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“Fantastic experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Thai Elephant Home

Thai Elephant Home
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Mae Taeng
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Chiang Mai Province, Thailand
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2010

My week at the Thai Elephant Home was fantastic! Mahout Joe does everything to make this an experience one wants to repeat. I was able to spend hours with my elephant, whether bathing Pak Bun in the river, riding her in the jungles, cutting grass for her ..... and of course, playing with her and the other elephants in the mud bath in the rain! I spent one night in the jungle, learned how to cook a complete meal over the fire and had my morning coffee prepared inside a bamboo stick place over the fire. Relaxing jungle environment, great food every day, quality time with the elephants, a staff that was so welcoming, all combined to make this a truly great experience!

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1 Thank Leslie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Strenuous but well worth it”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 24, 2010

My family spent a day at the elephant home. In addition to a very full day at the elephant home. The day included a stop on the way there at a local market and we were offered time at a number of other attractions on the way home. There is nothing quite like getting to KNOW your elephant. During the day you gradually come to know and love your elephant and it is amazing how that bond develops. Lunch high up in the mountains as the elephants roamed freely, really makes you feel that you were living the life not just a tourist. Be aware riding elephants is hard work and physical endurance is required if you want to ride all day. Not to worry though there are options for those less physically able. Mahout clothing is provided and shower gel and shompoo await for a refreshing shower on return to camp.

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1 Thank Gayle80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
1 review
“A place with a sense of fun and true sense of caring”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2010

I can't recommend The Thai Elephant Home enough. They truly care about the welfare of the elephants and as Joe says "The elephants come first". This was very important to us when choosing where to spend time with elephants as we wanted our tourist dollar to improve the life of the animals and their Mahouts, not harm them as many places do. We had 4 of us, including 2 children aged 11 and 13. The loved it! The highlight for me was swimming in the river with all the elephants and Mahouts. Such incredible animals and the mahouts have a wonderful sense of fun.
An unexpected bonus was a brilliant picnic lunch wrapped in banana leaves and they were not fazed at all catering for vegetarians.
Tips: You don't need a change of clothes, towels, water etc and they supply a "uniform" which you'll be grateful for after you experience the mud. They even supply toiletries and a shower which you'll need if you have a mud fight which is inevitable. You may want to bring your own shampoo and conditioner and facecreams if you like your own nice things as you'll need a good scrub!
Expect your lower legs to get chaffed from brissly hairs but this is a minor thing compared to the amazing experience of riding bareback.

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Thank BeckersFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okinawa
1 review
“Precious time in Elephant Home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2010

I stayed only one night, but I couldn't forget precious time in Elephant Home.
I think I laughed everytime with Joe, mahout, elepahnts, staffs, and participant from various country(from USA, Indonesia, Denmark).
Everyone is kind and friendly, and has warm heart.
It was a great experience to go to a river for bathing elephants (and us), toast a slice of bread putting between a bamboo, hold on to a trunk of elephant....
All programs were excellent!!
I'm very very happy to meet everyone there. They are my precious friends.
I 'll be sure to come again. Next time I want to make more long stay(^^*)!
Thank you so much.

Saki (From Japan)

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Thank pig928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newton, MA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“El-lala”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2010

A common phrase used at the Thai Elephant Home is similar to the one you'd hear in Paris; instead of Oooo-lala, they say El-lala and that says it all! It's all about the elephants and the people who care for them.

My daughter spent 6 weeks at the Thai Elephant Home as a volunteer. It was her "semester abroad" and she would say she learned more than she ever imagined! Her service learning program was organized by ProWorld/ProThailand. Check them out if you are interested in a community service- type abroad instead of an academic abroad.

My husband, son and I met her in Chiang Mai and drove out to the Home for a two day stay to share her recent experience. We had a family adventure we will never forget!

My daughter and the Elephant Home owner Joe picked us up early and drove us about 60 minutes outside Chiang Mai. We arrived and were warmly welcomed by Joe's wife, beautiful son, and lots of extended family and mahouts. We were given uniforms to wear (you get REALLY dirty riding elephants), a sack with lunch, and Joe taught us a few commands and moves with our elephants. You need good shoes and lots of sunscreen.

I thought riding an elephant would be like riding a horse, which I'd done many times, but it wasn't even close. Riding an elephant takes confidence, strength, and some faith in the mahout who "owns" your elephant. Hang on tight, relax, and enjoy the ride!

I loved every minute of it. It was a totally "in the moment" kind of experience. I could look back and smile watching the hubby, my son and daughter also have such a fun time...I mean, riding an elephant, how crazy is that?! Joe and his mahouts are extraordinary in that they stress safety, comfort, and fun. If you want a life-changing, exhilarating adventure, head directly to the Thai Elephant Home! Woo hoo!

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Thank bfred101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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