We arrived in Phuket at 4 pm, tired of the delayed flight so we just ate something light and slept until 10 am the next morning. So our first activity when we arrived in Phuket was to go into the forest to play with elephants. This is indeed an extremely interesting experience for myself.
It seems that in the minds of many Vietnamese people, there is a clear hierarchy between humans and other animals: master – servant, weak – strong. It’s sure everyone understands which side humans is on. Animals are often taught to be obedient, entertain humans, and humans often take it for granted, forgetting that each animal has different body structure, different function, and is born in the world with different mission; but all are children of Mother Nature; moreover, each animal has completely different characteristics, always needing to be understood, sympathized, and loved. In our country, tours to bring people closer to the life of wild animals have not been developed, because we basically do not care that much.
Elephant Jungle Sanctuary is an organization established in 2004 in Thailand for the purpose of protecting forest elephants. All fees collected from visitors will be used to build facilities and to take care of the lives of the elephants. When participating in the tour, we were loaded with interesting knowledge about elephants such as how many species of elephants there are, how to distinguish African and Asian elephants, the rich history associating elephants and Thais, how long an elephant’s pregnancy will take, what elephants like and dislike, how to know an elephant is angry, the habits of a female and male elephant when attacking, etc. Especially, there is an information that I highly noted: the back of an elephant is very weak and brittle. Elephants are the animals that eat a lot to nurture their big bodies but not the ones that can work very much. The fact that people put a big chair on the back of an elephant and sit on to walk is extremely bad. Because of the economic gain, the government has not yet banned this activity although the elephant protection organization has struggled a lot. People have exploited tourism this way for so many years! So, after knowing that, I realized that I should not participate in elephant riding.
So when we came here, we were not served by the elephants, but everyone was taught of how to play with the elephants gently as the way to feed them, scrub them, massage them, and bath them, how to do a daily health check on each part of the elephant such as ear, eyes, nose, skin, tail, toenails, etc. In a small, beautiful campus, the activities were cleverly designed to bring excitement to visitors.
I was so amazed when a female elephant with a mischievous face kept throwing her trunk from left to right to drop many watermelons of visitors to the ground, and a big male elephant that everyone brought to bath together was so excited that he lied on the side in the lake with a happy face as the faces of my two puppies. A middle-aged woman who seemed to be American took her little daughter to the tour guide, saying that she had an infinite passion for animals, so she often took her to places like this. The tour guide laughed, saying, “Oh great, so would you like to come to my house later? I have 26 snakes, and my snakes are very cute”. The little girl thought for a little then nodded. It is good for each child to be taken care of her/his own hobbies and to be taught of how to live in harmony with animals and nature. So, if you think simply, this is just a leisure activity to relieve stress when traveling, but if you think differently, this is perhaps the place where people come to learn a great lesson about love. I admit that sometimes I am quite indifferent to such thing. But I know, it’s not too late to change now!
Link of the tour for your reference: http://bit.ly/2Fnlpio. We booked the tour on Traveloka app with 1.6 million/ person which was very worthy!