As a kid, my favorite stories were from books like Dr. Doolittle and Kipling’s Jungle Books, and ever since then I’ve wanted to ride an elephant. Finally had the opportunity to cross that one off my bucket list when I got to spend a day at Patara Elephant Farm in rural Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Patara Elephant Farm is not one of the many tourist operations in northern Thailand, but a center for rehabilitation of injured elephants and a breeding program aimed at re-introducing Asian elephants into the wild in this mountainous region of southeast Asia.
Visitors to Patara learn about the history and ecology of elephants, and spend several hours checking their health, feeding them and brushing and bathing these magnificent animals. Then it’s time for a ride – not in the typical basket on the back of the elephant, but “bareback” riding on their neck. A truly unique and wonderful experience.by