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Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
579 posts
27 reviews
Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Can anyone recommend a tour company that offers tours which include Elephant trekking around Khao Lak which have pickups from Phuket? We're staying at the Marriott Phuket Beach Club so we are quite north and I thought it might be a good opportunity to see more than just Phuket. We will have our 3 & 8 year old boys so we cant do anything too adventurous. Would KL be about an hour from MPBC?? thanks.

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
1. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Hi

Staying at the MPBC its a great idea to take a look at Khao Lak.I think the best elle trek locally in Khao Lak is the Saurung Elephant Trek to the waterfall which is suitable for children.You could hire a driver to take you who would also show you a bit more of what the area has to offer. I always use Mr Sam from Phuket who is reliable and has reasonable rates e mail siam_intouch@yahoo.com website www.samintouch.spaces.live.com .Arandora also has the name of a local in Khao Lak who i am sure will give you details of a local driver to Khao Lak if needed.You could also have a look at Khao Sok National park for a tour which would incorporate an elephant trek have a look at a local firm in Khao Lak that operates tours www.landdiscovery.com/bookings.php they would if asked arrange transfer from MPBC.

I have been past the MPBC many times but not taken note of the time to KL i would estimate perhaps 45 minutes.Khao Lak Land Discovery might even organise the ele trip for you but the fun way is with a driver who would show you much more along the way and in Khao Lak.

Julie

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Hi sorry wrong link for khao lak land discoveery in previous post correct link

www.khaolaklanddiscovery.com/bookings.php

Julie

Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
579 posts
27 reviews
3. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Excellent idea Julie. Have seen Sam recommended on phuket posts and have noted Arandora's rec of the ele trek so put the 2 together... Good to here that its not too far - I figured there would have to something in staying so far up! Cheers.

Fort St. John...
Level Contributor
773 posts
30 reviews
4. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Please also be aware that the elephants in these trekking camps have been severly abused. All Thai working elephants are broken in a ritual called phajaan which kills 40% of the elephants subjected adding to the already declining population. 7 out of 10 babies born in these trekking camps are killed by their mothers. This is not normal behaviour, they do this for many reasons related to the abuse they are put through. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rnx6Of8P8M

If you go pleas observe. Watch how they use the hooks. The elephants skin may be thick, but a tiny mossie bite can drive an elephant into an itching frenzy. Elephants need to feed 18 hours a day to maintain health, but they are too busy carrying tourists in back breaking metal basekts. Notice just how many scars your trekking elephant has. Thais believe in no other way of training than phajaan.

Just recently I was at an elephant trekking camp to observe, not to ride. I watched one of the mahouts throw rocks and stab his elephant in the rear to motivate it to carry another load of tourists at the end of a paticular hot day. Can you believe this elephant had tourists on its back. People wonder why these elephants rage and snap once in awhile killing mahouts and tourists. If you dont believe me, just look at it on you tube, you can watch many deaths caused by raging elephants to mahouts and tourists or even people standing by. Is this really something you want to subject your children to?

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
5. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Where was the elephant camp you are referring to? When we went on the Saurung trek (the one to the waterfall, which is off Highway 4 to the right further north past the Royal Bangsak Beach Resort, not the one to right just past the Le Meridien which goes over rougher terrain and not to a waterfall), the elephants were well treated; the mahouts only used the blunt end of the prod and only then to stop the ellie taking us in a lake for a drink along with it. On some treks the mahout walked in front and the ellie followed.

I cannot comment whether these magnificent creatures had been abused before or when we were not there but all of them on view when we were there were treated with the utmost respect and affection.

There is another Elephant trek in Khao Lak on your left as you leave Khuk Khak heading towards Le Meridien. This is on flat ground towards the beach through a rubber plantation and includes a moonkey and snake show which also may be regarded as exploitataive.

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
6. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Hi ,

I also did not witness any abuse with the elephants on the Saurung Trek and have been on two occaisions.

Julie

Fort St. John...
Level Contributor
773 posts
30 reviews
7. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

I did not say I witenessed abuse at the camp you are referring too. The one I saw was up in the north around Chaing Mai. Thai people know what most farang dislike when it comes to the treatment of elephants and they will try to avoid in fron of your eyes. I think the main reason why I witnessed what I did is because I was sitting on a mat amoung many other thai people with a pretty darn good tan helping me blend in at a first glance. There were no other tourists behind the elephant that was being stabbed and there were no other toursists left to get on elephants.

Also know its not up to the facility on how the elephants are treated, they can ask, but it is up to the mahout. Usually these elphants are working at these camps and other facilities through their mahouts who brought them their and are being paid for the work their elephant does.

ALL ELEPHANTS in ANY of these camps have ALL gone through PHAJAAN. I have yet to see an elephant that isn't scarred from it.

However I must say a complete boycott of these places will not solve the problem either, that is why I ask that you observe. First of all education on the subject is the most important. We all need to be aware of how these animals are treated, especially in training and how the cruel training ritual is contributing to the declining numbers of this majestic creature. These elephants still need to earn money for their mahouts or they will be out of work starving or even abandoned. We need to change the training, education of the next generation is important in making change.

Lek, founder and owner of elephant nature park is proving phajaan is not needed in the training of elephants. She now has two 8 year old elephants that have not gone through the cruelties of phajaan and have been trained on a reward based system. Hooks are not used in her park unless an elephant gets out of control. While visiting for 2 days I didn't see a single hook. These elephants are controlled through respect, love and reward. It can be done.

We need a change now. Phajaan is killing of the elephants. Baby elephants born in trekking camps are being killed by their mothers at a 70% rate. How are the numbers of this endangered creature suppose to stop declining with figures like that. Believe me, the numbers are dropping at an alarming rate.

There are special parks in Thailand where you can have an elephant experience without riding them.

Having rode an elephant years ago and not being pleased with the expeience or the treatment I have found that first hand experience in being with elephants, wathing them graze, giving them fruit and swimming with them on their own terms has been far more rewarding than riding in a back breaking metal basket on some silly tourist trap that is lined but to face with elephants that trek all day in the hot sun. These creatures need to graze most of their waking hours to intake a sufficent amount of nutrience. I hardly think a 12 hour day of back breaking works allows them that. Further more trekking elephants have an extremely decreased life expectancy and all for what, so we can ride them for a few bucks.

Do some research of your own, this is no laughing matter, the asain elephant is being driven into extinction at an alarming rate, not because of captivity, but because of the training rituals and treatment of baby elephants. I beg you take a second look.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
45,458 posts
107 reviews
8. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

"Do some research of your own, this is no laughing matter"

- whilst I respect your views and your concern for the elephants I don't think any of the responses in this thread have in any way trivialised the issue nor treated it as a laughing matter. I was also asking whether you were referring to any of the camps in or around Khao Lak when you were referring to the distressing treatment you had observed so that members of this forum would be better informed about a specific location.

Fort St. John...
Level Contributor
773 posts
30 reviews
9. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

Like I said, all elephants in trekking are subjected to phajaan, this is all trekking in Thailand.

Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
579 posts
27 reviews
10. Re: Elephant trek Khao Lak p/u from Phuket

I apologise for bringing the elephant debate to the Khao Lak forum. I have seen something similar rage on the Phuket one. But I don't think I'd be interested in spending 12 hours on an elephant and I'm pretty sure my 3 year old would stand for it. I'm sure if any forum members had witnessed abuse it would be noted and then that establishment would be avoided (eg we wont be going to Phuket Zoo because of feedback). Thanks information given.

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