There’s a saying about Tha Chatchai that...
While taking a long tail boat passing under the "Sarasin Bridge", you can pray for good love. Visiting the home of Moken, the sea gypsies, kayaking and learning about the ecosystem
Speaking of Phuket, many people think of beautiful beaches and the turquoise blue sea. But who knows? This province might have some interesting things hidden in "Baan Tha Chatchai". There are so many stories for you to enjoy while traveling, as the slogan
"The frontier city, the legend of Sarasin Love, the Moken’s home, the land of culture."
Baan Tha Chatchai is a small village which is the gateway to Phuket. It’s located in Mai Khao sub-district, Thalang district, Phuket province. It is close to the Sarasin Bridge, which is famous for its immortal love story. This area is rich in nature and has beautiful mangrove forests.
According to the community capitals, first, they have the abundant mangrove forests and the ecological integrity of national parks. Moreover, the transportation is convenient, and there are many tourist attractions. Then comes the historical and cultural capital, beginning with Sarasin Bridge, the birthplace of legends, beliefs, and love; and the history of the Moken, an ethnic group with its own distinct tradition and culture.
There are a variety of groups of professions in the community, such as the local fishing group, aquatic animal processing group, batik group, souvenir production group, handicraft group, and organic vegetable farming group. They have adopted the philosophy of sufficiency economy of His Majesty the King Bhumibol. Thus, this community has built community-based tourism (CBT). The travel routes are designed as the community's learning centers. There are four centers:
1) Mueang Na Dan, or the frontier city
2) the legend of the love story at Sarasin Bridge
3) Moken Home
4) The land of culture
Accordingly, there are many activities, for example, learning about Phuket’s overview at the Phuket gateway, seeing the demonstration for catching mole crabs or sand crabs at Sai Kaew beach, taking a long tail boat passing under the bridge and praying for a good love, learning how to farm lobster in tanks, learning about the mangrove ecosystem, and visiting the Moken’s home.
Baan Tha Chatchai has many interesting travel attractions. Tourists can take the Pho-Thong bus, a local public bus, and experience the local vehicles. Moreover, the Sarasin Bridge has linked the people of Phuket and Phang Nga together. There’s a tragic story about two young Phuket lovers who came from different statuses. Due to their different positions and the family’s resistance, they bound themselves together with a loincloth and jumped from the Sarasin Bridge. Finally, the bridge became the monument of their immortal love.
"If you hold your breath while passing through a bridge and pray for good love, it will be fulfilled." This highlight is quite interesting for tourists. Visitors can participate in the "boat/car" activity to sightsee the beauty of Baan Tha Chatchai. Starting from paying homage to the "To-Pak Phra" shrine, the place where the villagers or fishermen will go to pay respect before going out to sea.
It is believed that To-Pak Phra is Islamic. Therefore, the offerings are forbidden to pigs. The villagers always go praying and asking for success, especially with work. When their wish is fulfilled as they requested, in order to redeem a vow, they will light the firecrackers and release the fighting cocks for To-Pak Phra. After that, let’s go explore other interesting things in this location; for example, the Moken’s lifestyle, the 7-colored lobster or the blue spiny lobster, raised in a tank, exploring Chao-lay, or the sea gypsie’s village, learning to make "Sai," or the squid trap, and the Moken language.
Furthermore, another interesting career is "catching mole crabs" that look like cicadae. Their average length is a thumb's size and they have a hard shell that’s normally seen on the beach, especially on Mai Khao and Sai Kaew beaches. The mole crabs are an indicator of the health of the environment and the cleanliness of those areas.
Accordingly, the community collaborates with the marine national park operations center No. 2 to organize the kayak activity. Tourists can kayak to see the integrity of the mangrove forest, which is the breeding and nursery area of sea animals. It helps to balance the ecosystem. The scenery of the forest, the sea animals, amphibians, the abundant nature, swamp forest and beach forest that have connected altogether, these are the precious and valuable natural resources that you shouldn’t miss.
"Baan Tha Chatchai community-based tourism" (CBT) is the new form of tourism. It’s fun, different and genuinely enriches your holiday. In essence, community-based tourism is a life-enhancing way to step away from the everyday. Whoever is getting bored of beaching in Phuket. You are welcome to experience the local way of life at Baan Tha Chatchai, Mai Khao sub-district, Thalang district, Phuket province.
For more information, please contact Mr. Sompon Tansakul at Tel. (+66) 9 3529 9661.
Facebook page: ชุมชนท่องเที่ยวบ้านท่าฉัตรไชย Community Based Tourism
Phone: 09 3529 9661