Elephant treks

Popular, if ethically suspect, way to see Mondulki

Photo of Elephant treks, , Sen Monorom

What we say: 3.5 stars

Elephant treks can be arranged through just about every tourist agency and accommodation in Mondulkiri. $25 half-day treks with just about every provider involve a walk through the woods on the elephants back, a stop-off for swimming and lunch at a small waterfall, and a stroll back to a Bunong village.

Riding an elephant is rather like riding a ship, with a distinct rhythm to it -- you will probably find it either pleasingly soothing or extremely uncomfortable. Elephant trekking is not considered ethical by some knowledgeable people in Mondulkiri, as the elephants, growing incredibly rare in Cambodia, are often overworked, trained with cruel methods, and underfed (regardless of what tour operators may say). Use your discretion and your instincts to determine if animals are being treated ethically if you are dead-set on riding an elephant here.

$25 seems to be the going rate for half-day trips. Ask around and negotiate. It is not wise to cut corners price-wise here, for both your own welfare and that of the animals.

Last updated: 13th May, 2012

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