Much Ado About Elephant Pants in Thailand

Over the past several days various Thai politicians and government officials have made headlines, at least on Thai language news, with consistent updates on what they call a pressing issue-Elephant pants.

Specifically, their concerns have been around illegal imports of the elephant pants from China and how Thai officials feel the prices are undercutting those of Thai made elephant pants.

Thailand considers elephant pants, commonly seen on tourists and especially backpackers, as a ‘soft power” and fashion symbol for the country. Well, at least some Thai officials do, not everyone is fond of the elephant pants or believe they are particularly fashionable according to recent conflicting and unconfirmed reports from Thailand’s Soft Power Fashion Committee.

Indeed, some netizens have debated if the elephant pants can even be considered a true soft power at all.

Regardless, to be fair, the pants are especially popular with Asian tourists and sales have been brisk according to many Thai vendors. However, increasing concerns around low-quality non Thai knockoffs flooding the market have prompted the Thai government to take action.

Amongst other measures, law enforcement is expected to get involved across Thailand to ensure that elephant pants being sold in shops are Made in Thailand.

The reaction to all the hubbub over illegally imported elephant pants has been mixed and indeed even comical at times over the past few days, with some stating it is a major issue costing many poor Thais money and others saying it seems to be a storm in a teacup situation.

What do you think? Do you wear elephant pants? Do you think they are fashionable? Tell us at

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.