If life begins at 40 - it’s twice as good at 80
Bud Velat celebrates with friends
Michael and Marion Vogt
You do not care about your past, all you have are your
memories, your future does not exist, but you have the present and your
friends! That is how Bud Velat welcomed his friends who celebrated his 80th
birthday with him at the Saenkham Terrace Restaurant.
quite a task to get everybody into the birthday photo.
He said he planned this birthday for a whole year and it
almost did not happen because of an accident he had two months ago. But now
he is recovering, full of spirit and treated this birthday as a nice and
unexpected indulgence, especially as it was the first time that his two
nieces could come from America to be with him.
The guests were as multi-cultural as Chiang Mai itself,
the venue and the food very Lanna, and the mood light hearted and joyful. A
special treat came with the extravagant “Green Tea Birthday Cake” when
Tienchai Sooktiang, from the Voice Studio Chiang Mai, took over the
microphone and thrilled the guests with a very special birthday song for
The old saying was again proved to be true - rich are those who have
friends! And Bud has plenty!
Ban Kwan Wiang buses are alleviating commuters’ needs
Private enterprise succeeding while government dallies
Ten years ago, yellow and red buses were seen on Chiang
Mai City roads - the routes divided between two concession holders. The
yellow buses, owned by Chiang Mai Daily Transport Co Ltd, circulated
around the city routes and stopped at educational institutions, markets
and every hospital, and the passengers were students and ordinary
citizens. The fare was 2 baht for children and 3 baht for adults,
irrespective of distance.
Aksorbvanich, deputy manager of ACC Real Estate.
The red buses, owned by Prempacha Co Ltd, circulated on
the highway routes. This company ran both air-conditioned and non-air
buses. The fare for air-con buses was 3 baht for children and 5 baht for
adults, and for ordinary buses 3 baht for everybody. Few people would use
songtaews or tuk-tuks, as a bus would arrive within five minutes for
Why did the Chiang Mai buses disappear? Simply because
the two bus companies ran at a loss and the government did not show any
interest in their problem. Eventually, both companies had to shut down,
despite a widespread demand for them.
bus stop in the housing estate.
However, since June last year, the owner of ACC Real
Estate revived the bus operation to serve residents (and the public) in
the Ban Kwan Wiang housing estate. These are the Ban Kwan Wiang
air-conditioned buses (Por. 10) running around Chiang Mai City, with 69
bus stops at important destinations.
The buses start from Ban Kwan Wiang housing estate and
pass in front of Central Robinson Airport Plaza and Shopping Center,
Chiang Mai Airport, Chiang Mai Ram 1 Hospital, Yupparaj College, Waroros
Market and Chiang Mai Bus Arcade.
Kwan Wiang air-conditioned buses run from Ban Kwan Wiang housing estate to
There are five buses altogether running at 30 minute
intervals. At rush hour they run every 15 minutes. Every bus is
air-conditioned and furnished with TV and VDO, and the fare is 10 baht per
Sanaporn Aksorbvanich, deputy manager of ACC Real
Estate, said that the bus operation has been introduced to serve not only
the residents of the housing estate but also other Chiang Mai citizens, as
it helps save fuel and alleviates traffic jams.
If the buses are full on every trip, the company plans to buy five more
to meet the demands of students and the elderly, and to reward the
community, she said.
The Secret of Dreams - Do you have a dream?
One of the largest Fund Raising Events of
the Year will happen on June 5, 2004 at the Convention Center of Chiang Mai.
The objective is: Do you have a dream? All people in this world have dreams
and in particular children. But not all can make their dreams come true,
because of poverty, disability, standard of living, diseases of their own or
their parents, home environment, lack of educational opportunities and
possibilities and many more. But there are charity organizations that
support those children in giving them the opportunity to make their dreams
The team and many volunteers of these organizations work
hard - every day - and give their best to support children suffering from
poverty, disabilities and those who would never have a chance of even basic
education! These charity organizations need urgent funds if they are to
accomplish these very worthy goals.
Subnotic Events, a new organization in Chiang Mai set up
an exciting show with a variety of well-known performers who have experience
on international stages, as well as new talents and newcomers. There will be
a Kid’s Corner with a Magic Show, balloon twisting, face painting and The
New Robot Man as well as many other children’s activities, also booths
with delicious local food and beverages, artwork and local handcrafts. The
children’s activities start at 3 p.m., the shows with over 80 performers
will begin from 5 p.m. onwards.
Tickets are on Sale for 100, 200, 300 and 500 baht, VIP
Tickets including Gala Dinner and fashion show are 1,000 baht and available
from May 27 onwards at Subnotic Events, 4/1 Tapae Rd. Soi 4, Changklarn, A.
Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Phone: 053 207 141 or 09 433 4959 or 01 746 2068.
Hospital looking for ‘exclusive’ patients
An elite “Health Check-up Center” for elite patients
With Chiang Mai wishing to become a health hub, the
Lanna Hospital responded by establishing a centre for Elite Cardholders.
The centre, opened on May 21, will offer integral medical check-ups, and
special examinations for patients at the hospital.
left) Chinese Consul General Katsuhiro Shinohara, president of the Chiang
Mai Chamber of Commerce Jumpol Chutima, Chiang Mai Vice-Governor Kwanchai
Wongnitikorn, and Honorary Consul of Germany Hagen Dirksen open the
“Health Check-Up Center”.
The center is fully equipped with medical equipment -
including X-rays, ultrasound, exercise stress tests and EKG checks, with
specialist doctors on duty. Clients who come to have medical check-ups are
guaranteed that they will be provided all the services at the center in an
exclusive venue. The hospital believes that both Thai and foreign clients
will feel more satisfied.
Dr Dusit Srisakul, chairman of Lanna Hospital, also
said that the hospital had expanded the service to outpatients, who make
up the majority of the hospital’s clients, by opening a branch of the
Geriatrics Center in the newly established building. This center would be
capable of catering to more than a hundred patients a day.
Lanna Hospital is a general hospital which has been
running for more than 28 years and has seen constant improvements, such as
refurbishment in the inpatient and outpatient wards, investment in the
latest medical equipment, and more specialized doctors providing an
efficient 24 hour service.
At present, there are between 500-600 outpatients and
90-100 inpatients daily, a 50 percent increase over figures from three
Lanna Hospital has future plans to construct another building to meet
the expansion of medical services for its patients. It will be able to
cater for about 100 inpatients and have more hi-tech medical equipment,
especially targeting foreign patients. The projected budget is estimated
at 200-300 million baht and is expected to be launched in 2006.
Art exhibition reflecting Sri Lankan and Thai Buddhist architecture
Chiang Mai based photographer Angela Srisomwongwathana
displayed her photography in an exhibition “The Influential Sri Lanka”
at the A-Gallery on Nimmanhaemin Road, Soi 1.
Eric S Rubin, the Consul General of the United State of
America, presided over the opening ceremony of the exhibition, and over 50
Thai and foreign artists attended.
a token of her appreciation, Thai artist Angela Srisomwongwathana presented
Consul General Eric Rubin and his wife Nicole a photograph from the
Her works follow the Buddhist path and the images show
how the over 2000 year old civilization of Sri Lanka influenced Thai
The photographs are in both black and white, and color,
ranging from fine symbolic stone carving and world class fifth century
frescoes in Sri Lanka to Sukhothai and Nakorn Si Thammarat.
As Thai art is inseparable from Buddhist art, this series
of work will help in understanding the art and culture of Thailand.
The exhibition is open until July 22, daily from 4-7 p.m., and from 10
a.m.-7 p.m. during the weekends.
European Film Festival at Major Cineplex (Central Airport Plaza)
A chance for youngsters to understand there is a bigger world out there
Photos courtesy of EU
The EU brings its European Film festival to Thailand to
show life in Europe and to create a better understanding in our globalized
world. The EU film festival aims for a better understanding of the EU
through cultural interaction.
Sisters’, Lotte and Anna, Saturday, June 5 at 7 p.m.
As in past, the festival will bring some of the very
best in recent European cinema to Thailand. All the films are highly
acclaimed, having been shown at Europe’s most prestigious film festivals
and will allow Thai audiences to experience the highly diverse nature of
life within today’s EU. For students who are interested to study in one
of the EU countries it is important to get a little insight in European
culture. And what better way than to watch a movie? And for young people,
who would like to see more of a country they have just watched in a movie,
why not apply for a scholarship? The European Union offers some of the
finest universities in the world. Member State Embassies or their cultural
Institutes are more than happy to inform about the possibilities to study
One of the highly acclaimed films is ‘Twin Sisters’
from the Netherlands whose original title was ‘De Tweeling’. A drama,
directed by Ben Sombogaart, which will keep the audience alert for all its
2 hrs, 15 minutes. The story begins in Europe before World War 2. After
their parents die, twin sisters Lotte and Anna are separated. Lotte grows
up in the Netherlands and Anna in Germany. During the war they drift
apart. Anna marries an SS officer, who is killed in action while Lotte’s
Jewish fianc้, is murdered in a concentration camp. When Anna and
Lotte meet shortly after, the rift appears irreparable. Fifty years later
they meet again. Is reconciliation possible between the aged twin sisters?
There are also comedy and family movies being shown
like ‘Thomas the Falconer’ from Slovakia, which has already won three
awards (Chicago International Children’s Film Festival 2000; East
European Film Festival in Cottbus and the 2001 International Film Festival
in Cartagena). This promises to be 1 hour 36 minutes of family
entertainment. 14-year-old Thomas has the gift of understanding animal
communication. Following his father’s death, he must fend for his family
and sets off for the mighty Balador’s castle. He meets and befriends
Balador’s daughter Formina. However, a chain of events at the castle
pulls him into a course of intrigue, from which he must use all his skills
to extricate them all.
Drop by Major Cineplex and ask for a complete program and reserve your
seats. For ticket reservations please contact Major Cineplex Chiang Mai 05