By Johann Peter Gies, Junior Editor.
On the evening of the 4th of December H.E. Dr. Virachai Plasai, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Kingdom of The Netherlands, invited to a reception at Worldhotel Bel Air in The Hague on the occasion of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 87th birthday.
The reception was well frequented by ambassadors, investors and friends of the Southeast Asian nation. Accompanied with traditional Thai music, performed by the Thai Music Circle in The Netherlands, the guests enjoyed a rich buffet of original Thai dishes, ranging from spicy papaya salat to coconut noodles and flavourful, authentic snacks.
In his speech H.E. Dr. Plasai outlined the bright future that lies ahead of Thailand. He described the Situation in the country as calmed down. The aim is now to return to democracy by performing political, economic and educational reform. H.E. Dr. Plasai stressed the attractiveness of Thailand as a country of investment, which regardless of recent unrest, remains on a high level. The country offers the unique opportunity to combine business with pleasure. This might also explain the high number of Dutch tourists that visit Thailand. About 200.000 Dutch tourists visit the Kingdom every year and enjoy the world-known hospitality of Thai people. However, H.E. Dr. Plasai underlined not the importance of numbers, but the quality of tourism. In Thailand’s case the main focus lies on sustainable and responsible tourism that respects Human and Animal Rights.
As a token of Dutch-Thai friendship H.E. Dr. Plasai and his mother combined the traditional spicy papaya salad with Dutch herring; a unique, yet tasty symbol of the friendship between the two kingdoms. A friendship for which the ambassador was very grateful. Unfortunately this reception has been the last national day celebration of Thailand for H.E. Dr. Plasai in The Netherlands, as he will leave the country in the near future.
On behalf of the team of Diplomat Magazine I wish H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej good health and a long life.