Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Thailand’s Elephant Jungle Sanctuary has “NO RIDING” Policy! – Travel Guide

“NO to animal abuse!” People from all around the world has been doing their part to spread awareness for these kinds of campaigns. It is a such a big relief that at least some of our voices are being heard! The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a newly established program that is initially concerned about the welfare and being of the elephants in Thailand.

Last December 20th of this year, I got the best Christmas gift to date in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I was able to play with the elephants at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai and I am most happy to share that they have this “NO RIDING” policy going on! As an animal lover and advocate to proper animal treatment, I personally enjoyed studying the habits of the elephants and being physically there to care for them the whole day.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Previously, I have shared my insights about humanity and if there is hope for mankind. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary with the “NO RIDING” campaign is another reason for me to not give up on humanity! And I hope you are holding on to this hope just like me! We may have done monstrous things to our planet but I still believe that THERE IS HOPE FOR MANKIND. Read my thoughts here: “Is there hope for mankind?” – We Decide Our Future.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai

I won’t deny the fact that the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Chiang Mai is the cherry on top of my whole trip in Thailand. I have a few reasons why and if you read more below, you will know why.

About Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Founded in 2014, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is the brainchild of a lady named Mame Noi. The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary started as ab eco-tourism project where they care about the welfare of the elephants in Thailand and rescuing them from merchants who are forcing the elephants to do hard work.

A year before the project started, the owner got the chance to know the 3 elephants from the Karen-Hill-Tribes village. That was how the first 3 elephants were rescued in Chiang Mai. In 2019, the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary have currently rescued over 100 elephants in 4 different locations in Thailand: Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui.

What is their Mission and Vision?

To start of, the #EJS mission and vision holds the whole project together. It was formed by people with the most beautiful souls in the world. To actually start a project concerning about the welfare of the elephants keeps my mind and heart at ease.

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary’s Mission is to provide as many elephants as we can with proper health care and a life of freedom that they truly deserve. It is their hope to lead by example and contribute to a positive change. To witness a future where elephants are not poached, ridden, over worked and abused. Instead they are being treated with care, love and respect.

The mission and vision stands for the rights of the elephants and other animals in the world. With the use of progressive and ethically responsible approach to raise awareness and educate people about proper elephant care.

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

“No Riding” Policy by the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary implements a strictly “NO RIDING” policy. It is where the elephants can do what they want when they want, and are not subject to any training for profit-making entertainments.

When you visit the EJS in Chiang Mai, the elephants will not be forced to entertain you. You will go there to develop a positive relationship with them and if they want to eat, sleep or bathe with you it is up to them!

The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is definitely a place where elephants can be elephants!

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Whole Day / Half Day Visit at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

There are 2 kinds of visit you can do at any of the 4 EJS branch in Thailand: Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya and Samui. The whole day visit is worth it and expected to be a life-changing experience not only for you but for the elephants too. A half-day visit will do if you are running out of time or if you are in a time-sensitive state.

Where to Book Slots for Elephant Jungle Sanctuary?

There are 2 platforms where you can buy your ticket/slot for the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary (1) through Klook and (2) through their website.




I booked my half-day visit through Klook and the tour was smooth and no hassle at all. If it’s your first time hearing about Klook, they are the number 1 online travel activity provider and they have lots of travel-related activities across Asia. The mobile application of Klook is very user-friendly. Skip the line and the long queue for buying tickets by purchasing your discounted tickets online and receive the voucher in a few seconds!

How to use Klook? Follow the easy steps below.

  1. Sign up with Klook here
  2. Search for Elephant Jungle Santuary
  3. Buy the ticket using any form of payment available. Take note that you will need to put your hotel address for the pick up location on the date that you will choose to visit.
  4. Once you’re done purchasing it, in a few minutes you will receive an email voucher and the receipt on the email address you provided during the sign up process.
  5. Once you received the voucher, take a screenshot and show it to the tour guide and you’re good to go!

Things to do at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Like I said earlier, at the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary the elephants are free and they are not trained to entertain people. BUT, do take note that elephants are natural highly social animals. They love to interact with people and play with them at the sanctuary. Some elephants at the sanctuary are a total snob and they only care about their food, haha! Below are some of the things you can do with them during your whole day / hald day visit!

Help Feed the Elephants

Our tour guide said that the elephants are hungry all the time! They eat, sleep, poop and repeat. Lol! So our guide taught us a trick that the quickest way to an elephant heart is through their tummy! And so we fed them with lots of bananas in giant baskets. And as I have noticed, more bananas, more friends! Haha.

bananas for the elephants!

Mud Bath with the Elephants

Fun fact: elephant herds in a jungle often times chooses their natural habitat in a forest where water is abundant. This is because the elephants love to swim! And they are a good swimmer. They like putting mud on their bodies because it serves as sun-protection and keeps their skin comfy and eliminated insects as well.

At the sanctuary, you don’t have to force the elephants to join you in the mud bath because they will all come running to the pond and mud baths. This is the part of the activity where I personally enjoyed bathing with them and watching the 3-year old baby elephant rub its body to the mud. So cute!

mud bath at elephant jungle sanctuary
Tulu the 3-year old baby elephant!
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

Learn interesting facts about the elephants

The tour guide and mahouts – term used to describe elephant caretakers, are very knowledgeable and proactive in establishing strong relationships with both humans and elephants. You will learn a lot of impressive fun facts and trivia about the elephants. You can ask them around whenever you are curious of something.

Best photo ever with Tulu! 🙂

How to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok?

You have 3 ways for you to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok and that is by plane, by train and by bus.

By Plane

This is the fastest way to go to Chiang Mai from Bangkok and is also the most expensive. Chiang Mai is just an hour plane ride from Bangkok and the fare usually range from 2,500 THB to 3,500 THB.

By Sleeper Train

The sleeper train has become one of the famous way to get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok. The impressive view of the mountainous Northern Thailand gives the tourists a competitive choice. Furthermore, its downside is that it’s slower than the bus and may take up to 15 – 16 hours of travel time. Most tourist still choose this to travel since it has a VIP room where a bed is provided where you can comfortably sleep and wake up in the morning to watch the view from the window. The fare usually range from 800 THB to 1300 THB.

By Sleeper Bus

For budget travelers who doesn’t mind long travels, this is the best option for you! If you have been backpacking and traveling around Asian countries, a long travel by land isn’t really a big thing for you now, does it? The travel time is 10-12 hours and the fare ranges from 450 THB to 700 THB.

Where to book your plane, sleeper train and/or bus ticket?

The best online tour agency where you can buy plane, train and bus tickets to and from Chiang Mai is with 12GO. They have schedules that departs everyday. Note that you need to book at least 1 day ahead to secure your slots.


Morchit Bus Station to Chiang Mai Arcade 2

There are buses at Morchit Bus Station that goes directly to Chiang Mai Arcade 2 terminal. You can go there directly to buy your tickets. If you will book through 12GO, the Morchit Bus Station is where most of the bus are coming from.

Khaosan Road to Chiang Mai

If your hotel is located in Khaosan Road, going to Morchit station may be a bit hassle for you especially with all your luggage since the distance is a bit far. Luckily, there are lots of tour agencies scattered around the streets of Khaosan Road where you can look for the cheapest price. I have asked to about 4 tour agencies around the streets and some offers 550 THB and others are 600 THB. The cheapest I was able to look for is Mama Tour Agencies near Yes Khaosan Hostel and the fare was 500 THB.

Tip: Be sure to ask if it’s a sleeper bus, air conditioned and has a toilet in it. You don’t want to be spending the whole 12 hours trip stuck in an uncomfortable travel.

Reminders and Tips from Joan’s Footprints

  • Bring insect repellent and sunscreen at the sanctuary
  • Bring extra clothes and swimwear
  • For Accommodation, you may stay at 9 Hostel n Chiang Mai. This is a good place to stay especially for budget travelers.
  • Make sure to book your hostel in the city center so that you’ll get easy access on Buddhist temples nearby.
  • For nightlife in Chiang Mai, try Zoe in Yellow!
  • Bikes are free to use in most hostels for 2 hours. You may use it to lessen the fees when going to Buddhist temples.

Contacts and Information

Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
Simple remembrance from a life-changing experience @ Elephant Jungle Sanctuary!


7 thoughts on “Thailand’s Elephant Jungle Sanctuary has “NO RIDING” Policy! – Travel Guide

  1. Interesting article. I loved the pictures that compliment your text. I was unaware of a “No Riding” policy but I’m glad to know that one exists. Well done!

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