Elephant riding, something that was immensely popular years back, is now a highly frowned upon tourist activity in the recent years. With the rise of anti-animal cruelty initiatives to protect these local elephants, from it sprung up an alternative activity that is still not so known but growing popularity, that will still give you the opportunity to get up close with these gorgeous majestic beasts.
A bunch of 4 of us ( Me, Remco and Etrampers Cez and Agness) were over in Chiang Mai for a week plus to work and at the same time squeeze in some time to enjoy the sights of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The last time I was there was almost 10 years back and so much has changed in Chiang Mai. The city centre is a lot more bustling with tourists, commuters and multiple establishments like hotels, food stalls, malls, bars, guest houses and more everywhere. So having worked there for almost 4 days in a row, we decided to squeeze in some time to escape from the city and join Chiang Mai Elephant Legend Tours for a day out with the elephants.
So where are these Chiang Mai elephants?
We took a 8 seater car 2+ hours out of the city centre to where mama and baby elephant was waiting for us. Chiang Mai Elephant Legend gave us some lovely colourful hand woven traditional thai designed tops to wear, so that we wouldn’t get dirty. But we really liked these beautiful fabrics as it added such a nice touch to the entire experience.
And then the action began!
We took our bunches of bananas and walked to the hut where the elephants were waiting for us!
Our 1 Day Elephant Care Experience
Feeding these playful elephants
We took turns feeding them, from letting them pick it from our hands with their trunk, to throwing them into their mouths with a certain technique that only a few of us managed to master. I must say I was so bad at it that half my throws ended up more like flinging the bananas at the poor elephant faces!
Cez feeding and interacting with the elephants. He even learned a few words on how to communicate with them. As usual, a big animal lover and look how they love him!
An Extra Health Booster – Making of Vitamin Ball
Up next, we had a lesson on how to make some healthy remedies for the elephants – Vitamin Ball!
Vitamin Ball is a combination of banana, turmeric, seeds and loads of water. After it is all mashed together in a grinder, we scoop them into little banana leaves and wrap it into little packets before feeding them. ( This time, placing it into their mouths and not throwing it anymore)
Elephants are prone to sometimes getting poor digestion due to the things they consume when they roam about. So one of the best ingredients added into the Vitamin Ball is turmeric, which is good for animals and humans for our digestion.
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Up next, Mud Bath with Elephants!
I must say I was completely not expecting this.
Baby ele was already waiting by the pool when we walked over. I knew we were in our swimwear but the next thing we knew, we were asked to join them in their mud bath.
And boy, we got muddy!!
The elephants were having so much fun rolling around in the mud while we pour mud over their thick tough leathery body. And they loved it! Rubbing and rolling around, it was such an awesome sight. And as usual, all mud baths end up with fooling around and we were all covered in mud ourselves before long.
And now we seriously need a proper bath…
Swim with Elephants in Thailand River
Finally after getting all brown and baked, time to head to the river to wash and go swim with these playful elephants!
Warning, it will be loads of water and splashing and crazy fun!!
The elephants were having a blast and so were we, going crazy in the freezing cold and have gone utterly delirious. It was nice to also know that these elephants don’t get showered too many times a day just for the sake of getting more rounds of tours, and the owners really care and love these creatures in the Elephant Sanctuary Thailand.
So after getting all nice and clean, we ended the tour with a lovely Phad Thai lunch at the picturesque Maewang waterfall, soaking in the sun.
Hence concludes our amazing experience Elephant Care Tour with Chiang Mai Elephant Legend Tour. Founder and guide Pamela and her team were simply amazing and heartwarming and we all left with lovely memories of Chiang Mai and their majestic beasts.
Should you be interested to see how you can join this amazing Chiang Mai Elephant tour and experience, contact them at their Chiang Mai Elephant Legend Facebook Page.