Elephant Village – Bangkok

On our 2nd day in Bangkok we went to the Tiger Temple in the morning and the Elephant Village in the afternoon.

I wrote about our time at the Tiger Temple HERE.

The Elephant Village is in the Kanchanaburi province and situated along the River Kwai Noi.

It is a little camp where Karen and Burmese mahouts live.

The village is very simple and charming and isn’t overrun with tourist or souvenir shops.

As a matter of fact, we were the only tourists there.

We were told to bring a change of clothes and a towel but had no idea what to expect other than we were going to get wet.

Our guide said she reserved the best mahout and elephant for the afternoon.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

She also warned us that the elephant has a reputation of being a tad naughty.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

We thanked her but had no idea what any of it really meant as we rode bareback down to the river.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Needless to say, we quickly found out what naughty meant!

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Miss Naughty sucked water up into her trunk and then whipped it back into our faces.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

She did this several times and all we could do was laugh.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Next thing you know, she is laughing!

She didn’t stop there.

The Burmese man yelled a command and Miss Naughty started rocking back and forth.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

It was like trying to stay on a bucking bull.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

We’d crawl back up on her and she’d rock us right back off.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

As soon as we were on her back, Miss Naughty rocked again.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

She threw a little more water back at us…

Elephant Village – Bangkok

And then it was our turn to toss water.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Two against one didn’t matter.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Miss Naughty won, hands down.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

We’d laugh, she’d laugh.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

For such a large animal she was extremely gentle.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Elephant Village – Bangkok

And definitely playful.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Elephant Village – Bangkok

There was so much respect and love between the mahout and his elephant.

It was obvious the two of them had a special bond.

We climbed back up on Miss Naughty to walk back to the camp.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Or so we thought.

She tossed us again…

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Then laughed at us!

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Elephant Village – Bangkok

She is properly named, that’s for sure.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Miss Naughty walked us back towards the camp…

Elephant Village – Bangkok

And grabbed large clumps of grass and plants on her way.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

A well-deserved snack.

When she dropped us off at the camp, we tipped her several baht for her time with us.

Elephant Village – Bangkok

What an amazing animal.

What an incredible afternoon.

John and I both fell sound asleep in the car on the way back to our hotel.

After all we left the hotel that morning at 5am, served Monks, bottle fed tiger cubs, washed, fed, and played with tigers, and then played got manhandled in the river by a 10,000 pound elephant.

We worked up quite an appetite and went to a family owned restaurant that was highly recommended to us, Queen of Curry.

For an appetizer, we had Spring Rolls with a Thai Chili Sauce and Chicken Satay with a Peanut Sauce:

Queen of Curry - Bangkok

I ordered Shrimp Pad Thai:

Queen of Curry - Bangkok

John ordered Shrimp Tom Yum Goong Nam Khon:

Elephant Village – Bangkok

Every bite we ate was followed by Mmms and Wows.

Queen of Curry – Bangkok

It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

It truly was one of those days you just can’t believe you did once it is all over.


Below are all of the tours we booked through Tour with Tong.

Tiger Temple

Elephant Village

Thai Fishing Village

Bangkok Markets

Wats and Palaces

For more information on each tour, click on the words in orange.

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44 Responses to Elephant Village – Bangkok

  1. Rania says:

    Oh my GOD, I seriously need to know how to get to this place.. I’m, going to Bangkok in a couple months, could you PLEASE PLEASE email me the information!!!! Thanks

  2. Here is the Tour With Tong website: http://tourwithtong.com
    They will take good care of you. Check out the Tiger Temple, too, while you are there!

  3. Apol says:

    Hello!! Do we need to book thru Tong? Do you have any idea if we could just do a DIY tour to the elephant village? How far is this village from the River Kwai Bridge? How did you get there from the bridge?

  4. I don’t know if you can do the tour yourself. To be honest, we rarely book tours when traveling — we do not like the feel of it. BUT! The tours we booked with Tong were not like the usual tours you see with a crowd of tourist & a leader with a flagpole. It was one on one and extremely enjoyable! I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  5. Thanks to my father who told me on the topic of this web site, this weblog is really amazing.

  6. Andrew says:

    That looks fantastic. I want to do this while in Thailand later in the year. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Eric says:

    Hi Kristi, what an amazing blog, the photos are so lovely. I booked a tour with tong too, can you tell me who is the tour guide who took the photos for you in tiger temple and elephant village and what camera you used?

  8. I had a Nikon D90 back then (D7000 now).

    All of Tong’s guides are handy with cameras so please do not worry about handing it over to them. We had a couple of different guides during our week and all of them were knowledgeable, careful, and thrilled to take pictures for us.

    When is your trip?

  9. Christina says:

    Hi we are going to be doing this tour at the start of Nov what time did you get back to Bangkok. the photos look amazing by the way this page sold me on wanting to stay in Bangkok for a couple of days on my way to Phuket so Thank you for sharing

  10. You will love this tour AND Bangkok – I am so glad you decided to go for a couple of days!

    Will you be doing the Tiger Temple. tour, too? We did both in one day and were back in Bangkok in time for dinner.

    Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions about these tours &/orBangkok. It is one of my favorite places.

  11. Christina says:

    yeah we are going to do them in the one day as well. would you have had time to go back and have the tiger photo with their had on your lap. Also how long are you actually riding on the elephants for before you get to the water and did you get to ride them with out the mahouts on them.
    thank you

  12. I think we would have had time for the tiger photo, but we skipped that part.
    Once you get onto the elephant you will go straight to the river. It isn’t a long walk, maybe 3-5 minutes? Every time we rode the elephant, the mahout was with us but there are times when you are on the elephant by yourself in the water. Does this help?

  13. Christina says:

    Hi again,

    i have confirmed by booking for this with tong. just wanted to know did you pay it all upfront or just the deposit also do they get in touch with you prior with a itinerary and times, or was it just meet them on the day.

  14. Hi Christina! I am so excited that you booked this tour… you will LOVE it!

    I honestly can’t remember how we handled payment (we went in Oct 2010) — I will look through my emails and see if I can find something for you. Your best option may be to confirm with Tong directly. She is quick to respond to email – tourwithtong@yahoo.com.
    We communicated everything through email prior to our trip (times, dates, etc). I do remember that our guide met us at our hotel and dropped us back off each day.
    Please let me know when you return! I’d love to hear all about it!

  15. James and Ofelia says:

    LOVED your blog and the photos. We were planning to miss Bangkok this time around because we have our teenage sons, but this has convinced me to stop over for a few days, thank you! Was this a custom made tour with Tiger Temple and the Elephant village?

  16. Yes, we did the Tiger Temple & the Elephant Village on the same day through Tour with Tong. It was a day I’ll never forget! If your travels will allow it, do not miss either experience. Your sons till LOVE it, too!

  17. Rebecca says:

    I absolutely love your blog! Can give me a contact email of who I can book the tour with the VIP exclusive tiger and elephant tours with? Thank you so much for sharing!

  18. Hi Rebecca: Thank you so much!
    Write to Tour with Tong — tourwithtong@yahoo.com
    Tell her Kristi from Necessary Indulgences sent you! :)
    You will LOVE both!

  19. Scott says:

    This has to be one of the coolest adventures I’ve seen! I thought my adventures while traveling for work were amazing but they are sitting at home watching tv on a Friday night compared to some of yours! I need to switch to a job that allows me to travel internationally! Thanks for posting! I found your site from the egghead forum and enjoy seeing your adventures!

  20. Thank you for visiting my site, Scott!
    Our time in Thailand was amazing… and I can’t wait to get back there. There aren’t many places that I feel the “tug to return”, but Thailand is one of the three places on my list to experience again (South Africa & India are the other two).
    SO, another EggHead :) What’s your handle over there?

  21. Scott says:

    My Egghead name is Solson005. I’m just taking a break from Traveling and spending it on the Egg right now. It’s a fun to come up with different things to cook on it since I’ve joined the eggheads..

  22. Anja says:

    Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping to find!
    Although you can find some other sites that offer elephant baths in Kanchanaburi, I still fear it might be a rather touristic thing.

    Especially the amount of awesome pictures your guide took of you is great. I would be so sorry to have such a unique experience and no reminder.
    You wrote that the “tour” consisted mainly of the bath itself – how long did that take?

    Since we’ll be staying at Kanchanaburi anyway, I was wondering if Tong only operates from Bangkok or if we’ll be able to book the elephant bath right there. Do you have any idea?

  23. Hi Anja! I think you will have a blast… it was a day I’ll never ever forget. And not touristy AT ALL. I don’t remember how long we were in the water with the elephant… maybe an hour? I do remember being exhausted afterwards — from laughing and playing and climbing. It was such a treat.
    I am sure Tong could arrange a tour for you from Kanchanaburi, it’s definitely worth asking.
    I hope you will write to me after you go — I’d love to hear about it!

  24. Anja says:

    Hi! I contacted Tong and I was really disappointed to hear, that she would only do the tour from Bangkok. Now I was trying to find out what the name of the place was. Maybe you can remember?? I basically found two: the “River Kwai Elephant Village” an the “Wangpo Elephant Camp”. I also found something about “Taweechai Elephant Camp” which is supposed to be good with the animals, too, but which is not the place Tong goes to, I think. Of course I could just try any but if you have the ultimate recommendation to make the experience most worthwhile, I would be so grateful! Any idea which one you have been to?

  25. Hi Anja! I wish I knew the name… I looked up the places you mentioned but they don’t look familiar to me. I wrote to Tong on her Facebook Group. I hope we can make this work for you. Will you be doing the Tiger Temple tour too?

  26. Mandy says:

    Hi, firstly let me say great blog and great photos. Thanks for sharing! My family and I are heading to Thailand soon. I have booked a tour with Tong and am planning on booking another one to see the floating markets, train market. and maybe the elephants. The elephants look amazing however I have a 7 and a 9 year. Do you think they are too young for the elephant camp experience? Thanks Mandy

  27. Hi Mandy! I am so excited for your trip! I think 7 & 9 might be a little too young to fully enjoy the elephants. The time with them is fun, but tough.
    I think the Fishing Village tour will be perfect for all of you. The kids will love the monkeys!

  28. Mandy says:

    Thanks so much for your reply. I too thought my kids would be a bit young.

  29. Julie says:

    Hey! I was wondering if you happen to remember the name of the elephant camp. I’m very interested in going, but Tour with Tong is out of my price range.

  30. Hi Julie: I am sorry, I do not know the name of the people or village Tong uses for her tours. You may be able to find another company who offer this tour for less.
    I know it is a lot to pay, but the experience really is worth the 700 Baht ($23 USD). It’s a day you’ll never forget, I promise! :)

  31. Anja says:

    Hey! I promised to reply and here I am :)
    We booked a very similar tour including just an elephant ride and an elephant bath directly in Kanchanaburi but from your pictures it must have been a different elephant camp. There are a lot of travel agencies at the main road so it was no problem. And it definitely was on of the best things I did during my whole stay in Thailand <3 Thanks for giving us the idea!

  32. Charina says:

    Hi, I was wondering how much did you spend for the tour?

  33. Hi Charina! We took several tours with Tong and paid for them all together, so I can’t remember exactly how much we paid for each one back in 2010.
    However, according to Tong’s website, the Elephant Bath costs 700 baht per person, so about 23 USD.

  34. Mi says:

    Hello, your photos are fantastic! I really love them. :) Is there any special charge for their service or 700 baht is the whole cost for that tour?

  35. Thank you, Mi. I am pretty sure 700 baht is the cost of the tour (that’s what the website says), but maybe contact Tong to be sure. We did this tour and the Tiger Temple together on the same day. Also, you may want extra money for tips.

  36. Patricia Canejo says:

    Could you please tell me the exact name for Elephant Village, because I check in internet and we get a lot of places. I really apreciate what you sayd about this on in particular.

  37. Hi Patricia — I’m not sure the exact name of this Elephant Village. We went on a tour arranged by Tour With Tong. I believe that is the only way to go to this particular tour.

  38. Mayank says:


    This is a great write-up, and pictures from both wildlife adventures at Bangkok are intriguing!

    I’m actually going to be doing something very similar in a couple of weeks and although I have most things figured out, I wanted to see if I can heed your advice on the estimates of how much you tipped the people who assisted you. I’m unsure about what the norms are on that over there.

    Let me know if you can. Thanks!

  39. Hi Mayank,
    How exciting! You will have such a wonderful time!
    Honestly, I do not remember how much we tipped. I do remember that tipping in not customary in Thailand, but very much appreciated.

    Here is a link I had in my notes re: tipping. I hope this helps.

  40. Mayank says:

    Thanks! You’re awesome.

  41. Mark says:

    Hi Kristi,

    I really want to do the tiger and elephant tour for my honeymoon in Nov. Great pictures – did you take the pictures yourselves or did the guide do that for you?

  42. Hi Mark! What a wonderful honeymoon idea — you’ll have the time of your life! Our guide took the photos for us — it was such a wonderful perk!
    We had a couple of different guides from Tour with Tong during our week in Bangkok, and all of them were knowledgeable, careful, and thrilled to take pictures for us.
    Have a blast! :)

  43. Bebeh says:

    I love all your photos! WOW!!! this made me so excited. We want to do this for our honeymoon on June. Thanks for all the info you provided I just checked them out and I cant wait to contact them. Can I ask you if the water was deep? I don’t know how to swim (lame) so I just want to know if the water is way too deep. Thanks!

  44. Hi Bebeh! I know you’ll have a wonderful time. The water is not deep. I am 5’03” and as you can see by the photos, the water only comes to my upper thigh, and in some cases, only to my knees.
    Happy travels! :)

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