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Bangkok Travelbug March 2017 Thailand Tourism Festival 2017 Bangkok
March 01, 2017

Thailand Tourism Festival 2017

Hello, welcome back to the Bangkok Travelbug. We defer our usual feature article to bring you the annual Thailand Tourism Festival held at Lumphini Park, Bangkok from 25 – 29 January 2017.

This is one of the rare occasions when we get to see the customs, dress, festivals, food and handicraft of the people from the various parts of Thailand all in one place. Models of some of the iconic structures from the provinces are also reconstructed here.

What’s more, there was the added festive colour of the Chinese New Year which was on 28 January 2017 when we ushered in the Year of the Rooster.

Join us in a visual tour of this festival as we visit the various displays to admire the cultural and ethnic diversity from the different regions of Thailand.

Contents (click on the link to go directly to the topic)

Northern Region

Let’s start off with the Northern Region which was nearest the main entrance of the park.

Charms of the North

Uthai Thani

Uthai Thani is just 200 km north of Bangkok and is located in the lower Northern Region. It was the first station we visited and these colourful fabrics of the Lao Khrang from Ban Rai District were on display.

Lao Khrang of Uthai Thani

The Lao Khrang were emigrants from Vientiane, Laos and their weaving patterns have been passed down for generations.

Lao Khrang textiles


Next, we move further north to Nan province that’s on the Mekong bordering Laos. The Tai Lue were originally from Yunan, Southern China and emigrated to Myanmar and various parts of Thailand with most of them concentrated in Nan. Here’s a sample of their traditional dress.

Tai Lue in traditional dress

Chiang Rai

The Akha from Chiang Rai in their colourful costumes were popular with visitors who wanted their photos or to be photographed with them. The Akha also originate from Southern China before they migrated to Laos, Myanmar and Northern Thailand.

The Akha in their colourful costumes


Each region had their own stage where they performed their traditional dances in their traditional dress to their music. For authenticity, comperes also spoke in the regional dialects. It was quaint to hear these two ladies ending each sentence with a charming, "jao" in the northern dialect.

Northern charm


Lamphun is a province that’s just south of Chiang Mai and the village Ban Phrabat Huai Tom is home to a Karen community who migrated here to be near Wat Phra Phutthabat Huai Tom.

The Karen are Buddhists and vegetarians and produce beautiful hand woven fabrics.

The Karen of Lamphun


The Thai Phuan are an ethnic group from Laos and many settled in Sukhothai. They are renowned for their beautiful fabrics and if you do go to Sukhothai visit the Sathorn Gold Textiles Museum in Si Satchanalai District.

Thai Phuan textiles


Central Region

We move to the next sector which is the Central Region.

Central Thailand

Nakhon Pathom

Nakhon Pathom is a province just 50 km north-west of Bangkok. This picture of the lotus pond was taken near the stretch of the Mahasawat Canal in Salaya District, Nakhon Pathom.

Khlong Mahasawat links Bangkok to Nakhon Pathom City and Salaya has taken great pains to clean up the water in the canal. Boat tours are organised to take tourists to visit lotus ponds, orchid farms, orchards and rice fields.

Lotus ponds near Khlong Mahasawat

Find out more about this boat tour at Mahasawat Canal Boat tour.


Displays from the Central Region focused on some of the exquisite handicraft made by master craftsmen and women.

Thai paintings

These are done on cloth and cupboards.

Thai paintings

Miniature Khon masks

Khon masks are used in the masked drama depicting Ramakien, the Thai version of the Hindu Ramayana epic. Making these masks requires intricate skill and patience. If you are interested to see how it’s done, visit the Khon Mask Maker of Bang Plad.

Khon masks

Benjarong ceramics

The beautiful Benjarong ceramics are made from bone china that’s hand-painted in intricate and colourful designs. To learn more about these ceramics and how they are made, visit the Don Kai Dee Benjarong Village.

Benjarong ceramics

Banana stalk carving

Carving a banana stalk is another rare craft and it’s a joy watching these craftsmen create these masterpieces.

Banana stalk carving

Embossing metal plates

This entails making designs on metal plates by knocking and chipping on the reverse side.

Metal embossing


Southern Region

Southern Thailand

Over to Southern Thailand and the first thing we saw was this delicious looking snack. It’s made from a flat and round piece of dough that’s heated on a hot plate. When it’s cooked and crispy, it’s rolled into a cone and preferred flavours like condensed milk and chocolate sauce are added.

This Thai snack is called roti phu khao fai or Volcano Roti!! (roti – bread)

Savouring Volcano Roti

Sample some Muslim food


The Leng Chu Kiang Shrine is a famous Chinese shrine in Pattani City in Southern Thailand near the Malaysian-Thai border. A replica of this shrine was reproduced at this fair to give believers a chance to pray before the altar.

Famous Chinese shrine


Next, we visited the basketry display by Phattalung, a province 800 km south of Bangkok. The reeds for weaving these baskets are taken from a water plant.

Baskets from Phatthalung

The performance on the stage in the Southern Region had that special flavour, note the different regional costumes.

Performance from Southern Thailand


Phangna is the province on the mainland opposite Phuket island and it’s famous for its wood craft.

Woodwork from Phangna


These beautiful handbags are from Songkla in Southern Thailand.

Handbags from Songkla


Chinese New Year

Good luck in the Year of the Rooster

On 28 January 2017, many ethnic Chinese in Thailand welcomed the Year of the Rooster. A special zone splashed in red to signify good luck, was created to celebrate the occasion complete with dragons, lions and of course the rooster.

Celebrating Chinese New Year


Northern-eastern Region

Isarn – the North-east

Welcome to the Land of Dinosaurs! No this isn’t fantasy land, it’s Isarn or North-eastern Thailand where dinosaurs used to roam more than 100 million of years ago.

Location of dinosaur fossils in Isarn

Dinosaur fossils or tracks have been discovered in several places in North-eastern Thailand like Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Khon Kaen. Here are two museums in Isarn where these fossils can be viewed, Khon Kaen National Museum and Sirindhorn Museum, Sahatsakhan, Kalasin

The children just love these dinosaur displays.

Dinosaur Park


The Bun Kratub Festival in Chaiyaphum is held at the end of the Buddhist Lent. This festival which originates from Nong Bua Daeng District consists of a colourful procession of bamboo structures adorned with little joss sticks.

Bun Kratub Festival - Chaiyaphum

These joss sticks are hand-made by the residents from dried coconut husk and tightly bound in paper as part of a community effort. Visit Chaiyaphum which is just north of Korat from 1 – 5 October 2017 if you wish to see this festival.

There was a huge crowd watching the performance on the Isarn stage, looks like the biggest in this festival. I managed to take this shot over the heads of the audience. Note the different costumes from this region.

Popular Isarn performance


These products from Na Mon District in Kalasin are weaved from banana leaves! Tiny strips of the leaves are twisted to make a string, these strings are then braided to form a thicker rope. These braids are sewed into various types of products such as bags, boxes and containers.

Kalasin handicraft

Nong Khai

These Pha Laeng Lanterns of Ban Wang Nam Mok in Nong Khai are meant to welcome important guests. Nong Khai on the Mekong River is also where the annual Naga Fireball Festival takes place.

Pha Laeng Lantern of Nong Khai

On the 15th night of the waning moon in the 11th Lunar month (5 October 2017), fireballs appear on the water’s surface of the Mekong. To see this natural phenomenon, visit Nong Khai in the first week of October this year.


Lastly from Isarn, we have these beautiful silks from Buriram. Visit Buriram which is about 360 km north-east of Bangkok and see some of these silks yourself, Buriram silk

Buriram silks

We hope that you have enjoyed this virtual tour of a cross-section of Thailand. Make it come true, come and see some of these places yourself!


Map to Lumphini Park, Bangkok

If the map doesn’t appear, click on this link

How to get there

By skytrain/subway

To get to Lumphini Park, take a skytrain to S2 Sala Daeng station or the subway to Silom station (SIL) then take a short walk to the main entrance to Lumphini Park. The main entrance is where the King Rama VI Monument is located.

Admission is free


Next month

Bang Rachan Market, Singburi

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Eric Lim
Tour Bangkok Legacies
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