It made me really sad seeing these elephants working & being ridden with another company that morning. Having seen elephants wild in africa and also knowing about the painful & abusive week-long torture process they go through to be tamed for tourism, it just made me sick. In addition to this, holding 4-5 people on their back at a time does extreme damage to their backs and the boxes cut into their skin. I'm not sure if the people riding them know about the abuse that the elephants go through but supporting the owners by paying for a ride is part of the problem. If you want to better understand why you shouldn't ride elephants, click here to watch a video (warning: it is graphic). A Better way to have an up close experience with elephants is at 'The Elephant Nature park' in Chaing Mai, Thailand which rescues and purchases elephants from the tourism industry so that they can live in peace. We went there and had an awesome day. they are not ridden there so you get to feed and wash them instead (so much more fun!) & Your day pass acts as a donation to buying more food for them. click here to find out more info about elephant Nature park and how to support the protection of elephants.