Flash floods cripple Chiang Mai
Municipality on the verge of announcing an emergency
Photos by Nuttanee Thaveephol
Heavy rains over consecutive days and nights last weekend
flooded Chiang Mai City resulting in countless thousands of baht damage.
According to authorities, the municipality was on the verge of announcing an
Water flowing from the high areas and mountains like Doi
Suthep, caused flash floods, which inundated the Chiang Mai Muang District,
as well as some other districts, prompted relief work and operations from
both public and private sectors.
turned to klongs last weekend in some of the worst flooding in recent
memory. More pictures inside.
Several main roads in the city were disrupted, especially
the Chiang Mai-Hang Dong, Huay Kaew and Suthep roads. In the Muang district,
floods were along Ratchadamnoen Road and Maneenopparat Road, exacerbated by
the overflow of the city’s moats. Floods at the Sripingmuang community of
Tambon Haiya measured up to 1 meter.
The floods in several areas of Chiang Mai prompted public
relief work operations by rescue teams in flat-bottomed boats.
Other problems resulted from the overflow from the Klong
Chollaprathan canals, starting from Tambon Suthep in the north to Tambon Mae
Hia in the south of the city. In the Kulaphan Ville housing estate and
Wangtan housing estate and on the Chiang Mai - Hang Dong road, the water was
measured as high as half a meter. Commercial developments in Tambon Nongkwai
and Tambon San Pakwan in Hangdong District were also affected.
The Northern Regional Meteorological Center reported
record rainfall of 108 mm in some areas, as high pressure areas from China
spread southward to cause the heavy rains.
Chiang Mai Municipality has already prepared a plan to cope with any
further flash floods and has 20,000 sandbags packed and prepared for use in
building retaining walls. Other plans include organization of manpower and a
200-person relief force including volunteers. The municipality also has five
water pumps, two excavators and other appropriate equipment.
Sois and alleyways were
also overflowing as record rainfall inundated Chaing Mai last weekend.
When the rain didn’t
let up, the flooding only got worse.
Many people had to
abandon the thought of driving through
the floodwaters and take to pushing
their motorcycles through to the other side.
One can only hope these
vehicles were watertight.
Getting around certain
areas of the city was an adventure.
“Drive me a
Electric shuttle busses sparking plenty of interest
The fare is rubbish?
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn has informed the Chiangmai
Mail that the electric shuttle is now in progress. The municipality
ordered 10 electric school busses from the Electric Shuttle Company Limited
in Bangkok to serve the students going to Monfort College, primary section;
Sacred Heart College, Regina Coeli College and Chairoj School.
electric shuttle school buses are now in service.
The mayor said, “The students have to bring their
recyclable garbage as their bus fare. This idea will encourage the students
to preserve the environment. This project will also reduce the number of
vehicles setting down and picking up students in the mornings.”
Chiang Mai municipality is cooperating with the 4 schools
along Charoen Prathet Road to finalize the electric shuttle routes for
solving the peak period traffic problem. There will be 3 loops for the
shuttles to run and pick up the children.
Punyapol Monkolcharoen, chief of the Municipal Enterprise
Division of the Chiang Mai Municipal Clerk Office says that the 3 loops will
pass Nong Hoi Home Estate, Nawarat Bridge, and Chang Klan Road.
The traffic police will facilitate the traffic by setting
aside the bus lanes for the electric shuttles and the bus stops for the
parents to set down their children.
It is believed that schools will provide the teachers for taking care of
the students but currently the kindergarten children are not allowed to use
this kind of transportation.
Yipeng looking better than ever this year
Nuttanee Thaveephol and Marion Vogt
The week everybody is waiting for is coming closer. Full
Moon in November is a very special time for all Buddhists in Thailand.
However, this is a special time for everyone, be they young, old, rich or
poor, Thais and foreigners, residents and tourists. And one of the best
places to be from November 16th to November 20th is Chiang Mai.
There are many events taking place, including the
Noppamas Kids beauty contest on the full moon night on November 16 at Kad
Suan Kaew shopping complex. Kad Suan Kaew shopping complex invites all
children aged 5-8 years to join in the “Noppamas” event (the one who
sits in “krathong” on Yipeng day). The contest will be held between 3.30
and 8.30 p.m. in the outdoor field of Kad Suan Kaew. The winners will
receive scholarships and the competitors will receive souvenirs from the
The children who want be in this contest will have to
apply before November 12 and bring their current photos and house papers to
the application centre at Kad Suan Kaew. After the first round of judging,
the committee will choose only 15 boys and 15 girls to go into the second
In the second round children will have to show their
skills presenting Lanna art and culture, such as folk dancing or playing
local instruments. Each child will have just over three minutes to display
his or her talents.
First prize is a 2,500 baht scholarship with 2,000 baht
for the second and 1,500 baht for the third place. There will also be a Miss
and Mr. Popular title through public voting, with 4,000 baht going to the
Border problems, drugs and terrorism top bill at National Security seminar
One hundred people from the Third Region’s high ranking
military officers, and academics from universities met last weekend to
discuss national security measures. The national security problems dealing
with the North’s border, drugs and terrorism were the top priority at the
seminar jointly held by the Consulate of Sweden, the Third Army Region,
Chulalongkorn University and Chiang Mai University held at the YMCA Chiang
R) HE Swedish Consul Vorakit Kantakalung, Asst Prof Dr Chaichok
Chulasiriwong, Gen Siri Thiwaphan, deputy 3rd Army Region commander Maj Gen
Picharnmeth Muagmanee, Head of the International Relations Department of
Chulalongkorn University, Dr Surachart Bamrungsuk, and Col Dr Peerapong
Manakitch, secretary of the Senate Standing Committee on Military Affairs at
the press conference held at YMCA Chiang Mai.
Gen Dr Siri Thiwaphan, senator, and deputy chairman of
the Senate Standing Committee on Military Affairs, told Chiangmai Mail
that the military officers must now become involved in operations in keeping
peace in this age of globalization, saying that the military now needs
additional active roles and functions, apart from war. This was backed up by
Dr Surachart Bamrungsuk of Chulalongkorn University, referring to the
address “The Military in Peace time, Military Operations Other Than War
and Peacekeeping Operations”.
The seminar felt that the general situation along the
Thai-Burmese border, and in particular drug trafficking, has not
deteriorated, but a watch must still be undertaken.
The former Third Region Army commander, Gen Dr Siri, said
that the national security problem is very sensitive, so the news coverage
and presentation should be also closely watched. “Cooperation is a must,
because sensational news regarding terrorism can adversely affect tourism in
Gen Dr Siri stressed that sensationalism that might
negatively affect the neighboring countries and international relations
should be avoided. “The press should be careful on this issue; however, I
believe that the Thai mass media love the Thai nation, and the future of the
country,” he said.
The feeling from the seminar was that the Third Region
Army wants the army soldiers and officers to work in close cooperation with
other agencies such as the Forestry Office and the Office of the Narcotics
Control Board (ONCB). Additionally, H.E. Vorakit Kantakalung, the Consul for
Sweden added that there is much development work and projects to be done in
the thousands of villages, that perhaps by the NGO’s working together with
the army this would be advantageous as so many defense villages are located
strategically along the borders.
The problems of mutual understanding is often discussed
among the border working committee so to build up or strengthen the villages
along the border districts will be a fence blocking the refugees and alien
labor from entering the country. There are currently up to one million
Burmese aliens living in Thailand.
Gen Dr Siri admitted one very important factor, “One
problem is the budget shortfall,” he said, adding that the northern region
is where the budget was very often short. “For the next fiscal year, the
budgetary amount is expected to be less than this year,” he said, noting
that the government should look at this weak point.
The top priority is national security, border economy problems,
terrorism, and the drug trade, according to Gen Dr Siri. “It is not only
war or battle, but this the army’s work covers all military operations
other than war, and it includes the peace keeping operations and development
work for the country. Military officers should adjust their attitudes and
thinking to encompass the changes,” he noted.
Art and Design Promenade preparations well underway
The 3rd Nimmanheminda Art and Design Promenade will be
held on December 5-8 this year in celebration of His Majesty the King’s
birthday. The Amari Rincome Hotel, in cooperation with the shops along
Nimmanhaeminda Road and many well known shops in Chiang Mai have arranged
the street festival.
There will be more than 80 shops at this fair, all of
which will be offering special prices for the duration of the fair. This
fair will also promote the Nimmanheminda shopping quarter to become better
known in Chiang Mai and nearby provinces.
To encourage Chiang Mai tourism there will also be music
performances, exhibitions of local culture, and handicrafts created and
designed by Thai artists.
Other activities will include a fashion show from
Paothong Shop and the Faculty of Fine Art, Chiang Mai University;
children’s art display, local instrumental show from Payap University,
exhibits from Japanese and seniors in the community, and a jazz and ballet
Fair goers can also see a puppet show from the dramatic
group, “Phra Chan Panejorn” (Wandering Moon), one of the most famous
groups in Chiang Mai.
Japan Fair ends this weekend
Features include Japanese films, dance, ‘Kendo’ demonstration, Kimono demonstration and lecture
The 11th Japan Education Fair will take place in the
Santor Room, Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, finishing this Saturday November 9
to provide information for those interested in studying in Japan.
The organizers include the Chiang Mai Japanese Club,
Japan’s Consulate in Chiang Mai, Japanese Public Health in Thailand,
Japan’s Alumni under Royal Patronage, Northern Section, and Lotus Pang
Suan Kaew Hotel.
The fair is an annual event arranged by Japanese
organizations in Chiang Mai, mainly focusing on studying in Japan. This year
there will be two Japanese films, plus Japanese dance shows by Ko Misutami,
a demonstration of ‘Kendo’ by Japanese experts, a demonstration of
Kimono dressing, and a lecture given by Dr. Narathip Tiangtae, a teacher
from Chiang Mai University.
This Saturday is the final day of the fair which will run
from 9.30 a.m. to 4.45 pm.
IBM celebrates 50 years in Thailand with new Chiang Mai branch
IBM Thailand Co., Ltd., has opened its new branch in
Chiang Mai to provide service, after sales service and spare parts in the
On the 10th anniversary of IBM Thinkpad and the 50th
anniversary of IBM Thailand, its new branch will be opened at the IBM
Service Center at Chiangmai Land House Estate on Chang Klan Road.
IBM additionally has planned to open other IBM Service
Centers in large cities, including Nacho Archaism, Hat Yak, Adorn Thane and
Red minibuses demand income protection
New bus routes in doubt
The Lanna Transport Cooperative is demanding a formal
agreement with Chiang Mai Municipality and Chiang Mai Provincial Office over
the new public transport policy. The president of the cooperative is calling
for fixed routes and income assurance.
Singhakam Nanti, the president of the Lanna Transport
Cooperative revealed to Chiangmai Mail that the red minibus members
have not been officially informed about Chiang Mai’s new transportation
system, where they felt the municipality was unilaterally planning to fix
the bus routes and wanted to provide the electric shuttles for students.
Singhakam said that he is ready to protect more than
10,000 members’ incomes if the provincial offices ignore their problem.
“We are ready to protect ourselves against the unfair policy that does not
care about our earnings. How can more than 10,000 members from 3,000
families manage to exist if we earn less money because of the new policy? We
don’t understand what the municipality is doing. There is no progress on
any proposals we have offered despite the fact that we are one group of
those people who pay taxes for the country,” he said.
The cooperative demands income assurance at THB 600 per
day each which would mean the municipality must pay more than THB 1,000,000
per day for the new system.
Singhakam insisted that the Lanna Transport Cooperative
is willing to cooperate with the project if the municipality gives them the
income assurance and agrees to their proposal that the outer city’s
minibuses are not allowed to ply the red minibus’ routes and allocate the
bus stops for them around the city which they believe is the best way to
solve the Chiang Mai traffic problem.
The Chiang Mai municipality is trying to solve the
traffic problem by fixing 19 new routes for the red minibuses and ordering
10 electric shuttles for school students.
The Lanna Transport Cooperative also revealed that their
next project is to bring the taxi cars, as in Bangkok, to run in Chiang Mai.
This project is already in progress as the Chiang Mai Provincial Land
Transport Office has already received their proposal.
Flooding this year has created a 300 million baht bill
500 million baht coming from Labor and Social Welfare Ministry
Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare claims that it has
spent almost 300 million baht in reparations after the recent floods over
the past two months.
This figure covers 48 provinces and 894,615 flood
victims. The breakdown of expenses included 21 million baht to rebuild 1,460
houses and another 10 million baht for death compensation and funeral
Due to the flood situation, the Ministry of Labor and
Social Welfare has allocated 500 million baht to help over 2 million people
affected in the 48 provinces, and they are also providing job training and
job opportunities to the flood victims.
Long term Australian resident dies at Huay Kaew Waterfall
The body of Harry Darling Walt, a 74-year-old Australian
who had lived in Chiang Mai for over twenty years was found at the base of
the cliff at the Huay Kaew Waterfall, known locally as Wang Bua Ban, at the
foot of Doi Suthep Mountain.
Pol Lt - Col Prasertsak Intrachak, the investigation
inspector of Phuping Police Station, told Chiang Mai Mail that before
the incident took place, the deceased was seen going to the highest point of
the waterfall and was sitting there apparently looking depressed, according
to witnesses, Natwiruth Siriwan and Mali Chaipitak, students of Ramkhamhaeng
“We found no evidence to suggest murder, and the body
has been sent for autopsy at Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital. His
untimely death has been reported to the Australian Consulate and they will
inform his relatives in Melbourne, Australia.
Jealousy given as motive for murder - suicide
Chiang Mai police were informed that a man and a woman
had been found dead in a parked car on Chang Klan Road. The police confirmed
they had found the car with two bodies inside.
The body of a 35 year old woman, identified as Ms
Tossaporn Nantanon, was found in the front seat, with a pistol wound to the
left side of the head, and the body of a 26 year old male, identified as
Terdsak Saraban was on the back seat, still holding a 9 mm pistol but having
had a fatal pistol shot to the head.
Police’s investigation revealed that Terdsak used to be
a model and associated with Ms. Tossaporn, an accountant of the Airlines.
Terdsak found that his girlfriend had another romantic interest and followed
her to confront her and it ended up as a quarrel.
Apparently, according to police, the woman had tried to
end the relationship which made Terdsak angry and he shot his former
girlfriend before committing suicide with the same weapon.
Chiang Mai police come down hard on teenage crime
Chiang Mai police released the latest statistics in the
fight against teenager crime, showing almost 600 arrests and detentions
during the period from September 20 to October 27.
Arrests included 11 people with possession of firearms
and 41 for possession of knives. 26 cases of assaults resulted in 36
arrests. Noisy motorcycles were also subject to police scrutiny with 490
offenders stopped for inspection resulting in 117 fines.
Pol. Lt.- Col. Viroj Kesaporn, deputy superintendent of
Mae Tang police station, has spoken out regarding teenage crime, saying that
it might be the results of the media, such as imitating risky behavior seen
in commercial advertisements or TV dramas. Many teenagers might mistakenly
think that this is ‘normal’ behavior, so parents should take the time to
talk with their children and direct them towards the correct understanding.
No specific threat information but be wary, says U.S.
In its latest Consular Information Sheet last week, the
U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs has the following
information regarding Thailand.
Safety and security: In the aftermath of the October 2002
terrorist bombings in Bali, Indonesia, the State Department is concerned
that similar attacks may occur in other Southeast Asian nations. American
citizens traveling to Thailand should therefore exercise caution, especially
in locations where Westerners congregate, such as clubs, discos, bars,
restaurants, hotels, places of worship, schools, outdoor recreation venues,
tourist areas, beach resorts, and other places frequented by foreigners.
They should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security.
The far south of Thailand has experienced incidents of
criminally and politically motivated violence, including incidents
attributed to armed local separatist/extremist groups. Although these groups
focus primarily on Thai government interests, U.S. citizen travelers should
remain vigilant with regard to their personal security. At this time, there
is no specific threat information.
Tourists should also exercise caution in remote areas
along the border with Burma. The Thai/Burma border is the site of on-going
conflicts between the Burmese Army and armed opposition groups as well as
clashes between Thai security forces and armed drug traffickers. In
addition, pirates, bandits, and drug traffickers operate in these border
In light of the continuing unsettled situation along the
Thailand border with Burma, which is subject to frequent closings to all
traffic, the Department of State recommends that all Americans exercise
caution when traveling in remote or rural areas immediately adjacent to the
Burma border. There remains a possibility of significant flare-ups of
military activity on the Burmese side of the border that could spill over
into immediately adjacent areas of northern Thailand. Visitors should travel
off-road in undeveloped areas only with local guides who are familiar with
the area. As border closings and re-openings occur frequently, U.S. citizens
considering traveling into Burma from Thailand should be aware that in the
event of a border closure they may not be able to re-enter Thailand.
Tourists should obtain information from Thai authorities about whether
official border crossing points are open, and should cross into neighboring
countries only at designated crossing points. Although tourists have not
been targeted specifically by this occasional violence, due caution remains
advisable. It is recommended that persons wishing to travel to border areas
check with the Thai tourist police and the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang
Mai or the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.
Registration/Embassy and Consulate Locations: Americans
living in or visiting Thailand are encouraged to register, either online or
in person at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok or the U.S.
Consulate General in Chiang Mai. At both locations updated information on
travel and security in Thailand is available. The Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy is located at 95 Wireless Road in Bangkok; the U.S. mailing
address is APO AP 96546-0001. The central switchboard number is (66-2)
205-4000; the American Citizen Services Unit number is (66-2) 205-4049; and
the fax number is (66-2) 205-4103. The web site for the U.S. Embassy is
http://usa.or.th. American citizens can register online via the web site.
Questions regarding American Citizens Services can be submitted by e-mail to
The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is located at
387 Wichayanond Road; the U.S. mailing address is Box, C, APO AP 96546. The
telephone number is (66-53) 252-629 and the fax number is (66-53) 252-633.