This elephant sanctuary near Chiang Mai offers the special experience of spending time with two friendly elephants brothers – Dodo and Khum Meun. Rescued from elephant riding and performing, they now live a good life together in nature near a century-old Karen settlement. The goodhearted Karen family operating the project has been living with and caring for elephants for three generations and their intimate knowledge of elephants and their ways provides visitors with a unique insight into the nature of this fascinating species.
Dodo and Khum Meun’s mother, Mae Thor Khor, used to live with them at the sanctuary, but passed away from natural causes in her 70’s last year. Khum Meaun has adjusted to the loss of his mother more quickly, being older, while Dodo still seems to feel the loss.
Arriving at the project, guests will feed the elephants bananas and then take a walk with them along scenic hillside trails that pass terraced rice paddies and weave through tall grasses, orchards, and forest – stopping to watch the elephants forage along the way. Guest can observe the elephants playing in the mud and later bathe them in the beautiful stream that winds through the sanctuary. In the rainy season, guests also plant saplings to help reforest the area.
The family here is environmentally aware, and recently initiated a ‘green’ project in the village where children are taught about the need to use less plastic and keep their village clean. Every Sunday, kids from the village help pick up garbage, and sort it for recycling. The money that the project receives from recycling the garbage is shared with the kids from the village.
By visiting this project you are making it possible for these magnificent elephants to live a more natural life, as well as helping to support the local Karen community.
Spend time with elephants in a beautiful natural environment and gain insights into elephant behavior from a Karen family who have been living with and caring for elephants for generations
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 8
Number of Elephants: 2
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Moderate
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 7-12: 1,250 Thai Baht
Adults & Children 7+
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:30am minivan pick up from your Chiang Mai city hotel, or from our office at 7:45am. If staying out of town (outside the middle ring-road) additional charges apply. Please advise on your reservation form.
Travel Time: Around 1 hour & 45 minutes (educational video about Asian elephants / safety video en route to project).
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:30pm – 5.00pm.
Baggage Allowance: One small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Hat, sunscreen, sandals/flip flops, change of clothing (as you may get muddy or wet), towel, walking shoes, camera & insect repellent.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 7 – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Moderate – walking through grassy fields and hilly terrain for about 1.5 hours.
Topography: Hills, forest & river.
Extra Activities: Visit a traditional Karen house showcasing artifacts from Karen culture and watch Karen woman weaving handmade textiles.
Location: Mae Wang, South of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Nearest Airport: Chiang Mai (CNX) – we recommend you stay in Chiang Mai city the night before your visit. Please note that we cannot collect you from Chiang Mai Airport – only from your Chiang Mai city hotel / guesthouse.
Booking Details: Bookings close at 5pm (GMT+7) on the day before the date of your tour if made in person at our office or 24 hours in advance if booking online. A 30% non-refundable deposit is required to secure your booking. The balance should be paid at our Chiang Mai office by 8pm on the day before your tour.
The owner of this project, Kriengkrai Dinu, previously worked at the Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang where he received further educational qualifications for working with elephants. When he heard about the ‘Saddle Off’ model he seized the opportunity to bring his elephants home where they could be retired from elephant riding and be properly cared for by his family who has worked with elephants for three generations. The project opened in late August 2017, and is located in a century-old Karen settlement surrounded by jungle with a beautiful stream running through it. It is home to two male elephants who are brothers, Dodo & Khum Meun, who used to work in elephant riding. Recently, chain free shelters were built for the elephants to sleep more comfortably at night. The family wants to help preserve Karen culture and has created a small museum to give visitors a glimpse of the traditional Karen way of life. The project also supports local weavers who have their handmade textiles on display, which are available for purchase.