One of the best reasons for coming to Surin, other than November’s elephant round-up, is to take one of the excellent local tours organized from Pirom & Aree’s House. Pirom is a highly informed former social worker whose trips give tourists an unusual chance to catch glimpses of rural northeastern life as it’s really lived. His village tours feature visits to local silk-weavers and basket-makers, as well as to Ban Ta Klang elephant trainers’ village, and it’s also possible to do overnight village trips, including one that takes in Khao Phra Viharn (when open), Khong Chiam and Pha Taem.

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Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

Video: a 1 minute guide to Thailand

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The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

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