Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand Rescue Centre and Elephant Refuge

Animal Sanctuary in Hua Hin

The centre, 45km west of Hua Hin, cares for over 500 animals, including bears, tigers, gibbons, macaques, loris and birds. There's also an affiliated elephant rescue program where the elephants live out their lives chain-free. A visit here is a great day out – far better than the elephant and tiger tourist traps featured on many tours out of Hua Hin. The centre offers full-access tours introducing animals and discussing rescue histories. The full-day option includes walking and bathing elephants. Drop-in visits are not allowed.

You don't have to spend a long time in Thailand to understand how little regard is given towards animal welfare. One of the most active groups trying to improve the situation, the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, runs this wildlife rescue centre that adopts and cares for abused, injured and abandoned animals that cannot be released back into the wild.

Hotel transfer from Hua Hin or Cha-am costs 200B per person and there's also a small lodge (per night including meals 4000B) on site. Those looking for a more in-depth experience can volunteer at the centre.