When I was told we were going to visit a place dubbed as having “the best ozone in Thailand”, I knew Baan Khiri Wong is a place I am going to love. The village located at the foothill of Khao Luang Mountain that stands 1,835 metres above sea level, enjoys the purest air and best atmosphere in Thailand. Behind the tranquillity of Baan Khiri Wong is the story of local resilience and exemplary ecotourism management since the Khiri Wong community endured three severe natural disasters. The conferment of Thailand Tourism Awards to Baan Khiri Wong in 1998 attests to the effectiveness of community-based ecotourism in helping to uplift a community’s standard of living.
Our first destination in Baan Khiri Wong is a restaurant by the river where we enjoyed our luncheon. While the meals were being prepared and served, most of us walked down to the river to embrace the pure air.
An elegant Thai lady enjoying the view of the river in Baan Khiri Wong.
The ladies from ASEAN Ladies’ Circle enjoying their meals.
Then, we walked through a garden thriving with stink bean trees, mangosteen trees, betel nut trees and various vegetables until we reached an open area. There, we had to use our creativity in creating designs on a plain white handkerchief-sized cloth using natural tie-dying technique. Each of us used wooden sticks to pin the cloth in various ways to come up with different patterns.
Thereafter, our pieces of art were gathered and boiled in water mixed with natural tie-dyed materials such as tree leaves to give them colour. Interestingly, leaves from different trees are boiled in a pot on top of a furnace. Among the base used to colour the clothes were mangosteen leaves and stinky beans.
The beauty of tie-dye art is such that the final piece remains a surprise until the end of the process.
Orchid, the youngest of us all posed with the tie-dyed clothes.
Seen here is Madam Suwanna Phukphat, wife of former ambassador of Thailand to Malaysia, enjoyed doing the natural tie-dye activity in Baan Khiri Wong.
The souvenirs of Nakhon Si Thammarat include silverware, brassware, nielloware and Yan Liphao basketry.
The trip to South Thailand was courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand and ASEAN Ladies Circle.