Trekking is very much like Homestay with much one-on-one time with your own elephant and lots of personal instruction, but there are three main differences.
First, Trekking's 12 elephants are drawn from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center's ride elephants, those that take visitors for rides on a howdah (saddle). These elephants are all adults and behave like it.
Second, the Trekking program is sited at the south end of the TECC, at the Mahout Training School and far away from the bustle of tourists, elephant shows and Homestay. The emphasis is more on traditional techniques, the mahout's way of life, and venturing into forest.
Third, and more practically, Trekking accommodations are very simple, small rooms best suited to a single person, or a married couple, and not as suitable as homestay for families.
Nearly all Trekking programs involve overnight stays, but there is a One-day Program (4,000 baht). Starting at 8:00 am, visitors are loaned mahout's clothing - perfectly designed for riding an elephant - and given two hours of instruction and practice on riding and controlling the elephant. Then, you ride your elephant to see our Calves and visit our Hospital.
Lunch, included in the package, follows and then you go to see elephant Bathing, look at the Show, and visit the Dung Paper factory. Then you take your own elephant for a bath, ride back to the mahout school and receive a certificate to finish the day.
The Two-day Trekking program's first day is exactly like the One-day Program except that at day's end you take your elephant to its tethering place. (Also, the mahout's suit you are given is yours to keep.) The second day starts with bathing your elephant and then, after breakfast, a long trek through the forest, where you will have lunch. After lunch, you return to the School, bathe your elephant, and receive your certificate. The Two-day Program (8,500 baht) includes all meals, accommodation and clothing.
A Three-day/Two-night program is available, as is a Six-day Program, which includes one night camping in the forest with the mahouts and elephants. All overnight programs require a minimum of two people. The longer programs teach much more about elephant command words, the fine points of controlling an elephant, correct use of chains, how to live in the forest, and the mahout's way of life.
All the long stay options offer a special option where guests can choose to say in the Chang Thai Resort, where there are larger and more comfortable rooms, including air-conditioning.
In fact, Trekking programs are very flexible as to length, so you can almost design your own package. For more information on all programs, including making reservations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Group tours, very popular with school groups, of up to 24 people can be specially arranged but only if, beyond 12 people, the participants are willing for every two people to share an elephant.
All mahout training courses are suitable for following qualification of tourist:
1. The tourist who has strong and healthy physical body condition
2. The tourist who is not disabled
3. Tourist who has the weigh below 110 Kiligrams or 242 pounds
4. The tourist who does not has heart disease or Parkinson
5. The tourist who is between 6 – 65 years old