LONELY PLANET, THAILAND, ISLANDS & BEACHES, JULY 2010, Pg 375 - 376
Haadyao Nature Resort
There are a few other choices in Haadyao, but this is the only resort worth considering. Set in the harbour and run by the Lifelong Learning Foundation, an ecological and educational NGO led by enthusiastic naturalists. This place offers a variety of environmental-focused tours in the Haadyao area.
Libong Nature Beach Resort
Once a sacred site for chow lair shaman, this property is owned and run by the Lifelong Learning Foundation and managed by resident international volunteers. Bunk in one of the dozen cottages set on a palm-shaded lawn that rolls to the best beach on the island. It runs excellent sea-kayaking tours of the mangroves and to the sea-grass mounds to spot dugongs.
TRANG HIGHLIGHTS Pg 768
Not-for-profit resorts, great tours and nice people, at Ban Chao Mai, on Ko Mook & Ko Libong
Haadyao Nature Resort pg 775
Is a well managed, non-profit resort, where your custom will go towards helping local people and the environment. The breezy, waterside restaurant serves up Western breakfasts, vegetarian food and excellent squid and other seafood dishes. Bicycles can be rented and snorkeling equipment, internet and Wi-Fi are available. The owners organize tours to the local islands, including highly recommended dugong-watching trips to Ko Libong and through the mangroves in the nearby caves of Tham Chao Mai.
Libong Nature Beach Resort pg 780
By far the best of the island’s resorts is Libong Nature Beach Resort which is run by the same charitable foundation that operates the Haadyao Nature Resort. Its neat, en-suite Bungalows all with wi-fi stretch back from a secluded part of the beach, a 10 minute walk south of Ban Lan Khao, and there’s another sheltered cove a further 5 minutes walks (or kayak) to the South. There’s a good restaurant attached too, where mountain bikes and snorkeling gear are available to rent.
As well as tours of local islands, Libong Nature Beach Resort runs award winning day long boat trips around Libong itself which are safe, insured and licensed with the Tourism Authority of Thailand and staffed by local sea gypsies who know the dugong well. As well as visiting a chao ley village, these give you the chance to kayak into the sanctuary to observe the rare birds and to snorkel at the sea grass beds – which they reckon an 80% chance of seeing a dugong.
Guided/ unguided treks into the National Park jungle behind the resort includes a three hour walk to a good view point on the south western end of the island.
The Pink Dolphins of Trang: A Pilot Research Study (18th – 30th April 2010)
Extract from project brief:
‘…This expedition provides its volunteers with an exceptional opportunity to actively participate in the very first pilot study of Indopacific humpback (pink) dolphins (Sousachinensis) in Trang, southwest Thailand. The study was used to highlight the importance of the Chao Mai Marine Park for these coastally occurring delphinids, to gather baseline data on the species occurrence, its distribution, abundance, behaviour and ecology, and to raise awareness of the potential threats affecting them; considered fundamental for their future management and protection.’
‘The team was based in the tiny coastal village of Haad Yao, at the Haad Yao Nature Resort in Trang Province, on the Andaman Coast. Off the beaten track, this province of Thailand has much to offer in unspoilt natural beauty, as much of the region has been proclaimed by the government as National Parks and the growth of tourism has consequently been inhibited here to date. The Haad Yao Nature Resort is a small, family run eco resort, nestled on the edge of the Chao Mai estuary at the port of Haad Yao, and is ideally placed for access to the ocean for fieldwork. With easy admission to the marine park and its resident dugong colony, coastal dolphin populations and rare seabird habitats, this resort provides the perfect location and base for this project.’
The Japanese team was led by Dr Kotaro Ichikawa from Kyoto University coordinating with Thailand’s top mammal researcher Ms Kanjana Adulyanukosol from the Phuket Marine Biological Center. The visit was a follow up to the Government funded project between the two countries which started in 2003.