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11. Posted by murphc09 (Budding Member 57 posts) 7y

Am I missing something? Is there a problem with these local tours?

Perhaps I'm being naive, I thought All tours/ treks would be ecologically and socially conscious to a reasonable standard? IE - cleaning up after yourself, treating the locals with respect, recycling plastic/paper after use, limiting the use of water etc.

Is this not the case?

I've heard stories of The elephants and other animals being abused and this was something I was going to take into consideration, perhaps there's more to think about other than cost and quality.

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Mar-2009, at 09:58 by murphc09 ]

12. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1652 posts) 7y

Quoting murphc09

Am I missing something? Is there a problem with these local tours?

Perhaps I'm being naive, I thought All tours/ treks would be ecologically and socially conscious to a reasonable standard? IE - cleaning up after yourself, treating the locals with respect, recycling plastic/paper after use, limiting the use of water etc.

Is this not the case?

I've heard stories of The elephants and other animals being abused and this was something I was going to take into consideration, perhaps there's more to think about other than cost and quality.

Millions and millions of tourists have taken tours all over Thailand. Just find a tour or trek you like and enjoy yourself. The fee you pay for your tour helps maintain the parks, historic sites and other natural attractions.

Enjoy your trip.

13. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 7y

missing something??

In order to entertain the tourists, Thailand is capable of some enormous travesties regarding both wildlife care and conservation and protection of the environment.

Tramping through jungle may be fun but just taking your litter back is not the point. Unplanned access does all sorts of damage to the environment e.g. destruction of flora and disruption of wildlife. A footpath through the undergrowth is a huge barrier to some animals, so without due planning and consideration the indiscriminate tramping through jungle or any other eco-system can be very damaging. Anyone who has been to Australia will have seen how public access to wild places is planned, thought out and includes such devices as raised walk ways, education centres etc – in Thailand the businesses – very few owned by locals,BTW – are just allowed to get on with it.

The environmental and conservation issues are hardly touched upon by tour firms – even if they knew anything about them in the first place.

The abuse of animals in the cause of the tourist dollar has been repeatedly catalogued both here and in the world press

14. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1652 posts) 7y

Quoting wildfk

missing something??

In order to entertain the tourists, Thailand is capable of some enormous travesties regarding both wildlife care and conservation and protection of the environment.

Tramping through jungle may be fun but just taking your litter back is not the point. Unplanned access does all sorts of damage to the environment e.g. destruction of flora and disruption of wildlife. A footpath through the undergrowth is a huge barrier to some animals, so without due planning and consideration the indiscriminate tramping through jungle or any other eco-system can be very damaging. Anyone who has been to Australia will have seen how public access to wild places is planned, thought out and includes such devices as raised walk ways, education centres etc – in Thailand the businesses – very few owned by locals,BTW – are just allowed to get on with it.

The environmental and conservation issues are hardly touched upon by tour firms – even if they knew anything about them in the first place.

The abuse of animals in the cause of the tourist dollar has been repeatedly catalogued both here and in the world press

What right do foreigners have to tell Thailand how to run their treks and tours? It's nice that a rich country like Australia has the money to make tours to the "wild places" in such a way to minimize their impact on the land. But even in Australia everything has not been perfect, just ask the indigenous people, the aborigines.

In Thailand many of the villagers are just happy to make their lives a little easier by making enough money to bring running water and electricity to their homes! If building roads and other amenities to bring rich tourists into the jungle or woodlands improves their lot in life that is what they must do! Being able to pay for the education of their children may help Thailand in the future.

It's easy for foreigners sitting in their air conditioned apartments and hotels with hot water, indoor flush toilets and cable TV to pontificate on how someone else should act or function. If it was up to many environmentalists and "eco extremists" they would be happy to have the farmers toiling away in "traditional ways" for 12 hours a day just to put food on their tables because this is the "real Thailand!" Even a farmer wants a better life for himself and his family, tourism brings in money and opportunity! Poorer countries do the best they can with the money they have available.

Why would anyone think that things would be better without any tourism in these areas? The people who criticize how the tours and treks are run and tourism in general live in fancy houses in their own countries with all the amenities of a modern civilization but expect that other countries maintain a stone age type life style.

Millions and millions of people have been happy with the tours and treks they get in Thailand even if they are not perfect!

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2009, at 20:05 by karazyal ]

15. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 7y

As this is a site where we hope people will gain information from the experience of others, it is very sad to see such a myopic point of view coming from someone who should know more about living and visiting a foreign country – if he had learned anything from experience there.

“What right”

– EVERY right!
Whether they like it or not, Thailand is part of planet earth – everything they do here not only affects the population of Thailand but the rest of us. Pollution and oppression are issues that affect us all.

Furthermore WE are the customers and we have a right to demand fair and honest practices wherever we spend our money and a right to know the truth about whatever activities we engage in.

“In Thailand many of the villagers are just happy to make their lives a little easier......”

The idea that building concrete resorts or taking unsuspecting foreigners through a patch of jungle gives money to locals is usually a total fabrication. The people who make money are the people with the money in the first place – locals are displaced and defrauded of any real sustainable income.

Furthermore damage to the local flora and fauna results in depleted resources for that local and in the end destroys the communities rather than brings any improvements to their lifestyle whether in bathrooms ,cash or a sustainable lifestyle.

“Why would anyone think that things would be better without any tourism in these areas?”

– this underlines the poster’s total lack of understanding of the issues – no-one has suggested that tourism should be stopped – what is sought after is well-managed, sustainable tourism that respects both the environment and the future of the local population.

“stone-age”

- Well, the use of the word is yet another indication that the poster really hasn’t any knowledge of the local lifestyles encountered in the more rural areas of Thailand.

As for the concept that eco-tourism “costs more” or that it is only for rich countries – well the opposite is true – eco-tourism ensures that rewards – financial or otherwise go to the people who use and live in those areas – wildlife as well – unrestricted tourism makes money for the rich – i.e. tour companies abroad who take money before it even enters Thailand – unscrupulous developers from Bangkok and the other big cities – who care little for the survival of either local people or wildlife so long as they get a quick return for their money. Then, having done so and the areas are spent out, they move o to spoil another patch of thousand year old rain forest.

“Millions and millions of people have been happy with the tours and treks they get in Thailand” – an exaggerated figure – thank god!

Millions and millions of people are happy with smoking – that doesn’t make it good or right.

16. Posted by 7055 (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

Thailand, in the past few decades, has a built up a huge tourist infrastructure. Honestly, doing anything is no challenge at all since most transportation and onward accommodation can be booked in hotels/hostels and so forth. I really doubt you'll need a tour, just airfares and guide book. Thailand is also safe so long as common sense is exercised, booze + mopeds and drunken western tourists are avoided.

17. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 7y

What do you mean by "infrastructure"?

One of Thailand's problems is that a lot of the "infrastructure" is piecemeal and higgle-di-piggledy - and very unstable.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Mar-2009, at 01:27 by wildfk ]

18. Posted by 7055 (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

Very unstable? I was there for a month and the only hassle was the train to Cambodia was 3 hours late. You can catch flights around the Country by safe, internationally recognized airlines, most of the country is covered by decent highways that make road travel reasonably safe and even the boat links between the Islands are relatively sufficient.

When I mention 'infrastructure', specifically for tourism, I mean you can stay in one guesthouse, book transport via bus/plane/mini-van, have someone pick you directly to from the hostel/hotel and then basically drop you off at another hotel in a different location.

Unstable and 'higgle-di-piggledy' transport systems are something like you can find in remote parts of China where no one speaks a word of English, there are no airlines, buses turn up several hours late only to be completely full - if they turn up at all, 'roads' are literally sliding off the mountain, people bring decapitated yaks on the bus and so forth.

[ Edit: Edited on 18-Mar-2009, at 03:29 by 7055 ]

19. Posted by 7055 (Budding Member 28 posts) 7y

PS for the Original Poster -

For £750, if you were resourceful, you could pretty much well travel Thailand for month and still have plenty left for drinking.

20. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1652 posts) 7y

Quoting wildfk

As this is a site where we hope people will gain information from the experience of others, it is very sad to see such a myopic point of view coming from someone who should know more about living and visiting a foreign country – if he had learned anything from experience there.

“What right”

– EVERY right!
Whether they like it or not, Thailand is part of planet earth – everything they do here not only affects the population of Thailand but the rest of us. Pollution and oppression are issues that affect us all.

Furthermore WE are the customers and we have a right to demand fair and honest practices wherever we spend our money and a right to know the truth about whatever activities we engage in.

“In Thailand many of the villagers are just happy to make their lives a little easier......”

The idea that building concrete resorts or taking unsuspecting foreigners through a patch of jungle gives money to locals is usually a total fabrication. The people who make money are the people with the money in the first place – locals are displaced and defrauded of any real sustainable income.

Furthermore damage to the local flora and fauna results in depleted resources for that local and in the end destroys the communities rather than brings any improvements to their lifestyle whether in bathrooms ,cash or a sustainable lifestyle.

“Why would anyone think that things would be better without any tourism in these areas?”

– this underlines the poster’s total lack of understanding of the issues – no-one has suggested that tourism should be stopped – what is sought after is well-managed, sustainable tourism that respects both the environment and the future of the local population.

“stone-age”

- Well, the use of the word is yet another indication that the poster really hasn’t any knowledge of the local lifestyles encountered in the more rural areas of Thailand.

As for the concept that eco-tourism “costs more” or that it is only for rich countries – well the opposite is true – eco-tourism ensures that rewards – financial or otherwise go to the people who use and live in those areas – wildlife as well – unrestricted tourism makes money for the rich – i.e. tour companies abroad who take money before it even enters Thailand – unscrupulous developers from Bangkok and the other big cities – who care little for the survival of either local people or wildlife so long as they get a quick return for their money. Then, having done so and the areas are spent out, they move o to spoil another patch of thousand year old rain forest.

“Millions and millions of people have been happy with the tours and treks they get in Thailand” – an exaggerated figure – thank god!

Millions and millions of people are happy with smoking – that doesn’t make it good or right.

Why is it "Environmental/Eco fanatics" always resort to personal attacks? It is always their way or the highway!

Rich foreigners (all tourists going to Thailand are rich compared to most Thai citizens) telling Thai people how to run their tours and treks is another form of racist superiority or "eco terrorism!" Keeping the poor poor so it is "better for the environment" is not the way to go!

Millions and millions of tourists have gone on tours and treks in Thailand and have been very satisfied. Take a tour, go on a trek and see Thailand.

Have a nice time!