Chiang Mai elephant camp invites tourists to visit for free this Songkran
If you can’t splash each other this Songkran, splash an elephant instead — in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai’s Maesa Elephant Camp invites tourists to splash in the water with elephants during the Songkran holidays, which will be celebrated this week from April 13 – 16. The camp is open from 9am – 3pm every day and admission is free. After facing hardship throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Maesa’s elephants hope tourists will flock to visit them this Thai New Year.
Maesa Elephant Camp, located in the Mae Rim district of northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Province, is expecting high numbers of tourists this Songkran holiday. The slight ease in Thailand’s entry requirements, such as the cancellation of the pre-arrival PCR test, is starting to attract a few more foreign tourists into the country.
Maesa has been decorated to give the camp a traditional Songkran atmosphere this year. The decorations feature paper lanterns made from recycled elephant dung and a pagoda made from sand. Maesa has a cool and shady atmosphere making it the perfect place to escape the heat this week (it’s the hottest time of the year in Northern Thailand).
The elephants are ready to cool off in the water this Songkran holiday with temperatures expected to reach highs of 38 degrees Celsius this week ‘up north’. The elephant’s mahouts — or minders/trainers — invite tourists to splash in the water with the elephants, take photos and learn more about Thailand’s most-beloved creatures at the camp, which has been open for 45 years. The camp encourages tourists to buy a basket of food to feed the elephants.
Executive of Maesa Elephant Camp Anchalee Kalmaphicit expects high numbers of tourists to visit the camp this week. Maesa also wants to celebrate Songkran to preserve northern Thailand’s rich cultural heritage.
The return of tourists will generate desperately needed income for the camp, which has struggled financially throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Without tourists, the camp has not been able to feed their elephants a complete nutritious diet and a total of 22 elephants have died at the camp in the past two years.
If you would like to sponsor an elephant at Maesa, visit https://maesaelephantcamp.com/
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