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Wild Luxury & magical experiences in northern Thailand
To hear the happy trumpeting of the elephants in the morning and experience these gentle giants up close, these are the memories burned into our hearts forever. The picturesque setting and the unforgettable view over the border triangle merely isfantastic! Northern Thailand with its warm-hearted people, its culture and the elephants is a once in a lifetime experience.
The luxurious Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is situated in the middle of the jungle in northern Thailand at the heart of the Golden Triangle. You have awe-inspiringviews overlooking the Mekong River and the border with Myanmar and Laos. The resort offers unique elephant encounters, superb Thai food, loving service, a beautiful spa and a host of options for exploring the area.
LIFE IS A JOURNEY.
Of course, the highlight is the private award-winning elephant camp with 30 rescued Asian elephants.
“We believe that in an ideal world, all elephants would be wild and it would not be necessary to talk about working with elephants at all.” – Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation
There are many different ways you can bond with these gentle giants. There are jungle walks, watching them bathing in the river, getting acquainted with the art of the mahouts (elephant keepers) or spend some time in the elephant camp feeding the elephants.
John Roberts together with Anantara founded the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) with its scientific research program in 2003. Ithas enabled the mahouts and their elephants to live a dignified life again. Traditionally,many elephants in Thailand lived in captivity as working animals and were usually not treated well and even abused.
“Happy mahouts keep happy elephants.”
The elephants are mainly rescuedfrom the street or illegal logging camps. Injured animals are cared for and nursed back to health. Not only the elephants are taken care of, butthe mahouts with their families can also live in the camp. About 60 people now live in the Mahout Village and benefit from this project. They are encouraged to treat the elephants well and send their children to school. If at all possible, the goal remains to release the elephants.
Noble retreat in Lanna design in the border triangle
Dark teak floors, elegant furniture, silk, local art, andcarvings create a cozy, charming atmosphere and paytribute to the ancient Lanna Kingdom (Land of a Million Rice Fields) in northern Thailand.
Upon arrival, you are spoiledwith a small welcome massage and handmade bracelets.
In addition to the all-inclusive package (3 meals a day, unlimited drinks, minibar, internet andairport transfers), The Discovery Package also offers an elephant, wellness, cooking or cultural activity every day.
Infinity pool overlooking the jungle
The beautiful infinity pool with hot tub offers uninterrupted views of the Mekong River and the 65-acre jungle.
During the day you can order delicious dishes and fresh drinks at the pool while enjoying the beautiful view.
Three Country View Room
The Anantara Golden Triangle combines Thai architecture and décor of international standard in a refined colonial style. The 55 rooms and suites are decoratedin warm colors with Thai textiles, dark teak furniture, oversized terrazzo bathtubs and works of art from China and Thailand.
The highlight is the view from the balcony sofa over Thailand, Myanmar and Laos.
You will find elephants everywhere in the room, even the elephant shaped biscuits!
The atmosphere is incredibly romantic, especially in the evening!
Three Country View (Family) Suites
The family suites are, of course, a bit bigger and super comfortable.
Walking with Giants
To be so close to these majestic mammals is an unforgettable experience. By feeding them bananas and sugar cane, you first familiarize yourself with them and get to know them.
With “Walking with Giants” you can join the mahouts and their elephants on their daily walk in the jungle. Since they are fedat the camp, they need to go for daily walks. Otherwise,they pick up weight.
Although many of them, probably have experienced mistreatment, they are loving and gentle. Amazing!
The walk through the jungle is at a leisurely pace. Whenever the elephants feel like it, they nibble on the branches, and there are snacks like bananas and sunflower seeds in between.
Elephants like to be touched, especially behind their ears.
When they get to the river, they are like little kids, splashing about and they do not want to get out of the water!
At the end of the walk, the elephants are showered,andthe mahouts bring them back to the camp. The tour lasts about one and a half hours.
The Mahout experience is inspiring. You discover the strong bond between the elephants and their keepers and get a glimpse into the everyday life of a mahout. It includes an introduction to the Thai commands to enable you to guide these intelligent and gentle beings yourself.
Riding on elephants is controversial. Responsible riding on the neck of these gigantic 3-ton mammals can be comparedto an ant sitting on them. However, several people riding on the back of an elephant should be avoided.
When you visit the elephants for the second time, they are already much more familiar with you. One of them will stroll towards you, and it is as if they are saying: “Hi, here you are again!” Brilliant!
This tour takes you a little further through the jungle and even through the resort.
At the Mahout Village, you can buy some beautiful, home-made objects and support the mahout families directly. The women have even started a small silk production.
We found the tours amazingand exciting. Spending time with the mahouts and these gentle giants is a unique experience!
Restaurants & Bar
The main restaurant, the Elephant Bar and the Opium Terrace, offers a stunning panoramic view. The service in every restaurant is very attentive and loving!
Sala Mae Nam
For breakfast, there is an international and Thai buffet with a vast selection.
The view from the terrace isimpressive. During the dry season, you can even watch the elephants from here.
For lunch and dinner, Sale Mae Nam offers delicious Thai delicacies. Highly recommended are the northern Thai dishes; they are simple, but creative with exotic spices and fresh ingredients from the garden.
The black rice and curries are a realtaste sensation.
“Geang Yod Mapraw Gai Bai Cha Plu
Northern style chicken curry with young coconut tip and wild betel leaves”
The Opium Terrace is situated next to the Elephant Bar and serves simple dishes and fantastic cocktails.
In the evening, it has a very romantic atmosphere, and you can also order food from any of the other restaurants and enjoy it here.
The Elephant Bar has a historic atmosphere reminiscent of a hunting lodge. Aperitifs are served by the open fireplace or on the private terrace.
The romantic Baan Dhalia Restaurant offers Italian cuisine and has an impressive wine list. Merging the rustic Thai jungle with Tuscan ambiance, it has a unique romantic ambience!
“Parmesan spaghetti, prepared tableside in a whole Grand Padano wheel and your choice of pasta sauce – black truffle cream or pesto trapanese with Parma ham”
If you would like something truly spectacular, try the spaghetti with truffles from the Parmesan wheel or order the Crêpes Suzette.
Dining by Design
If you are looking for peace and privacy, there is “Dining by Design.” You can dine in the beautiful, quiet landscape and if you would like to, even enjoy the company of elephants.
Spa by Nature
The Chiang Rai Spa has five stunning teak suites with their own steam room and outdoor baths overlooking the Mekong Valley.
The treatments are based on century-old northern Thai wellness traditions and include local and medicinal ingredients. You can choose between Elemis spa and aromatherapy treatments, massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs, and the unique Lanna Experience.
The ambience and the massages are wonderfully relaxing!
Saying “I do” in the jungle
The Anantara Golden Triangle with its romantic ambience is the perfect setting to get married at and host your reception or renew your wedding vows. The possibilities are endless.
Thai Traditional Wedding from 2900 EUR (Wedding Brochure)
• Thai wedding ceremony set up with flower decoration
• Monks ceremony or other religious ceremony
• 1 Pair of wedding garland ceremony for bride and groom
• 1 Bouquet for bride
• 1 Groom’s corsage
• Flower petals in a paper cone
The package includes:
• 2 Complimentary nights in a Suite
• Daily breakfast for the bride and groom
• 1 bottle of sparkling wine
• 1 private dining by design candle-lit dinner for the bride and groom
• Live Thai Lanna classical music welcome during the ceremony
• Wedding cake at the ceremony
• Roundtrip Airport transfers
• Romantic room setup with flower decoration
• 1 bottle of sparkling wine
• Romantic Khom Loi Lantern ceremony
Sustainability & Social Engagement
The resort supports local staff, conservation projects, and the Elephant Camp. It uses solar panels for hot water and is devoted to recycling. Tree plantations are also financed.
There is so much to do here. You can visit Chiang Rai and the neighboring countries of Myanmar and Laos with a longtail boat, do yoga classes, ride a mountain bike, plant trees, go trekking, visit the Opium Museum or participate in a cooking class.
With the cooking class “Spice Spoons” you get great insight into Thai cuisine. After a tour of the bustling local market, you learn what makes Thai food so delicious. We participated in the course in Anantara Chiang Mai, and it was really great and incredibly tasty.
In the Opium Museum, you can learn a lot about the history of the opium trade in northern Thailand and the origins of opium. It should be fascinating. Unfortunately, we did not visit the museum.
Wat Rong Khun
Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, is located between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. It is an incredibly spectacular temple.
The traditional Thai festival, also known as the Festival of Lights, takes place annually on the evening of the full moon (11-13 November 2019) in Chiang Mai. It should also be beautiful near Chiang Saen. Further information >>
The Anantara Golden Triangle is extraordinary! And no, it is not just the fantastic views and the adorable elephants, but the extraordinarily loving and caring employees. The people here in the north are very kind and attentive. They ensure that your stay here is exceptional. The elephant encounters as so up close and personal and a definite bucket list item! We made memories that we will treasure forever – wonderful and unforgettable! When we said goodbye, we received a lantern with farewell wishes from the staff. Hopefully, our wish will come true!
Room: 40 rooms and 15 suites (including 6 family suites)
Flight duration: 11 hours from Germany to Bangkok and 1 hour to Chiang Rai
Transfer: 69 km from the airport, about 1 hour by car
Vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Diphtheria, Tetanus; Recommended: malaria standby; make sure to use mosquito repellent!
Air Temperature: 12 – 35 degrees Celsius
Time Zone: CET +6 hours
Best Travel Time: January to April and November to December; the warmest months are March to May; February is the driest month; July and August have the most rain; it can be cold between November and February.
Price: Double room from 933 EUR per night including breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages. Mini bar, roundtrip transfers from Chiang Rai Airport, Opium Museum entrance ticket and a choice of daily activities (spa, cooking class, excursion or elephant camp). THB 2000 of the booking fee go to the Elephant Foundation
Special Offer: From 3 nights, 20% discount
Activities: Yoga, trekking, excursions, cooking class, walking with elephants and many more
Highlights:Beautiful location in breathtaking nature, extraordinary elephant encounters, great “Discovery Package”, delicious food, super friendly staff, great spa, beautiful rooms with stunning views
Perfect for: Nature lovers, romantics, animal lovers, couples, families, honeymooners
TOP 10 POOLS OF THE WORLD – CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER 2018
CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER’S 2017 READERS’ CHOICE AWARD
“TOP RESORTS IN ASIA” #29 Top Resorts in Asia- CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER 2016
50 LP RECOMMENDATIONS 2016 BY LONELY PLANET TRAVELLER THAILAND
“Hotel With The Best Travel Experiences”
WINE SPECTATOR AWARD OF EXCELLENCE 2016 – Baan Dhalia Restaurant
GREEN GROWTH 2050 – CERTIFICATE GOLD
ELEPHANT CAMPING STANDARD (Non Elephant Performance)
“Excellent Level” 2015-2018 by Department of Tourism Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand
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Note: Anantara Golden Triangle Resort financially supported our stay. Thank you so much! Nevertheless, the opinions expressed in this article are 100% our own!