The first tourist attraction I thought of after arriving in Thailand was an elephant encounter. However, I was certain I would avoid supporting the iconic ‘Elephant riding’ and everything the camps stand for. The
care and treatment they receive while in captivity, in some camps is devastating. Reducing the amount of Thai elephants substantially.
That all being said, I did my research and found two parks out of Chiang Mai that Were legit. Taking in elephants that were previously in riding camps, sick etc. This was honestly the first animal attraction/encounter I did in Asia and I am glad I booked with Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, camp 4, in the end. Elephant Nature Park is the other highly recommended experience in Chiang Mai.
The encounter its self was absolutely magical. To be up close and personal with such a massive creature absolutely blew my mind. I spent the whole day at the park. Shortly after arriving we were introduced to the elephants, making friends by feeding them sugar cane and bananas. Amongst the group was also a new baby elephant, only two months old I believe. You could tell he was still getting used to walking, his big trunk would just flopped about carelessly – absolutely adorable!!
The highlight from the day was easily the mud bath! You watch the adorable videos on YouTube, from your desk or at least I did, of Elephants loving life in the mud and their is always a little baby around that doesn’t know what to do and simply sinks and trips around. Well I was IN the mud with them! A crazy moment that made a few of us pass and wonder if it was real life!
This was a highlight day from my entire five months in Asia, by far! Although not surprisingly, as most of my highlights are when I was knee deep in nature 😉
Oh, and this smooch happened!