Thursday, September 2, 2010


The national symbol of Thailand has, of course, long been the elephant, but in the past year or so, Chinese pandas have been all the rage here. The craze was set off last May when the first giant panda was born in Thailand at the Chiang Mai Zoo. The panda's parents are on loan from China, and the cub named Lin Bing will return to its homeland in two years. In the meantime, the Chiang Mai Zoo has built a 60 million baht home for the cub, hoardes of Thai people are making pilgrimages to visit Lin Bing, a Thai cable company has launched a Panda Channel which gives regular updates on the celebrity panda's daily activities, and Bangkok cabbies are decorating their taxis with panda paraphernalia.