Koh Lanta Stories and Tips

Swimming with Elephants

elephant 1 Photo, Koh Lanta, Thailand

We had been travelling around Thailand for around 2 weeks and decided to go to Koh Lanta which is just south of Krabi. We had a very low budget and so ended up in a Beach Bungalow away from the Tourist beaches and shops for 200 THB or £4 per night! It was very basic but really good fun and we were literally a stones throw away from the waters edge. The Bungalow was a wooden hut on stilts with a bed inside and then a western style toilet which had to be flushed manually (ie with a bucket!) and the shower wasnt great but it was liveable! We also had a little balcony where the owners had strung up a hammock for us so it really was like paradise and we spent most of our evenings drinking beer and looking at the night sky! One day I was sitting on the beach watching the fishing boats go out and I heard a Clinky Clink Clinky Clink behind me! I didnt think anything of it but then when it got louder and closer I wondered what it was! I felt an enromous presence behind me and turned round and came more or less face to face with a bull elephants foot! Obvsiously elephants are pretty big as it is but when you are lying down and one comes up behind you with about a metre to spare they look absolutely huge! I was taken aback but surprisingly didnt feel scared! The elephants were obviously work elephants as they had big chains around their necks (which was the Clinky Clink Clinky Clink' that I had heard earlier) There was two to begin with and they went down to the waters edge and into the sea - then seven more turned up including a baby who I think had just come along for the journey! All the elephants had riders who proceeded to dismount and scrub and bath the elephants with the sea water - they absolutely loved it and got right down in the water and rolled around - it was amazing to watch! We have a water proof camera and so we got in the water with the elephants - my partner got up really close and was swimming around with them as they had their weekly bath! If we had stayed in a more touristy area and spent more money on our accomodation we would never have seen this amazing sight which I will never forget. If you are going to Thailand Koh Lanta is worth a visit just to see the elephants bathe! The resort we stayed at was the Andaman Resort about 2 miles past the 7Eleven on the main road it is near the Independence Bar! As you enter the resort it looks really bad as there is a construction sight and a lot of rubbish but just stick with it and you will get to a clearing surrounded by bungalows. We hired a moped for 100 THB per day which was great to get around for shopping etc! We were there for around 10 days and worked out that the elephants take their bath every Weds at around 4pm!

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