The term tourist has over the years gained an extremely negative reputation due to the nefarious practices of quite a large number of travellers. This is especially true in South East Asia nations like Thailand, where many foreign travellers are noted for engaging in unwholesome and often illegal activities. Chiang Mai in particular has come into the limelight for all sorts of bad reasons in regards to the irresponsible characters of the tourist who frequent it. Below are some tips on how to be responsible in your Chiang Mai tours, and indeed any other tourist attraction in Thailand.
Make it a point to support the local economy
To begin with, you should try to avoid residing in international hotel chains, despite all the luxury facilities they may possess. Instead, opt for local Chiang Mai tours, hilltribe villages and eco-resorts which care for the local environment. Besides, making significant savings, you will also be doing your part to assist the local economy. Also, settle for locally based eateries and drinking establishments as much as you can. Most large restaurants and bars have been proved to exploit and underpay their staff.
At the same time, immerse yourself in the local culture and ask tips from the guesthouse owners for example the moment you arrive. The local hospitality sector also will be able to point you in the right direction. This will ensure that your foreign currency remain where it is needed the most. On a parting shot, never let your tour guides push you into activities, which may pose a threat to the local ecosystem. For instance, never let yourself get talked into touring a protected lagoon in Chiang Mai.
Avoid abetting human exploitation
Secondly, never let you tourism contribute to any form of human exploitation, even indirectly. For example, there have been substantiated reports of some orphanages in Chiang Mai paying off parents to obtain children. Therefore, always take time to research such charities before making any donations. Additionally, at all costs avoid sex tourism, which is certainly the worst kind of human exploitation.
Mind your rubbish
Good tourists the world over, always take care of their litter. Most South East Asia nations like Thailand might not have a systematic rubbish collection industry. But that should not be an excuse to litter, even if most of the local population does it.
Beware of animal exploitation
Finally, while in your tour always be conscious of animal exploitation and bestiality, particularly with elephants. You may wish to ride an elephant, but these beasts usually prefer not to be ridden. Elephant camps with the exclusion for the few animal rescue centers in Chiang Mai are notorious for their bad practices. This includes separating calves from mothers, beating elephant into submission, blinding them to mention but a few.