We had seen a video on youtube of an elephant painting an elephant holding a flower. We were still skeptical, since the video camera was so zoomed in that you couldn’t really tell if it was the elephant that was painting. When I found out that Maesa Elephant Training Camp in Chiang Mai has elephants who can paint, we had to go see for ourselves!
We paid 600 baht for a red truck (taxis) driver to take us up to the Mae Rim and back. We got there just in time for the 1:30pm show. The show was only 240 baht for the two of us. It started out with the elephants taking a bath in the creek, and then moved up to an area where there were bleacher seats. The elephants played soccer, painted, demonstrated how they help their trainers get up and down from their backs and even played harmonicas. One of our favorite parts was when an elephant played darts against a human, and the elephant won! It was really impressive to see what these elephants can do.
One of the elephants cheated and picked up the ball and walked it over to the net and snuck it in while the goalie was distracted ;). You better watch out in the stands, ’cause sometimes their aim isn’t great and they’ve got a strong kick (and an XXL soccer ball).
The trainer dips the paint brush into paint and then hands it to the elephant, but the elephant does the rest!
We thought about purchasing one of the pieces of art, but $60 seemed too high a price.
After the photo I handed the elephant a 20 baht and he took it with his trunk.
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