I adore elephants, I love them to bits and got so excited the first time I was told I could ride one on my first trip to Thailand. But what I found when I got there, was that they are treated very poorly, it made me want to cry because of their conditions and the way they are treated.
On my second trip to Thailand, we were told another one in the area treated their elephants better and promised the world to the elephants. I must admit, I was still pretty upset at the treatment of the elephants, but at least I could sit their feeding them for as long as I wanted (and willing to pay for the food), so my hubby and I spent almost an hour afterwards with this elephant, keeping it from having to have a load of people on its back for another hour. I know it wasn’t much, but was doing as much as I could for this elephant.
Sure, riding an elephant is a once in a lifetime thing to do, and it is great, but unlike me, please do some research before going with it, and see if there is one which benefits the elephants in some way as you don’t want to leave the place feeling more guilty than when you arrived.