Salt has long been used in Thailand, not just for flavouring food but also as a preservative in the days before refrigeration was widespread. Salt minerals are also used in many of Thailand’s spa treatments and the health industry in skin scrubs and massage treatments.
Thailand has long had a tradition of salt farming which is concentrated around the areas of Petchaburi, Samut Sakhon, and Samut Songkhram on the Gulf of Thailand near Bangkok as well as in Pattani in the Southern Region.
Salt farming is a labour intensive industry that can only be carried out in the hottest months of the year. Fields are shallowly flooded with seawater and left till the water has evaporated. The salt is then collected into piles for workers to carry away in shoulder baskets for bagging.
The salt industry is celebrated annually in a three-day Art of Salt Festival in Phetchaburi every March. The festival featured educational displays as well as sculptures made of salt by local artists, including the landmark sculpture of a pair of lovers that was lit up in the evening.
The festival also offered visitors the chance to enjoy some local food, learn about a traditional product and support one of Thailand’s most important grassroots industries.
Source: TAT – www.tatnews.org
Tourism Authority of Thailand