Elephant sanctuary

When in Thailand, if you want a real mahout experience in a place which doesn’t abuse the elephants make sure to visit  Baan Chang Elephant Park!

Chiang Mai – 2014

Elephant Sanctuary Chiang Mai

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Guards

Just keeping an eye out for danger and tourists’ shenanigans.

Bangkok – 2014

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Elephant crossing ahead

Some countries have deer, sheep or horses. South Africa has elephant crossings.

South Africa – 2011

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Thailand – Part 2 – Chiang Mai

For the second leg of our trip in Thailand we head north to Chiang Mai.

On our first evening and after dropping our bags at The Grand Napat (great value for money!) we headed to the night bazaar for some refreshing beers and tasty street food. We liked the night bazaar so much that it is where we had dinner every night during our stay in Chiang Mai.

Night bazaar Chiang MaiNight bazaar Chiang MaiNight bazaar Chiang Mai

The following day we woke up bright and early for a full day with elephants!

I did a lot of research  as I wanted to avoid the awful touristy places where you see drugged tigers and ride on sits attached to the back of abused elephants. After hours on the internet I finally found Baan Chang Elephant Park, their main objective is to rescue and protect the local elephants. They also make sure that the experience they organise for tourists are authentic. No comfy sits there, you will experience the real mahout life for 6 hours. The cost of our experience was a little less than 100 GBP, it included transport, lunch and clothing so overall pretty good value for money.

They came and picked us up at our hotel in the morning and it was honestly the most magical experience! We fed elephants, ride them, kiss them and bath them!

Baan Chang Elephant Park Chiang Mai ThailandBaan Chang Elephant Park Chiang Mai ThailandBaan Chang Elephant Park Chiang Mai Thailand

The bath part was my favourite. After hours in the blazing sun, you cannot wait to jump in the water with them, and you can truly see the joy in their eyes when they are finally in the refreshing water.

Baan Chang Elephant Park Chiang Mai ThailandBaan Chang Elephant Park Chiang Mai Thailand

Baan Chang Elephant Park offers various experiences, so if you are not too confident riding you can also spend the day caring for them instead. You will be given a set of clothes there so you only have to come with a towel and a swimsuit. Showers are available on site so you will drive back to your hotel as fresh as a daisy.

Street food Chiang Mai Thailand

On our second day in Ching Mai, we explored the city. We dedicated most of the day to the city centre, going from temples to temples.

Chiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai ThailandChiang Mai Thailand

Of course a mandatory mango and sticky rice was in order! (I lived on this while there! Sooooo good!)
Mango and sticky rice1Chiang Mai Thailand

We then headed toward the Ping River for a walk by the bank before heading back to our hotel for a quick shower and then back out for a delicious dinner at the night bazaar.
Night bazaar Chiang Mai ThailandNight bazaar Chiang Mai ThailandNight bazaar Chiang Mai Thailand

I can honestly say that Chiang Mai was the favourite part of our trip to Thailand! I know, controversial, but the city is buzzing with energy, the food is amazing, you can go on millions of adventures in the jungle and it is extremely good value for money!

Planning a trip to Thailand?

Check my other guides on Bangkok, Phuket and the islands!

Hi!

All the credit for this picture goes to my husband. I am the one in the background showering the elephant on the right with love. I had to share it though as it is too good!

Thailand – 2014

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Family

I love this picture, elephants have a true sense of family which really is heart-warming to witness. Just after I took this picture the mum rushed to the little one to insure he was safely crossing the road.

South Africa – 2011

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