THE BEST ONE DAY ADVENTURE IN NORTHERN THAILAND
“I literally do not even know where to start! The Tuk Tuk Adventure was the highlight of our time in Thailand! Our guides were both great and the whole day was one we will remember forever. Nothing beats the look on a locals face seeing you behind the wheel of a Tuk Tuk haha and the bathing the Elephants was incredible. I will be recommending it to anyone and everyone going to Thailand! Now to try and choose between your programs for next year ” Amy & Alice
The perfect day trip from Chiang Mai combining driving your very own traditional Thai Tuk Tuk through idyllic rural landscapes and communities, walking and bathing with elephants, and bamboo rafting. What more could you want from a day?
Tuk Tuk and Elephant Adventure
08:00 Pick up from your hotel and then transfer by minivan to our base for the day nestled in the Mae Wang valley.
09:30 On arrival in Mae Wang, our team will introduce you to your Tuk Tuks and begin your driver training. If you don’t want to drive a Tuk Tuk, don’t worry, you can enjoy the joys of nature’s air-conditioning from the breeze in in the back.
NOTE: all drivers must be aged 18 or over and hold a valid manual driving license.
10:30 The Tuk Tuks are pretty easy to master and once everyone is feeling comfortable behind the wheel we’ll head through tiny rural roads, snaking through farming villages and past rural Temples. One of our guides always drives the lead Tuk Tuk making sure that you don’t lose your way and no-one is tempted to go too fast! With frequent stops to explore and, importantly, make sure everyone has a good opportunity to drive, you’ll get a great insight into real rural life in Northern Thailand. Something that’s not as easy to come across as you’d think.
11:30 By late morning we’ll arrive at the elephant home where you’ll not only learn about the past, present and future of the Thai Elephant but also have the opportunity to interact with them.
Once you’ve been introduced to the elephants – who have been taken out of a life of trekking and can now relax and enjoy their time more naturally – you’ll be able to help the mahouts feed them.
After you’ve fed the elephants it’s time to sit down to a feast of traditional Thai food, right next to the elephants giving you the opportunity to continue watching the elephants and seeing how they interact.
1:00 After lunch you’ll walk with the mahouts and their elephants through the local countryside to the river where you’ll help the mahouts wash the elephants – a fantastic experience for you and the elephants! Unlike many places in Thailand, we operate a strict no-riding policy.
3:00 Now it’s time to enjoy some water activities of a different kind as you float lazily along the local river on a traditional bamboo raft. Don’t worry, there are no rapids along the way, rather this is a great opportunity to see the local surroundings from a different angle and have a huge amount of fun negotiating the twists and turns of the river.
4:00 It’s time to jump back into your Tuk Tuk and wind your way back down the valley enjoying your last moments behind the wheel of this Thailand ‘icon’. The road curves and sweeps gently down the valley and be sure to have your camera out to catch the surprise of the local community when they see you driving your very own Tuk Tuk!
4:45 On reaching the base you’ll transfer back into a minivan and we’ll take you back to your hotel in Chiang Mai, arriving around 6:00PM giving you plenty of time in the evening to reflect on the incredible day you’ve had !
Please note that riding of the elephants by customers is strictly not allowed.
The training of domestic elephants by mahouts is an ancient tradition in Thailand. Traditionally elephants were largely trained for logging to support the local community. With the ban of the logging industry many mahouts were forced to bring elephants into urban areas to beg for money.
Eco tourism provides a responsible and sustainable alternative, providing an experience that financially supports the whole community whilst allowing visitors to participate in village life and spend time with the elephants. This fosters an opportunity for travellers to learn about rural Thai culture as well as begin to understand the diverse challenges that face elephant communities in Thailand. Along with your group, you will spend time up close to these magnificent animals.