In many tropical countries, mangrove forests are a crucial component of a coastal environment. In the past, vast mangrove forests spread out along much of the coasts of Thailand
The original mangrove forests provided nursery grounds for small fish, crabs, shellfish, and shrimp, and feeding grounds for birds and monkeys. In the past half century, however, the mangrove forests have been rapidly diminishing due to the expansion of shrimp and salt farms. From 1961 to 1996, Thailand lost approximately 56 % of its mangrove forests. Krailart Niwate is a mangrove preservation and environmental wellness project spearheaded by Krip Rojanastien and the Preserve Hua Hin Group under the Royal patronage of HRH Princess Maha Sirindhorn and driven by Hua Hin’s renowned health resort Chiva-Som.
The aim is to preserve the last remaining urban mangrove ecosystem in Hua Hin to provide scientific understanding, knowledge and appreciation of nature. This is a reconstructed wetland project which also provides a natural environment for the general public to walk, run, relax and experience the ecosystem. Named Krailart Niwate after the adjacent 18 Rai plot of landowners, Wat Khao Krai Lart, the mangrove area was once in a poor state. The project took shape in 2013 when the temple’s abbot agreed to a plan to bring the mangrove ecosystem back to life. In the fourth quarter of 2014, experts from Silpakorn University joined to conduct a scientific survey of the land and produced the design of the now constructed 1,000 metre elevated walkway as a concrete boardwalk with rest shelters en route.
Financial backing for Krailart Niwate to date has largely been dependent on Chiva-Som International Health Resorts with the support of Rotaract Clubs at Stamford and Webster universities and the Hua Hin Business Network. The Siam Commercial Bank has now donated one million THB to support Krailart Niwate. A recent generous donation by SCB will see stairway access from the boardwalk to the mountaintop of Wat Khao Krai Lart to promote the area as a destination for eco-spiritual tourism via mangrove tours, meditation therapy and yoga practice open to the general public. There are plans for much more development and with funding and sponsorship opportunities. Building a Science Education Centre for students and other visitors. Rooftop solar power for the Science Education Centre Paved and landscaped parking areas and reception area.
Visitors Are Now Welcome!
Visiting Krailart Niwate is a relaxing, peaceful escape from the urban bustle into a natural ecosystem with an educational bonus. It’s a place to wander and wonder amongst a flora and fauna environment without the tribulations of negotiating a damp and muddy trail. Planned developments are bound to provide an even better experience but there’s no need to wait to get to know Hua Hin’s only urban mangroves.
Where: Take the road to Kho Takiab until reaching the end roundabout with the songthaew terminal. At the beginning of the returning road, go through the iron gates on the left to the car park and entry portal.
When: Free entry every day during daylight hours, walkers and bicycle riders welcome. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone +66 (0) 32 356 356 Facebook www.facebook.com/MEPSEC