Saturday, February 13, 2010
We left Ayutthaya and took a wonderful 6 hour busride to Sukothai, this one had AC at least. Sukothai was a little rough around the edges, as in hardly any sidewalks and scary dogs you had to side step. But, we found our way into the old city (*note for anyone going to Sukothai, stay in the OLD city!!), where we ventured into the National Park. It was amazing, and such a breath of fresh air away from cooked balls of meat on the street. We cruised our bikes around the huge park and pretended we were profesh photogs again...here is some of our work to be dispayed at the Met when we get back.
My favorite Buddahs
After one day in Sukothai we were done and jumped on another 5 hour busride to Chiang Mai! Our first day here was spent at one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It is an elephant sanctuary for abused elephants. This is a one of a kind place, far from the elephant painting shows and jungle rides. It changed my perspective on these huge animals and I couldnt bring myself to ever ride on one after I saw the way they break them down. In most elephant camps, there is a process of breaking the elephants spirit in order to make them submisive. It is heart breaking, and unless you know for a fact, hard to know which companys use this tactic. We spent the day learning about their lives and each story, there were 33 in total, all with gut wrenching stories. Some had their backs broken by being forced to mate, one had stepped on a land mine, another had been forced amphedimenes to work around the clock.
This one was blind because it was shot in the eye with a slingshot, because it wasnt working hard enough. I loved her because at feeding time she would just stand there, mouth open, waiting for someone to give her food. I like that idea...
This is the only way, in my opinion, to really see elephants in Thailand. I just wanted to watch them be elephants and not have to perform or carry me around. We got SO close, fed them, washed them and of course I thought I made a personal connection with one and she would want me to be her best friend forever. It was probably because I was holding food, but whatever. Let me dream that Dumbo and I made a true friendship.
I am bonding with my new BFF
I got to give her a bath too! Im pretty sure this is where water got in my mouth thus beginning the water poisoning process for me.
After our elephant experience was when I felt the onset of my very first food or water poisoning! Yes....I knew it would happen sometime, I am just SO thankful it happened while we stayed at Le Meridian. Much better to pass out on the bathroom floor here than anywhere else.
Now just imagine me wrapped in this bed begging for death. It was a beautiful thing! Now we have a few more days in Chiang Mai, we are going to hike, bike and hopefully keep all food down.