Months ago when first visiting Thailand, I accidentally found myself at an elephant camp with some friends after booking a tour where it was unknowingly included.
Months ago when first visiting Thailand, I accidentally found myself at an elephant camp with some friends after booking a tour package where it was unknowingly included. The place was every horror story I have ever heard: the elephant's were chained up, handled with hooks, overworked and stressed. Ours was so unhappy it shook the handler off its back angrily, trumpeted, and took off running with us on it... whiiiiich was pretty scary.
We tried to make amends for our first experience and booked a day at an elephant rescue center with Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.
Instead of forcing elephants to haul us around, we got to feed, pet, wash and love on a handful of them. All of the elephants had been taken from other tourist traps where they were forced to walk in the same circle each day, hauling tourists on their backs while prodded with spikes and sticks. Instead, at this tourist trap, these hungy giants were lead around with bushels of bananas and sugar cane.