Delight in visiting Chiang Mai elephants and experience Chiang Mai's spiritual side

See a different side of Chiang Mai by hanging out with the gentle giants of the Elephant Nature Park. Be greeted by an expert guide and learn about the plight of this humble species - whose mistreatment is sadly prevalent in many parts of South-East Asia. Help out by feeding one of these friendly creatures from the viewing platform. Then, for those who don't mind getting a bit damp, don some bathers and get wet and wild during bathing time. Wave goodbye to new friends and return to Chiang Mai to make offerings to monks, explore Kad Ton Payo flea market, enjoy a spot of meditation or taste regional specialties.

Start
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Finish
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Countries
Thailand
Themes
Short Breaks, Wildlife
Code
TTAE
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
61kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Meet elephants in a responsible environment at the Elephant Nature Park, a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for these incredible creatures
  • Learn the story of rescued elephants and even get your swimgear on and help bathe them
  • Take a songthaew to Kad Ton Payom flea market and purchase offerings to give to monks
  • Discover local flavours with a traditional breakfast
  • Talk with the abbot at the 600-year-old Wat Umong Temple and learn about Buddhism and Dharma
  • Mingle with the monks and get some basic meditation tips in Wat Suan Dok

Itinerary

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals, the ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. Chances are, you won’t want to leave. Today is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time. An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your arrival details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel to organise this. There will be a 'welcome letter' waiting for you at the hotel reception with further information about your trip. Please ask for this welcome letter when checking in. You are free for the rest of the day to explore charming Chiang. The friendliness of the people, the vibrant Night Bazaar, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. Chiang Mai is small enough to get around by bicycle and this is a great way to experience the city's charming atmosphere.
Set off early this morning, around 8am, and drive along the Mae Taeng Valley to the Elephant Nature Park (approximately 60 kilometres), a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants. You’ll be greeted by an expert guide, and then learn the stories of rescued elephants and understand the issues surrounding elephants in South-East Asia. After that you'll have a chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform. Lunch is provided, before the memorable experience of elephant bath time. After a safety briefing, you can join in to scrub and bathe the elephants (be sure to bring some shorts/swim gear and a change of clothing), or alternatively just sit back and enjoy watching these incredible creatures wash themselves. Return to Chiang Mai to soak up the atmosphere of this great city. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food in the vibrant night markets – the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef. Or maybe indulge in an authentic Thai massage.
It’s an early start today (6am) as you set off by songthaew for a scenic drive to Kad Ton Payom flea market. Here you’ll collect your offerings from the market and then offer these alms to monks to ‘make merit’. This region is famous for its cuisine and you’ll enjoy a traditional breakfast of local specialities such as rice soup, fried rice, and grilled pork. The next stop is Wat U-mong, a 600 year-old temple famed for its large painted pagoda and underground tunnel. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and take the opportunity to talk with the abbot about Buddhism and Dharma. Then it’s on to Wat Suan Dok, where you can mingle with monks to learn about their way of life, take some time to learn basic meditation, and also make an offering to the Sangkha (the Buddhist community). Your adventure concludes at apprioximately noon, and you are free to depart at any time. There is no accommodation included tonight. Perhaps stay in Chiang Mai and explore the city further.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
2 breakfasts, 1 lunch
Transport
Minibus, Songthaew
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park day trip

Dates

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Important notes

1. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. The tour finishes on day 3 at approximately 12pm
3. This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

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