I love elephants and have only had the opportunity to see them in the zoo. While in Bangkok, I found this day trip on line and booked right away. We had an excellent guide – very funny, and enjoyed the trip to the market, the ox cart ride and the hike to the waterfalls. The highlight of the trip, seeing and riding the elephants absolutely broke my heart and made me wish I had filmed everything we heard and saw that afternoon.
There was a large elephant walked by to see us while we were waiting for our ride. The elephant was beautiful but we were told to not get too close. After a few minutes later, the mahout came and used his bullhook to corral the elephant back to its area. A few minutes later we heard numerous cries of distress coming from the elephant. An employee at the park, told us the elephant did not want have the seats strapped to her back and that she would calm down and be out shortly to give us our ride.
I have a photo before the mahout took her to strap on the seat strapped and several after. My friend and I did not ride that elephant, but to see the wounds on her head and sides was so upsetting. This poor elephant was beaten and forced to take people on a ride.
Even more insulting, after our group disembarked from our elephants, the mahout of the abused elephant, made her dance and bow down, while all the time prodding her with the bullhook.
I would not recommend this trip to anyone traveling with their children or anyone who loves animals. I expected the elephants would be treated with respect and love, but this poor elephant was not. I would not recommend this trip to anyone traveling with their children or anyone who loves animals. I expected the elephants would be treated with respect and love, but this poor elephant was not. It unsettled my friend and me and we were both very distraught and upset on the long trip back. Please do not book this trip if you have young children. Of if you love and are compassionate towards animals. Unfortunately this has left a negative impression of our trip and we wonder how many other elephants are mistreated in Thailand.
Note from Viator
Thank you for your comments. Viator does not condone cruelty to animals and is saddened by your experience. Your concerns have been sent to the service provider to address and improve upon these issues.