These Villages in Thailand Are Part of the Global Economy. Go to Ikea to Find Out.
By Celestine Bohlen
It started in 1988 with the Royal Villa, a residence built by the Princess Mother, who was ready to leave Switzerland, where she had lived off and on, for the northern mountains of her native Thailand. Her condition for spending part of each year in the region was an official commitment to revive forests devastated by the slash-and-burn cultivation of opium poppies and to give its people other sources of income.
Princess Srinagarindra’s wishes were the basis of the Doi Tung Development Project, which has evolved to become a network of public services, businesses and social enterprises that today sell coffee, macadamia nuts, ceramics, fabric, mulberry paper and other products to companies around the world.