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“Elephant Rides”

Yokdon National Park
Attraction details
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Yok Don National Park is a good hour by taxi outside of BMT so it pays to sort out transport beforehand. For those not used to VN drivers' "protocol" - or are of a nervous disposition - then a local taxi is best.

The elephants seem well looked after and a group of 7 of us were accommodated 2 at a time. If you pay an extra 10,000 the elephants get an extra feed of sugar cane which they love and it makes for a happier beast. Ask to go down to the river - and watch the overhead power cables that are stretched along the route at (elephant passenger) head height.

4  Thank Galloglaigh2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 21 of 27 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2014

The sheer size of the park is amazing, after spending several days there I looked at a large map on display and was amazed to see we had hardly entered the park. There are several guides that are commited to the park and share their enthusiasm of plants, wildlife and the history of the park with you. Enough of the staff speak English to make your time comfortable.

The Elephant ride/swim is a real treat and a great way to see more of the park if you need a break from trecking. Arrange the ride for the following day and get up early to take part in the elephant's morning ritual. The elephants at the YDNP are treated with a lot more care and respect than the other elephants who are mistreated in the bigger tourist sites outside of the park. There are some great videos on you tube that can be found with a simple search.

It is worth noting that the most important feature of the park is that it exists to protect the animals and trees within it and it was not established to cater for tourists. Of coarse the park does offer accomodation, elephant rides, hammocks, guides and other activities. However the beauty of the parks tourism operations is that the profits are used to benefit the park.

2  Thank Jason N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014 via mobile

This place is still waiting to get discovered. Definitely try early morning elephant tracking & bare back riding & swimming... find more on their website :) You can get to Yok Don NP with pink public bus from Buon Ma Thout bus station (cheap but it can get really crowded), takes like an hour. Guesthouse is behind the main gate. Accommodation is simple but clean (for $15/night). Enjoy your trip with friendly NP staff.

4  Thank Maresovo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yok D, Reception at Yokdon National Park, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2014

Thank-you very much for your review. We are glad you enjoyed your time here, best wishes in your future travels.

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Reviewed October 24, 2013

we stayed at buon ma thuot. and we wanted to get away from the big cities so we decided to go to this national park. the entrance is near ban do.
We did a 2 hours walking tour with a really friendly guide and a half an hour boat trip back to the entrance.

the park is beautiful and peaceful.

BTW you shouldn't have high expectations to see wild animal (as it already says they are wild and try to protect themselves for humans)

Thank jeca2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yok D, Reception at Yokdon National Park, responded to this reviewResponded November 11, 2013

Xin Chào Jeca, Thank-you very much for your kind review. We very much enjoyed having you visit here. We are currently brainstorming initiatives to increase tourist likelihood of spotting wildlife and decrease wildlife poaching. Conservation tourism here is essential to support the initiatives. I hope you both enjoyed the rest of your time in Vietnam.

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Reviewed July 5, 2013

we moved off from Buon Ma Thuot town which is about 20 km from Yok Don. We arranged for a private van for the trip as no public transport is available. After a hearty breakfast of beef noodles and coffee which Buon Ma Thuot is famous for , we set off at about 7 am. Along the way we passed by typical vietnamese villages and buffalos sharing the same road . The park HQ has elephant rides across the Serepok river which flows into Laos from Yok Don. We sat on one large male elephant for a 3 hour ride into the bamboo forest . The ride through the bamboo forest was an eye opener for my children as they have not visited such a large bamboo forest before. the winds and the bamboo make the ride very enjoyable . Along the way we can see villagers hunting for animals and gathering crops from the forest. The mahout is well trained and explained and guided us throughout the ride. we also have very intimate encounters with the elephant as they are well trained and domesticated . Yok Don used to have the largest elephant herd in Vietnam but understand that its been dwindling due to deaths and poaching. The whole trip costs us $50 for the van and $20 for the elephant ride into the forest and is good value.

2  Thank Jamestankee H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yok D, Reception at Yokdon National Park, responded to this reviewResponded November 10, 2013

Hello Jamestankee,
I am very glad you enjoyed your time in Yok Don national park and I hope the rest of your travels have been enjoyable. Thank- you for taking the time to write your review on TripAdvisor. For other readers - in relation to the comment about public transport, that is incorrect. There is a half hourly bus from Buon Me Thuot to Yok Don (trip takes 1.5hr). Please see the website for details of transport to the park. http://www.yokdonnationalpark.vn/en/content/tourist/how-get-here-0

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