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“A special and close up experience with rescued elephant.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hutsadin Elephant Foundation

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
176 Moo 7 Nongplub Rd | Prachaupkhirikhun, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
032 827-098 100
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Ranked #3 of 31 attractions in Hua Hin
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Hutsadin Elephant Foundation offers the visitor a variety of attractions. At present we have 3 elephants available for trekking. Each trek can be half an hour or an hour and you will be taken through the surrounding areas. After your trek you will be able to watch a small show by our youngest elephant, or if you would prefer you are welcome to wash her instead and there will be plenty of opportunities for some amazing photos. After this you may want to visit our retired elephants.If you prefer a more hands approach, you may want to try our 'mahout experience' where you can help to take care of our retired elephants for the morning(9.00a.m - 12.00), in this time you will get to prepare food, give medication, clean their shelters, take one for a walk and then give her a wash (please e mail for details as only available on certain days).If you can't spare three hours but still want something 'hands on' you can take one of elephants for a walk and then wash then on return - approximately 1/2 hour.If you just want to have a look around the foundation and chat to some of the English speaking volunteers you are more than welcome and there is no charge, however they are only there on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning. All of our elephants have been rescued and all have their own story, there is an information board near the seating area where you can learn more about each individual elephant.A final word to clarify the situation :- you may be asked for a tip or to buy trinkets from the mahouts - this is entirely up to you and is not supported by the foundation. Any money that you give to the mahouts DOES NOT go into the foundation funds and is not used to buy food etc (no matter what you may be told). Should you wish to make a donation please put it into the box in the front office or give to one of the volunteers.We hope that you enjoy your visit and find it a memorable experience.Please post your comments on tripadvisor for the benefit of others.
1 review
“A special and close up experience with rescued elephant.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

We were made aware of the foundation following a visit to the Hua Hin tourist information office. We had been interested in visiting the wild elephant in the park but decided to visit Hutsadin instead.
We took a taxi from our hotel in Cha Am. Our driver did want to take us to another elephant attraction but we insisted that we went to Hutsadin! Hopefully he saw how much we enjoyed our visit and will take other tourists there in future.
We were greeted by very friendly staff and agreed what we wanted to see and do. We decided to take the short elephant ride having had a longer ride earlier in our holiday.
We saw all 6 elephant at the foundation including their 5 year old baby. I had asked to bath the elephant and was able to enjoy this very close and special experience with their baby while my wife spoke at length to his Mahoot Jackie. We learnt about the background of their animals.
Before leaving we asked to visit the two older elephant. We took food for them. The 88 year old was clearly pleased to see us and I hope others follow our lead and visit them they seemed to enjoy the contact with us and I was treated to a "trunk" hug. The other 45 year old is pregnant. We asked who the father was but our guide did not seem to understand our question. We did read their resume of all elephant and read that one animal was reaching sexual maturity we assume that he is the father.
Prior to our visit we did try to make our own enquiries about the foundation. Unfortunately their website is not supported by iPad/iPhone so we were unable to visit it. Hopefully the foundation will address this matter.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
Thank you for insisting that your taxi bring you to the Hutsadin foundation and not another attraction.
We are glad that you enjoyed your time with us and were able to visit all of our elephants, not just the youngster who, while the cutest is not our only elephant.
Tong Kam is the elephant who we think is pregnant - we are not 100% sure as she gets too stressed when we have tried to get tests done. We don't know who the father is as she only came to us 14 months ago - all we know for sure is that she didn't get pregnant here! She is certainly putting on weight at an alarming speed but the vet is assuring us that she is healthy in every other way so in the course of the next 6 months or so we will either have a baby or she will be on one almighty diet:)
I'm afraid my computer skills are not up to sorting out ipad/iphone links to the website but I will pass this on to someone who may be able to help - thank you for pointing out the problem.
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings......”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

I visited Hutsadin with my family in February. Generally it was a fantastic experience and being around elephants was amazing. We went on an hours trek, 6 of us on 3 elephants. It's not really an hour. It's probably 40 minutes. We stopped for photos and just to wander, with no body else on the very large bull elephant with us which was a little unnerving. We fed the elephants and we turned down the offer of watching the young elephant show, instead we bathed him which was the best bit!! To be fare, we never ever felt rushed at any point.

The guy who was on the elephant with us while we trekked had fairly poor English but still chatted all the way. Until he asked us to buy souvenirs from him and we said no. From that moment on he didn't speak!! It was 800 baht per elephant for an hours trek. No entrance fee.

Some of the staff in reception were behaving rather oddly and I would say that what they were smoking was probably not tobacco!!!

This didn't spoil the visit, we all really enjoyed it but I suppose it tarnishes the image of the foundation.

As far as the elephants, they seem to be well cared for. Some of them are chained but I would say this is for the safety of the people around them. They are very large and if they decide that are going to hurt someone they will. Hence I think sometimes the chain is needed. At the end of the day, they are not in the wild and so safety precautions have to be put in place.

Overall, I would recommend a visit.

Visited February 2013
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Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review our foundation.
We are pleased that overall you enjoyed your experience with the elephants. I will try and address some of the other comments that you made:
The hours trek does in fact include time for the show or, as in your case, washing the baby elephant, so a minimum of 40 minutes trekking time can be expected.
I can only apologise for the attitude of the mahout regarding the purchasing of his trinkets - they have been told not to be too 'pushy' and to be fair not talking is I guess not being pushy, however I will relay this comment to the management.
The behaviour of some of the staff in the reception area is a tricky one for a farang to answer but I will do my best: The foundation is also a highly regarded Buhdist centre and what you witnessed is a part of their religious practice, as a non believer I do understand that it can appear a little disconcerting, but we need to except and not question their beliefs, it is afterall a Thai run foundation. I can however assure you that there were no dodgy substances being smoked.
I hope this answers some of your concerns, if not please feel free to send an e mail via our website.
Thanks
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UK
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
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107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Fantastic but make sure you visit the correct elephant foundation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

I live near to Hua Hin and had read all of the reviews about the elephant sanctuaries in the area. It was absolutely clear that there is a significant mix up as to which is the sanctuary and which is the one making money out of elephants doing things that undermine their species

I therefore went to all three and can report the following. The Hutsadin is a SANCTUARY and the other two in Hua Hin are commercial tourist shows. The Hutsadin is the Second elephant place on the road out of Hua Hin. Make sure that your taxi driver takes you to the right one - he will most likely be getting a commission for the first one where they do the shows, not the Hutsadin where they take n elephants as a sanctuary. (It is very confusing as two if the elephant laces are next to each other - Hutsadin second on right as you cme out of Hua Hin towards the hills)

When I went to the Hutsadin the staff - both thai staff and western volunteers could not do enough to explain the backgrounds of the elephants, their living habits and so on. Yes they asked for money bananas and other things to fed the elephants but why not? They are a charity and need the money and the bananas were certainly not being sold at rip off prices - they w ere at less than at the market. We spent a wonderful couple of hours with the elephants and staff - including taking one for a walk (there are rides available but we didn't do that) . There is a very small show with one elephant but when I spoke to the staff they said he had been rescued from a tourist attraction and needed to keep up the activities he had been trained for (in horrendous spcircumstsnces) as without he goes into decline. Finally don't be out off by the apparent condition of the first elephant you see - we were initially. Just remember she is 88 years old so past her prime!!!!

If you are cmng to the area and want to see elephants and care about animals then please make sure that you go to the right place - the other two are purely tourist attractions making elephants who have already had bad lives perform tricks and other activities below this majestic creature,s dignity .

A highly recommended visit ....

Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Wow, you certainly did your homework!
I can only agree with you about how confusing it is to find us and this is almost certainly because of the whole "commission" thing!
We offer a range of activities that you can do with our elephants and I'm pleased that you enjoyed the option of walking with one.
The show is small but if you prefer you can give her a wash instead (dependant on water supply!)
Thanks for your support and hope to see you again one day.
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norwich
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“wet, and wonderful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

we visited the sanctuary early February. we stayed at the jaydee resort where we read about the foundation.
we really had a lovely 3 hours there , we did a half hour trek, our mahoot was very pleasant and took photos of us with our camera. we got back to the receptin area and were given fresh water and ice cream which went down very well on such a hot day.
we then went on to wash the baby elephant which we enjoyed a lot my husband was scrubbing him with a brush and he seemed to enjoy it. after the bath the elephant was brought over by us for photos etc. and we could buy fruit to feed him.
there is a lot of reading material about the foundation and a few items for sale which helps with the costs involved,
we had a wonderful timr=e there and will recomend it to friends who are going that way

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Thank you for your recommendation - it is great to know that you enjoyed your time here, especially with SongKran (who is a girl by the way).
Please do recomend us to others:)
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
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52 attraction reviews
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59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“The baby elephant you must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

We found this foundation on our way back from Pala-U Waterfall and we were pleasantly surprised at what we found. There was a 4 year old baby female elephant that could best be described by us as charming. We purchased some bananas and pineapples and when we came close to her, she went and fetched a basket of money (mostly 100 baht notes) and put it down next to us. We then fed her.
We were quite late in the day, so only spent around 45 minutes there, but if we had found the foundation earlier we would have stayed longer. Perhaps not worth a complete day visit but well worth going there.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observor at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
It's good to hear that more and more people are enjoying spending time at our foundation, entrance is free and anyone is welcome to spend time with the elephants. Of course there is always fruit available to purchase and make friends.
I would agree that spending a whole day here would perhaps be too long for most people but a few hours can easily be spent just hanging out with the retired elephants and talking to the staff.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review.:)
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