Phuket River Canoe (PRC) officially launches its new tour business on 15 July in Chalong.
And owner Khun Aod is boldly going where no Phuket-based tour operator has gone before.
He searched to create something different that would combine river canoeing with ecological restoration of damaged mangrove forest in Chalong.
“If Phuket River Canoe is successful that means guests will take the tour and help re-plant damaged forests.
“We also want to help educate Thais living on the river, hopefully getting them involved to help clean up the environment and local forests,” he said.
Call it an experiment in community-based renewable ecotourism.
Replanting damaged mangrove forests is no easy task mind you; this bit is messy, muddy work. Even with knee-high ‘welly’ boots on. Some forest area around where PRC has its restaurant and canoe launch piers is damaged or cleared of mangrove (there are two starting piers depending on tide).
And getting there starts the adventure.
Once off the paved tarmac there is not one Family Mart or 7-Eleven around. Impossible.
You can’t get much more off the beaten track that this – the one kilometre dirt road drive in is both rugged and fascinating.
However once canoes are launched and we’re paddling down the Moodong River for just a few minutes, this is all in the rear view mirror.
What unfolds after is forking amazing, beautiful healthy mangrove forests teeming with wildlife stretching as far as the eye could see. That was all the motivation needed after returning to PRC’s lakeside restaurant to get muddy and stick a new mangrove shoot in the mud.
We saw what development had done to Chalong’s mangrove forest, and that each new tree planted might help restore some part of what was lost.
PRC offers a half-day tour out paddling on the river (buffet lunch included) that is a unique product in itself. However visitors may also try their hand at trapping mud crabs or fishing if they like.
Phuket River Canoe picks up guests from their Phuket hotels and the tour price is inclusive of round trip transfers and lunch.
If you’re looking for a new experience that benefit rural communities and Phuket’s environment contact Khun Aod directly for information and rates via his mobile 08-69491216, email [email protected]
All tours are subject to weather conditions. Tour starting times can vary according to the tide.