Staying at The Living Place.
Before heading south for the Thai Islands we decided to have a quick visit to Chiang Mai to see a different Thai city and to visit the tigers and the elephants.
After a hellish overnight bus journey with broken air con, we managed to find our accommodation fairly easily and gratefully dumped our bags and headed out for some breakfast. We had to stretch out our breakfast for an hour or so as we couldn’t check in until 12. We’re becoming pros at out staying our welcome at restaurants now!
Once checked in, we showered and then had a little walk around the city. Chiang Mai is an old town surrounded by the remains of an ancient wall. It’s got a more relaxed vibe than Bangkok with a high population of monks due to the number of Buddhist temples here. Chiang Mai is surrounded by mountains and rainforest so lots of trips include trekking but as that doesn’t really interest us (too many bugs) we booked an elephant training course and planned a visit to the Tiger Kingdom.
The elephants were absolutely amazing! They are such beautiful creatures and you only appreciate how big they are when you get close to them. Our trip was with Woodys elephant training and involved learning some Thai commands to get the elephant to lift you up and walk in the direction you wanted, feeding the elephants, going for a ride on them and finally washing them in the river. The elephants seemed to enjoy this last part the best as they got to spray us with water…
The next day was a trip to the Tiger Kingdom. I love this place! You can go into enclosures with tigers of all different sizes. I went in with the adult tigers last year so this year I chose to just visit the babies. They were only a few months old and were very playful but some were just sleeping in the corner (very cute!). It’s very easy to forget that they are still dangerous but I still wanted to take one home with me! One of the cubs kept wanting to play fight and challenged all the others to a fight, even the ones trying to sleep which was quite funny. Stu went in with the big tigers as well. Last year, all the big ones were asleep but this time they were walking around and jumping into the pool. I would have been petrified but Stu kept his cool and sat next to them.
We both loved our time here but we’re desperate for a beach after 3 weeks of cities so it’s time to head to the paradise of Koh Phi Phi!