I recently went to Thailand and didn’t ride and Elephant. As you may or may not know the Elephant industry is a very touchy subject in Thailand. Everyone who goes including me wants to ride an Elephant but at what cost. A lot of people are oblivious or simply don’t care how the Elephant is treated, they just want the experience and those awesome tourist pictures.
This industry in Thailand is starting to spread the word about how the precious animals are treated. Some of them are stabbed ferociously with the bull hook, and will have anything done with them for that extra dollar.
I remember going to this one place on a day tour in Thailand where there was this baby Elephant in the parking lot with a chain around her foot showing deep cuts marks from it and all she did was sit there and made to eat when tourists wanted to pay out that dollar for their enjoyment. It was really sad to see.
Not all Elephants are treated like this, there are Elephant Sanctuary Parks that are being set up where you can go along and play with the Elephants in their natural environment and volunteer to work alongside them.
Please remember though to do your research before booking or paying any money as not everything is as it seems and consider the ethical aspects to your travels!