Follow the King's Legacy for Sustainability

The King who provided solutions to soil problems (Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center, Southern Border Botanical Garden, Kaluwo Sub-District, Narathiwat Province)

Narathiwat


 
The southernmost area of Thailand at latitude 6 is where Narathiwat Province is situated.  It is a peaceful province with the charms of Islamic cultures.  Also, the province is located next to the sea and Malaysia, and it is one of the 5 Southern provinces that are in the Growth Triangle Project.

In the past, Narathiwat Province was full of derelict land as the province was in lowland, which trapped water.  This caused the soil to become acidic.  When the water was drained out, the land was infertile because of the acid soil containing a high level of sulfuric acid, which harm the plants.  The King thus started Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center as a place for research on the ways to improve the land for the livelihood of the local people.  The centre analyses and conducts experiments on cultivation and livestock and educated people on agriculture.  The centre is located on 1,740 rai of land between Ban Pikun Thong and Ban Khok Saya, Kaluwo Sub-District, Mueang Narathiwat District, Narathiwat Province, and it is 8 km from Narathiwat city centre.  Visiting the centre, people can learn about many royal projects concerning agriculture.  For example, “Soil Oppression Project” is a project which causes soil to become very acidic and find a solution to the soil problem.  Another project is the “New Theory”, an approach the King devised to advance agricultural practices, which aims for a place that traps water.  There is the experiment in cultivating oil palms in very organic soil.  There is cooperation between a small industrial plant and Prince Songkla University in managing products from oil palms.  As for the livestock in the centre, there are ponds for biogas produced from cow dung.  The centre also plants Snake fruit in rubber farms and plants temperate plants, which many people think is impossible to be done in Southern Thailand.
 

 
People who want to visit the centre in order to practice handicraf work by using sedge and pandan leaves can do so during office hours.  You can study in the centre with a relaxed atmosphere like being in a park.  There is also an exhibition on September each year, the time when Narathiwat Food Festival is held, which is the best time to visit the province.

Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center
95 Moo 6, Kaluwo Nuea Sub-District, Mueang Narathiwat District, Narathiwat Province.
Tel: 0 7363 1033 or 0 7363 1038
www.pikunthong.com

Directions
Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center is about 1 km from Thaksin Ratchaniwet Palace and is 8 km from Narathiwat city centre.  From the city centre, use Highway rout 4084 (Narathiwat – Tak Bai).
 

A short distance from Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center is Southern Border Botanical Garden, Kaluwo Sub-District, Mueang Narathiwat District, Narathiwat Province, where you can relax amidst trees and rivers.  The garden was built by the command of Queen Sirikit.  She mentioned that there should be a botanical garden in Thaksin Ratchaniwet Palace which collects local species like the botanical garden in Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai Province.
 
The forest area in Khao Tanjung and Khao Samnak, which was close to Narathiwat communitieswas then transformed into a botanical garden collecting rare and endangered species, such as Cinnamomum Parthenoxylon, Cinnamomim Tammala, Litsea Grandis, Artocarpus Elasticus, Yellow Saraca, Archidendron Pauciflorum, Diospyros Buxifolia, Pouteria Obovata, etc.  Thus, Narathiwat people not only can come to the botanical garden and relax but also learn about these species and conserve them.

One can also walk around a reservoir in the garden full of many species of lotus.  Queen Sirikit and royal members often visited the reservoir to see observe lotus and the nearby area, which has many kinds of trees.  They also learned how to plant rubber trees and other species in rubber farms at the rubber farms in Khao Samnak.  Khao Samnak National Park is also a place that conducts research on local plant species, and it is one of many interesting places where tourists can visit.  The last place in this area that tourists can see is an exhibition about Thai honourable plant species.

Southern BorderBotanical Garden
Mueang Narathiwat District,  Narathiwat 96000
Tel.08 1969 0190

There are many interesting royal projects for a study and ecotourism:
- The Model Farm of the Royal Project: organic farming, livestocking, prcessing agricultural products, fishery, bird farming, the production goat milk
- The Sufficiency Economy Village Project: the cultivation of cash crops, fish farming using cage culture, rice farming using “the New Theory”, Forest management for conservation (The establishment of the Arts and Crafts Shop and a shop selling products from One Tambon One Product (OTOP) local entrepreneurship stimulus program in the future)
-  Bang Nara forest: cruising to see the beauty of plant species and animals in a swamp forest along the Bang Nara River

Directions
Use Highway rout 4084 (Narathiwat – Tak Bai).  The botanical garden is close to Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center, and it is 9 km from Narathiwat City Centre.

A recommended local dish
Narathiwat’s Laksa
The Laksa’s noodles are like white rice noodles but the difference lies in the fact that the Laksa soup uses fish.  Like Khanom Chin, the dish is served with vegetables. 

A 2-day trip
The first day
Visiting Pikun Thong Royal Development Study Center to learn about the King’s “Soil Oppression Project”; visiting Chaloem Phra Kiat 60th Botanical Garden; staying overnight at Narathiwat Province

The second day
Paying homage to BuddhaThaksin Ming Mongkol at Khao Kong Temple; seeing Malayan canoes and the way of life of the people living along the Bang Nara River at Narathat Beach; buying Narathiwat  famous fish crackers; travelling back to Bangkok
 

 
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