Bangkok’s Lumpini Park came alive between 13th to 17th January, as the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wowed everyone with a stunning cultural parade and stalls showcasing various facets of Thailand at the Thailand Tourism Festival 2016 (TTF).
The festival was divided into four zones spread across Lumpini Park’s serene 142 acres of open space, lawns and a lake that was awash with fiery colours at dusk. Zone 1 was reserved for stalls showcasing TAT’s primary activities and Zone 2 was devoted to the five major regions of the Kingdom of Thailand. At Zone 3, visitors could participate in various activities from the 50 districts of Bangkok.
But Zone 4 was where the main action took place. And I was there for the brilliant opening ceremony, graced by Thailand’s deputy Prime Minister and the elegant Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports.
As we made our way to the main stage, we passed by colourful set-ups and beautiful Thai men and women in traditional attire, dancing and proceeding along the walkway in a stately manner.
By the time the opening ceremony began, the sun had set and Lumpini Park was adorned in glittering night lights.
Drones are a common fixture on the streets of Bangkok and we spotted one at the tourism festival as well. Before the opening ceremony, we chatted with Ms Wattanavrangkul briefly and she told us that last year, Thailand had received 1 million tourists from India. “In 2016, we are hoping for 5-10% growth; perhaps more as we’re promoting a lot of new locations and activities.” TAT is now focusing on offering a combined offering of Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Finally, it was time for the opening ceremony and a gala extravaganza of song and dance awaited the packed lawn. We were served little snack boxes containing sticky rice and meat and welcome glasses of cool lemongrass water while we watched.
A shower of confetti rained upon the dignitaries and the audience as the ceremony came to an end and the ministers posed for a photograph.
But the magical evening hadn’t ended yet. After the ceremony, we took a tour of the different zones and encountered curious sights and sounds.
If you haven’t been to Bangkok yet, plan a trip already! Apart from tranquil Lumpini Park, several delights such as the Art in Paradise 3D Museum, the ethereal dinner cruise along River Chao Phraya and the mesmerising Siam Niramit show await you.
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