Visiting The Elephant Sanctuary In Chiang Mai

Ever since I was a child, when people talk about Thailand, I would immediately relate it to elephants. Thailand is greatly known for the huge presence of elephants in this country. Though I’ve heard some unfortunate news about some elephant abuse, there are still some good sanctuaries in Thailand that are sincerely looking after the welfare of these animals.

I felt so lucky that one of the most admired Elephant Sanctuaries is found near the area where we are staying. This is The Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. A sanctuary which aims to provide a better quality of life for both the elephants and the natives looking after them.

When I arrived at the place, I (together with other tourists) was immediately instructed to wear a specific shirt that would not only protect my clothing but would also make the elephants be familiar and comfortable with me. We don’t want to experience a stressed elephant, right?

A guide came to orient us of how the entire sanctuary operates right before we could meet the elephants. It was made clear that riding an elephant was strictly prohibited as they would only want the elephants to feel relaxed all throughout.

When we all got the information needed prior to our ‘meeting’, elephants were then one by one met by us within the camp. It was a truly amazing experience for me. I got to feed the elephants with the supplied fruits such as watermelon, sugar canes and bananas. I can tell the elephants enjoyed the time as much as we all did. In this sanctuary, there were clearly no signs that the elephants here were abused and deprived of food. And I am glad to see and prove that in person.

After giving them a few treats, we then went on to give the elephants a good bath.

Our guide made mention that mud, specifically, gives protection to elephants from the extremities of the sun and some of their friendly bugs in there. They sure love rolling in mud and splashing in water. After this, we got to rinse them as well.

This surely is one very memorable experience for me. I hope you guys would have a chance to visit and have a great encounter with the elephants too.

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5 Tips For Moving To Thailand

Having stayed for about a few years now here in Thailand, trust me when I say that it was worth it. I am living my dream every single day. Living comfortably and still continue to enjoy what I love to do best, to write and share my experiences with you all. But of course, looking back, it was not quite easy deciding on which country I would love to set my adventurous feet on and I mean, for good.

Here are 5 wonderful tips I’ll be sharing when you are to move in this beautiful country of Thailand:

Know And Understand The Thai Culture

We all know that each and every culture is unique and I have been a personal witness to this upon arriving in Thailand. Their National Anthem is sung twice a day all throughout the country and everyone must stop whatever they might be doing and just stand still while it is being played and sung. Of course, as a sign of respect, once you’ve set foot in any homeland, you must abide by their laws and culture as well, no ifs and buts.

Another thing to keep in mind is how they give value to their food. I love food, we all love food. Yes, this is a fact for most of us. But in Thailand, they show love for food by giving value to it. Always leave your table with a clean plate after every meal. Doing so will benefit you as it is considered a big no-no or a vital offense if you have leftovers. As for me, it would also show your appreciation for their cuisines and delicacies.

Deciding Where To Live In Thailand

Now that you’ve come to understand the culture in Thailand and you greatly feel that this place really is for you, the decision of where exactly to stay and live is the next big and significant thing for you to make. The move to Thailand still is the best decision I have made for myself, and I can say the same thing for my partner. We have had the main control over our own lives and the independence it brings is truly remarkable.

The cost of living here in Thailand is way much cheaper than what we have in the states. It played a big role for us to firmly decide to stay here.

For a couple of years now, we have been staying in Chiang Mai and have only had the best and fabulous years in here. The place has great apartments where you could stay and the people here are wonderful too. Certainly, a beautiful place to live your dreams same as mine.

The cities in Thailand such as Bangkok and Phuket are good options as well. There are bars, plenty of restaurants, good houses/apartments – city center in its best term. If you have kids, you might also consider in these areas since most schools and related amenities are much closer to the center of these cities.

You might also be the kind who prefers to be away from the busy life of a city. There are lots of good and friendly rural areas in here as well.

Learning The Language

Moving and living in any new country, especially one with a different language as yours, had been one of the biggest challenges I have encountered during my first few weeks of stay here in Thailand.

I’d say it is a cultural responsibility to somewhat adapt and learn the language of a country you have just moved into. But this doesn’t have to cause anxiety and wouldn’t be achieved in an instant as well. Make the learning fun for you and the natives of Thailand.

Just my advice, best if you would make friends with your neighbors for it is them that’ll help you out with this language barrier you would firstly encounter.

People in Thailand have great humor too so don’t stress yourself over learning their language as they will certainly help you be at ease while catching a few new words.

Be Ready For The Weather

I can personally say that one of the difficult things about initially living in Thailand is the weather. Yes! The weather my dear friends. Mr. Sun can be very extreme to the point where I am really not used to. And the fan has almost no effect for comfort and you’d be very glad for the gift of air-conditioning units in this type of weather. But honestly, I guess it just takes getting used to Thai weather and I’d say Chiang Mai’s is much better than that of Bangkok’s and Phuket’s.

Make Good Friends In Thailand

Thailand has great and friendly people. They will make you feel relax and comfortable in their presence.

I’ll make this short but sweet: Find real and good friends in Thailand as they will make your stay worthwhile.

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Learning the local laws: Gun Safes & Peanuts!?

Arriving in a new destination is always a bit stressful – I would know by now. I’m basically a nomad. I’ve been out of the states for over a year and I have to say, it’s really made me question what is actually correct and what we consider to be correct. Let me explain.

A lot of people know about the US’s loose laws on guns. After all, it’s in the second amendment of the constitution which is frequently stated by those opposing any form of gun control. I grew up in an area which was a bit more conservative in their views about guns. Perhaps this was due to the close proximity of neighboring Canada, or perhaps it was due to the exceptionally low crime rate.

Either way, guns weren’t something I encountered much of. I did see guns, and I knew that they needed to be stored correctly to prevent any possible mishap which is why I was shocked when I suggested to a local friend that they use the best gun safe they could find from the gun safe reviews at bestgunsafeinfo.com. Apparently this isn’t something that locals have come to accept as necessary. So now my complaints about the US don’t seem nearly so bad – but is it bad? Have we been wrong all this time!? The locals here seem to take on a very relaxed view, and guess what… their statistics are BETTER than the US! What the $#*$!

So where do peanuts come in? I threw some at an elephant. He looked hungry, don’t blame me. Anyway I got in a fair bit of trouble from the local authorities. I wasn’t sure if this was against their culture, littering or they just didn’t like peanuts, but I did apologize even though I didn’t see what the big deal was. The elephants were amazing though.

While updating my blog, I’d also like to thank everyone who came and visited me at Bamboo Bar! I hope I wasn’t too nervous. My parents said they could sense my nerves from a mile away. I promise you I sound better in front of my mirror with my hair brush! For those that miss it, keep reading my blog and I’ll update you when my next performance will be.

Wherever you are around the world, take care!

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Meet me for a game!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not hugely talented when it comes to sports of any kind. I was nervous when my friend showed me the best ping pong table reviews from Game Room Mania and encouraged me to purchase one. Let me put it plainly, I’m not hopeless, I just have no interest.

Now I’m also a reader, so I didn’t just research top ping pong tables before buying one, I read about all the rules of playing ping pong. After about a year with the ping ping table sitting in the same place as when I bought it, I decided to donate it to a local hostel. Well, it turns out that this has been a hit.

I returned there not long ago to find my face in a frame on the wall where I was thanked for improving their business. Well it turns out I do have a knack for playing. They invited me to indulge in a game with some of the others staying in the hostel and I was actually quite a stand out. Who would have known! I guess it just shows that you can’t know if you’re good at something until you try it out.

Now I play every second Thursday, so if you are in Chiang Mai and want to meet me for a game just let me know. I’d be happy to be your personal tour guide too and I think a game of ping pong before we start out will be a great way to break the ice.

If you want to revamp your own skills, there’s a pretty solid video here.

You don’t need to be an expert by any means. We all just have a bit of fun with the game. It’s simply a way for us to get to know each other without any pressure. Some people do get pretty competitive but it’s more funny than anything. So come along!

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See me live at Bamboo Bar!

I’ve not only been busy working on my new book. I’m super excited to announce that I’ll be playing my second solo gig at Bamboo Bar in Chiang Mai soon. Well, I say I’m super excited but I’m actually pretty damn nervous. This is only the second time I’ve played a live gig and it will by far be the biggest one so far. I’m been working hard on creating a composition piece to perform and no one, not even my boyfriend, has heard me play it live yet. This gives me a sense of control but it also makes me terribly nervous that something may be wrong with me and that it doesn’t sound as good as I think it does, but really, does it even matter?

I’m happy to say that my family will be there. They’re not flying to Thailand purely for my performance, of course. My parents are on vacation right now taking somewhat of a second honeymoon. They’ve been spending their time in Koh Samui and we’re just lucky enough that dates have coincided. They were always planning to come and see me in Chiang Mai, but the way times have worked out, they’re first be seeing me on the stage. This is going to be awesome.

I often wonder what it must be like as a parent to see your child all grown up. Do they have thoughts back of when I was in a diaper and pacifier? Or is this something you quickly forget? I might have to have a discussion with my Mom about this – and then I’ll write a book about it (or compose a song).

It’s worth mentioning that the venue isn’t what you’d imagine as a traditional establishment for open mic nights. They’re quite different in the way that they have karaoke machines you can use, which are mostly for kids, or you can choose to bring your own equipment. I’m going solo and bringing a guitar and using their microphone.

For anyone else that wants to come along and show their support in Chiang Mai, here’s the details:

Venue: Bamboo Bar
Time: 9:50pm
Dress code: Smart Casual
Entry fee: 50 baht

Wish me luck and hope to see you there.

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