At Khun Klang Village on Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mounting in Chiang Mai province, lays an orchard full of yellow and orange persimmons, a spectacle of colour ready for the harvest.
Villagers take the opportunity of harvest time to set up a Persimmon Festival, inviting tourists to visit their orchards and taste the fresh golden fruit right from the trees. Persimmon can be picked from late July until September.
“Winter at Doi Inthanon is one thing but rainy season is another. It’s the orchard which appeals to tourists,” said Ying Dechjirachote, chairman of the Doi Inthanon Royal Project Co-operative Committee, describing the seasonal attractions of the fruit.
“Tourists can visit the orchard at no charge. They can also take photographs at the orchard as souvenirs,” said Nipon Saechang, persimmon orchard owner.
Hmong hill-tribal villagers in Khun Klang village were given support to grow persimmon from the royal project for more than 15 years. At present, there are over 100 rai of plantations. Each year, the persimmon trees would bear around 100 tonnes of fruits, yielding an average of 200,000 baht for the fruit growers.
As for the product quality, persimmons here are sweet and crisp. The size is also big, so the fruits are in demand in markets nationwide.
“Persimmon is an auspicious fruit often used as keepsakes in ceremonies. It is also full of vitamins and minerals that help prevent cancer and adding nutrition to our diet,” said Boonsong Saewa, Manager of the Doi Inthanon Royal Project Co-operative Committee.
The Persimmon Festival at Doi Inthanon will last until the end of September, which is also the end of the harvest season. Tourists can experience cool showers and slight fog amid the beautiful persimmon orchard.