Meeting Wasana the Elephant at Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary
One of the highlights of the 14 night Travel Queen Thailand Adventure is our visit to Khao Sok Elephant Sanctuary during our 2 day stay in the rainforest!
Meeting elephants as part of a trip to Thailand has always been popular, but over recent years people are becoming more aware of how these gentle giants are cared for as part of some of the experiences on offer. There are lots of elephant treks available but unfortunately elephants used for treks aren't always given the best quality of life. To give these beautiful animals a more caring environment and to give people wanting to meet them a more meaningful and interactive experience, elephant sanctuaries have started to emerge as an alternative option.
I visited the Khao Sok Rainforest Elephant Sanctuary during my trip to the National Park to find an experience to feature in the Travel Queen Thailand Adventure group tour, and was privileged to experience an amazing few hours with Wasana the Elephant. Wasana has been rescued from a life of carting tourists around on her back all day, to now spending her days being pampered in the elephant version of a spa day!
The afternoon started with an introduction from our friendly Thai guide who explained why the sanctuary had been set up and how they aim to rescue more and more elephants like Wasana. Our small group then had the pleasure of feeding Wasana a light snack of about 200 bananas, before walking side by side with her through the jungle to her first spa station...the mud bath!
She slowly climbs into the custom made, natural mud bath and gets comfortable on her side, before we all climb in next to her and start to apply moisturising mud to her dry skin, massaging it in to her delight. As her big eyelashes flutter you can tell she's enjoying being spoilt!
After her first treatment she's on the move again and plods over to the next spa station for a good rinse, stopping for a few more snacks of plants and grass along the way.
Again, we climb into the pool to get up, close and personal and give her a good wash down to rinse off all the cleansing mud, and she even returns the favour and gets a little playful by giving us a good spray from her mighty trunk!
Spa treatments completed, we all walk back together for a few more bananas and some photos with our new found friend to end the experience.
Actually being able to walk side by side and get into the mud and water with Wasana was unbelievable, and the Thai staff, who clearly have a great love and respect for her, are well trained in how to care for her whilst ensuring the safety of all visitors, with each elephant having an extremely close bond with their 'Mahout' (the quiet guy who you can always see within a close distance of Wasana). And for anyone thinking they'd rather be more of an observer in this experience and not get muddy or wet, you can choose to watch from the sidelines too, however I would definitely recommend getting up closer!
Everyone loved the experience and left feeling like we'd been given a special privilege to spend such an intimate time with this beautiful animal.
To see the experience for yourself, watch our video below.
To learn more about the Thailand Adventure group tour for women visit our website page here for a full itinerary, including details of the luxury treehouse camp we stay in during our time in Khao Sok Rainforest: https://www.travel-queen.co.uk/thailand-adventure-tour
If you'd like to know more about arranging to visit Khao Sok Rainforest and any other parts of Thailand as part of a tailor made trip, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading,
Travel Queen Owner, Mel x
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