Elephants, Jungles and Beaches - Go Differently
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Elephants, Jungles and Beaches

Enjoy a family volunteering holiday before heading off to explore Thailand’s wildlife and beaches.

Start your holiday with a week helping out at the Elephant Mahout Project where you can each work with your “own” elephant, learning how to feed and care for her, as well as ride mahout-style on her back if you wish.

Then take a short one hour flight to Phuket and head into the stunning scenery of Khao Sok National Park for 3 nights staying in a tree house, where, as well as seeking out the abundant wildlife, you’ll be able to enjoy guided treks through the lush jungle, canoe along hidden waterways, across vast lakes and pause to swim in jungle pools.

At the end of your trip, enjoy a well-earned few days relaxing on a palm-fringed beach, exploring nearby islands, snorkelling, biking or just soaking up the scenery on one of Thailand’s most idyllic islands.


Why you’ll love this trip

Hands-on volunteering for all the family at an ethically-run elephant camp
Wildlife safari, jungle trekking, bathing with elephants, kayaking and waterfalls in Khao Sok National Park
Chilling on a beautiful beach

15 days/14 nights

From £1200 per person based on 2 adults travelling together


Perfect holiday as it is or would you like to make a few changes?

As with all our trips, this itinerary can be tailor-made to suit you.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: (Arrive) Bangkok – Transfer to the project

Upon landing in Bangkok, you’ll be met by our driver and escorted on the two hour drive to the Elephant Mahout Project where our local project co-ordinator will be waiting to greet you.

Spend the evening settling into the comfortable, air-conditioned Volunteer House and unwinding after your flight.

Days 2 – 7: Volunteering at the Elephant Mahout project

From about 9.00 am until 2.00 pm (Monday to Friday) and 9.00 am to midday on Saturday, spend your time leisurely helping out the elephant project.

As well as time spent with your elephants, you’ll also have the chance to get to know your mahouts and their families.

Late afternoons and evenings are free for you to head to the nearby beach or perhaps visit some of the local markets, temples or other attractions in the area. Our local co-ordinators will warmly welcome you as part of the family and will happy to assist and/or accompany you on any excursions as you wish.

Day 8: Bangkok – Phuket – Khao Sok National Park

At a convenient time, transfer to Bangkok airport in order to take a one hour flight to Phuket.

Upon arrival in Phuket, you will be met by a driver with a sign with your names on and escorted to a tiny resort deep in the heart of the jungle. The journey takes about two hours but the scenery, especially once you enter the park itself, is quite breath-taking.

Settle into your little jungle house and start to acclimatise to the sights and sounds of the jungle – if it’s your first time in an area of such abundant wildlife, you may be quite surprised at how noisy it is, especially at night, but you quickly get used to it!

It has to be said that visiting here IS a bit of an adventure but if you don’t mind roughing it a bit for a few days, it’s one that’s definitely worth it for the stunning scenery, the teeming wildlife (especially gibbons and other primates) and indeed, simply the experience itself!

We haven’t pre-booked any activities for this day but if you have any energy, there are plenty to choose from (depending slightly on availability of guides) including jungle treks and guided canoe trips.

Day 9: Khao Sok National Park

Enjoy an early breakfast before setting off at around 08.00 for a two-hour guided trek through the jungle.

Return to the resort for lunch and then in the afternoon, take a two hour guided canoe trip along a nearby river. Your guide will point out the wildlife and plants along the way.

Day 10: Khao Sok National Park – Full day lake trip

Khao Sok National Park is one of South East Asia’s best-preserved habitats for tropical flora and fauna. The park covers an area of about 645 km, with evergreen virgin jungle, waterfalls, massive limestone cliffs and crystal clear rivers and streams. Many species of protected wildlife live in the park including elephants, gibbons, monkeys, tapir, birds of prey and wild gaur. Strikingly beautiful Cheow Lan Lake features spectacular limestone karst rising out of the sparkling waters, it’s a part of the park that you won’t want to miss.

Start the day with a one hour drive to Takun, where you will stop at a local market with a colourful variety of traditional vegetables and snacks. Then head to the national park headquarters and board a traditional long tail boat for a truly spectacular journey across the lake to the tranquil and secluded floating raft houses. You can enjoy a delicious meal, hop in a kayak and discover the lake on your own for a bit or go swimming in the warm, emerald green water.

After lunch, spend the rest of the afternoon swimming, kayaking, or just chilling out. OR Your guide will take you to lovely Namtaloo Cave which you can explore with your flashlights. Depending on the water level, you may be wading in up to 1.5 meters of water in the cave – quite an experience.

Return to the jungle lodge in the late afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 11: Khao Sok National Park – Ko Yao island

After breakfast in the jungle, a guide will meet you and drive you to Bang Rong pier in Phuket.

Journey time is about 3 hours but the scenery along the way is sure to keep you occupied. Upon arrival at the harbour, take a magnificent scenic (approximately 1 hour) boat ride to Ko Yao island.

Upon arrival, check in and relax. After a few days of simple living, you may be surprised how much you appreciate the little luxuries offered by this lovely, laidback resort.

Days 12 to 14: Ko Yao

Relax in this stunning location or enjoy some of the activities and excursions on offer from the resort.

Day 15: Ko Yao – Bangkok – Depart

At a convenient time, take a boat/car back to Phuket airport in order to catch a flight to Bangkok and connect with your homeward flight.

Trip Ends… Have a safe journey home.

“What an adventure! We were looking for trip where we could volunteer as a family but also enjoy a bit of a holiday too and the itinerary you put together for us delivered all this and more… Unforgettable memories which we’ll all cherish for many years to come. Thank you so much Go Differently!”