Chiang Mai is located in the north of Thailand about 580 kilometers air distance to Bangkok. Many busses or trains run up there multiple times per day. So it’s really easy to get there from Bangkok.
Chiang Mai is the center from where you can get to many places around or to get to Pai or Chiang Rai. Very popular things to do are cooking classes, trekking tours or visiting an elephant sanctuary.
I visited the elephant jungle sanctuary as a full day trip with a jungle walk.
For me it was really important, that the elephants are treated well, that they live in good circumstances and you’re not allowed to ride them.
Luckily this sanctuary provided all these things. The elephants come from circuses or other places, where they were treated badly.
My tour started at 6:30am, when I got picked up by a driver of the sanctuary. The drive was about 1,5 hours into the wild. There were no real streets anymore, just nature and a couple of small hugs, where some Thais live in.
As soon as we arrived, we got a short introduction about the elephants and how to treat them. We had to change into traditional Karen clothing. Then the elephants came out of the forest and you were allowed to touch them and feed them with bananas.
Mud and River Spa
After a while we went to a special mud spa. Everybody got in and started covering the elephants body with mud. They really enjoyed it and were laying in the mud hole.
When we finished, we walked to a river, where we were washing off the mud again and had a little bath with the elephants. It was so much fun!
At noon we had a traditional Thai lunch together and then the half day group left.
The group was really small now.
We started the jungle walk with three elephants and walked casually for about one and a half hours.
The next stop was another camp of the sanctuary. There was a little baby elephant, which was only seven months old. So cute!
At about 15:30pm we had to leave the sanctuary and headed back to Chiang Mai.
It was such a great experience to see the elephants in their natural habitat and to get in touch with them. I can definitely recommend it! But you really have to make sure, that they are treated well and that there is no riding.
Sadly there are a lot of tours with riding offered in Thailand.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post!
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