Spotlight on Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's Visit

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the Royal Sala Thai dedication ceremony. Photo: Shayne Hasegawa.

Earlier this year, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited Hawaii to take part in several special East-West Center events, including a dedication ceremony for the Center’s recently reconstructed Royal Sala Thai, or Thai pavilion.


Click on the player window at the bottom of this page to watch a brief video on the princess’ visit.


Click the following links to view:


  • A KGMB TV news report on the sala dedication.
  • A Honolulu Advertiser newspaper article and photo gallery of the event.
  • Additional photos from the dedication ceremony.


On Feb. 29, the princess was the guest of honor at the EWC’s annual “International Affair” dinner, where she accepted the Center’s Asia Pacific Community Building Award on behalf of her father, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, in recognition of His Majesty’s dedicated work for the welfare of the people of Thailand.

And in a picturesque ceremony the following morning, she formally dedicated the recently reconstructed Royal Sala Thai, or Thai pavilion, on the East-West Center’s campus. At that event, she also met privately with students from Thailand and members of Hawaii’s Thai community, and presented the East-West Center with a $185,000 scholarship endowment raised by Center alumni and other donors to the Royal Sala Thai Scholarship Fund, which will be used to assist Thai students studying at the Center.

In her remarks at the dedication ceremony, Her Royal Highness described the king’s intent in gifting the original sala to the East-West Center in 1967 as symbolic meeting place for people from different nations and cultures to come together and exchange knowledge and ideas. Due to age and climate conditions, the original sala was reconstructed in 2006 under the auspices of His Majesty.

“In the old days, one way of community service or merit-making was to build a pavilion, or a Thai sala,” the princess said. “… Its purpose is for any traveler or passerby to rest a while during their journey. A sala is therefore a labor of love. It is free for all travelers coming from different directions. At the sala, travelers may have an opportunity to meet and share their ideas and information with one another. It was therefore His Majesty’s wish to build a sala here at the East-West Center as a symbol of universal hospitality and brotherhood of mankind.”