During our month in Khanom we chose to do one guided tour. Khanom is most famous for their pink dolphins, which are extremely rare. These dolphins are not to be confused with pink river dolphins, though. Instead, they belong to the Chinese White Dolphin species, a sub-species of the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin. Khanom loves their pink dolphins. They are celebrated with statues all over the small city and appear on every street sign.
So, as you can imagine, there’s no way we were going to pass up a tour to see the pink dolphins. We chose a tour company that is owned by the same people who run the restaurant we went to on our first night in Khanom. Tours are done for groups of 6. Since Kyle and I were by ourselves and we were staying for a month, the tour company waited for a group of 4 others to request a tour. When they did, the company contacted our Air BnB host and let us know the date for the tour and pick up time.
First stop on the tour was a bathroom break as there wouldn’t be another one before lunch. Next, we hopped on the little boat and set out to see the dolphins. Seeing the dolphins is not a guarantee as they are living in the wild, but we got lucky. We passed a boat on the way out and the driver gave our guide the thumbs up that he’d just seen some dolphins very close. In less than 5 minutes we were in a small cove. The driver cut the engine and our guide quickly pointed out a mother and baby dolphin feeding on fish.
Our guide was very thorough in his explanation of why the dolphins come to this particular place with their babies. He explained how they feed, how the mommy dolphins feed their babies, and all of the conservation efforts that he is involved in to help ensure these pink dolphins remain a part of the Khanom culture. The baby dolphins are born grey and turn pink as they grow older. The dolphin pictured below is mostly grey but if you look closely at his nose you can see where he’s beginning to turn pink.