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  • Writer's picturetarynfelder

Elephant Sanctuary + Temple + Waterfall + Rafting

I decided to take an overnight train [cost $6] from Nan to Chiang Mai since there aren't any direct flights this time of the year.  The alternative was flying south to Bangkok and then back north to Chiang Mai on two separate flights since there weren't connections.

Spending time with elephants was always one of my top to dos while in Thailand so I made it the top priority and checked that box as soon as I got to Chiang Mai.  My bus arrived at 4 AM and my tour guide was at the hotel to pick me up at 6:30 AM.  As soon as I arrived and saw the elephants I knew it was worth the loss of sleep.

It was a bit of a hike thru the jungle to get to the Wat Huay Tong Temple.  I didn't feel putting on shoes so I did the hike in my Nike slides so it wasn't that bad.

The next site was the Mae Tien Waterfall and unfortunately I had to wear shoes to get thru the hike to see it.  It was worth it, but seeing it was enough I didn't need to swim in ice cold mountain water since I had already experienced that in Nan.

My final adventure for the day was bamboo rafting.  Since we were asked not to bring our phones I wasn't able to capture the best parts of the adventure.  There were a strip of restaurants along the tour path and I'd shout "Sa Wat Di Ka" [hello in Thai] whenever we passed locals.  A simple hello in their native language energizes people here and the greeting is always returned with the same level of energy extended.  We also passed a group of Chinese tourists and they were happy to be greeted with "Ni hao" and a smile.

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