Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the One-Hour Elephant Jungle Trek from Phuket. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Not exactly a jungle trek more a trek around handlers campsite situated along main road.
Not recommended for people who care about elephants as our handler repeatedly kept hitting the poor animal with metal hook. The monkey attraction consisted of 10 monkeys chained to oil drums by short leads.
If you are desperate to go on an elephant trek then I wouldn't try to put you off. However at these places, you can never be sure just how well the elephants are treated and as the journey is up and down hill, I didn't feel very safe coming down the steep slopes with no ropes to keep you in the seat.
We were based in the north of Phuket, and unfortunately it was a long drive, approximately 1.5 hours, to get to the elephant trekking near the south of the island. The elephant trekking is about 30-40 minutes.
We knew we had bought one of the cheaper trips, but this is a case of you get what you pay for. If all you want is the experience of riding and being near an elephant, fine, but it literally consists of getting on in a scruffy field, going up a hill in a small disused rubber plantation and having a photo taken. The elephants are thrilling, however.
We were pretty excited to do this, being that the only elephants we see are in the zoo. The ride from our hotel was long, we waited longer than expected to ride and elephants seemed tired. It was fun but could have been more so.
If I could give this a zero star or negative star I would. First of all the animals were treated poorly, I had to keep myself from crying during the trek. The elephants were obviously tired and if they wanted to take a break or to eat some greenery, the driver/guide would beat him on the head with a bullhorn and yell at them. It was very inhumane and unnecessary. The elephants had cuts on their faces where the bullhorn had been applied. Second, the driver/guide of our elephant and the one next to us talked to each other the entire time in Thai so we couldn't even enjoy the beautiful scenery or get a history about the elephants or the area. One of the drivers even got on his cell phone and chatted away not once, but three times. Third, during the middle of the trek, our guide pulled out a box of jewelry that he wanted us to buy from him. Fourth, during the trek, they had a monkey chained up to a tree by his arm for people to look at....again inhumane. The elephant camp was called Sea View Elephant Camp. I was completely appalled at how the elephants and monkey were treated and that Viator would contract with this camp. Elephants are beautiful creatures and should be treated as such. Again worst experience.
It was more like an overgrown back garden than a jungle and i wasn't happy with the way the elephants were treated.