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The amazing thing about Chiang Mai is that it’s home to so many elephants! If you’re looking to get up close and personal with these gentle giants, there are a few elephant sanctuaries in the area that offer rides, baths, and other fun activities.
One of the most popular sanctuaries is the Elephant Nature Park, where you can help feed and bathe the elephants. There’s also the Maesa Elephant Camp, where you can watch elephants paint pictures or play football! For something a little different, try the Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary where you can stay overnight in a treehouse and help care for orphaned elephants.
No matter which sanctuary you choose, spending time with these majestic creatures is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Chiang Mai.
History of Chiang Mai Elephants
Elephants have been an important part of Thai culture for centuries and were traditionally used in warfare, logging, and other labour-intensive tasks. In recent years, however, their numbers have dwindled due to habitat loss and the illegal ivory trade. Fortunately, there are now several sanctuaries in Chiang Mai that are dedicated to protecting these gentle giants.
The Elephant Nature Park was founded in 1995 as a refuge for elephants that had been abused in the logging and tourism industries. Since then, it has grown to include over 60 elephants, many of which have been rescued from abusive situations. The park offers day trips and overnight stays where visitors can help feed and bathe the elephants.
The Maesa Elephant Camp was founded in 1976 as a training ground for elephants used in the logging industry. Today, it is a popular tourist attraction where visitors can watch elephants paint pictures or play football. The camp also offers rides and baths with the elephants.
The Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary was founded in memory of Boon Lot, an orphaned elephant that was rescued from abusive owners. The sanctuary is home to nine elephants, all of which have been rescued from abusive situations. Visitors can stay overnight in a treehouse and help care for the elephants.
How to Choose an Elephant Sanctuary
With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which elephant sanctuary is right for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:
- What type of activities do you want to do? If you’re looking for a hands-on experience, choose a sanctuary that offers rides, baths, and other activities. If you just want to observe the elephants, any sanctuary will do.
- How much time do you have? If you only have a day or two, go for a quick visit to one of the smaller sanctuaries. If you’re staying longer, consider an overnight stay at a larger sanctuary.
- What is your budget? Elephant sanctuaries range in price from free (for small, local sanctuaries) to several hundred dollars per day (for larger, more popular sanctuaries). Choose a sanctuary that fits your budget.
No matter which sanctuary you choose, spending time with elephants is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Chiang Mai!
Family-Friendly Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuaries
Chiang Mai is a great place to visit with kids, and there are plenty of activities that the whole family will enjoy. One of the most popular things to do in Chiang Mai is to visit an elephant sanctuary.
There are several sanctuaries to choose from, but some are more family-friendly than others. The Elephant Nature Park, for example, offers day trips and overnight stays where you can help feed and bathe the elephants. The Maesa Elephant Camp also offers rides and baths with the elephants.
If you’re looking for something a little different, try the Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary where you can stay overnight in a treehouse and help care for orphaned elephants. No matter which sanctuary you choose, spending time with these majestic creatures is sure to be a highlight of your trip to Chiang Mai.
Q: Do I need to make a reservation in advance?
A: Yes, it is recommended that you make a reservation at least a few days in advance, as many sanctuaries fill up quickly.
Q: What should I wear?
A: Wear comfortable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Closed-toe shoes are also recommended.
Q: Can I bring my own food?
A: Some sanctuaries will allow you to bring your own food, but others will not. Check with the sanctuary in advance to see if there are any restrictions.
Q: How long does the average visit last?
A: Most sanctuaries offer half-day or full-day visits. Overnight stays are also available at some sanctuaries.
Q: What is the best time of year to visit?
A: The best time to visit Chiang Mai is between November and February when the weather is cooler and drier. Avoid visiting during the rainy season (June-October), as many roads and trails can be inaccessible due to flooding.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Prices vary depending on the sanctuary, but expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars per person. Overnight stays are typically more expensive than day visits.
Q: What else do I need to know?
A: Be prepared for a dirty, dusty, and sometimes smelly experience. Elephants are huge animals, and they can be loud when they trumpet or communicate with each other. Don’t be alarmed if an elephant comes close to you; they are just curious!
We hope that this guide has helped you decide which elephant sanctuary is right for you. Remember to make a reservation in advance, wear comfortable clothing, and be prepared for a dirty and dusty experience. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy your time with these amazing creatures!
Disclaimer – This is a sponsored post