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“Wonderful experience”

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
Ranked #3 of 94 things to do in Hua Hin
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Hutsadin Elephant Foundation offers the visitor a variety of attractions. At present we have 4 elephants available for trekking or for our latest option of bareback riding. Each trek or ride will take you through the surrounding areas. After your trek you will be able to watch a small show by our youngest elephant, or if you would prefer you are welcome to wash her instead and there will be plenty of opportunities for some amazing photos. After this you may want to visit our retired elephants. If you prefer a more hands approach, you may want to try our 'mahout experience' where you will get a talk about the foundation and its ethos plus the individual stories of all our elephants and why they were rescued, you will also help to take care of our retired elephants for the morning(9.00a.m - 12.00), in this time you will get to prepare food, give medication, clean their shelters, take one for a walk and then give her a wash. Will receive a t shirt to remember your time with us and you are welcome to have a free vegetarian lunch and ice cream to finish your morning. (please e mail for details as only available on certain days and only small groups are taken). If you can't spare three hours but still want something 'hands on' you can take one of elephants for a walk and then wash then on return - approximately 1/2 hour. If you just want to have a look around the foundation and chat to some of the English speaking volunteers you are more than welcome and there is no charge, however they are only there on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning. All of our elephants have been rescued and all have their own story, there is an information board near the seating area where you can learn more about each individual elephant.A final word to clarify the situation :- you may be asked for a tip or to buy trinkets from the mahouts - this is entirely up to you and is not supported by the foundation. Any money that you give to the mahouts DOES NOT go into the foundation funds and is not used to buy food etc (no matter what you may be told). Should you wish to make a donation please put it into the box in the front office or give to one of the volunteers. As a warning, some taxi/tuk tuk drivers will try to take you to other elephant attractions - to ensure that you come to Hutsadin phone the number at the top of the page we can provide a taxi that will bring you here. If you are making your own way, our staff all wear white clothing, volunteers wear Hutsadin t shirts. We are located at the very top of the hill (coming from town) on the right hand side, go past the signs and turning for Elephant Village We hope that you enjoy your visit and find it a memorable experience.Please post your comments on tripadvisor for the benefit of others.
Northampton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

My husband and I wanted to see some elephants but weren't,t sure where to go, so we went to an information centre in hua hin, who told us about the huts admin foundation. We took a taxi there and we're welcomed. We first paid and went on an elephant ride on one of the large elephants. When we got back we were given a drink and then treated to a wonderful show by the smallest elephant and his mahout. He was just so cute. At the end they asked my husband if he'd like to wash him down, which he did. We have terrific pictures of him showering the baby and it was a truly lovely experience. Greatly recommended and not expensive.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Astrid K
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 review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for your review - we always appreciate comments both good and bad.
You seem to have thoroughly enjoyed your visit and as usual Song Kran never fails to entertain with her childish antics!
Washing her is always a fun experience and is always an alternative to the show which is offered as part of the trekking package.
Thanks once again :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“very underwhelming”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

We wanted to view elephant in a caring environment and we had this impression with the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation base on reviews.
When we arrived at this place, not far from Hua Hin, we were immediately directed towards the reception where a calculator was showed to use indicating the price of the elephant ride. We were with 6 adults and 3 children: 6, 4 and 2 years old, but none of use really wanted to take a ride on the elephants, neither watching a 'Show' as stated by the receptionist.
We liked to have a tour with the elephants, perhaps washing them and feeding them, just a close up experience.... Alas, as soon as we decided NOT to go for a ride or the show it felt like we were given a cold shoulder.
Instructions were given, sure you can have a look, but not the baby elephant ( as we came close towards it (10meter) an employer came to warn us for a second time!
Walking towards the bigger elephants we noted other people feeding and washing one of the elephants, however we, again, had the cold looks and non verbal: Go Away.

Look we love Elephants, impressed every time we see one, however we do not like to ride them, surely there are other ways to enjoy elephants.

Please, unless you really insist to ride an elephant (as they still offer on too many places in thailand), think twice about your support for this foundation.
We left with a weird feeling from this place..

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Ivo20132013
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 review, October 9, 2013
I'm so sorry that you experienced such a negative visit to the foundation. We do offer so much more than trekking and shows - it's just very unfortunate that you came on a day when there weren't any English volunteers around.
I'm not trying to make excuses, but please try to look at it from the staffs point of view - they don't speak much if any English and would be overwhelmed by a group of 9.
I, personally have put up notices and photos in the reception area where the different options are displayed to try and help with the language barrier - once again I can only apologize if this wasn't made clear.
I think all previous reviews point out that if visitors just want to look around it is a much better experience if they can do so with one of the volunteers - it is free and can even be booked in advance.
If you were told to stay away from the young elephant it will have been for a safety reason - if her mahout wasn't there at the time she can be unpredictable with people she doesn't know. Sorry but safety has to come first - these are huge animals and can quite unintentionally hurt you.
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Manchester
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2013

This time 2 weeks ago we had finished our mahout experience. What can I say?? We thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband could not stop going on about the fact that we had taken an elephant for a walk!! It was a fantastic morning. We learnt about all the different elephants there, met them all, gave them medication, fed and washed them and had a go at chopping their food (easier said than done!!). Oh - and massaged Song Kran's tongue!! Jo and her husband clearly care deeply for the welfare of the animals in their care (dogs, cats and other animals, not just the elephants!!) Really pleased we did this rather than going to Elephant Village where it sounds like the elephants are not cared for or looked after, and are exploited. It was an educational yet extremely enjoyable and fascinating morning.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank rachygManchester
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 review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for yet another excellent review of the mahout experience. It is proving to be such a huge success with the help of people like yourself spreading the word! It's always a positive thing to see the effort and work that goes into caring for our elephants and it's so good for visitors to see and take part in this and not feel that trekking is the only way to get close to these amazing animals.
Thanks again :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Please Visit and Enjoy as We Did”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 7, 2013

This place was really run with heart. It was clear this organization was run to help and support the elephants, instead of being profit driven. They use our tourist funds to feed, care, and give medical support to these rescued elephants.

They picked us up at our hotel, and every step of the way we were greeted with smiles and help. My wife, 21 month old, and I were riding an elephant very soon after arriving. The trail was clean, and the view was great. The guide even got off the elephant halfway through to take a picture of us with our Camera; (I liked this better than places that will only use their camera to sell you an expensive picture). After the ride there was a Baby Elephant Show. We got so close to the elephants by petting, and being hugged with them.

The best part was meeting the Western Doctors who care for the elephants. They gave us more fruit to feed the elephant, and seeing my 21 month old daughter holding a piece of orange that an elephant was reaching for with its huge trunk, and my daughter not being scared was PRICELESS.

Reading the biography on each elephant also showed how each one made it to the Foundation. From being injured in the Logging Industry, or not being accepted by their original mother, it made me very comfortable to know my money was going for a good cause as well.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank KSDolfanic
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 review, October 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely review. We remember your lovely daughter clearly and were so impressed with her complete lack of fear with such a large animal. She was certainly determined to make that orange go a long, long way:)
One thing I must clarify though is that we are not Doctors or even Vets - we are just English volunteers trying to inject a more western approach to the care of these gorgeous animals - but thank you for the compliment.
I'm sure you got some amazing photos that she will look at in the future - I just hope she isn't too young to remember. Maybe you will bring her back again one day.:)
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Kolkata
Level Contributor
39 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“not worth goin”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

they had 3 elephants, the elephant ride was not worth it one bit. the effort, time and money spent was not justified.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Rishabh S
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 review, October 9, 2013
I'm not sure that you actually visited Hutsadin as we have 6 elephants, not 3 as you mentioned.
However where ever you were I'm amazed that being so close to such an amazing animal left you feeling it was a waste of time, effort and money.
Of course we are all entitled to our own opinions, but as most of our reviews show you are in the minority.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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