Can we talk about the elephant in the room? You’re planning your Thailand vacation and getting stoked for beautiful beaches and cheap massages. You’ve likely seen photos of smiling tourists in brochures (or maybe even on your friend’s Instagram) riding elephants in Thailand or bathing them in a river. Heck… on my first trip to Thailand, I was one of those tourists. I thought I was doing the “ethical” thing by choosing a company that promoted bareback riding as a kind option. But when we know better, we have to do better. And when it comes to elephant tourism… we know better now. There’s no such thing as an ethical elephant riding experience. I visited Samui Elephant Haven, the largest ethical elephant sanctuary on Koh Samui, and can honestly say I had a more meaningful experience with the elephants at the sanctuary because I didn’t go for a ride.
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