An elephant never forgets…and neither do we!
by Volunteer Kelsey Smith
For many of our guests meeting our wonderful girls is a once in a lifetime opportunity, but for a select few one visit is simply not enough. Over the past month, we’ve welcomed several return visitors to the Park; there’s been tears of happiness, lots of laughter and a whole bunch of elephant fun! As we venture into the high season we reckon that there will be a few more familiar faces coming through our doors. Our girls are always happy to see old friends coming back and we love getting to know the guests all over again.
First came adventurer, Karin (right), who was visiting after a stint in Borneo with orangutans. Karin had visited a couple of years ago on her travels and (like so many of us) fell in love with beautiful Tangthai. She was hoping to get a glimpse of our stunning girl— but unfortunately, Tangthai was off in the jungle on a grazing break, so we gave Karin the closest experience that we could by pairing her with Tangthai’s cheeky companion, Bai-Ngern. We asked Karin which was her favourite elephant and after a lot of careful deliberation she said although she adored Bai-Ngern, the number one had to be Tangthai, because our twelve year old beauty was the first elephant that Karin felt a close connection with. We are sure that Karin will come back and open her heart to yet more of our beautiful ladies.
Next came a lovely couple from Australia, Jenny and Trish (left and below right), whose visit last year was so memorable that they asked to be paired with the dazzling Duong-Jai and her smiling Kwan-Chang, Por, once again. The ladies recalled that on their last trip Por had unfortunately broken his flip-flops— so on this tour, they brought him a backup pair just in case! Por’s daughter, Ing, was also ecstatic as the pair came with a cute cuddly koala for her to add to her collection. Jenny said ‘if you want to have a truly moving but ethical and sustainable elephant experience then you can’t go past Phang Nga Elephant Park’. We hope that Jenny and Trish will join us again some day and continue to build a connection with Duong-Jai over every visit.
Our final couple of return visitors were the lovely, Siobhan and Jason from Melbourne, Australia. The couple (below) fell in love with our girls so much in 2018 that they couldn’t stop talking about them and showing off their pictures when they returned home. This spurred them to come back on their next visit to Thailand as Siobhan’s Mum wanted to see what all the fuss was about. She this time she came too! On their last trip Siobhan and Jason were amazed by our wonderful teenager, Jana. On their return trip, they got to know stunning Seanuan and her Kwan-Chang Ohm. Siobhan said ‘it was lovely seeing the elephants’ different personalities; we’re not usually the type of people to make repeat visits to places but Phang Nga Elephant Park is the exception!’
It’s amazing the impact that four to five hours at the Park can have on people from all walks of life and from all over the world. We pride ourselves on educating and immersing people in ethical elephant interaction and repeat visitors give us the assurance that people enjoy their magical time with our girls, and are eager to get another glimpse of them at close range.
To book a tour and create memories that last a lifetime head to the Ethical Programmes and Bookings section on our website now, please note that with high season fast approaching our programmes are getting extremely popular and filling up fast.