I capped off my two months in Thailand with a week doing the Journey to Freedom project with the camp. I can not even begin to express what my time with this organization has meant for me. As a student of international relations, it really put some of the international issues of tourism and development into perspective on how they affect the animal population of the host country, as well as seeing some of the pressures being put on local villages and tribes due to international trade. Personally, it was the highlight of my life to be able to interact with such an amazing animal in the way that I did - not riding, not them performing - but just being real, and free. The week ended at the park, and what Lek is doing is absolutely phenomenal. The stories of the individual elephants at the park are heart breaking.
Our guides - Toby and Say, were amazing - and really MADE our week. The people I met in the village and on the project were awesome and I will never forget this experience.
I highly recommend a visit to this park - learn about the plight of the Asian elephant - be a responsible tourist!More