I decided to visit the Elephant farm at Mae Sa..I booked a car with driver for hire at one of the many travel agents on the main street..I was picked up at the agents office that morning and with a really pleasant driver was driven north to Mae Sa...there were two things here...Elephant farm and Tiger Sanctuary close by..The elephants do many activities..firstly they are lined up for their free bananas and sugar cane..then all in the river to be washed..then they play football,paint a picture with a small artists brush..and do obedience tests..This is really something different to see..A lot of peopl come here to learn how to handle elephants and become a "mahout"...many people also do volunteer work in these elephant farms helping with the conservation programmes..
SHOW TIMES: 08.00 HRS 09.40 HRS AND 13.30 HRS.
We moved through the camp until we reached the main show ring. We were early and took the opportunity to find seating which did not have sun in out face.
There were 5 or 6 elephants painting, it went for approximately 15 minutes and eventually we were able to obtain good photos. Amazing how these animals can be trained to paint, in fact the quality looked very good.
At the end of the Show the paintings were available for sale.
This is a highlight for me of my trip . We visited the elephants as part of a tour that cost 650 bht and included the orchid farm . This is well worth it since the admission to the elelphants is 500bht on its own . Anyway whatever it cost I would have been happy to pay .
I must add , I am against any kind of activity that takes an unfair toll on an animal and I don't condone circus acts but these elephants seem so happy to show what they can do. The Lampang Elephant Conservation Center managed under under the government Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The Center's main concerns are to sustainably conserve Thai elephants, to protect and to provide them with veterinary care. The center has many activities in which elephants play a part which visitors can watch such as playing soccer and playing musical instruments but the most amazing and famous is the elephant painters. The paintings can be purchased at the end of the show...
Upon entering the park we walked past the usual array of souvenir shops, cafes and pathway vendors. Then a short walk along a pathway surrounded by natural vegetation as we made our way to the bridge where we found a group of elephants being groomed by their handlers.
The bridge was the ideal position to view and take photos.
It was a nice commencement to our visit. We visited February, 2013.
The elephant camp is close to Chaing Mai, and cares for over 70 elephants and also has a breeding program. The camp itself is located in a beautiful wooded area with a river that the elephants bathe in.
The elephants seem to be wel treated. An adult elephant eats 150 kilograms of vegetation and fruits per day, so if you want to assist, buy some bunches of bananas and sugar cane at the entrance and experience the most amazing moment of your life when the elephant takes it from you.
Near Nam Tok Mae Sa is the Measa Elephant Camp. It is a nice day trip out of Chang Mai if you want to get away from the city noise as it is located in a nice valley in the forests. They have three shows a day: 08:00 am, 09:40 am and 1.30 pm. You can buy sugar cane and bananas and feed them to the elephants. Or if you are not careful they come and steal it from you. They have a nursery and an elephant school. If you are there in the morining you will be able to watch how they take their baths in the river. During the show the elephants play soccer and paint picutres. Im normally sceptical about such things but it seems that the elephants have fun doing it. And I guess it is a way to preserve the asian elephant from distinction.
You best take a taxi from Chiang Mai and combine this trip with some other stops like nice orchid gardens.
After the Mesa Elefant camp I recommend you to drive a bit further up the street and have some refreshments at the Pongyang Angdoi Resort where you can enjoy the nice views of the green wilderness with a nice waterfall view. It is very relaxing before you head back to Chiang Mai.
About 60km north of Chiang Mai city is the Elephant Nature park, founded in 1996 by Sangduen Chailert (Lek) and her husband, Adam. The park is a sanctuary for elephants and is home for the disabled, orphaned, blind and rescued elephants, regardless of their age. In the park the elephants are allowed to live out their lives in a peaceful, happy and natural environment.
It a wonderful and very special place and the scenery is stunning.
In the lush tropical jungle of Chiang Mai's Maesa Valley , a big family of elephants lives side by side with their mahout caretakers. "Maesa Elephant Camp" is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in the north of Thailand .
It's fun to watch the elephants take a bath, spraying each other. You can then watch the elephant show or go on a ride.
We went to Elephant Nature park for a day, it was amazing experience especially for my son (was the only kid there! parents! is the best place for kids education!) :
It is sad to see what people have done to elephants..but really worth the day there. GO AND ENJOY, HELP elephants! The trip is very educational we learned about elephants, fed them, washed, entertain, had lunch and all money went to this camp to help elephants to get back to normal wild life..Some had broken legs, blinded...from working for people! Ms Lak (god bless her) is the LADY of this park. Elephant Nature Park, a unique conservation project set in Chiang Mai Province, Northern Thailand has been in operation since in the 1990's with a goal to provide a sanctuary and elephant rescue center. While most notable conservationists stem from western countries Lek's projects are the efforts of her own Northern Thailand mountain community.
These elephants are trained to please you and their expected reward is Thai banknotes.
Suddenly their trunk will appear near you, or against your skin. It will startle you and remain until you present a banknote.
If you wish to stand in the front you are certain target, be prepared and arrive with low denomination banknotes.
A bit of fun, no need to be afraid.
If there is one thing you should do when visiting northern Thailand it is visiting the Elephant Conversation Centre. Located about an hour out of Chiang Mai the centre provides a place for abandoned, injured or mistreated Elephant.
The Camp has Elephant Rides, Elephant shows, Elephant Dung paper factory and muesuem espcially on the famous white elephants. The Centre also has an Elephant Hospital which looks after and cares for ill and injured Elephants. You are able to visit the Hospital and see the injured Elephants.
The Centre also runs one, three day and 30 days Mahout courses where you learn to ride, and command elephants. We did the one day course last year and it was one of the most special days of my life. They truly are one of the most amazing aminals. The Centre is definetly worth visiting is offers something different to the normal Elephant camps around Northern Thailand.