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Surin Elephant Village.  Located in Ban Ta Klang.

In  the  old  days,  pachi,  the  head  of  mahouts,  led  several  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 centre near the  Elephant  Study  Centre,  to  train  teenage  elephants.  Elephant  has  good memory  and can  learn  several  tricks  with  regular  practices.

Open Times:~Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday   09:00 to 16:00

The  exhibition  inside  the  centre  displays  the  history  of  the  village,  and  the  equipment used  in  elephant  raiding,  such  as  pakham  rope,  rope  used  in  elephant  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  travellers  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.