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Blue Elephant Thailand Tours

Features Animals
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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About Blue Elephant Thailand Tours
Blue Elephant Thailand Tours ( Blue Tao Elephant Village ) offers ethical elephant experiences in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Cooking healthy treats for elephants, feeding, walking with them through the jungle ( no riding ), observing elephants throwing dirt and foraging in the forest, elephant bathe in the waterfall.
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PloySS wrote a review Nov 22
Tokyo, Japan23 contributions5 helpful votes
+1
My family wanted to have a spontaneous weekend trip to Chiangmai and did not have solid plan until a couple days before the flight. Our main goal was to go up to Doi Inthanon in the morning. We were thinking of going to an elephant village somewhere not too far from Doi Inthanon for the afternoon. I looked up several places and decided to contact Blue Tao Elephant Village because it has good reviews about elephants being treated right and genuinely happy. Khun Surin was very welcoming over the phone and told us we could spend the afternoon with the elephants, even though we called only 2 days ahead. We drove to meet him at the village instead of having him picking us up. The road was curvy, up and down hills. I suggest driving very carefully and not too fast if you drive there by yourself. We rented a Honda City and reached the village just fine. We were greeted cheerfully by Khun Surin. He bought us some food and let us decide if we wanted to eat before or after spending time with the elephants. Normally, there would be a chef cooking right at the village but due to Covid, it was more practical to buy food for guests. We were seated on the open-air space overlooking the forest. The weather and the atmosphere was really nice. We had plenty of yummy food to pump up energy before spending the whole afternoon with the elephants. After lunch, we were led to a station where we learn to make treats for the elephants. When we were done, we had to leave it sun-dried for a couple hours. The highlight then came when we met Pak Boong, Valentine, Som and little Meena. They were not chained but stayed behind small fences, except for baby Meena, when she saw us walking toward them holding sugar cranes and bananas, she ran to us right away. Khun Surin and his team explained to us how to feed and get familiar with them. It’s a no-no to tease them by holding food in front of them and not give it to them. They get very irritated if you do that - I mean who wouldn’t? After a little ice-breaking, we basically just followed them around and learned how they like to spend their day. Not once, did anyone hurried them or forced them to go to certain spots. The elephants spent some time looking for wild nuts in the forest. We helped them find some on the ground and fed them. Later, they walked down to a small river to drink and eat some plants. Khun Surin taught us about plants near the river eg. how to distinguish similar-looking plants, which are edible/which are not, how do elephants smartly clean the plants before eating them etc. It was very fun and knowledgeable. We definitely learned many interesting things from him. Later on, Khun Surin walked us to a separate spot to see and learned about many different trees while the elephants were taking their time chilling in the forest. We walked back and met the elephants again by the waterfall. They walked down together and played happily by the waterfall. It was such a precious moment. They went up, down and rolling around like little dolphins. Playing in the river can cool them down on a hot day. We went down as well and played with them. We had a little water fight going on which was so much fun! Little Meena was having the most fun. She did not realize she is pretty big for humans so she went all out and was not as gentle as the big ones. If you have small kids with you, I suggest keeping an eye on your kids when playing with little Meena. But do not worry because Khun Surin and his team took really good care and knew when/how to distract Meena, if she was being a bit too rough. When the elephants started to feel cold, they just walked back up. I want to repeat again that nobody forced them to go down or up the river. Once they walked up, they put some red soil on their back to keep cool. It made me think they were having a “spa” time after having a bath. We walked back to the village together and fed them the treats we made earlier. They really enjoyed it and we said good bye to them. We then took a shower and changed. There were bathrooms and shower rooms available on site. It was not a fancy one but was clean to use. We are usually quite picky about bathrooms but were totally fine with it. Khun Surin let us have another meal as we were starving after lots of walking in the forest. He let us take our time to appreciate the food and the village, not trying to hurry us to leave at all. I think we were with him from 1pm until 6.30pm or so. We discussed about many topics and were really impressed by his hospitality and laid-back vibes. We really love how Blue Tao Elephant Village treat the elephants. No elephant-riding, no elephant shows, no chain, no forcing of any kind the whole time we were there. I think they are very ethical and genuinely love the elephants. The elephants themselves are well-fed, look healthy and happy. We raved about it to our friends and family. If you are hesitating, don’t, I highly recommend you to visit Blue Tao Elephant Village. You will have a fantastic time and want to come back again like we do. Thank you again to Khun Surin, Nong Kaimook and the team for having us, taking care of us and being such wonderful hosts. We look forward to coming back again!
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Christi B wrote a review Sep 2020
Mae Hia, Thailand6 contributions2 helpful votes
+1
Surin picked our family up and provided us with the most amazing day we could have ever dreamed of. The mahout were wonderful and the cook was outstanding! But the day all together was nothing more then beautiful and amazing. We not only got to feed, bath, walk and play with the beautiful elephants but we were taught so much about them and the area. Saw beautiful amazing things and places and made memories our family will never forget.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Response from Surin R, Owner at Blue Elephant Thailand Tours
Responded Sep 18, 2020
Thank you so much ChristiB231 for your family visit, it's nice to hear that all of your family member love the day that we spent together in Blue Tao Elephant Village. Hope that one day in the future you will come and hug our elephants again.
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Sigrid Hilpert wrote a review Jul 2020
Thailand2 contributions
We did the half day elephant tour & had a fantastic time from start to finish. This was more than enough time to spend with these lovely creatures. We started our day with Ms. Kim picked us up at our hotel right on time. Our journey to the elephant camp was comfortable in their air-conditioned van. Ms. Kim instructed us to give her our phone so she can capture our day with them. We did and boy she captured every moment of it. We hung out with the 3 elephants for a little while and fed them their treats. After that, we started hiking into the jungle with them. We found a small river and began playing with them. What an amazing experience.
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Date of experience: February 2020
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Wanderer09116092140 wrote a review Apr 2020
1 contribution
My husband and I recently did the One Day Doi Inthanon + Mae Ya Falls + Elephants Blue Tao + Lunch in Treehouse Bong Na Wang Tour through Blue Elephant Tours while on our Honeymoon in Thailand in March 2020. I can honestly say it was one of our favorite days from the entire two week trip. While the motivation behind the booking was obviously the elephant interaction (very ethical might I add!), we decided to go with the package with several activities to make a full day out of it. It ended up being a great choice. From beginning to end, we had such an amazing day. None of that would have been possible without our awesome tour guide, Chailek.. Shout out to him! Throughout the day he made it a point to take any and all pictures for us (and on my own phone) that we wanted. As a result, we have tons of amazing shots that will let us remember the experience for years to come. We were picked up right on time from our hotel on the outskirts of town and had a nice air conditioned van as private transport throughout the day. The day started with a short hike to the beautiful Mae Ya Falls. While it was a short hike, there was some uphill portions/ uneven terrain (so just keep this in mind for those who have troubles walking). After getting some amazing shots at the falls, we headed to Doi Ithanon National Park. This too was beautiful, with some colorful flower gardens and the famous twin pagodas to explore. After that we headed for lunch via some 4 wheel drive transport through the countryside. Lunch was absolutely delicious (fresh and homemade) and the treehouse venue made lunch extra special. Finally we capped off the day with some amazing interaction with 3 elephants (various ages, one of which was a baby!) at the elephant sanctuary. They aren't kidding when they say you'll be doing it all: feeding, trekking and bathing with the elephants. You get up close and personal with those gentle giants, and its an experience you will never forget. Pretty amazing experience to be able to brush, throw water on, and snuggle up against elephants (anywhere from 600 lbs to 2 tons depending on which one) in a small pond. And it helps that you can tell the people running this all truly care for these elephants. They seemed to be very well taken care of and loved. I would highly recommend this company and/or this specific package to anyone looking for a personalized experience while in Chiang Mai. We absolutely loved it and can't thank Blue Elephant Tours enough!
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Date of experience: March 2020
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RayrayNRC wrote a review Mar 2020
Sacramento, California, United States43 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
We chose the 1/2 day elephant tour. This was more than enough time to spend with these lovely creatures. We started our day with Ms. Kim picked us up at our hotel right on time. Our journey to the elephant camp was comfortable in their airconditioned van. Sadly this was during COID19 time, therefore, business was slow everywhere. Ms. Kim explained our itinerary for the day and gave some history information was we drive over an hour to Blue Elephant camp. After we arrived, we were given a shirt and a bag to keep our things in. The rest of our things were stored in a locker. Before our trip, I was hoping to see a baby elephant. Well...we got lucky, we got to meet Mia the 11 month old baby. We started with making some food to feed the elephants. I mushed up some rice, palm sugar and grains to create a snack ball to feed Mia, Mia's mom and a 5 year old elephant friend. From the start, Ms. Kim instructed us to give her our phone so she can capture our day with them. We did and boy she captured every moment of it. We hung out with the 3 elephants for a little while and fed them their treats. After that, we started hiking into the jungle with them. We found a small river and began playing with them. What an amazing experience. We thought that was it but then Ms. Kim said are you guys read to hike to the water fall? WHAT! Yes, we hiked for a bit to get to the pool where there was a small water fall. Each elephant started to walk into the pool and we were handed a bucket and a brush to give those beautiful animals their bath. This was the best part of our trip to Thailand. Service was amazing, and the elephant caretakers were there to help us communicate with them. You can tell they love their animals. I'm glad I took this tour because Ms. Kim really explained the history of elephants in Thailand. Elephants were used to fight their war and as laborer. When we think of cruelty to elephants, I think we need to understand, it's the PERFORMING elephants are the ones that were abused. They were forced to do things they were not naturally born to do, like standing on their hind legs and etc. These elephants were born and raised in these camps, therefore, they were gentle and happy. We ended our day with a meal prepared by the staff at the camp. To be honest, it was just ok food. We have had amazing food since we arrived in Thailand, therefore, I wasn't too picky with the food they served. I was ready to go back to town to get some street food:) Anyways, we had the best time and will definitely recommend this tour to anyone. Raymond from Sacramento
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Date of experience: March 2020
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