In cambodia elephants once served kings and queens during their travels throughout the country. Elephants were used to travel to and from their temples and were used to help in the construction of these temples. Sadly elephants were also put to use during wars and were part of the army, with soldiers riding them and using them in their battles. Most of the elephants that you encounter in Cambodia are well cared for and there is a big focus on the welfare and the quality of life of these wonderful animals.
Most travel agencies and tour operators offering elephant encounters and rides focus on this. Making an elephant trek part of your trip to Cambodia provides you with an unforgettable experience. These majestic animals are trained to work with people and are happy to walk with you. An elephant trek in Siem Reap is one of the most amazing ways to get a feel of the atmosphere.
Enjoying a ride under the shade of the trees right to the famous temples is a good way to catch the wonderful views. There are elephant treks that start in the early morning, around 08:00, setting off from the South Gate of Angkor Thom, to the Bayon Temple. The last ride around the Bayon Temple starts at 10:30, from Bayon to the South Gate.
There are elephants stationed next to the Bayon Temple for tours around the temple. The Bayon Temple is considered to be the most impressive temple in Ankor Thom city. These spectacular ruins feature huge smiling faces focused at different directions. This means that an elephant ride provides you with an interesting ride exploring the views on the faces from the outside.
Of course there are more options when it comes to enjoying an elephant trek in Cambodia. The most popular places for an elephant trek are the villages of Pulung and Snmonorom. You can arrange for a one or two day elephant trek here, during which you will spend the night staying in a Phnong village or near a waterfall. Another popular ride is a Banlung elephant trek from Kateung village to the very spectacular waterfall of Katieng. This ride takes approximately on hour and features views on the rubber plantations. During this ride you and your elephant will cross the river above the Katieng waterfall.
In the farming village of Mondulkiri you can book elephant treks and tours from most restaurants and bars. There are options for an overnight trek during which you sleep on a hammock in the rainforest. This is a great experience in itself, if you are happy to go without a lot of comfort for a night. Transportation, food and water are included in the trek prices ranging from around $40 per elephant on average.
Make sure to book an elephant trek or ride with operators providing the best level of care for their animals. There are some operators that use animal-unfriendly methods to jolt their elephants into walking. Please make sure to avoid these at all cost.