Tour de Thailand starts its 7th annual charity ride
The 7th annual Tour de Thailand bicycle charity ride started out
from Chiang Mai on December 8. The 2000 km journey attracts both Thai and
foreign cyclists and raises money for Operation Smile Thailand, an
organization that repairs facial deformities, and the Skills Development
Centre for the Blind.
The event was started in 1993 by American Christopher Byrd, a former U.S.
Marine. He completed a 3,200 KM solo bicycle journey covering Thailand from
Hat Yai to Chiang Rai. The event was so successful that Mr. Byrd expanded,
adding more cyclists and four more rides, one each in Laos, Cambodia,
Vietnam and China as well as a second ride in Thailand.
Because of corporate sponsorship but companies like Dtac, Chevron, Toyota,
Tilleke & Gibbins, TQPR, and FBT, as well as the Tourism Authority of
Thailand, the charity rides are able to donate 100% of the donations to
charities. This year’s race began in Chiang Mai on December 8 and the riders
will continue on to such destinations as Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Hua Hin, and
Khao Sok with Phuket as the ultimate destination on Janurary 3.
Expected to raise more than 3 million baht, the tour aims to not only raise
funds for charities but promote environmentally and socially responsible
tourism in Thailand.
Elderly elephants retire in Lampang
Retired elephants have found a new home at the Pang Lha Elephant Nature
Park in Lampang. The new nursing home for elderly elephants celebrated
its official opening on November 21, with Wassana, a newly retired 51
year old elephant from the Forest Industry Organization being welcomed
to the home by Chaiya, a 47 year old resident of the Park.
Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, Inspector General of the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), joined in the opening ceremony
to welcome the Park’s newest member to a growing herd of 27 elephants.
He planted vegetables, herbs and fruit trees that serve as medicine and
food for elephants as well observed traditional ways of making herbal
medicines. The NRE program was developed in honor of King Bhumibol
Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit in cooperation with the National Elephant
Institute to provide aging and retired elephants with a safe and
comfortable old age.(PRD)