Elephants trump stingrays.
The one thing I was looking forward to most about traveling to Chiang Mai was an experience hanging out with elephants in Thailand. Nope. We will not be riding them or seeing an elephant show. Too many horror stories about the training techniques for these. Didn’t you see Water for Elephants? I’m not saying that all trekking or ellie show companies are bad, but instead we were headed to the Elephant Nature Park, an animal sanctuary where the elephants are rewarded for good behavior, not punished for bad.
The Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation camp where visitors can get an elephant education, plus feed and bathe these majestic creatures.
The park is located an hour from the Chiang Mai city center and on the ride over you will pass by several trekking companies where some of the elephants are tied up waiting for their next tour.
And then, the fields open up with endless stretches of green and there is the gorgeous sight of ellies roaming free. You have arrived at the Elephant Nature Park.
We started the day with an informative tour of the grounds and an introduction to its animal residents. They are an eclectic bunch; some old, some young, some blind, some injured from working in the logging industry, some abused and some rescued from the circus. All beautiful.
After the tour, it was feeding time and everybody was hungry. And their appetites seemed endless, but the barrel of fruit wasn’t.
We got some grub too, a tasty buffet with a line of chafing dishes filled with both Asian and American cuisine.
This was one adventurous day, thats memory will last a lifetime, where I felt that I had an intimate experience with these charming elephants in Thailand. And I didn’t miss riding an elephant one bit.
Big Butt Montage
Elephants have big butts. And at the risk of sounding like a complete whack job, I am going to admit that I think their big behinds are adorable. And just because it makes me laugh here’s an elephant Big Butt Montage.
Bonus Head Scratching Video
Have you had any experiences with elephants in Thailand?
More About Chiang Mai
Bucket List of 18 Things to Do in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand’s Wat Rong Khun: The White Temple in Chiang Rai
Bathe Elephants at a Rescue in Thailand
Wat Chedi Luang: Explore a Temple Inside the City Walls of Chiang Mai
Traveling by Tuk Tuk in Chiang Mai & Other Transporation
Thailand Elephant Sanctuary: 5 of the Best Rescues in or Near Chiang Mai
Map of Chiang Mai