For many people travelling in Asia, seeing elephants is at the top of their to-do list. But it can be really difficult to find an ethical place that is looking after them properly — however much research you do.
Around 75 per cent of the world’s captive elephants have been illegally captured, with over 3,000 used for entertainment purposes in Asia alone. The annual World Elephant Day (August 12) is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the world’s elephants, as many fight to change this fate.
From its imperial palaces, Zen gardens and Shinto shrines to the traditional wooden buildings and screen facades of downtown Gion, there is a wealth of things do in Kyoto, a city that very much embodies the spirit of old-world Japan.
Fushimi inari Trail, Kyōto-shi, Japan. Photo by Lin Mei
Things to do Kyoto include learning all about the art of tea, Zen Buddhism and many other pillars of Japanese culture, whilst getting the chance to visit otherworldly bamboo forests and ornate shrines, all within the borders of this mysterious yet welcoming city.