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Showing posts with label Andaman Sea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Andaman Sea. Show all posts

Monday, 29 October 2018

#Thailand - Ko Samui goes green to protect island ecosystem


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The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working together with local stakeholders and tourists on Ko Samui to eliminate the use of single-use plastics and encourage all to reduce waste, reuse and recycle to help protect the island’s ecosystem.


The local authorities on Ko Samui are proactively campaigning for recycling and waste management, urging residents and business operators to separate their waste for recycling to reduce the amount of garbage produce on the island.


Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said, “Education and awareness are the keys to success for this initiative. TAT proactively encourages both tourists and tourism businesses to help reduce tourism waste on the paradise island of Samui.




“Changing behaviour doesn’t happen overnight. We are seeing an increase in reusable cloth bags when shopping, and both visitors and residents are pitching in to do their part and help keep the island clean.”


Waste reduction thinking is quickly gaining traction amongst environmentally concerned Thai businesses and globetrotters on Ko Samui.


With some of the most stunning landscapes in Thailand, it is little wonder that visitors to Ko Samui continue to increase at an astonishing pace. With this influx comes a need to find a balance between high levels of service and environmental impacts. Fortunately, as attention has turned to exploring ways to preserve the island’s delicate ecosystem, travellers can give back to the local Thai community by creating less waste and leaving a minimal holiday footprint.
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https://www.hotelscombined.com/?a_aid=145054
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 Local stores and shops on the island are campaigning against single-use plastics. Hotels and resorts as well as tourism-related businesses on Ko Samui are also helping to lead the way on responsible waste management by following the three ‘R’ principle: reduction, reuse and recycle. Luxury resorts on Ko Samui were among the first to introduce the plant-based straw revolution that is sweeping across Thailand and are endeavoring to make their tourism operations more sustainable.

One spearhead organisation is the ‘Trash Hero Ko Samui’ initiative, whose volunteers meet every Saturday at 10 a.m. to clean Samui’s beaches.
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Under the TAT’s on-going responsible tourism strategy, a new ‘Travel Thailand in Style, Reduce Plastic Waste’ collaboration initiative with various stakeholders was launched in August this year. It has an ambitious target to cut tourism-related waste by up to 50 percent by 2020.

Targeting both tourists and businesses to address waste problems in key travel destinations, the TAT also encourages use of reusable or sustainable items; such as, plant-based drinking straws instead of plastic straws, cotton bags instead of plastic bags, water tumblers instead of plastic bottles, and reusable food utensils instead of single-use plastic or foam items.

Back in March 2017, TAT partnered with PTT Global Chemical and the Ecoalf Foundation to launch an ‘Upcycling the Oceans, Thailand’ initiative. It made Thailand the first country in Asia to join the global ocean clean-up effort to reduce debris along the country’s coastal regions, especially in popular tourist areas on the east coast, in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea.

Source - TheNation
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https://12go.asia/?z=581915
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Monday, 15 October 2018

#Thailand - Tour operators boycott visits to Similan and Surin islands to protest new restrictions


The tour operators have had enough of the winding back of tour boat operations and are now resorting to boycotting and ‘disrupting’ the tours in order to get their protests heard.

About 50 tour operators in Phuket and Phang nga say they’re suspending boat trips to Similan-Surin islands in the Andaman sea (off the coast of Phang-Nga) today and tomorrow to protest against the decision of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation to limit the number of visitors to the islands to 3,850 a day. The number also includes 525 scuba divers.

Thai PBS reports that the limitation of visitors comes into force today after the two main islands re-opened to tourists after several months of closure during the monsoon season.
Besides the limitation of visitors, overnight stay-overs are not permitted.

Tour operators met yesterday in Ban Tap Lamu in Thai Muang district of Phang nga to discuss the new restrictions which they say they oppose.
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They say their objections are because the restrictions would affect their business and that they’ve already accepted advance bookings to tour the islands before the department issued its new restrictions.

They say they will take their tourists to other tourist attractions Monday and Tuesday this week while awaiting response from the department.

Tour operators have been notified of the reopening of the two islands for visitors and the restrictions and to get themselves prepared with their vessels being properly checked to ensure their sea worthiness and equipped with enough life vests for their passengers.

The PM’s Office Minister Kobsak Putrakul, who was in Phang nga over the weekend, received the tour operators’ complaint and promised to bring it to the attention of the department chief.

Source - Thai BPS

https://12go.asia/?z=581915
 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

#Thailand - Jet-skis, parasail rides banned until Thursday on Phuket’s west coast


The acting chief of the Phuket Marine Office has announced a ban on jet-ski and parasail ride operators using Phuket’s west-coast beaches, including today. 

 Wiwat Chitcherdwong said: “According to the Thai Meteorological Department Office, heavy rain and high waves of up to 3 metres are still affecting the Andaman Sea until Thursday, August 9.” 

“Jet-skis and parasails are now being banned until the order is changed.” he added.

https://12go.asia/?z=581915

 Source - TheNation

Saturday, 29 April 2017

#Thailand - Trang’s inland treasures

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Beyond the beaches, the old walled town teems with historical and cultural charms

WHILE MOST of the travelers arriving in Trang quickly find a perch on the beach or head straight to the boats to go diving in the Andaman Sea, the tranquil town itself offers all sorts of landlubber delights.
Trang was a thriving trading hub in the days when it was known as Muang Thub Thieng, a port established by Chinese merchants. 
In the days of the Sumatra-based Melayu Kingdom between 600 and 1200 AD, vessels docked there laden with kerosene for lamps and ingredients for making pastry. When they departed, they were filled with locally grown pepper.
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 In 1899 the area became the first place where rubber was planted in Siam. A man called Phraya Ratsadanupradit Mahison Phakdi brought the saplings from Malaya and built up an export business.
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On my first visit to Trang I’m impressed with the diversity of culture, with Western-style churches sitting alongside Chinese shrines, Thai temples and Muslim mosques, as if to demonstrate the benefits of living in harmony. 
My host is tourism promoter Ko Daeng, who with his friends arranges day-trips around town for visitors, charging Bt250 per hour or Bt650 for a four-hour tour. You get to see the sights in a frog-nosed tuk-tuk imported from Japan. 
“Some of our vehicles were built 100 years ago,” Ko Daeng says. “We modify the engines so they can carry people. It’s a way to conserve our heritage – these kinds of vehicles were popular here in the past, so we thought it would be a good way to promote tourism, using tuk-tuks.”
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 Ko Daeng ’s operation has a list of 17 destinations to choose among, and I pointed to the Tam Kong Yia Shrine.
Erected more than a century ago, the temple attracts worshipers seeking success and good health. In its foundation are sacred ashes and a cloth talisman that the founder brought with him from the Nine Dragons Temple in Huizhou, China, to protect him on the voyage to Siam. 
The structure has some amazing craftsmanship that was carefully preserved during a 1953 renovation. Sunlight pours in through the open roof to illuminate statues of goddesses, lending the place a mystical atmosphere.
A few minutes’ drive away is Wat Kaphang Surin, designated a National Ancient Monument in 1999. Constructed in 1897 as Wat Kaphang, it was renamed in honour of esteemed local developer Phraya Surin Racha. 
The original wood-and-cement ubosot reflects traditional southern architecture. Inside is a series of 100-year-old wood or metal figures depicting the Lord Buddha in different poses. 
Sections of the ancient wall surrounding the old town have recently been decorated with three-dimensional paintings. There are scenes of the local life, rubber plantations and the Emerald Cave on Koh Mook, every one a magnet for selfie shooters. 
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At the Tha Klang intersection nearby, a string of old two-storey buildings are painted in pastel colours. At least there was some charm to the Portuguese colonial era, when the architecture became a hybrid of Chinese and European design and bright hues were the norm on exteriors.
But most of these buildings date to 1913, originally the homes of wealthy Chinese merchants. They also have in common narrow entrances, roofs open over a central courtyard and a shared arcade out front that offers passers-by shade and shelter. The houses at the corners of the block feature curving edges and diamond-shaped tiles on the roof.
Along Rama VI and Ratchadam- noen Roads is a shopping district that includes the town’s oldest hotel, the Jing Jing, recognised by the Associ- ation of Siamese Architects last year for its “valuable architecture”. 
There’s also the celebrated Chinese pharmacy Yin Jiee Thong, home – along with its ancient medicines – to the original Trang grilled pork, made with local spices and herbs. Classic shophouses along the avenue are stocked with furniture, bicycles, apparel, cosmetics and much more.
Also striving to conserve local culture, a group called Trang Positive has the support of the Tourism Authority in hosting the annual “Yan Kao Ngao A-deed”. It comprises an art exhibition, student-orchestra performances and lively talks about, for example, the local cuisine. Visitors can learn how to make Tae Chew-style mee tiew, stewed chicken in red sauce and mor lao (deep-fried dumplings). 
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 The splendid natural scenes outside town are perhaps best at Baan Khao Lak in Namphud district, where you can paddle a canoe along a canal. The community has set itself up as a model of sufficiency living and nature conservation.
Once finished their farm chores, the residents take visitors on four-kilometre canoe “cruises” amid cool forests and limestone bluffs sculpted by wind and water into interesting shapes. Back in the village you can learn how to make local desserts or a wicker souvenir. 
“I started the project three years ago to help people earn extra income,” village head Sawat Khunnui tells us. “We take people trekking in a watershed forest or canoeing, and there will be also a home-stay programme. It’s all about conserving the environment. We set up a ‘waste bank’, too, and donate recycled material to a school.” 
Another great place to visit is Baan Na Por, which has a factory full of skilled cutlers making knives, hoes and even swords from the leaf springs of old buses. Prawet Chitjan, 58, a fifth-generation member of a family of cutlers, runs the operation. Long ago he left home to get a city job, but in 1987 decided to return and do his part to salvage the local wisdom. 
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  Artisans at Baan Na Por make knives that are in professional demand around the country. 
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The factory produces the 55-brand and Three Star knives popular with rubber tappers and farmers in the South and Northeast. The prices range from Bt160 to Bt650. 
“We use crafting techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation for more than 100 years,” Uncle Prawet says. “We believe that two villagers – Nai Petch and Nai Kong – discovered one technique whereby ship spikes were turned into garden tools, and then the quality is enhanced through different designs and materials.
“Next, I’m building a museum to exhibit all the old types of agricultural tools and house a mock-up cutlery factory.”
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Source - TheNation
 
 
 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

The world’s best hidden beaches? Thailand's Trang archipelago

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While popular Thai destinations such as Koh Samui and Phuket stagger under the weight of development, these southern islands retain a sleepy, tropical charm.
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 Haad Farang (Haad Sai Yao), Koh Muk
Framed by jungle-draped limestone karsts, this small but striking bay has serene waters free of riptides, making it safe for families to splash around in the sun. As its nickname implies – farang is Thai for foreigner – you’ll find a large concentration of backpackers here. Still, with only a few sun-loungers and a couple of ramshackle food stops, it’s a far cry from the chaos of Chaweng beach on Koh Samui or Kamala on Phuket. Most of the bungalows, restaurants and Koh Muk’s near-nonexistent nocturnal scene are tucked out of sight in the adjacent woods.
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Rent a sea kayak (100 baht) and paddle around the corner to Tham Morakot (the Emerald Cave), a winding stalactite-lined cavern that opens up to a sheltered cove walled by dense foliage and frequented by bands of monkeys. It is awe-inspiring, but to fully appreciate it, be sure to pack a torch to avoid slamming into cavern walls and other kayaks.
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To avoid congestion, make the trip in the late afternoon, after the longtail boats (from £14) carting other travellers disperse.
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Perched up on one of the limestone outcroppings, the aptly named Ko Yao Viewpoint Restaurant is the best place for sundowners. Skip the saccharine cocktails in favour of an icy Chang beer and bask in the last rays of the day.
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In the evening, watch the sun melt into the waters of the Andaman, while perched up on one of the limestone outcroppings.
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Ao Kham, Koh Muk
On the eastern side of the island, about 30 minutes walk or a speedy £1 tuktuk ride from Haad Farang, Ao Kham is both longer and more peaceful than its westward-facing counterpart. 
Luxury bungalows line the edge of the sand, but are set back far enough so as not to intrude on the panorama. In lieu of the clamour of hawkers, you’ll mostly find couples wading through the glass-clear water. Early in the morning, the speckled tracks of hermit and sandcrabs outnumber human footprints.
Early in the morning, the speckled tracks of hermit and sandcrabs outnumber human footprints Sivalai Beach Resort has an extended menu of standard Thai and western dishes and is popular for evening meals. However, prices are high and the quality tends towards the mediocre. A bit further inland, Boon Chu (+66 82 268 3073) has a more local feel and affordable prices, though service is often slow. Meanwhile, Koh Mook De Tara Beach Resort has some of the more authentic dishes on the island. Though the waterfront bar’s claim of the “best margarita in the world” may sound dubious, plates such as massaman curry – with slow-braised, bone-in chicken in a rich sauce with crimson coconut oil – are excellent.
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Sunset Beach, Koh Kradan
In recent years Koh Kradan has become the most popular of the Trang beaches. With sands the colour of Carrara marble and azure waters, it’s easy to see why. Cashew trees lend their distinctive fragrance to the air, and at low tide the ripples of the Andaman Sea recede to reveal wide sandbars so bathers can stroll far out into the sea. Even if this island no longer quite qualifies as untouched, the majority of the land is protected by Hat Chao Mai national park, keeping development to a minimum. Bucket bars, beach parties, and other tourist trappings are conspicuously absent, as are convenience stores and ATMs. Most visitors stay and sun on Kradan Beach, a skinny, 2km palm-fringed strip. For a more secluded spot, ride a longtail boat for roughly half a kilometre to this cove on the western coast. The beach’s popular nickname says it all: go at the end of the day to watch the sky flare into magenta, scarlet and saffron.
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 Haad Man Sai, Koh Rok Nai & Koh Rok Nok
Ringed by a sprawling coral reef submerged just a few metres below the water’s surface, Koh Rok Nai and its twin Koh Rok Nok lure eager snorkellers from Koh Kradan, Koh Ngai, and Koh Muk. Technically, both are part of Krabi Province, but the spectacular scenery more than merits the more than two-hour longtail boat ride from the Trang islands.
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Mu Ko Lanta national park has shielded Koh Rok from greedy hoteliers, meaning monitor lizards still outnumber humans and an unruly tangle of jungle occupies most of the land. The majority of the boats moor at Haad Koh Rok, an expanse of crushed-coral sand that looks as if it has been plucked from the pages of a glossy magazine. If even a few fellow travellers are too many, walk to neighbouring Haad Man Sai, an equally lovely beach hidden from view by a few boulders. Note that a number of tours shut down during the rainy season between May and October.
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Mu Ko Lanta national park has shielded Koh Rok from greedy hoteliers, meaning monitor lizards still outnumber humans.
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Haad Lang Kao, Koh Libong
The largest Trang island may lack the picturesque, powder sands of some of its more fashionable neighbours, but it more than makes up for it with untamed swathes of mangrove and a low-key vibe seldom found on more frequented shores. Aside from a few fishing villages that house Koh Libong’s 6,000-plus Thai-Muslim residents, there’s little here to intrude on the sublime stillness. Many visitors come here with hopes of spotting one of the dugongs that nibble on the abundant sea grasses just offshore, though sightings of the shy creatures are rare. Haad Lang Kao, a golden strip of coast covered with coarse sand and pebbles, may house all of the island’s resorts, but it still feels relatively remote. The resorts diligently remove driftwood and garbage that washes ashore, keeping these sands in better condition than some others.
Ao Kuan Tong, Koh Ngai
One of the busier islands in the area, Koh Ngai (also known as Koh Hai), officially belongs to Krabi Province, but is so easily accessible from Koh Muk and Koh Kradan that most travellers include it in their Trang island-hopping itinerary. A string of mid-range resorts and low-key restaurants and cafes dominate the main beach, giving it a bit more bustle than Koh Muk. Still, the warm, crystalline waters and white sands are very inviting.
Ban Koh Beach, Koh Sukorn
Also known as Koh Muu, or “pig island,” this speck in the Andaman Sea makes sleepy Koh Muk seem positively action-packed by comparison. Unlike Koh Kradan or Koh Ngai, where much of the local population is involved with the modest tourism trade, most of the roughly 3,000 Thai-Muslims that inhabit these shores work in fishing or farming. A bike ride along the island’s single 17km road passes undulating rice paddies and groves of rubber and coconut trees. Three out of four of the small resorts are clustered on Haad Lo Yai, the island’s main beach, leaving just a handful of bungalows over on somnolent Ban Koh Beach. Avoid the rainier months of the year between May and October.
A bike ride along the island’s single road passes undulating rice paddies, as well as groves of rubber and coconut trees.
Lao Liang Phi Beach, Koh Lao Liang
Ambitious climbers flock to the cliffs jutting up from the sandy shores of Koh Lao Liang Nong and Koh Lao Liang Phi. Though there are fewer routes, the vertiginous rock faces and sweeping views of sapphire seas easily equal anything on perpetually packed Koh Phi-Phi. Sea caves riddle the limestone formations and while the underwater reef cannot quite match Koh Rok’s, it still more than merits a snorkel. Of the two islands, the larger Koh Lao Liang Phi has the bigger beach and tends to be overlooked by touring longtail boats in favour of its sibling.
Koh Phetra
Virtually devoid of any of the major hallmarks of civilisation, this is the forgotten island of your dreams. Few roads and even fewer inhabitants mar this slip of land covered with towering limestone cliffs. Unlike the majority of the other 30 protected islands in Mu Ko Phetra national park, Koh Phetra boasts a sand beach lapped by gentle turquoise waves.
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Source - mmtimes.com
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Friday, 4 September 2015

Diving around Phuket


As in many sports the key to the full enjoyment of scuba diving is proper preparation, and practicing safe procedures before, during, and after the dive.
Phuket has an excellent safety record and we hope you will enhance that record by Phuket has a number of very professional dive shops, and the world-class diving here attracts some of the best diving instructors and Divemasters in the world.



 Choose them with care, and then let them do their job, your enjoyment and safety is their primary concern. 
There is no better place than Phuket to become a certified diver or to upgrade your level of diving skills.


The warm turquoise blue water of the Andaman Sea offers a superb underwater classroom. Most of professional dive shops  offer a full range of diving classes that allow you to earn full PADI or NAUI certification. 
Going with a diving school considered by PADI to be qualified to keep professional diving instructors up-to-date in their profession would seem a good bet for students at any level.


You do not have to know anything more than how to swim to take a course. 
It is not even necessary to be in tip-top condition physical condition as the courses are designed to make learning enjoyable. 
The dive shops carry a full line of dive equipment for use by students and also for rental.


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