Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Elephants (and Monkeys)... OH MY!

In my opinion, Chiang Mai is to Thailand as Queenstown is to New Zealand (i.e., the adventure capital). We had a cab with a driver for the entire day for $18 CAD. He took us to Tiger Kingdom, the Elephant Camp, and the monkey place. Oh how we loved interacting with the animals!

LIONS

TIGERS

Small...

This little guy enjoyed the taste of Daniel's shorts...

Medium...

Large...

The following picture is what the two tigers looked like about 1 minute before we sat with them...


ELEPHANTS

Soon after entering the camp, there were bananas and bamboo for sale to feed the hungry elephants. This was an experience that we weren't about to miss out on!

Lowell was so casual and calm when the elephant wrapped his trunk around him, but the other two had slightly more dramatic experiences...

Let me show you how it's done guys...

hehehe...

We watched the trainers bathe the elephants in the river...

We initially wondered what the ladies downstream were doing with giant baskets, but we soon realized that they were the pooper scoopers. The elephants released elephant-sized feces, and the women casually scooped them right up.

After the little bathing ceremony, we saw the elephants strut their stuff with the trainers. Elephants are SMART! They transformed themselves into little ladders...

They placed hats on heads...

They played soccer (and impressively well might I add!)...

They carried their own painting supplies and then painted little masterpieces that later sold for 2,000 Baht (i.e., $60 CAD) each...

They gave Thai massages (well, more just like enormous elephant foot massages)...

And they were very polite. In Thailand, people raise their hands to their faces (like the man below) and say "Korp kun ka" which means "thank you". The elephant followed suit very well!

Aaaaand MONKEYS

The little monkey show was actually quite depressing. The monkeys looked bored to tears, and the trainers could've cared less about their jobs. I wanted to scream, "C'MON! You're working with MONKEYS- CRACK A SMILE OR TWO!!!"

We were pretty sure that some of the monkeys were mentally insane. One of them was eating it's own leg. If that's not a sign of mental illness, I don't know what is. Even looking at these pictures makes me a little queasy, but I'll show you their little stunts anyway.

Weight lifting...

(Could he BE more bored and depressed?!)

Riding a bike...

The ability to untie several knots tied around my arms...

Playing basketball...

Doing a flip into a pond to fetch a coin...

Stealing a beer from an audience member and chugging it (really...)

And posing with goofs like Lowell...

Even though the monkey experience was sadly disappointing in general, we still got some fun shots.

(Daniel was not overly impressed with the situation!)

That was the end of our animal kingdom day, but as to not leave you with the depressing monkeys, I'll end with a picture of an adorable baby tiger.

Awwwww.... that's a little better than mentally insane monkeys...

5 comments :

Shelley said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww....my heart melts a little. they are SO CUTE!!

Alisha said...

I want one!!!! A lion, or a tiger, or an elephant, or even one of the monkeys. Preferably the one on your head. He looked cute. The don't let you play with the animals in Canada eh?

Bloggy Mama said...

Ummm... YOU ARE HOLDING TIGERS!!! AND LIONS!!! Wow, way cool. Also? I'm glad you ended with the tiget cub. I want one :)

Shelly said...

SOOOOOOO JEALOUS!!!! I can't believe how huge some of those tigers were. The little ones were so cute. I always wanted a pet tiger. Heh.

shareen said...

oooh, the elephant poop-picker-uppers...what a crappy job! HAHAHA! Thought you'd like that one. Anyways, insanely jealous of the tigers and elephants and a bit sad about the monkeys (and the others too if I think about it but I try not to think too hard about much these days)...love the pictures!