It might be an eyesore of the Thai goverment, but it cannot be denied its existence. Despite rising living standards for an increasing number of inhabitants in Bangkok over the last decade, it can’t be denied that poverty is still present in the capital.
Some will remember that a few years ago, when fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra hosted the APEC summit in 2003, large advertising posters hid slums along the Chao River, while trees were planted along some highways to also hide Bangkok’s poches of misery. However, visiting slums for tourists could also be a way to help working in favor of responsible tourism. And this is what Bangkok-based tour operator Asian Trails organizes.
The company proposes a new “Explore” tour to embark on a journey into Klong Toey District
, home to Bangkok’s largest slum in the capital city. The shanty town has been there for about 50 years and is made largely from rural migrants from northeast Thailand who came to Bangkok for job opportunities. But in contrary to other slums around the world, Klong Toey’s narrow alleyways are equipped with basic amenities such as electricity, gas, and some modern conveniences.
Asian Trails proposes to also visit the Duang Prateep Foundation. The institution primarily focuses on helping urban poor populations, with a special emphasis on community development and on giving the best possible opportunities to the children of the area. Asian trails participants will receive an overview of the project and their goals for the future. Visitors will also have an opportunity to interact with kids aged up to six years old during their morning classes and form a bond with them during their hands-on lessons. Asian Trails’ tourists will also get an opportunity to help teachers serve lunch to the children. A donation of THB 250 (US$8) per person will be entirely utilized by the Duang Prateep Foundation. The tour takes place every Wednesday.