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Chai Lai Orchid Eco Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai

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If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful region and are looking for a unique and meaningful place to stay, the Chai Lai Orchid should definitely be on your radar. Located just outside of the city center in the Mae Rim district, this eco-lodge is surrounded by lush forests and rice fields, offering a peaceful and serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Plus, you’ll be near an incredible elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai! An unforgettable experience where you could relax in nature’s embrace and connect with these majestic creatures.

But the Chai Lai Orchid is more than just a comfortable place to rest your head – it is also a place where you can make a positive impact on the world. In this blog post, we’ll explore the many reasons why you should consider staying at the Chai Lai Orchid on your next trip to Chiang Mai.

Basic Information about Chai Lai Orchid

If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and are looking for an authentic and meaningful place to stay, the Chai Lai Orchid Eco Lodge in Chiang Mai should definitely be on your radar.

This eco-friendly lodge is not your average accommodation, and offers an “off the beaten path” destination for travelers looking to experience the beauty of northern Thailand without contributing to the mistreatment of animals.

Eco-friendly Program at Chai Lai Orchid

The lodge has an “eco-friendly” program that allows guests to experience the jungle in a sustainable way, but also to get involved in activities that help preserve its beautiful wildlife and sacred forests.

In addition to exploring the vast country and learning about the local hill tribe culture, guests at the Chai Lai Orchid can also visit the nearby elephant sanctuary, which treats abused elephants and works to prevent further abuse of these majestic creatures.

All elephants on the property roam around freely – no chains, just positive reinforcement. The staff at the lodge is extremely dedicated and passionate about the animals. Most of them grew up with elephants themselves and want to preserve and nurture these beautiful animals to the best of their abilities.

I found my stay at this place like a dream come true. Animal welfare is extremely important to me and I took a close look at how things are run at Chai Lai Orchid. Never did I have a bad feeling or seen any form of animal abuse or neglect. All the animals here seem to be happy and thriving. Not only will you get to see and interact with elephants but the lodge is also home to many dogs and cats that are friendly and want some cuddles.

Eco-friendly Program at Chai Lai Orchid
Eco-friendly Program at Chai Lai Orchid
100% of the Proceeds are donated to Daughters Rising

100% of the Proceeds are donated to Daughters Rising

The Chai Lai Orchid is more than just an eco-lodge and home for rescued elephants – it is also a place where marginalized women are empowered to overcome intergenerational poverty and uplift their communities.

Through providing a safe home, education, and employment, the Chai Lai Orchid works to fight exploitation and promote social transformation. In the context of unethical tourism, the Chai Lai Orchid prioritizes the protection of the environment, community, and elephants over profit.

Chai Lai Orchid prioritizes
Chai Lai Orchid prioritizes

Support for Vulnerable Women

Indigenous women and girls around the world experience the highest rates of physical violence, sex trafficking, and exploitation, and this is often due to the legacy of colonization and ongoing issues of racial discrimination and poverty.

These are the factors that allow trafficking to thrive, and the Chai Lai Orchid works to address these issues and create positive change.

By choosing to stay at the Chai Lai Orchid, you can be a part of the solution to the problems of exploitation and intergenerational poverty faced by marginalized women.

Your support helps to empower these women and make a positive impact on their communities, while also enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the eco-lodge and supporting the care and rehabilitation of rescued elephants.

Make a difference by booking a stay at the Chai Lai Orchid and join us in the efforts to create positive change.

Chai Lai Orchid
Chai Lai Orchid
Where is the Chai Lai Orchid located?

Where is the Chai Lai Orchid located?

Address: 172 m 5 T. Mae Sapok A, Amphoe Mae Wang, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50360, Thailand

The Chai Lai Orchid is situated in the Mae Rim region, about 1 hour outside of the city center, and is surrounded by lush forests and rice fields. The eco-lodge is located approximately 30 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport, and is only accessible by taxi or private car. It is a popular destination for travelers looking to experience the natural beauty of Thailand while also enjoying the convenience of being close to the city.

Mae Rim region
Mae Rim region

Eco Lodging at the Chai Lai Orchid

Chai Lai Orchid Bungalows offer a peaceful retreat secluded in the jungle of Chiang Mai, Thailand. Guests can enjoy breathtaking sunrise views over Mae Sapok and engage in nature activities like hiking to waterfalls and swimming in the river. The lodge’s main highlight is the alfresco hilltop dining with panoramic views of the valley and elephants. Elephant happy hour on the mountain is a unique experience available before 4pm.

The accommodation provides both mountain view and river view bungalows, allowing guests to choose their preferred scenic setting. Both areas are within walking distance, and free transportation between two areas is available. Chai Lai Orchid is located approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes from Chiang Mai airport and is situated on the way to Doi Inthanon National Park, which boasts the highest mountain in Thailand.

Guests can enjoy the convenience of free Wi-Fi in the common areas, in-room massage services, and open-air showers. The on-site restaurant and bar offer a range of dining options. Additionally, Chai Lai Orchid provides ethical elephant experiences for guests to engage with and learn about these majestic creatures.

For those planning a romantic celebration, the accommodation offers custom trips and an elephant wedding package to make your elopement in Thailand a memorable experience.


  • Ethical elephant experiences
  • Free Wi-Fi in common areas
  • In-room massage available
  • Walking distance to waterfalls and swimming
  • Open-air showers
  • On-site restaurant and bar
Ethical elephant experiences
Ethical elephant experiences

What you can do at the Chai Lai Orchid

Being secluded in the Thai rainforest doesn’t mean you will be bored at the Chai Lai Orchid! In fact, there are so many activities to choose from that you won’t have the time to do them all. During our stay, we opted for the elephant breakfast and traditional Thai massage in our mountain-view bungalow. The rest of the time, we spent playing with elephants, cats and dogs, bathing in the river and sampling the delicious local cuisine offered at the restaurant.

Here is a complete list of all the things you can do at Chai Lai Orchid:

  1. Professional Photography:
    Get professional photography services in studio or on location in Chiang Mai. Prices start from 3300 THB, depending on time and locations.
  2. Thai Massage:
    Enjoy a traditional Thai massage or Thai yoga massage combining acupressure, Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga postures. The price is 500 THB per hour.
  3. Guided Hike to Waterfalls + Lunch:
    Join a fun and relaxing one-day trip for nature lovers, including visits to several waterfalls where you can swim. Learn about jungle wisdom, edible plants, and medicinal plants. The price is 1500 THB per person.
  4. Driver to Wat Lung Khun Win:
    Visit the beautiful temple of Wat Lung Khun Win located in Mae Wang, Chiang Mai, with a round trip by truck. The price is 2000 THB per truck, not per person.
  5. Thai Facial Massage:
    Experience a five-step facial treatment that cleanses and revitalizes the skin, leaving it fresh, smooth, and glowing. The price for this 55-minute treatment is 600 THB.
  6. Bamboo Raft:
    Relax on a bamboo raft while enjoying a river ride. The price includes an experienced raft driver, and you can bring your own drinks. The cost is 600 THB.
  7. Karen Homestay:
    Stay at a Karen hill tribe homestay, supporting local families and experiencing Karen culture and hospitality. The price is 1500 THB per person and includes breakfast and dinner.
  8. Bamboo Jungle Cooking:
    Learn traditional food preparation in the jungle without electricity or pots and pans from a Karen guide. The price is 1000 THB per person, with a minimum of 2 guests.
  9. Songtew Taxi to Chiang Mai:
    Share a truck taxi with other guests to save money and reduce carbon emissions. The price is 800-900 THB per truck.
  10. Elephant Room Service + Breakfast:
    Book a room where you can enjoy breakfast while interacting with elephants. The price is 1200 THB per room and includes elephant food donations, breakfast, coffee, tea, and bananas to share.
  11. Feed Elephants:
    Experience the joy of feeding elephants with this activity that includes elephant food donations. The price is 250 THB.
  12. Hike with Elephants:
    Walk through the forest with elephants in their natural habitat, accompanied by an English-speaking guide. The price is 1500 THB per person and includes food for elephants.
  13. Oil Massage:
    Treat yourself to a relaxing oil massage to destress and alleviate body aches. The price for a 1-hour in-room massage is 800 THB.
  14. Hot Air Balloon:
    Enjoy a unique experience of floating over the beautiful countryside of Chiang Mai in a hot air balloon. The price is 8800 THB per person, and the trip starts at dawn.
  15. Jungle ATV:
    Take an adventurous ride through jungle tracks on a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle. The price is 1000 THB.
  16. Swim with an Elephant:
    Cool off by swimming in the Mae Wang river alongside elephants. The price is 1200 THB per person and includes elephant food donations.
  17. Weaving Class:
    Learn the art of weaving from a master Weaver of the indigenous Karen tribe. The price is 800 THB per person and includes materials.
  18. Private Taxi to Doi Inthanon National Park:
    Explore Doi Inthanon National Park, known for its waterfalls, trails, remote villages, viewpoints, and birdwatching. The price for a private taxi is 2500 THB, allowing you to discover the highest mountain in Thailand.

Are you ready for your unique stay at the Chai Lai Orchid?

Staying at the Chai Lai Orchid was an absolute dream. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I am incredibly passionate about animals and animal welfare. That’s why I decided to write this thorough article about the Chai Lai Orchid – because they really impressed me. The staff loves what they are doing and the animals are happy – you can just tell! I wholeheartedly recommend staying at the Chai Lai Orchid when you are in Chiang Mai – it’s an incredible experience!

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Linda has been living in Asia since 2012 and loves sharing her travel and life experiences on her website. She currently works remotely in Online Marketing and also teaches various English classes in South Korea.

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