We are so pleased to announce the changes we've made in our Treasures of Thailand (6 week) Taste of Thailand (3 week) Thailand tours!
This video was taken at The Chai Lai Orchid (Thailand) when the baby elephant was only two weeks old. This was the first time that the baby ele fell on Allie's lap! Allie has lived with this little ele since the day she was born nearly a month ago.
The team at LBW Travel has recently been discussing how we can provide unique, action-packed travel experiences while being more socially and environmentally conscious. This led us to re-examine the experiences we are currently offering and we were able to make some improvements.
We are more than excited to announce that, moving forward, we have decided to only support organisations which treat animals fairly. That means we will only be visiting ethical elephant sanctuaries (no more elephant riding) and we will no longer be including a visit to the Tiger Temple on our tours.
We know how much people enjoy elephant riding experience and the Tiger Temple portion of our tours, so this decision was not made lightly. With this being said, we have noticed an increasing amount of concern in regards to each, so we decided to investigate further. While we have always believed the Tiger Temple is very ethical, we will no longer include it on our tour. We believe that the best option for our travellers is to research on your own, and if this is something you would like to experience on your own accord, we will ensure you can do it while on our tour.
Elephants have been a major tourist attraction in Thailand for many, many years. After much research, we've found the riding of elephants to be an unethical practice due to the use of heavy metal saddles, ropes, sharp hooks and torture to keep the elephants in line. In most circumstances, the elephants live a life of solidarity, chained up to a post, waiting for the next tourist to hop on it’s back. We never saw the use of torture or any other harm done to the elephants at the current park we visit and we always truly believed that this was the best thing for the elephants that would otherwise not be supported and would likely not survive, but we’ve collectively decided to switch to a place that we think will improve your travel experience. We are cutting out elephant rides completely, simply because it is unfair to the animals. We will still offer an ethical elephant experience. The new place we'll be visiting is considered a sanctuary for many reasons. At this sanctuary, elephants are not ridden or trained to do tricks for an audience. They are not chained up and, most importantly, they are not separated from their family.
Elephants are much like us in terms of social interaction, emotions, memories and feelings…they are just a hell of a lot bigger, and in our eyes, a lot cuter too! We will have an opportunity to plant food for the elephants, feed fruit to them, learn about them, walk them, play in the mud with them and bathe with them. You'll be up close and personal with these beautiful creatures and you'll spend time splashing around with them in the water and scrubbing them clean! It’s an absolute blast. We’ll leave this experience with enriched minds, massive smiles, lasting memories and a new appreciation for these amazing animals. Most importantly, we’ll be leaving a positive impact on the lives of these majestic creatures!
We've done our research and, collectively, have chosen to go this path. Moving forward, the money we spend from our clients will only go to certified ethical organizations. However, we want you to do your own research and decide what is right for you. You’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you’d like and we’re happy to organize the experience for you at a discount rate just like all of our other optional activities.
We’d love to hear from our fans, past and future travellers and anyone else interested in the topic of the ethical treatment of animals. We’re excited to be one of the first tour companies to remove these activities from our itineraries and we hope that similar companies will realise that this is the right choice for a better future.
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My words (or anyone else’s, for that matter) can never even begin to describe what traveling can do for you. Traveling not only reveals a whole new world to your eyes, it allows you to discover more about yourself than you ever could have imagined possible. It thrusts you past your comfort zone, and truly urges you to open up your mind to the vast possibilities that surround you.
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