Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Specialized Holidays

In January 2007, I traveled to Northern Thailand. In the cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, tour operators organized 1 or 2-day guided tours for tourists. Trips to Golden Triangle and hill tribe villages were popular, but there were also some unusual ones, such as:

  • Thai cooking class, which included shopping for grocery in local market.
  • Thai massage class.
  • Mountain bike tours.
  • All terrain vehicle (ATV) tours.
  • Be a volunteer in Elephant Nature Park. (below)

In the article “Capturing the Niche” (Newsweek, May 14, 2007 issue), author Michelle Jana Chan noted that there was a growing demand for specialized holidays, and tour operators have been repositioning themselves to cover the niche market.

Earthwatch Institute, mentioned in Chan’s article, organizes many programs for holiday-makers who want something more meaningful. The programs, among others, are:

  • Cheetah conservation in Namibia’s ranching heartland.
  • Lion conservation in Tsavo, Kenya.
  • Monitoring the movement and behavior of elephants in Kenya.
  • Unearth the origin of human at Olduvai Gorge.
  • Bat conservation in Malaysia.
  • Tracing the life cycle of butterflies of Mount Fuji.
  • Dolphin conservation program in New Zealand.

If I were a tour operator in my country of Malaysia, what trips shall I organize? Perhaps I will wake up the participants at 4.00am and rush them to the rubber plantation.


  1. I thought those sex tours to thailand are also very specialized ones, no? Hahahaha!!!

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  3. Oh yeah, cocka, sex tours are also very specialized. I know that Japanese salarymen organized sex tours to Thailand and China. (In the latter case, the idiotic Chinese somehow related the sex tours to WW2 history.)

    But this kind of business is illegal in our conservative country. Our politicians are more interested in enforcing their moral values rather than tackling serious crimes.

  4. Thanks, but no thanks. I prefer relaxing tours according to my own schedule. Haha.

    Bats conservation?! Ewww...

  5. Dear day-dreamer, we share similarities!

    I also like to travel on my own pace, which was why I ditched group tour and backpacked to Northern Thailand alone.

    BTW, if you haven't read my story, please click on the Jan, Feb and Mar archive.

  6. 杉,
    If you love elephant, you probably will like the elephant camp Chiang Mai. See here.

    BTW, I like you bikini potato ;)