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“Wonderful end to my Laos trip”

Elephant Village Sanctuary Day Trips
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Explore Luang Prabang Backroads Biking Tour
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Elephant Village in Luang Prabang was set up in 2003 and is now owned by a group of passioante Lao nationals. Our sales office is located on the main street in town close to the National Museum and our beautiful elephant camp is located next to the village Ban Xieng Lom. Elephant Village focuses on three objectives:1. Saving Elephants 2. Community Support 3. Nature Preservation. We take elephants out of the very dangerous logging industry and provide them with an alternative way of earning their income. We try to help the elephants which desperately need help the most such as older elephants and elephants which have injuries due to accidents. We currently have 14 elephants in our care including 2 baby elephants which will never have to work in the logging industry. We are also home to a female elephant called Mae Uak, who was injured when she stepped on a 'UXO' (Un-Exploded Ordinance) some time ago, before we rescued her. She is now happily living in our herd.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful end to my Laos trip”
Reviewed July 23, 2011

Since this was at the tail-end of my trip and I didn't have a lot of money left, I opted for the half-day elephant riding program. I met other tourists who were in pairs and I have to say, I got my money's worth when it came to riding the elephant. Since I was by myself, I had an elephant all to myself and got to ride him bareback for almost 45 minutes. In contrast, those who availed of the package in pairs, while paying the same amount as I did, had to share an elephant so they took turns riding him bareback.

That said, this was a wonderful way to spend time with a beautiful, large but gentle creature. After the one-hour ride (you have the option of staying on the elephant seat or getting up close and personal by riding bareback on his neck, right behind his ears), I got to spend around thirty minutes petting him and feeding him bananas. It was quite an experience.

The food was pretty decent and the trip to the waterfall was fun as well. Since it had rained a few days before our trip to the waterfall, the water was gushing pretty hard so we got to make the most of the waterfalls.

Overall, this was one of the highlights of my trip in Laos. It might be a pricey attraction but so long as most of the money goes to the rehabilitation of these gentle giants, I think that's money well spent.

Visited June 2011
Thank SEAsian_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Brilliant if nerve-wracking”
Reviewed July 16, 2011

Just as with the other reviewers we loved this. If you want a decent amount of time on the elephants including washing them (which is much harder to get to do than riding which can be done in lots of places) then you need to do the mahout training. Riding the elephant is actually quite scary as, at the risk of pointing out the obvious, you're a long way up and it feels quite precarious. Still,it is a great experience and the more time you spend up there the better. The trip through the jungle is on a shared seat and a great way to see over the foliage to some great views. If you get the change to wash an elephant that enjoys 'diving' go for it! My husband had this and it just means they sit with their head under water. It doesn't involve dramatic movement or getting thrown off and is actually very fun and endearing.

The waterfall visit is less amusing if the weather is poor as it was for us but there is a bar and we all just sat up there and chatted (don't order the lipton's tea - it's bright orange and very wrong!). Still, the boat ride is fun and it is a beautiful if rather busy place to see.

The guide was fantastic and we were very well cared for.

Visited July 2011
Thank YellowIslandDreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne Australia
Level Contributor
230 reviews
71 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2011

I took a group of 10 students to Luang Prabang and we loved our elephant trek with Elephant Village Sanctuary. A number of students had been concerned that the elephants might be treated poorly but we immediately found that this wasn't the case and the exact opposite was true.
There had been heavy rain for weeks leading up to our visit so the road there was very muddy and bumpy.
Because we had a big group and we didn't want to wait we travelled by boat to the other elephant camp. The track there, only about 200 metres was muddy but we didn't mind as it added to our experience.
Everyone had an amazing time during the elephant trek.
When we had had finished we had a most enjoyable lunch in a beautiful setting.
I unreservedly recommend this activity.

Visited June 2011
Thank Wayne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A Real Adventure!”
Reviewed July 1, 2011

An amazing experience regardless of the weather. It has rained so much here lately that the road to the elephant village was cut by mudslides so our guide arranged us to travel by longtail boat about 20 mins downstream. It rained nearly the whole way and we got a bit wet, but we knew it would be worth it.

After a brief introduction to some of the terminology used we headed across the river one group of elephants and their Mahouts. We met with them and boarded them in groups of two on the seats provided for a short jungle trek.
Afterwards we got a turn as Mahout, guiding our elephants around camp.
NOW, for the most amazing fun you can have, taking the elephant down to the river to wash and scrub them whilst on them, well most of the time. Some of the Mahout were cheeky and tipped us in the river or made.the elephants submerge.
Back to main camp and a buffet lunch followed by a trip JL to Tad Sae falls.
Highly recommend taking a pack with a change of clothes and a sense of adventure.
Also take a waterproof camera as the best shots arr with them in the river.

Thank murray c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
1 review
Reviewed June 24, 2011

PLEASE do this with the Elephant Village Sanctuary. The money that you are charge goes to them not someone else's pockets. This helps support looking after the elephants.
Our Guide Burt was great, provided information on the way to the sanctuary in the air conditioned shuttle. We were greeted warmly and the staff were happy. I was traveling with a 15 and 11 year old and they described it as 'an awesome experience' they would never forget. We had a nice Lao lunch there. Firstly we went for a little trek on the elephants in a chair, then feed them, had a lesson on commands for elephants and how to get on and off the elephants. Then we were each on one elephant and went down to the river where we bathe them. IT WAS LOTS OF FUN. Laughter from all in our group. The Mahouts really cared about the elephants. It was so nice to see the elephants treated really well and in such a happy, environment. THANK YOU Elephant Village for the best experience for my family. We did the 1 day Mahout experience. The waterfall was great to do after the sanctuary to cool off in the water. My family had a great time jumping off the rocks into the cool water. The trip by boat to the waterfall was good.

Visited June 2011
Thank irisheyes355
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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