Tourists can experience farm life in Thailand
Pictured above: A visitor to the Organic Agriculture Project is ready to pick mangoes with a net.
Pick and choose turns into choose and pick at times for those visiting the Organic Agriculture Project in Sukhothai, Thailand.
The project invites tourists to spend a morning trying typical Thai agricultural practices, among them planting rice by hand and harvesting mangoes with a net.
The project was started by a wealthy doctor who wanted to both create employment in the area and encourage more Thai farmers to go the organic farming route.
“You’re hands-on,” says Chad Intrachooto of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, who’s spent a morning at the site.
Among the guided activities is identifying ripe mangoes and then picking them from their trees with a net, and standing in a watery rice field, planting rice.
Participants travel from one project site to another by tractor.
A lunch is provided after.
Tours are normally given during the morning, although afternoon ones can be arranged, with Intrachooto cautioning that afternoons will expose participants to a tropical sun at its strongest.
The Organic Agriculture Project also is home to albino water buffalo, a mini zoo
and an orchid farm.
The tour costs around US$30, with discounts available to those staying at the nearby upscale Sukhothai Heritage Hotel.
Intrachooto says those who go on the tour may end up with a new-found appreciation for the Thai food they enjoy, noting that those who plant rice – a staple of Thai cuisine – are often bent over under a powerful sun.
“Ì think when you experience the hard work these farmers do, you appreciate the food more because you know how much work went into it,” he suggests.