Open for only four weeks in a year when the temperatures are considered cooler in December and January, a wonderful escape from Bangkok is the Jim Thompson Farm in the scenic countryside of Nakhorn Ratchasima. Our family loved our visit and would highly recommend putting it on your Bangkok bucket list.
About the Jim Thompson Farm
The Jim Thompson Farm covers 600 rai (approx 238 acres or 96 hectares) of land and sits at the base of Payaprab Mountain. It was founded in 1988 as a production site for silk eggs and as a mulberry plantation for silkworms. In 2001, Jim Thompson Farm began to open its doors yearly in December as an agricultural site to visitors. They also hope to educate and inform on the importance of pesticide-free organic products and support many local communities in the agricultural industry.
There is always much anticipation surrounding the dates when the farm opens and Thai families flock to Nakhon Ratchasima province to enjoy the various events in acres of beautiful unspoiled countryside. In 2019, the farm is open from 7th December until January 5th and tickets can either be purchased online through their website or on arrival at the venue.
What We Loved Most About The Farm
Because we spend so much of our time in Bangkok’s high-rise metropolis, it was a refreshing change for our entire family to be back in nature. We even took our own picnic to enjoy in the fields. We loved wandering through the colourful fields of wild flowers and the kids enjoyed vegetable spotting in the organic vegetable patches. There’s a small farmers market where you can take home some of the local produce and the prices are very reasonable.
One of the highlights for us was strolling through the giant pumpkin patch where they have different kinds of kids activities, art installations and a ‘spot the largest pumpkin’ competition. (PS – the prices certainly don’t reflect the exorbitant prices you pay for Halloween pumpkins in the Bangkok stores!) Surrounding the farm are huge sunflower fields, a common and popular attraction for the area at this time of year. There are many great photo opportunities, and we watched some serious photographers capturing the sunset.
There are all sorts of agriculture displays and plenty of food and picnicking opportunities to be had. A small tram runs people around the farm if your feet are tired. And the day wasn’t complete until we had popped into Jim’s market for a spot of silk shopping.
My husband and I really enjoyed being away from the city and letting the kids run free in the enormous 10 rai of land that surrounds the farm. There was local art dangling from the trees which swayed in the breeze and, of course, there was so much local food to try.
A Sustainable Approach At The Farm
What we loved about the farm most was their approach to sustainability and promoting organic farming. There is a short display on the importance of bees in farming and the eco systems of the area. We loved the idea of trying to get the best photograph of a bee on the sunflowers! The structures built out of rice stalks were also a sight to behold.
The Isan and weaving villages had lots of demonstrations and weaving activities which both kids really enjoyed. We were told the traditional style village has been used in scenes for many movies.
There are small traditional-style shuttle boats taking you from one activity to the next and I particularly enjoyed learning about Jim Thompson’s silk production process. You can participate in the thread reeling and weaving activities and my 8 year old particularly enjoying watching the worms exiting the cocoons!
Things To Consider When You Visit
The drive to the farm took us approximately 3.5 hours. However, the drive is easy and we stopped at many roadside markets to buy local sunflower seeds and oil. We also chose to stay locally in the area to break up the journey for the kids. However, It can be done as a day trip if you don’t mind leaving early morning.
For Bangkokians, it is a bit of a hike to Nakhorn Ratchasima province to visit Jim Thompson’s Farm. But it’s really worth it and you can make a weekend of it as there are many small hotels or home-stays in the area. There’s plenty to do en route such as visiting national parks, historic ruins and sunflower fields. We hired a small van for the weekend and it’s a good drive on highways for the main part of the journey.
Do wear proper walking shoes as there is so much to discover. Don’t take any type of DEET insect repellent as this is discouraged, and you can buy citronella products at the farm.
Essential Information If You Go To The Jim Thompson Farm
- Location / Address: Tambol Takob, Amphur Pak Thong Chai, Nakhon Ratchasima, (Korat) Province
- Contact: +66 (0)2 700 2566 or [email protected]
- Nearby public transportation: None
- Dates: Open December 7th, 2019 to January 5th, 2020
- Times: 9am – 5pm daily
- Price: from 90 – 220 THB per person (see this link for more info)
- Ages: 1 year – 99 years
About Our Community Reviewer
This review was completed by BKK Kids community member Sarah Roberts. If you’d like to also contribute as a member of our Community Review Team? Just click here to sign up!
Pssst… enjoying what you’re reading?
Join our community and never miss an event, post or update! Just enter your email address below: