We’ve travelled North from Bangkok and arrived in Chiang Mai yesterday evening; whilst exploring what the city has to offer, we stumbled across an elephant parade. Chiang Mai has been filled with 89 painted elephant sculptures at various locations around the city and they’re so beautifully done!
The parade’s aim is to educate and raise awareness on the rapidly declining population of Asian elephants- which is now at around 2-3000. If you’ve met me before then you’ll know that I LOVE animals…all of them- elephants being one of my all time favourites. It’s been my and Joe’s top priority to ensure that we have an animal friendly travelling experience meaning; no elephant rides, no tiger temples, no monkey shows etc. Many of you may think these experiences are just a bit of fun or a laugh but experiences like these can be seriously damaging to the welfare of the animals involved. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t come across Nelly and her other grey, wrinkly pals, if you do your research you’ll find there are plenty of welfare you can volunteer at from a day up to 8 weeks. These places focus on the well being and rehabilitation of its rescued or injured animals which is so refreshing to see. We’ll be visiting an elephant sanctuary on Christmas Day which I’m sure I’ll fill you in on later.
I was so touched by the exhibition but was also shocked to hear that over 50% of Thailand’s elephants live in captivity, or that the whole Asian elephant species will be completely extinct in just 30 years. I am pleading with anyone planning a trip to Asia, think before you book your elephant ride, or go to watch an elephant painting show and research what is involved first- you may just save a life.
If you want to find out more, check out the link below
(*As always all photos are taken by Joe. I am trying to learn now though and I’ve got editing down!)