You ever seen an elephant sh*t?
It’s one of the things you’ll get to experience when visiting the Elephant Sanctuary, in Phuket – as well as feeding and washing with them.
At first I wasn’t keen on going as I thought it was like the infamous Tiger Temple, a place known for drugging wild animals so tourists can get selfies with them.
But it’s in fact the complete opposite.
The elephants are rescued from circuses and illegal zoos and will spend the rest of their lives under the care of the keepers.
After getting picked up from Rawai in a Songtaew (pickup truck with seats) me and a couple of girls I’d met from Phuket Cleanse set out to meet the largest land animals on the planet.
Upon arrival, you could see the elephants walking towards the truck. They were hungry and wanted food (fortunately, humans aren’t part of their diet).
We were quickly shown how to prepare their meals, which is basically stacking a bucket full of bananas and peeling the skins off for the babies.
I think Aya, who was also hungry, started eating some of the bananas, which might explain why the 65-year-old elephant we were supposed to be feeding looked pissed off.
Once the group had finished hand feeding the beasts, it was time to take a mud bath.
“Get in, get in” shouts one of the workers, as an army of people charge into a filthy pond occupied by the grey giants.
The thick, slushy mud slips in between your toes like quicksand and if you’re not careful, you’ll place your foot in a huge pile of elephant crap too.
It’s f*cking disgusting but nobody cares, as let’s face it, you’d be a fool if you thought bathing with elephants was going to be a clean experience.
Once covered in mud, it was time for a cool down in a cleaner pond, where we got to chuck water over the elephants who were splashing around like toddler in a bath.
We were then taken to a giant shower where we scrubbed and hoses the elephants until they were squeaky clean.
Best part of the day for me of course was when they served up a the buffet meal at the end.
Admittedly, the beef Massaman and Pad Thai was sh*t, but when you’re as hungry as an elephant you’ll eat anything.