Ok its time to start saving now, because while this truly is a once in a lifetime experience, the hefty price tag definitely reflects its exclusivity. Everyone wants to meet the Elephants when visiting Thailand. Unfortunately due to this sad fact, the majority of Thailand’s Asian elephants are in captivity and considered working Elephants. So while you may see Elephant rides offered during your travels across the country, I recommend you absolutely do not support this industry, as those elephants are usually abused into submission. Luckily there are elephant sanctuaries throughout the country that rescue as many abused Elephants as they can afford to take care of and therefore are able to offer a great alternative to get to meet these majestic creatures. This will give you peace of mind knowing the Elephants you are interacting with are being properly cared for. You can find ethical Elephant Sanctuaries in many cities and join educational tours that usually lasts a few hours and let you feed and wash the animals. Don’t get me wrong, that is still a wonderful experience; and we actually did as well when we were in Phuket due to me booking that experience before I even became aware of Anantara. But it is because we did both experiences that I can confidently say staying at Anantara Golden Triangle is truly the stuff dreams are made out of; now let me tell you why.

The Golden Triangle is about an hour drive from Chiang Rai airport; conveniently your personal Anantara chauffeur will picks you up to escort you in comfort to the property which is located deep in the dense Thai Jungle. What is unique about The Golden Triangle is you can see where three countries (Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar) meet. A cool feature is being able to look out to the horizon and see two different countries from most vantage points of the property including the suites, the pool, and even on your nature walks. Maybe it was the Water Buffalo causally relaxing by the entrance when you first arrive, or the Elephants causally fanning themselves in the distance that we saw from the balcony of our room, but from the moment we arrived I felt like I was on an adventurous Thai safari and knew we were about to be in for a real treat during our stay here.

First off I wanted to take a moment to discuss the price because while it may seem incredibly high, especially for Thailand which is a very affordable country; I want to share why the price you see is actually a really good value. When we traveled the base rate was just over $1000 per night, but let me break down that rate for you. First off, this is a luxury resort, and you will absolutely feel like royalty after staying at this property. The staff make an extraordinary effort to get to know you personally; from memorizing your favorite drink, to scheduling a surprise lantern lighting ceremony to celebrate our honeymoon you truly will experience a five star stay. So when you remember that you are paying for an ultra luxe affair, know that not only will you receive outstanding service, but then the price seems on par with what you would pay in more expensive locations. But wait there’s more! Included in the nightly rate are a various array of daily activities to choose from. You can choose to Walk with Giants, Learn what it takes to be an elephant guardian, relax during 60 minute spa service, learn to cook a new dish at the Thai cooking school, or enjoy a private Yoga or Pilates class. You get to choose one activity for every day that you stay there, not only is it nice that you get to enjoy these luxurious experiences, but the resort makes sure to keep you entertained during your stay. On top of all these bonus inclusions, the resort is also an all inclusive property, which means all of your food and beverages are also included in the nightly room rate! So the fancy cocktails at the bar or poolside mocktails made with fresh fruits in my case were all included. All of the meals were quality ingredients that showcase local Northern Thai dishes. I hate to use the term “all inclusive” because that tends to be associated with mass produced, lower quality and that couldn’t be further from the culinary experience you will enjoy at Anantara Golden Triangle. When you take all of this into account of everything that is included in the nightly room rate, then you actually see that there is incredible value on what initially seems like a high price tag!

Fresh Fruit Mocktail at the Pool

For our experiences we decided on The Walking with Giants experience, as well as the 60 minute spa service. One recommendation I have is to do both of the Elephant experiences before any of their other offerings. I do regret doing the spa instead of the Elephant Guardian because I feel like if you are going to be at this resort that offers these amazing elephants experiences you should 100% take full advantage! We were told the Elephant Guardian was where you prepare and feed the elephants with the Mahout’s (their caretakers) I also think being pregnant and not being able to enjoy a massage might have influenced this regret, because the alternative to a massage was a facial which was still nice but you can do that anywhere!

That being said, Walking with Giants was out of this world. The experience guides you on a nature stroll with three elephants, as well as their caretakers and the staff veterinarian. What is wonderful about this experience is not only do you get first hand knowledge and information about the animals from the Vet, but you get to see the Elephants enjoying themselves as they would in nature. This could be stopping at the river to enjoy a quick dunk, venturing off path to munch a snack, or having a nice butt scratch on a large tree. You stroll at their pace, which can be quite amusing as they are very easily sidetracked when they see a tasty snack! Asian Elephants eat 300lbs of food a day, so they actually spend 18-20 hour a day foraging to achieve that goal. After spending the morning with them you can’t help but feel as if you are just strolling along with 6,000-8,000 lb puppies. For those that want to have a casual experience and to watch them as they would behave in the wild, this was an amazing and educational choice.

Overlooking your Elephant neighbors at the Jungle Bubble

Believe it or not; Anantara actually offers an additional experience that will really solidify this whole stay as one of the greatest experiences in your life. For $500 a night you can sleep under the stars in their luxury jungle bubble. As it was our honeymoon/babymoon there was no way we were going to pass this opportunity up. Your jungle bubble is full stocked with water, beers, sodas, as well as a luxurious King bed, full bathroom, and sitting area. Additionally you get served a full Thai Meal with your own personal dinner guests, two Elephants that hang out in their enclosure all night eating their own dinner alongside you. This was not only a cool way to enjoy watching the elephants eat and hang out with each other. But it was so a unique experience to sit outside as dusk began to fall, sipping our beverages, and watching the fireflies begin the descend. I am a big fan of camping, and while this experience was more akin to glamping, it truly was a magical memory that I will cherish until the day that I die.

Northern Thai Meal at the Jungle Bubble

So while I would absolutely recommend trying the jungle bubble experience, if that is not something that you want to budget the extra cash for, you cannot go wrong with any stay at this fantastic resort. This is hands down one of the best Elephant experiences you can have in Thailand and worth every penny in my opinion! Check out Anantara Golden Triangle to learn more about booking your stay and start getting excited now!

Walking with Giants

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