Happy elephants with a caring and ethical elephant camp at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand

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.  

Traditional Karen family and happy elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant time with caring elephant caretakers at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Traditional Karen wedding with happy elepahnts at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Nonchai, a caring caretaker with Karen family at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy time with elephants and Karen people at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Karen people lives happily with elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand

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.” 

Nonchai, a passionate elephant caretaker with his elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant giving love to Non, a passionate elephant caretaker at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Non's happy with his elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants love Non, a caring elephant caregiver at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephants at the river at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephants walking through nature with Non, an ethical elephant caretaker at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant having a good time at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant sleeping at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Karen people live happily with elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants love Non, a caring elephant caretaker at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant and Nonchai, a caring elephant caregiver at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant sleeps on Non, who loves his elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant sleeping with Nonchai, an ethical elephant caretaker at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Karen people live together with elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Nonchai, a caring elephant caretaker and his lovely elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant loves to play with people at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant enjoying the time at the river at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant thanks customers at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand

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.

Elephant day with lovely customer at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Customers love playing with elephants at the river at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant showing love to customer at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Non, a caring elephant caregiver, educating customers about elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants and customers enjoying time at waterfall at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Karen people playing with elephants at waterfall at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Mother elephant and baby elephant love to be with customers at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants and customers enjoying nature at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand

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."
Jill Schietse

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."
Jessica Oliver

Compassion

“The owner is lovely and helpful and very compassionate towards his elephants.“ 
Charlie Sengupta

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

Information

“The owner was very knowledgeable and shared some really interesting information about elephant life in Thailand.“ 
Amanda Noelle

Unforgettable environment 

“Secluded, comfortable accommodations, knowledgeable and helpful staff in an unforgettable environment.“ 
Matt Roth

Karen people love elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Lovely moment between customer and elephant at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
customer loves to spend time with baby elephant at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Karen people and elephants live happily together at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant having fun with his mother elephant at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant says hello to customer at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant having a good time with Non, an elephant caretaker who loves his elephants at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Baby elephant playing in the river with Non, a passionate elephant caretaker at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant and caring elephant caretakers at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Happy elephant kissing customer at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elephants love spending time at the waterfall at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elepahnt family having a good time in the river at Traditional Karen Elephant Village Chiang Mai, Thailand

If you'd like to give Non and his elephants some love

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Baan Khagee Tattoo Chiang Mai

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