My husband, sister and i arrived in Chiang Mai on Sunday afternoon. The clerk at our hotel very kindly called a girl named Atom in to help us with our sightseeing arrangements.
Atom arranged for Kate and Mister A to collect us from our hotel at 10.00 on Monday morning. It was a joy to meet Kate, she was so warm and friendly. Kate took us to the van and introduced us to her husband Mister A. We had the most amazing day, we were taken to the Mae Taeng Elephant Park where we feed bananas and sugarcane to the friendly elephants before going for a 50 minute ride through the natural parkland, we crossed the river twice, and the sure footed elephants carried us safely up hilly terrain. On our return we saw more elephants, dance, paint and play football.
After a delicious lunch we enjoyed a ride on an ox cart followed by a 4km ride down the river on a bamboo raft, propelled along by two very strong Thai gentlemen each with a long bamboo pole. That was so peaceful and beautiful.
Next we travelled higher into the mountains where my husband and I experienced the thrill of zip lining while my sister enjoyed a relaxing leg massage. Next on the agenda was a visit to the Long Neck and Hill Tribe peoples. Kate and Mister A walked through the village with us and helped us to purchase some of the beautiful hand crafts the ladies from the different tribes had made and were selling.
Mister A was also extremely helpful to my sister, he steadied her and helped her negotiate some of the uneven terrain for which she was so grateful.
Our last port of call was to the butterfly and orchid gardens, the orchids were brilliant, so much colour and variety, unfortunately there weren't a lot of butterflies though we did see an enormous green caterpillar.
It was a day packed with adventure and wonder and Kate was a charming guide and Mister A a very competent driver.
That evening I realised I had left my photo from the elephant park in the van. When Atom got hold of Kate she was already on her way to bring it in to me. Kate and Mister A arrived with freshly prepared mango (from her Mum's garden) and sticky rice for us to enjoy. To my great joy they had time to take us to Tiger Kingdom!
Wow, what a wonderful place this is. The tigers were so well cared for and their enclosures were spotlessly clean. We all went in with the baby tigers then my husband and I went in with the juveniles and the fully grown tigers. It was one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life.
We had a delicious lunch in the restaurant which Kate organised for us and then sadly it was time for Mister A to drive us to the airport. We were really sad to be saying goodbye to Kate and Mister A, in those few short hours over one and a half days we felt like we had become part of their family. Whenever we return to Chiang Mai we will definitely see them again and of course use their services as there is still so much to see and do in that region. I would definitely recommend their services to anybody needing a tour guide and driver whilst in Chiang Mai and I wish them well for the future.
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