Working with the communities
Our lodges, Lisu Lodge in Chiang Mai and Lanjia Lodge in Chiang Rai, are located in local communities mostly made up of ethic hill tribe minorities. These communities have been involved with the development and operations of the lodges from the beginning.
At the heart of our community projects is our monthly contribution to the Village Bank, which is owned and operated by the community exclusively. The fund from the village bank, which ranges from 20,000 USD to 40,000 USD a year depending on a number of guests, is used to support community projects that aim at improving the quality of lives and the villagers’ livelihood such as small business loan, agriculture projects, education (school bus) and health care (vaccination). The management from the lodge attends the local community development meetings as an advisor and observer, not to decide how the funds are to be prioritized or dispersed. Training is provided regarding food safety and village sanitation. Lisu Lodge sponsors annual health check ups for all community members, in addition to, access to education and training opportunities.
Business Opportunities Almost 100% of our food is supplied by local people in the area where the lodge is situated, Tour activities are operated by local community members. Our team members are the local community members, and they make every effort to purchase any resources needed for operations from family and community members.
Reviving Crafts and TraditionsWe support the community to maintain or revive hill tribe traditions (i.e. silversmith, embroidery, dance and shamanism). The villagers are free to celebrate their holidays and festivals and visitors are welcome to witness them at the discretion of the villagers.
Traditional Rice Barge Cruise
In Bangkok, our cruise experiences are on traditional rice barges. We work with local communities to preserve these vessels since they are diminishing from our waterways. Our teak barges, the Mekhala, are operated by people from communities living along the Chao Phraya River. We support an ethnic Mon minority community that moved from Burma to Bangkok more than a century ago. This small riverside community won awards for maintaining their traditions and practicing green activities within their village.
In Phuket, the crew of June Bahtra and Suwan Macha come from local fishing villages around Phang Nga Bay. With their expertise in the area, we work with them to ensure that our excursions do not impact marine life, rock formations and water conditions.