Banyan Tree Krabi, a 72-key resort situated on Tubkaek Beach, is encouraging its guests and corporate groups to immerse themselves in the local Southern Thai culture, by joining weekly excursions to a nearby island renowned for producing batik fabrics and woodcrafts.
“At Banyan Tree Krabi, we invite our guests to embark on a day’s adventure at the quiet fishing town of Ban Koh Klang on a small island in the middle of the Krabi River,” said sustainability manager Thepsuda Loyjiw. “It’s a great opportunity to travel by traditional longtail boat along the river where they might spot some rare bird species and wild monkeys among the mangroves. The island itself is a spectacular natural setting, and among the hidden gems we visit is a series of majestic limestone caves.”
A lunch, comprising homegrown fruits, vegetables and recipes passed down from one generation to the next, is served in a floating restaurant among the mangroves, and then the guests meet the villagers and interact.
Among the daily pursuits visitors can experience include joining the local craftsmen who carve and create wooden models of longtail boats, which are sold in Krabi as souvenirs; and sitting with the women of Ban Koh Klang who are veterans of batik art, mixing organic dyes and painting colourful fabrics. Harvesting rice in the fields with a local family is included as a seasonal activity.
Aside from leisure visitors, corporate groups are also welcome, with a maximum number of seven participants per group.
Banyan Tree Krabi’s other recent sustainability initiatives include an Earth Day beach clean-up, and the introduction of Forest Bathing, a nature-based educational tour for guests, including children, to help raise awareness about environmental conservation and protecting local flora and fauna.
Last December, Banyan Tree Krabi also partnered with a local artisan, Souvenirs From the Sea, on a project involving beachcombing for refuse and waste products that could be upcycled into sellable items such as tote bags.
The initiative is part of the Banyan Tree Group’s Stay for Good programme. Launched two months ago, the programme aims to entice guests at five-star hotels worldwide to roll up their sleeves and join neighbouring villagers at work.
At the Balinese property of Buahan, A Banyan Tree Escape, for example, guests spend a day with local farmers, foraging for fruits and edible plants, while at Garrya Nijo Castle Kyoto in Japan, visitors learn how to entwine grass to make traditional thatched roofs for villagers’ homes.