In Thailand, March 13th is National Elephant Day – an occasion which dates back to the government decision in 1998 to set aside a day to recognize the importance of elephants in Thai culture and to raise awareness of their need for conservation. In recent years, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas have taken up the cause of the elephants, with notable work carried out through the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort in the far north of the country, supported by annual fundraising events in the capital.

This year, Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will play host to special events on the banks of the Mekong in Chiang Rai and on the banks of the Chao Phraya in Bangkok, with the aim of supporting the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in its work of rescuing and rehabilitating Thailand’s street elephants, educating mahouts in elephant care, and educating school children about the need for elephant conservation.

The action will begin on March 13th at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, which gives its guests a unique opportunity to interact with the elephants in their natural habitat. On the day, the camp will open its doors to local schools wanting to learn more about the animals and the work of the camp, and businesses wanting to lend their support. The Mountain Fête will be an event that appeals to all the family, and will include an Elephant Buffet, a Walking with Giants activity, and an arts and crafts market.

Two weeks later, on March 29th – 31st at the Anantara Riverside Bangkok, the Elephant Boat Race and River Festival will be staged at the festival ground adjacent to the hotel, and of course on the river itself. The idea of using sport to help elephants will take the form of elephant-boat racing – which is traditional dragon-boat racing using specially designed elephant-themed boats on the river. A number of international teams will be taking part, while the Thai Navy Seals will be flying the flag for the host country.

Back on dry land, there will be plenty to keep the spectators occupied, with a special jungle where visitors can meet the elephants, and an artistic installation from the Golden Triangle Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) on the waterfront. Other activities include a digital dry dock rowing tournament open to all on the Friday and Saturday, and the Old Siam-themed Ladies’ Day on Saturday which offers the chance to win a luxury holiday. There will also be other attractions such as mini concerts from famous Thai artists, champagne tents, and beer gardens.

The tickets start at 200 baht per day, with VIP tickets priced at 3,000 baht and including free-flow drinks and snacks. A number of special VIP tickets are available in advance at 2,500 baht. Children under 12 are free. Limited parking is available at the site, but for many, the complimentary river shuttle boats from Saphan Taksin BTS may be the most convenient option.

All ticket sale proceeds go to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation (GTAEF) to support elephant projects, giving Thailand’s national animal the chance to thrive and represent the country’s future generations.

To join Anantara Hotels in celebrating Thailand’s national animal and to support fundraising for their conservation and welfare, please visit https://www.bangkokriverfestival.com/