Surat Thani, Thailand - Day 3 (Part One) - Narcissism is Necessary

Surat Thani, Thailand – Day 3 (Part One)

DAY 2 Part One
DAY 2 Part Two

We checked out of Sheraton Krabi in the morning and headed towards Surat Thani. Not before we dropped by the Marine Fish Centre, a fish conservation project by HRH King Bhumipol. The project’s conceived to counter over-fishing in the country.

Marine Fish Centre.

Marine Fish Centre
Looming storm.

Humphead fish.

Small sharks.

Marine Fish Centre.
Another view of the centre.

KY scaring the angel fish.
KY scaring the angel fish.

I think the conservation project is really cool and a noble initiative by the Thai King. If only our government were more environmentally conscious.

We proceeded on a 1.5 hour journey towards south, to Taha Resort for lunch. We were apparently the first Malaysian tourists to have set foot in the restaurant. It’s a quaint little establishment built overlooking a small river. Very nice atmosphere and excellent food! We had authentic southern Thai food.

Taha Resort.
Taha Resort.


See Tho also taught me how to eat durian with piping hot rice. It was orgasmic :)

See Tho demonstrating the way to eat durian with rice.
See Tho demonstrating the way to eat durian with rice.

Mangosteen wine on the left.
Mangosteen wine on the left.

After lunch, we decided to check out a Kiriwon village which is inhabited by the Ban Khiri Wong community. According to this website:

The village was faced with catastrophe on November 21, 1988 when a flash flood swept away some 100 houses. The local monastery and villagers still maintain the damaged convocation hall and houses as monuments to those who perished. Ban Khiri Wong is considered a prototype of eco-tourism management and the place won the 1998 Thailand Tourism Award in the city and community category.

So after the catastrophe, the villagers had to find new means of living. Being the innovative people that they are, they discovered various ways of using mangosteens and other fruits besides gobbling them up. Well, they turn them into soaps and dye!

Owner of soap factory and See Tho.
Owner of soap factory and See Tho.

The owner demonstrated the process of making mangosteen soaps and it was really impressive as there was no cooking of any sort. First, he mixed palm oil nuggets with mangosteen juice (derived from the skin) and other herbal juices. Then he mixed and compressed them further and finally, he moulded them into soaps.

Making mangosteen soaps.
Making mangosteen soaps.

Final product.
Final product.

Apparently, it’s a very good soap for people with acne problem, eczema and sensitive skin. Personally, I have eczema problem but have yet to try the soap (still in the box), so when I have, I’ll definitely post about my experience with it.

We were given an amulet as a parting gift. Such a nice gesture :)


After checking out the soaps, See Tho brought us to another place where fabric dye is made with mangosteens. Before this trip, I had no idea that there are so many uses for mangosteens! I’m very impressed with the people of Kiriwon village.

The dyed fabrics are reminiscent of the 60s tie-dye but more subdued. This is how they dye the fabric (pure cotton):

Clothes pegs are used to peg certain parts of the fabric to form desired patterns.

Fabrics cooked in the dye prepared with mangosteen essence.
Fabrics cooked in the dye prepared with mangosteen essence.

Finished product.
Finished product.

I bought a gardening hat, a pair of fisherman trousers and a bag made with the dyed fabrics. All for less than RM500 baht. Support the local businesses, eh!

We left Kiriwon village for another destination, but I’ll leave that for another post under Day 3 Part Two. Sorry it’s a little too long already!

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12 Responses to Surat Thani, Thailand – Day 3 (Part One)

  1. dils August 11, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    The durian with rice thing, hehe, many Malaysians love this too. Add a little milk into the rice. Gaul2 sikit with the durian. Orgasmic.

    Some also add a little rose syrup in there too. Try it :p

    (people always gives me weird looks when I mentioned eating durian with rice, . See. It is perfectly acceptable and normal!)

  2. Suertes August 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm #

    I kind of think: aren’t mangosteens a bit too valuable to do all that funky stuff to?

  3. Lee Wee Tak August 11, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    the Kiriwon village memorial should as a lesson for all to take precaution against natural disaster. We are lucky in Peninsular here because Sumatra bore the brunt of tsunami

    let’s us respect mother nature and hope she respect us in turn

  4. kellster August 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    zomg i still drool for the food that was beside the river… :(

  5. choco August 11, 2008 at 5:55 pm #

    please tell if the mangosteen soap worked!

    I just had an eczema outbreak, argh.

    thank you!

  6. Huai Bin August 11, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    The durian with rice thing looks very tempting. I first heard about it from a guy in rehab in Sabah. It has to be eaten with warm rice and it’s apparently very good but I’ve never tried it before. Now that I’ve seen the photos, I’ve gotta try it this coming durian season.

  7. KY August 12, 2008 at 9:16 am #

    ooo, this reminds me of the food!!!

  8. QM August 12, 2008 at 4:24 pm #

    How does the mangosteen wine taste like? I’m curious.

  9. pinolam August 16, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    yor KY looks like donald duck in the pic!

  10. Sue Lin September 2, 2008 at 10:22 pm #

    Your pictures are so beautiful. Wish i can someday travel like u and take pix like yours (or whoever took them… sorry didnt read, my life’s boring and full of exams, supposed to do assignments now AND i am working full time)

  11. nicholas February 28, 2013 at 2:40 am #

    your blog is great! i came across it doing some research for a back packing trip i’m planning for this summer with some friends. you gave me some ideas!


  1. » KY eats - Awesome Seafood at Surat Thani, South Thailand - August 22, 2008

    […] you can read Kim here and here for a slightly more detailed report on the trip itself. As for me, I just want to tell you […]

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