About this listing
Simple rustic hut with a view of the forest and the elephants passing by.
Beautiful and cozy Thai style bungalows offer the ultimate private mountain experience and you can watch a family of elephants pass by your windows all day long. The hut features traditional grass roof, high quality mattress and linens, mini-bar, mosquito net, fan, and a small private patio.
Here you can spend your days caring and interacting with elephants — playing, feeding, and bathing them. Cool off with an afternoon swim, ride down the river in a bamboo raft, or simply float away in a tube. Picnic in the garden, eat fresh fruit right from the tree and relax in a hammock. Go trekking to secret waterfalls, beautiful vistas, Hill Tribe villages and hidden spots unreachable by car. And at the end of the day, come gather around the fire pit and experience local Hilltribe music and dance performances that date back generations, while gazing at a sky full of stars.
Check out other rooms at The Chai Lai Orchid https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/855537
Price includes 1 (per guest) coffee or tea and Thai style breakfast in our cafe which is open everyday form 7am to 10pm.
Free WiFi in cafe.
Interaction with Guests
I am here everyday running the training program for Daughters Rising and the Chai Lai Orchid and we also have a great staff of trainees from the Karen and Kayah hill tribes who welcome you and make you feel at home in the jungle.
We are located in Mea Win, Mea Wang, 1 hours drive from the city and airport pickup can be arranged in advance. Nearby attractions include several waterfalls, the hill tribe villages, Buddhist temples, bamboo rafting, trekking, and Doi Inthanon National Park with highest peak of Thailand.
Other Things to Note
The Chai Lai Orchid - A Partner of Daughters Rising
The Chai Lai Orchid is a nature retreat nestled in the mountains of Chiang Mai, Thailand. A partner of Daughters Rising, The Chai Lai Orchid is a safe haven for women at risk of trafficking to live and work. The profits from your fund Daughters Rising’s education and anti trafficking programs.
Many of our trainees are refugees from Burma in Thailand, human rights are never explained, let alone experienced. An apprenticeship at the Chai Lai Orchid provides a work permit, hospitality training, language classes and guaranteed payment. Most importantly, girls are given lessons on women’s and worker’s rights.
With the ability to earn a living, confidence in their new-found skills, knowledge about their rights, women at the Chai Lai Orchid are empowered to escape poverty, live a life of dignity and see a future filled with hope and opportunity.
We appreciate your patience with the women during your stay as they are all learning English as a third or fourth language! To learn more about Daughters Rising and the women you are helping support, visit the Daugthers Rising website.
Promoting the Humane Treatment of Elephants
The Chai Lai Orchid is also social business working to promote sustainable tourism and kindness to elephants.
Currently, the elephants next to our eco-lodge are owned by a local man who partners with tour operators from Chiang Mai. During your stay you may witness these tours in action and see first hand the elephants being ridden with chairs. The Chai Lai Orchid does not endorse or support this practice - rather we create an opportunity for our guests to love, feed, bathe and ride these elephants bare back.
Our goal is to someday purchase the elephant camp so we can create happier, healthier lives for the elephants and their mahouts. Dedicated to our environmentally conscious beliefs, we would prefer to retire the older elephants and only offer bathing bareback riding using the younger elephants who enjoy human companionship.
Your stay at the Chai Lai Orchid helps us move closer to our goal of purchasing these 9 elephants, renting or purchasing a grass and corn plantation to feed them, as well as providing fair wages for the mahouts. If you have any questions about the elephants and our relationship with the current elephant camp, don’t hesitate to ask!
Elephants are powerful wild animals. In the interest of safety please only approach an elephant when accompanied by a mahout.
Smoking: is allowed in outdoor spaces but not inside the rooms. We ask that you help take care of our little slice of paradise by placing trash in the proper receptacles and cigarettes in designated ashtrays.
Sin duda, una de las mejores experiencias de mi vida! Despertarse con el sonido de los elefantes, poder bañar a un elefante bebé.. Increible! El trekking de dos dias y dormir en una tribu es por el momento la mejor experiencia de mi vida. Poder compartir con ellos su manera de vivir, sus costumbres.. Sin duda, te cambia la vision de la vida. Recomendable 100%! El personal de Chai Lai una maravilla, super atentos y super amables. Son todos encantandores. Sin duda volvere!
Definitely a relaxing stay for both my boyfriend and I. All staff was very welcoming and friendly. Really enjoyed Lydia, she is a gem!! Glad that we decided to stay here!!
Not worth what we paid!!! The elephants were amazing! Getting to watch them play in the river was the highlight & washing them in the river! However the hut we stayed in was 3 times hotter inside than the temp outside it was pretty much an oven. We had our 2 year old with us who has to have a sleep during the day and it was awful! The roof leaked on us during a heavy downpour one night, it was actually a nice break from the heat but hard to sleep, our room also had ants which I don't mind if they stuck to the wall but again ants crawling on you in bed makes for a poor nights sleep.. The food was awesome! And the Thai staff are so lovely, beautiful people, they do a fantastic job! The American girls who are doing????? Who know what there??? Could definitely use some training in people skills, no greeting on arrival, not even an acknowledgment the entire stay! I had asked a few questions via airb&b before we arrive and everything was answered with as few syllables as possible, the friendliness didn't improve on arrival! The park didn't live up to my expectations of how the elephants would be treated! I know they are feed well, most carers & trainers treat them well! And they do get let of their chains every afternoon after work to play in the river, this was by far the highlight. Overall we loved the elephants the food & the Thai staff! My 2 year old loved the experience I would just say the huts are worth $30 a night not $70
I'm so sorry to hear your negative opinion of the Chai Lai Orchid. I wish you'd come and chatted through your problems while you were here so we could have had the opportunity to fix them, but I'd like to take the time to address them now.
Firstly, it's a shame you found your bungalow so hot. As the Chai Lai is an eco-resort, we believe in living as naturally as possible, and so only our most expensive rooms offer air-conditioning. You made an eco-conscious choice and we applaud that. Unfortunately in wet summer season that does mean dealing with some hot humid weather! With regards to the roof and the ants, I offer my sincere apology. However those are both problems that could have been easily fixed by our maintenance staff had you alerted us at the time.
I am glad you asked about "the American Girls". They are amazing volunteers who gave up their holiday to fight sex trafficking and empower at risk girls. Francesca Fletcher (who is English) is writer who is developing an online game for (website hidden) to teach about the link between war, migration, and sex trafficking. Allie Fite uses traditional hill tribe weaving to economically empower minority women. Check out Daughters Rising's online shop. Lydia Grate teaches our trainees English and conducts hospitality training workshops 2x a day. I am sorry you were under the impression that they were there to serve you. They do often support the training staff and interact with guests, but they know it is also important to step back and allow the women on our training program to become more confident and independent. Our girls are from Burma and Karen (we do not have any "Thai staff") who have been denied access to formal education and come here to get job skills. It is the job of these staff, not my volunteers, to greet and look after you. If the volunteers did the girls job for them, my staff wouldn't learn these skills and be able to be self-sufficient, which is the goal of our training program. But I'm so glad that you found my staff enthusiastic and welcoming! They're so eager to learn. Chai Lai's managers, Bay and Wah, are always ready to help you with any requests.
With regards to the treatment of the elephants, I completely agree with you that they should be treated better, and this is part of our mission here at Chai Lai. The elephants are owned by a Thai businessman and the camp is an entirely separate business from ours. We try to encourage him to respect his elephants, in part by only allowing our guests to ride bareback. We would like to be able to start to buy some of the older elephants so that they can retire and simply enjoy interacting with guests who will feed and bathe them. Until then it is important for us to maintain a good relationship with the owner in order to influence his treatment of these wise and majestic animals.
Finally, a last note about the price of the hotel: Your room was $50 not $70 https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/856019 As Chai Lai operates as a social business, the price of the rooms are an integral part of raising money to fund Daughters Rising projects. We can't compete with the rock bottom prices of guest houses who pay minimum wage or less. We believe that the opportunity to experience jungle life and even more importantly, invest in the local community and empower vulnerable women, is worth every penny. Thank you for choosing us, and I hope this information will help you to better understand our project.
It was amazing being this close to elephants. We fed a baby elephant, rid a grown elephant and did some bamboo rafting. The food was really good, the room smaller than expected and the mosquito net was damaged. The bathroom was very simple. All the staff was really nice and helpful. I think Alexas project is amazing and worth to support!
We spent two days in Chai Lai Orchid.
The accommodation was good and the activities proposed very interesting (we have done bamboo rafting during the evening and one day trekking).
Great destination if you are in Chiang Mai and you want to spend some time outside the "standard path"
My partner and I stayed at chai Lai orchard for 4 days and we had the most amazing stay. A taxi from the airport to the accommodation can be pre arranged and so there is little hassle on arrival. The bungalow which we stayed in was basic but lovely. The fan was sufficient for the heat and the bed was comfortable. The staff here are wonderful and they can't do enough to help you! The volunteers are also wonderful and it's very nice to have English speaking people to be able to sort out activities. The grounds are amazing and it is such a beautiful and peaceful place to stay. The food served in the cafe is wonderful and we enjoyed trying lots of Thai dishes. We managed to organise a elephant experience day where we got to bathe a baby elephant and then ride an adult elephant through the jungle. The experience was reasonably priced and would highly recommend it. Amazing stay and would recommend to anyone looking to have a peaceful stay and to enjoy some elephants!
Un endroit magnifique et authentique au milieu des éléphants et de la forêt.
Un personnel souriant et attentionné. L'approche avec les éléphants est inoubliable.
Un guide au top pour le trek , merci à Sing !!
Gros bisous à toute l'équipe!
Christelle et Morgan
This host has 398 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Alexa
5 things i could not live without
Our style of hosting is to treat guests like family so they can explore the real amazing and beautiful Thailand, beyond the typical tourist experience.