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BEES - Burm and Emily's Elephant Sanctuary

Features Animals
Mae Chaem, Thailand
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About BEES - Burm and Emily's Elephant Sanctuary
You MUST make a booking in advance. Please do NOT just show up at the Sanctuary. We do NOT run a daily day program or overnight stay, you must get in touch to check available days and program fees. Our normal program is Mon-Thurs/Thurs-Sun OR 1 week Mon-Sun. We are an Elephant Sanctuary and Animal Rescue Centre located in the valley of Mae Tan, in the town of Maechaem. We are near lush forest land and rivers and have a beautiful view of Doi Inthanon the Highest mountain in Thailand. Book a stay with us and help us to create a better future for the elephants, animals and community. Please note: This is a high welfare facility where you can come to observe elephants in a more natural setting, we have adopted a hands off policy. No Riding, No Exploitation, just a place where you can see elephants at a respectful distance that is putting their needs first. We cannot survive without paying guests. Help us help elephants, book a stay!
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BEES - Burm and Emily's Elephant Sanctuary
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Rhys wrote a review Apr 2020
2 contributions
There's so much I want to say about my experience but I know I will undoubtedly fail to perfectly encapsulate how this place and these people made me feel. I will tell you this. Go there. It will be the most incredible experience you will ever have not to mention the most soul-warming and personally fulfilling experience you will ever have.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Cdnglobug wrote a review Mar 2020
West Kelowna, Canada12 contributions4 helpful votes
BEES is a magical place that will change your life! This was our third visit and we will definitely be back for a 4th visit! Everything about BEES is exceptional and puts the elephants and animals before anything else. The animals comfort, health and happiness are the priority and is evident in every moment you spend at BEES. It is impressive what two young people, Emily and Burm, with a simple love for elephants and animals have created BEES. Experiencing life at BEES, if even for a short time is something you will never forget. The experience: from the moment you are picked up on Chiang Mai you are treated like family. Tan is an exceptional driver, very patient and knowledgeable about Thailand and knows all the best scenic and food stops! Oh and he can sing! When you arrive you are greeted by the incredible staff who are just like family .... Got and Ty (will plan the best the best experiences for your stay and teach you so much about elephants, life in northern Thailand and introduce you to new foods and experiences), Labang (one of the most amazing northern Thai chefs ever!!!), Nay Nay (definitely the fun of the group... always laughing and smiling) and of course all the four and three legged friends who give you the best welcome party ever! Each dog, cat and elephant has a beautiful rescue story and you will have so many new friends before you leave. Each day is a new adventure! You will never be bored ... jungle treks watching the elephants, swimming in the river, learning how to make elephant salad, or chopping grass and banana trees are just a few of the fun things you will experience. Got and Ty will teach you all about local foods, desserts and how to raft, and show you the best places to see a sunset and you will probably get to go to some wonderful little local markets. The facilities are more than adequate and clean with real showers, running water and toilets. Laundry is available (you will get dirty... bring long sleeve shirts and pants that you don’t mind working in:). There is lots of leisure time as well so definitely bring your relaxing clothes to sit and hang out in a hammock and enjoy the sunsets and scenery! Overall, this is an experience that cannot be missed. I highly recommend staying for at least 3 night or longer but if all you have is a single night it is totally worth not missing this very special place . Emily, Burm and their wonderful staff have changed the lives of many elephants are ensuring their 3 beautiful elephants can just be elephants. My wish is that all elephant ‘sanctuaries’ would learn from BEES example of how to care for elephants. Please visit and Support BEES and visit! It is such a special experience that will change your life! We can’t wait for our 4th visit.
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Date of experience: March 2020
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Carolyn Whitttakwr wrote a review Dec 2019
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada82 contributions31 helpful votes
We had the most amazing adventure with the staff, Burm and Emily at the BEES elephant sanctuary. We decided to do a day trip as our time was short. We rented a car in Chiang Mai and visited the temples on Doi Inthanon on our way over to Mae Chaem. We stayed at the Hot Coffee guesthouse 15 minutes north of the sanctuary. We arrived at 8:00 at BEES and were met by the rescue dogs and a friendly Emily. A lovely breakfast was waiting for us with lots of fresh fruit! Once we had our safety briefing we went to the elephant stalls and cleaned the area with a few other volunteers. We learned a lot about the approach that the sanctuary takes to making elephants and people safe. Their approach is very respectful of the retired elephants. We then went for a gorgeous jungle hike along and through the river with Burm and our guide Got. We wandered along the river watching the elephants bath and feed through limestone cliffs and jungle. Note that this route would not be possible in the rainy season. We had a picnic along the river where we ate delicious lunch that was packed for us. The elephants were wandering around the river and eating grass while we ate. The Mahout were always close by and gently talking to the elephants. It was incredible to see the elephants so relaxed and at ease and to be able to hike alongside them. Even without the elephants it would have been a beautiful walk. This visit was a once in a lifetime experience to be with elephants in their natural habitat. You are not allowed to touch or ride the elephants as they are rescued and now retired. They are being given a safe place to live without being harassed by well meaning tourists. So, we take only photographs and leave very large elephant footprints and enjoy the beauty of being near the majestic animals. Huge gratitude to Emily and Burm and their staff for a special Christmas Eve adventure. Thank you for all that you do for Mae Chaem and the surrounding area. We will be back!!
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Date of experience: December 2019
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340tina wrote a review Dec 2019
Mirissa, Sri Lanka29 contributions13 helpful votes
Bees is a beautiful project with amazing people. The focus lies on the welfare of the elephants, a sanctuary that truly cares about elephants. These beautiful and intelligent animals can enjoy their older age in a large natural environment. At BEES you can enjoy observing the 3 ladys while they dig up roots to eat, while they easily climb up hills (or mountains ;) ) and while they enjoy their time at the river. They spend the day foraging through the woods/forest and they are allowed to be picky because nature provides a large variety of all trees, bushes, leafs, bark, grass,...The hands off policy is perfect for the elephants and amazing for visitors so you can see real elephant behauvior. Except from the elies BEES rescued several dogs and cats that have been trough trauma. Each of them lovely and unique. Thanks to the amazing staff I immediately felt welcome when i arrived at the sanctuary. They work hard to give the best care possible to animals and to the help the local community. I will come back in the future because it hard to find a real sanctuary, where the quality of life comes first.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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aplusl wrote a review Nov 2019
Devon, United Kingdom69 contributions56 helpful votes
We spent ages searching for an elephant sanctuary that was genuinely ethical and are so thankful we found this one. The sanctuary is amazing and the work they do is so inspiring. They really are there for the animals (elephants, dogs and cats). All of the staff are wonderful, the accommodation is basic but very comfortable, the food was great. They work you hard - its not a holiday but it is very rewarding. Note that the trek to find the elephant is quite long and over some very tricky terrain. But overall an amazing experience and one we are now so passionate about supporting.
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Date of experience: November 2019
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