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“A wonderful 2 days”

Panda Tour & Trekking
Dublin, Ireland
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A wonderful 2 days”
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

Me and my boyfriend went on a 2 day one night trek with Panda tours. After booking it and reading negative reviews we were both apprehensive to go but were happily surprised with the tour. We got picked up and brought to the office where we paid our fee and signed insurance forms then visited the long next tribe then had a gorgeous pad Thai lunch. After which we went elephant trekking which was very enjoyable. The elephants are fed well but aren't very pleased with bring brought around the same path again and again which is understandable. Then the trek began which was tough but with beautiful views and our guides "K" and "Y" were very good with great English and fun personalities which made the two days better! The place we stayed over night was fine don't expect anything fancy just mats on the floor with a pillow n a blanket but that adds to the experience! A lovely dinner of green curry was served with beers and minerals available to buy for a small fee. We all had good fun over the fire with a few beers. The second day we had an egg & toast breakfast then finished the trek with a trip to a waterfall with some swimming! Unfortunately we couldn't do white water rafting due to low water levels but we did do bamboo rafting which was much better then expected! Thank you to "K" and "Y" for a brilliant two days! We won't forget it!

Visited December 2013
Thank Queenie89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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375 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Amateurs guides that can abandon you in dangerous situations”
Reviewed December 13, 2013

I was in Chiang Mai mid-October 2013 and my hotel suggested a tour with Panda Tour & Trekking. The very good thing was the price: my fiancee and I paid about 800 Baht each. Later in the day we found out other guys on the same tour with us paid almost double price. But the good experience stopped there. The guides were almost never speaking to us and nonetheless having a very poor english. Transportation was on a very bad kept truck, and this is quite impacting if you have to travel for more than 2 hours during that day. Finally, the abandoned us swimming in a pond letting us reaching the truck alone.

We went for the following classic tour which consisted of the followings:
- Orchids and Butterfly Farm: Orchids were there and were indeed very nice, but Butterfly "cage" was empty. We stopped there for about 30 minutes and was definetively too much time for everyone, given that all of the people in my tour were back to the truck after 10 minutes;
- Elephant Farm: This was the best part of the tour. Finally a guy who spoke perfect English. The farm itself was a bit rough, but animals were well kept. The tour on the elephant was nice but nothing very "extreme". What was very disappointing to see was our "Pand Tour" guide having fun by making a caged monkey smoke and drink Sprite. Very unrespectful of the animal.
- White Water Rafting: here the choice was between an inflatable raft or a bamboo raft. The only difference was in the means but, again, also this was not "extreme" at all. We rafted for about 10km of almost flatlands, quite useless and annoying after all. Moreover, the guy who was supposed to give us instructions on how to steer the raft was pretty uncaring and didn't provide guidance at all.
- Hill Tribe Village & Waterfall: well... what to say. Landscape here was wonderful but the visit to the village utterly useless. The only living human in the area wanted to sell few commercial/industrial items (not even a single piece of handycraft). After that, finally our guide brought us to a waterfall were we could bath. The place was missing every minimal security measure, but was worth a swim. Here, "Panda Tour" reached the worst and left 4 of us in the water swimming and went back to the track (5 minutes hike), thus leaving us almost at sunset with no guidance in the Jungle. That's completely nuts!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Danilo A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saratoga Springs, Utah
2 reviews
“Great staff”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

We had TK as our leader and he spoke great English and was very funny. They really emphasized how they treat the elephants well there and you can tell. The camp is located up in the mountains/jungle and it was beautiful. We learned commands, ate buffet style lunch, and rode the elephants for a couple of hours. Then we bathed with them in the water and mud, followed by a mud fight. Great experience and exceeded our expectations. The whole staff got involved and it helped that they enjoy being there.

Visited December 2013
Thank Kelsey E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ubud, Indonesia
2 reviews
“harrassed us before we even booked”
Reviewed November 23, 2013

We emailed to ask for information because we wanted to make sure it was kid friendly. They showed up at our hotel in filthy clothes smoking demanding we book. All we wanted was information. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. pay a little extra for a quality tour group like something different tours.

Visited November 2013
Thank James O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellevue, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Save your money!”
Reviewed November 21, 2013

This was the worst day we have ever spent on a vacation. Elephants are chained and bleeding. The camp is a pig sty with garbage all around and very disorganized

Picked up on time by a dirty, littered pick up truck. After 1.5 hours we had 11 people in the back end of the truck and were driven back to within 1/2 mile from our hotel to sign a release. It was then another 1.5 hour drive to the camp including a stop to buy bananas for the E's. The camp is a filthy dump. The brochure we saw had pictures of another camp, not Panda.

When calling to sign up they said there would be 12 in our tour, there were 24. As such they did not have enough elephants so we had to wait and some had to ride three to an E. You train with the elephants using a bamboo hook but when you get on to ride they don't give you a hook at all, huh? And the guides then use metal hooks. Our elephant was bleeding with an open sore on her back, and did not want to follow commands. The mud bath was a disgusting still pond and the guides mud fight turned into a dung fight hitting us in the head and torso. It was one of the most disgusting and dirty things I have done in my life. Our guide was working two E's so couldn't keep on constant eye our misbehaving E who constantly stopped and veered off trail. Then the E wanted to scratch her open sore on her back and proceeded to smash us into a tree because the guide was not keeping tabs on us. Then into the "clean" bath which is a pond with slow moving water, maybe. While bathing our E another guide snuck up behind my wife and dumped a bucket of water on her head. She was trying to keep her head and bra dry. They totally stained and ruined her five day old $35 Nike visor. That was when we quit the tour. When we arrived at camp at 11:40 lunch was sitting out. We were now offered lunch at 2:45, the same food that was sitting for 3 hours.I had some pineapple only and got diarrhea.

There was no toilet paper and they didn't have any. The shower was a scum fest and they had no towels for you nor were you told to bring a towel.

We couldn't leave because they didn't make enough copies of the framed photo they take because they failed to account for the tripling up of people from the lack of E's nor did they make everyone a "certificate" and the guy who makes them was not around. So had to wait for an hour until they made everyone happy. Finally time to go so all 12 climb into the truck, 11 in back. Then they want us to move to another truck and we tell them it's too small. They make us move anyway and it takes them about ten minutes to realize the truck "is too small" and they can't drive with four people in the cab. So we move back to the other truck and finally leave at 4 pm. At 6:10 we are the last in the truck and the driver goes the opposite direction from our hotel for 1/2 mile and then stops on the street for no reason. I get out and look why we are stopped and he is on his phone saying to me "a few minutes we wait". A girl running down the road jumps in the cab and we go. So we had to fight the heavy traffic again to get to our hotel at 6:30 pm finally. Instead of taking us to our hotel then getting girl, his detour meant we had another 10 to 15 minutes in the truck.

None of the 11 in the truck said they would recommend Panda Tour or do it again. We felt it was a total bait and switch from the brochure we were shown and will not go near a Panda Tour again.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank Fred R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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