OTOP, One-Tambon-One-Product, is a government promotion scheme to promote regional hand crafted Thai products to Thailand and the world. A Tambon in Thailand is a town and it's surrounding region, OTOP shows off the products from each town and teaches town people how to commercialize their products and ideas. There are hundreds of thousands of products under OTOP, that is not an exaggeration, I'm going to cover just a few in this blog, but there are many more to see at the OTOP website.
I had to go to the government office complex near the old Don Muang airport, this huge building houses quite a few of the government departments, if you need any government paperwork, you end up in one of these mall sized buildings, each with a huge courtyard in the center. I was lucky, this time they had an OTOP trade show on in the center of the building so I had something to see while I waited for my queue number to come up.
The first thing that caught my eye, and made me open my wallet, was this bi-see, an intricate decoration used to decorate a Buddha table. These are hand made from silk and tiny, only about 6cm high. Made by Sahne-Thai of Saraburi province. Tel Thailand 0819944305, 0817752667.
The next thing to catch my eye, was the hat made from coconut leaves! It wasn't for sale, it was just set dressing for a stand. Everyone was really friendly and happy, so nobody minded when I wanted to try on the hat.
Then there were these flowers. On the right is a little flower kit, it consists of cassava cores, once you've made the flowers you drop them in water and they swell up. I've made a little video of my attempt to make the flowers, I'll upload it on this blog soon. They are made by Wimon Dokmai phadid, the town was Nakornayok, tel Thailand 037-328287, or 086-823 9220.
This happy salesman sells a health tonic made from Noni fruit. I've bought some of his drink to try out, so I'll cover this in more detail later. There must be some recipe I can make with these waffle cones (below). They're made with black sesame seeds and they just cry out for some sort of cream or custard filling. Company Tongpan - Khawhommali, from Roi Et. tel 08-7821-2746
There were so many interesting things to see at the OTOP show, and this is just a tiny fraction of the thousands upon thousands of products that OTOP helped commercialize and promote.
When I was a child we'd get up at 4am the day after the rain, and go pick mushrooms from the farm. I always wanted to grow mushrooms myself, and at the OTOP show I saw a vendor selling mushroom grow bags! I even found one that make miniature clay models of children playing traditional games. So many interesting things to see!