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Laos (Day 25) ELEPHANTS

ELEPHANTS is why we came to Laos! This sanctuary was created in 2001 to rescue elephants from the abusive logging industry. We were overjoyed to meet them up close. There are 12 elephants, including 2 babies (one was rescued, and one was born here at the camp).

We arrived after a short drive and mentally prepared ourselves for the "roughing it" next 2 days at the Elephant Village. We exited the vehicle and walked past the "Elephant Village" entrance and up a muddy hill led by our guide carrying our backpacks.

Wait. Full stop. This is a resort!! With elephants roaming!! OH MY GAWD I want to LIVE here!! 

Pretty sure our hotel lobby takes 1st prize. We rolled up to check-in at our 2-day camp and there were 3 elephants roaming. ✔️Bucket List 💯 my dreams have come true in Laos. Elephants have sanctuary here. 

Each elephant is so gentle and we couldn't believe that we were walking amongst these majestic beasts. They are all really well cared for and each mahout (person who works with and tends an elephant) took care of his elephant. 

We spent some time with the 3 elephants and got a lesson about the camp and the elephants. We even got to feed them bananas!

We followed our guide on a path through a perfectly manicured yard and then across a bridge straight into Utopia.  We set our belongings in our two "tents" ⛺️ GLAMPING tents (Rob and I exclaimed to each other that this would make a dream honeymoon destination pre-kids).

We booted the kids from our tent and sent them uphill to theirs. They are identical and I'm not sure how we picked which one would be ours and which theirs. 

Rob is so nervous that they are staying alone up there. But enough about them, check out this interior!!!!

After a million squeals of delight fully exploring both bungalows (because seriously - why are we calling them tents, hahahaha), we regrouped with our guide back at the restaurant treehouse to begin our adventure of a lifetime. 

The oldest elephant is 45 and she was rescued from logging where she suffered the loss of part of her foot after stepping on a UXO (unexploded ordinance). It's uplifting to know that these elephants will never log again and will live the rest of their lives protected here. Their backstories are so heartbreaking. 

The water in the river is too high for the elephants to cross it at this time. The three that we already met are "stuck" on our side of the river.  To see the rest, we took a quick boat across. 

When we met the 2 babies, our hearts 💕 burst!! Warms our hearts to know that they are in a sanctuary. The boy in front is Maxi and he was born at the camp after his pregnant mother was rescued (we met her and there is not a gentler giant). The girl next to him is Mae Khamphet and she was rescued. Sadly, her mother suffers from the abuse of logging, but Mae will never know these horrors. May their spirits never be broken. 

💙Oh my, oh my. These two baby elephants! Talk about cuteness overload. Such big personalities. These babies are both about 4 years old. They have to wear bells so the mahout can find them as they wander the forest. 

Was that a lot of elephant pics? Hahahaha, I took 5,947,897,487 more, so you've actually been spared.

The Elephant Village has 100 acres of forest land and the elephants are allowed to roam. At night, they do chain the elephants in the forest, but this is for their protection so they do not wander into the nearby villages and gardens upsetting the Lao neighbors. 

After meeting all the elephants and feeding the ❤️ babies, we returned back across the river and had a tasty lunch in the treehouse restaurant.

After lunch, we had time for a quick break at our tents to change into swimsuits and gather some gear. This place only has 3 tents and we had 2 of them so we had the ENTIRE place to ourselves for the duration of our stay!!!! A true highlight of my entire life. THE top destination. I would live here forever if I could. 

We enjoyed our afternoon with a traditional Lao boat ride up to see the Tad Sae Waterfalls. The water was really brown from the recent rainfall so we weren't really inclined to swim in it. Plus, we had a our pristine 💙 pool back at the camp. 

Our boat trying to drop us off here was somewhat entertaining. I'm pretty sure if I had to maneuver one of these long boats, I would not find myself making many friends amongst the other boats. Hahahaha.

We did have a fun time hiking around the falls. I always worry about the kids on the slippery rocks, but we avoided any injuries and didn't use a single band-aid.

Afterwards, our boat picked us up to take us back to the camp. It is so beautiful on the river and the scenic landscape is very calming. 

Back at camp. Lovely Laos. Roughing it with this infinity pool view overlooking the Nam Khan River where rescued elephants are chilling. So yeah, Laos is #winning.

So, remember how we were the only ones here? They sent a staff member to open the bar for us. Just us. This taste of the good life. Wow, could get used to this. We made sure to order plenty of drinks!

After swimming, we went to have dinner at the treehouse restaurant and simply relaxed while enjoying the sunset over our stunning mountain range views. It reminded me of Costa Rica.

Up Next: Bathing, yes BATHING, elephants!


  1. Catching my breath after seeing all those stunning Photos of the Elephant park..its on my bucket list now! Loved reading your daily adventures, fantastic trip!

    1. Thanks, Tracey! Lots more to come... hope you stick along :)

  2. Nice, we did a 3-nighter west of Chiang Mai where a sanctuary was located next to a small Airbnb place run by a lady from NYC. Her staff were local girls who without guidance could've easily taken wrong directions in life. Fond memories.

    1. I've heard good things about some of the sanctuaries in Thailand. I figured Thailand to be a destination that we couldn't just come to one place, so we decided on LP in Laos with plans to return to Asia for Thailand longer, maybe combined with Japan and Myanmar.