Our sanctuary is located in Chiang Mai in the mountainous terrains of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand, was the capital of the kingdom of Lin Na and is famed for being a haven for elephants. The elephant is the official National animal and it is renowned for its strength and intelligence and has always being associated with royalty and wealth.
Who we areOur elephant Camp is a small family camp in the region of Mae Wang, close to Chiang Mai. The size of our camp is a rare advantage, because you get to be closer to the elephants and experience nature in all its glory. We are people from the White Karen hill tribe, we used to live for thousand of years with elephants in our villages. Elephants are more than just animals for us, they are our friends and they can be yours too.
What we doNowadays, villagers do not use anymore elephants to help them in the jungle and for agriculture, and we have less and less animals in the forest. The decrease in their number means that the ones left have more value, they are gentle giants that are adorable and intelligent. At Thong Elephant Sanctuary we want to save them and offer them a nice place to live freely. Our camp is an eco-tourism project that is also sustainable. So, by visiting the elephants, you are having fun with the adorable creatures and improving the wellbeing of the indigenous peoples and also improving the economy.
What you getIn our camp, you get to learn more about the history of elephants in the kingdom of Thailand, and how important they have been, why are they are national treasures. You also get to take free pictures with them, pictures that you can always smile at whenever you see them. You'll also learn amazing things about elephants, the different species of elephants and how to differentiate them. You get to take them to the mud spa and enjoy a good time giving them a wash while you also have immeasurable fun, we promise you a great time.
Why don't we let people ride our elephants?The spines of elephants are not the same as horses. They cannot support any weight from above, so riding causes them long term harm. And because we do love our elephants, they are a part of our family; we do not want people to ride them. We know you admire the elephants too and care for them.
Discovering and sharing are fun too!We are a small family camp, really different from all the big elephant camps you will find along the way in Chiang Mai, with buses of tourists every day. There's a peculiarity to us that you will only understand while you are with our giant friends. To provide maximum fun and service, we only accept small groups. We wouldn't want you to feel stuffed when you should be feeling and basking in the beauty of nature.
- Departure from your hotel in Chiang Mai around 8.00-8.30am
- Stop at a local thai market to discover and buy some food for the lunch (food included)
- Arrive at the camp, in the middle of the jungle and discover your new big friends
- Change your clothes to Karen clothes
- Learn about elephants and their history in the Kingdom of Thailand
- Feed them as a first approach
- Lunch time for you ( thai food )
- Make medicine ball (vitamins) to give to your friends
- Go to the mud spa with them
- Swim and bath in the river to clean the mud
- Enjoy the afternoon with free elephants in the fields: be ready to follow or being followed, as they are really curious!
- Enjoy free time to take pictures
- Change back your clothes and get a souvenir for free
- Visit a non touristy waterfall
- Visit a Royal Project of agriculture
- Back to Chiang Mai at your hotel around 5 - 5.30pm