Two of Northeast Thailand’s prominent Buddhist temples and the International Silk Festival in Khon Kaen are to be the highlight of an exclusive four-day road-trip being organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Khon Kaen Office in cooperation with the tour operators, New Routh Co., Ltd. and 111thailand.
The routing of the caravan between 7-10 December, 2013, will cover the Northeastern provinces of Nakhon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Loei and Phetchabun, and include a brief crossover to the province of Kenthao in Lao PDR.
The trip bears the theme, “Pay Homage to Northeastern Temples; Be United with AEC.” The two temples to be covered are Phrathat Kham Kaen and Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon, both in Khon Kaen province.
Phrathat Kham Kaen, which means “stupa of tamarind heartwood” is said to contain relics of the Lord Buddha. Recently renovated and landscaped, it is the hub of an annual celebration on the full moon day of the 6th lunar month.
Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon is a nine-storey high stupa, which also houses relics of the Lord Buddha and important Buddhist scriptures. The doors and windows of the temple are beautifully carved, featuring the life and former reincarnations of the Lord Buddha, 16 classes of visible deities in the Brahma world, and Buddhist rites.
One of the important stops during the tour will be the International Silk Festival in Khon Kaen, which is being organised to display the best of silk products from Thailand, China, Lao PDR., Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
The Festival, to be held between 29 November – 10 December, includes a "Mekong Silk Road in the GMS" conference and exhibition, bazaars, the traditional Khon Kaen silk fashion show, a beauty pageant, and OTOP village goods. The Festival will also cover the "Pook Xiao" Tradition, and Red Cross Fair 2013.
Visitors will also enjoy the Pook Xiao ritual (a local tradition of the Northeast to bond friendship), and colourful processions of each district.
Then, the caravan will proceed to Chiang Khan in Loei and cross the Mekhong River to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kenthao, Lao PDR. The trip will end in Thailand in the cool hills of Phetchabun province.
Mr. Nopharat Kokwan, Director of the TAT Khon Kaen Office, said, “This is truly a unique tour that will go a long way towards putting new destinations, festivals and traditions on the map, and help tour operators diversify their itineraries to cater to travellers seeking new experiences.”
He said, “The Northeast region is shaping up as an important part of the Asian Highway, and the East-West and North-South Economic Corridors, a huge network of highways which will link the South China Sea with the Bay of Bengal, and Singapore with Kunming. In the next few years, these highways will make it possible to drive comfortably throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion.”
He added, “TAT is pleased to work with private sector partners in introducing these new destinations as part of the national policy to promote both Northeast Thailand and its increasingly strong linkages with the neighbouring countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion.
According to TAT figures, in 2012, Northeast Thailand welcomed 28.16 million visitors or up 5.88% over 2011. Of these, 26.97 million were Thais. The top three visited provinces were Nakhon Ratchasima (6.19 million) followed by Khon Kaen (3.24 million), and Udon Thani (2.75 million).
A few places are still open for the tour, and interested parties are invited to contact the TAT Khon Kaen Office at Tel: 043-227714, 043-227715 and 043-227716 or Mr. Nukul Naktanom, 111thailand.com, Mobile No: 080-423-1122.