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Fah Thai Magazine March/April 2018 - Infight Magazine of Bangkok Airways

Fah Thai is the inflight magazine of Bangkok Airways. It is YOUR MAGAZINE. It is distributed with our compliments on all Bangkok Airways flights. We hope you enjoy it.

HAPPENINGS THAILAND

HAPPENINGS THAILAND CHIANG MAI THAILAND CHIANG RAI One way to celebrate Songkran in its most traditional form is a good dousing of water and even more non-stop fun where it all began – Chiang Mai. The Water Festival actually marks the Thai New Year and it is the longest and most anticipated public holiday in Thailand. This year, official celebrations in Chiang Mai starts from April 12 to April 15. Following ancient traditions, there will be religious ceremonies held to auspiciously mark the beginning SPOTLIGHT Mother of All Songkran of the New Year. The first day will feature a long parade with Phra Singh, one of Thailand’s most sacred Buddha statues and a chance for everyone to join in the bathing ritual of the sacred statues. People in traditional costumes will perform cultural dances during the procession. The province will also hold a beauty contest for Miss Songkran and the other for Mister Songkran. On the streets, foreign visitors must be prepared for a “warm welcome” from the hosts, who will greet them with water pistols or buckets full of water. Traffic will come to a standstill as part of the festival charm, with many roads crammed with people celebrating and visitors are encouraged to explore as many fun spots as possible. Chiang Mai Municipal, +66 (0) 53 359 365 MISTY ON DOI PHA MEE Doi Pha Mee village, literally means “Bear mountain,” – a former opium plantation in Chiang Rai turned coffee growing area. Coffee produced by the Akha hill tribespeople is more than just a commodity; it’s also an expression of love and care from the late King Bhumibol who worked hard to transform the community. Now the Akha tribespeople have also developed a community-based tourism programme, allowing tourists to catch a glimpse of their daily lives through various activities. Visitors can join the local people in planting fruits and vegetables, picking and roasting home-grown coffee, weaving and embroidering indigenous clothing or sample their freshly-brewed Arabica coffee. The community still observes old traditions and one of the must-see attractions on the mountain is the wooden giant swing. Men in the village would remove the wooden seat and swing as high as they could to prove their manhood. In addition, it is the focal point of the Akha new year. Tourists can also hop on the swing; it’s actually a pretty safe activity. Those interested in absorbing the environment a bit longer can stay a night or two on the highlands, where there are various homestay accommodations. Alternatively, the tourists can also erect tents in areas designated for camping. The spot uniquely offers a great view of three countries – Thailand’s Mae Sai district, Tachileik in Myanmar and Laos. It’s an unforgettable sight as Doi Pha Mee greets visitors with mornings mists and a scenery that’s serene and beautiful. tourismthailand.org/chiangrai, +66 (0) 53 717 433, +66 (0) 53 744 674-5 GET TO KNOW LOANG HIM KAO Add smart purchases to your Chiang Mai trip with clothing and textiles ranging from tie-dyed items to creations with elaborate embroidery done by the Mon people. Known as the Loang Him Kao community, you can now visit and support their creations of handmade items. Loang Him Kao also offers various workshops for everyone to participate, such as ones on traditional Lanna cooking, crafting earrings from “teen jok” fabric, and learning the art of dyeing in the Japanese Shibori style. For those wanting to learn more about the community and their projects, a local guide is available at 500 baht per visit. facebook.com/Loanghimkao, +66 (0) 85 037 5252 AN ARTS VENUE PAST AND FUTURE A must-visit for those wanting to learn more about Chiang Mai, now that the Chiang Mai City Arts and Culture Centre has just finished renovations; recently unveiling 15 multi-media permanent exhibition rooms. The centre is home to interesting Lanna arts and exhibitions with comprehensive history and traditions of the northern region. The centre introduced 15 permanent exhibition rooms under the “Discover the Origins of Chiang Mai’s Identity” theme. The presentations are spectacular with usage of new media like video, software, models and graphic boards and comprehensive descriptions. Do carve out some time, it is worth spending an hour or more at the centre. Tickets cost 90 baht. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30am to 5pm, cmocity.com, +66 (0) 53 217 793 100