|08:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
|Off the beaten path|
Half day Tour
Elephant Village Sanctuary Half Day is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Elephant Village Sanctuary Half Day is special ?
The scenic location in the misty hills provides a perfect place to interact with the pachyderms. You can ride an elephant down the river or even learn how to be a mahout – an elephant trainer. It is a fantastic experience and strolling down the river on a lumbering beast is memorable indeed.
Most of the elephants have been rescued from logging operations that threatened their lives. One of the resident elephants, Mae San, was given massive doses of ecstasy and amphetamines so that she would stay up all night and day logging. It seems the elephants are well cared for by the sanctuary, and tourism revenue keeps them well fed.
What to explore at Elephant Village Sanctuary Half Day?
- 8:30 am – 9:00 am: Depart your Hotel. Pick up by our English speaking guide
- Arrival at the Elephant Village Camp: Welcome and greeting by our camp manager and participate in short briefing about elephants
- Ride the Elephant: Enjoy the impressive experience of a 3 km elephant ride on the howdah (elephant seat) or on your elephant’s neck! 2 per elephant
- Mahout Training: Receive your basic mahout training on how to control an elephant!
- Lunch: Dine at our Elephant Camp restaurant. Buffet lunch served with coffee / tea and drinking water (vegetarian options available)
- Bathe Your Elephant: Take your own elephant down to the Nam Khan river for an exhilarating bathing experience!
- Boat trip to the Tad Sae Waterfall: Take a traditional Lao long boat to the Tad Sae Waterfall and relax in the clear water
- Depart: Transfer back to your Hotel or GH in Luang Prabang approximately between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Round trip transfer, English speaking guide, elephant ride, boat transfer to the Tad Sae waterfall, waterfall entrance fee, basic mahout training, bathing your elephant, buffet lunch
- “Very interesting and nice trip”
- “A highlight of our trip”
- “Highlight of my Asian trip”
Ban Xieng Lom Luang Phabang
Tips for you
We specifically wanted to go to the Elephant Village because this sanctuary is government run and the animals are treated humanely, unlike at other places in SE Asia (and the world for that matter). They offer full, half, and two day tours; we opted for the half day tour (as we were going to see the Kuang Si Falls in the afternoon). Getting there requires a bit of a trip, it’s about a 30-minute drive from Luang Prabang. The elephants are as cool as you think they would be. These creatures slowly roam around the sanctuary, allowing visitors to come up (do this with caution of course) and feed/pet them. The Village only keeps females around as the males can tend to be lazy and/or aggressive (sounds like another species we know, right?). After a short orientation, you begin your elephant ride with a designated mahout (the elephant guide). It’s a much more relaxing and enjoyable experience than a camel or horse because the elephants are so big and slow. The elephants can fit two people on their backs along with the mahout up on their necks. The convoy of elephants walk around the village, through a river (which was the coolest part) and back up around the town. During the ride, each person is given the chance to ride on the front on the neck and the guide will climb off and take pictures. Trust me, it’s a little unnerving at first riding on the animal without a guide, but you quickly get comfortable with being on her. After the ride, the tour takes you on a traditional Lao long boat to Tad Sae Falls. Tad Sae Falls itself is like the less impressive version of Kuang Si Falls, which we will be going to in the next post, and it was even more so not impressive because there was no water from it being the dry season. But the main highlight of taking this side excursion was not the falls, but to see the baby elephant and to get a chance to bathe with an elephant. The baby elephant is adorable; they keep him in a pen with his mother. You can’t help but think of the little guy as Dumbo. He’s playful, curious, and from what our guide says, very mischievous. We were warned not to get too close because he had a habit of stealing cameras. We were also warned that if we get too close or too touchy, the mother would get really pissed. That being said, it still didn’t stop anyone from giving the little guy’s trunk a pet when he reached out of his cage for us. The tour also offers an option to bathe with an elephant. Do it. Bring your bathing suit and pay the extra $30. You’ll sit atop the elephant while it goes into the river and plays around. The guide will also give you a bushel of bananas to feed the animal as reward for diving under and cooling everyone off. It was such a fun experience, and not one that I’ll soon be able to do again any time soon I’m sure.