The Save Koh Tao Festival for 2011 will be hosted this year in Sairee on the 25th & 26th of March. Its aim is to bring awareness to locals and tourists of the islands ecology, to promote marine and land conservation and to raise money to help fund projects for the benefit of the island.
Since its conception in 2007 the annual two day, two night festival has attracted a lot of media attention raising awareness further, as it brings journalists from Bangkok newspapers, magazines and T.V to record the event.The first day of the festival starts with an opening ceremony by local officials and continues with fun games and competitions. As the day moves on there are a variety of entertaining shows on the main stage, specialist environmental talks & displays.
Once all the games & presentations are finished there is live music and D.J’s every night to dance the night away to. The bands or D.J’s that play come from ether Koh Tao, southern Thailand or have come down from Bangkok. The music continues until the early hours of the morning for the real party people.
One of the funniest moments in the festival is when all the dive shops come together on the island to compete in a beauty pageant for the revered title of either Mr or Miss Koh Tao.
The festival is filled with amazing smells of delicious locally produced Thai food as a lot of the Thai and western restaurants on the island set up food tents for the duration of the two days around the main arena.
Koh Tao gets a huge cooked food market for two days. The food vendors put on a wonderful display and make all the traditional savory food and desserts that you cannot normally find any other time of the year.
The money raised by the festival gets distributed during the rest of the year for different projects that Save Koh Tao is working on for the benefit of the island.
One of the major projects Save Koh Tao has addressed has been to ease the stress on some of the islands most congested dive sites. They have used some of the proceeds raised from the festival to build an artificial environmentally friendly dive site. This has been a great success and has already started to have coral growing on it.
Save Koh Tao work closely with the fishery department on the mainland and each year they conduct a turtle release program on the island. They release new baby turtles into the water to help sustain their population in the local waters.
In addition to this they have also created a baby giant clam nursery. Once the clams are big enough they then get planted around Koh Tao’s beautiful dive sites.
The Save Koh Tao group and annual festival have coordinated and contributed to numerous projects bringing together the local community of Koh Tao. With the help of willing volunteers they are set to continue to protect and sustain this islands natural beauty for many more years to come.