The elephant is a graceful bird

The elephant is a graceful bird
It flits from bough to bough
It builds its nest in a rhubarb tree
And whistles like a cow

We were all going to just hop on the bus to Lampang when we got a much better offer from the driver that was going to take us to the station - the whole day for all 8 of us for 2000 baht (around 48 euros). Bargain, we thought, the bus would nearly be that if we got seats for the kids, plus we were guaranteed a way to get back. So we took him up on his offer and it turned out great.

The elephant conservation centre had it all. First we had a short ride around on an elephant (in a seat, not bareback) which reminded me a bit of the donkey rides round Mijas, only in this case the mahouts were actually friendly and smiley. Then we went to see the babies and feed their mothers, followed by a quick stop at the hospital. Then we saw them all have a bath (some of the mahouts were Westerners in training) and a (pretty boring) show involving ball throwing, log dragging, and even painting!

We wanted to go into Lampang for lunch but our driver convinced us to stop just before at a typical proper market. You couldn't get more Thai than this, I don't think we saw a single tourist. Food for the kids was a bit complicated but we managed by picking out bits of meat from the least spicy dishes. We also bought all sorts of foodstuff, they even had strawberries (very expensive, obviously a luxury item) and chestnuts.

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