The slogan of the Baan Lipon Tai community is "Lipon Tai, unity, two heroines, variety of goods, inheriting culture, and adopting the philosophy of sufficiency economy." Baan Lipon Tai is regarded as the land of love and unity. Its development was driven by people in the community. The sufficiency economy learning center was established by the cooperation of local women's groups in the community and reinforced by the provincial community development office of Phuket and the government agencies' support. Nowadays, the learning center has encouraged people in the community to apply the sufficiency economy in their area, such as raising black chickens, rice farming, backyard gardening, and the local food processing; Nam Prik (chili paste), Tai Pla Haeng (dried fish organ paste), and Pla Tum (the local cave fish) or local canned fish.
The origin of this community’s name, Lipon, is derived from the word "Leek Pon (escape)". The Burmese army invaded the city of Thalang. This war had created the two heroines of Mueang Thalang, Ya Chan and Ya Mook (Ya means grandmother in Thai). The Thalang people took refuge here and the Burmese soldiers could not find them, so, they called this place "Baan Leek Pon" and later transformed into "Lipon". Baan Lipon Tai was a part of Baan Leek Pon's territory. After separating the villages’ territory, Lipon Tai is located in the south (Tai refers to the south). Hence, it was named "Baan Lipon Tai" since the period of Field Marshal Sarit Thanarat.
Lipon Tai’s geography is a large community. There are approximately more than 6,000 people in the Lipon community. In Lipon Tai, the economic community of Sri-Sunthorn sub-district, there are fresh-markets and supermarkets. The major occupations are employees. Most of them work in hotels, and 20% are in agriculture.
The main highlights of Lipon Tai village are its history and culture. The tourist route starts from the Thalang National Museum, which exhibits the collection of historical artifacts and archeology. The front gate displays the equipment of the sea gypsies, i.e. a boat, house, mining equipment, and Phuket’s map. Once inside, the curator will explain some interesting information, such as Phuketian’s lifestyle or a huge Narayana statue. If you walk further, you will see the sailing junks that used to trade with Phuketians. The Narayana statue is very big. It was discovered in the Kopong district, Phang-nga province. Back in the Nine Armies War Period, the Burmese army invaded the city of Thalang and passed through Kapong territory. They found Narayana's statue there, so they lifted the statue and leaned on the Tabaek tree. After the war was over, the Burmese army was defeated, and they couldn't bring the statue back to Burma. Hence, they left it there until the tree grew huge and strong and embraced the statue. One day, the villagers found the statue and informed the fine arts department. Consequently, the Narayana statue has been enshrined at the Thalang National Museum.
After that, take a local Phothong bus, following Phra Mongkut Klao Chao Yu Hua (Rama VI’s footprint) to Phraya Wichit Songkhram’s house, which used to be the town hall. Then, we will go to worship the Chinese god of war, Guan YU or Te Gun (Phuketian dialect), one of the huge statues in Phuket. After that, head to Tha Reua shrine, which is mainly respected by Phuketianor Sri Sunthon people. Tha Reua shrine is the shrine of Ngo Jin Yin (Phuketian’s dialect) or Ngo-ya, the Chinese god. The villagers built the majestic shrine to represent their faith and respect for the Chinese god.
Then, we will go to Sri Sunthon temple or Lipon temple to worship the lying Buddha. This statue is not the reclining Buddha (Paang Sai Yat). It’s easy to distinguish why this Buddha sculpture is teaching the Rahu Asurin attitude (paang proad asurin tra rahu). Because normally, the reclining Buddha will close his eyes, but this Buddha statue has his eyes open. And there was a Buddhist monk called Kayi. His history is quite long, starting from when there was a merchant and Thai sailors who came from Persia by the junk sailboat. One day, there was a strong storm in the Andaman Sea and the junk sank. A Thai sailor prayed that if the Buddha is sacred, please help my master and me escape from the danger and survive this time. Then, both of them saw the logwood and caught it. As soon as they got to the logs, the big storm swept them down to the mangrove forest where today is the Lipon temple.
The Lipon Tai also have their own tradition and belief. At the "Wai Kru Nai Nang-Talung ceremony", the offerings were prepared to pay respect to the shadow puppet master, Nai Nang Talung. They believe that Nai Nang Talung takes care of people in the community. They can ask for a wish and do a specified thing in return from Nai Nang Talung.
For a welcoming activity, there's a shadow puppet show and a traditional performance. It is the indigenous performance of the south that is quite hard to see. Next, while eating local food such as cave fish, the tourists will join in cooking O-Tao, a unique stir-fried dish made with seafood and battered taro, and then, making the aroma souvenir. The last activity is the folk dance. Those activities represent the local tradition and culture. The visitors will get to know and enjoy the local arts and culture of the Lipon Tai community.
In addition, the learning center has promoted “farm from home projects” to enhance food security by encouraging villagers to grow vegetables at home. Today, Baan Lipon Tai's sufficiency economy center is a part of the OTOP INNO-LIFE tourism-based community under the “Thai Niyom Yangyuen Project". The Lipon Tai community tried to cultivate a strong tourism foundation to enhance the better well-being of people in the community.
Phuket has many styles of tourism; the beautiful natural tourism and INNO-LIFE tourism, such as the self-sufficient economy learning center of Baan Lipon Tai. We would like to invite you to experience something truly unique and step away from a repeated routine. Let’s enrich your holiday and you will fall in love without knowing it.
For more information, please contact: Baan Lipon Tai Suficiency Economy Learning Center, Moo. 5, Sri Sunthon sub-district, Thalang district, Phuket province. Baan Lipon Tai Sufficiency Economy Learning Center
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. (+66) 94991 6692
Phone: 08 0533 5353