Tours of The Royally Initiated Projects, Nationwide Thailand

The joyous occasion of H.M. King Bhumibol’s 80th Birthday Anniversary this year is a great opportunity for us Thai people to show our deepest loyalty and enormous respect for His Majesty and his royal family. One way of doing so is to truly appreciate what they have done for our nation. In fact, by visiting the royal project places, you can both gain knowledge and be impressed by the beautiful scenery as well.

You all are welcome to visit the royally initiated projects to appreciate and learn from the royal wisdom that the Thai people are so proud of. Here are the nine chosen projects, which are well worth your visit:

1. Doi Tung Development Project, Chiang Rai
This project was found under the Royal Patronage of the late Princess Mother. Its main objective is to encourage hilltribes to grow fruit trees and other cash crops as substitutes for poppies and slash and burn cultivation.

The project not only achieved its goal, but also succeeded in teaching hilltribes to conserve the environment and create their local handicrafts. Due to its great success in developing the hilltribes area for a long period of time, Doi Tung has received an award from the United Nation for sustainable alternative development and another from the Pacific Asia Travel Association for eco-tourism.

2. Rai Mae Fah Luang & Hall of Opium, Chiang Rai
Rai Mae Fah Luang is a magnificent museum for the great collection of Lanna’s artifacts. The Hall of Opium was built to remind people of the history of poppy planting in Thailand, which once was notorious for the Golden Triangle, formerly the largest opium producer in the world.

3. Royal Agricultural Station, Angkhang, Chiang Mai
King Bhumibol bought a piece of land in Doi Angkhang and found the Royal Project to be a research station for cool-climate vegetables and fruits. He aimed to help the impoverished hilltribes, who unknowingly destroyed the ecosystem in the area, to earn their income without deforestation. Further than that, it later became a collection centre of rare and beautiful plants.

4. Elephant Conservation Centre, Lampang
The Centre was opened by HRH Princess Sirindhorn in 1992 to conserve Thai Elephants and to give interested people more understanding of this huge mammal. Besides, the only elephant hospital in the world is located here. And a short mahout-training course for tourists is in operation here, too.

5. Bang Sai Arts & Crafts Centre, Ayutthaya
It was established under the Royal Patronage of H.M. Queen Sirikit to relieve the poverty of Thai people by teaching them some useful artisan skills that can be developed into their sidelines. Students’ products are sold at the Centre and distributed to many shops elsewhere in the country.

Another interesting thing is a demonstration village that consists of four typical houses of the four regions of Thailand showing the local people’s ways of life. Apart from these, a fish palace and a bird sanctuary are established here to conserve animal species.

6. Wat Yannasangwararam, Chonburi
This modern Thai temple was built by foreigners to honour H.M. King Bhumibol. There are various beautiful construction styles such as the replica of Bodhagaya stupa (in the Lord Buddha’s birthplace), the traditional Chinese-style temple, and a Swiss chalet. The temple was named after H.M. the King’s mentor “Somdet Phra Nyanasamvara”, the Supreme Patriarch of Thailand. It is famous worldwide as a meditation centre.

7. Mrigadayavan Palace, Phetburi
It was constructed by order of King Rama VI (1910-1925) as his summer palace. At present, after being restored to its former condition, it is open for public viewing. The palace is now splendid and enriched by the magnificent relics of its time.

8. College in the Court, Nakhon Pathom
This royally initiated project was established to promote the 10 basic disciplines of ancient Siamese native skills to people. The students’ handiworks display section and classes are open to visitors.

9. Ban Kut Na Kham Arts & Crafts Centre, Sakon Nakhon
The Centre was established to eliminate the poverty from the region by educating people to produce distinct handicrafts such as wickerwork, pottery, and hand-woven silk with the unique patterns.

H.M. King Bhumibol has recently been awarded Human Development Lifetime Achievement by the United Nations for his outstanding dedication and achievement in human development.

During his long reign, he has been working tirelessly to help his people get better standards of living. Throughout the country, thousands of royally initiated projects have been launched to improve the quality of life of the people of Thailand.

Not only the projects enable the people in the remote areas to stand on their own feet, but also give rise to new tourist attractions, which in turn help those people gain more income.