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“What a fantastic day”
Review of Thai Elephant Home

Thai Elephant Home
birminham
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“What a fantastic day”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Have just returned from 14 days in Thailand my self 56 and two kids 18 and 22, researched elephant day as I am a animal lover,this site seemed the best and what a day as web site tells you a day with the elephants,but so much more the staff are lovely and elephants well loved you ride all day bath them feed them.the lunch is a hot thai meal, you can buy bananas to feed your elephant(make sure you do this)the elephants love them and it's there treat of the day.the DVD and photo disc is amazing catching your whole days fun, even the free tshirt is excellent quality a photo is for sale £1 what a bargain,transport door to door.i recommend any one to experience this lovely day.joe was great I emailed him a few times with questions about the day he replied straight away was really helpful.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank yvonne b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“I wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Spectacular.”
Reviewed 27 April 2014

Highlight of our trip to Thailand. We did the 1-day program.

Right away, TEH rises above other experiences by providing you with comfortable (although a touch short for my 6-foot frame) local clothes. You will appreciate it by the end of the day as you soak in the river and get smeared in black mud along with your elephant. Some reviewers mentioned wearing leggings under the clothes. I had no issues with bare skin but my wife developed a contact dermatitis where her legs touched the elephant and it took about two weeks to completely resolve. Expect to get wet from head to toe and dress accordingly. TEH provides lockers for your valuables and a satchel in which you can carry your locker key, money, camera, etc. Bring along 20 Baht so you can buy your elephant some banana treats from locals later in the day (TEH provides free bananas at the beginning of the day). Having an elephant pat you down for bananas with its trunk as you are riding on its neck is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

You spend a considerable amount of time, probably a good 3 hours on the neck of your elephant riding bareback and your inner things probably will be a bit sore the next day. One person in our ground had a bad back and could not ride the whole trip. The mahouts are always in attendance, mostly walking alongside but occasionally riding with you during river crossings. My mahout "Andy" sang Thai songs and was knowledgable about my elephant.

The elephants seem to be treated very well. The ankus (elephant hook) is used but only for gentle redirection to ensure you and the elephant are safe. Elephants are stubborn and can be cantankerous (anyone with a large dog would understand) but the mahouts do an excellent job of steering them around potential problems like dogs and other elephants and I felt very safe the entire time (not a small feat since I was riding the largest elephant and a good 12 feet off the ground).

Lunch was a very generous portion of excellent pad thai wrapped in banana leaves.

TEH staff with video cameras and a DSLR roam through the pack during the entire trip and your get a free DVD with all the pictures of your day as well as a t-shirt (get at least a size bigger that what you wear, they shrink a lot in a wash).

Overall, a really fantastic day and of the best experiences of all time in my many travels. Highly recommended. I'm so glad we did an experience that involved actually riding the elephants -- it would have been sad to miss on that bonding.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Beardy_McBeardson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome overnight stay”
Reviewed 27 April 2014 via mobile

As many others have stated here the Thai elephant home is a great place. The one day trip and the trek with your elephant is awesome. My wife and I decided to stay for two days and it turned an awesome day into an amazing trip. The staff were so friendly and very attentive. Once we were done with the trek on the first day we sat around and talked with the staff and other guests. It was very nice and relaxing. Then they cooked one of the best meals we had during our trip in thailand. They made some kind of BBQ chicken and sticky rice cooked in bamboo. Delicious. The rooms were simple, but very clean and comfortable. Not much more than a bed and and a fan. But this was fine for us because after a day of elephant trekking and with dinner/hanging out with some new friends we were pretty tired and went right to sleep. On the second day we had breakfast as a group and then went on another trek which was a different route. This was great and the staff was very flexible and we were able to do as much or little trekking as we wanted. We had lunch on the trail and them returned to shower, pack our things and hang out until it was time to go. When we left it was almost like leaving your favorite aunts house. They made us feel that welcome and comfortable.

We highly recommend an overnight stay at the Thai elephant home. It is well worth the experience.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank DZAbroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,394 reviews
291 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 410 helpful votes
“Amazing Experience! Great 2 hour program!”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

My husband, 6 kids and I decided to do a 2 hour elephant program because we felt like an entire day might be too much for our twin 6 year olds. Thai Elephant Home was excellent. The staff was terrific and the time with the elephants was unforgettable. Playing in the water with the elephants was definitely the highlight! Would love to go back and do a longer program sometime!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
Thank misopiso88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cambridge UK
Level Contributor
353 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 217 helpful votes
“This is the one”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

Elephants are beautiful, gracious, gentle and very intelligent, each with their own impish sense of humour. This is the place to get to know them. Forget some of those so called "Elephant Reserves" where for a few bucks you get a one hour ride around the park sitting on a large saddle with three other tourists where at the end you say "that's done the elephants, now what's next?". This is a whole day with your elephant and you - that's it!!!!!! You get to know him or her very well. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. This is not cheap at Baht 4,500 for the day, but believe me it is money well spent. An unforgettable experience. We met another half dozen people for our group for the day - some had been staying at the Elephant park for several days already to really get to know how to handle one of these wonderful animals. Others, like us, had just come for the day. We were given a drink and a 'Mahout' outfit to wear for the day. Then a talk to explain a lot about elephants in general and what we were going to do that day in particular. Then over to the elephants themselves but as we passed a small shrine to the elephant God, we stopped to give a little prayer. I don't know if the prayer was for us to survive the day, or a general prayer to keep the elephants happy and healthy. Either seemed appropriate. We were each introduced to 'our' elephant for the day. Fed them with bunches of bananas, then taught the five important command words and actions for 'down', 'go', 'left', 'right' and most importantly 'stop'. I'm not sure the elephants took much notice of my commands though. Then we set off along a jungle path and kept on going over a river and up the side of a big hill for a total of 2 hours! An hours stop at the top for the elephants to have a mud bath while we ate a pre-prepared mild curry wrapped in banana leaves washed down with a soft drink or a beer. Then a two hour trek down the hill at the other side, into the wide river where the elephants simply lay down until they were completely submerged and enjoyed themselves by squirting water all over us as we tried to wash the mud from them, we also being completely soaked (that's one reason for the Mahout outfits which left our normal clothes dry in the lockers provided). Each elephant had its own Mahout (boss) which walked just ahead of the elephant on both the upward and downward trips. It wasn't easy to hold on, let alone become comfortable and confident as there were no saddles, no reins, let alone a steering wheel and a brake pedal. There's just you and the elephant. It takes quite a bit of effort to find the most comfortable position,. Those that managed it tended to sit on their necks with their knees bent just behind the elephants ears. My wife was very good at that and frequently swung round to take video of the adventure. By contrast I was pretty hopeless and found that if I put a hand on each of the two large lumps on the elephants head then I might possibly avoid the ignominy of falling off. But it was hard work and my arms ached like mad. Then back for a hot shower and a change back into normal clothes and possible purchase of souvenirs including a framed photo of your elephant with you on it in a pleasant frame made from elephant dung. A fabulous day out and a very full day. Impossible to compare with a simple ride at a zoo or similar. Highly recommended.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank DavidBCambridgeUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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