Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.


Driving to Nong Khai towards the Mekong we suddenly started to see lots of roadside stalls selling salt and then I remembered nothing grew here because the land was so salty …No rice…Nothing!

Proud of their salt-producing heritage there is now a 3 day Salt Festival with talks, educational displays and the most beautiful sculptures crafted from salt.

Before I show and tell you about the salt I will show you how I use salt …Which produces the most succulent fish you have ever tasted and eaten with Som Tam Green Papaya) Salad and Sticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.


BBQ Salt Fish

Just take 3/4 stems of lemongrass and tie in a knot, stuff it in the cavity of the fish and then roll the fish in sea salt do not descale the fish as it will not stick. Put on a BBQ and cook until fish is just cooked, nice and juicy turning the fish a few times this takes about 30/40 mins and you will have the most succulent fish you have ever tasted.

How is the salt produced:

Thailand’s unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable. Salty eggs, fish, salt are used in many dishes and the most iconic Thai fish sauce takes pride of place on every table. A meal would not be complete without salt or fish sauce being used in every dish or as a condiment.

Do not try to put salt in a traditional western salt grinder or shaker as due to the humidity here it will just clog or cause the grinders cogs to rust.

Used firstly as a preservative long before fridges were invented, salt has become as essential as breathing.

Here in Thailand it is not only used in food but in the spa industry. Now, who hasn’t been to Thailand and hasn’t had a traditional Thai massage?

Thai massage-2096580_640

From popular skin exfoliating, scrub massages it has great anti-bacterial properties and helps to prevent itching and provides relief from insect bites and stings.

Add lemongrass to your salt and a wonderful massage will let all your stress and jet lag just fade away.

How is salt made? 

salt farming

The ponds are flooded with salt water and left for about 10 days until the sun has evaporated the water leaving the salt, which is then collected and carried away in shoulder baskets to be bagged ready for sale.

salt farming (13)

There is very little if any shade on these salt flats to protect the workers from the sun and it is hard heavy work.

salt farming (10)


Health Benefits of Salt.

For years  I have been warned about the use of too much salt whereas here because of the heat and humidity I have used more salt in my cooking and diet.

I have changed the salt I use and use Pink Himalayan Salt or more recently as we live close to the above salt flats I use the mineral salt fresh from there.

The taste is vastly different from the salt I used to buy and I use less as it is saltier but since living here my Blood pressure is now normal…and for those who know me I have never been normal…lol..but it is.

Asians have for many years believed that we have an energy body as well as a physical body. All of our glands, organs, blood and skin consist of cells. They believe that our health depends on the health of those cells. Different cells require more or less of cell salts e.g nerve cells require larger amounts of cell salts but blood cells carry a higher amount of certain cell salts.

Hence salt plays a larger role in the diet in  Asian countries as they believe cell salts provide a rebalancing of the body to enable its natural disease function which controls the body’s mechanism to function fully.

I am finding northern Thailand such a lovely place to live the people are friendly and I am discovering so many fruits, vegetables and ancient crafts which are still being used and passed down from generation to generation.

Thank you for reading as always I look forward to your comments and appreciate any shares x


All images are from my own private photo collection I have no problem if anyone uses them as long as you just ask my permission.


25 thoughts on “Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

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  4. Norah

    That’s a fascinating post, Carol. I was amazed at the salt-encrusted fish and that the fish isn’t descaled before cooking. It sounds delicious though, particularly with the addition of lemongrass. A lemongrass and salt massage sounds very inviting too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Yes that was the mistake I made when I first tried it at home, Norah I descaled the fish and the salt doesn’t stay put…You live and learn don’t you? We stuff the fish with all sorts of herbs what ever is to hand here…Thais use a lot of fresh herbs but lemongrass gives such a lovely taste to the fish we love it….Thank you for your kind comment 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Yes, thats absolutely correct and it is how we learn I am happy to tell anyone any mistakes I make including burning things…I am the best at that, Norah…haha 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      When it is so very hot and you drink a lot you need to reolace your salt…I do think much depends on climate but I also think it depends on the source of your salt as in processed foods which contain much more than just salt which is harmful…Sometimes food is such a minefieldt, Robbie…I am pleased you found the post of interest…Thank you 🙂 x


  5. CarolCooks2 Post author

    Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:

    I thought I would repost this as it has been 2 years and I am still loving it here in the North of Thailand and discovering traditions which are still being passed down through the generations…I hope to visit the salt farming area again very soon and take advantage of the massages they offer ….I also hope to find some more traditions which are being passed down which I can share with you …Enjoy!


    1. Carol Post author

      Thank you…I am pleased you enjoyed this post I am loving all that I am discovering here 🙂 Thank you for popping in 🙂


  6. Pingback: Salt Farming in Northern Thailand. | Retired? No one told me!

  7. Pingback: Salt of the earth… | Retired? No one told me!

  8. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Carol Taylor read the post earlier in the week on the current research in to salt and its effect on our blood pressure. The research is looking as though we might have been maligning salt for the last 100 years and in fact our salt reduction may have had some serious side-effects. Anyway Carol had written a post on salt in Thailand which is very interesting and also shares the impact of increasing salt on her own BP.. Please head over and share from there.


  9. The V Pub

    I use pink Himalayan salt as well. I’ve recently read that traces of plastics are being found in sea salt, due to pollution. Thanks for the informative post – I had no idea how sea salt was made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. blondieaka Post author

      And now you do …lol That is a shame pollution gets everywhere doesn’t it ? Hopefully the salt here is not polluted or as polluted as the water is coming from way underground 🙂


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