"Low Carbon Holiday", A Conservation tourism project at Trat Sea- Releasing turtles, crabs and planting the coral reefs. written by นายสองสามก้าว / A Life, A Traveller

The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration or Dasta is the organization for developing the sustainable tourism in the designated tourism zone. Many travelers may know this organization; however, I do believe that most people are not familiar with the name as their work roles are b

"Low Carbon Holiday", A Conservation tourism project at Trat Sea- Releasing turtles, crabs and planting the co

"Low Carbon Holiday", A Conservation tourism project at Trat Sea- Releasing turtles, crabs and planting the coral reefs.


The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration or Dasta is the organization for developing the sustainable tourism in the designated tourism zone. Many travelers may know this organization; however, I do believe that most people are not familiar with the name as their work roles are behind the scenes and not as well-know in the public.

According to its name in short, Dasta has the main role to initiate the sustainable tourism plan and coordinate with other organizations for developing the tourism in the designated areas.

At present, there are sub-offices in 6 areas which are:

- Chang Islands and Vicinity, Trat province

- Loei province

- Nan Old City, Nan province

- U-Thong Ancient City, Suphan Buri province

- Historical Parks of Sukhothai, Srisatchanalai and Kamphaengphet, Sukhothai province and Kamphaengphet province

- Pattaya City and Vicinity, Chonburi province

Since we briefly knew about the Dasta. Next, I would like to explain about “Low Carbon Holiday" project, the project which was recently held on 13-15 of November. It is the pilot project to arrange the travelling tour in the conservation tourism style in the way to save the resources, care about the nature, and reduce the polluted gas. This project was leaded by the Dasta in Chang Islands and Vicinity and coordinated together with Trat Tourism Association and Institute for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (ISMED). More than hundred of travelers who join in this trip are the tourists who bought the travel tour program, mass media and tour guide. I feel abashed if I regard myself as the press representative, therefore, I will regard myself as the observer. Let's see how this pilot project goes.

Now, what is “Low Carbon"? Does it mean reducing the polluted gas? Let's simply see it in this way like travelling in the big group by bus, doing the constructive activities, staying in the hotel and resort that cares about the environment and eating food that could be found in the local and made by local. And all that I have mentioned will happen in this journey.


Day 1: From Koh Kood to Koh Mak

For Low Carbon Holiday trip, the journey starts from Bangkok, Sanam Pao area to Laem Sok pier, Trat province by 2 buses. Our first destination is to Koh Kood, the farthest island in the eastern sea. It is the sunny day with the bright sky today.

Including this time, I have been to Koh Kood five times already (Ha ha ha). However, it is my first time using the boat service of Koh Kood Express, therefore, this time I will get off from the boat at Ao Tapao Bay pier. The sea water here still looks crystal clear as usual, the thing that has been changed is the beach front resorts that increase a little bit; it is the development that will happen by time through time and it kinds of hard to stop the current development trending..

We head to Koh Kood to complete the mission there. There are 2 missions to choose from as the officer lets us choose between shooting the seeds to plant the forest then travelling to Klong Jao Waterfall or go releasing crab and fish to the nature at Klong Joa area. I choose to go releasing crab and fish as I would like to watch the scenery in Klong Jao area. Moreover, I still don't have an opportunity to intentionally explore the beautiful of the natural canal, Klong Jao before.

And it isn't disappointed me at all as the scenery of Klong Jao is utterly beautiful. It is the natural canal which its water comes from Klong Jao Waterfall then flows down to the sea at Klong Jao Beach. There are many accommodations with the pleasant atmosphere lined up along the canal for visitors to choose from.

After finish our lunch, then we go to do the activities. The crabs that were prepared for releasing are Black Crab or we usually call Sea Crab. And as they normally live in mangrove forest, therefore, we will release them at Klong Jao. I think that the crabs might feel frightened; they might think that they are going to be cooked. As when they got into the water, they all scrambled and fled helter-skelter away. It seems to me that the persons who release them don't want to hurt them at all. Nevertheless, we will wait until they produce lots of baby crabs, then we will eat all of them. (Ha ha ha)

It's a pity that we got only a short time to spend on Koh Kood. Once we finished releasing the sea turtle and fish, we then have to get back on the boat right away at Tapao Bay for travelling to Koh Mak. Since I have been to Koh Kood many times, therefore, I don't feel much regret to leave pretty early. On the other hand, I feel regret for those in the group who don't have much time to spend in the beautiful beaches on Koh Kood.

It takes approximately an hour from Koh Kood to Koh Mak, the island has been regarded as the prototype of Low Carbon Tourism. Koh Mak is developed slowly and it is almost no night life here. This island is kind of the private island which is belonged to those old families in King Rama V reign and I think it is the reason why it is easy to manage the condition of the island.

Upon arrival, our tour group dispersed to resorts that have been prepared for us. I stayed at Makathanee Resort, Ao Kao. I have taken some pictures in the evening atmosphere for you guys as well.


DAY 2: Trat bright blue sea and environmentally conscious activities.

The next day, we check-out from Ao Kao and heading to Ao Suanyai at Koh Mak Resort.

You could see why Koh Mak is being called Low Carbon tourism place; as they grow organic vegetables by themselves for cooking. However, the highlight and amazing thing is that they grow rice by themselves as well. It is the activity that DASTA defines as “Farm to table" concept as the vegetables do not have to get through the processes of transportation or keeping in the storage; and it is another way to reduce the carbon.

And this is Koh Mak Resort pier, Ao Suanyai. It's so pretty that I could not miss out taking the pictures for you all.

Now, it's an appropriate time for our group to take a boat and heading to Koh Kham, the island with these Unseen Thailand volcanic rocks which situated prominently in the front of Suanyai Bay. This small island is like a paradise on earth, the atmosphere is quiet peaceful as it is a private island. I came here for the first time at year 2010 since that the construction of the resort was not yet completed.

Even though there are a slight adjustment on the landscape of the beach area of the island, but overall, they did not destroy the natural beauty of this island. The most notable among others is the volcanic rocks in front of the beach. We do not know how they originated as it's a mystery of the nature. As for the sea water, I could guarantee that it is super clean and clear like crystal.

The important activity on Koh Kham is to release the turtles back to the sea. We have been informed that the turtles are from the lab center at Navy Marine Turtle Conservation Center at Sattahip. And these turtles are ready to live in the nature.

We feel cheerful as we see the sea turtles swim back into crystal clear sea water and they could go back to the place where they should live. It's a huge world for them and if in the future, they growth and could return to spawn in this area it would be great.

After we finish releasing turtles (and many people enjoy swimming), it's time to head to a beautiful island called Koh Wai. Whoever has been to a dive trip at Koh Chang would have been here before. The most important project here is planting coral reefs to bring them back to the nature which is one of the main mission for us as well.

Upon arriving on the island, we all cry out “Wow!". Though, I have been here several times (Fifth time actually), I feel that this time visiting is the best time, the crystal clear water, a bright sunshine day, All I could do is pressing on my camera's shutter.

After lunch, we then get back to do our mission. First, we listen to the initial lecture from Thailand Vinythai's Coral Cultivation Project that would plant 80,000 coral branches together. We listen to the history, how to grow the coral with PVC pipes and then we would get one branch each with a tag number to state the name showing that who plant this branch of coral.

Then, we plug the coral into the PVC pipe and tighten it with the screw without harming the coral. After that we will insert it into the panel which were prepared for artificial coral reefs and then the officer will take it to place at the designated point to let it grow and become the abundant coral reefs later.

After finish planting coral activity, there is enough time to go diving as well. I am not prepared for diving so I just take some photos along the beach. The beach sand around Koh Wai Pakarang Resort is not quiet delicate; its color is red brown, however, the atmosphere is very relaxing.

The time is up. Our gang cruise back to Koh Chang, the largest island in the east sea. the place that I am quite familiar with.

We reach the island at Ao Salak Phet, the island's largest fishing community is located here. Many people define this zone as the left of Koh Chang. Normally, if we take a ferry to Koh Chang, upon arriving at the island if turning right, that will lead to many beaches such as Sai Khao beach, Klong Prao beach, Kai Bae beach and Lonely beach. This side of the beach mostly are the resort hotels. Nevertheless, if we turn to the left, we will find another world of Koh Chang as it is the location where Salak Khok village, Salak Petch village and the mangrove forest situated.

Our destination is at The Spa Koh Chang Resort which is not far from Ban Salak Khok. Although this place is a resort but they are well-known as a green resort for health tourism. For example, they conducted a study Homeopathy, published guidelines for maintaining healthy topics and mainly from the benefits of plants. We do have a lot of knowledge while listening to them.

The atmosphere inside the resort is quite shady and refreshing as it is surrounded by mangrove forest. By staying here would not be like travelling to the island's beaches, you should mean to visit here for health tourism such as spa, massage therapy, yoga and herbal detox, eating organic food and beverages for health benefits. I think that is pretty cool.

After learning the knowledge about the healthy, we then spread to stay in the hotels which located around Sai Khao Beach. We take some rest and prepare ourselves for the dinner at KC Grand Resort and Spa. There is a welcome party for Low Carbon Holiday tour group with the highlight program of cooking competition of 6 skilful chefs from renowned hotels and restaurants in Koh Chang. It is the reality program which cooking by using only local materials according to the “Farm to table" concept.

First of all, there are refreshments preparing for us. All of the food is Trat's local food. In my point of view, the most descent food is Khanom Bueang (Thai Crispy Crepes) of Ban Nam Chiew, you can eat it at Ban Nam Chiew only.

It is pity that the rain is falling down makes the beautiful arranged place and the schedule have been adjusted a bit. However, we all can closely watch the food competition at last and I think it is kind like we are watching “The Iron Chef" program.

Below is all the food that was processed by famous chefs, all of them looks splendid, not just only their looks but the taste is also extraordinary delicious. We all walk round and round to taste the food like we are playing musical chairs game. (Ha ha ha)


Day 3 : Eating clean for healthy

This is the last day of our “Low Carbon Holiday" trip, we have to say goodbye to the beautiful island and head back to the shore of Trat province. Then we continue travelling to Ban Pu Resort, I have heard their renowned name for quiet sometimes as it is the pleasant resort and the restaurant that located close to the mangrove forest. When we enter into the place, I found that the atmosphere inside is superb; I believe that for those who love peaceful and nature must love this place.

The prominent point of this place is the location, it is situated close to the nature and its design is not luxurious. The food here is really fantastic; they plant organic vegetables and hydroponic vegetables for cooking. They processed and add value to those local materials by cooking them. In addition, more than 70% of materials on the dine table could be found around the local community area or in the province; this is an excellent example of “Farm to table" concept.

And that is the last activity of the trip “Low Carbon Holiday" before we head back to Bangkok. The project is the pilot project of Low Carbon Tourism which was held by Dasta. To my way of thinking, they are quiet valiant in taking the word “Low Carbon" which means travel in a way to create less pollution combines with various conservation activities to offer to the visitors who normally consider the comfortable and the value above anything.

In my perspective for the overview, this trip has both pro and con. I believe that it was because this is the first activity that was held in this kind of tourism, therefore, there still some mistakes occur. Nevertheless, when consider overall activities in the trip such as releasing crab, fish and sea turtle, planting the reef corals and learning about health tourism, all the activities could make the tourist to realize that many communities try to create the sustainable tourism. I think that the “Low Carbon Holiday" project is quite successful actually and it is clear that the word “Low Carbon" could be used for promoting the tourism.

For those who are interested in travelling in the way of caring for the nature like this, you could try to follow the news from Dasta whether they will hold the activity like this in the future or not. Otherwise, you could follow Low Carbon tourism by entering their website at: www.facebook.com/ThailandLowCarbonTourism

As a result, you will not miss out the activities the next time.

I will end this review with a short video clip of releasing the sea turtle to the nature at Koh Kham; it is the adorable moment that I took.



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