Tourism in Chiang Mai: let’s preserve the elephants

Crystal clear sea, exotic landscapes, unspoiled nature.
This is Thailand, the Asian pearl, a destination for travelers eager to discover and learn about the beauty of flora and fauna of this country.
The same flora and fauna, nevertheless, sometimes are exploited and abused for mass tourism.
Most European tourists who travel on a trip to Southeast Asia come across events and activities where animals are used exclusively for photos and “fun”.

The case of elephants, symbolic animals of the nation and important for the history, culture and religion of the Thai people, is emblematic.
Today, elephants in Thailand are endangered, both for the ivory trade and for the consequences that the rides and shows of these beautiful pachyderms have brought.
Ayuttahia, Damnoen Saduak and Mae Taeng are just some of the places where tourists are attracted to make them feel the protagonists of a show that is not funny and that above all makes these animals suffer.
In addition to ethical thinking, it is important to know the real danger of a scientific nature: the backbone of elephants, in fact, is totally different from that of humans or that of horses.
These animals have bumps on their backs that, with the years and with the transport of bulky weights, degenerate and deform, leading them to poor health and well-being.

Fortunately, however, this time too, ethics, sustainability and protection of the ecosystem prevail, thanks to the commitment of associations and centers that offer unforgettable experiences, where you can meet elephants, look after them and at the same time do good for tourism in the area. Thailand.
These centers are usually referred to as “sanctuaries” and are found in different areas, though a high concentration of them is present in the north of the country.
Right there is the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, one of the most well-known elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai.
Founded in July 2014, the center was born from a joint initiative between members of the Karen tribes and the Chiang Mai, concerned about the well-being of elephants in Thailand.
It is an ethical and sustainable project that preserves the species and the care and maintenance of elephants, without exploiting them and without mistreating them.
A place that welcomes tourists from all over the world every year, away from shows and crossed in the saddle.

The ticket that visitors must pay has a modest price, which is used exclusively to maintain the center and to allow the elephants the best possible treatments.
Indeed, with the money that the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary makes from visits and donations, volunteers save the elephants at risk, feed them, provide veterinary care, and build infrastructure for them to live in.
The elephant reserve in Chiang Mai has many options for visitors: half-day tours, full-day tours, and even night tours.
The Full Day Visit and Overnight Visit packages are surely the most interesting and the most immersive.
The visit with an overnight stay is the most unique and complete experience. With this program, you will experience all facets of the elephant reserve in Chiang Mai, as well as other aspects of the Thai culture of the area and some of the natural beauty nearby.

When you arrive at the sanctuary, the guides will give you an overview in English, some information about the elephants and the traditional clothes to wear on the tour.
But what are our beloved good giants?
They simply lead their lives as elephants, free and happy: they run, sleep, eat, get dirty in the mud and then wash themselves in the river.
And visitors can do all these activities together with them, spending unforgettable moments and at the same time respecting the fauna.

Attention, the tour can suddenly become chaotic and … wet! With fun always lurking, in fact, it is possible to swim with the Thai giants.
For this reason it is necessary to have a hat, sunscreen, swimsuit and change!
Inside you can also bring a camera, to immortalize unrepeatable moments even if the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary offers a free internal photo shoot, at no additional cost.

The meeting with the elephants will be a genuine experience that you will hardly forget, exclusive and above all responsible.
In addition to entertainment and pleasure, you will economically support local tourism and respect the environment, fully immersing yourself in the world of eco-sustainability.

So, are you still thinking about what your next trip will be?
Thailand waits for you!

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