Elephants are my family
Non and his Traditional Karen Elephant Village
My aim is to have my elephants and community live happily together meanwhile run business with the truth and true love
Chiang Mai, Thiland
Non is a fun guy but also intensely passionate about his elephants and business. I met Non here on the first week I came to the mountains and we have become friends since. We usually went non-sense and laughed when we hung out like what friends do 😆
Since I do tattoos, one day he eventually came get one and we had a different type of conversation that time. We went deep a little bit, and talked about our passions, business core values, and goals.
It turned out that his story was very interesting and inspiring 🧡
What you do when your friend has interesting story?
Yeah, you share their story.
And here's his story 😉
History of Karen people and their elephants
Wild elephants or Domestic elephants
Elephants in Karen communities are domestic elephants which are the majority of the elephants in Thailand. Wild elephants are only reserved in some parts of Thailand.
The old time
In ancient time, elephants were used for war, and then for transportation and heavy labor.
Relationship between elephants and Karen
Elephants and Karen people have been living together for a really long time. Since elephants have very long lifetime, they are likely to live through generations of their own caretakers. Karen boys will traditionally receive an elephant(s) early in their lives. Then they will be trained to taking care of their elephants and bonded throughout their lives.
Passion and Love
Non and his elephants
“I knew them since I was born, and we are family” That’s what Non told me.
Non is actually my friend, and he’s known as a fun guy who always jokes around. But when he was telling this, I could feel his genuinely intensity and true love for his elephants inside.
“I remember following my dad everywhere, helping him taking care of our elephants since I was very young. That’s our (Karen) culture. Elephants’ lifetime is very long, similar to human’s, and they have lived through many generations of my family. That creates a bond between us, and we take care of each other like family.”
What inspired to have Traditional Karen Elephant Village
“When I was 15, I was responsible for elephants in my family. At that time, riding elephants was a quite popular activity. We (Non and his elephants) worked at one elephant camp, and the condition there was not so good. We worked hard...me and my elephants but the owner didn’t seem to care about our well being at all. They used my elephants for riding too much meanwhile I was working non stop too. That was what inspired me to leave and have my own place for my elephants.”
Better lives for my elephants
“My goal is to have a business that allows my elephants to live as close to nature as much as possible while still making the community happy.
I am Karen and I am proud of my heritage. I want to represent my culture as much as possible while genuinely sharing my knowledge of living together with elephants.”
Experience with Traditional Karen Elephant Village
Business with authenticity
“We are all family, my elephants, me and everyone who lives and works here. We are proud of our own roots and culture, and want to present them with our dignity. We want to run our business with the truth and truly love, to create true perception and understanding, so everyone is happy.“
Your experience matters
“I prefer to keep touring a small group in order to deliver the best experience as much as I can.“
What visitors say about Traditional Karen Elephant Village
Chiang Mai, Thiland
Elephants and people live happily together
"Non, the owner, wants to make a place where elephants and people can live together in peace. He wants to create a unique and authentic experience for us as a tourist but also make his elephants happy."
Focusing on caring
"I feel that this camp is focused on the care for the elephants. They strive to be original and they strive to help and care for others, humans and animals rather than the money making."
“The owner is lovely and helpful and very compassionate towards his elephants.“
Will be back
“Non was a fantastic host. I live in Chiangmai and have visited a few elephant camps. This will be the one I return to.“
Gary McClendon Waters
“The owner was very knowledgeable and shared some really interesting information about elephant life in Thailand.“
“Secluded, comfortable accommodations, knowledgeable and helpful staff in an unforgettable environment.“
If you'd like to give Non and his elephants some love