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“Elephant heaven”

Hutsadin Elephant Foundation
Ranked #3 of 95 things to do in Hua Hin
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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.
Derbyshire uk
Level Contributor
135 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Elephant heaven”
Reviewed August 7, 2014 via mobile

Decided to visit here after reading reviews it didn't disappoint- we had a half hour trek on one of these stunning elephants great fun - you can see allot of hard work for into looking after this sanctuary and I highly recommend it.
Great photo opportunity to get up close to the baby elephant too.

Helpful?
Thank HayleyGirardier
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, August 9, 2014
Thank you for your lovely review - we all work so hard to keep our elephants happy and content.
The youngest elephant never fails to please with the photo opportunities :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Kobe, Japan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience.”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

This was an amazing experience for myself and my 3 children. We didn't do the Mahout experience, just the standard baby elephant show and trek but as we went earlier in the morning, we had the whole show to ourselves. My boys had a great time playing soccer with Song Kran and Jackie even let the younger two ride Song Kran, which they loved. The half an hour trek was plenty and very enjoyable. It was great to be able to get so close up and feed the elephants. And the water and ice-cream included in the trek fee was very welcome. All the staff were great and the elephants well looked after. Take the time to have a wander around and check out the retired elephant. A big congratulations to the team.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Stacey T
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, August 7, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write your review.
Whilst not to everyone's liking the small show with Song Kran, our youngest is always a hit with children and the opportunity to have a small ride on her is something that isn't always offered, so your children were lucky to be able to do that.
Thank you also for mentioning our retired giants - they love to get some attention and the odd banana :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ipswich
Level Contributor
32 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Lovely to see well looked after elephants but say no to paying extra ”
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

We visited this elephant sanctuary after hearing good reviews as we had visited elephant sanctuaries in Chang Mai and were appalled at the animal cruelty and hoped we could find places where there were real animal lovers. We were not disappointed with this as the elephants looked 100 times better than the ones we had seen previously. But go there knowing what you want as you will be coerced in to spending money that you do not need to spend. We did not want to ride the elephants as we had already done this and think it is cruel however when we got there we were told we had to ride them and this would cost 500baht each then we could wash and feed the elephants for free. We rode the elephant and were then guilt tripped in to buying a necklace from the mahout (guy that rides the elephant) that he had made from elephant teeth this cost another 200baht. We returned to the building and were asked to purchase bananas (not free as we were lead to believe) if we wanted to feed the elephant for 200baht and then were asked if we want a 'professional' photo at the cost of 300baht and the money would go towards the care of the elephant nothing else they really push for this. We then had to watch a small elephant perform numerous tricks which at first were cute then this became uncomfortable and I was not sure if this was something that should happen at an animal sanctuary I was unsure if this was cruel. At the end of this show the elephant carries a basket with its trunk and begs for money for its performance, he can only take notes in his trunk so this will set you back a few hundred baht... By the end of the hour we were down a lot of money and although the animals were cared for we were left feeling a little unsure as to whether we were comfortable with what we had just seen. I do feel that elephants would want to live in a more natural habitat and people would love to see this rather than animals being made to perform! I enjoyed seeing the elephants but still do not think that this is solely for the animals this is pretty much a money making organisation.

Helpful?
6 Thank Lisky84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observor at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, August 6, 2014
I'm not totally sure that you were in fact at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation as all of the prices you mentioned in your review are not in keeping with what we charge. For example the cost of a 1/2 hour trek here is 600 baht and not 500 baht, the cost of a basket of banana's is 100 baht and not 200 baht. You do get the chance to see a show with our youngest if you want OR you can wash her instead.
I totally agree however that wherever you go in Thailand you should never, ever feel that you have to give a tip. More importantly you should never pay for something you don't want!!
As for being made to watch a show - I think you could have walked out if you felt that uncomfortable.
However wherever you visited you did at least feel that the elephants were well looked after so that is a positive thing :)
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Amazing experience”
Reviewed August 4, 2014 via mobile

I can't rate this experience highly enough.

For $30, we got to spend 4 hours with an amazing tour guide, Jo. She taught us all about the elephants that Hutsadin rescued and the let us feed, walk and wash them! At the end, we got t's and little gifts.

Took a taxi to and from our hotel -900 baht for the entire time round trip.

You can see a 'show' here and the elephants are chained while you wash and feed but it's only because they are around tourists. Because you can't get land as a non-Thai in Thailand, the elephants don't have the space to roam free, but I saw that they were very well cared for and the volunteers know everything about the elephants- down to which fruit each one likes.

A must see!

Helpful?
1 Thank Kara A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna H, observor at Hutsadin Elephant Foundation, responded to this review, August 6, 2014
Thanks Kara for your honest review. Yes our elephants are on chains, but not all the time as you witnessed for yourself. You got to talk one for a walk, how amazing is that?
Your very kind donation has paid for The old Duchess' food for 2 days - she's very grateful and so are we.:)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hua Hin, Thailand
Level Contributor
54 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Very well cared for...”
Reviewed August 2, 2014

I took the grandchildren here and was impressed straight away on arrival. We were greeted by a British man (volunteer) who showed us around the place and introduced us to the individual elephants and explained their personalities to us. The way he talked, you could tell that he cared deeply for them.

You can actually visit this place and not pay a penny and still enjoy yourself. Yes, you have to pay for the elephant rides and yes, you have to pay for souvenirs but it is worth it when you consider that all the profits go into looking after the elephants.

I have no doubt there are paid staff here but there are also many volunteers who do it purely for the love of the animals.

I am actually considering volunteering myself to do something worthwhile with my free time.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter H
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, August 6, 2014
Thanks for your review - volunteers are always happy to spend as much time as possible in order to show visitors around and answer any questions.
If you would like to spend some time volunteering here please just e mail and we'll set something up, another pair of hands is always welcome :)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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