Chiang Mai Elephant Camp in Thailand

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

I often worry when I drive roads lined with signs advertising monkey shows, reptile shows, snake shows, bungee jumping, ATV riding, and the like. I smell tourist trap. My trepidation elevates when I enter parking lots packed with taxis, buses, and vans dropping off camera-happy tourists. But when I visited Maesa’s Chiang Mai Elephant Camp, forty-five minutes outside of the city, the sight of endless tourists was quickly supplanted by one of the greatest shows on earth.

 

We purchased the eight-dollar ticket to this Chiang Mai elephant camp and weaved through the crowds. When we reached a fast-flowing stream, we found a dozen elephants bathing. They trumpeted as they submerged and floated on their sides beneath a waterfall. Then the mahouts, or elephant trainers, grunted for the elephants to end their bath.

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

The tourists filled the arena, followed by about twenty elephants. The gray beasts came in swinging their trunks. One elephant farted quite loudly. It echoed the way a thespian would like her voice to resonate.

 

“I’m already impressed,” I told Marissa and the show was only in its infancy. Renting a taxi for the day for the astonishing price of $27 US had already paid off.

 

But the elephant show only got better. The creatures grasped harmonicas in their snouts and the well-orchestrated pachyderms played a solid two-minute song. Then they switched to soccer and kicked penalty shots. The elephant playing goalie taunted his opponents, presenting to them his rear and performing victory dances after missed shots. When an elephant scored, the goal-kicker cavorted right back.

 

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

The creatures then competed against the humans. One challenged a small boy to popping balloons with darts. The animal won.

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

The most talented at this Chiang Mai elephant camp were the artistic elephants. First, they carried out their painting supplies in their trunks. Then they picked up brushes with their hand-like noses and painted vases filled with flowers. They painted picturesque hills that had both depth and perspective. Without exaggeration, they were better artists than most humans.

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

At the conclusion of Maesa’s Chiang Mai elephant camp show, the creatures returned to take their bows. They reached their trunks into the crowds and begged the audience for hugs. However, they had ulterior motives. I got up and had two elephants wrap their whiskery trunks around me only to discover that I had purchased this affection. One tapped me on the arm and waved its trunk. “Give me the money,” said the trunk. They passed up the paper baht to their trainers.

 

Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Thailand

 

Maesa’s Chiang Mai Elephant Camp Show Times

 

Check the schedule for Maesa’s Chiang Mai Elephant Camp show times as they vary throughout the year. When I visited, shows were at 8:00 am, 9:40 am, and 1:30 pm. But arrive earlier for the bathing.

 

Posted on by Noah Lederman in Asia, Somewhere

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