Southern Thailand has it all – tropical islands dotted amongst calm turquoise waters, a thriving traditional culture and some of the best food on the planet. On this journey of wildlife immersion and cultural exploration, temples, swaying palm trees and gentle elephants will be the backdrop of your experience.
The first days will be spent exploring the cultural melting pot of Phuket and the islands sprinkled in the bay just offshore. Then travel to a sanctuary set amongst the lush rainforests of Phuket where rescued elephants are free to roam, graze and swim in their natural surroundings. Lend a hand alongside elephant caretakers, known as mahouts, and staff at the sanctuary to learn exactly what it takes to care for an elephant. Then venture out to the majestic Phi Phi Islands for two days of relaxation amongst swaying palms and white sand beaches. There is no better way to end a trip to Thailand than taking in ocean breezes from a beachfront resort.
Care for Elephants in a Remarkable Jungle Sanctuary
Mahouts, or elephant caretakers, will be by your side as you learn the daily routines of these majestic creatures in a jungle sanctuary. It is not only a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but is truly educational and will show you just how central elephants are to Thai culture.
Like many creatures, elephants are under threat from a variety of forces, including deforestation, illegal trade & logging. This inspired a local group to create a place where elephants can thrive in their natural habitat. This sanctuary promotes the highest of standards in elephant welfare, retiring, re-homing and rehabilitating elephants that have formerly worked in the logging and trekking industries, and mimics their native habitat, with the elephants roaming free over acres of rainforest and cool bathing pools.
To achieve our purpose, feed and bathe these gentle giants, clean their living areas, learn basic elephant commands, and watch them thrive in their natural habitat as you learn first-hand how elephant conservation and tourism intertwine in present day Thailand.
Where You’ll Stay
The journey begins at a charming hotel just steps to the tropical beaches of Phuket Island. Relax after your long flight by the hotel’s pool, venture into the nearby beachside markets or simply take in the stunning seaside views. The next three nights will be spent at a high-end 5-star boutique resort a short drive from the elephant sanctuary where we’ll be lending a hand. Perched up on one of the island’s highest points, you’ll have access to an award winning spa, pool and one of the best places to catch the sunset in Thailand. End the journey with two nights on the world famous Koh Phi Phi Island. From the 4.5 star resort located on the turquoise waters of Phi Phi, explore the best of Southern Thailand or simply relax by the resort’s pool and spa.
Arrive in Phuket and settle into our charming hotel just steps from town and local beaches. We’ll spend the next few days exploring Phuket and the surrounding islands. Visit the famous Way Chalong Temples, trek to the Big Buddha statue and experience traditional island village life in Koh Yao Noi Island.
The next three days will be spent at a local elephant sanctuary learning the ins and outs of elephant welfare. Relax each afternoon from the comfort of your 5-star resort. End the trip with an excursion to Koh Phi Phi island and explore the reefs and relax along the warm turquoise waters.
Your Expert Local Guide
Discover Corps’ expert family of guides around the world are by your side throughout the journey. Please note that the actual guide may vary from date-to-date.
Tom is our dedicated guide in tropical Phuket. Born and raised on the island, Tom studied English and is a certified tour guide in Thailand. He prefers the simple life and loves taking our groups behind-the-scenes to see his favorite corners (and places to eat!) throughout Phuket.
Optional post-trip extensions
Discover Corps’ post-trip extensions allow you to extend your experience beyond the core itinerary and explore unique corners of the destination.
Angkor Wat (4 Days/3 Nights)
Venture to the majestic Angkor Wat Temples deep in the Cambodian jungle and relax in a gorgeous 4-star hotel & spa.
Chiang Mai Extension (4 Days/3 Nights)
Experience the beauty of Thailand’s cultural hub visiting iconic Buddhist temples and distant hill tribe villages.
Bangkok Extension (3 Days/2 Nights)
Visit the must-see sights of Thailand’s bustling capital city. Enjoy an evening cruise, tuk-tuk rides and the city’s impressive floating markets.
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Rating: 5/5 stars
Dates and Prices
Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and most meals to make your experience hassle-free.
- Double Occupancy Price. Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult
- Single Room Supplement = $950
- All meals included: 9 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
- 3 nights lodging at boutique hotel in Karon Beach
- 3 nights lodging at a 5-star coastal resort near the elephant sanctuary
- 2 nights lodging at 4.5 star Koh Phi Phi Island resort
- Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you throughout the trip
- Reliable in-country transportation with experienced drivers
- Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
- An active daily itinerary including lectures, day trips and an interactive volunteer assignment alongside a local elephant sanctuary
- All gratuities for hotels, meals, baggage & transportation
- $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance
- 24-hour Discover Corps emergency hotline & turnkey service
What’s Not Included:
- International airfare
- One dinner and one lunch on your own
- Tips for your guide and driver
- Optional activities during time on Koh Phi Phi Island (snorkeling, long-tail boat tours, sea canoeing, cooking classes, hiking on the island & more). Your guide can help you book these adventures!
Our intimate, small-group departures consist of like-minded travelers. Don’t see a date that works? Want to make it private? Schedule a personal travel consultation and we’ll make it happen.
November 19-27, 2023 (LIMITED)
December 15-23, 2023 (LIMITED)
December 17-25, 2023 $250 Holiday Supplement (FULL)
January 21-29, 2024
February 18-26, 2024
March 17-25, 2024
March 31-April 8, 2024
June 16-24, 2024
June 30-July 8, 2024
July 14-22, 2024
July 28-August 5, 2024
August 18-26, 2024
September 15-23, 2024
November 24-December 2, 2024
December 22-30, 2024 $250 Holiday Supplement