Chiang Mai has a hotel where offer Elephant Wake-up Call Service. The house is on a hill, surrounded by elephant sheds and a small river. The landlord is a New York madam and her Thai husband. They will share their romantic love stories and tell you a lot about Thai elephants.
In Thailand, many elephants are suffering because of tourism, while landlords and couples devote themselves to rescuing elephants. They raise 11 elephants, most of them rescued, creating the best environment for elephants and cultivating them to get along well with people.
You can book a special program: the elephant wake you up. The elephant will come to your room and wait for bananas by the balcony. After eating your breakfast with them, walk together on the rush jungle, see the waterfalls, and take a shower on the river, and play for a while in the river. Close contact with elephants will be a primitive and romantic journey in Thailand.
The National Emblem of the Kingdom of Thailand is a very religious and mysterious totem pattern. The dark red bird’s back is the King. The pattern is the golden pagoda of the Thai folk legend, the bare neck, the arm and the wrist are all wearing the dazzling golden ornament, the two arms are bent to the head, the inside of the finger, The typical form of the Thai folk dance and dance shows the rich Thai national characteristics. The bird is a deep red double-wing and a tail, with a golden armor and two strong claws, strong.
The country and the royal label of Thailand are called the “Garuda”, a mythical semi-human half-bird image, which is said to be a horse of one of the Hinduism’s main gods, to decorate the scepter and the royal banner of King Phumphon Adunyadet. Many government agencies in Thailand use Garuda on their badges. In addition, Garuda is also a symbol of the royal appointment and assignment “, which is officially approved by the royal family for companies with outstanding economic achievements or significant charitable causes. But it is rare to issue such a sign, which will be regarded as a noble honour.
A well-taken-care-of elephant has room to
roam and isn’t overworked by constantly performing in shows or giving endless
rounds of rides. Here are three elephant sanctuaries with great reputations to
look into visiting during your trip to Thailand, plus some background on why
you shouldn’t ride an elephant and some tips to make your time at the sanctuary
The opportunity to encounter highly
endangered elephants draws travelers from around the globe to Thailand.
Elephants are incredibly intelligent creatures — they have the largest brains
of land mammals. Sadly, captive elephants have endured horrific abuse in order
to ‘break’ them into being docile around humans. If you love the world’s
largest land mammal then you may want to consider volunteering at an Elephant
sanctuary in Thailand.
Volunteering with elephants is often a very rewarding experience. Retired working elephants are no longer capable of reentering the wild and rely on human support for daily care and nourishment. The best sanctuaries are those with large plots of land that allow the elephants to roam freely in semi-wild environments.
Working with elephants is one of the most popular volunteer activities in Thailand. Read on to learn about ethical elephant sanctuaries where you can volunteer in Thailand.
Firstly, we should know that there are merely elephant sanctuary near Bangkok, while you can do these following by one-day tour and return to Bangkok the same day.
Of cause, the best place to see elephant in Thailand is Chiang Mai, while you have better to take a flight first to Chiang Mai city. There are dozens of elephant sanctuary, all located in natural places……
6. Elephant Nature Park
Location: Chiang Mai
Duration: 1 hour 15 min from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by flight, another 1 hour 15 min to the sanctuary.
7. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai
Location: Chiang Mai
Duration: 1 hour 15 min from Bangkok to Chiang Mai by flight, another 1 hour 10 min to the sanctuary.
8. Elephant Rescue Park
Location: Chiang Mai
Duration: 1 hour 15 min from Bangkok to
Chiang Mai by flight, another 1 hour 10 min to the sanctuary.
If you fly to Koh Samui, there will be:
9. Samui Elephant Sanctuary
Location: Koh Samui
Duration: 1 hour 45 min from Bangkok to Koh Samui by flight and another 30 min
If you fly to Phuket, there will be:
10. Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket
Location: northern Phuket
Duration: 1 hour 10 min from Bangkok to Phuket by flight. Taking another 45 min from Phuket town or Patong Beach
11. Green Elephant Sanctuary Park
Location: northern Phuket
Duration: 1 hour 10 min from Bangkok to Phuket by flight. Taking another 30 min from Phuket town or Patong Beach
Hotels which combines camp idea with the elephant in jungle:
Elephant Hills – 3 star
Location: 170 Moo 7, Khao Sok National Park 84250 Thailand
Duration: 1h30min by flight from Bangkok to
Surat Thani International Airport
Elephant Hills combines the African Safari tent
camp idea with the breathtakingly beautiful environment of Khao Sok in Southern
Thailand. Furthermore, the resort offers 2-4 days soft adventure tours,
including kayaking, lake explorations, mangrove expeditions, jungle treks and
the unique Elephant Hills elephant experience. Here you get to wash, feed and
interact with Asia’s largest land animal in a sustainable and fun way. Elephant
Hills does not offer Elephant riding out of respect towards the elephants.
It’s Thailand’s First Luxury Tented Camps.
2. Elephantstay – 3 star
Duration: 1 hour 15 min
Elephantstay is an elephantastic, up close and
personal, hands on experience with elephants staying in the centre of a working
Rooms were just like the website. Basic but very clean. If you travelling with young kinds, I would question wether it is right environment for children. A lot would depend on the childs age and maturity. all rooms are air-conditioned, showers are strong & hot and there’s free wifi.
3. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort – 5 star
Location: Chiang Saen
Duration: 1 hour 15 min by flight from
Bangkok to Chiang Rai and another 1 hour from Chiang Rai to the hotel.
This was very different than the traditional “tourist riding” elephant options. The Elephants all belong to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation which has about 160 acres of land right up next to Anantara. Not only are these elephants rescued but the Mahouts that they belong to are also rescued. It’s a great story to learn about as well as experience.
At Anantara Golden Triangle, the natural and cultural merge at our unique onsite Elephant Camp, modelled on traditional mahout villages and home to the resort’s very own gentle giants.
4. The Chai Lai Orchid – 3 star
Location: Chiang Mai
Duration: 1 hour 15 min by flight and another
1 hour to the hotel
Here you can spend your days swimming with elephants in the river, lounging hammocks, and trekking to visit near by waterfalls and hill tribe villages. The Chai Lai Orchid is currently working to rescue elephants from their daily chair tours and long hours. Offer the opportunity to bathe, bareback ride and play with the elephants and proceeds go towards our cause.
5. Sappraiwan Elephant Resort & Sanctuary – 3 star
It’s only been two years since it ran as a hotel and elephant-riding business!
If you want to visit an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, the best guide is to book it in advance. Many of those ethical sanctuary is available for single-day, overnight program and a week program.
Elephant Nature Park Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand Cost: Day tours charge 2,500 baht ($73US) per person; overnight tours charge 5,800 baht ($168US) per person. What’s incorporated: All tours include feeding and bathing the elephant, relevant meals, plus pickup and dropoff from your hotels in Chiang Mai downtown. The duration on the way is about 1.5 hours. Tips: Elephant Nature Park is very popular, so you had better to book in advance. If you book days before, it might be sold out.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Cost: 2,400 baht for adult, 1,800 baht for children from 4-10 years-old, Free for 0-3. Includes: Free Karen T-shirt, round-way transfer from your hotel in Chiang Mai downtown, drinking and traditional Thai food in the sanctuary, food for the elephant, all elephant-related activities. Tips: Elephant Jungle Sanctuary have several branch around Thailand. The center is located in Chiang Mai. Newly-opened are Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui.
Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary Location: Sukhothai, Thailand Cost: 6,000 baht ($195) per person for an overnight tour. Includes: Overnight program includes all meals and non-alcoholic drinks in the sanctuary, accommodation, laundry, and all activities. No service for transfer from and to your hotels in downtown. Tips: The reserve is located in six hours north of Bangkok, so you need to go your own way there. Or go to the Sukhothai city first and catch a car to the sanctuary there. The town has both an airport and a bus stop.
The Surin Project Location: Baan Tha Klang, Northeastern Thailand Cost: The cost in the sanctuary is called contribution. With about a contribution of 13,000 baht ($422) per week, you will follow the project leaders and take care about 200 elephants. Includes: Elephant-related activities. You will ethically train, feed, wash and watch them all day. All meals and accommodation in the reserve.
If you are looking forward to a real elephant sanctuary in Thailand, visit no where than Elephant Nature Park. This park located in Chiang Mai, northwest of Bangkok. It’s around several hours from the downtown, which enables its entirely different natural environment. This elephant sanctuary is a unique style in elephant tourism. Normally, elephants are used brutally in entertainment and riding. Their basic life cannot be guaranteed and most of them are suffered from long-time disease. Unlike those traditional elephant tourist sights, Elephant Nature Park is a volunteer-liked program. It’s a pioneer in the field of elephant’s benefit. Those gentle giants in Elephant Nature Park is rescued from around the country. Each day, the keepers of the park will have those elephants walking around the field and swimming in the mud pool, their favorite activities. Their diet is specially designed and cooked by volunteers, food including banana, pumpkin, sticky rice and many other fruits. There are now about 70 elephants living there. Apart from that, you can also find more than 350 dogs which were strays and have been adopted. The vast majority of those lovely creature live a harmonious life here.
Thai elephant is the national animal and the royal symbol of Thailand. It is regarded as guardian angel of the country. Long time ago, Thailand has had more than 90% forest coverage and thousands of elephants lived there. Along with the development of logging industry, the forest decreased dramatically. The ideal living environment of elephant was damaged seriously and with the help of poaching, in the beginning of the 20th century, there were over 300, 000 elephants and 100, 000 domesticated elephants in Thailand, but until the year of 2007, there were an estimated 3,456 domesticated elephants and about 1,000 wild ones. Thai elephant has become endangered animal.
Government actions to protect elephants in Thailand
Thai people has a quite long time closed relationship with the elephants. They loved elephants and domesticated them to help them to do the heave work. They also followed the Siam King went on expeditions. They were the symbol of honor, dignity and the strength. As time went on, Thai elephants became transport of logging during the peak period of logging industry in Thailand. More and more huge old trees were cut down, then large areas of virgin forest disappeared. The government of Thailand found the serious problem of the forest decline and issued the law to ban the logging and protect the forest. From then on, the elephants and their mahouts had lost their jobs. Without the stable income, it is really a huge burden to the mahouts to maintain the elephants’ life. Although the Thai elephant is smaller than other Asian elephants, it eats about 100 kilos of food. Elephants and mahouts have stuck into life and economic crisis. The wild and the domesticated elephants’ life were both under threat. In order to feed the elephants, mahouts had to find other ways to make living. So the elephants were trained to learn acrobatic and perform to entertain visitors in circus and zoos. The lots of works of elephant were replaced by modern machines, the elephants did not take an important role in people’s life as before to the young generations. With the sharp cutoff of the population, Thai elephants were threatened by extinction.
All of above caused the attention of Thai government and animal welfare experts around the world. The action of protecting Thai elephants has already started. The government is preparing a draft law to require every captive elephant birth registered and an ID card would be given. In addition, instructions were issued to collect DNA samples from every captive elephant in the country to establish a comprehensive database of their genetic information. The law also requires mahouts who work in elephant camps to gain a license, and owners of the camp have to get the permit for operating from the Department of National Parks and the permit must be renewed every three years, and submit to inspections. Many elephant sanctuaries have been established to rescue the injured wild elephants and the retailed domesticated elephants and let them enjoy their rest of lives.
As the largest mammal in the world, an elephant can eat up to 100 kilos food and spend 18-20 hours on eating every day. Only providing enough food for the elephants is a huge expense. The elephant sanctuaries in Thailand really need finances to support their projects. That is why they welcome volunteers from aboard who can afford to pay their ‘voluntourism’ prices. Volunteering can be rewarding and crucial to conservation of endangered elephants. It provides a stream of income for the owners of the sanctuaries to maintain the elephants lives and have money to purchase the elephants from circuses or other places where elephants are abused, in the meanwhile, volunteers can interact with elephants in a healthy, safe way and learn spread the knowledge of protecting elephants and introduce more people to take part in the protection of elephants. The elephant volunteer programs also can encourage other elephant owners to consider more humane lifestyles for their elephants once they see ethical elephant experiences can make profit.
With the development of tourism industry in Thailand, millions of tourists travelling to the kingdom every year, a captive elephant will be high on their wish list. We appeal to all the tourist away from elephant riding, trekking, performance watching and abuse if you are interested in supporting the Thai elephant protection.
UME Travel have already refined our own stance on elephant tourism over the last few years. We do not promote any elephant performances, riding or any other types of unnatural behavior programs for tourists.
We list some excellent elephant sanctuaries below with volunteer projects where you can contribute your time to work for elephants in Thailand.
Elephant Nature Park
Elephant Nature Park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation located near Chiang Mai, where you can volunteer and visit to help. It provides a natural environment for elephants, buffaloes and many other animals. Many travelers have been volunteers there. It is the most notable park in Thailand and they are often booked months in advance. It takes in disabled, blind and orphaned elephants and helps other elephant owners in Southeast Asia implement more ethical treatment of the elephants. It provides several week-long volunteer opportunities experiences where you will take part it hands-on conservation work. You will prepare food, feed, watch the elephants bathe in the river and even scoop elephant poo. You will walk the elephants with the mahouts in the natural area. You will also learn about the difficult position of elephants in Thailand or participate in cultural activities. Vets and qualified animal medical specialists are invited to provide their highly skilled aid.
It is a self-supporting Environmental Conservation Organization, situated outside the town of Kanchanaburi, Thailand. It takes care of the daily needs of about 30 elephants and offer Eco-travelers the experience an up-close and personal encounter with these majestic creatures. Their volunteer programs range from a single day visit to the Mahout Experience of a week of more and their slogan is “Where we work for the elephants, not the elephant for us.” Their mission is to provide the best possible for the elephants, staff and visitors and strive to make every moment of the visitors spent with them educational, enjoyable and wish to play a part to conservation program.
The Surin Project
Located in northeast of Thailand, The Surin Project cooperate with the government in the village of Ban Tha Klang to operate Surin Elephant Study Center which is home to a Gwi community. The center has 180 Asian elephants and 200 mahouts. The Surin Project is dedicated to provide sustainable living conditions for 12 elephants a time. Surin also has volunteer programs which encourage volunteers to stay at Surin for anywhere from 1-8 weeks. They will use the income of the volunteer and donations to maintain the lives of the elephants and conserve elephant population. When you volunteer in Surin, you will learn the contradictions between elephant conservation and the tourism development. You will also have chance to walk with mahouts alongside the Thai elephants in the natural surroundings.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an ethical and sustainable eco-tourism project located approximately 60km from the city of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Founded in July 2014, it is a joint initiative between members of the Karen hill-tribes and Chiang Mai locals who were concerned about the welfare of elephants in Thailand. It has branches in Phuket, Pattaya, Samui. It is a non-profit organization. Their care project aims to do extracurricular activities that either directly benefits the plight of domestic elephants, or, the communities where the elephants are being housed, i.e. schools, women empowerment programs, education program. The sanctuary provides Half day, Full day, Exclusive One Day Walk with Elephants and Overnight Stay options to visit our sanctuary. You will prepare food, feed, bath and even play with the elephants.
Have you been to Chiang Mai before? Have you had tour experience on the elephant farms before? Yes, here we will recommend the top 10 elephant farm in Chiang Mai for you, as it will surely be helpful for you if you are interested in having an Elephant Tour to Chiang Mai, what is more, you are strongly recommended to take a visit there.
Patara Elephant Farm Patara Elephant Farm is located in Chiang Mai. It is focused on providing medical care and feeding management so that the friendly elephants can reproduce healthy offspring. If tourists choose Patara Elephant Farm, they can choose a special project -“an elephant owner day”. The project let people can learn and experience an elephant owner’s daily activities.
Elephant Rescue Park Elephant Rescue Park is not the largest Elephant Park of Chiang Mai, but it is most true. There are not commercial elephants’ shows, and the visitors can’t sit on the elephants’ back. But visitors can walk and take a bath with the elephants.
Baanchang Elephant Park The elephant of Baanchang Elephant Park is almost rescued from the village, local station and circus. In the park, visitors can ride the elephants, but the elephants’ back are no saddle because that can reduce their pressure and help them to lose weight. There is no elephant show. After riding elephants, visitors can try to wash the elephants.
Karen’s Tribe Native Elephants Karen’s Tribe has 7 elephants. The staffs will teach tourists how to communicate with elephants, how to observe their physical changes, how to better care for these elephants, and let tourists begin to really understand elephants.
Ran-Tong In Ran-Tong, elephants can move freely in the jungle. The commentator will be very enthusiastic to talk about the ecology of the elephant. Visitors can play with elephants, cut sugarcane, feed elephants to eat sugarcane, and bathe elephants. What’s more, the park will take photo to the visitors for free.
Elephant Retirement Park Elephant Retirement Park’s workers are friendly and generous. Tourists can see that the staffs also love and care for elephants. Tourists can bathe the elephants, feed them, and walk on beautiful paths with them. The park will also provide delicious traditional Thai food for tourists.
Elephant Carer Home The team of Elephant Carer Home is very friendly and patient. They will encourage visitors who have never had contact with a large animal to make friends with the elephants. Visitors can learn a lot of knowledge about the elephant, prepare food and feed them. They can also give them a bath in the river, and then finally go swimming with them.
Elephant Jungle Paradise Park Elephant Jungle Paradise Park is two hours away from downtown of Chiang Mai. Visitors can accompany the elephants eat sugarcane and corn, bath with elephants in the natural mud, make health balls for the elephant, and play with the elephants under the waterfall.
Maetang Elephant Park It Maetang Elephant Park, visitors can ride the elephants across the river, go up the mountain, cross the forest, and finally come back. Then the visitors can watch the wonderful elephant show. The park also provides delicious lunch for the tourists.
Elephant Green Park The staffs of Elephant Green Park are professional, helpful and knowledgeable, and they really love and care for elephants. Tourists can learn to feed elephants, and experience a lot of happiness when they try to bath the elephants. Reccommend Thailand tours which include elephant volunteers activiites