When in Asia we were desperate to go to an elephant sanctuary and meet the gentle giants! I have always loved elephants but had never had the chance of meeting one, I love watching documentaries about how intelligent and caring they are and how they look after their families. So this is why we did our research to find an ethical sanctuary in Thailand. We were conscious that many places in Thailand are not ethical and exploit the animals for tourism so you have to be careful with where to visit.
We found a sanctuary in Khao Sok which has just one elephant called Wasana who is a rescued elephant. The sanctuary was established in early 2018 to rescue elephants and provide a respectful way for humans to interact and learn about these amazing creatures. We came as a group of 4 and then there was only one other couple in our group so it was an intimate tour rather than a heard of people which made it feel more special.
We got to meet Wasana, and later on feed her with bananas when she’d got used to us and felt comfortable around us. We walked with her through the forest to a big mud bath where we bathed and exfoliated her (and ourselves) with mud! (They said if you covered your skin in the mud you’re less likely to get bitten by the mosquitoes which helped.) So make sure you wear clothes you don’t mind getting wet and muddy! After getting stuck in the mud we walked together to another water lagoon and helped wash off the mud with pieces of coconut shell.
While spending time with Wasana we got to learn about the elephant culture and history in Thailand. The money from the visitors goes towards looking after the Elephants and the upkeep of the sanctuary. If you want to feel like you’re immersed in the jungle and be able to interact with elephants in a place where they are safely and caringly looked after, then this is the place to go! We would highly recommend this unforgettable experience and visiting this sanctuary and meeting Wasana!
Where we stayed
Khao Sok Riverfront Resort- We stayed here for two nights and it’s just a 5 minute journey from the Sanctuary. It’s also in walking distance of some great places to eat and drink! The wooden houses are situated right on the Sok river in the middle of exotic gardens. You can book packages with them including tours like canoeing, elephant bathing, trekking, and trips to Khao Sok Lake. The Riverfront Resort also has a cafe called the Rafflesia Cafe- named after the largest flower in the world. We came here for a lovely breakfast every day and lunch when we arrived.
Where to eat
Wind Song Bar & Restaurant– With Thai and Western food on offer, a great place for lunch. It also did good job of giving us shelter during a tropical rain shower!
Bamboo Bistro Khao sok– A busy and popular restaurant for great Thai and Western food. They also have another company within where you can hire bikes too.
Chao Italian Restaurante– Known for having the best pizza in town, it’s the go-to spot for traditional wood-fired pizzas, cooked by a veteran of Italian restaurants all served under a thatched roof. Situated right by the National Park entrance.
Where to drink
Khao Sok Rasta Thailand– The best bar for a relaxed evening with reggae music and Pina Coladas served in coconuts!
Khao Sok Bistro & Bar– A great bar with an amazing selection of cocktails and a great happy hour with cocktails for 100 Baht!