The mangrove of prasae

The mangroves of Prasae

The mangroves of Prasae
In the mangroves

This is the 5th article on “Life less ordinary in Prasae” which tells the story of the mangroves at the coast. Prasae lies along the coast of the province of Rayong, about 2 hours and 30 minutes’ drive from Bangkok along Route 7. Like most coastal towns, Prasae is a fishing town with most of the coastal areas sustaining an ever growing mangrove sanctuary. The mangrove swamps are a life-giving eco-environment for a plethora of marine life including shellfish, crabs, fish and shrimps.

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The economy of Prasae is sustained by the marine industry of fishermen who maintain the mangroves to eke out a living from a diversity of marine products such as shrimp and crab fishing to cultivating oysters. The prospects of community tourism is also now part of the programs for Prasae as the community tries to educate people on the importance of up keeping these mangrove areas, so there are community projects that encourage visitors to plant one mangrove tree each as part of the project to expand the mangrove areas.

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There is a special place in the mangrove swamps where you can see a most unusual and remarkable sight. This area is a lush fresh green area where young mangroves are growing. The young leaves gives the area a luminescent green color as far as the eyes can see.

The mangroves of Prasae
The remarkable young mangrove forest
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The place did not start out as a tourist area. Actually the pioneers to the place were there to place a shrine as is done with most fishing towns and villages in the area. When they got to the place, they were so taken aback by the beauty that they decided to build walkways so that others can also enjoy the views and preserve the sanctity of the area. As a result, the place is now an interesting tourist attraction for Prasae.

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As you walk along the mangroves, you will notice that the water is really clear among the roots of the mangrove trees and you can sometimes see a mud skipper or two or even some crabs and shrimps. The roots of the mangroves provides a sanctuary for the creatures as well as keeps the water well aerated with oxygen. This sustains the growth of plankton which the marine creatures depend on.

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Walking a little further into the mangrove towards the coast will bring you to a small shrine as well as a jetty where you can take a boat out to the waters along the mangroves. The shrine is a fisherman’s shrine so you can see a model boat along with several small statuettes and offerings of incense joss sticks, flowers and drinks for the deities.

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Small long tail boats are available to take you on a tour of the mangrove areas where you can see the breakers which prevent the open sea from coming in too much and destroying the mangroves as well as where young trees are planted and the cultivation of oysters take place.

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The boat ride is approximately about 30 minutes out along the coast. Oyster farms can be found along the sides of the mangroves and are indicated by poles on which oyster beds are hung and allowed to propagate in the waters. It is important that the mangrove waters are fresh and clean to enable the oysters to grow properly.

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The boat ride is a must experience trip as well as the exploration of the mangrove areas when you visit Prasae. The beauty of these places are not only unique but also a refreshing change from other touristy sights along the coast.


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