Close your eyes. Now imagine a whole Thai-inspired house fitting inside an exhibition hall. I opened my eyes and a whole Thai-inspired house showroom fitting inside an exhibition hall opened right before me. The structure is huge, but the hall is even bigger. Welcome to the Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
As part of the Thailand Connect: Hip & Heritage Business Events tour by TCEB, we get to visit Chiang Mai’s biggest convention center. Situated at a sprawling 53.6 hectares of land, it is by far the largest of its kind in the northern region of Thailand.
Even with its mass, its design still reflects traditional Thai-Lanna culture; soaring roofs, Thai sculptures, reliefs and icons.
Opening only May last year, it has already been recognized by the Global Association of Exhibition Industry as one of only nine centers that surpasses the international standard for such.
The center is divided into three exhibition halls, a convention hall, function rooms, training rooms and an outdoor exhibition space. It can host 476 booths and has its own meeting halls that can seat contingents of up to 3,000 individuals. Pretty impressive.
During our tour, the biggest science fair in Chiang Mai was holding their exhibit at the center, the National Science and Technology Fair 2014. I was impressed with the quality of the exhibits ranging anywhere from Ice Age Exhibition to Energy for Future.
It was curious, and actually a bit jarring, to see orange-robed monks mingling and interacting with the high-tech displays.
At one point of the tour, we were invited to have a peek at their lounge and function rooms which were really remarkable. I love the fact that even though they look all professional and sleek, they still retain a certain Thai atmosphere in their treatment and design.
The last space we visited was the Ratchapruek Convention Hall 2 where a massive Thai house was permanently set. Our host told us that it was really a furniture and design exhibit from before, but it was decided to make it a permanent one due to its grandeur and beauty.
Chiang Mai International Convention
Address: 456 Chonraphathan Road, Chang Phueak,
Mueang District, Changmai, Thailand
Contact Number: +66 (0)53 0105723
GPS Coordinates Map: 18°49'36.3"N 98°57'41.4"E