We did a fair bit of research on elephant sanctuaries to visit in Thailand and we’re very please we discovered the Elephant Nature Park. If you care about elephants and want to spend time with them then this is the place. The lady who started it (Lek) is incredible and not only let’s you spend time with them, but teaches you about the torture they go through to be ‘trained’ for riding. That’s why here, you can not ride them, but you feed them, bathe them and enjoy being around them. I personally would not recommend any elephant park where they allow tourists to ride the elephants. Lek also teaches mahoots in Thailand new ways to train elephants without any physical abuse, but by using positive reinforcement.
While we were there, there were also almost 1000 dogs which had just been adopted by the park after losing their homes last year due to floods in Bangkok.
There are volunteer opportunities at the park if you’re interested, but if not then the money from your day trip is going towards funding for a great cause.
Here we are with our favourites. Two of a family of three elephants which were the friendliest family in the park. Elephant families are not necessarily related (and in this case none of them are), they just decide who they want to stay with.