Even though there are many elephant camps around Chiang Mai, some elephant camps are concentrated on providing on the best possible care and attention to the elephants, so they do not offer elephant rides for visitors. However, camps such as Mae Sa Elephant Camp and Thai Elephant Conservation Centre do provide fully immersive experiences with elephant rides, elephant shows, and elephant mahout training courses. Our recommendations for the best elephant camps with elephant rides are shown below.
The Best Elephant Camps for Elephant Riding:
Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre | Lampang Elephant Conservation Centre | Mae Sa Elephant Camp | Mae Taeng Elephant Park | Further Reading
*Note: Prices do change, we recommend you to check with the camps before making reservations.
THAI ELEPHANT CONSERVATION CENTRE
On the road southeast to Lampang, the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre is about 65kms from Chiang Mai. This centre lives and breathes elephants and offers elephant bathing, elephant shows, interaction with elephant calves, and elephant rides. The onsite elephant hospital is open to visitors. There are currently 50 elephants at the centre, but there are new calves born every year. Shows take place three times a day and feature the elephants demonstrating their skills in moving logs and painting. Onsite sales outlets stock elephant souvenirs including dung paper. Elephant shows: 3 times/daily at 10:00, 11:00 and 13:30.
Thai Elephant Conservation Centre: Km.#28-29, Lampang-Chiang Mai Highway, Hang Chat, Lampang 52190 | Open: 08:00-16:30 (Daily) | Entrance Fees: Adult 200 B, Child 100 B | Elephant Rides: 500 B (½ Hour); 1,000 B (1 Hour) | Tel: +66 54 829 333 | Fax: +66 54 829 334 | Website | E-mail | Map
MAE SA ELEPHANT CAMP
One of the key attractions in the renowned Mae Sa Valley, Mae Sa Elephant Camp is to the north of Chiang Mai. This is another facility dedicated to the wellbeing of elephants and has ones of all ages from calves to pensioners. Visitors are provided with the full range of elephant experiences. These are shows with elephants painting, elephant river baths, rides on howdah seats and mahout training courses from two hours long to three days. The riding route follows jungle paths and river crossings. Elephant shows: 3 times/daily at 08:00, 09:40 and 13:30.
Mae Sa Elephant Camp: #101, M. 9, Mae Rim-Sa Moeng Rd., A. Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50180 | Open: 07:30-15:30 (Daily) | Entrance Fees: Adult 250 B; Child 150 B | Elephant Rides: 1,000 B (½ Hour) | Tel: +66 53 206 247-8 | Fax: +66 53 206 247 | Website | Facebook | E-mail Map
Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre
Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre is about 20kms before Chiang Dao on the main highway up from Chiang Mai. Tourists here have the choice of just visiting the park, bathing with the elephants, a one-hour elephant ride through the forest, bamboo rafting or combo packages of rafting and riding. Elephant show: 1 time/daily at 10:00 (approx. 45 mins)
Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre: #108/1, T. Inthakin, A. Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai 50150 | Open: 08:00-13:00 (Daily) | Prices: Entrance Fee 100 B/Person; Elephant Riding + Bamboo Rafting (1 Hour) 1,300 B/Person | Tel: +66 53 298 553 | Fax: +66 53 862 037 | Website | Map
MAE TAENG ELEPHANT PARK
A little over 50kms to the north of Chiang Mai, Mae Taeng Elephant Park claims it offers the best elephant riding in the whole of Northern Thailand. The route typically meanders through verdant forest, up and down hills, and across rivers. Elephant shows staged at this park include painting, football and stacking logs. A park package offers visitors elephant rides, elephant shows, bamboo rafting, ox-cart rides, lunch and transportation from Chiang Mai.
Mae Taeng Elephant Park: #99/1, T. Kued Chang, A. Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai 50150 | Open: 08:00-16:00 (Daily) | Park Package: 1,650 B/Person | Tel: +66 +66 89 755 5451 | Website | E-mail | Map