Elephants! It probably says something about how little I knew about Thailand that I didn’t expect this when I booked our flights. But planned or not, this was amazing!
First things first: Mistreatment of elephants. It’s a thing. We’d heard a few stories about elephants kept in horrible conditions and made to work long hours with little rest… So needless to say, we were cautious about signing up for tours involving elephant rides.
With a little research, we found Baanchang Elephant Park, one of several camps in the area that work with elephants rescued from abusive situations and insist on proper treatment of their wards.
A day at Baanchang Elephant Park includes feeding the elephants bananas and sugar cane…
…a ride through the jungle after learning some basic commands used by the mahouts, or trainers…
…and a bath in the water with our new friend!
That last one has to be my favorite pic from the day.
The biggest “WOW” moment for me was after we were done scrubbing and splashing around with the elephants, just standing in the water in the middle of the herd of them as they all stood up at once.