The highlight of a visit to Thailand for many, especially to the north of the country, is encounters with elephants. Many discerning visitors do not want simply to visit a camp where the elephants are not the number one priority. At the Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Chiang Saen Chiang Rai, visitors can enjoy elephants that are well looked after and where mahouts are taught just the right touches to command an elephant.
The Golden Triangle Elephant Camp started off as a traditional mahout village in 2003 and developed into a fully fledged elephant camp and as a refuge for street elephants with more than 25 elephants of all ages and genders, including babies born in the camp. The camp also supports 60 people whose lives are intertwined with those of the elephants.
Visitors can have both learning and fun experiences here. One of the unforgettable learning experiences is mahout training. As a trainee mahout, visitors get to learn the basics of how to guide an elephant with the use of special verbal commands and light prods behind the year. Bonding with the animal by feeding and bathing is an important part of the training. Once the training is complete, trainees are expected to guide an elephant along jungle paths sitting on its neck, help at feed time and take part in bathing the animal that involves getting very wet indeed.
Getting to know about the many projects being carried out to improve the lot of these animals then joining the resident vet to carry out an elephant health check and ending the day feeding and bathing elephants is an excellent opportunity to get really close to these animals. Fun family activities include trekking through bamboo groves on the back of an elephant taking in the natural beauty of the area, practicing yoga poses with an elephant, dinning at the baby elephant camp, an unforgettable experience for children, going on a picnic on an elephant in true safari style and playing polo with the animals. Taking a sunset elephant trek to the top of a mountain with gorgeous views spread out below and having a romantic candle lit dinner for two will be a very special experience for many people.
For anyone interested in everything to do with these majestic creatures, Anantara Golden Triangle Thailand is the ‘must go to’ place. Not only does this hotel Chiang Rai offer a range of such experiences but it also offers some of the best accommodation, dining and leisure experiences in the area. Stay at one of favourite Chiang Rai hotels to have truly exceptional holiday experiences.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry. Google+