Thailand

3-Day Elephants In The Wild: Join In

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Tour type

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 3 Days

tour details

08:00 hoursDepart from Chiang Mai to travel to Mae Chaem District
10:00 hoursOn the way we travel over Doi Inthanon, Thailand's highest mountain towering 2,565 meters above sea level. We enjoy fine views on the drive to the summit and marvel at the summit stupa, which contains the remains of King Inthawidhayanon.
If time permits (& depending on the season) we visit Vachirathan Waterfalls, reachable by a short trail from the parking area. Vachirathan's waters tumble down a granite escarpment, creating a beautiful misty veil.
Please note a national park fee of THB 300 is payable locally and not included in the package price.
13:00 hoursAfter time for some lunch (payable on spot) continue to our Karen village in the Mae Cham Region. We will break the journey on one of the most scenic parts of the journey with the chance to buy some local honey and strawberries.
The scenery in this part of Thailand is absolutely stunning as the road winds itself towards Mae Hong Son District.

16:00 hours In the middle of the afternoon we arrive at our Karen Hill Tribe Village of Huai Phak Kood. The village's location is incredibly picturesque, with rolling hills and fields of crops providing the backdrop.
The village is home to local mahouts who take care of four elephants living in the nearby forest. Along with the elephants, the mahouts previously worked in commercial elephant camps close to Chiang Mai. With the support of the Mahouts Elephants Foundation,
along with their Elephants, they are now able to return to the village, their preferred place to live. The tribe are generous, friendly and hospitable, and after leaving your bags at the charming homestay you will be given a tour of the local village,
visiting the local school and have the chance to try your hand at weaving colourful fabrics and baskets.

19:00 hours Dinner this evening is served in one of the villager's homes. Sit down on cushions on the floor with your local hosts and families to enjoy a typical authentic Karen meal over an open fire.

Tonight's accommodation is in a local homestay. This is a wonderful and truly memorable experience to live like the villagers in an authentic homestay. Whilst a comfortable homestay please be aware that bathrooms are shared and there is no air-conditioning.

Accommodation at Huai Phak Kood Karen Village (Homestay)

Meals included:Dinner
08:00 hoursAfter breakfast, we make the short journey to the forest and begin trekking to find our Elephants. Apart from a daily morning and evening visit by the mahouts, the Elephants are left to themselves to explore the huge forested area,
so it's not always 100% clear exactly where they will be, but the skilled mahouts are able to track their movements and typically we will walk about an hour to an hour and a half to find them.

The experience is all about viewing Elephants in their natural environment in the forest and despite the immersive experience there is no bathing or even touching the elephants and we always stand at a safe distance respecting the elephant's need for space and dignity.
Sometimes we are joined by University Elephant Researchers from different parts of the world. It's a rare opportunity for them to be able to study elephants in their natural environment.

12:00 hoursAfter spending some time observing the elephants we sit down with the mahouts, our guide and researchers (if present) to enjoy a local Karen lunch at our camp.
For the rest of the day we learn how to track elephants in the forest, discover the behaviour of elephants living in the forest and the benefits for elephants of allowing them to forage freely. Seeing them in their natural environment is a unique and unforgettable experience.

This afternoon we also explore a centuries old cave and see how the mahouts are experts at making cups and pots from bamboo. They will show you how they forage in the forest and cook incredible meals over the campfire.

Tonight, we camp under the stars in comfortable tents

Accommodation in a tent in the forest.

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
This morning you are likely to wake to the sounds of wild Gibbons echoing through the forest.

07:30 hoursAfter breakfast we spend some more time with the elephants. They might be found wallowing in mud and cooling down in one of the beautiful streams and rivers. The young elephants are very playful, and guests delight in watching them trunk wrestle and play.

10:00 hoursWe then trek back out of the forest to head back to the Village. On return enjoy a hot shower, have some lunch and leave for the return trip to Chiang Mai.

18:00 hoursWe will arrive back in Chiang Mai at approximately 18:00 where you will be either dropped off at your hotel or at the airport

Meals included: Breakfast
Lunch

includes

  • Accommodation in shared homestay and tent in the forest
  • All sightseeing tour and transfer services with private air-conditioned car/van as detailed in our itinerary
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary B= breakfast, L= lunch, D= dinner
  • Entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program
  • Tours with English Speaking guide
  • Service charges, room tax and baggage handling
  • Drinking water and wet towels available on the vehicles
Tour code: PKCNEIWA

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