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  1. #1
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    Suntec Convention Centre : Thailand Week

    Thailand and back, in under 24 hours
    Susan Ferroa
    28 Jul 2013

    Pack your bags and make a trip to Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre to land at Thailand Week where you can indulge in everything Thai, from music, shopping and food. With even some unique souvenirs to take home, it's like a trip to Thailand, but without stepping on a plane .


    The Aimbun organic, hand-painted clothes outlet helmed by Phitak Buntha, at Thailand Week



    Somjit Lohachata or Yin, at her booth selling the eucalyptus based Yellow Herbal Cheng Cim Oil



    The Thailand Week fair the Suntec Convention centre, organised by the Thai Trade Centre of Singapore



    Thamm Culture rice gift packs


    Singapore: If you're hankering for a taste of Thailand and just can't take a few days off for a well-earned trip, the next best option is to journey to Singapore's Suntec Convention Centre.

    Pack some shopping bags and jump into the lift for a quick flight up to the fourth level, to land in Thailand Week.

    Organised by the Thai Trade Center of Singapore, the event offers everything from handicraft, to spa essentials, clothes, gems and yes, food - lots of it - to either take home or savour on the spot.

    While the aim of the annual event is to offer Thai businesses an opportunity to find regional partners and raise their profile, it also offers retail therapy.

    A visit to Thailand Week which opened on 24 July for trade visitors and continues with its doors open free to the public till 9pm on Sunday 28 July, is much like a visit to Bangkok's popular weekend Chatuchak Market, minus the dense crowd and the maze of stalls.

    Amidst the orderly rows in the air-conditioned comfort of the newly refurbished convention centre, was jewelry designer Nalinee Sirapunprecha who offers funky gem-encrusted creations along with some more conventional pieces.

    Also spied at another stall was Myanmar jade, with the lustre of the rare gem set off by diamonds, in different settings crafted in Thailand.

    Those who always wanted to pick up Thai gem stones and jewelry, one of Thailand's more popular exports, can do so with a little more confidence at the trade fair as the vendors are vetted by trade officials before being invited to take part at the Singapore event.

    At the far right of the convention hall, is a booth run by the very genial Phitak Buntha from northern Thailand.

    He offers one-of-a kind tops and dresses that are finished in natural dyes drawn from various plants including tamarind and teak tree bark.

    The Aimbun cottage industry items also include tops and bags featuring hand-painted designs that will appeal to both eco-warriors and the fashion savvy.

    While Mr Phitak happily offers trinkets off a tree to shoppers who pick up his $30 dresses or $25 hand-painted tops, what makes him smile even more is the thought that he is returning to his home province with some serious enquiries from retail stores interested in marketing his organic clothes lines.

    Apart from organic wear, there's also organic body care products as well as rice at the exhibition.

    The staple Thai export is quite well represented at the fair, with organic rice for visitors to buy home, and even a very clever gift set that unfortunately hasn't taken off outside of Thailand - small rice packs of various grain types packed into stylish gift-boxes.

    "We get large orders for this usually from corporations at the end of the year when they want to give gifts" said Thitipat Lowthammatus of Thamm Culture.

    Giving a gift of rice is popular in Thai culture explained the young General Manager, while pointing out in distinctly Singapore-laced English "why give a present that you can't use?"

    The former St Andrews School boy went home to the family rice export business and started the new line with his brother, offering ten rice gift sets, including the Happy New Year and Congratulations collection.

    Imagine giving rice when attending your next wedding dinner reception instead of an impersonal hong bao.

    Although the elegant and well-priced rice gift packs didn't fly out the door at the trade fair, Thitipat who's known as Patrick to his Singapore friends, was glad that the local favourite, white Jasmine rice, was selling well.

    At another corner of the vast exhibition centre, a very Singapore outfit was dishing out samples of organic rice.

    The rice, explained a representative from the Singapore firm, Sukha House, is sourced direct from a Thai farm and comes in different varieties including a healthy brown rice mix.

    While much is sold wholesale, there are also small order vacuum packs that the company sells online and at the Thai trade fair at a discounted price.

    There's an endless choice of Thai take-home items at the fair, from ointments and oils, such as the eucalyptus based Yellow Herbal Cheng Cim oil from cheerful pint-sized Yin who is both sales representative and business owner, to reversible cotton bags from Isis Moda, as well as sweets and fresh fruit.

    Although Thai silk is synonymous with Thailand, surprisingly, there aren't many booths offering the standard ware.

    Only Chiangmai based Prakit Kosurat had Thai silk on offer at the exhibition spot for his business, simply named the East to West company.

    While his silk-clad items are quite traditional, there are gifts for the mod working girl, from elegant name-card cases to the stylishly smart thumb drive cases, all priced below $10.

    Probably the best part of bringing home a healthy slice of Thailand from the trade fair at Suntec city, is that you'll still have change in the wallet that can go towards an air ticket to Thailand for another round of shopping.

    channelnewsasia.com

  2. #2
    Newbie STARGASA's Avatar
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    Let`s be honest........not quite the same is it

  3. #3
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    The Golden Mile complex is Thai 365 days per year.

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    I am amazed there was no mention of Orchard Towers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toadman View Post
    I am amazed there was no mention of Orchard Towers.
    The last time I was in Orchid Towers, the only Thais I saw were lady boys.

    The "real" women were from the Ukraine.

  6. #6
    t.s
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    i fookin hated singapore.

    i had been there for work.
    i had been there for visa runs
    i had been there to accompany a female friend for a medical procedure she could have had done in thailand.

    i really fookin hated singapore -- until a friend hired me to do some design work on his ECP (penthouse) condo.

    once i got off orchard road and down to the beach, i quite enjoyed the place, despite the fact that my phone kept racking up roaming charges from indonesia.

    if i could find the right gaff in the area (at the right price), i would move there tomorrow.

    Alas, that is not to be.

    As for bangkok, i have no idea why the thais don't convert the "lake" at suan benjakiti into a wake park.

    singaporeans do so many things right in a totally wrong way, it is a police state in which the police need not even bother.

    and i get tired of taxi drivers telling m that thai women are "cheeep"

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