We opted not to book any tours in Thailand and mostly arranged our activities on our own. However, in Chiang Mai we signed up for an elephant trekking tour through our hotel. The tour included an elephant ride, a hike to a waterfall, a stop by a rural Thai village, lunch, and bamboo rafting. I forget the pricing but it was pretty cheap, maybe under $100 per person. I highly recommend tours like this if you go to Thailand. If it matters to you, be sure to research before hand and make sure you're getting a humane elephant camp. Ours was one of the cheaper tours and I don't think they treated the elephants well. Just imagine how they treat them when customers are not around! So try to do some research about the elephant camp you choose.
We sat in pairs atop these precariously placed seats on the elephants.
Baby elephants came along the trek to train for their future careers carrying passengers on their backs. And you think you have the worst job...
The seats were pretty stable but when the elephant climbs up sloped hills, it's pretty scary.
Remember the game Oregon Trail? We're fording the river. There were several stops along the trek where we could buy a bag of bananas for $1 to feed our elephants.
The baby elephants are rolling around in dirt after getting wet from the water. So cute!
Afterwards we took a hike to the Maewang Waterfall where Phil took a cold dip in the water.
I couldn't take any pictures of the bamboo rafting trip but it was super fun. The rafts are made of large bamboo shafts tied together resulting in a long plank. There are no paddles, no gear, and no seats. You just sit on the bamboo raft while a guide stands at the front and steers the raft along with a bamboo pole. Awesome ride!