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Thread: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

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    Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Does anyone have any information and or opinions on this subject?

    Have you been on one of these tours or know anything about the operators? Can you identify any operators who are exceptionally good or bad?

    Do you think this trend in tourism is just another chance to expoit a gap in the market or an honest attempt to preserve Phuket's ecosystem?

    Are you aware of any efforts by the TAT to promote this type of business? Do you think they really give a damn? Or are they lining pockets again?

    Any data or websites you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Good topic, crew. The only known ecotourism promoter in the area is John Gray. He does the boat tours in Krabi, around James Bond Island and into the caves. I just happened to see an episode of Globe Trekker yesterday where part of the trip was in Phuket.

    John Gray had said that there ar wars with gunfights in that area between tour operators and that one of his guys was shot three times. What the Thai loperators do is hire guides who work for free and they rely on tips. One thing that they tell them to do is to break stalactites off from the caves and sell them to the tourists as souvenirs. The "tour operator mafia" will also block other operators from going into the caves unless they pay a bribe.

    This was in the pre-tsunami days, but I haven;t heard anything different now. On the boat trips to Phi Phi, the operators tell the guests to throw their cigarette butts into the water. There's a tread on Thai Visa talking about volunteering to clean up garbage on the beaches of Phuket. A few people replied saying that if the police see westerners doing this, it could create big problems.

    The mafia is big in Phuket and the TAT seems to be blind to any crimes against nature or people. There are a couple of NGO's that I found by accident on the net that preserve the coral and marine life, and there's one for the sea turtles too.

    It's inaccurate to say that all Thais are like that, because I personally know alot of Thais who are proactive in these issues. They 're just too few people for to big a job.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Call Greenpeace.
    Illegal aliens will make you pay...legal aliens can get you paid.

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    A Gorging Member Array jimbo's Avatar
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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    I know a Belgian realtor in Phuket that has the rights to the Euro 'Greenlabel'...an emblem that signifies an accomodation as enviro-friendly.

    I'll have a look for his info.

    He seemed genuine enough when I met him. Paid me for some editing work and then tried to bring me on board for that label.

    The label was very much in the infancy stages and I simply didn't have the time or money to see it thru.

    I think he opened a gym in Phuket-town last year that has three changing rooms (one for katoeys)

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    The mafia is big in Phuket and the TAT seems to be blind to any crimes against nature or people.
    I worked at the largest hotel in Phuket (in 1991) and every year they would have to negotiate with the mafia about how much of the beach they would give up to the chair rental people and the mafia run touts. This is an international chain that had no choice but to do business this way.

    The Mafia rules in Phuket.
    "We're all very different people. We're not Watusi, we're not Spartans, we're Americans. With a capital "A", huh? And you know what that means? Do you? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts."
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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    I think he opened a gym in Phuket-town last year that has three changing rooms (one for katoeys)
    I've got a few more hours here in Phuket- gimme that address, quick!

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo
    Phuket-town
    ..is a surprisingly nice place. To visit, at least...

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by keeshou
    I worked at the largest hotel in Phuket (in 1991)
    Which one was it?

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew
    ..is a surprisingly nice place. To visit, at least...
    It's lovely isn't it Matt, I've stayed there three times in a little hotel near Rang Hill, close enough to the Old Town for a nice late afternoon stroll admiring the Sino-Portuguese architecture and a pot of tea in an old Chinese shop-house. We happened upon a beautiful pizza place on one of our walks there and took Nat there as well.
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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Phuket Town has alot of assets, as LLL mentioned. The next time you go to Phuket, Matthew, you should spend some time there.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    Which one was it?
    Pearl Village or Andaman Sea View maybe??

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    I don't know what the biggest place was in 1991.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    Which one was it?
    Le Meridian. The Sheraton was just being built and I believe that it is now the largest hotel in Phuket.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by LeedsLeedsLeeds
    It's lovely isn't it Matt, I've stayed there three times in a little hotel near Rang Hill, close enough to the Old Town for a nice late afternoon stroll admiring the Sino-Portuguese architecture and a pot of tea in an old Chinese shop-house. We happened upon a beautiful pizza place on one of our walks there and took Nat there as well.
    One of the best things that I remember about Phuket Town is the availability of fireworks from a mom and pop shop. Also, there's Central Festival (I think that's the name)...which is a nice mall that has a great Pizza Hut (I ate lunch there), along with a genuine Levi Strauss store and a Warner Brothers/Disney store. I got two nice keychains there that I would never find where I am now...one was a Marvin the Martian keychain and the other is a Road Runner keychain. I love 'em.

    Also got a Warner Brothers shirt for the girlfriend that she simply adores...and a Levi Strauss t-shirt for myself, unfortunately this was eaten by the gf's dog (a nice big hole in the back, which would preclude me from wearing it out for the evening anywhere). Cannot be repaired.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Quote Originally Posted by LeedsLeedsLeeds
    We happened upon a beautiful pizza place
    Lemme guess: Salvatore's??? Just off of the fountain circle near the fresh mkt.
    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    The next time you go to Phuket, Matthew, you should spend some time there.
    He did. He also got on board with a great tour guide: moi.

    Quote Originally Posted by natalie8
    The only known ecotourism promoter in the area is John Gray.
    There are a few more now Nat but John's is still at the top. I imagine I'll be in contact with is office today or the next. Thanks for the info.

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    Re: Ecotourism Issues on Phuket

    Good stuff, crew. Glad to hear you're willing to contribute in this way. When I go bak to Phuket, I'll check up on your work.

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