Friday, November 24, 2017

Leave No Trace - Potipot

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.

The popular traveler's adage literally means not to take, not to leave, and not to destroy anything from the places you visit. Sustainable travelling is the goal.


I just only learned a few days ago that what I once knew only as Potipot is Isla De Potipot, Hotel and Beach Resort. It rubbed me wrong reading 'Leave no Trace' all over what I assume is private property. 

Private owners always reserve the right to change the property so instructions on where to dispose the garbage would have been preferable. 

The island barely takes 30 minutes to walk all the way around which means that’s a distance of 1 kilometer maybe 2. I walked around as I usually do and the island has changed a lot in 7 years. There are traces everywhere. 

Huts have multiplied up to the back of the island. Back then structures used to be limited only on the eastern side which also happens to be the best place to swim. 

There are more elevated huts – 2 floors up – with cemented base when it used to be just one big tree house – also with concrete support. And for some reason there lies a big red bed – just a bed – out in the open.

Somewhere in the middle, in the open grounds, I also saw a small obstacle course which I assume is used to attract team building trips. 

And if there was ever any doubt what island you’re in, its name can be read in big 3D on the eastern shore and another at the very center, in the open grounds. The one on the eastern shore looks like it was meant to be lighted - the better for boats to read.

When I first saw Potipot I thought of that reality show involving an island which was then on the rise. I could imagine myself being in the show; white sand beach, trees, and tents. 

The big tree house was the only permanent looking structure, one or two huts for the caretaker, maybe more huts for those who’d want to pay for a roof. Anything you find back then was just wood which blends with the surroundings or tents which can be packed up. 

What was great about it is that for being able to feel being in Survivor, the island is just 1km off shore from my usual hotel in Dawal. You're not really stranded like a cast away. That seems like long ago now.

Separate but equal waste segregation
Isla de Potipot is a nice place to visit but I worry especially with exemptions to 'Leave no Trace'.  A small island has limits that runs out earlier than the mainland.

From the Mainland

View from Dawal
The view standing from Dawal Beach Resort.
Its a 10-15 min boat ride.

Alternatives to Dawal
A few alternatives to Dawal Resort if you want cheaper 
and at the same distance to Potipot for a day trip

Beach side name
Just so you don't doubt what island you landed on

Proof of Payment

Entrance stickers
Feeling the corporate feeling of stickers wrapped 
around my wrist as proof of payment

I saw the sign

I really hate that sign.

The sign
This is taken from the side of the island.
Beach front, less popular

The sign
Angled shot on the popular side of the island

The sign
Angled shot on the popular side of the island

The sign
Angled shot on the popular side of the island

Permanent Structures

Wood has its limits but it has a natural look to it. Or at least its biodegradable. 


Picnic Bench

All over the Island

Center part looking to the back. See the huts?

Back part of the island looking to the center

No idea

The errant red bed. See the sign?

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