We’re not only referring to the lovely people that call Thailand home when we say it’s home to some gorgeous citizens. The “Land of Smiles” is also known as the “Land of Spectacular Wildlife,” owing to its lush rainforests, tropical beaches, and lovely flora.
According to legend, seeing an Asian Elephant in Thailand will guarantee you good luck. On the other hand, these legends have failed to stop hunting wild elephants or exploiting elephants for profit.
The practice of logging was banned in the 1980s. However, most captive elephants were sold to the tourism industry, resulting in a more than 75% decline. Today, far less than 2,000 elephants live in their natural environments.
Currently, Thailand has no legislation that forbids the mistreatment or exploitation of elephants for tourism purposes.
However, the elephants rehabilitated in these ethical sanctuaries are helping to heal other elephants who have been abused, and you may do the same thing.
Check out these six best places and sanctuaries to see elephant in Thailand!
1. The Elephant Nature Park, Chiang Mai
Even though the Thai term “Chang” actually translates to “elephant,” Chiang Mai is recognized as one of Thailand’s finest locations to see elephants. Because of its track record for honesty and long-term viability, locals trust Elephant Nature Park.
|Number of Elephants:||75|
In addition to the 75 free-roaming elephants (including rescued elephants) who call the reserve home. Each elephant has a heartbreaking rescue story to share. It also appreciates elephant tourism.
In most situations, the elephants were spared from tourism-related abuses such as habitat loss or harsh training camps.
The sanctuary has cared for dogs, cats, and other small creatures. It was formed in 1995 by naturalist Sangduen “Lek” Chailert. However, mainly it has worked on elephant conversation.
This park is located on the outskirts of the deep jungle in the northern capital. It is a magical haven for these formerly abused animals owing to the forgiving climate and lush surroundings.
Moreover, it is affiliated with one of the best Asian elephant hospitals. It’s also a great way for volunteers to help with elephant care, meal preparation, cleaning, and so on for a day or overnight.
2. Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary, Maechaem
BEES, founded by Burm and his English wife Emily, has worked to educate elephant owners in Thailand about the significance of animal welfare in the tourism sector. Since its inception, BEES has been known for putting elephants first.
|Number of Elephants:||3|
BEES, an elephant refuge, care for old, wounded, and retired elephants subjected to years of logging, trekking tourism, and maltreatment.
The deep green valley and rolling hills two hours south of Chiang Mai are the ideal setting for these kind beings to live out their final years in peace. It’s no surprise that BEES holds the best track record and highest rating in our guide with five stars.
BEES has a more passive volunteer program, with responsibilities limited to animal maintenance, such as feeding them in the middle of the day and cleaning their living spaces.
Furthermore, there is a cat café on-site, and the cats there need to have cared for. Through BEES, volunteers may get involved in community conservation efforts like tree planting and repair. It is completely integrated into the local community.
3. Elephant Haven (The Sai Yok Elephant Camp in Kanchanaburi)
The Sai Yok Elephant Camp in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, is an interesting elephant project. Because of the sanctuary’s dramatic change in objective, its name was changed due to the move.
|Number of Elephants:||Unknown|
Elephant Haven was formerly a tourist attraction that chained elephants and kept them in chains and has since been transformed into a sanctuary for free-roaming elephants.
In keeping with the Elephant NaturePark’s pioneering efforts in Chiang Mai, Elephant Haven is one of a few elephant experiences that are being modernized. It has a great history and tracks records regarding the number of rescued animals, including injured elephants.
Visitors were prohibited from riding elephants on their backs at the old camp. Instead, they were advised to go for a stroll with the elephants and make/feed the elephants fresh fruit and millet balls to consume as they moved through the forest.
4. Samui Elephant Sanctuary
The Samui Elephant Sanctuary is the first haven on the island for elephants that have been mistreated and worked to death.
|Number of Elephants:||13|
In their mud pit and custom pool on the 10 acres of forest area where they live happily with 13 other elephants, guests are welcome to feed the elephants, stroll with them, and even play games with them.
Lek Chailert and Save, The Elephants, as well as volunteers, have helped open a second facility for this ethical elephant sanctuary to expand its conservation efforts around the island.
Outsiders may sponsor an elephant, get information on the elephant’s retirement, and give to their animal’s upkeep at both sanctuaries.
5. Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital
The Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital, or FAE, was established in the early 1990s to provide better medical care for elephants in Asia.
With a mission to end the suffering of elephants, FAE has three primary objectives: rescue, rehabilitation, and release.
|Number of Elephants:||Unknown|
FAE is best known for their success in rescuing and rehabilitating elephants so that they may be returned to the wild.
The hospital is located in Lampang, Thailand, where it provides medical care for sick and injured elephants from all over Asia.
In addition to their rescue and rehabilitation efforts, FAE also works to educate the public about elephant welfare and the importance of conserving these majestic creatures.
6. Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary
Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) is a haven for injured, abandoned, and abused elephants in Thailand.
Named after its founder, BLES was created to provide a safe environment for elephants to heal and live out their days in peace.
|Number of Elephants:||9|
BLES is located on 10 acres of land in the beautiful province of Sukhothai. The sanctuary is home to 9 elephants, all of whom have been rescued from abusive situations.
In addition to providing a safe haven for elephants, BLES also works to educate the public about elephant welfare and the importance of conserving these majestic creatures.
Elephants are one of Thailand’s most popular tourist attractions, and there are many places where you can see them.
We’ve listed six sanctuaries that we recommend. Based on our experience, each sanctuary has unique benefits, so it’s important to research before deciding which is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions about Best Places to see Elephants in Thailand
Yes, it is possible to see elephants in the wild in Thailand. However, it is important to remember that these animals are wild and should be treated cautiously and respectfully. We recommend hiring a local guide if you plan on venturing into the forest in search of elephants.
There is no definitive answer to this question, as elephants can be found all over Thailand. However, we recommend contacting a local tour company or guide to increase your chances of seeing elephants in the wild.
Prices will vary depending on the specific activity and location. However, we recommend budgeting at least $50 per person if you plan on interacting with elephants.
Yes, you can ride elephants in Thailand. Elephant rides can be found in places like the Phuket elephant sanctuary or in Samui.