How to Travel Responsibly in Phuket
When many people think of Phuket, they think of sun, beaches, and mass tourism. As home to some of the world’s finest beaches, Phuket has won the reputation as being the St. Tropez of Asia, as it attracts the good, the bad, and the ugly of tourism. Fortunately, ethical tourism is on the rise in Thailand, and Phuket is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a complete eco-tourism experience, to interact more ethically with the elephants, or simply to support local initiatives, Phuket offers something for everyone.
Riding an elephant through a Thai jungle might be on your bucket list, but have you ever thought what the elephant’s experience is like? Many visitors to Thailand worry about the welfare of these gentle giants, and thankfully, there are organizations like Siam Safari that make it easy for you to interact with them in a more ethical way. Siam Safari has been around for 25 years doing their bit to keep up the elephants’ habitat and make sure the elephants are safe from harm. It’s the only Thai government-certified elephant camp in the region, and it also supports rural schools and orphanages.
When choosing to travel responsibly, the first thing you should make sure of is that your hotel takes the idea of sustainable travel seriously. This IHG hotel has not only incorporated an environmentally friendly concept into its design, it has also implemented many green initiatives in recent years, including the Green Engage system, a way for the hotel to measure how much energy, carbon, and water it uses daily.
Take A Dive
It’s no secret that the Andaman coast has some of the finest diving in the world. Underwater vistas of the Surin Islands or Richelieu Rock make diving around Phuket an unforgettable experience. One dive operator who is doing its best to support sustainable tourism is Blue Guru Diving. They run project PADI whose aim is to raise awareness of the dangers that marine life faces and come up with possible solutions. Blue Guru Diving also runs rainforest trekking, mangrove boat trips, and village tours, all of which hire locals.
Tantalize Your Tastebuds
One of the main reasons people visit Thailand is the food, and if there’s one thing better than eating it, it is cooking it. Where better to learn than in Phuket itself? There are plenty of local schools, like the Organic Thai Cooking School, that hires the best local chefs to guide you through how to perfect your Pad Thai or coconut and lime curry using fresh locally sourced organic ingredients. Classes have only a few participants. It is a fantastic way to support a local business, and treat yourself to a sumptuous feast as well.
Now you know where to go to get a more authentic experience of Phuket, consider booking a room at one of InterContinental Hotels Group’s many properties in Phuket, and enjoy your stay.
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