Thailand: elephants, cooking and muay thai

There are so many things to do in Chiang Mai! It’s so beautiful, a small looking town that’s actually quite extended with tons of activities and stuff to see. We stayed there for 5 days, which was the longer we stayed somewhere after Siem Reap. I could have definitely spend a few months there, everyone was very friendly and it’s actually famous for its vegetarian restaurants!

There are night markets everyday, Sunday being by far the best one with lot of food and local handicraft, with the best layout. It takes you to the beautiful temples of  the heart of Chiang Mai, all of them being illuminated at night.

For Silvere’s birthday, I took him to the only place were you can see elephants that are not tortured. It’s a sanctuary where they roam freely, without chains and being beaten up by their maouts (check the phajaan or how they “crush” elephants when they’re 3 on google, and not just in Asia…). It was absolutely out of the question to do elephant riding, but I was so glad I found that place. Walking alongside elephants, playing in the mud and finally washing them was magical…

We also took a vegetarian cooking class from a restaurant closed to our guesthouse, which was super interesting. We picked 5 dishes and they really were not that difficult to cook, I can’t wait to have a kitchen to make the recipes again. For most dishes, it was more about using the right amount of sweet, sour and spicy rather than actual cooking skills. The food was so good that we ate it all. All of the 2 appetizers and the 3 main dishes, just the 2 ogres of us. We even came back twice to see if the chef could do even better than what he helped us achieve, and WOW, best food ever! Aaaah food makes me so happy…

As a martial arts fan, I insisted on seeing some muay thai fights, and they’re cheaper in Chiang Mai than Bangkok. We saw a couple in a ladyboy bar area (I love ladyboys), that was pretty fun but it was more of a training. We then went to an actual stadium, the oldest in Chiang Mai. There were 7 fights  and they were getting better each time. The lady fight was very beautiful and the big fight was awesome. There were 4 KOs out of the 7 fights, some pretty fast! The stadium is actually quite small and since we arrived early even though we didn’t pay to get good seats, we were on the 2nd line. Perfect to really feel the spirit of the muay thai!

We visited many temples, they’re all so beautiful and gigantic… On the way back from Wat Doi Suthep which is way too far away to walk, our tuktuk driver tried to rip us off by requesting 10 times the price announced. I refused to pay more and he refused to stop yelling, we offered to call the police which he of course declined. We asked a teenage boy who seemed to understand English to help us translate and explain the driver that we could not give him more, but the boy instead ended up giving him half of the money the driver was asking for… The driver left, the boy refused to take money from us or to get a drink / meal with us as his friend was picking him up. He just asked us where we were from, introduced himself and said he was happy to help. We were speechless… Some people place good social relationships so high, it’s inspiring. We encountered so many genuinely nice people since we’re in Asia, whether in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia. Even in the US, even in NY people were all so kind. I keep wondering, what’s wrong in Europe and specifically in France? Here people who don’t know each other share their food in the train / bus / boat, and they have no money. In France we have everything and we refuse to even look at each other. Strangers have offered me food literally everywhere I have been to since I left NY, and I still think new yorkers are among the genuinely nicest people I ever met, but I never had such an experience in Europe. It’s so sad.

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Happy birthday Silvere!

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Harassed by a baby elephant.

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Harassed by a very large elephant…

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Ready to chop!

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The chef kept saying “you mic mic mic mic mic”.

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Part of the result of our cooking class. I still can’t believe WE cooked this awesome meal.

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The silver shrine. Women are not allowed to enter it because “500 years ago, precious things were buried here and the lady might destroy them or be destroyed”. If anyone understand or can explain… It’s at least the 3rd temple forbidding women to enter. Of course it made me furious.

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Eating in the market.

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In the wat Doi Suthep

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A very cool night out at a muay thai stadium. This was an awesome fight were a very young looking boy got defeated by KO bleeding his nose out… We had no idea the first fights would be teenagers, that was very weird.

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The big fight of the night, French vs Thai, the Frenchy won!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Thailand: elephants, cooking and muay thai

    • Oh that’s great, you’re gonna have a blast! I’ll try to post something about my stay in Bangkok soon if you’re interested.
      I booked with Elephant Nature Park. They’re VERY expensive but I have done a lot of research and in this area, they’re the only ones not torturing the elephants… Honestly it’s worth it. Try to book asap, they’re usually sold out weeks in advance. You will find many cheaper alternatives but they all use bullhooks on the elephants…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have booked with Elephant Nature Park! I did about a month ago after doing some research – so glad it’s the same one and you enjoyed it so much! I was worried it might not be as ethical as it’s advertised as. I’d definitely be interested to read about your stay in Bangkok 🙂 I look forward to it!

        Like

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