Anantara Golden Triangle in northern Thailand is one of the only places where you can ethically interact with the country’s elephants.
I’m half-submerged in the Mekong River—the watery border that separates Laos from Thailand and Myanmar—sitting atop a big-eared, pink-spotted, 3-ton elephant named Poonlarp. Her skin looks soft from a distance, but it’s much coarser up close, covered in inch-long bristles. Her gait, which at first gives the appearance of flowing-through-honey movement, feels wobbly up this high. She’s alternately headstrong and playful. If you’ve ever walked a large, stubborn dog, you have an idea what it’s like to ride an elephant. This is the bucket-list item that brings people here to Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort.
Read more about ethically interacting with elephants at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort here.