We took a rikshaw from the Pinnawala junction of Colombo-Kandy road to the Elephant Orphanage (for LKR 100). The young Tuk-Tuk driver found us an easy target and took us to a fake place! He was not that wrong in assessing poor us!! He also remained around to make sure that we buy the expensive, LKR 6500, entrance ticket to get into the trap.
Luckily, I didn't have that much of local currency for 3 of us and only then I realized that there was something fishy.
A little interrogation revealed the fact and we just did away with the most horrible trap we ever faced.
Unique Suggestions: Insist your guide to take you to the Orphanage and stay clear of all those Safaris around. Don't even hesitate to be clear and loud if your guide/driver is pushy. Note that the public orphanage doesn't offer Elephant rides while all those private traps advertise to capitalize on this.
Fun Alternatives: Only go to the original place which clearly mentions 'Orphanage' at the entrance, to have an authentic experience.
you should must see activity
the elephant bath
making of elephant poo paper factory (just opposite to the entrance of the pinnawala elephant orphange.
the hotel was amazing (hotel elephant bay)
fantastic activity in pinnawala
Of course, there are busloads of tourists here and you are not alone. I suggest that you just ignore all the other tourists and enjoy the experience with your favourite big five!