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Iconic Thai temples get animated in latest tourism drive

Mar 02. 2021
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By The Nation

The Tourism Authority of Thailand has chosen an unusual but undeniably cute bunch of characters to front its latest campaign to boost domestic travel.

Starring in the “Himmapan Project” are five cartoon creatures inspired by iconic statues at Thai Buddhist temples around the country. The idea is to give both children and adults a fun introduction to local spiritual landmarks around the country.

The statues are based on mythical creatures from the Buddhist/Hindu legend of Himmapan, the forest that surrounds the base of Mount Meru.

Artists gave the statues new life, transforming them into cartoon cuties that quickly became social-media sensations, said Kritsana Kaewthamrong, TAT’s deputy chief of domestic marketing.

The stars of TAT’s show are five cartoon creatures created by the artist twofeetcat.

"Singha Mom" is a lion-dragon inspired by statues at Khon Kaen's Wat Chetiyaphum.

"Phaya Naga" is a snake-dragon styled on statues at Udon Thani's Wat Pho Si Thung.

"Gold Hera" is a crocodile-dragon creature representing Ubon Ratchathani's Wat Chaiyaphum.

"White Hera" is another crocodile-dragon, this one inspired by Amnat Charoen's Wat Phanthuwet.

Finally, "Singha" is a lion guardian for Lampang's Wat Ko Walukaram.

The Himmapan Project includes tourism routes, sales promotions and a Facebook page gallery where other budding artists can show off their own Himmapan creations.

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