Our last day by the Mekong river. We drove from Tamila Guest House to visit two community forestry projects. Both projects are along the Mae Ing river, a tributary of the Mekong, and are initiatives of local villagers. The first visit, hosted by Mr Somkid Chantima and others from the village committee, was completely on the fly. We were almost running to keep up with them to get footage as they walked and talked about their forest.
The next visit was at a more manageable pace. This was further up the Mae Ing river to Ngam Muang village. We were hosted by Uncle Tanom Outtama, president of the people’s network for the Mae Ing river and Mr Somkiat Khuenchiangsa, coordinator of the Mekong-Lanna Natural Resource and Culture Conservation network. They began their river protection work 10 years ago and now have 15 villages who are members of the river protection network. There is less water now, they said, so they have to protect the environment more. They have had great success in this regard.
From Ngam Muang village we drove back to Chiang Rai for an early dinner and then to catch a flight back to Bangkok. We arrived in Bangkok just after 8pm. Our principal host in Thailand, Khun Tuenjai, met us there and we drove north to a small monastery, Wat Pacumcon.