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.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2016:
On the 13th of October 2016 the Thai Government announced the passing of his majesty, the King of Thailand. Following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej a 1 year mourning period has been declared in Thailand. In the first 30 days all government offices will fly the Thai flag at half-mast and there will likely be restrictions on the opening hours or selling of alcohol at entertainment venues including pubs and clubs. I. As this is an emotional time for Thailand and its people we ask that our travellers wear dark coloured clothing over the next 30 days as a mark of respect to the much loved King.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
For 2016 and 2017 departures this trip will now start on day one at 7pm.


Start
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Finish
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Country
Thailand
Style
Original
Theme
Short Breaks, Wildlife
Code
TTAE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • 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

Is this trip right for you?

  • This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. You will have the evenings to yourself and your guide can help suggest places to eat and shop.

  • This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2014 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

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. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7pm with your local guide. An airport arrival transfer is included please advise your flight details at time of booking. If you arrive early, head out to explore charming Chiang Mai. The friendliness of the people, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. After the welcome meeting you will have free time tonight. 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.

Please note if you are unable to arrive in time for this 7pm meeting we will leave a "welcome Pack" for you at the hotel reception. Please ask for this welcome pack upon check in.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chiang Mai - Elephant Nature Park day trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

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 & availability

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Important notes

1. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
2. For 2016 and 2017 departures this trip will now start on day one at 7pm.
3. The trip finishes on day 3 at approximately 12pm
4. This trip is operated by one of our local partners in Thailand and therefore you may be joined by a mixture of Intrepid-booked passengers and other travellers during activities.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.