The Maesa Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Lowdown!

If you want to get up close and personal with an elephant, you can do so in Northern Thailand near Chiang Mai at the Maesa Elephant Camp. The elephant was domesticated in Thailand about 2,000 years ago to help with teak wood harvesting. Today, it’s estimated about 2,500 elephants remain in Thailand, down from 100,000 a century ago.

If you stay in Chiang Mai, you can hire a taxi driver for about 1300 Thai Bhat round trip to the Maese Elephant Camp. (One US dollar equals about 36 Thai Baht so 1300 Thai Baht equals about $36 US dollars.) From the city center, the drive takes you about 50 minutes. Entry to the camp costs $200 Thai Baht per person (About $5.50 US dollars). And a 25-minute elephant ride for two people costs 1,000 Baht (About $28 US dollars).

Once at the camp where about 70 elephants reside, you can see the pachyderms take a bath in the river.

The elephants also perform a show where they do a variety of activities: throw darts at balloons, kick soccer balls, drag logs and even paint pictures.


There are mahouts or elephant caretakers who reside at the camp. One mahout, Atong, explained that an elephant can live for 100 years and typically eats about 200 kilos of plants in a day.

The mahout will take you on a 25-minute ride around the camp so you can do something you likely have not done before: view the world from atop an elephant.


That’s the Lowdown!

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