Cool season brings fields of sunflowers
Tong Festival in Mae Hong Son starts November 6, with fields of Mexican
sunflowers turning the hills yellow and gold. The event runs through Loy
Krathong with music, festivities and a Miss Bua Tong competition.
By Chiang Mai Mail
The cool season in the North heralds not only the start
of high tourist season in the Northern provinces but also fields of blooming
flowers, cool temperatures and morning fog picturesquely draping the
mountains and valleys.
Tong festival features not only the Mexican sunflower but also traditional
dances, entertainment and more.
The sunflower fields of Doi Mae U Kor Mountain in Mae
Hong Son are famous for their vibrant colors and photographers and tourists
alike flock to the area to see the bright yellow flowers known as Bua Tong
Located in Khun Yuam District, the area also boasts the
Pang Ung Pine forest, Rak Thai Chinese village, hot springs at Nong Haeng
and more natural beauties throughout the mountainous region. Additionally,
the Thai Japanese Friendship commemorative park near the fields where
Japanese soldiers were treated during World War II has museum pieces on
display of old weapons, uniforms and other memorabilia.
The fields bloom annually in November and December and
the Bua Tong Festival celebrates the beauty and color of the fields.
Beginning on November 6 and running through Loy Krathong, in Khun Yuam, one
of the highlights according to the municipality’s mayor, Sakchai Supasa,
will be the Khao Wongkot ceremony at Wat Muay Tor in line with the Loy
Music and other entertainment will also be on offer as
well as the ubiquitous food stalls and, of course it would not be complete
without a Miss Bua Tong. The Mayor waxed enthusiastically about the display
stating that this year it is expected to be in full color with fields
covered in yellow and orange glowing in the sun.
Madame Tussaud’s to open in Bangkok
Bangkok is the third Asian city to have a Madame Tussauds
after Hong Kong and Shanghai. Madame Tussauds Bangkok — a first in Southeast
Asia — is a 500 million baht on the 6th Floor of Siam Discovery. The figures
of Mitr Chaibancha, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Michael Jackson were
unveiled for the first time.
Madame Tussauds is a wax attraction established 250 years
ago by Madame Marie Tussauds, a French sculptor who dedicated her life to
the creation of wax figures of important individuals. Today’s attraction
continues to pay the same level of attention to details as did its namesake,
beginning from the meeting with the model to obtain facts, exact body
measurements, skin complexion, eye and hair colour. Four to six months’ time
is required to produce each figure which can cost as much as 8 million baht.
Thongprasom, seen here in a file photo, will have her likeness displayed at
the new Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum at Siam Discovery Center in Bangkok.
The world’s best loved wax attraction has won the hearts
of people, worldwide, with a unique “interactive” experience. Visitors can
get up close and personal with global celebrities, wrap their arms around
their shoulders and have photographs taken as if it was an VIP party.
Paul Williams, General Manager, Madame Tussauds Bangkok,
says “A visit to Madame Tussauds is like a rollercoaster ride of joy with
constant thrills where we take you to meet some of the world’s most famous
individuals and the secrets of their rise to fame.”
Madame Tussauds has been graciously granted the
permission to create the wax likenesses of HRH Prince Mahitala Thibed
Adulyadej Vikrom Phra Baroma Rajajanok and HRH Princess Srinagarindra to be
displayed in the Royal Hall as a reflection of the Chakri royal family’s
kindness towards their subjects.
The Bangkok attraction will feature over 70 wax figures
including those of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II, Barack Obama, Dalai
Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Beethoven, Einstein, Michael Jackson, David Beckham,
George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Stephen Gerrard, Bruce
Lee, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie and Jim Carrey.
Famous Thai figures include Field Marshal P.
Pibulsonggram, M.R. Seni Pramoj, M.R. Kukrit Pramoj, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu,
Sunthorn Phu, Luang Vichit Vadakan, Dr. Porntip Rojanasunan, Pawina Thongsuk,
Khaosai Galaxy, Tata Young, Ad Carabao, Pumpuang Duangjan, Yodrak Salakjai,
Mitr Chaibancha, Petchara Chaowarat, Sombat Metanee, Tony Jaa, Ken-Theeradej
Wongpuapan, Pancake-Khemanit Jamikorn and Anne Thongprasom. This is a unique
collection found no where else throughout Asia.
Anne Thongprasom shares her impression of the experience,
“I am so glad to be a permanent part of Madame Tussauds Bangkok, to stand
next to all of these Hollywood celebrities. The professionalism of the
attraction’s London team is totally commendable. They came over to take
measurements and went back with all the data to create my wax figure at the
studio there. I kept wondering how it would come out. The first time I saw a
photograph sent over the e-mail, I had this chill down spine. It looked so
much like me. Just like when I stand in front of a mirror! I cannot help but
wish it was December 4th soon so I can see this wax figure with my own eyes.”
Buy one ticket and get one free from October 1 to
November 30, 2010. Tickets are available from the ticket booths at Siam
Discovery, Siam Center, Siam Ocean World and all branches of Thai Ticket
Madame Tussauds Bangkok will open on December 4. For more
information, please call 0 2658 0060 or visit http://www.madametussauds.com/bangkok.
Medical tourism promotions begin
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched its
“E-Marketing Campaign for Medical Tourism in Thailand” and website www.
ThailandMedTourism.com at the Emerald Hotel in Bangkok on Friday, October
The event kicks off three marketing campaigns that will
run through to April 2011 to enhance Thailand’s reputation as the “Global
Centre of Excellence For Medical Tourism”.
The website collects and provides information on medical
tourism providers in Thailand, including hospitals, clinics, spas, and Thai
traditional medicine practitioners and their level of accreditation and
standards. So far, more than 340 medical tourism providers are listed on the
TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said, “The online
campaign will boost the number of medical tourists as well as increase the
average time they stay in Thailand. And this will help other tourism related
businesses, such as hotels, spas, and restaurants. All in all, it will
benefit all the tourism industry and follow the Thai government’s strategy
of promoting Thailand as the ‘Medical Hub of Asia’.”
Three marketing campaigns are planned. The first, the
“Medical Tourism Blogger Contest” campaign, is a competition for bloggers to
promote Medical Tourism in Thailand with the best invited on medical visits
to places including Bangkok, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh
Samui. Prizes are valued at more than USD 25,000 in cash and vouchers.
Joining the competition is easy, for details visit: www.Medblogcontest.com
TAT will launch the “Healthy Beauty Holiday in Thailand”
in November. This sales promotion will offer exclusive rates for dental
treatments, Lasik corrective surgery, cosmetic surgery, holistic and anti-aging
treatments, and medical check ups. For this campaign, TAT has joined hands
with partners including Royal Orchid Plus (ROP), which will offer 1,000
mileage bonus points when booking medical services under the campaign. Well-known
websites will also take part, including www. asiawebdirect.com, www.
phuket.com, and www. bangkok.com.
Then, from December 2010, the “You are in Good Hands”
campaign will debut and emphasize the credibility and safety of the medical
services offered in Thailand. (TAT)
6th Lanna Japan Festival coming this month
The Japanese Consulate in Chiang Mai has announced the
6th annual Lanna Japan Lantern Festival to be held from November 17 to 30
which will feature the beautiful lanterns on display as well as a Comic
party, Japanese Karoake contest, Bon Odori festival with martial arts
performances, dances and crafts and more. At various locations around the
city be sure to check the website for more information. www.chiangmai.th.emb-japan.go.jp