On October 13, 2016, Thailand lost the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej leaving the country in a one-year mourning period. On October 26, 2017, once again Thailand grieved as they bid the final farewell in a royal cremation ceremony for His Majesty.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned King of Thailand on May 5, 1950 at the Royal Palace in Bangkok where he vowed that he would “reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people” and so he did. One of his most successful initiatives were the Royal Project sites where His Majesty covered all grounds of work, including health and medicine, education, society, irrigation, land development, agriculture, the environment, and transportation, treating all problems as though they were his own, and continuously worked to solve them and planned long-term solutions for a sustainable way of life for his people. Many of the Royal Project sites not only provided locals with a better standard of living, but the areas within and surrounding the projects were also developed into an intriguing tourist attraction that is well-equipped with facilities; such as accommodations, camping grounds, and restaurant services.
From north to south and east to west, there was virtually no place in Thailand where His Majesty has not set foot.
Nong Hoi Royal Project Development Centre
Merely 20 minutes from Mueng Chiang Mai District, originally established to fulfill His Majesty’s objectives by providing technological and educational assistance on agriculture to the villagers, this research center also increased the diversification of crops by improving and introducing a variety of cash crops to villagers in order to promote a sustainable livelihood. Nong Hoi has initially helped develop the abandoned hill ridge to be a picturesque tourist attraction.
As vegetable fields and fruit orchards carpet the hillside slopes along both sides of the road on the way up the mountain to the center, the hypnotizing vistas of the plantations and demonstration plots scatters across the lush valleys making the trip up more than worthwhile. The most popular attraction is Mon Chaem, where visitors can indulge in the panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and valleys graced with magnificent gardens, a restaurant, and campgrounds.
Address: Ban Nong Hoi Kao, Mu 7, Tambon Mae Raem, Amphoe Mae Rim, Chiang Mai
Hours: Every day from 8.00 am – 5.00 pm
Travel season: All year round
- Eden Garden (All-in-one coffee plantation, black seedless grape vineyard, and strawberry field, where visitors can taste and purchase the freshly picked fruits)
- Mae Sa Elephant Camp (Must-see for elephant lovers, located by the Mae Sa River)
- Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden (An extensive collection of native and foreign plants laid out according to species and climate, also enjoy walks along the nature trails)
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Puparn Royal Development Centre: The living museum of nature
Located in Sakon Nakorn province, serving as a research center to improve and adapt agricultural activities to be suitable for weather condition and geographical region. The center is a living museum of nature where local farmers and visitors can learn about agriculture, forestry, livestock farming, nature conservation, and even occupational development.
Several projects were set up within the center with the objective of providing farmers and agriculturalists with guidelines in order to further develop and improve their agricultural activities. Some highlights include exploring a variety of birds and plants along nature trails, culturing catfish in a cement pond, weaving, thread dyeing and indigo dyeing classes.
Address: Ban Na Nok Khao, Tambon Hui Yang, Amphoe Mueng Sakon Nakhon, Sakon Nakorn
Hours: Every day from 8.00 am – 4.30 pm
Travel Season: All year round
- Puparn Ratchanives Palace (Observe the beautiful architecture of the garden)
- Phu Phan National Park (Explore the park endowed with forests, caves, cliffs and waterfalls)
- Prathat Narai Cheng (A magnificent pagoda within Prathat Narai Cheng Weng temple)
Laem Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project
“The important problem is the environment, wastewater, and garbage. I have studied about these problems and it is not too difficult to solve them with the help of Technology. Thailand can do this, too…”, was His Majesty’s message. Thus, Laem Phak Bia Environmental Research and Development Project was established in Phetchaburi province, aiming to conduct research on finding the appropriate technology for wastewater treatment and garbage disposal in the community, along with the intention that it can be adapted in other areas across the country as well.
Visitors can enjoy birdwatching and relaxing in the midst of the mangrove forest or explore the wide selection of the Project’s R&D work under the Nature Helps Nature Principle. Some highlights include Plant and Grass Filtration System for Community Wastewater Treatment, which uses plants and grass to purify the wastewater by letting water through the plots of plants, Concrete Box for Community Garbage Composting, where organic waste is buried in concrete boxes under the standard sanitation and fermenting it for a month before taking the compost out for general use, and Mangrove Forest Nature Trails, three trails within the Project for visitors to observe and learn about the importance of the mangrove forest and its ecosystem.
Address: Mu 1, Tambon Laem Phak Bia, Amphoe Ban Laem, Phetchaburi
Hour: Monday to Friday from 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Travel Season: All year round
- Hat Chao Samran (A peaceful beach with a long history dating back 400 years)
- Laem Luang (A small dock that extends into the sea, a perfect spot visit at sunrise or sunset)
- Scenic Route Along the Coastline (A two-lane road with a bike lane, rest areas, salt farms that are situation along the coastline where you can learn about the local way of life)
Kasornkasivit School: The Water Buffalo Agricultural School
Situated in Amphoe Mueng Sa Kaeo in Sa Kaeo province, this school was initiated to preserve the time-honored, traditional method of rice cultivation and is a training center for farmers and water buffaloes to work together, encouraging farmers to use water buffaloes instead of tractors to farm as tractors damage soil and are costlier. Visitors will be able to explore the various harmony with nature and apply the techniques to their own sustainable way of living.
Encounter buffaloes walking, training, or playing in the mud alongside farmers training in an authentic atmosphere of rice farms as in the olden days. Some activities include: demonstration on how to build an earthen home by using locally sourced materials, training grounds, a buffalo stable, and a coffee shop that serves food and other beverages as well.
Hours: Every day from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm
Travel Season: All year round
- Tha Krabak Reservoir (A gigantic reservoir constructed from clay situated amidst the forest surrounded by perennial and ornamental plants)
- Pang Sida National Park (Home to various wildlife and birds, visitors can witness a spectacular sunrise and sunset from a viewpoint, walk alongside waterfalls, and the park is a famous butterfly-watching destination)
- Khao Chakan (Observe Limestone mountains where visitors can find monkeys and bats residing the area and witness a replica of Lord Buddha’s footprint)
Pak Phanang River Basin Development Project: The Rice Bowl of Nakhon Si Thammarat
Located in Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Pak Phanang River Basin was referred to the rice bowl because of its rich natural resources, however as the growing number of population coupled with environmental conditions aggravated the soil quality, caused flooding, and unbalanced the water ecosystem. His Majesty initiated the Project to provide locals with the opportunity to effectively and sustainably utilize the resources by developing a soil and water conservation system, improving the soil quality, and implementing an irrigation system, also introducing new technology of land development for agriculture to local farmers for them to be a part of solving the problem of land resources.
Explore the Pak Phanang Basin area and learn about the development of the irrigation system. Visit the museum honoring His Majesty’s 50th anniversary accession to the throne featuring his personal office, meeting room and an exhibition area. The Royal Residential Hall of Pak Phanang is an astounding highlight as it is surrounded by a beautiful garden filled with local plants and its interior is decorated within a brick building influenced by Southern arts style. You can also plant experimental and demonstration plots such as dragon fruit, banana, lime and Siam ruby pomelo.
Address: Mu 5, Tambon Hu Long, Amphoe Pak Phanang, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Hours: Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm
Travel season: All year round
- Cruise along the Pak Phanang River and experience the local way of life
- Pak Phanang Coast and Laem Talumphuk (A long beach that stretches along the coastline with a moon crescent shaped dock that extends to the sea)
- Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan (A temple that is a famous cultural site featuring a highly revered Buddhist pagoda)
Click here to read more about the Royal Project Sites.