Mae Taeng valley; adventure abounds
Artwork done by the elephants (and signed by the artist herself!)
sale, all proceeds go to the Elephant clinic.
By Shana Kongmun
All too often we find ourselves complaining that there
really is nothing interesting to do and end up camped out in front of the
television watching reruns of Law & Order. It’s easy enough to overlook the
abundance of things to do around Chiang Mai as we say, “Oh, that’s so
touristy.” But the fact remains that those creatures, the tourists, are few
and far between these days and local attractions can be very attractive for
those residents who do not like to confront the teeming tourist hordes of
“Elephants are sensitive, intelligent creatures. They are
“jai dee”, they have a good heart, they are like my family now” says Wassana
Thongsook, owner of Mae Taeng Elephant Park.
Mae Taeng Valley is one of those places that people often
forget. Not only is it home to an abundance of elephant camps, but there is
ATV riding (quads as they are also known), rafting, oxen cart rides, jungle
walks and more.
Owners and operators must still feed their elephants and
pay their mahouts, with costs at a minimum of a 1000 baht a day per elephant,
it’s not a small endeavor. Take a drive up to Mae Taeng, ride an elephant,
raft the river, ride an oxen pulled cart, four wheel it on a quad. Get
active and support your local businesses at the same time.
Schools get a discounted rate for their students and it’s
a terrific way to introduce the kids to the majesty and intelligence of
these animals. As can be seen by the childrens’ faces, it’s an experience
they are unlikely to ever forget.
Additionally, you can help support the Elephant clinic.
On land generously donated by the owners of Mae Taeng Elephant Park Wassana
Thongsook and her family, the independent clinic hopes to be able to treat
all the estimated 500 elephants of Mae Taeng valley for free. Currently,
injured elephants must travel at least 3 hours to Lampang (you have to drive
slowly when you’ve got an elephant in the truck!) for x-rays and scans. A
government livestock vet with extensive elephant experience comes to the
clinic after work and on weekends but once it’s up and fully running they
plan to have at least one full time vet. Elephant art is on sale at the Mae
Taeng Elephant Park but all proceeds of those sales go directly to the
independently run clinic which is currently raising funds to purchase a CAT
scan and an X-ray machine. Where one finds an elephant sized CAT scan is a
Sally Ward, who has been working tirelessly to raise
funds for the clinic says, “The web site was set up with the sole purpose to
educate and generate funds. We hope that in the future money can then be
donated to other elephant foundations. But for this to be a success we need
the general public to buy the products, book elephant excursions in the
region and support the few elephant foundations that are already up and
running. We need to help them raise awareness and give a better life to the
Elephants living in Thailand. Visit www.chiangmaiele phants.asia for
information on how you can help these intelligent animals who have given us
so much and yet received so little in return.
Elephant rides are a bumpy way to travel but an experience not to be
This year’s Chiang Mai Grand Sale started with a big bang online!
Chiang Mai Grand Sale 2010 started online on July 1 and
is offering tourism products and services. Visit http://www.cm-grandsale.com
for details. Vorapong Muchaotai, Secretary General & Chairman of Marketing &
Promotion of Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association announced that the
regular in store sales will be held July 17 and 18 while the online sale
will continue to the end of August.
Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant, Chalermsak
Suranant, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Chiang Mai
Office and Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization (PAO) President
Boonlert Buranupakorn are expected to preside over the grand opening
ceremony on July 17.
This year’s two main events are jointly organized by the
Chiang Mai Provincial Authority, Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, and Chiang
Mai Tourism Business Association, TAT Chiang Mai, Thai Hotels Association’s
Northern Chapter , Chiang Mai Guide Association , Thai Lanna Spa Association,
Car fore rent Club, Chiang Mai Food shop and Restaurants Club, Boutique
Hotels Club, and Golf Courses Operators and Tourism Allies club of Chiang
Mai. The event is expected to draw not only visitors but also good sales via
the new online site.
For more information, please contact: Chiang Mai Tourism
Business Association. 91/42-44 Changklan Plaza, Chiang Mai 50100. 053
820333, 053 820826 Fax: 053 820827. www.chiangmaitourism.org [email protected]
or [email protected]
The Legend Chiang Rai going green
Legend Chiang Rai has created an alternative source of income. At the
resort’s other plot of land staff “Phuen Team” is growing fruit and
vegetables such as passion fruit, pineapple, bananas, lychee, mango,
lemongrass, green beans, mint, sweet basil, ginger and sweet corn. Not only
does it create an additional source of icome for the hotel it reduces
operating costs by providing fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables. In addition
it motivates the staff as all departments participate. Everyone is looking
forward to harvest their own home-grown fruit and vegetables.