Search For Beautiful Pink Dolphins of Khanom, Thailand

Search For Beautiful Pink Dolphins of Khanom, Thailand

Search For Beautiful Pink Dolphins of Khanom, Thailand

Tucked between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani is a small fishing village where I search for beautiful Pink Dolphins of Khanom, Thailand.

We’ve dreamt this dream for weeks before making the trip overland to Nakhon Si Thammarat.

KHANOM

We reached Khanom. The smell of the sea and drying fish permeates the air as we gleefully hop off the van. The village is small with several small buildings. The activities here are mainly fishing.

Khanom local are proud of their friendly pink dolphins. These are Indo-Pacific dolphins which are also known as Irrawaddy dolphins.

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The local fishermen drying shrimps in the sun.
The local fishermen drying shrimps in the sun. Photo: Doris Lim
A statue of two pink dolphins.
A statue of two pink dolphins. Photo: Doris Lim
The long tail boats take visitors out to sea for dolphin spotting.
The long tail boats take visitors out to sea for dolphin spotting. Photo: Doris Lim

GOING OUT TO SEA

We have an experienced tour guide, Khun Mont Supit Tewayurang who continuously checked on wind and sea conditions from the night before our arrival to Khanom. It was high tide today and the long tail boats were lifted up almost to moor at the pier.

The sea was a little rough and the water choppy. Khun Mont was visibly worried as the group was anxiously waiting to see the pink dolphins.

After checking on the wind and sea conditions, Khun Mont decided that it was okay and the expert boatmen took us out on the long tail boats.

We headed out to sea with the warm sun beating down. There was no shade on the long tail boat and our hats, sunglasses and sunblock didn’t seem to work with the sun beating down mercilessly.

Eventually, after some time the sea calmed and the slight wind bought cooling breeze to tease our hair and cool our flushed cheeks.

Khun Mont explained that seeing pink dolphins along the coastline meant that the sea has a healthy ecosystem. The local of Khanom have been planting seaweed along the coast to provide a sanctuary for marine animals to nest.

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The friendly dolphins swim close by.
The friendly dolphins swim close by. Source: Mont Supit Tewayurang

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DOLPHINS SPOTTING

We were so happy to see these beautiful mammals. Dolphins by nature are a playful and sociable creature. They’re fun-loving and seem to be smiling.

The name ‘dolphin’ refers to a synonym for the Bottlenose Dolphin, the most common and familiar species of dolphin.

A group of dolphins is called a “school” or a “pod”. Male dolphins are called “bulls”. The females “cows” and young dolphins are called “calves”.

WHY ARE SOME DOLPHINS PINK?

Dolphins are grey, black white and even pink as well. Pink dolphins can also be found living in the Amazon, Orinoco and Araguaia rivers. These are the Amazon River dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) an endangered species and is to be protected.

There are four kinds of dolphins living in the waters off Thailand. The most common is the Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin. When dolphins are born, their colour is grey and they turn pink as they become older. The bubble-gum-pink hue is very distinct.

For the pink dolphins to live happily in Khanom, it goes to show how pristine the waters are.

A pink dolphin swims towards a boat.
A pink dolphin swims towards a boat. Source: Mont Supit Tewayurang
A cow (mother) dolphin and her calf (baby) swimming along.
A cow (mother) dolphin and her calf (baby) swimming along. Source: Mont Supit Tewayurang
A pink dolphin.
A pink dolphin. Source: Mont Supit Tewayurang

TIME FOR SOME SOUVENIRS

Soon it was almost time to leave and grab a few souvenirs for home!

Pretty dolphin tee shirts.
Pretty dolphin tee shirts. Photo: Doris Lim

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