All aboard the elephant for a trek through the forest
Elephant conservation has become extremely important in
recent years, especially with the traditional habitat of these great gentle
beasts decreasing, along with their usual logging work in the northern
provinces. One of the sadder sights in Thailand is an elephant trudging
along a city road as a tourist attraction, risking damage to its feet or
injury from passing vehicles, because its owner can no longer make money
from logging or clearance projects.
take a relaxing elephant trek through the jungle of the Elephant Village.
Elephant Village in Pattaya was set up by its owner
Pairat Chaiyakham so that as many elephants as he could accommodate would be
safe and looked after, and where visitors could see them in a natural
habitat. Pairat also provides housing for the elephant’s mahout, and his
family if necessary, saying that a wife can use the land to grow vegetables,
or take in work such as silk weaving, which would help increase the family
Visitors to the Elephant Village, which has become firmly
established as a tourist attraction, learn the basic commands that a mahout
will give to guide the beasts, for there is a common language, known as
Suay, that handlers share. “Pia” means go, and “hao” means stop.
They learn that when a new young elephant is being trained, the mahout will
not bathe for a week, so that the beast will remember his body odor. After
that, the relationship will be a long and enduring one.
Visitors are invited to climb aboard and enjoy a trek
through the woodlands surrounding the village, fording a stream and passing
through banana and pineapple plantations. The guides will point out certain
plants along the way. “Look kling klang dong” is a kind of fruit for
doping the elephant when it needs medical or other attention. For human use,
a plant of the family Urticaceae is used to clean the teeth, while the
Artocarpus trunk makes a musical instrument and its root is used as a
prescription for curing a headache.
return to the village by ox cart.
At the end of the tour the guide kindly requests the
tourists not to feed any elephants when they are seen on the roads. Marching
elephants through city streets is against the law now, the guide says, and
it should be discouraged.
Visitors interested in trekking and seeing an elephant in its natural
habitat should log on to www.elephant-village-pattaya.com or tel 038 249
818, 249 853.
British Airways Supports
This year, on the 5th - 11th of September at the Development and
Resources Division (formerly known as 16th Infantry Division or Som Dej Pra
Suriyothai Military Camp) on the southern outskirts of Hua Hin, British
Airways sponsored the “British Airways Army Team” from England to
compete with other domestic and international teams at the 5th King’s Cup
Elephant Polo Tournament. The event was hosted by Anantara Resorts &
Spas and is supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. All spectators
were allowed to view the event free of charge.
Funds raised from the 5th King’s Cup Elephant Polo
Tournament will be donated to the National Elephant Institute. These funds
provide medical care, sustenance, employment, welfare and mahout training to
Thailand’s elephant population.
Hataiporn Suwanmethajarn (3rd from left), marketing &
distribution manager of Qantas/British Airways together with the airline
staff is seen with Juthaporn Rerngron-asa, deputy governor for Domestic
Markets of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Christopher Stafford, vice
president of Anantara Resort & Spas.
Tsunami-hit provinces to be developed as world-class ‘Andaman Paradise’
Thailand will develop its three tsunami-hit provinces -
Phuket, Phang-nga and Krabi - as the ‘Andaman Paradise’, a world-class
marine tourism hub.
The plan, called “The Strategy on Developing the
Andaman Triangle,” was approved by the cabinet when it met in Phang-nga
recently. Under the strategy, Phuket will revive its globally distinctive
status as the ‘Pearl of the Andamans’, while Phang-nga, especially its
Surin and Similan Islands, along with Krabi, will be developed as naturally
tranquil eco-tourism centers.
In 2004, about 9.5 million tourists visited the
provinces, or 52 percent of the total tourist arrivals in the kingdom’s
entire southern region. 67 percent of those tourists were foreign visitors,
according to official figures released by the cabinet. The provinces
normally earn the nation more than Bt.100 billion (US$2.5 billion) in annual
The cabinet also resolved that the construction of 62
disaster warning centers be completed by December 26 to commemorate last
year’s tsunami disaster, with events and activities to be organized for
Surviving tsunami victims, both Thais and foreigners, as
well as relatives of those killed in the giant waves, will be invited to
join the commemoration, with all costs to be borne by the Thai government.
The cabinet also approved a plan to build a ‘Tsunami
Museum’ and the permanent closure of the tsunami victims’ identification
center, headed by Pol. Gen. Nopadol Somboonsub, as Pol. Gen. Nopadol retires
at the end of September. The Ministry of Justice was assigned to continue
the work of the center at another site.
The cabinet also reviewed assistance plans for tsunami
victims, including children orphaned by the disaster and those who were
mentally or physically affected by the tsunami. Agencies concerned have been
asked to accelerate pending assistance, including construction and repair of
houses for victims, as well as providing loans to local businesses.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also instructed the
Bureau of National Buddhism to repair local temples damaged by the tsunami.
Phuket to build more warning towers
Thailand’s southern resort province of Phuket will
spend Bt.14 million for the construction of another nine warning towers
before the start of the coming high season for tourism in November.
Phuket Govenor Udomsak Assawarangkura signed a contract
with a private company on Wednesday to install warning systems at the nine
additional locations in Phuket, with a budget of Bt 14.65 million (about US$
The installation will be finished in the next two months,
just ready in time for the high season that brings thousands of tourists
from around world to Phuket’s beaches, the governor said.
The warning towers will help boost tourists’
confidence, he said. With additional warning towers, the early warning
system will cover all areas of the resort island. There will also be
observation towers manned with lifeguards to help rescue tourists on beaches
in case of accidents. (TNA)
Amari Watergate supports rehabilitation of disabled children
Andre Pelletier (3rd right) presents the cheque to Khunying Sarassanun (3rd
left), as Rossukon Pookleang (left), Gen. Wanchai Ruengtrakul (2nd left),
Manit Nivessilp (2nd right), representing the artists, and Nichaya
Chaivisuth (right), director of public relations of the hotel look on.
Khunying Sarassanun and Gen.
Wanchai Ruengtrakul, president of Foundation for Assistance and
Rehabilitation of Disabled Children, recently received a donation cheque
from Pierre Andre Pelletier, general manager of the Amari Watergate Hotel.
The funds came from a charity art exhibition titled “Sanam Luang” which
was organized at the hotel. Hilight group, led by artist Manit Nivessilp,
painted the artwork
Newly appointed management team members of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand
Haydee Cruz is now the group director of sales of
Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand, and will responsible for overseeing
all sales activities for the Marriott Resorts & Spas, Bangkok, Hua Hin,
and Pattaya. Prior to this appointment Haydee was director of sales &
marketing at JW Marriott Hotel Caracas, Venezuela. Haydee has worked for
Marriott International in Quito, Ecuador, San Jose, Costa Rica and Santo
Domingo, Dominican Republic
Christina Krause is the new group director of revenue
strategy of Marriott Resorts & Spas, Thailand and Anantara Resorts &
Spas, Asia, and will be responsible for overseeing the revenue management
activities for the Marriott Resorts & Spas, Bangkok, Hua Hin, and
Pattaya. Prior to this appointment Christina was director of revenue
management at Le Meridien Thailand Resorts. Christina has worked for Mayfair
Marriott Executive Apartments Bangkok, JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok and JW
Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa.
Patrick Martinez has been appointed as the new general manager of the Hua
Hin Marriott Resort & Spa. Prior to this appointment Patrick was
resident manager at JW Marriott Bangkok since 2001. A French native,
Martinez has worked for Marriott International for the last 9 years, and has
worked for international hotels such as Hyatt & Intercontinental hotels
in London, France, Monaco, Paris and Dubai. During his previous tenure in JW
Marriott Bangkok, the hotel won many awards from Marriott International.
Martinez is married to Fabienne and has two kids, Marine and Clement.