Category Archives: Nature & Science

Similan Islands National Park

Similan Islands

The Similan Islands National Park is a major attraction for visitors to Khao Lak. Known for long white coral sand beaches and crystal blue waters with cooling breezes coming off the Andaman Sea there are nine uninhabited islands in the archipelago with some of the best scenery in Thailand.

The Islands are very easy to visit being located only 60kms west from Khao Lak. They can be visited for one day or for varying overnight durations, either independently or more usually as part of an organised tour.

Surin Islands National Park

Surin Islands

The Surin Islands National Park is known for pristine reefs, lush jungles and remote location on the edge of the Andaman Sea. There are five islands – all uninhabited except for the small Moken or Sea Gypsy village. They are located about 90 km North West of Khao Lak and are usually accessed from the pier at Kuraburi taking about 75 minutes, the same time as the speedboat transfer. The islands have the largest and most developed coral reefs in the Andaman Sea.

There are a huge number of different species of fish and sharks and sea turtles are plentiful. The Surin Islands also have a broad selection of animal life, including the Nicobar Pigeon and Mangrove Monitor Lizards.14km to the east of the

Pakarang or Pa Ka Rak Beach

Pakarang or Pa Ka Rak Beach

Pakarang or Pa Ka Rak Beach – continues totally unspoiled until it reaches Cape Pakarang where there are just a handful of resorts and a few restaurants. At this point the beach is very wide and the ocean is popular with surfers, particularly in the wet season. Walk to your left to Memories Beach Bar & JW Marriott or to your right to The Sarojin and Le Meridien.

Photo taken by TwistedNook

A perfect massage with Twistednook

A perfect massage with Twistednook

A perfect massage with Twistednook

Most of city girls would go shopping when they feel low, but a beach girl like me runs straight to coconut oil message. From ghetto little straw huts to 5 star-hotel spa, I love when my body and mind are completely lost in the sensual kneading moment. Anyone who comes to Thailand must visit our world famous Thai massage once or twice during his/her stay. Our traditional Thai massage dates back 2,500 yrs as an influence of Indian, Chinese and Southeast Asia’s customary practices and medicines. It can be done alone, as a couple or even in a big group. It involves a lot of stretching and cracking of your bones. Customers are changed in comfy clothes like fisherman pants and linen shirt then lie on a firm mattress or even on the floor.

Butterfly and Orchid Garden

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Orchid Garden

Tucked away opposite the only gas station in Khao Lak, interested visitors will find the Orchid Garden and the Butterfly Farm of Ekkehard Schwadtke, who has made the hobbies of his youth accessible to other nature lovers.

An unpaved road through a former rubber plantation ends after 250 metres at a small stone house, the entrance in which a selection of unusual souvenirs are also on sale. Here, visitors can decide, if they like orchids or butterflies more – or if they want to visit both gardens.

The orchid garden was founded in November 2004 and is like a small botanical garden, which reveals the diversity of Thai orchids to nature enthusiastic visitors. The timing of the opening was not a lucky choice, as a tsunami destroyed the entire infrastructure of Khao Lak only 6 weeks later. Although the garden was not directly affected, Ekkehard Schwadtke had to close for 2 years, as there were no visitors.

The reopening in 2007 happened at a new location and started with the butterfly garden. The orchids were brought to the new garden in daring transports one season later.

Bamboo

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Bamboo

Bamboo

Bamboo is a perennial evergreen from the grass family and one of the fastest growing plants in the world; some species can grow up to 1 m per day. Unlike trees, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow vertically to a height of up to 30 m during a single rainy season. Then the branches extend from the nodes and leafing out occurs. During the next 2 years, the pulpy wall of each culm slowly hardens. Then the shoot is considered a fully mature culm and can be harvested.

Bamboo must be harvested at the end of the dry season when the culms reach their greatest strength. Traditionally, the best time is at dawn or dusk on a waning moon.

Most bamboo species flower seldom and infrequently, some need as long as 65 or 120 years for one cycle. Bamboo exhibits mass flowering with all plants of one species flowering worldwide at the same time, regardless of differences in geographic locations or climatic conditions, and then the plant dies.

Bamboo species are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions. They occur across East Asia to Northern Australia, and west to India, southern Africa, and in the Americas.

Khao Sok National Park

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Khao Sok

Khao Sok straddles the central mountain range which forms the backbone of the Malaysian Peninsula and is located just south of the Isthmus of Kra, the peninsula’s bottleneck. Monsoon rains sweep into these mountains from the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea making this area the wettest of Thailand.

Khao Sok has a complex geological history dating back 300 million years, when the Permian limestone was built up from corals in a warm, shallow and quiet sea. This coral reef stretched from China to Borneo and later became deeply buried under new sediment, which created immense heat and pressure resulting in the limestone rocks we see today.

During the last Ice Age, water was trapped in the enlarged polar caps and the sea level fall, rejuvenating the fluvial systems and producing greater erosion. When the sea levels rose again, the process of erosion was slowed resulting in the smaller meandering rivers and dramatic topography we see now.

Phang Nga Bay

Established in 1981, Phang Nga National Park lies in the sheltered waters north and east of Phuket Island and belongs to Phang Nga province. Its pale, milky-green waters are the setting for more than 40 spectacular islands, often rising to 300 metres and more. People have sailed the waters of Phang Nga for at least 3000 years.

The islands of Phang Nga are part of a geological feature which extends all the way from the island of Borneo northwards to the southern provinces of China. Technically, Phangnga is referred to as a drowned karstland. At one time this was a barrier reef more than thousand kilometres long. From the onset of the Permian Age, roughly 230 million years ago, corals and other marine organisms laid down deposits of calcium carbonate hundreds of metres thick. Then, movements in the earth’s crust came to exert enormous pressures on this sedimentary rock. Rather than bend and fold, the inelastic limestone ruptured. Blocks of stone sheered away one from the other, some thrusting up while others sank. Other forces have played their role in sculpting the dramatic cliffs and natural monuments.

Silk

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Silk

The origin of Silk and its production

The silkworm is the caterpillar of the silk moth and is the only domesticated butterfly species. It is blind, cannot fly and depends entirely on humans for its reproduction and does no longer occur in the wild.

The caterpillars hatch from their eggs after 10 days and feed on the leaves of the White Mulberry, a tree native to Northern China. The white, nude  caterpillars shed their skin four times and after about 35 days they turn slightly yellow, are 10,000 times heavier than when hatched, and ready to spin a cocoon. A continuous thread of raw silk from 300 to 900 metres length is produced in the salivary glands of the silkworm and it needs 3-4 days to spin the cocoon around itself. The silk fibres are very fine and lustrous, and have a triangular cross section with rounded corners. This refracts the light at different angles and gives silk the shimmering appearance it is prized for.

Water is Life

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Water is Life

Water is the lifeblood of earth and all human beings, and one of the most important substances for our body. All life evolved out of the water, also mankind. Our body consist of about two-thirds of water; therefore a balanced water budget is an important prerequisite for the functioning of our body.

The human body needs water as a vehicle, coolant, solvent and building material. As it circulates through the body and carries out its functions, we loose more than 2.5 litres of fluid every day. Most is excreted through the bladder, the rest through the intestines, lungs and skin.

These losses must be compensated daily and well distributed throughout the day because water shortage can quickly lead to serious health problems. Water transports essential nutrients and vital substances into each cell of our body and ensures that waste products and toxins are excreted through the kidneys. As most metabolites can be excreted only dissolved in water, our body needs a sufficient amount of liquid.

Palm Oil – It’s all around you

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.

Oil Palm

The oil palm is a member of the Arecaceae family and native to the rainforests along the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa. The first palm trees were brought to Java by the Dutch in 1848 and two years later palm oil came to Europe for the first time. The British introduced the tree to their colony of Malaya in 1910, where it was immediately planted in extended plantations, mostly owned and operated by British plantation owners.

The oil palm is a single-stemmed tree that reaches an age of over 80 years and a height of 20 meters. The pinnate leaves could be as long as 6 meters; the flowers are produced in dense clusters in the leaf axils and are fertilized by the wind. The palm fruit takes 5 to 6 months to mature, it is reddish brown, about the size of a plum, and grows in large bunches. The stone fruits are made up of an oily, fleshy outer shell with a single seed inside, the palm kernel, which is also rich in oil. When ripe, a bunch of fruit weighs up to 50 kg.

They are cut by hand and the fruits have to be processed on the same day. The edible “palm oil”, which is pressed from the outer shell is of orange color and is used as cooking oil throughout South East Asia. It is an important substance for the production of margarine. After crashing the inner shell of the seed, the “kernel oil” can be squeezed, which is used for production of soap due to its foaming element Laurin acid.

Silk

Deutsch, klicken sie hier.
 
 
The origin of Silk and its production

The silkworm is the caterpillar of the silk moth, which is the only domesticated butterfly species. It is blind, has lost its power to fly and is entirely dependent on humans for its reproduction and does no longer occur in the wild.

Silk

The caterpillars hatch from their eggs after 10 days and feed preferrably on the leaves of the White Mulberry, a tree native to Northern China. After about 35 days and 4 moultings, the caterpillars are 10 000 times heavier than when hatched, and are ready to spin a cocoon. A continuous thread of raw silk from 300 to 900 metres length is produced in the salivary glands of the silkworm and it needs 3-4 days to spin the cocoon around itself. The silk fibres are very fine and lustrous, about 10 micrometres in diameter and have a triangular cross section with rounded corners. This refracts the light at different angles and gives silk the shimmering appearance it is prized for.