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Elephant Experience in Laos, by Chiara Paoletti

 

A day with Elephants outside of Luang Prabang

 

Experiencing elephants – a great day arranged by Tiger Trail and their guides just outside of Luang Prabang! Just a beautiful Elephant Adventure tour outside of Luang Prabang...

 

Elephant ride, Elephant Camp, Laosat 8:00 we came to the Tiger Trail office in the main street of Luang Prabang. Our guide Mr. Somkeo had the car waiting for us and we left for our first activity…a local market a bit outside the centre of Luang Prabang. This does not resemble the touristy night market at all! Here you see women cooking, frying and selling the most beautiful dishes; fish, sausages, chicken, sticky rice and vegetables. Our guide could tell us a lot about it while buying and later when eating...

When we arrived at the Elephant Camp, we first got to know the elephants. The one directed to us was called Kanmouan, she was 35 years old and born and raised in Northern Laos. She formerly used to work in logging and now helps guests to learn more about her history and her other family members in Laos.   After an introduction, while having some refreshments, we learned a lot about elephants in general. Really cool, because we were not really into elephants before, but now we heard things we have never even thought aboutr…interesting information about the history, figures, the nutrition and the enemies of elephants and their lifestyle was provided to us in a 30 min. lecture…

 

The next part of the Elephant Mahout tour was learning how Mahout Elephant at Elephant Camp Luang Prabangto be a Mahout, an elephant handler. Climbing on top of an Elephant is already a big challenge. Yet alone steering one the way you want it to go. We learned some Lao phrases like left, right, sit and move it! To help us with that we were practicing on chairs and tried hard to remember… After about an hour we kind of mastered it and we went on to wash the elephant, a real highlight indeed!!! They like it very much, and for us was great as well. Scrubbing her back while standing in the Mekong and once in a while a full trunk of water sprayed over us. That was a refreshing escape from the Lao sun!

The elephant camp provided a welcome shower and we ate the lunch we bought earlier on the market. There was even a diverse dessert with various tropical fruits, delicious! Kanmouan joined in and we had some fun feeding her right from our table…

Having some time off we decided for a small nap on one of the wooden beds with a view on the Mekong , beautiful! Mr. Somkeo however woke us up to ask if we wanted the make a tour through the jungle on the elephant. “Yes off course, that’s why are here!” So we mounted the elephant and went for the jungle and forest trail. To be a Mahout New-Comer is definitely much more difficult than it looked on the first sight. Kanmoun wasn’t really listening, at least not to us. We discovered that she is eating an enormous amount of bamboo, also with us on top trying to make her keep walking. But with the help of the “real” Mahouts who were walking with us, we managed just ok!Climbing to Elephant Luang Prabang

After a beautiful two hour ride through jungle and along the Mekong , we came back at the camp. We had a drink and our guide brought us to the house of a local family. Amazing how people still live here. The dinner was the real Lao food, very well prepared and they were very generous with Beer Lao and Lao Lao; the self brewed whisky.

After thanking everybody for the delicious meal, the car brought us back to our guesthouse where we arrived around 08:00 P.M.. No need to say that this was a great day and an excellent Lao experience with Elephants, nature and fantastic people! Thanks to the Guide and the whole Tiger Trail team…we will recommend you!

 

Elephant Tours and Elephant Rides Elephant programs - click here

 

With the family at Elephant Camp, Luang Prabang, Elephant Adventures'

 

Great Elephant Adventures in Laos are made possible by Tiger Trail Outdoor Adventures Luang Prabang, Laos.
Ban Phone Pheang Village or on the main road in Luang Prabang