and everything, from tuk tuks to flip-flops. But while we all have a budget, there are some things which should simply not be scrimped on. Elephant trekking is at the top of our list. Despite the high price of a half day with these beautiful mammals which may well exceed your usual weekly budget, this activity cannot and should not be missed.
Elephants are highly sociable, and wonderfully intelligent animals, able to communicate with other elephants across huge distances and show emotions similar to human beings. Unfortunately however, human beings cannot speak ‘elephant’ (and vice-versa), leaving an elephant’s happiness, feelings and well being very much open to our own interpretation.
Despite a continued demand for the circus-like shows throughout Thailand, in recent years a more responsible tourist choice is to visit the eco-tourism orientated elephant parks, where longer term strategies, care and conservation help to ensure a happier and more sustainable future for captive elephants. Without doubt one of the most amazing ways to spend a day in South East Asia is to spend it learning how to train an elephant like a professional Mahout, whilst safe in the knowledge that your well-spent money is going to a happy home.