Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Blogger Thailand’ 2017 Winners Celebrate Taste of Isan

20 Jul 2017

Blogger Thailand’ 2017 Winners Celebrate Taste of Isan

By Phoowadon Duangmee

Tucked away in Thailand’s Northeast region, Buriram is officially a destination for ‘winners’.

Winning entrants in this year’s TAT Newsroom Blogger Thailand 2017 competitionhosted by The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) were recently rewarded with a media fam trip to Buri Ram. This former arid farming prairie has been transformed into Thailand’s hot destination for sports and so much more.

These days Buriram United Football Cup is frequently crowned champion of Thailand’s Premier League, and their home ground ‘I-Mobile Stadium’ is a tourism draw in itself.

This year six bloggers won a five-day trip to Thailand’s Northeast Region, or Isan, with Buri Ram as the primary destination.

They turn out to be a diverse lot, including Turkish-born Engin Kaban and Indian national Kapil Kumar who are computer engineers by trade that find writing travel stories more enjoyable than computer code.

The outing was designed as an eye-opening media familiarisation trip and it delivers. It offers real local Thai experiences ranging from watching water buffalo laze beside verdant rice paddy fields, to making fiery tongue-smacking ‘som tam’ papaya salad for the first time.

Blogger Thailand’ 2017 Winners Celebrate Taste of Isan

A visit to the Queen Sirikit Sericulture Centre proves an eyeopener. The group is captivated, if not transfixed, by silkworm larvae in different stages of evolution.  They learn the most important stage is when the cocoon is treated with boiling water, unbinding the silk from the cocoon so it can then be woven into thread.

Other simple pleasures were gleaned from the group’s Thai cooking class. Making fish cakes, a humble staple at any Thai meal, suddenly is transformed into a culinary adventure.

“The fish cakes were growing and growing and we were afraid that they would explode,” said Engin, relived by the apparent success of his first Thai dish.

Blogger Thailand’ 2017 Winners Celebrate Taste of Isan

Engin Kaban (right) and Kapil Kumar

“They’re the best fish cakes in Thailand,” said Kapil, who teamed up with Engin for their Thai cooking class.

No visit to Buriram would be complete without a taste of speed at Chang International Circuit, where the bloggers enjoyed a 10-minute rush of adrenaline at the Buriram Silachai Go Kart Track. Whilst it is no match for the upcoming Motor GP 2018 scheduled next year, the thrill and challenge proves a worthy test.

All combined the trip is a fitting reward for a story well told by all Blogger Thailand 2017 winners.

Phoowadon Duangmee

An independent travel journalist and former editor of Explore, the travel section of Thailand’s The Nation Newspaper.