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It was incredible seeing the Elephants close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed by me!

It was incredible seeing the Elephants close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed by me!

Author -  Becky Chan

My love of animals made my decision to volunteer at the Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand super easy! Going with a friend also meant we’d get to share this amazing experience together.

Arriving in Bangkok, we were picked up by our transfer and we were driven to a hotel to stay for the night. The next day we were picked up by taxi and transferred to Singburi for the night.We met some volunteers who had already been to the Elephant Sanctuary for a while and had also been to different projects in the area.

We met a couple of girls who were joining us at our project too. Early next morning we were driven to Kanchanaburi and to the Elephant Sanctuary. It’s an interesting experience to sit on the back of a truck with cover but also was blasted by the wind which actually was cooling, as we came to stop the extreme heat quickly settled in.

d4YHFzSA.jpeg

Mud bathing with elephants! My favourite day!

After about two and a half hours, we made it!

We were greeted by a lovely man, Patrick who welcomed us. And of course, the seven beautiful elephants that we going to help look after. We got straight into making rice banana balls for the elephants which was a nice healthy treat for them and fed them watermelon as well. After feeding the elephants, we got ready to walk them through the forest. This was an awesome experience walking next to them and watching them roam around while they found branches and leaves to eat. We learnt about the history of the place before it became a sanctuary and about each elephant as well.


After lunch, we walked to a spot where sometimes the elephants would play with mud (it didn’t happen this day) then we walked to the river and got to swim with the elephants. This was something I was looking forward to most and it did not disappoint!

The elephants would immerse themselves under water and let us wash off dirt from their backs. It was incredible and calming seeing them close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed.

Elephant2.jpeg

Walking with the elephants through the forest


Each day was similar with making rice banana balls and chopping watermelon to feed the elephants. Walking them through the forest and swimming with them.

Everyday there would be visitors that come to the sanctuary as a day trip and join us in those activities. We also had the odd jobs of helping clean the elephants enclosure, cut bananas off the branches for feeding the elephants, plant banana trees and chop bamboo.

Elephant3.jpeg

Playing with mud when we swam in the river


I loved every minute of it! Apart from the scorching heat! My absolute favourite day was one day in the week the elephants played in the mud and we could join them.

My one week in the Elephant Sanctuary went by so fast and I didn’t want it to come to an end. It was definitely hard saying goodbye to these beautiful gentle giants we helped look after and of course the lovely staff at the sanctuary that made us feel so welcome. An unforgettable experience and I’d recommend to anyone that loves elephants!

Elephant4.jpeg

Drink stop at the river on our walk with the elephants



To find out more about Becky’s projects check out

https://www.iwh.co.nz/volunteer-in-asia-pacific-regions/thailand-volunteer-projects/elephant-sanctuary

It was incredible seeing the Elephants close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed by me!

My love of animals made my decision to volunteer at the Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand super easy! Going with a friend also meant we’d get to share this amazing experience together.

My love of animals made my decision to volunteer at the Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand super easy! Going with a friend also meant we’d get to share this amazing experience together.

Arriving in Bangkok, we were picked up by our transfer and we were driven to a hotel to stay for the night. The next day we were picked up by taxi and transferred to Singburi for the night.We met some volunteers who had already been to the Elephant Sanctuary for a while and had also been to different projects in the area.

We met a couple of girls who were joining us at our project too. Early next morning we were driven to Kanchanaburi and to the Elephant Sanctuary. It’s an interesting experience to sit on the back of a truck with cover but also was blasted by the wind which actually was cooling, as we came to stop the extreme heat quickly settled in.

d4YHFzSA.jpeg

Mud bathing with elephants! My favourite day!

After about two and a half hours, we made it!

We were greeted by a lovely man, Patrick who welcomed us. And of course, the seven beautiful elephants that we going to help look after. We got straight into making rice banana balls for the elephants which was a nice healthy treat for them and fed them watermelon as well. After feeding the elephants, we got ready to walk them through the forest. This was an awesome experience walking next to them and watching them roam around while they found branches and leaves to eat. We learnt about the history of the place before it became a sanctuary and about each elephant as well.


After lunch, we walked to a spot where sometimes the elephants would play with mud (it didn’t happen this day) then we walked to the river and got to swim with the elephants. This was something I was looking forward to most and it did not disappoint!

The elephants would immerse themselves under water and let us wash off dirt from their backs. It was incredible and calming seeing them close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed.

Elephant2.jpeg

Walking with the elephants through the forest


Each day was similar with making rice banana balls and chopping watermelon to feed the elephants. Walking them through the forest and swimming with them.

Everyday there would be visitors that come to the sanctuary as a day trip and join us in those activities. We also had the odd jobs of helping clean the elephants enclosure, cut bananas off the branches for feeding the elephants, plant banana trees and chop bamboo.

Elephant3.jpeg

Playing with mud when we swam in the river


I loved every minute of it! Apart from the scorching heat! My absolute favourite day was one day in the week the elephants played in the mud and we could join them.

My one week in the Elephant Sanctuary went by so fast and I didn’t want it to come to an end. It was definitely hard saying goodbye to these beautiful gentle giants we helped look after and of course the lovely staff at the sanctuary that made us feel so welcome. An unforgettable experience and I’d recommend to anyone that loves elephants!

Elephant4.jpeg

Drink stop at the river on our walk with the elephants



To find out more about Becky’s projects check out

https://www.iwh.co.nz/volunteer-in-asia-pacific-regions/thailand-volunteer-projects/elephant-sanctuary

It was incredible seeing the Elephants close their eyes while they enjoyed being bathed by me!

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