Visiting the Elephants World in Kanchanaburi
I would like to share my experience at the Elephants World which is in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. We all know ethical elephant attractions in Thailand have became less attractive in these years.
Ages ago, elephants were used in commercial industries especially in lumber industries, for drawing logs and carrying other heavy materials. But in 1989 when loggings were banned, many elephants and their mahouts became unemployed and that lead to the elephants-based tourism rising. However, elephants catering to tourists or performing in a show is not an ideal life for them either; many elephants end up wounded and neglected while other elephants were abused in unfit conditions. After that, the elephants’ attraction gets unfavorable reputation and many tourists avoid those kinds of elephants-related tourism.
When I first heard about the Elephants World, I thought it would be just like previous elephant tourism. But I was wrong. Elephants World is a non-profit sanctuary where the abused and wounded elephants are recused, protected, and nursed back to health. Basically, it is just a retirement home for elephants; it is not a place where you can ride elephants or play soccer with them. Maybe that is the reason the Elephants World is not very popular. For me, I think it is a worthy place to visit.
You can go to the Elephants World from Bangkok, but it can be in rush. So, I suggest staying overnight at Kanchanaburi and then visit the Elephants World in the next day. I stayed at the Good Times Resort in Kanchanaburi, located next to the River Kwai. It has full facilities with modern furnished rooms, swimming pool and garden view. There is also a bar attached to the restaurant, faced to the River Kwai, which is the best place to chill after the whole day city sightseeing. With the car rented from the resort, I went to Elephants World after some minutes ride. My trip to an Elephants World was unexpected, yet it gave me an excellent experience.
In Elephants World, they give plenty of space for elephants to lush, roam, and relax. There are two dozens of elephants which are in some way rescued. In the morning I joined with some volunteers and fed them fruits and veggies. There are also several toothless old elephants need to be treated with the compassion. For those, we fed them with rice balls mixed with vitamins and supplements. After the breakfast, we walked down to the river. Some people played water fighting with elephants and some helped to rinse off the mud from elephant’s back. Scrubbing them with long-handled brushes in the river was really fun and excited.
The entrance to the Elephants World is 2,500 THB (about $ 70) per person. Yes, it is a bit expensive for feeding over 20 elephants but worthy as you can instantly see where the money is going. I felt both my money and time were worth at spending at the Elephants World. I suggest you going Elephants World if you visit Kanchanaburi.