OTOP – One tambon, one product

I still don’t know why they call it “tambon”. Maybe because they couldn’t find that word in a dictionary and so they thought “hey, let’s create a new word…”. Still think it sounds quite shitty, but whatever. Right now is OTOP time. The OTOP fair takes place from March 3 – March 9 and is place for all different kinds of products from all over Thailand.

While this makes perfectly sense for all Thai people I talked to, it is for me just another shopping fair. And unfortunately not a good one. But maybe I was expecting a little to much after hearing everybody talking about this “special fair”.

To wrap it up in short: Tambons seem to be kind of sub-districts (sorry if I make a mistake in explaining. I try my best here) and each of these sub-districts has one special product to sell. So you can see clothing shops, food shops, souvenir shops…so, as I told you, for me it is just another (small) fair. Compared to the Thung Sri Muang festival or other markets that happend at the same place, the OTOP fair has not that much to offer. Nevertheless there is a stage with some performances. So at least entertainment is present. Somehow ;-)

OTOP FAIR is held every March
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OTOP FAIR is held every March


  • http://www.thaisabai.org Martyn

    Sascha – I’ve always been a little bit disappointed at the OTOP shops and stalls I’ve visited. Perhaps I’ve been unlucky because most of the products they sold were readily available at the markets too. The products didn’t really jump out and grab me.

    Of course OTOP was one of Thaksin Shinawatra’s babies and as you’re based in Udon Thani then you’re right in his neck of the woods. Maybe you should fly the OTOP flag a little higher.

    I’m hitting Udon Thani in May and really looking forward to it. Udon is my favourite place to be in Thailand.

  • Sascha

    Thank you Martyn for your comment! Appreciate that! And I really would like to say something more positive about the OTOP fair but – after the hype that took place before – I was quite disappointed. I know Udon Thani has a lot to offer, even though the city itself is not that much of a tourist mekka, but that is exactly why I was disappointed. Fairs like the Thung Sri Muang festival are very very good! So I’d be happy if the OTOP fair would improve to a similar level.

    This weekend there is a big music festival (3 days) and the “Udon Walking Street” coming up. I am quite sure I will have a lot of positive things to tell about those events afterwards!

  • http://www.thaisabai.org Martyn

    Sascha – Udon Thani really could do with some big investment to attract tourists to the city. I’ve always thought a big water park would be a massive hit with Thais and westerners alike. An elephant camp on the city outskirts would be a winner too. The nightlife in Udon is pretty good and the Centrepoint and UD markets second to none. Udon’s hotels and shopping plaza are both excellent as well.

    I think the only way the city will get government funding is if Peau Thai win the next election. Then Mr T may have to reward Udon’s loyal supporters with some government funding of some kind.

  • Sascha

    Totally agree with you Martyn. The city really needs more attention and it is a pitty that the government is not helping enough with it right now. I really hope Udon will get the attention it deserves. The people over here are just amazing and deserve only the best.

    With some fundings and the right plans it shouldn’t be to hard to get Udon more into the tourism focus.