While in Chiang Mai, we adopted an elephant for the day at Patara Elephant Farm. There are so many places where you can go for elephant rides in Thailand, but if you watch the elephants, you know they aren’t being treated the way they should be. Patara actually rescues elephants and by adopting one for the day, you’re supporting the organization and promoting the continued rescue of these gentle giants.
When we first got to the farm, we were introduced to a mommy elephant and her two babies. One was 3 months old and the other around two years old.
We were each given a tunic to wear over our clothes. The elephants see us wearing them and recognize that we’re helping care for them for the day.
Our guide taught us about elephants and how to tell if they’re happy and healthy. One of the signs is how much they poop! We each got an up close view and smell of healthy elephant poop!
The 5 of us on the tour were then assigned our own elephants for the day. We got to feed them, wash them in the river, and ride them. The elephants were all very friendly and loved sugar cane!
We rode the elephants to our lunch spot by a little pond. Everyone thought lunch was delicious! Afterwards, the elephants got to play in the pond and we were able to wash them and play with them again. The water was really cold, but the experience was worth it!
I didn’t want the day to ever end! We rode our elephants back to where our van was and had one last opportunity to take pictures with a bunch of them.
At one point, one of the bigger elephants got a little too curious and decided to run into the side of our van! Luckily we weren’t inside when it happened, haha. We all thought it was hilarious, but the bus driver didn’t think so. With 5 happy customers, an elephant head sized dent in the side of our van, and our guide, we all headed back to Chiang Mai.
I’d highly recommend the Patara Elephant Farm if you want an unforgettable encounter with elephants while in Thailand!