On July 8, 2017 Tongsai Bay will celebrate its 30th birthday by inviting guests to a BBQ dinner. In a special corner called 'Year One: A Taste of Yesteryear' guests can try some of the dishes served in the first year after the opening. Until the end of 2017, guests can book the 'Tongsai Bay Celebratory Package' containing three nights in a Seafront Cottage with a view over the private bay and the deep blue sea, daily breakfast and fruits, welcome drinks and much more.
It all began in 1986 when Khun Akorn Hoontrakul was on a boat trip with his twelve year old son Thanakorn and they spotted the bay from the sea. Khun Akorn immediately felt passionate about it - something Thanakorn did not understand back then. "My 12 year old mind didn't really appreciate its beauty at that time. The sand was coarse and the water was dark blue because of its depth. It was my dad who saw the potential and later said to me: 'It was love at first sight,'" recounts Thanakorn.
Within one week Khun Akorn bought the land and started building the hotel. At a time when nobody thought about sustainable tourism, he believed in the responsibility to protect nature. To ensure that no tree was felled and the impact on nature was kept as low as possible, he slept at the beach for three months.
Today, almost thirty years later, the hotel is led by Thanakorn and his wife Saisiri. They share the same passion about sustainable tourism, believing that everyone is responsible for the protection of the environment. Their deep belief is that every little step makes a difference. They set a good example for everybody in their private and professional life: "It's a way of life, to not destroy the environment. It's a constant thought to make sure habits don't contribute to waste. If we forget our water bottle, we won't drink, as we do not drink from plastic."
Leading the hotel in a sustainable way does not only mean taking green aspects into account; it involves a holistic approach, taking into account environmental as well as social aspects, like fair salary, staff training and education. Just as in their private life they focus on waste prevention: kitchen waste for example is composted and reused as fertilizer in the own garden.
The hotel's horticulturist and gardeners are responsible for the organic garden, which provides the vegetables and herbs for the kitchen. They developed a fermenting process from oranges and limes using different kinds of micro organisms for an efficient cleaning process. The garden and its plants are open for guests, who can use, for example, the aloe vera to treat sun burned skin. Additionally there are natural mosquito repellent made by locals, glass cleaner made out of pineapples as well as natural toothpaste.
Many trees have been planted along the walkway leading to the cottages, providing more shade and in the space of ten plus years there will be a tree tunnel with shade all day long which makes walking much easier in the heat. This is to say that Tongsai is even greener than it used to be. There have been sixty-six kinds of birds spotted in Tongsai in the past twelve years. The star resident bird is the colorful Pink-Necked Pigeon.
So if you are in Thailand this week, stop by Tongsai Bay and wish them happy 30th anniversary and thank them for their commitment to green living.