Falling in Love is Awfully Easy–A Day at Elephant Nature Park

Where do I begin with this place?

The Elephant Nature Park just North of Chiang Mai is a world all it’s own.

It’s a place unlike any other.

It’s breathtakingly beautiful and it’s filled with so much love and hope for the future.

And I’m telling you–if you ever find yourself in or around Chiang Mai, you must go here. It’s a bit pricey–2,500 baht for a day trip–but it’s so worth it. I will never ever regret the day I spent here. And I only hope I’ll be able to go back sometime in the future.

I’m in Thailand for the indefinite future. I’m sure I’ll be able to make it back at some point. I mean, let’s be real–I loved it here. Case in point:

Unlike other elephant reserves in the tourist industry, Elephant Nature Park is incredibly special–in that every single elephant in the park (currently over 70) was rescued from abusive treatment in the tourist industry or other harmful situations.

The elephant is Thailand’s most sacred and cherished animal.

And yet, throughout the country, the animal is abused. Elephants across Thailand are beaten into submissiveness. They are broken in body and spirit for the benefit of humans. They are treated with little care for the sake of tourism.

Elephants at the Elephant Nature Park are never ridden by tourists. And that’s okay. Riding an elephant only hurts it more. The heavy weight of a seat plus one or two humans is so dangerous to an elephant’s well-being. There is so much magic in simply being in the presence of these creatures. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t feel like I need to ride one to feel that presence.

Many elephants at the Nature Park come with physical deformities from maltreatment. Many arrive in a sickly condition. And they are nursed back to health.

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Notice this elephant’s club foot at the front left.

Visitors can come here for a day trip or they can stay over multiple days and help care for the elephants. One of my friends in my TESOL course stayed over for a couple days last year and said it was absolutely amazing. And I absolutely believe her.

Our day trip included an opportunity to feed the elephants, a walk around to meet many of the elephants in the Park, a buffet-style vegetarian meal that was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, bath time (as in, we went into the river and bathed three of the elephants), a documentary about the Park, and coffee and snacks throughout the day. It was an absolutely amazing day. And it was worth every single baht.

I can’t imagine a better way to spend a Sunday (or any day, for that matter…I just happened to go on a Sunday).

I came here excited at the prospect of spending the day with a bunch of elephants. I left fully in love and entranced with these magnificent and beautiful creatures.

Post-bath time group photo.
Post-bath time group photo.

For more information about the Elephant Nature Park and how to book your own visit, click here.

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16 thoughts on “Falling in Love is Awfully Easy–A Day at Elephant Nature Park

  1. Awesome! Spending time with elephants is one of the things I MUST do before I die. Cats and elephants are my two favourite animals. Right now, I have a real cat with me on the bed, and an elephant statue next to me on the nightstand. 🙂

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  2. You made it there, finally!!! Beautiful photos Britta. You look so at peace. I hope one day I can come to this heavenly place and somehow make it up with the elephants… you know I did them wrong last year… I feel sooo bad for doing that!

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    1. So, I had a whole response typed out for this yesterday and then my phone wouldn’t let me post it! Agh, technology!
      Anywho, don’t get too down on yourself Belle…you weren’t aware of the situation when you signed up to ride them and now you know better! Life is full of learning experiences like these. I wouldn’t have known how terrible the tourist industry was to elephants if I wouldn’t have heard about it through the organization I went through to get to Thailand.
      I was so at peace. One of the best days of my life, hands down.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ugh!! So jealous right now! There’s a cat kingdom? That’s amazing. Speaking of riding elephants, I once rode an elephant. I was young so I don’t think I hurt him. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself.

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  4. You mentioned that elephants are Thailand’s sacred animal and yet they’re still abused and mistreated. Here’s something I read in a short story a few days ago; I think it really captures the situation: “To them they’re gods. In general, people don’t care much about the suffering of a god. You should know that by now.”

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