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“An interesting half day out, but do your research.”

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
Ranked #3 of 57 things to do in Hua Hin
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Attraction details
Owner description: As from 1st October 2017 we are proud to announce that trekking will no longer be offered at Hutsadin, instead we offer our visitors a range of activities that promote a close interaction with our elephants. In a safe environment for both elephant and visitor. Here you can take a bareback ride, walk with an elephant, shower and feed them or simply visit us. We also offer educational talks 3 days a week and a 3 hour mahout experience is available twice a week. Check out our website activities page where you will find full descriptions of the activities that we offer along with costs.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

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!

2  Thank SJJL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2013

Thank you taking the time to write your review.
We're sorry that there was some confusion in the options available and I have requested that the website be updated to reflect your concerns.
However, if potential visitors read the full 'owners description' on tripadvisor I think it is quite clear what we can offer.
Unfortunately very few of our staff speak English so they are unable to give the options available.
You are right in suggesting that you do your homework first and decide beforehand what it is you would like to do and don't settle for less. There may sometimes be restrictions because of the availability of water but we will do our best to ensure that you get to do your preferred activity:)

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1,104 - 1,108 of 1,589 reviews

Reviewed August 30, 2013

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with our 2 boys (11 and 9). We started with the show given by the baby elephant . This might not be to everyone's taste but we thought it was great as the elephant was so obviously engaged and enjoying herself. You can give her a wash as an alternative activity to the show if you want. Then we met 2 other elephants: the old lady and the one that might be pregnant! A British volunteer gave us a lot of information about the foundation and the elephants which really enhanced our experience. Lots of opportunity to get hands on with the pregnant one. Then we had a half hour trek up in the land behind the centre which was great fun and a real thrill. The mahouts do try to sell you some trinkets for their own profit but we did not succumb and just gave them a tip at the end.
This is a small centre and there were only 6-8 other visitors there with us which was great. Most importantly we did feel that the welfare of the elephants was at the heart of all the activities.

Do try to get here if you are in the Hua Hin area. Taxi drivers / tour operators will try to suggest other elephant 'shows' as they must get a tip for bringing visitors but insist on Hutsadin. It is open every day and you don't need to phone ahead etc. It is about 15 mins from Hua Hin and all taxi drivers know it.

Thanks to all there for a memorable experience.

Thank Julia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded September 2, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review.
We are pleased that you visited the foundation on one of the days when an English volunteer was available to show you around - it is obviously a much better experience when there is a common language:)
It is important to all of us that children in particular get to see these lovely animals before it's too late!
Thanks again. :)

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Reviewed August 23, 2013

We visited Hutsadin elephant foundation while staying at the Grand Centara, Hua Hin. We rode on the older elephants but our absolute favourite part was washing and feeding the rescued elephants. Incredible animals. The managers are very friendly and talked us through each elephants story.

Our taxi to and from was booked via our hotel as we had heard stories of some tourists being taken to the wrong elephant attraction as the taxi drivers receive commission to go another one. The elephants are treated very well at the foundation.

1  Thank Staught
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded August 26, 2013

Thank you writing your review and sharing your experience with others.
Washing the elephants is always a favorite part of the visit and a unique opportunity to get so close to these gorgeous animals.

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Reviewed August 21, 2013 via mobile

This is not a showy place for people who think that elephants are there purely to perform for tourists. This is a foundation which has a small number of rescued elephants who are well cared for. Talking to the volunteers there is still clearly more work to be done. The volunteers would much prefer you to support through a mahout experience or washing- not riding or participating in shows. There are many cultural disparities and clashes between western ideas about welfare and Asian ideas about entertainment and profit and the volunteers are clearly working as best they can to address that, but it is a slow process. Do go and visit on a day the volunteers are there- it's very educational and interesting. Make sure you read up on the website first and ensure any money donated is given to the volunteers for the elephants. Tips given to the mahouts is not necessarily a bad thing but will not go to the elephants or foundation.
We loved the place and hope they will continue to raise sufficient funds to keep going.

Thank RachelLB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2013

Thank you for such a positive review. I think that it stresses the point there is something to please everyone here. Trekking is not necessarily a bad thing but I'm sure you would agree that it is a unique experience to get up close to these lovely animals. There is more work to be done here but all of our animals (dogs included) are being looked after extremely well. The volunteers and staff are working towards the same goals albeit at different rates:) Your support is much appreciated.

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Reviewed August 17, 2013

My family and I recently visited Hua Hin and were so pleasantly surprised to find such a caring, dedicated centre as the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation.

We came to the centre on a Wednesday morning and had a lovely British woman show us around the centre, offering vast information on the rescued elephants and the volunteering work they do.

The elephant ride was a real experience, followed by feeding them bananas and watching the youngest elephant perform several tricks - looking very happy to do so! We have some truly lovely pictures and memories from the centre and cannot accentuate enough how helpful and what brilliant work the volunteers do for these elephants.

The only criticism my family had of the day was that there was no charge for entry! While donations are welcomed, we feel that the centre more than deserves the right to charge entry to see the fascinating work they do. A brilliant day out and we will DEFINITELY be returning in the coming years! Thank you!

Thank Zoe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observer at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2013

Thank you for your excellent review.
All of the staff at the foundation are really proud to know that visitors usually leave with a knowledge that all our elephants are well cared for and as healthy as we can get them.
Volunteers are always willing to answer questions and show people around, just wish we had more of them.
Hope you do get to come back again on day:)

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