Monday 2 March 2015

Discover Thainess - The Charms of Thailand

The Discover Thainess 2015 was officially launched in India by the Minster of Tourism and Sports of Thailand Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul in Bombay (now officially called Mumbai) at the hotel Palladium on the 25th of February 2015.

TAT Director, Minister & the Counsel General of Thailand

The event was hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mumbai Office and I was invited to attend the function and the press conference thereafter. The event started with an address by the minister. She was also happy to respond to the questions fielded by us.

With the Thailand Minister of Tourism & Sports Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul

Thailand is among the top 10 tourist destinations in the world and attracts as many as 25 million visitors annually and the tourists from India are the sixth largest group at almost a million tourists per year. But Thailand does not want to sit on its laurels and wants to increase this number dramatically. India can learn some important lessons from Thailand as it figures way below in tourists’ arrivals. 

The event was held at Hotel Palladium in Mumbai

The overall theme of this event was the floating market of Amphawa. Amphawa is the second most popular floating market after Damnoen Saduak. It is located about 50 km from Bangkok. Thailand has several places where the traditional floating markets have now become great tourist attractions. I have been to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market already.

Thai Boat Girl at the Floating Market

We were also able to taste Thai snacks. At the entrance itself we were served unusual juices of Chrysanthemum, Longan and Roselle by a Ladyboy (transgender). I tasted these juices for the first time in my life and was pleasantly surprised to find that all of them tasted very nice.

Traditional Thai juices being served by a Ladyboy

And from the boats we were served several forms of sweets, non-vegetarian snacks and fruit salads.

Beautiful Fruit Art

Along with the floating market on the sides were attractions like the fruit carving, mask painting, Thai massage etc. 

Mask Painting

Also we were entertained with various forms of Thai dances. 

Thai Dance

There was also a demonstration of Muay Thai, a form of combat sport, which is a popular Thai sport. Incidentally the Indian boxing legend Mary Kom has been made a Thai Ambassador for Muay Thai this year.

Muay Thai is a popular combat sport in Thailand

Also Read:
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market in Thailand
Tourism in Thailand: Lessons for India
Meeting the Legend - Mary Kom

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