KingRamaIV

By Marisa Chicarelli

You only have to be in Thailand a few moments to realise how much Thais revere the monarchy. Especially the king.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej was crowned in 1950. Almost immediately, he embarked on a tireless campaign to improve the lives of his subjects with environmentally sustainable agriculture projects, scientific and engineering breakthroughs, and philosophies and tenets on how to be financially sufficient.

Not satisfied with making proclamations from a palace or performing infrequent, perfunctory visits, His Majesty has spent his reign regularly travelling around the country, conducting surveys, overseeing projects, and talking to his subjects, great and small. Scenes of warm interactions with everyday people through the years have endeared His Majesty in hearts all over the Kingdom.

So it’s fitting that December 5 is celebrated in Thailand not only as His Majesty’s birthday, but also as Father’s Day.

As the season of holidays and long weekends are upon us, consider visiting one of the many regions touched by a Royal Project. Here are just a few:

The Golden Triangle

Thailand was once an intrinsic part of the Golden Triangle, producing 200 metric tonnes of opium annually. Now, it’s below two tonnes and decreasing, thanks to the Royal Project and the Highland Research Development Institute. Farmers and hill tribes were encouraged to grow alternative crops economically equivalent to or greater than poppies, expanding Thailand’s agricultural offerings and improving the lives of subsistence farmers.

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Discover the hill tribes of the Golden Triangle:

Kanchanaburi

The Royal-initiated Huai Ongkod Project, Kanchanaburi Province, is one of His Majesty’s land management initiatives. Each farmer is allocated land for residence and agricultural activities. Vocational training is provided as well as fundamental infrastructure such as roads, electricity, schools, and hospitals. The project endeavours to improve the people’s well-being while developing and rehabilitating the surrounding forests.

Pack

Travel around Kanchanaburi by bicycle:

Waterway conservation

His Majesty has been at the forefront of many projects to preserve the waterways of Thailand. These range from innovative uses of water hyacinths and aerating machines to treat wastewater to various dam projects for flood prevention and crop irrigation throughout the country.

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Witness the thriving waterways of Thailand:

 

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