HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Best Wishes to HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on His Royal Birthday

National tree planting conducted for His Majesty the King

Northern Heritage Resort & Spa greets the press

5th HHK in the North art activity judged a great success

Riding an elephant by yourself

Northern OTOP products displayed in Chiang Mai

Best Wishes to HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn on His Royal Birthday

His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn was born on July 28, 1952, in the Ambara Villa of the Royal Dusit Palace in Bangkok. He is the second of four children, and is the only son of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great and Queen Sirikit.

Photo courtesy of The Bureau of the Royal Household

The Crown Prince received His primary schooling at Udorn Hall of the Dusit Palace and attended secondary school in Sussex and Sumerset, England. In August 1970, the Crown Prince attended the King’s School, Paramatta, Sydney, Australia and in 1976, He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Military Studies at the University of New South Wales.

The Crown Prince also attended the Royal Thai Army Command and General Staff College, graduating in 1978, and later received a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the Sukhothai Thammatirat University in Bangkok in 1987. In 1990, He successfully attended the Royal College of Defense Studies in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej conferred His Son with the title of “Somdech Phra Borama Orasadhiraj Chao Fah Maha Vajiralongkorn Sayam Makutrajakuman” on December 28, 1972, making him the Crown Prince and Heir to the throne.

HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn attended numerous military training courses in Australia and the United States with observation tours in England, Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands. A long list of military courses attended by the Crown Prince includes helicopter and high performance aircraft flight training, special warfare training, demolition training, parachute training, and courses in small arms and other weapons used in modern warfare.

Photo courtesy of The Bureau of the Royal Household

Some assignments include Commanding Officer of the King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment and Command, Commanding General of the Royalty Security Command, and Instructor Pilot of the F-5 E/F. Intermittently, He engaged in actions for counter-insurgency purposes in the North and Northeast areas of Thailand as well as for protective purposes in areas around Cambodian refugee camps at Khao Lant, Trat Province.

The Crown Prince has continued the Royal Family’s assistance programs to underdeveloped areas around the country and visited depressed urban areas around Bangkok distributing food and necessity items to people in need. Another impressive undertaking was His participation in a fertilizer preparation project in Suphanburi Province using natural ingredients to enrich the land in support of the country’s great agricultural pursuits. Farming is considered to be a highly significant and noble profession in Thailand and the Royal Family takes an active role in advancing the vital industry of agriculture.

National tree planting conducted for His Majesty the King

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Wing 41 held a Cassia Fistula or Golden Shower tree-planting project to honor His Majesty the King in celebrating his 80th birthday in 2007. Group Captain Suraphan Suwannatat, the deputy commander for flight operations of Wing 41 presided over the event. The tree planting events have taken place in many areas around Wing 41 since July 16.

Group Captain Suraphan Suwannatat, deputy commander of Wing 41, grows a Golden Shower tree. (Photo by Nuttanee Thaveephol)

According to the Cabinet resolution of October 22, 2001, the National Identity Promotional Committee pointed out three national symbols. The national animal is the Thai elephant, the national flower is Golden Shower, and the national architecture is the Thai style house.

Participants in the planting project hope to grow 9 million Golden Shower trees around the country within 5 years to make merit and esteem for His Majesty the King for his Royal Projects for conserving natural resources and the environment.

The Golden Shower or Cassia Fistula is a me dium-sized, deciduous tree growing to around 10 meters in height. The flowers are golden yellow and hang in bunches up to 40 cm long. It is very hardy and can grow in most subsoils.

The airmen of Wing 41 get ready to plant Golden Shower trees to honor His Majesty the King. (Photo by Nuttanee Thaveephol)

In the past, Golden Shower was considered sacred wood, which Thai people have used as the holy city pillar, the royal club, and the national flagpole. The wood itself is hard, strong and durable and is suited for cabinetwork, farm implements and mortars. The plant is used in folk remedies for tumors of the abdominal glands, liver, stomach, and throat. These days, it is widely planted as a handsome ornamental tree.

The Wing 41 Housewives’ Association joined in the planting project. (Photo by Nuttanee Thaveephol)

Northern Heritage Resort & Spa greets the press

Staff reporters

On Saturday evening, July 19, the Northern Heritage Resort & Spa (NHRS) hosted a press meeting and welcome for 30 Chiang Mai-based media personnel from TV, radio and print media.

Assistant MD Prinyar Prinyarnussorn delivers a welcome speech.

The “welcome media reception party” began with a speech from Prinyar Prinyarnussorn, assistant managing director of NHRS. After the opening address, Dr. Sukhum Sukapanpotharam, the MD of Chiangmai-Lamphun Golf Club, an affiliate of NHRS, also welcomed the group.

MD Dr Sukhum said his company was very proud and honored to be the organizers of events, like being the official golf venue for the 18th SEA Games in 1995. He also said that many professional golfers like Thongchai Chaidee and others who became world famous golfers, had passed from this place.

“NHRS serves tourists and visitors as a part of the tourism health promotion for Chiang Mai destinations,” Dr Sukhum added.

Chiangmai Mail editor Phitsanu Thepthong (2nd from left) presents a bouquet of flowers to Kanokwan Soonthornnond, spa manager at Northern Heritage Resort and Spa to congratulate her and resort management on the occasion of the soft opening, press meeting and reception party. On the left is Naratip Thepmongkol, sales executive, and at right is Tan during the reception party.

NHRS is currently offering “Unseen Northern Value Packages”, which will continue until September 2003. These include pay 1 night accommodation and get 5 additional services, for only 2,500 baht per single room, or 3000 baht twin share. These services include breakfast, one round of golf, one spa treatment value, one food and beverage voucher, and airport transfers.

Metinee Chaikuna (standing center) and Sanya Sriduam (standing right) from Chiangmai Mail, and Cheewin Sattha (seated right), from the Bangkok Post.

To get there, go along the Highway 317, from Don Chan crossroad, passing through San Kampaeng district town suburb, then turn right to Wat Patueng - Ban Thi road to connect with Lamphun along the Highway 1147. After a further 10 km you will see the sign on the left hand side.

The Chiang Mai-based media team members were briefed on the spa treatment by Kanokwan Soonthornnond, spa manager (2nd right).

Dr. Sukhum Sukapanpotharam (seated 3rd from left), managing director of Chiang Mai-Lamphun Golf Club, the officiate of Northern Heritage Resort and Spa, relaxes with staff at the Heritage Lobby Bar. At right is Prinyar Prinyarnussorn, assistant MD of the resort.

Dr Sukhum relaxes by singing Karaoke songs.

Mass media people pose for a group photo with the Northern Heritage Resort and Spa management team during the party.

Northern Heritage Resort and Spa management and staff led by Dr Sukum (5th from left).

From left: Dom Suwawan of the Nation, Pongphan and Amnart Chongyosying from Paknua, Northern News.

Group photo of the Media and NHRS staff during the reception party.

From left: Norachai Prasertmanukitch from Chiangmai Mail, Chaipin Kadthiya of Thai Rath and Muak from Kaosod.

Dr Sukhum delivers his introduction speech to audience.

Some of the media people attending the party.

5th HHK in the North art activity judged a great success

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The 5th HHK in the North fair provided much information on painting topics, as well as painting contests and sales of art supplies. The seminars and fair went on for four days, showing techniques in acrylic painting presented by Vanessa Bouquety, oil painting techniques by Pascal Roy, water colors by Ajarn Thongsuk Sawasdinattee, and innovation of water color by Ajarn Manit Niwetsilp.

Watercolor techniques done by specialist, Ajarn Thongsuk Sawasdinattee.

Prapat Chirasiritham, managing director of HHK Intertrade Co Ltd, said, “This is the 5th HHK in the North. It is not just a fair, as we are also trying to give attendees techniques and knowledge as well.” HHK provides the art and office equipment covering fine art, drafting, office, school, and hobby.

On the final day a Franco Thai painting contest was held, representing the cultural differences between Thailand and France and linking both of them. Vanessa Bouquety, one of the French organizers from Bangkok said that candidates did not have to pay for a fee or bring anything, all materials were provided.

An example from the painting contest.

The prize giving ceremony took place at the end of the fair and the winners were Atipun Dachdountta, Apichat Panuwong, Nati Pikraw, Tanongsak Tala, Komsan Punpanya and Amnid Gowared.

The 5th HHK in the North finished with such positive feedback, the organizer is expecting to hold an even larger event next year.

Students joined in the painting contest in their own style.

The 5th HHK in the North was held at Amari Rincome Hotel.

Honorary Consul Thomas Baude (left) presented prizes to the winners.

Riding an elephant by yourself

An adventure with Wannalee

Story and pictures by Annelie Hendriks

Sometimes you have guests from abroad who are very adventurous, like my friend Lea and her 10-year-old daughter Myrthe. They joined a three days home stay program at Lampang Thai Elephant Conservation Center.

Only the promise to be back next year and spending a lot more time with Wannalee could prevent Myrthe’s tears.

The first day started at 10 o’clock with a tour around the premises and to get acquainted with the elephants and their mahouts. After that it was time to do some homework. 20 commands in Thai needed to be learned by heart.

After lunch the real work starts. The first training session is underway with your own elephant and the mahout and a translator nearby.

That evening you stay at the mahout’s house. A simple bedroom and shower attached and the translator will cook a special meal for you. Bedtime is early because the next morning the alarm will ring at six.

Receiving the certificate from the mahout! Proud but sad as well, since it means the time has come to say good-bye.

You accompany the mahout to the forest, a walk of about an hour, to collect the elephants that are roaming in the forest during the night. More training sessions are carried out that day, and you also get to ride the elephant taxi through the forest as part of the program. At the end of the afternoon you take your elephant back to the forest.

In the dry season you can even stay overnight in the forest. But in the rainy season too many mosquitoes will keep you away. After another night at the mahout’s house, another delicious meal is a very nice compensation.

The third day it is up at six and collect your elephant, a last training session, breakfast and then it is time to perform in the 10 a.m. show for the Thai and foreign family audience.

...Who would have thought that one can feel that secure and confident, lying on the back of an elephant?

It’s amazing how much the students had learned in that short period of time. On and off the elephant, looking so easy getting the elephant to kneel or pick things up. Myrthe, only 10 years of age, looked as if she was born on that elephant.

After the show it is goodbye to the elephant and the mahout. It was a very difficult moment for Myrthe. She loved Wannalee, her elephant, so much.

She and her mother received a beautiful certificate as a remembrance of this very special experience. Perhaps they might even come back next year for a whole week training program.

The first ride on Wannalee in ‘real clothes’ and feeling at ease.

It really is something very special which I can recommend, after seeing the impact it had on my friends. Not a cheap adventure at 4000 baht per person; but it includes insurance, a mahout outfit, five meals, accommodation and of course the training course and the translation service.

You need to do some exercise beforehand. Elephants are big and you need strength to climb up. Take good shoes, mosquito spray and a raincoat in the rainy season.

For more information go to the website www.thai landelephant.org or email [email protected] or telephone 054 228034/054 229042.

It is an adventure for mother and daughter, quality time with your child which neither will forget for their whole life!

Northern OTOP products displayed in Chiang Mai

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Over 2000 products in the One Tambon - One Product (OTOP) were adjudicated over the past few weeks to find the ‘champion’ in each category. Sermsak Phongpanit, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Interior, presided over the opening ceremony of the exhibition to show the One Tambon - One Product champions.

The committee divided the OTOP products into 6 main categories, food and beverages, clothes, furniture and home utensils, handicrafts and souvenirs, and non-medicinal herbs. The project was intended to develop the standard of the local products, and create standardization through local links. The selected products were judged as suitable for export, with continuous and consistent production. The products themselves must also have high quality, and create customer satisfaction.

All of the 1,667 items selected as finalists will be displayed and sold at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conferences in Chiang Mai and Bangkok.

Famous products from Nan include a traditional style of silk called “Pha Lai Nam Lai”.

Sermsak Phongpanit, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Interior, presided over the One Tambon One Product Champion (OPC) exhibition opening ceremony.

A somewhat “overdressed” young lady demonstrates cotton spinning.

Products from Phichit Province interest many people.

Magical performers presented the OTOP products.

A special performance was put on to promote OTOP products from the northern region.

OTOP coconut shell products from Lampang.