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“Highly memorable, highly recommended”

Thai Elephant Conservation Center
Ranked #2 of 25 things to do in Lampang
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 300-acre area consists of an elephant hospital and training school, which help to conserve the Thai elephants and protect them from extinction.
Reviewed February 10, 2013

We did a 2 day VIP package in October (only 1 and 3 days on the website at the time, I wrote and asked for 2 days) as one of our honeymoon activities. Overall, this was one of the highlights of our trip and an EXCELLENT experience. It was exactly what we were looking for.

We were situated by ourselves in a cabin on a hilltop that looked to be part of a retreat area. It was air conditioned and had a hot water shower (very helpful, as we bathed 3x a day given our itinerary). There were many other cabins there, but most were empty, so we felt like we had the place to ourselves. Meals were served in an open air dining area, where we were again on our won. We enjoyed 2 full days with an elephant apiece, along with a mahout for each, a young girl who spoke very good english and explained everything to us, and a young man who followed us around with a video camera and took pictures--at the end of the trip we were surprised to get a CD with a very well made video recording of our experience, as well as plenty of pictures (a godsend given my camera batteries had died just as we arrived here!! (and there were no chargers handy)).

We spend one morning learning about commands for riding the elephants, then practicing basic maneuvers, getting on/off in a variety of ways, moving here/there etc. Plenty of different occasions riding them, either just getting from place to place in the reserve, picking them up or dropping them off in the jungle, or on a long jungle trek which we did on the 2nd day. Went to the river bed and bathed with them a couple times. Feeding them was also fun--nothing like watching an elephant tear through sugar cane like it's soft grass. One afternoon, we stopped by the circus and ran into a bunch of folks doing the regular itinerary. Our 2 elephants were older and huge relative to the younger ones in the circus. These younger ones were very well trained, but it seems that itinerary is very repetitive.

Plenty of time to also walk around and visit the elephant nursery and hospital.

Logistics:
We had to fly to Chiang Mai suddenly the day before, as floods had shut down train service. Very easy to arrange for a private car the night before to take us directly to the TECC camp and pick us up the following day, though a bit pricier.

1  Thank LimaDelta7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 10, 2013 via mobile

We did the 3 day elephant trek. Within the first hour and a half I was staring up at an enormous elephant wondering how I'd ever get on his neck. Five minutes later, and with lots of help, I was riding an elephant for the first time!
This experience was amazing! We spent so much time with the elephants and learned quite a bit about the mahout lifestyle and elephants in general from our guide, Mat (she is a true elephant lover and a lot of fun to talk with).
The food was great! The sleeping accommodations are a bit rough, but that is what we were expecting after reading the intro on the website. Bring some hand wipes and sanitizer for the jungle trip!
If you really want a bonding experiencing with an elephant, and you don't mind getting dirty and wet, then this place is for you.

1  Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 6, 2013 via mobile

Went as part of g adventure tour. Great way to see and touch elephants. You can ride them and spend 4 or 5 hours here. Elephants seemed well cared for. 70 elephants currently there. A nursery and a hospital for sick elephants. Elephants do a show that includes displaying how they were used for traditional logging. Elephants also paint pictures with commands from trainers. Not so horrible. But some won't like that. They sell the paintings to raise more money. I don't like that type of thing but its understandable to raise money. Beautiful, large setting and you can stay there for varying fees to learn about elephants. Definitely worth a visit. Restaurant on site and even a resort at the lake.

1  Thank Syowoe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

We were in Chiang Mai for a habitat for humanity build and this was the R&R for the trip. They paired us up with a mahout and an elephant (mine was Pong-Boon-Mi) for the three days we worked with our elephants and learned all of the commands in Thai. We went for morning walks washed the elephants and gathered food for them.

This was a very intensive learning in the training and working with the elephants and spending a good portion of time washing the elephants in the lake.

This group is very good in what they do and they are very enthusiastic in helping out with the elephants and making your time with them as enjoyable as possible. If I and in the area again this will definately be a stop on my trip.

Thank Chiguy01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

I started planning our family trip to Thailand in September 2012 and extensively researched the elephant park/camps in the north and decided on TECC. We paid our full fee as they require it up front, in October. Now two weeks before we are to leave to go to Thailand our travel agent has had advice that the minimum age requirement has changed from 6 to 10 years of age (my youngest is 8) so they can no longer accommodate my family. I thought this very curious so phoned TECC direct and asked them about this. The answer I received was 6 years old. So what does this mean??? My travel agent and I are both sceptical about this and the most obvious explanation is that somewhere someone has made a mistake and they have maybe over booked? So now 2 weeks away I am trying to find an alternative elephant camp/park that I feel is ethical, Elephant Nature Park is all booked and so is Patara. What a very disappointing experience we have had with TECC.

5  Thank Tracy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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