Elephant Trekking is half an hour elephant ride. Capacity of each seat is maximum of 3 persons.This activity is usually included in the package tours that local tour operators offer.
Just a pre caution- elephant trekking is a very bumpy ride. So get your butts ready :-)
Photo sessions are done when you reach the end point before returning back to base.
Kok Chang Safari would have to be one of the best elephant trek's we have been on during all of our travels to Phuket.
All the animals seem well cared for, the staff are very helpful and friendly and the setting is beautiful.
There are bananas available at the center to feed the elephants while taking some great photos and you just leave a donation in the box for them.
One of the highlights of the elephant trek, besides the fantastic views is once you are at the top of the hill you can ride down sitting on the elephants head if you want. It was so exciting sitting on her head, feet hooked behind her ears for balance and enjoying the ride back down.
Your mahout will also take lots of photos of your trek, so just hand him your camera.
There is also a great bar at the centre, so after your trek you can buy water, fruit shakes, beer etc at very cheap prices. This is also a perfect spot to sit and watch a beautiful Phuket Sunset!
Prices for the 50 minute elephant trek to the summit are 1000baht per adult. This is the one we would highly recommend!
There is also a half hour trek for 800baht, a 20 minute trek for 600baht, with 50% off for children 4 - 11 years of age and children under 4 are free.
Money for the elephant trek is paid directly to the centre.
Kok Chang Safari have also started doing complimentary pickups from Karon, Kata or Nai Harn and 100baht for return transfers from Patong.
Contact details are:
Chaini +66 (0) 84 841 9794
There is a more detailed report on Kok Chang Safari here with info on prices for the Elephant trek, transfer costs, photos etc
Kok Chang Safari
Lots more photos at; Cathy's Photo Pages
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.
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. :)
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.
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.
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...
I have also listed this in my 'warnings' section as I do thoroughly now believe that whilst this activity is usually high on peoples "to do" list, I hope that you will think twice before you do it. My reasons are listed in the warnings section.
Elephant rides can be an experience. There was a place which we passed by that cost 500 baht for a 20min ride. But when we hired a driver to bring us around, he brought us to another place which cost 800baht for 30min. We didn't request for a elephant ride, so obviously he was hoping to make commision off us. We tried to lower the price, but they didn't want to, so we started to walk away since we weren't that interested anyway to pay the price. Here comes the magic moment - he asked us to see the elephants first and tried to persuade us to stay. Then since we refuse to back down, he accepted our offer. So we paid 600 baht for 30min. Not bad.
If the weather is good, head down to a beach like Bang Tao beach around 3pm and swim with the elephant. Its a great experience for the kids also. Give the elephant a few baht before it hits the water and ask if you can ride on top of the elephant into the water!
We booked this package tour with Amazing Bukit Eco Adventure Safari Tour. We've selected the 60 min elephant trek and young elephant show. Our elephant guide was great even if he didn't speak english, he got off the elephant and let us really "ride" the actual elephant (not just the seat at the back) and he even took lots of pictures.
This was fantastic, not cheap but worth paying. We booked 1/2 hour of jungle trekking and this was approx £10.00 each, you can have longer rides 1 hour or 2 hours and they take you further out into the jungle. Before or after your trek you can see and feed the elephants, we managed to swap cameras with another couple to get some good pictures but if you do forget your camera they take your picture for you and then you can purchase them afterwards.
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..
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!
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.