In Chiang Mai, the other popular tour to take is a trip to an elephant sanctuary, a ride down the river on a bamboo raft, and a trek to the jungle. I didn’t know when we got to the elephants we would be ushered to riding them. I didn’t really want to ride the elephants because I didn’t like the way they treated them but I was late and they the guides were calling to me to get on so I did. I can’t say I felt any enjoyment siting on a manmade saddle tied around the elephant with rope that was brushing against the poor things skin. I endured the ride and eventually got into a bit of an argument with my guide who told me “they don’t feel anything because they have thick skin” after I expressed my disgust a trainer hacking a pick into an elephant to get him to move faster. I couldn’t believe his statement and he couldn’t believe my concern. In any case we put our differences aside and rounded up the full day tour with a bamboo raft ride and a trek through a jungle and to a waterfall. The raft ride was relaxing and the waterfall allowed to wash off the days sweat and rejuvenate. It was a good day overall but this memory is a little tainted due to the experience with the elephants.