Thailand jungleIn order to preserve our environment and natural resources especially the forests and wildlife and to ensure that the beauty of nature stays with us forever, good trekkers should observe the following:
  1. Do not throw away anything that can start a fire, such as cigarette ends.  After cooking, make sure that the fire properly extinguished.
  2. Do not cut, pick out or destroy any tree, leaf or flower.
  3. Do not take anything belonging to the forest out of the forest.
  4. Do not hunt any wildlife.
  5. Do not break the limestone or draw anything on the walls of caves.
  6. Do not drop or leave any litter.
  7. Do not make loud noises in the forest such as gunfire, fireworks, or loud music.
Thailand James Bond IslandGENERAL ADVICE FOR TREKKING
  1. Check your physical fitness whether or not your health is good enough for the trek.  This kind of journey is not recommended for the unhealthy or frail, pregnant women, infants and the elderly.
  2. It is advisable not to the trek on your own.  Without a tourist guide you could lose your way and be unable to communicate with local people.
  3. Only necessary items of clothing, a flashlight, camera, water bottle and medicine should be brought along.  Valuables such as important documents, passport, developed film, etc. should be left with the hotel you stay.
  4. Foreign tourists should bring along a photocopy of their passport.
  5. Clothes for trekking should be light and strong.  It should be able to protect you from poisonous plants or animals.  Do wear dress appropriate for the weather.
  6. Listen to and follow the tourist guide’s advice.
  7. Request Thai law and local customs.  For example, not bathing naked or even wearing swimming suit or trunk in public, not engaging in promiscuous sex and not using any addictive drugs.
  8. Follow only the recommended route.  Do not go off alone because it is easy to lose your way and have an accident.
  9. Be aware and have a sense of belonging to our natural surroundings by helping to preserve and not damage the environment.
Thailand Koh Chang%20elephant%20rideADVICE FOR ELEPHANT RIDING For many visitors elephant riding is a new and exciting experience.  In order to make your riding safe and enjoyable you should do as follows:
  1. Obey the mahout’s directions.
  2. Do not ride an elephant on your own.
  3. Wear light and comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, sunglasses and a hat.
  4. Sometimes tourists have trouble maintaining their balance on the back of the elephant when riding so it is advisable not to be too excited.  Just relax and make yourself as comfortable as you can with the rhythm of the elephant’s steps, and please hold on to the safety rope or the cord prepared on the back of the elephants.
  5. It’s not advisable to ride on the elephant’s neck.
  6. Making loud noises will make the elephant frightened and mad.
  7. People with a fear of high or who suffer from vertigo should not go elephant riding.
  8. Get on or off the elephant only at the places provided and do follow the mahout’s directions.
  9. Do not feet, or take a photos of the elephants except when they are in the control of the mahout.  Never ever tease the animals.
Thailand BambooADVICE FOR RAFTING Rafting is an exciting and enjoyable activity.  For your safety please do as the following:
  1. Do not go rafting on your own.  Obey the raftmans’ directions.
  2. Do not go rafting when there is heavy rain or serious flooding.
  3. If there is an accident or the raft is broken, find the nearest safe place as quickly as possible and wait for help to arrive.
  4. Clothes for rafting should be light and comfortable.  Do wear a lifejacket.
  5. Use a plastic bag to keep valuables from getting wet.
“DOS” AND “DON’TS” WHILE STAYING IN HILLTRIBE VILLAGES There are 6 principal hilltribes in Thailand: Karen, Hmong (Meo), Ya, Lahu (Muser0, Lisu (Lisaw) and Akha.  Other smaller tribes are Lawa, Khmu, Mlabri, Palong etc.Each tribe has its own customs and beliefs.  Therefore it is necessary for tourists to familiarize themselves firstly with each tribe’s customs and the “dos” and “don’ts” before exploring the community.  The following advice is vital when entering a hilltribe village.
  1. Do not enter or knock at any hilltribe people’s door which as a fresh branch of a tree hanging in front of the house.  This is a sign that the house is in the middle of having a significant ceremony such as giving birth to a new born baby or offering food to their guardian spirits.
  2. Do not touch the sacred objects of the village or the holy objects in the hilltribe peoples’ houses.  Examples are the village gate, the giant ceremonial swing and the Akha’s male and female dolls.  Do not touch the spirit house of the village or the spirit shelf in the village.
  3. Do not show affection between male and female in public.  Most important, do not commit any sexual harassment towards the village girl.
  4. Do not go naked or wear swimming suit while having a bath or swimming in public.  You should decently dressed even while sleeping.
  5. Ask for permission before taking any photos of people, places of worship or ceremonies.
  6. If tourists violate the tribe’s rules it is customary for the tourist to pay a fine for their doing wrong against the tribal spirits.
  7. One important thing you should avoid is using narcotics in the hilltribe village.  It is not only harmful but also unlawful.
  8. If you would like to donate something, you should avoid assistance to individual hilltribe people.  The help should be for the whole community such as donating medicine, money for the village fund or educational material for the school.
For more details concerning the hilltribes’ traditions, rules and festivals, please contact the Hilltribe Research Institute at Chiang Mai University.  Office hours are from 08:30 a.m. to 14:40 p.m., Monday – Friday, tel. & fax. 053-221933.