Diplomats enjoy Phuket tour
Diplomats from 15 countries and their spouses on Sunday took part in a tourism promotion in Phuket aimed at revitalising the Covid 19-battered sector upon which the resort province is dependent.
Ambassadors from Czech, Chile, Poland, the Netherlands, Russia, Luxembourg, Singapore, Nepal and Mexico; acting ambassadors from Indonesia, Kosovo, Belgium, Malaysia; and consuls from Australia and New Zealand were among those who took part.
They set out on the tour by visiting the century-old Peranakannitat Museum which is devoted to telling the history of Phuket and serves as a hub for teaching visitors about local life, local arts and the background of Phuket inhabitants who are part of the Peranakans culture.
The term Peranakan generally refers to people of mixed Chinese and Malay/Indonesian heritage.
Many Peranakans trace their origins to 15th-century Malacca, where their ancestors were thought to be Chinese traders who married local women.
The Peranakans were also known as Straits Chinese as they were usually born in the British-controlled Straits Settlements of Singapore, Penang and Malacca.
After leaving the museum, the delegation walked to Phuket Old Town where the island's mixed cultural heritage is most apparent. The envoys took in the Sino-Portuguese architecture while enjoying Malay and Chinese local delicacies, sweets and clothing sold at stalls and shops around town.
The third stop was the Woo Gallery & Boutique Hotel, a unique example of Sino-European architecture which has been well preserved by its owners from generation to generation and another much-visited landmark for those learning about Phuket.
The entourage finished the day at the Blue Elephant restaurant where they were greeted by Phuket governor Narong Wunsiew who told assembled media that activities such as these are part of the island province's efforts to revitalise its ailing economy amid the Covid epidemic.