Andaman Discoveries Blog

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Tung Dap Homestay

by Noelle Smithhart

After leaving the school, we spent two nights with a host family in Tung Dap, on Koh Phratong Island. This part of our voyage was filled with amazing beauty, gracious hospitality, and even more delicious food.

I wrote this while I was there. Words won't do the experience justice, but they are the only way I can convey the two days we spent there:

I am listening to conversations in languages I do not understand. The wind talking to the trees. The clucks of chickens and roosters beneath the beams of the house I am sitting in. The scent of onion, sizzling as our hosts prepare dinner. Children's brief calls. The silence of cats and dogs sleeping. The rumble of man and machine. The dash of geckos on the roof. I may not understand them, but knowing them, in this moment, gives me peace.

We are in paradise. Where a flicker of light could be a spark on a tractor or a firefly. Where little boys catch bugs and give shells as gifts on long beach walks. Where the crescent moon catches where the
sunset left us on the last horizon. We can get lost in stars and styrofoam signs. The water is warm. Did you feel the foxtails tickle your arm? Did you let the sand fill between your toes? Did you breathe in the salty air? Breathing in and out with the currents.

May I remind you again that we are in paradise. Where bright eyes meet ours with smiles. Where the baby sits behind his father's wheel.

What woke you this morning? The far off fisherman's boats? Scooters? Ducks? The booming, buzzing sirens of the cicadas? Or did you rise when our host tossed the dry grains of rice in her pot? Did the alpha wake you with his growl? Or the roosters echoing each other's calls?


As my eyes closed to rest on our mats, the vision of a miracle played itself out on the backs of my eyelids. My toes still felt themselves being sucked into the muck near the newly planted mangrove seeds. I feel the layer of fine sand coating my skin. And now we rise to Nescafe. Rice and shrimp. Folded mosquito nets and textiles. Let us never finish this conversation. As the sea gypsy "Noi" tone loops in our memories.

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Tung Dap is situated on Koh Phratong Island, which is only reachable by boat and is surrounded by the Andaman Sea. Homes in the community are connected by a one-lane road with no car traffic or convenience stores. The three main modes of transportation are on foot, by bicycle, and on a small tractor pulling a trailer. Small-scale fishing provides the majority of the region's revenue. At a nearby dock, the locals sell fish, squid, and crab. Fish farming and the gathering of forest goods are two more sources of revenue. Thai and Moken residents may be found in Tung Dap. Many of the residences that were close to the shore were devastated by the tsunami of 2004, and many families evacuated to the safety of the mainland, but some stayed. Learn How to play Black Dessert M on PC here.
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Noelle Smithhart's article about her stay at Tung Dap Homestay on Koh Phratong Island showcases the beauty of travel experiences beyond words. Her vivid descriptions and poetic prose capture the essence of the place, highlighting the profound connection and lasting impact of travel. contract dispute resolution process
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