An elephant ride on Christmas Day in Chiang Mai

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our friends and family in Canada and around the world.  We hope you all have a wonderful day like we did.  This Christmas was like none other we have celebrated so far.

Christmas in Chiang Mai is not a big celebration, in fact, it was pretty much business as usual here in the city today.  The shops and restaurants were open and the kids went to school.

We spent our day at Ran Tong Elephant Camp, an elephant sanctuary about an hour north of the city where we learned to communicate with the elephants using simple commands. We fed the elephants, played with them, and even bathed them in the river.

Trekking through the jungle on the bare back of an elephant is an experience we won’t easily forget! Somehow we both managed to not fall off during our elephant ride even when we went up and down some pretty steep hills and through a fast moving river. There’s lots more to tell you about our day, but we’re pretty beat. Amazing how tired one can get without walking a single step of the way.

Merry Christmas!

Video:  A day with the elephants at Ran Tong Elephant Camp.

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6 Responses
  1. Angus says:

    Now that’s how I want to spend a Christmas… no snow! Christmas here was white but not a lot of snow however we just got dumped on last night and are digging out. Every fall Janet asks me why we live here 🙂

    • christina says:

      I’ve seen the photos – crazy snow you guys are getting this winter, and it’s still early in the season. Most people here in Thailand have never even seen snow before and they are just amazed when we show them pictures from home. They would never survive our winter…the locals here get all bundled up at night and in the early morning – I’m talking heavy jackets, sweaters, sometimes woollen hats and gloves…..all because it has dipped to a little below 20C! They have no idea what cold really is! For us, this weather is perfect for t-shirts and shorts day and night. And we haven’t seen a spec of rain since we arrived two weeks ago, although it is cloudy today, the first cloudy day so far. What can I say, this is the place to be during the winter months. We are already conjuring up ways of returning in the future. This is our second winter away from Canada, and I hope we can keep that trend going in the future 🙂

  2. Kathy says:

    Merry Christmas!! What a wonderful way to spend the day. I like your outfit – beautiful colour, it seems very appropriate for having fun with elephants. We are having a traditional white Christmas here. More snow than I really like, but it is lovely to look at. Take care and I wish you and Chris all the best in the new year.

    • christina says:

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Kathy.
      We’ve been watching the news about all the snow hitting the Eastern seaboard of the US, and by extension the Ottawa and Montreal areas in Canada, although Canada is never mentioned in foreign news. I must admit that I am secretly happy to hear you guys are having a snowy winter – makes me glad we’re not there right now 🙂 Last year it was downright annoying when everybody kept saying how wonderful the weather was all winter long! It’s not supposed to be like that when you travel away from the winter weather. By the way, my elephant training outfit was provided by the camp and it was a good thing too as it got disgustingly dirty from the elephants slobbery kisses, and dusty backs, not to mention the soaking we got when we were washing the elephants in the river. I was glad to have spared my clothes from such abuse. It really was such a fun day, one we’ll fondly remember. We’ve been trying to think of something original and memorable to do on New Year’s Eve, but it turns out there is quite a celebration here in Chiang Mai this evening so we will lay low during the day and reserve our energy for the festivities tonight. Take care,

  3. Wendy says:

    Happy New Year Christina and Chris! So glad you two are continuing to enoy this long adventure! You are missed. Please come back some day….. 🙂

    – Wendy

    • christina says:

      Hi Wendy,
      Haha….of course we’re coming home….sooner than you’d think. We have committed to a house sitting job out near Kemptville starting mid-April, so that’s when we’ll be back in Canada. It’s a little earlier than I would have liked – I really hope the snow is gone at least – but the house sitting opportunity was too good to miss up and our bank account is getting frightfully low. Looking forward to getting together over a glass of wine (or two) and catching up. We’ve got some serious catching up to do! I’ll be looking for some short term contract work so let me know if you hear of anything that might fit. Take care,