Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, ThailandI don’t know why it is that we often need visitors to arrive before we make the effort to go see some of the more intriguing and enjoyable attractions where we are living. And so it was for me, with the Elephant Nature Park. I kept telling myself that I needed to go, but until my friends Darrylyn and Laura arrived I had made no effort to head out there.

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephants greet the visitors

The park is located over an hour north of Chiang Mia in the Mae Taeng valley. The scenery is beautiful on and around the 500 acre site. Mountains, streams and rice patties line the way and the property offers the 30 elephants that have been rescued and now live here a haven from the cruelties of the outside world.

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, ThailandI was amazed at the social interaction going on between the elephants…courting, friendship, kindness and love. Two elephants were best of friends and one of them died…the one that was left would go to the grave of the other and cry. Another elephant was blinded by Thai tribe’s men trying to break her for logging work…after her arrival she has been befriended by an elephant who leads her to where she wants to go. There are many similar stories that they tell visitors to the park.

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Two Mahouts watching the elephants feed

I was there just for the day trip but it was a really enjoyable and educational visit. We fed the animals twice…boy do elephants eat a lot. We took them to the river give them a bath which they seemed to love. However, as soon as they left the river they threw dirt all over themselves to keep down on the insect bites.

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

A mahout and his elephant

Each elephant has a mahout (caretaker) with whom they bond even to the extent that the young elephants want to sleep next to the mahouts every evening. Each animal has a distinct personality that really shows through on the young elephants because they can be very mischievous and playful

Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, ThailandAs I say I went for the day but one can stay for a week or two…bonding with the elephants, feeding them, shoveling manure (of which there is a prodigious amount) bathing them etc. I have talked with many people visiting Chiang Mai who have said it was one of the great experiences of their travel life.

It is not an inexpensive trip…one day was $75 but that included pick up and drops off at my hotel and a nice vegetarian lunch buffet. The week is $400 with housing and all meals.

If you go to Ching Mai I would put it on my “to do” list for the tour of Northern Thailand. They are amazing animal and it was a great day.

About Larry Bosco

In 2010 I had one of those “Is this all there is” moments and so in January 2011 I retired from Real Estate Appraising, sold off all my worldly goods and headed out as a solo traveler in search of a new place to live. Since then I’ve traveled around the world, made new friends and had many great adventures and some not so great. After staying almost a year in Cuenca, Ecuador I have headed back to South East Asia where I began the journey in 2011. Currently I am living in Chiang Mai, Thailand
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6 Responses to Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand

  1. Claudia Hammer says:

    We humans should treat each other the way the elephants do with kindness, compassion and humor. I’m glad you got to go on that trip.

  2. Laura George says:

    Our big adventure is that we are in Crested Butte Co. sharing Thanksgiving with friends (and strangers). It’s a small (pop. 1,500) former mining town in the Rockies (9,000 elevation). CB is a big ski and mountain biking area. We came for the scenery, food and friendship. It’s 4.5 hours SW of Denver and is also the wild flower capital of Co. It feels good to have the freedom to experience this holiday in a very different way. You know what I mean by that. I’m happy you got to “hang” with the elephants. Now, that would be a place Eli and I would like to settle. Take care, my friend.

  3. jim voyles says:

    Thanks for this Turkey Day post. One of my gratitudes today among the many is having a friend like you.

  4. Nicheta says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. I love elephant too.

  5. I want to go for a week!

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