I am thinking about doing the 3 day mahout course at the Mahout Lodge in Luang Prabang. I woul be interested in anyones experience there. I read the story about Tiger trails elephant experience here on travelfish but the reviews from travelers were not so favorable.
Also, in contacting the lodge they asked for a 50% plus 3% deposit to hold the reservation which is not until next Jan. Is this standard?
and lastly, Any ballpark figures on how much it costs to fly from Hanoi to Luang Prabang?
Thanks for any help/opinions I can get. Aloha!
#1 condrew has been a member since 14/5/2009. Posts: 3
I can't respond to the mahout query, though I suspect you'll find the booking 'fee' is akin to other high-end activities in Laos (I went on the Gibbon Experience, and they wanted full price up front to reserve).
As for air tickets from Hanoi to Luang Prabang, as the route appears only undertaken by Lao or Vietnam Airlines, you'll be paying. A recent thread said:
Thanks brucemoon for your reply. After searching this message board I found the link for flights from Hanoi you mentioned, Thanx.
I have done some more research re: Mahout Lodge and the 3 day mahout course and I have found reviews from other travel sights which were favorable. The one negative response was about waking up too early when it was cold. I am comfortable paying 1/2 up front, for the most part. What's the worst thing that can happen? If it doesn't happen at least we will be in the beautiful Luang Prabang. It's only money and I will watch my card activity closely.
#3 condrew has been a member since 14/5/2009. Posts: 3
We did a single day with Tiger Trails for their elephant trek and loved it... Amazing beasts those elephants ... never knew they had hairy skin!
Anyway Tiger Trails proved to be a professional outfit, good guides with great knowledge of the local area en route to the elephant park.
The bungalows looked nice on the riverside as we went along in a boat - a great location
Cost us about $110 I think for the day, which whilst being the most expensive trip we did whilst in Laos, it was definately worth it.
oh yeah the flights...
tells me the fare for next week is $190 which sounds about right... this is code share with Vietnam Airlines, but sadly their website does not list this route... depending on when you go, you could drop www.ivivu.com a mail and ask them, that will give you a clue and it won't be much cheaper out in Hanoi.
If you are serious about doing a mahout course, I recommend the Elephant Conservation Centre in Sayaboury. Sayaboury is only 3 hours by road now - the road is good and there's now a bridge over the Mekong which makes things even faster. Sayaboury is famed for its tradition of mahouts and elephants, and the ECC do good work.
Hanoi - Luang Prabang is serviced by Lao Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. For Lao Airlines, you can try a local agent on either end and it may be slightly cheaper than what's online. I've noticed for Vietnam Airlines agents rates tend to be the same as online.
#6 SoManyMiles has been a member since 7/2/2014. Posts: 108