Safari World and My Last Elephant Ride.
Where animals roam just outside the city.
During the taxi ride to Safari World, we chatted with our driver, Mr. Yo and asked him if the place was still in good condition and whether the animals were taken care of. I am very careful when it comes to visiting zoos or animal parks, because I can’t personally bear to see them being too skinny on unwell. This image breaks my heart most of the time and I was glad when Mr. Yo told us that they are all fine and look healthy.
We continued the 40 minutes ride listening to his stories about spending a long week in his home town during the Songkran festival where he would be in charge of cooking a feast for the whole village. When my mum asked for his tom yam soup recipe, he excitedly shared with her the ingredients, explaining to her that it’s best to put everything together and let it simmer.
We decided to take a taxi because this driver would wait for us until we finished out visit in the Safari World and then send us back home. Visitors are advised to take a tour bus, a taxi, private car as there are not many public transportation options here. Mr. Yo brought us to the ticket counter where we paid a packaged price for both Safari Park and Marine Park. Tickets for the coach services were separate and we got those as well.
How we spent the day in Safari World.
1. Watched an Orang Utan boxing show.
These orang utans are clever creatures but I had a little problem with seeing them in a bikini or shorts. They look strange as this was not their natural element. There was a boxing ring and the 2 contenders fought each other in a friendly way, with a female orang utan walking around with the ’round 2′ sign. I was not particularly fond of them gyrating their hips to the wall or pulling down their pants as part of a comic relief to the show. I’m just glad that they look well and the show was only 15 minutes.
2. Clapped along with the sea lions.
Sea lions are cute and clever when it comes to simple tricks like balancing a ball on their nose. They’re also very fun and love to splash around in the water, showing off their ability to race after the hoops quickly. They could even stand upright, balancing themselves on their tail.
3. Went on a River Safari ride.
We had some time to spend before the next show, so we went for a quick ride on a mini boat around the water area. The ride was relaxing and there was only one live snake (which I’m glad was kept safely) during the whole time. Children would love this boat ride as they could go into a small cave, look at the moving animal statues and the green trees.
4. Met the largest walruses ever.
Well most of the animal friends are larger than me so this was no surprise BUT they were really huge! We were walking to another section of the park when this sea of water mist sprayed all over us. We stopped in front of the walrus area and saw them being fed by the trainer. Well one of them gave us a good view of its’ errmm legs while the other was busy wading in the water.
5. Fed the giraffes.
Oh yes we got to feed the giraffes in person while walking around the park. The giraffe feeding terrace was connected to the safari area where wild animals like the zebra, deers and tigers roam. There were 200 giraffes altogether and they crowded around our hut to get food. We bought a bucket of bananas for 100b and was given a stick with it. My mum was a bit afraid of them but I adored these creatures. I think they’re most beautiful beings on earth. =D
6. Admired the elephants’ painting.
Besides the giraffes, I am quite fond of the elephants, recalling the time when we would be singing to the elephant song when we were kids. I’ve never seen an elephant paint though and I was surprised to see them using a brush to paint a beautiful tree, with colorful leaves and branches. These were on sale for 700b a piece. The elephants are indeed clever creatures and they listen to instructions well. One of the heart-stopping moment was when they massaged the volunteers with their feet lightly and walked over them. After the show, we could climb on the elephants, take photos, circle the ring with them for 100b each.
7. Watched the dolphin show.
My parents love dolphins therefore we had to see this show. They were really attached to their trainers and waited excitedly for fish bites after performing a few tricks. The trainers also dove into the water and was brought up to the surface by the dolphins as though they were the jet skis. I loved when they jumped high in the air and twirled their tails waving goodbye to us at the end of the show.
8. Hopped on a bus to the Safari Park.
This was an actual safari where we saw zebras, giraffes and dears running around in one large compound together. The area was so huge that you needed to drive a car, ride a taxi or take the bus to visit the place. While we were inside, we saw a female zebra with her baby, giraffes heading to the feeding terrace and birds resting on the roofs of the huts. It felt like Africa except that it was smaller I presume (since I’ve never been to Africa).
9. Spotted the sleeping tigers.
We entered another locked area and entered the tiger kingdom hoping to see many tigers walking about in their space. Instead we saw the striped creatures lying down on the rocks and underneath a shady hut, hiding from the hot sun and catching a couple of snoozes. They looked so cosy so it’s best not to wake them up, except maybe when it’s time to eat.
10. Saw a bear dipping in the water.
We couldn’t see the bears at first because of their dark fur. Then we saw one dipping in the swimming pool, from the left side of the bus. I would be in there too if I had thick fur with this heat. Further on, we spotted more bears having a nap with their feet in the air, just like us humans.
Why this would be my last elephant ride.
I must admit that this was my first elephant ride and I wanted to have the once in a lifetime experience. It was a bit scary climbing on top of it, hold on to the chains near its’ neck and then positioning myself properly so that I don’t drop. Once the elephant got up, I felt as though I was on the ledge of a 2-storey building, about to fall off. It didn’t feel good when I went with it around the ring. I was also praying that it would not stand on its hind legs because I don’t think I’d be able to hold on tightly. Thank goodness that didn’t happen but lets just say I will not be riding any elephants in the future. I love them a lot to not burden then with my weight.
Other helpful information:
Location: Safari World. 99 Payaintra Road, Sam Wa Tawan Tok, Khlong Sam Wa, Bangkok, Thailand | Phone: +66 2 914 4100-19 | Visiting Hours: 9am-5:30pm daily | Entrance Fees: Safari & Marine Park Package 1,000b (adults). Coach services inside the safari area costs additional 300b and marine park water ride costs 300b.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.