Bor Sang Umbrella and Sankampaeng Handicraft Festival

Bor Sang, on highway 1006 heading east from Chiang Mai, appears to be a typical sleepy rural village, the kind the tour bus speeds by giving you just a fleeting glimpse of its two-storey wooden houses. But hidden in the tiny lanes, villagers have perfected a craft that creates the country’s most famous umbrellas.
For more than 100 years, the village has been associated with the production of umbrellas made from Saa paper derived from mulberry tree bark. According to local history, a monk travelled to neighbouring Myanmar, where he came across Saa paper umbrellas that offered protection against both the sun and rain. He returned with the production technique and introduced the umbrella to the elders of Bor Sang village, who added their own artistic skills to create a distinctive colourful, but very practical, umbrella. At first it was just a profitable hobby that supplemented the villagers’ earnings from the annual rice crop. However, with time production of the Saa paper umbrellas prospered, prompting villagers to establish a handicraft cooperative in 1941 that now organises the annual festival.
Using silk and cotton, weaved at neighbouring Sankampaeng, villagers eventually added a second line of umbrellas decorated with images of the north, its flowers and birds, all intricately hand-painted. Today, Bor Sang village exports both Saa-paper and silk umbrellas. They are seen at trade shows in a variety of sizes, from giant parasols that offer a shady canopy from the sun, to miniscule variations that adorn popular cocktail drinks.
To celebrate success the village hosts a three-day festival every January. Streets are illuminated by lanterns, while hundreds of umbrellas are hung from the rafters and beams of houses and shops. Bands play, while villagers compete to design the year’s most attractive umbrella. Concerts, a food festival and beauty contest all compete for the attention of the audience, a mix of both tourists and residents, who gather here to celebrate Bor Sang’s innovative handicraft skills.
Throughout the year, tourists visit the village, a short 6 km drive from Chiang Mai, to buy umbrellas and study the process and skills that go into making a handicraft entirely from natural products. But nothing quite compares with the buzz that permeates the village during this colourful three-day handicraft festival, every January. It is a scene that represents village hospitality and charm at its very best.


The Royal Trophy 2008

Date : 11-13 January 2008Venue : Amata Spring Country Club, ChonburiStimulate your heart with the challenging and exciting game of the two continents, an event that the best players from Europe play against the best players from Asia in Thailand’s World Class Private Club where the only floating green in Asia is located.

The Royal Trophy – Europe vs Asia Golf Championship is a unique, emotionally-charged and passionate competition played between the continents of Europe and Asia in a team match-play format. The best players from Europe play against the best players from Asia to compete in a spectacular series of matches for stewardship over the perpetual Royal Trophy – graciously donated by His Majesty the King of Thailand.
The second edition of the Royal Trophy saw massive galleries of avid golf enthusiasts flock to the pristine Amata Spring Country Club over three days of the competition, beautiful weather, unprecedented media coverage, a display of the highest standard of team golf, 22-year old Thai player Prom Meesawat coming of age, excellent live television broadcast in Thailand and throughout the world and a great show of sportsmanship by the Captains, Players and the fans.
The Royal Trophy was honored by the presence of His Excellency General Prem Tinsulanonda, President of the Privy Council of His Majesty the King who delivered the Key Note Speech at the Gala Banquet and officially presented the Royal Trophy to the European Team Captain, the legendary Seve Ballesteros who led his Team to success for the second year.
In the words of Ballesteros himself: “The Royal Trophy is becoming the greatest force for the further development of golf in Asia, in the same manner that the Ryder Cup played such a role for the European Continent in the 1980s and 1990s.”
Contact : Amata Spring Country ClubTel : 0 3846 8888Website : www.theroyaltrophy.com

Thailand Chinatown Festival

Date : 7-8 February 2008Venue : Chinatown on Yaowarat Road, BangkokCome to celebrate the Chinese New Year at the biggest Chinatown in Thailand, Yaowarat Road renowned as the Golden Road, the Land of the Siamese Dragon. Watch the beauty, treasure the Chinese cultural demonstrations and experience a wide range of Chinesw cuisine available at famous restaurants as well as fashion shows depicting ancient Chinese attire from various regions. The goldsmith shops offer you beautiful souvenirs. Last but not least, Chinese movies are sure to fascinate you.Contact : Events Planning Division, Tourism Authority of ThailandTel : 0 2250 5500 ext. 3495-9Website : www.tat.or.th/festival


The 2007 Thailand Tourism Awards is a special edition of the biennial tourism awards programme initiated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in 1996. These new awards are being launched as a tribute in honour of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama IX, of Thailand on the auspicious occasion of His Majesty’s 80th birthday anniversary in December 2007. The awards presentation ceremony was held on 13 December 2007.

The Thailand Tourism Award is Thailand's 'Hallmark of Excellence' — a symbol of assurance in the outstanding quality and reliability of tourism products and services offered by a particular organization, operator or community. The distinguished awards recognize the finest achievements and outstanding contributions to Thai tourism. They honour innovation and creativity in the fields of sustainable tourism, conservation and environmental protection.
The two award categories featured in the 2007 Thailand Tourism Awards are The Most Outstanding Community-based Tourism Award and The Most Outstanding Green Leaf Hotel/Resort Award. These recognize outstanding contributions by an environmentally-friendly hotel or resort property. Both awards are designed to promote the conservation of the country’s precious natural and cultural resources and support sustainable tourism development in tandem with the quality development of the Thai tourism industry.
Sustainable community-based tourism is valued for its effectiveness in channelling tourism revenue to grassroots communities, thereby alleviating rural poverty. Evaluations for The Most Outstanding Community-based Tourism Award were made based on site inspections and observations, one-on-one interviews with judges and, in some cases, the conduct of focus groups. Out of a total of 183 entires received, a total of 62 communities were selected as winners.
THE 2007 THAILAND TOURISM AWARDSThe Most Outstanding Community-Based Tourism Awards and The Most Outstanding Green Leaf Hotel/Resort Awards