Thai enthusiasm for entrepreneurial start-ups has seized on tourism, the country’s biggest income-earner, with a pair of businesses offering that can put tourists in residence with a Lahu hilltribe in Chiang Rai, go hunting for the ghost of Mae Nak and try all sorts of other interesting adventures.
“The Thai way of life is often really unique,” says TakeMeTour co-founder Noppon Anukunwithaya.
“Living with people in interesting situations, eating with them and sharing in their pastimes, you get to know their culture deeply. I experienced that when I toured Japan a few years ago with my Japanese friend, and I decided to offer the same here through this start-up.
”LocalAlike co-founder Suratchana Pakavaleetorn similarly discovered fascinating aspects of Thai culture firsthand, while researching sustainable development in Mai Fah Luang in northern Chiang Rai.
“I learned a lot about Lahu culture and their simple way of life, and my interest developed into this business.”The two start-ups specialise in single-day outings or brief trips led by local guides and experts in specific fields.
Noppon and Amornched Jindaapirak started TakeMeTour two years ago with funding from private investment firm 500 TukTuks and technical support from Dtac Accelerate.