Chiang Mai mayor expecting 300 mio tourist baht
over Yee Peng
Pandas could make first public showing during the festival
Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn says this year’s Yee Peng
(Loy Krathong) festival would be better than ever, and expects a 20 percent
increase in visitor numbers. As a result, he expects more revenue will come
to the city during the festival.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand, Northern Office,
Region 1 has also contacted other countries, such as Malaysia, Korea, Japan
and Singapore, inviting them to join and publicize this colorful event.
Chiang Mai Municipality is prepared to host the Yee Peng
festival from November 7-9, featuring activities such as a Miss Nang
Noppamas beauty contest, a local instrument band and orchestra and a Lanna
Yee Peng Festival show.
Mayor Boonlert said that highlights of this year’s
festival would be a huge fireworks display in the shape of a heart
representing the warm welcome by Chiang Mai residents for all tourists and
“I believe that with everything that has happened this
year, especially the coming of the giant pandas, this will bring many
tourists to visit Chiang Mai. I will make sure that the pandas would be
ready for the first public showing during the festival,” he said. Both
pandas are busy making their Krathongs to float down the Ping River.
One stop OTOP shop for Chiang Mai
256 booths - thousands of good quality products
In response to the increasing demand for One Tambon One
Product (OTOP) goods, Chiang Mai provincial authorities opened the first
OTOP Center in the country, on an area of 40 rai at Mae Jo Plaza, with 256
booths and thousands of good quality products. This center aims to give
manufacturers a new channel to distribute their products, increasing their
income as well as boosting Chiang Mai’s economy.
of the many five-star OTOP products at the OTOP Center.
The grand opening was presided over by Chiang Mai
Governor Suwat Tantipat, and featured an OTOP contest, folk songs, a
colorful parade and local a Khantoke dinner.
“I believe this center will help our local residents
earn more money, relieving poverty, as well as persuading people from other
provinces to stop by and do some shopping, which will boost our economy,”
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong said at the OTOP center
opening. He added that last year Chiang Mai OTOP products brought in 600
million baht and this year the target was 800 million.
Mai Deputy Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong believes that the Chiang Mai
OTOP Center will boost Chiang Mai’s economy.
Somchai Auevongchai, Mae Jo Plaza acting managing
director, said that the local government chose this spot because it has a
good location, having many souvenir stores nearby and with convenient car
parking spaces. They have also been given local government rent and
electricity privileges during the three year contract.
45 northern woven cloths through to finals of Thai silk and Thai textile contest
“Thai silk and Textile Contest in International Style 2003”
The “Thai silk and Textile Contest in
International Style 2003” first round was held at Imperial Mae Ping Hotel
Chiang Mai, to present the potential of Thai products and to show the
quality of the products for the export market.
Jintana Punthufak, Public Relations Department director,
said that northern Thailand is famous for its indigenous textiles and said,
“We should use this fact to promote Thai designed clothing.”
In the first round of the contest, there were more than
200 northern textiles judged and 10 Thai silk and 35 cotton cloths went
through to the final round to be held at Phaya Thai Palace in Bangkok. The
winner of the contest will receive 100,000 baht and a trophy from Dr Thaksin
Shinawatra, the Prime Minister of Thailand.
The Royal Project aims at international market
Organically grown pure foodstuffs the key
The Royal Project Foundation is preparing to step up
their farms and products, looking for worldwide recognition to be in line
with next year’s policy of food purity.
With the push towards organically grown produce, the
Royal Project Foundation sees an appropriate channel to export their
products by ensuring their quality is certified by international
organizations and standards.
Plempanya, Royal Project Development Chief Officer announced the Royal
Project will enter into the international market.
“We have planned that by next year, we will be getting
ready for export, beginning with many kinds of vegetables. Importantly, it
means that all of our products can be traced back to their origins,” said
Suthat Plempanya, Royal Project Development Chief Officer.
He added that the bilateral free trade agreement with
China which began on October 1 this year should not be a problem for their
exports and claimed that our products have a better quality.
In addition, the Royal Project Foundation has prepared
its community for the last two years to be actively involved with incoming
tourists, supporting all kinds of handicrafts, setting up a new tourism plan
specifically in eco-tourism and arranging seminars for local tourist guides.
Last year, the Royal Project Foundation received more
than 600,000 visitors.
Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces combine on tourism promotion
Open Chiang Rai Local Culture and Tradition Center
Chiang Rai Municipality has built a Chiang
Rai Local Culture and Tradition Center fully supported in a joint tourism
cooperation venture between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
The grand opening was held on October 22, with Chiang Mai
MP Yaowapa Wongsawas presiding at the Chiang Rai Local Culture and Tradition
Center, which is hoped will boost Chiang Rai tourism.
MP Yaowapa said that construction of this center showed
good forward vision, offering employment for local residents and charity
associations as well as being a new tourist attraction for visitors to the
She added that the government was ready to back such
joint tourism ventures between neighbouring provinces, with the concept
being the preservation of the old culture, which has been gradually
The activities inside the center include selling local
products and souvenirs, traditional Thai massage, local traditional shows
and many educational exhibits as well as food and refreshments for the
Lampang PAO behind 36th Agricultural Fair
Governor ask farmers to grow more jasmine rice
Lampang Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) arranged the
36th Agricultural Fair to exhibit agricultural production and sell processed
agricultural products at Thip Chang Lampang Hotel.
Lampang Governor Amornthat Nirattisayakul presided over
the opening ceremony and took a look around the fair. Organic vegetables,
local herbs, local green tea, wine, vegetables, and coconut shell products
were on sale at reasonable prices.
The governor said that he would push local farmers to
grow more jasmine rice because local people are currently only growing
jasmine sticky rice for domestic consumption purposes.
He believes that the quality of Lampang jasmine rice
depends on soil and climate. Lampang farmers grow the same species as
northeast area farmers, but they do not have the same quality as the local
By looking at statistics on national gross rice
production, it can be seen that the plantation areas have increased to
19,020,000 rai from the former 50,000 rai in 1967, and the average product
yield has gone from 250 kilograms/rai in 1967 to 305 kilograms/rai.
58 percent of Thai jasmine rice is exported throughout
Asia, 5 percent to the Middle East, 7 percent to Europe, 3 percent to
Africa, 24 percent to North and South America and 3 percent in the Asia
Pandas on CCTV help draw crowds to Chiang Mai Zoo
Panda dolls and t-shirts are hot sellers
During the recent APEC summit holidays, many people from
both Chiang Mai and other nearby provinces flocked through the Chiang Mai
Zoo turnstiles, increasing revenue by 100,000 baht per day. There were also
further revenues from the sale of panda souvenirs.
Even though the public was not yet allowed to visit the
giant pandas, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, the visitors could see them via a
closed circuit television, and most of the visitors bought panda souvenirs,
with the dolls and the T-shirt being the most favoured.
In addition, there were activities such as T-shirt
painting contests plus natural tourist attractions, such as the
The long APEC holidays brought many people to Chiang Mai
as the weather in the north of Thailand was so cool. On the top of Doi
Inthanon, the highest point of Thailand, it was 9 degrees Celsius in the
morning of October 22.
Lanterns and krathongs festive celebrations planned for Phayao
Preserving local traditions and culture
Preparations are underway for a lantern
parade and krathong floating festive celebrations in Phayao province to mark
the long legend of Phu Kham Yao sub district and at the same time to
preserve folk culture.
The Dong Jan Tambon Municipality of Phu Kham Yao
sub-district is the host of this event and a representative said that this
northern province has already planned for the celebrations, which will be
held on November 6 at the sport grounds of Dong Jan Wittayakom School.
Amongst the activities the visitors can experience a
variety of cultural displays such as a Klong Sa Bud Chai victory drum
beating contest, Fon Leb (northern classic fingernail dance), together with
a lantern and krathong contest and importantly including a light and sound
presentation titled “Muang Kaew Wieng Phu Kham Yao” which will be set up
to mark Phu Kham Yao sub district’s 900 year history.
Ban Suntisuk Hydro-electric plant officially launched
Local electrical grid has been revolted
Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng, along with
Prapat Panyachartraks, minister of natural resources and environment, and
his team, presided over the opening ceremony of the hydro-electric plant
project at the village level of Ban Suntisuk, Tambon Khunkwuan, Pong
district, Phayao. Construction began on January 15 this year and it was
completed on May 31.
The project, which was supported by the Department of
Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, commenced electricity
services on June 3, 2003 with its current capability 30 kilovolts to provide
service for about 150 households and approximately 1,100 residents. The
project was also regarded as clean energy, with no harm to environment and
in addition, a low-cost operation.
At the ceremony, the deputy prime minister said he would
attempt to obtain a budget for road construction in the community area to
assist transportation of local crops to the city’s market and expand other
opportunities for local residents.
The deputy prime minister also stressed the importance of
the forest area of Ban Suntisuk as the key region for water resources which
could become suitable for a community forest policy if the local residents
were given education and development on this subject. Upon the completion of
this program, the forest area would be under protection and help solve the
flood and drought problem.
Chiang Mai Municipality to hold Yee Peng (Loy Krathong) Festival
Chiang Mai’s Yee Peng (Loy Krathong) Festival is
scheduled from November 7-9 with many activities to impress tourists and
visitors and promote more than 700 years of Chiang Mai arts, culture and
Yee Peng is one of the most colorful festivals of the
year in Chiang Mai and is organized by Chiang Mai Municipality in
conjunction with other organizations. This annual event takes place for
three days on the twelfth lunar month, around the 14th and 15th days of the
new moon (this year November 7-9).
Mai Yee Peng (Loy Krathong) festival scheduled on November 7-9, will present
many cultural activities, and is expected to draw many tourists.
The culmination of this festival is fabulous, with
krathong beauty contest, krathong floats and grand parades that will be held
on the third night with a very colorful procession starting from Thapae
gate, passing Warorot Market to the municipal offices and then floating the
krathongs down the Ping River showing respect and gratitude to the Lord
This year, at Wat Lok Mo Lee there will be art and
cultural shows and Buddhism rites November 7-9. One of the highlights of the
festival will be the Light and Sound of Ping River show on all three days
covering cultural and Buddhist heritage and the last life of the Lord Buddha
before he was born as Prince Siddhartha at Wat Jed Lin.
The Nang Noppamas beauty contest will be held at Thapae
Gate as always but this year there is a special candlelight market (Local
Night Market), and the city will be decorated with revolving lanterns.
For more information, contact Chiang Mai Municipality
office telephone 053 259 096-98 or Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai
office at 053 248 604 and 053 248 607.
Tourism businesses told to work together
Clustering tourism project will benefit Chiang Mai
Reinhard Hohler (GMS Media Travel Consultant)
The “Clustering” seminar at the Imperial Mae Ping
Hotel in Chiang Mai attracted over 100 participants on October 25.
There was an agreement on the first phase 3-month tourism
project called “Clustering” between the Chiang Mai Tourist Business
Association (CTBA), Chiang Mai University (CMU) and Kenan Institute Asia,
left: Assist Prof Wasant Chormpakdee and Assist Prof Yongyuth Chiaboon of
the Faculty of Engineering, Boonlert Perera, Prof Frank Roman, and Rachan
Veeraphan, advisor to the Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association toast the
signing of an MOU to promote tourism in the area.
“Clustering is necessary to keep tourists staying some
days longer in Chiang Mai,” explained Kh. Peirera, head of the Chiang Mai
Tourist Business Association.
Jack Kelly, senior competitiveness consultant and
representing the Kenan Institute Asia, brought out future strategies for
private companies in Chiang Mai to develop, similar to the present situation
in the Scottish border shires.
To counterbalance the ongoing competition between the
different tour companies, hotels, restaurants, airlines, and handicraft
shops, both networking and cooperation is necessary to produce short and
long term benefits.
To sum up the capabilities and the strengths of Chiang
Mai, a cluster development scheme should combine agro-tourism, spas, golf,
and educational tourism. The markets of Japan, Korea, and Singapore should
be tapped to enlarge the convention market in Chiang Mai.
Phuket can only offer sea, sand and sun, while Chiang Mai
has mountains, hill tribes and an indigenous 700 hundred-year-old culture,
and its own individual cuisine influenced by neighboring Myanmar. Chiang Mai
will also be at the crossroads of the ambitious East-West Corridor,
stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, Chiang
Mai is being promoted as an aviation hub and gateway to the Greater Mekong
Sub-Region, comprising Yunnan/China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and
Participants at the seminar were told to work together on the “Unseen
Thailand” vision to accomplish a bright future for the tourism industry in
Chiang Mai, and wished Professor Frankie Roman, chief of the Thailand
Competitiveness Initiative a successful project.
Mae Hong Son creates roadmap on tourism strategies
Map folding destined to become an art form
The Mae Hong Son governor, Supot
Laowansiri, along with other organizations from both government and private
sectors set up a meeting recently to map out tourism strategies within the
The participants emphasized developing tourism in the
province to attempt to promote travel activities all year round. Other
points raised included the fact that some services should be upgraded to
meet the standards expected these days by the tourists.
In the initial plan and framework, tourist spots such as
the natural attractions and the folkways of life and traditions were the
main focus with ideas to make them outstanding and unique.
Strategies would also be in accordance with the tourism
policies of the three neighbouring provinces of Chiang Mai, Lamphun, and
Lampang under the government plan to make the regions the eco-tourism center
in South East Asia.
Royal Project and Northern Agriculture Day to kick off in December
Green thumbs explained
Royal Project Foundation together with the Faculty of
Agriculture, Chiang Mai University (CMU) has set the schedule for the Royal
Project and Northern Agriculture day(s), which will be on December 17-21 as
part of the celebration for Her Majesty the Queen’s 72nd birthday
anniversary next year.
It aims to promote agricultural development activities
and tourist attractions in the Royal Project Foundation following the Chiang
Mai government’s policy “Pleasing Community.”
Wichien Noonrod, chief Chiang Mai provincial public
relations officer, said that this event would be held at CMU’s Art Museum,
Agricultural Research and Experiment Plantation Irrigation Zone and CMU Art
and Culture Promotion Center.
He added that this fair is part of the celebration of Her
Majesty the Queen’s 72nd birthday anniversary as well as to acknowledge
the most advanced agricultural, biological, and environmental techniques.
Consequently, the fair would feature an exhibition of HM Queen’s
activities in the region and many booths from the “Doi Kham” Royal
Two new roads linking Chiang Mai
and Lamphun underway
Just follow the railway line
Lamphun province is getting ready for a
major road construction project along both sides of the railway line between
Chiang Mai and Lamphun.
The plan includes building new roads to link Chiang Mai
and Lamphun on both sides of the railway. The 8 km long road in the western
part of the railway would be launched from a branch road in Tambon Pa Dad,
Chiang Mai, to reach the Palm Spring village.
On the eastern side it will start from Doi Ti in Lamphun
and connect to Charoen Muang Rd. Chiang Mai, a total of 27 kilometers. A
budget of 149 million baht has been allocated and construction will be
officially blessed on November 8 this year.
Lamphun Governor Thawat Sathiennam said that this project
was initiated by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to prepare for the
economic boom expected to hit Chiang Mai and Lamphun, as well as providing a
transportation route for heavy containers from the Northern Region
Industrial Estate to the export portal sites.
This project, he said, would help relieve traffic
problems on the main Chiang Mai-Lamphun superhighway, and would link the
historical tourist sites of Hariphunchai in Lamphun and Wieng Kum Kam in
The blessing ceremony for the construction project would
be held on the road in the eastern side of the railway line on November 8 at
9.19 a.m. Construction is expected to take six months.
Sportron International refute FDA ban
Manufacturer denies ephedrine claim
The Provincial Public Health Office in Phitsanulok
province claims there is “Synthetic Ephedrine” mixed in the Sportron
product called “Tone AM”, a herbal compound that promotes weight loss.
“Synthetic Ephedrine” is a chemical used in producing
amphetamines. This accusation has caused the company much damage and the
subsequent decrease in orders and return of goods has seriously affected the
Klinbumrung, chairman of the board at Sportron International (Thailand) and
the company’s committee held a press conference to refute the FDA claims
about their product.
At a press conference last week, Noppadon Klinbumrung,
chairman of the board at Sportron International (Thailand) said that he did
not know why the FDA banned his product, because he had opened the company
11 years ago and up till now there were no problems at all.
They have sent samples of their products to be checked at
the Medical Sciences Department in Bangkok and are waiting for the results.
sample of “Tone AM” produced by Sportron International (Thailand).
The conference was held to tell the media that there was
no “Synthetic Ephedrine” mixed in the company’s product.
Sportron, and the obese members of the public, await further chemical
Flesh trade busted behind noodle shop in Chiang Rai
Do you want some doodles to go with your noodles, sir?
Five aliens, aided by the owner of a
noodle restaurant in Chiang Rai to illegally enter Thailand, have been
charged with selling sexual services and being in possession of fake ID
Chiang Rai Muang district chief officer, Sanit
Phusaengthong, along with Supak Sawetwisuwat, the assistant district chief
officer engaged a willing volunteer task force to launch a crackdown on the
flesh trade in Chiang Rai.
Their undercover(s) activities resulted in the arrest of
three Burmese girls, natives of Chiang Tung and Tachilek provinces in Burma,
who were found to be involved with prostitution. The three were arrested
during a sting operation when volunteers made appointments to make use of
their services at a local hotel, and it wasn’t takeaway noodles.
Armed with a search warrant, the team seized two more
Burmese girls in the house behind the noodle shop on Sankokchang Road, and
detained Wirat Kaewwanna, aged 36, the housekeeper who was suspected of
being part of the prostitution ring. The five aliens were charged with
illegal entry and prostitution.
The offenders told the enforcement team that Kaew
Pholyiam, the owner of the noodle shop and Nopphol Pholyiam, her husband,
were behind the prostitution business, providing accommodation for them and
arranging their services for customers at 300 baht each time.
However, the aliens planned to escape to other regions
after working there for a short time.
Kaew, along with her husband, were also charged with
fabricating ID cards and a haul of mobile phones was held as evidence of
other illegal activities. One of the Burmese women also tested positive for
It looks as if Kaew Pholyiam is quitting the ‘kwiteo’
business for a while.
Police stop armed man claiming he was military intelligence
Arrested for being an oxymoron?
Varavin Sutjarit, aged 41, a drug network
suspect was apprehended at the police checkpoint in Mae Chan district last
weekend. The checkpoint had been set up as security for the social order
campaign concert at Suksa Songkroh School.
The suspect was stopped by the police for driving an
unlicensed pick-up truck. A cursory look inside the vehicle revealed a .22
pistol with 24 rounds of ammunition. Investigating further, the police also
found an M16 weapon, 38 rounds of ammunition, bullet-proof vest and other
equipment used by commandos.
Varavin then claimed that he was working for an anti-drug
agency and military intelligence. However, a quick telephone call to the
ONCB, DEA and all other concerned organizations brought the information that
he was wanted by the Chiang Rai provincial court on charges of trafficking
in 35 kilograms of heroin.
Perhaps he was taking the firearms to sell at the gun
shop to pay for his vehicle registration?
CMU students to quit alcohol
and cigarettes for King Rama V
Perform ritual throwing of alcoholic drinks and burning cigarettes
The International Buddhist Club, under the
patronage of Somdej Phra Maha Ratchamangklacharn, educational executives
committee, lecturers, university union, student clubs from all 17 faculties,
and other organizations in Chiang Mai University participated in a pledge to
give up alcohol and cigarettes. This was held at Sala Angkaew Hall, on
Chulalongkorn Day, October 23.
The pledge ceremony was jointly presided over by CMU
president Asst Prof Dr Nipon Tuwanont, and the abbot of Wat Phra That Doi
Suthep Somdej Phra Maha Ratchamangklacharn.
The ceremony included a display of sword dancing, Thai
instrumental music, and Thai drums before the ritual throwing of alcoholic
drinks and burning cigarettes. 18 students took a life-long pledge.
Pha Muang Task Force raided
Nab 30 aliens and 0.5 kg marijuana
The combined force of the Third Army
Region in cooperation with the Office of Narcotic Control Board (ONCB)
busted drug refineries along the northern Thai-Burmese border, seizing raw
marijuana and 30 illegal immigrants.
The task force searched for drugs and found half a kilo
of raw marijuana in the raid along the border area of Doi Kiew Phaworg, Ban
Arunothai Village, in Tambon Muang Na, Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai,
which is a major area under the control of Wa minority group.
The force also captured 30 Thai Yai and Wa illegal
immigrants, 21 men, 3 women and 6 residents from Arunothai Village. This
raid was a part of the offensives planned along the border, during which
time police expect to confiscate about one hundred million methamphetamine
Chiang Mai Police set up safety plan and counter measures for Yee Peng
Everyone wants a happy Loy Krathong
Chiang Mai Police have already prepared measures to deal
with security problems during Yee Peng (Loy Krathong) celebrations in Chiang
Mai. Pol Lt. Col Viroj Kaesaporn, public relations officer, said Chiang Mai
Police have gathered information on criminal movements, with a view to
preventing problems for the visitors.
Police will be sent to the main spots to maintain
security and to search for all kinds of illegal goods, drugs and weapons
during the festival, he said.
He added that during Yee Peng Festival from November 7-9,
police would examine shops selling fireworks to see whether they had a
Pol Lt. Col Viroj expressed concerns over teenagers’
behavior with explosive firecrackers that could cause some dangers to
tourists and property, and said that police officers would take serious
action on this group.
Public health statistics show that during the festival
last year, there were 170 injured and 1 death; mainly from fireworks and
Off-road Family Rally 2003 scheduled for December 6 - 7
Visiting Royal Projects on the itinerary
Suan Pakasit is the property of Their Majesties the King
and Queen, and is used for agricultural projects. The Off-road Family Rally
2003 is being held to support the preservation and development of
communities at Ban Muang Kong and Tambon Piang Luang in the Suan Pakasit
This area has been developed to strengthen the local
communities, including the schools, and provide some financial support, and
this charity rally has been organized so the public can get to know more
about the rural communities.
left) Apirat Thakrattanasarun, rally organizing committee chairman; Ek
Maneesai, Pakasit Park manager; Lek Saralham, MC of the Plaza; Abra Maneesai
and Orachorn Chantarawiwattana.
Ek Maneesai, the park manager said funds from this rally
will be used for lunches for poor and disadvantage students. The rally
participants would get an understanding of soil and water preservation and
management, and help link mutual understanding between the people in the
city and the traditions and cultures of the villagers.
Piang Luang village dancers descended from Yunnan Chinese immigrants.
The rally is divided into three categories: Off-roaders,
covering a distance from Chiang Mai-Piang Luang-Muang Kong; Family cars, and
VIP cars. The admission fees are 2,200, 1,500 and 3,000 baht respectively.
During the press conference, local dances were performed by the former
Chinese villagers from Ban Piang Luang and Ban Muang Kong, where primitive
ways of life, art and culture, still exist unchanged.