We fell in giant love in Chiang Mai, Thailand ❤
From November 2016 to February 2017, we took an amazing trip to Southeast Asia. We visited Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It was simply incredible!
It is a fantastic trip by itself, now imagine this experience that with the love of your life? Unforgettable. As you know, we have been living a long-distance relationship for the past 2.5 years, so meeting in such a beautiful part of the world after 2 months apart and having such amazing adventures was simply dreamy.
The first place we visited was Bangkok. It is so cool that a city can be so spiritual and so fun and energetic at the same time.
We loved it! But we will tell you more about Bangkok on another post.
This post is about Chiang Mai, the pearl of the North. A small and cozy city, full of beautiful temples, arts and crafts. We surely recommend the visit!
We went there for the Yi Peng Festival. Simply magical! All the lanterns flying into the night, passing by the special super moon of November 2016.
This month’s supermoon was especially ‘super’ for two reasons: it is the only supermoon this year to be completely full, and it is the closest moon to Earth since 1948. The moon won’t be this super again until 2034!
And for us, it was even more special, since we started dating during a super moon rise, in Rio de Janeiro, in July 2014.
The Yi Peng Festival was certainly one of the most special moments of our visit to Chiang Mai.
We also had a blast driving ATV”s in the jungles of Chiang Mai! We had done it before in Banff, Canada, but as you can imagine, the experience was very… different. Canada is a safety-freak country, equipment is in perfect conditions, all automatic, the paths on the mountains are very well maintained, etc. Not in Chiang Mai 😀 !
We had manual ATV’s, the jungle was … a real jungle! Steep ups and downs, muddy ponds, equipment was what it was, Ana needed to change her ATV 3 times in the middle of the adventure… The best thing we had were our guides. Two super girls that really knew what they were doing in the middle of the jungle with the least advanced quads ever. Girl Power! 😀 We loved them, it was so much fun!
Our top moment was to visit the kindest giants on Earth at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. That was our Giant Love ❤
There, elephants are rescued from elephant ride farms and get all the love they deserve and need to heal from years of abuses and torture! We fed them, mud-bath them, made them natural medicines, swimmer with them in the river… And the most important: NO RIDING!
We beg you: PLEASE DO NOT SUPPORT ELEPHANT RIDING!
When you pay for a ride, you are funding elephant kidnap, abuse and torture. Baby elephants are kidnaped and submitted to a terrible ritual: the “Phajaan”. The “Phajaan” or ‘Crushing’ is the traditional Asian torture of young elephants to “break their spirit”. It is done so that they are submissive to humans. This way you can ride them, see them performing tricks and painting.
Baby elephants that are born into captivity, do not go through this traditional ritual, they are often trained trough positive reinforcement. But it still requires them to be removed from their mothers at perhaps 3 years old and sometimes not reuniting them for a further 10-15 years, if at all. And once you see how sweet and smart they are, you will understand how any of these methods cause them lasting emotional and mental distress.
Please chose an ethical interaction. We are so blessed for having this opportunity to interact so closely and friendly with these magnificent animals! We felt welcome by them. Look at this pregnant mommy, the sweetest thing! ❤
We even got hugged! They show you so much love for simply treating them as they deserve: with care and respect.
Isn’t this baby elephant the cutest thing in the world? Yeah, Ana’s leaf-hat is the coolest!
We we very well treated and taken care by all the Elephant Camp Sanctuary. We chose the overnight program. You can spend as little as half a day if you like, as well as you can spend a week as a volunteer. Check out the night sky in the camp we slept:
Feel free to contact us if you need info on this experience. We are more than happy to support ethical elephant sanctuaries and share any information you need to help you to chose for a “no ride” experience.
Be kindness! Be love!
Ana & Darko
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