Chakri Dynasty commemorated on April 6
Banks and businesses to close in observance of holiday
Chakri Day (April 6) was first instituted by H.M. King Vajiravudh (Rama
VI) in the year 1919 to commemorate all the Kings in the Chakri Dynasty,
which started with Rama I and continues to this day with Rama IX, H.M. King
Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great.
The reigning Kings in the House of Chakri brought peace
and tranquility to the people within Thailand’s borders and successfully
protected the Kingdom, maintaining sovereignty and integrity through crucial
periods threatened by European colonization and two World Wars.
In commemorating “Chakri Day” the national flag is
proudly displayed by the people of Thailand and both government officials
and members of the community participate in traditional ceremonies, making
offerings of flowers and garlands at the many statues of Kings in the House
The Chakri Dynasty, or the “House of Chakri” followed
the reign of King Taksin the Great, when He abdicated due to poor health.
The Chakri Dynasty was ushered in on 6 April 1782 when a close aid of King
Taksin, General Chakri, marched back into Thonburi and assumed the throne as
H.M. King Buddhayodfa the Great. Each Monarch thereafter has had “Rama”
as part of their title.
Banks, government offices and most business offices will close on
Tuesday, April 6 in observance of this special day.
Chakri Dynasty - Chronology of the
present-day Dynasty of Thailand
King Buddhayodfa the Great (Rama I) 1782-1809
The first King of the Chakri Dynasty moved the capital
city from Thonburi to Bangkok and built the Grand Palace that houses the
Emerald Buddha. Helped release Thailand from Burmese control after Ayuthaya
succumbed 14 years earlier.
King Buddhaloetla (Rama II) 1809-1824
The first great poet king of the Chakri Dynasty, renowned
for his literature.
King Nangklao (Rama III) 1824-1851
Extensively encouraged international trading and
education, enhanced promotion of Buddhism and built many temples.
King Mongkut (Rama IV) 1851-1868
Modernized Thailand in both commerce and education. Known
as the “Father of Thai Scientists” and famous for his astrology.
King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) 1868-1910
One of the most beloved and revered kings, He abolished
slavery, extensively contacted the Western world, modernized the government,
education, transportation, and communication. His diplomacy skills saved
Thailand from being colonized during colonial period.
King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) 1910-1925
A great poet king. Continued the work of Rama V in
modernizing Thailand. Promoted education and established the Boy Scouts in
King Prajadhipok (Rama VII) 1925-1935
Granted the Constitution to Thailand in 1932. Thailand
changed from Absolute Monarchy to Constitutional Monarchy.
King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), 1935-1946
A direct grandson of King Rama V. Known as the father of
modern Thai medicine.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great (Rama IX) 1946
to the present
A true monarch of the people and guiding light for the whole Thai nation.
Saved Thailand from many crises, dedicated to raising the living standards
of the poor, especially in remote regions.
A most happy birthday to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn
Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn was born on April 2,
1955, the third child of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Thailand.
HRH studied from kindergarten to high school at
Chitralada School in Bangkok. She ranked first in the National School
Examinations in the primary level (grade 7) in 1967 and in upper secondary
level (grade 12) in 1972.
Ranked fourth in the National University Entrance
Examination, HRH enrolled in the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, first class honor, and a gold
medal in History in 1976. She continued her studies in two graduate programs
concurrently, obtaining an M.A. in Oriental Epigraphy (Sanskrit and
Cambodian) from Silpakorn University in 1978, and an M.A. in Pali and
Sanskrit from Chulalongkorn University in 1980. She enrolled in a doctoral
program at Srinakharinwirot University (former College of Education) in
1981, and was awarded a doctoral degree in Developmental Education in 1987.
The principle of using education as a means for community
and social development, which HRH acquired during her doctoral studies along
with her former experiences in the field, has provided her with a solid base
for her subsequent involvement in community development activities.
In addition to her formal degree programs, HRH has
attended several training courses and workshops to enhance her knowledge and
skills in effective integrated development. These subjects include computer,
cartography, meteorology, survey and photogrammetry, remote sensing and
geographic information system and nutrition.
HRH has acquired first-hand experiences in working on
development projects initiated by Their Majesties the King and Queen. These
projects involve a number of diversified fields including health and
hygiene, education, water resource development, agriculture and cottage
industry by regularly accompanying Their Majesties on visits to remote areas
since the age of sixteen.
From these experiences, she has developed special
interests in agricultural extension to improve school children’s
nutritional conditions; supports education from pre-school to tertiary
levels; and mother and child care. She has also concentrated on helping the
handicapped, especially in using information technology (IT) to develop
independent living and learning skills.
HRH runs several philanthropic organizations and
foundations. She has been Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross
Society since 1977; Executive Chairman of the Chaipattana Foundation (in
charge of His Majesty’s development and environmental preservation
projects), Ananda Mahidol Foundation (to promote higher education), the King
Rama II Foundation (to conserve and promote Thai Culture); President of the
Sai Jai Thai Foundation (to support disabled veterans), Prince Mahidol Award
Foundation (to award prizes annually to members of the international
community for outstanding performances in the fields of medicine and public
health); and Adviser of the Committee of Thai Junior Encyclopedia Project by
Royal Command of H.M. the King.
HRH began her teaching career in 1979 when she started
teaching the General Education Program at Chulalongkorn University. A year
later, she joined the Department of Law and Social Sciences, in the Academic
Division of Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy. Presently she is Director
of the Department of History, and has played an active part in revising its
curriculum. She also supervises the Thai Music Club at the Academy.
Occasionally she gives special lectures at several other institutions and
regularly attends academic conferences and seminars both in and outside the
In addition, HRH represents Their Majesties in various
royal functions. She also presides over ceremonies as well as other social
and charity functions all through the year. In 1991, HRH was awarded the
Magsaysay Award for Public Service.
HRH likes to travel around the Kingdom and abroad to
obtain knowledge of physical geography and peoples’ varied lifestyles. One
of her favorite pastimes is writing articles, poetry and short stories.
Proceeds from her written accounts of her overseas travels are the main
source of income for the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation which
was set up in 1979 to support needy students in schools, vocational colleges
HRH loves Thai literature and studies literature of other
countries. She enjoys playing classical Thai instruments and practicing Thai
classical dancing. She also paints and is keen on sports, including jogging,
swimming, biking and trekking - which gives her an opportunity to learn
about plants, trees and geographical features of the areas.
In addition to her knowledge of Pali, Sanskrit and Cambodian, HRH is
communicative in both English and French and has been learning Chinese,
German and Latin.
Ballet Extravaganza - Nutcracker 2004
Photos: Michael Vogt
Local ballet students, international dancers, popular
Thai singer Maneenuch Smerasut and the Chiangmai Ballet Academy joined
forces and proudly presented their third musical dance play ‘Nutcracker
2004’ at the Kad theatre.
Theatre in Chiang Mai was the venue for The Nutcracker 2004, with proceeds
being given to the Northern Mentally Retarded Welfare Center.
M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat, Producer, Director and
Choreographer introduced many baby ballerinas to the magical world of
ballet. The Nutcracker provides children with a unique opportunity to learn
new disciplines - punctuality, musical appreciation, stage presence, role
characterization and choreographic memory, said M.L. Preeyapun.
The performance itself has been adapted to add ‘Thai
spice’ and a greater variety of dance styles than one would see in the
classical version. Nutcracker 2004 included not only classical ballet, but
also contemporary, hip hop, jazz, tap, flamenco and Latin dances.
The basic story of the nutcracker remained the same: the
child Clara was given a nutcracker doll by her godfather Drosselmeyer. The
nutcracker turned into a handsome prince and conquers the rat king and takes
her on a journey where snowflakes dance before they are welcomed by the
Sugarplum fairy in the lands of sweets and desserts.
all become ballerinas when we grow up! Some of the ‘baby ballerinas’.
The leading dancers are outstanding, in particular Peera
Phanlooktown, the Nutcracker prince, who is a highly accomplished
professional dancer who left a lasting impression on the audience, after he
performed a string of breathtaking leaps and jumps. Clara, played by Orawee
Tadtieng, a dance teacher herself, is the quintessence of elegance and
innocence. The Rat Queen, performed by Nootchanart Saiudom shows the style
of a captivating dancer which makes her stand out. Sarassanan Chantharabart
as the Sugarplum Fairy is so beautiful to watch and her grace and style show
why she has won so many dance competitions in the past.
Preeyapun Sridhavat, producer, director and choreographer received flowers
from Jao Duan Dueng na Chiang Mai after the performance.
With over 300 dancers and performers it is impossible to
mention every single person but the overall impression the audience got was
simply breathtaking. The costumes were dazzling and colorful, and the
modernized story gave everybody in the audience their moment of joy and fun.
powerful, joyful and colorful African dance with over 25 dancers.
The dances in the wonderland of sweets and desserts were
from different countries and included Italy, Spain, Arabia, Russia,
Thailand, America and Africa, with students and principal dancers leading
from one highlight to the next. The Russian hip hop dancers with their
whirls, artistic jumps and energy brought applause from the audience, as did
the Flamenco performance with Supradee Wongsansee in the lead and her three
followers dressed in red and black.
It was a colorful performance, with graceful pas de deux, the cutest
children, innocent snowflakes, lovely flowers, divine elves and evil rats
and ended where it began, with Clara waking up, wondering where fantasy ends
and growing up begins.
that Jazz’ is Broadway time!
happily dancing with her nutcracker before he turned into a prince
dancing with the Nutcracker prince, with the snowflake queen (Kara
celebrations ‘Latin style’
beautiful - it took your breath away!
graceful pas de deux - no words are needed
of Arabia (Rafaela Kraushaar) on her way to become a professional dancer.
Baan Saen Doi - House of a thousand hills
Tradition and Luxury
Photos by Michael Vogt
Indulge your spirit, body and mind, that is the slogan of
‘Baan Saen Doi’, the newest member of the growing spa society in Chiang
Mai. Privy Councillor H.E. Palakorn Suwanrath and Khunying Dhasaniya
Suwanrath presided over the spectacular Grand Opening ceremony and show last
week. And a show it was!
Organized by the owner Wanphen Sakdatorn with many of her
artistic friends such as Akadet Nakkabunlung and his Sbun Nga Show, it was a
Lanna dream come true. Classic Lanna, mixed with hill tribe designs, packed
in an extravagant setting of a light and sound show. For almost two hours,
the guests were entertained and fed in a market style village street with
vendors and food stalls.
H.E. Palakorn Suwanrath addressed Wanphen and her
‘newest baby’, the spa. He said, “Wanphen is a part of my family, she
is like my little sister, a real child of the north and I hardly know
anybody else who combines the love for Chiang Mai with the love for
traditional Lanna and their hill tribes so much as she does. Both she and
Hagen, who is like a brother-in-law for me, are not people of words, but
people of action. They have a vision and they go for it.”
After the northern drum performance, the wooden gates were opened. The
consul general of Japan, Katsuhiro Shinohara described it as “nourishment
for my eyes”. At Baan Saen Doi, guests can take advantage of eastern and
western massage techniques, skin care and exfoliation sessions and various
skin treatments as well as hair and nail care. Baan Saen Doi promises a
superlative experience. Personalized attention and private luxury is
guaranteed. For further details contact 053 839 260.
left Madame and Prinya Patong, Vice Governor of Chiang Mai; Eric Rubin, US
Consul General; Hagen Dirksen, Hon. Consul of the Federal Republic of
Germany; Suwat Tantipat, Governor of Chiang Mai; and Chumpol Jutima,
President of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, Chiang Mai Chapter.
Privy Councillor Palakorn Suwanrath and Khunying Dhasaniya Suwanrath beat
the drum to officially open “Baan Saen Doi”.
the VIPs were US Consul General Eric Rubin and Chiang Mai’s Mayor Boonlert
Buranupakorn and his wife, being welcomed by Wanphen and Hagen Dirksen.
Dirksen, left, next to Suthipong Chindasilp, Katsuhiro Shinohara, the new
Japanese Consul General and his wife; Dr. George Sioris, former Greek
Ambassador to Japan, Privy Counsellor H. E. Palakorn Suwanrath, and Hagen
Dirksen, Hon. German Consul.
Akadet’s most impressive Sbun Nga Show.
arrival at Baan Saen Doi.
daughter of French Consul Thomas Baude, as one of the Sbun Nga models.
Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen thanking H.E. Palakorn for presiding over the
heavenly rooms for the various treatments.
normally see in the bathtub are the blossoms, not the beautiful girl!
Reception area at Baan Saen Doi.
Photo Exhibition - Impressions from a Mekong Expedition
The Photo Exhibition - Impressions from Expedition Mekong
was shown at the Sheraton Chiang Mai during the Pacific Asia Travel
Association (PATA) Mekong Tourism Forum. The invitations to attend the
opening of Reinhard Hohler’s photo exhibition came from the Embassy of the
Federal Republic of Germany Bangkok and the Hon. German Consul in Chiang
Mai, Hagen Dirksen.
Hohler taking a short tour by hovercraft through the six countries.
Reinhard Hohler, the Tour Director of this ‘once in a
lifetime’ trip said the exhibition was an event which he would not forget
for a long time either! Despite a long period of preparation, with every
item apparently under control, the panels to mount the photos and the
lighting only arrived two hours before the opening and the exposition was
finally finished one minute before opening.
listened attentively while Reinhard Hohler explained the 2,900 km journey.
MC Michael Vogt gave a short overview of Reinhard
Hohler’s life, who is an expert in regards to Thailand and Asia, and who
originally studied ethnology, geology and political science of South East
30 minutes to go and there is still so much to be done.
Peter A. Semone, Vice President Development of PATA
pointed out that this exhibition on a hovercraft through six countries down
the Mekong River was not only the first ever hovercraft journey of this kind
but also the first private sector tourism project ever to involve all six
bordering nations and 2,900 km travel.
Shinohara, consul general of Japan; Reinhard Hohler, Peter A. Semone, vice
president development of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and
Hagen Dirksen Hon. German consul in Chiang Mai, cutting the ribbon.
Hon. Consul Hagen Dirksen declared the exhibition
officially open and invited Peter Semone, Katsuhiro Shinohara, the new
Consul General of Japan and Reinhard Hohler to cut the ribbon.
left) Very interested in the hovercraft adventure were Mohan Rao Gunti,
Cambodian IT consultant and advisor for the ministry of information; Alex
Brodard, director of Thailand Adventure Tours and journalist Jeremy Colson.
Reinhard Hohler explained the hovercraft trip from Day one in Simao Port,
the northernmost point, from where the Lancangjiang or Mekong River is
navigable down to Day 15, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. He described the
obstacles in the journey; such as the need to refuel the 8 ton hovercraft
every 300 km with 600 litres of gasoline. Another problem was the logistics
in heaving the hovercraft out of the river onto a flatbed trailer in Don
Khong Island to have it transported around the waterfalls and back into the
water near the Cambodian border. He was very clear just how important is to
have people with a vision around you, in this case Diethelm Travel being the
main sponsor of this 21st century expedition.