AYUTTHAYA ELEPHANT PALACE AND ROYAL KRAAL
CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR THAILAND'S ELEPHANTS
Laithongrien Meepan bought his young daughter an elephant, a young baby bull named Namchok. Namchok brought home the plight of the elephant in Thailand and ignited Laithongrien’s passion to create a sustainable future for the elephant in modern day Thailand. He and his wife Romthongsai, established the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace and Royal Elephant Kraal in 1996. Using all his personal fortune to this end, Laithongrien and his wife live modestly with the elephants, personally supervising the elephants and their welfare every single day. They are 100% dedicated to giving elephants living with humans the best possible life and prevent predictions of the extinction of the species from coming true. They have created a unique place full of bold and unique projects.
THE ROYAL ELEPHANT KRAAL
The Royal Elephant Kraal and village is home to over 90 elephants. One of the unique aspects of situating the elephants at the world heritage listed Royal Elephant Kraal is the link to history. For hundreds of years, the Kings of Thailand would attend the Royal Elephant Round Up and choose the elephants that would work and live alongside the Thai people and help build Thailand into the country it is today. Today, the Royal Elephant Kraal relives these centuries old traditions through re-enactments and the observation of age-old customs and ceremonies. The training techniques adopted at the Royal Elephant Kraal are a marriage of traditional and modern methods. The owner, Mr Laithongrien Meepan has studied historical texts written by the Kings of Thailand about elephants. Reviving these rich traditions raises the status of the mahout and elephant. It is a unique demonstration of the skills of the mahouts.
Our elephants are involved in a large variety of activities. This gives them and their mahouts the opportunity to travel, meet new people and to teach them about elephants. You can participate in these activities and be a part of them instead of just one of the crowd marvelling at their awesome presence. Please see the right column for more information and photos of some of the activities the elephants have participated in, and that you can be a part of too.