Thailand, the Land Of Smiles, has everything to offer for every tourist – be it a kid, art lover, adventure sport lover, etc. If Bangkok and Phuket are famous for the nightlife, the surrounding national parks, Islands, and beaches are a paradise for families and people loving the animal encounters. With its rainforest and numerous high-end hotels and resorts around, it offers a great deal to the family tourists in this part of the Andaman Sea.
When in Thailand, how can you miss the elephant? So, get in. I will show you the different possibilities to see and also feel the elephant in the safari in Phuket. Spending the day just watching the elephant do stunts is not all the fun, be ready to feel and play with those baby elephants. Not just play, you could also bath the elephant and play in the water with them.
Best Time To Visit Phuket For Safari
Phuket, the southern island of Thailand, has a tropical climate with monsoon from May to October. Most of the time you will experience the weather to be around 30deg celsius. The great weather to be in the water along with the elephant playing and avoiding the splash and sprinkles poured by it. Phuket is queued by tourists all the time of the year, and so be ready to witness the crowds. More so during the November to April time frame since that is a great time to be around here.
How to Reach Phuket
Phuket is well connected by flights with its own international airport. Phuket airport is the third busiest airport in Thailand. In addition to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, this airport in Phuket is a gateway for millions of tourists entering the Land of Smiles. To encourage the tourists & visitors Thailand government issues on-arrival visas for tourists in Phuket airport as well along with the Bangkok Airport.
If you enter Thailand through Bangkok Airport, the easiest is to fly to Phuket. Because it is around 850KM south of Bangkok. But there are cheap airlines like Nok Air, Thai Lion Air, etc that fly daily for a cost as low as 40 dollars. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Phuket.
There is also an overnight bus that connects Phuket and Bangkok. They offer comfortable rides all along the highways of Thailand. Due to the warm weather here, I would recommend these bus trips to be over the night – not only saves money but also time. There are frequent long-distance buses from Bangkok.
Time to reach Phuket: 1 hour 30 minutes by flight. 15 – 16 hours by Bus.
Cost of ticket: Flight cost starts as low as $40 BHAT. The bus ticket will be at half of this.
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Top Recommendations For Safari In Phuket
Phuket and its beaches are definitely a heaven for the tourists. It is very popular for the sandy beaches, pristine blue sea, with its jet skiing and parasailing. But if you are with the families and young kids do not be disappointed. You have incredible activities to take back as memories.
There are two major sites that offer encounters with the Elephant in Phuket Island.
- Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
- Koh Chang Elephant Safari
To be frank, both are fun in their own ways. But one word of advice. If you are looking to play with the elephants bathing in the water, then you must visit the Koh Chang site. Remember, people have different opinions on how you interact with animals. Some feel that elephants should be left alone while it baths so it can enjoy itself in the mud.
But, there are some who feel fun in joining the elephant while it is bathing. Whatever is your thought, do not miss this chance. You can never find such a place and opportunity again in other countries. Get your camera and be ready for some action and adventure.
1. Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is covered inside a massive forest land in the north of Phuket island, around 20 KM from Phuket. This is relatively newer, started only in the year 2016. This place is filled with elephants that were rescued and rehabilitation provided here. As a visitor to this site, you will have the opportunity to have close encounters with the elephants.
They also provide shelters for many elephants that are old, sick, injured and have spent an exhaustive amount of time in a hard-working environment. As we all are aware, in the south of Asia these majestic animals are often used in the circus and other entertainment industries under a bad environment.
The elephants are made to wander freely within a close-to-their environment here. And so, there is no access to public tourists here without the organized tour.
Make sure you reach their early, so as not to miss the fruits feeding session of the tour here. After the feeding session is over, you can split into groups and follow the elephants and their mahouts to enjoy their play in their habitat. You will be sitting and be watching the elephants from your observation rooms.
These tours are headed under the ethical rules and hence there are no offers are available for riding the elephant here. Remember, this sanctuary is mainly for the well being of the majestic creatures, elephants.
Price for the Organized Tour: 3,000 BHAT per adult. 50% discount for kids up to 12 years.
Suggested Read: Hiking In Phuket: These 7 Trails Will Leave Every Hiker In Awe!
2. Koh Chang Elephant Safari
If you are looking to touch, feel, and play with the elephant, then this is the site you must visit in Phuket. The Koh Chang elephant safari is two decades old. They have been working with elephants and so know about them like their palm. Within just 1.5 hours of drive, you can reach this most famous Koh Chang Elephant Safari. Koh Chang is in the south part of Phuket Island less than 50KM from Phuket.
Moreover, it is also an opportunity for tourists to be closer to the elephants and return with a unique memory. You see, this is the best win-win situation for humans and animals, right? Koh Chang’s policy is to make sure how elephants and humans can coexist together without disturbing the other. The intention is to educate people who otherwise work overtime in erasing their homeland.
Price for the buddy program: 1,700 BHAT for adult, and 1,200 for kids below 12 years
Price for the Interactive program: 2,700 BHAT for adult, and 1,900 for kids below 12 years
If you think these costs are on the higher side, then think again. These are our duty to help those majestic creatures live a dignified life. These are the price we pay for the incredible memories that we will be carrying back home. So if you’re planning a vacation in Phuket, make sure to enjoy these exciting safari tours and have a great time amidst the wildlife.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Safari In Phuket
Can I fly directly to Phuket?
Yes. Phuket has an international airport that flies almost all intercontinental flights.
Does the Phuket airport offer Visa-On-Arrival?
Yes. The visa-on-arrival is offered by the Thailand government and is provided in most international airports in Thailand.
How safe is it to touch and feel the elephant during a safari in Phuket?
Elephants are harmless as long as you do not harm them. They will act like a human baby and you can witness this yourself when you bath them in the safari.
What is the minimum number of days for a safari in Phuket?
These safaris can be made as a one day trip from the place you stay in Phuket. So, if you want to cover both the sites, 2 days is way good.