Khiri Travel has partnered Bodhi Garrett,
founder of Andaman Discoveries, to provide training for young tour leaders in
the Khao Sok national park area in southern Thailand, near Phuket.
The park is increasingly popular as an add-on eco-tourism
experience to the beach resorts of Phuket, Koh Samui and Khao Lak.
The training addresses a desire by local communities to share
their knowledge of the park with international visitors.
Seventeen guides are currently receiving
intensive training, sponsored by Khiri Travel. The focus is on
improving English skills, group leadership, knowledge of flora and
fauna, safety standards, emergency responses, confidence building
"I talked to villagers, guides and village chiefs to
identify who was hungry to boost their skills and which skills
needed boosting," said Garrett. "The guides want to share
understanding of nature in Khao Sok. We're helping open doors for
Garrett and a team of experienced foreign and Thai
guides started the training on 7 May. There will be about two days
of training per week for two months. The instruction is a
combination of classes, hikes, and lake explorations. Each
training day lasts 7 to 10 hours.
Training is taking
place at three locations: near the Khao Sok park headquarters, at
Cheow Lan lake, and at the Kilometer 82 community. The guides
include trail leaders, Sok River canoe guides and Cheow Lan
boatmen who want to be tour leaders and not just transport
Khiri Travel CEO Willem Niemeijer
joined the first day of training at KM 82. He said, "The Khiri
Phuket office identified the need to boost guide skills so that
all tourists, not just those travelling with Khiri Travel, could
appreciate the magnificent biodiversity of Khao Sok. Each guide
has strengths and weaknesses. The training reflects individual
Khao Sok is the largest area of virgin
rainforest in southern Thailand, covering 646 sq kms of spectacular
mountain and forest scenery including Cheow Lan lake. Elephants,
languars, leopards, bantung, a variety of monkeys, and over 178
species of bird inhabit the park and surrounding sanctuaries.
See other recent news regarding: