This was hands down one of the coolest experiences I’ve had. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical at first because I read that the salt water really isn’t good for the elephant’s skin. While this may be true, I was extremely happy to see that after sending Yaya in the water to swim, they immediately wash her off.
If you want to go swimming with Yaya, you can find her at Paradise Beach, well nearby. We told our cab driver we wanted to go to Paradise Beach and once we got close enough to see signs, we were able to convey that we wanted him to follow them. He double checked with some locals and got us there without a problem.
Swimming with an elephant isn’t the cheapest experience, but you’re paying for a once in a lifetime experience. It’s 1,000 baht for 15-20 minutes (although honestly, there wasn’t anyone there when we went, and I’m sure we spent much longer than that). They can take pictures for you that I’m sure you can pay for, or you can allow them to use your camera. I seriously need to learn the photographer’s iPhone hacks because he took some amazing photos and videos simultaneously. I need to take lessons or something!
aya is super well-trained. She’ll sit down and let you ride on her back, give kisses, and throw you over her and into the water. It was a truly wonderful time swimming with Yaya. She’s an absolute sweetheart, but beware that she may poop in the water! They were super quick to notice and clean up, but the employee did pick it up with his hands. That was a bit disturbing.
After our time in the water, we hung out with our adorable, baby elephant friend on the beach. We were able to cuddle with her for a bit and take more pictures. Yaya is always up for a photo shoot! She gave us one last kiss goodbye before touching us each inappropriately. Quite the funny prank they’ve taught her to play on people!
To wrap it all up, she takes some photos by herself, being more photogenic than I’ll ever be in my life. Then she kindly waves bye to you and goes to receive her bath.
If this is something you’re thinking about doing, I strongly recommend it. It was beyond worth it, and it still feels a bit unreal to me. Truly unforgettable. Don’t forget to leave the guys who work there a tip for making your experience great! I found that most people are quick to remind you to tip, but these guys didn’t say a word and were so incredibly friendly and helpful. This is certainly an experience to look into if you’re ever in Phuket! And besides, who doesn’t wanna swim with a baby elephant?
-Extra charge return private
-patong beach 400 baht
-kata karon beach 600 baht
-rawai beach 800 baht
-kamala ,surin beach 600 baht
-laguna beach 800 baht
-mai khao beach 1,000 baht