Chiang Mai & Elephants
3 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Chiang Mai
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has many famous temples and an interesting old city area. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7pm with your local guide. An airport arrival transfer is included please advise your flight details at time of booking. If you arrive early, head out to explore charming Chiang Mai. The friendliness of the people, the interesting old town bound by moats, and the many fascinating temples enthral travellers from around the world. After the welcome meeting you will have free time tonight. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food in the vibrant night markets – the signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Day 2 Elephant Nature Park - Chiang Mai
Be picked up from your hotel at around 8am by staff from the Elephant Nature Park for your day out and elephant experience. Please note you will be joined by other travellers who have also booked this day tour through the Nature Park. Drive along the Mae Taeng Valley to the Elephant Nature Park (approximately 1 hour/60 kilometres), a unique project providing a sanctuary and rescue centre for elephants and other animals such as buffalo, dogs, cats and birds. Be greeted by an expert local guide and then learn the stories of the rescued elephants and the issues confronting elephants in South-East Asia. Witness how these elephants have become a happy herd and are finally free from abuse for the first time in their lives. You'll have a chance to feed the elephants from the viewing platform as well as a tasty vegetarian buffet lunch. Walk with the park staff to the river and watch elephants bathe and play as they are watched over by their personal mahouts. The park visit is all about spending quality time observing elephants and does not stick to a strict schedule so make the most of enjoying these beautiful creatures in a safe and protected environment. Return to Chiang Mai early afternoon (approx. 3-330) to continue to soak up the atmosphere of this great city. Tonight is free for you to do as you wish. You could indulge in an authentic Thai massage tonight at one of the many places within walking distance from your hotel.
Day 3 Chiang Mai
It’s an early start today (pick up between 5.30 to 5.50am) as you set off by songthaew for a scenic drive to Kad Ton Payom flea market. Here you’ll collect your offerings from the market and then offer these alms to monks to ‘make merit’. This region is famous for its cuisine and you’ll enjoy a traditional breakfast of local specialities such as rice soup, fried rice, and grilled pork. The next stop is Wat U-mong, a 600 year-old temple famed for its large painted pagoda and underground tunnel. Soak up the peaceful atmosphere and take the opportunity to talk with the abbot about Buddhism and Dharma. Then it’s on to Wat Suan Dok, where you can mingle with monks to learn about their way of life, take some time to learn basic meditation, and also make an offering to the Sangkha (the Buddhist community). Your adventure concludes at apprioximately 12pm, and you are free to depart at any time. There is no accommodation included tonight. Perhaps stay in Chiang Mai and explore the city further.
All This Included
See a different side of Chiang Mai by hanging out with the gentle giants of the Elephant Nature Park. Be greeted by an expert guide and learn about the plight of this humble species - whose mistreatment is sadly prevalent in many parts of South-East Asia. Help out by feeding one of these friendly creatures from the viewing platform. Wave goodbye to new friends and return to Chiang Mai to make offerings to monks, explore Kad Ton Payo flea market, enjoy a spot of meditation or taste regional specialties.
For bookings made for travel in December 2019 or January 2020, if the Elephant Nature Park is fully booked you will be booked into our alternative BMP Elephant Care Project. This is due to the limited availability at the Elephant Nature Park during peak season.
Hotel (2 nights)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.