Many people know the province of Nakhon Si Thammarat, the second-largest in Southern Thailand, for its famous Wat Phra Borom Tat temple, but in fact, there are many more interesting places and things other than the temples to explore. The abundance of nature, wisdom and local culture are just some of the things that visitors can experience at “Ban Laem.”
The main occupations of the villagers at this small Muslim community of Ban Laem revolve around fishing and coconut plantations. Visitors can experience a variety of activities surrounded by nature like mangrove planting, cooking from local ingredients, learning to make southern curry paste with the “Southern Muslim Curry Enterprise”, and tasting fresh seafood with special dishes such as “deep fried battered mangrove leaves topped with shrimp”, “fish and young coconut shoots in sour curry” and “sea mud rice – steamed rice with black ink and local herbs”.
The pure clay at Ao Tong Khum (or in English, “Golden Bay”) is the most widely produced material of this community. The purity of the clay is thanks to the fact that there are no factories – only a big forest surrounding the area, so the clay here is so pure and rich with minerals. It can be used to make body masks for beauty and recommended to buy and take home as a souvenir.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is 790 km from Bangkok, which takes approximately 9 hours by car. To reach the community by car, take the Nakhon Si Thammarat – Tha Sala Road, drive straight to the intersection of Rajaprajanugroh 8, turn right and go straight until you find Ban Laem Homestay. By bus, take the Transport Co., Limited (Bus 999) or Sri Suthep Tour Bus at the Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal and get off at Nakhon Si Thammarat. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Nakhon Si Thammarat Station, then hire a car service to the community. By plane, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air and Thai Airways all have daily flights to Nakhon Si Thammarat from Bangkok. Available car rental services companies include Avis, Nakhon Car Rent, Nakhon Taxi Car Pluz, Rent A Car and Promt Car Rent.
Ban Laem, Nakhon Si Thammarat is a home to many green places and activities, including the Sunanta Waterfall in the middle of Kao Nan National Park, Srabua Beach, and Parkpayin Beach. Also, visit the largest fishing area in Nakhon Si Thammarat at Pakpanung Bay.
Tee Coffee Tel. 082-288-8601
Chai Lay Seafood Tel. 084-423-3677
Tew Ta Lay Seafood Tel. 084-069-9065
Raja Ta Lay Halal Seafood Tel. 097-323-1546
Roti San Tel. 092-393-5544
Huasai Palm Inn Tel.064-254-2993
Private Resort Tel.062-287-9151
Vipha Resort Tel.075-389-328
Wandee Resort Tel.083-519-6096
Nisa Resort Tel.081-541-5592
Contact the community
Khun Taksin Muenman Tel. 085-785-0352
Mr. Santi Himma Tel. 088-768-9036
Apart from the renowned tourist provinces like Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, a hidden gem called “Nan” province is definitely worth exploring for tourists visiting the north of Thailand. Here, the small district of “Nam Muab” that is tucked away inside the Luang Prabang Mountain range a perfect place to relax and appreciate the province’s distinctly slow way of life.
The community, which was named the “Eastern Lanna Local Treasury”, boasts plenty of local vegetables, such as fresh bamboo shoots, as well as Tao trees (or “Tei” in the local language) – the main agricultural product of Nan which is used to make the dessert called “Look chit”. Other popular local food is made from crab sauce or “Naam Phu”. These condiments are made from crabs, which are pounded together with herbs and then simmered to form the sauce. Visitors get to try and savor seasonal local food, experience a simple lifestyle and gain some valuable local wisdom, such as about ancient knives, the balsam, and bamboo basketry in the middle of rice fields in early winter.
If you visit Nam Muab, don’t forget to pay homage to the shrine of the red ivory elephant goddess which Nam Muab villagers worship for prosperity. There is also Wat Nammuab temple, the ancient temple of the district, while Wat Pratartdanthong Temple featuring the “God of Shakyamuni” is at the center of the community. Another local religious landmark is the Chedi of Sannakean Buddhabarami; here, you can admire the pagoda, which links the Buddhism of Tambol Nammuab and Sannanongmai, as well as the panoramic 360-degree views from the lofty location of the Chedi.
There are various ways to travel to Nan. By car, take Highway No. 1 (Phaholyothin Road) from Bangkok and Highway No. 1243 (Wiang Sa – Nam Bo) to the community. By bus, take the Sombat Tour, Nakornchai Air and Bussaracum tour buses from Mo Chit 2 bus terminal to the destination at “Wiang-Sa Parking Point”, then rent a car from there to drive to the community. By train, although there is no direct train route to Nan, but you can depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong and get off at Den Chai Station, Phrae Province. From that, take a tour bus to Nan and then hire a car service to the community. By plane, Air Asia and Nok Air offer direct flights from Bangkok to Nan. Available car rental services companies include Kan Car Rent, Avis, Budget and Hertz.
Also, there are many attractions to visit and activities to in Nan. Pay respects to the relics of the Buddha at Wat Pratatchaehang temple and explore the Pumin temple. View the majestic views at at the Sri Nan National Park and Khun Satarn National Park, or go whitewater rafting at and Mae Jrim National Park.
Domon Ice Coffee Shop Tel. 087-915-0521
Dardfar Cafe Tel. 099-426-9524
Nac Nus Coffee Bar Tel. 081-168-8874
Tub Na Homestay Tel.094-413-1969
Thung Ngun Thung Thong Resort Tel.064-396-1104
Nam Muab View Homestay Tel.085-294-2122
Bang Or Garden Home Tel.081-724-0979
Phalun Resort Tel.087-661-6665
Wiang Sa Paradise Resort Tel.081-992-1419
Sud Sa Ngon Resort Tel.054-781-797
Contact the community
Mr. Rittichai Sufu Tel. 081-691-5962
Located in the northern part of Thailand, the province of “Chiang Rai” is known for its misty mountains, spectacular temples and the beautiful traditions if its Lanna people. Thanks to its cooler temperatures and suitable, the region is ideal for growing tea leaves, which have become the main economic crop of this province.
The tea leaves have been harvested here since the reign of King Meng Rai, with two types of leaf grown, namely “Assam” tea or “Mieng” which comes from India, as well as varieties of Chinese tea. Doi Wawee, which is a small community found in the Peepunnam Mountain Range, is another source of tea leaves, such as Chinese varieties of Oolong tea, Phuer tea, red tea. This is because Yunnan people settled in the region long ago – along with other tribes that comprise Doi Wawee, which becomes multicultural community where locals together harmoniously.
Tasting local Yunnan food here is one of the experiences you simply can’t miss out, particularly the special homemade noodles that can be enjoyed together with the breathtaking view over the mountain range.
Reaching the community is easy. By car, use the Ror Por Chor Road (Ban Teen Doi – Ban Mai Mok Cham) and pass the Doi Chang intersection. Drive towards Ban Pong Klang Nam, pass the checkpoint at Tor Chor Dor 237 and Wa Wee Wittiyakom School, where the Wa Wee community is on the left hand side. By bus, take the Transport Co., Ltd (Bus No. 999) from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal to Mae Suai bus stop. From there, take the yellow mini bus “Mae Sruay – Wa Wee” to the community. By train, although there is no direct train line to Chiang Rai, you can travel by train by departing at Bangkok Station Hua Lampong and getting off at Chiang Mai or Lam Pang Train station. After that, take a tour bus to Chiang Rai and then take the yellow mini bus “Mae Sruay – Wa Wee” to the community. By plane, Thai AirAsia, Nok Air, Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways, Thai Lion Air and Viet Jet Air all have daily flights to Chiang Rai. Available car rental services companies include Chiang Rai Airport Taxi Cooperative, Avis, Hertz, National Rental Car and Thai Rental Car.
In addition to Doi Wawee community, other attractions include Wat Rong Khun Phu Chi Fah temple and Doi Tung Palace. Chiang Rai also has many agricultural attractions waiting for you to visit. Enjoy the panoramic view of the tea plantations at Chuifong Tea Planatations, take photos in the cosmos flower field at Singha Park, taste the original “Doi Chang Coffee” at the Center of Agricultural Research and Development, view the “millenium Assam tea” at the Millenium Tea Forest Park, and admire the 360-degree view of the sea of mist at Doi Kadphi Park.
Doi Chang View Coffee & Food Tel.086-116-5651
Krua Fei Tien, Doi Chang Tel.095-561-7198
Doi Wawee Coffee Tel.053-918-087
Balcony Hill Resort Tel.053-786-481-2, 080-610-1011
Hush Hub Hotel Tel.088-991-5642
Naphadol Resort Tel.081-904-3554
Ban Suay Resort Tel.086-672-5572
Mohn Mye Horm Resort Tel.081-843-7901
Lao Lee Hill Resort Tel.053-760-150
Chiang Rai Highland Research and Development Center, Doi Chang Tel.053-160-821, 053-602-750
Contact the community
Khun Yuramat Prawang Tel. 093-169-6515
“The sea will cure everything.” Whether it’s a broken heart, problems with work, or just being bored of everyday routines, many people in Thailand remind themselves of this quote to find hope – particularly in those clear skies, blue waters and sandy beaches are only a few hours away by car or plane.
Trat is one of the popular destinations for both Thais and foreigners looking for a quick break. Besides the clear sea and the beautiful islands of Koh Chang, Koh Kood, this eastern province is home to many simple seaside communities that are worth visiting. One such village near the mountains is called “Baan Mai Rut”, which is known locally for its two-colored sandy beach, as well as a former Indochina War battle area ground now covered by mangrove forests. People in the community mainly rely on fishing for their income, and make an effort to maintain their resources and preserve the environment for Irrawaddy dolphins to settle in around the nearby coastal region. In October, hundreds of thousands of jellyfish also appear in the water, a fascinating sight for tourists while out on boat tours.
In addition to cruising past the abundance of natural resources, as well as the wildlife and fisheries in community, there is a wonderful natural attraction in Baan Mai Rut known as the “Yuan Pond”. This is a small freshwater pond that fills up with seawater when the tide is up – then fills up with fresh water after the tie retreats. Not surprisingly, you can also find a lot of fresh seafood, especially crayfish and other dishes made from local vegetables.
Trat is only 320 km from Bangkok. By car, it is around a 4 hour drive from Highway No. 3 (Sukhumvit Road) to the “Trat – Khlong Yai” route. Then, drive to Tambon Mai Rut. By bus, take the Bangkok-Trat bus service available at Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal and Ekamai Bus Terminal, get off at Laem Ngop Pier and then rent a car or hire any car service to the community. By train, even though there is direct route to Trat, you can depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Chacherngsao or Phlu Ta Luang Chonburi Province Station. Then, take a van to Trat province and from there hire a car service to the community. By plane, Bangkok Airways offers flights to Trat’s small airport daily. Available car rental services companies include Koh Kood Travel, KTL Car Rent Trat and Trat Car Rent.
Come and travel around Mai Rut to discover some of the finest sandy beaches on mainland Trat at Bancheun beach and Ratkarun beach. For a more inland option, visit the Sapanhin Waterfall near Muang Trat district, or go shopping at the Thai-Cambodian local market at the Ban Had Yai border.
Folkways cafe’& bistro khlongyai Tel.064-146-1496
Lan Tem Duang Tel.086-110-2070
CHIC Coffee @ Chanchon Tel.090-956-8848
Jone Sa Lad Seafood Tel.081-761-6051
Nok Noi Seafood Tel.061-674-2243, 088-928-9579
Nong Four @ Hat Ban Chuen Tel.086-158-9271
Lan Tem Duang Seafood Tel.086-110-2070
Ban Cheon Resort Tel.081-861-2944
Pa Nan Resort Tel.081-761-6501
Mai Rood Resort Tel.089-841-4858
Hat Machurat Resort Tel.085-822-7627
Orada Resort Tel.062-562-6649
Homestay Ban Kam Nan Tel.089-544-0909
Homestay Ban Khun Ree Tel.096-114-2790
Homestay Ban Khun Au Tel.081-687-3973
Contact the community
Mai Rut Tambon Administrative Office Tel. 039-691-095
Khun Noi Tel. 081-982-2725
Khun Noo Tel. 088-491-1471
Lopburi is one the most historically important provinces in Thailand, perhaps just behind the more famous Sukhothai and Ayutthaya provinces that are similarly home to the ancient temple ruins of old Siam. Today, it’s home to much of the rice resources in the central region of Thailand with many rivers branching from the county’s largest Chao Phraya River; the main river in Lopburi is name the “Bang Kham River, which feeds the countryside with essential minerals and water making it ideal for agriculture.
The river’s namesake “Bang Kham Community” has a history dating back to the early Dvaravati period known as “Muang Ram”. The lifestyle of the people here is linked to the river in many aspects, include how to get around (on the water) as well as commerce and agriculture. The simple charm in this slow-paced community relies upon the concept of self-sufficient economics as well as old Thai wisdom.
Try the open-air car ride experience to reach the 200-year-old house, then discover wicker basketry, a famous OTOP product of the community, worship the largest Buddha shrine at Mahasorn Monastery, explore cricket and mushroom farming, or go rafting by the waterfront. There is also time to savor the local red lobster or crayfish dishes at restaurant, as well as take part in the many fun activities such as making pandan salted eggs, or herbal soap at the Agriculture Sufficiency Study Center, all of which offers visitors the chance to experience a genuinely traditional Thai way of life.
Lopburi is only not so far from Bangkok. To travel by car, take the Highway No. 1 (Phaholyothin Road) from Bangkok then take the road parallel to Highway 32 (Bang Pa In – Luang Por O) and then Highway 3028 (Bang Nga – Ban Mi) and drive to the community. By bus, take bus services from Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal Station that terminates at Lopburi Transportation Bus Station. Get off at Ban Mi Bus stop, where you will be picked up by the car from the community, or you can hire a car service to the community. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lamphong to Lopburi Station, and hire a car service to Ban Mi bus stop where you will be picked up by car from the community. Available car rental services companies include Runway Thailand, Smile Thai Car Rent and In Auto Car Saraburi.
Lopburi is more than just a place to come and see the monkeys (although you can do that too). Other unmissable places to visit include the “Phra Narai Rajnivej Palace” of King Narai the Great at the National Museum of King Narai, and “Ban Vichaiyen”- the envoy house of Chao Phraya Vichaiyen (Constantine Falcon) and the queen of Thai desserts, Thao Thong Geeb (Maria Guyomar de Pinha). Explore the great arts of history at Phra Prang Sam Yod, and visit the largest bat cave in the province with beautiful scenery and then pay your respects at the old temple at Wat Khao Wong Got. Also, worship the relics at the “Maha Metta Rattana Rangsi Pagoda”, a Thai-Cambodian-Myanmar style pagoda located in the middle of the water at Wat Huay Kaew temple.
Ta Krieng Nuea Yang Kao Lee (branch 2) Tel.081-948-1676
Ban Saphan Mai Tel.085-486-9655
Heng Ruay Guay Tiew Ruea Tel.087-029-2910
Hayday Sing Buri Hotel Tel.084-435-4649
Ban Noi Rang Nok Homestay Tel.083-158-5585
Ruan Thai Rim Nam Tel.083-230-3004
Ain Guy Villa Tel.084-435-4649
Buaksee Resort (Sing Buri) Tel.081-852-1381
Central Park Hotel (Sing Buri) Tel.036-523-3444
Zen Garden Resort (Sing Buri) Tel.036-510-888
Contact the community
Ban Suan Kwan Farm Learning Center Tel. 084-775-1435