The elephant is the big symbol in Laos, and a visit to Laos cannot be complete if you cannot meet any elephant during the Laos adventure tours. Typically, the elephant ride helps the tourists live in harmony with the friendly animal and get the endless joy. Besides supporting the nation’s tourism, the elephant-related services improve the life of the disadvantaged people in the remote areas by giving them the dozens of jobs.
The Elephant Situation and Elephant Tourism in Laos
Thanks to the attention of the Laos Government and some organizations nowadays, the elephants in Laos can survive in the safe home in which they are free from abusive work. `Most of the local villagers now end the habits of slashing and burning. The Laos people can benefit from the tourists’ visit; they get trained how to take care of the elephants in the global recognized way.
Though Laos is called as the Land of a Million Elephants, this kind of animal is in the endangered situation. Among 1000 remaining elephants, there are 500 working in the forest industry to harvest the timber. However, this industry is about to become obsolete, resulting in hundreds of jobless elephants. In fact, feeding the elephants is quite costly because this animal consumes the enormous amount of food.
There have been some efforts to release the elephants into the wild environment, but this act results in the little success. Some elephants come to the margin of urban places to find food or water. Thus, the “jobless elephants” face the danger of being killed or abandoned to the gradual starvation.
To ensure their survival, the elephant tourism offers the realistic outcome. This newly developed tourism industry helps rescue the working elephants from the harsh environment via the tourist activities of elephant ride and mahout training course. Meanwhile, the tourists can play with these special animals harmoniously. The elephants today can run freely in the jungle, live in a group, find mates, and start the new families, with the ongoing medical care in Laos.
Where To Practice Elephant Riding Tour?
#1: Luang Prabang: Elephant Village Ban Xieng Lom
Established in 2001 in Luang Prabang Laos, Elephant Village is the outstanding elephant sanctuary and tourist destination. The safari experience in riding the elephant is best served in the Elephant Village Ban Xieng Lom. This tourism offer is run by the caring individuals who keep eyes on the survival and safety of elephants in this laid-back country.
#2: Champassak: Kiet Ngong Village
Lying with the stunning natural landscape of Xe Pian National Protected Area, Kiet Ngong Village covers the traditional houses, tranquil temple, and elephant-based service – the gateway to the authentic Laos rural life. The tourism of elephant riding to the top of Phou Asa Mountain sounds exciting. You can book the ride in advance via the Visitor Information Centre in Pakse or Champassak District or with the official tour agency. Here, you also find the activities of forest walk, the journey to the wetland, trekking, canoeing, sleeping in the hut, etc.
#3: Sainyabuli Province: Hongsa Elephant Trek
The elephant treks (from two hours to three days including homestay) are provided by Hongsa Tourist Information Center. The elephant treks usually depart at 9 AM, and take you to some of the remarkable sites like Tai Lue Village of Ban Vieng Keo, Wat Simoungkhoun Temple, Ban Vieng Keo, Khmu Village of Ban Nam Mai Yom, Houay Nuad Stream, etc. There are many joyful activities to enjoy here.
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