There is nothing more annoying than heading off on a hike or pulling up to a campsite only to find a pile of rubbish the previous visitors left behind. Seriously, if you’re a person who does this, just stop — we hate you.
Thailand‘s Khao Yai National Park has nailed the art of being passive aggressive with a new move designed to make campers think twice before leaving trash around — they’re posting it back to them. I kid you not.
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This UNESCO World Heritage site, located about 100 miles northeast of Bangkok, shut down during the peak of COVID-19 in the area, but has now opened under a strict reservation system. Which is exactly how they were able to start tracking down who left their rubbish behind.
The idea seems to have been sparked by Thailand’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Varawut Silpa-archa, after he made a Facebook post begging campers to take their rubbish with them. Otherwise, he continued, he would gather their rubbish and mail it back to them himself.
มาเที่ยวอุทยาน มีธรรมชาติให้ชม มีเต็นท์ให้เช่า เราอำนวยความสะดวก ให้ท่านมาแต่ตัว แต่เวลากลับ โปรดอย่ากลับแต่ตัว…
Not long after, he posted again with images of the rubbish packed into postal boxes, stating it was ready to be returned. He also reminded campers that dumping rubbish in the park is actually a crime that comes along with some hefty fines.
Apparently, they also including a short note along with the rubbish packs that says “You have forgotten some of your belongings at Khao Yai National Park”. Simply outstanding.
ขยะที่นักท่องเที่ยวทิ้งไว้ในอุทยาน ขณะนี้บรรจุลงกล่อง พร้อมส่งคืนถึงบ้านเจ้าของขยะเรียบร้อยครับ…
The rest of Thailand is backing them on the move, too.
“We applaud Khao Yai National Park and the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for their commitment to maintaining the beauty and well-being of our country’s natural resources,” Thailand’s director of tourism authority, Charinya Kiatlapnachai, told The Washington Post via email.
“Thailand’s national parks and wildlife have had time to recover from damaging results of tourism such as littering over the past six months and this gesture has the best of intentions to ensure we all do our part to help our country remain clean, safe, and beautiful.”
Honestly, I aspire to be these levels of petty, especially to people who deserve it.
(Lead Image: Facebook / TOP Varawut – ท็อป วราวุธ ศิลปอาชา)
Kassia is the Editor of AWOL, and a straight-up travel addict. She was born without a sense of direction, yet an intense desire to explore the world. As such, she's lost 90% of the time but she's learned to roll with it. You can catch her latest adventures on Instagram @probably_kassia.