Phuket has long been known for its vibrant nightlife and unparalleled party-scene. But there is another side to the island that few take the time to discover. With lush rainforests climbing over mountains and spilling onto white-sand beaches, Phuket holds treasures just waiting to be discovered.

Krabi, Phuket

On your next trip here, why not leave aside the tickmarked must-do list and go beyond the obvious? Discover the Phuket that few know, a land that takes time to open up to strangers like a shy neighbour. But when it does, you will be enamoured by the experiences it holds.

“Phuket island offers so much more than stunning beaches, amazing sunrise and sunsets,” shares Femke Beekers, Elite Havens Country Head, Thailand. “Let us take you to a deserted island nearby to discover the mysterious underwater world, or allow us to showcase the different cultures on the island, visiting the amazing melt of our Buddhist, Chinese descent and Muslim tribes. Phuket has so much to offer, this merely scratches the surface.”

Elephant at Phuket elephant sanctuary 

One of the most memorable things you can do on the island is plan a visit to Phuket Elephant Sanctuary. The first and only ethical elephant sanctuary in Paklok, Phuket, it is a haven for elephants who have done their time in the logging trade or as part of the elephant trekking industry. Take a peek into the tough lives that these gentle beasts have led, often mistreated and denied basic rights and care. It is an eye-opener, to be exposed to their side of the story. Majestic animals that belong in the jungle, and not in towns, treated as a prop or an attraction.

Elephant feeding

At Phuket Elephant Sanctuary, these retired and rescued elephants can live in their natural habitat and are treated with the utmost respect. It was founded as a partnership between Mr. Montri Todtane, ex-owner of an elephant camp in Phuket; world-renowned elephant rescuer and conservationist Lek Chailert, founder of Save Elephant Foundation; and Louise Rogerson, founder of EARS Asia.

Choose between the morning program or the afternoon program, where you can observe these grand animals from a respectful distance. Sit in the strategically placed observation salas and witness the elephants go about their natural daily routine – bathing, playing and just being themselves. As a special treat, you can also take part in the feeding ceremony where you will be allowed to feed the gentle beasts bananas, pineapples and cucumbers.

Phuket elephant sanctuary, Thailand

If you want to really absorb the experience, a full-day program is also offered at the sanctuary where you can spend an entire day witnessing their life. A delicious vegetarian Thai lunch is served mid-day, with views of the jungle and the lake – perhaps the most picturesque spot in the entire island. 

Elephant sanctuary, Phuket

The Elite Concierge team will be happy to arrange for private transfers and tickets to the sanctuary. Let them take care of the logistics so you can relax and enjoy the experience itself, with exclusive direct access to the sanctuary as soon as you arrive there.

With summer vacations starting off, it is the perfect time to plan your island escape to Phuket. Choose from one of our enchanting luxury villas and be assured of an indulgent and memorable stay.

Book until 31st August for stays up to 30th September 2019, to avail the Island Escape Promotion and get 20% off select villas. Exotic Phuket has a lot more to offer than what one sees on the surface.