Somboon Legacy Foundation
Somboon Legacy Foundation
5
About
Somboon Legacy Foundation is a non-profit organization taking care of old, ill, handicapped and rescued elephants. We want to be an example of the ethical change in the animal tourism industry, and offer a completely hands-off experience for our visitors, having a limited group of maximum 12 adults per day.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • Albert Neo
    Singapore, Singapore1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A memorable family experience.
    We recently visited Bangkok and Kachanaburi. We had a pleasure visiting Somboon Legancy Foundation with my family of six in June 2023. Our visit to this remarkable foundation provided us with an unforgettable experience that left us with cherished memories and a new found appreciation for elephants. Our favorite activity was the preparation of banana plants for the elephants to enjoy. We were required to go to the banana plantation and bring the Bananas plant back for the elephants to enjoy. The friendly guides Ana, Eve and Jack provided us with fascinating insights into the daily activities of the elephants. Next, we also get to watch them bath along the river. Overall, our visit to Somboon Legacy Foundation was a enriching and joyful experience for our family. I highly recommend anybody seeking a meaningful experience to visit them.
    Thank you for your kind words. We are happy to hear you left with cherished memories and a new found appreciation for elephants. This is exactly what we want for our visitors. We hope you tell your experience to your family and friends, together we can make difference!
    Written 27 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 July 2023
  • DutchDanny74
    Rotterdam, The Netherlands134 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The best ethical way to see Elephants
    We came to Somboon Legacy Foundation to support their work in Thailand. They know how we should visit elephants in a way that these animals can live without the stress of humans wanting to feed, wash or pet them. Their museum is set up to teach us about elephants and how and why they want to change the way elephants are kept in Thailand. You feel so much better after visiting them and feeling glad you didn't go to a sanctuary where you can feed or wash them. They deserve all the help and donations anybody is willing to give them, so go go go I would say.
    Dear Danny, Thank you for your review. We are happy to know that our message was received well. Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you again. Spread the word!
    Written 27 July 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 July 2023
  • Maria
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing day trip!
    We did a full day trip in February and had an amazing day. We were picked up at our hotel in Kanchanaburi and brought back at the end of the day. We believe Somboon Legacy Foundation – Elephant Sanctuary is the best place in Thailand to experience elephants up close, in a respectful and hands-off manner. One of the (Dutch) owners of the sanctuary was our host during our day trip and it was amazing to see her dedication and love for the elephants. She wants the best for the elephants, which was very evident to us during the day. She took the time to give us lots of information and answered all our questions. There are also international volunteers, one of which was our guide during the day. We got a tour of the small museum, while the volunteer told us about elephants in general. The setup of the museum is really nice, with lots of information panels and also souvenirs to buy. We helped make lunch for the elephants by picking banana leaves and cutting up fruit. We ate lunch ourselves in a restaurant nearby, owned by a local family and it was delicious. Somboon Legacy Foundation – Elephant Sanctuary is a beautiful place: next to a resort, where there’s lots of vegetation and space for the elephants. The elephants have their daily routines and are free to roam around. We could observe the elephants while they were eating, which was amazing. And had plenty of time to take pictures. And at the end of the day it was bath time for the elephants with their mahout in the nearby river. It was magical to see. The day trip to the sanctuary was without a doubt one of the highlights during our trip in Southeast Asia. The warmth and care shown to us, was just simply amazing. It’s a 100% hands-off elephant experience, which makes it all the better. We recommend this day trip wholeheartedly and hope we can visit this beautiful place again one day. Voor alle Nederlanders die dit lezen: Somboon Legacy Foundation – Elephant Sanctuary is een geweldige plek om te bezoeken. De Nederlandse eigenaresse is zeer bevlogen en de liefde voor de olifanten is voelbaar. Je kan hier op een respectvolle (hands-off) manier van dichtbij de olifanten bewonderen, met als hoogtepunt het baden in de rivier. Wij adviseren het zeker als een geweldige dagtrip en als bonus een prachtig project om te steunen.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 28 July 2023
  • Voyage17561246013
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The foundation is everything that it claims to be!
    I volunteered at the foundation for a month and got to see behind the scenes. They are truly hands-off which means that nobody except the mahouts are allowed to touch the elephants. Everybody is allowed to admire these giants, but from a distance. Not only Somboon Legacy Foundation should be hands-off but every single sanctuary and education is key to the change. That’s why I really like the museum they have. You do not only learn interesting facts about these beautiful animals but you also see what’s going on behind the scenes of hands-on sanctuaries. As a volunteer I got to see behind the scenes at this foundation and I can truly say that the whole purpose of the project is to help elephants and to ensure that they get the best care. If you are searching for an ethical elephant experience where the giants are top priority and not human entertainment than this place is perfect to visit! With your visit you will not only have a great day but you will also support the foundation because having tours is what keeps this great place going! Thank you to the whole foundation and the other volunteers that were here with me for this great experience!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 October 2023
  • Amy S
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing, fun, educational experience
    The whole ethos behind Somboon Legacy Foundation is amazing! They are true to their word of a completely hands off experience but we still learnt so much and had a wonderful day. The volunteers were really knowledgeable, kind and friendly and the day flowed really well. It was a great mix of hands-on helping prepare things for the elephants and educational. I loved that they also took photos throughout the day and send them to us. The lunch was delicious and the whole trip is very well-priced. Thanks for all the work you do and hopefully it inspires other 'sanctuaries' to change their ways!
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 17 October 2023
  • Betty Chen
    Thailand4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    amazing volunteering at Somboon Legacy Foundation
    I was volunteered here and they provided full information of elephants so you understand why hands off is important to elephants and also made sure we were able to share the knowledge with visitors. During the volunteering, we would have different tasks to help out, e.g. guiding, banana tree cutting, preparing food for elephants, etc. After work, we hang out, play games and chat/share experiences together. I felt so fulfilled while being there. Also, I could tell those 2 female elephants were very happy and I have not seen any stressful behaviours from them, which was amazing! This place is not too far from Bangkok so I would definitely recommend people to go if you would like to have an ethical elephants experience!
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 18 October 2023
  • sylvie m
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A true ethical elephant sanctuary
    Fantastic experience. I would like to thanks everyone and the 2 mahouts for teaching us what to do in an hands off sanctuary in order to protect the elephants. The activities are really fun and diversify, all are for the elephants, from cutting banana tree and fruits to making poo paper to rice cooking and a nice museum full of information... You can stay at the resort, it is great and peaceful, the cabins are confortable. I hope I will have the chance to come back one day. Everyone is so knowledgeable. I really recommend to spend at least one day with the elephants, it is a true ethical sanctuary
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 December 2023
  • Hok
    London, United Kingdom38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Inspiring and heartwarming
    This was a truly inspiring visit to this wonderful place which gives some peace to elephants who have been abused their whole lives. Be sure to check out whether the ‘sanctuary’ you visit is really a sanctuary for elephants or just another way of making money out of these majestic animals. This one is a true sanctuary where the elephants are not subjected to touching and interference from curious tourists. I was lucky to visit in the same week as a new elephant arrived here after being rescued. She was in a pretty bad state but amazingly has settled quickly into her new found freedom. I nearly wept when I was told that for the 50 years she was forced to work for tourist ‘entertainment’ and exploited for profit, she was never able to sleep lying down because of the very short chain that restrained her when not working. This week she slept lying down as elephants do for the first time in 50 years. I cannot imagine the years of misery before being rescued and the relief she must now feel. This place, and other truly elephant-friendly sanctuaries, require our support and for us to spread the word about the horrific suffering that elephants endure to tame them for tourists to ride, wash, feed or touch.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled on business
    Written 17 December 2023
  • Chan
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very peaceful place and beautiful people.
    I had one day experience end of the November. I was solo but thankfully they provided me the ride from my hotel to the elephants home. Preparing food for the elephants was my favorite activity. Watching them eating in the forest so close was surreal. Also i could watch them bathing in the river. I enjoyed every activities in very peaceful and calm atmosphere. Most importantly, all the volunteers and crew were so sweet. She explained me basics and details about elephants so good that I learned lot. If you are a elephant lover and want to be a part of the nature in very peaceful and quiet place I recommend you to join!
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 January 2024
  • Martin S
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing volunteering for elephants
    I've stayed 1 month as a volunteer at the Somboon Legacy Foundation. It was an amazing experience. There, I've discovered how problematic the living situation of elephants is in Thailand, Asia, and even around the world, And how much more ethical Somboon Legacy Fondation is towards their elephants. I am so happy to have helped the foundation and the elephants. I wish them all the best in educating the world on how to treat elephants
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 17 January 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Asha S
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
My friend and I visited Somboon in May and had an incredible day - it was an absolute highlight of our trip to Thailand.

It was heartwarming to watch how well looked after the elephants are. The foundation's ethical focus on respecting and protecting the elephants was such an inspiring and encouraging thing to witness firsthand. We were very lucky to have 3 great tour guides (Marie, Paola, and Katrin) who were not only lovely but hugely knowledgeable. We learnt so much about the elephants and all of our many, many questions were answered brilliantly. It was incredibly interesting to learn about the mahouts too and to watch them in action. Watching them compassionately care for the elephants was lovely.

I can't reccomend visiting this Foundation enough. We did the Day Experience which included plenty of observing the elephants, making sticky rice for them to eat, watching the elephants' time in the river, visiting the very interesting museum, helping out by cutting banana trees, and making paper from the elephant poo! We got picked up from our hotel in Kanchanburi in the morning and dropped back in the afternoon which went very smoothly. The included lunch was absolutely delicious (vegetarian food was lovely too!). We even got cooling jackets and cold towels to walk round the museum in which were fabulous. The whole day was incredibly well organised.

We loved meeting Malee, Kammoon, and Kham Phaeng 🐘🐘🐘 and our wonderful tour guides. There aren't very many truly ethical elephant experiences in Thailand - this one is very special.
Written 11 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hazel G
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
Such an amazing place to visit, one of the highlights of our Thailand trip. It’s amazing to see the elephants and just observe them eating, bathing, walking around etc. We also learnt a lot about elephants and their history in Thailand. Highly recommend this place if you want to visit an ethical elephant sanctuary.
Written 19 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Wilma B
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We had a great day! Beautiful environment, great people who are taking such a good care of the elephants. And of course great to see the elephants and to learn about them
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brenda m
Longmeadow, MA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Amazing experience! One of the best days during my trip to Thailand. The guides are knowledgeable and the elephants are beautiful. Although hands off you get to see the elephants up close & personal and learn about their care. Highly recommend.
Written 1 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chloe F
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
I cannot rate this place highly enough. We had the full day experience with our volunteer guides Richard and Mandy, it was only ourselves in the English speaking group as they limit the amount of visitors everyday. It gave us a really personal experience in which we could ask lots of questions. We learnt so much and have gained such a good understanding and respect of these beautiful animals.

There aren’t many truly ethical non-profit elephant experiences in Thailand, and it was lovely to see the elephants treated with the love and care they deserve after living such tough lives at the hands of the tourism and logging industries.

There were 3 elephants during our visit, Malee, Kammoon & Kham Phaeng had joined them recently. They all had different personalities that came out as you watched them throughout the day. Something that you would never be able to see at a tourist attraction that makes the elephants behave unnaturally for the benefit of humans.

Wear old clothes if you’re doing the full day visit as the banana tree cutting gets quite messy! And closed toe shoes. Lunch was a selection of delicious Thai food and fresh fruit. We also had a taxi pick up from Kanchanaburi provided by the Sanctuary.

We travelled out of Bangkok by train, which takes around 3 hours each way. And stayed overnight in Kanchanaburi.

Don’t hesitate to book here, it really is a fantastic place. Supporting these beautiful animals and hopefully changing the lives of future elephants too.
Written 10 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heidi D
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I had a fantastic time! They treat the animals with the respect they deserve. It is ensured that they can live out their old days in a stress-free situation. Visitors can watch the animals eat and bathe, always from a sufficient distance. I helped the volunteers for a day, cutting banana plants, making food for the elephants,... It was really fun! The animals are not approached or touched by anyone other than their keepers. I stayed a few nights at the adjacent resort and I also had a good experience there. Very quiet, good food and friendly staff. Really worth staying for a few days!
Written 25 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mary Ann Holder
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
It was an amazing experience to watch the elephants interact with each other and their Mahout without any stress from other people!! This was my second visit because I wanted my boyfriend to experience this wonderful place for elephants!! I chose this place because it is recognized by animal protection organizations as being a true safe space for the animals. The volunteers who lead the tours are knowledgeable and eager to help you learn about these wonderful elephants!! It’s so awesome to see how this company is trying to change the way elephants are treated in Thailand!!
Written 24 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cayce926
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
What a great experience this was! I learned so much about elephants and how important a hands-off sanctuary is for these beautiful animals. I highly recommend visiting this sanctuary!
Written 1 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martin S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
I've stayed 1 month as a volunteer at the Somboon Legacy Foundation. It was an amazing experience. There, I've discovered how problematic the living situation of elephants is in Thailand, Asia, and even around the world, And how much more ethical Somboon Legacy Fondation is towards their elephants. I am so happy to have helped the foundation and the elephants. I wish them all the best in educating the world on how to treat elephants
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chan
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Solo
I had one day experience end of the November. I was solo but thankfully they provided me the ride from my hotel to the elephants home.
Preparing food for the elephants was my favorite activity. Watching them eating in the forest so close was surreal. Also i could watch them bathing in the river.
I enjoyed every activities in very peaceful and calm atmosphere. Most importantly, all the volunteers and crew were so sweet. She explained me basics and details about elephants so good that I learned lot.
If you are a elephant lover and want to be a part of the nature in very peaceful and quiet place I recommend you to join!
Written 14 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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