By Ellen Boonstra, Asia correspondent >>
GIVING NEW MEANING to the phrase ‘close to nature’, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort is giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the night observing Thailand’s majestic elephants in their natural habitat – while staying in unique transparent Jungle Bubbles.
Unfolding across 160 acres of Northern Thailand’s ancient jungle, the resort is set atop a hill overlooking the Mekong and Ruak rivers.
The secluded location is exclusively positioned to take in majestic three-country views over the confluence of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar, and grazing elephants in the most stunning of natural settings below.
Located in the jungle, the two pods are perched on raised wooden decks offering uninterrupted views of the elephants, as well as stargazing at night.
The Jungle Bubbles were custom designed by Eye In The Sky and are constructed with high-tech polyester fabric using exclusive ‘Precontraint technology’ – developed by innovative French materials company, the Serge Ferrari group – to create a milieu in which guests can enjoy an immersive, close-to-nature experience.
GLAMPING IT UP
To complete the glamour camping experience – known as ‘glamping’ – the well-appointed bubble accommodation is fully air-conditioned, offering 22 square metres of indoor floor space; a 4.5m diameter bedroom and living space, with a king bed and seating area under a transparent roof; and an enclosed, non-transparent ensuite shower and vanity.
Guests at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp and Resort can purchase the Jungle Bubble experience as an optional activity and spend the night from dusk till dawn, returning to the hotel in the morning.
Rates start from 17,700 Thai baht per night (A$850) for two people and this includes a delectable dinner basket; a fully stocked mini bar; 24-hour in-room dining service; and tea and coffee making facilities.
As leaders in the field of ethical elephant tourism, the resort is the driving force behind the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, set up primarily to help elephants that cannot help themselves.
The foundation assists local people that find themselves, through abuse or through circumstance, unable to provide and maintain an income for themselves, for their mahouts (people who work with elephants) and their families.
Here appropriate activities are designed that allow the elephant caretakers to raise the funds they need to look after the elephants without forcing them into activities they might not enjoy.