Gary is currently in Appleton, WI (May 15th, 2015)

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Daily Travel Photo – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant painting, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant painting, Chiang Mai, Thailand

I went to an elephant show in Chaing Mai where trained elephants did all sorts of tricks. The most impressive trick was when they let two elephants create paintings. I gathered from what was being sold at the gift shop they could only do the exact same painting over and over. I’m also sure there was some sort of trick to it as a trainer was on the other side of the elephant that the audience couldn’t see, probably prompting the animal at the right times.

Nonetheless, it was pretty impressive.

  • 6 Comments... What's your take?

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  1. Caitielin says:

    Great picture! I’ve been there too, and actually the way it works is the guide who is standing beside the elephant is holding onto the animal’s ear. The elephant moves the paint brush in the direction their ear is being pulled. Still a pretty crazy trick, and definitely takes lots of training. You can imagine that even with this technique, the elephants still can’t do anything terribly elaborate, hence the reason the gift shop paintings all share an uncanny resemblance. The prices are steep indeed, but benefit the Elephant Reserves and the preservation of the local cultures.

  2. Qlotta says:

    One of the cooler parts of the elephant sanctuary is the gift store there. You can buy the elephant paintings but by local rates kinda expensive. However, the elephant dung picture frames are fantastic and quite affordable.

    Big fan of the site Gary. Keep it up!

  3. Liz Allen says:

    Love what you are doing. We quit our jobs, sold our house and now travel to make a difference. Check out where we empower artisans in developing countries with sustainable income. We pay fair trade wages and donate back to certain causes like, saving the Asian elephant from extinction through selling their paintings. After posting “The Original Elephant Painting” video on YouTube, National Geographic and Animal Planet filmed shows with us that will be coming out this year. You just never know where your journey will take you. Have much enjoyment and fun enjoying your adventures. Liz

  4. The Yeti says:

    I do not see Nepal listed… maybe have to entice you to come… you can see elephant Polo in winter!

  5. jean says:

    Looks very cute, the elephant and the painting. Read an essay the other day, about the experience of a writer in Thai. He saw elephant dancing, tried elephant riding, but found sadly in shop elephant-leather bags. Questioned if people take too much from this tender animal. Anyway, an elephant painting is much better.

  6. Gaolga says:

    Wow impressive ! And elephants are so cute also :D

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