At first glance, it appears like any other island in the Andaman Sea: there are white, sandy beaches, a lively village of fishermen, and all a convenient 30-minute boat ride from the Thai mainland. But what makes Koh Libong extraordinary is that it is home to the dugong, the endangered marine mammal.
After half-an-hour on a boat, we were lucky. A lone dugong, rotund and glistening, surfaced. It was a brief encounter set against the bright blue sky of the South, an encounter that seems to be getting rarer by the day.
The dugong, known in Thai as pla payoon and sometimes called a sea cow, resemble a gentle, lovely, avuncular doll. They are herbivorous mammals and are related to the manatee.
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