Chiang Dao Elephant Camp: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Steve and I were lucky enough to be able to spend three nights in Chiang Mai City, home to nearly one million people.  In hindsight I would have opted to cut a few beach days to hang out here a bit longer.  Chiang Mai City is a mix of modern and old with a charming vibe.  There are a few places that I could see myself living - Chiang Mai is definitely one of them.  Not only for the chill city vibe - but the surrounding area offers a wealth of activity opportunities.

On the second day we were scheduled to visit The Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre.  There are a few other training camps in Chiang Mai - some that are really popular for tourists and some where you can learn to ride an elephant bareback like a Mahout {a person who rides an elephant}.  From what I learned our camp falls in the middle.  And thankfully when we were as there was a group of us less than 15.

It's probably pretty surprising that I am not afraid to ride an elephant - but there is just something peaceful about these giant animals.   This part of the trip was definitely one of my favourites.  We were able to watch the Mahout's bathe the elephants, we fed them bananas, we watched them paint, and we rode them into the rainforest and through a river.  The entire days was enjoyable.  If you ever have a chance to do this - PLEASE DO IT!  This is why.

Seriously?!  I think my heart melted in this moment. 

And just in case you want to see it live - a video!  And a really goofy laugh.  Enjoy!

And then I died and went to heaven
I am convinced that they breed these kitties to keep the mice away - because you know - elephants are afraid of mice.  Was that myth busted?
Check out my other Thailand posts here:


  1. Elephants AND cats? That place is like heaven on earth. Great pictures!

  2. Em you definitely became a great photographer! These photos are amazing :)

  3. That photo of you on the bridge is EPIC. Oh, my gosh. Em! That photo is wonderful!

    And can you please ship those kittens to me?! Ahhhhhh! #catlady

  4. wow what an incredible opportunity!

  5. What an awesome opportunity and the pictures you got, ahhhhhhmazing....seriously.

  6. These photos are awesome!!
    And holy crap. Riding an elephant is on my bucket list - you are soooo lucky!!!

  7. Great shots!! I love, love, love the one holding the other's tail- but they're all seriously good images. Also, your video hand is SOOOOOO steady. All of mine end up like Blair Witch Project! Love this post!

  8. Great adventure and you did an exceptional job capturing it. I especially love the painting one. Such peculiar, strange, awesome creatures they are.

  9. Oh my...the trunk to tail picture is gorgeous!
    It seems like a really peaceful place :)
    I've alway wanted to give an elephant a bath.
    Maybe they are taking job applications?

  10. It looks absolutely amazing! I love these gorgeous photographs. I went on an elephant ride in Phuket a few years ago, and it was incredible! Lovely post.


  11. Wow - what a wonderful trip. Your pictures are friggin' gorgeous!

  12. these photos are amazing!!!
    and those kittens I just shrieked a little when I saw the pic :)

  13. I LOVE ELEPHANTS!!! sorry I screamed...this post just made me so happy. :)

  14. WHATTTTTTTTTT! I am adding this to my life list of things I must do one day. How amazing! I can't believe you rode an elephant, fed the, saw them paint (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that!}, saw them "hold hands" trunk to tale... Thanks for sharing your incredible photos and video!

  15. Emily, this is so so amazing, I couldn't believe what I was seeing on your post. Thank you so much for linking up:)


Thanks for dropping by Hope Squared. If you like the things I have to say - I would love to read what you have to say.