Waterfall visit woes
I would like to air my concern about a change of regulations for a visit to the famous Ti Lo Su waterfalls which now prohibits private vehicles to access the site. The only way to get there now is on one of the local 4x4 songtaew which form a cartel-type monopoly among the local transporters.
This of course means that those with 4x4s and camping gear, I am one of them, cannot in all practicality go to the campsite as it would involve trans-loading all the gear to an inferior 4x4 vehicle and leaving the vehicle parked in town. Apparently, you can leave them at the police station or your hotel, but the cost is unclear.
The official reason I have been given for this change is policy is: “The Tak governor wants the people to have income.” The cost of a vehicle to do the 23km to the campsite is 2,000 to 2,500 baht.
I visited the attraction around Christmas/ New Year in 2014/15. I have a fully equipped 4x4 vehicle with camping equipment and camp kitchen.
Due to the new regulations, I cancelled my trip this year.
While the governor out of goodwill to local people put in place the regulations, it turns out that the ban has a negative effect on the local economy.
For example last year we cancelled the convoy. This year I’ve also cancelled my visit to the area. This would have involved my vehicle and about four other 4x4s — each with 2 to 3 passengers — resulting in the loss of about six room rentals for two days to the local resorts in Umphang and a loss of park fees, vehicle fees and camping fees to the local park.
It is certain that many will no longer visit. The hotels and resorts I’ve spoken to are very concerned by the reduction in trade brought about by this ban. WD KELSALL