First trip to Thailand

Jan 24th, 2012, 06:14 AM
  #1  
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First trip to Thailand

This is our first trip to Thailand. We have about a week in Bangkok and are considering a side trip to Chaing Mai to ride the elephants. Is it worth the 4day/3night trip?
Kansas_farm_girl is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 06:57 AM
  #2  
 
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Whether it is worth it depends on your interests and priorities.

If you do go to Chiang Mai to interact with the elephants, please do so at one of the reputable venues, either the Thai Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang or the Elephant Nature Park. Ther are lots of places where you can go to watch an elephant "show" a ride an elephant that do not treat their elephants well. These two places do treat the elephants well.

I'm not sure why you would need 4 days and three nights to visit the elephants. You could easily do so with two night, one full day in Chiang Mai. Is there anything else in Chiang Mai that interests you?
Kathie is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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most of us prefer to stay along the river in bkk, so if you have not made reservations there yet, consider a riverside hotel.

you might want to consider tong, or another guide to visit some areas outside of bkk.
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 01:35 PM
  #4  
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Do you have any experience with Maesa Elephant Camp?
Kansas_farm_girl is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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Please don't go to one of those places that let you 'ride' elephants. If you would like to interact with elephants, check out the Elephant Nature Park, about 60 km from Chiang Mai, founded as a sanctuary for mistreated elephants by Sangduen (Lek) Chailert.

It is a wonderful place where you can spend a day (or more if you like) feeding, bathing and learning about these wonderful creatures. Van transportation from Chiang Mai to the Park and return is available on request from the Park or your hotel can arrange private transport for you.

I believe you may be referring to the 4 day/3 night trip from Bangkok sponsored by Elephant Nature Park. That's fine if that's what you want, but you can also easily fly to Chiang Mai on your own with Air Asia and there are many nice hotels and spas in the city to choose from. When I was there last February I stayed at Ayutana Spa and Hotel which was lovely, very comfortable and affordable.
julia1 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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I would only go to the two elephant camps I named. I know the one you name is the one famous for the elephants painting.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 24th, 2012, 07:13 PM
  #7  
 
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perdonally, mi don't find riding an elephant to be worth going out of your way for... i have ridden them in thailand and india and its not all that exciting..

as an alternative, i might consider a seaside visit to koh chang, hua hin, koh samui where there are elephant camps allowing you to be with elephants.
rhkkmk is offline  
Jan 25th, 2012, 05:42 AM
  #8  
 
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Bob, the elephants camps near the beaches are just awful in terms of their care of the animals! I wouldn't visit any of them. And you're right I wouldn't go somewhere just to ride an elephant. But if you are really interested in elephants and would like to interact with them and learn about them, one of the two elephant camps outside of Chiang Mai are excellent.

One other option - much more luxe than the camps outside of CM is to stay at the Anantara at the Golden Triangle. They have a small division of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center right on the property. The Anantara is located about an hour from Chiang Rai.
Kathie is offline  
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