Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – Chiang Mai, Thailand

Elephants and Thailand kind of go together like peanut butter and jelly, and if you find yourself in Thailand looking for an Elephant experience, I highly recommend the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary. They have a few different locations in Thailand. I went to the one in Chiang Mai which I think happens to be the best one.

Your day is broken up into 3 sections. You start off by feeding the elephants bananas. I think this helps you and elephants get comfortable with one another. By the end of the feeding frenzy, the elephants are no longer in their stalls and roaming the ground with you.

The second experience is Spa Time with the Elephants. You head into this giant mud pit where you can rub mud all over the elephants or your friends. I don’t believe the mud had any special healing power, I think it’s just an excuse for everyone to get dirty before heading into the third excursion.

Swim with the elephants! After the mud bath, you make your way to a river where you splash and swim with the elephants. They love the water! And it is so fun watching them play in it. After playtime is over, the trainers will take the elephants further down the river, and you will head back up to camp for some lunch.

This is honestly one of the coolest experiences, and the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is a sustainable and ethical eco-tourism project which make my heart happy.  The elephants are loved and cared for, and there is no riding because its bad for their backs.

What to bring?


Dry Clothes

Swim Suit

Waterproof camera

The GoPro was perfect!

Trainers or a sturdy pair of sandals

 I brought one of each to be safe but was in my sandals mostly.

We booked our experience through our hotel in Chiang Mai. It’s popular, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a booking place, but you can also reach out to the Sanctuary directly.

Check out my video for the full experience. What fun ways have you interreacted with Elephants? Tell me in the comments below.

Until next time…



Ride On – A Guide to the Mae Hong Son Loop

In July, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, “Who wants to go on a motorcycle tour in Thailand?” I got my motorcycle license in September and was boarding a plane to Southeast Asia for 16 days in November. I had just started my new job that April. To have enough PTO for the trip, I didn’t take a single vacation day since I’d started, and we went over the Thanksgiving holiday which was 2 free vacation days. I flew out Friday night on a red eye, was back in Reno by midnight Sunday and at work the following day by 9 am. I was exhausted, the jet lag was real, but it was all worth it.

Now that you know logistically how I got there, here is my quick breakdown of the Mae Hong Son Loop. So, what is it? The Mae Hong Son Loop is about 600 km long, has 1,864 curves and is in the northeastern mountains of Thailand. Because of the beautiful scenery and the tight curves, it is a popular motorcycle route. Your trip starts in Chiang Mai and you can complete the loop in either direction. For the novice rider, like myself, I recommend starting clockwise towards Mae Sariang with Pai being your last stop. Rent your bike in Chiang Mai; I used Tony’s Big Bikes. I ended up being too short to rent an actual motorcycle, so I ended up with a 150 CC scooter. It worked for me. This was my first motorcycle ride, so I didn’t need a lot of power; just something I felt comfortable with.

I was riding in a group of 6. Quite a few of us, myself included, were complete motorcycle rookies, so we took our time. We completed the loop in 10 days. Our first stop was just off the main freeway – the 108 – right before the turnoff for Doi Inthanon National Park – the tallest point in Thailand. We stayed a second night near the park, and the following day made it to Mae Sariang. Guide books say you can finish the loop in 4 days, we did it in 10. After Mae Sariang, we continued to Mae Hong Son where we spent a few days and then Pai. Pai was the “happening” place, and I recommend at least 2 nights there.

There are beautiful vista points to stop along during all parts of the trip. Some of the best meals I had were random huts along the side of the road where our only communication was “fried rice” and “pork”. November was the perfect time to go. The weather wasn’t overbearingly hot, and we only had one afternoon where we couldn’t ride because of the rain.

Driving in Thailand is different than driving in America. First, they drive on the left, and second, their rules for passing and staying in your own lane are quite passive compared to the States. Just stay confident and you’ll be fine.

Riding the Mae Hong Son Loop in Thailand was an adventure for the books. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and is one trip I will never forget. Check out my video below. It was my first time using a GoPro, so bear with me. Until next time…



Bonus: Want to see us playing with elephants in Chiang Mai? Click here!