Tung Yee Peng Mangrove Forest in Krabi

Tung Yee Peng Mangrove Forest in Krabi, Thailand a shining example of ecotourism

Tung Yee Peng Mangrove Forest in Krabi, Thailand on the eastern cost of Koh Lanta is a shining example of ecotourism at its finest. By working together to preserve their traditional way of life and the natural environment, the community’s conservation efforts to protect the area’s flora and fauna are proving to be very successful. The people are very active with the ongoing United Nation Development Program established to protect the area’s natural resources.

An inscribed plaque in Tung Yee Peng shows the community’s commitment to preserving the mangrove forest. A loose translation follows.

“..the forest will never desert the villagers in this village. It is fully able to care for life when we have no way out, when we are unemployed. This forest is a food place, a storehouse of sustenance. This forest protects the life and assets of the people, even as it did during the Tsunami. Forest conservation then, is of extreme importance to this village.”

The mangrove forest acts as a protective nursery for baby reptiles, mammals and birds, while protecting the coast from erosion. The roots of the mangrove trees also provide protection for a number of marine species, allowing them to breed safely and providing shelter for juvenile marine life. Fish, sharks and dolphins are just some of the species safely reproducing in these waters.

How to Tour the Mangrove Forests

Visitors can access the mangrove forests in two ways.

Tourists can walk on a path through the forest, where they will be able to see small crabs walking around on the forest grounds, as well as a plethora of different species of birds. The walkway terminates at a fish farm in a canal with a floating restaurant. The restaurant, which floats on tanks and has its own fish farm, allows customers to choose their fish live.

Another way to see the mangrove forest is by water. Tourists can hire a guide and take a longtail boat tour in the Andaman Sea around the island. Guests can see fish, crabs, oysters, lobsters, shrimp, and crab-eating macaques. Kayaking is also available and is a wonderfully quiet way to get up close to the coast.

Visitor Involvement in Preserving the Mangrove Forest

Visitors are invited to share the daily life of the small village community of Tung Yee Peng by planting trees and assisting with the annual cleanup. As part of the United Nations Development Program, volunteers also participate in crab catching, fishing while enjoying the occasional barbeques. They are also taught how to create products from such natural resources as coconut shells, and how to cook Thai shrimp paste. Homestays are available for visitors who want to participate in the program.