We visited the foundation and opted to go on the one hour trek which, as expected, was a great experience. We also got the chance to have a chat with the volunteers who were exceptionally friendly and obviously very committed to the continued welfare and improvement in conditions for the elephants at the foundation. As well as the elephants there are also several dogs and a cat living at the welfare, an added bonus for us.
That said, having read the other reviews here it seems there is some continued confusion about the various options on offer at the foundation. While the website does list a few difference experiences (the treks, washing the elephants and watching the show), we did not realise that it was an open option as to what exactly we do at the foundation. As soon as we arrived we were greeted at the front door and offered either the half hour or hour trek - having since found out that this is the "less favourable" option with regard to the welfare of the elephants, I think we would rather have fed/washed them and maybe helped out with some other chores and upkeep and given a donation rather than go on the trek. This may sound like an odd remark but it can often be difficult for a tourist in Thailand to work out what is on offer and for how much.
I should stress that the prices charged are very reasonable - my point is that we got the impression that the price of the trek was an "entrance fee" and would rather have gone for the more welfare friendly options and donated the money instead. Judging from the other reviews it might help if the foundation puts a small amount of time into clarifying things on the website.
Otherwise, keep up the good work!
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