THE MALAYSIAN OFFICE OF TAT OR TOURISM AUTHORITY OF THAILAND ORGANISED A ROADSHOW AND TRAVEL-MART FOR MALAYSIAN TRAVEL AGENCIES AND THEIR THAI COUNTERPARTS AND THAI HOTELS ON 23 FEBRUARY AT THE 5-STAR INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL.
The hotel is situated right nextdoor to TAT Malaysia's office at Citibank building so it was very convenient for everyone and the Thai visitors also stayed at the hotel. The trade show in the afternoon saw the convergence of Malaysian and Thai tour operators and hotel owners like Grand Mercure, Khaolak and Asia Explorer and Bangkok Airways the new airline now serving Kuala Lumpur and Koh Samui from 1 April 2012.
Malaysian companies included Tours of Peninsula, Holiday Tour & Travel, Honey Vacation Travel & Tour.
Of course the evening ended with a gala dinner, same as the TAT Roadshow in Penang on 21 February. The Intercontinental Ballroom was packed with participants and we all enjoyed a grand Chinese feast.
The highlights were lucky draws divided into 2 sessions and a magnificent Thai dance performance with dancers flown in just for the occasion. It must have cost Tourism Authority of Thailand TAT a pile of money but then Malaysians are the biggest visitors to Thailand at around 2.5 million so we are an important market.
To me, Bangkok is my second favourite city after London followed by Istanbul. Fourth place is New Yprk followed by Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. I only like London more as I can speak 'England' whereas my Thai is limited to sawadee and sanuk which will not get me far as I don't even know the words for 'Let's have wild sex'.
Anyway I hardly ate as I was so enthralled by the Thai dances and my favourite is Khon but this is so elaborate it requires a cast of dozens plus a carriage, dragons and enough props to fill several containers.
The PR manager of TAT Malaysia Somboon Cheanswath, Director of ASEAN, South Asia and Pacific Pichai Raktasinga and TAT Malaysia marketing manager Richard Lim spoke glowingly about the attractions of Thailand which I can vouch on my ancestors' souls as they are indeed fascinating and worth every ringgit!
TAT's campaign focuses on the unique strengths and attractions of Thailand found nowhere else this side of the observable universe; Eco-tourism, Golf, Health & Wellness, Shopping, Culture, Temples, Weddings & Honeymoon and Thai-ness.
Below are the wonderful dances in chronological order, starting from the classical dance which required the most elaborate costumes and preparation;
Pichai Raktasinga giving his speech in the Intercontinental Ballroom
The fascinating Thai classical dance
They are dressed as Kinari the bird deities who inhabit Himmapan forest, midway between our realm and the abode of the gods on Mt Meru
The Dance of the Lights
The Coconut Dance
The Farmers' Dance
The Drum Dance