TRAVEL CHANNEL: OUR EDU-VACATION TOUR TO THE ELEPHANT RETIREMENT SANCTUARY PARK!
On the Little Prince’s most recent Edu-vacation, we had the incredible experience of visiting one of Thailand’s animal sanctuary parks. Although Thailand has numerous attractions that offer several different activities with animals, most are unfortunately unethical :(
In the past, I’ve fallen victim to visiting places that are promoted as sanctuaries, when they in fact were not. Saying that, it was very important for me, that my son experience an authentic sanctuary.
On our edu-vacation, we brought along Prince’s tutor/teacher, Ms. Lassarow who you will also see in some of our photos below. She and I decided that the private tour would be the most beneficial for Prince, as it would provide him with lots of private/one-on-one time, for learning and playing with one of his current favourite animals- Elephants!
Our Sanctuary of choice, the Elephant Retirement Park Phuket, offers several different package programs. The most popular being the Half Day Elephant Care for 2,600THB equivalent to around $87.00USD per person. They also offer the Private VIP Elephant Care (the one that we chose) for $7,000THB equivalent to around $230.00USD per person. Pricey? Yes. Worth it?Absolutely!! I say absolutely if your goal isn’t just a quick photo op lol. We’ll get into the specifics in a few moments..but let me just tell you, Little P and I have done some pretty incredible activities...but NONE have come anywhere close to this one! My emotional self caught so many “teary eyes” watching him literally have the happiest day of his life (so far lol). Alright guys..enough of my rambling..let’s get to the fun stuff!!
Upon arrival, you check in with the staff and then get straight to business!
1. Elephant Snack/Food Prep
Princey, Ms. Lassarow & Me Prepping the goods
We were given buckets of bananas and sugar cane to peel and cut for the elephants to eat.
We then transported the food to the elephants. Thanks for the hand Princey!...What a gentlemen!
2. Snack Time!
Next up...we fed a few elephants who were strolling freely through the premises, some of the bananas & sugarcane.
3. The Jungle Hike
With the help of our tour guides, we then took one of the lovely elephants on a short hike through the jungle. We actually cut ours short due to the mosquitos tearing us up! lol
4. Time to get DIRTY!
Due to the sun and extreme heat, the elephants LOVE mud baths also known as the “mud spa” lol. The cold mud acts as a cooling agent, that makes the elephants want to lay out..relax & take it easy….haha.
We gave a mud bath to one of the baby elephants named Pinky. She’s only 2.5 years old and pretty much the CUTEST little baby elephant in the world!
At first Papa Prince was NOT feeling the mud at all LOL!..He thought the mud was something else..I’m sure you all can guess what I am referring to lol…..but of course he ended up loving giving the mud bath!
5. Rinse-Rinse Baby!
Next up, our tour guides walked us over to the lake where we bathed and rinsed the little baby clean! This was the first time Prince or I had done anything like this….I mean hello…it’s not everyday you can just casually go swimming while bathing an elephant! (Check my signature pose in the middle with Papa lol)
6. Time for Dinner!
After bath time, it was time for yet another feeding! This time we cooked up somethin’ very special for the elephants. We prepared rice balls with lots of veggies and seasoning to ensure a yummy dinner. Of courseeeee Papa wanted a snack…so he munched on a banana while Rebekah and I made the elephants dinner lol.
7. Finally, Time for Us to Eat!
After all of our hard work, the staff cooked us a lovely traditional Thai Dinner. They were so nice and helpful to accommodate my sons food allergies! Here is a photo of the delicious spread they prepared for us :)
All in all…..this day was pretty incredible to say the least. A couple of my favourite perks from the “VIP” experience was the:
-Personal Photographer: During our entire visit at the park..we had our own photographer literally taking professional photos of our every move! At the end of our visit they sent us an email with all of our photos. The photographer service as well as the actual photos were all included in our package price.
-Free Photo Frame Souvineer: The park gifted us with our own photo frame with one of the photos from our visit. I have added ours to one of our living room shelves :) Take a look below!
-We were also each gifted with an Elephant tank…which as you saw in the photos above I ended up changing into after we showered. Love a cute little freebie!
-Private Dinner. Traveling and doing lots of activities with a toddler can be very draining…so it was nice to be able to wind down over dinner in a private setting. The private dinner also made our food allergy requests much easier :)
-Lastly, when you choose the private tour, you can choose exactly what you want to do and for whatever amount of time you wish to do it for. This was a major perk as my son has a short attention span (lol) and if we were in a group setting it would have been very hard to stick around for each persons activity time.
I’d like to give a very Special Thank You to the Elephant Retirement Park Phuket for your warm hospitality and incredible customer service. My son had the time of his LIFE…and I couldn’t thank you guys enough for that!
For much more information about the Elephant Retirement Park Phuket, click here :)