language Amazing Thailand

Thai elephants have long been a part of the Thai people’s life. The elephant is considered as a royal animal, which was a great companion to Thai kings and ancestors in wars since ancient times. The elephant has been selected as the national animal of Thailandsince the reign of King Rama II.

The Thai elephant has also played an important role in the life of the Siamese people. They were used as a useful means of transportation in carrying agricultural produce and dragging logs and timber. This has formed a close relationship between humans and elephants, originating an exceptional lifestyle and culture.

Later on, the government ended the forest concession to preserve the forest and environment. Elephants were no longer needed for logging. Therefore, elephant ecotourism has been initiated. Tourists can experience the elephants’ cute characteristics and intelligence through various activities; such as, elephant jungle trekking, mahout training, and many impressive shows.

Interesting Things about Elephants

There are 2 categories of elephants in the world, Asian and African elephants. The Thai elephant is in the category of Asian elephants, elegant in feature and smart. The skin colour is usually grey mixed with light yellowish brown. The skin wrinkles are smoother than those of the African elephant. Its tail has many short-haired tassels. From the front, the head is in triangular shape with 2 hemispherical bulges on the forehead. The trunk is beautifully round and not too pointy. They eat approximately 250-kilogramme of food. Thai elephants walk slower and shier than African elephants. Their average lifespan is around 80-90 years. In Thailand, there are wild elephants in most regions with abundant forests with creeks and streams as they like to often take a bath and are good at swimming.

The Bible of Elephant Training

What makes Thai elephant riding unique is the ancient wisdom of elephant training, which has been passed on from generation to generation for over a century. This ancient wisdom is an important manual for elephant training, communication, and care. It starts from how to get on the elephant’s back, how to take an elephant for a bath, how to feed, control and live with them, and how to be a good mahout. The close relationship between elephants and mahouts are impressively admirable. Thai mahouts’ ability in controlling this world’s biggest animal is internationally accepted. Westerners see elephants as a dangerous animal, especially musk elephants which can be extremely dangerous. Therefore, it is amazing and rare for foreigners to see big wild animals like elephants being domesticated and trained to interact with humans.

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Important Elephant Camps in Thailand

  Place Province Season To Visit Activity
28 Patara Elephant Camp Chiang Mai All year long Elephant riding
29 Thai Elephant Conservation Centre Lampang All year long Elephant riding
30 Ban Ta Klang Elephant Study Centre Surin
All year long Elephant riding,
Mahout training,
31 Ranti River Kanchanaburi
All year long Elephant riding,
Mahout training
32 Namtok Khlong Phlu Trat-
Ko Chang
Nov - Apr
Elephant riding,
Mahout training,
33 Hua Hin Hills Vineyard Prachuap
Khiri Khan
Jan - Mar Elephant riding
34 Khao Sok Surat Thani Nov - Apr
Elephant riding
35 Amazing Bukit Safari Phuket All year long
Elephant riding