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Elephant Sanctuary– If there’s one animal that comes to mind when you first hear. Or read the word “Thailand,” it’s the elephant. So it’s no surprise that elephant toursare some of the most anticipated activities for travelers visiting Southeast Asia. With over 70 elephant camps in Thailand and the majority of these located in the North. You may feel like you are spoil for choice.

You will soon realize, however, that not all camps are equal. And a little bit of research is needed to ensure a pleasant experience for you, as well as the elephants. Fortunately, we have done the hard work for you. So if you are eager for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with these gentle, majestic creatures. Then take the next few moments to learn more about what exciting adventures await you on your Chiang Mai elephant tour. And read our tips on how to select the right tour for you.

No Riding at Hug Elephant Sanctuary

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Hug Elephant Sanctuary was founded by a small group of local people to improve the quality of life. For the elephants they have rescued from all over Thailand, and the people of the local community.

This truly memorable tour focuses on the safe and sustainable practice of interacting with elephants without riding them. You and your family can look forward to a personal experience as you spend the day learning. About each elephant’s unique story followed by feeding and playing with them in the beautiful jungle.

After a scenic drive through Chiang Mai’s countryside, you’ll take a short walk through the local forest to a Karen hill tribe village. And meet with a local English-speaking guide. He will briefly talk about the general history of Thailand’s elephants. And then provide you with traditional Karen clothing to wear over your outfit.

Next, you will be introduced to each elephant in small, private groups. While you feed them their afternoon snack of bananas and sugarcane. The guide will share stories about each elephant. As you get to know them better, you’ll begin noticing their different personalities. Some are relaxed and shy while others are playful and curious!

No Riding at Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary & Trekking

If you’re looking for a trip full of elephant activities and jungle wonders, this tour has two memorable tours: one that includes trekking and one that does not.

A typical day begins with a picturesque drive through Thailand’s countryside toward Mae Wang, a district about an hour. And a half southwest of Chiang Mai City. Depending on the arrival time of your group and its size, the order of the day’s activities will be adjusted accordingly.

Once you’ve arrived at the Chiang Mai Elephant Sanctuary, you’ll meet your local hill tribe guide. Who will teach you about the history of Thai elephants and how these gentle giants came to be at the sanctuary. Afterward, put on your mahout (elephant trainer) clothing. Because it’s time to meet the elephants!

Kanta Elephant Sanctuary

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One of the top things to do in Chiang Mai is to spend a day with a herd of elephants. The Kanta Elephant Sanctuary is a magical place where you can spend the day with these happy. Healthy creatures in their natural jungle habitat doing what they love doing most.

After a scenic drive through the hillsides of Chiang Mai, you’ll arrive at the sanctuary deep in the mountainous jungle. You’ll be greeted by your English-speaking guide and have a short lesson about Thailand’s most revered animal and why they are so important to Thai culture.

Elephant Rescue Park

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The Elephant Rescue Park is a newly established sanctuary that provides a safe home for elephants that have been rescued from circus shows, logging, and elephant riding. In the hills of Chiang Mai, you’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play with, bathe. And feed these rescued elephants at this park. There is a full day program that showcases adult elephants as well as a shorter tour that is dedicated to spending time with rescued baby elephants.

Maerim Elephant Sanctuary

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The Maerim Elephant Sanctuary combines the one-of-a-kind experience of getting up close with elephants with the satisfaction of knowing.  You are supporting an ethical no-riding elephant sanctuary. This tour is a family-friendly activity but it’s also the perfect thing to do with a friend or even by yourself!

After a scenic drive into the countryside north of Chiang Mai, arrive at the Maerim Elephant Sanctuary, meet your tour guide. And change into traditional mahout (elephant trainer) clothing. Then it’s time to meet the elephant family! Your English speaking guide will teach you the elephants’ names and tell you how they came to be at the sanctuary. Then, you will be given a basket of bananas so that you can become friends with the elephants by feeding them their favorite snacks.

The tour continues with a scenic walk through the jungle along a nature path, past a local farm, and down to a cool stream. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the water and then give the elephants a bath! Splash. And play with the elephants to your heart’s content. Whether you choose to partake in a full day. Or half day tour at the Maerim Elephant Sanctuary, everyone will have the chance to make a bowl of traditional Thai noodle soup. The day wraps up with some time to relax and swim in a pool. Before heading back to your hotel or guesthouse in Chiang Mai.