Conservation: On this trip, there is the chance to visit the Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai to help provide some awareness of work being done with Asian elephants in Thailand. The park is an elephant rescue and rehabilitation centre in Northern Thailand where you can volunteer and visit to help. The park has been involved in dozens of rescues which have allowed a herd of elephants to thrive. The park also provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffaloes and many other animals under their care and engages with local communities, educating them on animal welfare. Purchasing souvenirs here, making a donation or by merely learning about this issue, our business is very beneficial for these gentle giants.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation & Meals: Our hotels are locally owned and locally staffed and we try on this tour to spread our commerce to a variety of places so that several communities benefit. We include a night in a hill tribe village house in Chiang Dao, where villagers are employed as porters and chefs and receive accommodation. All breakfasts are provided, but where meals are not included, your tour leader will be happy to recommend the best local restaurants and some authentic, traditional dishes. This is a great way to ensure that smaller businesses profit from our commerce and also to give travellers a real taste of the country. There is even the opportunity to learn how to cook your own 'gaeng keow wahn' or green coconut curry on in Chiang Mai!
Local Craft & Culture: We are dedicated to supporting local communities and the continuation of the craftsmanship and traditional ways of life that make Thailandís culture so rich and exciting. For example, when we pass through Lahu, Lisu and Karen village, we will see the different customs, dress and languages of these groups and have the opportunity to purchase handmade crafts and clothing. This provides these communities with an avenue to share their long and proud history of culture with younger members of the community and outsiders whilst stabilising income generation. Guides will be able to advise on which products to avoid when shopping e.g. unapproved homemade alcohol and anything sold by children.
A Fair Deal: We work closely with our local operator and ensure that all of our guides are local and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. Our leaders and guides have been trained in responsible travel and actively encourage our suppliers, drivers, and other members of our team to respect the environment, protect the culture and support the local economy. They have also completed Child Safe training which enables them to take positive action should they encounter children at risk as well as educating clients re child protection within tourism.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 18 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.