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.