the lovely Gao- was the most recent of elephant rides. She ferried us on a lovely short ride through the forest outside of Luang Prabang. Four other rides in Thailand, Cambodia, and India have taught us much about the lives of these gentle giants whose habitat is disappearing. If you love elephants (and how can you not?) we HIGHLY recommend the Elephant Preserve outside Knysna in South Africa - there you can get a real education about elephant anatomy and social structure and efforts to help keep elephant populations vital. Meet them up close and personal (and although we did not ride there - you can- and you can also walk with them; they hold your hand with their trunks!) and if you are a shopper you can buy a foot print (each one individual like finger prints) for framing - a great way to donate to a good cause.