Visit this Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand (ElephantsWorld)

Visit this Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand (ElephantsWorld)

In Kanchanaburi, there is a beautiful elephant sanctuary, called ElephantsWorld. Its idea is that you’ll be working for the elephant rather than they’ll be working for you. You can take care of the elephants in Thailand for one or multiple days. The elephants in the sanctuary are all either sick, old, disabled, abused or rescued.
The sanctuary is there to make the rest of the elephant’s life a better life. After visiting we were sure that the people who work at this Elephants Sanctuary in Thailand do their best to take perfect care of the elephants. ??

Small sidenote to the picture: The people on their necks are Mahouts of elephants. Elephants are often ‘orphan’ and sadly enough they can’t function without their mahout.

Elephants in Thailand

We did a one day tour from Kanchanaburi. Once the driver drops you off at the sanctuary, the tour begins. Tip: Don’t forget to take bananas with you! The elephants love them!

The caretakers in the sanctuary will tell you more about the elephants, why they are here and what they do to take care of them.

elephant sanctuary thailand mud pool

You will start off by feeding the elephants fruits and vegetables. They will grab this out of your hand if you aren’t fast enough. ?

You can take the older elephants for a walk to the other side of the sanctuary. There, you will prepare food by cutting vegetables and cooking 
sticky rice for the elephants who don’t have enough teeth anymore. The caretakers will put medicine in the food as a way to medicate those elephants that need it. The elephants will join you while you’re cooking and can’t wait to eat the meal you prepared for them.

(watch the little one in the mud pool trying to snorkel haha)

elephant sanctuary thailand mud pool playing

Getting to ElephantsWorld needs some planning. Fly to Bangkok and book your stay in Kanchanaburi or at the sanctuary.

Find cheap flight tickets to Bangkok

Easily find the cheapest flights tickets to here!

ElephantsWorld will take care of your lunch. And as you probably know, the Thai dishes are sooo yummy. After replenishing your energy, you will get back and watch how the elephants take a mud bath. This is especially cute when those little ones start jumping around in the mud. ?

Elephants do eat a lot, so the sanctuary grows its own bamboo. Our job was to cut the bamboo and take this to the young elephants.

elephant sanctuary thailand bamboo food

Last but not least, you’ll get the chance to clean the elephants after their mud bath. Join them in the river and climb on their neck. This is such an amazing experience because you come close to such an impressive animal.

Review: We’re still not sure if sitting on its neck doesn’t harm the elephant. Someone once told us an elephant can take 2 people on its neck and not even one on its back. What we do know is that the animals are treated very well. They seem to have fun since they’re playing with each other and the supervisors are for supervising only. We hope that you have an opinion about this. What do you think? Are all the elephant activities bad, even the sanctuaries? Leave a comment.

Elephant Volunteer Thailand

You also can volunteer in ElephantsWorld and help this company to support the elephants in Thailand. At our time of visiting, there were a lot of volunteers so you’re probably going to make some new friends too.

More information can be found at

elephant volunteer thailand

Visit the elephants in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

The elephant sanctuary is near Bangkok but still, it’s better to stay in Kanchanaburi. Take the train from Thonburi, Bangkok and make sure to get out in Kanchanaburi. If you miss the last stop in Kanchanaburi you’ll be on the train for three more hours. Like we did… ?

More information about the train

Where to stay in Kanchanaburi

It’s best to stay in Kanchanaburi or in ElephantsWorld itself.
We also got you a $15 discount at if you book via this link, you’re welcome! ?

Canaan Guesthouse
Canaan Guesthouse

Close to the bus station and clean rooms with free WiFi.

D Hostel
D Hostel

Popular, cheap place to stay with free WiFi.


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Blog comments (7)
  • Elephant sanctuaries worry me a bit but it’s good to see that there are some ethical ones out there, particularly in Thailand. Hopefully this will be catching!

  • Great movie, great story. Congratulation! :)
    Elephants are my favourites.
    I’ll try Thailand too this year with my boyfriend.

  • My husband and I just came back from Thailand and visited elephant jungle sanctuary in Chiang mai. We wanted to go to to elephant nature camp but they were booked a month out!
    EJS mentioned they were ethical and rescued elephants and thrive on the fact they don’t allow riding elephants at all, but a part of me still felt it was slightly a dog and pony show since the elephants did the same things twice a day.
    We did the same thing but less “labor intensive” as you mentioned above. We fed the elephants sugar cane and then we walked up a hill to grab bundles of bamboo for the elephants to eat. Then we ate lunch and they trekked up a big hill for a break. After lunch they walked down that hill and we fed them “medicine balls” that we made with food for them to eat. Afterward two elephants went in the little mud bath and then we walked to a nearby waterfall to wash off the mud.
    Very structured and I saw fresh whip marks on the baby while we fed them. I was baffled.
    And when you think about it, we paid around $60 pp to visit the camp and you multiply that by 30 or so…these guys make a killing. I was just astounded when I saw those whip marks on the baby and it ruined the experience for me. I thought, maybe she scratched herself by running by a bush or a tree branch? Maybe I’m wrong. But I can’t help but get that feeling in my gut they don’t treat them ethically.
    I just suggest trying to do your research best you can before visiting one. I thought I did but it was obviously not enough.

    • Oh no, that part about the whip marks broke my heart. :( I hope you’ll get another chance in the future to visit a better one. As far as we know, ElephantsWorld and Elephants Nature Park are the only ones that are doing it right at the moment.

  • Just to let you know, elephants aren’t meant to carry anything on their neck/ back.. their spine is generally broken if people do sit on their back as its upright unlike ours.. I have worked in many ele projects around Thailand, you know if a sanctuary takes care of their else’s when no one is allowed to sit on their back :)

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