Nancy and Nima Chandler
Story and picture
During Christmas time I had the pleasure of meeting with
2 very exciting ladies here in Chiang Mai, very well known here, but also
all over Thailand. Mrs. Nancy Chandler, better known as the Map Lady, and
her beautiful energetic daughter Nima, who she claims is her boss now, and
does not allow her to sit still and retire in peace. “She keeps chasing me
around and reminds me of deadlines, while other people my age walk around
the golf course and taking it easy,” Nancy complains with a twinkle in her
eyes. Now, what makes an American lady draw maps in a city like Bangkok?
Chandler, better known as the Map Lady, and her beautiful energetic daughter
Nancy came to Bangkok in 1969 with her husband Al (she is
divorced in friendship nowadays), tiny Nima and pregnant with her 2nd
daughter Siri. She got involved with the American Women’s Club in Bangkok
and since she spent her early years in the design business in the US and
being sick and tired of walking around Bangkok, looking for a decent place
to sit down to eat or drink while shopping, she offered to a map for
newcomers to rely on.
By that time the American Women’s Club already had a
nice little magazine called ‘Sawaddi’, and they printed Nancy’s
‘Market Map’. They received so many telephone calls from people who
wanted to get that map, they had to reprint it. It even became a centerfold,
although there were not too many details included in that first map.
Before reprinting, Nancy decided to put recommendations
on the map, like a good noodle shop, or a place to shop where nobody cheats
you. And people still called in to tell her how happy they were with the
Market Map. So she went out and looked for a different printer who then
taught her to separate the line-work, and who is still working with her
She started to walk the streets, now with 2 small
children, but happy to find new places all the time. That’s how the first
Market Map of Bangkok was produced. 4 years it stayed in the market without
being revised. Nancy did all the distribution herself locally, walking from
shop to shop and selling her map. Nowadays, revising is done every year.
In 1980 someone asked her to do a map of Chiang Mai, and
with her two oldest daughters she came up north. At that time the only thing
available in the market was Roy Hudson’s Guidebook, the first and only
guidebook of CM and the North. So, with 2 kids she walked around and found
out that it was a guidebook, which could not be called a map. She got
together with Roy Hudson and asked him for his expertise and knowledge of
Chiang Mai, which Roy was happy to share. That’s how the first Nancy
Chandler Map of Chiang Mai got started.
Looking at it today, it has got everything in it, many of
the amazing little art shops, which she will be happy to explore now with
all three daughters. They also came up with an index. There’s a lot of
different information in the index, things you might want to find when you
come here as a tourist or even when you live here, from accommodation, to
transportation, to personal shopping. Another unique thing about the map is
that it is done without lines by using the folds as grip line.
One thing led to another. In the early 70’s, at the
suggestion of a friend, Nancy began designing greeting cards for
expatriates. In 1974 she established Nancy Chandler Graphic Ltd. with her
first map of Bangkok being published the same year, and her map of Chiang
Mai in 1981.
But not only maps. Nancy always worked on a variety of
projects. She produced T-shirts, brochures and humorous certificates for
graduates of the junior sailing program. For friends she created area maps,
moving and birth announcements, advertising logos and package designs.
“The joy of working in Thailand was the huge variety of
jobs I was able to do. In America I would have to be specialized. Here in
Thailand I could experiment.”
Nowadays she only comes to Thailand on holidays. She set
up a second home in Marin County, California, where her 3rd daughter Kim had
a better choice of education. Kim, a high functioning Down Syndrome young
lady, is an artist herself and attends community college in California.
Her second daughter chose to make Bangkok her home and
works as a kindergarten teacher at the International School in Bangkok.
Nancy’s oldest daughter, Nima teamed up with Mum in 1997 and manages the
business year round from Bangkok.
Asked about her future plans, Nima, who is a former
journalist, had a very simple answer - she wants to keep it running and she
likes to keep the personal touch. When she took over she started with 3
staff, now she has 14, and a little shop in the night bazaar. In 2003, a new
Bangkok map will come out, and in spring 2003 a new map of Chiang Mai.
That’s why the whole family met here now: to do research.
Despite the fact that she wants to keep it special, the
business is growing. But the maps will stay handmade, hand painted, a map
designed without computer. That’s what the sympathetic young woman is
eager to do.
Nima also wants to come up with new designs for greeting cards. She
trimmed the 50 available designs in 44 sizes down to 50 designs in 3 sizes.
Mum helps her with the artwork and Thailand will remain the family’s home
and a continuing source of inspiration to them both.
Swedish Scouts celebrate
Christmas in Chiang Mai
406 Swedish scouts who visited Chiang Mai to celebrate
Christmas, before joining the 20th World Scout Jamboree Thailand in Chonburi
Province, joined with our community and sang Christmas carols to rejoice in
the spirit of Christmas.
Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn gives a welcome speech to the 406 Swedish
scouts and blessed them for Christmas and New Year.
The scouts gathered at the Tha Pae Gate where Chiang Mai
Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn was the master of ceremonies and gave a speech
to welcome and give Christmas blessings to all the Swedish scouts, Swedish
people and all assembled there for the Xmas celebrations.
scouts sing Christmas carols at Tha Pae Gate on Christmas Eve.
Swedish scouts ready to celebrate Christmas and the New Year at Tha Pae
HE Vorakit Kanthakalung, the Swedish Consul in Chiang
Mai, responded and the head of the Swedish contingent, Mikael Goldberg,
thanked Chiang Mai for the warm welcome and extended his blessing to the
people of Chiang Mai. The assembly sang traditional Christmas carols,
accompanied by the marching band from the Prince Royals College.
During their visit to Chiang Mai the Swedish scouts
participated in social activities with the youth in the rural villages, in
the districts of Chiang Dao, Doi Saket, Sa Moeng, Doi Tao, Mae On, Hod in
Chiang Mai, the district of Pa Sang in Lamphun and the district of Wiang Pa
Pao in Chiang Rai.
All activities were aimed at letting the scouts experience the rural
environment and lifestyle, but also included some activities such as the
repainting of playground equipment for some schools in the area. All this
allowed cultural exchange between Thai youths and the Swedish scouts.
Prison cake presents for the New Year
Watch for the ones with files!
By Supatatt Dangkrueng
For many occasions, the most appropriate present for
friends and relatives is a basket of bakery items. For this New Year, a
bakery basket from Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institute is a new
choice for this special occasion.
baked to order.
director Nawwarat shows how to decorate a cake in the little factory inside
Chiang Mai Women’s Correctional Institute.
Nawwarat Tanasrisutart, the director of Chiang Mai
Women’s Correctional Institute, said the bakery is part of the job
training for prisoners which can give them skills that can be used after
they have been released.
The bakery course is an outstandingly popular course that
earns THB 100,000 for the institute per month. There are many kinds of
bakery items including cakes, cookies, brownies, and pies. Nawwarat said the
bakery course has been provided for 17 months, and the income supports the
institute after it was separated from the Chiang Mai Central Prison.
The little bakery factory starts daily from 4 a.m. with
the 27 women workers baking fresh bread each day. When the baking is over,
private companies come to collect the items to sell in shops in the Chiang
Mai area. All the items baked in the institute are quality controlled and
guaranteed fresh. Nawwarat said their bakery has the same standards as any
other bakery outside.
Over 200 women have gone through the bakery course. These are prisoners
with short sentences or trusty longer stay inmates.
Sachiko Kobayashi - A tribute to a fashion designer or a tribute to an artist?
I really do not know what comes first. I met Sachiko the
first time at her house in Chiang Mai. She is a small, smiling, almost
fragile lady; however, tough, strong, and 100% at ease with herself.
at her residence in Chiang Mai. Elegance, grace, and totally at ease.
beauty, grace, lustrous metallic charcoal silver gray, the spectators were
Sachiko was born in Japan, studied art and Japanese
culture and especially the beauty of women during the Edo period. She was a
well-known personality, particularly known in the fashion industry in Japan
for organizing big exhibitions to perfection. She did it all - space design,
stage design and stage costumes.
In 1992 she founded her own brand “Sachiko
Kobayashi”, and at that time she decided to move to Chiang Mai.
Her house reflects the elegance and the grace displayed
by her own personality. It is spacious, it has a Japanese garden, and most
of all it radiates peace. The colors in her house harmonize with nature,
natural colors, shimmering metallic and monochrome colors, but mainly, it is
very spacious. Sachiko said, “All I need for myself is a bed, the rest is
my work, my art and my fashion.”
movements seem to make the beautiful body proportions diffuse as this model
Okura, the Noh musician, currently plays the drums with a Belgian orchestra.
He maintains the tradition of beating the drum with his palms, which is
regarded as the most difficult technique.
when black seemed to be dominating, the earthy and sometimes shining colors
of the hand-woven shawls will never be out of fashion.
But let me get to her fashion - almost everything is
hand-woven, and colored in natural dye. She designs clothes which depend on
the body of the person for which they are designed. Her clothes do not use
zippers or belts, but let the wearer adjust the sizes by using styles such
as knots, which means that everyone can control the clothes they wear as
comfortably or as tightly as one wants.
Her general idea is mixing only the best materials and
choosing only the colors she feels for. And as simple as her clothes might
look at first sight, the more complex they are when you look deeper. For
example: one of her shawls, a beautiful design in 2 different shades of
silver gray to charcoal gray and two different kinds of silk can be used for
7 different occasions, as a shawl, as a jacket, as a skirt, as pants, as a
scarf, as a belt and as a dress. All this done with one piece of textile!
She creates art, not fashion.
Fashion is a word which varies from year to year, but the
art Sachiko creates will still look beautiful in 100 years time. She admires
designs that do not lose the charms in many years to come.
through. A minimum of accessories, a minimum of make-up shows the beauty of
of a cloth. Is it a jacket? Is it a shawl, or is it trousers?
seemed almost like a ballet performance.
Her fashion show at the Regent was an event, not a show.
It started with her good friend Shonosuke Okura, a Japanese Noh musician
whose father was the 15th originator of the Okura style, and who continues
this cultural treasurer. Shonosuke, who had played in front of the Japanese
emperor, the Dalai Lama, and who had even been invited to play for the Pope
at the Vatican in December 2000, was present and started the night very
dramatic with a ‘big hand drum solo performance’.
With that the models started to appear. But not
cat-walking down the staircase, they seemed to be floating. The shawls were
flying, looking like being airborne around the wearers. The drums were
beating while the performers from different countries and age groups
presented the multi facetted creativity and utilization of an apparently
simple piece of cloth.
A minimum of make up, a minimum of accessories with only the background
drums and the beautiful models presented us with a tribute to art, or was it
a tribute to fashion?
Simon says: ‘It’s ShowTime’
After more than 20 years in business, ‘Simon Cabaret’
finally found its way to the ‘Rose of the North’, Chiang Mai.
Khunpluem, Minister for Tourism and Sports, just before igniting the opening
and purple were the main colors of the evening, plus a dash of very gray
skies. A little drizzle was interpreted as additional refreshment during the
Grand Opening of Simon Cabaret, which is located just behind the Novotel
‘Simon’ got its name from the former Mayor of Pattaya
more than 20 years ago, whose nickname used to be ‘High Sigh’, which
turned into ‘Simon’, and stayed as such ever since.
Simon at that time was founded to show stage beauty,
acting, dancing and light, and it became so successful that it spread
quickly. First, Simon moved to Phuket and opened its doors in the year 1990,
and nowadays people say: “If you leave Phuket without having been to
Simon, don’t claim you have been to Phuket.”
But the success story did not stop there, as they
expanded even further. Simon went overseas to Singapore with more than 50
dancers and actors, to show the beauty and grace of Thai Cabaret abroad, and
to give Thai nationals experience working in an international environment.
Minister Khunpluem was happy to pose and chat with some of the foreign
visitors after he officially opened Simon Cabaret.
Samlit Duewing, owner of Simon, with Chiang Mai Governor Pisit and his
costumes, light and sound; it’s a journey to the Simon’s Dream.
and join - it’s time for the grand finale.
golden dream - this scene took the audience on a journey to Egypt.
On December 25, after 23 years, Simon Cabaret finally
opened its doors here in Chiang Mai, and Khunying Samlit and Wilat Duewing,
the initiators and owners, proudly presided over the opening ceremony.
Chiang Mai’s ‘Who’s Who’ was present, and the 1000 seats in the semi
open-air theatre were not enough to accommodate the crowds. 100 actors and
dancers, highly motivated, trained by teachers from the Philippines, were
cheered by the crowd, and slipped and slid the night away like there would
be no tomorrow.
dreams, tastefully combining grace and beauty.
and ... the beast?
1000 spectators trying to get the best seat in the house. Unnecessary, as
the seating arrangements are perfectly laid out, so that one can see
everything from everywhere.
angels sing ...
The choreography and the Sound on Scene matched by the
stunning costumes fitted together beautifully, and the crowds couldn’t
take their eyes of them.
‘Simon’ Chiang Mai is as professional as all other outlets, but a lot
more concerned about expanding the international character. The songs and
themes played come from all over the world, be it world famous musical
songs, Thai favorites, or well known pop songs from the last decades. It is
done to fit a clientele from all over the world, young and old, and the
first night proved to be the success they deserve.
Six babies welcome in the New Year at the zoo
The Chiang Mai Zoo has six newborn babies and the zoo
will be open for the general public to visit and wish the new Chiang Mai
residents well. The zoo management says that these new attractions are the
zoo’s New Year gifts to Chiang Mai. The zoo officials said this
serendipitous occasion would herald good luck for the year to come.
The six new members include two Common Marmosets (Callithrix
jacchus), now the newest and smallest monkeys on earth. The species
originated in Brazil, but the babies’ parents have happily relocated in
Another two babies were born to the Jaguars (Panthera
species), once natives of South America, and look like their close
relatives, the tigers.
The next baby is particularly special (though all babies
are) and is a Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis), which is one of the 15
endangered species that authorities are trying to preserve in Thailand.
The last baby is the Red Billed Hornbill (Tockus
erythrorthychus), a species which came originally from the African
continent. This little baby is also special in that it is the first Red
Billed Hornbill born in the Chiang Mai Zoo.
Thanong Nathipitak, director of the Chiang Mai Zoo, said the zoo is
delighted with the progress of the six new babies and invites all of Chiang
Mai to come and see them over the festive season, and particularly for
children during Children’s days on January 11-12.