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Turning Phrae from silver city of seniors to golden ‘city in the forest’


The Nation Building Institute (NBI) proposed on Monday that Phrae be turned into a “city in the forest” to draw Thai and foreign retirees.

Phrae is a hidden gem in the North of Thailand with splendid temples and beautiful surroundings.

Prof Dr Kriengsak Chareonwongsak, who chairs NBI, said Phrae was now a “city of seniors” with a sluggish economy that is forcing younger people to seek jobs elsewhere.

Phrae is the fourth province in Thailand to have the highest number of seniors, second in terms of death rate and first when it comes to disabled people. Besides, Kriengsak said, the population of Phrae is dropping by 5,000 per year.

“To tackle this issue, we have proposed that Phrae be turned into a ‘city in the forest’ to draw Thais and foreigners to live and work here and enjoy the good weather, tradition and cheap cost of living,” he said.

Turning Phrae from silver city of seniors to golden ‘city in the forest’

Kriengsak also proposed that the law be amended to allow the development of degraded forest areas.

He expects this plan to generate some 4 billion baht yearly by drawing 5,000 long-term travellers and 10,000 short-term visitors.

He said that under the “city in the forest” plan, NBI will develop new products and traditions, including food, fabric, wooden furniture, teak products, liquor, folk and fusion art, etc.

He also said that NBI will promote investment in the province and its transportation system.

“We expect to see changes made by locals that will help inspire other provinces,” he added.

Published : January 18, 2022

By : THE NATION