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Where is best to go to watch an Elephant show in Thailand?

Reader’s E-mail:

I am going to Thailand and one of the things I want to do is watch an elephant show. Any suggestions on where to go?

Reply from Thailand Info

Try Maesa Elephant Camp near Chiang Mai. They have shows at 08.00, 09.40 and 13.30 every day. The entrance fee is 200 THB per person.

Mae Sa Elephant Camp

Location and Transport from Chiang Mai


Maesa Elephant Camp is about 20 minutes drive from Chiang Mai going towards Mae Rim. You can hire a taxi in Chiang Mai to take you by visiting any travel agency, or to do it more cheaply speak to one of the Songthaew drivers. A Songthaew is a converted pick up truck with a cover over the flat bed in the back and two rows of seats installed. They operate as cheap public transport in Chiang Mai and are painted red, yellow or white depending on which route they operate. These privately operated cars are normally available to hire for longer private trips. A popular option is to hire them for the whole day and to visit a variety of different attractions. There are many different shows to see and attractions to visit on the way to Maesa Elephant Camp. The driver will know the best ones. Most also cost 200 THB per person. To hire a Songthaew for the day expect to be charged 600 THB to 1,000 THB depending on the seson and your negotiating skills.

Largest Elephant Camp In Thailand

Maesa Elephant Camp is the largest in Northern Thailand. Established in the 1970s at any time it has around 60 to 70 elephants in the camp. The camp was first set up as an environmental project to re-home elephants made redundant by the slow down in the logging industry. The elephants appear well treated – each has its own individual keeper (known as a ‘mahout’).

Elephant Shows


The shows last around 45 minutes and feature a number of different displays of elephant skills. They kick a football, throw hola hoops, stand on their keepers (gently) and along side the trick they also demonstrate skills from the logging industry. The grand finale at the end is a painting show. This is a great trick where the elephants each paint a rural Thai scene. Not sure how they manage to do this but the results are great and available for purchase at the end to the highest bidder.

Location of the Maesa Elephant Camp