The Limerick Magazine Travel
Review of Elephant Hills
Where: Adventure and Nature Collide
For: Eco, Couples, Honeymoon, Family
It is not every day that you can sit under the brightest sky of stars with a glass of wine, on a lake in the rainforest in Thailand but at Elephant Hills this is one of the perks of this unique glamping experience. Each guest is picked up from their hotel or the airport in the regions of Phuket, Khoa Lak, Krabi, Surat Thani or Koh Samui pier and transferred privately to begin their adventure.
Elephant Hills is Thailand’s first luxury tented camping experience. Based in Khao Sok National Park, it is a place to have the adventure of your life, accompanied by experienced guides. This company has been doing this for nearly 16 years, so they can run these tours like a well-oiled Thai massage – relaxing, healing and energising.
The Elephant Hills Camp has 35 luxury tents, which are bug-proof, have real beds and an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, electricity, hairdryer and tea and coffee making facilities. All the perks of a luxury travel yet in the wilderness of South East Asia. These tents have ample space, offer plenty of lighting and they are the perfect place to reflect on the day’s observations and activities.
The Elephant Camp itself is surrounded by one of the world’s oldest rainforests and with the help of a canoe you can explore the jungle via the Sok River. Be prepared, you will see lizards, snakes, monkeys and other wildlife along the way but rest assured that each canoe has its own guide for your safety.
Following a canoe trip down the river is the amazing experience of getting up-close and meeting the Asian elephants. The beautiful creatures are very well looked after, each has their own minder and the herd is very well taken care of, they range from babies to the grandmother, who is getting close to 74 years of age. Tours each day are full with happy travellers who chop the elephant’s meals and feed, wash and even massage them. There is strictly no riding these elephants as it is not that type of environment, Elephant Hills takes pride in being eco friendly and keeping a natural environment.
At night plenty of unique entertainment is available in the campfire area of Elephant Hills, traditional Thai dancing and performances by children from local schools, wildlife documentaries, traditional Thai cooking class demonstrations and a delicious buffet are all part of the trip. It is a warm atmosphere where travellers can share their tales. All meals are included and a buffet style environment means that you will not be hungry.
The Rainforest Camp is a truly magical experience, a short private transfer and boat ride, you will arrive at the 10 luxury floating tents in the wild rainforest lake of Cheow Larn Lake, surrounded by limestone mountains. The Rainforest Camp comes with a restaurant for guests with breakfast, lunch and dinner being served as part of the package. The Rainforest Camp also has its own bar so you can enjoy a mixture of local beers, cocktails or a delicious glass of wine.
It is an intimate base for you to explore southern Thailand’s tropical rainforest. The camp has been designed to be part of nature, using only solar power for energy. The romantic setting is perfect for relaxing in front of your tent and watching the sunset over the jungle, at night the clearest sky full of stars is a must for everyone. Not only is it beautiful, it makes you realise how small you are compared to the nature that surrounds you.
Other activities at The Rainforest Camp include cave hiking, I did chicken out of this one as the size of the possible spiders scared the bejesus out of me, I regret it now not taking part, so I urge you all to do it and email us the details! I opted for swimming in the emerald waters and took a kayak through the many khlongs and channels in search of wildlife.
Overall, Elephant Hills is a destination that should be included in any trip to Thailand. It is something special and an unforgettable experience especially if you are thinking of South East Asia for your honeymoon, take a stop here, you won’t regret it.
For more information visit: www.elephanthills.com
Article by: Michelle Costello
Photography by: Tarmo Tulit