On our every trip, I always make sure that there’s an activity that I look forward to. Obviously, this is it! The elephant trekking got me frustrated in Bali. Almost 2K for 15mins? Woah, no way I will avail that!
But God really worked mysteriously. Not only did we got to trek with the elephant for an hour, we also had the chance to return the favor by bathing them! Plus, we went to an elephant sanctuary and we are sure that this adorable creatures are not subjected to animal cruelty. Just the way I wanted to end our Krabi tour!
To get to Krabi, Thailand we need to land in Phuket. From Manila, the fastest way to get to Phuket is by plane. Cebu Pacific flies directly to Phuket thrice a week, MWF. It will take around 3 hours to get there. From Phuket, a land travel of almost 2 hours is still needed.
If you’ve got patience, you can also fly via AirAsia (for Manila-Phuket / Manila-Krabi) or Jetstar (Manila-Phuket) with a layover in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, respectively. The amount of layover time may depend upon the airline but it can get as long as 21 hours.
What We Did
We availed the elephant trek and bathing tour from Krabitrek. When our hotel pickup transpo arrived, there were just 6 of us. I initially thought that the activity might not be as popular compared to the island hopping ones but we later discovered that such is limited to a number of tourists per day.
The travel from our hotel to the Huay Tho Waterfall Safari was around 40 minutes (I actually timed it) but I enjoyed the ride as we passed by spots wherein the trees are abundant. Aaaaahhhh, Thailand fresh air, indeed!
Onced we arrived at the elephant sanctuary, we just rested a bit while the elephants were being prepared for trekking. At first, I was not sure what to do but I really wanted to sit near the elephant’s head (and not on her back, it’s bad for the elephants).
Buti na lang, I was wearing long pants since the elephant’s hairs can really be ticklish most especially when it’s moving. But who cares? I was really enjoying the moment and since I was sitted behind the guide, I joined him in shouting ‘pai’ which means go in Thai.
Our guide, though he can’t speak in English that much, tried to explain some facts about the elephants during our trek. We got to know that female elephants are usually used for this kind of activity since such pick up commands faster than the males. He also added that male elephants are more stubborn hence choosing the girls than of the boys. Good to know, right?
We roamed around the sanctuary which to me looks like a jungle — lots of trees, shrubs and wild animals. We even got to see a tree snake! Waaah! I got scared pero konti lang. We also got to do a several stops because our elephant keeps on eating greens during the trek. She also did make poo-poo (and I must say, a lot!) while on the way. Whenever she does it, we all just laughed it off. Di naman kasi masyadong mabaho. Nyahaha.
After the trek, we fed them as an appreciation for their hard work. Our elephant was hungry (even after eating all those plants along the way) and finished almost 3 trays of bananas! I had apprehensions at first because the paranoid me was afraid that the gentle giant will suck my arm (and eat me). What?! But after watching my beau did it, I got the courage to do the same…and enjoyed it very much!
Even before we proceed with our next activity, the youngest elephant in the group showed off her skills by doing basketball and even playing a Thai song using a harmonica. Such a talented one! Kakatuwa.
Then after trekking for another 5 minutes to get to the river, we finally got to do the fun activity I have been waiting for! The guide was warming up Benja and shouting her commands for her to lay on her side for a better angle of scrubing her. And by the photos shown, she gladly obliged. I was then more eager to bathe her even more.
While washing Benja, I observed that she was swaying her trunk in the water and observed that she was loading her trunk with water to which she later splashed over to me! Benja got some trick up her sleeve and a good one though. Such a silly girl!
When we think she was clean enough, I just spent my time hugging and holding her and I was glad she reciprocated the gesture. Benja was so sweet maybe also her way of saying thank you for bathing her. As a conclusion to our Krabi tour, this elephant trekking and bathing experience, by far, was my most memorable one. No question about it.
After our tour, we prepared to leave for our next destination. We need to catch the 3pm ferry from Nopparat Thara Pier and Mr. Chang, who is the owner of our home stay, arranged it for us. It came with a free Krabi hotel pick-up and Phuket accommodation drop-off. That was a good deal for a reasonably priced ticket. Sulet na wala pang hassle!
And after almost 2 hours of ferry and land travel (traffic was horrible), we were finally back in Phuket.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at Ao Nang Home Stay for 3 nights thru booking.com. The cost per night is THB 950 (around Php 1,273). I highly recommend this place as the owner, Mr Chang, is very accommodating and can arrange tours and transfers for you. He organized our Krabi to Phuket ferry transfers. The home stay was also neat and situated in a strategic location.
See contact details below for more information.
>> Pad Thai – It’s like Thailand’s version of our very own bihon however their pad thai have so many tasty herbs that complements the whole dish. It is basically a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served at casual local restaurants. Made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu then flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp. A must-try!
>> Tom Yum Goong – This is a Thai soup which most known to tourists and oftenly cooked with shrimp. A dish you shouldn’t miss when you are in Thailand.
• For budget travelers, opt for a group tour to avail cheaper tour rates. The slots are limited so book this tour early.
• Don’t forget to bring water. Hydrate yourself at all times.
• Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen.
• Always listen to your guide. Observe proper etiquette when interacting with the elephants.
• Under no circumstance that it is acceptable to hurt the animals. You have no right.
• Majority of the tour agencies offer hotel pickup, ensure that you will be ready when they arrive. You are a foreigner in their country and they don’t understand much of the Filipino time. Be considerate to your tour mates.
Travel Expense Summary
|Expenses||in THB||in Php||÷ by 2|
|KrabiTrek Group Tour*||1,600||2,144||1,072|
|Ferry from Ao Nang to Phuket||1,400||1,876||938|
|Dinner at Phuket Night Market||320||428.80||214.40|
|TOTAL||THB 4,730||P 6,338.20||P 3,169.10|
Note: *With blogger discount. Airfare and pasalubong money not included.