An eco-friendly trip in Phuket

By YANG WANLI in Phuket, Thailand | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-23 11:58
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A traditional Thai statue inside a hotel in Phuket, Thailand, in April. Such Buddhist guardians in the country are believed to be protectors against evil spirits. [PHOTO BY YANG WANLI/CHINA DAILY]

For tourists who want to engage in marine life protection, especially the conservation of the majestic turtles of the Andaman Sea, the Thai Muang Turtle Sanctuary is a great option for an enriching and informative experience.

Travelers can visit this sanctuary which is open on a daily basis. Admission is free. If you want to get a close look at intriguing turtle hatchlings, they are on display inside of massive saltwater tanks. The sanctuary has numerous designated rehabilitation tanks to help injured or sick turtles.

Hatchlings live inside the sanctuary until they are eight months old. Once they reach that point, they can be released into the ocean.

Moreover, visitors who offer donations to the research organization behind the sanctuary will be allowed to release the young turtles into the ocean during the reproduction season.

Turtle populations in the Andaman Sea are dropping rapidly because of factors such as climate change, excessive fishing, egg poaching and marine pollution, the Phuket Marine Biological Center said.

However, recent data from the center indicated that turtle nests were being witnessed more in Phuket than those before the pandemic. Also, a variety of sea turtle species have been spotted nesting and laying hundreds of eggs around the island throughout 2021.

Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong, director of the center, said sea turtles' nesting has improved in the past two years in Phuket, while pollution from human activities has also been reduced. In addition, the number of turtle nests also grew the most in the past 20 years, he said.

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