Thailand Diaries // Baan Chang Elephant Park

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Hi everyone! We have arrived back in London safe and sound after our three weeks away! A three week holiday was so amazing and felt like we had been away for so long! We were so lucky to have the opportunity to do everything that we did and we had some truly incredible experiences and have made some memories for life.

Continuing with our Thailand Diaries, today I’m going to tell you about one of my favourite things we did from the entire trip; going to visit an elephant sanctuary. I have been to Thailand before and although I was mostly keen to try new things, I knew I wanted to stick with the elephant park I went to last time. It was so amazing and they treated their elephants so well I thought it would be silly to try and find another which was as good.

Baan Chang Elephant Park means ‘Home of the Elephants’ (Baan meaning home and Chang meaning elephant) in Thai. They pride themselves on reducing elephants from the logging industry and from the cruel ‘shows’ which unfortunately still go on in parts of Thailand. These elephants would not be able to be released into the wild as they are too tame, but they give them a home and look after them very well. All the elephants have a ‘mahout’: a Thai man who stays with them and builds a relationship with them and teaches them basic commands.

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Our day with the elephants was one of, if not the, most memorable experiences of the entire trip.  They are truly majestic creatures and so much bigger than you could ever imagine in real life! It was a real honour to spend the day helping to look after them.  In the morning we were introduced to some of the elephants and were able to feed them their ‘morning snack’ – about 3 baskets full of bananas and sugar cane each! I had no idea how much elephants need to eat!  This was great fun because they are so cheeky particularly the younger ones, stealing food out of our hands that was meant for other elephants and so on.  They really are playful animals and have got a real personality of their own!

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After lunch we had the opportunity to ride our elephant which we had been looking after. I know this is a bit of a controversial topic and some people don’t agree with it but at Baan Chang they don’t use cages, seats or any kind of contraption for the visitors to ride the elephants; we sat on them bare back and went on a short trek which was their daily exercise. The park maintain that in traditional Thai culture an elephant is looked after by his mahout friend for his whole life and he will carry him around on his back without any trouble, therefore they do not mind being ridden as long as it is not using chairs or cages which hurt their skin. Riding this huge creature through the jungle was amazing and I felt like we really got close to our elephant and developed a bond of trust – although it was scary at first!

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The last part of the day was definitely the best; bathing our elephant in the lake! This was a beautiful experience. The elephants love it! We each were given a bucket and scrubbing brush and as we brushed them with the water they laid down on their side and kicked about playing like children!! Then they started squirting their trunks everywhere! It was hilarious and something I will never forget.

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If you are visiting Chiang Mai I would thoroughly recommend the Baan Chang Elephant park for your elephant experience. In my opinion they get the right balance of education and fun! Definitely one to tick off the bucket list. Although I could do it again and again!

Look out for my next Thailand Diaries – when we move on to the bright lights of Bangkok!

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17 Comments

  1. New York Cliche January 16, 2017 / 5:46 pm

    What an amazing experience and incredible pictures! I want to read all you Thailand posts now and start saving to visit myself!! Brilliant.

    • Jessica Emily January 16, 2017 / 5:50 pm

      Thank you! I’ve just started writing up all our diaries so keep an eye out there will be many more! Thanks for reading xx

  2. Skylar Elizabeth January 16, 2017 / 5:49 pm

    This is such a lovely post. Your photos are incredible too!

  3. Zehra January 16, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    Wow, those photos look amazing! It seems like it was a great experience to be a part of. I’m now off to google Thailand some more haha!

    • Jessica Emily January 16, 2017 / 6:09 pm

      It really is a beautiful country and its so diverse! You can really have an amazing holiday out there. Thanks for reading lovely xx

  4. Sophie January 16, 2017 / 6:00 pm

    Looks like such a wonderful experience! I adore Asia as a travel destination, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea are higher in my list than Thailand but wow your post has really impressed me ~ that’s the kind of experience I would really love, plus you were able to ride an elephant without exploiting them horribly.

    I’m glad you had such a wonderful time, the photos looked great <3 xx

    sophieannetaylor.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily January 16, 2017 / 6:11 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes they are getting much better at looking after the elephants in these sanctuaries now and the old style cruel ones are becoming less and less thankfully ☺️🐘 Vietnam is next on my bucket list too! It’s so different from Thailand xx

  5. xoJenny January 16, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    That is so incredible, I have chills from reading that and now I wish so badly I could have an elephant as a pet LOL But seriously that is once in a lifetime kind of experience- that is so great that you guys were able to take on such a great opportunity like that. Elephants blow my mind with how gentle, playful, they are for their size and capability! Thank you for sharing this experience with us all.

    xo, JJ

  6. whimsicalella January 16, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    I’ve been following your Thai adventures on Instagram and have been very envious! It looks like you had an amazing time at the elephant park, I’m glad you got so much out of it 😊 Hoping I can make it there one day, I love elephants!

  7. melissa January 16, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    Oh my god this looks amazing!! Going to Thailand & going to an elephant sanctuary is on my bucket list & this post has made me want to do it even more!
    Your pictures are amazing!!
    Glad you had a fab time!
    Love, Melissa x
    lovemelissax.blogspot.co.uk

    • Jessica Emily January 17, 2017 / 9:45 pm

      Thanks so much Melissa! It’s definitely a ‘bucket list’ worthy experience – I’d recommend it to anyone! Thanks for reading Hun xx

  8. Crutchesoflife January 16, 2017 / 8:45 pm

    Looks like such an amazing experience, I’d love to be so close to a elephant! X

    • Jessica Emily January 17, 2017 / 9:46 pm

      It’s kind of intimidating in some respects – but so amazing! Xx

    • Jessica Emily January 23, 2017 / 6:10 pm

      I love them so much, they are such beautiful animals! xx

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