Started just six years ago, the Elephant Hills Company is now able to accommodate a few more people. Demand for places has been high but the owners did not want to take away from the atmosphere and experience they had been offering visitors, and until now resisted the urge to grow. But starting from this year another few tents will be added for the high season.
What or Who is Elephant Hills?
Elephant Hills is a small company working with Thai elephants in the area of Khao Lak, an area almost completely destroyed during the tsunami, but now restored. As well as working with these magnificent beasts, they collect funds for their well-being. Any monies collected now are sent to the Elephant Hospital in Lampang, but it is hoped that the Mobile Elephant Clinic which was a feature of the area pre-tsunami, will be resurrected when the funds increase.
How Many Tents are There?
Currently there are 20 tents, but at the end of October, it is hoped to add another ten. After this, the owners have no plans to develop further as they wish to preserve the intimate and friendly atmosphere they are renowned for. This way they feel they can offer the same ambiance as when they were only a few tents in size.
What is on Offer in Elephant Hills
Apart from Elephant Treks – and the aim is to move towards more Elephant Experiences in the near future – there are Canoe Safaris down the Sok River, trips on the Cheow Larn Lake (one of the most beautiful areas in Thailand and one that far surpasses the Guelin area of China that it is famously compared with), and exploration of the Takuapa Mangrove. This area, just north of Khao Lak, is a rare Thai habitat with mangroves reminiscent of primeval forests in the Amazon. There is also an island, Koh Phra Thong, with 20 Km. of continuous deserted beaches and no resorts in sight – a perfect getaway.
How Many Days Needed to Experience All This?
Obviously, the more time spent in the area and the more time given to enjoying the peace of the National Park, the more benefits gained. Inclusive packages ranging from 2-4 days are specially designed for those who cannot make more time. It is certain that having experienced it once, they will return.
Who Guides These Tours?
All the guides are southern Thai locals with specialised knowledge of the areas. Being local they have all been brought up in the surrounding villages and in Khao Sok and they can answer any questions thrown at them.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Khao Lak for Elephant Hills?
The best time of year are the months of November to April, but as this coincides with the high season, the prices are higher. If a less expensive trip is required, then the low season months of May – October are fine, but there will be some rain. It doesn’t rain every day, of course, and often there will be fantastic sunshine. Besides, it is rainforest, and the rain makes it more real. The wettest months are July and October
This remarkable operation offers an exciting holiday experience, but it also offers some help to the elephant hospital at Lampang where worn out and neglected elephants are cared for.