Surin-Thailand is known as the home of Elephants. Long before, the elephants were originally captured from the jungles by Surin's founding fathers but these elephants are extremely expensive to look after. Many elephant owners (known as Mahouts) sold their elephants or took them to the streets of the big cities to beg for money from locals and tourists alike.
Volunteering Solutions, volunteering organisation support this village and ensure that the mahouts no longer need to take to the streets and go begging with their elephants. It offers an opportunity to take care of elephants, spend time with local communities.
My project started with Bangkok on 5th June 2015 where me and other volunteers were given a tour to the major temples and markets. We got a chance to meet school children, we played with them and taught them.
Surin, eight hours away from Bangkok, is extremely opposite from the capital. It's a small city with a lot of culture and their people make you realize that you are a celebrity. Spending four days (Monday to Thursday) in an Elephant Village gave me an opportunity to connect with local people.
During your project with elephants you not only learn how to interact with the elephants; walking with them, washing and feeding them but also get a chance to work with the mahouts planting and harvesting crops, making elephant dung paper and exploring the local community. There is no requirement to have any experience to get involved in. I spent $750 on this project.
In our free hours, we were able to Kayak along the river close by. Then we learn to cook thai food, played with mahout's children.
Our last stop before heading back to Bangkok was at the National Park, Khao Yai. We went on a two-hour trek through the forest, saw so many animals, watched a waterfall, and of course, took lots of pictures! It was the perfect way to end off the trip before we went back to Bangkok!
I enjoyed my trip a lot and hope you would love to experience the same in your near future.