Elephants have played an important role in Thai history and culture, so it is fitting that visitors to the Ayutthaya Historical Park have the opportunity to take a short tour of the ruins on the back of one of these noble beasts.
The elephants that provide these rides and their mahouts all live at the elephant kraal about four kilometres to the northeast of the island. If a short afternoon elephant ride at the ruins isn't enough, you can stay at the kraal from one to 28 days and learn more about how the 90 elephants in residence are cared for and trained.
As Michelle, the Australian-born manager of the kraal says, We don't sell rooms, we sell an elephant experience. Even if you don't want to spend the night, it's worth the trip out of town just to see the elephants of all ages roaming in their large pen.
How to get there
The elephant camp is located off Route 3061 in east Ayutthaya. To get here from the island, follow Rochana Road east over the bridge, take a left at the giant roundabout with Sampluem chedi at its centre and follow signs for the rest of the way.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 27th November, 2014.