Elephant Trails of Elephant Nature Park (Saddle Off Program), Chiang Mai, Thailand

By Tin Gallemaso - 4:33:00 PM

This is the "Saddle Off" program of Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand and the Sanctuary we visited was Sila Elephant Sanctuary in A.Muang Camp


Elephant Nature Park link: here.
If you're interested in availing this day trip, all the details you'd need should be in the website.

Sila Elephant Sanctuary link: here.



A day spent with an elephant has always been in my bucketlist but I never imagined that I'm going to Chiang Mai alone. hihi #solotraveller

 As soon as I finalized the days that I will be travelling in Chiang Mai, I immediately booked the day trip to the elephant camp. I researched for a bit and Elephant Nature Park is the sanctuary that I found most humane. 

There are a lot of day/overnight tour options in their website but I chose the Saddle Off program which costs 2,500 THB mainly because I read in the itinerary that there is a short forest walk. 


I traveled to Thailand in July and it was the monsoon season which explains the fog and the rain. It was the perfect day for me though because the weather was cool and I love being surrounded by fog while in the mountain. 


After a bit of orientation, we changed to their traditional clothes, kept our things in the locker and proceeded to this area to feed the elephants. 



This is the closest I got to an elephant. 

The picture may look like they were small but they weren't haha! I was standing on an elevated ground when I took this picture.


After a bit of feeding, we were told to walk towards the mountain. It wasn't supposed to be a difficult hike but because of the non-stop rain, the trail has become muddy and slippery. The guides were there to help though so the difficult parts of the trail were all manageable.



It's a good thing that I decided to wear a hiking sandals for my Thailand trip because rubber shoes/trainers would be difficult to clean afterwards. You can opt to borrow rain boots though if you can't wet your shoes.

 


The elephants roamed freely in this area as they were eating plants. We also got some fruits from the trees and fed them to the elephants. It was exciting yet a little scary especially when elephants walk pass by us. 
 

This is Minnie.

The youngest and the most energetic of the bunch. She doesn't eat fruit peels so we had to peel longan first before feeding her.




After the forest walk, we hiked back down to take our lunch.





After our lunch, it was time to feed the elephants once again. Yep! All they did was eat and bathe hahaha!


Our guide taught us how to prepare elephant food.




For these balls, you'd have to put it directly onto the mouth of the elephant unlike banana where you just wait for it to grab it on your hand.


After another eating session, we were directed to the mud bath area.




 This is the dirtiest part of the trip, tbh. haha! You'd have an option to join the elephants in the mud and so you'll get mud splashes... 


  



After the mud bath, we went to the rinsing area. 






So there, after all the activities, it's time to clean yourself as well. We were dropped to our hotels when we got back to Old City, Chiang Mai. It was very convenient, informative, and memorable tour so I am able to recommend it to anyone.
Highlights: (copied and pasted from their website)
Bathing with Elephants
Elephant Food Preparation & Feeding
Short Forest Walk (around 30 minutes)
Elephant Mud Bath
Vegetarian Buffet Lunch
Traditional Thai Lanna Hospitality


I was hesitant to book this tour at first because of the price but I decided to go for it nonetheless. If that is what it takes to be able to spend a memorable with these gentle giants. hehe! I would not have this experience any other way, much better and happier when SADDLED OFF. <3




Bangkok and Chiang Mai Trip Photodump link: here.

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