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Chiang Mai Monopoly board game now on sale
The classic board game has received a northern Thai twist with the official launch of the Chiang Mai edition on 11 October 2023. Chiang Mai is the second location in Thailand to receive a Monopoly makeover following the launch of the Phuket edition in 2022. In addition to the new Monopoly game, a Chiang Mai edition of the popular card game Top Trumps has also been released.
More details here
Bangkok hotels feature in world’s best
Four of Bangkok’s riverside hotels were named in the list of The World’s 50 Best Hotels. The prestigious list was unveiled in London on 19 September 2023. The Bangkok hotels (their ranking shown in brackets) included in the list are:
- Four Seasons Bangkok at Chao Phraya River (#3)
- Mandarin Oriental (#10)
- Capella Bangkok (#11)
- The Siam (#42)
Thailand’s unofficial national dish wins top place
Although the official dish of Thailand is pad Thai, most locals will tell you it’s the much-loved pad kaprao (also spelt phat kraphao and various other ways) that is the unofficial national dish of Thailand. And that love has been recognised by Taste Atlas who have placed pad kaprao at number one on the list of “Best Stir-Fries in the World 2023“.
Ancient town of Si Thep awarded UNESCO listing
The ancient town of Si Thep in Phetchabun province has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The news came at a meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in September 2023. The latest announcement means Thailand now has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
MasterChef winner showcases northern Thai food
This year’s MasterChef Champion is Chariya Khattiyot. Originally from Thailand, Chariya was educated in Chiang Mai and now lives in the UK. Her love for cooking stemmed from her upbringing in North Thailand and she is passionate about northern Thai food. It’s a passion that was passed down by her grandad when she was growing up in Thailand.
“I want to show the world that northern Thai food is amazing, because it really is. I just love to see people’s faces light up when they eat my food.”Chariya Khattiyot, MasterChef Champion 2023
Reacting to her win, Chariya said, “This is unbelievable. It means the world, the sun, the moon and everything to me. I don’t think anything can top this. I’m so happy! This just proves that if you dream something and you work really hard and you never give up, you can get it. That’s what my grandad said to me – never give up. He would be so proud of me!”
New railway station for Bangkok
Long distance train services to and from Bangkok moved away from Bangkok Hua Lamphong in January 2023. The new station for the long distance trains (e.g. Chiang Mai, Nong Khai, Surat Thani etc.) will be Krung Thep Aphiwat Station (previously known as Bang Sue Grand Station). Bangkok Hua Lamphong will remain open for other train services.
Responsible Thailand Award winners
The winners of the Responsible Thailand Award were announced at the prestigious World Travel Market in London. The awards highlight the individuals and businesses who are championing responsible tourism in Thailand.
More details here
Thailand decriminalises cannabis
In June 2022, Thailand decriminalised cannabis. However, there are some caveats that visitors to Thailand should be aware of before buying or using cannabis.
More details here
Use reef-safe sunscreen
In August 2021, stricter laws were introduced to help protect coral reefs in Thailand. Sunscreens that contain harmful chemicals which can damage coral reefs are no longer permitted at any of Thailand’s National Parks. Please do not use or bring sunscreen which contains any of these chemicals:
- Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3)
- Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate)
- 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor (4MBC)
Instead, look for reef-safe sunscreen or one which uses mineral-based products such as zinc oxide.
Say no to plastic bags
Retailers in Thailand have launched a campaign aimed at tackling the problem of single-use plastics. Since January 2020, many shops in Thailand no longer hand out plastic carrier bags. Shoppers at 7-Eleven, Tesco Lotus and many other outlets in Thailand are being encouraged to bring their own reusable bags as part of the “Every Day Say No to Plastic Bags” campaign. Tourists are also being reminded that single-use plastics are banned at all of Thailand’s National Parks.