With gourmet tourism on the rise, keep your eyes pealed for the collaboration between Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Michelin Guide, where award-winning chefs go on a quest to explore the origins of local ingredients that have inspired their innovative dishes. Join them on their journey to discover provincial attractions that are beyond the ordinary
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A province’s location can be rather telling, when sea grapes, otherwise known as “green caviar”, are regarded as a local delicacy. Neighbouring beach mecca Hua Hin (widely hailed as a summer retreat for Thai royals) to the east, and bordering Myanmar to the west; Phetchaburi province is also a haven for hiking and extreme sport enthusiasts for its abundant jungle trails peppering the Thai-Myanmar border.
Kaeng Krachan National Park – The largest national park in Thailand, it is contiguous with the Tanintharyi Nature Reserve bordering Myanmar. The national park is popular for its close proximity to Hua Hin.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park – This well known landmark located atop a 92m hill was the summer palace of King Mongkut (Rama IV) and showcases a blend of Thai, neoclassical Western, and Chinese architectural styles. Cable car options to the peak are available.
Another coastal location, its proximity to Bangkok will make a day trip suffice. A rustic town big on its culinary heritage, don’t miss the opportunity to try the famed gourami fish (Pla Salit) that has been relished by Thais for many centuries. Its uniqueness lies in that it is not eaten fresh, but sun-dried, to reveal its distinct flavour.
The Ancient City – Pressed for time but would still like a sampler of Thai architecture and history? Look no further than the Ancient City – dubbed the world’s largest outdoor museum – featuring replicas of Thailand’s most famous monuments and architectural attractions.
Bang Phli floating market – A transportation and trading hub connecting the east coast to Bangkok for more than 150 years, it is the only surviving piece of architecture along the main watercourse of Samut Prakhan province. Be sure to try the varieties of cooked Pla Salit here, as Bang Phli is also noted as an origin of commercially reared gourami fish.
Travellers tend to associate Chonburi with Pattaya, but the province offers so much more than a conventional beach getaway. The Si Racha municipality, known for being the provenance of the world famous Sriracha chilli sauce, is testament that visitors will lose themselves in a myriad of regional delicacies and fresh seafood.
Bang Saen Beach – An hour’s drive from Pattaya, Bang Saen Beach during the year-end is filled with bioluminescent plankton blooms, marking it an unforgettable nocturnal experience to behold. Those who are brave enough may consider a night swim, and bathe in the neon glow.
Silver Lake Vineyard – Who would have thought Thailand is a wine producing region too? The climate, rich soil and long growing season in this part of the hemisphere has given birth to New Latitude Wines, a definition accorded to wines produced in non-traditional climates. Aside from tasting and cellar tours, the vineyard also houses a wine and grill restaurant offering wine pairing menus.
Having long flown under the tourism radar for being a rural agricultural province, Singburi province offer visitors bespoke encounters which they cannot find in bigger metropolitan cities. Famous for its snakehead fish sourced from the Mae La River, this local speciality featuring a soft and crumbly texture, and fresh taste, is found in many restaurants in the Mae La area of the Bang Rachan district. The province is also known for its annual longboat races held every October or November, with the Princess’s Cup Championship being the most coveted.
Mae Nam Noi Kilns – Once part of the largest pottery-making sites in Thailand from the 14th to 17th century, visitors can marvel at the preserved ruins of several kilns, as well as remnants of pottery today. The kiln’s claim to fame came when fragments of ceramics were found aboard shipwrecks in far-flung continents, attesting to its former importance.
Nang Yai Museum – Located within Wat Sawang Arom, this museum is dubbed as Thailand’s biggest, and most complete collection of shadow puppets (Nang Yai). Depicting figures from Thai folklore and history, these shadow puppets made from intricately cut buffalo skins form the core exhibits, along with traditional masks used in performances and a collection of musical instruments.
Nakhon Pathom is credited for being the birthplace of Buddhism in Thailand, and its abundance of fruit orchards stemming from fertile lands. A food and fruits festival held every September offers visitors glimpses into its agricultural roots, with pomelos – especially those from Nakhon Chaisi district – in high demand.
Phra Pathom Chedi – On the grounds of this royal temple is also a museum housing a collection of artefacts dating back to the Ban Chiang and Dvaravati periods – widely regarded as the first civilisations in Thailand.
Sawat Canal – Why not consider an agrotourism cruise, having arrived at the home of the fruit orchards? The boat trip ranges from two to four hours, and has capacity for up to six persons. Enroute sights and encounters include visits and agricultural experiences to orchid gardens, pomelo and jack fruit orchards, and lotus fields. Rounding up the cruise, visitors will have the opportunity to sample these processed agricultural products, such as salted egges and jasmine rice crisps.
Catch the first episode of “Chef Chats”, featuring the journeys of French chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier and Thai chef Napol “Joe” Jantraget as they explore a sea grape farm in the Phetchaburi province.
More episodes will be progressively released on Facebook at MICHELIN Guide Thailand and YouTube at MICHELIN Guide Asia.