Rayong Through the Lens of Low-carbon Tourism
Publish On 15, Dec 2020 | Rayong Through the Lens of Low-carbon Tourism
At the mention of Rayong’s tourism, the first things that come to mind are white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise sea, islands, lush forests, and an abundance of tasty fruits. In this column, however, we will show you that there is more and introduce you to the concept of low-carbon tourism: a new breed of tourism that enables you to take care of the environment and the world at the same time.
The key tenet of low-carbon tourism is the minimization of carbon emissions. As such, it promotes the use of public transportation, bicycles, and other vehicles that require no energy and prioritizes eco-conscious accommodation options, such as green hotels and local lodges. This breed of tourism also centers around environmental conservation and immersion into the local way of life.
01 Ban Mapchan Eco-tourism
For those who like to explore the local way of life of each destination they visit, Ban Mapchan Community is sure to leave you a lasting impression.
The educational eco-tourism site was a collaborative effort of the villagers of Ban Mapchan Community in Moo 7, Klaeng Sub-district, Muang District, Rayong, who came together to turn a drought crisis into an opportunity to revitalize the village’s water sources. Their initiative has not only restored life to the area on which their livelihood depends, but has also resulted in green spaces that have become iconic tourist destinations with eco-tourism activities for visitors.
Local activities include natural check dam building in the community’s forest, jungle treks, and off-road Enduro bike tours, all carried out under the guidance and safety supervision of community volunteers. Also available for visitors are orchard tours at Sumalee’s Salak Orchard and Khun Tum and Khun Too’s Fruit Orchard.
After a long day of vigorous activities, you can wind down by paying respect to the Buddha at Wat Mapchan and learning how to cook local dishes, and then check in to one of the five homestay lodges, hosted by members of Ban Mapchan Community, where you can experience the local way of life and take in the fresh air of Khao Yai Da forest.
For more information:
Eco-tourism – Ban Mapchan Community
Village Headman Wandee Intraphrom
02 Tracing Sunthorn Phu’s Journey along the Lawon Canal
The historic canal traversed by Sunthorn Phu has been restored to the glory of its yesteryears, ready to welcome visitors who wish to travel back in time and immerse themselves in pristine nature.
By taking a 40-minute boat ride across the meandering canal, which stretches six kilometers before draining into the sea, visitors can learn about the lush mangrove forests that line both sides of the waterway. The combination of freshwater, brackish water, and seawater in the canal explains the diverse array of outlandish-looking trees along the canal, which includes common mangroves, gray mangroves, and 100-year-old cannonball mangroves.
With a waterway naturally comes a riverine way of life. To earn their livelihood, the villagers depend not only on fishing and crabbing but also on oyster farming thanks to the conducive ecosystem and water sources. As such, e-pae, a bundle of ropes to which young oysters attach, can be seen hanging from the patio of every house along the canal.
A boat trip along the lush Lawon Canal will certainly give you a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
For more information:
Local Tourism Enterprise of Lawon Canal Community, Sunthorn Phu Sub-district Municipality
03 Rayong Botanic Garden
Thanks to its coastal location where three kinds of water converge, Rayong boasts a unique assortment of plants that are worthy of conservation, propagation, and showing to the public for education purposes.
Standing on an area of over 2,500 rai, Rayong Botanic Garden is a conservation site for wetland ecosystems. With the trees protecting the area from coastal erosion and rising seawater, the botanical garden serves as a sanctuary for rare local flora and fauna.
As such, the not-to-be-missed activity is an educational tour of the local plants and ecosystems, which you can take by bike, kayak, or pontoon boat. The two highlights are the robust ancient melaleuca forest that has been around for over 1,000 years and the floating patch of grass with one-meter-long roots that is strong enough to support the weight of human adults, making it a rare and exciting sight.
As one of Thailand’s most well-preserved mangrove ecosystems, this is a destination that nature lovers simply cannot miss.
For more information:
Rayong Botanic Garden, Moo 2, Chakphong Sub-district, Klaeng District