THE ELEPHANT JUNGLE SANCTUARY & WHY YOU SHOULDN’T SUPPORT RIDING ELEPHANTS

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If you’re thinking of honeymooning in Thailand then I would highly recommend a trip to Chiang Mai to be with the elephants at The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. This sanctuary  is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project in Thailand, with their concern about the welfare of elephants it became their mission to provide the elephants with good health, freedom and happiness that they truly deserve! I visited this place last month and I can’t even tell you what an incredible experience it was!

ABOUT THE SANCTUARY

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I know that when many people think of Thailand they envision riding elephants, PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS. I am going to talk more about how goddam awful this is later on the post and why us tourists shouldn’t be supporting it but for now let’s talk about our experience with The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. They maintain a strict no riding policy and they hope that their approach will set an example which will in time lead to a transformation in elephant tourism as well as human and ethical treatment to elephants worldwide.

Their hope is to lead by example and contribute to a positive change in the perception of elephants, to witness a future where elephants are not rigged, poached, over worked or abused and are instead treated with care, love and respect. The sanctuaries are home to over sixty formerly mistreated elephants who are now free to enjoy their lives and we got to spend an entire day with them!

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Our day started by changing into traditional Karen clothes then learning all about the elephants. For example they only sleep for 3 hours a day! SAY WHAT! Which means they have staff with them 24 hours a day taking care of them. We also learnt that Elephants eat a huge amount of food, needing to consume an average of 150kg of food each day just to survive! Larger elephants will eat much more, with some known to eat up to 300kg/day. They also need to drink a great deal of water, with some estimating that each elephant must drink 150L per day. (I struggle to drink 1 litre of water a day!)

Once we had learnt about the elephants it was time to meet and feed them! We were each giving two bunches of bananas to feed them, one banana at a time. We interacted with them, played with them and felt their skin, it was honestly the most incredible experience to see an elephant this close up! Turns out this part of the day was just their appetiser because after that we carried these huge leaves down to them and they tucked straight in!

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After this, we enjoyed a traditional Thai lunch with fresh fruit. Then we walked with the elephants down to a muddy reserve where we gave them a mud bath (and got pretty covered in mud ourselves!) Then we walked with them over to the river where we bathed and brushed them. It was absolutely beautiful! I honestly cannot recommend this experience enough and it’s great to know that you’re contributing to the welfare of the elephants by visiting!

*Please be aware of less than ethical imitations of this company operating under similar names in an effort to attract customers using their caring reputation that do not maintain the same standard or respectful treatment towards their animals. If booking ensure you are booking directing to the official “Elephant Jungle Sanctuary” so that you are supporting the positive change

MISTREATMENT OF ELEPHANTS IN THAILAND

Nowadays, elephants primarily work in the tourism and entertainment sectors. Unfortunately, very few companies treat their elephants ethically, or with the respect they deserve, instead viewing them simply as a profitable business asset. Young elephants are sometimes poached from the wild to be sold and used as novelties in hotels, or trained to perform for tourists. This practice is incredibly damaging to the population of Thai elephants, as the mother (and sometimes other females, such as the chosen ‘foster mother’) is often killed during the poaching process, and this separation greatly endangers the life and long-term health of the infant. Some estimate that as many as 70% of baby elephants currently used in tourism may have been poached from their natural habitat.

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Work includes tourist ridding, logging, and circus activities.

Sometimes they are made to carry people for up to 5 hours. Being forced to work in busy Thailand, slowly wears the elephants down as elephants need to cool down and be allowed to eat more then they are provided. They are hurt at these camps guides use hooks to force them to carry tourists which they hit the elephants with, causing bleeding.

WHY NOT TO RIDE AN ELEPHANT

Elephants are not designed to carry weight on their back. They have evolved to support a mass amount of weight suspended below their spine. Elephants spines are not like horses for instance. In order for an elephant to be ridden, it needs to be put through a ritual called Phajaan. The word “phajaan” is a ritual that is practiced in Thailand by tribes and has been around for hundreds of years. It can best be described as “Crushing” an elephants spirit. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because it’s absolutely heart breaking and frankly unbelievable that this type of torture is happening but you can read a bit more about it here. Once the tribe feel the baby elephant has had its ‘spirit broken’, it will have nothing left to do but submit, listen and learn what the masters are trying to teach it. It’s absolutely outrageous and all the for enjoyment of tourists.

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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO CREATING THE PERFECT NATURAL CONFETTI COLOUR PALETTE

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In case you guys haven’t heard, natural confetti is where it’s at! The petals are 100% natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable, just like blossom off the tree! They are all completely natural in colour, no dyes are ever added and they’re delicately handpicked and lovingly packed for your ‘confetti moment!’ How awesome is that?!

But where do you start? There are so many beautiful colours and options out there and which look best together? Well the good news is we’ve got your back and we’ve teamed up with Shropshire Petals to create the ultimate guide for the perfect natural confetti colour.

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Using Shropshire Petal’s pick and mix feature makes it easy to combine your favourite confetti into the colour scheme of your dreams and choosing from any of the following petals will give you the perfect pastel mix!

Icing Sugar
Natural Delphinium Petal Confetti. Elegant ivory/cream petals, perfect for a white wedding.

Duckegg Blue
Fabulous pale blue freeze dried Hydrangea petals. Everyone’s going quackers (get it) for these delicate petals, we just love them! Perfect to add that something special or your something blue!

Buttermilk
Gorgeous cream freeze dried rose petals – subtle, elegant and beautiful.

Promise
Classic and delicate freeze dried rose petals. Amazingly elegant cream roses with a baby pink edge.

Daisy Daisy
Fabulous White/cream freeze dried Hydrangea Petals. We’ve fallen in love with these petals!

 

Summer Brights

If bright and bold is more your style then choosing petals with a pop of colour is the way forward, making a combo of any of the following will be perfect for a summer wedding!

Clementine
Fabulous Orange freeze dried rose petals. Warm, vibrant and full of life!

Cerise
Cerise pink freeze dried rose petals, a bright hot pink colour that looks fab scattered on tables.

Envy
Green Freeze dried Hydrangea petals. Envy are amazing sage green ‘wow’ factor hydrangea petals – yum! Each petal is approximately 3-4cm in diameter.

Promise
Classic and delicate freeze dried rose petals. Amazingly elegant cream roses with a baby pink edge.

Golden Slumber
Beautiful Golden Yellow rose petals. Yellow is big this year and we can see why, these petals are amazing!

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THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER’S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE!

THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER'S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE! (22)

Kristen, is the talented travel vlogger behind ‘Hopscotch the Globe’ as well as co-author of fiction adventure series, Rise of the Prince, along with her husband  Siya. The couple also operate an Inspirational Center called DASHTA Moments. They work with individuals and small groups to guide them in their pursuit of an authentic life. Their peaceful and calm environment is an ideal setting for people to discover who they really are, through self-inquiry and awareness of the world around them. All the beautiful decor was a result of all their friends and family getting crafty and creating it for them! Not only was the final result so unique and beautiful, but also very meaningful to Kristen & Siya.

“Before the ceremony began, all the guests had a peaceful silent moment to take in the energy and the sounds of the nature around us in order to be present for the ceremony” their photographer, Sara, told us. “It was beautiful. Instead of hearing others talking or being distracted by phones, we heard birds chirping, the wind, and flowing water in the creek nearby”.

Siya asked Kristen to marry him with a moonstone pendant he had bought on his travels in Rishikesh, India, during a round the world 10 month trip. The couple have travelled the world together and were keen to represent the incredible work of mother nature at their wedding whilst also sharing their belief in supporting and protecting it.

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THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER'S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE! (16)

THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER'S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE! (15) THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER'S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE! (13) THIS FREE SPIRITED TRAVEL BLOGGER'S BOHEMIAN FOREST WEDDING IS A DREAM COME TRUE! (14)

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The Love Of The Irish

Irish St Patricks Day Styled Wedding Shoot 1A few years ago while me and Emily were in California we had the pleasure of meeting the fabulous Deborah Lindquist, we instantly felt a connection to Deborah and her breathtakingly beautiful gowns and just knew that working together would be a match made in heaven! All of Deborah’s dresses are stylish, eco friendly and above all completely bespoke, so you can imagine how excited we were to meet her! Ever since we’ve been following Deborah’s work and we’re so pleased to feature a shoot here on Bespoke Bride today featuring her gorgeous gowns! Over to Deborah to tell you more…

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