Elephant riding by Phuchada safari was a part of our general Phuket excursion. Again, it was OK as a part of excursion and one opportunity to ride an elephant. I can’t say that during our visit the elephants were treated badly, so this was not an issue. However, the ride itself was – well, so so. Riding elephant is not the same experience as riding a horse – you do not have feeling of or contact with an animal. That’s why this ride was one and only for us. Besides, there are lots of additional payments which finally sum up to quite an amount: tip for mahout, payment for feeding an elephant, payment for a photo which is almost forced on you, if you are with kids, you will be obliged to pay for their playing with a baby elephant, too. I hope only, that at least part of these money really goes for keeping the elephants fed and healthy and pay for their retirement sanctuary (at least so we were told).
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