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Reviewed March 11, 2017 via mobile

I've just gotten back from a day spent at the Elephant Nature Park and feel so strongly about this place. It was an amazing day where we got to feed, bathe and watch the elephants as if they were in their natural habitat. But we were also told and shown the horrors that these elephants have been through and that thousands are still going through right this minute.

Let me be clear- there is NO WAY to ethically ride elephants. They are WILD ANIMALS so have to be trained in order for them to be compliant enough for humans to ride them, saddle or no saddle!! In order for them to be trained they have to have their 'spirit broken' which means they are tied up and tortured with sharp metal sticks. The same method is used to make them do tricks or shows. Do not contribute to this cruelty! Only tourists can make the difference to these poor animals lives by stopping the demand. If you think that because you don't see cruelty in front of you it doesn't happen- it does. We learnt all of this from the documentary we were shown on the way to the park and throughout the day.

We chose the care package so got to know the elephants first of all by feeding them. Because of their previous treatment they need time to bond with humans in order to trust them. We then walked with the elephants (they decide where you go) for a time and they bathed and played in the river. We had lunch (which was amazing) and met the elephants back at the river where we helped bathe them. There are plenty of opportunites for photos if thats what you want. We then walked back with them and visited the rest of the centre. Watching the elephants and learning about them was so rewarding and interesting.

Our guide Sunshine was brilliant, he was passionate about elephant welfare and educating tourists about what really goes on in the trekking/riding industry. He answered all of our questions and had a really good energy all day. I will recommend this place to everyone, if you want to meet elephants please do it in the RIGHT way and do not contribute to the torturing of beautiful, innocent animals.

Date of experience: March 2017
2  Thank Wilaur234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2017 via mobile

Great guide, AMAZING experience with the elephants! We got to hangout with them all day and it's 100% cruelty free. No riding of elephants here! Once in a lifetime opportunity. You definitely get dirty though.

Date of experience: March 2017
Thank Jordan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2017

When we booked the trip to Thailand, I wanted to ride an elephant. After doing a small bit of research, I realized how harmful giving rides to humans are for elephants. We selected the 'pamper a pachyderm' tour here.
We've been fortunate enough to visit a lot of neat places and have some great experiences. This is the coolest thing we've done!
On the ride there, we saw people happily riding elephants, which made us sad and upset. This place cares for elephants that have been injured due to logging accidents, stepping on landmines, abuse from owners who used them as circus attractions and abuse from giving rides to humans.
Our excursion allowed to walk with and feed these gentle giants. It was incredible to walk side by side with these animals and to feed them. We also were able to stop in a river and bathe the elephants. Truly, words can't describe what a great day this was. Our guide, Smile, was awesome. She told us a lot about the elephants and their social structure, and shared with us the horrific circumstances that some of the animals had to endure in their life before being rescued. We would happily travel half way across the world to spend another afternoon at the elephant nature park. Just an incredible experience.

Date of experience: October 2016
1  Thank Parr0theads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2017 via mobile

This experience was incredible. We went for a one day visit at the Elephant Nature Park on the Pamper a Pachyderm trip. These people care so much about the elephants after rescuing them from bad environments.
This is an unmissable, they start by picking you up at your hotel/hostel then travel an hour out of Chiangmai to the location of the elephants.
We started by washing and cutting up watermelons and then fed them to the elephants one on one. In a group of 8 each couple had an elephant to themselves for the feeding.
We then walked through a river and across the park with the elephants next to us. Able to take photos whenever we wanted.
We then had a lovely Thai lunch provided for us, and then carried on walking with the elephants and washing them. We were also provided with bananas to feed them whilst walking.
This experience is better than the others and you get so much more time with the elephants. I want to go again and again and again.

Date of experience: March 2017
1  Thank lydiabwills222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2017 via mobile

This is the best part of Chiang Mai hands down!! I did the single day visit which was awesome! they will come and pick you up from your hotel, bring you to the park and then back to your hotel. It is about 1 hour north of central Chiang Mai. They also provide you with lunch and water for the day. You get to feed the elephants cucumbers and then walk with them into a forested area just to observe them. After lunch you go in a truck to the river area to bathe the elephants which is the best experience ever ( they give you buckets to throw water on the elephants)! The staff at the park are awesome and show you how to interact with the elephants especially if you are a bit afraid of these large giants.

Things to bring:
-Waterproof camera (go pro etc.)
-Suntan lotion
-Change of clothes as you will get muddy
-bathing suit (you will not be able to wear your bikini in the river as it is a culture thing so wear shorts and a tshirt overtop)
-Towel
-Watershoes
-Sunglasses
-bug repellent
-Hat
-Take an allergy pill if you are allergic to the outdoors

Make sure you book in advance as this does book up quickly! This is 100 times better than any elephant ride believe me.

Date of experience: March 2017
3  Thank joman999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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