|The new Koh Ra Ecolodge looks over a pristine beach.|
Our visitors can now mix some “sand and sea” into their village stay while still respecting the ethos of sustainable tourism. The new Koh Rah Ecolodge is a short boat ride away from Kuraburi, and was a huge success from the moment it opened its doors on Halloween night! Started by a locally-based NGO that has worked in marine conservation in the area for several years, their mission is to offer a sustainable alternative to Thailand’s mass-tourism beach resorts. Koh Rah Ecolodge provides a venue for sustainability and conservation projects and workshops, and works to benefit the local environment and communities in the area.
Visitors and guests can enjoy walks and hikes through many varied habitats including pristine jungle, dry savannah forest, traditional mixed-agriculture gardens, mangroves, and beaches with rocky headlands. “We appreciated the soft beach, lush forest, delicious food, great company, and the opportunity for more genuine cultural interaction and learning,” commented Maren and Brian, who also spent two days with Andaman Discoveries in Tung Nang Dam. The Ecolodge is currently working to develop a “lifestyle tour” with a Thai-Moken village a short walk away that would include guided botanical walks to learn about the tradition plant uses of the Sea Gypsies. Other activities include sea kayaking, snorkeling, diving, and yoga. Guests may volunteer in the organic garden or help out with various sustainable-living projects such as solar-shower or created wetlands construction. Brian and Maren added “staying here for a few days gave us a sense of fulfillment — environmental stewardship and conservation, cultural preservation, and natural beauty are rarely found in a place so welcoming to visitors.”