The land of the white elephants, Thailand offers every tourist the first-class experience of its rich heritage, both natural and historical, and everyone who has ever planned a trip to Thailand has an elephant ride on their bucket list. Finally, there is no better way to experience Thailand’s grandeur and culture than to ride on its national animal, the Asian elephant, also known as Chang in Thai.
More than half of Thailand’s 7,000 elephants are in captivity. This has been the case since 1989 when the country ceased almost all of the commercial logging that has occupied them for generations. Unemployed elephants often ended up with their keepers on the streets, wandered across farmland, or sought refuge in dangerous places like highway underpasses.
How Important Is the Thai Elephant?
An elephant is an animal worshiped in the Buddhist religion that has been practiced in Thailand since it was called the Kingdom of Siam. An elephant’s incredible strength and enormous anatomy represent royalty, and one cannot help but recognize their desire. To ride them in the middle of the dense evergreen jungle of Thailand.
Where to Ride an Elephant in Thailand
There are several elephant sanctuaries and villages in Thailand where you can ride elephants. Some dedicated tour operators also offer you the option to pre-book your elephant ride along with other sightseeing and adventure options such as trekking, white water rafting, and jungle camping. However, suppose you are looking for a place where no reservation is required for an elephant ride. In that case, you can visit these camps in different parts of Thailand, each unique in its environment and geographical location.
Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village, Bangkok
Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village is located near Bangkok’s famous floating market in the Damnoen Saduak district of western Thailand. The channel gives you an idea of how fascinating nature is worldwide.
Big Buddha Hill, Phuket
Big Buddha Hill on Phuket Island is a significant tourist attraction in Thailand. The mahouts at the bottom of the hill offer an elephant ride to reach the temple of Wat Phra Yai at the top of the mountain. The cost of the trip is much higher. Because it also includes hotel transfers and a tour guide. The Big Buddha Hill Elephant Ride is one of many adventure safaris offered by tour operators, and you must book a trip in advance.
Taweechai Elephant Camp, Kanchanaburi
Taweechai Elephant Camp in Kanchanaburi is an animal park that offers a fascinating elephant ride near the Kawai River. Watching the elephant bathe or sit on its back while it pours water over you is lovely. Taweechai Elephant Camp offers one of the top-rated elephant rides in Thailand, making it ideal for a fun experience whether you are vacationing with your friends or family.
What do the guidelines say?
The guidelines include the following:
- Specific rules for riding elephants.
- Tying them up with leg chains for limited periods.
- Using the traditional bullhook to lead and torment them in the wrong hands.
For example, when riding the animals, according to the Travelife standard, the elephant can only carry 10 percent of its body weight with one or two riders, with no or a light saddle on its shoulders. In a natural setting, that’s easy for an elephant—feet, where it can forage for food along the way.