March 12, 2016
An annual opportunity for the people of Northern Thailand to show off their glorious produce and culture
When: Annually in May
Where: Muang district, Chiang Rai Northern Thailand
Here in the far north of Thailand, Chiang Rai has made a name for itself as one of the best places to try this wonderful produce, along with many other locally grown Asian fruits.
As with almost all agricultural fairs in Thailand there will be a host of contests running side by side with a Miss Lychee beauty pageant, plus a myriad of different cultural performances. The fair will also be your opportunity to buy a raft of beautiful local handicrafts, along with the chance to let your taste buds run wild, trying a multitude of local dishes and drinks.
Lychee in Thailand
Lychee in Thailand was first documented in 1854 (King Rama IV) but is believed to have been cultivated many years before. It is very likely that the fruit first came with Chinese traders and immigrants during the Ratanakosin Era (1782).
According to records in China the lychee has a history and cultivation going back to 2000 BC. Thailand does have its own native Lychee trees, which while they can be found in dense tropical forests, they rarely bear fruit.
While the fruit is harvested in the lowlands from March on-wards, here in the hills of Chaing Rai they are not picked until May – June. This white juicy and sweet tropical fruit has two lesser known cousins, the rambutan and the longan all of which are widely eaten here in the Kingdom and used in the odd martini drink across the globe.
Facts on Lychee
A recent article (Jan 2016) details 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Lychee Fruit and states “Lychee contain an impressive array of vitamins, fiber and antioxidants, the fruit has more vitamin C than the same amount of oranges or lemons, a significant amount of potassium and as much fiber as an apple”
A quick and easy to make Lychee drink, this wonderfully refreshing and beautiful beverage goes perfectly with any Thai meal, (with or without booze) or just to enjoy alone on a hot summer day.
- Puree the lychee fruit (you can use canned fruit) and add water until a smooth consistency is reached.
- Strain the mixture into a pitcher, and discard the pulp.
- Add lime juice and red syrup and stir well.
- Pour over ice cubes until in a jug or glass.
- Top it off with a club soda.
- Garnish with mint (or a smidgen of vodka) and serve.
For more information on the festival, contact TAT Northern Office-Region 2 at 05-371-7433 or 05-374-4674/5.
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