During the South East Asia Trail, my favourite parts were the day trips. For me they were the most memorable experiences and were the most fun too. During our stay in Chiang Mai, known as the rose of the north for its picturesque scenery, we took part in an excursion to an elephant sanctuary.
Frontier chose an ethically responsible one; the elephants were not mistreated with such activities as riding them and a third of the funds goes towards their conservation. Instead you get an insight into how these giant yet majestic animals are integrated into the local community but best of all you have the opportunity to feed them, stroke them, and even get into their bathing lake and wash them. During their bath I was fortunate enough to sit on one just as their own mahout would.
Normal days spent absorbing the culture are great however day trips really allow you to marvel at the sight, sounds and smells that this part of the world offers! Not to say that elephant poop smelt good.
By Maxim Selwyn - South East Asia Trail Volunteer
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