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“Mistreated elephants” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Elephant Village Sanctuary Day Trips

Elephant Village Sanctuary Day Trips
Ban Xieng Lom, Luang Prabang, Laos
+856 71 252 417
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Ranked #9 of 47 Activities in Luang Prabang
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Sightseeing Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Elephant Village in Luang Prabang was set up by Markus Peschke in 2003. Our sales office is located on the main street in town close to the National Museum.Our beautiful elephant camp is located next to the village Ban Xieng Lom. Elephant Village focuses on three objectives:1. Saving Elephants 2. Community Support3. Nature Preservation. We take elephants out of the very dangerous logging industry and provide them with an alternative way of earning their income. We try to help the elephants which desperately need help the most. For example, older elephants and elephants which have injuries due to accidents. We currently have 9 elephants in our care. Our most recently acquired elephant is a disabled female who was injured when she stepped on a 'UXO' (Un-Exploded Ordinance) some time ago. She is happily living in our herd.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Luang Prabang, Laos
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Mistreated elephants”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Just came back from a two-days-mahout tour and I am shocked over the ways the elephants were being treated. Since this village was supposed to be a nice place for elephants who had had a hard life before, I expected something different. The tourguide told me the elephants only work for three hours a day - this is NOT the case. During my time the elephants were going in the same circles for many hours carrying at least three persons all the time.

One of the other things that upsetted me was the disrespect coming from the mahouts. You are not allowed to smoke inside the village or near the elephants because the smoke harms them, but as soon as we entered the jungle I saw three mahouts lightning up sitting on the elephantback. Furthermore, the mahouts were wearing a instrument similar to a pickaxe wich they used to handle the elephants. Almost all of the elephants had cuts in ther head, feets or trunk. Both old ones but also new ones. For me, this was a really sad and shocking experience.

Visited November 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 reviews 13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
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6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

I have ridden elephants before in Thailand which wasnt a great experience with the handler hitting them in the head when they weren't behaving and for someone who had only ever seen elephants in zoos and never up close it left a bad taste in my mouth.after reading about the elephant village I decided to give it another go and from the time u get there u can see these elephants have a better life.to be able to ride these animals just on there neck no straps or no sticks is a great experience and riding them into the river and wash them was a experience ill never forget.it is a bit pricey and is a bit of sitting around but hey u get to hang with elephants so I feel it's all worth it.

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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
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16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Elephant Heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

Unless you do not like elephants,this is a must.We booked the half day programme which actually lasted longer.Collected at our hotel by one the quides,you bounce your way to the camp on unpaved roads but once you arrive,the elephant camp at Shangri Lao is just amazing.We rode on a 38 year old female and the actual time you are in the jungle with her is about one and half hours and halfway through,the mahoot jumps off and tells you to take over.Pretty scary but exiting.You wade across the river with her and then simply enjoy the absolute peace of this huge animal with her mahoot.Hugely recommended and a very classy day out.You can book a raft to take you back to camp with lunch provided if you want too.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cairns, Australia
Top Contributor
115 reviews 115 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Experience of a lifetime !”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Riding the elephants was fantastic and we laughed when they would want to stop all the time to munch on leaves and shrubs. Later riding on the elephants in the waterfall just is just beyond description - fun, exhilarating and scary because the animals just want to be close together and if you don't lift your legs up, you could be squashed between the elephants.

Real fun !!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
120 reviews 120 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
“Ride bareback, not with the chair”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

Logging is still rife in Laos and elephants are still being used.
Simply by visiting the Elephant village with a $5 entry, you are supporting a worthy cause.
You don't need to ride to have a feel good experience, you can just feed them bananas and give them a good head rub.
Bareback riding is by far the kindest to the elephants - the chairs can make them form abscesses and other problems if they aren't washed or cared for properly.

This place is full of contrasts - they look after the elephants pretty well, but still ties them up with a metal hook around their ear... then there's a poor monkey in a cage has nothing to play with, he has water but that's it - he's bored and exhibits stress reactions, there are also starving boney dogs around.

It would be kind if anyone who reads this, also mentions it to the staff.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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