“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” –Saint Augustine
This was one of the most exciting days we had in the entire trip! The elephant conservatory was something I've always wanted to do for the longest time. I've heard so many amazing things about spending time with elephants, so I was stoked for this experience.
Top Tip: If you're traveling to a destination that has wild animals, do your research and make sure they are conservatories where they allow them to live as they normally would in nature. The typical parks where they perform tricks or where you get to ride the elephants are actually very harmful since they use torture to make the animals learn the commands. Don't mean to get too serious and sad, but just wanted to shed light on something that I think is super important to consider if you're traveling to a place like Thailand that is known for their elephants!
We stopped by this cute local cafe for some light refreshments and breakfast.
We picked up more people from neighbooring hotels and headed off to the conservatory.
We finally arrived to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary after the 45-minute ride. We started off by preparing the fruits for our elephant friends! We were set to task immediately and did a great job if you ask me. ;)
Here are some notes that I took from that day so I wouldn't forget:
-Tulu (baby boy)
-Fat (eats a lot because teenager)
-Jjahnsee (52 yrs old; leader; Tulu's mom)
-Elephants can live up to 100 years
-Stay in front of them or on their sides
-If they start to lay down, go behind them because they are trying to kick into the water
-They know you by looking into your eyes and remembering your smell
-They drink over 115 liters of water every single day
-They drink water in their mouth, but suck it in their trunks and then pour the water into their mouths
-They have big ears but actually can't ear very well
-You have to peel the bananas for Tulu (baby stomach; peel has too much sugar)
-Watermelon rind is okay to feed them
-You must call their name loudly to feed
-"BON BON" = "lift tongue up" to feed
-Feed the food directly into their mouths
-They say "thank you" by spraying water at you
This was Kammoon, who was pregnant at the time! I gave her a big hug as a little "good job mama" encouragement for her. ;)
Next we had a curry lunch that they had made us. There was also a special Fanta that I had not seen in the US before. I swear, Asia has the best flavored drinks!
After resting at our hotel for a couple hours since we were exhausted, we headed over to Anusarn Market with some friends we met at the elephant conservatory. They are two sisters from the Netherlands who are just the sweetest gals! We had an array of dishes for dinner, including these HUMONGOUS raw oysters on the half shell. They were fresh and delicious with all of the Thai chilis and toppings, but it was literally the largest oyster I think I've ever seen!
After dinner, we strolled through the little shops where they had every bit of clothing, jewelry, dish and trinket that you could think of. We stopped by a local massage spot to try the fish pedicure! It's not too bad, but the thought of a bunch of a little fish biting at your skin can be a lot if you think about it too much (lol).
I also had to stop by a fruit stand while we were perusing around the night market. The tropical fruits out in Asia are insane, people! So juicy, ripe and sweet!
So much activity was around us that it was hard to be bored. This was just one live band that was playing, but literally every few hundred feet there was another stage with someone else singing, more shops, jewelry stores and restaurants.
This was such a fun night out in Thailand. I'm already thinking about our new elephant friends and the amazing food we had this day. I guess it's just an excuse to come back again. ;) Thanks so much for reading if you've made it this far. Stay tuned for a couple more posts from Thailand!
Until next time,