An Ethical Journey - About Us

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Maew Suriya's Journey to Samui Elephant Haven

From a dream conceived in childhood to the reality of Samui Elephant Haven, Maew Suriya shares his heartwarming journey.
Growing up in a family that moved from Surin Province to run a circus, Maew was inspired from the young age of seven. Despite training as an accountant, his heart always belonged to the elephants.
A visit to Elephant Nature Park and meeting Lek Chailert turned his dream into a mission: to create a sanctuary where elephants could live freely and happily.Since our doors opened in August 2018, Samui Elephant Haven has become a sanctuary for 14 rescued elephants. Once trapped in stressful lives, they now roam free, expressing natural behaviours in serene surroundings. Our approach is simple: love over profit. We prioritize the well-being of these magnificent creatures, offering visitors a chance to witness elephant joy without intruding on their space.


A Day at the Haven
Days at the Haven are bustling with activity, centered around our gentle giants’ well-being. From providing copious amounts of food to ensuring their safe, loving care, our team works tirelessly. We invite you to join us, to see firsthand the dedication behind our sanctuary. Your visit supports our mission, allowing us to rescue and care for more elephants. Discover how you can be a part of our story.

Ethical Elephant Encounters

At Samui Elephant Haven, we’re pioneering a compassionate form of elephant tourism. Inspired by Sangduean ‘Lek’ Chailert’s ‘Saddle Off’ model, our sanctuary offers a space where elephants recover and thrive. Visitors have the unique opportunity to feed and observe our elephants, learn about their behaviours, and contribute to a future where elephants and humans live in harmony.

Join Us in Our Mission

Your visit makes a difference. By choosing Samui Elephant Haven, you support ethical tourism and contribute to the welfare of our rescued elephants. Explore our gift shop for ethically sourced souvenirs, and become a part of our community striving for a better future for elephants. Together, we can continue to provide a safe haven for these beautiful creatures, ensuring their stories of resilience and recovery are heard far and wide.

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Discover the Serenity of Samui Elephant Haven
Nestled on the pristine northernmost coastline of Koh Samui, Samui Elephant Haven spans a breathtaking 60 rai (over 23 acres) of lush, rolling hills and vibrant jungle, dotted with natural lakes and carefully crafted manmade pools. This tranquil sanctuary offers a haven for elephants, surrounded by the beauty of nature, where they can thrive and live in harmony.

A Sanctuary Designed with Care

Our sanctuary is thoughtfully designed with perimeter fencing to provide a secure environment for the elephants, ensuring their safety and well-being. We have created specialized enclosures for various needs—whether it’s nurturing young calves, recuperating from illness, or simply resting after a day filled with joy and play. These measures ensure our elephants can live as naturally and comfortably as possible.

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A Heartfelt Experience Awaits You

At the heart of Samui Elephant Haven lies a spacious viewing platform, offering a peaceful vantage point from which guests can observe the elephants in their natural element. Watch in awe as herds of elephants interact with each other, bathe together without a care in the world, and play freely, just as they would in the wild. This central area also hosts our vegetarian restaurant and ethical shop, where you can enjoy delicious, cruelty-free meals and find sustainable, elephant-friendly products.

Join Us for a Visit

Experience the magic of Samui Elephant Haven for yourself. Our viewing platform not only provides unparalleled views of elephant herds at play but also serves as a reminder of the sanctuary’s commitment to ethical and compassionate care. After witnessing the elephants’ joy, we invite you to explore our vegetarian restaurant for a taste of local, sustainably sourced dishes and visit our ethical shop, where every purchase supports our mission to provide a loving home for these majestic creatures.

Come be a part of this extraordinary journey at Samui Elephant Haven, where every visit contributes to the welfare and conservation of elephants. Witness the beauty of these gentle giants living freely, and leave with memories that will last a lifetime.


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Explore the Enchanting Island of Koh Samui
Koh Samui, Thailand’s second-largest island, nestles on the eastern coast of the Kra Isthmus, cradled by the Andaman Sea to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east. This historic island, first settled by fishermen from the Malay Peninsula 15 centuries ago, is a tapestry of rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture.


The Mystique of Koh Samui’s Name

The origins of the name ‘Koh Samui’ are shrouded in mystery and allure. ‘Koh’ means island in Thai, while ‘Samui’ could be derived from a myriad of sources, including the ancient Sanskrit Tamil for ‘sea-weather’, the local ‘Samui Tree’, or even the Malay word ‘saboey’, meaning ‘safe-haven’. Each possibility adds to the island’s enigmatic charm.


A Natural Paradise

Spanning 228.7 km² (88.3 sq mi), Koh Samui is a verdant jewel mostly cloaked in tropical jungle. At its heart, Khao Pom Mountain ascends majestically, offering breathtaking views. Nathon, the island’s original capital on the west coast, remains a bustling hub of activity, housing government offices and serving as a pivotal point for transportation and trade.

Vibrant Economy and Rich Culture

Koh Samui thrives on the dual pillars of coconut and rubber export alongside a burgeoning tourism industry. The island’s economic evolution has brought prosperity but also challenges, stirring a delicate balance between growth and preserving its unique environment and cultural heritage.


Discover Koh Samui’s Wonders

A network of roads, including the 51-kilometre 4169 ring road, weaves through the island, connecting travellers to its many marvels. From the serene beauty of Chaweng Beach to the awe-inspiring Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, every corner of Koh Samui promises discovery and adventure.


Samui Elephant Haven: Your Gateway to Island Splendors

Strategically positioned, Samui Elephant Haven serves as your perfect base to explore Koh Samui’s treasures. Just a short journey from the haven, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant life of Chaweng, find spiritual solace at the Big Buddha, or embark on exciting day trips to neighbouring islands. Whether seeking serene beaches, bustling markets, or the charm of Lamai town, every experience is within easy reach.


Join Us in Embracing Koh Samui

Experience the magic of Koh Samui and its guardian, Samui Elephant Haven. Here, amidst the island’s splendour, we invite you to embark on a journey of discovery, conservation, and unforgettable memories. Explore the enchanting landscapes, dive into the rich tapestry of local culture, and become part of a story that goes beyond tourism to touch the very essence of what makes Koh Samui truly remarkable.

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