HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Lunch Bunch meets at Annelie’s house

Canadian writers get a guided tour of Chiang Mai

Rotarians and friends make donations to Karen village in Mae Chaem District

To Nobody opens a bar

HomeNet North expo this weekend

Pro-Am Art at Chiang Mai Vocational College

Lunch Bunch meets at Annelie’s house

Once a month a group of international women gather for lunch and conversation. The Lunch Bunch consists of women from about 15 countries who are living in Chiang Mai along with local Thai women. Each monthly gathering is organized by a different woman. The gatherings offer all the opportunity to meet new people and learn of the activities available in Chiang Mai.

The Lunch Bunch gathers for a group photo during this month’s meeting at Annelie Hendriks’ house.

The January luncheon was at the home of Annelie Hendriks in the Doi Saket area and was followed by a 12 kilometer bike ride through the countryside for those venturesome souls who chose to stay for this activity. Following the tradition of “pot-luck,” each woman brought a dish to share and, as usual, there was plenty of food left.

There are no membership requirements and newcomers are welcome. The gatherings provide an opportunity to meet new people and learn of the interesting activities of others who have chosen Chiang Mai as their permanent or temporary home.

Canadian writers get a guided tour of Chiang Mai

Metinee Chaikuna & Supatatt Dangkrueng

Six writers from Canada recently came to visit Chiang Mai at the invitation of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) New York Office director, Sethaphan (Eddy) Buddhani. Their visit corresponded with the recent Bangkok Film Festival, which the TAT had been promoting all over the world.

Six Canadian writers from different publications (from left to right): Jim Slotek, Monica Zurowski, Diane Slawych, Laurie Carter, and Theresa Rowat. During their stay in Chiang Mai, the six visited Chiangmai Mail’s very own chairman of the board, Norachai Prasertmanukitch’s Jaiya Mongkol House.

The six writers were Diane Slawych, a journalist from Toronto, Monica Zurowski, the Calgary Herald features and travel editor, Theresa Rowat from Varia, Laurie Carter, associate editor of Okanagan Life, and Jim Slotek, a film critic and travel writer from the Toronto Sun.

Sethaphan said that the Bangkok Film Festival, which was held from January 10 to 21, was the biggest film festival Thailand has ever organized and the TAT was responsible for promoting the festival to many countries. He therefore invited these six well-known writers from different magazines in Canada to visit Chiang Mai and other parts of Thailand, so that they would get a first hand impression of how beautiful Thailand is.

“We invested a big budget and over 160 films were shown. To make it worthwhile, we needed to promote the festival as much as we could and promote Thailand as well, which becomes easier when you invite professional writers to give their impressions.”

The writers stayed in Thailand for 13 days. The main purpose was to stay in Bangkok at the film festival, but they also visited Chiang Mai for 3 days and Hua Hin for 3 days. All of the writers said that they appreciated Chiang Mai very much and will be back again for sure.

Film critic and travel writer Jim Slotek said he had never been to Thailand, but after his first visit he was quite impressed. He said he was enjoying getting to know Thailand better and was looking forward to sharing his experiences with his readers, especially Thai massage and the elephant camp.

Director Sethaphan said that he wanted to promote Chiang Mai, so he brought the sextet north to experience the Northern Thai style of life. His guided tour of the north included a visit to a Northern Thai style house, plus galleries and museums. “I wanted to show them how a normal Northern Thai family lives, as well as show them the Northern Thai upper class.”

“Eddy” said that it is his responsibility to bring more tourists to visit his country, to make them stay as long as possible, and to spend money as much as possible to help the country’s economy, because Thailand’s main source of revenue is tourism.

Rotarians and friends make donations to Karen village in Mae Chaem District

Story and pictures by Annelie Hendriks

Saturday January 18, members from 6 Rotary Clubs in Chiang Mai and one club from Bangkok / Chonburi went to Mae Chaem District to bring donations to a small village called Baan Mae Naam Luang high up in the mountains. Two officials from the Mae Chaem District office led the way.

Baan Mae Naam Luang is a quaint looking village nestled on the hillside.

From Mae Chaem, it was a very difficult and bumpy 1 1/2 hour drive over steep hills to the Baan Mae Naam Luang village. This village is populated by 300 Karen. It is possible, although difficult, to reach this village in the dry season but in the wet season the villagers are completely isolated from the world around them.

Karen mothers received blankets for their families.

The convoy of cars carried many blankets, heaps of clothes, a lot of toys and some snacks for the villagers in Baan Mae Naam Luang. Ten wooden boxes filled with medicine for 10 hilltribe schools situated in the hills around Mae Chaem City were also donated. Everything was donated by the above-mentioned clubs and the Samsara Foundation based in the Netherlands.

Baan Mae Naam Luang is a poor village. The villagers badly needed these blankets and clothes for the cold nights in the mountains.

To Nobody opens a bar

A comfy place for a cozy get-together, a beer, or a chat is the newly opened bar counter at To Nobody’s Restaurant. Weihenstephaner wheat beer, black dragon, and, of course, Singha beer on tap is on offer, making for the perfect ingredients to enjoy a drink, plus good food, after work or on the way home. Seen here are (foreground from left) a blue shirted man in disguise, Marion Vogt from Chiangmai Mail, Victor from Switzerland, and Dr. Rudi, and in the back Sunisa and Chef Joerg from ‘To Nobody’.

HomeNet North expo this weekend

HomeNet North is holding its 1st northern handicraft fair January 25-26 from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. at the Sri Nakhonping Culture market, opposite Chiang Mai Airport. 9 province members, Nan, Phrae, Chiang Rai, Lamphun, Lampang, Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Uttaradit, and Chiang Mai make up this networking group.

The fair will be officially opened at 5 p.m. on Saturday January 25 by a representative from the Chiang Mai Provincial Industry Office, and followed by northern dance and Thai musical shows. Following that there will be demonstrations of Hmong textile hand made products, local toy making, and other local products on display and for sale to the public.

On the Sunday there will be demonstrations of the Karen handicrafts from Mae Hong Son and Northern music shows will be performed. The fair is open to all.

Pro-Am Art at Chiang Mai Vocational College

Supatatt Dangkrueng

An exhibition entitled The Art of Chiang Mai Vocational Exhibition 2002, aiming to show the work of students from the Division of Fine Arts, Division of Design, Division of Ceramics and Division of Photography, Chiang Mai Vocational College, will be shown from 27th January, according to Reangchai Chuensirikulchai, the head of Art Department.

Most exhibits (300 items) are from amateur art students in the Vocational Certificate and High Vocational Certificate courses, and their professional lecturers will exhibit another 50 items.

There are two other activities being held at the same time, firstly an art exhibition and secondly painting contest entitled Chiang Mai in the imagination. Both are aiming to stimulate creativity in the arts. Additionally, it may produce some new ideas to reform and develop the process of teaching in the vocational colleges.

The opening ceremony will be held on Monday, January 27 this year at Chiang Mai Vocational College. The deputy of permanent secretary of the ministry of education, Sawittree Suwansatit, will preside over the festivities.