The Elephant Expedition in 2021
Thailand has been a popular touristic attraction for years now. Bangkok, the beaches of Pattaya and Phuket, the temples of Chiangmai – they’ve become familiar to many of us. But as you appear to be an elephant lover, this trip is something very special, exclusive and unique, discovering places that have not been overwhelmed by tourists. Three items form the basis of this trip: animals (especially elephants and monkeys), nature (rain forest) and not so well known historical places. And, to top it, a Buddhist temple completely different from the thousands of other ones in the country. Read and discover this exceptional trip you will never forget.
FEBRUARY 1st 2021
Arrival in Bangkok, meeting with the g 2021roup at night, in a hotel that will be appointed later. Free the rest of the day.
FEBRUARY 2nd 2021
We drive from Bangkok to Saraburi, and stay at Souchada Resort, in the open nature of Thailand. On our way, we stop at the world floating market, something you must have seen when you visit Thailand. We make a boat trip on a little canal, to reach the actual market on the water, where the merchants are trading their goods with other Thai people, floating among the many tourists. When we get off the boat, there a still a lot of shops to be visited. Free afternoon in Souchada and briefing about the rest of our trip.
FEBRUARY 3rd 2021
We drive to Khao Yai National Park, one of Thailand’s best spots for wildlife watching. A visit offers the opportunity to see Asian elephants in the wild. Besides elephants, you can also watch populations of gibbons (monkeys), horn bills and lots more. This park, situated in the rain forest, is the oldest national park in Thailand and offers landscapes that are unique in the country. This is a paradise for nature lovers. Accompanied by a local guide, you’ll see the best of the park.
FEBRUARY 4th 2021
We visit the Lopburi Monkey temple, with, like the name says, a lot of monkeys living in the ruins. The temple was built during the reign of the Khmer, between the 11th and 17th century. The ruin stands in the middle of the town, between the modern buildings. The monkeys mix with the locals, but most of them stay in the garden of the temple.
Then we go and visit another unique temple, Wat Ban Rai in Nakhon Ratchasima. If you think you’ve seen all the temples of Thailand, you’ve missed this one. It’s a Buddhist temple with a huge elephant statue in the center of the building, as a part of it. It was a plain temple years ago, but a local monk – who became very famous in the rest of Thailand – decided to make it an artistic temple, using 20 million mosaic pieces and filling the whole inside with a unique art collection which is difficult to describe. Of course lots of statues and paintings of elephants are found inside. The renovation was completed in 2013, and is without any doubt the most beautiful and surprising temple of the whole country.
FEBRUARY 5th 2021
We drive to Buriram, home of Thailand’s best football team and also famous for its race circuit. We have a brief visit to that circuit. Before arriving in Buriram, we vist Phimai Historical Park, and the Phanom Rung Temple. It’s called the mini version of Angkor Wat, the world famous temple complex in Cambodia, built by the Khmer. It’s the biggest collection of Khmer-Hindu temples in Thailand. The main road in the Khmer period, was the one between Angkor and Phimai, this place, so it must have been an important city during the reign of the Khmer. We stay in a hotel in Buriram.
FEBRUARY 6th 2021
Today we arrive at the Elephant village in Surin and talk to the owner of 15 Elephants who want a better future for their animals. They don’t want them to work in Elephant camps, so we will talk about what their options are on building a sanctuary for the freedom of their animals.
FEBRUARY 7th 2021
We have a second day in the village. We can see how these animals are fed, we visit the (only) elephant graveyard, we walk with some small elephants – the whole day is about these gentle creatures. Local people explain how the elephants were domesticated centuries ago. Our guide, who speaks fluent Thai, will translate in English/Dutch/French.
FEBRUARY 8th 2021
We drive back to Bangkok. On our way we visit the remarkable Chedi Padoga. The chief pagoda stands in the center, surrounded by smaller pagodas on the circular pedestal. Dis similarly to any other pagodas in Thailand, this Chedi has 500 pinnacles, so it is called “Chedi Haroi Yod” (or pagoda with 500 pinnacles).
Wat Pa Sawang Bun was built in 1985 by Luang Phor Somchai Punyamano on his father’s land. In addition, the temple there are houses 84,000 Lord Buddha’s relics. The rear part of the temple is attached to the foothill, allowing fresh cool breeze to flow through the temple.
FEBRUARY 9th 2021
City trip in Bangkok, by our English/Dutch/Thai speaking guide. Our Thai speaking guide takes you to the highlights of Bangkok, such as China Town and the Royal Palace (entrance not included). We visit China Town, the canals of Bangkok, the Royal Palace and so much more.
FEBRUARY 10th 2021
Free day to shop. Our guide will give you the necessary tips and addresses where to shop with the best value/quality balance. And remember: taxis are very cheap in Bangkok.
Price: 1600 USD
Included: lodging and breakfast in all hotels + transportation from one city to another (except on free day in Bangkok) + English/Dutch/Thai speaking guide all the trip
Not included: airline ticket to and from Bangkok + entrance fee Royal Palace + personal expenses