Leeled is located on the Tapee River delta, approximately half and hour by road from Surrathani and a similar distance from the railway station at Phunphin.
The highlights of Leeled Community
“Take a boat trip into the mangroves to meet local fishermen, and see over 1000 hectares of new mangrove growth, from community conservation efforts. Meet local occupation groups, and see a performance of original jungle theatre.’”
Why is Leeled community special?
All aspects of life in Leeled connect with water. Community members live on the Baanks of the many streams and canals which flow from the Tapi river. They collect food, building materials and medicines from the riverside and mangroves which eventually reach out to the open sea of Baan Don Bay.
Leeled community is famous for developing small-scale tourism to support mangrove conservation. Income from the ‘Leeled Community based Tourism for Conservation Club’ has directly contributed towards replenishing Leeled’s mangrove forests, thereby supporting sustainable local livelihoods.
In 2003, The European Union and Thai Department of Fisheries set up the ‘CHARM Project,’ to find creative ways to encourage local community members to conserve the marine ecosystem, especially mangroves which are essential for the wellbeing of local fishing families. Since 2005, Leeled CBT for Conservation Group’ has welcomed many students, families and adventure and cultural travelers from around the world.
Guests to Leeled enjoy warm hospitality and delicious food with friendly local families. Local people play roles as local community guides, homestay hosts, boat and car drivers.
Don’t miss this…
Activities for guests:
- Boat journey – fishers life and conservation: local guides lead a trip down the river and out to sea. Guests will meet local fishermen, explore the mangrove forests, and learn how the local people use mangrove products in their every day life. The guides will also show guests the 1000 hectares of new mangrove growth which has been recovered since the community began their conservation efforts. We usually catch sight of some beautiful birds.
- Visit ‘environmentally friendly’ local occupation groups Several groups of local people produce different ‘green’ products including cigarette papers made from Nipa Palm leaf, shrimp paste and fried coconut worms!
- Explore Sri Wichai Historical Site: The communities situated around Sri Wichai Hill, have a history of between 1500 and 2000 years. The ruins of Sri Wichai, situated on the hill, are inspired by Hindu architecture, and have a splendid view!
Green Corner: People and Planet
Leeled’s tourism group is an example of international best practice of participatory community based tourism development. The group have a committee, which meets each month to share ideas and experience.
In 2005, Leeled earned 104,000 Baht and in 2006, 176,000 from tourism. 10% of income contributed towards local community funds. Leeled CBT Group’s conservation efforts have lead to an amazing 1000 hectares of new mangrove growth. Leeled has now been recognised as one of Thailand’s leading examples of mangrove restoration.