The Phnong minority in Cambodia's eastern Mondulkiri province are among the world's best elephant trainers, having been using elephants as beasts of burden for centuries. Not far from the provincial capital of Sen Monorom, these local mahouts and their steeds will walk visitors through the lush jungles and swidden farms to one of the province's numerous waterfalls. But be warned, these elephants enjoy throwing mud and spraying water at each other and tourists. The modest fee doesn't just benefit the local guides; 100% of the profit goes to the Elephants Livelihood Initiative Environment, an NGO devoted to improving the welfare of Mondulkiri's domestic elephants. Cost: $50 per day including transport, food and accommodation in a "jungle luxury" guesthouse.
By Christopher Shay