This is really worth visiting if you like animals but two important things to bear in mind following our visit on 12 April. One, they are not taking 'turn up visitors' any more - instead you need to book a guide. The reason for this is to ensure the animals are not stressed by people's activities (such as poking fingers at monkeys etc) and for safety reasons. This change of policy isn't on their website yet (http://www.wfft.org/) so do call before you set off. Second, make sure you get really good directions. We spent an hour and a half trying to find the place using a combination of their website map, tomtom on Ipad, and separate car GPS
Having said that, it was worth the hassle and stress in finding (it's only about 30 minutes from Hua Hin but in a very rural area). This place is HUGE ... there are so many monkeys, elephants, bears and other animals it as to be seen to be believed. Most of the animals are in cages (altough the elephants have a high level of freedom) but on talking to the volunteers and one of the people that runs the place, this is beause the monkeys through their previous (often horrendous training) are not suitable to be going back into the wild. Having said that, the place is absolutely spotless (no mean task when almost all the staff are volunteers who change quickly) and the animals extremely well looked after, with a real level of care shown by the management and volunteer staff
There are lots of 'foundations' in Thailand - most of which are just covers for commercial businesses. This is a true 'foundation' with the emphasis on education of people / tourists although I am unclear where the money comes from - we had to physically ask to make a donation (it wasn't obvious) and equally the foundation is not marketed locally (we found out about it from visiting friends who had watched a TV programme in Dubai and we were all astounded that it existed so close to where we live in Thailand and yet had never heard of it) . However I think this is going to change as they have someone who was a volunteer now working on the management side - we met her (a lovely Dutch lady) and think things will change
My recommendation - forget the other 'foundations' in Hua Hin (and we have visited them all with only the Hutsadin foundation being one that doesn't profit from elephant shows and the like) and visit this one if you care about animals and want to learn more about them (they have fabulous information boards demonstrating the horriffic training that elephants, monkeys and others go through to provide the type of tourist attractions that prevail across Thailand which if you are not conscious of this, should put you off visiting any of them)
We didn't have a guide despite the new policy as we weren't aware of it - we just walked straight in so do not know how good (or how much they cost) but I suspect any visit will be enhanced by a guide (they also do day volunteer experiences) if one is really looking to understand more about what they are saying
Can't recommend enough - to the extent that my niece has decided that she is going to apply for a two week stay there as a volunteer with her boyfriend next year
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.