A visit to Thailand is not complete unless you have gotten up close and personal with the elephants. There are many places that you can experience these beautiful animals throughout the country, so no matter where you plan on going, there will be somewhere to enjoy the pachyderms. Below are some of the best parks and sanctuaries you can visit in Thailand that are ethical and take excellent care of the animals.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary – Phuket
A visit to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary will be something that you remember for the rest of your life, and to make it truly special, you can opt to stay over for the night. You will get to learn about these beautiful animals, and there is also the chance to interact with them by feeding them or giving them a bath in water, or the mud which they love. For a trip to see an ethical elephant, Thailand has no better place than the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Phuket.
Elephant Nature Park – Chiang Mai
Elephant Nature Park is the largest sanctuary in the North of Thailand. It is also one of the first destinations offering ethical trips to interact with them, instead of riding them. If you are staying in Chiang Mai city, you will be picked up at your hotel in the morning, stopping off at the market to get fresh fruit and vegetables for the animals on the way, before making the hour drive to the park. As with most venues similar to this, you can go for a day visit, or stay over also, allowing you to get close to these majestic beasts. The park has also been featured in multiple documentaries, including one by the National Geographic.
Elephant Hills – Khao Sok
Elephants Hills is on the edge of the Khao Sok National Park and is a tranquil and idyllic setting to experience life with the elephants. You can choose to spend one day with these fantastic animals, but you also have the option of spending up to three days and nights at the sanctuary. You will be able to spend plenty of time watching and interacting with the elephants, as well as their mahouts who take care of them.
Phang Nga Elephant Park – Phang Nga
Phang Nga Elephant Park is smaller than some of the other parks you can visit, and is a family-run operation that is dedicated to taking care of and supporting elephants. It is also one of the newest parks, and you can choose from either a half-day or a full-day experience. If you opt for the full day, you also get to enjoy a Thai cooking class, so you get two for the price of one.
Where ever you decide to visit when you are in Thailand, ensure that you choose a sanctuary that cares for these animals ethically, and do not go to a park that allows you to ride the elephants.