March 13th celebrates the “National Thai Elephant Day”. In the past, this gentle, yet powerful, animal has played a substantial role in Thai society by fighting during wars, helping in manual labour and becoming a royal iconography. Today, it has become an endangered species. Since 1986 and after many years of hard work in the entertainment and tourism industry, there might be a better future for Thai elephants: sanctuaries. Now, instead of riding or watching elephants perform tricks, visitors can observe and learn from these beautiful animals in parks and sanctuaries.
There is something infinitely satisfying about interacting with happy, free elephants, especially when their previous lives have been though and sad. Watching them freely roaming in the jungle, bathing in river and playing in the mud can be one of the best experience of your trip in Thailand. So, if meeting with elephants is on your bucket list during your holiday, please choose to go for a “No Saddle Program”. Many of the elephant camps in Chiang Mai have choose to care for the elephants and offer visitors the possibility to interact with the gentle giants in this meaningful and caring way.