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“Great day had by us all” 5 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 older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Sydney
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Great day had by us all”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

We visited this village in June while we were in LP. We were picked up by the company from our hotel - albeit late & were driven out to the village. It was a very well maintained property & the elephants looked like they were well looked after. Our ride included a walk down to the river & boy it was hot!! I was a bit scared as the elephant walked this narrow path down to the river - but you really just have to trust these gentle giants. Once we got back we were taken through to a part that has a pool & swim up bar. It was heaven after boiling on our ride. We then wandered back to the main part of the village & had lunch. That was probably the most disappointing part of the day. It was pretty average & I was concerned about the hygiene. But it worked out ok.....no stomach rumbles the next day. The guides at the village were a mixed bunch. Some really engaging, others not so much.

Visited June 2013
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melbourne
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Very good, but not great”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

Along with our 3 friends, we chose to do the 2 day/1 night visit to the Elephant Village Sanctuary. Firstly our guide Nick spoke excellent English and was quite informative and very friendly. The Sanctuary is close to Luang Prabang so getting there doesn't take long. The accomodation was fabulous being luxury huts with river front location and beautifully decorated. The meals were fine although the staff seemed keen for us to finish our dinner early and leave the communal area where we wanted to hang out for a little longer. They weren't pushy, but seemed keen for us to go.

The elephants gladly weren't hit with sticks or metal prongs like I had previously seen in Chang Mai. We had a wonderfuly couple of hours ride on the elephants through the jungle on day 1 which was a very relaxing experience especially as there were no other tourists in sight. We loved the trek along the waterfall and lunch in the hut by the waterfall - all so picturesque.

On day 2 we were scheduled to wash the elephants and were advised at the end of day one there would be 5 elephants available - one for each of us. By morning there had evidently been more bookings so instead of having 5 elephants available, there were only 2 so we had to take it in turns to wash the elephants. While it was a memorable experience sitting on the elephant's neck and feeling at one with it in the water, it lost some authenticity when you knew that the elephant has already been scrubbed by one of our co travellers. To avoid such disappointment, this organisation needs to manage customer expectation by not promising to provide something and then failing to do so.

I understand the organisation is marketed as a rescue sanctuary for elephants so I just hope the high prices it charges and what could be considered the double booking (ie promising elephants and then booking them to other customers) goes to the elephants and not into the bank balances of it's owners.

Visited August 2013
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Isla Vista, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Absolutely not a sanctuary!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I decided to try the 2 days one night trip for roughly 130$. You could easily just do the full day or half day and still get the same effect without having to pay as much. This is definitely not a sanctuary. The elephants are contracted by local villages - and are not treated as well as I had hoped. The mahouts treat these animals as a job, they say that the money goes to the elephants but I highly doubt that.

If you look at the actual "elephant village" where the elephants come down for the day that is where the money goes to: to the buildings, to the housing complexes and so forth. These elephants are old and chained up, they should not be doing this work nor should any elephant. I would not suggest coming to this place to anyone. It is a joke for anyone who thinks their money is going to something "good"

Visited August 2013
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Elephants and waterfalls”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013 via mobile

Best day on our south-east Asia tour. Both elephant tour and waterfalls are amazing. All the profit goes towards the animals. This is a "must go"!!!

Visited October 2012
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Vientiane, Laos
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Not a sanctuary”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

I came here, reading the rave reviews, thinking this would be a place where the elephants were well cared for.

They are overworked, the elephants wear chairs to carry the tourists (which hurts their backs and causes long term and serious injuries). When i asked the guide about it, he said that it`s like a massage for the elephant. This is completely untrue. I`m not sure if he`s aware of that and was lying to me, or has absolutely no idea about the health of the elephants he`s supposed to be taking care of.

If you love animals, you`re better off visiting some of the places which are supposed to be legitimate in Chiang Mai.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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