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Return to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

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By Mark Louie Maycong

Phuket is one of the Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations and continuously booming. There are so many attractions and activities that you can enjoy. One of them is visiting the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary.

Visiting this place is heaven on earth specially for animal lovers. You get to know the elephants and their back stories and learn the different ways to help them, individually and as a species.

December last year (2017) was indeed a memorable experience for me. I visited the camp for half a day and it was not enough. Knowing the elephants’ experiences, being educated on how they survive, preparing their food, feeding, bathing and cleaning them was a once in a lifetime experience that I thought will never happen again.

This time I was lucky to be invited to visit all the sanctuaries! Monday morning I visited the same camp as last year – Camp 1 at Tambon Sa Khu; in the afternoon I went to Camp 2 at Phang Muang Sai Kor. I had barely recovered from the amazing whole day experiences at Camps 1 and 2. But right away, the next day,t exactly 6:45am Tuesday morning, I was picked up by the camp driver to visit the newest Camp 3 in Tambon Kathu near the Kathu Waterwalls. Indeed the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is getting bigger. It means they are saving more and more elephants from working as loggers, performers and riders.

Here is what to expect in Half Day and Full Day Trip at the Sanctuary.

Camp Ride Service

The sanctuary will pick you up and take you back to your accommodation. This is included in your fee for both half and full day visitors. This awesome Sanctuary have the best staff that will help, guide and educate you about the amazing elephants.

Briefing

Once you arrived at the camp, you will be informed about the things that you are going to do and what not to do whilst with the elephants. At the same time you will learn about the Elephants’ lives and experiences, particularly the individuals living in the camp.

Food Preparation

The fun begins! You will be given a quick lesson on what food you will arrange. Most of the time the elephants at the camp eat bananas, watermelons, corn and sugar cane. After preparing the food you will then carry the baskets to the feeding area.

Feeding Time

The goosebumps moment! Once all the food is well arranged at the feeding area, the elephants then arrive. If it is your first time, don’t panic! I know what you feel, emotions that can’t be explained in a single adjective – happiness, amusement, nervousness, excitement – all in one! This will be the time you will see some elephants excited for their food and people’s affection. Everyone is encouraged to give lots of love to all of the herd, specially to adult giants who suffered a lot most of their lives living as an exploited animal outside the camp.

Lunch

Like the ride service, food is included in your fee. The camp prepares food for everyone whether you are a meat eater or a vegetarian like me!

Mud Bath

Play Time! This is one of the most exciting moments that I regret that I did not try last time. And I did it now, finally. I bet ‘mud bath’ is the best time for the giants since this is their ultimate play ground.

Note: Remember to always stay in front or by their side and never behind them, especially when they are lying down.

Swimming Time

My favourite! Swimming time is where you will scrape all the remaining mud off their bodies and because they are well taken care of most probably there will be a little feeding time again.

Souvenir

These are ‘poncho’ souvenirs for everyone! You can buy extra for 400 baht as a donation for the new building project – Elephant Clinic. They also sell Black Shirts with the logo of the Sanctuary as a design.

What is special if you are a Full Day Visitor?

All of these activities are part of the half and whole day visits. Here are the additional activities for the whole day visitor…

Mother and Daughter bonding

Walking Time

Heart to heart moment. Not everyone gets to experience quality moments with the elephants. I am so happy to be given an opportunity to have bonding time with Natalie and her son, Choke.

Beach Time

Since the elephants have a ‘siesta’, it’s also break time for the staff. The whole day visitors will be sent to the beach for an hour of sun bathing and swimming. Did you see that? You get lots of amazing fun activities in one your. After beach time you will be taken to Camp 2 to join the afternoon session.

What to expect at Camp 3?

Since I was given a chance to visit the newest camp at Tambon Kathu, this is the best platform to share with all of you what to expect in the newest sanctuary. All pictures that are posted here were taken at Camp 3 (except for Natalie and Choke’s picture at Camp 1)

This sanctuary is my sentimental favourite. It’s super huge and it does look like a resort for the elephants. All camps have mud pools, swimming pool, a dining area, briefing area and shower rooms but camp 3 is pure beauty!

with Ebony and Erica (USA) and Ale (Spain)

Seize every moment!

The most important thing to do at the camp is to have fun, be safe and make friends! Please enjoy my short video here and I hope you take the opportunity to visit the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary when you’re next in lovely Phuket.

Let’s keep on supporting this amazing mission to save the elephants forever! Remember “Only humans can ensure the elephant’s future.”

You can follow Mark’s yoga blog HERE.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Phuket

More fake goods seized in Patong

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Yesterday (August 17) police and soldiers raided a warehouse in Patong and seized more than 200 counterfeit goods.

A team of officers from the Economic Crime Suppression Division (ECD) joined the raid at the warehouse of Lanta Souvenir in Patong’s OTOP Market on Rat-Uthit 200 pi Road. 28 year old Wut Boonkanpai was present and was acting as the shop’s care taker.

Wut was taken to the Patong Police Station where he has been charged with selling counterfeit goods.

Offices seized counterfeit Nike T-shirts and hats, counterfeit Lacoste T-shirts, counterfeit Gucci T-shirts, counterfeit Under Armour T- shirts and counterfeit Billabong shorts.

 

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Phuket

Whale shark sighted off Phuket

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A whale shark was sighted off Ao Tue in Koh Racha yesterday (August 17).

Videos and pictures posted by a personal facebook page ‘Saran Hassaya’ have been shared widely in social media.

Videos and photos were taken yesterday by female tour guide Kristsada Sukjacharee who is also a dive instructor of the ‘Blue Corner’ tour boat company and a volunteer with Go Eco Phuket Club.

Khun Kritsada says, “Yesterday we saw something similar to a white plastic item. When the boat was getting closer we thought it was a small fish. Then we saw the whale shark. It is the whale shark chasing the small fish. Everyone in the boat was very excited.”

“There are not many chances to see a whale shark as close as this. We think that it was about three metres long and looked very healthy.”

Posted by สรันยู หัสนัย on Friday, August 17, 2018

PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Saranyu Hassanai Facebook

 

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Phuket

Central Phuket opens on September 10

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The new Central Phuket is set to open its doors on September 10. The announcement was made at Centara Grand Beach Resort, also owned by the Central Pattana Group.

The concept of the new shopping centre, twice as big as the current Central Festival, is ‘The World Comes To Play’. The new complex will feature 20 of the world’s biggest luxury brands and three new attractions – ‘Tales of Thailand’, ‘Tribhum – the world’s first 3D walkthrough adventure park’ and ‘Aquaria – a modern format Aquarium’.

The shopping centre is also moving beyond just shopping experiences with a new ‘Star Catcher’ entertainment show which is described as an ‘innovative live performance 360 degree theatrical experience’.

Central Phuket claims its customers will be coming from a 50/50 mix – 50% domestic and 50% international visitors.

Central Pattana says the new shopping centre will help to stamp Phuket, internationally, as on of the world’s best ‘complete’ beach destinations to rival the French Riviera, Miami and Hawaii.

The Group have also announced that the new Central Phuket will be CPN’s first model for full-cycle waste reduction saying that they will have a complete system to reduce waste and separate and recycle rubbish. They say that they will be encouraging shoppers to use cloth bags and reduce the use of plastic bags.

There will be room for 4,200 cars, 4,800 motorbikes and 62 buses at the new Central Phuket

Central Pattana also announced this morning that they will be doing some major refurbishment of the current Central Festival. The two shopping centres are linked by a sky-bridge.

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