In the thriving tropical jungle of the Mae Sa Valley of Chiang Mai, a huge family of elephants resides at the Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre alongside their mahout caretakers. The training center is home to one of the largest assembly of elephants in all of Northern Thailand. With its philosophy of creating a natural and healthy environment for the elephants, the centre continues to conserve and breed these adorable creatures that have been suffering from a gradually dwindling count in the wild.
Thai people have always had a heart for elephants since the olden times where they all worked together to log timber, travel across vast terrains and even lead troops to battle. These activities have produced a close relationship between the Thai people and the elephants that has existed for centuries. The art of training an elephant requires much time and endurance as well as a considerate and intimate relationship between the elephant and its mahout.
At the Mae Sa Elephant Training Camp, all elephants are trained to get acquainted with human beings and how to communicate with them. Activities such as bathing, jungle walking, playing games and even developing skills such as painting is all part of the elephant training at Mae Sa. Through training, each elephant’s talents and skills emerge and in time, each of these startlingly intelligent beasts puts on a good show for its visitors.
The Elephant Training Centre has three exciting activities and shows that most of its visitors look forward to. The first is when the Elephants take cool baths at the nearby creek as if prepping just before their stage show. If you come to this show, you will get to see how much these huge creatures enjoy the water and watch as the creek comes to life with huge splashes.
The Elephant Show remains the highlight of the Mae Sa Elephant Camp where many forestry skills and talents are demonstrated by the elephants. See them move heavy logs and demonstrate other skills that have made them vital to Thai forestry. These talented and beautiful animals are trained as they push, pull and roll logs with their tusks and powerful trunks. Get the chance to feed these giant beasts in the show as you might even be among the few lucky ones who can get carried by their trunks.
Finally, the Elephant Art show displays the artistic side of the elephants. See them paint fantastic pictures and even get to chance to purchase one to bring home. These shows take place at different hours of the day so make sure to plan your day ahead of time to catch these amazing elephant presentations. Aside from all these activities lined up, the centre also provides an even more intimate experience with the elephants. Tour the surrounding jungle for more than two hours on the most unique ride you can ever imagine – on the back of the elephants.
The training centre for the elephants is about 30 kilometers away from Chiang Mai. An admission rate of 80 baht is charged per person while the cost to ride on the back of an elephant will be around 250 baht per person. The elephants understand the meaning of applause and appreciate it, so when at the Mae Sa Elephant Training Centre, give them a great applaud of appreciation after each show to spread the love!