Ask your guide: are the elephants free from saddles during rides?
PLEASE think very carefully before riding an elephant, whether the elephant wears a saddle or not.
Some camps, after their elephants have been giving rides to tourists all day, leave saddles on the elephants on them overnight. This means the elephants may never have a rest from the heavy back-destroying device.
Years of wearing a heavy saddle, carrying tourists around day after day can leave an elephant badly hurt or crippled for life.
If you really insist on riding an elephant then riding bare-back is becoming more common amongst camps and is less harmful to the elephant.
Opt for no riding, but if you must, then choose bareback.
Alternatively, visit one of the sanctuaries in Thailand that we recommend that don't use their elephants for entertainment, but simply allow them to be elephants.