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Elephant trekking and swimming in Pai, Thailand

By Darren - Posted on 02 June 2008

Up early to go elephant trekking. We eat our breakfast whilst walking to the pickup point. We jump in the pickup and chat to another guy called Darren from Dublin. At the elephant centre we all fall in love with the elephants that are there. We feed them some bananas and get ready to go.

Abby and I are on our own elephant, called, Pom Pen. After climbing up her leg and onto her back we are ready to go. We are riding bareback, so that we can go swimming with the elephant at the end of the day, which means we get sore bottoms pretty quickly. It's an interesting way of riding on the elephant and great fun.

We head up into the forest area. It's not so easy to stay on the elephant when going up steep hills, and even harder when coming down steep sections. We both feel like we are going to fall off more than once. Our elephant guides are funny guys, and they use various noises and techniques to keep the elephants moving when they decide to stop, try to find food or start heading for pools of water.

Once we have descended from the forest we head over to the river. The elephants pick up their pace the closer we get to the river. Once in the river the elephants take great joy in throwing us from them into the water.

We wash the animals and take turns being bucked from the larger elephants back.

We climb back on and head back to the elephant centre where we sit in their hot tubs, which are fed from a local hot spring.

This has been a wonderful experience, something we will not forget in a long time.

We ask the pickup driver to drop us off at the swimming pool. We arrange to meet Darren tomorrow night. We spend the day at the swimming pool relaxing with drinks and good music.

How much did it cost for the ride? They should make it like a resort with a restaurant, hotels and playground, so tourists and local can spend more time being with elephants.

Your pictures are remarkable...what an incredible journey to be able to experience Thailand. I'm looking forward to one day having my own Asia travel adventure.

I was in Thailand some time ago (here's what inspired me: But the only thing i did not do was..riding an elephant. And it seems so much fun! I hope I will do it one day too. Shame on me. :)

Wow that looks like you had so much fun. Especially in the water. I rode an elephant in Zimbabwe and it was a great time. Melissa

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