Andaman Discoveries Blog

Friday, April 27, 2012



 Thank you so much to our volunteers who took part in our projects over the last few months:  your time and dedication means so much to us.

We are currently developing new projects that will need the skills and time from volunteers over the next few months, watch this space for an up-date.

Here is a little excerpt from the feedback from one of our past volunteers :

“Hi! First of all, if you’re reading this, thank you. Thank you for giving up some of your precious time to help out on a really worthwhile cause, I know that it was so tempting to book that beach resort instead but trust me, you’re doing a good thing.

 How good that ‘good thing’ really becomes is now entirely dependent on you. But who am I to say all that? Well I, like you, volunteered in 2012 when I was 21, I did have a lot of help but still there were one or two small things that, on reflection, set me back and prevented me from really making my ‘good thing’ truly great and if I can pass on the mistakes that I made and the solutions that I found and help even just one person, then I’d feel a lot better.

  Before I even get onto teaching methods and how that’s all really going to go down, I want to talk about Kuraburi itself. As you no doubt feel right now, you’re a rather long way from home and all these unreadable signs, market stalls and strange glances from pretty much everybody isn’t helping the uneasiness. Don’t panic, that’s perfectly normal; it’s culture shock and it will take time. Probably no good right now, but I will say that although there’s nothing you can do about the signs (or the market stalls) a smile goes a very long way with the locals and once you realize that there’s nothing malicious in their curiosity, you’ll quickly start to enjoy the attention. Take it from me, I’m seriously shy but the locals seem to have this thing for different skin tones and a fondness for foreigners that landed me several charming compliments without even a Hello.”


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Donations from Rainy Lam

Our long term friend and supporter, Rainy Lam from Hong Kong, donated a whole load of soft toys for the children at the Kuraburi Nursery and Learning center this week.  Rainy has been an avid donor, since sponsoring the education of one of the children; sending gifts and educational toys for all the children.  She has helped them understand origami (paper folding) and you will find little paper flowers and birds made by the children all over the place.

If you have unwanted toys or games we can always use them for our schools and orphanage programs; please get in touch for details on where to send.

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Sawadee ka!

I am Shiori, one of the new interns at Andaman Discoveries.  I joined the team at the beginning of February, and I will be here for another 5 months. It is unbelievable how fast my days have gone by since arriving here.  It’s been great fun and I am enjoying working with the team and with the community projects.

This internship is part of my bachelor degree of International Tourism and Consultancy at NHTV in the Netherlands.  I chose to come here because I’ve been interested in working on Community-Based Tourism and such projects for the last few years, Andaman Discoveries is working on projects which I’ve been keen to be involved with.  

I am in charge of client communications and coordinating volunteers who come to help our projects.  I am also here to do destination research for my study.  I do hope to be able to contribute my experiences and knowledge gained from my studies and gain more experiences and expand my network during my stay.

If you have not been to Thailand or the Andaman region, I do recommend you visit us and explore this beautiful and exotic area! 

My colleague, Jennifer who is working on our Newsletter and social media up-dates, will keep you posted about us, our volunteers and guests and of course our projects!

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Friday, April 20, 2012


Drip Filters Project with The Rotary Club of Patong Beach for Thailand

On the 3rd of March 2012, staff and friends of AD participated in installing the “Drip filters project” in the beautiful Laem Naew village, which is situated in Suksamran Disctrict. This project set up by Rotary Club of Patong Beach (RCoPB) has been a real success thanks to the cooperation with Andaman Discoveries. Rotary Club of Patong Beach is an English Speaking Club, located in Phuket, with members from 13 different countries, which was set up to support communities after tsunami.

Our first installation for the project was in Ban Chimee for 60 drip filters, and Bang Lampu for 65 drip filters on 19th February 2012. Many villages in Thailand don’t have access to water and it usually comes from polluted sources. As there’s no access to electricity, usual water filtration systems are not practical. The villagers also use rainwater stored in tanks for drinking water then boil or filter but it often runs out during the dry season.
The Drip Filter is a ceramic system, and a low cost alternative to provide these families with bacteria and pollution free drinking water, they can have a local drinking water instead of buying bottles of water from the mainland.

We are very active in the communities and have a long relationship with the RCoPB through other projects and have the capability to follow up and make sure the Drip Filters are properly used and maintained thanks to our social network.

For this second installation we carried 31 drip filters for more than a 100 people, and it was very interesting to be part of this project to make sure everything was going well and also see the cooperation between the villagers (Andaman Discoveries) and the Rotary Club of Patong Beach.

On the 17th of March, we also assembled a total of 64 drip filters and gave instructions to the Moken and Thai families on the island of Koh Phratong and in the remote villages of Tung Dap and Ban Lions, on how to best use the filter.

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My experience in Ban Talae Nok Homestay

This month I had the chance to experience the beautiful “Village by the Sea” Tour organized by Andaman Discoveries with our wonderful translator Pi-Tui and guide Hem in Deh’s lovely homestay. This was part of the trip for two French guests we hosted “Frederic and Rozen”. They spent two days and one night discovering the way of life in the village of Ban Talae Nok and experienced the cultural activities with the locals. During our time there, we were able to enjoy the delicious southern Thai meals with our host family; every day there was a delicious array of dishes presented Thai style of course.

When arriving to the village we had a walk through the community and learnt about the history of the village, and what happened during and after the tsunami and saw how they rebuilt the village in a nice and respectful way doing their best to respect the nature of the area.
After enjoying a relaxing break on the hammocks and a walk through the beautiful village, we learnt about the batik technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using designs drawn in wax. It was very interesting and enjoyable to have time for drawing.  It was nice to feel like the old days when we used to have time for this kind of leisure, and discovering this kind of art.  I was able to keep my “creation” as a nice souvenir and it hangs with pride on my wall.

After this relaxing and fun activity, we went fishing with two local fishermen who taught us how to manage the fishing net. We all went into the water together while trying to keep the net down, so the fishes did not escape. Then we had a barbecue on the beach cooking the fish that we caught; it’s amazing to have dinner with food that you actually catch yourself from the sea. I now understand why fishermen are proud of their life style; it was such a great experience. I will never forget the environment and the landscape surrounding us and the unforgettable colors of the sunset.

The next day, we were shown how to weave leaves of the Nypa Palm with the villagers in order to make traditional roofing from the local mangrove plant. It’s great to learn how I could build my own house with this material thanks to this kind of natural technique.  And I now understand where the authentic houses in Thailand come from.

Later we were shown how to cook local Thai food with the host family; it’s very interesting and I hope to do it back home for my friends and my family and the result was great and delicious. We had fried fish, shrimps in curry, and vegetables in a coconut soup that we just freshly grated.

 In the evening we had a cultural exchange by sharing stories and experiences together. Rozen and Frederic brought pictures from France to show the snow and the countryside and how dry the mountains are over there compared to Thailand. We also have the chance to dress up in traditional Muslim clothing.  It was funny to see how you actually look like when you are dressed in a different way, you are able to be in the shoes of another way of living.

I could only stay in the village for one day and one night, so I couldn’t experience the mangrove tour in long-tail boat, and the hand-crafted soap making workshop. But Rozen and Frederic had very positive feedback from this experience.  They wanted to discover the cultural part of Thailand and they have been amazed by the simplicity and the kindness of the family homestay, and also by the way they live in harmony with the nature.

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