Located near Elephant Nature Park, this elephant sanctuary is home to three beautiful females rescued from elephant riding in Kanchanaburi, in the south of Thailand. The owner of the project accompanied them on the difficult journey to Mae Taeng in the north and has watched the elephants gain weight and become happier, healthier, and more relaxed day by day under her dedicated care since their rescue.
Arriving at the project in the morning as part of a small group, learn about the elephants while washing and cutting fruit and vegetables and hand feeding them. Then take an unhurried walk with the elephants to the river that borders Elephant Nature Park, continuing to feed the elephants from bags of fruit along the way. Guests have the opportunity to bathe the elephants in the river or just sit back and observe how at home they are in the water – a good chance to get some amazing photos. Across the river, you can see the herds roaming Elephant Nature Park.
After a short walk back to the project with the elephants, you will be shown the secrets to making the classic Thai dish – green papaya salad or Som Tum. Enjoy your creation along with a healthy vegetarian buffet that includes a delicious Thai dessert made with mango, coconut, and sticky rice.
In the afternoon, take a walk with the elephants to two large mud pools and watch them play – the mud nourishes their skin and protects it from the sun and insects. Before heading back to Chiang Mai, you will have another chance to feed the elephants and take a few more photos of these fascinating animals now living a better life, with time to socialize and relax. This project is suitable for all ages and is family friendly. As a visitor to this project, you are having a positive impact on the lives of elephants by making this form of ethical elephant tourism possible and sustainable over the long term.
Join three beautiful elephants rescued from elephant riding for an unforgettable experience observing them interact freely and play joyfully in the mud
Walk with Elephants
Number of Guests: 12
Number of Elephants: 3
Tour Type: Full Day Visit
Fitness Level: Easy
Age Suitability: All Ages
Adults & Children 12+: 2,500 Thai Baht
Children Aged 2-12: 1,250 Thai Baht
Family Friendly - All Ages
About Your Trip
Start: 8:00am – 8:45am 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 90 minutes (educational video about Asian elephants / safety video en route to 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.
Operational Months: All year round.
Age Suitability: All ages – guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Fitness Level: Easy – leisurely walk along flat terrain to the river and back to the project.
Topography: Grassland, forest & river.
Extra Activities: Learn to make green papaya salad (som tum).
Location: Mae Taeng, 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 or 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.
This project is a dream come true for Em, whose father has provided his veterinarian skills to Elephant Nature Park for over 20 years. As a girl growing up, she would accompany her father on visits to ENP and be endlessly fascinated watching the elephants. Em wanted to continue the tradition of caring for elephants by providing a safe, happy home for them. There are three elephants at this project, Hong Far, Mae Dok Mai and Mae Surparp, all females who used to work together in Kanchanaburi providing rides. When the elephants arrived at the project they were underweight, but now they are much healthier and more relaxed. These elephants can now interact with each other, walk through the fields, bathe in the river, and play in the mud together. It warms Em’s heart to see the elephants living a more natural life where they are visited by people who respect them. Em makes sure that the elephants are well taken care of so that they can enjoy their retirement at Save Thai Elephant Park.
Mae Dok Mai
Mae Dok Mai was born in Surin in 1980. She was rescued from a trekking camp in Kanchanaburi, where her days were long and exhausting. Mae Dok Mai is easily spooked by loud sounds, and if startled, will make a dash for it. Some time ago, Mae Dok Mai had two daughters who are no longer with her. Her former work providing rides eventually took a toll on her health and she became very thin. The sight of her emaciated body prompted the fast arrangement for her rescue from this life of hardship. Since coming to live at Save Thai Elephant Park, she has gained weight and her spirits have been lifted by being able to live a more natural, dignified life. She is very close friends with Mae Suparb.
Mae Suparb was born in Surin Province in 1993. She used to work at a trekking camp in Kanchanaburi where she endured long, arduous days taking tourists on rides. Mae Suparb is a mother but was separated from her baby some time ago. She is a particularly pretty elephant and is quite playful. She has a habit of devouring her food voraciously and is a healthy weight now. She will even steal food from the other elephants. Her favorite activities are submerging herself in the river and playing in the mud pit. She is much happier in her new home where she no longer has to work, has plenty of food, and is able to socialize with the other elephants, especially Dok Mai, with whom she has developed a close friendship.
Hong Fah was born in Surin in 1958. She used to do logging before working at a trekking camp in Kanchanaburi. She is solitary by nature and prefers to stay alone in peace. Hong Fah has not had any children, but when she meets baby elephants, she loves to play the role of nanny. As is the case with many old elephants, her teeth have been worn down, so she requires special care, such as taking the thick skins off watermelon for her. When she arrived at Save Thai Elephant Park she had a large abscess on her leg, which is healing well with treatment. Hong Fah is now enjoying her retirement with time to forage and play while being well cared for and treated with respect.