How to Volunteer at Elephant Nature Park

You’ve made the first step, you’ve decided to say no to riding elephants, and yes to visiting or volunteering with elephants in a sanctuary that promotes health, freedom, and natural behaviour, now what? What should you know about being a volunteer? If you’re visiting for a day, how should you dress or behave? What are the unspoken rules for interacting with elephants in a sanctuary like Elephant Nature Park?

Read more

Enrichment at Elephant Nature Park

As I sit in a wooden chair on the platform, surrounded by fighting dogs and cats that could care less about what is happening around them, I look towards the grounds of the park as the sky turns into soft oranges, yellows, and pinks; In the distance I hear the deep roar of an elephant, followed by a sharp trumpet from another. It’s too early for them to be roaming around the park, they will be in their enclosures for at least another 90 minutes, but I take comfort in listening to them communicate with one another. Today’s goal? Enrichment at Elephant Nature Park for the elephants.

Read more

A Tale of Two Hostels

I’m sitting in the lobby of Two Gals and The Pig, a hostel I am staying with in Chiang Mai, when a Thai woman appears in the doorway, “Ok, she is there now”, getting up, I leave my belongings on the table and run next door, sit down at a table, and proceed to book a room for six nights next week. Jumping between hostels is always an adventure.

Read more

Did I Have a Thai Massage with a Happy Ending?

As I sat on a low square faux-leather stool sipping tea from a tiny ceramic cup, a masseuse leaned forward and cupped my left breast, giving it a little squeeze and smiling to herself; I sat, unmoving on the stool, sipping my tea. Did I just have a Thai massage with a happy ending?

Read more

The Chiang Mai Chicken Trifecta

My fingers are sticky and wet, and I can feel juice slowly trickling from the corner of my mouth to my chin; looking around I notice I’m not the only person who decided to eat with my hands, and I feel a sense of relief; I tend to worry about displaying bad manners when eating in a foreign country.

I’m sitting at a small blue metal table with rust spots scattered on the top, the blue plastic stool I’m sitting on seems sturdy enough and I make a mental note to not move around too much; nobody wants to be the farang (foreigner) who breaks a plastic stool. When the chicken is placed in front of me, there are no utensils in sight, but I notice another table eating chicken with their hands, so I decided to do the same.

Read more