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Review Highlights
Boring except for elephant ride

We did the 6 in 1 safari tour which was a half day 4 hour trip in November 2014. The walk through... read more

Reviewed 25 November 2014
JLI323
,
United Kingdom
via mobile
Must try when in phuket

You could book a bang Pae Safari half day tour from any of the agents around Phuket . Try... read more

Reviewed 16 June 2016
Sarannian
,
Chennai (Madras), India
via mobile
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Reviewed 30 August 2017 via mobile

I think the best part of the whole experience was the Elephant trekking.I was a bit skeptical when I saw them,as I am accustomed to seeing big creatures.However,the guide told me that the elephants here look relatively smaller than their African and Indian counterparts.Our elephant caretaker was excellent and gave us good info from time to time.He was excellent with our phone camera and recorded some excellent memories for us.They take you through streams and rubber plantations.For a moment you do get a feeling that you are in deep jungle.
There are different tour options.Ours included gibbon rehabilitation-not a happy place,but the money serves in their wellbeing I guess.The waterfall makes up for a good hike,however not a great idea if you have young children.The pathway is not well maintained,but if you traveling with friends,as a couple n young at heart then this trek is rejuvenating.You can also take a dip near the waterfall.We couldn't do the water buffalo ride,as the buffalo was injured.There are other operators in the area too,so pick up the one that suits your needs.
Overall if I had to pick one memorable experience with these guys,it would be our interaction with the elephant!

Thank RajShetty72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2016 via mobile

You could book a bang Pae Safari half day tour from any of the agents around Phuket . Try bargaining as much as possible .

This package offers a hotel pickup . The driver was well before time for pickup . We were the only two who had booked the morning safari . It was a 40 min ride from Patong . The driver was a very nice guy and knew English .

Once we reached the safari start point , elephant safari was the first . It was a 40 min ride . The safari was nicely made with routes consisting of climbing down of irregular stairs , walk through a small stream , climb up a slope and then walk by a greenery . The personal handling the elephant takes a lot of photos of us and allows us to sit on the neck of the elephant to ride it . They expect a tip for this . If you want to feed the elephant , it is at extra cost .

Rubber tapering was just a time pass, then it was to the water falls . It was a 400 m ride from the place the cab drops you . Normal trek route to reach a small waterfall , but the water was nice and cold.

Next it is for the gibbon project and explanation of them . After which we were drove to the canoeing area . It was a 10 min ride in the back waters near the mangrove forest . The guy riding the canoe expects a tip as well. This place was not so well maintained and the staffs there were not well behaved as well.

We were taken back to the elephant camp where we were served lunch . As vegetarians, when informed prior , they had it ready . Tasted like home food and it was good . And we were dropped back at the hotel .

Thank Sarannian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2016

While this excursion was arranged by our hotel and was a 40 minute ride away from our northern Phuket accomodations, I am not in agreement about previous negative reviews. Not once did our trainer touch the elephant with anything other than his legs. In addition, I saw no evidence of abuse, and in fact they appeared in good physical condition. As a card-carrying member of PETA, I am always on the lookout for how animals are treated and this appeared to me as a very ethical operator. We did a 40 minute ride which was recommended by our sources. I agree any longer would have been a waste. The route of our ride was also a bit unexpected. It felt like a circuit rather than a walk through the jungle. The trainer did allow us to ride on the neck of our elephant while he walked along side for more than half of the time. This was unexpected and appreciated. At the end, we bit on the upsell and fed the elephant a basket bananas. Overall, it was a pleasurable experience that I would recommend.

1  Thank SkykingCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2016 via mobile

You get on the elephant and the rider picks at the elephant's head with a sharp hook on a stick to get it to move. It was over 30 degrees and the afternoon. The elephant we went on looked exhausted and deeply sad.

The driver did not speak anything except Thai and just shouted and picked at the elephants head when he didn't move fast enough for him. There was no warning we were going down a steep muddy hill and we almost fell off and lost our belongings.

Going back up the elephant really struggled -- the driver jumped and pick pick pick with the sharp hook on his head to get him to move. The trek was just in a little circle, nothing special.

We cut the tour short because we felt awful for the elephant. The other elephant they had was "sick", probably from being stabbed in the head repeatedly and being made to do arduous walks in pain in the hot summer heat. The staff were rather unfriendly also. I hope enough people read this that they go out of business.

4  Thank Alex C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 October 2015

Well including transfer is was only 4hrss, very rushed. Started with elephant trekking, apologies as the Buffalo cart wasn't operational on that day. Wanted 200 baht for photo with elephant, but our handler took many shots with out phone, good man. rubber tapping was just a quick talk about the rubber tree and how they collect and make rubber/latex. Rushed off to Nature canoe, oars person couldn't speak English, but did point out some wildlife and kept asking for money. Arrived at Gibbon project, gibbons in a cage lucky to see two. Quick talk about how they rescue and look after them. 300 metre walk to the waterfall, need to be of average fitness level, allow short break for swim if you want. Back to elephant enclosure for dinner, already served and on the table. Extra for a bottle of water. Very rushed. Back to hotel and a total of 4hrs. Roughly cost $80 per person, after discount, not really that good at the end of the day. Would I recommend it, not really.

Thank gypsyk7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2015

Don't waste your money going on this "tour", which we booked from Bangkok through a government tour agent, who were very helpful and amazing.

BUT. This should not be promoted to any tourists!!! We went here last week on the second day we were in Phuket (staying total of 8 days). Paying SO much of money for 2 of us, we were treated with scowling unfriendly staff who were quite rude, who mocked us for being from the UK (which I think is because we are not white..... A bit pre judgemental considering we own our own business back home doing quite well in the hospitality sector and would never be rude to our own customers or make fun of them for where they come from).

They also laughed and spoke their own language when we gave them a small tip despite it being a horrible experience and when we had complained about how we were not happy about how the elephants were treated the attitude of the staff suddenly turned very sour. the elephants were left standing in confined spaces in the heat,with no water and just some leaves to fan themselves with, the guides used sticks with sharp hooks on them to tame the elephants and would yell at them when they stopped to get some plants to eat by the side of the lake, before being forced to climb up a slippery mud slope (at which point the poor elephant struggled and kneeled, with the guide poking him and yelling at him repeatedly with the steel hook and I could feel the elephant wobbling unsteadily to try get up).

They looked malnourished as their ears were peeling at the sides and they were left all day with heavy seats on their backs, the result being that their legs would wobble when having to carry ignorant tourists around all day. It was very sad, and if you love animals then this too would break your heart - dont pay for this torture.

The "canoe" thing was part of the package which basically lasted all of two minutes, where our guide told my mum (who didn't want to go in the small canoe) that she had to pay a tip to the guy taking me on the canoe. During our "ride" (basically one small circle) the guide asked where I was from and when I said UK, he shouted this to two locals sitting and drinking in the wooden shack who all laughed together and mocked us. We were then forced to have lunch early at 11am because there was just two of us and we were picked up so early in the morning! If they had at least picked us up a bit later, we would not have had to rush to get ready and then find ourselves having to have lunch during a late breakfast time! So we asked if they could please pack the food for us to have at the hotel, because firstly we didn't want to stay any longer and be treated that way and also because we were not hungry as it was not yet lunch time, to which they smirked and finally gave everything packed in plastic packets, again talking in their own language in front of us as if we are stupid and don't know they are talking about us. After this on the way to the van we gave our guide a small tip because she at least took some photos for us at the waterfall, but she was also very rude, dangling the change in her hand and yelling to the other staff that we only gave 20 Baht. Well, it would have been more if we had not been treated so badly, feeling ripped off and made to feel very uncomfortable throughout.

You cannot expect a big tip, or actually any tip at all, after how we were mocked, laughed at and spoken to in a rude and condescending manner - also on that point, we noticed how they were sucking up to a French family (incidentally who were white) being super friendly etc to the white tourists. Ironic again, considering the UK and France are both member states of the EU and are neighbouring countries!

The food was the only good thing about this tour as I will admit it was not too bad at all, even when it got cold in the hotel it still tasted nice, but everything else was just awful.
It is not really how anyone should be treated when they pay thousands of Bahts to go and enjoy an experience in Thailand, to only be treated poorly and also be told to pay tips for everything on top of the 4000 Baht we paid.

it is made worse considering that these people have a rehabilitation program for Gibbons and have all this information about how they shouldn't be taken advantage of for tourism and businesses shouldn't make profit for taking photos with them - yet you will find with the elephant trek,they charge money for taking photos, they use them for profit, and mistreat the elephants (yes, even the staff admitted they were beaten, yet due to thick skin apparently they felt no pain?!?!). I replied to this saying that how would they like being beaten with the same stick or their children being beaten with it - all they said was sorry but it didn't feel sincere at all.

If you want to go elephant trekking, I found an amazing package which was much better value for money and also a lot of fun And the elephants were healthy looked after and left free! I don't remember the tour operators name but the package included visit to a monkey temple where the monkeys roamed free and you could feed them bananas, white water rafting, elephant trekking, a small zip rail and ATV riding.

There, the elephants were happy and healthy, hooking their trunks to each others tails (which shows they are the same family,whereas in this place they made no sound nothing and wouldn't touch each other), in the other place you got to feed the baby elephants and bigger elephants together and they would toot their trunks showing they were happy, you could take as many photos as you liked and pet them, they were left free and not caged in the heat like this place. Here, there was no option to feed or bathe them or even to touch them. They were treated more like objects, like rides for our sick entertainment. They looked so miserable.

Please note that I do have a video of my experience and I WILL post it on YouTube after we return home. Please educate yourselves about these types of tours before you book them, do not promote animal cruelty and pay money to be Ripped off and treated terribly. If you stop booking them then eventually they will no longer be able to keep these magnificent animals captive and ill treated and hopefully an animal rights group will take action.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like a copy of my video. Unfortunately, all my photos and videos are on my mobile and digital camera, and I can only upload them when we go back home this Sunday.

6  Thank Swathy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2015 via mobile

It was actually a good elephant ride around the town but to my horror the guide used a sharp sickle to hook against the elephant's ear each time he wanted it to turn. It looked like the animal was in pain!

Left the place feeling sad and painful for the elephants.

2  Thank samuelsings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2015

we did the 1 hour trek, this was more than enough, the elephants were great the staff helpful and it was a great little outing

Thank Chacha1712
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2015

We were taken around to meet the elephants. We love the young cute elephant. We bought bananas there to feed them. Then we had elephant ride. It was quite a long ride and a bit scary at times but overall we enjoyed the ride. It is once a life time experience.

Thank Ng Yow L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2014 via mobile

We did the 6 in 1 safari tour which was a half day 4 hour trip in November 2014.

The walk through the jungle to the waterfall was pretty slippy and dangerous. Once at the waterfall, which wasn't very impressive, some of the group went swimming. The guide didn't provide any information on the waterfall or the area, she just sat there and chilled while some of the group were swimming.

After we went to the gibben project and saw a few animals and were told of their mistreatment before being rescued which was interesting.

We were really disappointed with the canoeing. Based on the brochure, it looked like we would row our own canoe, however an employee took us on a quick trip in the canoe around a circuit - again there was absolutely no info provided on what waters we were in or what we were looking at.

The elephant ride was a great experience and a highlight of the trip. It was around 30mins and we went along muddy tracks, through a river and up a pretty scary hill! We even got a chance to sit on the elephants neck while the mahoot took photographs on our phone which was brill.

Overall, a really disappointing trip except for the elephant ride. We found it boring and the guide provided absolutely no useful information. Would recommend just doing the elephant ride and skipping the rest!

4  Thank JLI323
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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