As you can see in the picture, teak is planted close together so that it grows tall and straight. Many farmers have made their land over to teak as they are too old to farm rice, & as teak is a good investment for their children who are away working in the towns and cities.


To The
Silk Station

To the east, beyond the Wet Lands we have mapped out a complete tour along the Maekong River and on through the countryside to the Silk Research Station. The route comes back past an Irrigation Reservoir, then the Fishing Cranes & Wet Lands, to Nong Khai. Click here for a map.

After cycling (or motorcycling) out from Nong Khai along the riverbank to the village of Ban Bon (Click for the map of the Wet Lands) you get to the teak plantations and the tobacco fields. (A on map)
Rice, tobacco (see left), tomatoes and soya are also grown, and farmers augment their income by raising fish in ponds during the rainy season, keeping chickens and ducks, and charcoal burning.

This is Wat Doi Wana Ram a simple forest temple (B on Map) where villagers go to pass a happy afternoon with the monks away from work.

It's built on a little hill beside a lake and is surrounded by many magnificent trees. All around are shrines and Buddha images.
Make no mistake, this is not high Buddhism... it is meant for simpler souls to rest a little with nature and to make merit.

The lake below the temple is itself man made and acts as an irrigation reservoir for the land beyond. It's a place where water buffalo can be brought to drink in the hot season and sometimes boys go for a swim.

The Silk Research Station is not a place were you can buy silk! Rather, this is a government scientific institution which carries out research on both the silk worms themselves and the mulberry leaves they feed upon, to produce finer silks and hardier strains in support of the silk industry. (C on Map)

The park is blessed with simply delightful gardens and it too surrounds a man made lake which is used as its reservoir for irrigating the land during the dry season.

The previous director of the Station, Por Or Som Mai, who sadly passed away in April 2003, was a very talented horticulturist who developed and cross-bred many of the plants in the gardens himself.

This is why gardens are so spectacularly beautiful, with little tiled shelters from the sun, small lily ponds and a wide range of flowering shrubs, bushes and trees. Virtually unknown by foreigners, the station staff are delighted to receive visitors.

The irrigation reservoir at Ban Suk Samran Village (D on Map) uses a long levee to hold back water that would have previously drained into the wet lands, so that it can be used as a source for irrigation during the dry season.

This is a delight for all those who would love to see the verdant green of the paddy fields but are staying in Thailand in the dry season (January to March).

In the past views like this could only be seen in the July, August or September period. In the foreground of the picture the inundated paddy has just been planted with young rice from a rice nursery. The fields towards the back have become the breathtaking verdant green carpet, typical of rice as it is growing.

This rice will be harvested at the end of March, or the beginning of April. So long as the area is not completely flooded, replanting will start in June.

The red clay road along the top of the levee. The irrigation reservoir is to the right and the growing paddy to the left. Planted along it are eucalyptus trees, now so common in this part of Thailand.