The Elephant Nature Park In Chiang Mai, Thailand

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand and it was the most unforgettable experience. I already want to go back and do the 7 Day Surin Project.

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai Thailand

This specific program – The Karen Elephant Experience – takes a small group two hours outside the city of Chiang Mai, deep into the mountains of Thailand for one day. Once you arrive to the sanctuary you not only walk with, feed, bathe and swim with the elephants, but they also educate you on the dark side of tourism and how we can make a difference.

The Elephant Nature Park is one of the only non-profit organizations that rescues and rehabilitates elephants. They have created a safe haven that allows the elephants to roam free and they are only trained with positive reinforcement – food. Any park that lets you ride the elephants is supporting a bad cause. It is extremely unfortunate that most of society has no idea what elephants have to go through before they are able to be ridden.

IMG_5164

Why You Should Never Ride An Elephant

In Asia, baby elephants are taken from their mothers and then trained for these tourism companies. This process is called “phajaan” which is a term that means to crush the elephants spirit so they will listen to every command. This “training” includes putting the elephant into a tiny cage, tied up by chains and ropes, with no food or water for days while being tortured with spears and whips until their spirits are broken – they essentially give up on life. Because elephants are so intelligent – this can lead the elephants to become mentally unstable and develop severe depression to the point that they try to kill themselves by stepping on their own trunks. Once the elephant completes “phajaan” they are sold to illegal logging companies and tourism companies which use them for elephant rides, live painting sessions and circuses. That viral video you saw of the elephants painting – there is someone with a nail in their ear forcing them to paint. The elephants that give rides around Angkor Wat – they use nails there too to control them.

The Elephant Nature Park is a much more intimate and real experience rather than riding an elephant which actually really hurts their backs despite their large size. It only costs $28,000 to save an elephant from tourism boards and logging companies.

I have chosen the Elephant Nature Park as my first organization to donate a percentage of profits to from my new silk scarves line A.M. CLUB. I created 4 elephant designs with artist Bruna Siquiera from Brazil which you can see below and shop here.

Let’s make a difference.

am club

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai Thailand

Below I am going to take you through what the Karen Elephant Nature Park experience was like.

Karen Elephant Experience

Meet the elephants and feed them

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai Thailand

Elephants in Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Hike through the forest together

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, ThailandElephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, ThailandElephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

IMG_4748

Enjoy a vegan lunch with everyone

IMG_4789

12671750_1032312846835581_4990554295766444121_o

Mud bath time

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

IMG_4860

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, ThailandElephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

980739_1032321320168067_225584089519058933_o

12909652_1032320866834779_65368517095599400_o

IMG_4808

 

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand     Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, ThailandElephant Nature Park Chiang Mai Thailand

After the mud bath, head over to the water hole to rinse the elephants off

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

IMG_4932

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephant Nature Park Chiang Mai, Thailand

 Encourage more people to visit the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand and educate them on why they should never ride elephants.

Pin for later

Elephant Nature Park In Chiang Mai, Thailand

Share