This is our last post before we launch our full Thailand ebook. We’re going to end it with one of the best part of our trip. The animals. Thailand is home to many different species of wild life. Among them we got to see elephants, tigers, and monkeys face to face. Next week in our ebook you’ll be able to see our detailed itinerary with all of the food, hotels, excursions, tours, and how much money everything cost so you can get started on planning your own trip. We had an amazing time in Thailand, and we hope that your experience is just as good, if not better than ours.
Patara Elephant Farm offers amazing hands-on programs where you’re taught how to interact and take care of your elephant as an owner would do daily. They train you on how to:
- Approach your elephant correctly
- Know the elephant’s temperament
- Feed and check its health
- Bathe and brush it in the river
- Learn how to ride on its neck
- Communicate through different spoken commands
Whenever we wanted the attention of our elephant we would say “DEE-DEE,” which translates to Good Boy or Good Girl in English. Although the experience we had at Pattara Elephant Farm was fascinating there is some controversy with the program.
As part of the day care program we rode on the elephants bare-back. This is something a lot of people discourage. We did our research and elephants can hold up to 300kg on there neck without strain, however, they do not like to be ridden. Pattara themselves told us they are slowly moving away from having people ride the elephants. Another thing is that Pattara Farm breeds their own elephants, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you see it. Pattara sees it as a good thing because they are breeding animals that are at risk for extinction. It can be seen as a bad thing because it’s more elephants being born into “captivity” or not in the wild, their natural habitat. Not once did we witness any maltreatment of the elephants while we were there. If you’re okay with this information, we recommend you do visit Pattara Farm.
Tiger Kingdom is a place where tourists and locals can pay to interact with tigers. We went here with the highest of hopes. Jaky couldn’t wait to hold, feed, hug, and kiss a baby tiger. Once we got there she realized none of that would occur. You pay $60usd to “interact” with them for 15 minutes but you can’t carry, kiss, or feed the newborn tigers. Also, the baby tiger was sleeping the entire time. This wasn’t completely unexpected but we couldn’t help but notice that many of the other tigers, big and small, were sleeping or moping around as well. This makes us question whether or not they’re drugged. They are also kept in very small cages. As soon as you walk in you can tell it’s a tourist trap. We can not with a clear conscious recommend this place to anyone.
During our stay in Phi Phi islands we took a wooden long boat and went on an island hopping tour. One of the places we visited was Monkey Beach. This was hands down our favorite stop. This is a beach that is completely inhabited by hundreds of monkeys. These monkeys are not shy to climb on you and start searching for food. At the beginning of the tour we were warned not to feed the monkeys, however, when we got there other people were feeding them. We saw first hand how feeding them allows you to have a close and fascinating encounter with the monkeys. Jaky had a monkey climb on her because she fed him a vanilla wafer! Although she was frightened, the monkey did not hurt her in anyway. If you want the ultimate experience when you visit monkey beach we personally recommend you bring a cookie or two.