My girlfriend and I are going to Koh Samui in November and want to go on some kind of Elephant trek. Can anyone advise us on a good one ? we have heard that some places miss treat the elephants
"We have heard..". We hear that a lot too without any firm evidence or firm pointers as to who is mistreating them. Some people think riding them is mistreating them.
The elephant trekking we saw near some waterfalls was dismal, all the forest had been cut down and the elephants were just going round a track, they looked miserable.
we did a trek here and yep, felt kinda cheated, not a round track but just a sightless trek. the above post with the link is definately not what we chose and looks far better.
Thai's highly regard elephants, I've never seen them mis treated. hope I'm right.
thanks for the replys so far, yes the link above does look like a good trek. i would love to hear from anyone thats done it
we recently visited koh samui and hired a scooter for the day to go around the island and see the sights. We went on an elephant trek that we really enjoyed,the elephants appeared to be cared for and the guide was very good ( and kind ). It is called Baan Chang elephant trekking, we paid 1,000 baht for both of us to go on a half hour trek. They are situated on the road virtually opposite the temple with the mummified monk.
thanks again for the info,the more i look into it the more confused i get. I do respect all animals thats why i'm doing this research. i'd love to have a positive elephant experience while in koh samui but not at the expense of the animal. I dont know much about this subject but people seem so against it, is it that much different to riding a horse ? if the animal is treated well and looked after is it so cruel ? I was under the impression Thai people loved and respected elephants. I know the tourist $$$ leads to people taking short cuts to make a quick $$ so thats why i'm trying to find an ethical, respectful experience with elephants
I did it 7 years ago and certainly wouldn't do it again. The elephants did not seem happy and mine was in a really bad mood and quite aggressive.... Though if I was in his situation I would be the same !
The elephants seemed to be treated ok but at the end of the day they should be free and we shouldn't encourage this type of thing . Also please avoid the monkey shows and people with monkeys in the street, it's just so cruel . Have a great time in koh samui though x
Please do not use the above link kosamui.com/eco-tours/elephant-trekking.htm, having just got back from there, also known as island safari Koh samui the elephants are badly treated
THERE WAS A YOUNG 7 YEAR OLD ELEPHANT AT THE FRONT OF THE PARK ON A 4FT CHAIN with no water or toys. The elephant was clearly distress, rocking its head and behaving erratically which the staff passed off as 'dancing' and laughed. After googling this behaviour it is unnatural to wild elephants and only seen in captive, stressed elephants. It was raining and the elephant was trying to collect what little water it could off of the ground, we asked staff why it had no water and he said they gave it water 3 times a day. We told the staff that it should have a built in trough to drink and cool itself down and finally they scrambled around and found a bucket of water which the elephant immediately drank and then used the bucket as a source of stimulation and stood on it! The staff agreed and couldn't answer why he didn't have water but at the end the actual keeper said he had been looking after elephants for 10 years and that was all they needed.
The actual elephant trek was dull, the elephants were either controlled and prodded by hooks or kicked hard behind the ears and we asked to go back after a dismal ride around a dusty track, with the most malnourished cattle I have ever seen which we were told was used for 'CATTLE FIGHTING'. The only good thing was we got to buy a few bags of bananas for our elephant which it hastily ate! The best part of the whole trip was the coconut leaf jewelry the elephant driver made! They should stick to selling that rather than exploiting these animals taken which we were told by the rider were taken from northern thailand as babies from the wild to be put on 4ft chains.
... and at the end we were asked to pay 300 bhart for the bucket!Edited: 14 September 2012, 11:17