The instructor team are qualified, or experienced, or both. They comprise both expats and Thai graduates from Chiang Rai University. All instructors are First Aid trained and also have a variety of other qualifications. However we do feel that experience is of equal importance. Instructors keep a log book of all their instructor activities. A list of qualifications and experience is available on request.
To read more about our team, click on the tabs below!
As well as helping look after the resort side of the business (aesthetics in particular!), I am also involved with our extensive and expanding community projects programme and thus work closely with Q. This includes organizing placements for gap students and volunteers (of all ages) to support English teaching in the local schools. The schools are always asking for help in this area! We also run a project which supports the continuing education of local students who otherwise might be forced to drop out of school and by the latter part of 2017 we will have up and running a special needs centre (Thomas House) for children not in the school system. While living in Hong Kong I took a distance learning degree in Humanities followed by a PGCE at the University of Hong Kong. I taught history at Shatin College where we took regular study trips to Vietnam and during this time I became very interested in the Cold War history of South East Asia. Living on the Thai/Burmese border has continued that interest, particularly the role of the Nationalist Chinese (Kuomingtang) who finally settled in the area after fleeing China post 1949. We offer studies on the troubled border period of 20th Century linked to the IGSE.
Founding partners of the Maekok River Village Resort Project, Rosie and I came to take over the running of the Resort and Outdoor Centre in October 2002 when we left Hong Kong. I taught in the U.K. before arriving as Head of Geography at Island School in Hong Kong in 1982 where I developed a wide range of fieldwork in Hong Kong, China and Thailand. In my latter years at Island School, I reached the dizzy heights of Deputy Principal. Too many years ago I graduated from Oxford with a degree in geography and also studied at University College, London and the University of Hong Kong. In my time at Island School I also organised and led the several treks to Nepal and Northern India, ski trips to Switzerland and Canada and numerous field trips to China and Thailand. A life-long Spurs supporter, my motto has got to be ‘To dare is to do!!!’ Which I suppose sums up our leap from Hong Kong into the unknown of northern Thailand.
Q came for an internship in 2006 and without much persuading, he decided to stay and work with us. Q began his career here as an instructor and tour guide, and soon proved himself to be extremely able in these areas, but also in terms of organisation. He was thus promoted to assistant student centre manager in 2007, followed by taking over the manager role a year later. Currently he is our Community project manager and in this role has responsibility for overseeing the now very complex community project programme – looking after the numerous construction projects, as well as the volunteer teachers’ schemes, and helping administer our student sponsorship programme.
Chon also jumped at the chance to convert his internship later in 2006 to get involved on the Outdoor Education scene. As a multi-role instructor and Thai tour guide, Chon quickly developed his teaching and practical skills and, with his local knowledge of the area and a wealth of ‘hands on’ / jungle experience, has become a firm favourite with the students he manages. He was promoted to Centre Manager in 2011 and has broadened his skills considerably in the areas of logistics and planning. Chon is an integral part of the instructor team – his love of what he does and his level of professionalism are just two of his many attributes which have made Chon such an excellent and popular instructor. If we want something making or mending, or some insider knowledge on jungle survival and fishing…….Chon is ‘the man’.
Ladi, born in the Czech Republic, joined us in 2013 coming, planned, for 6 months. Luckily for us he decided to stay on and with Dan, as from mid 2017 will be Joint Head Instructor. He has been developing his interest and experience in the ‘outdoors’ through years of Scouting (summer camps, expeditions and international exchanges) and charity fund raising projects with ‘People in Need’ – he became a Czech regional coordinator for that programme. A graduate from the High School of Culinary Arts, Ladi decided to ‘dive’ deeper into the outdoor industry and gained a Bachelor degree in Adventure Tourism Management from the University College Birmingham, culminating in him organizing/completing a 25-day expedition covering 8098 km through China, Kazakhstan and Russia. Summer vacations included instructor roles with the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) in the USA. Ladi believes, ͚Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’.
Dan joined us in 2013, initially coming for 9 months work experience. Fortunately he decided to stay beyond this time and as from mid 2017, he will join Ladi as Joint Head Instructor. Holding a Bachelor degree in Adventure Tourism Management from the University College of Birmingham, Dan has put his expertise and training in the fields of expeditions, water sports, mountain biking, caving, etc. to effective use and has been involved with teenagers from an early age. He has instructed and managed on youth camps in the USA – summer camps and also special camps for ‘burns victims’ – and has been keen to extend and develop his work and cultural experiences here in Thailand. His duties at the MRVR also include working with D of E groups, community projects at local schools and assisting with a variety of field studies.
Whin arrived in May 2015 as an internee from Chiang Rai Rajabhat University where he studied Tourism Management. It was an easy decision to ask him if we would like to work at the MRVR after graduating and we are pleased he said ‘Yes’. Whin has developed a wide range of skills and is experienced in all aspects of the activities we offer. He is a certified climbing wall instructor and emergency first aid responder. Whin is a Karen (hilltribe) from distant Mae Hong Son and so it is lucky he lists travelling as one of his interests (alongside fishing). Whin’s motto is ‘I can tell you, but better to learn by doing’.
Aing joined us in September 2017 and soon found her feet and is a great addition to the team. She writes, “I am from Lamphun and graduated with degree in Business and Chinese from Mae Fah Luang University in Chiang Rai. I have worked in community tourism and with elephant rescue organisations in Chiang Mai. I am interested in the outdoor education industry and love travelling and surfing. My motto is ‘A positive mind brings a positive life’.
Sam is the most recent recruit and joined us as an internee in mid 2016 but was offered a full time job in May 2017. Sam adds a further cultural dimension to the team in that he is from the Akha hilltribe. He is rapidly developing his skills and experience and applies himself diligently here as well as expanding his English language. He enjoys travelling and meeting people in order to broaden his horizons. ‘Do everything with a passion’ is his motto.
Sang originally came to work in the restaurant, but because of his good level of English, we asked him to help out with student groups when the restaurant was not busy. It became obvious that he had a natural ability to relate to students and teachers and so moved across to the student centre full time. He is able to lead all activities, but his main role is assisting Q when groups carry out community project. Sang is Shan and thus adds to our mix of instructors.