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Chiang Mai Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Chiang Mai Nature & adventure

Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

1. Chiang Mai: Waterfall, Elephant Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting

Embark on a one-of-a-kind experience and visit an ethical rescued elephant sanctuary in the jungle outside Chiang Mai. Cool off in a waterfall, savor a traditional Thai lunch, and become a caretaker for the day as you interact, feed, and observe the gentle giants in their natural environment.  Begin with a pickup from your hotel or accommodation in downtown Chiang Mai. Take a scenic drive southwest of Chiang Mai and see local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields along the way.  Journey to the Mae Wang Waterfalls, where you'll relax and take a dip in the water. Arrive at the Secret Elephant Sanctuary located deep in the jungle. You'll be welcomed to the sanctuary by a guide who will lead you through the experience. Get dressed into Karen hill tribe clothing like the ones elephant caretakers wear. Next, get a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Come and meet the friendly rescued elephants and feed them bananas. Walk up the hill with elephants through the forest and watch the elephants forage for food in the wilderness. Observe elephants interacting between families in their natural environment. Head down to the river and enjoy bathing with the elephants. Walk with the elephants back to the sanatorium and embrace the memories and have time to say goodbye to these marvelous creatures. Finish off with a scenic bamboo rafting trip along the Mae Wang River before you get dropped off at your hotel in Chiang Mai.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day Tour

2. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Full-Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai city center for a day to explore one of Thailand’s original national parks and highest mountain, Doi Inthanon. This tour will feature picturesque landscapes, remote villages, and incredible viewpoints. After getting picked up from your hotel in Chiang Mai, head to your first stop, one of the largest and most beautiful waterfalls in the country, Wachirathan Waterfall. Over 80 meters high, the power of this waterfall creates a refreshing mist that feeds the surrounding vegetation.  Next, stop at the stunning 50-meter cascade, Sirithan Waterfall, which is fed by the Mae Klong River.  Then, stop at the famous twin pagodas: the Napamatanee Don and Napaphon Bhumisiri. Built for the Royal King and Queen, they are located at the highest point in Thailand.  Round out the tour with a visit to the Karen Tribe locale. Learn a bit about the hill tribes people’s culture and way of life in their village of Sobhad.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

3. Chiang Mai: Elephant Care at Elephant Retirement Park

Meet and feed elephants on this elephant sanctuary tour from Chiang Mai. Watch these majestic creatures up close and learn about them from specialists. Sit down to an authentic Thai lunch and stay hydrated with complimentary water. Start your journey in the morning with a hotel pickup from Chiang Mai city center. Take the 1-hour ride to the countryside of Mae Tang district. Get changed into the local clothes and be ready for the fun activities. The experienced guide will provide information about the elephants' behavior and how to provide proper care for them. Then, prepare food and healthy treats for the elephants and feed them afterward. After that, you and the elephants will walk to play in the mud and sand spa. During this time, you will have a chance to observe their behavior, in beautiful natural surroundings. After your time with the elephants, change your clothes, shower, and then enjoy a delicious traditional Thai buffet lunch, which is suitable for vegetarians. After lunch, relax on the 1-hour journey back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center.

Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

4. Chiang Mai: Elephant Sanctuary & Waterfall Small Group Tour

Take a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai. Start with a convenient pick-up from your hotel in the city center of Chiang Mai and take a drive to the elephant sanctuary. Learn how to make healthy snacks for elephants and see the rescued animals. Go for a swim at Mae Wang Waterfall. Relax as you are picked up from your city center accommodation in Chiang Mai. Sit back as you are driven southwest of the city on a scenic 1.5-hour drive. Encounter local farms, hill tribe villages, and rice fields. Receive a warm welcome when you arrive at the Pupha Elephant Sanctuary. Put on your traditional Karen Hill tribe clothes to look like an elephant caretaker. Listen to a briefing on Asian elephants and the background of the sanctuary. Gain new knowledge as you are taught how to make healthy snacks for the elephants. Feed the rescued elephants as you walk up a hill in the deep jungle. Watch the elephants foraging for food and see elephant families interacting with one another. Bathe in the river with the elephants and walk them back to the sanctuary, where you will be taught how to make elephant medicine balls. Take a shower and pack up your belongings. Eat a traditional Thai lunch and fresh fruits. Leave the elephant sanctuary and stop at Mae Wang waterfall for a quick swim before transferring back to your hotel in Chiang Mai city center. Finally, return to your starting point after the tour.

Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

5. Chiang Mai: Small Group Ethical Elephant Sanctuary Tour

Meet elephants on this guided day trip from Chiang Mai to the Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary, located in the middle of a lush national park. Here the elephants are able to roam freely in a large green space. Keep your clothes clean by wearing local clothes and boots. Feed and interact with rescued elephants before sitting down to a freshly cooked lunch.  Depart Chiang Mai aboard an air-conditioned van and journey into the mountains of northern Thailand to visit the ethical Lanna Kingdom Elephant Sanctuary (approximately 1-hour drive from the city center). Upon arrival, learn about the elephant conservation program and benefit from an introductory talk, and the chance to interact with the rescued animals. Get the chance to give them a hug and discover how to prepare a healthy meal to feed them. Go for a walk around the sanctuary with the elephants and stop to give them a mud bath to keep their body temperature down and protect them from parasites. Feed them before enjoying a homemade lunch at a restaurant inside the sanctuary.

Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Observation Nature Park Visit

6. Chiang Mai: Ethical Elephant Observation Nature Park Visit

Visit Elephant Nature Park, a natural rescue center for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals that need care. Volunteers and visitors contribute to the animals' healing while learning about their lives. Choose from a half-day or full-day tour. After pickup from your hotel in central Chiang Mai, admire the views as you drive through picturesque countryside to the nature park. Learn the stories of the rescued orphaned elephants and spend time with the different herds. Enjoy a vegetarian buffet lunch at the park, and get dropped off back in Chiang Mai at the end of your tour. With the full-day experience, have the chance to see and learn the elephants' eating behavior from a viewing platform. After lunch, walk down to a river that skirts the park and watch these gentle giants as they splash around while you stay dry on the riverbank.

Chiang Mai: Authentic Thai Cooking Class and Farm Visit

7. Chiang Mai: Authentic Thai Cooking Class and Farm Visit

Learn how to make authentic Thai dishes with this fun, small-group cooking class in Chiang Mai as you prepare classic dishes using ingredients from a local market. Choose between a half-day class during the morning or the evening and cook five dishes, or go for the full-day class to cook an extra two courses! Get picked up at your hotel within Chiang Mai, then meet up with the rest of your group and choose what you want to cook from the menu. Visit a local market and buy the necessary ingredients, and tour an organic farm filled with fresh fruits and vegetables. Once you're done, head to the classroom and prepare your individual cooking stations for the lesson. Follow the instructions of your professional English-speaking guide as you cook a variety of authentic Thai dishes such as mango sticky rice, pad thai, and curry, and make curry paste with your own two hands! Enjoy the fruits of your labor by sharing a meal with your group. Exchange stories as you sample each others' cooking before you head back to your accommodation.

Chiang Mai: Private Elephant Sanctuary and Waterfall Tour

8. Chiang Mai: Private Elephant Sanctuary and Waterfall Tour

Begin your private experience with pickup from your hotel in Chiang Mai. From there, take a scenic journey to a private elephant estate where you will be their caretaker for half a day. Upon arrival, walk to the main base camp to get changed into an elephant caretaker outfit and prepare yourself for a day of fun. Hear about Asian elephants' long and fascinating history as you learn to cook healthy herbal treats for them to eat for a snack. Afterward, feed the handmade treats to them and walk along their side through the beautiful lush forest. Following that, your tour continues with elephant bathing in the river before you say farewell to your new friends and set off on the next part of your tour. Following the sanctuary, take some time out of your day to enjoy a delicious Thai lunch. Savor local dishes accompanied by rice, and finish off your meal with a selection of fresh tropical fruit. After lunch, continue to the Buatong Sticky Waterfall. Whilst there, enjoy some walking and climbing from down below the falls to all the way up to the very top. As the waterfall is constructed from natural limestone, you can walk and climb easily to the top, enjoying the clear water to cool down. As your tour concludes, depart from the waterfall to return back to Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai: Mae Taeng River White Water Rafting

9. Chiang Mai: Mae Taeng River White Water Rafting

Depart Chiang Mai and relax on the 1.5-hour journey to base camp, where you can pick up any last minute snacks for your white water rafting adventure.  Get a safety briefing and some time to practise with the certified guides on arrival. Then, face the challenge of the Class III and IV rapids of the Mae Taeng River. Experience an adrenaline rush as you venture through the jungle, and get some time to relax before rafting a continuous section of Class III rapids back towards base camp. Avail of the shower facilities before heading home for drop off at your accommodation.

From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Day Trip & Hike

10. From Chiang Mai: Doi Inthanon National Park Day Trip & Hike

Explore the Thai jungle and embark on a guided hike on this day trip from Chiang Mai. Marvel at Thailand's highest mountain, visit pagodas and the rainforest, and feast on a delicious lunch as you go. Begin your experience in Chiang Mai and meet our guide for the drive to Doi Inthanon National Park. The park is home to Thailand's largest mountain which rises 2,565 meters above sea level, and has air that is cool year-round. Upon arrival, take a walk around the Angka Nature Trail. Experience an authentic rainforest environment filled with rare flora, animals, and birds. Continue on to visit 2 pagodas, built in honor of the King and Queen of Thailand for their 60th birthdays. There, take a stroll through the Hmong Market, and shop for local products like vegetables and seasonal fruits. Next, head to the Royal Project restaurant for lunch. Load up on energy to get ready for your afternoon hike. Have peace of mind knowing that free drinking water is also available during your experience. Begin your hike along the scenic Pha Dok Siew Nature Trail. Trek through shady forests and authentic jungle. Absorb a panoramic view of the rice terrace, and learn all about rice paddies. Conclude your hike at the Karen Hill Tribe Village, and find out about the villagers' way of life. Savor some freshly ground and brewed coffee before your return journey back to Chiang Mai.

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What people are saying about Chiang Mai

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 785 reviews

Such a great experience. Very knowledgeable and friendly guide (Ms. Cung - hope I spell that correct). Did a lot of good pictures for everybody. Fun activities with rafting before and some small hike with waterfall after the elephants. But of course Highlight were the elephants. Awesome experience and get really super close and can interact with them. 100% recommend this tour. Pick up and drop off was smooth. Also enough breaks during the drive.

One of the most beautiful days in my life! The interaction with the elephants is soul healing. Totally invigorating. The bamboo rafting was fun! The waterfalls were great indeed! And Ronnie, our guide made ALL the difference! He is absolutely great guide! And locco (crazy) ! A ravishing experience. Thank you Ronnie. Korkkupkan.

we appreciated Tiks intimate view on the culture and heritage around Chiang Dao and the surrounding area. He accompanied us on our cave tour and explained some of the history behind each cavern. we then had plenty of time to climb the Bua Thong sticky falls. Highly recommended!!!

Good trip to see the Peak and then with a short walk near there. Was great to see the temples on the pagoda as well and then the lunch in the small village was nice. The final hike through the forest was my highlight as it is a beautiful walk!

Awesome guide (Mr. Chan) Plenty breaks Great views Slow pace