>Travel Pictures


Chiang Mai

Hiking, rafting, and riding an elephant

What an exciting day, after our explorations of Chiang Mai's temples!  We had heard so many people talk about riding on an elephant.  Susan had reservations and didn't want to support an industry that abused elephants.  The kids were oblivious and just wanted to do something exotic.  Dave only wanted to have a reason to take 1,000 pictures - although after the camera broke two nights earlier, he would have settled for 10!

The elephants at our camp were well fed, healthy and clean.   They obviously loved bananas as they would often stop and hold their trunks up over their heads and blow air on us to get our attention so we could feed them.
The kids and Susan shared a ride while Dad rode with a French tourist named Georges (from whom some of these pictures come).

Breck was a little cautious as he was the first one on the palanquin, but he was a real trooper and settled right in. 
At first, we thought Dad's elephant was younger (perhaps a baby?) getting trained in because ours was usually in the lead.  However, we soon learned better, because whenever there was a widening in the path, Dad's would try to muscle ours over and get the lead. Of course, both elephants were always looking out for banana treats, and we were subjected to many expellations of elephant-breath air when they'd sling their trunks up in search of food!

We hiked to a gorgeous waterfall up in the hills around Chang Mai.  The weather was fabulous, the scenery stunning and the hiking just strenuous enough to warrant a jump in the pool at the base of the falls.

The hiking was a little tricky with lots of criss cross paths over the stream.  We had fun pretending to be Indiana Jones, swinging on branches, dodging vines, and climbing over fallen tree trunks.

After 6 months in Mumbai, it was glorious to be out in fresh air, and soak up the greenery and blue skies. 

The Stutz family is ready to hit the rapids!  We had to leave everything that could fall off behind (hence no more pictures).

 Even Alea's glasses needed a rubber binding around them if she wanted to wear them.  What a perfect run...thrilling enough to get the kids soaking and wanting more without being so rough they never wanted to run rapids again.

A final pole raft ride calmed us down after the thrill of the rapids.  We enjoyed the lovely views and scenes of everyday life in rural Thailand.  What a wonderful day!
Bangkok: Welcome to the big city - Up and down the river - Amulet market - Wat Pho temple - Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew - Wat Arun - Interesting shopping opportunities
Chiang Mai: Around town - Night Market - Traditional crafts - Doi Suthep - Hiking, rafting, and riding an elephant - Villagers - A day at the zoo
Krabi: beach and surroundings

To the main Thailand page
To the Stutz's Welcome Page