Top 10 Places Swimming With Elephants in Thailand

Last Updated: February 14,2020

Want to have a travel to Thailand? Want to get close to those lovely elephants? Even want to swim with elephants when having a travel? Here, we strongly recommend you the top 10 places swimming with elephants in Thailand. Imaging that you swim with elephants under the warm sunshine and play with them in the water, it's really an amazing thing, isn't it? So now, just see these Elephant Park & Tour Packages in the follows:

Want to have a travel to Thailand? Want to get close to those lovely elephants? Even want to swim with elephants when having a travel? Here, we strongly recommend you the top 10 places swimming with elephants in Thailand. Imaging that you swim with elephants under the warm sunshine and play with them in the water, it's really an amazing thing, isn't it? So now, just see these Elephant Park & Tour Packages in the follows:

1. Tri Trang Beach

Location: Phuket

Tri Trang Beach is close enough to take a short bus ride from Patong Beach while it's away from the hussle of it. The elephants here are really well looked after rather than being taught to do tricks and have fun. The trainers clearly love the animals by showering them, feeding them and keeping them well watered. No scars, signs of abuse or chains on these elephants. There are overall six elephants.

The program here provides an exciting experience that you cannot get from any other elephant sanctuaries – walking those lovely giants on beach, swimming with elephants in the sea and climb their bare back to take photos. It might be thought against the no riding principle. Actually, the major weight is saddlery rather than human; and poor living environment exacerbates the health problems. To a certain extent, bare back riding is acceptable. 

If you want a memory of a life time by enjoying the company of these lovely animals, you can take part in below tours:

Option 1: Karon Viewpoint + Big Buddha + Wat Chalong + Swimming with elephant in Tri Trang Beach

Option 2: Swimming with elephant in Tri Trang Beach

P.S. There are some stones in water. Remember to bring water sandal. Charge for extra 500 baht to take photos. The activites might be changed to Paradise Beach which is nearby.

Friendly note from Editor: Personally, I would say it is a very local service. They cannot guarantee service on fix date. Depend on the high tide/low tide. If you want to join in the swimming part only, the tour time is also very short. 1 pax play with one elephant 15-20 minutes or 2pax with 2 elephants playing with them 20-25minutes. Guests have to prepare cloth for changing, towel and sandal, etc.

Local people might not agree to let the elephant do this activity especailly in the sea. After all, elephants are jungle animals. Their skin might be hurt by salty sea water. They are not ocean animal. So, I think this activity is much better in the proper area like Elephant Sanctuary or Khao Sok National Park which has fresh water lake. :)

Tri Trang BeachSwimming With Elephant Tri Trang BeachTri Trang Beach

2. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai

Location: Chiang Mai

There are a lot elephant reserves around the dense jungle of Chiang Mai, t. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai was among the pioneers of the new ethical elephant attractions which have swept Thailand. These mild giants have been rescued from unpleasant logging and tourism. In cooperation with the nearby Karen Hill and Chiang Mai locals, This sanctuary set up this elephant welfare program to protect the elephants and to promote local development at the same time. At the time of this article, more than 30 elephants have long lived in the quiet and comfortable protected area, about 60 km away from Chiang Mai.

There are no tricks, no hooks and absolutely no horse riding, because it can hurt the surprisingly weak back of these powerful creatures. You can choose between a half-day or a full-day at the sanctuary. It takes about 1.5 hours to get to elephant park. Your half-day interaction includes preparing elephant's diet, feeding and playing together, as well as a mud and a bathtub in the river. A full day program starts at the morning or noon, depending on your preference. The activates is almost the same but more leisure time in each steps. More time to observe their natural behaviors. If you want to a maximum amount of time with the elephants, there's also an overnight tour and/or a full week program, with on-site accommodation provided.

Option 1: Half day Elephant Jungle Sanctuary with Karen Clothing

Starts at 6am in the morning or 11:30am at noon.

Option 2: Full day Elephant Jungle Sanctuary with Karen Clothing & Doi Suthep Mountain

--For overnight program or all-inclusive Thailand tours that includes this sanctuary, you can contact our travel advisor to tailored for you.

Bathing together.You can wear Karon Clothing.

3. Blue Tao Elephant Village

Location: Chiang Mai

This sanctuary offers ethical elephant experiences and combined activities in Chiang Mai. You will take care of these huge animals, make them healthy food and feed them by hands, stroll through the beautiful jungle, play together in rivers and waterfalls, observe their free life and take great pictures when they throw dust and soil.

Option 1: Full day Blue Tao Elephant Villages & Water Hikes

Enjoy best full day elephant tour Chiang Mai Thailand ethical elephant sanctuary & trekking to waterfall at Blue Tao Elephant Village. Cuddle baby elephants, healthy treats cooking, feeding, lush forest hikes (No riding), fun elephant bathe in The S Frame Waterfall, see elephants throwing dirt, foraging foods & scratching on trees. Picnic lunch near waterfall. Lunch included.

Option 2: Full Day Blue Tao Elephant Villages & water hikes, bamboo rafting & Doi Suthep Temple

Chiang Mai best elephant waterfall hikes and Doi Suthep Temple with rafting full day tour, ethical elephant sanctuary Chiang Mai & care for at Blue Tao Elephant Village, cuddle baby elephants, cooking healthy treats & feeding, lush forest walking (No riding), fun elephant bathe in the waterfall, Relaxing on bamboo rafting, visit the famous Doi Suthep Temple in the afternoon. Lunch included. 

--Contact us to book a eco tour to Blue Tao Elephant Village or an all-inclusive Thailand tour.

Play with baby elephant.Swimming with elephants in waterfall.

4. Elephant Nature Park

Location: Chiang Mai

Elephant Nature ParkThe Elephant Natural Park is the most popular protection camp for Western tourists. This is most perfect animal protection camp in Chiang Mai, and it has its own foundation, perfect publicity system and firm protection concept to support the entire park from 2003 till now.

Founded in 1995, Elephant Nature Park was created by Sangduen 'Lek' Chailert, giving new lives to these magnificent animals. There's no trick, hook, fence, elephant paintings and especially NO RIDING. By 2016, more than 200 elephants were rescued by its staffs. 

Half Day and Full Day is available. Also offer programs to take care dogs here. If you want to make a difference and help the elephants in a little longer period, you can join in a seven-day program. 

From 2019, this sanctuary suspend the bathing activities. They believed that elephant will be very stressful if forced to do an scheduled activities every day, although they like playing water. It will be good to elephants just letting them bathing themselves. However, volunteers can watch their natural behaviors aside.

It is recommended to book a trip to Elephant Nature Park in advance. There are a limited number of tourists every day, and they usually sell out far ahead of time.

Option: Full Day Elephant Nature Park + Orchid and Butterfly Farm

--Book more trips to Elephant nature park here.

5. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket

Location: Phuket

You will not regret to visit Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket! It's the Phuket location of Chiang Mai Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. It inherits the very unique experience in Chiang Mai. You will wear a Karon clothings and spend your day playing with the elephants and bathing them. If you itinerary happens to miss out that in Chiang Mai, don't lose this one in Phuket.

--Book a visit to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary PhuketOption 1: Half day Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket Tour with Karon Clothing

Pick up at 6:30 am for morning visit and at 11:30 for afternoon. It takes approximately 1 hours through scenic agricultural areas, hills, and beach, before arriving at the Sanctuary.

After being allocated bananas and sugar cane to feed to the elephants, you will walk with your guide through the Sanctuary, where you will find free-roaming elephants and hear their individual stories. You can touch, feed, photograph, and interact with the elephants at your leisure while you learn about their lifestyle and behaviors.

After feeding you will accompany them to a nearby mud spa. Get muddy with the elephants as you apply a healthy cosmetic mud treatment to their skin. Next, you will walk with the elephants to a nearby river and join them in the water for a refreshing bath. Take a swim and help bathe and brush the elephants while they wade through and play in the water.

Finally, eat some snacks and seasonal fresh fruit ,after you done at the Sanctuary you can go to Naithon beach for hangout before enjoying once again the impressive rural scenery as you drive back to hotel.

Option 2: Full Day Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket Tour with Karon Clothing

You will do activity same as half day afternoon program. But you will have more time with the elephants in each process. You will learn more about elephants and their different behaviors. You will also assist in preparing the medicinal soil for their consumption. Of cause, you will also take a swim and help bathe and brush the elephants while they wade through and play in the water. The full day tour starts at 6:30 am and ends at 5:30pm.

We also offer all-inclusive Eco-tours in Thailand. On your tour, you pick what's you like to visit and an elephant volunteer experience. Unique. meaningful and all tailored to your interests.

6. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya

Location: Pattaya

It's also another location of Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Patthaya. If staying at Bangkok, it might a good chance for a day tour from Bangkok and return at the same day.

Option: Half Day Pattaya Elephant Jungle Sanctuary from Bangkok

--Book an overall eco Thailand tour here.

7. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

Location: Phuket

The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary has a common goal: to have a sustainable and moral tour which elephants can roam freely, be taken care for rather than be forced to cruel work, while support life for local people.

The sanctuary offers morning visit every day. You will see how those elephants were rescued and what effort the park had done to help to promote their welfare. 

Enjoy zero-distance contact – feeding, walking and playing with elephants. Watch these beautiful giants as they forage, roam and bathe.. This park changed their philosophy now and nor allow volunteer to bath together.

--Book Half Day Phuket Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Tour or tailor-made a Thailand eco tour that includes Phuket Elephant Sanctuary.

8. Elephant Worlds

Kids can also swim with elephants.Location: Kanchanaburi

Elephants Worlds has over 20 elephants in Kanchanaburi, most come with a misery story of unemployed, elderly or injured. They have all been in some way rescued and start their new life in the sanctuary

You can visit as a day trip from Bangkok, being picked up and dropped off at your Bangkok hotel, but it would be a very long day. If possible, you can also stay at a Kanchanaburi hotel in this riverside town. 

Book Elephant Day Care at Elephants World in Kanchanaburi from Bangkok or customize a Thailand eco tour that includes Elephant Worlds.

9. RanTong Elephant Camp

Location: Chiang Mai

RanTong Elephant Camp is also relatively old camp in Chiang Mai. Since 2009, Rantong has saved more than 40 elephants, and there are 22 elephants living in the camp now. In 2009, the founder of RanTong rescued an elephant named Boon Som, and he started his career to save elephants from that day.

10. Maesa Elephant Camp

Location: Chiang Mai

Maesa Elephant Camp is Chiang Mai's largest elephant camp in Thailand. Here, elephants were trained, and they can perform a variety of programs to attract a large number of foreign tourists. Middle March of very year is the famous elephant festival in Thailand.

Q & A

Are elephants good at swimming?

Elephants are very good, untiring swimmers. Their big body provides enough floatation while the trunk acts like a snorkel.

Do Elephants like to swim?

Elephants, especially young elephants, like bathing, swimming and diving. Swimming is a good way to keep them cool.

Do they swimming in mud pool?

Yes, elephants like to cover their skin with mud. That will protect them from being bitten by mosquito and bugs. 

Why they are looked "dirty" if they often wash themselves.

They also like to splash soil after bathing, which protects them from sunburn. So you might always see them "dirty".

Reccommend Thailand tours which include elephant volunteers activities

Essential Thailand Tour: 9 days Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Chiang Mai - Phuket

Highlights of Thailand & Elephant Eco Tour: 9 days Bangkok - Chiang Rai - Chiang Mai

Read more: Elephant Tours in Thailand

Related travel guides

Everything You May Want to Know about Elephants in Thailand

32 Interesting Facts about Thailand Elephants

Shocking Truth of Riding Elephants in Thailand: Do or Don't

1. Elephant Nature Park

The Elephant Natural Park is the most popular protection camp for Western tourists. This is most perfect animal protection camp in Chiang Mai, and it has its own foundation, perfect publicity system and firm protection concept to support the entire park from 2003 till now.

2. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was founded in July 2014. It is a sustainable eco- tourism project, about 60 km from the city of Chiang Mai. The sanctuary is currently made up of 3 parts: mountain villages, valleys and forest falls. So far, 20 elephants have been rescued.

3. Tri Trang Beach

Tri Trang Beach is located in Patong of Thailand. This trip includes riding elephants, river rafting, swimming with elephants and visiting waterfall, turtle farms, Phuket zoo and Monkey Island. It is a comprehensive project. There is a car to the hotel for free delivery.

4. Elephant World Sanctuary in Kanchanuburi

Elephants World Sanctuary is located in Kanchanuburi, the west of Bangkok in Thailand. There were some elephants that were discarded ever. Some of them have physical disability. But the staffs of Elephants World Sanctuary always make much of them.

5. Elephant Conservation Center

Thai Elephant Conservation Center is located in Km. 28-29 Lampang - Chiang Mai Highway | Wiang Tan, Hang Chat, Lampang 52190, Thailand. Here, you will have an amazing experience with Asian elephant. The center is a good place to learn about the elephants in Thailand and start to protect them.

6. Maewang Elephant Camp

In Maewang Elephant Camp, visitors can ride an elephant, whose time is longer than the other elephant camps. You can also watch the elephant mother to have a shower for the cute baby elephant and you can also feed elephants and swim with them.

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