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Pattaya Daily News

15 October 2009 :: 22:10:24 pm 2153

Scorpion Tailed Boat Cruise

Origin Of The Scorpion-Tailed Boats : The scorpion-tailed boats originated from the vision of a local shipbuilder, somewhere around the 18th century, who got the idea of a distinctly shaped boat from seeing a scorpion floating atop a coconut shell on the river. He adopted the idea of the raised tail of the scorpion to include it in the boat design, making both the prow and stern also raised, but the latter elevated much higher, just like the sting of the scorpion.
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The scorpion-tailed boats plied the rivers, sailing as cargo boats from the north to Bangkok, until the coming of the railway, which supplanted them for at least a century. They became seen again on the Ping River, recently, this time, however, serving as tourist cruise boats.

Scorpion-Tailed Boat River Cruises
The opportunity to take a trip into the past, using the ancient means of transport of the scorpion-tailed boats, was the brainchild of Ms Songsri Wongvech, a tourism industry master graduate of Chiang Mai University, with the support of Mr Samak Laosatirawong. Mr Samak re-built the small cruise fleet, adapting the old design to modern methods of propulsion. Now, the boats are powered by eco-friendly petrol engines, which, unlike diesel, don’t pollute the river. There are no toilets onboard, again as an anti-pollution measure and the front of the boat houses buoyancy tanks to keep the scorpion-tailed boats safety afloat.

The scorpion-tailed boat river cruise allows tourists to have a glimpse like no other of historic Chiang Mai. The cruise starts from the Wat Sri Khong boat landing, with a short historical account of the scorpion-tailed boat. As you cruise the PIng River beneath ancient bridges, and other historic sites along the riverbank, the tour guide regales you with short history and local culture lessons, pausing at various stops along the way to experience the local charm and atmosphere. Gew chedi is the first historical sight you will see, after which you pass beneath the girdered-footbridge that spans the river between the oldest trading community of Wat Gate and Warorot Market, Chiang Mai’s oldest shopping centre. After that, you can see Chang Pier, the starting place from which elephants hauled logs from the river in days gone by.

The river cruise basically allows you to see a series of Chiang Mai firsts: the first bridge, the first Christian church, and the first post office, as well as glimpsing many more attractions for the avid sightseer, including the lifestyles of the local people today and you can easily imagine what it was like to have lived along the riversides ever since the foundation of the city. The cruise lasts for up to two hours, after which you can take a short break and relax in the Scorpion-Tailed boat village and sample some of the desserts

Scorpion-Tailed Boat River Cruises are a great way to host meetings, and seminars during a boat trip, and they are also perfect for parties to celebrate Birthdays ,Christmas, and New Year, as well as Graduation and Wedding parties.

Scorpion-Tailed Boat River Cruises also lay on special boat trips to promote new products for shops and businesses, as well as encouraging students with special tariffs for children as a way of studying outside the classroom and a very practical way of studying tourism with special trips for tourism students.

Upcoming events in Chiang Mai
Through October to the year end, Chiang Mai is hosting a series of festivals and celebrations, starting with the Chiang Mai Flora Blossom Celebration on 16-18 October 2009, where you can be regaled with a beautiful flower display and amazing firework party. The event will also feature landscape equipment, orchid display, international flower sculpture, and fashion show at the Central Airport Plaza. Next is the Northern Lantern Festival, where lantern displays can be seen throughout October at the Night Bazaar. Following that is the ever popular Loy Krathong (Yee Peng Festival) from October 27-November 2. For the three nights of the festival people release small floats – Kratong – made of disks cut from the banana tree stem and banana leafs to rid themselves of bad luck, for lovers to celebrate their relationship and to give thanks to the water and heavenly elements with incense, flowers, candles and money put into the rivers and lakes.

The Ping River becomes a stream of lights floating gently with the current. Small hot air balloons rise lanterns-like skywards, with a competition for the best balloon held in front of Chiang Mai Hall on Wang Sing Kham Road. The ubiquitous fireworks displays provide accompaniment, as do the nightly parades in Wang Sing Kham Road between Nawarat Bridge and Nakhorn Ping Bridge. October 22-26 sees the International Drum Festival 2009 held at the Royal Rachaphek Garden, featuring a variety of drum performances from all over Thailand and some foreign countries. 1st JJ Photo Contest under the theme of “Green Chiang Mai” gives contestants the chance to shoot the Green Season and submit their photos before October 30.

For October and November, Chiang Mai is the venue for a variety of food fests, starting with Chiang Mai Food Festival 2009 from 9-15 October. This is a celebration of Thai cuisine at the Central Airport Plaza. 19-28 October 2009 Vegetarian Food Festival 2009, held at Central Airport Plaza, allows vegetarian food lovers to sample the extensive vegetarian and health food fare of the vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai. This is followed straight after from October 31 until November 8, by the 11th Chiang Mai Food Festival 2009, celebrated by the Food and Restaurant Organization as a showcase that allows many popular restaurateurs to show off their culinary wares, drinks and entertainment.

5 -7 November sees the Northern Eco and Travel Mart, starting with the – TEATA, ATTA, ADT, Overseas Buyers Conference. Followed by negotiations with 150 companies worldwide for the Adventure Park, Eco Exhibition, culminating in live music; continued on 7 November with outdoor activities, Consumers Fair, Eco Exhibition & Adventure Park. Again followed by live music. Other festivals in November include the Sunflower Blooming Season, where you can see hillsides ablaze with sunflowers , with the festival centred on Khun Yuam village by Doi Mae U-Khor, Mae Hong Son province. Following that is the Chiang Mai Mardi Gras, held during the evening on Changklan Road at the Night Bazaar, featuring stage shows, the beer and food festival, and annual music awards. Changklan Road is closed to traffic and the streets are taken over by gaily-dressed marching bands, dancers and other revelers. The Goethe-Institute presents Asiatopia – the 4th International Performance Art Festival from November 28 – 30 at Chiang Mai University Art Center & Thapae City Gate, which is certain to attract top-class performers from all over the world.

December brings the floral displays to honour H.M. King’s birthday on December 7. From December 1st – 8th, Winter Fairs bring a noisy mix of fun fairs, freak shows, and commercial promotions at Lamphun sports stadium, where there will also beauty contests, and at Chiang Mai Provincial Hall from December 30 – January 8. There is another Food Festival to be held at Thapae Gate from December 15. Then there is the run up to the festivities marking Christmas and the New Year, with the addition of the popular Rose Festival at Thapae Gate, from December 27-29, which includes exhibitions, cultural performances and competitions held at Makro, Chiangmai. Then over New Year, from December 28-January 8, is the Chiang Mai Red Cross and Winter Fair where farmers and locals come to swap stories and goods at Chiangmai Provincial Hall. Also featured will be variety of products for sale, especially handicrafts, plus a show, beauty contest and games.

Visitors to Chiang Mai shouldn’t miss one of its currently most popular attractions , Lin Bing, the panda cub at the Chiang Mai Zoo. The early morning, from 9am onwards is the best time to see Lin and its parents, Xuang Xuang and Lin Hui, when the pandas are let out of their dens and fed. The animals take their afternoon nap after midday, so get there early. Lin Bing – Chinese for “a forest of ice” – got its name after a nationwide naming competition submitted over 200 names.

Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang have been on loan from China to the Chiang Mai Zoo since 2003, as part of a panda research program, and China wants them returned to China after 10 years, with baby Lin Bing being returned after only two years. However, Thailand’s Zoological Park Organization Director Sophon Damnui is keen to negotiate with China to extension so as to be able to hang on longer to their star attraction.

Reservation & More information please contact:
Scorpion Tailed Boat Village
381/1 Near Farham Temple Charoenrad Road (Old Far-Harm Road),
Tambol Watket Muang Chiang Mai 50000
Tel: 081-9609398, 081-9510791
Fax: 053-260223

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Travel

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