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Thailand Week 2024 to feature concert, food, cultural events

04/18/2024 08:38 PM
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Narong Boonsatheanwong, executive director of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taiwan, appears at a news conference in Taipei Thursday. CNA photo April 18, 2024
Narong Boonsatheanwong, executive director of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taiwan, appears at a news conference in Taipei Thursday. CNA photo April 18, 2024

Taipei, April 18 (CNA) The 2024 Thailand Week organized by the de facto Thai embassy in Taiwan will be held from April 24-30 and feature a string concert, a food festival and cultural events, the Southeast Asian country's top representative announced on Thursday.

Speaking during a press event, Narong Boonsatheanwong, executive director of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office (TTEO), said Thailand Week is to be held just after Songkran, also known as the water festival, which marks the start of Thailand's traditional New Year.

The TTEO holds a similar festival every April, but the scale of the event has expanded this year, according to the envoy, who took up his post this February.

The week-long festival will begin with a String Orchestra Concert in Taipei on April 24 staged by the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Youth Orchestra from Thailand, according to Boonsatheanwong.

The concert will be held in the auditorium of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at 7 p.m. and will celebrate the 72nd birthday of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua.

His birthday falls on July 28 and events are arranged throughout the year to celebrate.

During the concert, six songs written by former King Bhumibol Adulyadej will be performed as well as other famous Taiwanese and Thai songs, according to the envoy.

Following the concert, which will be attended by Taiwan's Deputy Foreign Minister Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), a Thai Food Festival will be staged at the Mandarin Oriental Taipei from April 26 to 28 at the hotel's Thai restaurant, he continued.

A Thai Festival will also run from April 26 to 28 on the fourth floor of the Taipei Far Eastern Department Store-Xinyi A13. It will feature daily performances of music, dances, Thai massage and Thai cooking demonstrations, Boonsatheanwong added.

The envoy said the annual festival is meant to promote exchanges between people from Thailand and Taiwan.

More information about Thailand Week is available at TTEO's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TTEOTAIPEI

Meanwhile, the envoy did not give a direct answer when asked if his country's visa exemption scheme for Taiwan passport holders would be extended after it expires on May 10, saying only that the decision would be revealed soon.

"Don't worry, it will be announced soon," he said through an interpreter.

Thailand's government announced in October last year that Taiwanese travelers would be granted a visa-free stay of 30 days from Nov. 10 until May 10, 2024, because the Southeast Asian country was seeking to draw in more tourists as the high season approached.

Boonsatheanwong also told reporters Thursday that Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Taiwanese people, with 750,000 making visits last year.

He said he expects the number of visitors from Taiwan in 2024 to surpass 1 million.

Boonsatheanwong, former deputy director-general of Thailand's Department of Consular Affairs, took up his post at TTEO -- the de facto Thai embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties -- on Feb. 11.

He has also been posted in Myanmar and Bangladesh.

(By Joseph Yeh)

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