Like any first-time tourist landing in Bangkok in April, I knew a little about the Songkran Festival. I’d seen the pictures of a nationwide, free-for-all water battle, fought annually by wet warriors daubed in powder and armed with space-age water pistols and huge smiles. It looked fun.
Desperate to take part, I checked into a hotel on Khao San Road, which I was told was the heart of the Songkran action. Soon I was in the world’s biggest water fight, dripping wet and enjoying a Bacchanalian battle with fun-loving locals. “This,” I said to myself “is Songkran!” How wrong I was.
The following year I accepted an invitation from my neighbour Jeab, to celebrate the Thai New Year in her sleepy hometown of Phitsanulok. The trip was to show me a whole new side of Songkran – the real Songkran. Read more
The curved transparent lid lowers around you and all to be heard is the slow trickle of water and your own increased heartbeat. Beyond the perspex, a grinning lifeguard counts down on his fingers…3…2…1 before reaching for a lever. Then suddenly, the world falls away beneath you…
Like a bullet from a gun, you shoot out into the sunlight a few seconds later, after a watery ride so exhilaratingly fast that you’re still holding your breath. Congratulations! You’ve survived the Goop Loop, the fastest waterslide at Amazone, the world’s first Cartoon Network themed waterpark, 20 minutes from downtown Pattaya.
The famous Reclining Buddha image in Bangkok’s Wat Pho was recently listed as one of the 10 most impressive religious statues in the world by CNN Travel.
The Reclining Buddha of Wat Pho is honoured for the massive size at 15 metres high and 43 metres long, as well as for the beautiful features. “The most ornate parts are the feet, which are inlaid with mother-of-pearl panels featuring symbols that represent the Buddha, including flowers, elephants and tigers,” the article described.
Six of the statues listed in CNN Travel’s 10 of the world’s most impressive religious statues are found in Asia, while the Reclining Buddha at Bangkok’s Wat Pho has long been regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s most impressive religious icons. The image is covered in gold plating and housed in a Vihan boasting exquisitely painted murals, while the feet of the statue are decorated with 108 auspicious characteristics of the Buddha meticulously picked out in mother-of-pearl.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “This recognition will come as no surprise to most visitors that Wat Pho’s Reclining Buddha has been listed by CNN Travel as among the world’s most impressive religious icons. For three hundred years, devotees have paid their respects and they are now joined by over 2,000 tourists a day who come to admire the statue.”
The size of the Buddha impresses visitors, but it is the sense of peace that the statue exudes and the stunning craftsmanship that make it memorable. The Reclining Buddha image at Wat Pho has long been one of Bangkok’s greatest treasures, impressing writers, artists, tourists and pilgrims alike.
International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Thailand’s nationwide beach clean-ups continue into the New Year with Pattaya and Jomtien receiving a new zoning regulation to reduce space for beach chairs and umbrellas and offer larger space for more fun under the sun for holidaymakers.
The 10-day Festival will be celebrating 156 anniversary of Phra Nakhon Khiri with a range of impressive and fun-filled events, including a spectacular procession, traditional Khon masked dance performances, beauty pageant and Thai folk dance contests, fireworks display, music concerts and stage shows.
Phra Nakorn Khiri, locally known as Khao Wang – Palace Hill, was built under the royal command of King Rama IV on the mountain ranges of Khao Samana or Khao Mahai Sawan. The whole compound comprises royal houses, temples, pagodas, and an observatory. It combines the elegance of Thai, Chinese and western Neo-classic architectural styles. Nowadays, Phra Nakorn Khiri is a historical park and is open to public.
For more information, contact:
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phetchaburi Office
Tel. +66 (0) 3247 1005-6
E-mail: [email protected]
To celebrate the grand opening celebration of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has rescheduled the country’s biggest tourism event, the Thailand Tourism Festival (TTF), to be held during 14-18 January, 2015, at Lumpini Park, Bangkok.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik said, “The TTF is normally held in June in conjunction with the country’s largest travel trade fair, the Thailand Travel Mart Plus. But 2015 is a very special year for Thailand’s tourism, so we have rescheduled the dates to coincide with the grand opening celebration of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign to showcase our unique cultural treasures and the Thai way of happiness to international visitors, as well as to encourage the Thai people to take part in the preservation of Thai traditions and culture.” Read more
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has scheduled the grand opening celebration of the “2015 Discover Thainess” campaign for 14 January, 2015, with a range of spectacular events including a colourful parade and extravagant performances to be held in the heart of Bangkok. Read more
Foreign travellers visiting Thailand should remain aware and not take any risks by buying any ivory products even if it is something as small as an earring or a bracelet or claimed to have been legally registered.
Measures are being taken in all of Thailand’s destinations to tackle illegal ivory trade in the domestic and international wildlife market. The move is in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to eradicate the international ivory trade.
Thai Ivories and Elephant Legislations
1: Ivory from domesticated elephants can be legally traded, but allowed only for domestic consumption under trade control.
2: Thailand prohibits import and export of ivory even if it is for personal consumption or as souvenir, and tourists are strongly advised not to buy ivory or ivory products. Taking ivory or ivory products outside Thailand is illegal. Offenders could get a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine of up to four times the value of the item or both penalties, and could face arrest at their country of origin.
Thailand submitted the revised ‘National Ivory Action Plan’ last month in accordance with the agreement made at the 65th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee in July this year. Under the agreement, Thailand must adjust and enforce laws that would more effectively regulate the domestic ivory trade, possession and issuance of trade licenses as well as clamp down on the illegal ivory market.
For more information or to report on illegal ivory trade, contact:
Email: [email protected]