Elephant Valley Chiang Rai – Maybe Thailand’s most ethical elephant sanctuary!

Elephant Valley Chiang Rai

In Travel Hub’s endeavour to offer more ethical elephant activities to our inventory of trips and tours we took a trip to Elephant Valley Chiang Rai, and we have to say that we encountered some of the most content and happy elephants that we have seen in a long while!

If you are doing one of elephant Valley’s programs you will probably be greeted by Jack the manager. Jack is super knowledgeable about elephants and has been working with elephants for many years, he has brought his experience and knowledge from the Elephant Valley Project in Cambodia (where he had been working for over 10 years) to start this new sanctuary in Chiang Rai Thailand. If you want to ride bareback or bath and scrub the elephant then this will not be the park for you and it is this what sets this park apart from the others by making the welfare of the elephants absolute top priority. The operators of Elephant Valley Chiang Rai have created the best possible environment for the elephants with minimum interference from the visitors. There is a short feeding session where you will get to feed the elephants but the main emphasis is on observation, but still, the observation deck allows you to get a good view of the elephants and if the elephants choose to come to check out the visitors you can still get up close to these lovely animals. This is an elephant camp with a difference, a place where elephants are really allowed to be elephants.

Currently, there are four elephants at this park. Elephants are owned by their local Karen mahouts. These elephants previously endured harsh conditions operating working in the logging industry, and their mahouts are now compensated to leave and take care of their elephants at this sanctuary. Currently (May 2017) one of the elephants at the park is pregnant so soon there should be a very new member of the heard. Baby elephants are a delight to watch and so the later part of 2017 will be a great time to visit to see this new elephant.


If you are taking a program with lunch then you will be in for a treat! food is organically sourced from local suppliers. The food will be authentic Thai dishes but the spiciness will be toned down somewhat to suit the cases of the foreign visitors.

Lunch at Elephant Valley
Lunch at Elephant Valley

Overnight at Elephant Valley Thailand

The guys also have rooms to rent if you want to stay longer and take part in their volunteer program. They have renovated the properties farmhouse which provides rustic comfortable accommodation. For overnighting at Elephant Valley and their volunteer programs best contact them direct

Visiting Elephant Valley

Visiting elephant Valley from Chiang Rai

If you are staying in Chiang Rai want to make a booking contact them directly on their website, or if you are in Chiang Rai then pop along to their office to make the booking. The Elephant Valley office Chiang Rai is easy to find near Chiang Rai’s Night Bazaar on Pahonyothin Road. Free transport to and from your Chiang Rai accommodation will be provided with any of their packages. Check out the map below.

Visiting Elephant Valley from Chiang Mai

Due to the distance between the city of Chiang Mai and The Elephant Valley the venue is not currently offering any tours combined with transport from Chiang Mai. However, Travel Hub now have a set one-day tour program to Elephant Valley Chiang Rai combined with some of Chiang Rai’s other top sites including Wat Rong Khun (White Temple). This tour is arranged from Chiang Mai.

This is the current program Travel Hub are offering, but we would be happy to incorporate Elephant Valley in any custom Chiang Rai programme:

• Pick up from Chiang Mai hotel 07:00
• Visit Mae Khajan Hot Springs
• Visit Elephant Valley Chiang Rai
• Introduction to the Asian elephant
• Explanation of the work at Elephant Valley
• One-hour elephant observation and feeding
• Wat Rong Khun (White temple)
• Riverside Lunch in Chiang Rai
• Visit Wat Rong Sear Tean (Blue Temple)
• Visit Baan Dam (Black House museum)
• Option – Karen Long Neck
• Back to Chiang Mai hotel around 19:00
(or we can drop you in Chiang Rai)

For full tour information please visit our website

Elephant Valley Thailand map

Elephant Valley is situated only 5 minutes drive from Wat Rong Khun about 15km from the city of Chiang Rai, But if you want to visit best make advance reservations first either on their website or at their office in Chiang Rai. If you are in Chiang Mai then consider our 1-day tour which incorporates Elephant Valley Thailand


Elephant Valley offers you a more laid back experience than the usual elephant interaction activities which are now available in Chiang Mai but if you are a true elephant lover then this sanctuary is really in the best interests of the elephants. As their own promotional literature states “A True Sanctuary Where The Elephant Comes First” 

Elephant Valley is also very safe for the kiddies
Elephant Valley is also very safe for the little ones

A little more on the work at The Elephant Valley Chiang Rai

More Elephant Ethical tours

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2 Thoughts to “Elephant Valley Chiang Rai – Maybe Thailand’s most ethical elephant sanctuary!”

  1. Max

    I have been there! A very laid back elephant experience. Happy to see that you do not allow elephant riding 🙂 🙂

    1. Travel Hub

      It’s a lovely experience for those who are ethically minded. A couple of Travel Hub customers were actually a little disappointed when they visited as they thought they were going to be able to wash the elephants as you do at other elephant camps. However, at Elephant Valley, they believe that the washing of the elephants and the stress it causes to the elephants (via their mahouts having to control them, direct them etc.) is really not in the best interests of the elephant.

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