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Mae Hong Son Lures Tourists With Local Culture

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MAE HONG SON LURES TOURISTS WITH LOCAL CULTURE

MAE HONG SON: -- Local culture is a main selling point for Mae Hong Son as the province is striving to reclaim its top tourism status. ''From December, we will campaign calling on Mae Hong Son people to wear traditional Tai dress for the month, and continue that way as a provincial tradition,'' said Direk Konkleeb, Mae Hong Son governor.

Tourism was slowly destroying the city's traditional culture and its environment.

''We need to restore Mae Hong Son to one of the top tourist spots in the North,'' said Supoj Klinpraneet, chairman of Mae Hong Son Tourism Association.

The province made as much as 1.2 billion baht from tourism in 2004, with foreigners accounting for 70% of the total.

''We're aware there could be an impact both from the heavy flooding and the soaring oil price in the coming tourist season,'' said Mr Supoj. Mr Direk said he wanted to make Mae Hong Son a 'dream and heavenly city on earth', to compete with the historical and cultural hub of Luang Prabang, the ancient royal capital of Laos.

The governor said the advantages of Mae Hong Son are eco-tourism and its hilltribe culture. And as more than half of the Mae Hong Son population are Tai Yai, there's a plan to revive an old tradition by encouraging people to return to Tai dress as in the past.

He said the provincial plan is to make Mae Hong Son a year-round tourist city by promoting natural resources and culture such as the mud spa, mineral water, hot spring, forests, mountains, and hilltribe cultures.

Tourist spots will be zoned, such as the cultural towns in Pai and Pang Ma Pha districts that will present hilltribe culture and their way of life.

Other tourist attractions such as the famous dok bua tong fields on Doi Mae U-khor in Mae Sariang district will be regulated to ease the damage caused by thousands of tourists every year.

Travelling to Mae Hong Son will be more convenient, with two land routes from Chiang Mai, three flights a day run by Thai Airways, and soon-to-start flights by Nok Air. ''The strategy is to create two economic systems. One is the sufficiency economy to solve poverty, and the other is trade balance economy generated from tourism,'' said the governor.

--Bangkok Post 2005-10-24

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''From December, we will campaign calling on Mae Hong Son people to wear traditional Tai dress for the month, and continue that way as a provincial tradition,'' said Direk Konkleeb, Mae Hong Son governor.
trying to persuade locals to dress up in costumes that they would be happier not wearing will just cheapen it all and turn them into parodies of themselves.

might as well put them in a zoo.

like the long necked karen people.

Tourism was slowly destroying the city's traditional culture and its environment.

thats what tourism does , its inescapable.

the only way to keep the culture is to keep the tourists out.

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If the municipality back home would call upon us Swedes to dress traditionally for tourists, we'd look like this:

6helenalasse.jpg

Luckily enough for the Mae Hong Son people, their ancestors were more fashion-conscious.

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strange , ive got lots of swedish magazines and they always give the impression that the swedes went around naked all the time

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strange , ive got lots of swedish magazines and they always give the impression that  the swedes went around naked all the time

I've seen alot of Swedish "cinema" that gave me the same impression. :o

cv

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If the municipality back home would call upon us Swedes to dress traditionally for tourists, we'd look like this:

Not altogether true methinks. Now, I could post a picture of a Mead Sweed in more interesting costume, but I think I'll keep it unshown for present.....

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