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04 March 2011

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Larry  Hickey

Sir, A few places nearby that I would post the brochure, are 2 colored river and the cliff paintings. Larry

Lawrence

Thanks for your suggestion, Larry. Those two places make a good next destination from Phana.

The only drawback is that Thai tourist literature (and I hope TAT would be producing it for us) is usually Province-centred, and nothing in a neighbouring province gets mentioned, however near and convenient it is. We shall see.

Richard

You might learn something from the Cambodian CBET projects. I visited two (Banteay Chhmar and Chi Phat) a few months ago. They are based on homestay accommodation, local food, sightseeing walks and cycling, local crafts etc. but no synthetic "cultural" performances.

Naming no names, but one of the two works much better than the other for one simple reason -- a resident language teacher, so all the people involved have a little English. Local guides etc. have a fund of interesting knowledge, and it's essential that they can communicate it to visitors.

PS Cookery courses can be very popular - does the local cuisine have anything special to offer?

Lawrence

Richard, many thanks for these very constructive ideas. We certainly need ideas from people such as you who have sampled something similar, or would like to.

Almost all the tourists Phana would expect would be Thai, I think, at least at first, and unless TAT puts out a big advertising effort.

Phana has cultural 'performances' that would not be synthetic, such as dance shows and pong lang orchestra by local schools. Putting those on requires fairly large groups to provide the audience, though tourists could be tempted to visit at times when such shows are scheduled anyway as part of the town's life.

Learning some massage techniques and perhaps a little demonstration/instruction in spinning, weaving and basket-making seem more promising than cooking here.

Alex

Check out Andaman Discoveries for BP and ideas, cool folks there. Well developed and community based: http://www.andamandiscoveries.com/

Pete

I wonder what Phana Garden
Resort look like. Do you
mind taking a few photos
on your future post?

Lawrence

Pete, thanks for your interest. You will find a photo of Phana Garden Resort at http://phanathailife.typepad.com/thai-life-phana/2009/11/happy-returns-to-phana.html (or check out the Archives for November 2009: Happy Returns to Phana. I will be posting about the resort soon -- when I collect the 'data' from there.

Lawrence

Alex, thanks for your link. Have you been there and taken part in the activities/village experience? It looks good so I hope lots of people take it up. The Village Handbook is a good idea -- looks like my next project.

I have been wondering how visitors can contribute to community funds by their visit. Booking through an agent is obviously one way, but I'm not sure that's the way Phana will want to go.

Any ideas? All welcome.

Peter Richards

Hi, take a look at the site of the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I). Their team have been developing CBT in Thailand since 1994. www.cbt-i.org You could ask a local Rajaphat person or "pattana chumchon" team to help the people to set up a village fund, as long as there is already some kind of central committee / group / club which can be the host for this and ensure it gets used in a useful and transparent way.

Lawrence

Peter, thanks for these constructive comments. I do know the CBT-I, and have looked at their site. Phana has not embraced the idea with any enthusiasm, and TAT seems to have lost interest in us (change of government, Phana elected someone from the 'wrong' party). But I am now working with a chumchon group to encourage school groups to come and learn about our monkeys, and academics to come and do some research. This will make use of some home-stay. The website is at: http://www.thaimonkeyforest.wordpress.com

I hope you will drop by there and find something of interest. Thanks again.

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