Disclaimer: Many of the pictures in this post are not mine, I have not written the EXIF data beneath them so you can distinguish them easily.
Me and Amaan stayed in different hostels in Chiang Mai due to my small budget, so we did not spend a lot of time together.
When I arrived in my hostel I felt, that my disease has gotten worse. After a day in bed I decided to go to the hospital. I was pretty surprised by the high standards there. Everything was handled digitally, so all I had to do is show a small piece of paper with a barcode on it, that I got at the registration.
The waiting time was okay, I had to wait about an hour, which is pretty fast compared to some hospitals in Austria. After I got antibiotics and some painkillers, I spend two more days basically in bed.
Me (in the back) with the others at the elephant camp
The Sunday night walking street
1/15 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 250
I was not quite sure if this dog was enjoying this, but he was driving around on this electric car later he even had a helmet on
1/50 Sek. f/4,5 22 mm ISO 800
He didn't hit a single note, but he sang with more passion than most superstars!
1/50 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 800
On the second day however I was bored to death and felt pretty good already so I booked a cooking class for the evening. I was told about that particular class by Mike and Olive back in Myanmar, they said it was the best cooking class they ever had. I can also really recommend it, if you are in Chiang Mai and like Thai food, you might want to check it out this is their Facebook.
I had a little trouble with the reservation, as I booked the course for 900 Baht (which is roughly €23 or $27.5) the confirmation mail said the total price was 3932919864731700 Baht, to put it in perspective that's more than 700 Million Bitcoin as of the current rate or 10 to the power of 14 Euro! I had booked cash payment, so I was a little worried that I might have to sell out the whole European Union to pay for that. As I contacted them via Facebook, it turned out to just be a mistake in the mail.
Everyone had their own stove
1/8 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 800
This was the only wall the building had
1/30 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 800
We had great fun making fire with hot oil and water
1/15 Sek. f/5,4 45 mm ISO 1250
The cooking class turned out to be really cool, the whole group of about 15 people was first driven to a market, where we learned how the ingredients looked like and what to watch out for to get the best quality. Afterwards we got to the kitchen, which was a big outdoor kitchen, with only a roof on top. It was situated outside of the city, right in between the rice fields. The view was amazing, and we would have seen a great sunset if it wasn't for the thunderstorm that was building in the distance.
Our teacher was a really funny guy who showed us step by step how to do a papaya salad, some curries, stir fried chicken and vegetables and for dessert a great sticky rice with mango. After cooking we all sat down and ate. I was surprised by how good it tasted despite the fact that I was the cook!
I felt healthy again after that so I went ahead and booked myself a day with elephants. It was important to me that the animals where happy and held correctly, so I camp that was a little more expensive, but had great reviews (Tripadvisor is your friend). I got picked up at about 8am by - and I'm not joking - "Machete Jungleman" our guide for that day. I guess his Thai name was to difficult for us western ignorant people to pronounce. We picked up the rest of the group, two girls from the Netherlands and a couple from Italy. The drive to the camp took about 2 hours and over some pretty broken and bumpy roads.
Tons of spiders in the forest around the camp
1/125 Sek. f/5,6 150 mm ISO 500
Here we go!
1/2000 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 320
This big guy was the male, a little off the rest of the group
1/1250 Sek. f/5,6 150 mm ISO 500
We changed into some other clothes, which were provided by the camp and went straight to feeding the grey giants. There were 2 fully grown female, one male, one smaller female and one baby elephant. The male one preferred to be alone, but the baby was so fun to watch and interact with! He was so playful, you wouldn't believe it. The keepers were always playing with him and making him do tricks, which he did joyfully. Once he even tried to lift a tree trunk and later he ripped out a small tree. It was great fun, although I had trouble making good pictures as I was way too amazed to focus on photography.
They really love bananas!
1/400 Sek. f/4 14 mm ISO 500
They could give kisses on command, but only if you paid them with a banana
He kept sliding over the ground sitting on his behind
We then went to a waterfall to make some medicine for the elephants to help them digest their food. Machete made us taste every single ingredient. Some tasted quite good, while others made my mouth inside out because it was so bitter. After a little bath beneath the waterfall we had a great lunch and then the highlight of the day came: We went mud bathing with the elephants! Of course I did not take my camera with me, but luckily the price of the trip included a guy who made pictures of us, so that is what you are seeing below.
I also brought my action cam and made a few videos, but some turned out to be useless because the camera was so muddy.
About 5 minutes after we started smearing mud on the baby and his mother - and of course each other - it started raining heavily. I didn't really mind, I was having the time of my life throwing mud balls on the elephants and the rest of the group.
You can still see how pale I was from my sickness, but also see how happy I am :)
Climbing down the slippery slope behind the elephants, you don't want to climb below them when they slip!
Washing the mud off
Machete and I had a little water fight
The final shower to get it all off
You can literally see how my head is being squeezed a little smaller by the force of the waterfall
Covered in mud from head to toes we went back to the waterfall and washed ourselves and the elephants. That was just as much fun as the mud bath because we were given buckets to throw water at each other.
Sadly soon after that the day was over for me and I got driven back to my hostel. The rest of the group had booked a two day trip, so they stayed at the camp overnight. How I envied them! However I was also looking forward to the next day. I had a flight booked for the evening. Contrary to my initial plan to spend the last two weeks of my holidays in Laos I felt like two weeks weren't enough for the country and I wanted some easy beach days to relax a little. That's why I got a flight down to Krabi, a city all the way in the south of Thailand. There I would meet my friends in Railay, a beautiful peninsula, which actually felt like an island because you could only get there by boat.
So the next day I mostly chilled and then got an Uber to the airport.
That's it for this week!
Next weeks post will be about sunrises at beaches, monkeys, rock climbing and the breathtaking beauty of Thailand's south.
All shots in this post were made with my Olympus OMD EM-10 Mark II with a 14-150mm lens in manual mode.
If you want to learn more about my travel through southeast Asia you can read the previous posts here:
- 1. Bangkok
- 2. Myanmar, Mandalay & Malaria?
- 3. The best trainride of my life
- 4. Hiking through rebel area (1/2)
- 5. Hiking through rebel area (2/2)
- 6. Bagan, plain of a thousand temples
- 7. Crossing Inle Lake
- 8. Yangon, former capital of Myanmar
- 9.Night train to Chiang Mai, the unofficial world capital of digital nomads
- 10. Motorbikes and Waterfalls in Pai
- 11. Chiang Rai, the white temple and sickness
There is a new chapter coming each Thursday
If you want to know more about me check this out:
Thank you for reading and feel free to upvote, resteem & follow me :)