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“Excellent Elephants” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Elephant Village Pattaya

Elephant Village Pattaya
Ranked #15 of 129 things to do in Pattaya
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
England
Level Contributor
213 reviews
73 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Excellent Elephants”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2014 via mobile

Fabulous afternoon with these amazing animals. Great experience and well worth the entrance fee. Really interesting short visit to silkworm farm too! Very enjoyable afternoon. Will go again!

Visited February 2014
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Thank muddyoldengr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Mixed feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

I lived in Bangkok a few years back and would too often read of elephants being hit and maimed by cars at night as they were walked thruogh the city streets . This often after bringing the pachyderms to the tourist areas for the owners to make a few baht off of drunk tourists.

Knowing the above, I was rather pleased to read about a refuge for elephants. What's more, my two year old loves elephants to an interaction with the animals was a win-win.

I'd never ridden an elephant before so wasn't sure what to expect. we selected the hour-long elephant riding followed by catfish feeding, an overview of silk manufacturing and then a fruit buffet before heading back to the hotel.

The initial interaction was interesting. You get as close as you would ever want to the elephants and are able to buy bunches of bananas to feed them. The Mahut took a younger elephant and made it do tricks for food. I didn't appreciate the need for tricks in a refuge.

We were last in our group to mount the elephant. As we had some adjusting to do with myself, my wife and our son, we probably took longer than most to finally get moving. This meant that we were far behind the group for the entire ride.

The significance of the above is that it appeared to have bothered the Mahut to the extent that the elephant was 'encouraged' to pick up its pace. using a tool not dissimilar to a mountain climbers pick, the Mahut chose to knock the elephant on the forehead with his club. None too pleased we were. It may be how the animals need to be kept in line, I'll leave that to the experts to determine. But to the observer sitting on the animal, it was not a pleasant experience.

The ride itself is not one of comfort. The animal lumbers through its paces and each step of the foot rocks the carriage a combination of left and right to to and fro. that is what it is but we were all too pleased to end the ride.

The Catfish farm was an opportunity to buy feed and watch the fish fight for the fish feed. The silk manufacturing was interesting but really was more of a time filler to allow the organisers to process the pictures and videos taken of each elephant team.

We bought the framed pix for THB400 but not the video at 1000 as really, despite the interest in having ridden on an elephant, none of our expressions were necessarily once that we wanted to be reminded of.

Overall
the organisers are trying hard to make this trek and associated fee worth while. While this is appreciated, I was more than happy to leave.

The Good
Include pick up and drop off in the overall fee.

The Bad
Tarnish the reputation of Mahuts - if they can be called such - as the last savior of the Thai elephants.

My mixed feeling is that I believe that elephants are better off in places like the elephant village than walking the streets with opportunistic owners. I'm glad that we went as our fees go to supporting these animals. I do appreciate that preservation of the elephants in Thailand is a must and does have a huge price tag attached. The price, while not cheap, is justified in my opinion.

I hope that tourists continue to go as I am certain that the Elephant village can use the funds to support the elephants. Equally, I hope that the organisation recognises that it runs along a thin line of preservation and exploitation. If it gets the balance wrong, people will stop coming and it will mean the end of the Thai Elephants. The apathy by our Mahut needs to be reversed and there needs to be a greater demonstration of genuine care for the animals. Needless to say, we were not impressed with our Mahut and the suggestion at tipping him, fell upon deaf ears.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank kovalex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shiraz, Iran
Level Contributor
82 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Wonderful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2014

Don't miss it,as a tourist you had to try this adventure elephant ride.This trip consist of elephant ridding .cow coach ,boat on a small lake,food and traditional dance.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Fariborzzak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pattaya, Thailand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Average”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2014

I must say that I did not like it very much, nothing special, indeed I have to say that is not worth coming up here to see these poor elephants forced to endure all these tourists (especially Russians) rude!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank ket c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
137 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Nice”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2014

Good experience. But don't buy it just based on the pictures on the net. The water is just an artificial pond for in-the-water ride experience.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Scm M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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