Bangkok, 15 November, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) recently invited ambassadors of six European countries to Thailand on a weekend trip to “Open to the New Shades” of travel experiences in Kalasin in the culturally-rich Northeastern region or Isan.
The ambassadors from Portugal, the Netherlands, Ireland, Slovakia, Poland and Switzerland, as well as their spouses, joined the trip from Saturday, 3 November to Sunday, 4 November to experience first-hand the time-honoured traditions of the local people of Isan.
On Saturday, they visited Kalasin, home to a large number of the Phu Thai ethnic group. Donning traditional Phu Thai clothing, they joined a wax castle procession at Wat Wang Kam, known for its beautiful ordination hall called ‘Sim Thai Mueang Wang’. Then at the Phu Thai village of Ban Kut Wa, they experienced ‘Baisi Su Khwan’, a traditional welcoming ceremony and enjoyed several workshops on local arts and crafts including hand-woven textiles and bamboo crafts.
On Sunday, the group continued to explore the exceptional hand-woven Phrae Wa silk and archaeological treasures of immense significance that date back over 100 million years. Highlights included a morning tour of the Sirindhorn Museum, a geology museum in Thailand with the biggest collection of dinosaur fossils in Southeast Asia.
The afternoon was as eventful at a Phu Thai village of Ban Phon, where the delegates observed the Phrae Wa silk weaving demonstration and learned more about how each pattern is created. Phrae Wa silk, or the so-called “the queen of silk”, is a hand-woven indigenous textile with bright colours and beautiful patterns. It is an invaluable heritage and greatly concerns the lifestyle of the Phu Thai people, especially those living in Ban Phon.