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This was my favourite activity to do in Thailand. I’ve always wanted to bathe with elephants. I wasn’t interested in riding them, so I made sure I went to a no riding sanctuary. It was made even more pleasurable by the fact they had two baby elephants there at the time, one of which was only 2 days old and was so dam cute. This is something I think everyone should add to their bucket list.
Arranging to get to the park was simple, we spoke to our hotel receptionist they told us the price which was 2400 THB each and then they arranged everything for us. All we had to do was be up and ready the next day for when the pickup arrived. We all jumped in the back of a truck and off we went.
The actual park itself is a fair way out of town so we did stop around mid distance to buy refreshments. The journey does get quite bumpy when the truck leaves the smooth tarmac and onto the gravel, dust tracks for about 30 minutes. This was when one or two of our friends realised that maybe having a few drinks the night before wasn’t such a good idea. 🤢 They were constructing new concrete roads when I was there, so if your lucky the constant bumpy journey should be reduced somewhat for anyone going at a later date. It took about an 1hr and 30 minutes in total to finally arrive at the Elephant Jungle Paradise Park.
We were all sat together and given briefing on the history, how the park help the elephants and what we would be doing throughout the day. We were warned to leave all our belongings, bags, phones locked away in the truck as they could be ruined. Only waterproof cameras like gopros were an acceptable risk, but the decision was yours to make. It didn’t take long though only 15 minutes or so and we were taken to see our first Elephant, which we had actually passed on our way in. What we didn’t notice was the tiny newborn stood alongside with it. At the time I was there she was only 2 days old and hadn’t even been given a name yet, but since then I have found out they have named her Ellie.
After being wowed by the tiniest of elephants we walked uphill through the jungle to where we were to feed the other elephants in the group. We were given a couple buckets filled with bite size sugar canes to feed the elephants with. This is where we met the boisterous King, he was a little bugger. If you weren’t concentrating he would sneak up behind you like a stealth ninja elephant and knock you down like bowling pins, he demanded the attention, not the older boring adults! You needed eyes in the back of your head with this fella.
After feeding we then made our way to the mud bath, this is where obviously it’s gonna get messy and it oh so did. It was so much fun watching how excited and happy little king was running around without a care in the world.
As you walk into the mud it’s kind of soft and squidgy not too cold. Then it dawns on you that the squidgy stuff…. well that’s elephant poo and yes it’s about to be rubbed all over you, so just man up accept it and enjoy yourself. At least that’s what was going through my mind haha.
By the end no one cared and some were even diving in the stuff so were covered head to toe 😲
Once the elephants had had enough they made there way to the river and waterfall where we were all given a bucket each to not only wash the elephants but also ourselves and of coarse being the big kids we are we had to have a water fight 😂 After a while the elephants left us and so we then head up to the waterfall where you can have a natural shower under the falls, another thing ticked off the bucket list. Now you have to tread carefully here as I was soon to find out. No sooner had the guide said to me “be careful it’s slippery” yep, me being me I slipped and fell straight on my arse camera still in hand and yes it was rolling, you can see it in the video. Thankfully nothing was broken and it just gave everyone a laugh. They give out bars of soap for everyone to try to get all the mud & poo off, the guides even offer a helping hand scrubbing your back.
When we were finally all cleaned up, well as clean as you can get with a bar of soap in a waterfall, we walked to a log cabin around the corner where they had prepared pad thai for us all and dropped off our bags so we could dry ourselves off sit down and eat.
There are many different Sanctuaries around Chiang Mai you could choose, but I can highly recommend the Elephant Jungle Paradise Park.
Thailand has both domesticated and wild populations of Asian elephants. The population of wild elephants keeps reducing, and they are struggling to survive. Research has shown that there are only 2200 wild elephants left.
- Price for the day was 2400 THB.
- Food, they provide a meal, preparing pad thai, fresh pineapple and some packets of oreos everyone.
What To Bring:
- Swimwear, be aware that the mud stains may be difficult to get out in the wash.
- Change of Clothes
- Waterproof Camera
- Learn the history & behavior of Elephants
- Feeding the Elephants
- Mud bathing
- Washing the Elephants
- Shower under a waterfall
Arranging to get to the park is simple, just speak to your hotel receptionist they’ll tell you the price which was 2400 THB each and then they arranged everything for you. Just be up and ready the next day for when the pickup arrives. The actual park is a fair way outside of the city.
- 8.00 AM – 8.30 AM: Pick up at your Hotel or arranged meeting point.
- It’ll take about 1hr 30 minutes to get there, with a pit stop for refreshments in the middle.
- The price is 2400 baht.
- You’ll want to take swimwear. Be aware that the mud stains may be difficult to get out in the wash.
- Maybe a towel to dry yourself with.
- Waterproof camera.
- The do have a photographer on site and all photos taken are uploaded to their facebook page.
- They provide a meal, preparing pad thai, fresh pineapple and some packets of oreos everyone.