Our pick for this month’s dream destination is Koh Talu. This little, and little-known, island is situated off Bang Saphan, in Prachuap Khiri Khan, which is one of the western provinces of Thailand. It currently takes about two hours driving from Hua Hin, or five hours from Bangkok, and a 20 minute private speed boat ride to the island.
The island is very small, just 2.4 square kilometres in size, yet makes up with its scenic white sand beaches, clear waters, corals and abundance of nature. It’s perfect for snorkelling, diving, kayaking and simply unwinding on the beach.
Marine life is rich, not only with the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtle, which is now part of a conservation project on the island, but also other species such as the blacktip reef shark. They’re friendly with people and divers and often live together in coastal and coral reefs. This type of shark is a symbol of the abundance of coral reefs.
Koh Talu has the most complete fringing reef in the Gulf of Thailand. Diving points can easily be reached by walking from the beach. Eco-tourism is a high priority and alongside the turtle conservation there has been a continuous initiative to plant corals. In fact, since 1997, more than 40,000 new corals have been planted!
Taking off from, or landing on, water is not something that is usually trained. In order to fly seaplanes, pilots need additional training which will endorse a new ‘class rating’ on their licence, authorising them to perform duties on seaplanes.
During that training course they are trained on seaplane specific tasks, such as how to co-exist with marine traffic, how to dock, and other aspects that are unique only to seaplanes.
The training varies by location and authority, but always includes ground training covering all theory aspects and flight training for a minimum of hours up to the point where the candidate meets the correct standards to be presented for a check-ride.
Recency is then insured through a biannual check (under US Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, authority) or re-validation (under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency), to ensure standards are maintained.
Safety being paramount in commercial operation and seaplane operation, at Siam Seaplane we make sure that all recency and qualifications are trained and maintained to the highest standards possible in close partnership with the authorities and training provider companies to ensure the best and safest possible experience for our guests.
The German TV channel Pro7 visited us in Bangkok to interview and fly with our Chief Business Officer for their lifestyle show ‘taff’. You can find the video with English subtitles on our YouTube channel here. Our Sales & Marketing Associate was also interviewed by Aero Telegraph in an informal article titled “Our airport is on the beach, surrounded by coconut trees”.
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