Combine the thrill of island hopping around the Phi Phi Islands with volunteering work this June on the ANZA Community Cruise.
Imagine yourself stretched out on a 100ft yacht with meals included, enjoying a cruise around the islands near Phuket for three whole days. All for $240. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Well, welcome aboard with ANZA Action and ANZA Tours as we collaborate with Spaboat for a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the ANZA Community Cruise.
The owner of Spaboat (spaboat.net), Neil Dibb runs a charter business in the waters around Phuket and each year gives back to the local communities by offering volunteer groups three-day cruises at cost price in return for a day’s work to renovate local schools.
Most of the crew at Spaboat come from the islands to the east of Phuket. They grew up going to school, fishing, working and helping their family and community exist in rural Thailand. Many of the schools they went to are still in existence today, but in dire need of repair as they do not get the funding they need to maintain and, in some cases, rebulid the facilities.
Neil’s team scouts around the schools on the islands (normally Koh Yao Noi or Koh Yao Yai) and locates the one that particularly needs work. He meets with the school Principal and agrees the scope, timing and community involvement. He then plans the project, buys the materials in Phuket and finds a volunteer group for the labour.
“We actively encourage the community to help with the project,” explains Neil. “Normally we’ll get some carpenters from the village to do the complex carpentry and the mothers of the kids make us a well-earned lunch. We often have the kids ‘helping’ which brings an element of joy and laughter.”
The maintenance work involved in the schools is mainly painting and repairing and the Spaboat team fit the volunteer’s skillset to the job required. Safety is always a concern and they ensure everyone has the appropriate working gear and equipment for the task at hand.
The typical trip itself includes a full-day on the project plus some down-time on the boat cruising Phang Nga Bay, Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands, enjoying fresh cooked Thai food, massages and relaxing with the crew and friends.
Neil says: “We always look for donations towards the materials, but a better way is for you to get your family, friends or work colleagues together as a group and join the ANZA arranged project. It is truly a great experience and very well appreciated by the rural communities on the islands.”
Sounds like a great idea? Gather some like-minded friends and come on this life-changing trip. Get off the beaten track, avoid crowded beaches, traffic and tourists, and come and see the natural beauty of Thailand that few others can experience.
ANZA Action and ANZA Tours have selected Monday June 4 2018 for our first adventure with Spaboat. We are starting with a three-day, adults-only tour and hope to make it an annual event extending to families. Neil is willing to accommodate those who wish to go longer and is happy to create other tours for families or sporting clubs.