Elephant Experience in Chiang Mai

  • 7Day(s)
  • Trip Code: STSTAELE

Set in the stunning Mae Wang valley, the elephant home has been created by local elephant owners through their commitment to a move away from the traditional and out of date elephant riding / human centered interactions to an experience where visitors get the opportunity to learn about, care for, and work alongside the local mahouts helping to show that this is the right future for human / elephant interaction - one which puts the elephants well-being first and allows people to see them for the wonderful creatures that they are. Through living and working on site with the mahouts and the elephants, visitors can spend as much time as they wish with the elephants (although always in the presence of mahouts), help prepare their food, feed them, help clean their living area and walk with the elephants and bathe them in the local river. In addition to this fantastic opportunity, the one week programme includes a great trek through the surrounding hills accompanied by a Karen Hill tribe guide, bamboo rafting through the local valley and time spent learning about the local village and the life of the people there. The two week option not only includes more time with the elephants (of course) but also a visit to the Friends of the Elephant Hospital in nearby Lampang province and a 2 day, 1 night tour of Chiang Mai city and an insight into the history of the Lanna Kingdom and culture. Both the one and two week options included transfers to and from Chiang Mai city.


Call 0333 321 0099


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Arrival Day

Pick up from Chiang Mai city hotel and transfer to Mae Wang Elephant Home. On arrival there will be an orientation meeting - introducing visitors to the home, the surrounding area and what they can expect during their stay. Visitors will meet this elephants at the home and learn about their history and characteristics. Check into the elephant home accommodation - literally on the elephant's doorstep (but far enough away so you won't disturb them at night!) - and settle into the community.

Day 2-3: Elephants, Elephants...

Village life starts early and you'll almost certainly wake to the sound of the elephants on your doorstep. After breakfast you'll be working alongside the mahouts on a range of activities including the following: - Feeding the elephants - Making and feeding the elephant special vitamin ‘cakes' - Cleaning the elephants area - Walking alongside the elephants and bathing them in the local river During this time you'll really get to see the personality of the elephants and learn about how they interact with each other and spend their days.

Day 4: Trekking

It's time to see another part of the valley as you head off after breakfast on a trek through the surrounding hills and forest. This part of Thailand has a large number of Karen Hill Tribe villages (in fact your guide is from these villages) and as you walk through the countryside you'll pass alongside small Karen settlements and farming outposts. Your guide will give you a great insight about life in the villages as you pass through rice terraces and eventually into forested areas. You'll cross rivers, rest by waterfalls (and have the chance to swim and cool down) and eventually reach your overnight ‘jungle' camp by the river where you'll have dinner by a campfire - a fantastic experience. The trek today is between 8 and 10km (we use slightly different routes depending on the season) and the place is nice and slow ensuring everyone can enjoy the experience. No special training is required - the route is suitable for all.

Day 5: Trekking and Rafting

Wake up to the sound of the forest and freshen up in the river before completing the trek back to a local Karen village where you'll be picked up and transfer further down the valley for some bamboo rafting. Get a totally different view as you raft slowly downstream on traditional bamboo rafts and head to a riverside stop for lunch. After you've completed the rafting you'll transfer back to the elephant home and be able to rest up and watch the elephants go about their business!

Day 6-7: More time with the Elephants

Spend more precious time with your new friends.

Day 8: Departure Day

Say good bye to your new family and get a transfer back to Chiang Mai. If you have booked 14 days you will have some more amazing adventures awaiting for you. Check with your Travel Expert!

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0333 321 0099

0333 321 0099


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You will visit

  • Thailand

Is this for me?

  • Trip Style: Volunteer
  • Physical Demands: You'll have to walk around on your own, climb some stairs and carry your own bag. Easy does it.

What's included?

Transfer to and from Chiang Mai City
Accommodation in simple but clean dorm rooms
All activities listed in the itinerary
Most meals