Meet the old and retired elephants of Thailand
This is a private tour. Your guide and driver will meet you at 0800 at your hotel for your trip, “Meet the Elephants of North Thailand.” This morning we will visit The Chang and the Maesa Elephant Conservation Park, just north of Chiang Mai. These camps are next to each other and owned by the same family. The Chang formerly was the Thai Elephant Care Center. “Chang” is the Thai word for elephant. The Chang takes care of 14 old and retired elephants. It is a beautiful place where the elephants are cared for very well. We have carefully selected these elephant venues, and we often visit the elephants. The Chang also features in our two-day program “Family Fun with Elephants and Sticky Waterfalls.”
The oldest elephant of The Chang
First, we will ask you to change into traditional farmer’s clothing to be more comfortable. The Camp has changing rooms. You will learn everything about the Asian Elephant, an endangered species, and how The Chang takes care of them. Your elephant guide will teach you how to prepare a healthy treat for the elephants. Khamuen is the oldest elephant of The Chang, born in 1935. The Chang also has a very touching cemetery where they bury deceased elephants. If you want, you can help clean the elephants with a hose.
The Mae Sa Elephant Camp
After this, you will visit the next-door Maesa Elephant Conservation Park. This Camp is one of the oldest elephant camps in North Thailand and used to offer an elephant show and elephant riding. In 2019 the new manager Anchalee Kalmapijit decided it was time for a change and stopped with the show and the riding. You can now meet them up close, feed them some bananas and bathe with them for a small fee. The Maesa Elephant Conservation Park takes care of 68 retired, young, and old elephants. Fourteen of the oldest elephants live in The Chang because they need special care for their age.
Visit the Elephant POOPOOPARK
It is time for a local Thai lunch! Please remind your guide if you have specific food requirements. After lunch, we will visit the Elephant POOPOOPAPERPARK, where they produce paper from the dung of elephants and other animals. The Elephant POOPOOPAPER Park* is an eco-friendly outdoor museum that explains the unique steps involved in making paper products from elephant poop fibers. This process is similar to making Sa (mulberry bark) paper. During a short workshop, they will teach you to make paper from elephant dung, a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
The House of Many Elephants
Our last visit is to another place close to our hearts: Ban Jang Nak, the House of Many Elephants. It is the atelier and museum of Phet Viriya (or Wiriya), the master wood elephant wood carver. We consider the House of Many Elephants one of the best-kept secrets of Chiang Mai. Phet Viriya’s ancestors migrated from Shan State, Myanmar, to Northern Thailand about two hundred years ago. Phet Viriya is a master carver of wooden elephants, and his workshop also produces giant cement elephant statues on order. This magnificent place is the best place to finish our trip, “Meet the Elephants of Thailand.” Your driver and guide will bring you back to your hotel in Chiang Mai. Thanks for joining this trip!
*The Elephant PooPooPaper Park is closed on Tuesdays. We will visit two handicraft places of your choice in the Borsang/Sankamphaeng area instead.