Travel in green-heart-style, Travel conservatively, Travel like Low Carbon Holiday
Discover 5 islands of Trat sea
Slingshot, Releasing aquatic animals, Sea coral restoration. Travel with happiness.
DASTA or Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) has developed new format of tourism, Low Carbon Style, in order to give tourists an experience that they have a part in. This new format helps reduce creation of carbon comparing to normal tourism. However, the convenience and happiness from traveling still remain.
Let's travel in cool style and Low Carbon!
On 13-15 November 2015, DASTA has arranged an activity called Low Carbon Holiday to explore new experiences to tourists. I, Nai-Namfa, has been invited to join the trip and describe stories you guys.
Relaxing journey. This package is 5,000 - 6,000THB per person which brings you to 5 islands in Trat sea; Koh Kut, Koh Mak, Koh Kham, Koh Wai and Koh Chang. A rough routing is as follows.
Depart from Bangkok to Laem Sok at Trat. Then get on ferry to do eco-activity on Koh Kut. Stay over night on Koh Mak, in slow life style. Release turtles at Koh Kham. Plant sea coral at Koh Wai. Join workshop spa on Koh Chang and party on the beach. Return to land for touring around organic farm at Ban Pu Resort. Go back to Bangkok with satisfaction.
Wake up in early morning. I leave my car at home. We use one car to travel. Only we start, we already have a part in saving the world from global warming. It is a principle at this age when everyone travels more than ever. So, we don't heighten carbon dioxide in the air.
Traveling by personal car 1.6CC for 100 tourists equals to 70 cars. Round trip distance is 315 km. (70x315x2) = 44,100 km. Compares to 2 shuttle buses. (2x315x2) = 1,260 km. Reduces carbon release for 81.6%
Breakfast is served on the bus contained in a box made of 100% natural plant fiber & colour.
We arrive at Laem Sok pier in the afternoon. The boat is great. It has 2 floors including open air zone and air conditioning cabin. We move to the south, towards 7 o'clock, for 45 km. and land at Ao Phrao pier on Koh Kut. It takes around one and a half hour on the boat.
Get sunshine on roof top. Nong-Mo volunteers to be my companion for this trip and be a model too.
Slingshot @ Koh Kut
OMG, I want to scream out loud. The sea is splendid. Our boat arrives Koh Kut at Ao Phrao pier. This is my first time here, so I get excited when seeing this beautiful beach. This is only the beginning!
Mini-bus of Koh Kut pick up tourists which divide into 3 routes to have lunch and do activities separately. There are releasing crabs, releasing fish and growing forest by slingshot. I choose the slingshot because I want to see Nam Tok Klong Chao. So, this trip would have something else apart from the sea.
Each group will have lunch at different restaurants which is great. It's not too crowded. For growing forest group, we go to this restaurant.
It is a restaurant and residence beside Klong Chao, river mouth of Nam Tok Klong Chao. After the meal, we go in opposite directions of the river to afforest. The ambiance is mellow plus green current of Klong Chao.
A meal in Low Carbon trip is mostly using local ingredients and reducing any ingredients imported from the land. It is because transportation causes more carbon in the air. // Too delicious to take photos.
Consuming Low Carbon menu for 2 meals and normal food for 4 meals for 100 tourists compares to 6 meals of Low Carbon menu. Help reduce carbon dioxide up to 16.7%.
Growing forest by slingshot at Nam Tok Klong Chao
Take a group shot before small journey into Nam Tok Klong Chao in order to enjoy the charm of waterfall and catapult activity.
The shooter is ready. Everyone gets one slingshot.
Nam Tok Klong Chao
The beauty of Nam Tok Klong Chao and adventurous activity. Swing the rope and flip into the water.
It's time to afforest. The seeds are randomly shoot out all over the forest allowing them to grow freely. Unlike well-organized forest that doesn't look like forest at all. The seeds we shoot out are Malva Nut.
Model with Klong Chao current.
Let photographer take a photo too but who's gonna take for me?! So, I take a shot of my foot, haha. To confirm that Nai-Fa has stepped on Klong Chao tide at Koh Kut.
Slow Life @ Koh Mak
This is me first time visiting Koh Kut. They said the sea and beach at Koh Kut are beautiful. For me, I have to wait for next time as this trip I watch the sea only at pier. Now it's time to move to second island which is Koh Mak.
Coming to Koh Mak is like coming to another home. I came here few months ago. This time I feel very happy. I can suddenly recall.
Tourists are classified into 3 groups as usual and stay at 3 accommodations. One group stay at Koh Mak Resort. Another group stay at Cinnamon. Unfortunately I don't stay at Cinnamon as last time I'm impressed with long bridge and shipwreck. This trip I stay at new place. Let's collect scores at Makathanee Resort. The view is nice. Beachfront allows you to see Koh Rayang Nai and Koh Rayang Nok. If you come at the right time in morning, when ebbing, it will become Thale Waek (Separated Sea). Sand bar appears from the coast to island, so you can cross. Koh Mak is a model for developing Low Carbon Destination of DASTA. It is a small unspoiled island which does not have convenient stores, scooters or shopping malls. You will find only local shops which you will get the change with smile.
Kayaking in front of the beach.
Coast view at Makathanee is full with coconut trees, rocks and scenery view of Koh Rayang Nai, Koh Rayang Nok as well as Mu Koh Rang.
Tada! We meet again. The companionship occurred since my first time at Koh Mak. Khun Su, guide of Koh Mak, gave me a tour which made me fall for the charm of this island. For this time, she's heard that I'm coming, so she come to surprise me and say hi. I'm so glad.
Morning view at Makathanee beachfront. Is it nice? Islands in Trat sea are entering into high season period. Beautiful sky, clear sea. Everywhere is charming.
Taking photo recently requires some accessories, doesn't it?
Morning activity on Koh Mak is visiting organic farm and rice field by tramp. This activity allows green-heart-tourists to touch local ingredients which are crucial method to reduce pollution and carbon.
I take photo to make it look fast, haha. The tramp actually goes very slow.
The organic farm of Koh Mak Resort is managed by Khun Jakrapad Taveteekul. This place also has special spider to eradicate pest coming inside the net.
Then all tourists are gathered together at Koh Mak Resort in order to move to next island and say goodbye to Koh Mak.
The beach at Koh Mak Resort is splendid. Curved coconut line which can be seen almost every beach including Koh Mak. There is a swing for romantic moments. Let me take a photo while swinging.
There is kayaking also.
And it is time to say goodbye to Koh Mak and move to Koh Kham for releasing turtles to the sea.
Release Turtles @ Koh Kham
Koh Kham is only 1 km from Koh Mak, very near. It takes less than 5 minutes.
It is one of the most charming islands in Trat sea. It is so-called the emerald of Trat sea. It's signature is the beautifully strange-look volcanic rock.
Activity to release turtles is ready!!
So happy and delighted with such creative activity. You can notice from each tourist's expression.
Wish you were happy in the deep sea, you tiny turtle. // PS. I have done this activity for many times but this is the first time to release this big turtle.
Thank you nice shot of turtle under the sea from Nong Mo's GoPro camera, Monica Lee at page KitKat Kitten.
Freshly green coconut line contrast with blue sky during high season of Trat sea.
Let's jump. Khun Su, the guide, and Nong Mo with beautiful white sand plus volcanic rocks of Koh Kham as background.
The joyful activity carries on. Next destination is the fourth island of this trip. We change to larger boat in the middle of the sea and continue heading to Koh Chang. However, we gonna drop by another island to do one important activity which is ... planting sea coral at Koh Wai.
Khun Su says goodbye among the sea before returning back to Koh Mak by small boat. Continue her duty as Miss Koh Mak. An old sentence pops up to my mind. It is the same farewell as last time "Here! Everyone comes as a guest and leaves as a friend".
Plant Sea Coral @ Koh Wai
Here is Koh Wai. It is located inbetween Koh Mak and Koh Chang. Our boat moors at the end of jetty which lies towards coral reefs. The coral is an achievement of growing and restoring by volunteers.
Welcome to learning center of marine ecotourism.
Professor Dr. Prasarn Sangpaiboon, Thailand's expert artificial coral reef restoration, describes instant success of restoration and expansion of coral reef.
Crisis of losing huge amount of coral in Thai gulf creates and idea to breed coral for conservation and restoration.
When everyone realize the importance of this activity, we are ready to plant coral with Vinythai Collaboration in Cultivating 80,000 Coral Branches for His Majesty the King project.
Tight coral branches with PVC pipe from Vinythai www.vinythaicoral.org.
Take photo together as a memory and keep certificate. Each branch has small plate with same serial number as the certificate.
Then we casually relax and appreciate beauty of the island. Koh Wai is another splendid island and should be the only one island with most plentiful coral in Trat sea.
Party by the Beach @ Koh Chang
Now it's time to say goodbye and continue to the last island where hosts beach party in last night. The boat land at Salak Petch Resort, in Ao Salak Petch area.
Workshop SPA Natural Therapy Center
Before party, we join workshop spa at The Spa Koh Chang Resort at Ao Salak Kok.
Location: N12° 01.744' E102° 23.203'
This place is the first resort for healthy good time on Koh Chang providing various health programs, for example, cleansing detox, weight loss retreat, speed fat down, yoga retreat and therapy massage. It is the first and only learning center on Koh Chang for maintaining good health by natural therapy and living in environmental friendly way.
Exclusive Low Carbon Party @ Koh Chang
Finally it's time for beach party and tonight's highlight is cooking competition by expert chefs from famous resorts on the island. Includes Kacha Resort, Changburi Resort and Spa, AANA Reosrt, Dara, AWA eosrt and KC Resort which is the host.
Ingredients are selected in local area only in order to match with slogan; Low carbon, Eat fresh.
Fresh vegetables and fruits plus all kinds of seafood.
But then the party is disrupted by out of season rain. It rains heavily that turns the party to disorder. No one could expect to face the rain in mid of winter like this. This situation explains world climate change very well. It is a result from releasing too much carbon in atmosphere. We are now at crisis point to seriously rethink, pay attention and help reducing global warming!!!
Dr. Chuwit Mitrchob, Assistant Director-General of DASTA, who is founder of Low Carbon Destination project, is a guest of honour for the activity. Also, thank you associates.
Next morning, everyone is ready to leave the island and return back to land.
Activities are not ended only on the islands. There are many green-heart-merchants on land readily to be part of ecotourism.
For instance, restaurant and farmland resort called Ban Pu Resort where we drop by for lunch and sightseeing.
It is such a lovely residence and not expensive. The rate starts at 1,xxxTHB but location is superb.
Also, the restaurant is beside mangrove giving romantic feelings. Really like it. The food is excellent. Come and try by yourselves.
There are plenty of quality souvenirs sold inside resort; dried shrimp at 90THB per 100g., frozen soft-shelled crab in foam box, etc.
Various herbal beverages as welcome drink.
Visit how to feed soft-shelled crab at Ban Pu Resort.
Lastly, tour around organic farm before happily heading back to Bangkok.
Thank you DASTA for inviting me to join nice activity.
Follow page Low Carbon Destination at https://www.facebook.com/lcd.chang.mak.kood/.
Have a chat or follow my journey, Nai-Namfa Go Travel Together, at https://www.facebook.com/Namfapakhao/
Thank you and see you next review.