Thailand seeks to develop secondary tourism destinations

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 The black Buddha on the bank of Mae Khlong river © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s government in its effort to broaden the variety of touristic destinations in the country has set its sight on less-known regions that, nevertheless, would appeal to tourists in a similar way high-frequency destinations would.

To that end, the ministry of tourism is now boosting such secondary tourism destinations by linking tourist attractions and activities in major cities with communities off the well-trodden path. It is seeking to present something unique in almost any village and community in Thailand, an intangible cultural heritage facilities that attract tourists out of curiosity and cultural or historical interest, for example the dragon jar manufacturing or the ornamental fish market in Ratchaburi.

Overall, 55 provinces are on the list of the tourism ministry to find out and promote their unique identities presentable to tourists and domestic visitors.

Investvine had the opportunity to visit two such provinces, namely Ratchaburi and Samut Songkhran, to observe their traditions, artisan heritage and community live.

Khu Bua community
The Khu Bua community in Ratchaburi is a unique tribe with their own traditions. Initially, they were a large ethnic group living in the Lanna Kingdom in northern Thailand north of Chiang Rai, from where they migrated further south to Ratchaburi in the early 19th century. In 2005, they have set up their own museum with the help and donours of the local community to showcase their heritage and their traditional community life. A community market – dubbed by the tourism ministry as a market not to be missed – is situated close to the museum. It offers local goods and food, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as hand-woven fabric, widely seen as a unique product of the Khu Bua community owing to its colours and special weaving technique.


 

Mae Khlong River
This river in Samut Songkhran province is one of the lesser known waterways in Thailand, but nevertheless one to be visited. The scenic river and its network of canals have somehow preserved their originality since they remain a focus of daily life of people, and the weekend floating market, the Amphawa Floating Market,  is one of the most original, yet colourful attractions for visitors, as are the countless riverside restaurants that offer delicious local dishes. Boat tours can be booked to observe the local way of life of the communities along the river, and their partly extravagant housing architecture.

 

Stingless Bee Center
Amphawa district also houses another interesting place to visit, the Stingless Bee Center at Ban Suan Phupha.The insect, locally called channarong, is a special variety of bee that is much smaller, but produces honey with healthy and nutritious qualities believed to have high medicinal value. The price for one kilogramme of this extraordinary tasting honey is 1,500 baht, or $45.

 

Coconut oil and sugar factory
Samut Songkhran is further famous for growing a wide range of tropical fruits. Pomelo trees can be seen anywhere, as well as cultivations of lychee, oranges, grapes and papaya. But the province is particularly popular for growing a fine sort of coconut in abundance, which is being transformed – in traditional ways, without machines – into high-quality coconut sugar, coconut oil and coconut cosmetics for both domestic sale and export. Among the manufacturers, Thai Pure Coconut Factory is the most renowned one: Being the largest coconut factory, it also received the National Innovation Award for its high-grade products.

“We have made coconut oil a respectable product,” says the company’s president Ponpisuit Kiatvarangkoon.

“Before, people were reluctant to use it because they thought it was of poorer quality than, for example, palm oil. But our high-quality production processes, which are organic and don’t use any chemicals, have made coconut oil now a premium product for cooking, consumption and skin refreshment, although it comes at a higher price.”

Today, Thai Pure produces 70 per cent of OEM coconut oil for other manufacturers in Thailand, and exports a sizeable portion abroad, namely to Europe and Japan.

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 The black Buddha on the bank of Mae Khlong river © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s government in its effort to broaden the variety of touristic destinations in the country has set its sight on less-known regions that, nevertheless, would appeal to tourists in a similar way high-frequency destinations would.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

 The black Buddha on the bank of Mae Khlong river © Arno Maierbrugger

Thailand’s government in its effort to broaden the variety of touristic destinations in the country has set its sight on less-known regions that, nevertheless, would appeal to tourists in a similar way high-frequency destinations would.

To that end, the ministry of tourism is now boosting such secondary tourism destinations by linking tourist attractions and activities in major cities with communities off the well-trodden path. It is seeking to present something unique in almost any village and community in Thailand, an intangible cultural heritage facilities that attract tourists out of curiosity and cultural or historical interest, for example the dragon jar manufacturing or the ornamental fish market in Ratchaburi.

Overall, 55 provinces are on the list of the tourism ministry to find out and promote their unique identities presentable to tourists and domestic visitors.

Investvine had the opportunity to visit two such provinces, namely Ratchaburi and Samut Songkhran, to observe their traditions, artisan heritage and community live.

Khu Bua community
The Khu Bua community in Ratchaburi is a unique tribe with their own traditions. Initially, they were a large ethnic group living in the Lanna Kingdom in northern Thailand north of Chiang Rai, from where they migrated further south to Ratchaburi in the early 19th century. In 2005, they have set up their own museum with the help and donours of the local community to showcase their heritage and their traditional community life. A community market – dubbed by the tourism ministry as a market not to be missed – is situated close to the museum. It offers local goods and food, organic fruits and vegetables, as well as hand-woven fabric, widely seen as a unique product of the Khu Bua community owing to its colours and special weaving technique.


 

Mae Khlong River
This river in Samut Songkhran province is one of the lesser known waterways in Thailand, but nevertheless one to be visited. The scenic river and its network of canals have somehow preserved their originality since they remain a focus of daily life of people, and the weekend floating market, the Amphawa Floating Market,  is one of the most original, yet colourful attractions for visitors, as are the countless riverside restaurants that offer delicious local dishes. Boat tours can be booked to observe the local way of life of the communities along the river, and their partly extravagant housing architecture.

 

Stingless Bee Center
Amphawa district also houses another interesting place to visit, the Stingless Bee Center at Ban Suan Phupha.The insect, locally called channarong, is a special variety of bee that is much smaller, but produces honey with healthy and nutritious qualities believed to have high medicinal value. The price for one kilogramme of this extraordinary tasting honey is 1,500 baht, or $45.

 

Coconut oil and sugar factory
Samut Songkhran is further famous for growing a wide range of tropical fruits. Pomelo trees can be seen anywhere, as well as cultivations of lychee, oranges, grapes and papaya. But the province is particularly popular for growing a fine sort of coconut in abundance, which is being transformed – in traditional ways, without machines – into high-quality coconut sugar, coconut oil and coconut cosmetics for both domestic sale and export. Among the manufacturers, Thai Pure Coconut Factory is the most renowned one: Being the largest coconut factory, it also received the National Innovation Award for its high-grade products.

“We have made coconut oil a respectable product,” says the company’s president Ponpisuit Kiatvarangkoon.

“Before, people were reluctant to use it because they thought it was of poorer quality than, for example, palm oil. But our high-quality production processes, which are organic and don’t use any chemicals, have made coconut oil now a premium product for cooking, consumption and skin refreshment, although it comes at a higher price.”

Today, Thai Pure produces 70 per cent of OEM coconut oil for other manufacturers in Thailand, and exports a sizeable portion abroad, namely to Europe and Japan.

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