people and cultures – inspiring journeys
sharing meaningful discoveries in Asia

Elephants Chiang Mai


Always fun to visit and pay respects to Elephants!

In recent years, a more eco-friendly brand of elephant tourism has been growing along with human debates on what is best for elephants. An ideal situation would be for all wildlife to be able to roam freely. Realistically there is just no longer enough natural habitat remaining.  Most of the elephants you visit in the various elephant camps today were formerly working for the logging trade.   These elephants are very advanced social creatures and over time develop a bond to their human keepers called mahouts. Visiting an elephant camp, you are able to learn how mahouts and elephants interact. Of course mass tourism has created a very commercialized scene, but this does not mean that ALL elephant camps are treating their elephants poorly as some animal activists or some eco-friendly businesses wish you to believe. Taking care of elephants is very expensive and tourism has been the main means of support.  Let us hope for more responsible tourism to help look after these wonderful elephants!

Below are links to reputable camps to visit:

Chai Lai Orchid and Chai Lai Sisters looking after the welfare of elephants:
Learn more on:

Elephant Rescue Park:

Patara Elephant Farm:  Hands on experience away from the tourist crowds. Enjoy being an Elephant Owner for the Day!


The Mae Sa Elephant Camp
in the lovely Mae Sa valley about 30 minutes drive north of Chiang Mai City.  This long-time established camp is looking after nearly 80 elephants-
some of them elderly are being  looked after within their sanctuary now called The Chang. Here you can also interact with the young ones.
Learn more on:

Asia Captive Elephant Working Group
addressing the situation for captive elephants in the tourist industry in Southeast Asia.  Very informative reading with FAQs:

Friends of Asian Elephant and Hospital in Lampang

Elephant Parade:
Design and Paint your own Elephant!

Elephant Parade is a social enterprise running the world’s largest exhibition of decorated elephant statues.  Each one a unique art piece exhibited around the world to raise awareness for the need of elephant conservation.
“Elephant Parade believes in the power of a global movement to make a happier world. These wonderful art pieces create millions of smiles!”
Visit their showroom and workshops in Chiang Mai:

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