Elephant Retirement Park, Chiang Mai
(4.4/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Elephant Retirement Park focuses on providing a safe and comfortable environment for elephants, where you can observe and interact with the gentle animals. Rather than riding them through the city or watching them do tricks, this park gives you a natural experience in the jungle, letting you feed and bathe with the elephants on their turf. Learn about their herbal healthcare and communication between the elephant and the Mahout, the caretakers. Your visit includes transportation, an English-speaking guide, lunch, and snacks to give the elephants. Bring old clothes and plenty of bug repellant. Plan to visit Elephant Retirement Park during your Chiang Mai vacation using our convenient Chiang Mai travel itinerary planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I wanted to spend a typical day with elephants but without vanishing Croup or see do the show, which as we all know are the result of mistreatment. This Park has everything we want is totally cruelty free. Have many elephants, and to our delight even two little ones. The animals are kept very well. The half day is to prepare the elephants the "medicine" with fruit and make him take with its trunk directly from your hands. You can touch the elephants, feed ... then enter into the water up to his legs and take a bath with one of them while the wash ... they make a photo cd of the day which costs around 5 €. I spent an unforgettable day!
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  • We were recommended the Elephant Retirement Park by a friend. Booking through the website (last minute, too!) was seamless. We were picked up from our hotel and taken to the park on a 1 hour drive, wi...  more »
  • Apparently this is not one of those places in which the elephants are beaten. The sanctuary was recommended by Lonely Planet. There are foreigners working there, and almost all employees speak a little English. The elefantinhas are sweet! Very nice spending the day feeding and playing with them! Not allowed to walk on the backs of the animals (thankfully!)
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Google
  • Had a good day out on the 1 day tour. It is fairly slow paced and you get a lot of time with the elephants. Feeding, washing and doing the mud bath are all good fun. 2,600 TBH for the one day. Pickup in a Toyota HiAce or similar. Lunch was fairly basic but enough. Although they call it the elephant retirement park, I think it is more so a place for owners of elephants to send them if they are having a baby or are injured. When the babies are old enough the owners will most likely take them back and train them for riding or other activities. Although the staff were honest about this. The staff don't believe in using elephants for labour, however they can't really do much about it once the owner takes it back. As these elephants were mostly once used for carrying people with cruel trainers they do exhibit some swaying when tied up however this isn't the fault of these carers. 2 elephants were in pens for good reason. One had just had a baby and one was just about to.
  • Sadly felt like another elephant exploitation place BUT I must be honesy lt did feel like the lesser of other evils. There is no riding BUT when we arrive the elephants were chained up and 3 others were swaying g in pens. I wish the keepers had been honest about this behaviour and said is is often learned when elephants are kept captive of distressed from early age rather than telling us they are happy and it's like dancing... Anyone who has seen any documentary will know that swaying moving feet is not natural behaviour and it isn't because they're heavy and have to move from foot to foot... would be much better if they had been frank and explained why they beaver this way and was probably learned before they were brought to the park. The park is very small. I didn't witness any tools being used against them only voice commands and didn't detect any cruelty but they still felt conditioned/ conted/ trained and I can't say how that's maintained as they are wild.animals after all. There was no riding.
  • Great park, very friendly nice elephants. Small personable staff dedicated to the humane treatment of elephants. They focus on educating the public, not riding or shows. You spend a peaceful day feeding, bathing and of course a trip to the mud pits. Two six month old elephants on the property keep the day lively as they jockey for the center of attention. I would highly recommend this park if your looking for a trip where the focus is on the elephants and not the tourist. Reasonable prices and good energy here.
  • This place is incredible. You can tell it's pretty new and the elephants are all well taken care of. I got to go when the two babies were brand new and just the cutest! A must do when in Chiang Mai. The guides were fantastic!
  • Relatively new elephant camp that opened up in 2014. They take care of elephants that have worked in shows or for riding before. The camp is evolving and getting more elephants and staff. The highlight of my 1 day tour was bathing with the elephants. Currently they have 7 adult elephants and 2 baby elephants. One was born on the day I visited. Too cute.