Tourism to bring in 900 million baht this year
Tourism Authority of Thailand together with Tourism
Business Association, Mae Hong Son province held the Mae Hong Son road
show July 30 to August 1 at the Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai.
Nok, Thai Yai traditional dance, at the opening ceremony of the road show.
Tourism-related businesses like resorts, hotels,
tourism sites and even OTOP entrepreneurs brought their best products and
special promotions to introduce to Chiang Mai people with the aim of
drawing more domestic tourists to the province.
Issareth Phusara, Head of the Mae Hong Son Tourism
Coordination Center, said that the province had approximately 230,000
tourists per year. This amount is almost equal to the province’s
population itself. Foreign tourists outnumbered domestic tourists by 25
percent and Pai district is very well liked by foreign backpackers who
long for exotic experiences.
The Tourism Coordination Center set a goal of 900
million baht income to accomplish in this year. However, Issareth said
that Mae Hong Son tourism situation during last three months was decreased
due to the violence in southern Thailand that had caused insecurity in
tourists’ minds. During that crisis foreign tourist numbers dropped 30
The province offers special package of 3 days 2 nights
with starting at 2,300 to 3,500 baht. The price of the package depends on
the hotels where the tourists stay. The package includes traveling in four
districts, Pai, Pang Ma Pha, Muang and Mae Sariang respectively.
The package includes Huai Nam Dang National Park, Wat
Klang in Pai, Lodge cave in Pang Ma Pha district, Long Neck Karens’
village, Fish Cave, Phra That Doi Kong Moo, Wat Hua Wiang and Wat Chong
Kam in Muang district, Bua Thong field (only during early November to
December when the flowers are blooming) in Khun Yuam district and Mae
Sariang district as the final destination.
For more information on this package, please contact the Mae Hong Son
Tourism Coordination Center at 0-5361-2982-3.
Pluralistic societies under siege
On July 28-29, the international symposium ‘The Changing
Mekong: Pluralistic societies under siege’ took place at the Sofitel Raja
Orchid Hotel Khon Kaen to also commemorate the 72nd birthday of Her Majesty
performers featuring the ‘khaen”, a bamboo reed mouth organ.
Jointly organized by the Center for Research on Plurality in
the Mekong Region (CERP), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen
University and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, U.S.A., its main aim was to provide a broad opportunity for
researchers to present their research on the Mekong region’s current issues
and to produce a better understanding of how people’s lives are influenced by
global and market-driven forces.
the speakers addressing the audience (from left to right): Dr. Katherine Bowie,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A., Carool Kersten, University of Payap,
Chiang Mai, Dr. Bonnie Brereton, University of Khon Kaen, and GMS Consultant
Mark Pillai from Malaysia.
Drawing more than 200 participants from all over world, the
introductory key note speech was given by Srisak Vallibhotama, Professor
Emeritus from Silapakorn University, Bangkok entitled ‘Mekong on the brink of
disaster’ illustrated with interesting satellite photographs.
Sarnsorn (right), director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Northeastern
Office Region 5, Udon Thani, studying the display of the exhibition of
Expedition Mekong 2002, presented by Reinhard Hohler (left), Chiang Mai (Photo:
Realting to Chiang Mai was the panel discussion on ‘Ethnic
and Religious Diversity: Then and now’ chaired by American Dr. Bonnie
Brereton, a Fulbright Scholar, Khon Kaen University. Representations were made
by Carool Kersten from Payap University in Chiang Mai, who observed the evident
pluralism in 17th century Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Dr. Katherine Bowie,
University of Wisconsin-Madison, who focused on village beliefs about forest
spirits in Northern Thailand. The Malaysian consultant on the Greater Mekong
Sub-region (GMS) singled out Chiang Mai to become the transportation and
communication hub of the GMS, while Khon Kaen and Isaan will be the economic
center of the East-West Corridor stretching from Danang in Vietnam to Moulmein
in the Union of Myanmar.
attractive I-San dancing girl, resembling a proto-historic “naga” princess.
Another valuable contribution of Dr. Chotima Chaturawong
University, Bangkok highlighted ‘Burmese’ monasteries in
The key note speech on the second day of the international
symposium was given by Vietnamese Professor Pham Duc Duong who emotionally
explained a common inherited Mekong culture, comprising mountainous Mon-Khmer,
wet rice growing Tai, and Austronesian ‘sea’ characteristics.
A concluding plenary session gave directions and
perspectives for the Mekong in the next decade, to effectively control the many
planned mega projects, curb drugs and human trafficking, facilitate more
trans-border activities, and establish transnational institutions.
Much thanks went to Professor Yaowalak Apichatvullop, Director of CERP, Khon
Kaen University who organized an outstanding think-tank style event that was
successful under all the circumstances.