Posted by: elephantsinthailand | August 1, 2011

Unseen Places in Thailand with Natural Beauty and Activities for Everyone

Thailand; The Land of Smiles. This wonderful country in South-East Asia is so many different things to so many different people. Everyone who has been to Thailand will have a story to tell about the place, its people or the culture. There are also plenty of people who have never visited but somehow have lots of negative or exciting tales about friends’ or relatives’ trips. The fact is that there are so many different peoples and places in Thailand that it is absolutely unfair to generalize either in a positive or negative way.
Stories of being scammed by locals, ripped off by smiling government officials, or fooled into thinking one’s new friend was a lady when in fact it was a transvestite need to balanced with the more common experiences of serene beaches covered in powdery white sand, ridiculously cheap and wonderfully tasty food, tolerant and hospitable locals and achingly beautiful flora, fauna and scenery.
One of the places in Thailand which attracts lots of visitors but maybe doesn’t produce such exciting stories is Kanchanaburi, which is a large province just a little north-west of Bangkok and bordering Burma (Myanmar). In Kanchanaburi there are several large lakes, national parks, the River Kwai and its famous bridge, and lots of fun activities such as elephant trekking and kayaking. Kanchanburi is one of those places in Thailand where people appear to care a little more about their environment and nature than those in the city. There are several active elephant conservation projects as well as an elephant lodge. There are several species of animal which live nowhere else in the world including the tiny Hog-nose bat. It really is a wonderfully diverse part of the world. The main town of the province has the same name, which can be confusing, because the town and the large rural province are strikingly different. The former being rather built-up and the latter having unexplored jungle, massive lakes, tall waterfalls and even a nature lodge for semi-wild and domesticated Thai animals including the wonderful Asian elephant. With what some call the elephant lodge Thailand is contributing towards a much better understanding of conservation and care for the country’s immense natural beauty. Lack of education and financial opportunities can lead the people of developing countries to misuse and harm their natural resources and wildlife. Fortunately, those days are coming to end which benefits all involved from the animals themselves to the locals and tourists. Kanchanaburi province really is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places in Thailand. Visiting sooner rather than later will give you the opportunity to see it before it becomes over-developed and maybe even help with the fantastic projects going on there.

Posted by: elephantsinthailand | June 19, 2011

Thailand’s Best Elephant Camp

If you had to choose all the things, good and bad, that Thailand is famous for, one should, but wouldn’t stand out as an obvious winner. In competition with food, pristine beaches on idyllic islands, Buddhism, beautiful girls, fake goods, great shopping, and the sex industry, the country’s national animal, the elephant often misses out. Why? Who knows? However, no trip to The Kingdom of Thailand would be complete without visiting an elephant camp.

elephant treking

Do not be mistaken by the poor creatures forced to walk around the polluted streets of Bangkok or Chiang Mai, or any other beast being used to make money in tourist areas. No, the best trip for both the visitor and the pachyderms is out in the country, not far from Bangkok. There you’ll be able to handle the animals, meet their mahouts and watch them train. Also there are opportunities to watch them bathe in the famous River Kwai (pronounced kwhere) or even go elephant trekking. Thailand elephants are the national symbol. In fact, if you look at the map of the nation, it looks very much like the head and trunk of one of these wonderful beasts. Elephants in Thailand were originally used for manual work, such as dragging logs through forests, however it is sad to see these calm and clever animals used in such a way. They are extremely sociable, and can interact with humans if treated with respect and love. It is easy to see at any elephant nature park in the centre of Thailand that the respect is rewarded. Kanchanaburi is a large province just a few hours from Bangkok and is also famous for the Bridge over the River Kwai and the tiger temple. One can easily search for a respectable elephant lodge to experience them at work and play. Some people even extend their stay in Thailand or cancel trips to the islands or the north after they have spent some time with these fantastic creatures.

elephants in Thailand
Riding them is a wonderful experience, but getting to know the animals more personally and discovering how they spend their days is far more rewarding. A quick pat and a couple of bananas is less of an experience than watching Animal Planet. One needs to spend at least a whole day, probably two, at an elephant camp to fully appreciate the work, dedication and love that they need and receive. Don’t let yourself be swayed by another couple of days at the beach, or shopping in town. Get out to Kanchanaburi and fall in love with a gentle but strong pachyderm.

elephant tours Thailand

Tourism has evolved so much over the two hundred or so years since Thomas Cook started package tours in England. From our grandparents’ day trips to the beach, to flights to Spain’s beaches which were the thing to do for a few decades. More recently, backpacking, by both young and old, is done in Asia, South America and sometimes even Africa. Then the adventure holidays began, with bungee jumping and scuba diving, which has led to lots more long-haul flights for thrill-seeking tourists. And in the last few years we have all become more aware of the impact human activity is having on the environment, so now eco-tourism is the latest thing. A nice variation is to join a tour that is not harmful to nature while also learning a little bit about the system. For example, rather than just looking at animals, interact with them or watch and learn how they are handled. In central Thailand, for instance, tourists can pet, feed and ride elephants in controlled areas or the jungle. In addition, watching how the elephant handlers, or mahouts, learn their trade is also becoming a popular attraction. For elephant tours and watching mahout training Thailand is probably the best destination for its climate, infrastructure, other activities, and its people.

People riding elephants on a elephant in Thailand

Thailand has wonderful weather year-round. March to June is the hottest, and those who may not be able to cope with extreme heat and humidity should visit at another time. July to October is the rainy season, but it’s still perfectly possible to enjoy a vacation due to the fact that it doesn’t rain for long periods or stay wet for long because of the heat. The best months, though, are November to February, which is the ‘winter.’ The weather is just like a European summer and very pleasant.

Mahout training Thailand on an elephant

The infrastructure there is also very good. There are plenty of comfortable and convenient forms of transport and good places to stay. In addition, the prices can meet a wide range of budgets. The best camps to visit Thailand elephants are in and around the large Kanchanaburi province, just two hours from Bangkok. The elephants in Thailand are obviously the Asian species, and therefore smaller than their African cousins. It’s commonly believed that it is far easier and more pleasant to ride an Asian elephant compared to an African one, possibly due to their temperament, but probably more because of their size. As mentioned before, an elephant handler is known as its mahout. Each mahout is responsible for his own elephant and each elephant has, knows and trusts its one mahout.

elephant Thailand elephant lifing foot

Thailand also has plenty of other things to do which attract a diversity of tourists. There are white sandy beaches, large hills and small mountains for treks, and lots of excellent shopping. To visit a country for such a specific attraction as visiting an elephant camp would be rather unusual. One needs to enjoy the other delights, and of course meet the people. Thais are kind, friendly and calm, and this goes a long way to helping them interact with and train these wonderful creatures.

If you are interested in having a vacation in a beautiful country with a warm climate and visiting an elephant camp and spending time with, or watching, an Asian elephant’s mahout Thailand is difficult to beat. The proximity to so many other things, the year-round climate, the people, and of course the animals themselves all make it a wonderful experience indeed.

Posted by: elephantsinthailand | May 20, 2011

For Asian Elephants, Thailand Leads the Way

With so many new and exciting ways to enjoy a holiday, and ecotourism becoming a popular way to exploit nature without harming it, adventure holidays are the way to go for both businesses and tourists alike. South-East Asia’s climate and inexpensive costs of living and travelling, and the culture and cuisine, make it the best place in the world to travel to for the widest range of budgets. Jungle trekking and scuba diving are wonderful ways to experience nature without causing unnecessary damage. For elephant tours Thailand is a top destination, mainly because of the size and temperament of the animals and the well-run tour companies. If you want to just visit or ride elephants Thailand is a great destination.

elephant tours Kanchanaburi Thailand
There are many thousands of square kilometres of natural habitat in Thailand for elephants to roam in the wild or be cared for in captivity. It is cruel to take them to cities or beach resorts and force them to work, so tourists should avoid giving money to those who abuse these wonderful creatures for their own monetary gain. One of the most convenient natural habitats for an elephant camp is just north-west of Bangkok. These places give tourists the opportunity to feed and pet pachyderms, ride them within the elephant camp if they’re feeling brave enough, and offer day trips into the jungle for the best experience. For these day trips riding an elephant Thailand really is a fantastic destination. They are hard-working animals, have gentle temperaments and good memory capacity. They appear to be aware of which humans care for them, control them, are scared of them and may harm them. It is perfectly safe to walk around them and touch their trunks, ears or flanks. Some people even take part in elephant shows and lie on the ground for the animals to step over, and sometimes on, them. From personal experience, I can recommend this as a wonderful, safe and humbling experience.

elephant riding at an elephant camp Thailand
For those who are considering or planning a visit to an elephant camp Thailand should be the first place they think about. The animals are well treated, and the people are friendly, helpful and competent. African elephants are significantly larger than those in Asia and also used to wide open spaces as their natural habitat. This means that riding them in real-world surrounding that they’re used to must involve savannah safari-type trips more than jungle treks. Moreover, with constant political conflicts and extreme poverty, Africa is often seen as a less desirable holiday destination mainly due to the feeling of safety and security.

Elephants in Thailand
In contrast and conclusion, Thailand has so much to offer visitors. Such as good shopping, delicious food, wonderful people, waterfalls, jungle treks, soft white sandy beaches, and clear turquoise seas full of marine life. In addition, for some of the world’s best elephant camps Thailand is fast becoming the top destination in the world. Go there and see for yourself before word gets out and it is spoilt by too many tourists or greedy businesses charging more than is fair.
elephant lodge Thailand

Posted by: elephantsinthailand | May 6, 2011

Choosing the Best Elephant Camp in Thailand

One of the most popular tourist destinations nowadays is Thailand. Tourists have access to beautiful beaches, mountainous forests, wonderful food and fantastic shopping. It’s a good choice for people of any age, on any budget and seeking almost any thrill or adventure, as well as many ways and places to relax. One lesser-known tourist activity is visiting an elephant camp, something that cannot be done in the many heavily populated and touristy areas. The best experience, for both tourist and elephant alike, can be had in central Thailand, where there is no traffic causing noise, pollution and stress for the animals. In addition, with fewer tourists, the day trips are much more enjoyable for the humans, too.

Elephant-camp-Thailand

The first factor, and probably the most important, is the amount of stress on these intelligent creatures which belong in large herds in the wild. Taking them away from their matriarchal groups, transporting them for hundreds of kilometres, and then forcing them to live and perform in crowded cities or beach areas is extremely cruel. Thailand elephants are highly respected creatures and should be treated accordingly for that reason, as well as everyone’s safety and enjoyment. Central Thailand is where most of the country’s ideal habitat is situated. For those considering a visit to a quality elephant camp Kanchanaburi should be near, or at the top of, everyone’s list. Kanchanaburi is a little west of Bangkok, and home to the famous river Kwai (kware).

Riding elephants at an elephant lodge
Next, one needs to carefully consider what to do with the elephants for the best experience. Just handing over one dollar to a cruel handler to give the animal bananas, that the beast has probably carried around all day anway, is not very fulfilling. Elephant tours can offer much more at reasonable prices. For elephant riding Thailand is a popular destination. There are several operations which cater for all markets. However, many are poorly run, which can lead to problems for the tourists and elephants. The best tours avoid crowds and ensure the experience for all involved is an enjoyable one. Some tours even incorporate some Buddhist culture and visit the world-famous tiger temple. This can usually be done as part of a small public group, or in your own chartered group.

With the tigers at the tiger temple kanchanaburi
So, to be sure to fully enjoy your visit to Thailand, take a few days or more away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok or the hills and mountains in the north. Book a trip that isn’t a backpacker party or for beach bums in the sun. There’s nothing wrong with any of the above, but elephant tours, or just a short visit to an elephant lodge, will open your eyes to what wonderful creatures these are if treated properly within the tourist industry.

elephant tours bathing the Thailand elephants

Posted by: elephantsinthailand | May 4, 2011

Elephants in Thailand – elephant tours Thailand

Welcome to elephant tours Thailand blog. We hope to keep you posted in the future regarding our tours to elephant camps in Kanchanaburi.

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