Chiang Rai: A Day On An Organic Farm チェンライのオーガニック農園で農業体験

Published on: July 23, 2019

In the far north of Thailand, adjacent to Myanmar, lies the province of Chiang Rai where we can experience farming in rich nature at an organic farm owned by a Japanese-run company. Shigeki shares his experience of visiting there.

By Shigeki Miyamoto / Translated by Fumi Yasui [日本語記事へ]

If you fly just over an hour north from Bangkok you can see the mountains of northern Thailand being replaced by a vast basin. You will land at Chiang Rai airport on the outskirts of this large city in northern Thailand. An organic farm named Nature Future Farm is located near the city and was originally started by a company which manufactures freeze-dried foods in order to grow vegetables and fruits as ingredients for their products. Now the farm is qualified with multiple organic certifications from several countries including Japan’s JIS certification.

Farming experience and free play

The farm experience started in the morning when it was not so hot. Getting a ride on a tractor taxi, we went up the hill toward the field. There, the older kids plowed and watered the field while the younger kids spread straw and planted red-leaf lettuce. At break time, fine homemade herbal teas like mint and chamomile were waiting for us! When the farm work was finished, we put our name on a piece of wood and placed it at the ridge we worked on.

Then it was free play time! There was a wide range of activities such as kite flying, swings, fish scooping and driving a tractor, which were so exciting that the children got completely caught up in them and we lost track of time.

Lunch and tea time

Now, let’s not forget to mention lunch. We had a special barbeque with fresh vegetables that had just been harvested from the organic farm. They were grilled over charcoal along with fresh fruits from the farm. I’m sure that the children also enjoyed it and felt how delicious and wonderful it was to have a meal in the great outdoors.

For afternoon break, we had fruit juices and coffees made at the farm’s Nature Future Caffe along the national highway. They also had herbal teas and tom yam kung which contains freeze-dried foods produced by Thai Cosmos Foods, the parent company of the farm. We also enjoyed shopping for Chiang Rai coffee, products made by the local Akha hill tribe people, and more!

Chiang Rai, a rich source of sightseeing spots

There are many more places to visit and things to do in Chiang Rai province.

The mountain area on the outskirts of Chiang Rai is home to various minority tribes including Akha, and it’s worthwhile to taste the coffee grown by them. Must-visit places are Wat Rong Khun (White Temple) which has become very famous these days, the photogenic Wat Rong Sua Ten (Blue Temple), Singha Park, Doi Tung which is famous for its flower garden, and Doi Mae Salong for its renowned tea plantations. You can even go on a one-day trip to Myanmar to enjoy the atmosphere there. Moreover, thanks to low-cost carriers the cost of flying to Chiang Rai is fairly reasonable. That’s another reason why I recommend Chiang Rai for weekend travels!

Dry season is the best

During the dry season from November to February, the weather becomes very fresh and crisp in the northern part of Thailand including Chiang Rai. I don’t hesitate to say that I am very satisfied to be in that type of weather. I highly recommend visiting Chiang Rai during the dry season.

タイ最北端、ミャンマーと国境を接するチェンライ県。日本人が運営する自然豊かなオーガニック農園で農業体験はいかがですか?

By  宮本茂樹

ドンムアン空港から1時間強。タイ北部の山々の景色が途絶え、盆地が広がると、タイ最北端の大きな街、チェンライ郊外の空港に到着です。チェンライの街の近くに、Nature Future Farmというオーガニック農園があります。フリーズドライ食品を作る会社が、原料となる野菜や果物を育てるために作った有機栽培の農園で、現在は日本の有機JIS認証をはじめとし、世界数か国の有機認証を受けています。

まずは農作業体験、その後は自由時間

午前中のあまり暑くない時間帯に、まずは農作業体験です。丘のふもとでトラクタータクシーに乗り、丘の上の農園へ。大きい子を中心に畑を耕して水をまき、小さい子を中心に藁を敷いてサニーレタスの苗を植えていきます。休憩時間には農園で採れたミントやカモミールのハーブティーで一休み。農作業が終われば木片に名前を書き、自分たちが作業した畝に名札を掲げます。

農作業が終わった後は自由時間。凧揚げ、ブランコ、魚すくい、トラクター試運転など様々なアトラクションがあり、子どもたちは時間を忘れて遊んでいました。

昼食とお茶タイム

お昼はオーガニック農園で採れたての新鮮野菜と共に豪華BBQです。農場で採れた野菜や果物を中心に、炭火焼きのBBQが食卓を飾ります。大自然の中で食べる食事がどんなにおいしいものであるか、子どもたちにも実感してもらえること間違いなし。

食後は少し離れた国道沿いの直営カフェで、農園産の果物ジュースやコーヒーで一休み。カフェでは、農園の親会社であるTHAI COSMOS FOODS社で作られたフリーズドライ食品を使ったトムヤムクン、ハーブティーを楽しめる他、チェンライコーヒー、少数民族アカ族のグッズなどのお買い物もできます。

観光地の宝庫、チェンライ県

せっかくチェンライ県へ行ったなら、ファーム以外にも組み合わせて欲しい行先が山盛り!!チェンライ郊外の山岳地帯にはアカ族をはじめとする様々な少数民族が暮らしており、彼らが栽培するコーヒーも有名です。最近有名なワットロンクン(白い寺)、インスタ映えするワットロンスアテン(青い寺)、シンハーパーク、お花畑で有名なドイトゥン、お茶畑で有名なドイメーサロンなどなど。ミャンマーへ日帰り入国してミャンマーの雰囲気を楽しむのもお勧めです。チェンライへは多数のLCCが飛んでいますので飛行機代が比較的安く、週末旅行にぴったり!

ベストシーズンは乾期です

11月~2月の乾期は、チェンライを含む北タイはとても爽やかな気候になります。この爽やかさを味わうだけでも満足してしまいそう…。是非乾季のチェンライを体験されることをお勧めします。

 

About the Author

Living in Thailand for 23 years, Shigeki plans and manages “Miyamoto Tour” where travel-lovers including their kids get together to have group travel. He leads them to little-known but excellent sightseeing spots. He loves traveling, badminton and a glass of beer in the evening at an Isaan food stand. Shigeki is also a member of the Japan Thai Food Association and can be contacted at miyamoto_shigeki@yahoo.co.jp

タイ在住23年。お子様連れ含め旅行好きの有志が集まり和気あいあいと旅を楽しむ「宮本ツアー」を企画し、観光の穴場を紹介している。趣味は旅行、バドミントン。夕暮れにイサーン屋台で一杯、が至福の時。タイ料理普及協会員。

Facebook :「ぬかるみタイクラブ」で検索。またはメール:miyamoto_shigeki@yahoo.co.jp

 


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