Nestled in upcountry Thailand, south of the lush foothills of those nourishing Himalayas, just outside the delightful city of Chiang Mai, is Tao Garden, an oasis of dynamic healing practice, blending the most exciting new medical developments of Holistic Western Medicine with traditional Eastern arts such as Taoist Massage, Acupuncture, 5 Element Chinese Healing Systems and Ayurvedic practices from India.
The Elephant Nature Park was established by one of the leading conservationists in Thailand, Lek Chailert.
She is trying to educate people about the plight of the Thai elephants and rescue injured and abused ones. They are brought to the Elephant Nature Park so that they can enjoy their lives in a natural setting.
If you have ever watched an elephant show or feed a begging elephant in Bangkok, you will not want to do so again after seeing these elephants in this setting. Truly a highlight of any trip to Northern Thailand.
A three say trek, where we stayed in local villages in Northern Thailand. We stayed in a Karen village in the first night and in a Pulong village on the second night. Accommodations and "facilties" were primitive. Yes the people here really do live like this.
The Elephant Nature Park is an effort by one woman, Lek Chailert, to bring the plight of the Asian elephants in Thailand to travellers from around the world. Elephants are rescued from the streets of Bangkok to illegal forestry operations in Myanmar and provided with a safe sanctuary.
Lek is also trying to educate the locals into using a more caring approach to domesticating elephants, rather than the traditional ways of "breaking" the elephants.
Bathing and interacting with the elephants in a natural setting is one sustainable approach to elephant tourism.