Weather was perfect, very few bugs
This was a long day, but I enjoyed this tour. I was on the tour with 2 other people that I met on the previous day's tour. The three of us got along well on the previous day's tour. I was already scheduled to take this tour, the other two people, who were traveling together, were interested in doing this tour, so we requested to do this tour as a private group. You trek on land for about an hour and then if you get to ride in the Ping River, that's another 30-45 minutes of riding. If the river waters aren't high enough, you will not be able to ride through the Ping River. Fortunately we were able to ride through the river. This tour consists of a short elephant show (where the elephants do tricks, obey commands, etc.). One elephant even paints a picture. A pretty decent looking pic at that. At this camp, they seem to treat the animals kindly. Prior to booking this tour, I had read that some camps were not so humane. I did not notice any abuse while I was at this camp. After the elephant ride, there was lunch at a nice secluded restaurant not terribly far from where the elephant camp was. River Rafting is also part of this tour, which you are on the river for at least 45 minutes. Visiting the Hilltribe people is also a part of the tour. This visit consists of looking at handmade items by the people and you possibly buying something. You don't have to buy anything though. We had some extra time, so we did a side trip to the Tiger Kingdom. Nong was the tour guide. Very good guide, accommodating, and he spoke English well.
Chiang Mai is a beautiful place. This tour was small, only 2 people, so it was very easy to enjoy the time provided with the elephants.
This was a majestic experience. One that will never be forgotten. Tour guide went the extra mile to accommodate our needs and spoke great English. Door to door pick up made it stress free. The jungle was spectacular in nature, the elephants graceful and the rafting peaceful. I went home feeling thoroughly content - and pleasantly exhausted. A must do tour!
Such a great experience and so relieved to know they chose a camp where they animals are treated very well. The hill tribe village part, was not the long neck, and was super small, almost looked set up just so people could buy souvenirs.
It was a good tour, our guide was very helpful and knowledgeable.
Only two hours of the whole day tour were spent doing what we actually signed up for. The elephant ride was 20 minutes long, not one hour, and we didn't even touch water, never mind wade down a river as advertised in the photo. The elephants were all chained up and didn't seem particularly happy or well cared for as advertised. The river raft part was pretty decent though. The tour guide tried to take us to every single shopping outlet possible on the way home, no doubt in an effort to receive commission. We ended up hiring a private taxi to get home half way through the tour. A complete waste of time and money.
Loved the small group of five. The elephants seemed to be treated well. The trek to the village was just a chance to shop, not to see their way of life. The rafting was very relaxing. The lunch stop was lovely.
We took our 3 kids on this tour and they loved the elephant show and ride. However, the "hillside village" was little more than a stop at what appeared to once be an actual hillside village, but now was just a souvenir stand. It would have been better if some history had been shared, etc. The rafting portion was also a bit anti-climatic in that it wasn't really all that scenic. But, it was a good opportunity to just relax and talk as you float down the river.
Our guide - Ung - was outstanding, as was our driver. She was engaged and looked after us the entire time, and shared the history of the area and much of what we were seeing as we drove to and from the site.
love the tour, will recommend to friends and family.
Everything was great - even though we didn't get to go on the river raft as the water was too high - the guide made every effort to keep us happy by offering a stop at the Tiger Kingdom where (for a price) you can sit/play/touch/take photos with the tigers. I paid for this experience and it was great. He also stopped at the long neck tribe village since we asked and it was next door to the Tiger Kingdom. We had to pay a fee directly to the village but it was great that the guide/driver were so accommodating. FYI, you don't ride the elephants in the river like the photo shows unless it is a time of year where the river level is low. So we rode on a trail through the woods. In addition to riding the elephants, they have you sit in a small stadium and show you how they work with the elephants. They show you how elephants can carry logs. One elephant even painted a picture!! Also a photo is taken of you by the elephant staff - on the elephant and put into a frame and at the end, you have an option of buying it, which I did. There also was a GREAT lunch. It was a great day and the tour guide, Van, was awesome sharing all of his knowledge along the ride.
Outstanding from start to finish. Very well done!
My tour guide was great! It ended up being a private tour. Just myself, the driver and the guide. She was fantastic though! We even stopped at the Tiger Kingdom, place that makes silver, and a place that makes Thai silk! So worth it!
We were picked up promptly by a friendly guide. Straight to the elephant camp, it was lovely to see them all, we saw a brief show of the work they had been trained to do which did not seem like cruel circus act as we had inadvertently seen on another trip but something that had been performed for centuries as working elephants. A half hour trip on elephant back took us to a hill tribe who were selling their wares. They weren't pushy at all which was nice. The ride was a lot more comfortable than expected too. We then headed back via the river which was a great experience.
On our return we had the lunch that was included in the tour. The toilets there were overrun with ants but I would say that this was the case in much of Chiang Mai and I doubt there was much could be done about it.We then had a lovely relaxed trip on a raft for around 45 minutes before being driven back. They also took a photo of us on elephant back which they had printed and put into a great keepsake frame for just 200bht (about £5) which we thought was really reasonable for such a great souvenir. We were given a choice of things to do on the way back as we had some spare time and the guide took us to Tiger Kingdom where we paid extra (by our own choice) to enter and spend time in the cage with some tigers. All in all a very memorable trip that we would highly recommend, enjoy!
Great day out and the food was worth going for on its own.
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