My trip to Thailand this time was a little different. I didn’t just enjoy the bustle of Khao San Road at night, I didn’t just enjoy the magnificent temples on the banks of the Chao Praya river, and I didn’t just enjoy the delicious tom yum prawn soup.
This time I went to the southwest of Bangkok. Three hours of driving a car through a fairly long toll road. I went to Phechatburi province to see how farmers in Thailand are embodying the spirit of self-sufficiency in food that was initiated by King Bhumibol – a king who is very dear to the Thai people, and recently passed away to the Almighty in October 2016. When I was in Thailand at that time, most of the people still wore dark clothes and black ribbons as a sign of mourning.
Phetchaburi’s location is near Hua Hin city, directly opposite Pattaya. But this place is a stark contrast, far from nightlife and more family friendly. Well, here are three places that I visited with friends from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
1. Hoob Krapong Learning Center
Entering this area, I was immediately treated to cold and refreshing rosella flower tea. It’s perfect for the scorching Thai weather. This tea is one of the plantation products in this area which is grown in an organic way.
Hoop Krapong village in the Khao Yai sub district is one of the pilot villages in Thailand that is becoming a learning center for farmers. There is a kind of museum that tells about how the community cooperatively develops the land here. There are also several demonstration plots that are used as learning centers, such as Asparagus, Dairy Cows, organic vegetables, grass, and a learning center on agricultural equipment.
It feels like playing harvest moon in real life.
In addition to plants that can be consumed, in the krapong hoop we can also find many cultivated Agave plants. Here, agave is processed into a very beautiful hat craft! I bought these hats for only about 100-150 baht. When I arrived at a mall like Platinum, I saw for myself that the price was already 500 baht! Haha.
The hats are very instagram-able, just take a look at the photos below.
2. Chang Hua Man Royal Project
In contrast to Hoob Krapong which is a bit quiet, Chang Hua Man is one of the attractions that is quite crowded. When I arrived, there were lots of buses carrying people (especially children) for tours. The land measuring about 40 hectares was initiated by King Bhumibol Adulyadej to become a center for learning agriculture without unnecessary chemicals. I later learned that the king does have a very healthy lifestyle, so he strongly encourages Thai farmers to grow organically.
Not only being a learning center for farmers, Chang hua man is also one of the most visited agro-tourism attractions in Phetchaburi. People come here to enjoy the rural atmosphere which is still very thick. Spacious gardens, clean cowsheds, and electricity with windmills may be a cure for tired people who work every day in Bangkok.
This Golden Place is a special place to shop for products produced by local farmers who are grown organically. Most of the products do not use preservatives. The food sold is even without using MSG. Very healthy life, right? Golden Place is directly managed by the Thai government and of course this is the wish of the King.
There is a tour that we can follow using a car with the window open. But my advice, after the tour by car, try walking to enjoy the atmosphere of agriculture in this very neat countryside. Or if you’re interested and the time is right, you can also go to the garden and harvest! No wonder there are many children here, they must be very happy to be able to play.
Later if you have children, bring them here ahh~
3. Palm Oil Plantation in Ban Thamrong
This area is a famous palm sugar producer in Thailand. The rows of coconut gardens covering an area of 1.6 hectares are neatly arranged to spoil the visuals. It was Thanom Phu-ngern, a man who started this plantation. In the past, he was underestimated by his friends because the palm tree takes almost 20 years to start harvesting its fruit.
Thanom only received elementary school education, but currently he is an expert in the field of planting palm oil. He wants the people around him to be able to live from these trees.
In this plantation there is also a tour that we can take to see the plantation and also the products made from palm oil.
If you are planning to go to Hua Hin (because this city is more popular), it never hurts to stop by Phetchaburi to see and experience how farmers live in rural Thailand. This place is also suitable for agricultural students who want to deepen their knowledge. Or it could be to invite the children to play in the beautiful gardens in the Phetchaburi countryside. Along the way, I saw a lot that the king did for his people, especially the peasants. Maybe the Indonesian people need to learn to manage agriculture well so they don’t need to import rice anymore, right? 🙂
Please watch the first part of the video below!
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