One of the biggest thrills was going on my first elephant safari at the Elephant Hills Resort, Khao Sok, Thailand. When I got close to the elephants, they seemed so gentle, not even moving if I touched them. Of course the Mahout (elephant trainer) was near. He demonstrated several ways to climb up the elephant. We did it the easy way from an elevated stand on stilts.
There is a great 360 degree view from the top of the elephant. Just a little bouncy sitting up there, I was occupied with taking pictures and watching the beauty of nature. We made our way through untouched Khao Sok, the largest area of rainforest jungle in Southern Thailand. Sometimes the elephants had to push through overgrown brush and trees.
In deeper areas of the park, you would see Bengal Tigers, elephants, monkeys, and other wildlife. The elephants stopped several times to eat. This is the best way to really experience Thailand, to go beyond the cities into the jungle.
During the safari, the Mahout sits on the elephant's head with his feet behind each ear. He directs and controls the elephant by pressing his right foot to turn right and so on. There are over 30 different commands. The Mahouts inherit their positions generation after generation and begin learning as children around 10 years of age.
The elephants were born and raised with these people. This is part of their culture. There is no Mahout class. The Asian elephant is the largest land animal in this part of the world. The Asian elephant does not sweat, but keeps cool by flapping its ears. They weigh up to six tons.
They have the saying at the Elephant Hills Resort, "Re-awaken your soul, and get back to nature." Choose which tours you want or they can prepare a custom tour. Elephant Hills is offering specials: Elephant Hills all-inclusive Resort is Thailand's first luxury tented jungle camp, Khao Sok, Thailand.