When I arrived in Luang Prabang, I did not think it would entail bareback elephant riding! One of the most popular excursions you can do from here is catching a tuk-tuk to the two nearby waterfalls, one of which offers a range of elephant based activities (the other has a lovely bear sanctuary too). We foolishly thought “elephant bathing” would be a dip in the waterfall with one of the gorgeous creatures to give it a sponge down with the supervision of a trainer. Nope. Having paid my 120,000 kip (about £9), the mahout beckoned us over to a raised platform where he told me to sit on the elephant’s head! Once on board our nelly plodded us down to the pool for an exhilarating session of diving in and out of the cool water. We definitely got more than we bargained for but with an excellent result; I was left with a massive smile plastered on my face for the rest of the day.