Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Asia > Thailand
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 5, 12, 9:52 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA 0P/0.566MM, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, Hertz 5*, National EE
Posts: 4,348
Opinions on Elephantstay in Ayutthaya?

I did a search and surprisingly, it isn't mentioned anywhere in the forum! I've looked at the reviews on TA (http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio..._Province.html). They are mostly positive, but there are also a couple there that have some mildly disturbing elements as well.

Has anyone been there? How was it? Any concerns?
jasonvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 6, 12, 9:46 am   #2
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 861
I've never been to Elephantstay so I can't comment on that specific elephant camp.

The negative reviews actually made me chuckle. Those people really expected some fantasy place and were disappointed when they saw the reality.

It's an elephant camp. You see elephants, learn something about elephant biology, you watch them do some "tricks", go for a ride, and give them a bath. It's a pretty basic/simple experience. I think I paid $20US for a few hour visit at a place and they do ask for additional tips for food or whatever. If you have never seen elephants in person, it should be a really neat experience. Good photo ops, and a fun story to tell your friends when you get home.

If you're a big animal rights person and you hate seeing wild animals chained up or fenced in, then you probably will have some problems with it.

As they say, TiT (This is Thailand).
CrazyInteg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 12, 1:05 am   #3
Ambassador, China
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beijing
Programs: TG, OZ, UA, AA
Posts: 5,490
If you will be in north Thailand (Chiang Mai area), then the Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang might be an option. I'm not familiar with the Ayutthaya setup.
jiejie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 12, 11:59 am   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA 0P/0.566MM, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, Hertz 5*, National EE
Posts: 4,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
If you have never seen elephants in person, it should be a really neat experience. Good photo ops, and a fun story to tell your friends when you get home.

If you're a big animal rights person and you hate seeing wild animals chained up or fenced in, then you probably will have some problems with it.

As they say, TiT (This is Thailand).
We have definitely both seen elephants and have each done an elephant ride (albeit in a very structured setting like a zoo). My wife absolutely loves elephants though. My wife believes that her reaction could be something along the lines of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70

We are definitely not activist PETA types and have both been in places where stray dogs are the norm. We also both understand that in order for the elephants to remain in the area, some sort of containment would be needed (chains, paddocks, etc). I do foresee a little weeping by my wife, but I'm not sure if it will be from seeing the elephants in general, seeing them chained, or having to leave the place at the end of our stay (last one is most likely )

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
If you will be in north Thailand (Chiang Mai area), then the Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang might be an option. I'm not familiar with the Ayutthaya setup.
I saw that place as well. We hadn't planned on being that far north in Thailand. What I found was that it seemed much more "structured" and not as personal. It seemed like you got less time with the elephants as well. And there is no air conditioning This is what I stumbled on from there:
http://changthai.com/tours/three_day..._most_popular/
jasonvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 7, 12, 1:38 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: Flying Blue Gold and Virgin America for a few months
Posts: 507
Since Elephants live so long what are they to do for the next 20 plus years ?

You cannot just let them loose out in the forest , so doing something constructive is the best way ,

I know after the floods they were used to move large items , etter than in a pen at the Zoo

S
soarer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 9, 12, 8:39 am   #6
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 861
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonvr View Post
We have definitely both seen elephants and have each done an elephant ride (albeit in a very structured setting like a zoo). My wife absolutely loves elephants though. My wife believes that her reaction could be something along the lines of this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5jw3T3Jy70
LOL

Well I'm sure you would have a nice time. Those negative reviews do not sound like anything major to me personally. I'm sure you'll have a nice time.
CrazyInteg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 12, 12:07 am   #7
Ambassador, China
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beijing
Programs: TG, OZ, UA, AA
Posts: 5,490
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonvr View Post
What I found was that it seemed much more "structured" and not as personal. It seemed like you got less time with the elephants as well. And there is no air conditioning This is what I stumbled on from there:
http://changthai.com/tours/three_day..._most_popular/
???? What exactly are you expecting? ANY place, ANY time you spend with an elephant is going to be structured and under the mahout/trainer's supervision. Not sure what you mean by "personal." If you think any place is going to let you romp on or with an elephant, completely on your own, you are quite mistaken. And as for structure, the elephant's day is structured, so your contact will of necessity follow that dictum, it won't be the other way around.

I'm also ?? about the air conditioning comment. Do you want a standard tourist experience (stay in hotel, visit elephant center, watch show, go for ride, go back to hotel) or do you want a hands-on elephant camp experience (some tolerance of less-than-cushy conditions required)?
jiejie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 12, 12:58 am   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA 0P/0.566MM, Hilton Silver, Hyatt Diamond, Marriott Gold, IHG Gold, Hertz 5*, National EE
Posts: 4,348
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiejie View Post
???? What exactly are you expecting? ANY place, ANY time you spend with an elephant is going to be structured and under the mahout/trainer's supervision. Not sure what you mean by "personal." If you think any place is going to let you romp on or with an elephant, completely on your own, you are quite mistaken. And as for structure, the elephant's day is structured, so your contact will of necessity follow that dictum, it won't be the other way around.

I'm also ?? about the air conditioning comment. Do you want a standard tourist experience (stay in hotel, visit elephant center, watch show, go for ride, go back to hotel) or do you want a hands-on elephant camp experience (some tolerance of less-than-cushy conditions required)?
I realize that the time will be structured (no one likes getting squished by an elephant). And I realize that the elephants are still working and have a structured day to accomplish that work. However, one thing I found online that had a schedule for the other facility seemed to have a 20 line schedule for each down down to almost 5 minute increments. Elephantstay seemed to have a little less rigid structure with some "free time" where you can visit the nursery, etc. Granted, I do not know if the schedule I found was a true, preset schedule or an account by a visitor of what they did. It also seemed as if the interactions with the staff and mahouts at Elephantstay was a little less formal, which is what made me say "more personal".

As far as A/C, and generally needing to "rough it". Yes, I realize that it is not going to be a luxury hotel, and I admit, that is generally how I have traveled. However, for this kind of experience, and the desires of my wife, we are willing to rough it. The A/C is not a determining factor on whether we participate, but it was a differentiating factor between the facilities. And it will certainly be nice to have an air conditioned room to retire to at the end of what look like can be a long and hard day working with the elephants. A/C is supposed to also help with mosquitoes.

FWIW, I have booked with Elephantstay for their standard 3 day/2 night package.
jasonvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15, 12, 9:18 pm   #9
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: SE Asia
Programs: UA 1K (1MM), PG Premier, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 11,684
I've seen enough elephants at markets/in the provinces to last a lifetime. I also don't care to see these animals captivated.

That said, this place has been lauded by some friends who have gone.

It's up outside of Chiang Mai and they include transportaiton to the sanctuary. I've only had reports of the day trip, never for an extended stay.
dsquared37 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 20, 12, 12:06 am   #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
It's the "culture" of abuse that tourists support:
"...baby elephants were sold to middlemen who tortured and tamed them before selling them to tourism operators for more than $7000. He said tourists who visited Thai elephant camps were "effectively supporting the killing and torture of wild-born elephants." http://bit.ly/w2rykL

The only way to tame an elephant is through phajaan: http://bit.ly/A9X2ZF

Someone else asked your question. Answer here: http://bit.ly/HWJPKt
deGeorg is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 4:22 am.