Last weekend I went to Koh Ra Ecolodge, which I’ve determined is a fantastic way to live. I would be a happy person living and looking after an ecolodge, it’s very mellow. Kim, the very nice gentleman who runs Koh Ra, was a formidable host. His staff prepared the most scrum-trellescent meals. He showed me around the grounds, which includes a composting system, nature trails, and the most amazing bungalows. To the right you see Kim holding up a star fish used to fertilizer the nearby orchards.
We went for a short nature hike on Saturday. Our goal was to find as many species of orchids that we could. They were beautiful! We counted 12 species of flowering orchid overall. But the surprising part of our hunt were the strange bugs we ended up finding.
This little cricket was the brightest color pink I have ever seen in nature…apart from this flower to the left.
I left the hike a bit early to go lay in a hammock on the beach for a few
minutes. The island dogs were out in full force, digging for crabs and frolicking around. This little guy is named “The Dude” because of his chill personality and general love of milk products 😉
On Sunday morning we began our hike at around 7am. It turned into a 7-hour journey that took us through jungle, beach, mangrove, and clear-cut forest. We saw several horn bills within the first few minutes, walking through the savanna. We visited a Moken village, the Thai sea gypsies. They talked with us while we sat on their porch in the hot sun.
In the picture to the right, you can see the mangroves to the right of me, with the mainland in the background. We sate at a little fishing house here for a few minutes and sucked the juice from some ripe cashew fruits. You can’t eat the nuts because their oil will burn your skin, but the fruits are extremely delicious and taste like strawberries!
We then journeyed on towards a jungle stream. There were vines extending from the canopy down to the water. The feelers that spread out in the water looked exactly like the feather-like appendages in Avatar! It was amazingly cool and calm in the jungle. Huge freshwater shrimp peeked out from behind rocks, and schools of tiny fish filled the water. We took a dip in the fresh water and then started our journey home.
We walked along the beach, stepping on the elbow roots of the mangroves.
The jelly fish to the right followed us for a bit. We waided through the incoming tide, away from the Moken village, and back toward Koh Ra Ecolodge.
Kim, Awe, and the dogs were at the pier waiting to send us back to
Kuraburi. This was the leader of the pack, looking into the sunset and contemplating life.
To the left is the group: Erik, Awe, Kim, me, and Bodhi.
Smoke from the Moken village billowed towards the ocean and the
sun set as we boarded our longtail boat for the mainland.
I came home sleepy and ready for the work week, with a true taste of sustainable ecotourism.
*special thanks to Bodhi for the photos!