During our holiday, we organized a two-day, one-night trip to Kanchanaburi. As we journeyed along the scenic route, we noticed the tranquil roads with only a few cars passing by. The picturesque landscape was adorned with a magnificent tree, notably the Chamchuri or claw tree, which stood prominently along the way. Kanchanaburi proved to be a delightful destination with numerous tourist attractions and charming cafes, making it a popular city for both foreign visitors and locals alike. It left a lasting impression on us.
We reached our first destination at approximately 11:00 a.m., greeted by a radiant sky and abundant sunshine. However, what truly captivated us was the awe-inspiring sight of a colossal Jamuri tree casting its shade in the presence of a gentle breeze. Nature had fashioned this tree into a magnificent spectacle! Its grandeur was unmatched, with sprawling branches forming a lush, verdant canopy adorned with delicate, pinkish rosemary flowers. According to the latest survey conducted in 2019, this magnificent tree blooms from February to May each year.
- The diameter of the bush is 58 m.
- This magnificent tree is an awe-inspiring sight with a towering height of 22 meters and a trunk measuring 9.1 meters in width. Its grand proportions beckon the question of how many people it would take to encircle its girth.
- The shaded area beneath the Giant Raintree extends over an impressive expanse of more than 1 rai and 2 ngan. Its size is set to continue expanding even in the year 2023, offering an ever-growing sanctuary of shade and tranquility.
This magnificent raintree is a natural wonder estimated to be over a century old. According to local elders, it is known by various names such as crab claw, lobster claw, and Tut Tu Chamcha, reflecting its unique appearance. Interestingly, the English signage in this area refers to it as the Giant Monkey Pod Tree. Google Maps indicates that the Giant Raintree is a fast-growing, leguminous tree that forms a beautiful bush-like structure. Its leaves possess nitrogen-rich properties, making them an excellent natural fertilizer. The tree bears large seed pods resembling tamarinds but of a larger size. Native to the Latin region, these Jamjuree seed pods are a nutritious food source for cattle. It’s no wonder there are likely to be many cattle in the vicinity, as evidenced by the presence of cow dung and the occasional whiff of their scent when the wind blows.
The Giant Chamchuri tree holds great significance as a natural tourist attraction in Kan City. It has graced the province with its presence for a considerable period and was officially recognized as a “heritage plant” by the Ministry of Culture in 2017, marking the inaugural year of this prestigious designation. “Heritage planting” refers to the classification of large, aged trees with historical significance or deep-rooted associations with the local community. Other notable examples of heritage plants in Thailand include the Bodhi tree with a Buddha image head at Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya province, the majestic Lan Thom tree group in Khao Wang, Phetchaburi province, and the tamarind tree group at Sanam Luang in Bangkok, among others. The Giant Chamchuri stands proudly among these esteemed symbols of cultural heritage and natural beauty.
Upon revisiting the Giant Chamchuri, we were delighted to find that the government had taken measures to enhance its accessibility and safety. A low fence made of white-painted wood encircled the area, resembling a charming horse stable. To facilitate exploration, a sloped bridge and wooden stairs were constructed on all four sides of the tree. These pathways led to a raised platform surrounding the majestic trunk, allowing visitors to stroll around it at ease. Additionally, a designated photo spot featured a wooden bridge extending on both sides, offering a perfect setting for group photos. Here, we could sit, dangle our legs, or stand while capturing memorable moments. It’s worth noting that while traversing the bridge, we had to exercise caution and watch our step, as some parts of the wooden floor showed signs of wear and tear.
As we made our way back, immersed in the beauty of nature and cherishing the memories we had gathered, we came across a bustling market at the entrance-exit point. This vibrant marketplace showcased a diverse array of products, ranging from delectable food to charming souvenirs. Local villagers proudly presented their offerings, including fresh vegetables, fruits, and enticing culinary delights that were truly worth savoring. The market also featured clothing and hat shops, along with military welfare establishments, catering to a variety of needs. Moreover, visitors could avail themselves of convenient restroom facilities, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience throughout their visit.
Before boarding the bus for our return journey, I extend an invitation to explore the captivating “Yak Chamchuri Agricultural Park” on the opposite side. A prominent and brightly lit sign welcomes visitors to this enchanting destination. As you enter, you’ll encounter a charming vegetable kiosk, providing an opportunity for a leisurely stroll. Just beyond the sign, a breathtaking field of sunflowers awaits, although, during our visit on April 15, 2023, the flowers were still in their early stages, displaying their small yet promising blooms. However, by early May, the sunflowers are expected to have grown bigger, presenting an even more mesmerizing sight. The garden is currently undergoing landscaping, and once the transformation is complete, it is bound to exude even greater beauty and allure.
There are still plenty of enticing destinations and delectable eateries worth exploring. Allow me to guide you to our next destination. Please follow my lead as we embark on our next adventure, discovering remarkable places to visit and indulging in mouthwatering culinary experiences.
- The Giant Raintree, situated near the Tiger Cave Temple and Mae Klong Dam, can be found in Animal and Agriculture Division 1, under the Department of Animal Affairs of the Royal Thai Army, in Muang District. It is definitely a destination worth visiting, offering a unique and captivating experience.
- Weekdays open 8:30-16:30 Saturday-Sunday open until 17:00 Free
- There is a vast parking lot.