Culture

 

Learning

 

Leisure

 

Community engagement

 

Physical demand

 

  • All meals included Yes
  • Free beverages Yes
  • Persons per room 2-5
  • Wifi in public areas Yes
  • Laundry facilities No
  • Safety box Yes
  • Lockable rooms Yes
  • Hot shower Yes
  • Private bathroom Yes
  • Western toilet Yes
  • Bed linen Yes
  • Towels No
  • Mosquito protection Yes
  • Fan Yes
  • Air conditioning No

Program & Schedule

The project is based in Kanchanaburi, which manages a delicate balance between tradition and tourism. Its surrounding limestone hills create and unimaginably beautiful landscape enhanced by its numerous bamboo-style buildings, stunning meandering rivers and unique temple caves. Kanchanaburi is truly one of Thailand’s natural gems and the perfect place to indulge in nature and spend time with elephants in our project.

The project takes place in a sanctuary where old, sick, disabled, previously abused or illegally-owned elephants now call a home. Here, we work for the elephants, not the other way around. This means there will be no elephant riding in the program. However, you will get the chance to experience and bond with these gentle giants by swimming with them, bathing them and preparing their food, which typically comes in the form of Bana grass, sugarcane and banana plants.

The elephants freely roam around the sanctuary by day, and then are taken to the forest in the early evening.

You will be spending time alongside experienced mahouts, who invest their entire lives gaining an understanding of the elephants and how best to care for them.

Aims & Objectives

  • Take care of relocated, injured, ill, previously abused or illegally owned elephants at the sanctuary
  • Give you a unique, unforgettable experience in caring for elephants
  • Assist the local sanctuary staff by providing an extra hand

Schedule

Monday

  • Departing to Kanchanaburi from Singburi
  • Breakfast
  • Introduction and Safety Rules
  • Feeding the elephants
  • Observation of elephants in the river
  • Sticky rice cooking lesson
  • Lunch
  • Observation of elephants (mud bathing)
  • Short film Presentation
  • Preparing and washing fruits
  • Sticky rice ball making and feeding
  • Elephant bathing
  • Elephant feeding
  • Dinner

Tuesday

  • Fruit basket preparation
  • Breakfast
  • Walk with the elephants
  • Elephant feeding
  • Elephant bathing
  • Observation of elephants (grass eating)
  • Lunch
  • Observation of elephants (mud bathing)
  • Floating over Kwai River
  • Cookies and Tea time
  • Elephant feeding
  • Walk with the elephants
  • Dinner
  • Watch a Thai elephant documentary

Wednesday

  • Fruit Basket Preparation
  • Breakfast
  • Erawan National Park Waterfall Trip
  • Dinner

Thursday

  • Fruit Basket Preparation
  • Breakfast
  • Fruit Shop Cleaning
  • Lunch
  • Feeding area cleaning
  • Floating over Kwai River
  • Nature Trekking
  • Overnight Jungle Stay in tents provided
  • Dinner

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Snake course
  • Elephant feeding
  • Elephant bathing
  • Observation of elephants (grass eating)
  • Lunch
  • Elephant bed cleaning
  • Farewell party, BBQ

Saturday

  • Breakfast
  • Depart from the elephant sanctuary, taken to Kanchanaburi bus station if it’s the end of your program or back to Singburi for further programs out with the sanctuary
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

Minimum age:                18

Maximum age:                -

Minimum English level:        Basic

CRB required:                No

Passport copy required:        No

Resume copy required:        No

Required qualification:        None

Additional Requirements

There are no further requirements for this program.

Living & Location

Boasting some of Thailand’s finest forests, a statement not to be taken lightly, Kanchanaburi is rapidly increasing as a popular tourist destination. Situated 130 km west of Bangkok, its central location makes it an ideal stop off point for those travelling through Thailand. Our location is based in a beautiful setting where you can see the elephants enjoying their natural habitat.

Accommodation is provided in a spacious, wooden house within the Sanctuary grounds. The rooms are simple, yet comfortable and appropriate for this setting.

Food Arrangements

We will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends. Meals are typically Thai and vegetarian-friendly.

Facilities

The closest ATM is 15 kilometers outside of the Elephant Camp.

Activities & Events

No scheduled activities outside the program.

Sights & Surroundings

Due to its rural location, participants on this program normally stay on site at the park and enjoy their immediate surroundings. For those wanting to trek further afield, you might stumble across some waterfalls!

Transportation

From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):

  • Akha Village Chiang Rai
  • All around Thailand
  • Around Thailand
  • Hua Hin
  • Kaeng Krachan
  • Mae Sot
  • Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Singburi
  • Suphan Buri
  • Train Track Northern Thailand
  • Trunk to the South
  • Umphang
  • Wang Nam Khiao

Quick Facts

Name:                Kingdom of Thailand        

Population:        67 million

Capital:        Bangkok

Language:        Thai

Currency:        Baht (THB)

Time zone:        ICT (UTC +7)

Country Information

From trekking in the beautiful mountains of the north to enjoying the glorious beaches in the south and  experiencing the hustle and bustle of the metropolis that is Bangkok, Thailand is certainly not a country that lacks variety.

Whilst it really is at the heart of Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, its cultural identity remains very unique. As the only country in Southeast Asia to avoid European powers, the Thai are proud to refer to themselves as ‘The Land of the Free’ and many tourists might also know it as ‘The Land of Smiles’ due to its friendly people.

Thailand has a constitutional monarchy currently headed by Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, Rama X and governed by a military junta (National Council for Peace and Order). The Thai monarchy - especially the King - remains an incredibly important part of Thai culture and is held in the highest respect.

Climate

The majority of the country is home to a tropical savanna climate which consists of wet and dry seasons of a roughly equal length. The climate can be divided into three distinct seasons:

  • Dry season: November - end of February. During this period, precipitation is at its lowest but so are the temperatures. This said, ‘low temperatures’ are of course relative and the difference is not in fact very different at all in the South. It is only if you will be visiting the northern mountains that you might need to bring some warmer clothes as temperatures can fall as low as 5°C. This period is, not surprisingly, the most popular time to visit Thailand and tourism peaks around Christmas and New Year as well as Chinese New year. Flights and accommodation at this time can be more expensive.
  • Hot: March to June. During this time Thailand reaches its hottest temperatures (as high as 50°C).
  • Rainy: July - October. This is when the tropical monsoons begin to arrive, peaking in September. Although this is indeed rainy season, it doesn’t mean that it rains non-stop. Storms can clear up very quickly, but when it does rain, heavy flooding is not rare.

Culture

A significant feature of Thai culture is its primary religion: Buddhism. Theravada Buddhism is supported by the government and practiced by an estimated 95% of its population. Thailand not only boasts tens of thousands of beautiful temples, but you will notice that a lot of Thai people have miniature Spirit Houses on their front yards because they believe that the household spirits live in them and they make offerings to them to keep the spirits happy.

Another feature of Thai culture is the wai greeting, which is essentially a slight bow with palms pressed together in a prayer-like manner to show respect. This can be compared to the Indian namasté. Things to know about this:

  • The higher the hands in relation to the face and the deeper the bow, the more respect is shown.
  • It is made before formally entering/leaving a house
  • It can also be made as a sign of gratitude or apology
  • You do not make the greeting to those who are younger than you unless you are returning the wai.
  • The gesture is normally accompanied with the phrase “sawadee (krap/ka)” (“krap” if you are  male and “ka” if you are female)
  • A corporate wai (made by cashiers etc) can be returned with a smile or a nod

The major festival in Thailand is Thai New Year, known as Songkran. It is celebrated on the 13th-14th April of every year. It is a festival that concludes the dry season and involves a lot of water throwing!

Gastronomy

Thai cuisine is very nutritious and alongside its plentiful use of rice, it generally contains fresh vegetables and white meats like chicken and fish. Thai people love spicy food but do not fear if you do not, just say ‘mai pet’ when you order. However, the flavors are not only about the spice, as many people believe. Thai food can be slightly salty, sour and/or sweet, so there really is something to suit everyone’s palate.