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Land of Elephents

Land of  Elephents

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SURIN THAILAND “The Land of the Elephents”


 

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SURIN THAILAND “The Land of the Elephents”
 
 
 

  

Elephant Round-up Surin Thailand 2007-4  

Elephant at Nature Park Ban Taklang Surin Thailand 0007

 

Ban Ta Klang, Tambon Kapho, Amphoe Tha Tum

      This  ancient  Kui  village  has  raised  elephants  for  hundreds  of  years,  since  the  time  when  their  ancestors  settled  down  in  the Dry  evergreen  forest  at  the  juncture  of  the  Mun  and  the  Chi  Rivers.  This  area  had  abundant  food  to  feed  retired  war  elephants,  which  were  earlier  sent  to  Ayutthaya  as  tax  in  kind  instead  of  being  conscripted.
       In  the  old  days,  pachi,  the  head  of  mahouts,  led  a  number  of  fellow  mahouts  to  catch  wild  elephants  in  Cambodia.  The  international  conflict  in  that  country  put  a  stop  to  this  practice.  Elephant  raising  in  Surin,  however,  continues  unabated,  as  young  elephants  are  born  every  year.
       The  Kui  reject  the  employment  of  elephants  in  hard  work,  such  as  logging,  which  is  more  popular  in  the  North,  Elephants,  like  friends  or  sons,  grow  side  by  side  with  them.  Their  bond  is  indivisible.
         While  no  wild  elephants  are  rounded  up  now,  domesticated  elephants  prolong  the  art  of  mahouts.  When  young  elephant  reaches  the  age  of  1  or  2  years  old,  it  needs  to  be  trained  to  receive  such  orders  as  helping  mahout  to  its  back,  turn  left - right,  walk  forward - backward,  etc.     
       In  the  former  time,  elephants  were  trained  at  home.  Now  there  exists  an  elephant  training  center  near  the  Elephant  Study  Center,  to  train  teenage  elephants.  Elephant  has  good  memory  and  can  learn  several  tricks  with  regular  practices.
 

Elephant Study Center

      The  exhibition  inside  the  center  displays  the  history  of  the  village,  and  the  equipment  used  in  elephant  raiding,  such  as  pakham  rope,  rope  used  in  elelphant  raiding  made  from  buffalo  skin,  etc..   Show  on  elephant  training  can  be  seen  every  Saturday  during  09.00 - 11.00  am..
      Women  in  the  village  also  weave  beautiful  silk  cloth,  particularly  after  harvesting  season  around  December - January.  In  the  afternoon,  tourists  ride  elephants  to  the  wood  by  the  Mun  River,  and  watch  the  mahout  bathing  their  elephants  in  the  evening  while  enjoying  the  last  sunlight  of  the  day.
       The  most  interesting  time  to  visit  the  village  is  during  November - December,  as  many  mahouts  return  home  for  harvesting  season,  and  undoubtedly  for  the  province’s  annual  elephant  show.
       Group  travelers  who  want  to  see  elephant  show  during  working  days  should  contact  Khun  Prasit  Klangpattana,   Ban   Ta  Klang,  Tambon  Kapho,  Amphoe  Tha  Tum,  tel. (01) 999-1910,         (01) 967-5015,  or  Amphoe  Tha  Tum,  tel (044) 591141,   591058.  Charges  are  50 baht  for  Thais  and  100  baht  for  foreigners.  The  charge  for  riding  elephant  around  the  village  or  along  the  river  is  negotiable.

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Elephant Village Ban Ta Klang Surin Thailand 0004
 
 
 
 
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