Visiting a charming community in On Tai, Chiang Mai

On Tai community is a small sub-district in the San Kamphaeng district of Chiang Mai, Thailand. The area has a long mountain range that is surrounded by beautiful nature, including lush green fields, which are contrasted by thick clouds of floating fog. Its charm attracts people who come to the community to refresh and relax in this rich and beautiful environment.

Many people do not know that On Tai was once an arid and poor community. King Rama the 9th visited the people in this area nine times and brought the knowledge to create fertile land for the local villagers. This resulted in the transformation of On Tai into the community that it is today and is the inspiration for the term Sufficiency Economy Community in Thailand.

This community balances business, culture, and a way of life. Together with creativity, they have designed and created new economic opportunities through tourism and travel experiences, as well as creative industries. There are a variety of tourist activities available in On Tai, including:


      •   Making your own tie-dye fabric with natural color

      •   Making and using an herbal compress massage therapy

      •   Visiting local organic vegetable gardens

      •   Thai cooking and dessert making classes

      •   Rice planting and harvesting

      •   Traditional Khan Tok dining experiences

Additionally, visitors can explore the area by car to see other attractions like the beautiful wall painting at the historical Wat Pa Tung temple. There is also the museum of San Kamphaeng wares.

The highlights of this community, apart from tourism, are agriculture and food. In the local vegetable gardens, the villagers grow many kinds of vegetables for cooking.  Tourists also have the opportunity to pick fresh vegetables from the gardens, which can be taken home, or they can be cooked for lunch in Thai dishes with local chefs.

In On Tai, the villagers have used their knowledge to design and create a lifestyle that is attractive to tourists and allows the community to earn an income.  This gives the new generation and the old a chance to share their experiences while helping each other to develop their community.

The day in On Tai passed very quickly. Like the Thai saying, “The happy times always pass quickly.” If you have the opportunity to visit On Tai, you will surely see the wisdom of the villagers and a quite simple but charming lifestyle.