Phuket Elephant Trekking – It would be silly to come to Phuket without taking the time to stop and admire some elephants. You don’t have to ride them if you are not comfortable with the idea of using such creature as transportation, but aren’t we are all naturally attracted by these animals? So this is your chance to observe some of them very closely.
Once in a while, we like to visit to the small elephant camp of Bang Pae. It doesn’t seem as stressful for elephants as other camps near town or next to hot busy roads. This camp is set in a large rubber plantation next Bang Pae National Park and Bang Pae Waterfall, so they don’t have to deal with our civilization more than necessary.
What we really enjoy is to visit Gamlai, the two years old baby elephant, and feed him bananas. At the time of our visit, they had seven elephants, including Gamlai the baby and his twenty five years old mother, all peacefully eating leaves in the rubber trees shade.
If you feel like a ride, you will be lead to an elevated platform that allow to easily reach a two seat sofa strapped on the back of the massive animal. Then off you go, walking through light forest and rubber plantations. It’s a slow and quiet thirty minute ride and you’ll have plenty of time to look around. Too bad the elephants here won’t go to the nearby the Bang Pae waterfalls.
Phuket is not really an impressive playground, it is more of a short experience, a chance to see these beautiful creature closely. If you want something closer to the real thing, you’ll have to go to Chiang Mai, where elephant trekking can last half a day or more, walking through real jungle, going down scary slopes and crossing large, but shallow rivers. I did one in the ninety’s, when comfort was seriously overlooked and I ended up with blisters on my bottom.
Nothing like this here, a short and easy walk at Phuket Elephant Trekking will cost you 900 Baht per person. You might even be able to sit at the mahout’s place, just behind the elephant’s head. Don’t forget to feed baby Gamlai with some 50 baht bananas and take plenty of photos with the adult elephants.
So here is a perfect half day trip: go to the Bang Pae waterfalls, stop on the way back for an elephant trekking, or at least stop over for few photos, then go for lunch at Bang Pae Seafood, a nearby restaurant set in the mangrove.