Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Elephant Sanctuary, Pt I

Research a trip in Thailand and you will no doubt find a seemingly endless amount of elephant attractions. You can ride them through the forest, watch them dance, or even have one paint you a picture. None of those appealed to us. Besides not feeling too authentic, making the elephants perform for us seemed kind of mean.

While my husband searched through forums on travel sites such as Travelfish, he found The Elephant Nature Park. It is an elephant sanctuary, home to about 30 elephants, most rescued from abusive living conditions. The sanctuary is about a hour drive outside of Chiang Mai and sits on 150 acres in a valley surrounded rain forest.
The idea behind it is that you are not a paying customer there to watch the elephants perform. You actually pay to volunteer, meaning part of the reason you’re there to work. As a volunteer your job is to help feed the elephants, wash them & make basic repairs to the camp. You could visit for the day or stay for a week, 2 months, 6 months… basically as long as there is room for you, you can stay for as long you want. One day, however, definitely is not enough. We stayed for 2 days, which in the end felt a little short.

Every review of the sanctuary basically said the same thing: Going there was an experience of a lifetime. Though it sounds cliché, it was true. Below are some pictures of our time spent there. Look for more pix, videos and postings as I take you through one of the most memorable experiences of our trip!


  1. oh no, the vids didn't work!! i was so excited too : ( but that really sounds like the experience of a lifetime. how did you guys find out about all these cool, non-touristy things?! i agree that it seems a little mean to make them perform...beautiful pics!

  2. I think I fixed the videos, thanks for telling me! I will post more...


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