Photo Flashbacks: What you see on a Phuket Elephant Trek? 12


Back in 2013 we went on a family holiday to Phuket.

Prior to having children I had previously travelled to Phuket and taken an elephant trek.  As a result I felt this was a must do experience for my family.

So one day we head off for a walk on the wild side at Siam Safari Elephants Camp.

The experience Siam Safari Elephants Camp was different from my previous one where we just watched the elephants being bathed and then went for short walk in the jungle.

So what did we see on this Phuket elephant trek, and did I think it was better?

Phuket Elephant Trek

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Our Family Phuket Elephant Trek

UPDATE: Siam Safari closed January 2017

As we sit on the trailer being towed by a tractor up the muddy slopes to the elephants our guide explains that all the elephants and their handlers at Siam Safari were left with no where to go after logging in Thailand was banned in 1989.  Siam Safari was established as a tourism operation and elephant welfare camp to take in those elephants and their unemployed handlers.  A way to partly finance this operation is by offering tourists elephant rides through the jungle.

We climb a bamboo structure to mount our elephant.

I feel a bit uneasy at first rocking side to side as the elephant slowly ambles along taking care with where it places each foot.

The path edges it’s way along the cliff top and the Chalong Hills emerge.

Phuket elephant trek

Around the corner I spot crystal clear turquoise water in the distance.

phuket elephant ride

As we get closer the Chalong Bay dotted with tiny islands comes into full view.

phuket elephant trek

We all take a turn to get clear photos

Phuket elephant trek

and the elephant drivers swap cameras with one another so we all can have shot of ourselves on these magnificent beast with this beautiful view as a back drop.

Phuket elephant trek

As we start to make our way back on the 30 minute trek and just before we enveloped by the jungle we see the top of Big Buddha perched on the hill.

phuket elephant tek

We are taken deeper into the lush tropical jungle, surrounded by rubber trees with their branches entwined and cups strapped to the bottom of the trees collecting the sap.

Phuket elephant trek

All of a sudden our elephant stops.  A snake slithers in front of us before diving back under the foliage.  It all happened so fast I couldn’t quite get a clear image.

phuket elephant ride

Butterflies of a multitude of colours fluttered around us, and whilst I tried so hard to get a photo they were all just blur as I am sitting rocking from side to side on the back of an elephant as it gingerly makes its way down through the jungle.

phuket elephant ride

All too soon we are back on solid ground gulping water due to the hot humid heat and reflecting on our ride.

Lewis is bounding around chatting happily about what he saw and experienced on our Phuket elephant trek.  Whilst Steve who is afraid of heights, said that once he got use to it he thoroughly enjoyed the elephant trek and felt the excursion was well worth it.

For me, I felt that Siam Safari offered a far better and more educational exposure to the elephants than I had previously encounted, plus the scenery was significantly better.

Would you or your family like to see the Thai jungle from the back of an elephant?

Tell me in the comments.

Phuket elephant ride

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About Sally-Ann Brown

I am Sally-Ann the author of Toddlers on Tour. I am a wife and mother who has always had a passion for travel. I love sharing my experiences and lessons learned to help you have a better family holiday or day trip. Read "All About Me" under the "Home" tab to discover my story and what lead me to here.

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12 thoughts on “Photo Flashbacks: What you see on a Phuket Elephant Trek?

  • Jen

    What an exciting trip! I love that country you traveled through – so much to see! Interesting that you saw a snake slither by – tonight I was watering the plants in the backyard – out around our gazebo – and as I stepped under the arbor to water the mandevilla, a snake slithered right in front of my foot. I screamed and hopped forward and then he (she) was gone. LOL!

    I’d love to take a ride on an elephant 😉 Thank you for sharing with us at Photo Friday!

  • Sam - Journo and the Joker

    In short, I’m going to say no. That’s not how I want to see the Thai jungle.
    Years ago we did a learn to be a mahout day in Thailand and we rode the elephants – no chair. They were supposedly rescued elephants but these days I’m not totally convinced. It was an amazing experience. I loved it. Elephants are fabulous, beautiful creatures. But I wouldn’t do it again and I wouldn’t recommend it.
    The more I read and hear about what it takes to train an elephant to actually carry people on their backs and the cruelty that is apparently involved in breaking their spirit to enable this, the less I want to do it. These days I would prefer to visit an elephant sanctuary and walk through the jungle beside them. I think it would be an equally amazing experience.

  • Grace

    It’s not a Thai jungle adventure if it didn’t involve snakes! Yikes! I haven’t done elephant ride in ages. They are such beautiful and intelligent creatures. Every time I see one in real life, I’m in complete awe.

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}

    When we visited Phuket, I had originally planned on taking the kids to ride elephants. While looking around the internet for which trekking company to use, I came across a lot of information about the awful methods used to break elephants’ spirit so that they’ll succumb to letting people ride them. So, we decided not to ride them after all since we didn’t want to support the continuation of this practice. When we went to Chiang Mai, we found a great place called Elephant Nature Park that let visitors interact with elephants in a much more humane way.