Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Siam Elephant Encounter made me Smile

I admit. I just didn’t smile. I also laugh, amazed and exclaimed wow! Then, I thunderously clapped my hands many times after. These are my reactions after watching the elephant show at Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo in Nakhon Pathom province. A chance to get close to these gentle animals after the show was an elephant encounter that made me smile in amazingness I will never forget.

Traveling for two hours to Samphran, Nakhon Pathom province is the only way to get up close and personal with these Siam elephants. Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo is a popular sightseeing destination for both adults and children alike in Nakhon Pathom. Aside from the exciting offer of The Elephant Theme Show, it also offers a Magic Show and The Crocodile Wrestling Show to delight its visitors. Visitors can also check-out the tropical garden and waterfalls while riding on the elephant’s back, visit their Orchid Garden and sample various cuisines at the Erawan Restaurant.

Siam elephant encounter will make you SMILE.
The Magic Show.
It was lunch time already when we arrive at Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo. I and my travel mates were treated to a buffet lunch at Erawan Restaurant. Most of the dishes served were categorized as Oriental, Western and Indian cuisines for various visitors of different nationalities. I did not focus much on the food so as soon as we finished our lunch, we immediately proceeded to an open-air theatre where the Magic Show has already started. A lot of the spectators were amused and enjoyed the magic show. The magic show is just icing on the cake at the open-air theatre. Anyone who has watched a magic show will be familiar with it already. I am more excited the main show of the day – the elephant show.

Welcoming the audience in style!

The place to be Nakhon Pathom.
The elephants in their royal robes.
When the Magic Show ended, I and my travel mates anticipated the exciting main event. I was in complete awe along with the audience when the elephants took the centerstage to greet the spectators with a welcome banner while donning various positions. The first segment of The Elephant Show was a presentation and narration of how to catch elephants in the wild. While the show is on-going, there’s a voice-over narrating the history of elephants in Thailand and how it became part of the royal army of the kingdom as well as how it became a symbol to the country. While narrating, the elephants plays the demonstration of how they were catch in the wild by the kingdom personnel and how they are being tamed to be docile to people. The good and strength characteristics of the animal were also narrated by the voice-over.

It's time for the next presentation...
The next segment of the show was dubbed as the “Elephant World Cup Thailand”.  In this presentation the elephants return to the stage wearing a jersey like sport uniforms like those worn by soccer players in a real World Cup event - complete with athlete number and country name represented! The elephants play soccer this time with the wild cheer of the audience. There was so much cheer when the elephant wearing the Thailand jersey hit a kick but I was in a wilder cheer with the watchers when the elephant in Argentina jersey score a goal to the net! After the soccer event, they proceeded to demonstrate different tricks and play like rolling hoops on their trunk and doing a sprint race.  The audience responded a thunderous applause after all these presentations signifying their satisfaction to the show.

It's time for the Elephant World Cup Thailand!
Go for the goal, Thailand!
It's elephant playtime!
The finale of the Elephant Show was the dramatization of a great royal battle scene – “Yutha Hathi”.  The presentation opened with a real blast of canon and fires. The scenes were acted with actors riding an elephant engaged in battle between kingdoms. Though, there was a narrator over what is happening, my attention focuses more on the amazing stunts and tricks that these elephants were showing.  They were really amazing and I hope the zoo really treat them well because they make money out of them. It was a great entertainment for visitors of the country. The finale received a thunderous applause again from the spectators. After this, all of the elephants showed at the centerstage to thank all the watchers along with their trick masters and actors in the presentation. It was a perfect time for visitors to have a close encounter with the elephants as it is free to touch them and had a souvenir shot with these gentle elephants.

The Yutha Hathi dramatization.
The finale of the Elephant Show was the most spectacular part of the show.
The Crocodile Wrestling Show was the next event in our itinerary at the zoo. Here a master crocodile catcher performs breathtaking stunts with crocodiles to the audience’s delight. One of the most thrilling stunts that I will never forget in the show is the suspense inducing of putting the mater catcher’s head inside the open mouth of the crocodile! It was dared act for me. The crocodiles were scary because though there are slow moving they are quick in using the long snout with sharp teeth to bite! Around the zoo were also large pens of crocodiles where I saw various sizes of these animals – small, medium to the biggest size croc!

Checking if the crocodile has a nice pair of teeth...
Crocodile's lounge at the zoo grounds.
I felt that my close encounters with the elephants earlier at the show were a bit cliffhanger because I was hesitant in getting nearer or touching them.  I was only quick in touching them and take souvenir photos. Maybe I’m torn in hesitating and excitement as it was my first time to watch an elephant show and my first time get a close encounter with the elephants. Luckily at the ground zoo, there were two elephants which were free to have a close encounter with along with their baby elephants! I did not miss the chance to get a close encounter with them so I quickly went to them. I felt hesitant in touching a mother elephant at first because their trunk is quick moving and acts like their hand. Things might go unpredictable and I might be hit by the elephant’s trunk. But the elephant master instructs the animal to behave so I can calmly touch it and then have a souvenir photo after. Actually the elephant is really behaving well but her trunk is playful. The elephant master maybe sees my hesitancy because of its playfulness so he instructs the elephant to be calm in playing and moving. The elephant’s skin is rough, hard and sparsely hairy. It felt like rubber or plastic with a texture of a straightened crumpled paper. The baby elephant is churlish because I when try to touch it, it spread soil on its back via trunk. Bad baby elephant!
Trying to touch the gentle animal...
Mother and... bad baby elephant!
Taming of a playful trunk...
Elephant encounters: up close and personal.
I was glad with the elephant encounter experience so I bought a cluster of banana to feed these elephants. I told my mom to feed a piece of banana only so we can have more time spent in feeding the elephants. But she gave a whole bunch of banana to the elephants that grab it and ate it whole! I was angry at her first but it turns out she gave it all because we are running out of time and our ride back to Bangkok is already waiting for us. Oh well, I’m still happy and all smiles after my whole afternoon encounter with the Siam elephants. They were all docile, intelligent and friendly to human interaction.  I am amazed with their learned tricks and stunts. They are truly, one of the intelligent animals around. My elephant encounters made my great day in my last itinerary destination outside the outskirts of Bangkok. And while riding on the van, I thought of my whole elephant encounter - it made me smile until we reach Bangkok.

Siam Elephant Encounter made me Smile is part of my Thailand's Amazing Smiles series where I share my wonderful trip to the land of amazing smiles last October 25-28, 2011. For a helpful trip to Bangkok visit Bangkok for Visitors website for more information. You might also like the other parts of the series:  
Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo
Petkasem Road K.m. 30, Samphran District, 
Nakhon Pathom Province, 73110, Thailand 
Entrance fee including all shows: Adult - 600THB, Child below 130 cms. - 350THB. 
Open daily from 08.30 - 17.30
Learn more about Samphran Elephant Ground and Zoo at their website - click here.
This is not a paid article.


  1. Si Mali pa lang ang nami-meet ko na elepante hehe, lucky you :)

  2. yung sa Manila Zoo pala ang nakita kong elepante... di ko pa nahawakan... hehehe! Thank you for sharing Ian... Cheers!!! ^_^

  3. @Christian: Visit Samphran and you'll meet his other friends..

    @Pinoy Adventurista: May recent news na tatangalin na sya sa Manila Zoo. Thanks for visiting!

  4. nakakatuwa talaga ang elephant show..hindi ka ba sumakay?nakasakay kasi kami sa bangkok safari world pero sa safari world walang crocodile show,yung pinapasok yung ulo nila sa bunganga ng buwaya.

  5. @Melvin: Hindi eh ok na sakin mahawakan at ma-hug sila, ang likot kasi ng trunks nila. Masyadong playful. =)

  6. Gusto ko din to ma try! Its on my bucket list. haha amazed na amazed tlga ako sa mga elephants :D

  7. @Wander Shugah: And they are very docile and gentle animals too. You'll enjoy the encounter experience. I assure you.

  8. Is there any free elephant ride in this place?



All comments and reactions are highly appreciated.

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