Love adventures in the South East Asia? Elephant Polo is an interesting challenge and is an alternative that maintains a British style. This sport has always punched above its weight and is fondly known as the biggest sport in the world!
The game is played by four players on each team on a marked pitch of 100 metres by 70 metres, using a standard size polo ball. Two people ride each elephant; the elephants are steered by people called mahouts, while the players tell the mahout which way to go and hit the ball. Elephant polo is divided into two 7-minute “chukkas,” or halves, of playing time with an interval of 15 minutes. The complete ball must travel over the side line or back line, to be out, and completely across the goal line to be a goal.
The modern game originated in the Nepali village of Meghauli. Tiger Tops in Nepal remains the headquarters of elephant polo and the site of the World Elephant Polo Championships organised by the World Elephant Polo Association.Thailand hosts another event, the King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament, first launched by Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa in 2001. In 2006, the tournament moved to the Golden Triangle, another resort.
The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation is a 250-acre camp near the city of Chiang Rai, jointly run by the Four Seasons and Anantara Hotels. The camp provides a sanctuary for 30 former street elephants—domesticated animals once dragged around city street areas by mahout beggars. Elephants are a key symbol of Thailand’s history, and nothing but utmost respect is given to the pachyderms.