We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great family fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Thai Elephant Home

Thai Elephant Home
Ranked #1 of 24 things to do in Mae Taeng
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Hobart, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great family fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2014 via mobile

We took our 14, 11 and 7 year olds on a full day at the Thai Elephant home. We were collected from our hotel, thank goodness because it was a fair distance from our city hotel. We were given a run down on information we needed for the day, then given clothes to change into. After reading previous reviews, we were prepared wearing our bathers underneath, and covering ourselves with bug spray. We were introduced to the elephants, then matched to them. Our 7 and 11 year olds shared an elephant. The one in the front held onto the head, and the one at the back held onto the Belly rope. It takes a while to feel comfortable and balanced, but it does get easier. We walked on some very steep paths, but the Elephants are very sure footed, and you will adjust yourself to sit comfortably. Lunch was pad Thai in banana leaves which we later fed to the elephants. Our kids struggled with chop sticks, but one of the guides found them spoons. At lunch you can buy soft drink or beer, but you are provided with two bottles of water to carry with you before you start. We then played in the mud bath with an elephant, whilst covering ourselves in the 'mineral mud'. Then we were off to the river for a wash which was the highlight of the day. A warning for the unfit, some Elephants can't squat down, so you have to climb on from its blended knee. A bit of upper body strength is required to do this elegantly (I have none!). My Elephant is pregnant due Around Nov. It was so nice to see my guide stopping often along the way cutting her sugar cane and grass to snack on. He did not once use his hook (nor did any other guides), just gave her verbal commands. At the river everyone got wet and had fun with the Elephants. The kids all had a go at being lifted up by an Elephant trunk, then sprayed. The Elephants looked like they we're having an amazing time, cooling off in the water. All in all it was an amazing experience for our family. To the people who gave bad reviews saying this was cruel, they forget that these Elephants are breed from generations of domestic Elephants who are well feed and cared for by generations of the same family. Unfortunately letting such a huge beast roam free in its off time isn't an option, just as we wouldn't let a huge bull wonder around our back yard. Our Zoos keep Elephants behind 2 inch bars, which would be too expensive an option for rural Thailand. These elephants are exercised, fed, allowed to free bath in the river daily. It was 'awesome fun' ( as said by our kids). P.S. Expect a sore backside for a few days afterwards, but so worth it!

1 Thank Regan246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

797 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
114 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2014 via mobile

For $138 USD we were picked up at our Chiangmai hotel, given outfits and coffee and water on arrival, as well as introductory information. After feeding the elephants bananas, you put the commands you just learned to use and learn how to mount and dismount your elephant for the day. A long ride into the jungle is paused for lunch. Price included lunch (delicious pad thai) where leftovers were given to an elephant. We even got elephant kisses before giving one a mud bath. Back on the elephant, you ride to the river and play in the water with the animals. Then it's a short ride back to camp, where fruit and coffee are provided while you watch your DVD of images the photographer took of you that day. The disk is given to you, along with a tshirt, before you go. Showers are available with soap and shampoo provided. (A hook in the stall would really help prevent clothes from getting wet).

If the experience wasn't already amazing, the guides really add an element of charm. Even when language is a barrier, they are still fabulous. One caught on that I did not like the giant bugs in the jungle and really loved scaring me with them (good fun). This is worth every penny. I know one of the girls on the tour bargained the price, but when you consider all the amazing work this company does, I think the price is worth it. Our 90baht picture frame was made by kids at a local school. I can't recommend this tour highly enough!

2 Thank Brianne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Great day out - worth the money”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2014

Great day bathing the elephants, getting a mud bath, one person per elephant, etc. They treat the elephants very well compared to other places and felt like the most responsible way to do this as a tourist. We had four people of all shapes and sizes and everyone enjoyed it, including the yummy lunch!

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Alix F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doylestown, Ohio
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Best day in Thailand”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 3, 2014

This will be the highlight of your trip to Chiang Mai. The staff is dedicated to making the day perfect for you. You get tons of riding time (so much that I am a bit sore today!), and lots and lots of close and personal time with the elephants. They have a staff member take great pictures all day, which they give you at the end of the day on CD. No charge. Free t-shirts, showers, and great lunch all come with the day. It was an amazing day!

Visited July 2014
1 Thank DanCAK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Bucket list!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014 via mobile

My partner and I went on the one day trek. We had an amazing time. The workers speak good English so nothing was lost in translation. I am a vegetarian and they prepared a meal specific for me. The ride was just fun. Swimming with these beautiful animals was unreal! You can see that the mahouts truly love their elephants.
This is a must do!

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Megan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Thai Elephant Home also viewed

Mae Rim, Chiang Mai Province

Been to Thai Elephant Home? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing