Nature and Culture on the Tropical Sand Dunes of the Andaman Coast
Organised under the Siamese Heritage Trust’s cultural landscape programme, “AGENDA 2022- 23: Cultural Landscape and Sustainable Development”, this study trip investigates issues in landscape management in the culturally and biologically diverse Andaman beaches of Krabi and Phang Nga. The trip is to be led by Associate Professor Dr Kitichate Sridith (Division of Biological science, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University), a distinguished scholar who has spent decades exploring beach forests in Thailand and abroad. This journey takes you to spring forests in Krabi, undisturbed beach forests in Phang Nga and offers an opportunity to learn about the everyday life of the Moklen people in Baan Tap- Tawan, also in Phang Nga.
The participants will explore the plant communities in a variety of natural settings, particularly the spring forests. These plant communities which develop around the natural spring are still barely known to the general public today. In Krabi, the participants will visit a system of subterranean natural reservoirs around the limestone mountains, natural spring forests, as well as spring forests that have been organised by the local administration as a site for eco-tourism.
In Phang Nga, the participants will visit Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park, home to the most complete and beautiful sand dune beaches in the Thai peninsula. The area is abundant with Cycad (ปรง), Sea Lettuce (รักทะเล), Pandanus tectorius (เตยทะเล), sedge (กกทะเล), Beach Morning Glory (ผักบุ้งทะเล), Launaea sarmentosa (ผักลิ้นห่าน), East Indian arrow roots (ท้าวยายม่อม), These plants belong to a community of plants rarely found in the casuarina-lined beaches. Apart from the beach forests, the participants will also visit a “coastal heath forest”, an area situated inland from the beach forests, often misunderstood as a denuded forest because of its appearance. In fact, this area is rich with reserved humidity, whose condition evolves across the seasons. The coastal heath forest is where we will find another rich community of plants, such as various kinds of orchids, Styphelia malayana (เข็ดตะขาบ), Schizaea dichotoma (ตานซ่าน/ตานส้าน), Downy/Rose Myrtle (โทะ), Indian Birthwort (กระเช้าผีมด), and Mos. As the site of confluence between the distribution of plant species from the northern and southern hemispheres, the beaches of Thai Mueang are difficult to match in terms of biodiversity.
Apart from the exploration of nature, participants will have the opportunity to experience the everyday life of the Moklen people at Tab Tawan village – a sand dune community that was declared Thailand’s first protected cultural district in 2010, as an area where the ethnic way of life, culture, and identity are preserved. Having lived in connection with the sea for centuries, the Moklen hold a belief that no one has ownership over natural resources. However, whether they are still able to maintain their tradition, way of life, as well as social securities, sustenance, and spiritual space, is the point of concern where we invite all of you to explore, through their cultural performances, storytelling, and local natural reserves.
This study trip will revaluate how we calculate the values of the natural and cultural landscape, especially in places that have not yet attracted public attention. It will invite us to question our approach to protecting and managing these areas, in ways that would allow us to fully respect their pre-existing values.
Associate Professor Dr Kitichate Sridith, Division of Biological science, Faculty of Science, Prince of Songkla University
The tentative programme will be as follows:
|Day 1: Friday, 10 March: Bangkok – Krabi – Khao Lak|
|08:30||Meet the group at the boarding gate (number to be announced) at Don Mueang International Airport|
|08:55||Depart from Don Mueang to Krabi Airport with Air Asia flight FD 3229|
|10:20||Arrive at Krabi Airport and travel to natural sites in Krabi|
|–||Visit Tha Pom Klong Song Nam in Krabi, a swamp forest with a boardwalk (1.5 km)|
|Noon||Lunch at a local restaurant in Krabi|
|–||Visit Kiriwong Community Forest, a primary swamp forest with a boardwalk (2.8 km)|
|–||Check in at Avani+ Khao Lak Resort|
|Evening||Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel|
|Day 2: Saturday, 11 March: Khao Lak – Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park|
|–||Breakfast at the hotel|
|08:30||Proceed to Tab Lamu Pier|
|–||Take a long-tail boat to Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park (a 15-minute short-cut)|
|–||Arrive at Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park and take a four-wheel vehicle further to different types of coastal forests in the park|
|–||Visit a beautiful viewpoint at Khao Na Yak beach, then visit the beach forest|
|Noon||Lunch at a National Park restaurant|
|Afternoon||Take a short boardwalk in the coastal heath forest of the National Park (850 metres)|
|–||Return to the hotel and enjoy your free time there|
|Evening||Dinner and overnight at Avani+ Khao Lak Resort|
|Day 3: Sunday, 12 March: Khao Lak – Baan Tab Tawan Village – Phang Nga – Phuket – Bangkok|
|–||Breakfast at the hotel and check out|
|08:30||Proceed to Baan Tab Tawan Village|
|–||Visit the Moklen Cultural Centre, enjoy a welcome drink and snack, accompanied by musical|
|and cultural performances by the Moklen youth group, listen to the oral history of the Moklen|
|people, learn about the challenges in safeguarding the Moklen culture|
|–||Visit vernacular houses rebuilt after the Tsunami incident in 2004 and explore the village’s|
|surroundings, including their natural supermarket and spiritual space|
|Noon||Lunch at a local restaurant|
|Afternoon||Proceed to Phuket|
|–||Visit Sa Nang Manora Forest Park|
|–||Visit Baan Ar Jor, the beautiful Chinese-Colonial mansion of a tin mining businessman at Mai Khao Beach|
|–||Coffee break at Baan Ar Jor|
|–||Proceed to Phuket Airport|
|20:20||Depart Phuket to Bangkok by Air Asia Flight FD 3028|
|21:45||Arrive at Don Mueang International Airport|
The Siam Society reserves the right to change the programme as necessary.
– The Siam Society may utilise photos taken from study trips, lectures, performances, and other activities as part of its public relations and marketing campaign. These photos, which may sometimes contain image(s) of activity participants, can also be featured on the Society’s website and other online social media channels.
– On the second day (Saturday, 11 March) at Khao Lampi-Hat Thai Mueang National Park, participants will be required to walk through the dry coastal bog on the sand dunes. We strongly recommend that you dress in sporty attires (long pants and sneakers) as they will protect you from possible grass cuts or insects.
– Please make sure that you carry along a sun/UV protection equipment on you every day, such as a light jacket, hat, sunblock, and sunglasses.
Contribution of THB 27,000 (THB 28,500 for non-member), single room surcharge of THB 2,800, will cover transportation, air tickets, meals as mentioned in the programme, accommodation for 2 nights (two persons per room), entrance fees, gratuities and other costs incurred to make this trip possible. A photocopy of the identity card or identification page on your passport must accompany the booking. Your reservation will be confirmed as soon as the payment has been made. In addition, basic accident insurance is included. There is a 4% surcharge for credit/debit card payment to cover bank charges. Please pay by cash or cheque payable to “The Siam Society”. Transfer can also be made to The Siam Society travel account at TMBThanachart Bank (ttb), saving account no. 053-2-18000-7 or by scanning the QR code on your right. Once payment has been made, please fax or e-mail the deposit or transfer docket to us.
- Extra surcharge in aviation fuel and those related to air travel.
For further information and bookings please contact Khun Thun at 02-661-6470-3 ext. 205 or email@example.com. The Society office is open from 09:00 to 17:00, Tuesday to Saturday.