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Hi everyone! We have arrived back in London safe and sound after our three weeks away! A three week holiday was so amazing and felt like we had been away for so long! We were so lucky to have the opportunity to do everything that we did and we had some truly incredible experiences and have made some memories for life.

Continuing with our Thailand Diaries, today I’m going to tell you about one of my favourite things we did from the entire trip; going to visit an elephant sanctuary. I have been to Thailand before and although I was mostly keen to try new things, I knew I wanted to stick with the elephant park I went to last time. It was so amazing and they treated their elephants so well I thought it would be silly to try and find another which was as good.

Baan Chang Elephant Park means ‘Home of the Elephants’ (Baan meaning home and Chang meaning elephant) in Thai. They pride themselves on reducing elephants from the logging industry and from the cruel ‘shows’ which unfortunately still go on in parts of Thailand. These elephants would not be able to be released into the wild as they are too tame, but they give them a home and look after them very well. All the elephants have a ‘mahout’: a Thai man who stays with them and builds a relationship with them and teaches them basic commands.

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Our day with the elephants was one of, if not the, most memorable experiences of the entire trip.  They are truly majestic creatures and so much bigger than you could ever imagine in real life! It was a real honour to spend the day helping to look after them.  In the morning we were introduced to some of the elephants and were able to feed them their ‘morning snack’ – about 3 baskets full of bananas and sugar cane each! I had no idea how much elephants need to eat!  This was great fun because they are so cheeky particularly the younger ones, stealing food out of our hands that was meant for other elephants and so on.  They really are playful animals and have got a real personality of their own!

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After lunch we had the opportunity to ride our elephant which we had been looking after. I know this is a bit of a controversial topic and some people don’t agree with it but at Baan Chang they don’t use cages, seats or any kind of contraption for the visitors to ride the elephants; we sat on them bare back and went on a short trek which was their daily exercise. The park maintain that in traditional Thai culture an elephant is looked after by his mahout friend for his whole life and he will carry him around on his back without any trouble, therefore they do not mind being ridden as long as it is not using chairs or cages which hurt their skin. Riding this huge creature through the jungle was amazing and I felt like we really got close to our elephant and developed a bond of trust – although it was scary at first!

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The last part of the day was definitely the best; bathing our elephant in the lake! This was a beautiful experience. The elephants love it! We each were given a bucket and scrubbing brush and as we brushed them with the water they laid down on their side and kicked about playing like children!! Then they started squirting their trunks everywhere! It was hilarious and something I will never forget.

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If you are visiting Chiang Mai I would thoroughly recommend the Baan Chang Elephant park for your elephant experience. In my opinion they get the right balance of education and fun! Definitely one to tick off the bucket list. Although I could do it again and again!

Look out for my next Thailand Diaries – when we move on to the bright lights of Bangkok!

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Hi everyone! We are absolutely loving life here in Thailand on our honeymoon. It is a truly special country and we are loving every minute. I thought I would share a few of our experiences with you, as we go along and also when we return. I know when planning this trip I enjoyed reading blog posts about certain trips/ experiences and recommendations to get a feel for them before booking, so I hope others will find it helpful.

Our first stop of the trip was the northern city of Chiang Mai which is famous for its culture, elephants and food! We decided we wanted to do a cookery class to learn some traditional Thai recipes and we came across the Thai Farm Cooking School on trip advisor. What stood out to me (other than the abundance of 5 star reviews!) was that the tour took you out of the city to the school’s organic farm where you would pick your own ingredients for the dishes and cook them in a quite and tranquil setting. We went ahead and booked it.

What a fantastic day it was! I would thoroughly recommend this excursion to anyone visiting Chiang Mai. Everything about it from the organisation of the pick ups, the teachers, the food and the equipment was perfection and extremely professional. This is a cooking school which has been running smoothly for years you can tell.

Our day started with an 8.30am pick up from our hostel and a minivan ride with our group of about 8 people to the local market. We were introduced to our teacher ‘Wass’ and she gave us a tour of the market; explaining the different spices, vegetables and rices which we may not have seen before. After this insightful stop-off we drove about 40 mins out of the city to the Thai Farm Cooking School.

The farm itself was really beautiful, set in the lush Thai countryside and very quiet. The had several group cooking stations set up for the different groups but they were far enough away from each other that it felt as though it were a private lesson. Everything we could have possibly needed was there ready for us. Once we arrived we had a tour of the farm where Wass explained the different Thai herbs and spices that they grow and what we would use them for. Then it was down to the cooking!

One of the things I loved so much about the experience was how organised it was and how easy they made it for you. All the ingredients we needed for each dish we pre-portioned for us so that we could just get on with the cooking and the eating! The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is peeling potatoes right??! Wass was so knowledgable and went at the right pace for the group. We were whipping up some delicious Thai food in no time!

The menu changes daily but we had the opportunity to make Tom Yum soup, vegetable spring rolls, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts, papaya salad and red/yellow/green curry (our choice) with either chicken on tofu. All the dishes have the option to cook a vegetarian version. After you’ve made your dishes your group (about 8 people) all sit down together and eat them! They were so delicious!

My favourite dish of the day was the desert we made at the end – Mango Sticky Rice. Doesn’t sound like much of a desert I know but I’m addicted to it out here! The rice is sweetened using coconut milk, sugar and coloured with a natural colour (we used a flower) and it tastes devine!


If you are visiting Chiang Mai and thinking about doing a cooking class I would thoroughly recommend the Thai Farm Cooking School and give it 5 stars. The whole days experience was great from start to finish and it’s really well set up so that it feels authentic and not like a tourist treadmill at all. And at £30pp for an entire day’s schedule plus all that food it’s really good value! At the end you will recieve a little printed recipe book with the instructions for everything that you made which I thought was a really nice touch. One tip – go hungry!! Not a single person on our course could finish everything they made!

You can check out the Thai Farm Cooking School for yourself here.

Until next time,


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