Tung Dap is located on Koh Phratong Island, bordered by the Andaman Sea and accessible only by boat. A one-lane road connects villager’s homes, with no automobile traffic or convenience stores. Transport comes in the form of one’s feet, a bicycle, or on a small tractor with trailer. Small-scale fishing is the predominant form of income. The villagers sell fish, squid, and crab at a local pier. Other sources of income include fish farming and collection of forest products.
Tung Dap is home to people of both Thai and Moken ethnicities. The tsunami of 2004 destroyed many of the homes that were located near the beach, and many families relocated to the safety of the mainland, although some remained. The sea is a short, one-kilometer walk from the village school. The soothing waves rolling gently onto the beach serve as a reminder of the Moken villagers’ history.
The seasonal swamp forests located in the savannah around Tung Dap are also of high conservation value, as they are among the few examples of this ecosystem remaining in the area.
Tung Dap has three different protected zones: a preservation zone, a community mangrove zone, and a preparatory area. No hunting or fishing is allowed in the preservation zone, the trees there can only be cut down with permission from the community, and oil pollution is not allowed. The community mangrove zone is more open to use, but there are restrictions: no fishing with poisons, no cutting trees in order to sell the wood, and no fishing with nets in certain areas. These community rules are enforced by the villagers themselves and regular monitoring has proved successful in minimizing resource exploitation by outsiders. The conservation group has received government recognition for their conservation efforts.
How to Book
Thai speakers can arrange trips arranged directly. English speakers are advised to contact local tour operator Andaman Discoveries.
Jariya Petsai (Noi) Telephone: +66 (0) 81 086 8247
Som Telephone: +66 (0) 80 719 5977
How to Get There
Tung Dap is located on the southwestern tip of Koh Phratong Island in Kuraburi district, Phang Nga province. Boats leave from Tung La-ong Pier. The breathtaking boat ride takes 30 minutes and you will arrive at a pier of Tung Dap.
What make Tung Dap truly unique is its friendly people and the intimacy with nature. Though not fully developed, homestay service here welcomes you with warmth and family like feelings. Try fresh seafood caught by villagers. Let the local guides show you the beautiful landscape of the area. Get closer to simplicity of life by staying in a hand built house, which made from natural resources, and appreciating the local ways of life.
Orchid Farm Visit
Orchids provide a colorful, rich tapestry throughout Thailand. Tung Dap is home to an orchid farm with seemingly endless rows of stunning orchids. Meander about the farm while learning about the popular flower in Thailand. A visit to this bright, color-filled farm is sure to develop photographs worth framing at home.
Duration: 1 hour
Sunset At The Beach
About one kilometer from the school is a peaceful beach. The beach appears as you crest a small hill surrounded by a forest of looming palm trees. The sunset is the perfect time to relax and absorb all of the day’s events.
Exertion level: Easy.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Making Squid Traps
Catching squid is one of the key livelihoods of the region. Making traps is a continuous activity. Join the local fishermen to tie ropes from floating devices to traps, tie nets around the floating devices, or carry the finished cages to the high-tide mark where the cages go out to sea in the morning. Now locals are facing a problem they have tried to deal, commercial fishing boats (trolling) that are illegal come to fish in the area of quid traps place and destroy all traps of locals here.
Duration: 1-2 hours
In between making squid traps or being at sea, the local fisherman love to gather food from local ponds. They tend to be quite successful by trapping lots of smaller fish and even the periodic large catfish. Visitors can get muddy by trying to catch the big ones with their bare hands or by throwing weighted nets. By the time you also can see many kinds of bird around there including lessor adjutant which came to find fish when water in the pond is low.
Exertion level: Moderate.
Duration: 2-3 hours to one day
Enjoy the local culinary delight, made from konjac flour, and learn how to make your own dessert. This is a great chance to interact with villagers, while getting to try your cooking skills.
Duration: 2-3 hours