Elephant Parade paints brighter future for Thailand’s national symbol


When you come to Thailand it is difficult to escape Elephants. You can ride them, bathe them or even watch them play polo. They are in photos, paintings and carvings the length and breadth of the country and even one of the country’s favourite beers, Chang, is named after them! Yes, elephants undoubtedly occupy a very special place in the heart of all Thais.

And is if the country is not elephant mad enough already, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas has brought the world-famous Elephant Parade to Bangkok. The exhibition will see a herd of 88 1.5 metre brightly coloured elephants, which have each been uniquely decorated and hand painted by artists and celebrities, to be exhibited throughout the city and then auctioned off.

Visitors will be able to see the parade at different iconic locations throughout Bangkok from the beginning of December to the 29th January.

Elephant Parade, a social enterprise started back in 2006 with the aim of raising awareness for the need for improved elephant welfare and conservation.The event was created after founder Marc Spits and his son Mike visited the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Thailand which treats sick and injured elephants.

They were so moved by what they saw that they decided to act in order to conserve these most beautiful of creatures. Mark Spints, founder of the Elephant Parade met up with us to tell us more about how this remarkable organisation came about.

More than 800 artists have participated and over 1000 elephants have been created since 2006 and this year many of Thailand’s own talented artists and celebrities have been busy designing their elephants to take part in the parade.

Many of the designs are available to purchase as limited edition, handcrafted replicas; with 20% of the net profit going to support elephant welfare and conservation projects, including The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation right here in Thailand.

So there you have it, the mystery of the brightly decorated elephants revealed! That’s about all the time we have left now, as always thanks for joining and be sure to keep watching iTravel for more exclusive updates and all the travel info you need.

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