Andaman Discoveries Blog

Friday, November 26, 2010


Loy Krathong Festival 2010 at the orphanage

The Loy Krathong Festival is one of the most celebrated dates all over Thailand. It takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional Thai lunar calendar.The biodegradable krathong is decorated with elaborately-folded banana leaves, flowers, candles and incense sticks.Thais float their krathong on a river showing their respect to the spirit of the waters. Nowadays it is time for the people to put their bests wishes together and let them go hoping they will come true.

For the children in the orphanage it was a day of hope, joy and fun. They prepared some great dances, paintings and English public speech demonstrations. Some members of Andaman Discoveries joined the current volunteers at the orphanage to enjoy this amazing celebration. It was so good to be able to be in such a happy day. Thanks a lot to the orphanage to invite us to this great day!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Andaman Discoveries community projects - September and October, 2010:

Action conservation with local youth groups
Youth Network Meeting and Conservation Seminar, 10-11 October
Sponsored by the Planeterra Foundation.

To mark international environmental day on 10-10-2010, we convened 2-day seminar for 15 conservation groups including 66 youth, and another 24 community organizers. Participating youth groups came from Buddist, Muslim, Moken, and Burmese backgrounds, and the resulting intercultural exchange was richly rewarding for all. The seminar built pride and skills in the next generation of environmental champions.

Local exchange visits and skills workshops
Community Network Meeting and Conservation Tour, 4 October
Sponsored by the Planeterra Foundation.
35 people from 9 community-based tourism groups joined in the bimonthly meeting of the North Andaman Community Tourism Network. October’s meeting took place in the scenic village of Tung Nang Dam.

Community tourism and conservation learning tours
“Best Practices” Homestay and Sustainable Agriculture Study Trip
Sponsored by the Planeterra Foundation.
17-19 September, 2010
This study trip visited the well-known homestay village of Koh Pitak and the “sufficiency agriculture” project at the Chumpon Cabana hotel. The 25 participants included 14 villagers from Ban Lion, 7 officers from the district government, including the chief, and 4 staff from the project team.
The Koh Pitak homestay was founded in 1996, and most of the visitors to the homestay program are Thai. The program is led by an enthusiastic village headman, and involves community members not only in tourism, but also in village beautification/clean-up efforts, youth activities, environment and natural resource management, a community savings fund, and sufficiency economics.
The Chumpon Cabana, on the other hand, is a resort with more than 250 rooms and 120 staff. Following the economic crisis, around 13 years ago, the resort began to apply the King’s method for sufficiency economics, and developed their own garden to supply food for guests and staff.

Phra Thong Island Conservation & Livelihoods
Kayak Training
Sponsored by the Planeterra Foundation.
28-29 September, 2010
Participants included 6 guides from Ban Lions, 2 guides from Ban Talae Nok, 4 trainers, and 5 “pilot guests.” The objective of the training was to provide a new activity for local guides to lead, and to offer guests a way to explore the mangrove ecosystems without disturbing local fauna, as opposed to the walkway that has been proposed by the local authorities.
To start the training, the guides from Ban Talae Nok shared their previous experience, as their village has been offering kayak tours for just under two years. Then, trainers reviewed technical and guiding skills, and then helped the guides practice and improve their skills with “pilot guests.”
Overall, the guides displayed great potential during the kayaking practicum; and knowledgeable instructors with a wealth of experience helped to sustain enthusiasm throughout the training.

Marketing Training – Handicrafts & Community-based Tourism
Sponsored by the Planeterra Foundation.
22-26 September, 2010
Since the community-based tourism (CBT) and the tie-dye groups started in Ban Lions, the community members have been improving capacity through product development and marketing outreach.
The objective of the Bangkok trip was to allow 5 members of the tourism and handicrafts groups to gain experience in marketing and improve their services and products by staffing their own booth at the Thailand Tourism Fair.
Simultaneously, the tie-dye group met with Thai Craft Fair Trade, a company marketing handicrafts made by Thai village groups.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


2010 International Forum, Hong Kong

Bodhi and Guillem went to the 2010 International Forum in Hong Kong invited by the Cambridge University Education Without Borders, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the AIESEC. We were pleased to share this educational forum with such honorable speakers and with all the students who assisted. Bodhi gave a speech about Andaman Discoveries and how he began his projects in Thailand as a social entrepreneur. The others speakers were Prof. Alan Barrel from Cambridge, Mr. Tit-Shing Wong director of Jetta Company Ltd, Ms. Candace Johnson from Luxemburg and Dr. Rob Valli from University of Illinois. All the organizators treated us in an excellent way and we would like to tell that the organization of the event was perfect.

All the conferences enriched our knowledge from different angles but all of them came from the passion and the beliefs of all the parliamentarians. Hopefully, the students from the Polytechnic University and other universities in Hong Kong who attended the forum will gain the different tools and strong motivation in order to become whatever they want to in the future.

For us it was definitley a pleasure to share our time with all the participants in this amazing city.

Thank you very much for this great opportunity.

Friday, November 12, 2010


World Travel Mart 2010

Phew....four days and nights of meetings, networking and exhibitions from all over the world, what a fantastic experience. The WTM in London is one of the biggest events for the travel industry to participate in this year. Thanks to the support from the CBI in the Netherlands which helped us secure stand space, we were able to meet parnters and exhbitors old and new. Laura and Karen are so excited at the opportunities that this will open for us and can't wait to get back to Thailand to get the ball rolling.

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WINNER: Wild Asia’s 2010 Responsible Tourism Awards

We are so pleased to be recognised by Wild Asia this year, finally we are winners for the Responsible Tourism award. Andaman Discoveries has been a supporter and campaigner with Wild Asia throughout the years. Thank you to staff in Singapore for accepting our award on our behalf; we were unable to attend, Bodhi did do a great video presentation, look out for this on our web site.
Thank you again


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