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Friday, February 8, 2008

Bokeo celebrates the blooming of dok ngiew

The annual Dok Ngiew (kapok flower) Festival in Tonpheung district, Bokeo province, attracted thousands of people last week, to celebrate the blooming of the flower in the area.
Miss Dok Ngiew 2008 contestants on stage during the Kapok Flower Festival in Tonpheung district, Bokeo province, held from January 30 to February 3. --Photo Ratsamy
The 8 th annual festival took place from January 30 to February 3 to promote tourism in the province.
“The festival is important to preserve local traditions and culture, as well as promoting tourism and enhancing unity among ethnic groups in the district,” said the Governor of Tonpheung district, Mr Chomsy Lattanaban.
The festival included various activities, such as a trade fair, sports competitions and the Miss Dok Ngiew 2008 beauty contest.
“Festivals like this one help to promote tourism in the ‘Golden Triangle' of Laos , Myanmar and Thailand ,” said the Head of the Bokeo Tourism Office, Mr Vanthong Chittakoun.
The event takes place each year to coincide with the blooming of the kapok flowers which grow naturally on 70 hectares in the district, according to Mr Vanthong.
Bokeo province is an entry point for many tourists arriving from Thailand before they make their way to other parts of Laos .
The festival attracted more than 60,000 people, both locals and foreigners, generating about 1.8 billion kip, according to Mr Chomsy.
Next year's festival is expected to be even bigger, because the district authority plans to invite tourism representatives from other Mekong countries, according to Mr Chomsy.
Bokeo province is in northern Laos , with its capital extending along the bank of the Mekong, at an intersection with Thailand and Myanmar .
The province lies on Road R3A, part of the major highway running from Kunming in China through the northern Lao provinces of Luang Namtha and Bokeo to Thailand . Parts of this route are still under construction but it is expected to be open to traffic soon.
It is envisaged that the 228-highway will contribute to economic development in northern Laos and facilitate commercial and tourism exchange with the neighbouring countries of China and Thailand .
The number of visitor arrivals to the province reached 68,487 last year, up 2.16 percent from 2006, according to the provincial tourism office.
There are about 85 tourist sites throughout the province. Sixty of these are places of natural interest, 18 are of cultural interest and seven have historical associations, according to the office.
By MK. Vongsam-ang (Latest Update February 06, 2008)

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