ROUGH GUIDE, THAILAND, OCT 2009, Chapter 8
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.