Local villagers of Thong Tom Yai Community organize community tourism in the form of home-stay experiences. They allocate space in their actual homes to welcome visitors, opening their kitchens to prepare local food and seafood dishes with fresh ingredients straight from the sea. Visitors and locals enjoy meals together on the balcony in an atmosphere so friendly that you would believe it was a gathering of close friends or relatives.
Aside from this, community members help arrange various tourism activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking and present visitors with a priceless insight into the community way of life with activities like squid fishing at night and traditional sun-dried seafood processing. Environment-oriented volunteer works are here for the interested; building houses for fish and seahorses without causing environmental damage using a Sang Pla, or traditional fishing trap and planting mangrove forests as propagation and nursery grounds for small species of marine mammals.
However, the real highlight activity and the cultural identity of Thong Tom Yai Community is the annual “Sea Ordination”. Local villagers gather up and tie yellow robes to a number of Sang Pla that have been plunged in the sea as a kind of tent for fishes and other aquatic animals to live in, preventing these tiny creatures from being disturbed, allowing them to grow and return to the vast ocean. This ceremony is a part of the local community’s heritage and an act that helps restore abundance to nature.
Beyond the happiness gained from new experiences, traveling to Thong Tom Yai Community allows travelers to learn and respect the different culture and way of life, see examples of utilizing existing resources with optimal benefits and in a sustainable way, and help generate income for the community by staying overnight, buying local food and supporting community products. In return, these activities give hope and motivation to the locals by helping them to sustain their simple yet dignified lifestyle.