Elephant Encounter Express Tour

closeup of elephant's eye
line of elephants walking though a forest

Duration
2 Days

Start/Finish
Khon Kaen to Khon Kaen

Highlights
• Getting up close and personal with elephants
• Seeing silk weaving
• Beautiful temple art, both modern and historic

Description
Ban Ta Klang is home to the Kui (aka Suai) people, Thailand’s legendary elephant handlers, and about 150 elephants live side-by-side with them at their homes in the village. On this shortened version of our regular Elephant Encounter tour (perfect for weekend visits) you’ll spend just as much time with the elephants as on the regular tour, but we drive straight to the elephant village with no cultural stops along the way. On the afternoon of day 1 and morning of day 2 of this tour we’ll be up close with the elephants, mostly out walking with and watching them in patches of forest and at watering holes, and they are off chains the entire time. We even get to help bathe the elephants in the Mun River. Most people consider engaging with elephants in natural surroundings such as this to be far better than watching them perform circus acts. There will be one elephant per guest, though solo travelers will get two so you can see them interact socially. Then, on the drive back to Khon Kaen, we’ll visit a silk weaving village and two amazing temples with lovely murals – one modern and one historic.

About Elephant Tourism
Elephant tourism is rightly controversial, though we worked with the renowned Save Elephant Foundation to ensure that our tours are not only responsible, but actually beneficial to the elephants involved. Click here to read how.

Add-Ons
Make the most of your trip with our special add-on activities before, during, or after your tour.

woman sitting at silk-weaving loom

Day 1 – Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village
We get an early start and drive straight to Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village, where we will jump right in with our elephant activities. We begin at a large enclosure where they are let to roam free next to a small swamp where they can, and often do, go play and splash around with each other. Next we’ll tour an elephant poo paper making facility (Yes, you read that right!) and the elephant cemetery before taking a forest walk with the elephants. After returning from the walk we’ll feed our pachyderm friends fresh fruits or vegetables and then visit the elephant museum. When the day’s scheduled activities are over, we can still walk around the area and see the elephants at their handlers’ houses.

Overnight in Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village

Day 2 – Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village
We spend our second morning walking with the elephants to the Mun River where we can jump in to help the mahouts bathe them – an amazing experience. Then, we drive back to Khon Kaen, stopping first at a silk weaving village where you’ll get to see not only the complicated process behind dyeing and weaving Isan’s famous mut-mee silk, but also how the silk worms are raised. Then we will visit a pair of temples with beautiful examples of Buddhist art, one modern and one historic. First you’ll get to admire a building covered in stunning glass mosaic and then see well-preserved historic Isan-style mural paintings.

If our itinerary doesn’t fit your exact needs and desires, please let us know. With advance notice we can usually modify things.

Prices valid until April 2022.

        Hotel         Level Number of Persons
Price per person, two per room (baht)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9+
Budget 26,600 13,500 9,950 8,050 7,450 6,650 6,150 5,700 By Request
Deluxe         Deluxe level accommodation is not available for this tour.
Homestay 26,800 13,800 10,150 8,300 7,650 6,850 6,300 5,900

Price Includes
All sightseeing and activities as specified in the itinerary with English-speaking local guides, entrance fees, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle, hotel transfers, accommodation, breakfast and dinner at village homestays, lunch and day 2, snacks and cold water in the vehicle, accident insurance, taxes, and pre-departure travel consultation.

Price Does Not Include
Transportation to Khon Kaen, meals and drinks other than what is specified above, travel and medical insurance, personal expenses (such as laundry, souvenirs, snacks, etc.), tips/gratuities, visa fees (Thai visas are free or not required for most international visitors.), and any additional expenses incurred due to airline schedule changes, natural disasters, political actions, or other factors beyond our control.

Booking/Cancellation Policies
• For tours longer than one day, a non-refundable deposit of 30% is required as soon as possible after making your reservation.
• The full payment is due before the tour begins. This can be done after you arrive in Thailand, as long as you have access to sufficient funds before you depart on your tour.
• International payments are best done by bank transfer, and the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way is with TransferWise. Credit/debit cards can be used through TransferWise or other online wire transfer services. For people inside Thailand, we accept payment via cash (Thai baht, US dollars, British pounds, and euros), ATM transfer, and counter deposit to Siam Commercial Bank.
• If local taxes and/or fuel prices increase significantly, we reserve the right to add comparable surcharges.

Click here to read our full tour Terms & Conditions.

baby elephant with mother

This is the accommodation that we normally use for this tour. Of course, if any place is fully booked during your travel dates, we will have to substitute a similar property. If this happens, we will let you know right away.

Click here to see a general description of our accommodation levels.

Day 1 – Ban Ta Klang
Budget:
Baan Chang Resort
Homestay: Ban Nong Bua village homestay