Elephants. Paper. Poo.

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By Matt and Adam

The bit by Adam

Chiang Mai train station
Just arrived at Chiang Mai Train Station.

We are all up in Chiang Mai just now and there are lots of different things you can do. You can get your photo taken with tigers at Tiger Kingdom about half an hour away, or you walk 100m further along from there to the Elephant Poopoopaper Park. You can go to an elephant show or you can help on an elephant sanctuary.

We all decided that instead of going to Tiger Kingdom we wanted to see elephant poo paper being made because it sounded interesting and fun (and it turned out to be brilliant). Mum and Katie are going to help on an elephant sanctuary next week.

The poo park comes with a purpose, and it’s about helping the environment not using bleach or other industrial paper making processes. I don’t really like the idea of Tiger Kingdom because the tigers are in small cages and there is no purpose really except to get a photo of you and a tiger. I think it’s cruel and touristy. But I know some people might like it.

Ecotourism is getting more popular and I think my generation want to see more ecoprojects. It’s a form of tourism that is intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial tourism.

In Thailand there are a few ecotourism projects/sites, for example:

Juicy4u at 5 Ratchamankha Road, Chiang Mai, which is a cafe famous for its health drinks and vegetarian food.

Cottage Cafe, Thapae Road, Soi 4, Chinag Mai, is a small cafe along the road from us. They serve good organic smoothie drinks and traditional food.

You can do jungle treks and bikeriding or rafting.

The Poopoopaper Park which we visited and Matt will explain in more detail…

The bit by Matt

Balls of coloured elephant poo fibre.
Balls of coloured elephant poo fibre.

On Friday we went to the Elephant Poopoopaper Park, it was very interesting. It was my favourite day do far. It’s been open for 6 months and the lady who owns it is really nice. To get there we took a Tuk Tuk well 2 actually me and mum, then Adam, Katie and dad in the other!! It was about 15mins away, when there was traffic we just went to the side and overtook all the cars.

Our Tuk Tuk needed to stop for gas, they use LPG instead of fuel now because it is a bit less polluting than the leaded petrol which used to be used. So Adam, Katie and dad went a bit ahead, but we caught them up later on. At the park we learnt all about how they made paper from poo.

Tuk tuk in Chiang Mai
In a tuk tuk, Chiang Mai.
Service station fuel Chiang Mai
A Service Station near Chiang Mai

Before paper was invented, people used clay, bark and animal hide to write on. My mum said that in her old job she had to sometimes read old title deeds written on cow hide – she said it was a bit smelly and difficult to read.

A man from the Imperial Court in China called Ts’ai Lun presented his invention of paper made from different leaves to the Emperor in 105AD. Later on the 24th of July 1806 Henry and his brother Sealy Fourdrinier invented a machine that could make a continuous roll of paper, and it could make any size of paper very quickly. Now even with computers we use paper every day.

PAPER MAKING

Elephant poo
Different types of poo to sniff and touch!

First they collect the poo, then filter it in drums to remove the dirt and sand. Because when they collect the poo they also scrape up sand and dirt. Once it’s filtered, they put it in a big sort of pan over a fire for 4-5 hours to remove all the bacteria. This gets rid of any smell – it smells of nothing.

Heating elephant poo
Heating up elephant poo to remove bacteria.

Once that’s over they take it out of the pan and all that is left is the fibres. Then they dry it.

Poo fibre for paper
Hands on samples of poo fibre.

To make the paper a bit stronger they add 5% recycled paper so that the new paper holds together better.

Making elephant poo paper
Recycled paper to add to elephant poo mix.

They mix this all up with water and they make it into balls. They can also add colouring for other types of paper.

Making elephant poo paper
How pretty do these poo paper balls look?

This is us, we all chose a colour then put it in a big sort of sieve which spreads out the ball all across the sieve to make a thin layer of fibre basically.

Making elephant poo paper
Spacing the poo ball evenly across a sieve.
Making elephant poo paper
Deep in poo concentration
Making elephant poo paper
Now the poo is spread evenly across the sieve.

That they leave to dry in the sun for 5-6 hours.

Making elephant poo paper
Matt’s blue poo poo paper
Making elephant poo paper
Green recycled poo by Adam
Making elephant poo paper
Katie’s poo paper will be red-dy soon.
Making elephant poo paper
Poo paper drying in the sunshine.
Making elephant poo paper
Poo paper at the ready

Finally just peel it off and that’s the paper!! They also make it in factories but still do the same method but on a bigger scale, so the paper is a bit smoother than the one by hand.

We got to make things with the paper too!! We all made a card and an envelope or even 2.

Elephant poo gift cards
Being shown how to make things with elephant poo
Making elephant poo paper gifts
Kids and grown ups get stuck into poo creations.
Making elephant poo paper cards.
Making elephant poo Christmas cards.

Mum, Katie and I also made a notepad, that you could decorate.

Making elephant poo presents
Making elephant poo presents.
Making elephant poo gifts
How to make elephant poo notebooks.

After we visited the park, we went to their cafe to have a coffee, an apple shake and also a Poopoochip Cookie!!

Poopoochip cookies
Poopoochip cookies

Our Tuk Tuks we about to leave and my apple shake wasn’t made yet so we asked them to put it in a plastic cup to take away.
So on the way back with an apple shake, disco music in our Tuk Tuk.

Making elephant poo paper
Our friendly tuk tuk driver knows where the Poopoopaper Park is now.

Our driver was a big softy, he was so nice we bought him a beer.

Tuk tuk Chiang Mai thailand
Our cool tuk tuk.
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7 Replies to “Elephants. Paper. Poo.”

  1. Loved this article. Fascinated! Great photos too. ( we are friends of Alan & Veronica Smith who live opposite your grandparents in Elgin.. they told us about your great adventure. . It sounds amazing – very envious! )

    1. Thank you for reading our blog, the Elephant Poo Poo Paper was great!!! Matt

  2. I loved this! Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you, we are having a great time travelling. Matt

  3. Fantastic, and love the photo of all the different colours of paper drying in the sun x

    1. Hi Jen, the Poo Paper park was so interesting. Matt

  4. From Elephant Poopoopaperpark by email:

    Hi Jennifer!

    Thanks so much for your email and your fantastic review on TripAdvisor.com which I just read. Your feedback is exactly the kind that motivates us to keep pressing forward! I also had the chance to read your blog post of your visit to POOPOOPAPER PARK as well as some of your prior posts summarizing what seems to be an incredible trip for you and your family. I’d like to do that some day with my own kids when they’re older hopefully!

    I’m so thrilled to know that your visit was meaningful for you all! Thanks so much once again for visiting us. It was my pleasure to show you around!

    Safe travels and happy holidays to you!

    Sincerely,
    Tun Sukonthamarn Flancman

Comments are closed.