We took a trip to Laos end of January, focusing mainly on Luang Prabang. I booked an overnight stay with Shangri Lao Elephant Village including an elephant ride into the jungle.
This was the most special experience for me and my son starting from when we were picked up from our hotel by our guide Dao Phet (A).
We were introduced to the rescued elephants in the sanctuary and told of their individual stories and the plight of elephants generally throughout the country. Our accommodation - a beautiful bungalow in the trees with an outdoor shower was so special.
Our ride into the jungle on the back of the elephant with our Mahout was simply fantastic, with Phet A taking care of pictures of us as we travelled along - a great touch. But the wonderful experience didn't end there, with a spectacular picnic organised for us in a hut by a stunning waterfall. The food was full, abundant and absolutely delicious.
Following our lunch we trekked through the jungle for another while - great to get some exercise and there were some fairly rugged bits but didn't phase me nor my son. The whole experiecen concluded at another cafe/waterfall area and a wonderful game of boulle for my son with Phet.
A slow boat ride took us back to the Elephant Village - the perfect way to end the perfect day.
At our room, our sweet guide asked if my son would like to join him and his mates in a game of soccer. This was priceless and such a lovely gesture from Phet - a complete bonus for my son who in heaven kicking a ball around with Phet and his mates. Our dinner that night was stunning, plentiful and delicious.
The next day, unfortunately it was just a bit too cold to join the Mahout in the water to bath the elephant but watching the exercise was just as good.
All up I cannot recommend this experience more highly. We were so well looked after by the most delightful people and soaked up the stunning grounds whilst learning about the remarkable elephants. A truly life changing experience which I know my son and I will never forget.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the middle of the beautiful Laotian jungle in Luang Prabang, Shangri-Lao Classic Explorer Camp & Expeditions, invites you to re-live the adventures of Dr. P. Neis, an historic French explorer from the 19th century. Re-trace his footsteps along the very same tranquil streams and dense jungle in his original and authentic style whilst staying in luxury tents with breathtaking views just as he did in 1883. Sit atop the magnificent elephant as she slowly and peacefully takes you through the pristine jungle, though spectacular Teak forests and by local farms. With a choice to stay overnight in our stunning tents; you will wake up refreshed the next day with a new sense of being in the world. To rise early and see the morning mist slowly rise from the Namkhan River, then walk into the heart of the jungle to collect your elephant ready to bathe, is a truly unique experience & one that will last in your memory forever... ... more less