Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta 2016 Amazing Experience
How to celebrate Chinese New Year in a memorable way? We spent ours in Singha Park for their first International Balloon Fiesta. There are 14 countries participating in this Hot Air Balloon Fiesta from 10 to 14 February 2016.
Where is Singha Park?
If you never heard of Singha Park, you should pay visit them when you are traveling in Chiang Rai. The park is also known as Boon Rawd Farm by the locals is a new Agro-Tourism Attraction in Chiang Rai. The park is 8,000 hectares in size and situated 450 metres above sea level and spans over 12.9 kilometres. It is a huge park and it was a barley farm and converted to agro-tourism attraction.
The concept of Singha Park is very unique. It is a social enterprise programme, business and tourism project. Hence, they employed about 500 locals and they changed the former barley plantations to tea plantations, seasonal fruits, flowers farms and tourist attractions. Thus, on top of creating new jobs for locals, they also create new tourism attraction and generate income in a different way. What a genius concept!
For the first time, Singha Park will host its first International Balloon Festival 2016 from 10th to 14th February 2016. The grand opening ceremony will be on the 10th February and the competition flights will start thereafter until 14th February.
We were invited by Singha Corporation to join this fun filled event. Thus, we were joined by Asia’s top influencers such as Roger Wu from Hong Kong, DJ and Danny Wen from Taiwan and Jean from Malaysia.
We went there in late afternoon as the hot air balloon show starts around 4 pm. The weather is cooling but not as cold as we expected.
The response for this event was very good so we expected a massive traffic jam going into the park. However, it didn’t happen. The traffic control was good and all the public cars were assigned to park in a huge open parking area. Thus, parking was free.
From the parking area, we were then transported in their park transporters as well as “tuk-tuk”. They hired dozens of “tuk-tuk” so everyone was ferried to the event area fast.
We were there early but there were many people already in the park. Some were playing the zip line while some are chilling in the cafés and restaurants.
There are also activities for young ones. There are playgrounds specially created for this event. Thus, this will keep the young ones busy while the parents can relax and enjoy themselves.
You can find many lovely props for photography at this event. When it comes to creativity, the Thais are always brilliant!
At 4 pm, the hot air balloons started to inflate. One by one, hot air balloons start to fly into the sky.
There was a competition every day with different task. On the day we were there, the task is for the hot air balloon pilots to throw the ball into the basket floating in the lake. The pilot had to fly and manoeuvre the hot air balloon low and close enough to the basket and he or she will had to throw in at least one of the balls to win. The challenge here is the wind condition and the skills of the pilot. Most of the pilots completed the tasks and the view of the hot air balloon floating above the lake is magnificent.
The crews were helpful and helping most of the hot air balloon pilots. You can see them pushing the hot air balloon basket and while everyone looks on.
The best part of this event is we can go up close and personal with the hot air balloons.
It was quite a scene when all the hot air balloons start to float into the sky.
The view of the hot air balloons on top of the lake is priceless. The mirror-like lake in Singha Park now offers beautiful photo opportunities for everyone especially the photographers and videographers.
You can see there are families and friends picnicking in the park. Such sight is usually happened in places like Australia and Europe but due to the cooling weather, there quite a number of people prefer picnicking in the park. How envy.
Of course the event organizer provided hundreds of chairs and tables in the park with dozens of food stalls and also a huge stage. This is really convenient for everyone so they can enjoy the food and drinks. You can find water, soda and beer here as well as local and International food.
At night, this venue turned to a food fest and the vibe and experience similar to the beer gardens in Bangkok.
Please take note that the food stalls are selling food at reasonable prices. Most of the food are priced at street food pricing and the food sellers did not take the advantage of the event to overcharge the customers. This is something you hardly see in Malaysia.
We totally respect how organizers kept the food cheap so everyone is happy and enjoy the food and the event. It is not just about low prices but also the reputation of the organizer. The International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta will be an annual affair and there will be other festivals and events in Singha Park too. By keeping the crowd happy means they will keep on returning for future events and festivals. That’s why the event was packed but yet well organized.
At night, there were a couple of hot air balloons giving free ride for everyone. Yes, free hot air balloon rides! The hot air balloon ride is just flying from bottom to top for a couple of minutes but the experience is priceless.
Later at night, there is the light and sound show involving the hot air balloons. The show happened near the lake and the hot air balloons coordinated well with the lights and sounds.
We stayed till the end of the musical show. Even we were leaving the park, there were still people coming in. It is sign of a successful event.
It is Singha Park’s first International Balloon Fiesta and it is very well organized. The designated car parks helped motorists avoided traffic jam coming in and going out at Singha Park. There is no traffic jam at all when we travel back to our hotel despite the huge crowd during the event.
There is NO ENTRANCE FEE for the Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta 2016. Everyone is welcomed and FREE for all.
There is a Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta 2016 photo competition and there are four main prizes at 100,000 Baht each and the grand winner’s picture will be showcased on a billboard in Times Square New York City USA. Singha really put up the effort to create this photo competition. It is not just for branding but also encouraging and rewarding visitors.
It is not easy to build a successful event and Singha just did this right even for the first time. By creating an event like this, Singha Park drew crowd from the locals as well as the International visitors. Hence, it creates tourism into Chiang Rai and Singha Park and it helps the locals. Most hotels were fully booked and same goes to the flights coming in and out of Chiang Rai.
We also love how they create the medical tent with nurses at the park. Thus, we saw quite a number of visitors visit the booth getting medicines from the nurse. The ambulance is just next to the medical tent. This is how professional the organizer managed the event.
We truly enjoyed and impressed with the event. We hope to come back again next year as the Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta will be an annual affair.
This trip to Chiang Rai, we are humbled and honoured to travel together with Asia’s Top Travel Influencers who love Thailand, Roger Wu from Hong Kong, Danny Wen and DJ 郭人榮 from Taiwan, Aroimakmak from Singapore and Jean from Malaysia. Thank you Kun Golf for the arrangement and Singha for the continuous support for our blog.
The Singha Park is located at 99 Moo 1, Mae Korn, Amphoe Chiang Rai, Chiang Rai, Thailand 57000 and it is around half an hour drive from the Chiang Rai city center. Make sure you plan to visit Singha Park International Balloon Fiesta 2016 as there will be more than 50 hot air balloons as we were told.
For more info you can visit their website at http://singhapark.com/ and they are open daily from 9 am to 6 pm. You can spend a whole day here enjoying the activities in the park. This is great place for couple, group friends and families and a must visit place in Chiang Rai.
Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm) Address, Contact and GPS Coordinate:
99 Moo 1, Mae Korn, Amphoe Chiang Rai, Chaing Rai, Thailand 57000
Singha Park Chiangrai 091-576-0374, 053-172-870
GPS Coordinate: 19.852975, 99.743290