Ko Tha Lu
Nowadays, travelling doesn’t have to harm the environment and a good trip doesn’t have to come at the expense of nature. Having realized that human beings are just one small component of nature and that we share this planet with thousands of other species, forward-thinking travellers have begun striving to find new travel experiences that enable them to stay surrounded by natural beauty and yet do so in a sustainable way. Ko Tha Lu is not only a fantastic destination for people wishing to explore the most abundant spot in the Gulf of Thailand’s vast underwater world but also the perfect choice for travelers seeking to do something for a worthy cause, like planting and cultivating coral reefs or nursing hawksbill sea turtles.
Situated on Ko Tha Lu, the Plant Genetic Conservation Project under the Royal Initiative of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was established and has been operating under the name “Siam Marine Rehabilitation Foundation” for many years now. Moreover, Ko Tha Lu is a tourist attraction that promotes responsible tourism by inviting interested travelers to participate in the construction of coral reefs with artificial root techniques and install them in the ocean. By positioning these reefs where the tides and the wind are not particularly strong and where there is sufficient sunlight, they create a suitable environment for the recovery and growth of the coral reefs that will become a sanctuary for various marine life. Before the arrival of the hawksbill turtle’s spawning season, the island arranges several activities including collecting litter and branch scraps from the beach to prepare the area as a spawning ground for the turtles, one of only five species of sea turtles found in Thailand and cleaning the nursery, where hawksbill turtles are raised and nurtured until they reach a size where they can survive out in the vast ocean.
Another activity not to miss when visiting Ko Tha Lu is snorkeling. Experience the crystal clear waters, admire coral reefs teeming with life, and be greeted by schools of small colorful fish as you explore the underwater world. Remember to always be careful not to step on or break the coral reefs and never drop an anchor near them. When it’s nearing sundown, take a stroll and explore the local community to witness the simple lifestyle of fishermen, learn the different cultures, and visit projects on local fishery conservation and the crab bank. By supporting these activities, you can show your commitment to responsible tourism and give back to the environment.
- Join a coral-reef planting activity to help marine life thrive.
- Help prepare the beach areas and create proper spawning grounds for female hawksbill turtles or prepare the nursery to nurture endangered sea turtles allowing them to grow and continue to breed.
- Try snorkeling and admire one of the country’s most abundant coral reefs.
Best Time to Visit
- During February to May is recommended.
- Turtle hatching season in Thailand is from November to February. Hatchlings need to be well nursed before being released into the sea.