Community-based tourism (CBT) is one of the best ways for travellers to experience Thai culture and discover the ‘real Thailand’. This form of responsible tourism benefits the local community and local businesses as well as the traveller. And the good news is, wherever you travel in Thailand you are never too far away from one of these CBT initiatives. If you’re travelling to Krabi, consider a visit to the Laem Sak Tourism Community Enterprise, a deserved winner of the Responsible Thailand Award 2022.
With views out towards Phang Nga Bay, this quiet and picturesque area of Krabi province is a delight to visit. And just by visiting Laem Sak you are helping to support the people who live and work here. Stay overnight and learn more about local life alongside the fishermen and farmers. Go island hopping, kayak through the mangroves, discover ancient caves and prehistoric paintings, and discover another side to Krabi off the beaten track.
Established in 2014, the Laem Sak Tourism Community Enterprise comprises 10 villages and 450 community members in the Ao Luek area of Krabi province. The villages are long-established multicultural communities with Buddhists and Muslims living and working alongside each other in harmony.
To help improve their services for adventurous tourists, the Laem Sak community have partnered with the North Andaman Network (NAN). This local non-profit organisation provides training to small community-tourism based enterprises. The Laem Sak community has also been assisted by Planeterra, a specialist travel NGO who have teamed up with G Adventures to bring responsible tourists to the area.
Adventurous travellers can enjoy a host of activities including a 3-day sea kayaking experience with locals and hands-on activities like batik making and planting sea-grapes. All of these itineraries help support the local community while visitors also benefit from a unique and positive travel experience.
Highlights of Laem Sak
The main highlight of a visit to Laem Sak is meeting the people who live here and learning about the local culture. The fact that Laem Sak is located in such a scenic setting is an added bonus.
Although travellers may associate them as a means of transport, longtail boats were originally designed as fishing vessels. Visitors to Laem Sak can join the fishermen on board and find out what a typical morning may involve.
Batik painting is a tradition amongst many communities in southern Thailand including Laem Sak. Test your skills under the watchful eye of the local experts. You can also try your hand at making local food like khao kluk kapi (shrimp paste rice) or desserts like kanom jak and kanom ko-sui. The sweet treat known as kanom jak is made from palm sugar and grated coconut. Wrapped in palm leaves it’s then gently baked on a charcoal grill. Kanom ko-sui is a soft and chewy rice cake which is often flavoured with brown sugar or pandan juice and eaten with grated coconut.
Laem Sak is located in a serene coastal setting flanked by limestone karsts. Explore the natural delights of the area by jumping in a kayak and paddling your way around the bay. Return to dry land and cycle through the palm and rubber plantations and enjoy the views from the top of Wat Laem Sak. Visit Than Bok Khorani National Park and hike the nature trails and cool off in the waterfalls.
Good to know
The best weather in Krabi is usually from mid-October to May, but the Laem Sak Tourism Community Enterprise welcomes visitors all year round. The timing of some activities such as kayaking may change depending on the weather or tidal conditions.
How to visit Laem Sak
In addition to multi-day trips to Laem Sak, it’s also possible to visit on a day trip. Visits to the community can be arranged through responsible tour operators:
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