From spending a week in an elephant village in Surin to spotting wild elephants in the Khao Yai NP and even splashing around with them in the Nam Khan River. After a wonderful two months spent travelling around South East Asia, home to these majestic creatures, I had to do a post in tribute to them on World Elephant Day (aka. best day ever?) 

Tips for Responsible Tourism
When it comes to South East Asia, the exploitation of animals, elephants in particular, can be an easy trap for tourists to fall into. Make sure you're aware of what you're paying for and avoid any dodgy deals.

  • Often you'll see men guiding elephants around the city with bananas in hand that they offer you to feed them with. As innocent as it seems, do not be tempted! 
  • Avoid riding them at all costs! This is one that's been getting a lot of coverage in the past few years and whilst it seems like a fun day out, it is in no way good for the elephants. Their backs aren't shaped to have a carriage tied to them and be ridden on. If someone offers a ride, say no.
  • Hooks are a no go. If you see an elephant being tamed by those devilish hooks, you know to walk in the opposite direction. Whilst some companies claim it is to 'simply control' the elephants, I think it's pretty simple that forcing an animal into submission by poking them with sharp hooks is a bad, bad idea. 
  • Instead, choose sanctuaries that help to rehabilitate mistreated elephants. Try Elephants World on the River Kwai in Thailand where you can help old, sick and rescued elephants or Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai for a lovely, yet healthy way of bathing and feeding them. 

These intelligent and friendly animals are in constant danger from many threats. We need to help to protect these beauties in any way we can. From responsible tourism to donations, whatever we can do to help, will go a long way.

"World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitative and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection."

Visit the World Elephant Day website to see how you can help these amazing creatures from the escalation of poaching, habitat loss and mistreatment in captivity.


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