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Updated by Pushpitha Wijesinghe on Jul 22, 2014
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Top Elephant Trekking Destinations in Thailand

The 73 or so elephant camps and sanctuaries in Thailand offer some of the best opportunities to get up close and personal with elephants that are domesticated.

1

Ruammit

Ruammit

The northern Thai province of Chiang Rai is famous for elephant camps and sanctuaries. Karen tribes who live here have long been successful mahouts. Ruammit a Karen village outside Chiang Rai city on the Mae Kok River offer visitors short treks, half day treks and overnight trips to a remote hill tribe village. The village can be accessed by road and long tail boat.

2

Chiang Rai mountain ranges

Chiang Rai mountain ranges

The green mountain ranges of Chiang Rai encourage nature and adventure lovers to explore the area through a combination of journeys. Elephant trekking is part of these journeys that introduce travelers to hill tribes, rural life and beautiful scenery. Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort that is a well known hotel Chiang Rai has to offer, has mahout training and trekking programs.

3

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Elephant trekking tours are popular in the highlands around Chiang Mai city. The elephant parks here offer treks, elephant bathing and feeding and basic mahout training. The treks are generally full and half day tours combined with bamboo rafting on the Mae Teng River.

4

Chiang Mai elephant camps

Chiang Mai elephant camps

Baanchang Elephant Camp in Chiang Mai offers overnight stays and rural entertainment, Eddy Elephant Care has seven orphan elephants that are available for treks, Friends for Asia Elephant Camp train volunteers in elephant care and handling, Mae Sa Elephant Camp in the hills offers elephant shows.

5

Elephant Nature Park

Elephant Nature Park

Located north of Chiang Mai city in the Mae Teng Valley, this is a great place to learn about elephants. In this safe house for abused elephants, they roam free. Visitors walk alongside elephants not ride on them, assist at bathing and feeding times that are the best time to get to know them.

6

Phuket

Phuket

There are about 20 elephant camps in Phuket with many near Patong and Katta beaches. Treks atop elephants through rivers and jungle, bathing and feeding baby elephants, overnight stays in a tented camp in the rainforest, visits to local agro industries, canoeing down the Sok River are part of short and long duration tours.

7

Khao Sok National Park

Khao Sok National Park

Located in southern Thailand, it has the world's oldest evergreen rainforest, limestone mountains, lakes and caves and wildlife. It is close to some of the most visited tourist destinations in Thailand. Elephant camps here offers opportunities to get close to elephants through basic mahout training experiences, elephant feeding and trekking.

8

Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi

Elephant camps near Bangkok such as in Kanchanaburi just three hours away from the busy city centre offers opportunities to get close to the pachyderms and to learn how to manage and take care of them.

9

Huay To

Huay To

Huay To in Phanom Bencha Krabi Province in South West Thailand is famous for limestone rock formations, white sandy beaches, idyllic islets and elephant trekking experiences. Bathing elephants, elephant trekking through virgin rainforest where trekkers often come across wildlife in their natural habitat.

10

National Parks

National Parks

However the best places to see elephants in their natural habitats are Kui Buri National Park in the Gulf of Thailand and Khao Yai National Park.