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“Absolutely amazing”

Thom's Pai Elephant Camp
Ranked #18 of 35 things to do in Pai
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Attraction details
Owner description: Thom's was the first elephant camp in Thailand where visitors could ride elephants without a seat, play with them and swin together in the river. Thom grew up with her elephants, played with them as a child, and knows how much fun it is to spend the time with these wonderful animals. Thom's father was also an experienced trainer of young elephants and passed on his knowledge to Thom. Thom's Elephant Camp also offers specialist Mahout Training Courses. It starts with the introduction into elephant care, the verbal and body language to communicate with the elephants, followed by hand on practises. How to ride, play, feed, bath and take care of the elephants. Thom's Elephant Camp also offers beautiful bungalows and accomodation, mineral hot tub and spa retreat, Organic Farming and Mahout Course, sight seeing tours and of course wonderful elephant mountain and river treks.
Hong Kong, null, Hong Kong
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Absolutely amazing”
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

We signed up for two days of full mahout training. From the moment we arrived, Thom exceeded all our expectations. Our bungalow was gorgeous and perfect for relaxing after a long, hot day. Thom is wonderful and extremely caring to her elephants, and it's clear they love her just as much!

It was a wonderful getaway and overall an amazingly relaxing and fantastic experience!

Thank Ariel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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329 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Exceeded my expectations”
Reviewed 22 April 2014

I admit I was hesitant when my friend said she wanted to add elephant-riding to our itinerary. Zoos back home make me uncomfortable and I wondered whether I wanted to pay to support a business that might be exploiting these animals. I felt much more comfortable once we arrived at the camp. Thom herself was there and it was clear that she cares deeply about her animals. The stalls were clean and, though I'm no elephant expert, the animals seemed well-cared for and happy.

My only complaint is that our mahout was overtly flirtatious with the three of us girls. One comment is tolerable but for much of the ride he commented on how beautiful we were and were we interested in Thai boyfriend, etc. I found this to be rude and distracting. He was also openly drinking whiskey. Aside from this rather unsavory gentleman, I enjoyed my time at Thom's.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank cesguerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
“The highlight of my holiday”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We chose the two hour ride of a mountain side and river walk. Thom prefers her clients to go bareback which so much better for the elephants. The mountain ride was great, we go in tune with the elephant we were riding and had a guy videoing and taking photos of us the whole time (this was included in the price). The mountain ride took a turn as our elephant went off track to others in a groups unbeknown to us that the other group was only doing the mountain walk. So we were headed back to camp and then lead to the river for the greatest experience of my life. When the elephant walked us the river ..SPOILER ALERT... The commander of the elephant signalled the elephant to give the flick of her neck and off we came, falling into the river. It was hilarious ! After thus we got about 15 min of play in the water with the elephant. He would place his truck between our legs, lift us up and throw us over his back and back into the river. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE EXPERINCE! I chose Thoms elephant camp and this place treats their elephant very well, yes they may be chained up on one leg during the day, but this is to ensure they don't walk off. At night they have their own area of the mountain they wander around and sleep in. Highly recommend this place to anyone

Visited April 2014
Thank Jessica D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berlin, Germany
1 review
“Well-treated elephants and loads of fun in the water”
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Being true animal lovers, me and my friend were completely sceptical about riding an elephant. However, coming to Thom's camp changed our view of it: the elephants here are treated with a lot of respect (at night they sleep in the mountains, get nutritious food and care at all levels, no chains), and the tours are oriented towards educating people about these great animals as well as making the elephants happy too (e.g. bathing in the water). Therefore, after learning more about them from a volunteer working there, we decided to book a tour for the next morning.

The ride that we took (riding to the river and playing with them in the water) is actually something that makes these animals especially happy and even cheeky. We were playing in the water for more than an hour, with our elephant splashing water on us as well as lifting us with their trunk and then throwing us to the river (it was scary sometimes though!). No better way to spend a hot day!

The mahout Lam had limited knowledge of English, but kept us entertained the whole way to the river and back! Furthermore, we felt completely safe both in the water when going with him! He has not used any force on the animal, and treated it with a lot of love.

The only drawback was the lack of introduction/information from the staff of the camp (we were sent straight to the elephant without even teaching us how to get on it or telling us how to behave in general). However, this was fully compensated by the volunteer (forgot the name, but a lovely boy coming from Lithuania), who not only helped us with that, but also answered all our general questions. He also noticed that I hurt my foot while getting off the elephant (completely my fault, nothing to fear for), and within seconds got his first aid kit, cleaned the wound, disinfected it and put a plaster - I didn't have to do anything! What a service!

All in all, the best experience I had in weeks!!! But make sure you ask questions, and take your time to talk to the volunteer boy, as he can tell you interesting stories about these magnificent animals as well as to entertain you while playing with them! You won't want to leave that place!

Visited April 2014
Thank Sophie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanley, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great experience!”
Reviewed 10 April 2014

We chose the 1hr session and went down to the river which was so much fun. On arrival it was only ourselves so we were introduced to the elephant then told to get 'on board' which is quite challenging. It's a surreal experience, but the mahout made us feel comfortable and we saw no moments of him mistreating the animals. At Thom's I believe they really care for the animals and we got to help feed them as well which was fun. All in all I would recommend for a once in a lifetime experience although my legs were quite sore the next day - and get ready to get wet and have fun In the water if you chose the river!

Visited April 2014
Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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