Wacky Phuket : Siam Safari 4 in 1 Elephant Trekking

Elephant Trekking @ Siam Safari

Elephants are revered animals in Thailand. It had played an important role in Thailand's' history from the warring eras to the contributions to Thai economic via logging.

It is said that you have not been to Thailand unless you had ride an Elephant Thus it was an activity we looked forward to when we were at Phuket. After doing some research via TripAdvisor , we were a little apprehensive about our decision to go Elephant Trekking. There were horror stories of Elephants being abuse and reviews were far less positive from certain Elephant Trekking companies.
At this point , I was about to give up the idea altogether.
Siam Safari
Thankfully, amidst the negative reviews, one company review stood out. Siam Safari Phuket had constantly received positive reviews on its tours. More importantly , it had been written that Elephants are well treated and appeared happy. Siam Safari had also attained the Royal Thai Government standard award and it is the only Elephant camp in Southern Thailand to achieved this. Maintaining Elephants welfare is their core mantra for the past 25 years and had been recognized locally and internationally for its efforts.
Map of Siam Safari
We heard that Siam Safari is running an elephant project . They collect monies from the camp to help pay for health checks for all elephants in Phuket and to run the elephant hospital in Lampang northern Thailand. Assured by the accolades and recommendations, we decided to book the popular the 4-in1 Safari tour as our choice tour for Elephant Trekking.

Our tour started with a hotel transfer as part of the package.We arrived about an hour from Kamala to Siam Safari in Chalong.
Tractor ride
The 4 in 1 tour we took consist of the following
  • Elephant trekking
  • Elephant conservation educational tour
  • A peek at Thai Culture and rural life
  • Dinner
Elephant Trekking
Elephant Trekking
Our tour kicked off with probably the highlight of the tour - Elephant Trekking. We were paired up for the ride with a mahout who will guide the elephant.
This was the boys first Elephant trekking experience. It was also my first after 40 years of existence,
Mahout and his Elephant
The mahout is a trained elephant trainer that has been with the elephant for a long period. It is said that each elephant has its own personal mahout. Some of the mahouts have been with the same elephant throughout their lifetime that they are practically 'married' to each other. It came to no surprise that man and beast are almost one during the ride.

The mahout used their legs to guide the elephants during the 30 minutes trek. They have a mean looking stick called the Ankus with a sharp pointy side to control the elephants. Thankfully we hardly see the mahouts using it during the trek which demonstrated the level of understanding between the rider and he elephant.
Our first elephant ride
It was a trek through a forest area and we eventually reached an opening on the hillside.
Elephant trekking @ Siam Safari
For a short stretch, we are able to view Chalong Bay. Coming from an urban city, this trek through nature and its sights were refreshing.
View of Chalaong bay
The boys have no complaints throughout the rides. Both were enjoying the moment. After the rides, they had wanted to take it again. This is an attestment of how they loved the experience.
If you have not seen the Big Buddha in Phuket, don't forget to look up before the end of the trek. You can see his head overlooking the lush forested area from above.
Big Buddha @ Phuket
I am not quite sure if Elephant trekking has been an item on our to do list. But if it is, I am glad we did it as a family.
My first elephant ride @ Siam Safari
Elephant conservation educational tour
Feeding the elephants
The elephant trekking may be the highlight of the tour, but the rest of the tour is equally insightful and well organised.
Young Elephant Training center
Our tour continues at the Young Elephant Training Center where we see how the young elephants practised for their shows.
Elephant Picasso
From trunk painting, to disco dancing to elephant soccer , the young elephants entertain the crowds. These are not circus acts that some elephants are rigorously subjected to , but light-hearted activities that we see the elephants enjoying.
Elephant Football

It helps too when the audience rewards the elephants with baskets of fruits.
Feeding elephants.

Thai culture and Rural Life
Rubber tapper
The tour continues with a peek at Thai rural lifestyle. We saw how rubber trees are 'tapped' for rubber Latex.
Thai curry demonstration
Next up is a that curry demonstration where we learn the difference between the colours of curry paste.
Thai curry demonstration
If you are a curry lover, there is a treat for you after the demonstration. You will get to sample the curries prepared during the demonstration.
Yum yum.
Next up is coconut de husking as well as demonstrations on how coconut milk and oil are made.
Coconut de husking
Thereafter, proceed to a 'coffee hut' to sample the tasty traditional Thai coffee and coconut pancakes.
Coffee hut
It was indeed a delicious treat for us.
Even Big C enjoyed his cup of tea.

And the coconut pancakes too!
Coconut pancakes
We love how the children can be exposed to these different aspects of Thai life. We are sure that there are no other Elephant Trekking companies would provide the same experience as Siam Safari.
Before we end this part of the tour, we were bought to a 'rice field' to see how Buffaloes plough the rice field.
Rice field

And as an added bonus, we get to sit on a Buffalo cart too.
Don't be afraid of these large beast. They may be imposing , but in reality they are gentle giants. The boys even managed to interact with the Buffalo.
Interacting with Buffalo
Buffet Dinner
Throughout this 3 hour tour, we were transported on tractors. With the shaded forest, it was a relatively comfortable tour. We think both children and older folks will enjoy this stress free tour.
Our last stop will be the restaurant. We had opted for dinner and enjoyed a spread of Thai cuisines as well as some fried food for kids. In terms of the quality of food we had, it is on par with the food we had in other parts of Phuket.
Before you know it, the tour has ended. We were send back to the main entrance to await our transport back to the hotel. There is a souvenir shop at the entrance if you intend to purchase one. You can also opt to purchase souvenir photos of your Elephant Trek experience.

This is one tour we highly recommend if you are keen on Elephant Trekking. It may not be the cheapest one in Phuket, but it is one of the best Eco- tour we had experienced. Not only did we enjoyed the tour, it was our pleasure to be in the presence of happy and healthy elephants!
Siam Safari
  1. Chalong, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket, Thailand+66 76 384 456Website : http://www.siamsafari.com

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