Ban Krachaeng is a community situated along River Noi, a tributary of the Chao Phraya River. This waterway winds its way amidst the central plains as it passes through Chai Nat, Sing Buri, Ang Thong and Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya before it merges with the Chao Phraya River at Bang Sai District. Ban Krachaeng is located in a low-lying plain at the end of the waterway where the River Noi has a rather direct flow. Its riverbends and shady tree lines made it a popular place where Mon boats or Krachaeng boats (which are large, roofed boats used for commerce) used to travel long distances to rest. Eventually, a permanent settlement became established here and the place became known as Ban Krachaeng due to the large number of commercial boats of the Mon people who used to stop there.
Ban Krachaeng is an agricultural community that encounters frequent flooding. Therefore, the houses constructed here are raised up high and boats are tied under the basements of nearly every house. It is local wisdom passed down since the times of Ayutthaya for people in the central region who live near water. Water currents here flow slowly and also overflow due to the merging with Chao Phraya River. Because of two different waters that flow through here, the river is abundant in shrimp. Ban Krachaeng locals are highly-skilled in the rowing of boats as they catch very large and fresh shrimp. Grilled shrimp with sweet sauce made with neem leaves or a chili dip made of crushed garlic, lime and fish sauce is not only a tasty menu for receiving guests but also tells an excellent story about the natural abundance that coexists with this community.
Ban Krachaeng Sufficiency Philosophy Learning Center has stations for entertaining learning activities for children and families. People can learn about the matters close at hand like rice farming in the central region, growing mushrooms in mushroom houses, raising crickets for protein-rich foods, making Thai desserts and dishes identified with the central region and building models of Krachaeng boats, the boats that became the namesake of the community. All stories and learning can be linked with other learning such as history, geography and science. The adaptation of the community members in the low plains has led to a simple lifestyle by which abundance is reflected through satisfying meals. Learning outside the classroom improves our understanding and Krachaeng community is another example of an extraordinary and rich learning experience.
True learning might not happen from studying about difficult matters far away from us, but instead from getting to know about the simple things around us that connect us with the environment.
Krachaeng Learning Center is about 50 kilometers away from Bangkok. It takes about one hour to drive there by private car. The most convenient routes are the Udon Ratthaya Expressway or Pakret–Bang Pa-in Expressway; exit at Bang Pa-in toll gate. You can also travel to Ayutthaya by train; depart from Bangkok Hua Lampong Station to Ayutthaya Station. Available car rental services companies include Thai Rent Eco Car, Car Rent Ayutthaya, Bizcar and Smile Thai Car Rent.
Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center is another tourist destination that can be found near Krachaeng community. It is a place where exquisite arts and crafts made by master craftsmen from all around the nation. You can find textiles, particularly top-quality silk, wicker products, carvings, silverware, etc. here, and the center also sells handicraft products straight from production.
Furthermore, about 27 kilometers away, you can visit Bang Pa-in Palace where there are many exquisite pavilions separated from one another only by water canals. Wat Niwet Thammaprawat Ratchaworawihan is the only royal temple in Thailand that was constructed in the style of a Christian church.
Distinguished dishes in Bang Sai District are feature fresh shrimp. We recommend Rim Nam Bang Sai Restaurant where grilled river shrimp, fresh lotus stems, shrimp claws stir-fry, fried common sheath fish and clown knifefish are all on the menu. And another restaurant that you should try out is Si Kwae Kung Pao Restaurant. For coffee, try out The Bang Sai Café near Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Center where both coffee and toast are served.
Krua Nong Tel. 035-289-288
TRIFECTA Tel. 084-015-0011
Kuai Teaw Rea Boran, Krua Klang Tung Tel.089-611-3272
Ban Sikuuk Bed and Breakfast Tel. 081-930-0118
Ban Thai Kae Ook Tel. 084-015-0887
Bang Pla Mor Riverview Resort Tel. 098-507-6377
Ayutthaya Garden River Home Tel. 035-70-4440
Dome Resort Tel. 081-948-5610
Contact the community
Khun Ratri Kaeopunsi (Village Headwoman) Tel. 098-343-7940
We use the concept “Grow everything we eat and eat everything we grow” at the core of our learning and we teach it to international school children and families who have the opportunity to experience it.
Tourism and learning at Ban Toong Kraprong is fun-filled. The odd name “Ban Toong Kraprong” (Skirt Field Village) is in fact a linguistic corruption from Ban Toong Kapong, named due to its open field surroundings connected to the edges of Khao Yai’s forests. In the past, large wild animals, especially elephants, would frequently sneak down to feed on cultivated vegetables after nightfall. The “kapong” or a type of bamboo instruments would then be knocked together to create loud noises reverberating throughout the village. Because later generations do not know about the kapong, the name eventually became corrupted into Toong Kraprong.
The problem with wild animals feeding on crops helped the locals realize that what they plant for sale cannot be anything that was edible. This is because they would suffer a loss when prices dropped or wouldn’t even be able to keep and sustain themselves. As a result, they shifted toward cultivating fruit trees such as santol, durian, mangosteen, rambutan and langsat instead. These are fruit trees suitable for tropical forests. At the same time they preserved large trees planted ever since the times of their parents for shade such as yang na and krabok trees.
While waiting for produce from their trees, the locals earn supplementary income by planting vegetable ferns underneath the shade of the large trees, relying on the good water circulation in the land. Because the water here is clear, it is perfect for growing vegetable ferns, which need running water. Eventually, Ban Toong Kraprong became a place known for its vegetable fern cultivation located not far from the city, and so demands caused merchants to pay daily visits to purchase it.
The fruits grown here are also grown naturally without chemicals. Because people rely on growing them for eating first, produce quality is high. Pa Kha golden pillow durians are currently famous throughout Nakhon Nayok.
Thus, Ban Toong Kraprong is an excellent source of agricultural and ecological learning for children and families because there are many fun activities to create new experiences for visitors, particularly in regards to eating. Not only that, various vegetables such as vegetable ferns, phak tiu and other leafy vegetables are harvested and eaten with local chili pastes and a variety of fruits can be harvested during the monsoon season from May to July. It’s also a place where you can learn how to make three-flavored santol, a local delicacy of Ban Toong Kraprong. Although a lot of these activities are about agriculture and eating, the essence of the experience is the story representing the natural relationships between and cycles of plants, water and soil.
Success and preservation of large trees in ancestral lands such as krabok and yang na trees and cultivation of vegetable fern in the shade of fruit trees like durian, mangosteen, rambutan and santol in addition to the many eating activities provide a glimpse into the relationships between soil and water.
Travel by private vehicle is about 100 kilometers by Rangsit-Ongkarak-Ban Na Road. From Ban Na Market, take Highway No. 3222 Ban Na-Kaeng Khoi then travel for another seven kilometers. Otherwise use a Bangkok–Nakhon Nayok passenger van service from the Victory Monument for a stop at Ban Na Market. By train, depart from Bangkok Hua Lampong Station to Ban Na Station. Available car rental services include Nakhon Nayok Car Rent, Thai Rent Eco Car and Smile Thai Car Rent.
Nearby destinations for nature tourism include Kra Ang Waterfall and Krok E-Dok Waterfall.
There are also additional adventures awaiting at Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy.
Don Ka Born Restaurant Tel.037-382-497
Krua Long Sert Tel.037-632-379
V Bistro Nakhon Nayok Tel.081-865-0405
Kaengfah Resort Tel.089-829-2299
Banna Resort Tel.095-929-2594
Nadol Resort Tel.094-967-8448
Ban Suan Resort Tel.098-303-9095
Chormalee Resort Tel.084-877-0379
Contact the community
Mr. Sommai Ketkaeo (Village Headman) Tel. 098-468-5499, 085-430-3194
Khun Nung Tel. 086-311-4804
As this traditional community located in peaceful coconut orchard has been transformed into an outdoor classroom, students can learn about coconuts, traditional Thai music and temples from the reign of King Taksin as well as about wind and water. Doing so vitalizes the orchard of Ban Bang Plub. The coconut orchard community at Bang Khonthi has been established for over 200 years. Its old temples are Bang Plub Temple and Kaen Chan Charoen Temple, which does not only boast a Chan tree that is over 200 years old but also an authentic traditional central Thai monk’s abode constructed during the reign of King Taksin.
Local experts in various fields have come together to establish a community learning center to share knowledge and a variety of local wisdom. Learning is centered on coconuts and also takes place in the traditional rows inside coconut orchard. The learning stations at Bang Plub community are hidden among the homes of “sages” in various subjects in the community. Bicycles will carry students safely from class to class because the roads are covered in shade and do not have heavy traffic.
Traditional knowledge includes how to boil coconut sugar into lump sugar. In the past, sugar would be placed inside flat earthenware known as “moh tan”. Sugar production would start from the cutting of male coconut blossom, which caused syrup to gradually drain out into a container, which would contain bitter wood chips that prevent spoilage. Next, the syrup would be boiled for several hours until dry. In the present, the stoves that are used are energy-conserving stoves that use dry coconut leaf stalk, shells and husks for fuel.
After coconut syrup is turned into sweet sugar, it is used to make desserts and in cooking because coconut sugar tastes better than cane sugar. Coconut shells are also made into “saws” (traditional Thai fiddle). It is a musical instrument that has been popular ever since the reign of King Rama II. We can learn about the history of the “saw” at Ban Phaya Saw. It’s worth noting that Bang Khonthi is a source of coconuts used in the making of saws because only special triangular coconuts are chosen to be made into saws. Because the farmers at Ban Bang Plub have lived with fruits for so long, they have come up with methods for fruits to become “reborn”, from being so sour that nobody wanted to taste into sweet and tasty treats. This rebirth process is either by boiling or preserving fruits in syrup. Not only are they sweet and fragrant, they also look attractive. Even weirder, fruits can also be made into charcoal. Using Pi Sathapon’s techniques, leftover fruits are made into fruit-shaped charcoal which helps absorb odors, or can be displayed attractively as decorations.
At Ban Bang Plub we sometimes hear the sound of rustling coconut leaves caused by the wind. Grandpa Udom will take us to learn about wind using tools that every child is sure to like. He will take us to make kites and the kites that we make are not just usual kites. They are giant swallow-shaped or pufferfish-shaped kites that help let us know the direction of the wind in the season.
Travel by car is only a little over 90 kilometers from Bangkok. It takes only one hour from Rama II Road. If you want to travel by train, depart from Bangkok Wongwienyai Station to Mahachai Station, and then take a car from there to Mae Klong. Available car rental services companies include Thai Rent Eco Car, Smile Thai Car Rent and Summer Car Rent.
Ban Bang Plub is on the opposite side of Bang Kung Camp, a destination for historical tourism. You can ride a boat across the Mae Klong River to visit it. The same is true for King Rama II Memorial Park and Amphawa Floating Market. They are famous tourist destinations less than 10 minutes away.
This area is known for its eating places, especially of Thai cuisine and river shrimp. Restaurants located along the comfortable atmosphere of the river include Pailin River Terrace found close to Bang Kung Temple and Chao Samran Restaurant. However, if you want easy single-dish meals, then you can try Bang Khonthi Jak Duck Grill, an old restaurant along the road from Amphawa Floating Market to Bang Khonthi.
Krua Pae Kung Mae Nam Bang Prom Tel.089-410-2675
Som Tum Bang Plub Tel.081-575-3868
The Kittens Koffie Arts ‘n Eats Tel.099-971-7347
Suan Ban Kalapapruk Tel.082-441-7429
Ban Nuan Chan Resort Tel.034-761-597
Mee Pawa Resort Tel.086-709-3305
River CoCo@amphawa Tel.088-000-9169, 086-644-4648
Baantip Suantong Resort Tel.099-362-3245, 096-346-9496
Contact the community
Mr. Songyot Saengtawan Tel.081-274-4433
The Western cowboy-style atmosphere of Ban Nam Sup Community is due to its buildings and home-stay accommodations. About 20 minutes after leaving Kaeng Krachan, you’ll reach Ban Nam Sup. It is almost like wandering into the goldrush period. But the cowboys at Ban Nam Sup are cowboys digging for gold from the rich and abundant land of their own homes, which consist of a low plain situated further north of Kaeng Krachan Dam.
Learning at Ban Nam Sup began with community leaders who wanted to improve unity in the village. It eventually became a self-sufficiency agricultural lifestyle project based on the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. As the community got their hands dirty and gained some knowledge, they opened up a learning center focused on adapting and living close to nature.
The outstanding feature of this “sufficiency economy cowboy school” is that, beyond natural agriculture and self-sufficiency learning stations, there are horseback-riding activities. Once you know how to ride, you can take part in a program to ride out into the trees and explore the natural surroundings of the village found on the northern side of Kaeng Krachan Dam. The horses raised here are both native breeds and large horses previously in the service of the army. Ban Nam Sup is a place for rehabilitation and care for these horses, and so the horses take part in learning activities. There are regular rides to patrol for illegal logging at the community forest.
In addition to the learning stations on things like how to make wooden charcoal, herbal insect repellants, biofertilizers, produce-enhancing plant hormones, rolled wafer and processed fruits, children can also intimately learn about horses, whether how to care for them, feed them or get to know them. Then they can practice riding in the training ground with close supervision from experts. Once they are very familiar with riding, they can ride outside and explore the woods and nature. Horses are particularly suitable for nature tourism because they don’t need fuel and they don’t make very loud noises.
Because Baan Nam Sup is located to the north of Kaeng Krachan Dam, the villagers are familiar with fishing. Therefore, fishing activities take place for cooking involving local raw materials along with organic vegetables, all of which provide an even more fun and richer learning experience.
Ban Nam Sup is located about 15 km away from the Kaeng Krachan District. The route passes through woods and farmlands. Therefore, private vehicles are probably the best method of travel to visit this place. It takes no more than two hours and 30 minutes of travel from Bangkok along Rama II Road passing through Wang Manao Intersection, Khao Yoi, Phetchaburi City, Tha Yang District and then Kaeng Krachan. The route is somewhat indirect, but the roads are in good condition and you pass by many tourist destinations, especially Phra Nakhon Khiri. You can also travel by train; depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Phetchaburi Station, then take a Song Taew mini bus in front of the station to the van station in front of Big C. Available car rental services companies include Smile Thai Car Rent and Summer Car Rent.
For tourist destinations in this area, in addition to Phra Nakhon Khiri or Khao Wang, you might want to spend time admiring the beauty of Mahathat Worawiharn Temple. It is constructed with elegant mortar work by contemporary craftsmen from Phetchaburi. Additionally, there is also Yai Suwannaram Temple, which showcases Ayutthaya masterpieces in Phetchaburi. Then as you are a little closer to Ban Nam Sup, there is Kaeng Krachan Dam where boat-rowing, water play, bird-watching and forest hiking activities allow you to learn about nature at Kaeng Krachan National Park.
Chai Hart Restaurant Tel.089-258-8790
Little Forest Coffee House Tel.098-284-8231
TP Lake View Tel.092-773-5598
Baan Rai Sook Sang Chan Tel.032-706-079
Kaeng Krachan Resort & Fishing Park Tel.085-405-5629
Long Yod Resort Tel.032-459-078
Baan Thanthip Tel.087-922-6187
Contact the community
Ban Nam Sup community Tel. 092-947-5984, 092-610-4835
Baan Bu-Sai tourism and learning community is situated at the base of a mountain near Thap Lan National Park, which is part of Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai World Heritage Site. This place started out by an effort to grow mushrooms. However, the beautiful natural surroundings and good climate attracted support for the development of community and home-stay tourism. It distinguishes itself by its comfortable and cool weather, its simple lifestyle and focus on sustainable agriculture and cultivation of locally-suitable crops such as mushrooms. Mushroom-growing knowledge has been developed here for production of high-quality mushrooms in places without year-round cool weather. In addition, asters are grown for export along with salad vegetables, chemical-free vegetables, grapes and arum flowers and people engage in mixed farming.
Vegetable-growing has been turned into a family learning activity. Children can experience organic farms and engage in real activities like the locals. The “e-tak” (a type of farm tractor), which is a smaller sibling of the “e-taen” (another type of farm tractor) is used to access farm plots. In addition, accommodations are shared with the community, as houses are opened up into home-stays with clearly set partitions. It is an authentic farmer’s life learning experience.
In addition fun in the vegetable patches, there is also a program to take children up to Pha Kep Ta Wan where they can watch beautiful sunsets and feel fog carried by the wind brushing against their faces. There makha seeds can be shot by using slingshots to send them shuttling down the cliff to help spread the trees.
Tour the forest and visit Suan Hom Waterfall and Huai Yai Waterfall. They are the sources of water supplying the cliff-side farms at Wang Nam Khiao. You can see how nature is connected with the community. Last but not least, head on over to spy on some gaurs at Khao Phaeng Ma. They attest to the return of wildlife in habitats that are restored and safe from poaching.
Learning activities at Baan Bu-Sai do not consist of just taking children to experience hands-on learning in sustainable farming but also extend to world heritage forests to create understanding about how to live in harmony with nature, lowering chemical use and instead using local agricultural materials for fertilizers for lowering expenses and chemicals that contaminate water sources. This new understanding is not gained in a stressful classroom but instead from play and eating.
We invite children to take part in the laboratory that is this small community at the edge of Khao Yai-Thap Lan forests forming a part of a world heritage site and engage in endless research.
To travel to Wang Nam Khiao, you can use an air-conditioned vehicle or passenger van services. The total distance is about 260 km and the trip takes a little over four hours. You can then catch a ride from Wang Nam Khiao Market on KM. 79 Market to reach the community. Driving is a good option, because it gives you an opportunity to view the attractive scenery along Highway No. 304 Kabinburi-Pak Thong Chai-Nakhon Ratchasima, which passes through Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai World Heritage Site. The route is curvy and steep at a section between Kilometers 75 and 90. By train, depart from Bangkok Station Hua Lampong to Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) station. Available car rental services companies include Avis, Promt Car Rent, Nakhon Taxi, Pluz Rent a Car and Nakhon Car Rent.
In addition to the resort atmosphere at Wang Nam Khiao where the climate is considered to be one of the best in the country, there are other attractive tourist destinations near Thap Lan National Park such as Pha Kep Ta Wan and gorgeous waterfalls that can be included in your community tourism program.
Krua Ton Sai Tel.089-718-7944
Khun Toi Tel.087-483-2188
Sunset Lagoon Tel.089-938-3539
Nadedow Resort Tel.081-639-3139
Ban Suansukho Farm Stay Tel.081-914-4763
De Bua Valley Resort Wangnamkeaw Tel.081-718-1191
Katom Mai Jai Tip Tel.089-584-3417
Contact the community
Lung In Tel. 081-068-6887
Khun Rattanavadee Tel. 085-025-8447