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What is Natural Focus?

What is Natural Focus?


Natural Focus
was formed in 2000 by the Hill Area and Community Development Foundation (www.hadf1985.org) in collaboration with hill tribe people for community-based, sustainable ecotourism. We believe that community-based ecotourism provides an opportunity to exchange knowledge and understanding between visitors and the local community, and promotes local cultures and the natural environment. It provides encouragement and empowerment within communities and an awareness of the need to live in harmony with each other and nature. Profits are used in community development activities for the ethnic minority people. The villagers benefit from this program by earning an alternative income through providing accommodation, meals and handicrafts and by taking on the roles of guides and local experts.

Where are we?

In the past we started our programs where were based in Chiang Rai
"The Golden Triangle area" There are many different minority groups- or tribes- of traditional hill and mountain dwellers. These groups are commonly referred to as Hill Tribes of Thailand. The Natural Focus office is located in Chiang Rai town. Now we coordinate working with others CBT networks all around Thailand.
HADF operates the 'Natural and Cultural Learning Center for Indigenous People' or "Mountain top home", which can be used for conferences, workshops, youth camps, or for a rest center from which to explore the surrounding areas.
What program is suited to you?
The program design is flexible and can be developed to suit the needs and interests of you, your group, or your organization. We offer Mountain Life Tours to experience the daily life of the hill tribe people. Volunteer opportunities- both short and long-term- are also available. Lastly, we also can arrange for study/work programmers’ for student groups, NGO's or other groups. Click here to learn more about the different programs.

What do we do?
During the stay in the village, visitors will have many opportunities to learn more about the Hill Tribe people and their way of life. Visitors are encouraged to participate in all aspects of life with their host family, from cooking, cleaning, going to the fields, learning traditional crafts and trades, as well as going to any ceremonies which occur during their stay in the village. The villagers would also like to learn about where and how other people live. To see photos from our latest trip, please click here, but be prepared to wait a little longer as it is a big page.

Where do we sleep?!?
Accommodations depend on your preference and also depend on community where you choose to go. You can choose a village homestay -a basic bamboo hut with a pit latrine outside and a thin mat on the floor to sleep on without much for privacy, or choose the 'Mountaintop Home' center next to Pakasukjai village- with more modern facilities and more privacy, but still a far cry from a hotel in the city.

How much does it cost? (and why?)
Rates vary according to size of group, length of stay, time of the year, and activities. For short term visits, previous 3-day trips have ranged from US$80-$130/person/visit, including transportation, food, accommodation, and guides. Because Study/Work visits are usually for at least one week, the per day cost will be lower. In the past, rates have varied from US$120-$250 person/visit. When comparing prices and shopping around for a 'good deal' or cheaper rate for 'ecotours', BE CAREFUL! Many tour companies offer lower rates by cutting down the amounts that are paid to the villagers and families that are visited. Most of the money you spend on a Natural Focus tour, however, goes into the pockets of the people you visit, with only enough for our organization to cover its operating costs. (and
NOT for fancy websites or glossy brochures!)

Last Updated (Friday, 20 May 2011 23:37)

 
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