Over Night Stay At Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai Thailand

Photo by Karoline Hood. Rescued elephants at Elephant Nature Park

Photo by Karoline Hood. Rescued elephants at Elephant Nature Park

Photo by Karoline Hood. Rescued elephants and mahout at Elephant Nature Park.

Photo by Karoline Hood. Rescued elephants and mahout at Elephant Nature Park.

Sangdue “Lek” Chailert and her husband, Darrick Thomson.

Sangdue “Lek” Chailert and her husband, Darrick Thomson.

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My stay at Elephant Nature Park
If you love elephants, it doesn't get any better than this. Before I visited Elephant Nature Park, I researched their organisation to make sure there was no abuse and booked a two day one night stay.
 

I was travelling solo, and I was picked up from my hostel by Jane who would be my guide for the duration of my stay. We went on to pick up six other elephant lovers. On the way to the sanctuary, we were shown a  graphic video of the barbaric way many elephants are treated for the use of elephant riding, circuses and logging. As we got nearer to the sanctuary, I saw locals and tourists riding elephants, and my heart sank.  
 

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Once at the Park Jane instructed us how to behave around the elephants and how to feed them from a platform. 

We then went on to meet more elephant herds who are freely roaming around the sanctuary. Jane knew all their names and all their stories. There were plenty of other visitors apart from us, and Jane did an excellent job of making sure that we were the only group of visitors around each elephant herd at one time. At times we just sat back and watched the elephant families splashing and playing in the river where they looked so happy. Reminded me of when I see African elephants in the wild playing with the herd. Other times we were surrounded by elephant herds. There were so many surreal moments. 
 

Up close with elephants at elephant Nature Park.

Up close with elephants at elephant Nature Park.

Lunch and dinner were a vegetarian buffet with a wide variety of delicious food, some of the best food I have had. But get in line early because the line gets long. 
 

Vegan food. Photo by Karoline Hood

Vegan food. Photo by Karoline Hood

My accommodation was a cosy room with a mosquito net, comfortable bed and a balcony.
 

Rescued cat at Elephant Nature Park.

Rescued cat at Elephant Nature Park.

It's a common sight to see rescued cats and dogs relaxing at Elephant Nature Park.

Ways to help.
There are many ways people can help to make a difference.
Visit, volunteer, donate and other ways to help.
Avoid elephant riding camps, circuses, no demand, no business.
Education, spread the word, about the elephants in the tourist trade. 

There is plenty to do in Chiang Mai, and you wont break the bank. 

Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilises the entire body as a weapon. I train in Muay Thai in New York at Five Points Academy, so I had to take in some classes in Thailand. I visited Lanna Muay Thai Gym, which has morning and afternoon classes with one on one trainer who does pad work with you. The heat made the afternoon class harder, but I prefered it as there were more students to connect with and training sessions were longer.

Muay Thai training camp.

Muay Thai training camp.

You can also go and watch Muay Thai fights, two stadiums show fights, very entertaining.

Watching Muay Thai fights in Chiang Mai

Watching Muay Thai fights in Chiang Mai

The Sunday Night Market is well worth a visit. It is a large market located right in the centre of the old walled city area of Chiang Mai. It's great for gift shopping and some beautiful clothes and bags.

I wanted to try a Thai massage, and there are plenty of places and very affordable, I visited  Lila Thai Massage which was, upscale, professional, quiet and clean. 

There are lots of temples , some people take a temple tour with a guide. I just wandered into one every time I walked past one.

Chiang Mai Temples

Chiang Mai Temples