I thought I’d share with you all our day trip to the Elephant sanctuary whilst we were staying in Chiang Mai. Elephants are one of my favourite animals so I knew whilst we were in Thailand I wanted to go and visit these beautiful creatures, but I also knew I did not want to visit one of those awful Elephant shows you see advertised where they make the Elephants do tricks and don’t treat them very well. So after some research we decided to book an all-day elephant sanctuary and trekking tour costing 1,300 THB per person including pick up at our hotel at 08.30am.
As we all crammed in to the back of the van making various pick ups along the way, we drove out of the city to our first stop; The butterfly park. After such a tight squeeze, it was nice to get out and stretch our legs. We wandered around the park looking at the flowers and butterflies (most of which were huge!) whilst capturing some photos.
Back on the van we headed off to our next stop, a traditional Thai Village. A local Thai lady talked us through her day to day life in the village where she made necklaces and other bits of jewellery to sell. As she showed us around her little home you could see the difference between village life and city life. The locals here were so friendly and it was incredible to see how they live and their homes.
After learning about local village life we then walked up to a view point overlooking the village; along the way there were jasmine flowers and the cutest pineapples growing, they were so small compared to the pineapples you find in England.
Back on the bus we drove through the rainforest, until we arrived at the elephant sanctuary (we were both very excited for this!). Whilst here we were told about these magnificent animals as we fed them bananas, which they would take from you with their long trunks (mind if you weren’t paying attention they would just take them out your hands regardless). This was definitely my favourite part of the day.
Afterwards we had the chance to go in the river to help wash the elephants; even though it looked a bit grim and dirty Thomas was straight in, slowly followed by myself as I was a bit more weary of the murky water but temptation soon got the better of me. These incredible majestic creatures just towering over us were so beautiful when you’re up close to them. They say elephants never forget, well this was an an experience we would definitely never forget. After we spent time in the water washing the Elephants we dried off and as on any day trip in Thailand, a delicious local Thai dinner was then served.
Following food, we crammed back in to the van and headed even further off the beaten track. Once out the van, we set off with our guide through the towering trees and lush vegetation until we stumbled across a hidden waterfall. The view was breath taking and after a long, sweaty hike, a refreshing jump in the pool was exactly what we needed to cool off.
After our lovely swim in the waterfall we had our final activity of the day, bamboo rafting down a river. We all piled onto the raft (I was a bit worried about how sturdy and safe this was but luckily no-one fell in!) as one of the locals guided us down the river, where we could see the locals sitting, waving to us outside their homes.
This was one of my favourite days in Thailand, it was truly amazing getting to spend time with the Elephants as well as swimming in the waterfalls and bamboo rafting down the river! I would highly recommend this trip, it was definitely worth the money and such an enjoyable experience.