What does an elephant have for breakfast?
When: 3rd Saturday in November every year.
Where: Surin, Thailand.
The Thai people hold their beloved giant, grey elephant in great esteem, and Surin is often known as the ‘province of elephants’. Once a year, Thai’s descend on Surin by every conceivable means of transport – buffalo, rickshaw, pedicar, lorry, van, car, moped, and yes, even by elephant!
They come from far and wide to see the amazing grace, strength and intelligence of this amazing giant, as they show off their skills playing soccer, hauling logs, and taking part in tug-of-war against people.
The fun begins in the week preceding the main event, with a wonderful elephant parade through the streets, and the famous “elephant breakfast” – definitely the biggest breakfast in the world with many streets lined with food for the giant animals to eat.
Many of Surin’s elephants travel with their mahouts, to places like Bangkok to earn money hauling logs and doing general heavy work for much of the year. The Thai elephants in contrast to those in Africa, are easily domesticated and seem happy to help their humans in any way they can.
Elephants can apparently form friendships with humans as well as develop long lasting relationships with other elephants, and can remember individuals even when separated for decades. They are also the original sat nav system as they follow the same paths and even hand down genetic memories of directions and places through the generations. Hence the origin of the phrase “an elephant never forgets”.
The main event is on the 3rd Saturday and Sunday in November but there are parades happening during the week running up to it. The elephant breakfast is on the Friday morning before.
Have you been to the Surin Elephant festival in Thailand yourself? If so, please tell us all about it! You can share your pics and videos on our facebook page too! Or if you just want to say hi, or leave a comment for any other reason, we’d love to hear from you.
Travel to Thailand
Surin is a small place in I-San near the Cambodian border. Most international flights touch down in Bangkok (which is the nearest airport to Surin), or Chiang Mai. Book flights and hotels with ebookers.com. You may need to search for flights and hotels separately.
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