Phuket's only genuine elephant sanctuary is a refuge for aged pachyderms who were mistreated for decades while working in logging and tourism. During the morning tour, you get to feed them, before tagging along a few metres away as they wander the forest, chomp on watermelons, bathe and hang out. It's a rare, environmentally responsible opportunity that visitors rave about.

The sanctuary is a sister project to Chiang Mai's respected Elephant Nature Park and, at the time of writing, home to eight female elephants. If you want to see more of them, it accepts volunteers for one, three or seven days; fees (4500B, 8000B or 16,000B respectively) go directly towards elephant care, and cover vegetarian meals and, if relevant, accommodation.

There's no public access to the sanctuary except via a tour, which must be booked in advance and includes a tasty vegetarian lunch or afternoon tea. The sanctuary picks up visitors from its nearby office; you'll be dropped back there afterwards. Less-interactive afternoon tours involve observing the elephants on a safari-like experience. Beware copycat 'sanctuaries' and taxi drivers on commission to take you elsewhere.