In addition to our mini projects for the school, we spent many hours talking with Ben over cups of sweet black tea. Ben worked for several years as a trekking guide when he first came here from Burma. His son in law, Ten has a trekking Guide Licence and together they were hoping to take people trekking.
Northern Thailand is famous for its green mountains and trekking, in fact many people leave the beaches of the south, purely to come trekking in the mountains.
Being 33km from Mae Hong Son, nearest town, and having the school to run, locating a trekking or tour guide office in Mae Hong Son is not really viable, at least not for now. So after going trekking with Ben and his family, we decided that one way we could help them was to build a website for them.
Chris worked with Ben on costs and overheads for treks over 1-5 days for 1-6 people. Working out prices for food, transport, accommodation, equipment etc eventually drawing up a spreadsheet with a full breakdown. Meanwhile I came up with the design for the site and started working on the site structure. We had many photos form the weekend and after sitting with the maps of the area, we managed to work out the various routes and villages for each trek.
We also talked to Ben and Ten about running it like a business and putting money aside for equipment and future investment. Living here is very much hand to mouth, so our suggestion to do this may have been a little alien, however we hope they understood the concept at least.
So with pages designed, maps re-drawn, content written and the site built, we were ready to go. Obviously a website alone is not enough, so we are printing 1/3 A4 leaflets to put in all the guesthouses, bars and restaurants in Mae Hong Son. This will tell people about Ten and Ben Trekking and hopefully bring in the customers.
I painted a sign (rather roughly on a piece of wood with poster paints!! – heavily varnished to protect from the rain), to hand outside Ben’s place.
Chris set up an email account for them and a Facebook page, so now we jusy need to see if it takes off. If it turns into a successful business, it will provide their family with a sustainable income for the future.
Please visit the website: www.tenandbentrekking.com
Please forward to any friends who are visiting Thailand
See photos of our trekking weekend – where we made a bamboo platform to sleep on in the jungle, collected mushrooms form the forest floor, at and drank form bamboo cups and plates, all made on arrival… Oh and we saw a snake!