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“The children loved it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hutsadin Elephant Foundation

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
176 Moo 7 Nongplub Rd, Hua Hin 77110, Thailand
+66 81 199 0798
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Ranked #4 of 61 things to do in Hua Hin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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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 will get a talk about the foundation and its ethos plus the individual stories of all our elephants and why they were rescued, you will also 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. Will receive a t shirt to remember your time with us and you are welcome to have a free vegetarian lunch and ice cream to finish your morning. (please e mail for details as only available on certain days and only small groups are taken). 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.
Kent
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“The children loved it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

So did I, but I'm not as mad about elephants as they are. The oldest "child" was 23 and she loved it too, so I think this is for everyone.

The trek was fascinating. As the three children had to go on one elephant, my oldest son had to play mahout and sit on the elephant's neck, which gave us some lovely photos, and the chance to rib him constantly about his elephant driving skills.

The youngest elephant was a real performer: you could see how much she was enjoying the interaction. She reminded me of our dogs (yes, really!) in that she responded to training well because it gave a her a function, or stimulation and intelligent animals maybe need something more than free food and somewhere to sleep. Anyway, the animals all seemed well-cared for, we enjoyed feeding and watching them, and the work of the foundations seemed valid and worthwhile.

Visited August 2013
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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, September 29, 2013
Thank you for your review - you are totally right, children of all ages love to have an up close, safe experience with elephants.
Song Kran, our youngest is always the star and as you so rightly point out, she loves to interact and show people what she can do.
We love all of our elephants and give them the best care we can and it always makes us proud when people recognize that. So thanks again :)
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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best part of my trip! Experience package”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2013

This was quite a last minute idea! Arrived in Hua Hin and wanted to do something different apart from usual trekking. I gave Jo a quick email and the response was very quick so we were able to sort out a date in no time at all. I paid 600 Baht for the experience day which is such good value for money considering you get to do so many activities with the elephants (and its all for a good cause). I was a bit apprehensive at first as I was on my own but Jo and her Husband made me feel very comfortable !
I was introduced to all the elephants and was told their rescue stories- which was very sad, but also amazing to see how far they’ve come with the help of this foundation. I was then shown around and introduced to the mahouts (who are a cheeky bunch!). Next I was able to feed some of the elephants their morning meal of fruit (a lot of fruit!) and even had the chance to cut some of it up. We then went for a walk around the grounds which was lovely. Along the way I was given more background information which was really interesting. Washing came next which was a very hands on experience and lots of fun! I was made to feel very comfortable and if there was something I did not fancy doing I was not pushed in to it at all. Its entirely up to you how involved you want to be with the elephants, especially if this is your first time. By the end of the morning I was so sad to say goodbye to the elephants 

I was then treated to a traditional Thai vegetarian meal cooked by of the locals which was delicious ! I highly recommend this experience package instead of the trekking as all the funds go directly to the elephants and they benefit more from this. The volunteers are doing a great job here and if i’m lucky enough to visit Hua Hin again this will definitely be my first stop! xx

Visited September 2013
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Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
Thank you for such a lovely review. Everyone at the foundation is pleased that we were able to make you feel comfortable and at ease.
You reviews and others like them are making the mahout experience so popular that we are now, unfortunately having to turn bookings away!
Really hope that you do get to come back one day :)
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Hull
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Hands on experience - Excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

What a way to spend our last morning in Hua Hin. We paid 600 baht for the mahout experience, you can book this via email, for Mon, Wed and Friday mornings. We were met by Jo and her husband, an english couple who have retired, but volunteer at the foundation. They gave us all the background info re the 6 elephants they have rescued-all quite harrowing stories. Then along with another couple we were able to feed, wash and take one of the females for a walk, tempting her with more bananas! The commitment to the welfare of the elephants is so evident to see. They have 3 elephants that the mahouts let you ride, but this didn't seem right to us after the up close and personal experience we had. Several other people appeared just to have a ride, but I think they were charged 600bahts for a half hour ride and then the mahouts are just trying to get money out of you.
If you want the experience of a lifetime, this is for you. Thanks for giving us a fabulous memory.

Visited September 2013
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Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for your lovely review - once again proving how popular the mahout experience is. Trekking isn't everyone's ideal activity and if you want that really personal interaction and the opportunity to see an elephant up close then the mahout experience is definitely for you.
The only problem is that spaces are limited and get snapped up very quickly, so anyone reading this and wanting to give it a go - book now, we already have bookings well into next year :)
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11 reviews 11 reviews
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5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

We had a great time riding elephants and watching 5 year old elephant's show. It is definitely memorable if you have never ridden one before. The guide spoke good enough English to communicate and they will let you ride on its head later on instead of the seat. However, the guides sold a little jewelry made out of elephant tusks...at an elephant 'foundation' ? That was very ironic and disturbing. Also after the baby elephant's show it came around with a basket asking for tips... i wish they had a tip box rather than the poor elephant to go around asking for it. It seems like people enjoyed spending a whole day there feeding and washing the elephants. If you have more time on your hands I would recommend that

Visited September 2013
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Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write this review and for giving me the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
Firstly the jewelry that the mahouts try to sell is definitely, 100 % NOT ivory, no matter what they may say. Ivory is worth more than gold per ounce so logic has to tell you that you aren't going to get an ivory carving for 400 baht! I've tried many times to address this problem with the mahouts and will try once again. Personally I don't even think it's made from bone or teeth but rather a synthetic material!
As for the matter of tips to the young elephant - I have said in previous responses that tipping is totally voluntary and that these tips do not go towards the care of the elephants but to the mahout. There are two huge boxes (about 2 cubic foot) within the foundation for donations - one is situated right next to the seating area and the other is in the entrance, or if preferred donations can be given to the volunteers who will ensure that the money goes directly towards the care of the elephants to help cover the cost of medication etc.
Thanks once again :)
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York, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Mahout for the Day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

An amazing day with an opportunity to interact with the Elephants. Jo and her husband were so informative and passionate about the conservation and protection of these majestic creatures. All the elephants here have a story to tell, whether they have been' retired' from heavy work or 'rescued' from neglectful owners, we got to meet them all to learn about their experiences and personalities (yes, they really do have different personalities!). We walked one, prepared another's lunch and washed one of the ladies! Then went on a trek on the back of a big bull elephant, with his own agenda!
An amazing day and you will feel you have done some good too in supporting the team here caring for the elephants (unlike some elephant experiences in Thailand where the elephants have been captured for tourism!)
Go in clothes that you don't mind getting elephant mash and dirt on, get in there and enjoy it the experience - and lunch too.

Visited September 2013
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Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Thank you for your review - once again the mahout experience is proving to be well worth doing!
It was a pleasure to meet you both and I'm glad that your trek was enjoyable too - I'm guessing that you went on the stroppy teenager :) and were literally just along for the ride.
Hope to see you again one day :)
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