CHIANGRAI TIMES – Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand held a two-day visit to Portugal, to preside over the opening ceremony of the Thai Pavilion (Sala Thai) in Belém Park; a gift from the Thai Government and its people to Portugal, to celebrate 500 years since the arrival of the Portuguese people to the Kingdom of Siam.
The pavilion was built in Bangkok and shipped to Lisbon probably following the same route that Portuguese sailors took 500 years ago when they were the first westerners to arrive in Thailand.
Thai architect Athit Limmun chose Portugal’s Jerónimos Monastery as inspiration for the pavilion, which is a ‘symbol of friendship’ between the two countries.
The Golden Pavilion was achieved using a thousand fine golden leaves and has four entrances, leading to the City of Angels, Bangkok, and the nearby Jerónimos Monastery.
The lower part of the pavilion is coloured in shades of green and is almost like a balcony, resembling Jerónimos’ cloisters, bringing both countries’ cultures together.
After the ceremony Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and Mrs. Cavaco Silva attended a Thai performing arts show in the Oriente Museum, followed by a reception.
The Highlight of the show was the prelude performed by Her Royal Highness playing ‘Ranat Ek’, a led xylophone, together with the Royal Thai Dance Troup.
The resounding success of the whole event is attributed to the Thai Ambassador to Portugal, Mr. Chakorn Suchiva, who was very pleased with the Royal visit and especially to see the long process of the Sala Thai implementation successfully concluded.
According to the Ambassador of Thailand, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn´s visit to Portugal will also mark a golden era in Thai-Portuguese relations.
In this regard, both sides will use the opportunity to further strengthen the long-lasting relations and cooperation in other aspects, including trade and tourism.
On day two of her whirlwind visit Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was received by the President of the Republic in Belém Palace for a meeting, followed by lunch hosted by President Cavaco Silva, after which Her Royal Highness visited Lisbon’s Tile Museum and the Champalimaud Foundation.