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Thai Elephant Home, Mae Taeng

4.6
#1 of 20 in Things to do in Mae Taeng
Wildlife Area Nature / Park
Spend a day in the company of elephants at Thai Elephant Home. Don traditional northern Thai clothing, pay your respects to Ganesha--the elephant god--then ride an elephant along scenic jungle trails in the Mae Taeng Mountains. Along the way you will enjoy lunch, traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf to carry, take a dip (with your elephant) in the Black Mud Spa, then ride the elephant to the river to bathe it. Back at the elephant home you can also feed, bathe, and play with baby elephants. If one day isn't enough with these majestic animals, you can choose from a number of extended-stay and volunteer programs for a more comprehensive experience. Make Thai Elephant Home a part of your Mae Taeng vacation plans using our Mae Taeng travel itinerary maker.
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798 reviews
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4.6
  • Unforgettable experience ! I did it in Chiang Mai with one of my friends. We were left amazed with those beautiful animals. We had a chance to feed them, had a ride on them and at the end it was a fun...  more »
  • You can't miss this! What an incredible day feeding your elephant sugarcane, riding him to the river, bathing him in the river, then heading back to main camp for lunch. After lunch we visited the ele...  more »
  • We went for the 2 hour trekking with the elephants and I have to say it was an amazing experience. I gave my GoPro to one of our tour guides and he took videos of us the whole time. We got a cd with p...  more »
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  • INCREDIBLE. The staff is really friendly, helpful and fun. We did the 2 hours ride and the baby elephant nursery. The elephants are well treated by the staff, you can see it and feel it. They come to pick you up and bring you back at your hotel (1 hour away from Chiang Mai), they give you a delicious pad thai for lunch and fruits, water, coffee and tea. I wouldn't recommend the Long Neck Village tour, it's a tourist scam.
  • This place is amazing! The best way to enjoy elephants in an ethic way. The lunch is amazing as well!
  • Really nice place. Got to have alot of fun with the elephants. Highly recommend the full day trip.
  • One of the best things I have ever done.
  • My wife and I chose to go with an excursion through Thai Elephant Home and couldn't be happier with our experience. We did the full day "Trail of the dinosaur with elephant riding" and it was a great way to get the full experience. Our tour guide named "yo" spoke excellent english, and had a great sense of humor which is important since you have a 1.5 hour car ride each way to and from the elephant reserve. We first went to their nursery where you get to become acquainted with the mommas and their babies and play with them in the fields. Then we trekked through the jungle with Yo for about 5 hours (with plenty of stops) on a well-groomed yet off the beaten path trail that Yo and his boss Joe made themselves. The trek allows you to really experience the atmosphere, landscape, flora and fauna that Chiang Mai has on tap along with some great vistas along the way. After passing the "elephant spa" where the Thai Elephant Home has their own mud-bath for their elephants, you turn a corner and arrive in the part of town where all the elephant tours are located. To be completely honest, walking through the town and seeing how so many of the elephants were treated was gut-wrenching and more than a little sad. For a moment it made me reconsider if we had made the right choice contributing to this industry at all. After hiking through the town and up into the mountainside you find the Thai Elephant Home and we knew we had made the right choice. They had extensive staff, huge grounds, plenty of food, shelter, and space for the elephants to roam. You got the vibe right away that this operation was different in a good way. They then gave us a change of clothes for the elephant ride and we spent about 20 minutes getting familiar with all the elephants we would ride that day. After teaching us the commands and pairing us up, we hopped on top of their neck bareback (the only way you are humanely supposed to ride an elephant) and rode them through town into the river area for a bath. Bath-time was a ton of fun and you could see how happy these gentle giants were are play. After the river time we hopped back on and rode them back to the home where we showered and had tea and fresh fruit with the staff while they burned us each a CD with all the photos they take of you (for free). TLDR: If you want an authentic and humane experience that allows you to meet, understand, and ride these gentle giants the Thai Elephant Home is the best place to do so