UNWTO Forum delegates savour Bangkok’s grassroots gastronomy
The second day of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism saw delegates fanning out across many parts of the Thai capital to enjoy the boundless diversity of its multi-cultural grassroots gastronomy.
In a carefully planned series of Bangkok Food Tours, the delegates enjoyed personal encounters with the city’s emerging generation of young Thai entrepreneurs, family-owned foodshops and third-generation immigrants from China and India – all united in providing visitors to Thailand an unmatched culinary experience.
All the tours were focussed on small and medium sized enterprises in many different parts of Bangkok, buried in the back streets of the Old City, in market-places or right on the corners of what is known as the city’s Wall Street. They included bakeries, dessert shops, noodle vendors and Thai culinary specialists.
All tours have been designed by a number of start-up entrepreneurs who are passionate about preserving not just Bangkok’s gastronomic culture but the entire environment in which they operate.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said: “We thought it would be good idea for delegates to enjoy half a day getting away from the conference presentations and actually experiencing Bangkok’s gastronomic diversity. We are glad that the feedback was very positive and hope that delegates will spread the word to their families, friends and colleagues.”
One itinerary led by Bangkok Food Tours (BFT) allowed participants to experience the first Historic Bangrak Food and Cultural Walking Tour, awarded Thailand’s best cultural tour programme. It deploys technology and service design process to help the local community by featuring local dishes.
Another itinerary led by HiveSters, took participants to Nang Loeng, where family-owned food-shops are bringing back the disappearing community and culture. Participants enjoyed the century-old market and taste traditional food.
A third itinerary by Local Alike focussed just on nine Thai auspicious desserts, each with different meanings and ways of cooking by SME eateries in the old town, all surrounded by ancient temples of over 100 years old. Delegates then visited the Princess Mother Memorial Park, dedicated to the grandmother of His Majesty King Mahavajiralongkorn who was also a great lover of Thai desserts.
The fourth itinerary designed by Trawell Workshop, featured multiple stops included in a Food x Technology City Pass covering a number of local communities, hostels and coffee shops in the vicinity of the city’s Giant Swing landmark.
Delegates also visited local markets and heard personal stories from the family-owned eateries, giving the entire experience a personal human touch. They later participated in a debriefing session to exchange views and share comments on what they saw and learned.
The tours will continue on the third and last day of the forum on June 1.