Damnoen Saduak: Elephant Village

Riding elephants in Thailand was only an optional plan and was not part of our itinerary because 1.  as much as possible, I’m ticking off zoos and animals as a no-no visit every time I go ootc to avoid catching up viruses, 2.  I’m not the outdoorsy type to get soaked under the sun for at most half an hour, and 3.  elephant camps are hours away from Bangkok which will take a big chunk of our time in our 3D/2N stay there.  So, taking an elephant tour was last on my list.  Luckily for us, our tour agency included in our package a side trip wherein our guide brought us to this elephant village after our Floating Market tour (which I will be bragging about tomorrow so stay tuned).  Then we had the chance to achieve a Thailand goal which is to ride on elephants!

The Elephant Village in Damnoen Saduak is the nearest elephant camp to Bangkok.  I didn’t knew of this so I was really surprised when the agency’s van stopped over here.  It is only an hour and a half drive from the city proper so it’s very convenient for a quick visit for short-time staycationers like us.  Anyway, I have to admit that I’m not really an animal-lover but when I saw the elephants, I got excited!  Of course, I never touched them for I was afraid to get contaminated by whatever disease and I was very careful during our elephant encounter there.  But I was so thrilled to have our pictures taken while riding on the elephant!  This is a feed goal, you know.  Coming to Thailand means riding on elephants so off we went!

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Receiving instructions for safety precautions before the ride.  Telling our mahout (trainer) to halt for acrophobia kicked in again.  Flashing smiles for IG post.
Then we trekked around the village with sights aren’t new to me ‘coz Thailand is just like the Philippines.  Same tropic weather, same forest, same trees, same geography, same same.  But we don’t have elephants here by the way so this is a new experience to me!  I took photos around which are mostly blurred because the elephant ride was hilariously bumpy!  I don’t recommend this to senior citizens because they might end up having achy backs afterwards.thailand elephant2

Staff houses.  Tourists behind us.  We also got to cross a river riding safely on top of the elephant’s back.  A Buddhist altar.
As an add-on, our mahout hopped down on the ground and offered to take our photos.  He commanded the elephant to walk which scared me because we were the only ones riding the elephant.  I was afraid the elephant might run and become unruly but it didn’t.  Thank you, Dumbo dear for taking us for a safe ride and for these pretty pictures!

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However, when I searched about the elephant village in Damnoen Saduak over the net, I found out that the elephants here are not very well taken care of.  They are overworked with only a few of them and plenty of tourists to serve ratio.  Then I got disheartened.  If only I knew beforehand, I should not have ridden an elephant in Thailand at all.  But this elephant camp is operating legally under the tourism ministry of the country.  I guess government procedures in Thailand is also the same here in the Philippines.  So I rest my case.

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Elephant ride ticket at Damnoen Saduak costs 600 Baht per pax which is about 1,122 Philippine Pesos.  Plus photo souvenir of 200 Baht (P374), the elephant ride was a bit pricey for me considering that we only had one round for the ride.  But it’s okay so as to help not tire the elephant.  Additionally, the mahout also sells some fancy bracelets and asks for tip for the elephant.  So I’m not recommending taking your elephant ride at Damnoen Saduak Elephant Village.  But if you still wish to take an elephant ride in Thailand, please do visit this site for more information on elephant conservation.  Then and again, I’m ashamed of myself for riding on an elephant just for photo purposes.  It was really my bad. 🙁  #tosomadventures #tosomtravels

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