Mangrove Forest – Thung Yee Pheng
Getting There: as with most places in Ko Lanta it’s easiest to get a motorbike and drive there, it’s about a 20 minute drive cutting across the island
Costs: either hire a Kayak for ฿500 for 3 hours for 2 people and explore on your own or rent a Longtail boat which is more expensive at ฿500 per person.
Nearby Attractions: after spending the morning here head straight down the main road to the south where you’ll find the charming Old Town
The Northeastern side of Ko Lanta is covered in a lush green mangrove forest, with a host of marine and wildlife; it is the perfect escape from lazy days on the beach. The mangrove forest is a unique landscape of lush greenery, and shallow pools with all manner of crab waddling in the sediment and an abundance of bird life fishing in the shallows. There is a peaceful tranquility to the entire area and you will find a narrow wooden walkway leading into the mangrove forest where upon following you will end up at a fish farm. After a quick look around the fish farm it’s time to jump in a kayak or grab a Longtail boat tour.
I headed here in the morning to avoid the midday heat and hired a Kayak from one of the rental shops at the entrance, heading off into the forest and kayaking around the small tributaries that feed into the main river.
There is wildlife teeming throughout this mangrove and as you paddle through it the crabs are never far away. You’ll see many different types of eagles, cranes and other birds and there are also monkeys, patrolling the shoreline looking for easy prey in the shallows. During my kayaking trip one of the tour boats turned up to feed the monkeys, so I had a front row seat watching the monkeys feeding on leftover fruits. I was given some of the fruit to throw to the monkeys and I even saw monkeys swimming, something I’d never seen before!
When the boat showed up to feed the monkeys it was apparent that the monkeys knew they were going to be fed. Many of the swam out to greet the passengers, and were climbing all over the boat and feeding on the scraps of pineapple and watermelon. After they’d been fed the boat started pulling away and any monkey still on the boat quickly dived into the water and headed back to it’s family on the shoreline… who knew monkeys were such able swimmers!
I really enjoyed the serenity of kayaking around the mangrove forest, not only does it boast beautiful lush scenery but the only noise for miles is the sound of far off longboats.