concerns and responsible tourism
live in Phuket,
Thailand and we are all live-long nature and animal
lovers. This is a well established world-class
vacation destination. But, there is trouble
in this paradise. The cause - it's gotten out
of hand. Too many consumers are finite resources
is the underlying problem.
government is faced with a very tough job. On
the one hand, the economy is driven in large part
by the tourism industry. On the other hand,
most of what is going on currently is not sustainable.
say that PaddleAsia does
no harm to the environment would be inaccurate.
Fossil fuels are used to get here and they are used
to access specific destinations once our guests arrive.
The food packaging for the most part here is not exactly
recyclable. What can we do?
We can minimize our impact by thinking about every
facet of our stay.
can make choices when visiting destinations, going
on tours, when shopping, and when eating. The
aim is to do as little harm as possible.
travelers please do research first!
tourists don't seem to investigate
what harms the area they're visiting. Did you
know that prawn farms are responsible for the destruction
of enormous areas of mangrove? Do you know that
forest is a key link in the
ocean eco system? In fact, it is the nursery
for the ocean and that many species are directly tied
to this very important part of the chain of life?
about eating seafood? We're
not about to tell you not to eat seafood. But,
the fishing industry is at fault for most of the coral
reef destruction as well and the physical pollution
of the seas and beaches. If you want to eat seafood,
try eating fish that didn't come directly from the
coral reefs or protected areas.
are often paraded at night through touristy
areas. White-bellied Sea Eagles, Iguanas (not
indigenous to this continent), large Reticulated Pythons,
baby elephants and other unfortunate living things
are drugged to keep them docile so their owners can
con tourists into getting their pictures taken with
their "merchandise." In the past,
not so much these days, even gibbons were stuck in
bars or paraded around town. The only way
to get a baby gibbon is to shoot it and the mother
out of the tree. If the baby survives the
fall, it is doomed to a life of being hassled, taunted,
being in the international endangered species list,
vendor did this openly. Besides the humanitarian aspect
of this trade, it is illegal under international and
Thai law to have these animals.
Trekking: What you Might Not know
way elephants are taught to accept people riding on
their back is by beating them and thus killing their
you really care about the elephants, first make a
visit to one of the few elephant centers who don't
do elephant shows or treks like the Elephant
Nature Park north from Chiang Mai,
and only afterwards make up your own mind about doing
an elephant trek or not. You can read an insightful
article about riding
elephants. In this article,
it says, “Thailand is ranked second for the
world’s worst countries for animal cruelty.”
more info on the National
Geographic news site. Here's another
article about how elephants
are tortured in Thailand.
Here's a YouTube video proving how
elephants are often 'trained'.
Warning, this is very disturbing.
From the World
Wildlife Fund: Myanmar hot
spot for elephant smuggling and ivory “Females
and juvenile elephants are particularly targeted to
supply the demand from the tourism industry in
Thailand, where they are put to work in elephant
trekking centres,” said Shepherd. “Our
research found evidence of corruption allowing the
illicit smuggling of ivory and elephants to take place.”
information is not meant to sound like Thais are exceptionally
cruel to all animals. Intentional cruelty to animals
is a sure indication of sociopathic behavior no matter
what the race or nationality of the perpetrator.
don't have all the answers, but what I do know is
the method used in Thailand (perhaps not by everyone)
to 'train' the elephants is beating them, sleep deprevation
and other nasty acts. From what I've personally witnessed,
this appears to be used in Phuket at least. From what
I read online, this appears to be the method most
would happen if no one rides them?
they could be retired to one of the parks/operations
that simply take care of them and don't exploit them
for $$. From what I've heard, Thai Elephant Conservation
Center in Lampang, does a good job of taking care
of the animals.
could be released back into the wild. "In a bid
to reverse the precipitous decline of elephants in
the wild, Thailand's Queen Sirikit has encouraged
an experiment to release some from the royal household.
The results could be significant for other parts of
the world with plummeting elephant populations, writes
Leyla Alyanak." from satyamag.com
Post: "Theerachon added that Ayutthaya's
Wang Chang elephant camp and Pattaya's Suan Nong Nuch
park have offered to buy elephants and hire their
mahouts, while the Elephant Reintroduction Foundation
has said it will pay Bt500,000Bt1 million for any
elephant whose mahout can not afford to keep it."
take a look at this
here to read about the animal cruelty at the Tiger
Temple in Kanchanaburi
Goal as a Responsible Tour Operator
goal is to educate and change hearts.
We don't do this by force or preaching. We do
it simply by showing you the wonders that exist in
this still amazing tropical holiday destination.
will feel the pulse of the natural world as you paddle
through the timeless beauty of Phang Nga Bay, the
islands of Phang Nga Bay, Tarutao National Park, or
Khao Sok National Park. Though these are popular
vacation destinations, we can show you each place
without the crowds... that's our specialty.
also fully support positive programs such as the Ecotourism
Training Center and the Ko
Yao Noi Homestay Project.
in National Geographic's opinion "Phuket's
original charm as an astonishingly beautiful, unspoiled,
and culturally rich destination has been completely