Having secured their names in the Guinness World Record, the elephants at the Mae Sa Elephant Camp are no ordinary beasts. Apart from going about their daily routine of bathing, eating, sleeping and just being domesticated elephants, these extremely intelligent animals have been trained to paint, play football, dance and perform a string of talent shows that will change the way you think about Thai elephants.
Mae Sa Elephant Camp has been around since 1976, as a conservation centre for domesticated elephants acquired from across the country. Once employed in the logging industry, these elephants found themselves ‘out of jobs’ once heavy machines were brought in to replace them and, as a result, ended up roaming the streets with their mahouts to beg for food. At Mae Sa Elephant Camp, these elephants again found their self-worth, whether as artists, entertainers, or just elephants. Here, you will witness their incredible talents as well as learn about their livelihood as domesticated elephants.
- Wat Doi Suthep & Hmong Hill-Tribe Village
- Doi Inthanon National Park Tour
- Ping River Dinner Cruise
- Khantoke Dinner with Traditional Dance Performance
- Old City Half-Day Bike Tour
- Flight of the Gibbon™ Zipline Tour
- 2-Day Whitewater Rafting & Ziplining
- Full-Day Countryside Bike Tour with Lunch
- Aroy Aroy Thai Cooking School & Market Tour
- Full-Day Excursion to Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Mae Sa Elephant Camp Highlights
Surrounded by lush forest canopies, tucked away in the picturesque valley some 30km north of Chiang Mai, Mae Sa Elephant Camp is home to more than 70 domesticated elephants and their mahouts. Each day, the elephants undergo a routine of bathing in the river, feeding and performing a string of talent shows. You can also ride an elephant around the camp’s verdant grounds or learn about their nature from a permanent exhibit housed inside one of the elephant’s living quarters.
Apart from day visits, you can try out the basic mahout training course if you feel compelled to learn more deeply into the elephant’s nature. The course will teach you all about the animal’s biology, health requirements, body language, as well as basic training commands, painting, bathing, riding and general handling.
Mae Sa Elephant Camp had been training its elephants to paint long before the Guinness World Records arrived on the scene. In fact, the idea of training domesticated elephants to paint was a novel concept, unheard of anywhere. In 2004, the camp made headline news after Ripley’s Believe It or Not (Thailand) awarded its prize “The Largest Painting by a Group of Elephants” to Mae Sa Elephant Camp for its 2.4m wide by 12m long painting by a herd of eight elephants. Entitled “Cold Wind, Swirling Mist, Charming Lanna,” the painting depicts Chiang Mai’s picturesque rural scenery in eight panels of canvas.
This painting was sold for 1.5 million baht to a Thai-born US businessman, who then donated it to the Thai government for safe keeping as national treasure, setting a new Guinness World Record for “The Most Expensive Painting by a Group of Elephants” in 2005
Mae Sa Elephant Camp
- Opening Hours: 8:00 – 16:00 daily (shows three times daily, at 8:30, 9:40 and 13:30)
- Location: Mae Rim-Samoeng Road (km. 18)
- Tel: +66 (0)53 206 247, +66 (0)53 206 248