Take a farm tour @ Farm Chok Chai

If your in the mood for something unusual, educational, agricultural and fun for all the family then check out the Farm Chok Chai tour.

Located 90 minutes drive from Korat, Farm Chokchai is set on over 25,000 rai of land in Pakchong. Founded in 1957 by the famous Thai cowboy Chokchai Bulakul, the farm’s business has since expanded to include everything from meat, milk and steak restaurants to a very popular farm tour.

The Tour starts with a video presentation detailing the history of Farm Chok Chai, it's working methods, innovations, how it has developed over time and it's plans for the future. It starts off with lots of vintage black and white footage before becoming colour as the story progresses, a bit like a Thai agricultural version of The Wizard of Oz. The video is in Thai with English subtitles.

It's then time to visit the milking parlour where a verbal description of the processes is given by a tour guide in Thai, there was however a very large detailed sign above the guide which is in English. This part of the tour came to an end with the guide asking if anyone wanted to have a go at hand-milking a cow, a few people then stepped up and made a right pig's ear of it (apologies but I just couldn't resist the agricultural pun), much to the enjoyment of the laughing spectators.

The group then boarded three seated trailers (which had been made to look like western wagons) which were pulled by a tractor (which for some reason had not been made to look like a horse?) and it was time to set off on our tour of the grounds of the farm. There is a full commentary from the guide as the journey progresses which is once again all in Thai.

We went through the pastureland and paddocks, then through some extensive woodland which is continually planted and expanded to environmentally compensate for the methane that the huge herds of 4000 plus cattle expel. It was on this part of the journey that we learnt that Chok Chai Farm is the largest private land owner in Thailand, owning over 25,000 rai of land.

The trailer ride then takes us through the Chok Chai Resort, which is a beautifully laid out area with very large luxury tents that are available for daily hire. We are also informed that they have open air toilets just in case you were wondering, as I'm sure most of my fellow tourers were.

We then proceeded to Western Town where the tractor stopped for 45 minutes for everyone to take in the attractions. It was laid out like an old western town and was full of the things that any self-respecting cowboy or cowgirl would enjoy. Theses included Shetland pony rides (40 Baht) for younger children, horse riding (60 Baht) for adults, trips in a horse-drawn carriage (100 Baht) and cowboy themed side-show games such as shooting and lassoing (30 Baht).

After everyone had got off their horses and shot a few tin cans it was time to watch the professionals do it properly in a full-on cowboy extravaganza. It started with a very impressive show of horsemanship including an excellent display of horse maneuvering and backing up. This was followed by lassoing a calf, rope tricks, pistol tricks and finally a bullwhip show.

Just for good measure there was also a go-karting track which wasn't very western or maybe it was but wasn't featured much in the cowboy films I watched?

The tour moved on again and took us to a very entertaining sheepdog show featuring an Australian sheepdog and some very shaggy sheep. It was all very good fun and it completely enthralled the cart captive audience.

Then on to a petting zoo including an opportunity to feed the animals - grass, milk, carrots, etc. to the calves, sheep, goats, rabbits, etc., etc. It was then time for the petting zoo show with the usual suspects - lots of dogs doing a variety of tricks and a parrot who could count and ride a bicycle, but strangely not at the same time?

It was then time to head back to the farm where we were dropped off in the gift shop and teased into buying cowboy outfits - I bought a hat - why not? - with my horse riding experience, my new found knowledge that I was a natural at lassoing I was surely 90% on the way to being John Wayne. Unfortunately in the cold light of the next morning I realised my over enthusiasm in the gift shop and the hat remains unworn to this day.

Total tour length: 2 hours 30 minutes

Maximum group size: 75 persons

Cost: 300 Baht for adults, 150 Baht for children.

Please note that there is usually quite a wait for places on the tours so it's best to get your ticket from the ticket office as soon as you arrive then go for a wander around the ice cream parlours or grab yourself one of their excellent burgers while you wait.

Tour Times:

Weekends and Holidays: 18 Tours per day

9:00 / 9:20 / 9:40 / 10:00 / 10:20 / 10:40 / 11:00 / 11:20 / 11:40 

13:00 / 13:20 / 13:40 / 14:00 / 14:20 / 14:40 / 15:00 / 15:20 / 15:40

Tuesdays to Fridays: 2 Tours per day

10:00 / 14:00

Closed on Mondays

Tel: 044 328 485

Address: 159-160 Moo 2 Friendship Highway, Pak Chong, Thailand

Farm Chok Chai is situated on the highway to Bangkok just after the turn off to Khao Yai National Park and just past the large Outlet Stores. It is about 90 minutes by car from Korat.

Please click for the Farm Chok Chai website.

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