Elephant Sanctuary Thailand
The best way to see elephants in Thailand is by going to a reputable Elephant Sanctuary. This ensures the elephants have a better life than being a performing elephant. You'll learn about these animals while helping the sanctuaries buy food and land. You don’t have to attend the Sanctuary I did. BUT make sure the one you do is a no ride sanctuary. Meaning that you don’t ride the elephants. Why can’t you ride elephants? Elephants spines aren’t meant to carry human weight. I know that their size tells you differently. But carrying one human can cause pain and overtime damage their spine.
Best Elephant Sanctuary to Attend?
We went to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. Which was around 3,000 BAHT ($100 USD). We booked this before we got to Thailand to ensure we got in. We choose a half day starting in the morning. This includes feeding and swimming with elephants. The sanctuary also feeds you lunch which is an added bonus. The sanctuary will pick you up from your hotel if you’re within a certain radius. They pick you up in a Songthaew and the ride from our hotel was about 1-2 hours. A Songthaew is a pickup truck with a covered flatbed you can sit in.
Since there are no lockers to store items. There’s an honor system but I suggest not taking anything valuable. If you’d like to buy a shirt or souvenir (I bought a shirt!) they range from 300-500 BAHT.
Hanging with elephants for the day was my favorite activity in Phuket. A true once in a lifetime experience. If you decide to partake don’t be afraid to get dirty. You’ll be happy that you did. A half day experience is more than enough.
TIFFY TRAVEL TIPS
Do not ride Elephants.
Take your essentials. You don’t need to take all your Baht and personal belongings. Take 300-500 BAHT and leave everything else at your hotel.
Take the morning slot if you want to deal with less traffic AND first dibs on the food.
If you get motion sickness to be aware that it’s a bumpy ride to the sanctuary. I felt fine but a few people sharing our truck got car sick.
Don’t take expensive camera or gear unless you’re okay with lugging it around this experience. Which would be a pain. Use your smartphone or a go-pro sized camera.
Get a waterproof pouch for your phone. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon and great.
They have photographers taking pictures. But don’t forget to take your own. Since I promise yours will be better!
Wear a bathing suit under your clothes and bring a towel.