Elephant encounters are on everyone’s to-do list when they travel to Thailand, but having an ethical elephant encounter becomes a bit more complicated. That’s where the Chai Lai Orchid comes in. This eco-friendly hotel in the mountains of Chiang Mai allows guests to get up close and personal with the resident elephants — in a responsible manner.
The Chai Lai Orchid Is the Ethical Elephant Experience in Thailand You've Been Looking For
All the elephants onsite have been rescued, and the hotel works closely with local organizations to ensure that all its elephants have ample space to roam freely around their enclosures, and receive top-notch care from trained professionals. Travelers also have the chance to interact more personally with these extraordinary creatures via special guided tours, where they can feed them by hand. The hotel’s humanitarian efforts go a step further by donating a portion of their profits to help combat human trafficking.
In addition to viewing the elephants, visitors can explore nearby attractions like Wat Rong Khun Temple and Doi Suthep Temple, as well as hiking trails within Mae Sa Valley National Park or Mae Ya waterfall National Park. They can also take part in activities like bamboo rafting, or visit nearby tribal villages where they can learn firsthand about Thai culture.
Accommodations at the hotel consist of glamping-style bungalows. Each features handmade bamboo furniture, a thatched roof, ensuite bathrooms, and open-air showers. They also have private balconies with panoramic views of the forest and mountains.