On October 13, 2016, Thailand lost the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, leaving the country in a state of mourning. The King was highly revered in the country, known for his unselfish love and good deeds for Thailand and its people. As one can imagine, the loss of the King has left a lasting impact on Thai people across the world, shown by the display of loyalty and reverence during this difficult time.
His Majesty’s positive impact was no better displayed than in The Royal Project sites and initiatives that he implemented during is 70-year reign, which continue to promote growth and progress throughout the Kingdom. Many tourists do not know that the King and members of Thailand’s Royal Family have set up numerous village-based community development projects nationwide, ranging from health and medicine, education, land development, agriculture and environment to improve the lives of Thai people and provide continuous research and education.
For tourists currently traveling in Thailand or planning to head there within the new few months, we’re here to assure you that you can still enjoy your vacation to the fullest while also being respectful during the mourning period. This is also a great time to explore some of the Royal Projects while in Thailand for a wonderfully unique cultural and educational experience. Plus, it’s a great way to venture off the beaten path and escape the busy tourist areas and sights.
Read on to learn more about some projects and nearby attractions from each region that are also some seriously Instagram-worthy spots!
Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon
Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai is known for the breathtaking mountain-scape, cool climate, and fertile lands. Situated within the park is the Royal Agricultural Station Inthanon initiated to promote highland agriculture among hill-tribes of the region. The main focuses are on the research and development of highland fisheries, as well as cultivation of plants, vegetables and fruits, with the goal of providing the people of the hill-tribes more earnings and a better living environment.
Apart from facilitating reforestation and nature conservation, the Station has also developed the area into a sustainable tourist destination to help strengthen local communities.
Apart from taking in the beautiful scenery of the Doi Inthanon National Park itself, visitors can explore numerous nurseries and plant houses. Some highlights include The Carnivorous Plant House, Rhododendron Garden, and Highland Fisheries. There is even a restaurant with food prepared by an experienced chef using ingredients grown right there at the Station!
Hours: Every day from 8am-6pm
Travel season: November-February
- Siriphum Royal Garden: Explore colorful flora and bird-watching along a 500-meter long nature trail
- Namtok Siriphum: A picturesque waterfall that cascades from a majestic cliff
- Hmong Market: Browse a variety of local products including tea, dried fruits, honey and handicrafts
Maelod Royal Project Research Station
Are you a coffee lover? You’ll want to visit this one! Located in the valley grassland area of Tambon Sop Poeng in Chiang Mai, the center was originally serving as the Arabica Coffee Research Center and specifically focusing on identifying and developing the coffee variety and optimal growing conditions. Now, the station has extended its research and development into other kinds of plants including herbs and vegetables. Under the Royal Initiative of the King, the project aims to improve the livelihood of the local villagers and the natural environment.
The Arabica Coffee Demonstration Plot demonstrates every stop of the coffee growing process from seeds to harvesting the coffee cherries. Other highlights include the Herb & Vegetable Demonstration Plots, as well as a livestock farm with a variety of native chicken and pigs. During the winter, visitors might even be able to spot migratory birds including the Eagle and Minivet. And of course, enjoy a fresh cup of Arabica coffee straight from the source!
Phone number: +66 (8) 1961 0014
Hours: Every day from 8am-5pm
Travel season: All year round
- Situated 1km before reaching the park is Namtok Mok Fa, a beautiful plunging waterfall and pool that visiting can cool off in year-round.
- The Ban Pha Taek Fish Sanctuary features of a collection of aquatic animals including carp and mahseer barb
Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center
The Khao Hin Sorn Royal Development Study Center is a model of sustainable development of lands. It has converted impoverished land with sandy soils into a viable agricultural area. The King initiated the Center to focus on studying, researching, experimenting and developing this area to be a complete agricultural center. Visitors can learn about various approaches to sustainable agricultural practices, including forest restoration, new theory farming system, water source development, and planning of plant cultivations and livestock.
The center gives visitors the chance to learn about self-sufficiency and sustainable agriculture through demonstration plots, gardens, a reservoir, and a museum.
Hours: Every day from 8:30am-4:30pm
Travel season: All year round
Note: Please contact in advance for group visit and it is advised to bring a tour guide or translator in case of language barrier
- Wat Khao Hin Son Nantha Watthanaram: A beautiful temple
- Somdet Phra Pinklao Arboretum: Features local plants, rare species, and nature trails
- Wat Sothon Wararam Worawihan: Pay homage to Luangpho Phuttha Sothon, Chachoengsao’s highly reserved Buddha image
H.M. Private Development Project, Chumpon Province
A large area of Amphoe Pathio in Chumpon province is composed of sandy soil and sand dunes that are the result of constant wind and waves of this beachy region. His Majesty the King developed this project to preserve the current form of coastal sand dune forest, restore the deteriorated forests, and conserve the plant and wildlife species. Some of the main objectives of the project include developing the area for agricultural activities by improving soil quality, promotion occupational activities among farmers, and become a research and learning center.
The H.M. Private Development Project is comprised of several sections including agricultural demonstration plots and beautiful nature trails for a photographic hike. The Flamingo Flower nursery is one of the main highlights for the rows of the glorious red flowers under a net nursery. You can learn about intercropping techniques of plants such as cashew, sour tamarind, mango, jackfruit, and lady finder banana on the demonstration plots. And want to get something for your Instagram? Go explore a nature trail or the majestic piles of sand dunes.
Phone Number: +66 (9) 1604 5456
Hours: Every day from 8:00am – 4:00pm
Travel season: All year round
Note: It is advised to bring a tour guide or translator in case of language barrier.
- Ride a bike along the Ao Bo Mao-Hat Bang Boet Route for some beautiful beach scenery
- Relax at tranquil Hat Tham Thong beach
- Visit Ban Ko Tiap to observe the fisherman’s way of life and explore the Crab Bank
- Visit the temple Wat Kaeo Prasoet on the hill by the beach
For more information about the Royal Projects and sights in Thailand, visit na.tourismthailand.org
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