Elephants play a very important role in Thailand’s culture and heritage, and throughout history have become a victim of absue for tourism.
In more recent years, sanctuaries have been established, allowing tourists to experience a nuturing enviroment; and has become increasingly popular and a must-do in Thailand.
When I was visiting Chiang Mai in April 2019, I checked in at my hostel and picked a couple of Elephant sanctuary leaflets from the stand. I chose to book a white water rafting, elephant care, small trek and waterfall tour with Toto’s Elehant Sanctuary
Setting off at 8:00am with a hotel pick-up, a short drive led us into the jungle for our first stop, white water rafting.
Depending on the time of the year and the water level, you’ll be rafting for around an hour before heading to the elephant camp.
Arriving at the camp, I was greeted by three adult, and one baby elephant; and spent the afternoon, feeding them and learning about their personalities.
Lunch was provided on the tour, and it is absolutely delicious. We all laughed, and joked and was amused by the baby elephant who played with the resident chickens, then get spooked when the chickens would walk towards him and run away spinning his trunk.
After lunch, the group went on an small trek; where the elephants walk and explore the jungle at their own pace while we walked beside them before making our way back to camp; giving the elephants a mud bath, then heading into the river to bathe and wash off the mud.
We said goodbye to the elephants before heading to Mok Fa Waterfall at Suthep – Pui National Park where we all enjoyed a peaceful hour sunbathing and showering under the waterfall; before arriving back at our hostel at 5pm.
In total, I paid 1,700 baht; the equivilent to £43 (GBP) and it was worth every single penny.