Start the day at around 8am in the centre of Chiang Mai. It’s time to get acquainted with the iconic transport for the day – the emblematic tuk-tuk. Begin the day with some training on how to manage the vehicle; we won’t be setting off until everybody is acquainted.
With the expert, professional, English-speaking guide leading the way, leave Chiang Mai for the Mae Wang valley to the south. This journey will take us along winding rural roads, through rolling rice fields and by ornate temples, and into the lush, verdant mountains. The guide-driven vehicle at the head of the convoy sets the pace, and there will be plenty of opportunity for stops along the way for exploration and to get to grips with local village life as we pass through.
At around 11:30, we’ll arrive at the scheduled stop – the elephant home. Here, meet the fantastic mahouts who will introduce these beautiful creatures. Before interacting with the elephants, it’s vital to understand the history – and the future – of elephant conservation in Thailand. After, assist the mahouts in feeding the giant mammals- they have a rather large appetite! Take time to interact with these friendly creatures and get to know their different personalities – each elephant has been rescued from a life of trekking.
After enjoying a hearty lunch of traditional Thai food beside the elephants, accompany the mahouts on a short walk with these newly-made friends to the river. Here, take part in another enchanting experience and embrace the opportunity to bathe the elephants. They often like to roll over and get playful in the cool water.
Since we’re already wet and refreshed by the river dip, it’s time to participate in a bit of water activity ourselves. Travel lazily down the calm waterway on a traditional bamboo raft. There are a couple of meandering twists and turns, but the tempo is slow, and these curves are not difficult to negotiate. Instead, the emphasis is on kicking back to admire the idyllic northern Thai countryside, looking out for signs of any wildlife.
At around 4pm, it is time to jump back aboard the tuk-tuks and set off on the journey back into Chiang Mai. Appreciate the last hour or so behind the wheel of the tuk-tuk, gently meandering down the valley, nipping through villages and hamlets. Often, the villagers enjoy seeing the tuk-tuk convoy, so be sure to have cameras at the ready to capture the joyful experience. Continue on through the valley as the sun begins to set on the return to Chiang Mai. Take the transfer back to hotels.