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“Good, but could've been better” 3 of 5 stars
Review of White Elephant Adventures - Day Tours

White Elephant Adventures - Day Tours
44/3 Sisavangvong Road | Ban Xieng Mouane, Luang Prabang, Laos
+856 30 514 0243
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Ranked #10 of 47 Activities in Luang Prabang
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Owner description: White Elephant Adventures is a team of Laotians, British and Canadians enthusiastic about organizing adventurous and educational hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking tours in the UNESCO World Heritage site Luang Prabang. We'll take you trekking through dense Laos jungle, riding and bathing elephants at crystal-blue waterfalls, whitewater kayaking down tributaries of the Mekong, and exploring remote ethnic Hmong and Khmu hill-tribes on unforgettable homestays. At White Elephant Adventures we are passionate about making sure each visitor's experiences are authentic and uncrowded and that the impact of these journeys on the local people and their environment is low. We offer professionally guided single- or multi-day hiking, biking, and kayaking adventures are available for small groups of two to eight people.
Adelaide, Australia
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Good, but could've been better”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

I did the 1 day trek and kayak tour. It was a good day but the highlight for me was ziplining at Tad Sae waterfalls, which costs an extra $35 - you can get a tuk tuk to Tad Sae and organize the whole thing yourself if that's what you want to do. The trek was interesting but more of a stroll through the forrest than what I'd call a 'trek'. The kayaking was ok although there were just 2 of us on the tour (me and a guy I'd never met) and the guide put us in a double kayak - I was expecting my own kayak & was not impressed being put with someone I'd never met before. It wasn't what I'd paid for & was disappointing. The scenery on the river was nice though. I imagine the kayak part would be better at a time of year where there's more water flowing in the river. Lunch was provided and very tasty. Extra food and drinks are available for purchase at Tad Sae.

Visited February 2013
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Malmo, Sweden
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Great day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013 via mobile

We went on a one day tour to see the Wiskey Village, Pak Ou caves and to do the elephant ride and bath with them. We had a really great day and our guide was friendly. It was nice to do different things and didn't feel that anything was rushed. Lunch was simple but good. At the time to bath the elephants we did feel they were exhausted since they already done it several times during the day, also they guides did not dived the time at the elefants that good, some was on for a long time while some just for a few minutes. One guy working at the camp offered to take photos which was a very nice gesture so we all got some good pics, free of charge. Overall they seam to treat their elefants good, they are fat and doesn't have any visable scares. Think Laos treat their elephants in generall better then in Thailand.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Best elephant experience!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

Highly recommend, great price, the most beautiful setting to hang out with elephants, swim with them, ride them and feed them. The elephants are well treated and have been rescued from a life of logging. Would do it again with this company if I had the chance. They're a little hidden on the main street so make sure you look closely.

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London, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Great tour company in Luang Prabang”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

We had originally booked a two day trek and homestay but I was sick and so we had to pull out on the morning of the trip. The policy is no refunds, but Brett at White Elephant was great and said he'd try to get us on to at least a one day trek later in the week (hopefully two days if one was leaving). We were able to get on a one day trek (the dates for the next two day trek scheduled didn't work with our departure date) as and enjoyed a day trekking, finishing at the Tad Se waterfall. The guides and lunch were excellent. The hiking was not strenuous (my husband and I are quite fit) but the scenery was stunning. The approach to the waterfall was more impressive than the base where people go swimming, bathe elephants etc (which seemed to be more like a public swimming pool and not a natural waterfall!) but still a worthwhile day out. Thanks again to Brett for being so understanding. We would use White Elephant on a return trip to LP.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Think before you book ahead”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

The day itself was pretty much as we expected, although the 'trek' was really just a slow walk through some villages. We went to the Tad Sae waterfall, but we hadn't appreciated all the extra money you need to bathe the elephants, do the zip wire etc...they should tell you the nitty gritty when you book as we hadn't taken enough. The Laos guides are excellent, but the company is all about making money at the expense of good customer relations. We booked and paid ahead but 3 of our party were really sick the night before. There is a policy of no refunds in the small print, and no re-scheduling. They stuck to that line of course as they have all the power, so we lost US$100. The line is that all the other companies in town have the same policy, but why can't some be different? It left a bad taste in my mouth and we won't make that mistake again, especially as you call fall ill at a moments notice in places like this. They also heavily promote the riverside bar they own - which admittedly has great views during the day, but the food and drinks are over-priced.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WEA_Laos, Owner at White Elephant Adventures - Day Tours, responded to this review, November 6, 2014
Hello - thank you for taking the time to write this review. I'm afraid I cannot comment on specifics about your particular tour, but as the new owner and manager of WEA I would like to reply for anyone reading this.

The one day treks near to the waterfalls are designed to be easier so they can be enjoyed by those of all ages, who then have the opportunity to visit the villages and learn about the differing cultures here. If you wish for a more demanding trek then I recommend one of our unique home stay experiences such as our N13 trek to remote hill tribe communities.

I'm sorry to hear you think we are just about making money as a refund was not available, but as you stated in places like this one can fall sick at a moments notice especially if you are unlucky with your restaurant for example, but the fact is if people cancel last minute we do still have associated costs, drivers booked, and possible single travellers who's trip we would then also have to cancel.

Regarding Utopia riverside bar, while the founder does own it, it is leased out and managed externally so nothing to do with WEA.

If anyone has any questions please do email us. Thanks, Alex.
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