Andaman Discoveries Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Volunteer's blog

Our recent volunteer to the orphanage Lucy James has a great blog.
She commented her experience and lots of the activities she did there during her volunteering.
We think is really interesting for people who want to know more about volunteering in the orphanage to read her posts.
We are really pleased to have been linked in their blog so now we link her here for anyone who wants to know about such a great volunteer experience.

Thanks Lucy

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Happy Holidays from Andaman Discoveries

A big tropical hello from the whole Andaman Discoveries family, including our newest member - Vajra. Thanks for being part of all the great things we do, and we look forward to another great year of service and smiles - everything is possible.

Fun ways to get involved:

Please send us a message of holiday cheer, and we will share it on our blog, or read about all of our exciting projects.

Help with Pink's salary, our friend Leslie already gave two months of her salary but we still need funds for the next months. If you want to see more details about this issue please follow this link to our article about all the beautiful and important things that Pink is doing for Ban Talae Nok and the Village Youth Group.

Check out the videos on our web page.

Wishing you lots of holiday Joy,

Tui, Bodhi, Karen, Nat, and Guillem


Request for Support - Pink and the Village Youth Group

Ban Talae Nok Village, Thailand
Ladda Aharn, or Pink, as her friends call her, smiles as she welcomes a group of guests to her village on the Andaman Coast. Unlike the majority of visitors over the past few years, this group of visitors is not here to see the destruction wrought by the tsunami. Instead, they are here as volunteers to help with community development projects in Ban Talae Nok, a village of 67 homes situated in between the coral reefs and dense rainforests of Southern Thailand.
Life has not always been so easy for Pink – after the great wave of 2004, Pink had to abandon her education to find employment to support her family. When Andaman Discoveries started a community center in the village, Pink enthusiastically joined various projects and demonstrated strong leadership qualities.
Pink is now the all-star leader of the village youth and conservation group – over the last year they have restored a former shrimp pond, performed educational puppet shows about global warming, and hosted an international seminar with youth from six other countries.

Please consider sponsoring Pink’s monthly salary ($230) and project costs ($140) so she can continue in her role as a community leader while raising a family.

During a community assessment, WildAsia took note of her work: “You have a phenomenal leader in Pink. Her work with the youth group is inspiring. With her as a role model, the youth will be become effective community leaders.”
Pink’s ongoing projects include:
Waste Management: The Ban Talae Nok Youth group has been encouraging community members to Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse, and the village now has a trash bin for every home as well as in public areas. The youth group regularly collects and separates the garbage in the village and on the beach, and also makes fun recycled art. Recently, the group has been making accessories such as pencil cases and wallet form reusable materials. The donation supports the purchase of snacks and drinks after the weekly cleanup.
Organic Garden: Kitchen garden is highly successful, and supplies food for youth and adult meetings. Recently, a number of men in the village helped out by building fences and making fertilizer. The result is six garden plots where vegetables such as lemon grass, long beans, chilies, galanga, eggplants, and morning glory are locally grown. Approximately 20 houses have been given seedlings to grow fresh vegetables, with the goal of even more villagers growing their own food. Donations support tools and snacks on gardening days.
Landscaping: The youth group is working on building a fence along the main road with carefully planted greenery such as local leaf (Pak Leing), fruit trees like rose apple and mango, to enliven the village environment. Youths recently dredged and removed garbage from fresh-water ponds near village.
Community Forest: Recently, villagers have been concerned that outside investors might try to illegally reclaim the mangrove restoration area near the village. Pink organized an overnight camp to visit and survey the restored habitat. The survey found that new species are now establishing themselves without being planted, and that the replanted Nipa palm is already useful for villagers making thatched roofing from its leaves. The youth also interviewed village elders about the history of the area.

Contact: Bodhi Garrett +66 8178 77344

Monday, December 20, 2010


Burmese Learning Center Summer Camp

This month saw the first ever ‘Summer Camp’ held for the students of the Kuraburi Burmese Learning Center; this event was partly sponsored by Muan Mit Thai Foundation who help this event supplying transport for the kids, a very good sound equipment for evenings of karaoke and also contribute food for the event. These contributions are important to help improve the lives of the children through fun activities and education. This was a three day event held just outside Kuraburi town in the grounds of the college in Soi Nang Yong

The dedicated staff and helpers from the school helped to set up a weekend of activities for the children which included sports and games, signing and dancing, along with overnight camping; a rare opportunity for these children, as most of these students do not get the opportunity to go on excursions and spend overnight away from their village. Here they were allowed to run, play and get totally immersed in fun activities with their friends and classmates in a safe and new environment.

Through the support of the lunch program funds, Andaman Discoveries helped to provide dinner for the 50 children and staff on the first evening; cooking chicken and noodles as a special treat for the children. Helping to supply the vegetables and protein for dinner was a welcome hand for the families, as it can be expensive to provide extra above the rice and egg that the children are supplied with. The cooks are expert with given ingredients and managed to bulk out the noodles with vegetables and made soup with the chicken so that the children had a feast for over two days, thank you to all our supporters, we all had happy heart knowing that after a day of full on activities the children would be fed well.
The children were taught leadership and socialization skills through planned activities, assisting each other through climbing frames, helping each other negotiate tricky maneuvers through tunnels and ropes and shouting encouraging words of support as they hung on to rope swings to cross a small patch of water, while others pulled the ropes to make it more difficult.

We hope this camp will run every year which will allow the children to become involved in planning and organizing for the next event, which we know is important, and this will give them something to look forward to and to take ownership over, most important for the welfare and mental wellbeing of these children.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Ban Talae Nok, Community products awarded with 5 stars from the OTOP and Guide training with youth

Recently, Ban Talae Nok was awarded with the 5 stars from the One Tambon One product award. This means that the Ban Talae Nok handmade soap is recognized as one of the best community products all over the region. The pride of the community and its motivation to keep doing things in a good way is now reinforced by gaining this beautiful and deserved recognition

Meanwhile, guide training with youth has taken place in Village. All the participants have learnt lots of skills and knowledge and this will hopefully increase their motivation to become great guides; now, they are part of the community based tourism group of the village.

The youth also did a trip to a nearby province in order to be trained in drama and script writing about sustainability and environmental conservation. All of this makes this young people from Ban Talae Nok highly enthusiastic, prepared and full of new and exciting ideas to host their popular puppet show.

Andaman Discoveries feels fortunate to collaborate with such a nice community. Congratulations for the excellence award! We hope all of this helps the village to face the future.

We all cheer Ban Talae Nok to keep moving forward

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Andaman Discoveries, a grassroots responsible travel organization in Thailand, is the Winner of the 2010 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards

Wild Asia Press release
After months of consideration and site visits, Wild Asia’s judging panel has finally selected its 2010 RT Awards winners. Operators such as Andaman Discoveries (Thailand), Heritance Kandalama (Sri Lanka), and Sarinbuana Ecolodge (Indonesia) have surpassed judges’ expectations for their high standards of environmental protection and social responsibility.

With one billion tourists expected to hit the road by 2010, the tourism industry’s impact on environment and communities around the world is immense. Now in their fifth year, the Awards are part of Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Initiative to promote sustainability through tourism.

This year's winner for best tour operator, Andaman Discoveries, stems from tsunami relief pioneered by volunteers who wanted to give back. Now, guests and volunteers can choose from six villages to stay in, and people from all walks of life are getting involved.

Helping fourteen local guides improve a nature trail through thick jungle might not be everyone’s idea of a romantic start to a married life; however, Meredith and Dave aren’t your typical tourists.

After hearing about Andaman Discoveries’ Hands-On Tours, the couple was inspired to include a three-day homestay in Ban Talae Nok as part of their honeymoon. Their visit coincided with a villager-initiated project to clear their nature trail and repair hand ropes for the safety of visitors.

Proceeds from Andaman Discoveries village tours directly support local conservation efforts and cultural preservation, and the villagers are always delighted to have guests and volunteers help with the hands-on work. A leader in sustainable travel and development in Thailand, Andaman Discoveries allows visitors and volunteers to directly support community education, village-led conservation, and cultural empowerment.

"We are passionate about this type of tourism because it benefits both parties," explained Meredith. "For us it enriched our lives and informed our sense of the world. For the villagers, they have become stewards of their own experience, making decisions as a group about how to introduce travelers into their lives rather than losing control of their culture."

For more information:

Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards -,

Andaman Discoveries –,

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Asia Society Young Leader Summit, Jakarta

Bodhi Garrett, founder of Andaman Discoveries, was selected to participate in the fifth annual Asia Society Young Leaders Summit, in Jakarta from December 3-5. Bodhi joined 150 other young leaders, all under age 40, to engage in discussions about “Unity in Diversity: Responsible Leadership in the Asia-Pacific.”

The Asia 21 Summit is the pre-eminent gathering of Asia’s most dynamic young leaders from the Asia-Pacific region, from every sector including businessmen, documentary filmmakers, environmental activists, human rights advocates, members of parliament, military personnel, performance artists, and social entrepreneurs.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Dear Friends:

Hello, my name is Guillem and I am from a little town near from Barcelona. I am a graduated in economics and I came here to help and learn as much as I can about all the wonderful actions that Andaman Discoveries does. I arrived three months ago to Andaman Discoveries. It is situated in Kuraburi, an amazing town full of kind and smiley people. The staff has made me feel like at home since the beginning and it’s been really easy for me to adapt to the Thai lifestyle.
I was a bite worried about the food and the language. But the truth is that the food is delicious and the people is really helpful and it is really easy to get in contact with them.

I will be here for the next three months and I can’t wait to see the exciting experiences that are left for me.
Thanks to Thailand, Kuraburi and AD to allow me to live this once in a lifetime experience.


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