Sounds of This Place: Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary

Here’s a companion piece to KC’s journal entry last week chronicling our time at the elephant sanctuary in Cambodia.

As always, head/earphones give the best experience, especially if you want to hear the monkeys.

0:00 A wild goose chase

0:23 Cutting sugarcane in the fields with a machete

0:34 Chitchat in the outdoor kitchen

1:03 Chopping sugarcane into ellie-bite-sized pieces (i.e., 8 inches long)

1:29 KC’s monkey trials and tribulations (things got better and Sylvia eventually began grooming KC when he came around)

3:15 Ellie breakfast.  The males in the background are 2 Thai mahouts (elephant handlers) and a Cambodian trainee.  They spend all day following the elephants in the forest and have quite a bond with their ellie.  While we had to bribe the ladies with bananas or sugarcane, the mahouts used words and light ear or tail tugs to give instructions.  It was sweet to see them leaning against their elephants while the elephant ate and the mahout checked his cell phone!

Nila, one of the organization's most experienced mahouts.

Nila, one of the organization’s most experienced mahouts.


  1. A variety of sounds. I loved the goose chase the best!

    1. Ha! Me, too. Those geese were hysterical: they would be scattered about doing their thing and about 4-5 times an hour someone would get into a snit and take off running (nowhere in particular). Immediately the entire flock would fall into line, honking and squawking and racing full out… I never got tired of it! You should have seen the shenanigans to herd them into their house each night!

    2. On second thought, I think my favorite is the ladies in the kitchen. There’s nothing like the sound of someone’s voice to take you right back to them!

  2. . . so evocative – these ‘sound-bites’ are a great way to convey the feel of a place.

    1. I do enjoy going back to them periodically for a listen!

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