Chiang Mai’s Elephant Poo Poo Park brings a whole new meaning to eco-tourism. The interactive outdoor museum introduces visitors to the process of making paper from a rather unconventional source: elephant poo.
Making paper from elephant poop is a sustainable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional tree-based products. By not using trees, it helps reduce deforestation and makes sure the abundance of animal waste isn’t wasted. The paper is entirely sanitary and stink-free.
The process of transforming elephant poop into everyday paper is actually pretty straightforward. Once workers have scooped the poop and gathered it, they then wash the waste so that only the plant fibers remain. The fibers are then boiled and sanitized, then mixed with other non-wood pulp fibers. Finally, the intriguing mixture is screened and dried, just like typical wood-based paper has been for thousands of years.
Visiting the Elephant Poo Poo Park gives people an up-close encounter with the whole process. You’re even invited to get involved, so be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. The park also has information about traditional paper making, which began in China nearly 2,000 years ago. In addition to the tour, people can check out the cafe and “poo-tique” to pick up souvenirs.
Know Before You Go
Tickets are 100THB per person, and if you show a songthaew driver the Thai address, they'll get you there no problem. Tours are available in English, Thai, and Chinese. It's probably a good idea to book ahead of time on their website.