Bamboo - Two Countries VolunTour - Thailand & Cambodia

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About

Bamboo's most popular volunteer tour takes you through two of South-East Asia's most exciting countries with a group of like-minded people, fully supported by experienced guides.

Starting in Thailand's iconic capital, Bangkok, you'll travel to the north-eastern province of Surin for an unforgettable few days getting up close and personal with the majestic elephants and living amongst the beautiful people that call this place home. Help out with micro development projects which benefit not only the welfare of the elephants but also the local communities that protect them.

After five days here, waving goodbye to your new-found friends you'll head over the border to Cambodia and on to the chilled-out city of Siem Reap. Here you'll get to work with NGOs at various community projects as well as experience the awesome temples of Angkor Wat.

*Tours for 18 and over or 50+ are available.

Highlights
  • Guided city tour of Bangkok's best landmarks
  • Spend time with the magnificent Elephants of Surin
  • Give back in the rural villages of Siem Reap on one of our amazing projects
  • Experience a traditional Thai home stay in the Elephant Village
  • Taste authentic Thai and Khmer cuisine

Questions & Answers

Reviews

6 Rating
based on 3 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 33.33%
  • 7-8 rating 33.33%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 33.33%
  • Impact 8
  • Support 6
  • Fun 8
  • Value 8
  • Safety 8.7
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
Default avatar
Cherokee
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I Did the Volunteering Tour with Elephants in Discover Thailand

Thailand was fun but in all honesty the elephant experience was why I signed up in the first place. The so called "Sanctuary" was not at all like I had hoped for. Don't get me wrong it was nice to touch an elephant and rub mud on them but the way these animals truly live behind the scenes was unfortunate to see firsthand to say the least. The four elephants residing at Hug "Sanctuary" were all tied to trees most the time when visitors were not on the agenda. Not to mention they ALL had chain collars! Mae Ban even broke off her chain when she was tied to the tree as we were cleaning up around her! Their enclosure was less than an acre when the vicinity itself had over 20 acres of cornfield. We passed more elephant friendly sanctuaries along the same mountain, ones with big open enclosures where the elephants roamed freely without collars. I witnessed the mahouts kicking and slapping our elephants to get them to obey commands. All in all what I expected to be a heart-warming experience turned into a heart-wrenching one. In which it left me wondering why I had bothered to support a place like this in the first place. I guess you truly don't know until you get there because the company makes it look so "Ethical" on the famous World Wide Web. I wrote a comment on BAMBOOs Instagram post on February 14th about my experience and they decided to delete it which I Find even more SHADY. Don't support this elephant experience and do research for REAL SANCTUARIES in Thailand.

What would you improve about this program?
Support more "Ethical" Elephant Sanctuaries in Thailand. Ones with BIG enclosures along with collar free vicinities!!
Default avatar
Jean
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Elephants and kids

I can't tell you how wonderful the experience was for me and at 72 wasa little nervous. I needn't have been as our guides in both countries were exceptional.We saw so much of the elephants feeding washing walking with them. In Cambodia the children were beautiful souls, eager to learn
Included was Angkor Wat such a bonus !!! We went also to Ton le sap lake to the floating village too. Everything was amazing and will live with me forever. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The Elephants very mischievous and grab the bananas. Building for the community meant that gradually all had homes. Angkor Wat was amazing with tuctucs everywhere
Monkeys ran freely around some with their babies
Pub Street I'm Siem Reap is a must. Tonlesap lake is the largest in SE Asia.

What was your funniest moment?
Our American lady preparing for a hurricane. Mattresses up at windows in a storm
We watched the storm but she had upturned her suitcase and held it over her head to protect her from falling walls and debris which never happened...she was certainly prepared for death..We couldn't stop laughing at the preparations she made. We Brits don't have hurricanes so to us it was just a bad storm .!!!
Default avatar
jan
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Badly organised - in Thailand. Cambodia excellent

The Bamboo organisation was terrible in Bangkok. The saving factor was the elephant encounter which was amazing and the actual tour guide who was a freelancer. All aspects of hotels, travel and meals provided changed on an hourly basis. First being dumped in a strange country and left to find a hotel with only the name and that was no longer the hotel who's info you had been given. A 2nd day travel departure changing, meet time at 8 pm the first evening informing you that the following day you were not leaving at 6.30 am but 2.30 am (result no sleep)Things just got worse from then on when it came to arrangements. No help from management just a threat of how you could be thrown off the tour if you complained. Elephant encounter made things a lot better because this was EXCELLENT. Left out of pocket having to pay for meals and transport that were suppose to be provided .
Cambodia was a complete contrast, well run and amazing hotel. Odd that this part of the trip has changed after we left and they will not be using these staff and this hotel in future (do not understand why, were they too well run and thus not providing as much profit for the company - purely my interpretation of the reason)

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
Would and in fact WILL use a different operator.