Green Attraction

Ban HuaiRaeng

Trat

 Life along the canal

      It all began when the members of HuaiRaeng community went on a trip to Kanchanaburi. There theysaw a community by a canal and, with a sense of pride, decidedthat their hometown was way more impressive. Then a researcherfrom the neighbouring village came by and planted the seeds ofan idea: to flaunt their treasure to visitors in the form of organizedtourism. The researcher got a PhD using this project as a casestudy, and the community gained both renown and extra income.

 

      In HuaiRaeng, visitors will experience the serenity of local lifeby the water, reminiscent of traditional Thai lifestyles in the eraof Ayutthaya. There are nine homestays available, two of whichare traditional elevated wooden houses. They are surrounded byorchards where fruit trees growing mangosteens, rambutans, anddurians stand mingling. At the edge of the orchards sits the widecanal, lined at its banks by Nipa Palms.

 

A Cruise for All Tastes

      Typically, tourists arrive at the community around noon and arewelcomed with lunch. If you are here during summer, you will thenbe taken for a seven-kilometre cruise to a group of small rapidswhere you can take a swim and defy the warm temperatureswhile enjoying the gentle current. If you visit in March, you can alsoenjoy blooming "DokKhut" (Elaeocarpusgrandiflorus Sm.), the raresignature flower of this community.

 

      Not to be missed are the treasures of art, handicrafts, anddelicacies made by the locals from the Nipa Palm harvested here.The famous woven hats are the most common sights. At night,upon request, your host can take you on the evening cruise toenjoy the fireflies spectacle - a lovely way to wrap up the nightbefore you crawl onto your mattress under the mosquito net.(Be warned, mosquitos can be vicious, be equipped with repellant.)

 

      There is also a small workshop where the villagers producecosmetic products (e.g. soap, shampoo, lotion, etc) frommangosteen peel. You can watch the manufacturing process andalso shop for mangosteen soap fresh out of their bamboo molds.

 

      At the moment, HuaiRaeng is popular predominately amongThai visitors and although the community is very happy towelcome foreigners, they cannot communicate in English.So don’t hesitate, if time permits, to teach them some casualexpressions and vocabulary, or immerse yourself in the locallanguage, not forgetting to end your sentences with the ritual "khrup"for men and "kha" for women. It is best, though, if you bring yourown Thai-speaking guide for better appreciation of the localculture and nature.

 

Discover

      Don’t miss thebell-shaped flower “DokKhut”. The besttime to witness it isduring March. This kindof flower can be foundin many provinces, butis known in differentnames.

 

Feel

      The pristinelykept wooden houses,the gleaming greenof the fruit orchards,the quiet canal aroundwhich Ban HuaiRaengis centred will bring youinto the past peacefulrural life, similar tothe one described inthe country’s schooltextbooks. Some advice:bring a good book onThai rural history likePiraSudham’s"Monsoon Country"(Shire Publishing).

 

How To Get There

      The community centre islocated inside KhlongKhutTemple on Sub-highway4001 (branching out from3157), about 10 km northeastfrom the city centre. Thereare only a couple of localtaxis going that directiondaily. The best way is to goby your own transportation.

 

Contact

KhunNoi (Secretary ofBan HuaiRaeng HomestayCommunity)
Mobile: 08 9247 9648