Prepare for a brand new experience: champion the environment during daylight hours and indulge in luxury in the evenings! Words and images by Polly Szantor.
|Twice a day, I found something new in my room, fruit, chocolates or savories, displayed with great artistry.|
Hidden away on the north coast of Langkawi, far from the hustle and bustle of Pantai Cenang, there’s a secret that needs to be shared. With stunning views of Datai Bay, ranked the 9th best beach in the world by National Geographic, The Andaman Luxury Resort provides the perfect escape. Langkawi means “the land of one’s wishes” and who could wish for a more magnificent hideaway? Close to shore, there’s an 8,000-year-old coral reef, while the backdrop is created by a rainforest that’s 10 million years old. This has to be one of the most beautiful locations on the planet. Here you can spend your days in 5-star comfort, luxuriating at the V Botanical Spa, dining at one of the superb restaurants or enjoying the ambience of the newly renovated pool access or garden terrace rooms.
But imagine staying at this breath-taking resort, while helping to preserve our ecosystem. Through its Reef and Rainforest Expedition (R & R) The Andaman is offering its guests a unique opportunity to make a difference; you can spend the daytime involved in ecologically sound practices, and have a totally indulgent experience in the evening, with a gourmet dinner and a perfectly orchestrated, well-earned sleep.
This exciting programme will run for 7 nights and 7 days and is designed for nature and science enthusiasts. 16 participants will work with a team of eco-experts on projects to help preserve the natural diversity of Langkawi. There will be two groups of 8, who will conduct research in three main study projects: the coral reef, the mangroves and the hornbills of Gunung Raya. Participants will document the territories of the R & R habitats and complete a population census. They will also help to map and grow The Andaman’s Coral Reef, so that it becomes healthy and vibrant again. At the end of the expedition, the results of the research will be published in appropriate scientific journals. This data will be used for the next expedition, assisting in the ongoing monitoring of the reef and rainforest.
|Imaginative menu at Jala Restaurant.|
|The lightly seasoned broth was added at the table.|
|A subtle sprinkle of smoked salt.|
|Every course was divine and the meal ended with a heavenly Calamansi Pie with Buffalo Ice Cream|
Then it’s into the mangroves with naturalist Irshak Mobarak. This committed environmentalist’s engaging personality and wealth of stories will encourage participants to conduct research in the mangroves, which are being eroded at an alarming rate. With the Mangrove Project, Irshak hopes to be able to demonstrate to the local boatmen that the wake from their boats, which speed through the waterways laden with tourists, will eventually destroy the environment on which they depend. Irshak will also lead the Expedition to the highest mountain on the island, Gunung Raya, which is home to three species of hornbills and a host of birds, whose habitat is threatened by encroaching development. By creating a comprehensive list of the birds in the area, and by taking regular readings, it will be possible to track the number and variety of birds over an extended period.
|Here you can see the damage as the edges of the waterways erode.|
|The sticks are buried to the level of the yellow paint; any erosion will be obvious.|
|Vegetarian Spring Rolls|
|Tenderloin Steak Sandwich|
We crammed all of these experiences into 3 nights/2 days, with the additional excitement of an exhilarating motorboat ride out into the ocean to hunt for whale sharks. While we were birding, the naturalists had a text message about a sighting. A boat was organised, we rushed back to The Andaman and adrenaline was high. With help from local fishermen we found a small group of these wonderfully benign behemoths, just young ones, but this was the icing on the cake of a phenomenally exciting couple of days.
|Fishermen pointed the way to the pod of young Whale Sharks.|
The Andaman will run the R and R Expedition from 1–8 November 2013, at USD5,495 per person or USD9,495 for two persons. Participants who sign up for the expedition will be invited to do their bit for Mother Nature and come home to luxury in a Deluxe Rainforest Room. This expedition package includes a bountiful eco-themed welcome dinner for the participants, daily breakfast and lunch to keep you going through the day, and a team recognition dinner on the last night. The programme is limited to 16 persons and the bookings will close on 25 October 2013.
During your stay, be sure to search for the rare Colugo, the flying lemur of Southeast Asia. We saw them during the day clinging to tree trunks around the pool, and in the evening you may catch one flying from tree to tree. The Andaman really is a special place, and I suggest that if you’re interested in participating in this programme, you shouldn’t wait too long before registering. It’s going to be popular!
Reason to visit: To enjoy luxurious surroundings and impeccable service at The Andaman, and to end each day happy in the knowledge that you are truly helping the environment.
|The perfect end to a perfect day.|
For more information on the expedition itinerary visit: www.theandaman.com
For reservations, contact email@example.com
Telephone: +60 4 959 1088