In a valley, secluded from the bustling tuk tuks of the city lays an Asian Elephant utopia.
Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand is the vision of Sangduen Chailert (Lek), a Thai native who grew up in a small village not far from the park. The Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation center where one can volunteer to help. The park provides a natural environment for elephants and other animals.
Elephants have deep ties within the culture of this magnificent land and throughout much of Southeast Asia. Elephant trekking (or riding) is a highlighted tourist enticement.
Continue reading this post by our new travel contributor, Kaitlin Sullivan, on Uniglobe The Travel Times.
Some countries clearly have more potential than others to add to our enlightenment and knowledge of other cultures … other foreign lands …
Thailand is just such a country: a country and culture that can enhance a traveler’s worldview in many ways. Why? Because the Thais have contributed enormously to architecture, art, Buddhist religious thought, and the political development of Southeast Asia.
To the western mind, Thailand offers a stimulus to the imagination as profound as Thai cuisine’s subtle expansion of our taste range.
The religious architecture of Thailand’s three historic capitals (Sukhothai, Ayuthaya, and Bangkok) equals the grandeur of Europe’s cathedrals. The significant artistic and creative moments, especially in sculpture, such as the graceful depiction of the Buddha in the Sukhothai period, equals any period of artistic achievement one could point to in Europe or the Americas.
A visitor can experience this cultural legacy of Thailand in Bangkok, the country’s third major capital (1782 A.D. to the present).
In a day or, preferably, an overnight trip north from Bangkok along the Chao Praya River, a traveler can encounter the second historic capital, Ayuthaya (1376-1767 A.D.), famous for its impressive architecture.
And a visitor with another two days of time could – and should – drive a half-day north to Sukhothai, the first Thai capital (1238-1376 A.D.), most noted for the artistic purity of its Buddha sculptures.
Both Ayuthaya and Sukhothai are considered to be sacred sites by the Thais. The ruins in both former capitals are haunting places to visit. Many of the remaining major architectural and artistic artifacts from both sites can be seen in Bangkok at the National Museum.