Andaman Discoveries traveled down to the deep south of Thailand to explore the options of developing new tours and projects with the local communities. We were astonished to find a region full of undiscovered natural beauty, heartwarming hospitality and the freshest dishes of the country’s famous cuisine.
Our exploration started in the region of Sai Khao, Pattani. After a warm welcome by the local community we learned about their efforts of building up a community based tourism group within their village. Accompanied with our local guide and his jeep we headed off into our hosts’ orchards in the mountains to help to gather local fruits and vegetables. This adventurous ride took us along coffee, tea, bean, banana, papaya, durian and jackfruit trees growing all together on these steep mountain slopes creating a feeling of passing through a dense forest. After a scenic drive back to the village we had the chance to learn firsthand how to turn those fresh herbs, vegetables and fruits of our hosts’ orchard and backyard into a very tasty and creative dinner.
But absolutely nothing prepared us for our next day’s stunning adventure as we visited Sai Khao National Park and made our way up an old stone path with large rock walls towering on either side and lush with green moss. Along the way small pools invite for a short break and a swim in this clean river water. At the end of this fairytale-like trail a 40m water cascade awaited us – Sai Khao waterfall. Later on that morning we enjoyed a relaxing drive through the community towards the morning market to explore the local snacks and fruits, passing the village’s beautiful temple and mosque, before returning back to our homestay for another garden-fresh meal cooked by our skillful hosts. The time for waving goodbye to these lovely people had come fast and we continued our trip to the province of Yala which is still unknown to major touristic development. Our destination, Chulabhorn Patthana 9 village, is beautifully located in a mountain range between a national park and a picturesque valley and the ideal starting point for outdoor adventures in undiscovered natural beauty. Before heading out into the jungle once again we had the opportunity to learn more about the history of our new hosts, a Chinese minority community originating from Malaysia, through our engaged local guide and the community’s museum.
We couldn’t wait to discover the treasures of this stunning landscape and so we headed out into the forest following our knowledgeable local guides on a hidden path through the lush green forest until we reached an opening and found just another spectacular waterfall. This waterfall comes with a large pool at the bottom and moreover meets the needs of any adventurous traveler as its huge rocks can be climbed up to explore the upper pools and enjoy a stunning view from above. Back in the village we arrived to hear laughter and giggle and found the villagers engaging in their daily volleyball match. But after a day of jungle exploration we rather decided to skip the game and relax ourselves in the chilly evening while the sun set behind the valley.
The following day we challenged our bodies once again by waking up in dawn and starting an early morning hike up a steep trail to adore the outstanding view above the clouds watching the morning mist gently moving through the hilly forest and sitting right next to the sun rising above the trees. As our legs decided it was enough of the hiking and climbing for this trip we relaxed on a boat ride on a massive dam through Halabala National Park as our last excursion in this amazing region.
During those days in the deep south of Thailand we were delighted to find so much natural beauty and hospitality within the visited regions and communities that we plan to offer you to have the same stunning experiences soon.