Thai Beach & Volunteer (STA Exclusive 2013) - TATCVT
Day 1 Kuraburi
Please arrive at Phuket airport by 3pm. You will be transferred to Project Headquarters in the mainland town of Kuraburi for orientation. Overnight in Kuraburi.
Day 2-6 Koh Prah Thong (4B, 5L, 5D)
On the morning of Day 2, depart for Koh Prah Thong by longtail boat. Koh Prah Thong is the location for the STA Travel Project to support community tourism and conservation in Southern Thailand. Join us to engage with fascinating cultures, traditional crafts and pristine environments. Our projects contribute to the development of respectful tourism. For the communities of the Andaman coast, the tsunami brought with it a great number of changes. Entire villages were relocated, livelihoods and lives were lost. Initially, grief and despair were prevalent among survivors but taking action to create positive change, can transform grief into happiness. Many communities have since created new opportunities in the wake of their losses in the tsunami. Our project is diverse and includes environment conservation. The North Andaman is an undeveloped stretch of coastline on the border of Phang Nga and Ranong provinces in Thailand. The cultural diversity and spectacular natural beauty make it a fascinating place to explore. Muslim, Buddhist and Moken villages live side by side in harmony. Coral reefs and tropical rainforests are just minutes away from each other. Fishermen and farmers still survive by their traditional livelihoods, and many communities are now offering visitors a chance to see the area through local eyes. The culture and economy of the North Andaman Coast depend on a healthy environment. Growing threats such as shrimp farming, declining fish populations, tourism, and land encroachment have serious consequences for local communities. Pollution and declining water quality are also growing problems, as is the loss of rare plants and animals that are important to maintain a balance in nature. The extraordinary biodiversity on this remote island includes rare turtles, dugongs, as well as threatened deer and stork populations. As part of an ongoing conservation and research program, your day might include monitoring pristine white-sand beaches, mangrove forests, sea grass beds, coral reefs or the golden savannah grasslands of the islands interior. Assisting dedicated scientists you will be conducting behavioral observation on turtle feeding grounds and assisting with nest hatching. The number of turtle nests found in the last few years has been steadily increasing, and now more than ever, volunteers are needed to help protect these gentle creatures (please note that helping with sea turtle conservation is seasonal, usually between January and March). Immerse yourself in local culture by joining the woman's craft and textile group or set out with the local fishermen on a long tail boat to try your luck with local fishing techniques. Environmental Education, English Teaching, helping out in the Village Garden or the Community Center are other volunteering activities that you may be involved in. By living and eating with a local family you will be supporting community development and helping to provide needed income to these warm, beautiful people who were devastated in the 2004 Tsunami.
Day 7 Depart Koh Prah Thong (B)
Bid farewell to your island home after breakfast. Depart by long-tail boat to the mainland (1.5 hours) than transfer by private vehicle to Phuket Airport (2.5 hours). Please do not book onward travel earlier then 3pm.