Andaman Discoveries Blog

Monday, December 15, 2008


Rough Guide Visit

Gail and Jeremy (center) get their hands dirty planting mangroves.
Jeremy Smith, author and editor of the widely-read environmental magazine Ecologist, is compiling a guide book of the top 300 eco-tourist destinations for the Rough Guide. He was nearing the end of his year-long multi-continent adventure in October when he and his partner Gail joined us for a three-night homestay in Ban Talae Nok. With his extensive knowledge in the areas of eco-tourism, self sustainability, and ethical consumerism, it was a great opportunity for Andaman Discoveries to gain new insights.

Jeremy and Gail had barely settled into their homestay before “Boy,” the family’s bright and adorable four year old child, started running rings around everyone! “We were made to feel like members of the community; everywhere we went we were greeted with smiles and waves. It’s impossible to go more than a few feet without someone inviting you to come and see what’s going on in their house that day. It’s brilliant!” commented Gail. The couple enjoyed the variety of activities, especially planting mangroves and the stunning sea views following a relaxing jungle hike. Batik making was another highlight, where laughter infused the hot wax drawing. Jeremy consulted on some possible new offerings for the soap cooperative, including using the wild mint found around the village. Jeremy commented that Ban Talae Nok was amongst the most beautiful places he’d ever been, home to some of the most open people he’d ever met. “It’s worth it for visitors to learn about the lifestyle, and to experience their friendship,” he said.

Unlike the hallmark short synopsis guidebooks for which Rough Guide is known, this will be full-length volume designed to give real insight in to some of the best places around the world where people can visit and make a difference to the local community, both ethically and environmentally. We look forward to the final publication.

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