To read more about my experience here (as well as the details of Patara Elephant Farm) go here: http://www.iamaileen.com/2013/11/pata...
This was the highlight of our trip when we went to Chiang Mai! Definitely a must-try for everyone! It's unlike any other elephant places/farms that you will see across Thailand.
FUN FACT: Noi/Nui was originally from the circus, saved by the Patara farm, and now being taken care of by an old Thai mahout tribe (which were our guides; so for this day, instead of them doing their daily feeding/health/bathing routine for the elephants, we rather did it for them!)
FACT: The worst thing that you can ever do is to ride elephants back's on a box or chair, much like what you usually see in Thailand or Africa pictures, and that's wrong because that can hurt their back, irritate their skin, and cause sores. The safest and approved way to ride them is to sit around their neck.