While in Thailand we were interested in elephants and exploring something off the beaten path, well the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation met both of these criteria. We traveled by Bangkok to the foundation and were struck immediately by how unassuming and tranquil it was. The staff were friendly but not pushy and while they appreciate tourist support this did not feel like a touristy, commercial place. Being there on a Saturday morning there was only 1 other couple visiting the foundation. My friend and I went on an hour long elephant ride. At the time I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and quite reluctant to do so, I was told by the staff that riding an elephant would give good luck to me and the baby :)
I am pleased that I decided to go on the elephant ride as it proved to be a beautiful experience. First off, I was so impressed with the care and handling of the elephant by our guide. While there was a natural pathway throughout the sanctuary, our guide was so gentle with the elephant and we stopped whenever our elephant wanted to for bamboo. There was no rushing at all during our time together which was well over an hour. Our guide sang to the elephant and we enjoyed the peace and beauty of rural Huahin during this amazing elephant ride. Following the elephant ride we were able to purchase and feed our elephant bananas and then come in close contact with a baby elephant who did tricks and played soccer. Our visit ended by seeing other elephants who had been rescued and were living at the sanctuary but not giving rides. Our visit to the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation was highly memorable. There is no entrance admission to the Foundation but there is a charge for the elephant rides, and bananas. If you are interested in elephants and looking for a unique Thai experience off the beaten path, the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation is for you.
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