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    Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is among a new breed of elephant attractions that's spreading across Thailand and is the most humane way to see these majestic giants. Effectively a retirement home for creatures rescued from exploitative elephant parks, there are daily tours where you can see the residents enjoying the freedom of being wild animals again.

    It's important to note that the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is exactly that – a sanctuary. The tours are not the primary purpose of the 12-hectare facility, but the money raised from them helps to provide food, care and medicine for the relatively small number of resident elephants. As with the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project near Bang Pae Waterfall, this is not a petting zoo. You will not be able to ride the elephants, but you can walk with and feed them and watch as they roam, forage, bathe and play in a natural environment.

    Visiting Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

    The half-day tour at the sanctuary starts from meeting at the office in the Paklok area north of Phuket Town at around 9.30am (Morning with the Elephants at PES) or 1.30pm (Afternoon with the Elephants at PES). It features a vegetarian Thai lunch or dinner, as well as an educational presentation on the work of the sanctuary and, of course, the opportunity to meet the elephants. You will return to the collection point by about 1pm or 5pm. You're advised to bring a copy of your passport, personal travel insurance, sun protection and clothes which you don’t mind getting dirty.

    If half a day isn’t enough for you, Phuket Elephant Sanctuary also has a full-day tour and a week-long volunteer programme, during which you'll be provided with accommodation and some meals. You'll be helping out with a variety of tasks, including food preparation (both for tour guests and the elephants), mucking out, maintaining the buildings and structures and working with the elephants.

    Phuket Elephant Sanctuary

    Adress: 100 Moo 2, Paklok, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand

    Öppet: Daily from 9.30am to 5pm

    Telefonnummer: +66 (0)76 529 099

    Stephan Audiger | Erfaren resenär

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