Vol. III No. 20- Saturday May 15 - May 21 2004
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FEATURES
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

8th Rincome - Angkhang Season Rally

APEC photos displayed in Chiang Mai

8th Rincome - Angkhang Season Rally

Fun and frolics and elephant poo in the forest!

Text by Marion Vogt
Photos by Michael Vogt

The days before the 8th Rincome - Angkhang Season Rally were most threatening with daily heavy rain showers, but luckily Saturday morning was a beautiful cloudless day. A great turnout of 30 cars, drivers, navigators and a bunch of children gathered from 6 a.m. in the parking lot of the Amari Rincome to get ready for the fun to come.

The first job was to plaster each car with the sponsor’s stickers, followed by a group photo, with everyone in their matching yellow t-shirts, and an address by Amari Rincome’s general manager Wim Fagel, who reminded everybody that it was not a race, but a game of skills, knowledge and safe fun for the whole family.

HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani wished everyone a safe journey and the 30 cars started their engines and were flagged off, at one minute intervals, fully equipped with two bottles of water, 11 emergency telephone numbers, seven pages of directions and tasks, including a sheet to compose a song which had to contain selected words.

The teams had no maps with marked routes, instead, they followed clues as instructions and had to answer a quiz about things they should see during the 162.5 km of the rally. Six ‘time checks’ on the road made sure that people were not speeding, and were used to challenge drivers, navigators and accompanying family members with fun games such as ‘Make a ball out of bleached elephant dung, weighing between 500 and 550 grams’.

Another task was at the 1st Cavalry Army section. There, driver and navigator were put in heavy army gear, separated, and had to run through mud and jungle, while under machine gun fire (which turned out to be the sound of firing through hidden loud speakers). Everyone was sporting broad grins after finishing this task, enjoying watching the other competitors who still had this ahead of them.

But the route was not just fun and games, it was a scenic rally as well. Living in Chiang Mai, one easily forgets how picturesque the route up to Doi Angkhang really is. Roads leading up the hills were steep with as much as a 40 percent gradient, trees, wilderness, a rich diversity of plants, cool fresh air at the 1,500 meter altitude, an extraordinary landscape with stunning scenery.

The comfortable Angkhang Nature Resort was reached and the competitors enjoyed a well deserved break before the evening dinner celebration. Angkhang general manager Makoo Techasopon and his staff had prepared a wonderful BBQ before the official prize giving ceremony, with the trophies presented personally by HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani.

But the event was not over yet. Drivers, navigators, mechanics, radio DJs and all helping hands had by now regained their strength, and enthusiastically engaged in karaoke singing and dancing until the wee hours.

A huge thanks go to everyone who helped make the weekend what it was - a great family fun weekend. We are all looking forward to the next Season Rally up the mountains.

“I declare the 8th Rincome - Angkhang Season Rally open!” The magic words spoken by HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani, with Angkhang general manager Makoo Techasopon looking on.

Overall winners Apple and Kaow received their well deserved 1st prize trophy from HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani.

Have you ever made an elephant poo ball? The first handful was a little hesitant.

10 extra points were given for everybody who got up and danced with the performing hill tribes, and everybody did, despite 40 degrees Celsius temperatures.

It was a scenic rally as well, and our personal highlights were the horses which suddenly appeared on top of a deserted mountain road.

Clueless!

It’s Karaoke time. ‘Dontree Season’s own performing boy group!

Peter Dawson celebrated his birthday that evening after successfully finishing the Season Rally and everybody joined in singing Happy Birthday!

Yaowana Artittham (right), managing director Dontree Season Radio Station crowned Miss Rally 2004! And what a better prize than a box of peaches!

The mood was cheerful all night.

The soldiers from the 133 Cavalry Battalion obviously had as much fun as the participants!

Scenery at an altitude between 1400 - 1500 m; the roads were in very good condition.

There wasn’t much time to enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way to Doi Angkhang.

Whose traditional dresses are more beautiful? The black-red ones of the Akha...

...or the white-blue-red ones of the Ka-cin hill tribes?

30 teams pose minutes before the start.

Instead of a nap after lunch at Nong Khieo Royal Project Development Center, a ‘balance’ relay was held and this was all about speed!


APEC photos displayed in Chiang Mai

Showing Thailand’s Royal patronage

Autsadaporn Kamthai

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Photographic Society of Thailand (under the royal patronage of H.M. the King) organized the May 5-9 exhibition of photographs taken at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference with the theme, “Thai Kingdom under Royal Virtue: Exhibition of APEC Photographs to Enhance the Prestige of His Majesty the King”.

Dr Sorachak Kasemsuwan, deputy foreign affairs minister (4th right) and Chalermpol Tanjittara, a Thai ambassador, (2nd right) preside at the opening of the APEC photographic exhibition in Chiang Mai on May 5 with guests of Chiang Mai deputy governors Prinya Panthong and Thongchai Wongrianthong and consuls.

The photographs were displayed at Central Airport Plaza to commemorate the success and Thailand’s pride in being a good host to the visitors during the APEC Summit held last year.

(From left) Chiang Mai deputy governor, Prinya Panthong, Dr Sorachak Kasemsuwan and guests of honor inspect the photographs of His Majesty the King with US President George W. Bush.

Almost 100 photographs are on display and record many eminent persons like His Majesty King Bhumibol, and newsworthy people such US President George W. Bush and others such as Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. These images were chosen from thousands of photographs taken at the summit.

A young man looks at the portraits of Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra and leaders from the Asia-Pacific region.

The photos in the exhibition are also available in book form with an RRP of 800 baht.

Prior to being exhibited in Chiang Mai, the photos were shown at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok from December 16-21 last year. It will be taken to Khon Kaen in the Northeast next month.



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