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Elephants near Chiang Rai

Sunshine Coast...
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Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi,

Staying in Chiang Rai for 5 days and would love to visit an elephant sanctuary if there is one nearby. We have been to Elephant Nature Park which we just loved but don't have time in Chiang Mai this time to visit. Is there a similar park near Chiang Rai? We don't want to ride them or see them do shows, but would love to experience them in a natural setting.

Thanks in advance MCG

Chang Rai, Chiang...
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1. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi Mcg,

There is one camp by the river.it is called Ruammit camp.well if you like to go there or want to get more information please send me you email at Chaleechiangrai@hotmail.com

thanks.

Mr.Cha

Colorado
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for Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai Province
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2. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi Melbourne Country Girl:

It is nice to see you back on the forum.

There are two places where you can see elephants near Chiang Rai. The first is Ruammit, which is a village that is about 20 to 25 minutes from Chiang Rai by car or a one-hour boat ride by long tail boat. Ruammit sits on the edge of the Mae Kok River. I think the experience in Ruammit would differ significantly from the Elephant Nature Park. Raummit is a more rural experience, although that is changing with each passing year. The village has something similar to a co-op, which provides elephant rides to tourists through the streets of the village, the jungle or the river, depending on the option you select and for how long you want to ride. You can go for as short as an hour or take a half-day ride to a rural hilltribe and spend the night.

The second place is Anantara Resort, which is located about an hour north of Chiang Rai in Sob Ruak, which is where the Golden Triangle is located. The camp is within a beautiful resort that overlooks the point where the three countries meet (Laos, Burma and Thailand). The elephant camp at Anantara is more of a conservatory that works to protect elephants. You can ride an elephant for a couple of hours through the hills, or you could take an all day mahout training class. As a guest, you can also visit the elephant camp and feed and interact with the elephants whenever you desire.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Sunshine Coast...
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3. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Thanks to you both. I always read your posts Broder and your info is so helpful. I have been making notes. Thanks for help with the elephants. Looking forward to it and only 2 weeks to go.

Thanks again MCG

Brisbane, Australia
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for Chiang Mai
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4. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Yes - Ruammit is wonderful. The village is really lovely for exploring and walking around. We recently did a day trip with Jermsak (the jbr is saved under trip reports 2012) where we started at Ruammit and then went up river and came down on a raft while eating a hot cooked lunch on board. We then had time to explore the village. A wonderful day trip, one of the best I have ever done. This whole area is beautiful.

Caroline.

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5. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi Caroline, is this trip only available through jermsak, or can we book it in town anywhere that day trips can be booked? Love the raft idea.

Thanks MCG

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi MCG,

You can do the Ruammit Village with other guides and tour operators. You can get there by long tail boat up the river - which is a great trip.

The raft I mentioned was actually built by Jermsak and two men from the Ruammit Village. They went into partnership to build it. The two village men assemble it and take it up river - and they guide it down the river.

Jermsak can then give all his attention to being the guide and not piloting the raft.

As far as I know there are no other rafts like this. We had lots of photos taken of us as we drifted down the river - so quite unique.

Its possible Jermsak has an agreement where he lets it out to other guides to use - but I am not sure of any details of this... There was a recent trip report from someone where another guide was using the raft with the two men Jermsak is in partnership with. So maybe if he is booked out on another day trip he lets it out.

If you go to the FAQ - trip reports 2012 - you will see one of them is a link to a blog. You can then see photos of the raft and the other guide using it. It will give you an idea of what it looks like etc.

It was a fabulous trip. Jermsaks wife cooked us a three course lunch on board.

Caroline.

Colorado
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7. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

To the best of my knowledge, Jermsak owns the only raft right now that leaves out of Ruammit. He has at times let Mr. Cha or an occasional other guide use the raft but I think most of these occasions were when Jermsak was already booked and he was trying to accommodate a past client or special guest. In those cases, he helped the individuals find another guide and let that guide use the raft. I think you'd probably have to contact Jermsak about the raft trip and if he isn't available, he could let you know if there if there is someone else who could take you on his raft.

You can go to Tha ton and find raft trips down the Mae Kok River, but it is another couple of hours of driving time to get to the starting point for that raft trip (unless you are starting your trip on that side of Thailand). I have seen other rafts on the river, but they had all originated in Tha Ton.

Safe Travels,

Broder

Sunshine Coast...
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8. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Thank you Caroline and Broder. Will look further into this.

Appreciate all your help and knowledge.

MCG

Larkspur, California
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9. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi MCG,

Wehre did you end up staying in Chiang Rai for elephants and how did it compare to the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai? My family of four will be in Thailand this August. We have two kids, 6.5 and 10. We aren't sure if we should go to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai. Any advice?

Thank you,

Jen

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10. Re: Elephants near Chiang Rai

Hi Jen,

We went to Ruammit elephant camp by long tail boat. Really enjoyed this long trip up the river and as we were there in June, it was really quiet. In fact on that day we didn't see anyone else on the river. Very nice. I have to say that I found the elephant camp at Ruammit, a little depressing with a number of elephants rocking which is a sign of stress. I do understand that it's a rural camp, and of course nothing like Elephant Nature Park and the other parks that cater for elephants. Given that you have your 2 kids, I would totally recommend you spend the day at ENP on this trip and visit Ruammit next time as it is a totally different experience. Your kids will love the interaction at ENP, and we found it a life changing experience. No tricks or rides, washing, feeding and being up close with them in a beautiful park. I am sure you won't be disappointed. You need to book in advance as it books up quickly and they only take a certain amount of visitors each day.

Safe travels. MCG