ha-Am’s ‘Amusement Alley’ stretches some 10 kilometres from the junction of the bypass road just north of Cha-Am along the main highway to Bangkok.
This is where you’ll find the Swiss Sheep Farm and Camel Republic. There are more entertainment and shopping venues including factory outlets for designer label clothing. Travellers heading south from Bangkok (or vice versa) have many tempting reasons to stop en route.
‘1,000 Sook’ is translated as ‘1,000 Happiness Food and Farm’; perhaps a better translation would be 1,000 Pleasures. This attraction is a combination of an urban farm, souvenir and Thai delicacies outlet, coffee and dessert station and a steak (and more) restaurant.
If you look around the shopping areas first, chances are you’ll qualify for a free entry pass to the farm with just a few purchases. It’s a bit like an OTOP, handicraft store and Thai specialty food outlet all wrapped into one to find a special item or a real Thai gift. Instead of the usual bottle of wine, perhaps a bottle of mangosteen fruit wine as the ‘red’ for a birthday present.
Thai delicacies include fish sausage, fried bamboo caterpillar, pineapple/banana coffee and every form of chilli known to man. There are some sampling stations if you are brave enough to try on the tongue! Thai desserts you will not see anywhere else could be a challenge as most labels are only in Thai language.
For ladies there are fashion items, hand crafted and unique and for kids the most colourful selection of lollypops and other sweet tempters. They are not expensive but the chances are you will have spent enough for that free farm pass.
The ‘urban farm’ is quaint, it’s not huge but you can take a horse-drawn buggy ride as an alternative to a gentle stroll through the carefully maintained and planned gardens. Animals to get the kids excited include sheep to bottle feed, rabbits, ducks and Shetland ponies to ride. Photography opportunities are a-plenty amongst the scarecrows, hay bales or Western styled out- buildings.
We’ve yet to have a meal at the restaurant although one reason for the visit was an unsolicited recommendation from a friend who was very impressed with the quality and prices of the meals. If your visit coincides with mealtime, we would be confident that eating on-site would be a great finale to the day.
1,000 Sook – Some Information
Where: About 10 kilometres north of Cha-Am on the left at the 182 KM mark from Bangkok.
When: Open every day from 8.00 AM to 9.30 PM
Cost: 50 THB adults, 30 THB children (farm entry) – no extra foreigner charges.
Tips: You may qualify for free farm entry by shopping first. Take a Thai ‘translator’ if you really want to know what is in the package.
Recommended For: Families with young children, romantic couples and souvenir hunters.