If you are heading over for a holiday in Thailand, elephants will definitely be on the list of the things you want to see in this beautiful country. As the animal representing the country – and additionally, due to their association with religion, power and royalty – elephants are a fundamental part of Thailand.
But you should be careful – as you might have heard, there is a dark side to the elephant tourism of the country (and Asia as a whole, to be exact). You want to be ethical in your pursuit of getaways, and the easiest way to not condone mistreatment of these tuskers is to visit the many elephant sanctuaries that have popped up in many of the more famous tourist spots in Thailand (and you can easily do this by looking up the Pattaya elephant village review or other reviews for other sanctuaries you might see on the map). That being said, you might be at a loss if you have not exactly visited an animal sanctuary – what exactly can you expect, and what can you do? If you are looking for answers, then keep on reading!
Elephant sanctuaries have plenty of fun activities for you and your family to indulge in, such as feeding the elephants, observing them as they go about their own business in the reserve, or even bathing with elephants. These sanctuaries tend to generally follow schedules with regards to the activities they have planned, so generally, it is a good idea to visit in the morning and spend a day at the place if you want to have some quality time with these animals. Of course, keep in mind that a day’s stay will be more expensive (but honestly, it is worth it!) – and not to add, the sanctuaries easily attract a large amount of visitors annually (and you might also want to know that plenty of these sanctuaries recruit volunteers, so if you have more time to spend in Thailand, you might want to opt for that), which means you definitely want to make sure that it won’t be booked by the time you visit.
While spending the day at an elephant sanctuary, not only will you get to interact with the elephants, but you will also likely get an intimate insight into how their caretakers look after them. This includes details about their diet – sometimes, you might be allowed to take part in the process of making their meals – how they were rescued, etc. You will also probably hear plenty of facts about elephants in general (which you can also find in the many books they will be selling at the souvenir shop). All in all, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience you do not want to miss on.