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Chiang Dao Elephant Training Center
The Elephant Training Center is located at Ta Yaak Village, Chiang Dao District, about 56kms (35 miles) north of Chiang Mai City, on the road to Fang and Tha Ton. It is on the banks of the Mae Ping River (where the elphants bathe before and after their lessons) , and is surrounded by rocky hills. It has a quite beautiful, near idyllic location.
The place has been constructed using mostly natural materials which blend well with it's natural setting.
The elephant shows themselves are refreshingly un-circus like. The empahsis is placed on the skills that elephants have traditionally been taught to aid with the logging of trees. (thankfully large scale illegal logging is no longer an issue in Thailand, although neighbouring countries still suffer). The strength of the elephant / mahoot relationship is also highlighted.
Chiang Dao Elephant Training Center also has a small "Lisu Market" where colourful and intricate handicrafts made by the Lisu hilltribe (apparently "mountain people" is more politically correct than "hilltribe" these days! ) villagers, are available to buy.
If you take an elephant ride, the route passes through some beautiful forest and along / through the river.
The bamboo rafting which is also available here is along a very picturesque stretch of the Ping River (which runs through Chiang Mai, too.)

Training Schedule
The daily training lasts from 9am to 11am with two shows; one starts at 9am one at 10am. The training schedule is Bathing in the Ping River - Assembling on the training ground - Walking in single file, walking in pairs and walking in procession - Helping the mahoot mounting and dismounting - Crouching down on "all fours" - Lowering the front legs and head - Picking up small things - Log-dragging single, log-dragging double and log-dragging side - Carrying logs by tusk and trunk - Pushing logs by tusk and trunk - Piling up of logs.

 
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