Thai Elephant Conservation Center

Thai Elephant Conservation Center

Thai Elephant Conservation Center
4
About
This 300-acre area consists of an elephant hospital and training school, which help to conserve the Thai elephants and protect them from extinction.
Does not meet animal welfare guidelines
Tripadvisor does not provide bookings for this experience because it does not meet our animal welfare guidelines.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles534 reviews
Excellent
301
Very good
136
Average
45
Poor
20
Terrible
32

AaronSeymour
Sydney, Australia16 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Any place that is letting anyone — staff, let alone tourists — ride on elephants is not a sanctuary. This causes the elephants pain and they will only do it because they have been brutalised into accepting it.
Written 22 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen A
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Solo
Everyone should experience the Elephant Conservation Center at least once in their life. It is educational and hands on experience with the elephants.
Written 31 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chiara C
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
So sad. No one from the staff was able to give us a correct information for what to do and where to go. Bad experience, i’m sorry
Written 28 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TGSA
Udon Thani, Thailand454 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021
Big conservation center, I was the only visitor, got a quick tour, visited the Elephant hospital, there was also a young Elephant, enjoyed my visit!
Written 16 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SaigonDoug
Casablanca, Morocco356 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Couples
We saw about 12 elephants of varying ages. We had a short ride on one, shorter than we expected. A few times we got to feed the elephants, for 50B. The staff spoke in both Thai and English. There were two shows showing the elephant training. We got to see them play in the water. During a parade one elephant beat the marching drum.
Written 3 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brian Carter
San Antonio, TX67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Many tourists to Thailand want to see elephants in a safe setting, safe both for visitors and for the elephants. The challenge is there are many tour guides with slick marketing materials laid out in abundance at all the hotels offering day trips to what seems like an endless array of elephant "sanctuaries." Most of these "santuaries" are in fact private, for-profit zoos. That's fine and is a creative way to use the natural interest of tourists to provide jobs and care for elephants. Even in the rare cases where a "santuary" is non-profit, the tour guide operator is definitely for profit. Again, that's fine, but when their marketing material suggest, imply, or outright claim they are morally superior to all other "sanctuaries," they are playing on people's fears and perpetuating myths.

A good "tell" about which "sanctuaries" and guides are being a little deceptive is whether their literature clearly says where the "sanctuary" is located. Most treat it like some sort of military secret, as if some secret elephant stealing society will sneak in at night to snatch the animals. Actually, they just don't want tourists showing up directly, paying the entrance fee, and avoiding the 200% markup by the tour guide.

Elephants are not actively (or legally) hunted in Thailand. There are many wild elephants in the numerous national parks across Thailand. In addition, the government controls several elephant preservation wilderness areas -- not parks -- to shield wild elephants from loss of habitat and shield people from letting their stupidity get themselves killed by an elephant. The elephant population declined over the last 100 years for many factors with the two biggest probably being loss of habitat and the mechanization of agriculture. Thailand had a huge population of elephants because they were a principle source of labor for most farmers.

Elephants don't need "sanctuary" per se, they need to conservation efforts to preserve habitat for wild elephants, and to provide a controlled setting for domesticated elephants.

With the contextual explanation above, the Thai Elephant Conservation Center is legitimate. The center is run by the government. There are no slick brochures castigating competitors because they let visitors pet or bathe the elephants. Tourists with a car can drive there (about 1 hour from Chiang Mai) without hassle. Or they can hire a red-car or other 'driver' service to take them. Hiring a tour guide is unnecessary (there are plenty of facilitators on the Center), but this is also an option.

You will not be able to bathe the elephant or pet them. You can feed them in a very controlled setting. During their presentation of the history of the elephant in Thailand, some guests are allowed to play games with the elephants. My ~60 year old sister played catch with one, and that was easily the highlight of her trip.

I am sure many people are happy to spend 8-10 times more to visit one of the commercial "sanctuaries," and maybe some of those outfits are even a fair exchange when they include travel, meals, and turn the 2 hour experience into an 8 hour day-long tour. However, this is a legitimate elephant conservation center where you will learn more, spend far less, and what you do spend will go to honest conservation efforts.
Written 27 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharyn
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
Elephants are cared for better than we care for our pets. The conservatory is taking amazing care of all the elephants and it is obviously how much they love each and every elephant. Great for families. See, feed and touch the elephants. Learn the truth about these majestic animals.
Written 10 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Perry H
San Diego, CA1,796 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Friends
This is a very large park that is owned by the Government. The grounds are beautiful and pretty much well maintained. The staff were friendly. The show was pretty good and the Elephant ride was good. Sometimes the shuttle was a little late but beats walking the large park. They have a hotel and homestay on site and an Elephant hospital. Overall a great activity for the entire family.
Written 6 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank J
Hua Hin, Thailand86 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The Conservation Center also contains the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital. There is no fee to visit the hospital, and no interactions with the elephants. But you can see them, and also can make a donation. The Elephant Conservation Center offers rides and elephant painting etc, which I assume they do in order to keep the place funded. But you can give that a miss and visit the hospital instead, and make your own donation.
Written 1 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AJandMR
Scottsdale, AZ120 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
We heard that there was a private elephant hospital open to the public in Lampang, so took a day trip from Chiangmai. We ended up by mistake at the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, a very large facility which does indeed have an elephant hospital. This is a government hospital which provides medical care to elephants from camps and presumably the wild, as well. On our visit there were three elephants being treated while standing up under a large metal canopy. Two of them were females who had major issues: a stillborn baby still inside the mom, and a mom whose stillborn had been surgically removed. Both had IVs and other medical treatments and were expected to be standing there for many months yet. The treatments were impressive and the care apparent.

There was no obvious arrangement to handle visitors, and we learned most of what information we got from the mahout of one of the mom elephants, who had been there for a month and expected to be there for many more during the recovery. This was not a place for interaction with the elephants, but clearly a hospital setting despite its, and their, large size.
Written 12 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Thai Elephant Conservation Center - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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