Nong Hoi Royal Project , the lovely terrace garden of the veggie.
Nong Hoi Royal Project Development Center locates at Mae Ram sub-district, Mae Rim district in Chiang Mai. The project is nestled in the area of the National Park, Suthep-Pui and debuted at the time HM King Bhumiphol visited the location in 1969. The significant change, notably towards the living of the resident including to the neighboring villages.
Background of Nong Hoi Royal Project
Nong Hoi Royal Project then founded officially in 1974 within the National Park Suthep – Pui which is the first level of the watershed, the source of water – Mae Ram and Mae Sa rivers. Unfortunately, the hill-tribe people invaded the forest for shifting cultivation especially opium planting. The land covered about 21.17 sq.km with 780-1,430 meters high from the sea level. The majority of residents which settled here before the time of the World War I, are tribesman; Hmong, Lisu, native citizen and Yunnan that believe in Buddhism, Animism, and Christian.
The royal project here is one of 38 royal projects in 5 provinces of the northern territory of Thailand which aims to serve as the research center for new types of winter vegetable, including to promotion and purchasing the productivity from the hill-tribe farmers instead of the opium in the past. Consequently, upgrading the quality of life of the residents with the concept “self-reliance sustainably“. And as the buyer, worry-free with the products of the royal project here since the center has its world standard laboratory for chemical safety test to the productivities delivered by the farmers. Therefore, it ultimately ensures that the vegetable and other products here are clean and safe from hazardous things.
Further, a productivity center for the farmer, in Nong Hoi Royal Project also serves as “learning center” and “agritourism” for any interesting people included students. The place provides demonstration farm such as “Hydroponics” farm, the alternative process of planting without soil and introduced species of herbs like 7 herbs tea that the taste and fragrance are so good!
Reasons we should not miss to visit Nong Hoi Royal Project
1. The project has upgraded the quality of life for the villagers sustainably
Nong Hoi Royal Project enhances the lives of the people live here being better by stopping of opium planting and shifting farming. The project promotes and develops the career for the villagers with numerous introduced species of commercial plants like the temperature vegetable and fruit that can make the stable and sustainable income. Artichoke, Iceberg, Baby carrot, Chamomile, Grapes, Avocado, Persimmon, Plum, Peach, Strawberry, and more, for instance. No doubt that the project can improve the local life together with restoration and preservation for nature at the same time.
Apart from that, the Royal Project Ning Hoi also works in “plant protection” by raising the “Pest Insects”,i.e., Assassin bug, Green lacewing, Earwig, etc. and release them in the organics farm. Chemical Safety Control by giving consult and training for the farmers, “Plant doctor” by giving advice regarding any disease and insects in cultivation and collecting the sample of suspicious soil and water to test for the source of the infection.
2. Witness the 360o panorama and the sea of fog at “Mon Cham” mount
One of the wish-lists that lures lots of people to visit “Nong Hoi Royal Project ” is the famous attraction “Mon Cham”. As part of the royal project land which is very favorite spot among the tourists both Thai and abroad since the location features one of the prettiest viewpoints of the mountain range with 360o landscape. The point is perfect in both of sunrise and sunset watching, plus the dim of the sea of fog in the wintertime. So, it is another photogenic spot that you should not miss.
3. Relax with a cup of coffee, local food, and the touch of nature
There many chic restaurants with the nature-friendly atmosphere. The places roofed with rustic Hmong decoration and the corner next to the mountain ridge for you to take a seat and sip a cup of coffee. Otherwise, enjoy with the delicious food while you indulge in the lovely scene of rolling mountain and lush forest. Moreover, the camping ground with camping facilities is also available for the one you ask for more with this stunning ambiance of the place.
4. Vegetables, Winter Fruits, and Strawberry Prarachatan fresh from the farm
Shop the products from the royal project; assorted vegetables and fruits fresh from the local farmers specifically strawberry “Prarachatarn” breed, individual species obtained by King Bhumiphol or Rama IX that produces fruit during December – March. The visitors would enjoy wandering around the numbers of strawberry plots that you can pick up and taste the fresh strawberry. Moreover, there are the processed products from strawberry such as strawberry juice, dried strawberry, and strawberry jam.
About 1.5 km on the left side of the road before you reach Mon Cham is “Eden Garden”, the vineyard belongs to the villagers who grow the seedless grape in the plant nursery. The farm offers the visitors with the activity to pick up the vines with the various products from grapes both fresh and processed ones – grape juice, raisin, grape preserve, etc.
The output of the royal project at Nong Hoi is notably effectiveness to increase the income of the villagers with the better life. Together with the mission to restore and preserve natural resources, resulted in the royal project here is acceptable of both Thai and international. Nonetheless, Nong Hoi Royal Project keeps moving on to develop in all potential ways for the genuinely sustainable development.
Sightseeing around Nong Hoi Royal Project
1. Mon Cham ( nearby Nong Hoi Royal Project)
The location provides the visitors with the stunning 360o landscape that you can witness the sunrise and sunset and the sea of fog in the winter and a plus. The restaurant with coffee corner offers an array of delicious food, coffee, drinks, and specialty fresh 7 herbs tea. At the entrance, it is a local souvenir shop that you will find many products including seasonal farm product, handicrafts, and hill-tribe wood cart (Formula Hmong) for the tourists to have some fun.
2. The Royal Project Research and Development Station for Vegetables and Fruits
The diversity of fresh vegetables and fruits which are cycled to plant at the demonstrated farm seasonally for the research purpose. For example, artichoke, red oak, royal project tomato, the variety of herbs, and hydroponic vegetables.
As on the location is the steep mountain; hence the farmers decided to do terrace farming in order to be convenient to take care of their plants. And the most beautiful period to visit the site is between August to December with the pack of various vegetables, i.e., Lettuce, Cabbage, Red Oak, etc.
3. Demonstration Farm for Fruit
The farm of temperature fruits such as Plum, Seedless Grape, and Strawberry.
Apart from what we mentioned previously, there are other appealing sightseeing which are;
3.1 Cultural Tourism
- Experience the folk performing the art of Hmong , e.g., Drumming, music show of Laos mouth organ and fife, and native dancing.
- Traditional handicrafts – Hmong embroider craft, traditional style brewing from corn, and more.
- Hmong’s New Year Festival that will be organized in December – January annually. The whole villagers will get the dress in the traditional costume with lots of entertainment such as pageant contest, wood cart rally, and so on.
3.2 Natural Sightseeing
- Mon Long Viewpoint, the highest viewpoint of Mae Rim district with about 1,400 meters from the sea level. The venue provides the widescreen panorama of the sunrise and sunset in general and the sea of fog in the winter season.
- Mon Doi Viewpoint, Tad Mok Waterfall, Wang Hang Waterfall, etc.
Traveling to Nong Hoi Royal Project
The site is about 39 km distant from Chiang Mai town by the highway number 107 (Chiang Mai – Fang). And drives pass Mae Rim District Office until the 17th km burrstone and turns left to enter the road number 1096 (Mae Rim – Semoeng). About the 15th km at Ban Pong Yaeng, please notices for the signage of Nong Hoi Royal Project on the right, then take the right turn along the road. And keep driving along the route ascending to the mountain about 6 km until you arrive at the destination. The road is pavement all through the way and accessible for all vehicles.
Moreover, the public bus route North Samoeng – Chiang Mai passes the spot before the fork to enter the project.