Discovering the colours of Doi Tung during this festive season

Colours of Doi TungBid goodbye to the old year, and embrace in the new with the annual Colours of Doi Tung celebration, which starts today and takes place every Saturday and Sunday until 28 January, next year.

The Colours of Doi Tung festival takes place at the Doi Tung Development Project, initiated by the late Princess Mother. The event boasts myriad activities and opportunities to enjoy the colourful sights of many beautiful and meaningful landmarks, as well as plenty of shopping opportunities at the Doi Tung Market, created in a walking-street style (the highest in Thailand).

There are 50 stalls selling fresh fruits and vegetables from fields and forests, ethic food and handmade arts and crafts by six ethic groups – Akha, Lahu, Tai Yai, Leu, Lawa and Chinese. Visitors can shop ‘til they drop, and take a rest under the shades of trees and enjoy cold drinks, made from fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Colours of Doi Tung event is a great way to explore the local culture as the six ethnic tribes, who have lived in these hills for centuries, will also be putting on displays of dancing and entertainment.

Doi Tung Facts at a Glance
Doi Tung lies in the misty tribal landscape of Chiang Rai province and soars some 1,630 metres above sea level, around 60 km from Chiang Rai town. The cool air and fertile soils make the mountain the perfect place to grow a range of temperate crops and flowers that would find it hard to thrive on Thailand’s hot plains.

Doi Tung Royal Villa

Doi Tung Royal Villa

This is why the region was chosen by the late Princess Mother as her northern retreat – the area reminded her of Switzerland where she had lived for many happy years after her marriage. Her villa here is even built like a Swiss Chalet, albeit with a Lanna twist. Building started on the Doi Tung Royal Villa in 1987, and it was made to the Princess Mother’s specifications and with her own funds.

The villa’s exterior is made from concrete and teak slabs while the inside is decorated in recycled pine wood from packing cases. The golden teak wood floor came from the Forest Industry Organisation. The main hall of the villa has representations of the Princess Mother’s favourite star constellations in the ceiling, so don’t forget to look up.

Mae Fah Luang Garden

Mae Fah Luang Garden

The Gardens around the villa were the Princess Mother’s pride and joy, and are still tended meticulously. You’ll find petunias, azalea and orchids with ornamental and rock gardens, running streams and ponds adding to the beauty. One of the talking points is a sculpture by the artist Misiem Yip-In-Soi portraying children at play. The sculpture is called “Continuity” in line with the Princess Mother’s belief that it is continuity that ensures success. With many of the plants here being perennials there is always something pretty to look at, whatever time of the year you might visit.

For more information please contact:
TAT Chiang Rai office
Tel: +66 (0) 5371 7433, +66 (0) 5374 4674-5
E-mail: tatchrai@tat.or.th
Or TAT Contact Centre 1672

Be amazed by Udon Thani’s amazing red lotus sea during this cool season

Red Lotus Sea Nong Han Kum Pavapi

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is inviting local and international tourists to come enjoy the amazing sight of the “Red Lotus Sea” at Nong Han Kum Pavapi, a fresh water lake in Thailand’s Northeastern province of Udon Thani.

For three months of the year, from December to February, this ‘red lotus sea’ is covered with beautiful red lotuses. The perfect time to see the red lotuses in full booming is in the morning from 6am to around 12pm. Tourists can hire a boat to see the red lotuses up close and enjoy the natural scenery of the fresh water resource filled with a variety of fish, birds, wildlife and aquatic plants.

To encourage more weekday visits during this three-month period, the TAT in collaboration with Udon Thani Province and Udon Thani Tourism Business Association, Thai AirAsia and UD Town shopping complex, is offering special privileges for passengers travelling on Thai AirAsia. By presenting Thai AirAsia boarding pass, tourists will entitle to a 50 per cent discount on a half-day tour of the “Red Lotus Sea”. The offer is valid from 5 December, 2017, until 28 February, 2018.

Besides the “Red Lotus Sea”, Udon Thani is probably best known for its archaeological wonders of Ban Chiang where the world’s first Bronze Age civilization is believed to have flourished more than 5,000 years ago.

Udon Thani can be reached by bus, train and air, with daily schedules from Bangkok’s bus and train terminals and Don Mueang International Airport.

For more information, contact:
TAT Udon Thani Office
Tel: +66 (0) 4232 5406-7
Email: tatudon@tat.or.th
Or TAT Contact Center 1672

Banthoon questions govt’s subsidy programme for the poor

Kasikornbank chief executive officer Banthoon Lamsam has expressed doubt over the government’s subsidy programme for the poor if it will really help to bolster local economy.

Instead he said the programme should be short-lived and not linger on forever.

Although there was sign of economic recovery, the main question still persists: if the distribution of income is equal?

When income is not equally distributed, the poor will remain poor, while the rich will become richer. How can the government return happiness to the people when they are still poor and could not sell their crops?, he questioned.

Mr Banthoon said there is nothing wrong with a cash subsidy programme to resolve immediate problem but it should not be long-lived.

We can’t resort to such measure forever. The country needs better solutions, he said.

He said he wanted to see new cabinet ministers coming in with strong determination and wisdom to practically resolve the rooted problems.

Those coming in to stay in power and abuse power will only plunge the country into political chaos again, he said.

The new economic ministers who took oath on Thursday (Nov 29) have outlined farm prices, Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) fundamental infrastructures, petroleum exploration as their priorties, and raising incomes for farmers.

Newly-appointed Energy Minister Siri Jirapongphan said the new round bidding for petroleum exploration would bring confidence of the country’s energy security to foreign investors.

For a plan to increase power supply in the South, where there is a protest against the coal-fired power plant in the Songkhla province, he said he needed time to study as it is a sensitive issue.

Agricultural and Cooperatives minister Grisda Boonrach began his work on Friday (Dec 1) along with his two deputies�Wiwat Salyakamthorn and Luck Wajananawat.

Mr Grisda said he had assigned Mr Luck to find markets for agricultural produces while Mr Wiwat will find means to increase agricultural produces based on the His Majesty the late King Bhumibol’s New Theory Agriculture.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)