Diplomats from 25 countries travel to Rayong province to take in the sufficiency philosophy and how it connects with tourism
Diplomats from 25 countries joined the recent journey of exploration to the Pluak Daeng Royal Development Study Centre and Pak Nam Prasae Community in Rayong Province in the third of five excursions organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as part of its project to showcase His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s philosophy for sustainable tourism.
“The aim of this project is to connect the King’s philosophy with tourism,” explained Thapanee Kiatphaibool, executive director of the TAT’s Office of the Governor.
“When we announced the project, many diplomats expressed interest in studying the philosophy of King Bhumibol and his vision of resource management close up and, above all, how his philosophy is connected to tourism.”
The project, which has already seen trips to Ratchaburi and Nakhon Pathom and will also take in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Chiang Mai, is designed to preserve and develop the king’s philosophy. The late Monarch was honoured by the United Nations in recognition of his work and philosophy.
“For Rayong we need to combine places in order to connect tourist attractions. Therefore, we have integrated Thung Prong Thong, an unseen tourist attraction, with the Pluak Daeng community. The diplomats can experience the local lifestyles, cultures and wisdom by learning about the science of herbs and integrated farming, as well as wear Thai costumes.
Taking part in the trip were Waldemar Dubaniowski of the Polish Embassy and his wife Ewa; Tugsbilguun Tumurkhuleg of Mongolia with Doljinsuren Tsend-Ayush and their son; Noh Kwang-il of the Repuplic of Korea in Thailand with Oh Chung-wha and their son; Raushan Yesbulatova of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Thailand and her son; and Dr Sanjay Kumar, secretary to the Republic of India in Thailand with his wife. Judith Schildberger, secretary of the Austrian Republic in Thailand, came together with Irina Vorobeva, third secretary of the Russian Federation in Thailand and special guest, Deirdre Boyd, along with representatives from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
“It was perfect! Definitely a worthwhile and interesting trip. Even though it was raining a little, the places we went to and the affection we could feel were unbelievable. Before I had only seen mangrove forests from afar, but today I got a chance to sail through the mangrove forests, one of Thailand’s key tourist attractions. We were touched by the beauty of nature in the mangrove, which is really well preserved. My friends and I and the ambassadors enjoyed the trip greatly and I am certain that we can all agree that what made this trip so amazing was the kindness and friendliness of the local people. Overall, we were impressed with the splendid views, delicious food, and excellent company during the trip,” enthused Waldemar Dubaniowski at the end of the trip.
“It is so wonderful to see the local people using the King’s wisdom in their daily lives. I would like to thank the team for organising such an amazing trip. I got hands-on experience in cooking and the people I spent time with were always smiling and willing to help,” said Noh Kwang-il.
“I am so impressed that King Bhumibol was so dedicated to Thai citizens not only in Bangkok, but also to those living in rural, less developed areas. The King’s philosophy is very forward-thinking and his ability to apply the sufficiency economy theory into the daily lives of the local communities for the community’s benefits makes so much sense. We have heard about the sufficiency economy many times and to be able to see it being practised in real life made us realise its true potential. The King’s vision not only benefits Thai people but also people around the world. The theory can also be applied to other Asean countries,” said Raushan Yesbulatova.
This third route focused on the theory of sufficiency economy philosophy in raising livestock and local chickens and included a visit the Freshwater Fisheries Development Research Centre to watch fish species given by the king and a demonstration of sex reversal in Nile tilapia at the Pluak Daeng Royal Development Study Centre. The guests then went on to admire the breathtaking nature at Thung Prong Thong and travelled through the mangrove forests by boat.
The excursion included a stop at Sala Chalermprakiat to taste Indian Marsh tea, kanom kala, a local dessert made of sugar and coconut, and jang lon (roasted fish cakes).
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
- Follow the five routes of the project at www.tourismthailand.org/ kingwisdom.