celebrating new growth in southern thailand
Intrepid groups travelling in the region get to visit the inspiring Leeled community, where they enjoy warm hospitality, an amazing experience of local life, and the chance to explore the coastline where community conservation efforts have led to more than 1000 hectares of new forest!
Life in Leeled is intimately connected with water. Community members live on the banks of serene waterways which flow from the Tapi River. They collect food, building materials and medicines from the mangroves, which border a tapestry of canals reaching out to the open sea of Baan Don Bay.
Local people in Leeled have worked in partnership with Intrepid since 2005. This special program was developed in close cooperation between Intrepid’s team in Thailand and Leeled community members, with assistance from the EU and a local non-government organisation, Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I).
Leeled residents now work as a team to manage the award-winning ‘community based tourism’ project. Local guides lead guests down the river and out to sea, where they meet local fishermen, explore the mangroves and learn how people use this nursery for sea life in their every day lives. The guides also explain how they worked together to replenish the mangroves!
Income from tourism has helped conservation by funding mangrove monitoring and a wall of bamboo, which prevents illegal fishing in the bay. Local people play important roles as guides, homestay hosts, boat and car drivers, so the future is looking brighter for this river community now that the mangroves are continuing to grow!
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