OMG!! ELEPHANT CUTIES!! A quick google search for "ethical elephant park Chiang Mai" gave me Elephant Nature Park, and I knew instantly that's where I wanted to go. No riding, no tricks and gimmicks, just pure crazy cute elephant epicness! The park will arrange a van pick up directly from your hotel, where you're immediately greeted by your guide (ours was Psy and he's damn funny) and the group you'll be with for the rest of the day. A sleepy 1.5 hours drive into the country side and you'll reach Elephant Nature Park.
This park differs from a few of the others that exist in Chiang Mai, because it rescues abandoned and abused Asian elephants - they even take in stray dogs and cats that mingle around the park! As soon as we arrived, I couldn't believe how free-roaming the elephants were, and we pretty much got right into it with a full-on feeding session - pumpkin and watermelon are their faaavess. Following a quick lunch break (provided by the park), we went over to the river where you can really get friendly with the elephants at bath time! This was probably the funnest part for me, so if you're not ready to get wet then I'd say you're seriously missing out. Dani (the elephant) is so super cuties and she's so friendly you can get right up there and give her a scrub down.
After more feeding, meeting the babies of the herd (so cute but so feisty so be careful!), we were driven all the way back to our hotel. Hands down one of the best experiences of my life, and I'd go again and again in a heartbeat! For those that are interested, here's what to bring:
Elephant Nature Park | #elephantnaturepark