I went to visit the Elephant Conservation Center at Sayaboury province of Laos and I can only recommend it to everyone who wants to have an experience with Asian elephant. In a responsible way!
I booked it via Green Discovery at Luang Prabang and was transferred from there to the center. I guess that this explains for most of the price. The price indeed is releatively high, but what you get in exchange is just great. A stay in a bungalow with only 2 or 4 more tourist on a peninsula is worth the price already. During your stay you can have several opportunities to enjoy the elephants: e.g. bathing (just the elephants of course, you are watching from the bank), riding through the jungle, basic training, watching the young elephants. It is well organized with nice people.
Nothing compared to the usually elephant experiences acroos SE Asia with lots of tourists and elephant playing the fool during questionable shows. No show will be provided at Elephant Conservation Center but you can get up-close with just yourself, your accompanying traveller and maybe 1 or 2 other travellers.
With the admission and donations the center supports the elephants under human care at Laos and there is a plenty of information on that topic. You can visit the elephant veterinary hospital which is located at the center. I could see a visiting elephant with his mahout on a distance.
To round it up: If you want to experience elephants. This is it!
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