We went on the almost
4 hour bus ride (not the chicken bus, thank goodness, but
if it was up to the true adventurer Johann...) from Chiang
Mai to Chiang Rai to check into the most exciting part of
the trip, The Four Seasons Tented Camp. What a unique resort!!!
It truly was an amazing place to visit. We loved every minute
of it! Even though there were exotic animals and insects
lurking behind every rock. Luckily, my (Sandra's) loud screams
echoing across the jungle were avoided by the sheer beauty
and serenity, silencing me quite nicely. No snakes,
no bites and lots of mosquito repellant. "In the jungle,
the mighty jungle, the...sleeps tonight... Aaaweeee, eeehhh,
Arriving by boat, we see
the tents situated on the hillside - spread out over 1.5
km. Only 15 of them.
The location couldn't be any better. So secluded, embedded
in the jungle. We could hear the sounds of the chattering
elephants and gecko sounds from far away. Of course the
highlight of the trip was the day we spent with our "own"
elephants. We got to train, bathe, ride, and feed them.
How much fun was that?!!! Up close and personal with these
massive, strong, gentle animals.
We also took a side trip to Burma, visited the famous Hall
of Opium, sponsored by the King's mother, and enjoyed seeing
the heart of the Golden Triangle - also great experiences
not to miss if you are in the area. To sum it up, our 4
nights and 5 days at the Tented Camp was a fabulous time!
Spectacular service and outstanding personnel.
Four Seasons Tented Camp
Arriving to the Four Seasons Tented Camp
via boat. Once we set land, we were asked to pound the
round, rather large, brass gong three times and make
a total of 3 wishes (all so coming true by the way).
Quite the "jungly" welcome greeting.
We received keys to Tent #2 - the Hillside
Tribe Tent. Outdoor shower and washroom. An expansive
terrace, homes to 2 massage tables, an 8 person sofa,
and "cocktail-ready" furniture, with a gorgeous view
overlooking the river connecting Burma and Thailand,
definitely a different kind of luxury.
Ahh, working is so difficult. Just another
day at the office. WI-FI and all! (BTW - Burma is just
to the right of the river bank, the actual river is
here for more Tented Camp Photos
Mahout Training and Elephants
And we are off to our elephant and Mahout
training. What do you think about the outfits?
And who says that elephants are not hungry?
Only after 350 kilos of bananas and sugar cane EACH
DAY. Yikes! Right about 8:30 AM or so, just after we
fished our own breakfasts, 2 or 3 lucky elephants were
escorted right outside the restaurant so the could be
fed by the guests at the tented camp. Loads of fun!
A little bit of rain can't hurt anyone. Yes, that's
us, sitting without anything but our "almost" bare bottoms
on Thong Kam and Boun Maa's heads, with our knees tucked
behind their ears. Ahh, it is a long way down there
and one definitely doesn't want to be stepped on!
Before we start our afternoon trek up the mountain,
we make a quick stop by the pond to.... HOLD ON, wait
just a minute, we're suppose to bathe you, not the other
way around. Ahhh, guess if I was completely drenched,
soaked and definitely wet? Hopefully
Thong Kam's shower was affections of love, otherwise
I'd be in trouble.
here for more Elephant Photos *
Burma and Golden Triangle
Snapping a quick photo of Tachileik Shwedagon
in Burma, before we
bird (part of the religious ritual) and pay our
respects to our "day-of-the-week" birthday Buddha. Johann's
"birth" day was on a Tuesday while mine was on a Friday.
Being blessed by a Buddhist monk; first
he chanted a prayer, then he squirted blessed water
on us, and lastly he tied on a ribbon on our hands for
good luck and a happy life.