Home > FAM (Familiarization) Tour, FAM Trip, General, Thailand, Thailand FAM > Ban Bang Phalp, Community Tourism, Samut Songkhram

Ban Bang Phalp, Community Tourism, Samut Songkhram

Ban Bang Phalp, Community Tourism

Samut Songkhram

Also see: FAM tour of Thailand

Thailand is not just about beautiful beaches, exotic sea food and exciting night life but the country has something more to offer.

Asif 1

Bicycling tour of Ban Bang Phalp, Samut Songkharm (Photo courtesy: Aso Lori)

Taking in the rural landscape on a bicycle, walking through coconut groves and watching local people go about their business is one of the best ways of experiencing rural Thailand.

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Walks through coconut groves, Ban Bang Phalp

Ban Bang Phlap Community, in the Samut Songkhram province, focuses on organic farming with organic manures and minus the chemical pesticide and chemical fertilizers.

Started about 15 years ago, under the patronage of King Rama IX, Ban Bang Phlap, a village near Amphawa, has been involved in organic farming and works with traditional food-based methods.

Most villagers do non-chemical farming, using manure and compost fertilizers to reduce the cost of production. At present, the villagers have gathered together to operate the tourism activities in the form of agriculture conservation tourism to provide the opportunity for tourists to experience the lifestyle of gardeners and the philosophy of having a sufficient life.

Ban Bang Phalp 2

Collection of coconut juice. L: Container, R: after removal of container

Moreover, the community has gathered the knowledge and wisdom and established the learning center of Samut Songkhram local wisdom school to propagate the knowledge to the interested people. The residents also educate people from different communities about sustainable living and job opportunities that can be created through self-sufficient means.

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Coconut sap collection

Ban Bang Phlap is located about two hours drive from Bangkok, capital of Thailand, and can be visited in a day tour.

But an over night tour of Samut Sangkhram is recomended as it will provide the opportunity of exploring the Benjarong Porcelain making, Maeklong Rail Market, Amphawa Floating Market and Khon Mask making at Bhutesavara.

The Ban Bang Phalp community offers tourist with a first hand experience of their activities with visit to the coconut groves and even provides the opportunity of making coconut sugar. Since environmental issues are of prime importance the tour happens on a bicycle and includes walks through coconut groves.

Ban Bang Phalp 4

Making of sugar candy, Ban Bang Phalp, Samut Songkharm

After breakfast we started off from the Kanokart Resort on bicycle and our first stop was the coconut plantation. It was across a dry canal, which was crossed by a temporary bridge consisting off just a piece of wooden plank. The coconut trees were barely 12 – 15 feet high and were fitted with plastic containers collecting the sap from the tree.

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Reborn vegetables, Ban Bang Phalp, Samut Songkharm

The sap was collected by cutting the fruit bearing branches of the tree, incidentally these trees only produce sap and don’t produce coconuts. It is collected overnight and are then taken to the workshop for production of coconut sugar candies.

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A Ban Bang Phalp shop

No wonder our next stop was the sugar factory where we had a hand on experience of making candy out of the freshly collected coconut sap.

Next we visited a Ban Bang Phalp shop which sold not only coconut sugar candies but also various other organic items produced from the region.

The most interesting item on sale was the reborn vegetables. The interior of various vegetables, especially those with a bitter taste, were scooped out and soaked it coconut sugar solution giving it a sweet taste and a new lease of life. The most in demand was the new born ‘sweet’ bitter gourd.

Note: I visited Thailand as part of a FAM trip organized by Tourism authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai Airways.

Special Thanks:

  • Aso Lori (TAT, New Delhi) and Sajid Khan (Thai Airways, Kolkata)
  • My fellow FAM participants Amit Sachdev (Unique Air Travels), Sanjay Kr Kothari (Just Holidays), Vandana Arya (Gainwell Leisure Holidays), Piyush Banerjee (Discovery Holidays), Asif Alim (Neptune Holidays) and Nandini Gangully (T2, The Telegraph)

 

 

 

 

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  1. May 26, 2019 at 10:50 AM

    Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I love places with amazing beauty. I will be sure to visit this location. Thank you for sharing! I really appreciate the work you have done, you explained everything in such an amazing and simple way.Good post. I was searched for this topic.

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