The Baanchang Elephant Park, a nonprofit rescue center and elephant sanctuary, rescues working and orphaned baby elephants from unsavory conditions such as logging camps and circuses to give them the new job of teaching visitors to respect and help conserve wild elephant populations.
Visitors to the elephant park can choose among three programs to get to know more about the Asian elephants living in the facility. Animal welfare is the first priority at the Baanchang Elephant Park, and none of the programs involves elephant rides or circus tricks. Instead, visitors get to help feed the elephants, walk them to the river for bath time, and learn more about the relationship between elephants and their caretakers (called mahouts). Full-day programs include time in the Nursery Zone, where baby elephants are cared for.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Baanchang Elephant Park is a must-visit for animal lovers and families.
- The elephant park has a shower room for cleaning up after your visit.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera for photo ops with the resident elephants.
- Bring along a change of clothes, sunblock, and insect repellent.
- How to Get There
- All three programs offered by the Baanchang Elephant Park include round-trip transportation from hotels in Chiang Mai.
When to Get There
Plan to visit this elephant sanctuary on a day when the forecast predicts little rain (typically the cool, dry months between mid-November and mid-February). If you’re coming for a half-day program, opt for the morning pickup to avoid the afternoon heat.
Elephant Poo Paper
While elephants were once prized for their ivory tusks, they’re now prized for something else—sustainable paper made from their dung. Once collected, the dung is thoroughly washed to separate the plant and grass fibers that have been broken down in the elephant’s digestive system. These fibers are then boiled and pressed into sheets of paper, much like with wood pulp.