Our last day in Chiang Mai started early for our first stop of the day: Maesa Elephant Camp. We booked a half-day tour via our guesthouse for this adventure.
I booked for an elephant show and elephant ride while my friend skipped the elephant ride (he has tried it in Indonesia, where he went a month before our trip).
We were picked up from our guesthouse by the tour guide who was also our driver.
Maesa Elephant Camp is around 30km away from Chiang Mai City Proper. We didn't eat breakfast because of the early pick-up but we're glad that there's a small restaurant near the gate, serving affordable rice meals.
|breakfast for 50 Baht (Php 68)|
Our arrival was just in time for the elephant ride. I was quickly ushered by our tour guide to line up. I was expecting to be riding with a stranger, but realized I'm taking the elephant ride alone. YAY!!! :)
|my solo elephant ride - WEEEE!!!! :)|
I gave my camera and phone to my friend right away, scared that my gadgets will fall off during the ride. And I want to have my photos taken anyway. :P
The 30-minute ride was quite long for me. The route was muddy and stinky (because of the elephant feces). The whole ride was very bumpy that I have to hold on to the rails the whole time. The mahout (or elephant keeper) even offered to take a photo of me, but I told him I don't have gadgets with me.
After the ride, we walked to the river for the Elephant Bathing.
It was fun to watch them cool themselves down in the river. The mahouts seem to enjoy it too. :)
After a few minutes, the Elephant Show started.
I was amazed with the skills the elephants have shown. Especially with the painting elephants.
I was really exhausted at this point, but the whole show was very entertaining.
After the show, the elephants came towards us for photo ops and to be given food by the guests. You can buy them food (bananas and other fruits) inside the camp.
We enjoyed our short stay inside Maesa Elephant Camp. We saw how the mahouts really care for the elephants.
You can actually learn have to be a mahout (ride the elephant, give bath and give basic commands to the elephant) by enrolling to their Mahout Training Course, complete with mahout outfit, accommodations and certificates. I would love to try to be a mahout, but maybe next visit.
I paid for this tour for 990 Baht (Php 1346) but my friend only paid 720 Baht (Php 980) since he didn't get the elephant ride. This may not be the cheapest package so you can still find other tour agencies that can give you less expensive packages.
Maesa Elephant Camp Show Times:
Maesa Elephant Camp
Open Daily from 7:00AM to 2:30PM
Mae Rim District,