Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization)

“Ban Tha Kham Kwai” in Satun Province: A Story of Strong and Sufficient Community

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          Travel south to Ban Tha Kham Kwai in Satun province and explore natural resources in a mangrove forest, an ecotourism site that creates occupations, incomes, and produces food.

          Ban Tha Kham Kwai is a small community adjacent to the Andaman coast in Na Thon subdistrict, Thung Wa district of Satun province. This community is embraced by wonders of nature – mountains, forests, paddy fields, the ocean, and fresh air. All of these are uniqueness and beauty of this lovely village. The Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA has assigned Community-Based Tourism Division to provide assistance to the community in developing ecotourism attractions and educating the locals on the tourism management.

          Below are recommended travel program for the visitors to fully experience the authenticity of Ban Tha Kham Kwai community.

Visiting Ban Tha Kham Kwai Museum

          If you are an antique or artifact aficionado, you would enjoy spending time in this museum full of rare items and old appliances for farming and fishing. Some of the displays are still be able to use. This museum is suitable for everyone including children, teenagers, and researchers.

Cruising to Enjoy the Beauty of Nature

          This is one of the highlight activities which will take the visitors to see a few unseen aspects of Ban Tha Kham Kwai community. One of them is a natural phenomenon called “the Dragon’s Spine” which is not often seen. This phenomenon occurs when a long white sand dune shows up from under the sea during low tide. Other two interesting locations are as follows:

          - Tabun Island : Tabun Island is a gigantic rock island that has become one of the popular destinations for the visitors who like extreme sports e.g. mountain climbing and rock climbing or the visitors who would like to see fossils of various sea creatures on limestones. A must activity when visiting Tabun Island is to see a flock of ten thousand of Lyle’s flying foxes flying out of the cave on top of a mountain at dusk. After that, you can wait to see the sunset in the midst of marvelous natural creations.

          - Ho Si Lang : Not far from the Dragon’s Spine, you will find another sand dune with a bunch of trees in the middle of the ocean. During low tide, a cast of fiddler crabs will come out of their holes and move about on the beach. This is another wonder of nature that you have to see with your own eyes.

Sighting Brahminy Kites

          Thong Hom Canal, surrounded by the mangrove forests, is offering an activity for the visitors to experience the wonder of nature. This activity is to sight brahminy kites. Each day, a flock of brahminy kites will come out to hunt for prey. The community has put more emphasis on a conservation of the kites in order to protect these birds and increase their population; for example, hunting for juvenile kites are not permitted. The visitors are allowed to have a closer look of the kites or they can strike a pose with the flock of kites flying all over the sky. These shots are going to receive a lot of “thumbs up” on social media accounts.

Staying Overnight at a Homestay and Taste Delicious Local Dishes

          Ban Tha Kham Kwai provides several homestays for the visitors who would like to stay overnight while fully experiencing the local ways of life. One good thing about staying with a local family is that you will get to taste local dishes that cannot be found anywhere else.

          - Kaeng Pad Ja Ree or Pineapple Curry : This is a signature dish of Satun province which is normally made for special occasions or auspicious events. The pineapple curry consists of a perfect blend of many types of spices. Not only is pineapple used in Kaeng Pad Ja Ree, but eggplants and roasted cashew nuts can also be used in this curry as well.

          - Chaloo Pad Khai or Stir-Fry Salty Shrimp Paste with Eggs : This local menu is very interesting. The key ingredients are finely chopped bird’s eye chilies, chopped shallots, eggs, and salty shrimp paste. To cook this menu, mix all the ingredients together and then pour it into a hot pan. Keep stir-frying until everything is dry and crumbly. Chaloo Pad Khai is often served with hot steamed rice and fresh vegetables. This is undeniably a perfect combination!

          - Nam Prik Kapi or Spicy Shrimp Paste Dip with Vegetables : This menu may sound simple but the secret to its deliciousness is that the shrimp paste must be made of opossum shrimps which will give a very unique taste. The authentic and high-quality shrimp paste is the one that does not contain flour or cassava roots and you should be able to see the eyes and bodies of opossum shrimps mixed with the paste. The real shrimp paste also smells good and is not too salty.

          The unity and cooperation of people in Ban Tha Kham Kwai can be seen through these abovementioned activities and dishes. The development and protection of natural resources and product value-adding have lead Ban Tha Kham Kwai to be a sustainable community-based tourist site as it proudly is today.

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