I have been living in Sakon Nakhon for almost 6 weeks now and have attended 2 events under the OTOP banner. The first a small tasteful event featuring the products of Lanna, It displayed and showed those products under a canvas marquee in the huge field in front of the schools complex and Police Station on Sookkasem Road,Soi 2. A sizable variety of Lanna ware was available at good prices and seemed to be relatively well attended, The new event started yesterday and seems to have been organized by a commercial body to promote Sakon Nakhon' OTOP products. We arrived on a rainy Thursday afternoon to a scene of vehicular madness. As well as school letting out it seemed that the whole town was intent on blocking every road in the area, the same site as the previous event, in front of the Immigration Office and Police Station This event is being held in 3 huge attached tentlike Quonset huts that are conditioned. The air units are 6 huge units with blowers at each end of each unit freezing out the participants and visitors alike. The place was packed with students interviewing sellers as part of assignments given them by their teachers. While there was a good deal of repetition in products the selection was quiet good and the prices in the OTOP range, without false inflation. I recognized the products of a fair few Amphor and chatted with the sellers. I would have thought that Kutnakhan might have has more of a selection as the place is a must for crafts if visiting Sakon Nakhon, or anywhere in the area. All in all I was once agin impressed with the selection, prices and displays.
Two events, 2 enjoyable, well presented tasteful events in 6 weeks... OKAY so just what has Sakon Nakhon screwed up? Here's how. I want to know where is the shower shoe,flip-flop. plastic bucket, chinese junk and miscellaneous crap that has seemed to take up most of the space at many festivals in Isaan, At the silk festival over the over the King' birthday in Khon Kaen, it is now impossible to even find silk for all the junk. I thonk Nong Khai now has 4 Tourism Authority of Thailand sponsored plastic bucket festivals and I am sure there is more plastic that wax at the Ubon Candle Festival.
I guess it will happen sooner or later at other festivals in Sakon Nakhon, but until then, so far so good.
Enjoy the show