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Koh Lipe: Opportunities Knock, But Challenges Pers

2011-10-29 02:45:21

Located in the Andaman Sea within Tarutao National Marine Park, Koh Lipe ('Lipe Island') boasts an incredible, dramatic landscape that ensures it's one of the leading tourist attractions in the southern province of Satun.

 

The island is home to the Urak Lawoi, an indigenous group better known in Thai as chao talay ('sea gypsies').

In the natives' language, Lipe means paper. Koh Lipe's impressive natural habitat tends to be a hit among eco-tourists, while it's also a great spot for snorkeling or scuba diving.

Since about 2005, the island has become an increasingly popular destination among many different categories of tourist. However, the dramatic development of tourism has resulted in a number of changes on the island with the arrival of more traders, developers, entrepreneurs and investors.

 

Thanks to the support of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), TANNetwork.tv was recently able to visit the island. During this visit, Maneeya Dhammataree got the chance to chat with 44-year-old Sommart Kasem – better known locally as Bang Mhad – who operates a restaurant called Khon Lay (another local term meaning sea gypsy), on the island's Walking Street.

Bang Mhad, a native of Satun province, seized the opportunity to open his restaurant about five years ago. During the interview, he outlines some of the major changes that have taken place on the island since he started out in business, while also describing some of his hopes for the future.

 

Reference: tannetwork.tv


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