icon-account icon-glass
Welcome to Bespoke Infinite Travel website

The Best Sustainable 4 Day Island Tour: Discovering The Unseen Tribes of the Andaman-The Moken Sea-Gypsies

Posted by Ayer Chengtrakun on

The Best Sustainable 4 Day Island Tour: Discovering The Unseen Tribes of the Andaman-The Moken Sea-Gypsies

Day 1  Highlights:

  • Khao Lak-Kuraburi-Koh Surin National Marine Park
  • Moken-guided tour of Koh Surin
  • Spearfishing and Jewelry Weaving
  • Lunch on the beach
  • Learning about Moken freediving techniques
  • Retreat to Baba Eco Lodge

Day 2 Highlights:

  • First breakfast at Baba Eco Lodge
  • Longboat tour to Koh Ra
  • Searching the jungle for hornbills
  • Lunch on a secluded beach
  • Return to Baba Eco Resort

Day 3 Highlights:

  • Either a safari Tour of Koh Phra Thong or
  • Sea-foraging/gathering at Tung Dap Village
  • Enjoy the late afternoon swimming and relaxing at Baba Eco Beach Resort

Day  4 Highlights:

    • Slow breakfast at Baba Eco Resort
    • Return to Khao Lak or Phuket by speedboat

Just 18 km from  Myanmar's sea-border lies a Marine Park with splendors that are likened to the Similan islands. Its flourishing ocean gardens form the lifeline of a local tribe of sea-nomads known as the Moken tribe, a group of people living as one with the sea. The coral filled waters and mangrove lined islands they inhabit are lesser known amongst tourist, making this tour very  specialized and significant.

As your longtail boat glides through the waters just off the coast of Surin Marine park, you will probably see their traditional black house- boats hovering in the glinstering water, and wonder where the sail-vessel's captain is.Just as the thought crosses your mind, a small body appears next to the streamlined vessel in the middle of the ocean, pulling from the liquid depths the freshly caught treasure of squid and crab. You sit wondering about the secrets these tribes hold, and how their centuries at sea have not been infiltrated by modern technology and globalization. Then you realize that during the next four days, your curiosity will be quenched as you get the rare opportunity to be invited into the homes and lives of these sea-specialists. Welcome to the 4 day sustainable Island tour.

Day 1 : Discovering Traditional Sea-Life with the Moken Tribe

Your day will start early with a speedboat transfer from Khao Lak to the Kuraburi Pier. Here you will board a speedboat which will rapidly take you to Koh Surin National Marine Park.

You will be greeted by your guide- the local Moken people, admirably referred to as sea-gypsies or sea-nomads. These unique people have been living off the sea for centuries learning how to hunt and gather from the folds of the ocean. Their way of living is seen as an excellent example of human and nature collaborating.

As you meet your Moken guide, you will start a guided tour of the island, getting a firsthand introduction to the beauty of these barely touched tropical islands of the Andaman sea.

You will learn through experiencing the local ways of life of the indigenous people. You will see the colourful poles which rise out from the sea, a symbolic show of respect for the sea-spirits which they believe guide them and protect them. You will get a glimpse into their everyday lifestyle, by viewing their stilted bamboo houses, and practicing the daily craft of spearfishing, and jewelry weaving with Pandanus leaves.

You will also receive a lesson on how to steer their unique Moken sailing-boats, which often form their home during large parts of the dry season. During many months of the year, this tribe happily hunt ,cook ,eat and sleep on this tar-coloured vessel, which has been known to harbor families, dogs, cats and even chickens.

A fresh sea-food lunch will be served under the shade of a tree on one of the beautiful white beaches. Next you will enjoy a short walk to a local coral reef in order to view the Moken  people’s unique diving rituals and techniques. Naturally growing up surrounded by the ocean, and using it as their main source of food, diving has formed an important part of their lives since birth. These mermaid-skilled humans can easily freedive down  to 30 meters, in order to  catch food for their families, or simply enjoy the beauty of their beautiful island waters.

After you spend  some time  swimming with the local Moken people and children, you will say goodbye to your guide. A longboat will take you to the secluded and private Baba Eco Lodge, boasting a 12 km stretch of deserted beach.

This incredible eco resort truly encompasses sustainability by hosting only a small number of people in stylish wooden huts, crafted in the traditional Thai architectural style of spacious interiors with wide open doors and windows. These huts allow uninterrupted views of either ocean or jungle, with a constant breeze sweeping its simple yet extremely stylish interior.

Enjoy the afternoon exploring the local beach and then a traditional dinner at the resort. Rest well because the morning will bring a beautiful jungle tour!

Day 2 : Koh Ra Jungle Trekking in Search of  Hornbills

After a delicious breakfast at the lodge, you will travel to the jungle island of Koh Ra by longtail boat.

Koh Ra island is covered in tropical jungle, and home to many famous bird and animal species, such as the colorful and hornbill. You will be guided by a local guide, who will teach you about the different plant and animal species, showing you  the unique properties of the various tree, plant and fruit species.

One of the most famous bird species you will search for, is the large, yellow-billed hornbill of Surin. This colorful animal can be likened to a feathered farmer, as it spreads seeds from different trees and plants across the forest, essentially planting and growing local flora. These forests provide a paradise of food supply  to this tropical bird, and it happily feasts numerous plant, fruit and seed species from the Koh Ra jungle.

As you focus  on the jungles' peaceful energy, your eyes and ears will become attuned to the songs of this lush island. Listen to the call of the local beetle and bird species and take large gulps of fresh air.Being this close to nature is an experience many people can only ever dream of.

Your exhilarating jungle trek will lead you to a secluded beach for a picnic near the sea. Eat and swim and enjoy the unspoilt views of an island just for you.

After your hike back you will return to the Baba Eco-lodge to spend some time relaxing or exploring by yourself.

Day 3 : Safari through Thailand's Savannah or Take-Part-In Indigenous Sea-Foraging and Gathering

Day 3 starts with a choice. Each activity is extremely unique, so choose carefully to make sure  you get the experience you want.

Option 1) Thai-Savannah Safari: The lesser known island called Koh Phra Thong has a big secret- it hides a secluded savannah only some people know about. If sea-life has been a little much, and you need a bit of an African feel, then this jeep safari is perfect for day 3. Your jeep leaves at 6 AM, as the morning touches the island. Your tour will take place on the African-like dunes of Koh Phra Thong, a location covered with golden grass fields, twisted trees and sandy dunes.  As you race up and down the arid landscape you will get some time to look for the local bird species which hide amongst the fields and in the trees. If spotted, your guide will show you the large, yellow necked Adjutant stork, as it wades through marshes and fields on its bamboo-like legs.

Option 2) Sea-Hunting and Foraging Adventure: If you have not yet had your fill of sand and sea, then spending the day learning about local fishing and cooking techniques will be right up your alley. Your day will start at 9 AM, with a trip to Tung Dap Village. After a short introduction and orientation, you will join a small workshop which will teach you how to make squid traps, used by the local people for centuries. After honing your craft, you will be invited for lunch by a local family, and experience a sea-to-table meal.

After lunch you will be taken to a local beach to learn how ro catch crabs and fish, as well as gather local sea-shells, if the tide permits it. Their sea-gathering and hunting techniques are not well-known, and sharing this perfectly practiced skill with our guests is something we are so grateful for. You will return to the resort around 4:30 , so you can spend your last evening at the beautiful Baba Eco lodge, drinking in the sunset and enjoying the peace and quiet of undisturbed beach life.

Day 4 : Last Goodbyes

As you start your last morning in the Andaman Sea, you can enjoy a lovely slow breakfast and have a last stroll down the beach or dip in the clear water.

You will be returned to Kuraburi pier by speedboat and then be taken to Koh Lak or Phuket to continue your travels in Thailand.

What to Expect From This Sustainable Tour

The Surin area is beautiful and unurbanized, with local people and companies trying to upkeep this natural and sustainable manner of living the Moken and other local people have been nourishing over centuries. Therefore this tour is focused on educating and respectfully joining in on local activities.

Though this tribe has graciously invited us to experience their ways, it is always good to remember that cultures differ and to follow the example of your local guide when interacting with the local families and children.

Please take care when swimming and diving not to touch, pick-up or remove any part of the coral reef, and where  possible to use only eco-friendly sunscreen, in order to protect the ocean which feeds  the local people.

In return, you will have a once in a lifetime experience and learn about a way of life that has been sustained over centuries of global change. Eating, hunting, gathering and living off the sea is an enigma to most people, and we are truly blessed to be able to provide you with this wonderful experience.

Ready, Set…Pack!

Our bilingual team will be ready to assist you with any questions regarding your trip, but here are some packing tips ahead of time. Remember that part of Thailand's beauty is because of the humidity in the air, so wearing breathy, light garments made from natural linen or cotton will definitely make your trip more comfortable. We also recommend hiking shoes and clothes, and even though all resorts provide what you need to fight off the buzzing mosquitoes, buying a mosquito cream and coral-friendly sunscreen will only be in your best interest.

Come have fun, and pack enough swimsuits for moonlight swims and morning dips, and do not forget that insta worthy sunhat for perfect pictures at the floating village or the tip of a longboat.

Do follow us on Instagram and tag us in your photos so we can share in your perfect experience. Our hashtag is #BespokeInfiniteTravel.

Are you feeling the need for more culture and heritage-inspired tours? Take a look at our curated Heritage Tour in Northern Thailand, where we introduce you to the amazing Longneck tribes of Thailand.

Be sure to let us know if you have any questions! We love sharing our knowledge and expertise.

Older Post Newer Post

Back to the top