Follow the King's Legacy for Sustainability

Being self-sufficient with agricultural practices (Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre, Sakon Nakhon Province and Ban Chiang Archeological Site, Udon Thani Province)

Sakon Nakhon

In 1955, His Majesty King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit visited the local people in all areas of Northeastern Thailand.  Northeastern Thailand is the first part of the country which the King and the Queen visited extensively, and there is Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace at Sakon Nakhon Province.  Visiting Northeastern Thailand, the King realised that the local people experienced hardship and the infrastructure was not good.  This led the King to found Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre at Ban Na Nok Kao, Huai Yang Sub-District, Mueang Sakon Nakhon District, Sakon Nakhon Province.  This purpose of founding the centre was to allow the local people to have better quality of life.

The centre is located on 11,300 rai of land, 2,300 rai of which is for several activities, and 11,000 rai of which is for the purpose of reviving forests and water sources.  The centre is used for conducting argricultural research and activities including testing rice species, experimenting on mulburry cultivation on vegetable plots, improving mushroom cultivation, processing agricultural products, producing experimental plots, aquafarming, excouraging professions related to home industries, improving livestock and the condition of soil, etc.

Water is one of the resources which the King really focused on.  The King once emphasised the importance of water, saying that “the key principle is to ensure there is water for consumption, for use, and for farming because water is indispensable to lives.  Humans need water.  Without it, people won’t survive.  Humans can do without electricity as long as there is still water.  But if it is the other way around, there is no chance for survival”

Sakon Nakhon Province has 15 royal reservoir projects.  Some of the reservoirs were built by the King’s command, and some by the local people’s request for water sources.  The King saw that there was little rain in some of the areas in the province.  He thus made recommendations to Royal Irrigation Department to contact Department of Royal Rainmaking and Agricultural Aviation and have them make artificial rain.

All projects and activities the centre has carried out follow the King’s guidance and knowledge were spreaded to civil servants and farmers in Northeastern Thailand.  They thus have an opportunity to learn about innovation agricultural technology and apply to the life for their livelihood.  The success of the centre’s projects is shown through agricultural and livestock achievements including Phu Phan Tajima cattle, Phu Phan swine, Sakhon Nakhon rice, Dok Mali 105 rice, NP1 Lychee, etc.  Other achievements include the conservation of forests and water resources and the development of the villages in the responsibity of the centre to be model villages in the form of cooperative villages.  The centre welcomes those interested in the projects and the centre.  An official document requesting for a visit has to be sent to Office of His Majesty’s Principal Private Secretary, the Grand Palace, Na Phra Lan Road, Bangkok 10200.  Also, people can ask officers at the office of the centre for permission to enter the Outer Court of the Palace.

Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre
Ban Na Nok Kao, Huai Yang Sub-District, Mueang Sakon Nakhon District, Sakon Nakhon 47000
Tel: 0 4274 7458-9 ext. 60 (for visit)

From Nakhon Phanom municipality to Huai Yang, use Sukkasem Road and Sakhon Nakhon Road, respectively.  When reaching the intersection that leads to Highway route 3137, turn left to Ban Na Nok Kao.

Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace, the place where the King stayed when he visited Northeastern Thailand, is located on Phu Phan Mountain.  The King used aerial maps to guide him when he explored forests, mountain areas, waterfalls, and he chose the location of the Palace himself.  The Palace is open to the public, so people can go and see nature’s beauty in the palace having flowers and trees.  The Palace also holds northeastern silk contest annually, which is encouraged and supported by Queen Sirikit.

Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace
Huai Yang Sub-District, Mueang Sakon Nakhon District, Sakon Nakhon 47000
Tel: 0 4271 4499 

From Sakon Nakhon to Phu Phan Ratchaniwet Palace, use Highway route 213 (Sakon Nakhon – Kalasin).  Turn left and go straight to Ban Na Nok Kao, Huai Yang Province.  It is about 10 km from Sakon Nakhon Province.

A province next to Sakon Nakhon which is worth visiting is Udon Thani Province.  The province has the world heritage site Ban Chiang Archeological Site.  Of about 5,600 – 1,800 years old, the site reflects a prosperous era in ancient civilizations before in prehistoric times.

Ban Chiang Museum was build after His Majesty King Bhumilbol and Queen Sirikit visited an excavation site in the area in 1972.  Before the King and the Queen visited, the local people sold things they had unearthed because they did not know the value of the items.  When the King ordered the local people to keep and take care of the items, they then realised that the items were so priceless that they should conserve them and not let people dig them to sell.  Ban Chiang was later listed among world heritage sites, which is what the people take pride in.  The Fine Arts Department then established Ban Chiang Museum in 1981.  The museum exhibits the way of life of humans in prehistoric eras thousands of years ago, making people amazed by the people’s abilities to live their lives without technology.  In the beginning of 2016, World Heritage Site Exhibition was held in Ban Chiang as a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the excavation.

Ban Chiang Museum
Opening hours: Tue – Sun 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Entrance fee: 30 Baht
Tel: 0 4220 8340
Moo 13, Sutthipong Road, Ban Chiang Sub-District, Nong Han District, Udon Thani 41320

Use Highway route 22 (Udon Thani - Sakon Nakhon).  At milepost 50, the way leading to Ban Pulu, there is a signpost telling you the direction to Highway route 2225, which is about 6 km away.
A Recommended local dish
Sakon Nakorn’s Nong Han papaya salad
Savoury papaya salad with authentic Nong Han taste contains many ingredients and is seasoned with dried shrimps, steamed clams, crispy small fish, roasted peanuts.

A 3-day trip
The first day
Tracing the humans back to 5,000 years ago at Ban Chiang Museum; paying homage to Phra That Choeng Chum (Choeng Chum sacred monument), Sakon Nakhon Province; staying overnight at Sakon Nakhon

The second day
Visiting Phu Phan Royal Development Study Centre; taking a cart around the centre, seeing the farm and livestock; seeing 3 astonishing black mascots of Phu Phan: Phu Phan black cows, Phu Phan black chickens, Phu Phan black pigs

The third day
paying homage to the famous bhikkhu in Northeastern Thailand Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera at Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta Thera Museum, Wat Suthhawat; travelling to Ban Tha Rae to see a Catholic church in the Northeastern region of Thailand; trying Vietnamese food at Udon Thani Province; traveling back to Bangkok


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