Festival time in Myanmar

August 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, Myanmar, News

YANGON 25 August 2017: Myanmar’s festival season kicks off in September, a month-long period of celebrations that showcase the country’s culture and traditions.

From dancing papier-mâché elephants to colourful parades, from oil lamp illuminations to long-tail boat racing, the festive season is one of the best times to visit Myanmar according to Myanmar Tourism Marketing.

September marks the end of Buddhist Lent and the closing weeks of the annual rainy season. Read more

Elephant kills its handler

July 26, 2017 by  
Filed under AFRICA, News

VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE, 26 July 2017: An elephant that gave tourist rides in the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls trampled his professional handler to death, the local tour operators’ association said Tuesday.

Enock Kufandanda, 50, was killed on Saturday by a bull elephant called “Mbanje” (“marijuana” in the local Shona language).

Parks and wildlife authority rangers shot and killed the elephant, reported to be about 30 years old, soon after it charged and killed Kufandanda. Read more

Exception to a rule

July 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

CHIANG RAI, 18 July 2017: I thought it was a pretty simple decision to make. I wouldn’t ride elephants. But that all changed when my grandson visited last month.

“Grandpa,” he said just minutes after he exited Chiang Rai’s airport terminal building after a six-hour flight from Singapore, “I want to ride an elephant”.

Grand fathers are not supposed to pontificate on what’s politically correct. They make things happen, perhaps beyond the peripheral vision of mum and dad. Anyway, he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  That’s when I realised that there are always exceptions to the best of rules. Read more

Tented camp opens in Cambodia

July 18, 2017 by  
Filed under Cambodia, News

BANGKOK, 18 July 2017: A new tented camp will open, 1 September, in southwest Cambodia that is committed to a campaign to end forest encroachment.

Guests staying at the Cardamom Tented Camp will be sustaining a conservation-friendly business that was set up to help keep an 18,000-hectare (180 km2) concession out of the hands of loggers, poachers and sand mining operations.

The tract of land in Botum Sakor National Park, part of a vital elephant migration corridor, is managed by Wildlife Alliance, a Cambodia-based organisation involved in wildlife rescue and forest conservation. Read more

Rainy season festivals and events

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 26 June 2017: Tourism Authority of Thailand is grouping events and activities into four categories to open up travel to secondary destinations and improve travel options during the rainy season.

TAT said it will concentrate on promoting food & music festivals; cultural & art festivals; creative events and recreation & sports events.

This July, activities start with the Kaeng Song Coffee Sipping and Khek River Rafting Festival to be held 1 July to 31 October at the Khek River. Read more

Come and get me

April 5, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

NAKHON RATCHASIMA, 5 April 2017: The Head of Thailand’s  Khao Yai National Park has filed a complaint with the police against a car owner who taunted a wild elephant.

Harassing wild life is a violation of the national park’s regulation.

Thailand’s National News Bureau reported Khao Yai National Park head, Khanchit Srinopphawan, reported that a Camry sedan driver intentionally challenged a wild elephant to chase his car in Khao Yai National Park. Read more

Elephants gather for polo match

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Festivals, News

BANGKOK, 28 February 2017: Anantara Hotels and Resorts’ King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament will be hosted, 9 to 12 March, on the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River.

Now in its 15th year, the tournament has become one of the biggest charity events in Southeast Asia raising USD1.3 million (THB46 million) for projects that better the lives of Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephant population.

Projects supported by the fund include the world’s first Thai Elephant Assisted Autistic Therapy Project; positive reinforcement elephant training workshops; mahout community development initiatives, and wild elephant conservation. Read more

Baby elephant swims to health

January 6, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Thailand

CHONBURI, 6 January 2017: After losing part of her foot in a snare in Thailand, baby elephant ‘Clear Sky’ is now learning to walk again — in water.

The six-month-old is the first elephant to receive hydrotherapy at an animal hospital in Chonburi province, a one-hour drive from Bangkok.

The goal is to strengthen the withered muscles in her front leg, which was wounded three months ago in an animal trap laid by villagers to protect their crops. Read more

Surin hosts elephant festival

September 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Festivals, News, Thailand

SURIN, 26 September 2016: Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Surin office invites tourists to join the annual elephant festival, 11 to 23 November, at Si Narong Stadium and the Surin Elephant Show held in the centre of the provincial town.

Surin is a major town in the lower-Isan region of Northeast Thailand and has long been linked with elephants and often referred to as the “Province of Elephants”. The province is also promoted as one of the 12 hidden gems plus campaign by the TAT.

The festival’s main highlight is an elephant parade through Surin’s main streets that will be lined with food stalls. Read more

Rides we should not book

May 9, 2016 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 9 May 2016: Elephant rides are heading for exit door fast.  That’s the prognosis presented by thousands of tourists who make their voice heard through animal rights’ blogs and social media.

It is also the opinion of a few far-thinking elephant owners. One of them, Shanker Dainju, who sells treks rides in the buffer zone of Chitwan National Park in Nepal,” comments in a report on the tourism elephant’s predicament: “They (rides) will be a thing of the past in a few year time. We have to prepare ourselves for the future.”

The demise of the elephant ride is a dilemma that faces elephant owners across Southeast Asia. Will they respond to consumer opinion and reinvent the elephant experience?  Or will it ultimately lead to domestic elephants returning to the streets of Asian capitals to beg a living?     Read more

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