Some pics from my private tour of a horrifying “elephant camp” in Chiang Mai Thailand yesterday. Promoted as “ecotourism,” there are 25 camps, some with 40 elephants. Tourists from around the world visit the camps to ride the elephants through the forest. They would be made to do tricks (high five bowing, etc.) for their human of the moment. This camp had 4, very sad adults held captive (I can’t think of it any other way) by four gnarly looking dudes with bad teeth and machettes. One had a hand gun that he’d wave around, showing it off. There was one woman who serviced the camp - cooking, cleaning, washing for the men. They denied the elephants were harmed - said they enjoyed it actually. The ankle chains, as you see, are very very short. The whole thing seemed out of a dream and I’ll never go back.
We’re still in Southeast Asia (day 13!), but just wanted to share a few pics (of thousands!!!) from our unbelievable adventure. I have been humbled by every sunrise, every temple, every moment here, and feel very, very lucky to be on this wanderlusty jaunt.