Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Military-led ‘selfie’ attractions boost Chiang Mai tourism

May 31. 2018
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By Sakaorat Sirima
The Nation

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The 33rd Military Circle on Thursday completed a 4-metre-tall King Kong straw sculpture as an additional lure for snapshots at the Huey Tueng Tao Reservoir’s ecotourist attraction in Chiang Mai’s Mae Rim district.

Meanwhile, the military has been working to solve the problem of forest fires often spilling into the area, said Colonel Supakorn Reunsati, manager of the Huey Tueng Tao Reservoir Project under the 33rd Military Circle’s Civilian’s Affair Section. 

The military last year turned its 20-rai (3.2-hectare) demonstration rice field into a big-hit site for tourists, with a 200-metre-long “Chiang Mai’s Su Tong Pae bridge” plus several bamboo huts and a tent-setting ground for visitors to stay overnight, he said.

The original Su Tong Pae (meaning a successful prayer in the local dialect) bamboo bridge, spanning 500 metres across rice fields is on the outskirts of Mae Hong Son City.

This second-edition bridge has been hugely successful in attracting visitors to take souvenir shots of the scenic view, with the reservoir project earning Bt600,000 income in the first three months after the bridge was opened for public access, said Supakorn. 

The military’s aim is to now further develop this site as a “selfie attraction” with the large King Kong sculpture situated in front of the rice-growing demonstration plots. 

The first northern King Kong sculpture, which signifies the forest and fertility, was built in six days by a team from Rajamangala University of Technology Isan with a budget of Bt70,000, he said.

During the recent Songkran holidays, the reservoir project received 10,000 visitors per day.

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