Is elephant trekking in Thailand cruel to the elephants?

There are elephant sanctuaries in Phuket Island, Thailand which advertises elephant trekking. Are they all cruel to the elephants? Or are there some sanctuaries which treat their elephants well? Is it possible to do elephant trekking in Phuket with a clear conscience?

3 Answers

  • Favourite answer

    If you want to see the real elephant sanctuary you want to go to Chiang Mai.  It is a place that accepts elephants who been treated badly and how they care and feed them.  No trekking here.    This is the website:

    I was there a few years ago and it a long day trip.  You can also feed and bath the elephants here.  At the time I went some tourists worked at the sanctuary for a few days to a week.  It was semi-illegal back then and now with the new rules and how they hate foreigners more and more, they may arrest you for working there with a work visa.  But it is worth the trip if you are in the Chiang Mai area.

  • 1 month ago

    Thais , Asians are cruel by nature. 

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  • 1 month ago

    It is not so much the trekking is cruel. It is what it took to be able to have wild animals tame enough to be able to go trekking with humans on your back. Are they cruel, subjective question.  Don't know.  Sanctuaries Yes but, after the fact of training.  Is it possible, I did it to please my Thai girlfriend at the time and still feel guilty about doing it.  But, that is my conscience.  You have to ask yourself if you can deal with it.  I know I will never do it again.  When you see the metal poker they use instead of their hands.  Think about it.

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