Experience Hidden Gems of Ban Thung Pradu Community in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province
Explore the nature, learn about coastal fishing, and taste a delicious “coconut” menu at Ban Thung Pradu community in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province.
When talking about “Prachuap Khiri Khan”, most people will think about well-known places such as Hua Hin, Pranburi, or Ao Manao. In fact, there are many other interesting places in the province and one of them is “Ban Thung Pradu community”. In this village of coconut farmers and fishermen, visitors will get to experience a community-based tourism in different aspects.
With an assistance from the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) or DASTA (office 8 – west coast) in providing tourism management knowledge to residents of Ban Thung Pradu, a travel route program and activities have been created for the visitors to fully experience local ways of life and identities of this community as well as generating incomes for the locals.
In the past, this area where Ban Thung Pradu community is located was a field of Burma padauk trees which is called “Pradu” in Thai. Hence, people living around this area has called this village “Thung Pradu” ever since. Nowadays, a few Burma padauk trees still remain and can be seen at an entrance of Wat Thung Pradu School. During spring, bright red flowers of these Burma padauk trees will be in full bloom. They are so beautiful that every passerby will have to stop and look at these gorgeous flowers.
As the majority of the residents in Ban Thung Pradu community are fishermen and coconut farmers, it has attracted a number of visitors to come and learn about the local ways of life related to fishing and coconut farming. This is the reason why Ban Thung Pradu community has recently received a DASTA Award 2020 for being a role model community in a sustainable management category for Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Apart from field trip groups and CSR volunteers, other types of visitors e.g. tourists and families are also interested in visiting this community to gain useful knowledge and bring memories back home.
Once in Ban Thung Pradu community, it is a must to hop on a “local taxi” which is adapted from a motorcycle sidecar with an attached roof to provide shade for passengers. This local-style taxi will take you on a sight-seeing tour around the community in the most fun and interesting ways possible!
The first stop is Thung Pradu Temple which is the most important temple and the center of faith for people in the community. The temple houses a body of “Luang Por Nae”, a former abbot who has passed away; however, his corpse does not deteriorate, making him highly respected by the locals and visitors alike. In the middle of the temple lies an enormous reclining Buddha image and there is a large chapel with a boundary marker of the temple in the shape of a barque. Plus, an old sermon hall built in Burma padauk wood still stands the test of time while there is a chamber storing a myriad of ancient artifacts for the visitors to lay their eyes on.
While taking the local taxi around the community, you will see a traditional way of coastal fishing. Some fishermen are steering their small boats. Some are pulling their fish and crab nets. Blue crabs and octopuses are some of the sea animals being caught by the nets. Furthermore, some of the fresh seafood have been processed into dried seafood products for an export which is another channel for the locals to earn more incomes.
After several stops, taking a snack break is what you need. “Khanom Anyamanee Nok Khum” is a famous dessert of Ban Thung Pradu community. It is made by chopping young “Nok Khum” coconut meats, which is a local coconut, and leaving them in an herbal water mixture until the coconut meats absorb red, white, and blue shades. These hues are the representatives of 3 types of gems which are ruby, diamond, and blue sapphire. At first glance, the dessert looks similarly to “Tubtim Krob” (tapioca flour wrapped water chestnut in coconut milk) and both are also served in sweetened coconut milk with ice. Having a bowl of Khanom Anyamanee Nok Khum after braving the hot weather all day is such a bliss to your heart and taste buds.
After fueling some energy with the local sweet treat, it’s time to visit an organic garden at Ban Thung Pradu Creative Industry Village Thap Sakae (CIV Ban Thung Pradu). Farmers in the community usually grow rice and vegetables simultaneously. These farmers have gathered to establish a farmer network for producing and selling non-chemical agricultural produce which has become another way that brings more incomes to the local farmers.
The last activity of the day will surely make you feel relaxed while your body is being healed through naturopathy. This activity is called a “sand bath”. It is said that a beach at Ban Thung Pradu community, which stretches for about 2 kilometers, is made up of big, rough, and crystalline grains of sand, making it perfect for a sand spa. A majority of mineral in this sand is quartz followed by feldspar. Since the sand on this beach contains less soil and decomposed plants, the wet sand will easily stick to your skin but it is also easily wiped off when dry.
It is believed that taking a sand bath will help stimulate the circulatory system, relieve dry beriberi or numbness, paresis, and paralysis. It also helps absorb toxins and detoxify them from your body. Before taking a sand bath, the local people will welcome the visitors with a glass of coconut drink for refreshing. After that, the visitors will lie down on the sand holes for 30 minutes. The weight of the sand on your body will make you feel like you are being pulled by a quicksand. This activity is a local way to relax and recharge the body and it has become one of the most popular activities among the tourists. If you have a chance to visit Ban Thung Pradu community, we recommend you give sand bath a try and end the day with ultimate relaxation and smile.
Visiting Ban Thung Pradu community is like making new friends and you are getting to know them better and better until you are enchanted by a loveliness and a uniqueness of every single life in this community. It is a feeling that you will have to experience it yourself!
เฟซบุ๊ก หมู่บ้าน CIV บ้านทุ่งประดู่
เฟซบุ๊ก Dasta Thailand