This beautiful room inside an elephant camp features a big balcony overlooks the river
The room features hard wood floors, large windows, a separate (private but located across the balcony) bathroom, and extra-large outdoor deck with seating area that overlooks the river and elephants passing by.
The Chai Lai Orchid is a nature retreat nestled in the mountains in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Spend your days interacting with elephants, rafting down the river, and picnicking on the rocks. Eat fresh fruit from the tree, swing in a hammock or hike the endless trails that lead to secret waterfalls, beautiful vistas and hidden spots unreachable by car. Escape to nature and hear the whisper of the mountain spirit. Unplug. Reconnect.
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, mountain biking, and of course the Doi Inthanon National Park with his highest peak of Thailand.
We believe that we can all change the world. Not just charities and nonprofits… but travelers and businesses too. The Chai Lai Orchid is more than a resort, we are a social business that works to serve the local community by providing educational and employment opportunities.
Training programs to help women
We have partnered with Daughters Rising, a nonprofit organization, to provide educational and paid vocational training opportunities to at-risk girls and young mothers. Women from the local underprivileged hill tribe community receive 6+ months of paid on-the-job hospitality training through our social program.
The women train in guest relations, food & beverage, front desk, and housekeeping. In addition to the paid training we offer free classes in business skills, ESL and chicken and frog farming. This program improves the quality of life of vulnerable local women through self sustaining economic integration.
Getting to know elephants
We seek to deepen the understanding and respect between you and elephants. The Chai Lai Orchid strives to educate guests about this this endangered species and inspire activism and fair and kind treatment. While some people may feel more comfortable simply riding in a chair on ones back, others crave more. At the Chai Lai Orchid we offer the unique experience to play freely with an elephant, swimming with them and feeding them throughout the day. This is a wonderful way to learn about elephants and their different personalities. We believe that this program is the most stimulating and fun way to meet elephants and also that it can bring about a positive shift in elephant tourism.
Protecting the culture and environment
We work to sustain, protect and improve local culture and the quality of life through economic growth, education, and dignified employment opportunities. We feature hill tribe crafts and performances as part of a community-based project that aims to conserve and celebrate the heritage of the Karen hill tribe of northern Thailand.
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.
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.
A real slice of paradise! Alexa really has something special here. The food, the atmosphere and the staff were all top notch, accommodating anything we asked for. I still remember when I walked across the bridge for the first time and saw an elephant taking a bath in the river.
We had a great time overall, but a little pricey for what you get (no AC, no in room bathroom, no pool). Activities and food can be found cheaper elsewhere, but I'm glad we could support a good cause. Playing with the elephants and meeting other travelers in the common area was the highlight of our stay.
It's an awesome experience! We won't soon forget it. You really are in Natural Thailand and that means animals, noises, and nature. For light sleepers we recommend earplugs as Cocks roam freely and start up around 4am but that did not detract from our experience!!! If you want to be pampered, stay at the 4 Seasons, if you want a true Thai countryside experience, stay here and sign up for the mountain adventure!!!
We had a wonderful 3 days at the elephant camp. It's so peaceful and relaxing and my 7 year old son loved riding, feeding and bathing the elephants. The rooms are very comfortable with fans which is all that's needed as the nights were cool enough.
Have to give a special mention about Wah and Mae who were very friendly and helpful and always had a smile on their faces.
Alexa Pham was the best. We had to arrive a day earlier than expected and she arranged everything so smoothly. The driver was there to take us and our guides were waiting to take us to our home stay with a our hosts being a lovely hut perched high above rice fields amongst the Karen Tribal people that she put together at the last moment for us. The next day our guide Singh showed up and lead us on a magical trek through his village and to a marvelous waterfall. We then trekked on to a great bamboo raft adventure. Our following 3 nights at Chai Lai Orchid were fantastic. The facilty is truly lovely and clean so safe feeling. The cafe has excellent food and there are the elephants everywhere. We sipped coffee in the morning while elephants sauntered by playing the harmonica. Alexa and her staff were professional, warm and very welcoming. I would recommend the place to anyone that would like to experience something positive and beautiful.
Loved that place. We were so close to the Elefants :) the room were clean and compfy. Staff is helpful and friendly. Thank you!
Consider that you will be an one hour drive (800THB one way) away from ChiangMai and most activities take place there, like Thai cooking class, the markets etc. The Chai Lai orchid is in the middle of nowhere, which I loved and a great place for elefant activities like bareback riding and bathing with them, but there is not much more to do in this area directly (except some waterfalls). I would recommend to stay 2 nights and book the Mountain adventure whole day package for 3500THB - seems expensive for Thailand but sustainable und worth it :)
For all the ChiangMai sights, I would stay some nights in the city directly, since we spend much money for the rides to get there and get back again jn the night.
This host has 285 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
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.