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“The perfect elephant experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Patara Elephant Farm - Private Tours

Patara Elephant Farm - Private Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“The perfect elephant experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2012

Too many good things I can say about Patara:
1. They have more elephants than visitors, which means they are not trying to squeeze money out of every elephant
2. They have a breeding program pledged with the government to increase the number of elephants in the region
3. They have a good size piece of land with different terrains for people of different needs
4. They pair you up with an elephant by what they think suits your personality
5. You get to spend time with YOUR elephant for the entire day
6. The elephants do not have to perform tricks for you
7. You have lunch by the waterfall, then play with your elephant in it afterward
8. You learn to take care of the elephant and get dirty doing so
9. You ride bareback
10. The entire day is dedicated to you and your elephant, no bamboo rafting down a river, or visiting other touristy sights
11. The elephants seem to be in good health and there is no signs of abuse that I read from reviews of other camps
12. My guide showed a genuine love for the baby elephant that my assigned mother elephant gave birth to 16 months ago. They had a real bond.
13. They take good quality photos for you along the way so there is no worries about riding and snapping photos of each other, which is indeed very difficult, because you have to be very hands on all day. DVD filled with about a thousand photos will be given to you before they take you back to your hotel.
14. Lunch was included. Portion size was big, but mostly sweet stuff made of fruit except for the fried chicken.
15. They provide a change of clothing, do change into it, but best wear swimwear underneath
16. Wear sandals with straps. Sneakers will get wet, and flipflops have to be removed before getting onto the elephant because they will most likely fall off during the ride.
17. Door-to-door service.
18. Advisable to take a shower at the end of the trip if you are going somewhere afterward because you would have been in the river at least once
19. I believe you can request to share an elephant with your other half. They only had 1 elephant left when I made booking, so my husband and I got to share one elephant at a slightly lower cost. It's a very sensual experience.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank MlleBelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Bangkok
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“If you want to see, ride or be around elephants, this is your go to”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2012

I have been to a few elephant riding centres in the past and this is the one I would recommend. There is no reason to not go to Patara. Unlike most elephant centres, you ride bareback and there is no bulky chair strapped on to the elephants, which is uncomfortable for both you and your great big buddy (which is what you'll be referring your elephant to by the end of the day if you visit Patara). The elephant I rode on was called Lucky, and shes a beauty. The reviews speak for themselves (literally). VISIT PATARA ELEPHANT FARM!

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank kristiec123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Excellent and unique experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2012

My husband and I visited Chiang Mai with the goal of riding elephants. What we obtained from Patara Elephant Farm was a truly unique and authentic experience.

I would highly recommend the Patara Farm over others as they have focused on humane treatment of the elephants. Do not take trips to 'elephant camps' that the taxi drivers try to encourage you to do -- these are more circus type attractions.

With the Patara Elephant Farm you learn about elephants including how to approach and communicate with the elephant, how to mount/ride the elphant and how to assess its overall health. Each elephant has its own trainer who works exclusively with the elephant and helps you throughout the day. The groups are small 6-8 people and you receive individual attention. This is a full day trip and highly worthwhile lifetime experience.

Your trip includes transportation from the hotel, lunch, photos and video of you riding the elephant and a phenomenal experience. While it is pricey (about $200 US per person) it is well worth it. This price does not include a tip for your guide who relies on your tips as their income for their families.

An experience not to be missed!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank World T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin, California
Level Contributor
91 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Memory of a lifetime!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2012

If you love animals, this is not to be missed! Most people who have chosen Patara have done lots of research on the treatment of the elephants before coming. The elephants here were VERY well taken care of and seemed very healthy.

Although this the most expensive elephant camp in Chiang Mai (almost twice as expensive, 5800Baht), the personalized experience was worth it. They limit the visitors to a group of 6-8 and each individual gets to take care of their own elephant for a day. Each elephant also has their designated trainer/mahout who works with you the entire day. The day starts out with learning about elephant health and breeding. It also includes bathing your elephant in the river and a bareback ride of the elephant through the jungle where the elephant feeds in its natural surroundings.

Other pluses...
- Delicious plentiful lunch prepared by the locals. Veggie leftovers went to the elephants.
- Water provided the entire day.
- Your backpack/stuff is carried around for you.
- They have bug spray in case you forget.
- Pants provided during your jungle trek if you forgot them.
- A fantastic photographer takes high quality pictures for you the entire day and at the end gives you a DVD if ALL the pictures!!!

Of note...
- No shower facilities but bathroom available.
- Bring a change of clothes for after the bathing session.
- Water shoes or Tevas would have been nice to try to avoid slipping in the river.
- Tip to your mahout is not included in the price. They really do lots for you that day!

These Asian/Burmese elephants are amazing beautiful animals. If you go to Chiang Mai, don't miss this!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Taking Care of an Elephane”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2012

This was an exhausting but truly enjoyable once in a lifetiime experience that can't be duplicated elsewhere. We continue to enjoy the the through the pictures and videos they provided for us. There are a few surprises I don't want to ruin them.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank Thomas L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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