The lush, green mountainous province of Chiang Rai is Thailand’s northernmost tourist destination, proving popular for both domestic and foreign tourists thanks to its quaint Lanna culture and array of fun activities throughout the countryside. While the city center might get busy, as well as other major tourist attractions such as the famous white temple (Wat Rong Khun), there are still communities left untouched; one of these can be found at the hillside village of Ban Mae Sat.
The name of this community comes from the local “Sat” trees which grow along Mae Sat River – with “Ban” meaning “house” in Thai. The river nourishes this community and is also home to a fish spa where people come to relax. There are many activities awaiting visitors, but first receive a warm welcome ceremony by the villages. Then, visit local handicraft workshops that make products such baskets and broomsticks. After that take a tour on the farming tractor to the organic farm and observe many farming and planting activities.
Later, take a walk along the bamboo bridge or “Kua Tae” in the native language, explore the 100-year-old Ton Ngiew, listen to folk music, and visit the “Akha Community” where neighbors will welcome you with “Assam tea” – freshly roasted and served in a bamboo cup. Finally, end your adventure at the shop to buy “Kanom Pard” – rice stewed with sugar cane syrup, a local dessert which is hard to find, as well as other agricultural products and souvenirs.
There are a few ways to travel to the community. By bus, get on the Transport Co., Ltd. (Bus 999) from Mo Chit 2 Bus Station and get off at Mae Suai Parking Lot. Although there is no direct train to Chiang Rai, travellers can travel from Bangkok Station Hua Lamphong to Chiang Mai Station or Lampang Station, then take the bus or hire a car service to the community. By plane, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Thai Lion Air and Viet Jet Air offer direct flights to Chiang Rai province. Available car service rental companies include Chiang Rai Taxi Cooperative, Avis, Hertz Rental Car, National Rental Car and Thai Rental Car.
Other than Ban Mae Sat, there are also many interesting places to visit in Chiang Rai. Observe the state of the art Thai architecture at Wat Rong Khun, designed by Thailand’s great artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat, and take photographs at the Flower Field at Singha Park. Other natural attractions include the Khun Korn Waterfall (the most beautiful waterfall in Chiang Rai) and Phu Chi Fa.
Boon Rawd Farm Tel.053-172-870
Huean Arharn Baan Kafee Tel.081-883-8092
Ban Jum Tel.093-260-1033
Ban Kiang Dao, Phu Pai Fah Tel.094-153-2987
Ban Yota Thai Tel.091-091-2800
Farm Stay Mae Sad Tel. 081-783-6289
Maekorn House Tel.089-635-9089
Yun Sun House Tel.090-317-9674
Contact the community
Khun Watchara Yoong Tel. 082-612-8312
Ang Thong is a land of local handicrafts, and Bang Chao Cha Community is a hidden gem amongst other exceptional villages. The area has an abundance of wicker and is a great agricultural community. The people of Bang Chao Cha, known for their basketry skills, have inherited the wickerwork technique from the past generations.
Bang Chao Cha is an old community which has been around since the Ayutthaya period. The leader and founder of the village named “Mr. Cha”. Now, this community produces various types of wicker with unique works and patterns that have previously won the top quality of OTOP products. Learn the woven process and tips from process of selecting bamboo, molding to pattern-making and buy one or more as the souvenirs. Taste the local fruits, such as “Mayong Chit” and “Santi” in the middle of the orchard and try local dishes made from local vegetables, ride on farming tractor whilst listening to this old community’s stories with its old rubber tree that is over 300-years-old. Also, take a short bike ride near or boat trip on the Noi river where you can relax and ease your troubles away as you enjoy the nature.
Ang Thong is approximately only 111km from Bangkok. By car, take the Highway No. 1 (Phaholyothin Road) to Ang Thong – Pho Thong route. Drive to the Yang Mani irrigation canal, turn right and drive for about 5km, then turn right at the entrance to Wat Yang Thong temple to the community. By bus, get on the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999) from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Ang Thong Bus Terminal and then hire a car to the community. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lamphong to Ban Glub Station, Saraburi Province, and then hire a car service to the community. Available car rental companies include Thai Smile Car Rent and Runway Thailand.
In addition to the cozy atmosphere, Ang Thong also has many interesting attractions. Some of these include the sacred temples of the province, such as Wat Chaiyo Worawihan, Wat Khun Intrapramul, Wat Muang, Wat Seeroi, Wat Pa Mok, and many more. Watch the “Dolls of the Palace” heritage of the province at Baan Sadet Doll House Museum, take some photos with the best recycled steel puppet at Ban Hoon Lek, and shop local products at Rong Thong ancient shrine market.
Poom Café Tel.081-994-5525
Tangta Ar Tel.086-764-9931
Pakaew Restaurant Garden Tel.083-825-3980, 082-192-6173
Beef Noodle (in front of Wat Yang Thong) Tel. 089-087-9437
Ma Kham Cafe Tel. 098-830-4134
Bann Hon Lek Tel. 099-181-5777, 081-339-3345
Smile Resort Tel.083-713-9405
Gun Aeng Resort Tel.035-640-880
Pho Thong Inn Tel.035-691-139
Suan Son Resort Tel.081-492-3917
Hor Nok Hook Resort, Ang Thong Tel.084-941-2502
Bang Jao Cha Tel. 035-644-319, 0-35-644-019
Contact the community
Kamnan Chalao Charoensin Tel. 087-116-8172
Loei province is famous throughout Thailand for its abundance of beautiful scenery, which is especially true if you visit Phu Ruea National Park, or any of the surrounding mountainous regions throughout this scenic part of Northern Thailand. The communities dotted around Loei thrive in the winter, particularly in terms of their agricultural output in the colder winter months. One of these communities, which is rich in supply of winter vegetables and produce, is known locally is “Pla Ba” community.
The word ‘Pla’ in Thai means fish, and so it comes as no surprise that this community is rich in fish resources, which are caught from the nearby river and its many tributaries that feed Loei’s diverse ecosystem. Being situated on a steep mountain slope, the community’s climate is suitable for growing winter crops including plums, grapes, passion fruit, macadamia nuts, shitake mushrooms, and other organic vegetables and flowers such as roses, Gerbera, Pathumma, etc. In the winter, the weather here gets so cold that even frost appears on the ground.
In addition to green fields for relaxing and chilling out, there are also plenty of activities for the adventurers. Some of these include riding a farming tractor on the road trip to Phu Bugdai to see the new perspective of Phu Ruea, and take some photos at the chic spot “Pha Lork Luang”, a peculiar cliff that you cannot find elsewhere.
To travel to the community by car, take the Phaholyothin (number 1) main road up north and exit on the Lom Sak-Dan Sai frontage road, then continue straight to the community. By bus, there are two options: get on the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999) or Air Travel Loei, Phu Kradueng Tour, Khon Kaen Tour, Chum Phae Tour, or Sikhirin Tour from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Mueng Loei Bus Terminal, then hire a car service to the community. Alternatively, get on the Phetprasert Bus at Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Phu Rue Bus Stop then hire a car service to the community. By Train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lamphong to Udon Thani Station or Nong Khai Station, then take a bus to Loei and get off at Phu Ruea Parking, then hire a car to the community. By plane, Thai Air Asia and Nok Air offer flights to Loei province. Available car rental services companies include Mueng Loei car rental and Wanisa car rental.
When visiting Loei, make sure that you get to visit the following attractions; Wat Phra Tat Sri Song Rak, Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary (the great forest in the East of Thailand), Ban Hin Sor (duped as “the cold winter in Siam”), and forests and flowers on Pha Hin Yoke cliff at Phu Phak Arboretum.
Cafe DE MENA Tel.081-954-2915
Phurua Route 21 Tel. 092-945-5642
Phu Ruea Phochana Tel.062-928-2536
Mum Aroi Tel.082-163-9453
Pairin Tel.09 8054 4885
Pukdeemit Resort Tel.042-899-118
Trika Eco Resort Tel.087-220-2384
Ban Phu Rua Resort Tel.042-899-048, 089-990-4357
Phu Rua Country Home Tel.042-899-547
Roongthiwa Resort Tel.084-391-7431
Loei Research and Development Institute Tel. 042-891-199, 042-891-398
Homestay No. 4 Tel. 095-701-313
Contact the community
Khamnan Choet Tel. 095-701-3139
Apart from the bridge across the River Kwai, the Death Railway historical site and excellent gemstones, the province of Kanchanaburi has an abundance of natural resources, especially the forest that provides as both food resources and tourist attractions.
At Nong Rong Community, the locals and nature live together harmoniously. This forest-based community is known for maximizing available resources they can find around them. From weaving coconut leaves, processing palm sugar, to finding raw materials such as kefir limes, pandan leaves, and eggplants to make all kinds of chilli paste for many kinds of curry. Apart from that, Nong Rong is known for other delicacies such as pork cracklings and herbal rice chips. Visitors will a chance to cook the local dishes with guidance from the villagers of the community. Also, observe how Thai desserts are made at Mr. Suwannawit’s farm, and learn how to make kinetic toy snake out of wicker, and you will see how resource these folk are!
Nong Rong Community also has their own distinctive culture. Participate in some of their local games, listen to their rare folk songs and witness their traditional dances. Also, feel free to discuss and exchange ideas with these wise locals to learn a little bit more about each other.
There are a few ways to travel to Kanchanaburi. By car, take the Number 4 highway road (Phetkasem) and exit the 324 road to the community. By bus, get on the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999) from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Dan Chedi Sam Aong Station and hire a car service to Kanchanaburi, or get on the Kanchanaburi Tour bus from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok to Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal then hire a car service to the community. By train, depart from Thonburi Train Station, get off at Nam Tok Kanchanaburi Train Station and hire a car service to the community. Available car rental service companies include Thai Smile Car Rent, Cha Car Rent, Kanchanaburi Rental Cars and Thai Eco Car Rent.
Other things that you can do whilst visiting Kanchanaburi is to discover the golden civilization of the U Thong era at the ancient city at the neighboring province of Suphan Buri, pay respects at the Royal Monument of King Naresuan the Great, witness the vast amount of natural forest at Wat Chamsin, and visit the neighborhood of Ban Nong Khao, which is close to the Tambon Nong Rong Community.
U&ME COFFEE Tel.092-536-9933
Krua Go Dang Restaurant Tel.085-193-8771
Krua Took Kae Tel.034-579-588
Farm Loong Ting Tel. 061-994-0729
Eurasia Resotel Kanchanaburi Tel.034-919-818
Nong Khao Resort Tel.034-910-101
Tarnsiri Boutique Resort Tel.034-514-665
Mum Sabai Resort Tel.034-579-289
Sang Chan View Hotel Tel.034-600-096
Contact the community
Khun Sompon Panto Tel.081-943-2618
Khun Pongsi Sariwong Tel.087-907-4978
Chanthaburi province has an abundance of resources both on land and in the water. There are many tourist attractions and activities here to do; worship Khao Kitchakut, feel the sea breeze at Chao Lao Beach, explore the old battlefield site and taste some local fresh, juicy fruits.
Rak Khao Baisi is a network of plantations in Amphoe Tha Mai that not only allows visitors to taste all the fresh fruits in the area, but also provides visitors with knowledge about fruit plantations that have been passed on for generations. Take a tour of the orchards and witness how the local farmers tend to these fruits. Visitors will get a chance to turn these fruits into tasty local delicacies, including stir fry crispy durian, som tam durian, sweet snake fruit chili paste and local cardamom chicken soup. Also, do not forget to shop for souvenirs – maybe bring a fruit back or two.
Chanthaburi is only 250km from Bangkok and there are many convenient ways to travel to the community. By car, take the number 7 highway road (Bangkok – Ban Chang) or number 3 highway road (Sukhumvit) and exit at the Tasaban Sai 1 Road to the community. By bus, get on the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus 999) or Cherdchai Tour Bus from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal and Ekamai Bus Terminal to Chanthaburi Bus Station, and then hire a car service to the community. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to either Chakcherngsao Train Station or Phlu Ta Luang Chonburi Province Train Station, then take a van to Chanthaburi province and then hire a car service to the community. By plane, Bangkok Airways offers flights from Bangkok to Trat, the neighboring province. Available car rental service companies include Chanthaburi Borikarn, Chanthaburi Car Rental, Mung-Ming Car Rental and SME Burapha Car Rental.
Visitors will spend the whole day at Rak Khao Baisi, which makes it suitable for a one day trip. However, visitors can opt to spend a night at many local homestays available nearby. If you choose to stay for another day, find a chance to visit other Chanthaburi’s tourist attractions, including the mangrove forest at the Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Project Development Center, Pliew Waterfall National Park, and the gothic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Kuai Teaw Liang Pa Tid (Tha Mai) Tel.087-143-1607
Spaghetti Ban Suan Tel.086-317-5520
I’m cat sushi Tel.086-309-5436
Punfun Cafe Te. 089-469-1441
Ban Khunmor Resort Tel.086-392-5164
Koh Nok Resort Tel.082-485-1423
Rak Khao Bai Si Homestay Tel.086-834-9604
Ban Suan Chom Daw Tel.061-465-5561
Ban Suan Resort Tel.095-760-2390
Por Kaew Resort Tel.086-338-5218
Contact the community
Khun Nongluk Maneerat Tel. 086-834-9604, 098-283-3102