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Deluxe 2 Day 1 Night Retreat: Elephant Care and Horse Sanctuary

Volunteer with elephants + bamboo raft + hike to a waterfall + Karen village homestay + care for rescued horses + swim in the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon

176 USD / 5500 THB per person

Refresh your soul By connecting with animals and the Thai countryside

You will start by spending one on one time with your own elephant, allowing let you get to know her personality. Then, take in some of Northern Thailand’s most beautiful landscapes on a hike with a local Karen guide. Visit a Karen, Hmong, or Lahu village and swim in a hidden waterfall. Bamboo rafting down the Mae Wang River that winds through the jungle mountains of Northern Thailand leads you back to the Chai Lai Orchid where you can feed all the elephants in the herd, swim with elephants in the river, and walk with elephant in their beautiful jungle habitat.

After a night at a simple family homestay in a Karen village, you will rise and shine to meet rescued race horses at Second Wind Ranch and Rescue. Learn to care for and ride a horse with guidance from a fully trained instructor. With this boutique retreat experience you will get private one on one instruction. At last cool off, swim - jump if you dare! - and watch the sunset at Chiang Mai Grand Canyon.

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Ethical Animal Experiences

This tour helps support 2 projects, each doing their part to improve the lives of animals. Interact with proud and graceful ex-racehorses saved from the butcher and elephants who have been relieved of their heavy chairs and long working hours. Travel and give back. We believe that we can all change the world. By making better choices when we travel we can have a positive impact on the places we visit. In addition to our work in helping elephants, all Chai Lai Orchid profits go directly to our anti-trafficking nonprofit Daughters Rising which empowers indigenous women.

elephant bath

The Chai Lai Orchid

Meet elephants at the Chai Lai Orchid, an eco-lodge which empowers at-risk women and helps to improve the lives of the elephants who had previously been abused. You visit ensures that they can live out the rest of their lives in a safe and peaceful home with their elephant family.

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Second Wind Ranch and Rescue

Second Wind Ranch and Rescue’s mission is to rescue ex-racehorses and rehabilitate them. When you come for riding lessons or trail rides, you help feed, shelter, and rehabilitate ex-racehorses rescued from the slaughterhouse

DEPARTURE LOCATION

Any hotel in downtown Chiang Mai, or from the Three Kings Monument

(For hotels further out of town, there may be a surplus charge for transport)

TIME

Coming from Chiang Mai: depart at approximately 9:00am, return at approximately 6-pm the following day

ITINERARY

Day One

This trip is well organized but relaxed. In order to give you the best experience and maximum time doing your preferred activities, there's not a set schedule.  We are flexible to accommodate a different order should you want to spend more time in an activity or change your schedule. The tour may feel less structured than what you're used to but rest assured, you'll get a chance to experience everything! Most of the trek starting points are off mountain roads, some of which require 4WD for safety, so we will travel by truck.

Here is generally what to expect with this trip… 

Hike

  • We offer private custom tours: you can hike anywhere from 1 to 4 hours, depending on what you ask for. If you don't specify what you want, hikes are usually 2 to 3 hours, moderate in difficulty

Lunch

  • Play in the waterfall, explore and relax

  • Your guide will cook you a meal using local ingredients over a fire

  • After lunch, you'll typically wander through a Hill Tribe village where your guide can tell you about local life

Bamboo rafting

  • A truck will take you to the bamboo rafting starting point

  • We suggest leaving your camera and anything you don't want to get wet in the truck, which will meet you after rafting

  • Depending on the time of year, the ride can have rapids or just be relaxing. It is about 1 hour and always lots of fun!

  Elephants

  • Don't be afraid to get a little wet when you bathe and play with our baby elephant in the river

  • Spend the afternoon walking alongside these gentle giants, feeding them and bathing them in the river

  • Learn how to take care of elephants from their knowledgable caretakers

Homestay

  • Spend the night in a beautiful, simple homestay run by a Karen family in their village

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Day Two

Breakfast

  • Greet the day with a hearty breakfast provided by your Karen hosts overlooking the Thai hills

Horses

  • Travel to Second Wind Ranch where you will meet the rescued horses and learn how to ride them with a trained instructor

Lunch

  • Enjoy local food together with your guide

Swim

  • Spend the afternoon at the Chiang Mai Canyon

  • Daredevils can take the opportunity to jump off cliffs of up to 5 metres high into the water

  • Alternatively, rest and enjoy the sun before returning to your hotel

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