have a weight lifted off their shoulders (literally) that they rejoiced, but only for a while. Soon, they realised that they felt out of place and didn't belong, and eventually opted to put them back on again.

I don't remember reading about this, but what I vaguely recall is that their necks were no longer strong enough to support their head, that the rings became a necessary fixture.

Again, I could be wrong, because I have goldfish memory. :)

One of the KL Rat Race Team 2012 with our 'manager' and young Karen girl,
less another female team member.

Amran charming a little girl.

Next, it was a visit to an orchid farm which I have no recollection whatsoever. The hot and humid afternoon wasn't great for sight-seeing, if you asked us.

The orchid brooches were pretty.

The cat held my attention better than the orchids did.
I just don't understand flowers, sorry.

There was a man selling ice-cream at the entrance of the farm and I'm sure he some good sales that afternoon. One of the guys from the badminton team bought me an ice-cream. :DDD

Everyone seemed curious about us (my teammates and I) as runners. I know we definitely didn't look like runners, with our less than toned physique. *sniggers*

They asked us what event we participated in and how easy/hard was it to train for it.

That evening itself, a tennis player and 3 runners were found in the hotel gym, working out before dinner. Two of the badminton guys checked out the gym and saw us there. I'm not sure whether they pitied us for being fanatical about working out on a holiday or not. Heh.

Click on photos for larger image.


  1. You were in the gym during your vacation. In awe. ;)

    1. haha! only the runners felt that it was necessary to do so.