I’ve always admired elephants! I’ve seen a lot of elephants in zoos before but I have this desire to actually interact with them. That’s why when I was planning for our trip to Thailand, I rigorously looked at elephant sanctuaries near Bangkok and decided to book with Elephant Jungle Sanctuary in Pattaya.
We were greeted by these gentle giants as soon as we arrived at the sanctuary! We were also asked to change into traditional Karen clothing before starting with a quick orientation on the activities we’ll be doing with the elephants for the rest of the afternoon.
Our guide, Nana, discussed with us the do’s and don’ts when interacting with the elephants during the orientation. She also warned us of Loy, their baby elephant who’s just 3 years old. Loy can be very friendly and will try to play with humans by sitting on them! 😂
After the orientation, we were then introduced to all the elephants in the sanctuary. They were intimidating at first but once you get the hang of it, they are even up for hugs!
While mingling with the elephants, we were also giving them bananas and watermelons which they absolutely loved.
After feeding the elephants, we joined them for a walk to the mud spring for their afternoon spa.
According to our guide, the mud spa is not only fun for the elephants. It is also beneficial to them because mud builds a natural defense on their skin to help keep them clean.
Here’s Loy, enjoying his mudspa. He’s calmer when in the mud compared to when we were giving them snacks earlier.
We obviously enjoyed the mud spa as much as the elephants did.
After their mud spa, we joined the elephants in their outdoor Elephant Shower Room and cooled down as we bathed them and rinsed off all the mud.
We were extra careful when bathing the elephants because they were really enjoying themselves in the water and they tend to move around a lot.
According to Nana, bathing with elephants is also considered as a sign of trust and affection. Most of the elephants in the sanctuary were rescued from elephant riding camps and providing them with a mud spa and a cooling bath shows them the affection that they may not have received before.
After feeding and bathing the elephants, we rinsed off as well and then we were served traditional Thai food for lunch. Believe it or not, this happened to be one of the best meals we had at Thailand.
Now, down to the last activity that afternoon, we were also taught by Nana on how to make paper from elephant poop.
The elephant poop paper also served as our souvenir along with all the fun times we had we the elephants!
Elephants never forget.
It is said that elephants have really good memories and they can remember humans who spent even the least amount of time with them. I’m really hoping to visit these elephants again!
If you need more details about Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, you can visit their website: https://elephantjunglesanctuary.com or you can ask me in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!