Surin Travel Guide :
Ban Ta Klang Elephant Village
| Any visit to Thailand will be incomplete without a visit to Ban Ta Klang Elephant village in the province of Surin. The village comprises of people from the ancient tribe of Kui, and they have been rearing these gentle giants for hundreds of years.
This area is highly conducive for elephants as it has the plants and grass that elephants like eating. During the Ayutthaya period, the people from the village used to send the elephant feed to the king so that they were not recruited for wars. This was like a form of tax against being drafted.
Before war broke out in neighboring Cambodia, the Kui mahouts used to enter into Cambodia to capture wild elephants. However, now this has stopped. But the war in Cambodia has done nothing to stop the rearing of elephants in Ban Ta Klang Elephant village as the older elephants being giving birth to calves each year.
The Kui people do not use elephants for hard labor. Instead, they treat them with a lot of love and affection. If you see the elephants and their mahouts, you will think it is one big happy family. The elephants are trained by the mahouts to use their trunks to help the mahouts on their backs. Besides that, there are also trained to turn in different directions, and to walk backwards and forwards.
No longer do the people from Ban Ta Klang Elephant village train elephants at home. Instead they make use of the training center located in the nearby Elephant Study Center. Here at the center, trainers help the mahouts to teach elephants many tricks involving memory. In addition, the study center has a museum which showcases the history of Ban Ta Klang Elephant village and the equipment used to capture wild elephants in the past.
Every Saturday from 9.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. visitors can see how elephants are trained. And in the afternoon, visitors can go on an elephant ride to the nearby Mun River where they can see the mahouts bathing their elephants.