Never Forget Elephant Foundation | 7 Days | from CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

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100% of travellers said they loved this activity.
  • Spend an incredible week immersed into the life of a Karen Hill Tribe Village in the mountains of Northern Thailand where elephants are part of the family!
  • Trek with elephants in their natural habitat in the jungle and learn about their habits.
  • Have a life-changing experience whilst helping support a local community.
  • No riding. No bathing. No tricks. This is a 100% ethical elephant experience run by a non-profit organisation.


  • Save your place with a small deposit today.
  • Deposit 100% refundable.
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Never Forget Elephant Foundation – Bringing Elephants Home

Join the team at Never Forget and spend a week immersed into the life of a Karen Hill Tribe Village in the mountains where elephants are part of the family! Take an active role in supporting that community, whilst enjoying the proximity to their herd of elephants.

This is an experience like no other. During your stay in the village, you will enjoy traditional bamboo accommodation in the heart of nature. All huts are equipped with a mattress and mosquito net. Lounge in a hammock whilst watching the sunset across the valley after a day’s work providing for the elephants!

There is a glorious yoga/meditation shala where you can work on either one of these rewarding practices.

Never Forget provide three plant-based meals every day, many of the ingredients of which are grown on-site!

In the evenings, sit around the fire, swapping stories, music and getting to know each other.

What will you do during your stay?

  • Daily time with the elephants, trekking along side them through the jungle and learning about them and their habitat as you go.
  • Work on garden and building projects to help build the Visitor Village.
  • Aid the local Karen community through projects of various types.
  • Connect with local people in their home and learn about their ways, their culture and their community.
  • Visit local temples in the area.
  • Receive lessons on rice farming from local farmers.

Download a sample schedule here. (Schedule may be subject to change.)


Never Forget Elephant Foundation

The South East Asia Backpacker Community have tried and tested adventures across the region and handpicked a selection of only the BEST companies to work with.

Why we chose Never Forget?

The team at Never Forget Elephant Foundation
The team at Never Forget Elephant Foundation!

Never Forget Elephant Foundation is a non-profit organisation and registered charity in the United States of America. The project was founded by Ava Lalancette in 2019 in an attempt to improve the lives of the Asian elephant and their owners (mahouts), who are often forgotten when it comes to demands for more ethical elephant tourism. She sees Never Forget as a way to improve on the existing model of elephant tourism in Thailand.

Ava works closely with Kittisak “Yo” Pornpipatkun, who is the Project Director at Never Forget. Yo grew up in the local community and has been around elephants since he was a child. Yo has worked at elephant sanctuaries across Thailand and believes Never Forget is a step in the right direction for elephant tourism in Thailand. There is nothing about elephants Yo doesn’t know – just test him!

The 3 simple goals of Never Forget Elephant Foundation

  1. Bring endangered captive elephants back to their natural environment in the jungle.
  2. Connect with the local Karen people in a way that inspires sustainable approaches to the health and wellbeing of both the elephants and the environment.
  3. Contribute to the growth of a global movement that pushes for positive changes in the lives of elephants in Thailand.

What's Included

  • Transport to/from your hotel in Chiang Mai to our village (approximately 400km away)
  • Pickup from Chiang Mai on Monday 9am and return to Chiang Mai on Sunday afternoon
  • Three delicious plant based meals per day, plus snacks.
  • Coffee/tea
  • Comfortable accommodation – sustainable, traditional-style bamboo hut with mattresses and clean, warm bedding.
  • Shared western toilets and showers
  • Unlimited use of private and serene yoga platform
  • On-site speaker that connects via bluetooth

Please note – We have the ability to put together a custom week with you and your traveling companions if necessary, otherwise we will follow our standard program schedule. Minimum of 5 bookings are needed for custom week.

Refund Policy

  • In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit online via South East Asia Backpacker.
  • This deposit is fully refundable if you wish to cancel up until 72 hours before the start of the activity. PLEASE NOTE: This policy refers to the payment made to South East Asia Backpacker at the time of booking. All subsequent payments to the operator of your chosen activity fall under their own refund policy
  • For cancellations made fewer than 72 hours before the start of the activity there is no refund available.
  • You can request a change of date at any time.
  • Date changes are entirely down to the availability of the operator and nothing to do with South East Asia Backpacker. 
  • If your date change is not agreed upon, as long as it is more than 72 hours before the start date you originally made your booking for, your deposit can be refunded in full if you wish to cancel.
  • The remaining payment for the experience is payable directly to the operator.
  • The operator can request the remaining payment via an online payment link OR upon arrival at the destination.
  • The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the operator, is based on the terms and conditions of the operator, over which South East Asia Backpacker have no control.
  • Please see our customer terms and conditions for more information.

Why Book With Us?

Hi, I’m Nikki and I started South East Asia Backpacker in 2008 after my own first solo backpacking trip! My vision was to create a travel diary for everyone, a place for travellers to share their experiences from the road. After backpacking and writing about Southeast Asia for over 10 years, I saw the opportunity to provide backpackers with the kind of experiences that I’d treasured myself in the region! 

Today, there is so much choice, but there are a lot of poor-quality tours and companies that offer mediocre experiences with little care for the environment. I wanted to create a selection of the best tours and activities to help backpackers avoid scams and dodgy tour companies.

Today, I run this website with my partner, Dave, from Spain, where we live with our energetic two-year-old daughter, Evie. All of the bookable activities that you will find on this website have been vetted by a member of our team and we have a friendly relationship with the operator. There are real humans behind South East Asia Backpacker and we are passionate about sustainable travel and development in Southeast Asia.

We are committed to helping travellers at every stage of the journey and understand that plans can change which is why we offer a full discount on the deposit up to 48 hours before the start of your trip, no questions asked. We offer advice on flights, visas, itineraries, hostels, backpacks, packing and more!

If you have any questions about our business or any of the tours that we provide, feel free to contact me on Whatsapp.

Operator Information

1 review for Never Forget Elephant Foundation | 7 Days | from CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

  1. Nicole Bennett

    A few weeks ago I returned home from a yoga retreat outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand organized by Sweethome Teacup’s Yoga and Animal Rights Alliance from Portland, OR and hosted by Never Forget Elephant Foundation. The short and simple review is it was amazing! Our accommodations, the organization of Never Forget, The Karen Hill Tribe that provided us nourishment and welcoming us into their world were beyond anything I could have anticipated. This was my first time traveling outside of North America and every moment I felt safe and open to receiving.

    Each day was a blend of yoga and hiking with the elephants in their environment. Some days we stood at a distance and watched them eat snapping trees, shaking off roots, gathering leaves with with their elegant trunks. Somedays these very large sentient beings walked right up us to investigate. I am so grateful for being invited to listen to the stories and lessons of the Karen Hill tribe and the world of the elephants, I learned so much.

    The yoga practice focused on gentle movements and our views included lush mountains, goats, cows, sunrises and sunsets, and the most beautiful silhouette of a tree. My time with fellow yogis and big, beautiful, graceful elephants took my breath away over and over again. This kind of trip sticks with you; not all of my thoughts and feelings line up, I feel at peace while at the same time wanting to challenge myself and disrupt old belief systems.

    If I had to list a downside it was the actual travel time, planes and rough mountain roads were really hard on my body, but sometimes that’s just part of the adventure.This journey might not be for everyone, but everyone who loves elephants can give and be part of bringing the elephants home. The Never Forget Elephant Foundation and the Karen Hill Tribe need people to devote time and money towards their mission, please learn about the organization and give so they can continue their work.

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