Thailand Tourism Festival 2017 Highlights
I have a soft corner for Amazing Thailand for more reasons than one. After marriage, Thailand was our first foreign trip and we visited Phuket, Pattaya, and Bangkok. This was long before I started this hobby travel blog better known as desi Traveler. One fine day I received a call from TAT New Delhi inviting me to Thailand on a media trip. Thus Thailand became my first foreign trip as a blogger giving me a chance to visit the amazing country once again and my fondness for Thailand only increasing.
But there was more in store and I made my third visit to Amazing Thailand in the last week of January making it my first blogging trip for 2017. So this post is about my latest Thailand visit on the invitation of TAT New Delhi. The main purpose of the visit was to attend the Thailand Tourism Festival 2017, at Lumpini Park Bangkok. Now when it comes to tourism, I think Thailand has perfected it as an art form. Even on my first visit more than a decade ago, I have found Thailand to be very tourist friendly with facilities like Thailand Visa On Arrival, currency exchange facilities at the airport and popular shopping destinations etc. With Bangkok recently declared as the most visited city in the world by Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index, tourism is serious business in Thailand and one of the key employment generators for the Thai economy. No wonder maximum traffic and outbound clicks I get on desi Traveler blog are about blog posts related to Thailand.
But let me take you to the beautiful evening we spent at the Lumpini Park at the inauguration of the Thailand Tourism Festival 2017 in the august company of dignitaries from Thai government. We were staying very close to the Lumpini Park at the Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel and we reached a little ahead of the inauguration ceremony. It turned out to be a good decision as we witnessed the opening parade where performers from different regions of Thailand were lining up to join the inauguration ceremony of the Thailand Tourism Festival 2017.
The parade was a visual delight with performers from all corners of Thailand displaying colors, costumes, and culture of Amazing Thailand at one place. As the parade slowly moved towards the main arena we clicked pictures and enjoyed the music being played on large drums that were so heavy that needed to be carried on custom-made wheeled trolleys. I clicked some of the performers during the parade and then we moved to the main arena where the inauguration was to happen.
To my pleasant surprise Mrs. Srisuda Wanapinyosak, Deputy Governor for International Marketing Asia and South Pacific personally welcomed us and gifted us a handmade cotton muffler. I must say I was overwhelmed by the welcome honor accorded to us and this muffler will be cherished for the warmth it brings with it.
The main function of Thailand Tourism Festival was inaugurated by Deputy Prime Minister, H.E. General Tanasak Patimapragorn accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Kobkarn Wattanvrangkul, Chairman of the Board of TAT, Mr. Kalin Sarasin, Governor of TAT, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn and Governor of Bangkok, Pol. Gen. Aswin Kwanmuang and other Thai dignitaries. The inauguration was a high-octane performance with drums rolling and Thai dancers showcasing the rich diversity and cultural vibrancy of Thai provinces, with the theme ” ” Inherit the glorious of Thai Kingdom”
As it was getting dark we moved to the pavilions of various Thai provinces to get a firsthand experience of the richness of Thai Culture. The colors of Thailand were a perfect backdrop to capture beautiful moments, from shy performers to grinning grannies showcasing the lost art of spinning a yarn to make colorful Thai garments.
As I was clicking this Thai granny showing how to make a thread using a spinning wheel my fellow travel writer from Bhutan who was dressed in her national clothes mentioned that the designs and patterns on the Thai garments are very similar to what she finds in Bhutan. I think this is a beautiful example of the world sharing some common heritage or trade links that go hundreds if not thousands of years back? No matter how different we all look or feel due to physical distances but somewhere we are all connected in the past and no wonder travel unravels so many lost connections that one is bound to say – Amazing, and what better place to understand this than Amazing Thailand?
As I moved from one region of Thailand to another I could only now understand how rich Thai culture is and I need to come much more time to Thailand to experience the various aspects of Thailand. From the hill tribes of North to the sunny beaches in the south, to the ancients temples of Ayutthaya and royal ruins Sukhothai Thailand offers so much to a traveler that one visit is just not enough. Even on this visit I was totally not prepared for the surprises that the island of Koh Chang offered. I mean who would have imagined a herd of deer on an isolated island that is just perfect for snorkeling.
In various areas of the pavilion, each of the Thai provinces has showcased the best of their culture, food, and the stage was set to showcase dance forms. I clicked a few of them but as it was getting dark did not get many good pictures. How I wished I had another day at the Thailand Tourism Festival 2017, but let me assure you the desire to visit Thailand once more has only got stronger as now I know there is so much more to see and experience in Thailand. The best part of Thailand Tourism Festival I liked was that at a single venue we were able to see for yourself all the best of what Thailand has to offer to visitors at a single place.
I must add here that it is not easy to decide between on Thai attraction and other. Most people wonder where to go in Thailand and they end up spending a lot of time at beaches, may I urge you to explore other aspects of Thailand also. Next time I am in Thailand I plan to visit one of the islands like Koh Samui and one of the other attractions like Chiang Mai in North Thailand while staying back for 2 nights in Bangkok.
This was the suggestion from Wife jee the first time when we visited Thailand, her logic was simple, “ Let us keep Bangkok in the end of our Thailand visit so that we can do shopping in Bangkok before we head home.” I too like this idea of keeping Bangkok in the end of your trip as this way you do not have to haul a lot of stuff around Thailand, for let me assure you, you will be shopping a lot in Thailand considering the competitive prices and VAT refund offered to tourists.
It was indeed a wonderful day to attend the Thailand Tourism Festival and I must thank TAT New Delhi for inviting me to attend this wonderful festival that introduced me to the so many aspects of Thai culture and regions that I would have never known otherwise.
But before I close this post I must share this last picture I clicked at the festival as I was leaving the Lumpini Park, on a skyscraper nearby I saw the portrait of former King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who ushered in an era of prosperity and modernity in Thailand. I am sure he will be happy to know that his people love him and continue to carry forward the glories of Thailand to the future.
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