This was probably the only time that we felt a little short-changed/cheated during our most pleasant trip in Phuket. We had planned to go elephant trekking after our friends recommended the activity to us. So we told our tuk-tuk driver for the day that we’d like to go to a particular elephant camp that was mentioned by a friend (I’ve forgotten the name of the camp).
So anyway, the tuk-tuk driver asked us if we have made our booking for riding elephants at said camp. Being honest tourists and having been surrounded by sincere smiles for two days – we told him no, we haven’t. Turned out, we should have told him that we have made a booking – because then he would not have taken us to Seaview Elephant which he told us (upon arrival) that this is not the camp we wanted to go to, but this is better.
Right, as if we could do a comparison there and then. But we decided not to push it and to just go for it anyway, since we were already there.
So after making payment for 30 minutes of elephant ride (about USD91 for both of us – there are longer rides), we waited for our turn at the Elephant Bar which sells light refreshment and drinks.
After waiting for about 15 minutes, it was our turn! Our elephant was the third one in line.
Our elephant guide for the day was this guy named Khai. He was pretty nice I guess, apart from trying to scare me that there might be snakes falling off the trees throughout the entire time. There wasn’t any, don’t worry.
At first our elephant didn’t really want to move, and instead splashed itself with water. Maybe it was feeling really hot and didn’t feel like working – like most of us on hot, sunny days.
But after a few big splashes, we were good to go. We had to pass by the backyards of people’s homes before entering the jungle. That’s got to be interesting having elephants roaming in your backyard!
So into the jungle we went! I got to say that elephant rides are wobbly but you get used to it soon enough.
Elephant footsteps we left behind:
Since we took the shortest tour, it was just a short trek through the jungle. Longer treks (45 minutes and 60 minutes) would have a sea view and other areas to explore. While it was not that bad an experience, I just wish we had gone to the elephant camp we wanted to visit, because now we have no way of knowing what we missed out on.
As a momento from riding the elephants, I got these 2 colourful elephant bracelets. Khai told a sob story on how his mum made them. Looking back, I’m not sure if he was telling the truth – but the tourist brain is a scumbag brain.
Oh by the way you can feed the elephant after the tour. You just need to pay a minimal fee for a basket of food. I didn’t realize how scary it is to be feeding an elephant, but then again – is there anything really that doesn’t scare me to some extend. This activity turned out to be quite a scream fest and FINALLY we got a somewhat decent photo of me feeding the elephant.
Most unflattering photo ever. Don’t mind the tummy, I’ve lost most of it since October -sigh-.
But anyway, if you’d like to try out elephant trekking at Seaview Elephant Camp the address is:
Kata, Kathu, Phuket, Thailand
P/S: Here are some Seaview Elephant Camp reviews – not that great, but not that bad either