Elephants had long been inextricably connected to Thai people in different ways; a traditional symbol of monarchy, an essential part of Buddhist art and architecture and a trusted vehicle in a full-scaled battle. However, elephants have another role that is commonly known among Thai people. An entertainer! As the matter of fact, they are quite an entertainer and love to be the center of attention.
If the activities mentioned above have not satisfied the elephant enthusiasts, a more hands on program should be considered. At some conservation parks, visitors can immerse themselves in the culturally enriched trip by learning about the lifestyle of both elephants and the mahouts - the course involves training how to care for these lovable creatures including feeding and bathing.
The first Elephant Polo Tournament was first held in Thailand in 2001 at Hua Hin. It now takes place every year in September. A two-10-minute-chukker game will consist of two teams of three elephants, each of which carries a polo player and a mahout. The mahouts are to direct elephants while the players play with a regular polo ball and a specially made elongated stick, which is something between 78 to 110 inches long, depending on the height of the elephant.
An Elephant Centre in Lampang is offering an opportunity to eco-tourists to stay with real-life mahouts. The programme lasts three days and two nights. The provided activities are fun-filled and environment-friendly. The participants will have a chance to gain first-hand experience on nature, wildlife and, of course, elephants.
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