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“Helpful guides, funny experience”

Ban Chang Thai - Elephant Camp
Ranked #24 of 68 things to do in Ko Chang
Attraction details
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Don't limit yourself just to the "elephant ride" but take the more expensive "swimming experience" which really adds to the pleasure. Gentle creatures and amazing control of the mahouts over the elephants.
Our mahout was kind enough to take plenty of pictures of ourselves on the elephant and of the surroundings - very pleasant and surprisingly good pictures.

Thank CedricVandermeulen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 - 98 of 337 reviews

Reviewed February 19, 2014

We wanted to visit an elephant camp whilst in Chiang Mai but did not want to go to one of the big touristy ones where the elephants are overworked and abused. Ban Chang seemed to fit that bill however it was a bit disconcerting to see over 30 elephants in a small area. All the elephants have been rescued and their Mahouts did seem to care a great deal for them. We participated in feeding the elephants however they were all chained. They did go to great pains to explain that because the elephants come from so many different camps they often don't get along and if left to their own devices they would fight. After feeding them, we learned how to get on and off them and basic commands for controlling them. We then went for a walk through the jungle with the Mahout guiding us so although learning the commands was fun we were never really in control of the elephants. We then helped wash the elephants in a small dam - elephant poo is in the water in unavoidable! The shower afterwards was most appreciated! Overall, we had a lovely day and learned quite a bit. This place seemed more caring and focused on conservation in comparison with the bigger, showier camps in the region.

1  Thank MinickL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

My first elephant ride and it was an awesome experience. The elephant was 14 years old, we had a ride in to the jungle through a narrow track. I'm glad i did this, it was a very rare experience, i was totally connected to the nature.

Thank Alifaiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2014

This camp claims to be all about the conservation of elephants but I saw no evidence of that. The poor elephants seemed old, tired and overworked.

As for the guides, well, I found them to be very disdainful- laughing at us, smoking cigarettes all the while we were on the tour and then trying to flog us what looked like ivory goods at the end. They also carried these horrible, intimidating looking spikes, presumably to keep the elephants in line. I didn't actually witness them hit the elephants with them however it was evident they do at times from all the cuts on the poor beasts. Maybe the guides have no choice but to use them if the elephant decides to be unruly but that said they are kept in shackles so I wouldn't imagine they would get very far should they did decide to bolt. Who could blame them for trying to escape anyway?!

The 'jungle' they take you through seemed more like wasteland to me, not pretty or exotic in any way like I'd hoped. We opted for the swimming with elephants as well- don't bother, the water was really filthy and I was ill for days afterwards.

That said, I enjoyed seeing the elephants and they seemed to enjoy the feeding session which was just before we went swimming. However this is purely a commercial enterprise where the animals are not treated well overall and have little quality of life. Very sad. Next time I want to see elephants I will go on safari and see them in the wild, where they belong.

2  Thank Miss_Kitty_Edinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 8, 2014

Lovely ride on the elephants through Koh Chang nature. Just was not expecting all the elephant poop in the water when we went swimming with them.

Thank kikilam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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