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Fat bellied men sporting chunky wrist watches and cheque books are just starting to arrive in Srimongol from the city in their four wheel drives with ambitious plans to secure the tourist dollar and get in while the pickings are good. A large conglomerate fenced-in hotel complex and golf course has recently been built just up the road from our thatch roofed bamboo ‘eco lodge’. It will soon open for business. Buses will start rolling in and with them perhaps a deluge of tourists, both local and foreign. What is pure, natural, beautiful and time honoured about this area and it’s people will likely suffer the consequence of heavy handed tourism as is often the case in the developing world. Tourism, perhaps not as damaging to the environment as other more insidious industries, (Chevron have fenced-in guarded gas wells throughout this region)  it does nevertheless lead to development, the implementation of larger roads, bringing with them more traffic which invariably adds more population. This left unchecked will undermine the very thing which makes this area unique and worth visiting in the first place. What is left of the natural world requires protection. We need to now be more thoughtful and tread more lightly on this world of ours.

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