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The 8 Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Chiang Mai

The 10 Best Elephant Sanctuaries in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is famous for its beautiful temples and breathtaking gardens. However, this part of Thailand is also home to some of the best elephant sanctuaries in the country, making this the perfect venue for you and your family to interact with the gentle giants.

There are a number of these sanctuaries here but which ones are worth your time and which ones should you go to first? We list down some of the best elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai to help you make that decision!

Chiang Mai – Karen Tribe Native Elephants (Office)


Address: Chiang Mai Thailand

Contact details: [email protected]; WhatsApp : +66-871828959

Operating hours: Sunday: Closed


  • 1 Day Trip (2 guests sharing 1 elephant 3,000 THB per person; 1 elephant per guest 5,000 THB per person)
  • 1 Day & Overnight Stay: 8,000 THB per person (1 person to 1 elephant)

We recently visited the Chiang Mai – Karen Tribe Native Elephants sanctuary and were deeply impressed by the quality of their services. The staff were incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, providing us with a rich understanding of the elephants and their natural behaviors.

Moreover, the efficiency of the sanctuary’s operations ensured a smooth and enjoyable experience. We were promptly greeted, given clear instructions, and guided seamlessly through various activities without any delays.

Additionally, the sanctuary offered a range of affordable packages that catered to different interests and budgets. We felt that the experience provided excellent value for money, especially considering the personalized attention and care we received.

Furthermore, the facilities at the sanctuary were well-maintained and thoughtfully designed. Clean restrooms, comfortable waiting areas, and accessible pathways made our visit convenient and pleasant.

The sanctuary’s commitment to the welfare of the elephants was evident in every aspect of their operations. We appreciated the ethical approach they took, prioritizing the well-being of the animals over profit.

Notably, we were impressed by the interactive and educational activities offered. Feeding, bathing, and walking with the elephants allowed us to connect with these majestic creatures in a meaningful way.

In addition, the staff’s communication skills were exceptional. They provided clear explanations and were always available to answer our questions, enhancing our understanding and enjoyment of the experience.

Overall, our time at the Chiang Mai – Karen Tribe Native Elephants sanctuary was unforgettable. We left with a deeper appreciation for elephant conservation and the dedicated efforts of the Karen Tribe to protect these gentle giants.

Pro tip: 

  • Book in Advance: The Chiang Mai – Karen Tribe Native Elephants sanctuary is a popular destination for those wanting an ethical and immersive elephant experience. To ensure you get a spot, especially during peak tourist seasons, book your visit well in advance. This also allows the sanctuary to plan better and provide a more personalized experience for you.
  • Wear Appropriate Clothing: When visiting the sanctuary, be prepared for a hands-on experience with the elephants. Wear comfortable, durable clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty, as activities often include feeding, bathing, and walking with the elephants. Additionally, bring a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, as much of the experience takes place outdoors.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (Office)



Address: 119/10 Thapae Rd Chang Klan, Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50100

Contact details: 

Operating hours: Contact for more information

Price: Check here for more information

We recently visited the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai and found it to be an extraordinary experience. The sanctuary’s commitment to exceptional veterinary care truly sets it apart, with a team of dedicated veterinarians ensuring each elephant receives top-notch medical attention.

Moreover, the sanctuary operates with impressive efficiency, making the entire visit seamless and enjoyable. From the moment we arrived, the well-organized staff provided clear instructions and guided us through each activity with ease.

Furthermore, the affordability of the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is remarkable given the quality of care and facilities. Various package options accommodate different budgets, allowing for a memorable experience without financial strain.

Additionally, the facilities at the sanctuary are well-maintained and thoughtfully designed to enhance the visitor experience. Clean restrooms, comfortable resting areas, and accessible pathways contributed to a hassle-free visit.

Notably, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is distinguished by its prestigious ACES Golden Award for Elephant Welfare. This accolade reflects their unwavering commitment to ethical treatment, setting a high standard for elephant sanctuaries worldwide.

In addition, the sanctuary’s pride and extensive support for over 100 elephants across Thailand are truly commendable. This expansive reach highlights their dedication to making a significant impact on elephant welfare, ensuring that visitors contribute to a worthy cause.

Moreover, we were impressed by the interactive and educational experiences offered at the sanctuary. Activities such as feeding, bathing, and walking with the elephants provided meaningful interactions and deepened our understanding of these majestic creatures.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary’s blend of outstanding veterinary care, award-winning practices, and broad support for elephant welfare makes it a standout destination. Our visit left us with a profound appreciation for the sanctuary’s efforts and the magnificent elephants they protect.

Pro tip: 

  • Participate in the Full-Day Visit: If your schedule allows, opt for the full-day visit at Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. This extended visit gives you more time to interact with the elephants, including feeding, bathing, and walking with them. Additionally, you’ll gain deeper insights into their behaviors and the sanctuary’s conservation efforts through more comprehensive educational sessions.
  • Bring a Waterproof Camera: Many activities at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, such as bathing the elephants in the river, are highly photogenic but can get wet. A waterproof camera or a protective case for your phone will ensure you capture these memorable moments without worrying about water damage. This way, you can take stunning photos and videos of your interactions with the elephants to cherish and share.

Chiang Mai Elephant Land 


Address: Kotchasarn Rd, Tambon Chang Moi, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand  

Contact details:  +66866589122

Operating hours: 

  •   Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM


  •  Around 2,300 THB per person

This is one of the most unique elephant sanctuaries you can visit here in Chiang Mai. 

Chiang Mai Elephant Land is the only sanctuary that has its own farm and allows its elephants to go free-range which is perfect if you want to observe them in their natural habitat. 

You’ll also be taught how to make herbal remedies for these gentle animals while you watch them walk around against the green backdrop offered by the Doi Inthanon forest. If you’re also into trekking, this sanctuary will let you do so through its rice terrace.

Pro tip: 

  • We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes here in case you decide to go trekking around the sanctuary
  • You should also make sure to have your camera or phone ready as this sanctuary is the perfect venue for you to take pictures or videos of elephants going about their daily lives in their natural habitats.

Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary


Address: Ban Tuek, Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai 64130, Thailand  

Contact details:  +66644803581

Operating hours: 

  •   Monday to Friday and for reservation only


  • 7,000 THB for adults
  • 3,500 THB for children

This is one of the most ethical sanctuaries here in Chiang Mai as its main goal is to rescue elephants from maltreatment and prevent them from unethical practices. Due to their passion to protect elephants, there are a couple of things you can’t do here.

Keep in mind that Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary will only allow no-contact interaction with its elephants. This means that you can only watch them from afar in order to promote their social and survival skills.

So what does this mean for you during your visit? This means that you and the other guests won’t be allowed to ride, feed, and bathe the elephants here.

This shouldn’t be a concern for you though, as it is equally entertaining to watch sanctuary staff do all of the hard work for the elephants while you observe them (both staff and elephants interacting with each other!) from afar.

Pro tip:

  • Your ticket to Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary should already include meals for your trip here. However, we recommend that you bring some drinks just in case you get thirsty in the middle of the tour.

Patara Elephant Farm


Address: Ban Pong, Hang Dong District, Chiang Mai 50230, Thailand  

Contact details:  +66 98 549 3644

Operating hours:

  • Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM 


  • Around 3,200 THB to 5,800 THB (depending on your preferred activity) 

We like this sanctuary (and we think you will too) as they promote a holistic approach when it comes to elephant welfare. This is because Patara Elephant Farm doesn’t only focus on elephant rescue but also on elephant reproduction and re-introduction.

Here, you can learn all about the importance of keeping elephants from dwindling in numbers and avoiding extinction. It’s a noble cause indeed and your visit to this sanctuary will actually help this goal of keeping elephants healthy and safe.

Once you get to this sanctuary, we highly recommend that you try out their most popular activity called “Elephant Owner for a Day”. This program will allow you to be a hands-on caretaker of an elephant for the entire day or at least half a day.

This chance to be an elephant owner even for a day is an opportunity you definitely shouldn’t miss!

Pro tip:

  • “Elephant Owner for a Day” is just 1 of the 8 programs or activities being offered by the Patara Elephant Farm. There are other forms of programs available here so it’s best to ask the sanctuary’s staff about them.

Into The Wild Elephant Camp


Address: 52/1-2 Changhua Rd, Tambon Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand  

Contact details: +66 83 485 0888  

Operating hours: 

  •   Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM


  •  Around 2,400 THB for a one-day visit
  • Around 5,000 THB for an overnight visit

Into the Wild Elephant Camp isn’t just about elephant welfare as you’ll find out as soon as you get to this sanctuary. Surprisingly, it also focuses on developing the local community of the area known as the Karen Hill Tribe.

The sanctuary supports the said local tribe by offering them job opportunities at the sanctuary and by regularly providing them with clothes and other supplies. Hence, don’t be surprised to find a number of these hill tribe folks assisting you while you’re here.

Of course, Into The Wild Elephant Camp also has programs that highlight the importance of elephant welfare. Most of these programs will involve you and other guests preparing herbal medicines and treats for these majestic animals.

Pro tip:

  • Look for the perfect spot around the mud puddles in this sanctuary as you may get the chance to take photos and videos of these rescued elephants enjoying a relaxing mud spa with their family and friends!

Happy Elephant Home Sanctuary


Address: Kuet Chang, Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai 50150, Thailand  

Contact details: +66982963994  

Operating hours: 

  •   Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM


  • Around 2,400 THB for a one-day visit
  • Around 1,800 THB for a half-day visit

You might be wondering if the elephants in the Happy Elephant Home Sanctuary are indeed happy. Well, we can guarantee you they sure are!

The elephants you’ll meet here were mostly rescued from a life of hard labour or captivity. Some of them could have even come from logging operations– an industry that can be very hard on elephants.

Fortunately, the elephants you get to encounter here are now living a happy and fulfilling life in the sanctuary. What’s more, they aren’t restricted by any barriers or fences while strolling around the area– perfect for taking unobstructed photos of these gentle giants!

Pro tip:

  • Since there are no fences here, sanctuary staff will ask you to wear what the local hill tribe folks wear. This Karen Hill Tribe dress will help put the elephants at ease and make them think you are part of the local community as well!

BEES- Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary 


Address: 34 หมู่ 1, Tambon Chang Keung, Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai 50270, Thailand  

Contact details: +66 86 197 2519  

Operating hours: 

  • Tuesday and Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
  • Closed on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday


  •  Pricing is to be determined based on your preferred program

Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary was founded in 2011 and it was initiated by the founders in response to the abhorrent conditions they witnessed being inflicted on elephants. 

Don’t be surprised then, if you find this sanctuary to be one of the most ethical ones in Chiang Mai. You can observe the elephants from afar while they go about their lives in the most natural habitat you can ever imagine.

In addition, the elephants of Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary are fed local produce purchased from farmers. This is part of the sanctuary’s attempt to give back to the community– something that you can share with your friends to promote buying locally!

Pro tip:

  • If you happen to visit this sanctuary during the rainy season, you’ll also get the chance to do some tree planting inside the venue. 
  • We really liked this add-on as it not only helps save the environment but also gives future generations a tree to look forward to.

Elephant Nature Park


Address:  1 Ratchamanka Rd, Tambon Phra Sing, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand

Contact details:  +6653272855 

Operating hours: 

  • Will depend on your reservation, either half-day morning, half-day afternoon single day, or overnight stay  


  • Around 2,500 THB for adults
  • Around 1,250 THB for children

The Elephant Nature Park is definitely a sanctuary you need to visit when in Chiang Mai. Its founder, Lek Chailert, is one of the most respected elephant conservationists and you can see and feel it through how ethically the elephants are treated here.

For example, one of the main programs you’ll witness at the Elephant Nature Park is called “Saddle Off”. This program will teach you and your family how locals can make a living without having to subject the poor elephants to a life of unethical tourist rides.

Pro tip:

  • This sanctuary is located 60 kilometres away from Chiang Mai City. If you’re coming from Chiang Mai, we suggest that you leave earlier than your scheduled visit to arrive on time.

Karen Elephant Retreat 


Address: Mae Win, Mae Wang District, Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand 

Contact details: +66 81 235 5169  

Operating hours: 

  • Will depend on your reservation


  • Around 2,500 THB for adults
  • Around 1,250 THB for children 

If you want to enjoy a challenging jungle trek before interacting with rescued elephants, then Karen Elephant Retreat might just be the sanctuary you’re looking for. Here, you can do some steep hill climbing and jungle trekking before starting your tour.

Once done, you can proceed with the sanctuary’s program where you’ll be tasked with making elephant food. While making food for these amazing creatures, you can also watch them as they fool around with their friends while ripping bamboo shoots!

Pro tip:

  • If you plan on going on a jungle trek here, we recommend that you wear comfortable shoes or (better yet) hiking shoes. The climb up top is quite steep and you’ll need hiking shoes with good traction and grip.
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