Booked a 30-minute elephant trek with Siam Safari just for the experience of getting to ride on an elephant and got well more than we bargained for. Our morning started when after breakfast we were picked up by a real safari jeep and drove up to the hills of Phuket. That alone was an experience in itself as we got to enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding bays and sights from a safari jeep with the morning wind whipping at our faces. Upon getting there, you're asked to wait at a little shack where they posted a bunch of photos and articles about elephants being killed for their ivory and whatnot and how Siam Safari encourages preservation of these beautiful animals. There are also articles about the mahouts from the Karon tribe who take care of the elephants at Siam Safari. What I loved about this place is that they really take good care of the elephants unlike other elephant trek companies who hurt their elephants and treat them poorly. After a short wait, they group everybody and send you further into the hills and jungle. More than the 30-minute elephant trek that we booked, we also got magnificent views from where we trekked and got to see a mini-elephant show where they played football, danced, and painted. The trek through the jungle was amazing as we got to see great views of the surrounding bay, rubber trees being tapped, a bunch of other little mammals running around the jungle and giving our elephant a fright. Our mahout doesn't speak English since he's really from the Karon tribe and they live right there where you can see their houses by the trail but he was really nice and kept smiling at us. An elephant trek is simply a must when you're in Phuket! It was a great way to spend the morning for us. We were back at the hotel just in time for lunch and already we had a beautiful day. :)
South from Kata Beach there is a elephant farm that makes elephant safaris. There you can meet two cute monkeys for free (tip would be nice tough). You can also buy some bananas and feed the elephants. There are lot of butterflies too.
The monkeys are free, jumping in trees, tussling with each other and trying to steel things from tourists. They got my cigarets on our first meet..
I like elephant ride. Makes me feel like tarzan..hahaha. But this ride are worth to try. 30min ride cost me around 400baht and photo pictures of your cost to 100baht. End of the elephant ride you can buy pineapple for the elephant ot eat. 1 bunch cut into 4 piece cost around 50bath.
Well, this picture showed what we DIDN'T get to do....the elephant ride. Each creature can take 2 persons on its back, and I think you can get onto it easily....the elephant will stand beside an elevated platform (the "elephant station", as you can see in the picture) and tourists can climb on top.
These animals are local Thai elephants, traidtionally used for logging and transporting the fallen trees. I think these creatures are smaller than their Chiang Mai counterparts (I heard that the Chiang Mai elephants are bigger).
This is not actually a commercial business , but it is accessible for VTers and trip advisor members thanks to Phuket Richard who is a volunteer here. If you drop him a line, he will try ( if you are near where he lives) to pick you up and take you to the centre for free . When there you get to groom Charlie the white palmed Gibbon . He is the most loving gorgeous animal you could meet and everyone falls in love with him. You also get a chance to ride an elephant and may even take over the Mahouts job and "drive" the elephant too. This is a wonderful place which takes in abused gibbons and elephants mainly form Bangkok where they have been beaten to do tricks, they are looked after well here and are obviously happy. It is the best place to go for your elephant trip as you can be sure they are treated very well. There is a small bar so you can have a drink while you groom charlie or while you wait to feed the elephants ( Richard will take you to buy bananas beforehand). There is no electricy so take cash! it is not expensive at all (you just pay for the elephant ride) Richard will let you know how much because i have forgotten! Just drop Richard a line and say Joolsss sent you!
We had this half day tour which leads us to kinnaree elephant trekking. The walk take us into the forest for about 30 mins. The most exciting part is when the elephant walks down onto a slope!
They have 3 types of rides, 30 mins, 45 mins and 60 mins. We took the 30 min ride which cost us about 800 baht. I was told that 45 mins will takes you to a river and for 60 mins it will takes you to a hill! The guide will show you some picture what you expect to see.
Good experience if you have never tried something like that before.
Note : lots of mosquito in the forest... I have couple of bites after the trek.
Exploring gorgeous Khao Sok National Park (said by many to be the most beautiful national park in Thailand) was definitely my very best day on our Thailand trip a few weeks ago. Actually, I think it was one of the best days of my life. We joined a tour group (can't remember the name of the company but it is the Khao Sok tour offered in many brochures on Phuket for one or two days) which picked us up at our hotel and drove us to the park. This wasn't one of those lame tours I've read about where you go to some sort of farm and have a little elephant ride and see a show - far from that!
First we went river canoeing with a guide paddling for us. The park's mountains are great limestone karsts covered with trees, raising sharply above you like the mountains seen in Chinese paintings and the vegetation is so lush and thick. The canoes glide through many nice cool shady stetches canopied by the truly giant trees and bamboo and everything is peaceful. I was very pleased that the ride lasted much longer than I thought it would. We did see some wildlife. Our canoes then landed at a jungle lodge where we had a very good lunch (included in the price) before elephant trekking.
All the elephants seemed to be very well-cared for and to respect and have affection for their handlers - the animals were very sweet and I was amazed by their gentleness and intelligence. The entire trek may have lasted about 1.5 hours (not taxing on the elephants) - it was simply gorgeous going through the jungle to a waterfall.
I think the tour cost about 60 US dollars per person and it was definitely worth the cost for the experience. There weren't any mosquitoes (this was in very late December). You will want to wear a pair of trainers or sports sandals (these would be better if you want to swim in the river as there are rocks on the bottom). Don't wear flip-flops as you have to go down an inclined path to get to the river. Not a terrible one though. You don't have to be very fit for this tour since it pretty much just requires sitting.
It is quite easy to sign up for activities after you reach Phuket. There are plenty of tour agents on Patong Beach, or you can reserve the tour/activities at your resort. Shop around and ask for prices... sometimes the excursions offered by the same companies can be charged differently depending on which tour agent you go to. You can usually sign up for activities/tours for the next day.
River rafting is ok, don't expect the rapids like the ones in Australia or New Zealand... but overall still rather enjoyable.
If you have not tried Elephant treking before, you should try it here. It's quite fun and an interesting experience. But be forewarned that elephants don't smell that nice! heh...
The activity is a good 30 minute or an hour elephant ride along the trails with an experience elephant rider who will also take lots of pictures for you along the trail.
The elephants are very curefooted creatures that there is nothing to worry about falling at all...
Umbrellas are available for the passengers at the Elephant Camp...
A very enjoyable experience with the pachiderms...
The camp has been rated best on the island and received both the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow award and the Thailand Tourism award by the Thai Tourism Authority. To reach the camp, one uses jeeps. The visit of the camp starts with a short elephant show, followed by a leisurely walk to the elephant riding area. The highlight of the visit is to climb onto the back of an elephant and to enjoy a 30-minute fun ride.
We went Elefant Trekking during our "safari" north of Phuket on the mainland.
Elefants and Thais had for centuries something like a symbiosis. Elefants worked for the humans, made ways through the jungle, lifted and moved heavy things and were used in wars. Womans treated them as house animals
Nowadays the number of elefants is getting less and less. The reason for this is, that their home, the woods, get smaller and smaller. They were also replaced by heavy machinery.
Today they are still used in the tourism industry. There are several problems in that.
For once, this animal needs a lot of shade and water - so, please do not go elefant riding in open areas, its very bad for them.
Also there must always be a "Mahout" with you on the ride who steers and takes care of that big, sensible animal. This makes the whole thing quite costly. That an elefant does also need a lot of food is clear.
Anyway. We have been assured (and saw so, too) that "our" elefants were well cared for and the ride was through the forest. It was wonderful and we enjoyed it very much.
One fun way to spend a few hours is to take a elelphant ride through the jungle, They are so gentle the way they sway and are so sure footed. You can have your photo taken by hte guide as youe travel down the river or through the jungle, when your back at the camp you amy also buy some Bannanas and feed the elelphants.
We did the 4 in 1 Safari with Siam Safari. It was really good fun. We were picked up from the hotel in the morning and returned early evening.
I would say this is definately not suitable for very young children.
We canoed 1 Km down a river then were taken by a four wheeled drive jeep into the mountains where we visited the Siam Safari Elephant camp. The elephant ride lasted about 30mins, after that we got a chance to feed the elephants . Next there was a little show by the small elephants, there were not whips or chains on the elephants here.
A trek through the jungle was followed by a demonstrations of Thai cookery.
There was a small gift shoup where you could buy handicraft items.
The next demonstration was about coconuts and their collection, processing and uses. They demonstrated how monkies were used for collecting the coconuts.
They showed how the carts were pulled by buffalo and we had a ride on one of the carts (very uncomfortable)
Finally we had a demonstration of how they collect the rubber from the rubber trees and how they process it from the raw material.
Then dinner and return to the hotel.
This was great value for money, a whole day out and some exceptional views of Phuket Island.
I would definately recomment this tour!
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 1200 Baht per elephant. (2 adults or 3 adults(if ure pint size)).
An umbrella is provided free of charge.
Being in a jungle and riding an elephant on Phuket Island is great adventure , really .
And please , don't be afraid ! :))
The elephant is just looking for a food and is sooo cute :)