Bangkok, 21 April, 2022 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to invite tourists to discover the origins and inspiration behind the official logo for APEC 2022 Thailand – the Chalom – as in doing so, this will also open the doors to discovering some of the kingdom’s many fascinating local tourism experiences.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said “There are charming cultural experiences on offer to tourists who explore the story behind the APEC 2022 Thailand logo, and beyond this yet more wonderful, unique and easily reached experiences in some of Thailand’s most well-known destinations.”
A Chalom is a woven basket that is used to carry or as a package for produce, and it has been part of the Thai way of life for many generations. Made from bamboo strands – a strong, flexible and durable material – it represents the strong ties of the Thai and global economy, as they aim towards a strong, prosperous and sustainable economy.
Behind the making of a Chalom, the intriguing art of basketry can be found in vibrant practice in many communities throughout Thailand. While the main procedure and methods are generally the same, some communities have their own signature weaving techniques that make their products unique from others.
There are three such local communities, where the visitor can enjoy an authentic experience in weaving. In addition, there is much more that tourists visiting these communities can also enjoy in the same and nearby provinces.
1. Phanat Nikhom Community in Chon Buri Province – One of Thailand’s largest manufacturers of woven handicrafts, this ancient community offers weaving demonstrations and one of the world’s largest weaving and handicraft markets.
A trip to Phanat Nikhom Community, for example, can be combined with a trip to Chon Buri province’s famous seafood spot of Bang Saen for the seaside restaurants serving delicious and fresh ‘catches of the day’, visits to popular off-shore islands like Ko Lan and Ko Si Chang with their inviting beaches, and time spent exploring the various nature and themed parks; such as, Khao Khiao Open Zoo and Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden.
Then of course there’s Pattaya, Chon Buri province’s most famed attraction and an essential must-visit for any trip to Thailand. Great beaches, bustling nightlife, fantastic cuisine, and a myriad of attractions and fun activities for the whole family are all on offer in this energetic seaside resort city.
Further along the Gulf of Thailand coastline and easily reached by road from Chon Buri are the provinces of Rayong – famous for its own (and quieter) beaches, sumptuous seafood, Rayong Aquarium and the idyllic island getaway of Ko Samet; Chanthaburi – known for its fruit production most notably that of delicious mangosteen, longan, rambutan and durian, and Trat – an island hopper’s dream with a multitude of islands including the three popular spots of Ko Chang, Ko Kut, and Ko Mak.
2. Ban Don Tanot Community in Sing Buri Province – Walking around local farms and cooking local dishes here, as well as learning the art of weaving with the villagers, offers a charming look into the local lifestyle and ways of life.
Among Sing Buri province’s other attractions on offer to those visiting the Ban Don Tanot Community are the various temples including Wat Phikun Thong famed for its huge seated Buddha – the biggest Buddha image in this particular pose in Thailand – and Wat Phra Non Chakkrasi Worawihan with its nearly 50-metre reclining Buddha statue, the traditional art form of shadow puppetry at the Nang Yai Museum, and tasty local dishes like the Chinese cake of khanom pia, kun chiang sausage and pla chon Mae La, a striped snakehead fish found in the Mae La River.
On the way from Bangkok to the Central province of Sing Buri is Ayutthaya – one of Thailand’s most famous destinations, a former capital of Siam and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site – while neighbouring Sing Buri to the east is Lop Buri province, where the provincial seat of the same name is famed for its free-roaming wild monkey population.
3. Ban Laem Community in Suphan Buri Province – The community-based tourism and homestay experiences available here reflect the locals’ deep connection with water, and include boat rides and learning how to weave water hyacinth into various local products.
Suphan Buri province neighbours Sing Buri to the west and for those visiting Ban Laem Community, this province also offers fascinating temples such as Wat Pa Lelai Worawihan and Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, which holds one of the most revered and copied Buddha images in Thailand – the Phra Phuttha Chinnarat, the intriguing Dragon Descendants museum and Celestial Dragon Village, Thai Water Buffalo Preservation Village, the lush forest and mountains of Pu Toei National Park, and Banharn Jamsai Tower, which at 123.25 metres is considered the highest viewpoint tower in Thailand.
To the west of Suphan Buri is Kanchanaburi province, known for its national parks offering dramatic landscapes of jungle, waterfalls, and limestone caves, and the infamous Burma Railway, Bridge over the River Kwai, Allied war cemeteries, Hellfire Pass, and other historical links to World War II.
Thailand’s theme for its hosting of the APEC 2022 is “Open. Connect. Balance.” At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November 2022, Thailand will propose the “Bangkok Goals on BCG Economy” to serve as an affirmation of the 21 APEC nations’ commitment to pursue a more inclusive, balanced, and sustainable recovery from COVID-19 pandemic and achieve long-term environmental and climate objectives. Meanwhile, the 11th APEC Tourism Ministerial Meeting and the 60th APEC Tourism Working Group Meeting will take place in Bangkok from 14-20 August, 2022.