You don’t have to be very long in Thailand to discover the huge reverence in which His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is held by the Thai people. After all, he has dedicated his life to improving the lot of his subjects, to fighting poverty and to helping preserve the kingdom’s national resources for future generations. And nowhere is his dedication more evident than in the various Royal Projects, which His Majesty has initiated in rural areas up and down the country.
As the most travelled monarch in Thailand’s history, King Bhumibol knows firsthand the problems that rural people face when working the land to provide for their communities. So he initiated the Royal Projects back in 1969 as a way of seeking solutions to problems; such as, poverty and opium production in the Golden Triangle region of the North. By promoting alternative crops and encouraging reforestation, he was able to give farmers a new source of income and a sense of pride in their products and community.
All of the Royal Projects are started only after close cooperation with the local people and experts to ensure the very best results. There are also six Royal Development Study Centres around the country where research takes place and regional strategies are developed. Farmers can visit these centres to improve their knowledge and learn about environmental conservation.
Royal Projects have now been initiated all over the kingdom and as well as boosting local economies, helping promote water conservation, swamp drainage, self-sufficiency and the preservation of Thailand’s forests. The Projects are not just aimed at helping people with their immediate needs, but also to help future generations enjoy the nation’s rich natural heritage. These Royal Projects also offer tourists a new way of experiencing Thailand and of making a real grassroots connection with the kingdom’s diverse people.
For all the Royal Projects welcome visitors, be it for a few hours or several days, and there is a diverse range of things to do. You could find yourself learning how to make a unique local dish, releasing fish into the Thai seas, feeding cattle or teaching the village children before spending a night under the roof of a local family and joining their meals and laughter.
Already the Royal Projects are offering businesses and organisations new ways to offer incentives or to boost teamwork while contributing to grassroots communities. But to casual tourists, they can make a great way of making memories.
Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand www.tatnews.org