After the hustle and bustle of Myanmar we headed to the Thai island of Ko Kut (or Ko Kood) for some peace and quiet. Nestled on the most easterly side of Thailand bordering Cambodia, Ko Kut is a blissful paradise which has seemingly escaped the ugly development and mass tourism of the many southern Thai islands. The fourth largest island in Thailand, around 70 percent of Ko Kut is covered by ancient rainforest. The few roads that do scatter the landscape are small and mainly deserted while the beaches are beautifully preserved and free of rubbish. Exploring the island and having seen the ecological damage inflicted by uncontrolled mass tourism on many other Thai islands, my main question was how to conserve this ecosystem in its existing state so that tourism can flourish and its environment can be protected. However after conducting a bit of research into conservation on Ko Kut island both online and through encounters with the locals, it was very challenging to find any information at all on the subject. This made me question how much longer the fragile balance between the existing natural environment and increasing tourism could last.
I wanted to explore this delicate balance through the different sounds that I found on the island. My aim for this soundscape was to capture both the natural beauty of the island in juxtaposition with the man made and potentially damaging sounds from increasing tourism. My prediction for the future of Ko Kut is that with increasing tourism infrastructure the natural soundscapes in this recording will decrease while unnatural sounds will only increase in number, disrupting the balance with potentially harmful impacts on the environment. As Ko Kut is famed for its natural beauty and peaceful surroundings, would a decrease in natural soundscapes lead to a less desirable ambience and furthermore a decrease in the number of visitors?
My hope is that a healthy and environmentally friendly balance can be kept between these conflicting settings so that while tourism thrives so does the natural environment.