This hands-on experience is one that I will never forget. It’s truly hard to put into words how impactful this trip has been for me. Trekking through the jungle to observe an elephant and her two babies, making banana salad for elderly elephants, bathing elephants, and seeing the bond between the elephants and mahouts are all amongst some of the highlights of my trip (and frankly, of my entire life!)
You do not need any prior experience to partake in this adventure, just come in with an open mind and an open heart! You’ll learn so much about Thai history, elephant health, and what it truly means to be a good mahout (elephant caretaker).
I never expected to feel at home in the depths of the jungle.. but P’Ann, our guide and founder of H2T, went above and beyond to curate an amazing experience that was full of laughter, knowledge, and amazing Thai food.
I highly recommend this organization to all animal lovers and anyone who is up for an adventure of a lifetime.
Hand2Trunk completed my Southeast Asia experience, literally and figuratively. After 4 weeks of traveling I spent a wholesome 5th week with H2T. This week was full of education, reflection, and fun like I have never been able to experience before. Trekking through the jungle, with a group of like-minded individuals and elephants, while enjoying the cooling rain and a lunch around the fire will forever be a treasured memory. P’Ann and P’Dee immediately treated each one of us as family, welcoming us into some of the most special places and stories to them while also never failing to make us laugh. My time with Hand2Trunk is one I no-doubly recommend and want to do a hundred times over. I am so thankful for the week of elephant education and cultural immersion they allowed me to be a part of.
I had an absolutely amazing time on the elephant experience with Hand2Trunk. We got to experience many different forms of elephant care including trekking through the jungle with the elephants and their mahoots and getting to bathe and feed the elephants as well. Hand2Trunk really focuses on supporting the local community of elephant care takers in Chiang Mai and giving you the experience of being a local living in rural areas with these elephants. This is not a volunteer program but an educational program where you will get to learn all about elephants from the people who know them best and from the elephants themselves. P’Ann, our guide and founder of Hand2Trunk, is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. She never fails to make everyone feel welcome and included and took amazing care of all of us to make sure we all had the best experience possible. Everyone we met on our journey was so incredible and welcoming, I’ve never felt so at home so far away from home. It was one of the greatest and happiest experiences of life, I would go back in a heartbeat.
I was motivated to volunteer for this program because of a strong conviction to witness a rare, personable side of this relationship between elephant and human and to make a meaningful impact however I could. Hand2Trunk went above and beyond my wildest expectations.
Our guide, P’ Ann, was a wonderfully devoted, charming, and selfless individual. She went through great lengths to provide for our group at every corner and strongly encouraged any and all questions about the elephants, culture, and the livelihoods of the elephant’s caretakers. Through her expertise and passion for these creatures curated since her own childhood, her boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm guided our journey through this tightly-connected, supportive community of mahouts, locals, and conservationists, each with a different approach to ensuring the protection and longevity of this centuries-old co-existence between elephant and us.
At each sanctuary and destination, I was thrusted into the thick of things: crafting elephant herbal medicines, mountain trekking to record the dynamic relationships between elephant families in their natural habitat, all to build my immersion and personal understanding to share with and educate others. If you are looking for a special adventure filled with purpose and friends, Hand2Trunk is something you will never forget.
My experience with Hand2Trunk was nothing short of life changing. P’Ann was an incredible guide and friend who was so knowledgeable about everything she showed us; the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of elephant tourism and its history. I’m so grateful for my experience where I learned so much more in this hands-on, culturally immersive adventure than I ever could in a classroom. If you want to truly see the elephants of Thailand and their people, this is how you should do it.
Honestly trying to describe my experience with Hand2trunk is so hard to put into words. When I signed up for the program I was hoping to be able to learn more about elephants and get to interact with them. Hand2trunk took it ten times farther and was more than I could have ever asked for. Not only do you learn more about these beautiful creatures but also the awesome people and groups that work and care for them. But they also put so much effort into making sure you are supporting good local businesses, and truly allow you to submerge yourself in their culture. They are so welcoming and ready to teach and share their amazing knowledge with you. In this program you make more than just memories but you create beautiful connections with not only the elephants but the people. I can’t even begin to express how highly I recommend Hand2trunk, you won’t regret or ever forget your experience with them.