The Amari Family Fun Rally was its usual great success
33 teams came from as far away as Japan to participate
Story by Michael Vogt Photos courtesy of Vachira
For the 7th consecutive year, the Amari Rincome Hotel, in
cooperation with the Angkhang Nature Resort, jointly organized the famous
Family Fun Rally last weekend.
like the real thing - Somjet Nimmanhemmin (far right) and Win Fagel, Amari
Rincome’s new GM, are watching the flagging-off.
It was business as usual at 8 a.m. on Saturday when
Somjet Nimmanhemmin presided over the opening and the drivers were flagged
off and ‘on their wheels’.
The various teams could easily be distinguished by the
matching colors of their shirts, whereby the famous (or infamous) ‘RRs’
(Rincome Racers) tried to make a point by sporting a very Ferrari-like red
polo. Or did they simply try to scare off the competition, I wonder? Anyway,
in most of the cases, team orders were strictly adhered to, and a great
number of not-so-serious tasks were to be taken care of on the way.
we made it - it’s good to finally see the word “Finish”.
The teams had to challenge themselves with various auto
racing puzzles, such as composing songs, finding names of tribes and
villages, and a lot of other silly things which you can only do in a car.
As this rally is known to be a rather scenic one, the
outdoors as well took a great part in the games. Before lunch was served at
Phrao Vittayakom School, beautifully arranged and catered by the Amari
Rincome, the participants had to watch out, for example, for a fully-dressed
clown standing on a flyover bridge. But it was certainly not good enough to
just spot him, one also had to obtain a little token from him, as evidence.
and staff used the opportunity to bid farewell to Marc Dumur - from left
Makoo, GM Angkhang Nature Resort, Marc, Sales Manager Toi, new Amari GM Wim
Fagel and his Executive Assistant “Jeff” Chanin.
Then, a few kilometers further down the road, there were
bicycles prepared, and the teams had to hop on one, take a plate with
ping-pong balls in one hand, and carefully balance them through a quite
tough course, much to the enjoyment of the onlookers (and a number of local
residents who weren’t quite sure what was going on there...), and cheered
by the other teams in order to create a distraction - in most cases
but us - are WE lost, or are the other teams?
After more afternoon challenges, the teams approached the
Norlae Military Camp, where the real challenge began, performing everyday
jobs such as packing up military gear in a rucksack, putting bullets in
magazines (blindfolded, of course), and setting up army tents. Obviously,
everyone was relieved to finally see the “Finish” banner, prominently
placed across the main entrance to the Angkhang Nature Resort, just 6
kilometers away from the camp.
picture does not really need an explanation - one of the many activities the
teams had to perform on the way.
The evening brought a well-deserved dinner, after which
the prize-giving ceremony took place. Vichit, director of the Royal Project,
personally handed out the prizes to the winners and runners-up, as well as
the booby prize for the team which completed all tasks but came in last. All
85 participants relaxed to the sounds of Daeng Fantastic and his Band, and
the sound of music only faded out in the wee hours of the morning.
of 33 participating cars didn’t make the steep and tight curves, and had
to be salvaged by some male guardian angels.
the quite unusual sights on the way to Doi Angkhang was a full-fledged clown
standing on a footbridge.
balancing act - grab a plate full of ping-pong balls, hop on a bicycle, and
follow the odd course.
teams, a total of 85 persons including 13 children, posing just before the
start last Saturday.
to get rid of the calories accumulated during lunch, groups of 15 were
chained to each other for a ‘hare & hounds’ through the woods.
Mahidol Day celebrated at CMU
On September 24, the Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai
University (CMU), celebrated Mahidol Day, being the day when Somdej
Phraborom Rajachanok (the King’s father) died. He was called the ‘Father
of Thai medicine’ and his work in public health remembered because he was
the first to bring the new technologies in medical treatment into Thailand
Panthong, deputy governor of Chiang Mai, makes merit in front of the Somdej
Phraborom Rajachanok statue. (Photo Phisut Itsaracheewawat)
Prinya Panthong, deputy governor of Chiang Mai, presided
over the ceremony with officials and students from other faculties, such as
the Nursing Faculty, Pharmacy Faculty, Veterinary Faculty, Associated
Medical Science Faculty and Dental Faculty of CMU laying wreaths at the of
Somdej Phraborom Rajachanok monument.
doctors and professors from CMU faculties with Deputy Governor Prinya
(center) during the ceremony. (Photo Phisut Itsaracheewawat)
Other activities were organized to mark Mahidol Day,
including a mini marathon competition, exhibitions from each faculty, blood
donations, poetry contest and a logo-design contest. Even a seminar was held
on the topic “Following the Footsteps of the Father”.
Industrial Promotion to boost SME’s
The Far Eastern College in cooperation with the
Department of Industrial Promotion, Ministry of Industry agreed to assist in
the development of small and medium enterprises (SME’s), being an
important factor to boost the northern region’s economy.
happy ending after a tough contest. Congratulations to all the winners. The
seventh from left is director-general Sumolmalaya Kalyasiri, and next to her
is Deputy Governor Prinya Parnthong.
“This incredible cooperation between government and
private sectors aims to help build a strong potentiality for entrepreneurs
for the sake of the Thai economy,” said Sumolmalaya Kalyasiri, director
general of Industrial Promotion.
Mai Deputy Governor Prinya, an honorary model who appeared in a splendid
Thai silk evening gown, looked handsome on the catwalk.
The Entrepreneurship Research & Development Center (ERDC),
founded by Far Eastern College, will be a “Gateway for
Entrepreneurship”, providing services in human resource development,
information analysis and consultant services.
At the conference, Prinya Parnthong, Chiang Mai deputy
governor, and Sumolmalaya Kalyasiri, presided over the ‘Chiang Mai Young
Designer Contest 2003’ which was held by the Department of Industry as a
part of the SME’s development plan, attracting many local creative young
designers to present their works. The contest was aimed at bringing a new
vision of Thai silk to become more fashionable and more internationally
recognized. It was divided into two categories: business suit and evening
gorgeous model in an elegant Thai silk business suit.
10 finalists were chosen in each category and a fashion
show ended the night with 20 local models on the catwalk. The winners on the
night were Siraporn Thipprai, the winner of the business fashion suit and
Nantiga Haemsart, the winner in the evening gown category. Both received a
cheque for 10,000 baht and a certificate.
Siraporn, who has been working for Aueng Doi Design as a
teacher for the last nine years, said that she was very excited to win. “I
spent two weeks designing and tailoring my dress. It’s so amazing that I
won,” she said excitedly.
winner of evening gown, Nantiga Haemsart with a big cheque of 10,000 baht
and a certificate from Director-General Sumolmalaya (left) of the Industrial
winner of business attire, Siraporn Thipprai (right) from Aueng Doi Design
receives a cheque for 10,000 baht and a certificate from Sumolmalaya
Kalyasiri (left), director-general of Industrial Promotion Department
exchanges an MOU with Associate Prof Boonsong Nilkaew (right), president of
Far Eastern College, as Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Prinya Parnthong (center)
and others look on.
Making a splash: Prem hosts
the CMAC Senior Swim Meet
Last Friday seven international schools gathered at
Prem’s Olympic sized pool for a day of fierce competition and fun in the
sun. The CMAC swim meet for juniors was held Thursday at Lanna International
School. With the combined scores of both the junior and senior swim meets,
Prem came out in first place with 886 points. Grace International School
placed second with 671 points and CMIS came in third with 359 points.
race in full splash!
There were several outstanding performances at Friday’s
In the 16-up boys, Elliot Krayer (CMIS) swept the 50m
freestyle, 50m breast, and 50m butterfly to place first overall in the
category with a total of 30 points.
Ryan Collingwood (GIS) was not far behind with a total of
27 points. In the 16-year up girls, Hseng-Tai Linter (Prem) had an amazing
showing, placing first overall with 21 points, followed by Juntra
Santithrangkun (Prem) with 16 points.
made it! Hseng Tai Linter from Prem International had an amazing showing,
placing first overall with 21 points.
Melanie Forbes-Harper (Prem) stunned the crowd by
sweeping the 50m freestyle, 50m breast, 50m backstroke, and 100m freestyle
to place first in the 14-15 girls category.
Patric de Vos (CMIS) once again won all his races, coming
in with a maximum point score of 32 followed by Nick Laine (Prem) with a
score of 25.
and Nick from Prem International School receiving the overall trophy.
In the 12-13 boys category, Andrew Brooks (Prem)
performed extremely well, winning both the 50m and 100m freestyle and
placing equal first in his age group with Paul S. (GIS) with a total of 28
In between the excitement of the races, parents and
students from the participating schools mingled, enjoyed the good weather,
and cheered on their schools in the more playful kayak races. Among students
and fans alike there was a sense of competition, but also of genuine
enjoyment of the event.
and James (in the front from Prem) anxiously await the start of their race.
At the awards ceremony, outstanding performers received
their medals and Prem accepted the tournament trophy to a rousing applause.
Prem’s success in the meet was clearly the result of more than simply raw
talent. “We encourage all of our students to go out and swim,” Prem
coach and head of athletics Janet Powell said. “We’re extremely proud of
our swimmers - they really give it their all.”
and getting rid of the leftover energy in the 14/15-year-old boys kayak
tireless announcer, still in a good mood after many hours in the heat (but
it’s beginning to show).
from GIS and Andrew Brooks from Prem, joint first place in the
12/13-year-old boy’s age group.
for the start, watching, chatting or just eating - all had a good time.
Amari Rincome Hotel welcomes new management with poolside party
Michael and Marion Vogt
The Amari Rincome Hotel welcomed their new management
with a poolside party. Marc Dumur, GM for the last 7 years, introduced his
successor, Wim Fagel, whom he has known for the last 20 years, as they once
worked together in a hotel in Amsterdam. He thanked everybody for their
support and asked them to assist Wim and the Amari team to settle in.
New GM Wim Fagel has spent the last four years in Nepal.
He said he was looking forward to meeting all the staff and exploring Chiang
Mai and the North. Wim then proposed a toast to all the guests, who are the
most important part in any hotel. Without faithful guests a hotel cannot
function and so he promised he would do his utmost to provide the same
high-quality service which his guests had received from Marc.
good time (from left) Kittipong Soonprasert, project manager of BBC World
Service, Victoria Nimmanhaeminda from NOHMEX and Ricky Op de Laak.
‘welcome committee’ and guests (from left) David and Wanna Thomas from
‘Wanna Tours’, Marc Dumur, incoming GM Wim Fagel, exec. assistant
manager ‘Jeff’ Chanin Sattayarom and sales manager Toi.
tensions are not seen in Asia. (From left) Consul General to the United
States of America Eric Rubin, Hon. Consul to the Federal Republic of Germany
Hagen Dirksen and Hon. Consul to France Thomas Baude.
the beautiful Lanna Dancers at the poolside.
Dumur (right) makes his last speech as GM before handing over to his
successor, Dutch national, Wim Fagel.
Integrated pest management -
plant health care and permaculture
by Don W. Cox, certified arborist, PHC
advisor [email protected]
There has been a big stink lately in the tangerine and
orange groves of Chiang Mai Province, and renewed concerns of pesticides
polluting the air and streams from heavy use in agricultural crops. Perhaps
it is long overdue for farmers and agencies that are missing the boat, to
get in touch with modern plant science and the systems of integrated pest
management, plant health care and permaculture.
University soil scientists at work. Comprehensive soil fertility analysis is
essential to PHC. Soil structure, pH (acidity/alkalinity balance) of the
soil and water supply, soil organic matter content, salinity, mineral and
nutrient levels should be scientifically established and corrected for
optimal health of the specific plants being grown.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is the science of
comprehensive management of pests and disease in plants, both in
agricultural settings (field, vine and tree crops) and in
ornamental/environmental plantings. IPM is a major component of plant health
care (PHC), a system of horticultural maintenance that takes into account
all aspects of soil and plant health, not only pest control. Permaculture
encompasses all of PHC plus intelligent land planning with ecological farm
and community design.
established plantings, a PHC maintenance program would include regular
monitoring inspections by a PHC/IPM specialist knowledgeable in local
conditions and seasonal cycles. Recommendations would be made for ongoing
plant nutrition, irrigation, pest control and pruning needs. Or in some
cases inspections would establish that nothing is needed at the time.
IPM, once considered an “alternative” to chemical
pest control, is now mainstream practice in some countries for large-scale
commercial agriculture as well as small organic farms. After 30 years of
development and extensive scientific research, IPM has proved itself in pest
control effectiveness, monetary savings and beneficial environmental impact.
What is IPM? Integrated pest management (IPM) is an
ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or
their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control,
habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of
resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates
they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made
with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials
are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health,
beneficial and non-target organisms, and the environment.” (Source:
University of California - IPM Online)
The principles of IPM are simple and consistent with an
understanding of basic ecology:
1. Study and understand nature and the delicate balances
that exist between interrelated systems of climate, soil, plants,
microorganisms, insects, pathogens, animal and human activity.
2. Use plants that are best suited to the environment in
which they are to be grown, and use plant varieties that are known to be
resistant to specific pests and diseases.
3. Provide optimal cultural conditions; proper planting,
spacing, soil fertility, water and management. Use crop rotations,
inter-cropping and reduce mono-cropping.
4. Know which pests and diseases are most likely to
affect these plants.
5. Closely monitor pest activity, know the lifecycle of
each pest, cultural conditions and natural enemies that affect pest
6. Tolerate minimal pest activity and recognize that
natural predators of pests may keep pest populations and plant damage under
control without the necessity of intervention. Don’t kill off natural
enemies of pests with broad-spectrum pesticides.
7. If unacceptable plant damage is anticipated from
increasing pest activity, only then introduce control measures.
8. If necessary to control pest or disease activity,
utilize control measures that are least detrimental to the environment and
the natural balances that exist.
Many plant insect pests are controlled naturally by birds
and other insects and organisms that eat them or parasitize them.
Extensively studying these relationships between specific plant pests and
their natural enemies has led to the development of biological control
awareness and commercially available biological control products.
Many fungal and bacterial plant diseases are more active
under cultural conditions that favor them, like over-watering, and poor soil
conditions. Correcting these conditions may bring the disease under control
and eliminate the need for chemical applications that are costly and
An example of IPM at work: Aphids are small insects with
piercing, sucking mouth parts that feed on the leaves and stems of plants by
sucking the plant juices for their own nourishment. They are one of the most
common pests in agricultural field and tree crops as well as in ornamental
landscape plants. A limited amount of aphid activity may be tolerated, but
excessive feeding can weaken plants, distort plant parts and limit crop
productivity or ornamental plant value.
An IPM specialist facing an aphid infestation looks at
several factors. One is that in some cases, excessive nitrogen fertilization
can create a higher sugar content in plants and make those plants more
susceptible to aphid feeding and a higher level of damage. So one
cost-effective control measure could be to reduce nitrogen fertilization to
only what is necessary for optimum plant growth. The result can be a
multiple savings: reduce cost of fertilization, reduce crop damage and
reduce cost of pest control.
The IPM practitioner studies entomology and knows the
lifecycle of an aphid, the stages of growth, natural enemies (including lady
beetles and lacewings that eat aphids and mini-wasps that parasitize them)
and protectors (ants protect aphids from some predators so they can feed on
the sweet honeydew that aphids secrete). This knowledge is important so that
first of all the farmer doesn’t overreact when he sees the first sign of
aphids and kill off the natural enemies with a strong pesticide, and second
so that he can work to enhance natural controls with cultural methods or the
introduction of biological agents (like lady beetles, lacewings or specific
The beauty of supporting natural predation is that it is
often a one-time effort. Some pest predators, after introduction, remain in
the environment to do their thing year after year; if they are not killed
off with pesticides that is.
Horticultural oils are also used in IPM, with the correct
timing, as a relatively non-toxic spray, the thin oily residue of which
smothers eggs, and over wintering insects.
Another example of biological control is the use of
Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a bacteria that infects and kills the larvae of
some insect pests. Spraying of a concentration of BT for a specific chewing
caterpillar infestation, with the correct timing, can significantly reduce
the pest population and damage, without poisoning other organisms. There is
currently research underway for the development of the use of a BT strain
for mosquito control.
Phytophora is a fungus-like organism called a water-mold.
Among the many species of Phytophora are some of the most destructive plant
diseases in the world. Certain Phytophora species are the disease organisms
attributed to “late blight of potatoes” and the Irish potato famine of
1845, crown and root rot of avocado and citrus, and sudden oak death
syndrome among other epidemics. Some Phytophora species thrive on over-wet
soil conditions or soil piled up at the base of a plant (including trees).
In poorly drained soils that are over-watered and can’t dry out, the
water-mold organism thrives and infects the stem of the plant, causing the
gradual destruction of conductive and support tissues. Phytophora can weaken
and kill small plants or big trees. An imbalance in soil chemistry can
predispose the plants to infection.
IPM for Phytophora would involve first looking at plant
selection in relation to disease susceptibility and soil type, performing a
soil analysis and correcting pH and other factors. And then make
recommendations about watering frequency and perhaps clearing excess soil
away from root collars.
IPM practitioners know that a little knowledge, foresight
and prevention are a lot more effective and economical than pest and disease
intervention after the infestation or infection is established.
The IPM oriented grower can decide to be a strict
“organic” grower (IPM and soil fertility based with strictly no
synthetic chemical fertilizers or pesticides/fungicides/herbicides), or to
use relatively low toxicity chemicals against the target organisms,
consciously as a last resort.
Plant Health Care (PHC) has evolved from the IPM approach
as the most modern and comprehensive science of plant health management. IPM
is a major component of PHC, but PHC goes further to encompass all aspects
of soil and plant health, not only pest control.
PHC first looks at plant selection for a given location.
Or the other way around, to select a suitable environment for a particular
planting, where it will thrive with minimal obstacles. First look to the
plant’s native habitat for clues. Proper timing and methods in planting
are important. Although controversial, genetically modified plants would be
considered by some agriculturists in utilizing pest resistant varieties.
Comprehensive soil fertility analysis is essential to PHC.
Soil structure, pH (acidity/alkalinity balance) of the soil and water
supply, soil organic matter content, salinity, mineral and nutrient levels
should be scientifically established and corrected for optimal plant health
of the specific plants being grown.
In established plantings, a PHC maintenance program would
include regular monitoring inspections by a PHC/IPM specialist knowledgeable
in local conditions and seasonal cycles. Recommendations would be made for
ongoing plant nutrition, irrigation, pest control and pruning needs. Or in
some cases, inspections would establish that nothing is needed at the time.
The big picture provided by comprehensive plant health
care and its component integrated pest management is the height of modern
plant science for agriculture and environmental horticulture. PHC and IPM
are not limited to the realm of laboratory science and university research,
but in addition to knowledge gained from these areas, a true PHC specialist
has cultivated an understanding of nature and natural environmental systems,
a love of plants and soil and all the organisms that live in and around
them, and respects how they interrelate.
Permaculture is a parallel discipline that incorporates
plant science and organic farming, but is much more than that. It
encompasses the basics of PHC and IPM plus goes more into depth in areas of
land planning, designing community, farm and residential integrated
environments, and preserving ecosystems.
IPM, PHC, and Permaculture specialists should be the ones
enlisted for devising alternative approaches to heavy pesticide use. Any
view short of what these systems provide will ultimately fail in
satisfactory long term solutions for the farmers who need to control damage
to their crops and at the same time insure a healthy environment for all the
people and other creatures downwind and downstream.
The University of California (USA) is one of the pioneer
institutions in IPM research and information: UC IPM Online:
Cornell University (New York, USA) has a website on
Biological Control: www.nysa es.cornell.edu/ent/biocontrol and info on PHC:
www.hort. cornell.edu/gardening/fct sheet/plthlthca.pdf
Rodale Institute is a pioneer in organic gardening and
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply (California USA) has a
catalog loaded with useful information and products for organic
Permaculture organizations: www.permaculture.org.au,
www.permaculture.org.uk www.permaculture.co.uk, www.permaculture.net
In Thailand the Earth Net Foundation is instrumental in
promoting organic agriculture: www.greennetorganic.com