PHP Warning: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is no longer supported, use preg_replace_callback instead in ..../includes/class_bootstrap.php(433) : eval()'d code on line 110
Jim Thompson Farm Tour
Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30,363
    Thanks
    6,408
    Thanked 5,318 Times in 3,446 Posts

    Jim Thompson Farm Tour

    RUSTIC RECREATION
    A day of rollicking family fun at the Jim Thompson Farm in Nakhon Ratchasima

    Story by KITTIMA SETHI


    Visiting pumpkin patches is a traditional and fun-filled outing for many American families during Halloween and early autumn - and now you can have an equally great day out at a pumpkin farm right here in Thailand.
    Situated in the vicinity of several famous silk-weaving villages in Pak Thong Chai, a district of the northeastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, the Jim Thompson Farm encompasses an expansive 600 rai (about 96 hectares) of vegetable plantations, nurseries with ornamental flowers, orchards, fields of sunflower and, of course, a pumpkin patch.
    A huge reservoir sits among the farmland, on one side of which are rolling hills covered with thickets of bamboo. Blanketing the farm are mulberry bushes whose leaves not only feed the silkworms which have earned international fame for products sold under the Jim Thompson brand, but are also used to make a tea-like beverage of excellent nutritional value.
    The farm, 250 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, is a leisurely three-hour drive from the capital along the Ayutthaya-Saraburi-Pak Chong route. It makes for a fantastic day out, especially for families with children, for it lets them experience and learn farm activities hands-on - far from the hustle and bustle of city life and away from the shopping malls and movie halls.


    This vehicle is used to take visitors on tours of the farm.


    A typical rural abode used to showcase the lifestyle of Isan people in former times.

    It opened to the public in 2001 and has since become a popular agro- and eco-tourism attraction, particularly during the supposedly cool months of December and January when visitors arrive in large numbers to enjoy the rural landscape and observe farming activities.
    However, when I visited the farm recently the weather was still quite warm. You can blame it on global warming but my advise to visitors is they carry their own umbrellas for cover from the scorching midday sun and their own snacks and refreshments as most food sold at the farm is the traditional Isan type, hot and spicy, not suited to everyone's palate. Meals can be enjoyed under the shade of trees or umbrellas planted at regular intervals complete with seating arrangements and drink stalls.
    Wagons with just roof for cover and pulled by tractors take visitors around. The beauty of the tour is that you can get off at any point and explore the farm on your own, then hop back on the wagon as it is driven up and down slopes traversing orchards, mulberry and vegetable plantations, flower nurseries and sunflower belts.


    The well-maintained plant nursery is a feast for the senses.


    Sunflowers bloom during the cool, dry season.

    The first stop is a centre cultivating various species of mushroom. It is carried out using microscopic spores, rather than seeds, in an environmentally-controlled room. A variety of mushrooms harvested over a period of several weeks are on display in beds and trays or growing on substrate. Other highlights here are a nursery of ornamental plants and a hydroponic vegetable garden.
    At the next stop, visitors get to observe up close the life cycle of silkworms and how silk is produced. Trays of silkworms, from eggs to cocoon are on display and it is not surprising to see how these worms fatten themselves in just a few weeks by feeding greedily on mulberry leaves that are in abundant supply throughout the year.


    The farm was set up in 1988 primarily as a source of raw material for silk production. Silk farming, or sericulture, involves breeding hybrid silkworms and the cultivation of top grade eggs that are then sold to contract farmers.
    There is also a demonstration on how silk thread is extricated from the cocoon, still done today in the traditional way, where the cocoon are boiled and then reeled in by hand. This was probably the most exciting stop for many youngsters and adults alike. Aroused with curiosity, many youngsters fired questions and local villagers had a busy time fielding them. It was encouraging to see this show of interest and hopefully an appreciation of local wisdom by today's youth.

    The Phi Ta Khon ghost masks have proved an instant hit.


    Children have fun carving and decorating pumpkins.

    On display were also a collection of traditional Isan style houses built to showcase the way of life in times past. One of them was a 200-year-old house brought and put on display from Baan Sukang, a village in Taku sub-district of Pak Thong Chai.
    There was a live demonstration of how the legendary Phi Ta Khon ghost masks of Loei province are made. It proved a photo opportunity for visitors who rushed to try them on!
    The highlight of the tour definitely was the final stop where cameras could be heard clicking away even before the visitors descended the wagon.
    Fields of sunflowers in full bloom and giant pumpkins in all shapes, colours and sizes you can imagine - created a pandemonium as visitors raced to get their pictures taken. Had there been a scarecrow and a carved jack-o-lantern, one would have certainly felt it was close to Halloween!


    Curious onlookers watch the demonstration on how silk thread is harvested from the cocoons.


    A variety of vegetables are grown here using hydroponic farming technique. Fresh produce is also available for sale.

    Where as sunflower fields can also be found in nearby provinces of Lop Buri and Saraburi, the pumpkin fields in shades of vermillion, green and yellow are unique to this farm, with people interacting with the vegetable - in various shapes and sizes - by touching them, carrying them, eating them and even sitting on them.
    There were dozens of pumpkins on display at an empty field for people to marvel at and take pictures. Various breeds of edible pumpkins were also steamed and sliced for people to sample. Others were just miniature ornamental pumpkins visitors took home for decoration and souvenirs.
    In addition to pumpkins fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, cut flowers and ornamental plants, wholesome farm-made snack foods including vegetable and fruit chips, honey and mulberry tea leaves are on sale at the farm. A variety of squash and gourd in various colours are also grown and once dried, are sold to villagers who transform them into handicrafts such as lamps, bowls and other decorative items.

    Bangkok Post

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    10,788
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 940 Times in 501 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm

    I saw this artilce in the newspaper and have made a note to make my own visit to that area next month. I had an offer to write a review about a guesthouse in Pakchong so I am looking for more places to visit in this area. I recently went to Farm Chockchai and my review of that place will appear at www.thai-blogs.com soon.

    For people who don't know, my travel blogs are archived at www.ThailandGuidebook.com, www.BangkokGuidebook.com and www.Bangkok-Daytrips.com.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Nakhon Ratchasima
    Posts
    298
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm

    Thank you Khun Don for this informative article. I have taken my family to Farm Chok Chai but I was unaware of Jim Thompsons farm in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
    Having places such as this that are geared towards family enjoyment is a treat so close to home since I'm only there a limited time thru out the year.
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bangjak
    Posts
    1,354
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm

    I've noticed there are a lot of resort hotels around Pakchong. My friend's wife says that land and houses around there have rocketed in price in recent years. The reason, she says, is that the area is popular among Bangkokians who fear Bangkok may one day soon sink to own a second home. Farther from the sea yet not too far from Bangkok.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    10,788
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 940 Times in 501 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm

    PRESS RELEASE - Jim Thompson Farm

    The Jim Thompson Farm Tour 2008

    Last year’s Jim Thompson Farm Tour welcomed over 23,000 visitors! To meet such a demand, this year’s opening hours have been extended as well as the total number of days for the farm tour.

    Open Every Day from 09.00 am until 05.00 pm beginning on Saturday, 20 December 2008 through Sunday, 4 January 2009.

    An exciting variety of agricultural, cultural, and just pure fun activities will educate and entertain all visitors—both young and old.

    Highlights of the farm tour:
    Mushroom cultivation, hydroponic flower gardens, silkworm rearing, decorative plant nurseries and large fields of colorful flowers and sunflowers waving in the bright sunshine are just a few of the events to be enjoyed. The giant pumpkin patch still remains the favorite family attraction. The variety in shapes and sizes of the multitude of pumpkins on display in the fields and already harvested are truly impressive and provide endless opportunities for memorable family photographs.

    New agricultural attractions for 2008 include: organic farming of fruits and vegetables and rice fields where assorted Isan rice varieties have been planted and will be ready to harvest during the farm tour period. Our visitors will have the opportunity to mill their own rice using antique hand-operated wooden rice grinders. Afterwards, they can winnow the rice themselves and then take home their own “rice crop”. Our formidable, sturdy water buffalo, “Boonlai”, will be standing by available for photographs.

    The Isan and Korat villages are star attractions featuring antique houses unique in architecture and in pristine condition. These traditional Isan and Korat houses and various structures commonly found in rural areas are fast disappearing. The village project is an effort to conserve, as well as preserve, the fast disappearing architecture, crafts and style of living in northeastern Thailand. In doing so, Jim Thompson seeks to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Thai-Lao peoples who inhabit northeastern Thailand. Various village activities will take place around and in the Isan and Korat houses such as traditional ceremonies and native dances, A better appreciation and understanding of Isan culture by both foreigh and Thai visitors will certainly result.

    The Jim Thompson Farm is ideally located, lying between the large Lam Samlai Reservoir and the steep, bamboo-infested Phrayaprab Hills. The farm covers an area of 721 rai or 280 acres. It was established in 1988 primarily to raise mulberry for the production of silkworm eggs and silk cocoons (sericulture).

    Subsequent improvements in mulberry productivity made possible by advanced agricultural techniques (drip-irrigation) and other farm efficiencies, have allowed greater use of the land for a multitude of other agricultural purposes and, finally, tourist activities.

    The Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company has long been committed to promoting Thai raw silk production in the village of northeastern Thailand (Isan). Mr. Jim Thompson first visited Pak Thong Chai in the 1950’s, where he found a thriving village of silk weavers many of whom become “pioneer” suppliers selling their hand woven silkd to the Thai Silk Company (Jim Thompson).

    The Company has an active program of propagating hybrid silkworm eggs of a high standard and quality for distribution to the thousands of villages throughout the Northeastern (Isan). The silkworm eggs are packaged in the batches of 18,000 eggs and carefully transported to distribution centers where the villagers take delivery. In a matter of days the eggs hatch and the rearing cycle begins. After a few weeks the villagers can opt to sell the fresh cocoons or reel the cocoons into skeins to sell to Jim Thompson. Both the traditional golden yellow Thai silk cocoons and the Chinese hybrid white cocoons can be reared by the villagers depending on their skills and the village environment.

    The Jim Thompson farm entrance is certainly unique with hundreds of wooden buffalo cartwheels from days gone by lining the road and fencing-in the vast mulberry fields. At the main entrance, farm tour tickets can be purchased (Adults Baht 50 / US$ 1.50 and Children Baht 30 / US$ 0.85). Several vehicle parking lots are located near to the farm entrance. Also located in this area are bathroom facilities and a wheelchair access bathroom.

    Adjacent to the entrance is the Farmer’s Market where a large selection of fresh pesticide-free fruits and vegetables and a variety of farm-made snack foods are on sale. In great demand are the delicious melons and cantaloupes. The farm is also famous for raising pumpkins in all shapes and sizes, and all are on sale here. There is also an interesting assortment of selected merchandise and traditional hand woven textiles from the Jim Thompson factory available for purchase.

    Northeastern food is given top billing on the Jim Thompson farm. You will find a full array of Isan food vendors selling a wide variety of tempting northeastern dishes, especially chosen to please and fire-up your taste buds. In an open-air casual setting with lovely views of the mulberry plantation and surrounding greenery, visitors can enjoy a tasty Isan meal.

    For this year’s Jim Thompson Farm Tour, round-trip transportation from Bangkok to Jim Thompson Farm in Nakhon Ratchasima is provided for visitors during weekends and New Year’s holidays. For more information, please contact 08-5660-7339, 0-2762-2566 or e-mail: farmtour@jimthompson.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Nakhon Ratchasima
    Posts
    298
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm Tour

    Thanks again for this post Khun Don and Khun Richard. I'm taking my family down to see Jim Thompsons farm this weekend. The kids are really excited.
    " The present is an outcome of the past which will have bearings on the future."
    Bhuddhadasa Bhikku 1906-1993

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    30,363
    Thanks
    6,408
    Thanked 5,318 Times in 3,446 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm Tour

    Please let us know what you think of the farm-have a great visit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    10,788
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    41
    Thanked 940 Times in 501 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm Tour

    Quote Originally Posted by mangomike View Post
    Thanks again for this post Khun Don and Khun Richard. I'm taking my family down to see Jim Thompsons farm this weekend. The kids are really excited.
    It has limited opening every year.

    Open Every Day from 09.00 am until 05.00 pm beginning on Saturday, 19 December 2009 through Sunday, 10 January 2010.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UdonThani
    Posts
    3
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Jim Thompson Farm Tour

    Sounds like good fun. i am Farming in Udon but Under 100 Ria mosly Rice Chicken Fish and Fruit. AA wood Trees for paper making
    like your idea a working farm. Next time i am down south i will take a look. hope you have a nice festive season

    Regards Charlie

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •