Our Thai Road Trip: Cane, Cassava and Car Trouble


On the Road Again…

It’s the end of our first day in Thailand’s Lower Northeast, and what a day it was.

We left Bangkok at around 8am and drove for four hours until we hit the Lower Northeast. We gave ourselves enough of time to get there, so managed to stop for a coffee by a reservoir midway through.


1pm soon came around, though, and it was time for our first meeting.

The meeting took place at a cassava starch factory in Nakhon Ratchasima, where we spoke with Khun Kay, the Head of Export and Domestic Sales.


Khun Kay was keen to hear how we could help their business operations, so we spoke about logistics, financials, and risk management.

After this, we went to the plant’s Operation Room to see how cassava enters the production line as root and exits as starch.

Stuck in the Mud… 

After this, we had an appointment with two cane farmers, Khun Tew and Khun Pui, which are collectively responsible for 7.5k tonnes of cane.

We actually ended up meeting Khun Tew a little earlier than we’d planned, though, as our truck got stuck on our way into the cane field.

Having had little success hiring an SUV for this trip, we got offered a Ford Ranger at the last minute (a pick-up truck).


Despite this stroke of good fortune, though, the truck’s two-wheel drive was not enough to save us from the wrath of Thailand’s sandy roads.


15 minutes passed and our Ranger wasn’t moving. Fortunately, Khun Tew heard the commotion and came to rescue us, piling the sand to one side using his tractor. You can find a video of this on our Instagram!


Anyway, once the rescue mission had been carried out, we caught up with both farmers. They seemed very happy with their cane this year but mentioned that a lot of the small-scale farmers in the Lower Northeast could switch to cassava in 2022/23, as cane’s cost of production is rising.

However, it’s worth remembering that the Lower Northeast is not Thailand’s main cane growing region, so this outlook may not reflect what’s happening elsewhere.

Time to Recharge…

After these meetings, we decided to head back to hotel and rest up for day two, where we’ll visit another cassava starch factory and a sugar mill.

Be sure to head over to our Instagram for some exclusive photo and video content and check Czapp tomorrow for our day two update.

Other Insights That May Be of Interest…

The First Week of Our Thai Cane Tour (In Pictures)

The Second Week of Our Thai Cane Tour (In Pictures)

Our Colombian Road Trip (In Pictures)

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