This Thai national park has a unique way of dealing with tourists that litter
Posted on 07/10/2020
Did you intentionally forget something during your trip to Khao Yai National Park in Thailand? You don't have to worry anymore because it will be mailed back to you. If you're stuck thinking about what you could have forgotten intentionally - well, it's your trash.
In September, the Thai authorities in charge of the UNESCO World Heritage site - Khao Yai National Park, started sending trash back to the tourists who left them behind. That's not all, along with getting their trash back, tourists who fail to comply with the rules of the park can be heavily fined or jailed for 5 years, and they will be reported to the police. So throw your rubbish where it belongs or this Thai national park will definitely make you regret it.
Khao Yai is the oldest national park in Thailand which opened back in 1962. This March, it shut down for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with the doors closed to humans, wild animals started to emerge from the depths of the forests. In a conversation with The New York Times, national park department veterinarian Chananya Kanshanasaka said, "The park has been able to restore itself. We are excited to see the animals are coming out." Khao Yi has been allowing visitors into the park since July 1, but with brand new rules in place. Only 5000 visitors are allowed to enter at once and they must reserve a spot online.
In order to keep the environment intact and the animals safe, Environment Minister, Varawut Silpa-archa warned all potential visitors of the consequences they will have to face if they do not follow all the rules and regulations. Visitors will be blacklisted from the park if they are found to be too noisy or drunk and if they don't clean up after themselves. In mid-September, Varawut went on Facebook to show everyone the mess that had been made in the park, and posted a picture of a tent that had been abandoned by tourists. They had left behind empty plastic bottles, cans and other trash which made the authorities furious, so they took swift action. The next day Verawut shared another picture and this time the trash was packaged into a box with a note that said, "You forgot these things at Khao Yai National Park." He wrote that the package was ready to be sent off to the original owners and that they would not be allowed to stay overnight in the park thereafter. It was easy for the officials to track them down because visitors need to fill in their address while registering and they were able to pinpoint the culprits by checking the rental equipment forms.
This innovative way of dealing with disruptive tourists is being recognized and appreciated all over the world. The director of the tourism authority in Thailand wrote to The Washington Post saying, "We applaud Khao Yai National Park and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for their commitment to maintaining the beauty and wellbeing of our country's natural resources."