Before I go into talking about this magical experience, I want to let you know that this was my fourth time in Thailand and I’ve always been against the use of elephants for human entertainment. I went to Chiang Mai with the sole purpose of working on my healing. This was for me a much needed solo trip during a dark time when I knew I had to seek light for my wellbeing. I started this self love trip by going to see friends who are current expats in Chiang Mai, meet their baby and then dive into a few days of silent meditation and intense yoga. So in between visiting friends and my meditation and yoga retreat I had a few days in the city. I don’t know how I got so lucky (the universe knew I needed this also) but as I searched for a place on airbnb I came across these jungle bungalows remotely located at an elephant sanctuary. So this is how I discovered this beautiful place…
U N C O V E R
Seeing as this trip was about spiritual healing I thought, well what better way to rebalance than to immerse myself in the jungle surrounded by nature and these amazing creatures. The more I read on this place the more I uncovered why it was right for me. You guys, The Chai Lai Orchid is the ONLY airbnb in THAILAND where you can live with Elephants! I REPEAT!! You can live with elephants. What?? I mean, I didn't even know this was a possibility. It was unreal waking up to baby elephants roaming around my bungalow. Not only do you get to live in this eco lodge and play with the rescued elephants wait until I tell you about how your economic contribution helps support human rights, by empowering at risk women.
S P R E A D I N G T H E L O V E
100% of their proceeds fund the Daughters Rising Program, this organization provides english, Thai and computer classes, women's health education, training to enhance skills in areas like tourism and hospitality along with providing food and housing to women at risk of sex trafficking and exploitation. Read about their mission to instill change here.
I don't even want to get started on the abuse elephants go through because of the tourism industry but just know that elephants are a huge business in Thailand, you have to educate yourself before giving your money to a business that is harming them. The most sustainable way to change the demand on the unfair treatment to elephants is by simply supporting ethical camps like this one that are rescuing and providing care for these big lovers.
If you'd also like to share your love & have a similar life changing experience, I'm gifting you with a discount to make that dream happen! DISCOUNT CODE: ILOVEPHANTS300
V I B R A T I O N S
The night before arriving at Chai Lai I began experiencing emotion of fear and doubt. Because, I was never interested in riding an elephant I never did much research on what my behavior should be like around these huge and powerful animals but then it hit me that they'd be roaming around freely where I'd be staying in the jungle and by myself!
As soon as I came around Seavoy she was pure love. I was awkwardly keeping my distance from her as I got ready to take her on a walk but it didn't take very long for me to feel completely comfortable with me guiding her as she walked right behind me through her natural habitat, the energy she transferred through her old and compassionate soul stroke me with a very hard to describe type of joy. I felt peace, tranquility, happiness, and fearless. It was such a mixture of different thoughts and emotions, something that was unimaginable.
E S S E N T I A L S
Wether you choose to volunteer with elephants, stay for a night at the eco lodge, Karen Tribe homestay, or simply do a one day adventure of bathing the elephants, trekking and playing with them here's a few things you should know to pack:
Bring clothes you don't mind getting dirty. The elephants are super loving and rub up against you. Bring clothes you can manage getting soaking wet or a swim suit to get in the river and roll around with these cuties while you bathe them. Of course, because you will be in the jungle in a tropical place my standard daily perfume/bfff- mosquito repellent.
S T A Y I N G H E A L T H Y
If you don't already know this about me oooh let me tell you that I am a big fan of Thai food! I'm so obsessed with it, I actually took a cooking class in the city while I was in Chiang Mai. Eating in Thailand is easy for me as I can have endless vegan options.
The Chai Lai Orchid cafe offers a great breakfast, has tons of great smoothies and traditional thai dishes but if you want to venture out there's a few places (minimal) on the road you can try, just keep in mind that they shut down early at about 7 pm since its such a remote area.
Also, be sure to constantly feed your playful elephants bananas as they eat a ton!
Tag me- withlovescarleny & chailaiorchid with your cute elephant pics while you're there!