Project Week_English_PDF

November 23, 2014  |  By  | 

Tishya RavikumarReefs to Rain Forests  We were welcomed to Phuket by a few locals who called themselves our ‘tight brothers’. Three of them stood in front of us, bowing down low with marigold owers in their hands, welcoming us to their country with smiles stretching from cheek to cheek. They told us, “Throughout this trip, we are your brothers.   We will protect you from any harm and put our lives ahead of yours. You can talk to us, and trust us with your problems. We are your brothers.” True to their word, they helped us with every di  culty and made sure that we were okay at all times. Their rst priority, they said, was to keep us happy. Everyday they would ask, with a little hint of concern hiding behind their wide smiles,“Are you happy today?” I was so touched that these people who we had just met had already made us so close to them and were ready to sacrice so much for us.  ! Splash that kayak! !  After a short drive from P.N Mountain resort, we visited the Bor Thor mangrove forest. I walked down a wobbly bridge made of plank-wood with twenty one others trailing along behind me, received an overview of mangrove ecology and set o  paddling through the mangrove forest. I oated in my long kayak around the water, aimlessly, in circles, frivolous and determined to have my friends soaked in water. As I kayaked through the mangroves, I saw lush green trees and seeds as big as an adult’s st! Everything was so new and unique to me.  “I come here eight to nine times a year,”, said one of our “tight brothers”. “It never gets boring around the mangrove forest, there’s something new to see every time.” Our tour guide, an old, wrinkly yet cheerful man, Mr. Henley, taught us about ‘hongs’. Hongs are caves with ‘roofs’ that become imsy over time and eventually collapse. I paddled through beautiful caves and limestone tunnels, observing the icicle-like stones dripping through the top of the cave. Along the way, otters, ddler crabs and mudskippers ticked our toes, making us yell and giggle, all at the same time!  After mastering the art of kayaking (and splashing water at each other with paddles), I got o  my unsteady kayak, soaking wet, and teetered down yet another wobbly bridge and into a massive cave chamber with cave paintings. It was huge, ginormous! Stone icicles dripped through the ceiling, bright green splotches of limestone glittering on the walls. Paintings of  2 Reefs to Rain Forests “It never gets boring around the mangrove forest, there’s something new to see every time.” Kayaking through the Bor Thor mangrove forest and into the stone hongs. (Photo Credits to Siyu Zhang)