JULY 2010
pages: 375 - 376
Haadyao Nature Resort
There are  a few other choices in Haadyao, but this is the only resort worth considering.
Set in the harbour and run by the Lifelong Learning Foundation, an ecological and educational
NGO led by enthusiastic naturalists. This place offers a variety of environmental-focused tours
in the Haadyao area. 
Libong Nature Beach Resort
Once a sacred site for chow lair shaman, this property is owned and run by the Lifelong Learning
Foundation and managed by resident international volunteers. Bunk in one of the dozen cottages
set on a palm-shaded lawn that rolls to the best beach on the island. It runs excellent sea-kayaking
tours of the mangroves and to the sea-grass mounds to spot dugongs. 


OCT 2009
Chapter 8
Not-for-profit resorts, great tours and nice people, at Ban Chao Mai, on Koh Mook & Koh Libong
Haadyao Nature Resort page: 775
Is a well managed, non-profit resort, where your custom will go towards helping local people and
the environment. The breezy, waterside restaurant serves up Western breakfasts, vegetarian
food and excellent squid and other seafood dishes. Bicycles can be rented and snorkeling equipment,
internet and Wi-Fi are available. The owners organize tours to the local islands, including highly
recommended dugong-watching trips to Ko Libong and through the mangroves in the nearby
caves of Tham Chao Mai.
Libong Nature Beach Resort page: 780
By far the best of the island’s resorts is Libong Nature Beach Resort which is run by the same
charitable foundation that operates the Haadyao Nature Resort. Its neat, en-suite Bungalows
all with wi-fi stretch back from a secluded part of the beach, a 10 minute walk south of Ban Lan
Khao, and there’s another sheltered cove a further 5 minutes walk or kayak) to the South.
There’s a good restaurant attached too, where mountain bikes and snorkeling gear are available
to rent. 
As well as  tours of local islands, Libong Nature Beach Resort runs award winning day long boat
trips around Libong itself which are safe, insured and licensed with the Tourism Authority of
Thailand and staffed by local sea gypsies who know the dugong well. As well as visiting a chao ley
village, these give you the chance to kayak into the sanctuary to observe the rare birds and to
snorkel at the sea grass beds – which they reckon an 80% chance of seeing a dugong.
Guided / unguided treks into the National Park jungle behind the resort includes a three hour
walk to a good view point on the south western end of the island.
Koh Mook  Nature Beach Resort page: 779
This is  the recently opened branch of the non-profit Haadyao Nature Resort which promotes
conservation and Sustainable Tourism. Eco-friendly villas with bicycles, kayaks, snorkels,
internet and Wi-Fi are available. 

Published August 2007
Trang Province - page: 725

LONELY PLANET REVIEW (Islands and Beaches)
Published  July 2006 - Trang Province  - page: 377

'...Haadyao Nature Resort rooms & bungalows. Run by enthusiastic naturalists,
this place offers a variety of environmental tours in the Hatyao area. Very
orderly and homey bungalows come with shared baths, while the better
self contained bungalows have verandas and frilly extras. There’s also a great 
pier where you can watch the fisherman ply their trade over tasty Thai victures...'
'...Libong Nature Beach Bungalows is set on a lovely grassy garden and surrounded by
rubber plantations. This place is run by the same friendly, environmentally conscious
people as the Nature Resort in Hat Yao. There is a simple restaurant with tasty food
 and the owners run excellent sea-kayaking tours of the mangroves...' 

ROUGH  GUIDE October 2006

'...Haadyao Nature Resort is an efficiently run, eco-friendly resort whose aims are nature conservation and  
helping the local communities. There are fan cooled rooms with share bath, as well as nicer self-contained
rooms and bungalows with hot water and air-con, some which have balconies over the canal. The breezy
waterside restaurant serves up Western breakfasts, vegetarian food and excellent squid and other 
seafood dishes...'
'...Libong Nature Beach Resort runs award-winning, environmentally friendly, day long boat trips which are also
available from their sister resort, Haadyao Nature Resort. As well as visiting a chao ley village, these give 
you the chance to kayak into the sanctuary to observe the rare birds and to snorkel at the sea grass beds
– with they reckon  an eighty percent chance of seeing a dugong. The resort has neat, brick en-suite 
bungalows are set slightly back from a secluded stretch of beach, a ten minute walk south of the fishing 
village of Ban Lan Khao. There’s a good restaurant attached too and internet access is available...'
Sustainable Tourism Management in Thailand
A Good Practices Guide for SME's
October 2007

ALLT  OM RESOR October 2006 Sweden's Leading Travel Magazine
click image to enlarge

CITY  MANDAG January 2007 Sweden's  Daily Newspaper

click image to enlarge


'... Where to Stay - Haadyao Nature Resort: Is situated at the beach  and the pier with the same 
name and is a suitable place for tours in the  neighborhood. It is run by a very nice family where 
everyone speaks extremely  good English. The resort has sleeping halls as well as individual bungalows,  
and a good restaurant on a terrace towards the sea. Libong Nature   Beach Resort: The place is run 
by the  same family as mentioned above and is a perfect place for the tourist who wants  to relax in a 
tranquil atmosphere. There are a bit more than ten bungalows and  a restaurant. Also equipped with 
high speed Internet via satellite...'
along the water.It is low  tide, and below the hull of the long tail boat we can spot the bottom of the
sea. We stare intensively at the green vegetation moving back and forth in the water  current. Not 
because we have a special interest in seaweed, but because the  dugong has. We are on a dugong 
safari. Before leaving the hotel the staff gave  me some excusing smiles, saying that the chances of 
seeing a dugong are very  small, which of course made me even more decided to find one. Thus, we 
are  sitting here, watching the glittering sea – the skipper, the guide, and myself.  The dugong is a 
kind of sea cow, looking like a seal with the snout of a pig.  It can reach the length of a couple of 
meters, with a weight of 900 kilograms,  and is probably one of the friendliest animals in the world. 
Unfortunately, in  spite of its friendliness the dugong is endangered, and in Thailand today only about
a hundred  individuals remain. All of them live just outside the island Koh Libong in the province of 
Trang, and that is where we are. Before  the tsunami, which hardly affected the Trang province at 
all, the number of  dugongs was only half of today’s count. But as the number of tourists decreased
the animals could quietly multiply. The sun is blazing, time is passing by, and  after half an hour I feel 
like one of the fools watching across the water of  Loch Ness, hoping to see something non-existent. 
Suddenly it happens:
Look, a dugong! the skipper shouts,  pointing at the water surface. He happily laughs at his own joke, 
and returns  to the engine while the guide and I smile dutifully and continue staring at the  empty sea. 
If there is any dugong out there I will definitely catch the sight  of it, I console myself. Look, a dugong! 
It is my turn to shout, and this time  it is not a joke. Neither the guide nor the skipper believes me, 
not even when  I point at the ripples on the surface where the animal just showed up and  quickly 
disappeared. But they have to surrender two minutes later, when the  dugong has to get some new air. 
A grayish-black head  cuts the water surface and we can clearly see the nose as the animal during a 
few seconds picks up oxygen, just to return to the delicious seaweed on the  bottom. Unbelievable, 
I have never before seen a dugong, says the guide, and the  skipper’s enthusiasm tells me that I have 
experienced something very special. Before returning to the Haadyao pier  we saw the dugong six times, 
and as we went ashore I was congratulated as a  lucky guy by some sea gypsies from the nearby village. 
The very friendly family assures me that seeing a dugong is an unusual thing.  Together with their 
daughter they run an eco-tourism resort, Haadyao Nature  Resort, in the virgin nature of the Trang 
province. The family is also involved  in a Sida financed project, supporting the development of sustainable 
tourism  in the region, in order to avoid the negative impact caused by large scale  tourism.
ONE DAY WE PADDLE canoes  through the mangrove forest surrounding the resort. We are accompanied 
by Bang, a local guide from the sea gypsies’ nearby village. Sea Gipsies, or Sea Nomades  as they are 
also called, is an ethnic group called chao ley in Thai.  They are believed to be of Malayan origin, and 
have since ancient times been  sailing around in south-east Asia, settling  down wherever they for the 
moment felt at home. Illiteracy and poverty among  chao ley is high and in many aspects they live 
outside the Thai society. We  paddle through the dense vegetation. We see monkeys, lizards, and birds 
on our  way to Pirate’s  cave, the  cave where pirates only some generations ago used to hide their loot,
 away from  chasing policemen. We paddle through a narrow and dark tunnel and duck in order  not to hit
the stone formations above our heads, enter a lagoon with high cliff  walls and then pass through a 
partly hidden passage in the mangrove forest  before we finally reach the cave. No wonder the policemen
could not find their  way here.
In  the cave we climb provisional ladders, walk over shaky wooden bridges, drag and  slide up and down 
steep and slippery cliff walls. - Treasure map, says Bang,  pointing at some signs carved in the floor of 
the cave. Anita, the guide,  interprets the story how Bang as a small child was playing in the cave and  
found objects left behind by the pirates. However, no treasures but cooking  vessels and other utensils.
But the map on the floor bears witness of treasures  once hidden in crevices and narrow spaces. With 
this new experience in mind we  paddle back...'
MONDO Finnish Travel Guide Book 2007

'...Haadyao Nature Resort and Libong  Nature Resort – Anthropologist after retirement founded 
this great resort that  takes eco traveling exceptionately seriously. Example the water that is 
used  for washing is rain water collected. The bungalows are simple yet clean and equipped 
with warm water. The resort organizes well guided kayak and boat trips to the nearby islands 
and to see the sea cows...'
MONDO 2007 Travel Magazine Article - 178  Things to do in Thailand 
'...TRANG, stay at the Libong Nature  Resort, Anthropologist after retirement founded this great 
resort that takes  eco traveling exceptionately seriously...'
November 2006 Sweden’s Biggest Daily Newspaper

Feature on Libong Island and Libong Nature Beach Resort 
as an environmental best practice.

s s 
click image to enlarge

November 2006 Scandinavia's biggest travel magazine
 in Sweden and Finland

click image to enlarge
'...The Libong Nature Beach Resort has in the same way been chosen as the pilot site on Sustainable 
Accommodation as a pilot site. On the way to Libong Island  with a longtail boat, there are many 
seagrass for the dugongs that will attract  any ecotourists. Dugongs are like sea mermaids and are 
quite rare today and can  only be found along the coastlines. If you are patient enough, outside 
Libong  Wildlife Sanctuary,stop the boat engine and wait and there is a chance and a  reasonable 
opportunity to see this strange mammal. It is like a small whale  coming for fresh air. It is exciting 
to notice. I am snorkeling along the  bottom following the path of the eating trail of the dugongs.
The Bungalows at the Libong Nature Beach Resort are simple stone houses with  big rooms and 
bathrooms. The restaurant is just close to the sandy beach which  is well known for its purple red 
sunsets. The family that runs the resort is  engaged in eco design, solar cells, compost sewage 
systems, waste sorting,  tsunami safety issues, environmentally friendly transport systems and  
cooperation and benefits going to the village people on the island. The direct  result has been 
seen recently when they became the only resort that was  mentioned in the Lonely Planet and 
Rough Guide for their environmental work...'

Leading Asian Travel Magazine
      AUGUST / SEPTEMBER 2007     

Feature on  Libong Nature Beach Resort as an environmental best practice.
‘ …the Libong Nature Beach Resort … as a pilot site for  the project, it has begun implementing some
fundamental ecological practices. Wash-water  is used for plants, and as much waste as possible
 is recycled … installation of  water-saving taps in the bathrooms, the use of solar cells to enhance
the electricity supply, and gardens for growing organic vegetables and herbs, especially lemongrass, 
which repels mosquitoes and pests and hence limits the need for  chemical pesticides…’

Interview complete. Publication date to be notified.
Published in August 2007
Biggest women’s magazine in Finland. Featuring the daughter of the owner of
Libong Nature Beach Resort in the list of four women that are trying to change
the world. Emphasis is place on the management of the resort as a best
practice for sustainable tourism.


A publication of the Thai-Swedish Project on Sustainable Tourism in Trang August  2007
‘… Libong  Nature Beach Resort (LNBR) located at Libong Island  is well known for its
environmental profile. A cornerstone in their work is  information given to their guests
 about environmental practices and the local sea gypsy culture. Tourists are invited to
be part of their ongoing environmentally friendly activities. LNBR separates solid waste
for recycling (paper, glass and cans etc.) and compost organic waste for their in-house
garden. Water saving push taps are installed in public areas and treated waste water is
used for irrigation.  Energy saving practices are also carried out in the resort bungalows
and  surroundings.

The future sees solar energy contributing to the energy supply of the resort.
LNBR offers its guests bicycles and sea kayaks as an environmentally friendly mode
of transportation. Tsunami warning signs and safe shelters have  been developed and
tested at the site.

The resort also employs sea gypsies as  service staff and purchase seafood, fruits,
vegetables and transportation from  the local fishermen, farmers and boatmen to
support the local island economy. The resort also offers a variety of eco tours such 
as their dugong tracking  expeditions. 

LNBR is in the process of applying for Green Leaf Certification…’



The island of Koh Libong of Thailand is trying to become a sustainable travel destination. 
One of its rarities are, among other things, the last mermaids of Thailand which are 
supposed to change your life if you see them. Beware of the Copies In Thailand, 
you can find many different copies of almost everything. Be it DVDs or clothes. 
Resorts are now copying services. In the case of the Nature Resort on Ko Libong, 
there is also another business of a similar name, but the other place has nothing 
to do with Ecotourism. For the REAL Libong Nature Resort, check this website or email 
The best way to travel is by coming through Haadyao Nature Resort. 

(** Translation **) ‘The small red and white fishing boat is going across the white horses 
of the waves. Although the white horses are making Professor Laurence wet, the grey haired 
Thai anthropologist smiles. "If it would be  anyone else but the boat driver, I would be afraid,” 
he said pointing to the stern of the boat where there is a very tanned man with a T-shirt and 
swimming costume who is steering the boat with his legs. "He knows the sea, he is a Chao Ley 
sea gypsy".’ ‘I asked the professor whether he is sad about the disappearance of an ancient 
culture. He said that the sea gypsies  have the right to live the present time and to destroy 
their  way of being and their health if they want to. 

The professor then quotes a poem of a Lebanese Kahlil Gibran, "Your children are not your 
children, they are the children of the future. Parents are the bow and children are the arrow. 
You cannot keep them for ever. You have to let them  go and they will land wherever their 
destiny takes them." The professor continues, "The sea gypsies will have to choose their 
own destiny."

 ‘In the end, what will happen to the island of Libong and its mermaids, and the remaining paradise
islands of Thailand is not dependent on the Laurence family. It depends on the holiday makers and 
whether they are ready to invest in ecological travel - to pay a little bit more for minimal facilities. 
For example a luke-warm shower of rainwater, no air conditioning or that the lights are turned 
off early in the evening. But there is no doubt that it is beneficial if people choose the ecological 
option. When the boat is pulled up on the beach the next day, Anita runs to the beach to say 
goodbye by saying, "Do not forget to tell us how your life changed after the encounter with 
the dugongs". Soon after I saw the mermaids I decided to propose to my wife.’   


Feature on Libong Island and Libong Nature Beach Resort as an environmental best practice.           
Interview complete. Publication date to be notified.

Feature on Libong Island  and Libong Nature Beach Resort as an environmental best practice. 
Interview complete. Publication date to be notified.
(Australian  publication)
Feature on Libong  Nature Beach Resort as an environmental best practice. 
Interview complete.  Publication date to be notified.
Swedish Senior Newspaper

 My Environment-Friendly Journey in Thailand
‘… My  Environment-Friendly Journey in Thailand  started at the Haadyao and Libong Nature
Beach Resort which is owned and  managed by the retired Professor and his family.
They manage several  environment adjusted projects. The professor is a very dedicated
man who  cooperates with the Mayor of Trang city to develop environment safe tourism in
the area. This is new thinking in Thailand, and one can only hope that his dreams can be realized! 
… the food was delicious. The fish comes  directly from the sea, and vegetables and fruit is 
ecologically grown on the resort  property…’   
    A publication of the French Indonesian Cooperation on Sustainable Tourism August 2007
Libong Nature Beach Resort featured as a case study and best practice in Thailand.  
‘… the resort is a good illustration for other operators on how to raise guests' 
awareness to become more responsible towards the environment and community…’

Bangkok Post – The Magazine 10th July 2008 issue: 119 page: 35

‘Trang is very natural, and has few resort, so the idea is that it’s not too late to
develop green tourism’ says Anita, coordinator of the project for sustainable
tourism and co-owner of the Libong Nature Beach Resort, one of the pilot
accommodation sites on Ko Libong. ‘As well as involving the  local community,
we have implemented simple ecological practices. For example, we use only
glass water bottles, we use sink or laundry water for plants and we
recycle all waste’. 
Where to stay: 
The Libong Nature Beach Resort is among the top resorts in Libong.     
The Good Tourist - IN  THAILAND
Responsible Travel - January 2008

Haadyao Nature Resort – Libong Nature   Beach Resort
These resorts, located at Haadyao Pier and Libong Island (south of Kantang) have
been chosen by the province to be a leader in the field of sustainable accommodation
 to influence the future direction of the tourism industry. The resorts are dedicated
to nature conservation and the local Sea Gypsy community. All income is used for
local welfare and conservation work. The intention is to create a Back-to-Nature
friendly community in Thailand. The resorts have adopted a Sustainable Code of
Practice which covers energy and resource management as well as tsunami safety
issues. The resorts also arrange eco-tours. For instance, they run award winning
 dugong spotting tours and tours of the mangroves in sea kayaks.
Support of Sea Gypsies
The Haadyao Nature Resort and Libong Nature Beach Resort support 
sea gypsies in Trang area. The resorts support the sea gypsies by training
them as guides for tourism, giving them jobs to apply their training, helping
them cope with tourists, teaching them English and giving them an
opportunity to apply their skills as well as allowing for local community
participation in their resorts.

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