Thailand photography tour
US $3050ToUS $3115excluding flights
Description of Thailand photography tour
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Our photography tours are limited to a maximum of 10 persons. The tour will be accompanied by a professional travel photographer experienced in the region as well as by licensed, local guides. Small group sizes are less intrusive to local cultures and environments, allow more interaction with local people, greater flexibility and easier one on one assistance and advice. For solo travelers a single room is automatically included with no surcharge. Please note that friends and partners of a non-photographic bent are more than welcome and also fully catered for.
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PlanetOur Thailand photography tour, Images of Thailand, is designed as a small group, low-key tour to off the beaten path areas of Thailand and is fully accompanied by licensed local guides.
We combine some of the well-known tourist sites with many rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited. Furthermore, we attempt to highlight local industries and activities specific to these non-touristic areas. On this particular tour such destinations include a stay in Amphawa, Samut Songkram Province, where we visit local industries such as palm sugar and sea salt manufacturing, Suphanburi Town with a guided tour of the local markets and Uthai Thani where we stay in home-stay style accommodation and discover the (increasingly rare) traditional life-styles of the residents of floating raft houses.
Further north, we include stays in out of the way sites such as Mae Salong and Tha Ton while our visits to more classic tourist destinations such as Sukhothai and Chiang Mai also include an emphasis on local markets, street-life and contact with local communities.
By limiting groups to genuinely small sizes (maximum 10 persons) we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely ‘local’ operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.
This also facilitates local guides in providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited.
All guides and ground staff are fully trained. Licensed and local residents.
During the Thailand tour passengers are encouraged to make purchases, such as from the village shops and from individual crafts-people specifically, in this instance, embroidery from the women of hill-tribe villages. We then employ villagers to guide us through the jungle, further enhancing the benefit for the village as well as helping us to build up respectful and trusting relationships with the villagers. During an unusually cold winter last year we donated warm clothes and blankets to the village.
We also use local restaurants for meals and where possible stay at smaller, privately owned accommodation.
Although geographical remoteness prevents us from including it in this itinerary, we have also founded a scheme to support and fund a primary school for hill-tribe and refugee children in the border town of Thoed Thai, Chiang Rai Province. The school or educational day care center, takes care of local kids allowing parents to go out to work in this economically deprived area. Organised by our Thai office, with donations from customers, we have provided bedding, mosquito nets, warm clothes for winter as well as sports and educational equipment. (We also schedule an annual visit which our customers are able to join.)
PeopleThe tour operator is winner of the 2012 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Nature, Marine and Heritage Tourism, the 2010 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best tour operator for Local Communities and the 2008 Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Excellence Award for Best Specialist Tour Operator.
Our Thailand Manager was the silver medalist in the 2016 World Guide of the Year awards. As a resident of Northern Thailand, she leads many of the Northern Thai tours and delights in showing our guests her country and be warned, her charitable work is infectious.
This particular itinerary begins with a Bangkok tour taking in back streets and local markets as well as the iconic sites and is conducted using only public transport; bus train and boat services. From here we include the provinces of Samut Songkram, Suphanburi, Uthai Thani and Phitsanolok - all well off the regular tourist trail. At every point we stay in locally run accommodation and eat, drink and shop in local markets and cafes.
As well as using local accommodation and eateries in these areas we feel the interest shown by foreign visitors helps create feel-good and pride factors among locals as well as, in a small way, increasing revenue and employment possibilities in otherwise rarely visited destinations.
All staff, including (fully-licensed) guides, tour-leaders, drivers and local guides are Thai citizens and, as mentioned, all accommodation is locally staffed and owned.
Using local cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and shopping in local markets not only helps to spread tourist revenue but we feel provides a more genuine impression for our visitors.
Specific projects supported by this tour include the privately owned Rural Life Museum in Phitsanolok, Lampang’s Elephant Hospital (entirely funded by donations) and the Mae Fah Luang agricultural project and botanical gardens in Chiang Rai, originally established by the Thai royal family to provide alternative incomes to opium poppy cultivation.
Also important is our group size limit of 10 persons without which it would be impossible to use smaller hotels and lodges or local cafes and restaurants as well as making local transport impractical. In addition to practicalities small group sizes also means that it is easier to provide guidance on a group level as well as individually, which is important in terms of ‘dos and don’ts’, local customs and traditions etc as well as providing more in depth local information for our clients. Of course there’s also far less impact with smaller groups when visiting villages and so-on.
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