Rearing Retired Elephants and Rafting on Racing Rapids
Elephants all over Thailand are surely celebrating after a satisfyingly wet start to the rainy season this year.
We know of at least twenty-four other creatures excited to be in Thailand this July – the students and staff on Travel for Teens’s Elephants Service and Explorers trip. After giving them the warmest welcome we possibly could with a private Khantoke Dinner experience, VSP took them into the jungle with two days at the Elephant Retirement Park – a new addition to our activity roster.
The students were shared a truly intimate experience with the seven elephants that live at this camp and were able to interact with them, prepare and feed them food and bathe them in both mud and water.
They also helped out the camp with their work – planting sugar cane that would be used to feed the elephants, and took a couple of the younger gentle giants for a walk in the forest. This elephant experience was then followed by an adventure the visitors will most likely remember for a long time…
After a long and winding journey to the town of Pai, taking in vast mountain vista en route, and after a luxurious sleep in the Pai Vimman resort, the group spent two days on the water – rafting down a river surrounded on either side by mountains topped by gentle clouds. It was like a scene out of a movie, filled with laughs, songs and screams of both joy and surprise as rafts would tackle seemingly endless sections of challenging rapids. This is just one of the benefits to traveling in Thailand at this time of year!
The 60km journey downriver was broken with an overnight stay in a jungle camp that held true to its name. Rustic bamboo huts, mats on the floor, a river as a shower and candles to light the bamboo dining table, this was definitely a case of back to basics but with stunning surroundings and cordial company.
The Travel for Teens adventure with VSP might have ended after making the long journey back to Chiang Mai but their travels are not over as they continue to get a taste of Thailand elsewhere.