Right to Play for Peace and Development

Right to Play is working toimprove the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace.
They use sports, physical activity and play to attain specific development and peace objectives, including the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). They believe they cancreate a healthier and safer world through the power of sport and play.Currently, Right To Play has programs in the following countries:
Benin, Botswana, Burundi, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Peru, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates.

They work towards inclusion and give children a chance to become constructive participants in society, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social background or religion. A team of top athletes from more than 40 countries support Right to Play. As role models, these athletes inspire children and raise awareness about Right To Play internationally. Right To Play uses sport and play programs to promote opportunities for development, teach life skills and health education and build stronger, more peaceful communities. To do this, Right To Play trains local Coaches to run programs, thereby creating the foundation in a community for regular and long-term sport and play programming and for individual and community leadership. Right To Play also uses sport and play to mobilize and educate communities around key health issues to support national health objectives, in particular HIV and AIDS prevention and awareness and vaccination campaigns.

The Red Ball is the symbol and logo for Right to Play. Right To Play’s philosophy “LOOK AFTER YOURSELF, LOOK AFTER ONE ANOTHER” is written on the Red Ball. This philosophy embodies the ideas of looking after ones own bodies and well-being, as well as advocating teamwork and cooperation in looking after one another.

These videos feature a refugee camp on the border of Thai and Myanmar. Since more than half of the refugees are children, these sports programs become an important part of the children’s lives and uplifting their spirits.

PART 1

PART 2

Suan Rod Fai Park – A Wonderful Park in the City

Near Chatuchak Market there is a great place for jogging, biking, swimming, playing tennis or having a family picnic. It is best known as “Suan Rod Fai”, or Train Park, by the Thais and there are several train artifacts lying around.
The park is a converted golf course which the BMT changed into a public park. Now it is a popular spot for joggers and bikers to go, especially in the mornings, to get a good workout. It is also a great location for families to spend the day. There a several playgrounds in the central area of the park, a pool, a butterfly garden and nice lakes to look at. There a many large trees which provide a shady place to sit and relax.
There is a wonderful 3 kilometer paved bike path that goes around the perimeter of the park. Even if you don’t have a bike or want to bother transporting it, bikes can be rented for as little as 20 baht for the day. The selection varies from toddler sized bikes with trainning wheels to typical bikes with baskets, mountain bikes and tandem bikes.

Nature Study Trails in Kung Krabaen Bay

Tips Visitors on Nature Study Trails

Be a Responsible Visitors 

  • Before starting out at the head of the trail, check for information on the route, and a description of the fauna and flora and other highlights that you might reasonably expect to see.
  • Allow sufficient time to explore the route or a predetermined part of the route and discover the things you want to see. 
  • Never venture off the trail on your own.
  • Walk slowly and try not to make sudden noises that might disturb wildlife or other visitors.

Be a Respectful Visitor

  • Take your garbage out with you when you leave.  Don’t reach into the vegetation to touch nesting birds, or venture into the mud to catch crabs or mudskippers. 
  • Avoid trampling vegetation and damaging habitats that animals depend upon by always sticking to the marked route.
  • Never take animal or plant life home with you. 

What to Bring 

  • A pair of 8 x 30 binoculars is most useful for watching birds in forest habitats.
  • A camera and zoom lens, (70 – 300mm) allows you to photograph forest birds but a longer lens is needed for waterbirds.
    • Bring a macro lens for close-up photography of insects and mangrove trees.
    • A flash may help you illuminate an interesting subject in low light. 
  • Wear clothes and footwear appropriate to the terrain and weather conditions.  

Mangrove Forests at Kung Krabaen Bay

For those of you enjoy nature and a bit of peace and quite, there are still relatively undeveloped stretches of shoreline along the Gulf of Thailand. In Chantaburi forest, there are protected coastal woodlands, mangrove forests and coastal forests, part of  a vital effort to save this diminishing, yet crucial habitat. Kung Krabaen Bay, so named for the bay’s sting ray-like shape, is a fine example of Thailand’s mangrove forest conservation efforts.

 Natural History of Mangroves

Mangrove forests are natural rare because they only exist in areas that provide the correct conditions. All of Thailand’s pristine mangrove forests are thought to cover only a third the size of Bangkok (7,761 square kilometers) and less that 0.5% of Thailand’s total land area.

These forests have a tall canopy, often reaching 15-20 meters. At Kung Krabaen Bay, the forests cover 100 hectares. The forests consist primarily of Rhizophora trees that stand in the brackish water(saltwater and freshwater mixture) with their taproots branching out from their trunks down into the water.

Kung Krabaen Bay Mangrove Forests


The Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Center is actively working to protect and preserve this unique habitat by reforesting another 82 hectares, as well as overseeing the entire area. When you visit the area, you can see Rhizophora tree saplings planted in straight rows. Rhizophora is one of the pioneer plant species in this ecosystem and as the saplings mature, they help buffer the coastline  against erosion and expand the suitable environment for the creatures living in the mangrove forests.

You can enjoy the Kung Krabaen Bay mangroves in one of two ways. There is a self-guided Mangrove Forest Study Walkway that stretches 1.6 kilometers. It starts and ends in the reforestation zone and loops through older, more pristine forests. You will also venture through areas where mangrove and woodland forests meet. As you walk along the wooden walkway, you feel that you are walking with an “in the mangroves” feel. This is the ideal way to understand how the forest changes as it develops through the life stages from seedlings to mature forests. You can also see birds by day and fireflies by night.

More adventurous visitors can take a ranger-guided kayak route along the seaward edge of the mangroves. The route continues through the shadowy depths of the forest along natural gaps in the trees and access channels. You will also pass an area where you see how locals acquire food from the mangrove forests by setting small cages for fish and crabs. The best time to visit is during the cooler months from November to February and the tide will determine when the tours run.

 Importance of Mangrove Forest Conservation

There are many conservation efforts being made to protect the mangrove forests since the environment they provide is very important for various marine life. They are feeding grounds for sea animals and sea birds.

At low tide, egrets, macaques and civets feast on the sea creatures exposed in the mud. Above the water’s surface, mangrove trees are homes for large waterbirds. Among the roots of the mangroves, many crabs, shrimps and young fish hide and live in the teeming waters. They spend their early lives in the mangrove forests before they are large enough to survive in the ocean.

At Kung Krabaen, the mangrove forests also draw tourists. The additional revenue from tourism in the form of nature tours, homestays and other accommodations is another motivating factor for locals to help preserve the forests.

10 Keys to Bird Identification

1. WATCH ITS ACTIONS

To identify a bird you need to see how it acts. Certain birds are known for standout behavior.  

  • Is the bird clinging to the tree trunk? 
  • Is it hopping on the ground pulling bugs? 
  • Does it scare away all the other birds from the feeder? 

By recognizing that behavior, it may make identifying a little easier if you don’t catch all of the physical characteristics.
 2. THE BEAK

Some beaks are long and thin, others are fat, some orange, and a lot are brown.  Make note of the color and size of a beak, and any
unusual characteristics: long, thin, thick, curved, pointed, short, etc. The type of beak will also give clues as to what the bird eats. 

 3. THE PLUMAGE

Jot down all of the colors and where they are visible.  Sometimes wing bars on a bird are only seen while it’s in flight.  If it’s flying away, it may be hard to get any of the other visuals to
identify it.

  • What is the main colored feather of the bird? 
  • Is the chest or head a different color? 
  • Does it have spots, stripes or wing bands? 

4. SIZE MATTERS

  • Is your bird very small or very large? 
  • Does it have a long tail compared to the rest of the body? 

For an easy comparison, use a bird you are familiar with. You can easily gauge the size of the bird you are viewing to one that you see quite regularily and late try to determine what it might be.

5. LISTEN

In general, birds use a whole repertoire of sounds in their vocabulary.  From short calls, to squawks to lovely songs, each is instrumental for communicating to other birds.  They also have special calls for certain activities they are performing.  Some calls can even be recognized and heeded by birds of other species.  
 
As for songs, each bird song is unique in its melody and quality. The songs usually happen between meals during daylight hours.  

6. FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING

The shape of a bird is indicative to what category it belongs to. Remembering
its general shape and appearance will lead you to its category.

The categories of birds are: perching birds, woodpeckers, water birds, birds of prey, owls, gulls, ducks and ground birds.  Certain
categories have more in depth sub-categories.

7. LET’S EAT!

Take note of what the bird is eating.  Determining its food will give you good clues to as to what type of bird it is.

8. WHERE ARE YOU WATCHING THE BIRD?

 Bird species will be more commonly found in areas where they nest or feed. If you know about the birds habitat and behaviors, it can help you determine the likely suspects andeliminated those which are unlikely.

Some birds prefer wide open grasslands, while others like pine forests and dead trees. Some birds will only be found along the shoreline or are only in the area at certain times of the year.

9. FLIGHT PATTERN

Birds have different wing lengths and styles of flying, just as people do walking.  Some will flap their wings quickly and non-stop, others slowly and glide. 

10. SEASONS OF CHANGE

The time of year you are watching birds can help determine the species. The weather turns cold in your area and some feathered friends
migrate during cooler months, mate in certain areas, then return “home” to raise babies.

By keeping a notebook near your bird watching station, you can quickly jot down features of an unknown bird until you can find it in your field guide. Digital cameras can provide instant replay until you have identified your subject.
 

How to Set Up a Backyard Archery Range

If you have the space in your backyard, you can try your hand at setting up your own archery range. With your own private practice range, you can easily shoot several times a week and not have any excuses to shoot regularly. You’ll be amazed at the improvement in you archery abilities with consistent practice schedule. 
 
1.   Location – Find a spot for your range. You need a place with a shooting position that allows enough space behind or to the side for onlookers to watch safely.  
 
2.   Space – Make sure the spot has at least 25 to 30 yards of space between the shooter and the target. More space is always better. With a longer strip you can set your target up at different distances as you improve.  
 
3.  Behind the Target – Create a way of catching arrows that miss the target. There might just be an open field behind your range, or it could be a wall behind your target. The key here is to make sure that wherever your arrows land, they will not harm any persons or property.  
 
4.   Targets – Place your targets in the proper location always taking safety into consideration.  Measure the distance from the shooter to the target for your own aiming reference.  These distances can be modified as needed.
 
5.   Shoot – Get a stand for arrows and a pen and paper to keep score. Observe all safety rules and use common sense whenever shooting. 

Tips:

  • Set up your range in a way that allows you to leave it set up. You’ll definitely do more shooting that way. 
  • If you need to build a wall to catch your misses, hay bales are great for stopping arrows without damaging them. 
  • Examine your arrows at the end of every archery session and repair damaged ones immediately.

Warning:  

  • Always make sure the area around and behind the target is clear before you shoot.  
  • Use common sense in locating your archery range and make sure other people know the safety rules associated with the sport of archery.

Birdwatching Sites in Thailand

Thailand is scattered with national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that are prime locations to observe birds or go on birding trips. There are about 96 national parks, 100 wildlife sanctuaries and non-hunting areas, 65 forest parks, watersheds and biosphere reserves that are protected legally.


Some of the wildlife and non hunting sanctuaries adjoin one another. Most of the parks are accessible by road, offer simple accommodation and charge a small admission fee. In the larger ones such as Khao Yai, rangers can be hired as guides for long treks. Wildlife sanctuaries are not tourism areas, however, so visitors must bring food and camping gear and observe the no disturbance rules set up to protect the animals.

  1. Birds can be seen all year round, but November-February is the migration period. This is the best time of year to look for birds, especially in the north were the weather is cooler.
  2. During March-June is the next best time to go birding, since passage migrants and resident species are breeding. The best areas in this time is the West, Southwest and the South.
  3. The rainy season lasts from July-October and there is less bird activity. There are the resident species, breeding visitors and during August-October there are some passage migrants.

CENTRAL or AREAS NEAR BANGKOK

  • BANGPU, Samutprakarn
  • KHOK KHAM, Samutsakhon
  • PAK TALE, LAEM PHAKBIA, Petchburi
  • KAMPANGSAEN, Nakhonpratom
  • RANGSIT, Pratumthani
  • SOUTH EAST

  • BANG PRA Reservoire, KHAO KHIEO Wildlife Sanctuary, Chonburi
  • NORTHEAST 

  • KHAO YAI National Park, Nakhonsratchsima
  • LIMESTONE OUTCROP in Saraburi
  • SAB SADAO Sub-station of Tab Lan National Park,Nakhonrachsima
  • SOUTH and SOUTH WEST

  • KAENG KRACHAN National Park, Petchburi
  • KHAO SAM ROI YOT National Park, Prachuabkirikhan
  • KORENG-KAVIA Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchanaburi
  • TUNG YAI Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanchanaburi
  • LOWER NORTH

  • BUENG BORAPHET Non-hunting area, Nakhonsawan
  • MAE WONG National Park, Kampangpetch
  • NORTH

  • DOI INTHANON National Park, Chiangmai
  • DOI PUI-SUTHEP National Park, Chiangmai
  • AREAS IN CHIANGMAI
  • DOI CHIANGDAO Wildlife Sanctuary, Chiangmai
  • DOI ANGKHANG, Chiangmai
  • THA TON, Chiangmai
  • DOI LANG, Chiangmai
  • CHIANGSAEN, Chiangrai
  • SOUTH

  • KHAO NOR CHUCHI (or Khao Pra-Bang Kam Wildlift Sanctuary), Krabi
  • KRABI mangrove, rivermouth, BAN NAI CHONG and KOH PHI PHI
  • AREAS in Phang-nga and KOH SIMILAN National Park
  • Top 5 Birdwatching Tips

    1. Get up early– The sunrises between 6 and 7 am and this is when birds are the most active. At dusk, (2-3 hrs before sunset) birds are also active but not as intense as the morning hours. The best thing is to not miss the morning rush.

    2. Pick a good location – National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are places to start. Rural areas, such as farms, temple and areas of secondary growth, will provide another setting for birdwatching.

    3. Be silent and patient – Tread lightly and look around slowly as you search for small movements. Another strategy is to stop often and wait for birds to come into view, especially if you are near a food or water source.

    4. Stake out fruiting and flowering trees – Food sources are an excellent place to sit and watch many species as they visit the trees and feed. You will also be able to observe different feeding behaviors and social interactions.

    5. Wear appropriate clothing – Comfortable and protective clothing will keep you better able to stand your time birding in the elements. Long-sleeved cotton shirts provide sun cover, protection from insects and sweat control. Leech socks are needed is the rainy season to keep you safe from the nasty bloodsuckers.

    Premier Bird Guide for Thailand

    A Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand
    by Craig Robson

    This book has been called the “must-have” for any birder in Thailand. It is recommended for novice and expert bird watchers alike since it is the most up-to-date book for Thailand. This guide includes all but the most recent additions to the Thai list. It also is convenient for use in the field as it’s size and weight do not compromise portability for the completeness of the book. The organization of the book is something to mention as it is very clear and precise. All left side pages contain text relating to the illustrations on the opposite page. The text for each species consists of a clear and updated distribution map. The illustrations also include several varieties of the species such as male, breeding male,  female and juvenile, when appropriate.

    One downside to this field guide is the lack of mention of the birds’ habitats. It appears that space has limited the amount of text dedicated to matters other than pure identification features. Perhaps the authors forgot that another way to identifying and differentiating bird species is via bird behavior.

    Despite this major fault, this books is essential for any birding trip in Thailand. It is more than sufficient for identifying all of the bird species that you may encounter in around Thailand.

    Price: 695 baht

    Features:

    • 128 color plates
    • great detail and organization
    • well spaced and clearly annotated
    • size and weight good for field
    • text page opposite illustrations

    Why should you take up birdwatching?

    There are many hobbies out there ranging from sports to collecting. Birding is a hobby that has many benefits and rewards. It can be enjoyed in your backyard or in a new country, in urban or rural settings, it’s portable and you can enjoy it throughout your lifetime.

    Here are a few of the main reasons people enjoy birdwatching:

    1. You don’t have to be an expert to participate.
    2. It’s entertaining to watch bird behavior.
    3. Birdwatching is relaxing.
    4. Birds are everywhere, so they are easy to watch.
    5. Birdwatching can cost as little or as much as you want.