1 - 16 November 2014
Our afternoon flight leaving from Melbourne (Australia) allows for an evening arrival in Bangkok where we will be transferred to twin-share accommodation ideally situated in Bangkok’s colourful shopping and entertainment centre near to Siam Square with easy access to Skytrain. Amenities include swimming pool and restaurant.
After a buffet breakfast, this day is free for shopping, exploring & relaxing. Tours may be organized if you prefer. The Grand Palace is a ‘must see’ for those on their first visit.
Days 3 - 8
After breakfast, we will be transferred to Ayutthaya where we have reserved 6 nights
twin-share accommodation in a working elephant village, all meals included.
Today we will be introduced to the elephants we will be caring for over the next week! Under the guidance of experienced mahouts, you will be responsible for a retired elephant’s daily welfare. Throughout the week you will get to know your elephant’s personality and enjoy the mutual delights of that insight.
Every day we will clean up after our elephants (so be prepared to use a rake and broom) and throughout the day make sure they have plenty to eat and drink.
Twice a day we will ride our elephants to the river so we can all cool down, drink and play. Each afternoon we will also pamper elephants with an extra scrubbing massage.
There will be plenty of time to witness daily life in the community, to join in village activities and to enjoy interacting with the calves in the nursery.
During our week we will also go to local markets, temples and historical sites, including the area where the ‘working’ elephants take tourists for rides around the ruins of ancient Siam. Ayutthaya was once the capital of this empire.
Here we will also experience the traditional beauty of the Loy Krathong festival (imagine floating lanterns and river floral tributes).
After a full day caring for our elephants we will farewell the village to spend a night in downtown Ayutthaya where we have reserved one night’s accommodation (single rooms optional) and breakfast in a colourful backpacking establishment.
Days 10 - 12
Today we will be transferred to Khao Yai National Park by mini-bus (2.5 hours) where we have reserved bungalow accommodation with all meals included.
Here, we will have an introduction to Thai Elephant Research and Conservation Foundation (TERF) projects. Activities may include tree planting; a visit to a bat cave; gibbon & bird-watching walks; Gaur viewing; a walk to beautiful Heaw–Narok Waterfall and the opportunity to swim. 4 x wheel drive transport included.
Day 13 - 15
After breakfast we will be transferred to Faa Sai Resort at Kung Wiman Bay (5 hour drive). This award-winning boutique Eco Resort includes a swimming pool and massage facilities along with organic gardens and food, solar power and a sustainability focus. We can choose to explore the area, participate in gardening, cooking, soap-making activities, or simply relax and reflect on our experiences.
After lunch today we will be transferred to Bangkok Airport in time to join our flight which departs just after midnight bound for Melbourne.
Economy class return air travel from Melbourne (Australia) to Bangkok. Please note, arrangements can be made to meet in Bangkok if you are traveling from other parts of the world.
All Thailand Transfers
All accommodation based on sharing rooms with private bath or shower
One night camping accommodation at Khao Yai National Park (subject to weather; National Park fees
Meals as indicated
Water supplied during all activities and meals as indicated
Travel insurance (compulsory for all participants)
Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
Snacks, food and activities outside scheduled itinerary
Additional transport required due to an emergency situation
Tips / gratuities
This itinerary is based on information available at time of print and is subject to alteration due to changing circumstances beyond the control of Elephant Encounters.