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“Great experience”

Elephant Village Sanctuary & Resort
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Elephant Village in Luang Prabang, Laos 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: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We booked the one day mahout training through the office in Luang Prabang, service at the office was decent. On the day we were with only four people, which may have contributed to us having enough time with the elephants. We absolutely loved the whole day, which consisted of an elephant ride along the forest, a individual training, bathing with the elephants and going to the waterfalls. We got the feeling that the animals were well taken care off and they seemed very relaxed. For example: the Mahouts were very active at keeping bugs away from the elephants and when finished the elephants were free to walk away but decided to stay with us for a while.

We read reviews about money begin stolen, we did not count the money in our bags afterwords but this would very well be possible as they insist you leave your bags with the staff. Therefore we would recommend not taking much (there is nothing good to buy anyways except maybe a coke at lunch). We did give our expensive camera's to the staff to take pictures with, which they did very well. Overall we would recommend elephant village.

1  Thank TomenEelke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 26, 2013

We booked a full day mahout package from the office/shop in Luang Prabang. Pick up was right on time (an unlikely occurence in Laos). We met our really friendly and excellent english speaking guide who told us all about the place on the ride over to the village. Once there we had an amazing day of training, riding and washing the elephants. Like many reviews say, you don't get a huge amount of time with the animals but that was why we chose the elephant village, it was reassuring knowing that the elephants weren't being over worked (they got plenty of breaks, food and snacks along their walks). The most important part to me, being an animal lover was knowing that these elephants were happy and healthy, which was obvious :) Our choice proved to be a good one when we got our boat to the waterfall where we saw another elephant tour place where the elephants were chained up and unhappy looking. So PLEASE GO TO THE ELEPHANT VILLAGE! it was worth every cent.

1  Thank Micaela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

My no bull review of Elephant Village and their TERRIBLE customer service.

Booked 1 Day Manhout while still in Australia. On the day, tour guide and van arrived on time. We were a group of 7 and had a fabulous time with the elephants.

Our tour guide told us to leave our bags and he would look after them while we did the 1 hour elephant ride. We were told we couldn't take our bags (only cameras) and he assured us he would "look after them". Return from 1 hour ride and our tour guide isn't with our bags.

When we arrived back at our Luang Prabang Villa we found we had money missing from our wallets. 4 of the 7 in our group had money missing. 650,000kip in total was missing between all of us. (approx $100AUD) They took a little from each of bag/wallet so it wasn't obvious.

2 of us went to Elephant Village office in the main street to tell them what happened. I've never EVER had such pathetic treatment from staff. They said it wasn't their problem and to call the manager at the Elephant Village. Went back to our villa and called the manager - he straight out said we were telling lies and this doesn't happen. WELL IT DOES!!!!!! 4 people had money missing - not just 1!! Shame on you for blaming us - we were trying to give you feedback, we didn't demand our money back.

We went back to Elephant Village Office to talk to the Manager & our tour guide only to have the manager yell at us that we are liars and no money has ever been stolen before. They didn't listen, they didn't say "sorry this happened". We weren't asking for the money back, all we were asking is for them to investigate and put in place procedures/security so this doesn't happen again to other visitors.

I gave them my business card and asked if they would please email me with an outcome and I would write a review on tripadvisor telling others that they look after their customers. WELL THEY DON'T LOOK AFTER THEIR CUSTOMERS. It's been 3 weeks and NOTHING!!

You may think we are silly for leaving our gear, BUT we could not take our bags with us on the elephant ride and had to leave them.

IF YOU GO TO ELEPHANT VILLAGE - do NOT believe the staff when they say your bag is safe. Take all your money with you (stuff it in your pants if need be)

I don't like writing bad reviews - but these guys truly deserve it for the TERRIBLE TERRIBLE customer service. If you want to see/ride elephants, I would recommend going, but don’t TRUST ANY OF THE STAFF.

Happy for someone from Elephant Village to reply to this review and tell everyone what's happened.

17  Thank wheresj0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

This was a highly enjoyable day for the whole family. The guide was great, the Mahouts were friendly and the elephants were well-cared for and everyone pitched in to make this a good day for all of us (ranging in age from 5 upwards).

The opportunity to ride on an elephant and then take it for a bath was very special and huge fun; we all enjoyed getting soaked and the elephants did too!

Good value for money and a day to remember.

Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013 via mobile

This tour drawed our attention between bunches of other elephant tours options being offered at the market street. Besides offering the tour, they have this great project to save the elephants in Laos (and diminish working elephant exploitation), and we could really see they care about the well-being of the animals! We did a 1/2 day trip (elephant ride + short amazing boat journey along the river + waterfall bathing + lunch included). We got involved in this cause and the tour was more than just a sighseeing! The guide was knowledgeable, the camp is beautiful, the elephants seem healthy. The price was a bit more expensive than the other tours, but it is worth the price!

1  Thank Afi123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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