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“Quite an adventure”

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 young children, Activities for older children
Sydney, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Quite an adventure”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The elephant sanctuary was a wonderful experience. You go on a ride through the river on the elephant (it is a bit hairy actually going down to the river - very steep drop) and the noise the elephants make when they get to the water is fantastic. The elephants only take tourists out in the morning and they rest, back in the jungle, in the afternoon. The animal hospital is there tending to any sick elephant and the vet advises the Mahouts how to take proper care of the elephants. It was a wonderful morning and you are free to touch and feed the elephants at any time.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Pom50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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882 reviews from our community

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English first
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience from start to finish”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

I booked the day tour from the office in Luang Prabang, a day or so beforehand, hoping that their claims of "caring" for elephants was true, not like most other tours including elephants who are clearly capitalising on the ignorance of tourists but treat the elephants as money-making objects, beating them with sticks and hooks, starving them to make them do their will, and making them work their butts off all day long.
I was overjoyed to find that the Elephant Village in Luang Prabang is genuine!
The whole day was wonderful. The elephants were happy (they were SMILING!) and healthy. The mahouts carried no sticks and/or hooks. I learnt much about the caring and needs of these magnificent creatures.
Some have said that the day is long, with long periods with nothing to do. I found it the opposite. I could have spent more time there, learning more, enjoying the beautiful surroundings; the day was too short for me.
Bathing the elephants, after riding them "bareback" into the river was the highlight of my day. What a joy! The elephants too, clearly enjoyed the experience. (she blinked her long eyelashes at me afterwards. We are in love! lol )
My guide was great, and used my camera to take photos. The mahouts were so very much in control and good at their job. The included lunch was very nice.
I loved learning about the making of paper out of elephant dung, which helps to support the environment and the upkeep of the elephants.
If you want to have an experience which includes sitting on the back of an elephant, whilst in SE Asia, this is the one to do. Forget the others. They are commercial enterprises, and I detest the way these beautiful animals are treated by most tourist companies in this part of the world. Other travelers told me about other tours, which "include" a ride on an elephant, interspersed with other activities, like jungle treks, waterfalls, hill tribes, etc that they had been on and how they all felt ill when they witnessed the elephants being struck on the head by poles with hooks on the end of them! Please do your research and DO NOT patronise those tours!

Visited October 2012
4 Thank Maxine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Very nice thing to do”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

Great tour. Its so well organised and in the most beautiful spot. The owners have done a great job and you really get a sense that the elephants are well looked after and the guides are well trained and know what they are doing. We did the tour on Xmas day and had a such a great time. Lunch was also great and we visited the waterfalls which were incredible.

Visited December 2012
Thank jmonket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“1 day mahout magic”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We were in two minds before we booked about whether elephant riding trips could be justified . The elephants at this camp are all rescued from logging work , so their existence at the camp is preferable to logging or the meat trade . It is pricey but well worth it , especially when you consider the upkeep costs for 11 elephants and also that the European owner's hard work with Lao bureaucracy to set it up .In comparison with some other outfits , the elephants only work for just over half a day here . The day was well organized and any waiting was short , between 20 and 30 mins and I cannot understand people moaning about this , as this gives plenty of time to ask questions of our excellent guide ( ding - tiger trails ) , read th information boards , enjoy the scenery , buy some bananas and feed the elephants , have a quick dip in the resort pool ( free only for full day package people ) and enjoy being around the animals . The training , walk and bathe were all great fun , but if you suffer from vertigo or don't like the world having a good laugh as you unceremoniously are assisted up onto the neck of the beast then best skip it ! We had a great day , a great group and guide and our 8 year old said it was the best thing he had ever done . The boat trip was nice in the mid afternoon , though Tad Sae was rather underwhelming if you have already done kuang si .

Visited January 2013
2 Thank marlowrower
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, AUS
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Magical experience with the elephants!!”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

This is a special thing to do and the elephants are so graceful, gentle. Just the best!! I would do it again for sure.

Visited January 2013
Thank jbmadigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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