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Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand

Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand – Unique Way to Explore the Country

South-East Asia is adorned with splendid destinations featuring deep cultures and rich heritage. The first country that comes to my mind in this region is Thailand. Formerly known as Siam, Thailand is a paradise in itself. There is an immense variety of vivid things to do in Thailand. Beaches, temples, natural parks or islands, it offers all for an ideal tourist. Be it Pattaya or Phuket, there this country will always leave you amazed. From the streets of Bangkok tiptoed by massive tourist groups to the islands of Phi Phi amassed by attractive corals. Thailand is a heaven for luxury travellers, with a multitude of 5-star resorts hidden amid the pristine forests. The customised activities, personalised dining options are like icing on the cake. In simple words, Thai hospitality has always left a positive impression on tourists, and many tourists make sure to revisit this beautiful country.

Bangkok is one of the major international gateways in the country. Suvarnabhumi International and Don Mueng Airport serve a multitude of international destinations. From Bangkok, all major regions, such as Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan.

It is known to very few that Thailand has an extraordinary bond with elephants. In fact, the national animal of Thailand is the Elephant. There are more than 3000 Asian elephants found in Thailand. Many of which are domesticated in sanctuaries. Today, elephant sanctuaries in Thailand are significant sites for tourists. However, there are certain sanctuaries which are recommended since they follow ethical practices with elephants. Some sanctuaries are involved with adding a strenuous burden to the elephants. Owners use these elephants for shows, tricks, and domestic work. Hence, as a tourist, you must only visit those sanctuaries which follow ethical standards and determination towards the welfare of the elephants.

This article is committed to brief you about 5 best ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand.

   1. Phang Nga Elephant Park – Phang Nga

As the name suggests, this sanctuary is situated in the province of Phang Nga. Surrounded by lush forest reserve, this family-run elephant habitat is an ideal place for wildlife seekers who want an escape from the busy life of Bangkok.

What to do?

This sanctuary has two primary programs for tourists. The first one is called elephant care, where visitors can experience how an elephant is treated daily. Jungle safari, elephant shower, and feeding all these activities are offered. The second one is tailored to families where they enjoy more kid-friendly activities. How to reach?
Phang Nga can be reached by taking a train from Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. Following the train ride, a two-hour bus must be taken. Besides, Phang Nga elephant park also provides free transfers from the nearby cities of Phuket, Krabi, Khao Lak, and Khao Sok.

   2. Patara Elephant Farm – Chiang Mai

Activities at Patara elephant farm are one of the fascinating things to do in Thailand. This sanctuary hosts an array of 31 elephants.

What to do?

The main highlight of this sanctuary is the ‘elephant owner for a day’ program where visitors are allowed to act as real elephant owners. They are taught about the elephants, their moods, fodder, babies and day to day life. The program also demonstrates how elephants can communicate with humans through signs and signals.

How to reach?

Patara Elephant Farm is situated in the city of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is a domestic hub with regular flights, trains, and buses from all major regions in Thailand. Hence this place is easily accessible.

  3. Elephant Jungles Sanctuary – Multiple Locations

Elephant Jungles Sanctuary is special in its own way. It is one of the major ethical elephant sanctuaries in Thailand. It has multiple locations, spread across major cities of Thailand.

What to do?

Visits to the sanctuaries are in special time slots, which are morning, afternoon, and overnight. The most appealing of them is the overnight slot. Learning about an elephant’s night routine is unrivaled to the usual day-to-day activities conducted in the daylight hours. There is also an individual volunteer program for those who are firmly attached to the elephants.

How to reach?

Accessibility is never an issue when visiting the Elephant Jungles Sanctuary. It is located in the several core forested areas. You can pay a visit to the nearest branch in either Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya or Koh Samui. For people coming from Bangkok, Pattaya is more conveniently accessible.

     4. Elephant Hills – Khao Sok

This is another unique addition to the list. This place is an elephant sanctuary cum a wildlife resort. It has clubbed wildlife with luxury with unique tented accommodation concepts. Have you ever heard of a ‘Floating rainforest camp’?

What to do?

The entire sanctuary is divided into two central parks. One is the floating rainforest tented camp, while the other one is called Elephant Camp. All-inclusive multi-day tours are offered. Be assured that all your accommodation, meals and sightseeing are covered with utmost grandeur and luxury. There are various seasonal projects where one can volunteer.

How to reach?

Khao Sok can be easily accessed by trains, planes, and busses. Surat Thani is the nearest airport, but Phuket airport is more convenient. Besides, there is also a rail line operating in the province from Bangkok.

   5.Ben Loots Elephant Sanctuary – Sukhothai

Ben Loots Elephant Sanctuary is tucked amid the beautiful forests and Thai countryside. The striking feature of this sanctuary is that they only nurture rescued elephants. It has a wide range of activities. Sometimes, getting a booking here is not very easy due to a low tourist number cap.

What to do?

One can enjoy regular elephant sanctuary activities. But, the real fun lies in staying at the traditional village style accommodation provided by them. There is also a dog and cat camp to distract your mind off the high dosage of the elephant extravaganza.

How to reach

Reaching Sukhothai can be a challenge, but the journey along the forests is worth taking. One can take a 7-hour train from Bangkok and transit on to a bus from the Phitsanulok station.

Ethical Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand are a valuable source of tourism. We actively cater to visitors who wish to visit them. We hope this article has shed enough light on some of the best elephant reserves.

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