Bangkok with its airports is not too far.
Train service from Bangkok.
- 1 Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (Wildlife Rescue Centre and Elephant Refuge), ☏ . No elephant rides or circus tricks here—this wildlife rescue centre allows visitors to see a wide array of wild animals and interact with elephants in an ethical way. The animals at the park are rescued from the pet trade or the entertainment industry, or from being injured in the wild or by people, and many are released after being rehabilitated. The park has more than 900 animals from over 70 species; the exact cast varies as they are rescued and released, but you're sure to see lots of elephants and several species of monkeys, and likely also bears, peacocks, boars, cassowaries, slow lorises, orangutans, tigers, and otters. The standard one-day tour (with pickup available from Hua Hin, Cha-am, or Bangkok) includes a walking tour around several of the enclosures where you learn about the animals and the abuse they've endured, a buffet lunch (vegetarian/vegan options available), feeding and bathing elephants, a stop at the gift shop, and finally a bus tour around more enclosures. A half-day tour is also available with just the walking tour and lunch, or if you're really passionate you can stay at the lodge (includes breakfast with elephants) or volunteer at the centre. Day tour: 1,600 baht, 1,100 for children 7-12. Half-day tour: 1,100 baht, 700 baht for children. Transportation: 200 baht per person for pickup and drop-off in Hua Hin or Cha-am, 3,500 baht per car for pickup and drop-off in Bangkok; see website for details.