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“Probable food poisening”

The Elephant Training Center Chiang Dao
Ranked #1 of 1 Shopping in Mae Taeng
Attraction details
Reviewed March 26, 2013

All and all the day was enjoyable. We started with feeding the elephants bananas and watching them bathe. We did see some yelling and using a tool to grab their ears. My daughter noticed bleeding on one elephant that resisted. We enjoyed show, and the plentiful meal (at the time). The raft ride was very nice, but hot, hot, hot. Previously we had done a similar raft ride with a different company, that had a shade, much more enjoyable. The next morning my teenage daughter was feeling queasy. She tried to do some sight seeing, but we returned early to the hotel as she wasn't feeling well. That night so about 30 hours after eating she began to vomit. She was very ill more than one episode. When we called the front desk of our hotel for help, they
asked us if we had visited the Elephant training center. Other guests at our hotel that had visited were sick with food poisening as well. We were so disappointed after reading such good reviews.
I think if you go there you will enjoy the experience. JUST DON'T EAT THE FOOD! They
evidently have issues. 4 of us ate, all food was pretty hot and tasted good. Only one was sick. It
was also the kids in the other families. I think their systems were just too weak to handle.
One other observation, which may be part of the food poisoning problem. There was no paper in the bathrooms (not totally unusual for parts of Thailand. But no soap or paper towels either.

1  Thank lookingforward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2013 via mobile

This was a fun day out. The Elephants appeared to be heathy, couldn't tell if they were happy. The ride was fun, the mohoab (elephant trainers) were kind to the animals and very caring of us. the rafting was a great way to spend a few lazy hours. the good was excellent and it really was a great day.

Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

We were recommended to go to this Elephant Training Centre, as it was one of the first and remains one of the true elephant conservation projects. Only a small group can book and only a few elephants are worked once a day before they are set free to roam the surrounding jungle. When you arrive, you are invited to feed the elephants bananas - please note, there are signs that ask you to feed them a BUNCH at a time, not singularly, as they get frustrated. The elephants are then bathed in the river by their Mahouts. Once done, the small audience watch the elephants go through a series of commands to show their strength and what they were once used for (no longer the case). Not once did we see one of these elephants hit or yelled at. One of the elephants painted a picture of an autumn tree that we were lucky enough to purchase. (There are others done previously that you can also buy). I read a review that thought this practice was cruel, but I spoke with an elephant keeper in Melbourne and they explained that when wild animals are domesticated, they need to be stimulated in other ways, such as finding food in containers that are a puzzle etc. Elephants will often "paint" voluntarily when they're in their yard. Afterwards, a couple will mount an elephant chosen for you. There are strict instructions not to make sudden movements or noise and where to place your feet exactly. I know that other elephant villages allow tourists to yell and scream whilst they're riding, which is nerve wracking for them. They are gentle, quiet creatures by nature. You ride through beautiful jungle to the Lisu Village where the locals have handicrafts for sale, then back again, but this time, through the actual river. The elephants plod gently along through the shallow water and it really is so tranquil. It's an odd feeling being so high and their gait is obviously very slow. Other elephant attractions allow tourists to sit on the neck of the elephant, but again, this is considered inappropriate as it takes years for Mahouts to know exactly how to sit. The seat on the elephant has incredibly thick saddle blankets underneath, which was good to note. Once you return to the yards, you're seated at a wooden restaurant overlooking the river. The traditional Thai meal is huge with so many dishes we could hardly get through it all. To finish off, you are poled downriver for about an hour on a bamboo raft - again, very tranquil and relaxing. We saw a snake swimming towards us before it turned back for the safety of the reeds, Thai children playing and laughing in the water and an elephant having a mud bath further downstream - as carefree as you please. I asked our guide about the children and she told me they all know and play with the elephants. This day was one of the best we had in Chiang Mai. It's all about being peaceful and quiet and respecting the area and the animals. It's not about swimming with elephants, screaming and being a tourist without a thought for the animals. I encourage you to read their website: http://www.chiangdaoelephantcamp.com/activities.php
It was a beautiful day that allowed us to do something completely out of the ordinary, but with as much respect and gentleness that can be asked of a tourist attraction that involves animals.
One piece of advice, the toilets there are traditionally Thai with a water hose rather than paper. Take your own paper if you prefer, but you cannot flush it away, it needs to go in the bin. They are very clean but just a bit different.

6  Thank Lyse-Scott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This elephant training camp is about an hour north of Chiang Mai. It is clean and it appears that the elephants are well cared for. I witnessed no abuse. We were told that the elephants are set free to roam for part of the day.The tour cost 2400 baht (aprx $80) in January 2013 and this included our transportation, guide, entry fee, and lunch. We made our reservation at our hotel the day before. It was an all day trip and worth every cent. We rode an elephant for an hour in the jungle and also up the river. Then we watched the elephants get bathed in the river which was a treat to see them roll in the water in pure delight sticking their big legs into the air like kids. We were given an exhibition of how the elephants have been used in Thailand in the logging industry pulling logs individually and in pairs and also pushing logs with their trunks. One elephant raised the flag and one painted a picture. We floated on a bamboo raft down the Ping River which was enjoyable, very peaceful. Saw lots of birds and butterflies and water buffalo. A delicious buffet lunch was enjoyed at the Tiger Kingdom and we also visited a beautiful orchid farm. The elephant camp is not recommended for wheelchairs because the access is on a swinging bridge and the ground is uneven. The trek up to the Lisu village was a disappointment to me...it was small, we didn't see inside the homes, and product was displayed everywhere in hopes of a sale.

1  Thank Nan2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

The tour is very good, you do get up close and personal with Elephants. Yes some are chained but this is for safety. The show is not a circus but a glimpse into how Elephants used to be used for logging. We bought one of the Elephant paintings..absolutely fantastic. The food here is also very very good. If you get chance go rafting and the pictures taken by the staff were excellent, they present them in a frame made out of Elephant dung...lol and are as cheap as chips.

Thank dodge5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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