Thousands turn up for San Kamphaeng’s event of the year
20th San Kamphaeng Bor Sang Umbrella Festival and Handicrafts Fair a big hit
women of the North compete in the unique Miss Umbrella Beauty Contest when
women ride bicycles whilst displaying their open umbrellas, and may the best
The three day Umbrella Festival at Ban Bor Sang, San
Kamphaeng district attracted a huge number of visitors this year. Boworn
Rattanaprasit, the Chiang Mai deputy governor presided over the opening,
with people crowded along both sides of the road to witness the event.
This festival is held by the Tourism Authority of
Thailand Northern Office Region 1 in cooperation with the Chiang Mai
Provincial Office, San Kamphaeng District, Tambon Ton Pao Administrative
Office, and other private organizations.
Land of smiles and pretty women; San Kamphaeng District.
future Miss Umbrella beauty contestant prepares herself and dreams of her
day in the spotlight.
Mai Deputy Governor Boworn Rattanaprasit presided over the opening ceremony
and cut the ribbon to officially get the show on the road.
Mai grandmothers, some perhaps even Miss Umbrella winners of the past, join
main attraction to the festival, other than the Miss Umbrella contest of
course, are these colorful umbrellas, fans and local handicrafts.
The most unique event of the festival is the Miss
Umbrella Beauty Contest in which the competitors have to ride bicycles with
an open umbrella, displaying their beauty at the same time as showing their
umbrellas. It is considered one of the highlights of the fair, which also
includes the cultural parade, local displays and instrumental shows.
This festival is aimed at preserving the Bor Sang umbrellas and Lanna
arts culture as part of the cultural heritage of Chiang Mai. Ban Bor Sang is
famous for its umbrellas, fans, and handicrafts in the Tambon Ton Pao, San
Kamphaeng District in Chiang Mai. The umbrella fair has been held annually
for the past 20 years.
HM Queen Sirikit bestows Royal Patronage on Wiang Kum Kam
Light and sound show to promote Wiang Kum Kam the underground empire
Story by Phitsanu Thepthong Photos by Phitsanu Thepthong and Supatatt
Her Majesty the Queen graciously visited the ancient town
Wiang Kum Kam to view the light and sound drama presentation titled Muang
Kaew Kwan Klao Wiang Kum Kam. Accompanied by Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra, Chiang Mai Governor Pisit Khetphasook, and other high ranking
officials, Her Majesty the Queen granted audience for the drama performance
at Wat E-kang, Saraphi District, Chiang Mai and received flower garlands
from Khunying Pojaman Shinawatra, and Samoekae Khetphasook, the governor’s
atmosphere of light and sound presentation at the ancient town of Wiang Kum
Kam, the underground empire.
Wongkrachang performs as King Mengrai.
Pittayakhom School students perform an enchanting candle dance.
The light and sound show also marked the official opening
of the Wiang Kum Kam Underground Empire project which will run every Sunday
over a 10 week period February 2 - April 6 this year.
Wiang Kum Kam, the first capital of the Lanna Kingdom,
was founded by King Mengrai after his victory over the Hariphunchai Kingdom;
however, the topography of Wiang Kum Kam, being in a low level region and
below the floodplain, led to the founding of Chiang Mai as the new capital.
and actors are mostly movie and TV stars, people of Saraphi district,
Saraphi Pittayakhom School students, actors from the Drama and arts
institute of Kad Suan Kaew and monks from Saraphi district temples.
Wongkrachang performs as King Mengrai (wearing hat) and Kanchai Kamnerdploy
as Ai Fa (right).
led by King Mengrai performed by actor Sarunyoo, heighten the drama in this
mock fight against each other.
king enters the arena.
parade of the troops.
Nevertheless, Wiang Kum Kam remained an important
satellite of Chiang Mai for the rest of Mengrai Dynasty.
Wiang Kum Kam suffered a catastrophic flood during the
Burmese rule in Lanna 1558 - 1774, which completely destroyed the city, with
the new course of the river leaving it buried under alluvial soil, and later
forgotten by history. It was re-discovered by the 4th fine arts unit of the
department of Fine Arts, and the lost city was resurrected. After this, the
Tourism Authority of Thailand, provincial authority, and the people of
Saraphi District jointly initiated the Wiang Kum Kam underground empire
project to promote it as a new historical tourism destination.
The show’s synopsis began with the minstrel evoking the
legend of Wiang Kum Kam, on the bank of the ancient Ping River. The history
of the times was shown, with reference to the conquering of Hariphunchai by
Phaya Mengrai who then proclaimed himself the king of all the Ping River
Valley, and chose Wiang Kum Kam as his capital. Kan Thom was appointed the
city’s master architect, and it became a bustling trade center.
Persistent flooding forced Phaya Mengrai to move his
capital to Chiang Mai, yet Phaya Mengrai kept returning to Wiang Kum Kam. On
one visit, he was saddened by the news of a quarrel between his two sons,
Prince Khram and Prince Khruea. He was about to wreak vengeance upon them,
but the princes’ penalties were averted by the arrival of monks from
Ceylon, bringing with them shoots from the Buddha’s Bo tree. Ecstatic
Phaya Mengrai declared his support of Buddhism and then promoted Buddhism as
his kingdom’s religion.
The Bo tree was planted before Phaya Mengrai left for
Chiang Mai, but 300 years later, Wiang Kum Kam was hit by a disastrous
Opening Ceremony for this year’s Inthanon Games in Chiang Mai enjoyed by all
The Inthanon Games (23rd National Disability Games) were
officially opened on January 16 at the 700 Year Anniversary Sport Complex.
This was the first time the games have been organized in Chiang Mai, and
judging by the number of people at the opening ceremony, they could
certainly be deemed successful.
of Tourism and Sports Sonthaya Khunpluem presided over the opening ceremony
and took time to chat with and take a photograph with the participating
and attractive, Thai folk dance always impresses everyone there.
There were 4 shows in the opening ceremony produced by
400 people from the Disabilities Sports Club, Anusarn Suthorn Deaf School,
Kawila Anukul School, Yard Fon Disabled Career Support Center, Payap
University, Mae Jo University, Chiang Mai Dramatic Arts College, Dara
Academy, and the 33rd Military Circle of the Royal Thai Army.
Sonthaya Khunpluem, the Minister of Sports and Tourism
presided over the opening ceremony, which he also did in sign language, and
after the performances he went around chatting to each disabled athlete.
former athlete wanted to make sure he got everything on film as a memento of
this great event.
4,000 disabled athletes from 81 institutes joined this year’s Disabilities
beautiful show performed by disabled athletes and those with no disabilities
graphically showed their equality.
Inthanon Games (23rd National Disability Games), the torch was lit the same
way it was lit at the recent National Games.
The 23rd Disabilities Games featured 10 types of sports, including
wheelchair fencing, boxing, wheelchair basketball, athletics, football, goal
ball, petong, weight lifting, sepak takraw and volleyball. Around 4,000
disabled sportsmen and women from 81 units participated. The games slogan
was “equality creates relationships.”
Time flies - Chiangmai Mail already three months old
Chiangmai Mail board of directors tours the Pattaya Mail production facilities
Chiangmai Mail’s chairman of the board, Norachai
Prasertmanukitch, together with MD Michael Vogt and his wife Marion,
executive manager marketing & communications, received a very warm
welcome (and a bouquet of flowers) when they arrived at Pattaya Mail’s
Offices, and were greeted by Pattaya Mail’s MD Peter Malhotra and
his assistant, Primprao Somsri. The Chiangmaians enjoyed an impressive tour
through the various offices, which included the classifieds section, the
editorial section, accounting offices, and the graphics department. All were
treated to a coffee at Peter Malhotra’s frantic office afterwards. If
anyone considers a private office a ‘peaceful retreat’, Peter can prove
Chiangmai Mail team received a warm welcome at the Pattaya Mail offices. (L
to R) Executive Editor Dr Iain Corness, Chairman of the Board Norachai
Prasertmanukitch, Managing Director Michael Vogt, Executive Manager
Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, Pattaya Mail’s Managing
Director/Chiangmai Mail General Manager Peter Malhotra and his Executive
Assistant Primprao Somsri.
Lunch was prepared at the new Diana Garden Resort &
Driving Range, after which the group visited the printing presses where the Chiangmai
Mail, Pattaya Mail and Pattaya Blatt are turned from words and
ideas into actual newspapers. Everyone there understood why it is called
“hot off the press”, because the various processes needed before one can
actually hold the paper in one’s hand are definitely hot.
During the afternoon, the first Chiangmai Mail
executive board meeting was held at the Dusit Resort Pattaya, and RM Ingo Räuber
once again made sure that even a business meeting can be enjoyable and
pleasant, as snacks, cookies, and many additional bits and pieces were
perfectly prepared and laid out.
this is how it’s done… (Standing left to right) Peter Malhotra, Dr Iain
Corness, Michael Vogt, Norachai Prasertmanukitch and Marion Vogt at the
R) Graphics Department Supervisor Andy Gombäz explains some of the
finer points of design to Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Marion Vogt and Dr Iain
been a good, eventful first three months … (L to R) Executive Assistant
Primprao Somsri, General Manager Peter Malhotra, Executive Editor Dr Iain
Corness, Executive Manager Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, and
Chairman of the Board Norachai Prasertmanukitch.
the serious business of Chiangmai Mail’s future (L to R) Managing Director
Michael Vogt, President and Editor in Chief Daniel Dorothy, and CEO Xanxai
R) Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Peter Malhotra, Dr Iain Corness and Primprao
Somsri discuss editing conundrums with Pattaya Mail editor Veerachai
Somchart and Chiangmai Mail Classifieds Editor Brendan Richards (background
Chiangmai Mail board of directors gets set to sit down and discuss the
future, but first a photo opportunity whilst looking over a proof of next
week’s Chiangmai Mail front, back and center pages. (L to R) Executive
Assistant Primprao Somsri, Executive Editor Dr Iain Corness, Executive
Manager Marketing & Communications Marion Vogt, Chairman of the Board
Norachai Prasertmanukitch, Managing Director Michael Vogt, CEO Xanxai
Visitkul, General Manager Peter Malhotra and President and Editor in Chief
Chiangmai Mail has now been on the newsstands for 3
months, and regular operational issues had to be reviewed. The future looks
bright, as it already looks as if the newspaper will expand further.
Exciting times are ahead for the Chiangmai Mail and its readers.
The long afternoon ended at Jomtien Boathouse, were
everyone could unwind. The team enjoyed great dinner and greater drinks
tapping their feet to the jazzy tunes of Doc Houlind.
Edelweiss Princess - the Mae Ping cruiser
The largest river cruise vessel in northern Thailand is
the Edelweiss Princess, which sails along the Mae Ping Lake heading up north
closer to the districts of Li in Lamphun Province.
Princess ... the princess of the Mae Ping Lake.
seat dining room ready to serve meals, snacks and beverages.
The program starts at 6 a.m. Saturdays at the Edelweiss
office, taking the coach to the Bhumibol Dam. The journey takes around three
and a half hours to the dam where the passengers board the Edelweiss
On board, passengers will be served their first meal and
then have some free time for leisure activities, such as discotheque,
karaoke, home theatre, swimming, fishing, canoeing, or games. Or just sit
back and enjoy the beautiful sights of the Mae Ping Lake.
The boat cruises until sunset when the evening’s
activities get into full swing. These the ‘buffet party’ and ‘sunset
cocktail party’ with ‘folk light music’ and ‘cabaret show’ before
the passengers retire to their air-conditioned cabins, complete with
beautiful vista from the open deck of Edelweiss Princess.
leaving the cruise, passengers take photographs to remember this wonderful
Bhat Khao Nam Temple on the isle of Mae Ping Lake.
In the early morning, the waiters and waitresses serve
Khanom Krok (a kind of Thai sweetmeat) with a hot drink at the open deck so
that passengers can appreciate the beautiful vista of the fog rising above
the surface of the water and then watch the sunrise itself.
One of the activities in the morning is to pay homage at
Phra Bhat Khao Nam Temple to the image of Buddha and Guan-Im (the Chinese
deity) and one can try one’s luck on Siam Si (the Chinese style of fortune
telling). This temple is located on the top of the isle in Mae Ping Lake,
and souvenirs from local people are available.
After re-boarding the Edelweiss Princess, it returns to
Bhumibol Dam and after lunch passengers return to the office.
Niphon Nunphakdee, the owner of Edelweiss Princess, recommends that
passengers should bring a change of clothes, a pair of slippers, swimsuit,
shorts, camera, sunglass, and fishing kit. The cruise boat can also be used
for seminars, weddings or special events. For further information contact
Edelweiss Princess, Chiang Mai branch, telephone 0 5387 2445 and fax 0 5387