At many of the hotels and at numerous positions along
the roads you can hop into a travel office and book
a trip to go out to any of the popular and lesser known
Tourism is peak in some areas and competition is fierce.
Agents working in travel offices can often be found
searching the streets for tourists and trying to attract
people to their offices.
Be wary of what is being offered. When you find something
that you'd really like to do, check it out in at least
three other offices. This is not only advice on being
economical, you may find one or more attractions being
offered in a package deal, on a day and time that better
suits you at an office 500 feet away.
Elephant Training camps are located in most major cities
and are inexpensive for what they offer. Take the size
of the animal, the food it needs to eat, general care
and cleanup as well as the cost of the staff needed
to guide and train the elephant and you arrive at a
pretty hefty fee. The usual price of a day trip including
an hour riding an elephant through the jungle with another
person, is only 1,500 Baht at the most.
The elephant's that are found in the training camps
are generally retired city workers which are used to
cleaning streets or heavier labour. Now they are able
to relax and enjoy the brighter side of life while being
of a different kind of public service. Tourists come
to the training camp and get on the elephants through
the top of a hut which is equipped with a platform to
help less able passengers board safely. At the hut is
a man who takes your picture in the hopes that you'll
buy it for a fee of 300 Baht (roughly $10 USD) when
you leave the camp. Most people think it is a reasonable
price and buy the souvenir. The option of purchasing
bananas to feed your elephant to keep it happy while
you travel is also available at 50 (less than $2 USD)
Baht per bunch.
The elephant waits patiently while passengers board
and then sets off into the jungle.It's fun jostling
from side to side while the elephant walks - just hold
on tight when going uphill or downhill! The elephant
approaches the water and wants to get his legs wet,
though not allowing you to get close enough to the water
to get wet yourself. The bath is brief and the elephant
comes back up the hill to the jungle. The guide for
the elephant will get down and ask you to give over
your camera so he can take a few shots for you. He doesn't
say anything about being paid but there is expectation
of a tip which can be as much or as little as you like
(typically 10~20 Baht).
The elephant is hot and tired from the excursion and
needs a rest so he walks back to the hut and his passengers
get off. Pay the photographer his tip and grab a bottle
of water - it's hot up there!
Travellers flock to all ares of the earth to see the
wonders that await them. One of the most amazing experiences
is getting up close and personal with natures 'wild'
About the Author
James Brown writes about eBookers