Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community

Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community

Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community
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About
Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community is based in the beautiful Mae Wang district. Around 1 Hour South of Chiang Mai’s busy city. Maeklang offers a natural environment for our Elephants with fresh mountain river flowing through our land surrounded by forest, rice fields, corn fields and Banana plantations. Here at Meaklang we offer an Eco friendly safe home for Elephants away from the harsh reality of tourism and forest work. Our goal is promote Eco tourism and Educate Locals and tourists, showing them how to use Elephants as a basis to grow organic food without using damaging pesticides… When rescuing Elephants our goal is to keep families together keeping mum and babies side by side making for a stress free life Learn about Elephants in the wild Meet our Family of Elephants Feed them Get muddy with them Bath with them Love them Thank You for choosing Maeklang
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles388 reviews
Excellent
367
Very good
12
Average
2
Poor
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Terrible
5

Loïc F
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
It's quite hard to describe exactly what i think about the 2d/1n experience we had. The first camp was bad. Way more people than i expected, no introduction on the elephants or how to behave next to them etc. Straight away, here's the bananas go feed them.
Then i was shocked by the behaviour of people, screaming and running which obviously disturbed the elephants, which for most of them wanted to get away from the crowd. No chance tho. The mahouts started by pulling their ears and if the elephants carried on, using sharp objects hidden (badly) in their pockets. I saw a mahout threatening a pregnant elephant with his fist. Spoke to people around and nobody was noticing anything or justifying it. I wanted to leave when i saw the mud and water time. Elephant are forced everyday to do the same at a certain time to please tourists. Forced to spray them.
Anyway we moved on to the second camp and there it's better. More space less people. Still the elephants are not free to go, the mahouts are in their hammack and the elephants aren't allowed to leave them. So big space but not used by the elephants.
So overall i think the owner has good intentions, no riding and taking elephants from bad places but don't get mistaken, this isn't a sanctuary, it is people orientated not elephant orientated and i would advise to stay away. Give your money to place that are giving those giants a good life, not just a little better life. I definitively regret going there.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John R
Bognor Regis, UK11 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
Firstly, I must state that I believe that the staff care for the elephants and that the elephants appeared well fed.

That said I ultimately I felt bad at the end of the day and so did the rest of my group for the following reasons.

1. The amount of space was tiny. This tiny space was allowed to be invaded by the tourists who were determined to feed the elephants bananas and get there photo taken. A simple step here would be to simply cut out the human interaction and create observation points to watch the elephants interact with each other, not tourists. After all conservation is about improving the elephants life.

2. The elephants were not autonomous. They were told what to do by the mahout and this basically was to interact with the tourists. This was exemplified by the elephants being led to the river for there daily mud bath. Again a simple solution is to let the elephants choose if and when they go for the mud bath. If they love this forced daily routine then surely the mahout would not need to lead the elephants to it at scheduled times!

I truly hope that in the near future they acquire more land for the elephants. I also hope they choose to change direction and let the elephants choose there daily routine rather than force a routine upon them. It seems that this all is designed for tourists over the elephants.

A small step forward from elephant rides and logging but certainly not conservation.

Fingers crossed that other tourists agree with me. I plan to email my views to the company and am hopeful these majestic animals get the life they deserve

Written January 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pip2246
London, UK211 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Solo
Visited here as part of a day trip with half day here and half day at doi inthanon park. Ethical elephant camp taking care of rescued elephants. Lovely to see them so happy and being so well treated and the whole experience will be with me forever
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

José Luis Medina Beltrán
Cusco, Peru12 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
A few days ago, I had the elephant experience with Marklang, it is a small area but you can feel a good energy! Been surrounded by elephants all day was so exciting, specially with the baby one (5 months) such a blast. You can see that the elephants receive good care of their mahuts. Awesome guide “Gla” that make, my girlfriend and I, enjoy this experience.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bridge To Cultures
Florence, Italy60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Solo
It was just incredible, our guide T. was so helpful and kind, the best tour I have had so far in Thailand. The Maekland Skycamp is the perfect place if you want to take care of Elephants. Bathing them, feeding them was an unforgettable experience. If you travel to Chiang Mai this is just a must on your list.
Written December 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom M
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2019 • Couples
Firstly, I rarely write reviews.. but I recently visited maeklang (which I have provided photo evidence of so that they cannot say it is a fake review) and was extremely disappointed to see the use of HOOKS and SPIKES for TRICKS, mostly in the washing and bathing section of the day.

I spent about 6-8 hours doing research to find the most ethical sanctuary and maeklang looked the best and yes it was better than riding or logging, but it was far from fully ethical. If you want an ethical experience in northern Thailand (which you should!) then GO TO ELEPHANT NATURE PARK. I regret not going as it is clearly the only one. It will be worth the extra money I assure you.

I was very sad to catch a mahout using sharp objects to make the oldest elephant (and old girl who used to perform in shows and still dances as it’s become a habit) perform some of her old tricks and I wouldn’t wish anyone else to see it. They hide the sharp objects in their hands so the tourists can’t see but I caught a flash of it once and then spotted it many other times when looking.

I think that some of the mahouts there care, and as I said, maeklang is better than riding camps and logging, but I promise you, it is not ethical. The mahout even lied when I asked him about it, then when I said that I saw the sharp objects he just walked away.

LASTLY, the elephants don’t have much space or room to walk about at all, no real natural habitat... Just a concrete slab.
Written July 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ExperienceLifeLove
45 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
I chose this place thinking I was to a proper conservation park, in part due to all of the positive reviews on here. It is not and I’m devastated at having paid to support this sham.

I went on a solo trip for a whole day and I was by myself for a lot of it so I had approximately 6 hours to observe, get a feel for this place and watch the trainers interact with the animals.

They have 6 elephants. They are kept on a shaded concrete pad that’s about the size of half a basketball court and aren’t allowed to move off it unless guided by their trainers (for me, the most disturbing thing is that they have have been trained to just stay there - they shy away from the trainers like they’re mistreated).

My guide told me they sleep on the concrete slab also.

They have no free access to water - occasionally they were walked over to a hose for a drink and then taken back to the concrete.

Apart from that, the only time they get to do anything is if they’re chosen to walk 200 metres to a mud bath where they’re given a ‘mud bath’ by tourists, and then another 100 metres to the river to be cleaned off.

I was deeply offended and disgusted to see the trainer encouraging the mainly Chinese tourists to throw buckets of water at them, in their faces, while laughing and shouting, even whilst one of the elephants was trying to leave. I tried shouting at them to stop (I stayed on the riverbank and did not participate).

I left the place in tears and absolutely heartbroken. I told them this was not a conservation park, the elephants are not free to roam or do elephant things. They stand on their concrete slab and bob their heads or rock backwards and forwards. There was definitely no love lost between the guards and the animals. The guards squeeze the elephants’ ear to keep them in check.

This place is the captivity of animals for the purpose of making money and I’m entirely traumatised by it.

Please, please, please - don’t believe any of the fancy marketing of ANY of these Thai elephant ‘sanctuaries’ or ‘conservation’ parks :’( Just do a different activity and tell your friends the same.
Written October 17, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello thanks for taking your time to write this, Our Elephants at Meaklang are all rescued from riding camps also logging camps from around northern Thailand, where in riding camps they are hit and beaten on a daily basis tied to trees with chains until they are worked all day, being stabbed pocked (MAE CAM our oldest elephant has had 25 plus years of torture as a result she has become timid from year of abuse resulting in her having days where she want to be alone Like a human that has be abused they have bad days), and from logging camps where elephants are over worked to the point the drop to the floor and are under weight, we have spent lots of time and money bringing these animals back away from daily torture. by giving them a home with acres of land, yes our elephants have a shaded cement based stable for living, this is for many reasons, elephants in the wild live in the forest away from the sun as they also like humans have sensitive skin when it comes to the sun, in fact a mother would shade her baby to protect it if needed, another reason we have a shaded cement stable is to stop there feet from getting infected from standing in wet mud, cement is easy to clean this is a normal practice around the world,also Elephants sleep only 2 hours per day standing up not laying down they rest the body standing. we also use the stable as a SAFE zone for the elephants so if the get scared by something while out walking around the land early morning and late evening (As in the wild they move in the coolest part of the day) they would run back to the stables, rather than run randomly away or into a farmers land and get hurt or hurt someone as this is an issue around Thailand for wild and domesticated elephants raiding farms and getting kill by the farmer because the elephant raided his or her land, this has become a huge issue around Thailand it has become one of the biggest risks for elephants in and around Thailand. We can not let elephants just randomly walk around other peoples land these are domesticated elephants that always see humans as a source of food so they need to be with the mahout (Elephant keeper) for safety reason for man and animal... We have many Chinese Guest at Meaklang yes we are proud of this, as we run a full education program aimed at Chinese tourist teaching them not to go to riding camps and elephants shows due to the torture of these amazing animals. 90% of riding camps and elephant shows customer base is Chinese tourists, we want to stop this so we started an education work shop at our main and second camp we have school children from china and the west come for education programs teaching about animal welfare, how to live and work with animals, this workshop is also open to Hilltribe children around the area we do this as these children will be the next generation of Elephant trainers around Thailand, many of them will have elephants in or around the family, so this is also an important part of the future of Thai Elephants Again thanks for taking time to write this post education is the key..
Written October 19, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

fromthecold2001
Siem Reap, Cambodia17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019
What an amazing place to visit. No riding, but lots of time for actual contact with the elephants.
I spent the first half day at the main camp and then after lunch headed to Sky Camp where I spent the night in a hut by the river!
I had lots of time to interact with the elephants, a great Thai BBQ, campfire and more time the second day before the first group arrived.
If you are looking for that little something ‘extra’, then book this trip!
Meow, Knee and Pao made the experience what it was! Thank you so much!
Written February 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dominic
5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019 • Friends
It was simply too crowded. We were part of a group of around 50 people, which is simply too much to enjoy half a day with the elephants. They have 5 elephants (4 females and 1 calf) which means we were at least 10 people per elephant.

After arriving at the farm, we were sitting around and waiting while afterwards everything involving the elephants (feeding, bathing) was quite hectic and short.

Transport was a bit delayed in the morning but okay.
Food was okay.
Written November 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Philip T
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2019 • Couples
Excellent trip and totally surreal experiance. Highly recommend you will not regret staying over night with the elephants
Written January 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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