The best experience in Chiang Mai was to hang out with elephants. There are in general two types of elephant groups you could visit here. One is more tourist, with elephant shows and riding elephants with chairs. The way people train elephants are crucial and not what elephants are supposed to do.. and putting chairs on the elephants make them very uncomfortable.. so I strongly suggest elephant lovers to join another group which is very animal friendly, cause these group owners buy elephants being tortured, and then take care of them. These kind of groups usually is more expensive, but you really get the chance to play with the elephants without hurting them. We joined one center called “Ran-Tong” save & rescue elephant centre. Half day trip is 1600 Baht including riding elephants, feeding and bathing them. One day trip is 2400 Baht which the activities are mostly the same but with longer time. In this camp, they don’t chain the elephants or forced them to do any skills, and the people here are really very nice and patient to the elephants! I can see elephants running around and being naughty sometimes, really cute!!
It’s time to take a bath!!!!!
The elephants are really gentle and mild. It was a bit scary when you first ride on its back but actually it was quite steady. They eat 200 kg of food every day so even during the riding trip, they are searching for food all the time! They have good memories so they can memorize you for a long time. It was the first time that I have zero distance with the elephants and they are so lovely!! My heart was melting when I was with them!! Half day trip was simply too short!!!! I will definitely join similar groups next time 🙂 Once you know them, you will fall in love with them for sure.
Facebook: Ran-Tong save&rescue elephant centre