Follow the King's Legacy for Sustainability

Following the King’s footsteps in releaving people’s pain and suffering (Ban Pong District, Ratchaburi Province; “Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Innitiative Project, Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre, Phetchaburi Province, Khao Tao Reservoir, Prachuap Khiri K


To begin the journey to follow the King’s footsteps, we start from Ratchaburi Province, which is not very far from Bangkok.  We stop by Ban Pong Market, the place where His Majesty King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit visited first to reassure the local people who experienced hardship on 13 September 1954, 4 days after the market had been badly damaged by fire. 

With the grace of the King, he donated 100,000 Baht to the people, the family members of which today are still keeping that day’s document well.  The photos of the market, which had been badly damaged by the fire, were taken together with the photos of the King and the Queen’s visit, all of which have indelibly been imprinted on Ban Phong’s people mind (A collection of the photos can be seen at Sri Ngein Colour Lab at Ban Pong Market).

In the past, Ban Pong was a transport hub, the Chinese and the Mon living in the place.  A job in urban planning and better security system was done at a later time.

Although the buildings around Ban Pong have been transformed into blocks of simple commercial buildings separated by streets, which were more organised.  The memories about and impressions of the King looking and offering immediate help people have still persist in their mind. 

The interesting thing about Ban Pong is the culture that is hidden for us to discover.  There are many types of food which are easy to find, and if you are having a conversation with the local people, you will be able to feel the grace of the King, who really cared about the people living in the affected areas of the fire and their living conditions.  This reflects that having the King, who offered help when needed, truly gives strength to the people and allows them to cope with suffering.  Those interested in the story of Ban Pong are recommended to visit Ban Pong One-wan, a local history museum, which provides the history Ban Pong for new generations

Ban Pong One-wan
14/1 Moo 14, Pak Raet Sub-Destrict, Ban Pong District, Ratchaburi 70110; Tel: 09 8549 1932

Use Highway Route 4 (Phet Kasem Road) to Ban Pong District.  Go staright to the district centre.  Before an overpass, keep left and make a U-turn under a bridge, you will see a signpost telling indicating the entrance of the musuem, which you will have to go straight for 2 km. 

The Thai-Burmese border was an area which was once not fertile.  Becuase he cared about the living conditions of his people, knowing that the people might experienced hardship from the effect of the stability of the country, The King was concerned to conduct in-depth research about the land and the environment and took the initiative in starting “Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Innitiative Project.  The Project has helped the people to relieve the problems they had had about the fertility of the land in order for the local people to depend on the land for their livelihood.  The Royal Innitiative Project contains farms of several types of crops including fruits such as pineapples and coconuts and vegetables such as limes and patatoes, all of which are grown organically.  There are also animal farms.  Those who want to see around the Project can take a cart or a bicycle.  The entrance fee is 20 Baht for adults and 10 Baht for students.

“Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Innitiative Project
1 Moo 5, Ban Nong Ko Kai, Khao Kra Puk Sub-District, Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi 76130
Tel: 0 3247 2701

From Tha Yang District, go pass Phetchaburi Transmission and Maintenance Project Irrigation Office along the road heading to Tha Mai Sub-District.  Continue going pass Khao Krapuk-Khao Tao Mo Wildlife No Hunting Area and Tung Pong School for aprroximately 47 km until you reach “Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Innitiative Project.

Continue your journey to Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre.  In the past, this area was rich in all sorts of natural resources, having wildlife including Indian hog deer and being the main source of water for the local people.  King Vajiravudh, or Rama VI, proclaimed the area a part of Mrigadayavan Palace and prohibited wildlife poaching around the area.  Later there were encroachments of habitat for pineapple farms using chemicals.  This destroyed the ecosystem and disrupted the delicate natural balance which the area once had had.  The land was no longer fertile.

When King Bhumibol visited the local people, he was worried about the ecosystem, thinking that people’s activities might affect it as they did not maintain the delicate natural balance.  He thought if the ecosystem was not destroyed, the natural balance would exist for the people to make better use of.  He then founded Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre for people to gain knowledge.  This led people to manage the natural resources in the area, restore the fertility of the land, and develop their quality of life in order for their livelihood and happiness adhering to the sustainable development policy.

Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre
Sam Phraya Sub-District, Cha-am District, Phetchaburi 76120
Tel: 0 3259 3252

About 220 km from Bangkok by using Phet Kasem Road

Not very far from Huai Sai Royal Development Study Centre in Hua Hin District, you will be in the route to Khao Tao Reservoir for providing water for the Khao Tao seaside village.  During the time when His Majesty King Bhumibol visited many areas in densely-populated Hua Hin District, he found the shortage of water for consumption in the areas.  Moreover, sea waters inundated agricultural areas, causing damages.  Later, the local people gave a large piece of land to the King.  He then donated the total amount of 60,000 Baht to Royal Irrigation Department to build Khao Tao Reservoir.

At present, Khao Tao Reservoir is one of the popular tourist attractions due to the fact that it is a royal project and it lies amidst spetacular mountain scenery.  If one has a chance to admire the scenery and call His Majesty’s royal grace into his mind, he can surely feel relieved.
All places we visit should remind us of the knowledge the King left to us.  In the journey to follow the King’s footsteps, you will not only find the beauty of nature but also be reminded of the hard work the King had done for us when visiting the Royal Project, which reflects that he had studied a wide range od disciplines.  Becuase water sources are important for our life, the water management in Khao Tao Reservoir can attract many visitors who want to both admire the superb scenery and call His Majesty’s royal grace, which has always reduced the suffering of Thais, into their mind. 

The Royal-initiated Khao Tao Reservoir Project
Ban Khao Tao, Nong Kae Sub-District, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110

Go along Phet Kasem Road and take a junction which leads you to Hua Hin District.  Turn right at milepost 243.6 and go along Lad Yang Road for about 1 km until you see The Royal-initiated Khao Tao Reservoir Project.

A recommended local dish
Roasted bean clams with papaya sauce 
A local appitiser which is not sommonly found, Roasted bean clams are served with papaya sauce containing roasted peanuts.  The dish is so flavorful that you will get every flavor: crunchy, sour, sweet, and mellow.

A 2-day trip
The first day 
Morning: Visiting Ban Pong One-wan in Bang Pong District, Ratchaburi Province; visiting Ban Pong Market to trace the route of the King when he visited the merket to reassure the local people who experienced hardship during the fire
Afternoon: Visiting “Chang-Hua-Mun” Royal Innitiative Project; staying in Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan Province for one night

The second day
Morning: Visiting Khao Tao Reservoir, the first place where the King used to study about natural environment; visiting Khao Tao Arts and Crafts Store
Afternoon: Visiting and making merits at Hua Hin Dog Care Centre; shopping at Golden Place Hua Hin for products from the King’s Royal Project

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