Thai Elephant Conservation Center



Thai Elephant Conservation Center

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This is one of the best elephant training camps in Northern Thailand. About 12 animals, three to five years old, arrive here each year to be trained, and there are about 100 in total. Although their ability peaks between the ages of 40 and 50, the elephants may remain at the camp until the official retirement age of 60. During the five-year training period the elephants learn a variety of tasks, including stacking, carrying, and pushing logs. Nowadays, such chores are part of the performances put on for tourists, and there is controversy surrounding this form of entertainment and its impact on the elephants’ wellbeing. There is also a small museum focusing on the culture and the history of elephants in Thailand.


On the opposite side of the highway, the Thung Kwian Forest Market sells a wide range of plants and medicinal and culinary herbs, as well as lizards, beetles, and snakes. Government campaigns have attempted to end the sale of endangered species, but some, such as pangolins (scaly anteaters), are still sold here.

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