For those who like to explore the unseen or experience rare natural phenomenon, the community of “PhuengRoi Rang” will not disappoint. Located at Ban SaitreePhatthana 3, Moo 10, Bueng Charoen, Ban Kruat District, Buriram, the community of “PhuengRoi Rang” derived from the number of beehives nearby the sacred Ton Sai (Banyan Tree) where it has been honored by generations after generations.
The tree is believed to be the protector of the community allowing the locals to live in tranquility. Stories of a ranger who came to mutate wood under the tree spread all over the community, it is said that the bees swarmed him for three days. From 1995 until now, hundreds of hives has been created by bees hence the legend of the phenomenon “PhuengRoi Rang.” The reputation of the remarkable hives under Ton Sai tree have spread throughout the country stimulating travelers from all over to get a glimpse of the wonder.
This location is regarded as a rare natural tourist attraction as tourist can experience the magnificent behavior of the bees and have the chance to purchase exquisite pure natural honey. The community of PhuengRoi Rang is not just a place to explore, but it is also a place to experience the cultural and the beliefs of the locals.
Visitors can begin their journey by paying homage for blessing at San JaoPu Ta Boon Ma Roi Rang, a shrine nearby the beehives. The 15th day of the waning moon on the 5th lunar month is the most popular date for tourist all over the country to gather and witness the locals harvest the pure honey from the Ton Sai tree. It is believed that honey of the 5th lunar month is the best for humidity is subtle resulting the honey to be at its best quality from its richness of pollen. So, people would queue up to get their hands on the valuable honey.
But, before the harvest can occur, the villagers have to perform a ritual to ask JaoPu Ta, a local scared shrine, for forgiveness as they believe that climbing to harvest the honey is a form of disrespect. To perform the ritual, the villagers gather to decorate the shrine with marigold and perform the Thai traditional dance.
After the ritual, the harvest cannot occur immediately because it is dangerous for it requires special techniques. Night is the best time for harvest as it is the safest. When harvesting, an expert will climb up the tree and only cut on area filled with honey. By doing so, the queen bee is able to live and continue to provide more honey in the future. Filtering the honey with white cloth, the honey is then packed in a bottle ready to be consumed.
Apart from the wonders that can be found here, visitors can also experience the charm of the small community which is their way of conservation. Although the honey is selling fast, the community will not change their ways as they harvest once a year in order to preserve the longevity of the quality of their honey.
So, for those who want to get their hands on the pure Roi Rang honey, contacting the community is the best approach as their products are limited. One fine bottle of the honey comes to 300 Baht which is a great way to support the community.
- from Bangkok, take National Highway No. 1 (Phahonyothin), turn the left on Highway No. 2 (Mittraphap) through NakhonRatchasima. Continue on National Highway 224 and turn right at Chockchai district onto National Highway 24 (Chockchai-DetUdom) through Nang Rong district. Turn right into Ban Kruat district. The total distance comes to 383 kilometers
- (New route) from NakhonRatchasima, follow National Highway 226 (Chakkarat – HuaiThalaeng – Lam Plai Mat – Buriram), turn right through Prakhon Chai district to Ban Kruat district. Total distance 453 kilometers.