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Elephant rides

by melissathailand Online Now Jan 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Travelling to Thailand with a friend for my gap year and we were wondering what approximate prices elephant rides are and where we can find cheap ones. We are looking to travel through Bangkok, Chiang mai, Chiang rai, to the hill tribes, phuket, Ayutthaya and Koh Phangan but we are open to visit other places if they are worth while or very cheap. Also how strictly is the drinking age enforced and what are some good, cheap transport options to get from bangkok to chiang mai, and from chiang mai to phuket? thank you

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5 Answers
  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo

    Re: Elephant rides

    by IreneMcKay Online Now Jan 29, 2013 at 2:10 AM

    One place many people eem to miss is Sukhothai. I went there last year and really liked it. Beautiful temples and not too crowded.

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    Re: Elephant rides

    by johnaalex Online Now Jan 29, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    There are many reports of badly trekking elephants are treated, please do research for yourself before adding any more misery to a wonderful species of animals. Also note that the working elephants of the north are usually not subject to the same as those in places set up for trekking. In the case of Phuket there were no elephants on the island when I first visited in 1992. In recent years a number of "camps" have been set up to cater for tourists.

    The legal age for drinking alcohol in Thailand is 20. The law is not strictly enforced - it is unlikely that you will be asked for any id or proof of your age. Just be senisble so as to avoid any trouble with the local police if you are under 20.

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  • SirHalberd's Profile Photo

    Re: Elephant rides

    by SirHalberd Online Now Jan 29, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    Drinking age. There is an age limit for drinking alcohol because young people often do stupid things after drinking. Getting in trouble with Thai police is not the same as being a fool back home. Back home mommy and daddy can bail you out. In Thailand you are on your own for quite a while. Will you be able to buy alcohol - probably yes - unless you look like you are 12 years old or already drunk!

    Elephants. You can ride elephants in Ayudthaya, River Kwai (Kachanaburi,) Nong Nooch Elephant show Pattaya and even feed, wash and ride elephants in Chiang Mai area. These tours are common and easy to get. Even a Google check will give you locations to go to.

    Some of the elephants in shows were born there. Other elephants are orphans rescued from locations when the mother elephant was killed.

    Some outsiders want to allow elephants to run wild because it is more natural! Predation is natural too! The elephants running wild may be killed by villagers when they eat their crops. The farmer's family survival or the elephant surviving is the choice for him. For some farmers poisoning the elephants finally stops the marauding! Elephants wandering on their own get hit by trucks and trains too.

    Up to you.

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  • JuliaL25's Profile Photo

    Re: Elephant rides

    by JuliaL25 Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    ( reposting my comments again from another post)

    Visit elephant nature foundation!

    I am volunteering with them this summer

    They have day trips about 70 or so dollars you get to learn about the elephants, feed them bathe them, No its not riding, but then here is what you should know about riding elephants

    what most people do not know, is that riding on the back of an elephant in a 'trekking camp' is a very heavy burden for this huge animal. The neck and trunk are very strong, but the back of an elephant may support a maximum load of 100 kg. The seat only, weights about 50 kg, plus passengers... but this is not the only problem, sometimes the elephants have to work for 10 hours a day or even more. Some camps are also only provide a very basic diet or too little food for the elephants. For some of them, this is literally leading to exhaustion

    Elephant Nature foundation has parks in Chiang Mai also in Surin which is where I will be volunteering ( its 370 a week to volunteer) but all transfers food accomodation is included and I think its a once in a lifetime experience so I am willing to pay for it ( someone already posted link)

    Another great organization is elephants world. Its 1500 - and same thing u get to prepare food for the elephants, swim with them, feed them - this is up in Kachanaburi close to Bangkok ( I am going there 2) their a bit slow 2 reply but they have 5/5 on tripadvisor. You can also stay there overnight or for a week ( a bit less then Elepahnt Natuere foundation)

    There is also one more ethical camp for elephants its wildlife friends of thailand they have a sanctuary not sure u can visit though only volunteer

    I've done over a year's reasearch for my trip to thailand, and I love elephants and I follow conservation efforts all over the world ( aka david sheldrick fund and the project in Sri Lanka and Cambodia) and these are the only experiences I found around Thailand that are ethical. You have to remember that elephants that do tricks, paint and other have been subjected to a cruel method to be able to preform these, so think hard before you support such things. And if you do still want to do an elephant ride after all that- ask to do it bare back and ask to sit on the neck and that its 1 passenger per elephant and not 5 if you really are commited to doing elephant riding,

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  • johnaalex's Profile Photo

    by johnaalex Online Now Mar 19, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    @JuliaL25 makes a very good point about the weakness of an elephant's back. Note that when a mahout rides an elephant he rides over the shoulders and not on the spine.

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