Elephant Hills Luxury Tented Camp – Khlong Soak – Thailand

This report forms part of a larger report received from a client who had a holiday here during January 2014 combined with a stay at the Bangsak Village in Khao Lak.

 Elephant Hills, where we ‘glamped’ the tents are amazing! King bed, shower, flushing toilet, electricity; falling asleep to the sounds of the jungle and awakening to sunrise and new bird song was literally worth every penny. Roy went on a kayak trip down the river, and I met him at the other end to go to the elephant sanctuary. This was what it was all about for me. Seeing and interacting with the elephants. We had a general ‘informational’ from the guide and went off to see a mum and her baby ‘haha’ – she is aptly named, she is so full of fun and childish pranks! She stole a backpack from one of our party and went running off in her compound with it – her Mahout (keeper) was chasing after her and she took some persuading to relinquish it! Later she was being led out and across the larger area and she set off running, trumpeting as she went, snatched some branches from a nearby tree, kicked over all the water buckets – she was so like a naughty 5 year old!


We chopped up pineapples and sugar cane and added this to our tubs of leaves, bananas etc to feed the adults with; they all lined up but soon figured out who was a soft touch – I ended up feeding two at once and being prodded if I wasn’t fast enough! We hosed them down and scrubbed them and they genuinely seemed to enjoy it, lying down so that we could get to those hard to reach bits. We watched one bathe in the lake, rubbing clay all over her skin, and coming out and picking up her Mahout on the way. Wonderful.

Sadly this visit lasts around 1.5hrs, and whilst the trip does fill up 3 days, to call it an elephant experience is a little misleading, although I do understand that there is little else you COULD do other than what is offered. We did an independent trip too and rode elephants into the river, washed them there, and rode back out – excellent stuff. We were actually ON the elephant and it was natural and exactly what I had travelled all that way for!

On day two of this elephant tour, we made a 1.5hour very boring trip up the dam – the name of it I cannot remember, sorry. At the end of the trip was the floating river side camp – same ‘glamping’ tents, but on floating platforms with a kayak at the end of your personal jetty!


We were so pleased that we took our hiking boots (well done Simon Gemmell of Designer Travel!) as this wasn’t a trek, but a 500ft climb in 35 degree heat, fighting brambles, dry, dusty ground, creeping vines and all aided with a supplied bamboo pole. A visit to the Bat Cave to see spiders, bats and blind cave snakes, and then back down to a mini course in rock climbing….phew. A real sense of achievement, however certainly not for the feint hearted or those in sandals!

Diving from our personal jetty into 30 degree water was fabulous! Roy did another Kayak around the kale the following morning, I swam and fed carp so big they were like Koi (no they weren’t Koi, very different, but no-one could tell us WHAT they were) and then after lunch we did a 30 minute boat ride back to the mainland and onto our hotels again.

I would love to spend more time at the riverside camps, but they only offer a maximum of 3 nights and 4 days as there are only 10 tents….

The wildlife is amazing – gibbons across the lake on a little island, eagles catching fish in front of you. We had a great trip to the Similan Islands to snorkel, but insist in taking some sort of footwear as you encounter jagged rocks at the other end when getting out of the boat.

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Map Link Elephant Hills

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All details quoted are thought to be correct at time of posting but are always subject to confirmation at time of booking

Photo: Elephant Hills River Camp (client)  27

This report forms part of a larger report received from a client who had a holiday here during January 2014 combined with a stay at the Bangsak Village in Khao Lak.