Phuket Multi-Adventure Safari Tour with a Toddler

We booked all of our tours on our recent trip to Phuket, Thailand through the Easy Day Thailand travel company. We started our trip off with the Multi-Adventure Safari Tour.  The website boasted all the different activities that would be included in the tour. I was shocked that they were able to fit so much into one day of touring. Once our van picked us up at the hotel and we arrived at the "Safari" I quickly understood how they could do so many things in one day; Island Safari Tour is an amusement park for tourists. You aren't taken to different places in Phuket to do these activities, you are dropped off at a park that has all these activities. After reading the Easy Day Thailand website and seeing, "real elephant jungle trek" and then getting dropped off at a park, I was a bit frustrated to say the least. The picture the company has on the website of tours overlooking the ocean, does NOT happen on this tour. After shaking off my initial shock I decided since we were already there and the trip was already paid for, 1,800 bht for adults 1,300 bht for children 4-11yo, we would make the best of it and try to enjoy ourselves. We ended up having a really great time, I would even suggest it to traveling sippy cup sojourners and their parents. It was the deception from the Easy Day Thailand that was the most frustrating. Here is exactly what you should expect in your tour. 

The afternoon tour started at 2:00pm. A van came and picked us up at our hotel lobby. 

 Once we got dropped off at the park we were whisked into the park by our tour guide. We brought Sam's hiking backpack but were not allowed to bring it into the park. We had to leave it at the front desk. Thankfully I packed a mesh wrap as well or else we would have been stuck holding Sam the entire time. Our group consisted of about six people.
We started our activities with an ox cart ride. Based on the pictures from the company website the cart at one time had a covering. This is no longer the case and honestly shook A LOT. In hindsight the ox ride wasn't something I just HAD to do so I should have just sat this one out. It was tough to hold on to Sam. I also saw another mom with a much smaller baby in a carrier looking a bit concerned as we bumped along.
 After the Ox ride we were ushered over to the fish spa to relax and have our feet tended to. Sam and SCS Daddy loved it! Sam would cry every time we took her feet out. I'm not sure how much nibbling went on for either of them considering how much kicking Sam did. The lady next to them sat perfectly still and the fish loved her!
 Mommy wasn't a huge fan. I lasted through about 5 seconds and decided to play photographer.
At several spots around the park there were photo zones. We taught Sam how to bow and say hello in Thai. We laughed and ate it up the whole trip!

 After the fish doctors we boarded a tuk-tuk and heading to the river for the river tour. Hold on tight, there are no seat belts on this drive!
 At the dock the tour guide gave us a choice of riding in the long boat or grabbing a canoe and paddling the river solo. A few brave souls decided to canoe while the rest of us boarded the long boat. Once at the opening of the river the canoes were loaded into the long boat with the rest of us and whisked back to the dock for the ride back to the park.

 Back at the park we were directed to the traditional Thai farming demonstration. There was an opportunity to take a picture with a Thai buffalo.
 Sam got to watch the buffalo take a bath. She was thrilled and wanted to join.
Next we were shown  how rice was once cultivated and prepared.

 The next demonstration was a Thai cooking demonstration. A quick 5 min dish was mixed together and given out for taste testing.
On our way to the Muay Thai demonstration we stopped at a rubber tree and were shown how rubber is harvested.
 At the Muay Thai demonstration volunteers were picked from the audience and given an opportunity to try some of the moves. Of course I volunteered SCS Daddy! ;)

Next stop was the monkey show. Before the show each tour participant was given an opportunity to take pictures with a sweet monkey.
 The show consisted of monkeys showing us how they are trained to remove coconuts from trees.

 After the coconuts came down a little fun was had.

Our next stop at the park was the elephant ride. This was the main reason I signed us up for the tour. I wanted a reputable elephant ride. Some of the elephants kept on the side of the road as tourist attractions tied down with chains on their feet is enough to make anyone cringe. The elephants at the Safari park were very well maintained, no chains needed, and seemed to have a great relationship with the staff. Our elephant even felt comfortable enough to poke his driver when the bananas we bought him ran out. Our driver laughed at him and then showed him the empty bag. 

 Although I had worn my wrap in order to hold Sam the ride was smooth enough to feel comfortable enough just having her sit in our laps. There was a security bar holding us all in. 
There were photographers along the trail taking our picture which we had the opportunity to buy during dinner.

 This is as much jungle time as the tour entailed, an elephant using the swamp next to the path to use the restroom.

 After the elephant ride we were taken to the elephant show. The show and the trainers were relaxed which was a delight. Again the elephants were extremely well maintained, seemed to enjoy their trainers company and were all free of chains. 
In fact as we were leaving and the park was shutting down one of the elephants decided to head into the trees. His trainer called for him and he happily walked back. Seeing such respect for the animals put my conscience at ease.

 Tour participants had the opportunity to get elephant "massages" or to play soccer with the elephants.


 After all the days activities we were taken to the restaurant on-site for dinner as part of the package. The food was ready for us as soon as we sat down. 
 Everything was delicious, even Sam cleaned her plate! 

Overall we had a great time and were able to experience a lot of things in a short amount of time. It was perfect for our tight schedule.  Now that you know what to expect, book the tour and enjoy! :)

SCS Where and How Fast Facts:
-Not stroller or hiking backpack friendly. Pack a soft carrier, wrap, or sling.

-Water and snacks are available for purchase at the entrance of the park as well as next to the fish dr. area.

Helpful Websites:

Easy Day Thailand Travel Company

Island Safari Tour

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