Eco Tourism Hotspot – Doi Inthanon
Today we will be heading to Thailand’s North to take advantage of the glorious weather it enjoys at this time of year and to take a look at a very special agricultural project and eco tourism hotspot. Doi Inthanon, a huge and unspoilt National Park that is home to Thailand’s highest peak and is full of majestic waterfalls and lush green valleys. It is also home to the Doi Inthanon Royal Projects. There is perhaps no better example of this than His Majesty’s Royal Project Initiatives.
History of Royal Project Doi Inthanon
The first Royal Project was founded in 1969 to solve the problems of deforestation, poverty and opium production by promoting alternative crops, reflecting King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s desire to improve the lives and livelihoods of the poor and needy. The Royal Project in Doi Inthanon is to be found in Khun Klang village, close to the park headquarters and about 60 km from Chiang Mai city. The project began back in 1979 to encourage hill tribes to cultivate cash crops instead of growing opium, providing them with training in modern agricultural techniques as well as with all the necessary tools and equipment.
Today the agricultural station is home to temperate-climate plants, beautiful flower gardens, a highland trout fishery, plant breeding and multiplication labs, rice terraces, coffee plantations and even a strawberry orchard. All of which are open to the public who are encouraged to come and learn about the station’s important and life-changing work. Visitors can even stay overnight at the Royal Project giving them more time to explore the beautiful, natural surroundings that include some fantastic trekking trails, hidden waterfalls and and hill-tribe villages. Although open all year round, the best time to visit is right now in the winter months when you can enjoy cooler temperatures and more often than not, clear blue skies.
If you are interested in learning more about Thailand’s rural communities and the extensive efforts that are being made to promote environmental protection and self-sufficiency, the Royal Project Doi Inthanon is sure to provide you with a memorable visit as well as a greater understanding of Thailand and its people.
If you have ever visited any of Thailand’s Royal Project’s or indeed any other similar projects around the world we’d love to hear from you about your own experiences and insights, so please do in get in touch with us.