Updated Mar 29, 2018

SaTho (Saladin Thoroughfare)

Kenneth Tua

SaTho (Saladin Thouroughfare) is a low-cost hybrid cultural mini-bus with a tourism strategic transportation plan centered in Salaya Town, Thailand.

It holds tha transportation is the fundamental factor for the future well-being of Saladin people.
(1) Specialized bus service, as the core part of this business, connects various different tourist
attractions dotted in Saladin and its nearby villages. A solar-powered minibus with maximum
capacity of twenty (20) people brings tourists from the stop at Mahidol Univer...
It holds tha transportation is the fundamental factor for the future well-being of Saladin people.
(1) Specialized bus service, as the core part of this business, connects various different tourist
attractions dotted in Saladin and its nearby villages. A solar-powered minibus with maximum
capacity of twenty (20) people brings tourists from the stop at Mahidol University which is a
regional transport hub. Passengers can hop on and off at any site they want. (2)This scheme is
strictly implemented on the basis of research conducted in advance on the number of vehicles
available and underlying tourists. (3) Meanwhile, it also focutses on the marketing of the “Lotus
farm” in which Saladin is very famous from and expansion of number and scale of tourist sites,
as well as a series attractive activities (e.g. spa/massage, homestay, floating show etc.) (4) A
cooperative relationship with Mahidol University ensures that it goes with young generation’s
involvement which helps establish a socially-responsible image of this business. (5) It intends
to allocate infographics (with logo) brochures to travel agencies and set up road signs. (6)It
takes the advantage of social media like Facebook, Instagram, Weibo (China) to advertise
products to identify potential targeted groups.(7) In the long run, it plans to develop sharing
economy, namely, sharing bicycles with tourists in need.
Saladin Thoroughfare features in its sustainable concept about bringing the low-cost hybrid minibus to tourist zone centered in Salaya Town, with different attractions dotted alongside the route. It holds that transportation is the primary factor which helps improve the living quality of Saladin people. By bringing about unique cultural immersion experience to more tourists from home and abroad, it helps raise the personal income of villagers, especially those who are engaged in local small businesses, and meanwhile their awareness of participation in local community. This model provides more working opportunities for drivers, guides and retailers and social practices for college students in nearby institutions (e.g. Mahidol University) Moreover, this satisfies the sufficiency economy of King Rama IX since the project critically use extensive and rapid changes to the material, social, environmental and cultural conditions of Saladin.

Focus Areas:

Architecture, Design, Construction, Community Transport Models, Road Safety and 2 MoreSEE ALL

Architecture, Design, Construction, Community Transport Models, Road Safety, Energy Efficiency and Youth Engagement and ContributionSEE LESS

Implemented In:


ThailandSEE LESS

Country Implemented In


Situated in the northwest of Bangkok, Saladin village is alongside a canal connecting Chao Phraya River and Tha Chin River. It takes 60 minutes/1 hour by vehicle from Saladin to downtown Bangkok. The closest urban district is Salaya town where Mahidol University lies in, an international educational institution. However, there is no direct public transportation linking Saladin to the central part of
Salaya (around 10 km away). For centuries, Saladin has been left-behind despite the rapid expansion of Bangkok city as well as the surrounding districts.



Saladin Thoroughfare focuses on developing and stimulating the connection between Saladin and the Salaya District by utilizing the hybrid minibus, meanwhile creating a tourist attraction route around the village by involving other neighboring village in. The main purpose of this transportation is to bring Bann Saladin village back to the map and set up a commercialized tourists attraction circle surrounding the Mahidol University. Currently, the mini-bus proposes to set the terminal/parking at the center of Mahidol university meanwhile the Bann Saladin village will be the first stop of the whole route so as toincrease the likelihood for Bann Saladin Village of being exposed to the public.

Target Beneficiaries

1. Community of Saladin and Salaya Town
-The Lotus Farm, Organic Farms including handcraft
2. Partners + key stakeholders saladin bulits a cooperative friendship with Mahidol
university, which mention the target group
3. Tourists and Foreigners coming from Bangkok as

Mission and Vision

Saladin Thoroughfare is a community-based social business aiming at improving
overall living quality of people in Saladin through developing sustainable tourism, moreover to adapt the idea on other secluded rural areas not only in Thailand but also to there areas who has the same problem worldwide.

Competitive Advantage

This is not a typical bus service system but a mini hybrid bus taken its concept from Song-thaew car, a traditional thai car and is guided and sustained through a transportation tourism plan.

This innovation has expected social impacts that can be identified as short-term, mid-term and long-term one.

Short-term: SaTho bus service makes urban experience accessible to Saladin villagers.
They are able to reach convenient shops, quality medical care and educational institutions
within shorter period of time. What’s more, Saladin will enjoy a strengthened interactive
relation with neighboring villages where extended family members and friends of Saladin
dwellers live.

Mid-term: With a better-developed transportation service and an innovative branding strategy
of Saladin through social media, a growing number of tourists (esp.young urban citizens
and backpackers) are expected to come to Saladin so as to experience rural life without
taking the trouble commuting a long distance from urban districts.As tourist attractions are
renovated, expanded and connected, working opportunities will be generated, which is also
conducive to villages’ average income rises. With tangible benefits clearly demonstrated,
they gradually develop their willingness to participate in Saladin affairs.

Long-term: This is to sustain the level of income and the willingness of participation of
villagers by attracting investments and young labor force to Saladin as well as seeking for
cooperation with regional NGOs. Meanwhile, more emphasis will be laid on environmental
protection like a more scrutinized plan on water resource management, which requires
villagers’ individual awareness.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Currently, innovations of using bamboos to create an environmental friendly bike since the local community is famous for its location for bikers and solar-powered mini boats to enhance more of the tourism and accessibility of other tourist attractions within Saladin through its Maha Sawat canal/river.
Funding Goal100,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted20,000
New Implemented CountriesPhilippines
Recruit2 Mini Bus Drivers, 2 Ticket Sellers, 3 Researchers, 5-10 Translators/Student Volunteer Translators, 1 Advisor and community volunteers
New FeatureFlexible hop-on and hop-off schemes for bus stops, seasonal ticketing pricing, energy efficiency on the use of gas and electricity as a hybrid mini-bus, cultural branding and marketing and has a transportation tourism plan for future expansion of different modes of transportation for accessibility and sustainability.


Jan 2018
New Country Implemented In
Jan 2018
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Community Approval and Support

Supporting Materials