1. Overview

Chiang Rai is a land of outstanding natural beauty, blessed with abundant attractions and ancient historical sites. Tourist attractions are diverse, from ancient monuments and Buddhist temples to beautiful mountain landscapes and villages.

In Chiang Rai, visitors can walk around the night market, enjoy the unique local street food culture, and especially visit the Chiang Rai elephant sanctuary. It is important that these Chiang Rai elephant sanctuaries take the welfare of elephants very seriously and do not allow riding or playing with elephants. The famous elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai is a place to take care of elephants that will surely bring you the most relaxing moments and the best experience when you come here.

2. The two most famous Chiang Rai Elephant Sanctuaries

2.1. Elephant Peace Project

Elephant Peace Project was established in July 2016 and hopes to make a difference in elephant protection in Thailand. The Elephant Peace Project, located near Chiang Rai, is a sustainable ecotourism initiative. Since 2016, the project has been run by indigenous Karen people and elephant owners. The park prioritizes protecting the health of elephants and enforces a strict no-riding policy.

This project aims to support animal shelters, preserve traditional culture, and support education and healthcare for hill tribes. Every visit is an opportunity to make a positive impact and learn from the Karen community. Here you will learn to be a mahout for a day and learn how to take care of elephants in the traditional Karen way; experience the culture and history of the hill tribe and how they connect with elephants; feed, interact with, and bathe with elephants in their natural habitat; Learn about wild elephant conservation efforts in Thailand.

Like many other elephant sanctuaries in northern Thailand, the Elephant Peace Project is primarily focused on elephant health rather than entertainment or profit. In addition, they encourage you to participate in half-day, 1-day, or 2-day programs or volunteer for traditional Karen elephant care. The Karen people have always worked and lived with elephants and treat them as part of their family, not as working animals or pets.

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The Elephant Peace Project in Chiang Rai will give visitors an exciting opportunity to spend time learning about the daily activities of elephants in their natural habitat as well as the history of the animals. this wild animal. After being introduced by your guide, you will change into traditional clothes and meet cute, gentle elephants. Play with, feed, and bathe them like real friends.


Programs at the Elephant Peace Project offer participants the opportunity to have an in-depth experience of the Karen way of life. Enjoy an unforgettable experience with the animals close to their natural habitat and learn about the importance of the Asian elephant and its conservation in Thailand. In addition, you will learn how to cook Karen’s lunches and prepare herbal medicines, both beneficial to humans and elephants. If you require a modified lunch (vegetarian or vegetarian due to certain allergies), please inform the guide in advance.

Especially in the volunteer program, you will experience daily life with the locals by helping out on the farm, hunting in the forest, and visiting remote hill tribe villages. Help distribute food packages to people who are unable to take care of themselves or improve their facilities, such as by building new bathrooms, providing suitable sewage, etc. The Elephant Peace Project recommends a minimum stay of one week.

You’ll also have free time to explore the area on your own by motorcycle or bicycle, visit local temples, visit beautiful waterfalls, or go mountain biking between forests and rice fields. The price for the volunteer program only includes accommodation, food, and general expenses (see it as a donation).

2.2. Elephant Steps Chiang Rai

At Elephant Steps Chiang Rai, you will be walking with elephants in the forest, returning with elephants to their natural home, and having lunch in the forest with bamboo cooking utensils. These are the activities you can experience when coming to Elephant Steps in Chiang Rai.

Elephant Steps Chiang Rai was founded by a French woman, Sophie, who has lived in Thailand for over 20 years and married a Thai from the Karen tribe. In addition to hosting people through their guesthouse, they also collect elephants from “circus/riding intensive” tourist camps to provide them with a peaceful retirement.

Elephant Steps also has a partnership with the Kat Pat Association, which aims to help abandoned animals, vaccinate them, and treat sick animals in the mountainous villages of northern Thailand. 

The cost of one day for you to go to Elephant Steps Chiang Rai to experience it is 70.74 USD per person, and part of the proceeds will be donated to associations.

After drinking tea and feeding the elephants bananas and bamboo, you will dress in traditional costumes. When ready, the elephants begin to walk through the forest at their own pace, and you follow them with the mahout.

At Elephant Steps Chiang Rai, you will see elephants living their natural lives in a beautiful setting and not being forced to do things to entertain us. You can stay for more than a day; there are options to spend the night and spend time with locals from the hill tribes.

If you book a one-day tour, you will be introduced to the reserve. Then you change into traditional Karen clothes, and they will show you how to feed the elephants. You walk with the elephants and some dogs, and a guide and mahout feed each elephant through forest trails for 3–4 km, or about an hour. You stop for a wonderful lunch prepared by a local woman and eat by a small lake, and you can go bamboo rafting here.

3. Notes When Visiting Chiang Rai Elephant Sanctuary

Since this is a jungle adventure, you should bring some insect repellent, sunscreen, and a hat or cap. 

Please prepare bathing suits, towels, and extra clothes to enjoy the mud bath. 

Since you will be bathing with the elephants, you should bring a change of clothes and a towel. 

Bring personal belongings, as well as, if necessary, your personal medicine.

4. Conclusion

The above article about two famous elephant sanctuary in Chiang Rai that Metta Voyage has shared with you will give you more information to help you have a great trip to learn about and discover the life of elephants there. Here you go. If you have any questions about the trip, you can contact us immediately.

5. Contact us

Website: www.mettavoyage.com

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