Day 1 – A Weekend in Chiang Mai – The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai Thailand
During my 6 Weeks in Chaiyaphum, a few of the Xplore Asia teachers decided to spend a weekend in the northern part of Thailand. On the first day, we went to The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai Thailand. On the second day, we went to a few temples.
Sidenote: Some of the “sanctuaries” in Thailand are not actual sanctuaries so please make sure you do your research before booking your visit with these lovely animals. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai is said to be the best sanctuary out of all of them (from previous research).
The two other girls from Xplore Asia that were with me in Chaiyaphum- Dina, and Amy- were at a different school than me. They passed by the bus station that went from Chaiyaphum to Chiang Mai on their way home.
Tip: It is smart to purchase your bus tickets ahead because they are likely to fill up very quickly.
I always forget to buy ahead LOL.
Dina, Amy, from Xplore Asia, and I rushed to hop on the 13-hour bus from Chaiyaphum to Chiang Mai late on that Friday night.
We decided to take an overnight bus in order to get there bright and early for our thrilling adventure on Saturday morning. It planned out well.
One of the other teachers in the group booked an Airbnb with a bunch of rooms. There were a few cabins as well and the views were beautiful, along with the sweet doggie.
Once we settled in early Saturday morning, we went to go get some breakfast at this smoothie place. It was only about a 20-minute Grab ride away from our Airbnb.
After eating our healthy breakfast, we took a Grab van back to our Airbnb and waited for the songtaew that is provided by the sanctuary. The day price was about ฿2,400 which is a little less than $100- 100% WORTH IT.
It took about an hour and a half to get to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai.
We drove up into the mountains and took in the fresh, crisp air in Northern Thailand.
The ride was lengthy and swervy. Some of the other teachers got a bit nauseous. We made it though.
Once we got there, we were guided by one of the employees who spoke perfect English. We were given instructions on how to deal with the elephants and then we were given Karen clothing (the shirt that I’m wearing below).
We fed the elephants some bananas and watermelon.
There was even a little baby elephant there🥺
After hanging out with the cuties and feeding them, we ate some food and fresh fruit that was provided by the sanctuary. Then, we got dressed in our bathing suits because the next part was even better – we got to bathe with them!!
We walked with the elephants to the river and brushed the gigantic creatures. Their skin was so rough; it was an unfamiliar texture, that’s for sure.
Next, we went to another part of the sanctuary where we swam and took even more pictures. It was quite muddy and a bit uncomfortable. The mud squished its way through my toes. At first, I didn’t know what to think but then I realized that I was hanging out with elephants and that shifted my mindset.
After our full-day tour, we had to part ways with these beautiful animals.
That night, we all went to a nearby night market, Chiang Mai Night Bazaar. The shops are endless. I was able to get some of my souvenirs there.
We walked around that area for a bit. That’s when I got my first Thailand tattoo. Other teachers got tattoos and I decided to get one too. Christina kept me company while I was getting tattooed.
After getting tattooed, we all went to a bar close by and got a few drinks and chatted.
On the way back to our Airbnb, our tuktuk ran out of gas. Believe it or not, that is a pretty common thing in Thailand; they always run out of gas LOL.
We had to pull over and wave another tuktuk down. Ahhhh, Thailand.
Chiang Mai in Thailand was eventful and definitely memorable.
Being at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai was honestly one of the best days of my life.