It is said that a trip to Thailand wouldn't have been complete without spending time with elephants. When you are in Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is one of the great place for you to enjoy a time with these giant animals. It is a place where there is no elephant riding, no elephant shows and you will see the Thai elephants in real life with so much space to roam around and eat all they want. And these gentle giants are treated friendly and ethically. If you want an amazing elephant experience, the sanctuary will give you it.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is as one of the best elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai. It offers visitors a chance to support an ethical cruelty-free organization while interacting with the elephants in their natural habitat. In the sanctuary, you will have opportunity to learn the history, habits and language of the elephants from your experience tour guide and the staffs in the sanctuary; you will get intimate experiences of feeding and bathing elephants and you will even have chance in assisting in the creation of organic herbal medicine to improve their health. The elephants in the sanctuary were rescued from riding camps and circuses are now able to live freely and happy in the jungle with their families.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is besides a Karen village in a densely forested mountainous region not far from the downtown of Chiang Mai. It takes about 1.5 hours' driving through scenic agricultural areas, hills, and forest to the place. It provides several programs: Morning visit, Afternoon visit, Full day visit, One-day walk with the elephants and overnight visit.
Half day visit
It provides twice a day. The morning visit starts from 6:30 am to 12:30 pm and the afternoon visit starts from 13:30-18:30. The program includes pick up and drop off at your hotel in the city of Chiang Mai; well-trained English speaking guide; drinking water, a traditional Thai meal and food for feeding the elephants.
During the half-day trip in the sanctuary, the guide will introduce the behavior and history of the elephants deeply to you. The elephant mahouts will help you realize the extract natural life of the elephants by feeding and bathing them. Since you will get messy and wet in a very funny way, you are highly recommended to bring some things with you such as a bathing suit, a towel and change of clothes and you can also bring a hat and sunscreen with to avoid the strong sunshine. A camera can be taken with you but if you are worried about taking photos with the elephant, just leave it at hotel. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary of Chiang Mai provides a photography service with no extra charge. The photographer will take photos of you throughout the tour and upload them to the internet and you can download it freely on the EJS Facebook page.
Once you step into the sanctuary, you will find free-roaming elephants and after your change into the traditional Karen clothing you can touch, feed, interact with them while you learn their lifestyle and behaviors. Afterwards, you will accompany the elephants to a mud spa nearby. Get muddy together with the elephants as you apply a heathy cosmetic mud treatment to their skin. Next, walk the elephants alongside to a nearby river and join them in the water for a refreshing bath and brush the elephants while play with them joyfully in the water. In the end, you will eat some traditional Thai snacks with some seasonal fresh fruit. Before drive back to Chiang Mai, you will enjoy once again the impressive rural scenery.
This full day program is similar to the half-day ones but you will have more time to be with the elephants besides all the activates you will do with the elephants, you will also have a wonderful chance to learn how to make herbal medicine balls for the elephants which can improve their health.
One-day walk with the elephants
This full day trekking package is truly for nature and adventure lovers. You will experience the excitement of joining the walk with the elephants through their natural habitat. Accompany them roam through the jungle at a leisurely joyful pace. You will also feed, interact and play with them in the open natural environment in the mean while learn about their history and behavior. You will also bath with them as well.
In this program, you will gain an opportunity to stay overnight with a local family at a typical Karen village and eat together with them. You will deeply interact with, learn about and understand the elephants, what more, you will witness the breathtaking jungle scenery when you explore the village at your own pace.
On the first day, you will join in the one-day visit program, till 3:00pm, after you say goodbye to the one day visitors, you will be guided to a local Karen family in the village. Your guide will introduce you to some of the friendly local people and you will learn about the local customs, language and traditions. You can stroll around the village to enjoy the picturesque scenery around the peaceful quiet mountainside village. With the invitation of the local people, you will step into their kitchen where you can watch or even assist them to prepare a traditional Thai food dinner. Enjoy a nutritious and delicious dinner with the local family and learn about their life in the jungle.
After dinner, you can choose to enjoy a conversation by candlelight or choose get an early sleep accompanying with some soft natural sounds to replenish your energy for the second day of your Elephant Jungle Sanctuary experience.
Wake up early for a brilliant view of the sun rise. Have a cup of coffee or freshly brewed herbal tea and enjoy a healthy local breakfast. Following breakfast, trek with your guide for about 1 hour in the jungle to a nearby waterfall. During the hiking, you will visit village houses, organic farms; discover the local animals and plants. You will become deeply immersed in the jungle environment. When you reach the waterfall, you can swim in the cool and clean mountain water, and enjoy a delicious lunch with fresh fruit just beside the waterfall. Then you will trek to another Elephant Jungle Sanctuary camp to enjoy the happy hours with lovely giant animals before hiking back to the edge of the jungle with your guide where you will meet your drive who will transfer you back to Chiang Mai.
Everyone knows that elephants have excellent memories but when you meet them in the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, they will become one of your unforgettable memories in a life time.
Read more: Elephant Tours in Thailand