No trip to Khanom is complete without a sighting of the pink dolphins. You can take a boat with Khanom Fishing & Tour to see them. The tour company provided an experience tour guide, Pakasit ‘Lung Daeng’ Paijitsattaya, who recently won two tour guide awards and also works as a Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation volunteer. See this great video:

Lung Daeng will explain that seeing pink dolphins along the coastline shows that the environment is clean, with a healthy ecosystem, though the locals and volunteers are planting more seaweed along the coast to provide a place for marine animals to lay eggs.

Dolphin is a fun loving, playful and highly social mammal. There are four kinds of dolphins living in the waters off Thailand, but the most common is the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin. When they are born, the dolphin’s color is gray. An adult is white or pink and may appear as an albino dolphin to some. Uniquely, the population along the Chinese coast has pink skin, and the pink colour originates not from a pigment, but from blood vessels which were overdeveloped for thermoregulation.

Fishermen in the area are feeding the dolphins. This is to stop them taking fish from the fishing net and becoming trapped.

According to the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation, there are around 60 dolphins living in the area. They can swim as fast as 37 kph, and come to the surface every five minutes to breathe.

There is an agreement with fishermen that they will not go too close to the dolphins. They must be at least 50 metres away from them if they want to watch them, and they stop the boat engine every time a dolphin is around to make sure they don’t hurt it.

The trip starts early at Klong Bang Paeng, the main port for local fishing boats (the best time to see pink dolphins is in the morning, from around 7.30am to 9am).

After your visit the dolphins, you will heading for tiny Koh Nui, famous for its spring water and/or the ‘Luang Pu Tuad’ monk statue, who – according to the guide – was the one who first discovered the spring.

Back on the boat speeding along, you will see pancake-like rocks called ‘Khao Pabpa’ that only exist in two places in the world – Thailand and New Zealand. ‘Pabpa’ in Thai means “folding clothes”, which the rocks resemble.

Your last stop will be a lunch on a small beach.

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