Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Elephants Are Good Luck In Thailand

This very well behaved family of elephants belongs to the Sappraiwan Resort in Pisanolok. The mahoots set them up out front a couple of times a day, and you can buy bananas to feed them.

The mahoots are from a local hill tribe, the Gariang. Generally speaking, being a mahoot is not a great job, and being from a hill tribe usually puts you in a low demographic. I found out, though, that all of the mahoots at this hotel live here cost free and provide their families with a good living, including lots of money in the bank. The Gariang are Catholics, and the children go to a local missionary school. My little group stopped by, it was a nice church with out-buildings and a school. "St. Nickolas." The Gariang children therefore speak good English, which will get them better jobs in the future. So much for cliches.


Anonymous said...

But as I learned by watching Nick Cage in "Bangkok Dangerous," you must hang a picture of an elephant upside-down, or it is very unlucky.

fred c said...

I've seen a thousand pictures of elephants in Thai houses (drawings included), and I've never seen one hanging upside down.

Anonymous said...

If you'd like to see a great elephant story check out Bela N Tara at youtube.(Sorry, I don't know how to do the link thing.)

Anonymous said...

if the trunk is up, it's good luck.
that's probably why it has to be upside down if it the trunk isn't up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Fred!
Do you have any more pictures of the mahouts and the elephants at Sappraiwan? By the way did you learn any karen language while you were there?