At Golden Buddha Beach Resort we have been focused on ecological and community-sensitive hospitality since the inception of the resort in the mid nineties, as much by necessity as by design. To be located on a remote island with no electric mains, no scheduled boat service and with the next village one hour away, has ensured that Golden Buddha has always been acutely aware of its environment.
The new management, in place since December 2012, is committed to continue and, where possible, improve our ecological approach, especially in four areas: organic farming, energy efficiency, waste and water management.
Our chickens are allowed to roam freely during the day at the back of the resort. We are also breeding our own pigs, and are steadily developing farm land. This year the orchard is pretty much complete – we grow mango trees, banana trees, papayas, Thai cherries, kaffir and lemon trees; and we also grow a range of herbs and vegetables for use in the kitchen. Alongside these we have a plant nursery where various species are grown for seeds or temporary rooted to acclimatise to the island. We compost all that we can – all the food waste which is not feeding the animals is composted, along with all the green waste from the gardens. We are also sourcing as much produce as possible from local farmers and fishermen, including wild savannah honey, cashew nuts, fish and seafood, etc..
In May 2013 we purchased a new-generation generator, which consumes half the fuel previously used by the old machinery in place and also adjusts production on demand. This allows us for instance to run electricity to all the houses from 6pm to 6am without increasing our fuel consumption. (Electricity at the clubhouse and office is available all day.)
Currently and despite efforts made in the past, far too much unsorted waste is being sent back to the mainland by boats. We are aiming to drastically reduce waste production at the resort. A first step is the appointment of a waste manager, who will supervise the separation of waste products, recycling and waste reduction.
Currently all drinking water at the resort comes in containers from the mainland. This is in our view not sustainable. We have dug two main wells and are looking into filtering the water to make it drinkable.
90% of Golden Buddha Beach Resort’s staff comes from the island. They are paid above local prevailing wages and we pay social security and holidays, which is far from being the norm in Thailand.
Where available we use local services. The head of the island’s Tah Pae Yoi village organizes all boat transfers to and from the resort using long tail boats powered by 14 hp engines. Small business operators in Kuraburi town provide ground transportation services for our guests.
All the fish and shellfish at the resort is local. When there is not enough supply from the island’s fishermen for our guest in high season, we top up supplies from fishermen in Kuraburi.
LOW IMPACT CONSTRUCTION
Golden Buddha Beach Resort has used simple, low impact construction for its 28 individual houses and all communal buildings. Buildings are spaced apart and permitted to comprise no more than 12.5% of any one-rai (1,600 m2) plot. Building heights are restricted to maintain the spacious feel and emphasize the surrounding rain forests. All buildings are constructed predominantly with plantation sourced tropical hardwoods using local Thai craftsmen.