Elephants, Buddhist blessings and Heaven on Earth…

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7am alarm clock could mean only 1 thing…Elephant day!
An hour of amazing Thai scenery and we arrive at what i can only describe as a nature reserve for these beautiful creatures.
There were 2 adults and 1 baby standing in view. We were given a bucket of bananas and allowed to feed them – of course my favourite was the baby πŸ™‚ For some reason i was expecting them to suck the food through their trunks…i blame Disney for this!

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After food it was bath time…yep thats right i got to wash an elephant in a river!

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When we were done he gave me a kiss…and squirted water in my face! πŸ˜€

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Then we got to go for a ride around the forest on the bigger ones. I’ve never experienced anything like an elephant ride in my life, it was amazing and terrifying at the same time. There was a 50 day old baby walking beside us the whole time, i don’t think i’ve ever seen anything quite so cute πŸ™‚

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It was lovely to see all the free space they had to roam free, it was all natural forest most of it untouched by humans, the perfect home for them πŸ™‚
So nice to know they have so much freedom!

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Next on the list for today was a temple in the Doi Suthep mountains, my friend Emily recommended this and i’m so glad she did!
By far the best temple i’ve seen and it has a nice little story attached to it…
They say that the King placed a relic on the back of a white elephant and when the elephant stopped walking then this is where the relic should be placed. The elephant walked all the way up Doi Suthep mountain, turned around 3 times and then laid down to die – this was taken as a sign and the King ordered the temple to be built on that spot.
We had to walk up 300 steps but it was well worth it!
We got to sign our names on a robe that was to be wrapped around the pagoda…of course i signed Coco πŸ™‚

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The most meaningful part for me was being blessed by a Buddhist Monk. We knelt at his feet, bowed our heads and he blessed us with holy water – a blessing of good luck – another monk then tied a bracelet round my wrist to add to my travel collection πŸ™‚

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Back in the centre of Chiang Mai we stopped for a drink in the Rooftop Bar, i have never felt so instantly at home in a place before.
Sitting on a cushion on the floor watching the sun set from a rooftop bar, sipping cocktails and listening to Bob Marley, barefoot wearing my new hippy pants after spending the day with elephants and being blessed by a monk…happiest girl in the world right now!

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