Elephant Camps

  Franklin Heijnen

Elephant Camps

There are a few of outfits on the island offering elephant experiences and Baan Kwan Chang is the best of the bunch. We’d like to say it’s great but I’m afraid we can’t; Elephants are chained up when not working, they still use the bullhook, and they are loaded up to carry 3 adults in the cage baskets on their back several times a day. While they can quite easily carry one person on their neck they are not built to be carrying that kind of weight on their back. Some of the elephants look malnourished and some are seen swaying on the spot which is a bad sign. We heard that they are said to be retired elephants, what elephant gets retired to come and do this all day? The elephants are here doing this work because tourists are paying for it. The other camps on the island are said to be much worse. There are plenty of good elephant experiences out there but not on Ko Chang. If you’re interested in seeing somewhere that prioritises the elephant’s welfare take a look at Elephant's World in Kanchanaburi, Wildlife Friends Foundation in Petchaburi, or Elephant Nature Park and Patara Elephant Farm in Chiang Mai.

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