Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants are an important part of Thai culture and Buddhist religion. As such they have a prominent place in the country’s identity and a trip to Thailand would not be complete without a visit to see these magnificent animals up close. There are many places that offer a one or more day training session where you can learn how to ride and bathe elephants. The day started off with some background information by the head Mahout Nong.
Things I learned about elephants:
- a mahout is an elephant trainer
- chang is the Thai word for elephant
- each elephant has a ‘passport’; documentation of their age and physical characteristics so that the government can make sure that elephants aren’t being taken from the wild
- these particular elephants used to work in lumber camps until cutting wood from the forests became illegal
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