I saw a special on Oprah about her traveling to India. She was riding on an elephant and I thought to myself someday I will ride an elephant in India just like Oprah. Well I still have not made it to India, but I was able to take my first ride in Thailand. I chose to do a guided all day elephant trek with Blue Elephant Thailand Tours. The price was approximately 255.00 per person. Yes I thought it was expensive but I didn’t know when I would return to Thailand or have another opportunity to ride an elephant.
Mr. Kai, our driver and tour guide picked up my cousin Taniesha and I up from the hotel at 8 am. Our first stop was at the fresh market where he picked up our lunch and fresh fruit for the elephants. Soon, after we arrived at the Blue Tao Elephant Village. We ate a delicious lunch of Thai noodles, pork, chicken, and fried rice, wrapped in banana leaves. It was very good but we couldn’t finish the food as they provided us with large portions.
After eating lunch we changed into an elephant mahout outfit (blue denim shirt and Capri pants) they have most sizes but I was unable to fit the shirt. So beware if you have more cushion in the tummy area. We were than introduced to our elephants. We fed them bananas, watermelon rinds and leaves. It was fun trying to feed them but I was hoping there slimy tongues wouldn’t actually touch my hands.
Now onto the hard part, trying to actually ride an elephant bareback. Riding bareback is safer than having a seat strapped onto the elephants back. In order to climb on top, you have to climb on their feet and hop on the back. After hoping on you have to steady yourself as they stand up on all 4 legs. As we begin to move, I was really scared. Scared like I wanted to cry and get off scared. I was afraid because riding an elephant bareback means that you do not have the convenience of sitting on a chair while riding. You have to sit on the neck of the elephant, wrap your feet behind his ears and steady your arms on top of its head. When going up a hill, you have to lean forward and hold onto his head to prevent from falling. In addition elephants love to eat, hence why they are such large animals. As we trekked through the jungle, the elephants often stopped to eat leaves from the ground. As we were going down the hill, I felt like I was literally about to fall off the elephant. I called for Mr. Kai to stop and I jumped off the elephant!! My cousin teased me because I got off the elephant but I was perfectly fine with her making fun of me long as I didn’t fall off.
After riding we had the opportunity to bathe the elephants. It was fun getting inside the water and bathing the elephants. They love the cool water and strokes from the brushes on their back.
My cousin stayed on the elephants back while in the water. The elephant decided they he wanted to fully submerge in the water with my cousin on its back. My cousin fell of her elephant into the water. Now it was my opportunity to tease her. The best part was Mr. Kai capturing the fall on camera.
If I ever ride an elephant again I probably will not ride bareback because you only have a rope to hold on and you need extra strength in either your arms or legs. Due to the fact I used my arms to hold myself up while riding, my arms were sore several days after. My motto is “Experience everything at least once”. I must say that I am glad to have checked off riding elephants from my bucket list.