Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya is a new attraction to Pattaya, following on from the popular Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Chiang Mai and Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Phuket. This is a fantastic rescue center for retired and mistreated elephants and currently runs in nine locations around Thailand. Along with providing tourists with the opportunity to spend quality time with these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, the centers aim to raise awareness and educate people about elephant care and the importance of protecting this species, whilst rescuing and caring for as many elephants as possible; with the aim of protecting remaining habitats and preserving the Thai elephant population.
Due to the Sanctuary's mission there is absolutely no elephant riding here - a practice that causes long-term damage to the elephant, and often involves cruelty to get the elephant to conform. There is not a bull-hook to be seen at the Sanctuary; these elephants are free and choose to interact with the staff and tourists because they want to as they are shown respect, love and affection here.
The Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya center offers tourists half-day packages in which you can spend plenty of time with the elephants, hand-feeding them and learning about their history and behavior from your guide. Once you have been acquainted with the elephants you will accompany them to the mud spa, which is a lot of fun and you get completely involved by applying the cosmetic mud treatment to their skin (and probably your own too) - which is very healthy for both you and the elephants. This is followed by a trip to the elephant shower area where you will join them for a swim to bathe and brush them off while they wade in the water. There are plenty of photo opportunities and even a photographer at the sanctuary who will capture your whole visit for you and upload the pictures to their page on Facebook (where you can download and keep your memories) - this is inclusive in the cost of the trip.
There are shower facilities (for humans) at the sanctuary so that you are able to clean up and change into some dry clothes, before you are presented with an absolutely delicious, freshly cooked Thai meal, followed by more time with the elephants. Additionally you will also get a demonstration in making poop paper, which is paper made of elephant dung! This is fascinating and you even get to take home a few souvenirs (again free of charge).
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary
If you don't fancy mud bathing with the elephants but still wish to get close to them in their natural habitat the Sanctuary also offers trips for tourists to spend a few hours with them, joining them as they roam through the jungle. Throughout your visit you will assist in the preparation of medicinal soil and food for the elephants; you will then be able to interact, hand feed, give medicine and play with the elephants, whilst learning about them from your guide. There are plenty of photo opportunities with the elephants throughout the day, and the staff will encourage you to interact with the elephants and take pictures of you doing so.
The cost for a half day mud bathing trip is 2,500 Thai Baht, and to spend time following the elephants is 1,500 Thai Baht; included in your trip are lunch and refreshments, as well as return travel from your accommodation in Pattaya to the Sanctuary.
A trip to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary Pattaya is highly recommended; not only is it a magical and unique experience, you get to spend a lot of quality time with these amazing, gentle creatures as well as having the unique experience of mud bathing with them. This is a very worthwhile cause, dedicated to the preservation and care of this endangered species. The staff at the Sanctuary are brilliant, not only are they all very friendly and keen to make your experience fun and memorable, they are very knowledgeable, obviously care deeply for the welfare of their elephants and the Sanctuary's aims, and are keen to educate tourists on the importance of protecting elephants and what we can do to help.
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