Sorry to interrupt the regular “Travel Deeper Australia” series, but I had an irresistible detour to Thailand for the exciting 10-day #ThaiFitChallenge, an event hosted by Amazing Thailand, GoPro, and Adidas. Along with three other YouTubers, I embarked on a series of adventure challenges, capturing exceptional moments of activities such as kayaking, kickboxing, and notably, volunteering at an elephant sanctuary. This is part one of four videos showcasing this action-packed adventure – the Thailand Elephant Experience.

We were nestled in the lush landscapes of Chiang Mai at Anantara Resort, where our first challenge awaited. This wasn’t your typical selfie-clicking, elephant-riding excursion. Instead, it was about truly understanding what it means to take care of these majestic creatures in Thailand.

Thailand Elephant Experience

Our venue for the day was Patara Elephant Farm, a place of care and rehabilitation. Here, each of us was assigned an elephant and a caretaker. My companion for the day was Boon Gin, a 21-year-old gentleman rescued from a circus, who has an affinity for back massages and tranquil walks in the forest. Through our shared time, I learned how to identify an unwell elephant, the vital practices of Rescue, Rehabilitation, Breeding, and Regeneration to maintain elephant health.

an elephant with its trunk in the dirt and feet in the air

After an eventful day, as Boon Gin retreated into the mountains for some well-deserved rest, we were allowed a little frolic time. The baby elephant, also referred to as the “thigh elephant” on the internet, greeted us with warm cuddles and playful antics, wrapping up our day on a heartwarming note.

a group of people standing in the back of a moving truck

However, I urge everyone to do thorough research before visiting an elephant sanctuary in Thailand, or any animal sanctuary for that matter. Elephant tourism in Thailand is a significant industry, and unfortunately, not all these establishments treat these gentle giants with the respect they deserve. Please avoid places that use hooks for controlling elephants or saddles that allow multiple people to ride elephants. These practices can cause distress and physical harm to the animals.

a mother and her baby sleeping under a tree surrounded by elephants

Each elephant has a unique personality, something I came to understand through my bonding time with Boon Gin. Elephants are not merely large creatures with impressive tusks and trunks; they are sentient beings who express a myriad of emotions just like humans. Observing Boon Gin closely, I could see his eyes gleaming with curiosity when introduced to a new object or his body relaxing as he indulged in his favorite back massage. At times, he’d exhibit signs of discomfort when the weather was too warm, preferring to retreat to the cooler shade of trees.

Thailand: The Baby Elephant Experience – Volunteer Vacations | Discover  Corps

Then there was the delightful baby elephant, the star of our day. Despite her tender age, she was brimming with spirit and playfulness, so much so that she was affectionately dubbed the “thigh elephant.” Her excited nuzzles and attempts at playful wrestling with us were clear expressions of joy and curiosity. Her playful antics not only warmed our hearts but reminded us of the innocence and vulnerability of these young creatures.

Baby Elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand - Helena Ku Rhee, Author

To witness such a display of emotions was humbling and profound. It reminded me of why conservation efforts are crucial for these magnificent creatures. Elephants, like any other living being, deserve to live their lives in peace, free from harm and exploitation.

Watch: Baby 'mouse' elephant gets helicopter rescue after being abandoned  by its mother

Remember, when we talk about animal conservation, we’re not just talking about saving animals; we’re talking about preserving their emotions, their experiences, and their right to live a life free from suffering.


As we concluded our day at the Patara Elephant Farm, I was left with a sense of awe and a renewed commitment to supporting these noble creatures. The #ThaiFitChallenge wasn’t just about capturing the best moments on camera, but about understanding these animals and the need to ensure their welfare and survival.

What are your thoughts on elephant conservation? Do you have any memorable animal encounters to share? Leave your comments below and join the conversation! We’d love to hear from you. Remember, every voice counts in the fight for animal rights.

So, are you ready to experience the profound emotional connection with a baby elephant in Thailand? Leave your comments below and let’s keep the conversation going!

By vành

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