Situated high on a grassy hill surrounded by forest in Northern Thailand, this project is home to a small herd of elephants now enjoying a life free of the saddle or other unnatural activities. The owner has welcomed the opportunity to drop elephant riding and embrace a more ethical form of elephant tourism where the elephants can enjoy their lives with time to interact, and roam the grassy fields, foraging as they go. By joining this project as part of a small group you are directly helping to make this transition possible and sustainable, thereby protecting the well-being of the elephants.

The elephant-friendly activities at this project start with dressing in colorful traditional Karen clothing, then cutting sugarcane and feeding it to the appreciative elephants along with their favorite food – bananas. After the feeding session, join the elephants for an easy stroll through the tall grasses and along the forest edge, stopping to watch them graze and take photos from the shade of a hut. On returning from your walk, a vegetarian buffet lunch is served overlooking the valley, after which you will learn to make healthy treats for the elephants by combining a medicinal vine, rice, tamarind, salt, and bananas. Next, walk to their custom built pool to bathe the elephants and then watch them play in the mud. The day ends with feeding the elephants the medicinal tamarind-rice balls prepared earlier, as a parting gift.

This elephant tour is suitable for families and provides a fascinating insight into the lives of elephants. Karen Elephant Serenity only began early in 2018, but already the owners have noticed an elevation in the elephant’s spirits and their general health. The project also helps support the local villages which include Karen, Hmong, and Lanna Thai communities.

Feed the elephants sugarcane & fruit and then take a hillside walk with the elephants, stopping to watch them forage in the tall grass


Feed the Elephants

Walk with Elephants

Observing Elephants

Observe the Elephants


Elephant Bathing


  • Dress in traditional Karen clothing
  • Cut sugar cane and feed the elephants
  • Take a leisurely walk with the elephants
  • Watch the elephants foraging and interacting from an observation tower
  • Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch
  • Prepare medicinal health balls for the elephants
  • Bathe the elephants
  • Watch the elephants take a mud bath
  • Feed the tamarind-rice balls to the elephants

Tour Details

Number of Guests: 12
Number of Elephants: 3
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Easy
Age Suitability: Adults & Children 7+

What's Included

  • Transportation from Chiang Mai city to and from project
  • Freshly prepared vegetarian buffet lunch
  • Admission fee
  • Qualified English speaking tour guide

Tour Price

Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 7-12: 1,250 Thai Baht

Adults & Children 7+



Buffet Lunch



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Ethical Elephant Tours
This is a small ‘Saddle Off!’ project with a limited number of guests. Our model is based on ensuring the well-being of the elephants, which means no riding or other unnatural activities.

About Your Trip

Start: 8:00am – 8:45am 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 90 minutes (a safety video and elephant documentary will be shown en route to the project).
Travel Details: Transfer from an air-con minivan to a 4WD vehicle for the last 5-10 minutes of your journey to the project.
Return: Arrive back in Chiang Mai city 4:00pm – 4.30pm.
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.
Facilities: Gift Shop where you can watch a Karen weaver, lunch area, lookout tower, bathrooms, showers, lockers, water dispenser.
Items Provided: Traditional Karen shirts, boots & ponchos in the rainy season, towels.
Age Suitability: Adults & children over 7 years old – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Easy – leisurely walk with the elephants through the tall grass along the edge of the forest.
Topography: Grasslands, forest, hills & stream.
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.


Project Background

This project is owned by Nikorn, who used to work at Elephant Nature Park for many years and Pa Udon, who inherited a large area of land from his grandfather, and in the past, used to run a nearby elephant trekking camp. They joined the 'Saddle Off' project in February 2018 and Karen Elephant Serenity is now home to a small herd of elephants enjoying a better life in their retirement from elephant riding. The herd includes Mae Kham Suk, a 40 year female who gave birth in March to a healthy baby girl, named Heng Heng as well as Kham Noi, a 35 year old female, who has become her nanny. Since joining the project the two adult elephants have formed close bonds and together they are enjoying raising Heng Heng who is so full of life. To provide for the elephants, tall grass is grown at the project and they buy fruit and vegetables from local farmers.


How Karen Elephant Serenity is Eco Friendly & Sustainable

  • Food is grown for the elephants to forage on throughout the day including tall grass and bananas.
  • All crops grown for the elephants and guests are organic – no chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used.
  • There are organic vegetable gardens at the project where they grow herbs, lettuce, chilli and lemons.
  • They buy bananas, sugarcane and pumpkin from local farmers for the elephants as well and vegetables and fruit for the guests.
  • Guests help protect the forest by tying protective orange Buddhist sashes around the trunks of trees. This project also asks local villagers in the nearby area to plant trees and supports them in these efforts.
  • Elephant dung is used to fertilize the gardens & lemon trees and is given to local farmers to fertilize their crops.
  • Rubbish is recycled and leftover food given to local villagers for their animals.
  • This project was constructed using natural materials including bamboo and reclaimed wood. Recently a lookout tower was built using reclaimed wood so that guests can obverse the elephants from a high vantage point.
  • Water dispenser provided to reduce the use of plastic. Guests are offered one plastic water bottle at the beginning of the day which they can then refill and higher quality refillable water bottles are also available for purchase.

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