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“The most worthwhile trip you could eved imagine!”

Elephant Retirement Park Phuket
Ranked #49 of 547 Outdoor Activities in Phuket
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: The Elephant Retirement Park Phuket is a caring wildlife sanctuary for retired & rescued elephants that are free to roam, graze & swim in the natural surroundings. The sole focus is to promote the well-being of the elephants. Strictly no abuse policy & absolutely no riding​. We welcome you to come visit for a truly amazing time and experience the joy and excitement of walking, feeding, bathing & learning about the wonderful elephants! Thank you
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I've read the negative reviews about this park and I have to say I strongly disagree. As a real animal lover I had reservations about this trip as I wasn't sure if it was just a gimmick but I'm pleased to say from what I saw the elephants were truly cared for by people who clearly had a close bond with them.

Do not go to see an elephant show, do not ride the elephants...if you do you are partaking in their cruel treatment...go to the elephant retirement park instead!

The experience allows you to feed them and wash them. They are such gentle creatures and they enjoyed the mud bath so much...they were making squeaking noises which is what they do when they are happy.

I arrived at the retirement park feeling apprehensive and I left feeling comforted that these lucky few were being genuinely cared for.

Thank alexandramay26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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91 - 95 of 314 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018

Place is simple but apparently managed very well. Careers and staff are genuine,. I should say ,first time in a trip, I felt money and time i have spend was worth it. thanks guys.

Thank andeniz56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Absolutely a fantastic experience. These gorgeous animals are domestic animals - i.e., they are not from the wild but have come to this beautiful retirement home from places like trekking, riding, animal shows, etc. We were picked up from out hotel for the morning tour. We arrived earlier than the official start (8.30 am) by about 45 minutes - so we were able to wander about and watch the big pregnant elephant get fed. Also the little babies - the youngest is 18 months old; the oldest here is 65. Then we fed lots of others with bananas. Next we joined 5 elephants in the mud pool, including 2 babies. Here we rubbed mud into their skin. One big girl did DIY and scooped mud up in her trunk and flung it on her back, depositing some on us on the way. After that we followed the elephants into the big "clean" pool. We were handed a scoop and a scrubbing brush to exfoliate the elephants. The littlest one was a bit out of its depth so it put its front feet over the back of the slightly bigger one. It did a duck (read, elephant) dive and we nearly went under too. Then after a shower, we were shown how to make my favourite Thai food - pad thai. They put on a lovely lunch of pad thai, vegetables in oyster sauce, fried chicken, steamed rice, fresh fruit and tea, coffee and bottled water. Back to our hotel feeling very happy. The staff were just wonderful and really love and cherish their charges. They are so informative and eager to share their passion and knowledge.
Take your bathers and a towel!
We spoke to a couple who did the afternoon show. They started off with lunch, which seemed to take too long and they felt we spent more time with the elephants than they did. A tradeoff for avoiding an early start. Highly recommended

Thank Dale47_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

We did the VIP experience here for our honeymoon and it was the BEST PART OF OUR HONEYMOON. This was a life-changing experience and one we will never ever forget.

Thank you to our INCREDIBLE host for the day, Sai, who has such a passion for these animals and answered all of our questions. We felt like a family that day, and we were calling her sister by the end! The lunch they prepared was delicious and then the time with the elephants was truly unforgettable. We really felt like we got to bond with the elephants and know their personalities. They were often flapping their ears and raising their trunks to show their happiness and appreciation. It brought tears to our eyes.

The elephants were free to roam and were never chained up or ridden. You can tell that the elephant handlers truly love them. The elephants even sleep in the mountains at night, knowing when it's time to come back to the camp during the day for food and mud baths!

When I was 16, I went to a trekking camp with my family. We did not know about how terribly elephants are treated at these places, and when I went, it disturbed me to this day. This was a chance for me to make peace with these beautiful animals and show them that humans can truly be kind.

There was so much laughter throughout the day. Elephants are the most magnificent creatures with such fun-loving personalities, we think about them to this day. The greatest surprise of all was meeting the 1 week-old baby elephant that was just born whose mother, a recently-rescued elephant, was still suffering from PTSD from the trekking camp. It was a powerful example of the beauty and importance of rescue, and our responsibility to make sure our tourist dollars go toward helping these animals, not hurting them.

Please please please prioritize going to this Retirement Park! Or truly any rescue/retirement park for elephants where you do not ride them. It will be the experience you will always remember from Thailand, trust us!

Oh and the VIP experience was soooooo worth it!

Thank Brelena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 April 2018

After making a bad call of staying in Phuket and visiting the overcrowded Maya Bay, I needed a break and a breather. The Elephant Retirement Park was just what I needed and gave me one of the most unbelievable experiences of my entire life. The fees are worth it because you have so much time to interact with the elephants, caretakers and other guests. The activities are well-thought of and it's mainly up to you if you want to make the most of it, too.

This was GREAT. You HAVE TO try it!

Thank queen_tourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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