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Elephant Life Experience

Mae Taeng, Thailand
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About Elephant Life Experience
We are proudly to present Elephant Life Experience (E.L.E). This exclusive place is surrounded by fantastic scenery at Maetaman Valley, located 70 kilometers from Chiang Mai next to Maetaman Elephant Camp. Our elephants live naturally among a beautiful setting with the river flowing gracefully and close by. The E.L.E. lodge has been designed to accommodate in a luxurious style during your visit. You will have the special opportunity to build a closeness to an individual elephant and enjoy your 4-hour visit at E.L.E. Your experience in participate with our artistic elephants will be truly memorable.
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Elephant Life Experience
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Jane K wrote a review Jan 2018
San Mateo, California57 contributions94 helpful votes
The 'ELE' was truly a life changing experience. I don't want to give the experience away. Just know the care takers love these elephants. And we had the best experience with the staff and elephants. I highly recommend Elephant Life Experience!
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Date of experience: January 2018
2 Helpful votes
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Response from Ying N, Manager at Elephant Life Experience
Responded Jan 13, 2018
Thank you very much for your visit .
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JosephP1981 wrote a review Oct 2017
Antwerp, Belgium52 contributions27 helpful votes
We were a group of 10 so obviously this was an expensive affair but we didn't regret this for a moment. If you want to experience elephants in this part of Thailand then this program is just a must. You are treated like royalty, given the traditional 'mahout outfits' and can enjoy the full scope of activities with several elephants while having the entire camp exclusively for your group.
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Date of experience: August 2017
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JM9439 wrote a review Apr 2017
New York City, New York9 contributions10 helpful votes
Life-changing experience... but I didn't like some of the things I saw. First was the chains around some of the elephants - it's clear that they use chains at night, or something. Why not take them off when they see guests, at a minimum? I didn't expect that. They say that they're for the babies, but I saw them around the necks of the older elephants, too. #2 was that they clearly sleep in closed quarters, and don't roam free. This isn't an elephant sanctuary, so don't expect that. #3 is they offer basket riding for multiple riders (vs. juts bare back), which is known to be worse for the elephants. #4 is they have the elephants paint pictures for you, which is much harder to train - meaning it requires tougher tactics. I didn't like that either - felt very unnatural. And lastly, the mahouts use sharp tools to get the elephants in place - I saw this first hand and hated seeing them use it to put pressure on the elephants to move into place. Didn't see anything too tragic at all, or would have left, but I saw enough to make me the slightest bit uncomfortable and write this review. Overall, it was honestly an incredible experience given how up close and personal you get to be with these amazing creatures. However, if you're sensitive to this type of stuff, there are better elephant experiences (the sanctuaries etc.) for you. The last thing I'd say is that this was NOT NEARLY as bad as it gets - there are FAR worse camps... but the point is if that you're at all sensitive to it, this still isn't for you. Outside of that, the service and experience is absolutely incredible.
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Date of experience: April 2017
2 Helpful votes
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Miles C wrote a review Apr 2017
London, United Kingdom549 contributions66 helpful votes
The most amazing day ever bare back riding elephants washing them in the river and a four seasons lunch all in private with showers after a soaking with the elephants in the river! Finished with a raft ride in luxury back to your transfer. Highly recommended.
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Date of experience: April 2017
1 Helpful vote
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dressagealexis18 wrote a review Feb 2017
Paris, France20 contributions11 helpful votes
This is a private experience with a small group of about 7 domesticated elephants. The staff is friendly and accommodating and the elephants are simply incredible. However, I was upset about the treatment of the elephants. I had done research before the trip and noted that one should stay clear of elephant experiences that allow riding, particularly with a trekking chair on their backs which can be very harmful to the elephant. Nowhere on the website for Elephant Life Experience does it say that riding is included, which led me to believe this was a more humane encounter with elephants. But when we were informed of the plan for the day, sure enough we were offered both bareback riding (on the neck) and trekking on the chair (both of which we turned down). Moreover, the two younger "teenager" elephants had chains in their feet which looked very uncomfortable/painful, and the mahouts (their minders) carried bull hooks which seemed potentially cruel. As a lifelong equestrian, I understand that large animals can be dangerous and difficult to control/train. However, i was heartbroken that this program opted to provide "crowd pleasers" such as riding and elephant painting that "require" potentially cruel training methods - I would have much preferred to visit a sanctuary that allows visitors to interact with elephants more naturally and ethically. I will admit that Elephant Life Experience seems more humane than neighboring elephant camps we saw which allow multiple people on each elephant's back and work the elephants continuously throughout the day. On the contrary, these elephants do seem well fed, cared for and not overworked. Nevertheless, in spite of the "exclusivity" of the program, I would have preferred an experience where I knew that these incredible beings were not being exploited.
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Date of experience: February 2017
3 Helpful votes
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