HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

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Let’s raise our glasses to Chiang Mai’s best bartenders

Chiang Mai Symphony Orchestra’s coming performance at Kad Theatre

Thai scientists find cancer treatment in sea squirts

THAI Extends THAI Touch, their THAI Traditional Massage Project

Government launches new anti-aging cream

Higher standards for spa and massage services

A touch of Mexico to draw tourists to Mae Hong Son

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DAAD Road Show stops in Chiang Mai

Staff reporters

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), one of the world’s largest and most respected intermediary organizations visited Chiang Mai to increase the awareness of study and research opportunities in Germany.

Miss Ke Hong, DAAD Information Center Bangkok and Hagen Dirksen Federal Republic of Germany honorary consul (both standing) talking to a group of representatives from universities after the ‘road show’.

Miss Ke Hong, the marketing expert from the DAAD Information Center Bangkok arranged presentations at Payap, Maejo and Chiang Mai University. Students, teachers, researchers, and parents received first hand information on what it means for a Thai national to study abroad and what they can expect.

Over 349 higher education institutions are located throughout Germany and students interested can choose between universities and university-status institutions, such as the technical universities, or the Fachhochschule institutions, or the colleges of art, music, and film which are open to students of all nations.

The DAAD and the Federal Republic of Germany’s Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen jointly organized a dinner at the end of this very successful first promotion tour.

Miss Ke Hong and Hagen Dirksen repeated that professors and teachers in Thailand should stimulate the interest of Thai students to broaden their horizons and become ambassadors for their country with a study exchange or an international study programme. These programs offer in English courses and end with a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Let’s raise our glasses to Chiang Mai’s best bartenders

Phitsanu Thepthong

The best bartenders in the North have been found.

The Thai Hotels Association (THA), Northern Chapter, with the Food and Beverages Club, Hotels Housemaids Management Club, and Chiang Mai Chefs Club, held the 19th Bartender Contest for the Northern region on Saturday, September 4 at the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel.

The bartender competition was organized to create opportunities for THA members to show off their skills and exchange experiences to upgrade their abilities. “This event will also help produce new concepts and products, and promote tourism-related business here,” said Vorapong Muchaotai, the THA president.

The competition was divided into two categories: educational institutions and hotels. Eighteen representatives from colleges and universities in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Kamphaeng Phet provinces, and 16 hotels members took part.

The winner in the educational institution category was Songdej Phetharn from the Chiang Rai Vocational College, the first runner-up was Phraphan Promkorn from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University, and the second runner-up was Kosin Pipattanasukmongkol, also from Chiang Mai Rajabhat University.

The winner in the hotel category was Manit Sinthusuk from Imperial Mae Ping Hotel, Chiang Mai; the first runner-up was Chithinont Duangdee from Dusit Island Resort Hotel, Chiang Rai; and the second runner-up was Kongkaew Srivichai from Anuntara Resort and Spa Gold, Chiang Mai.

The two winners will represent the THA, Northern Chapter, to participate in the Asian Bartender Contest which will be held in Bangkok.

Chiang Mai Symphony Orchestra’s coming performance at Kad Theatre

Cory Croymans

On October 2, 2004, the New Life Foundation (under the patronage of HRH The Princess Mother), is organizing a major fundraising Concert to celebrate its 40th anniversary at the Kad Theatre in Chiangmai.

The performing artists will be the well known ‘A Capella 7’ group from Bangkok and the newly established Chiang Mai Symphony Orchestra (with 60 musicians) who will play western and Thai classical music on western instruments.

The ambitious concert program will include Mozart’s Concerto for Harp and Flute as well as Mozart’s First Symphony in E Major and Haydn’s beautiful Toy Symphony.

Admission will be 1000 baht for VIP’s, 500 baht for supporters and 100 baht for students. They will be available at the following venues:

The New Life Foundation, No 1 Tapae Road (Bhuttasataan Building), the Red Cross Healthcare station (close to the American Embassy), Suriwong Bookstore on Suriwong Road, and Payap University’s Music Department (opposite McCormick Hospital).

So far, sponsorship commitments have been received by Kad Theatre, Green Diamond Company, Ricoh Thailand and Galliana Creations. All donations to the New Life Foundation are tax-deductible. This Foundation is presided over by Khunying Bupphan Nimmanhaemin, and takes care of 1065 Thais with physical or mental handicaps in Chiangdao, Lee and Hangdong. This also includes two elderly homes and two kindergartens in Lee and Chiangdao. It has also set up a scholarship Fund for orphaned children to allow them to stay in school.

For more information about the New Life Foundation, please visit the following website: http://www.asian healingartscenter.com/new-life-foundation.htm

Thai scientists find cancer treatment in sea squirts

Thai scientists have successfully extracted a chemical substance from sea squirts which can effectively treat cancer patients. The substance was extracted from sea squirts in a joint research project between the Institute for Research and Development of Marine and Coastline Resources in Phuket, and Chulalongkorn and Mahidol universities.

The sea squirt is a marine animal found in abundant numbers around the coasts of Thailand. International science research has shown that the animal carries a chemical substance that can block the growth of cancer cells in humans. The Thai sea squirts have a higher amount of the substance than those in other countries.

The success of the Thai the project is good news for the country, a senior member of the research team, Udom Patiyasevi said. He said that the institute is currently trying to reproduce sea squirts in sufficient numbers to allow the commercial use of the chemical substance they produce.

With further study and research, the scientists hope Thailand can produce enough of the substance for domestic use and for export within the next four years. (TNA)

THAI Extends THAI Touch, their THAI Traditional Massage Project

Thai Airways International (THAI) is so pleased with the success of its THAI Touch, THAI Traditional Massage Project that it will be extended into next year.

The massage concept, organized together with Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, arranged for professional Thai masseuse to provide health massage services for THAI’s Royal First Class and Royal Executive Class passengers. The project created awareness of these services which included the adaptation of Thai traditional medical practices and Thai herbal drinks. These traditional services were intended to give both Thai and foreign travelers a unique Thai massage experience while relaxing in THAI’s lounge before boarding their flights. The project was launched on April 26, 2004 for three months, but is now extended to October 2005.

Following the launch of the THAI Touch, THAI Traditional Massage project, THAI received numerous letters of appreciation and much positive feedback from its passengers.

THAI will also promote Thai traditional massage further by producing an in-flight video for passengers and a Thai traditional massage course for THAI cabin crew. The possibility of providing in-flight traditional massage is also being considered.

Government launches new anti-aging cream

Say goodbye to those bags and wrinkles

The government launched a new anti-aging cream made by using the latest technology. The cream, made by the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) marks the GPO’s success in combining the country’s intellectual heritage and nano-technology, the public health minister, Sudarat Keyuraphan told journalists.

Curcuma zedoaria, or ka min chan, is the main ingredient in the cream. It has been known in Thailand for centuries as a high-quality skin moisturizer. Nano-technology has been used to produce ultra-microscopic agents to allow the moisturizing chemicals to effectively penetrate the facial cells.

The GPO Curmin – as it has been labeled for the moment - will effectively slow the facial aging process, according to the minister. It should soon be very popular among women with beauty concerns, she predicted.

The product has been tested and certified by a French cosmetic testing laboratory. Initial tests showed that the cream’s quality is equal to international brands already on the market.

GPO Curmin was launched at the national fair of Thai herbal products and medicines September 1-5 at the Impact Trade and Exhibition Center in Maung Thong Thani, Nonthaburi Province on the outskirts of Bangkok.

GPO is a government organization responsible for researching and producing important drugs to meet local needs, including anti-AIDS medicine for HIV infected patients. It has been trying to increase its research capacity, and help Thai medical products meet international standards. (TNA)

Higher standards for spa and massage services

The government has stepped up efforts to register local spa and massage businesses throughout the country in an effort to incorporate them into the government’s integrated control and management system by the end of September.

Through this scheme, the government hopes to improve the standards and services of the Thai spa, massage and other health-related businesses.

The aim is to make sure that the Thai businesses offer the highest standards of services in the region to help establish Thailand as a healthcare service hub in Asia.

The Ministry of Public Health issued regulations setting standards for different kinds of spa and massage services in April. Under these regulations, spa and massage businesses must register with the Ministry of Public Health. Health officials will thoroughly check the quality of services, hygiene and personnel of each registered business before issuing a government certificate that guarantees its quality of services. This certificate needs to be renewed annually.

The scheme is aimed at boosting greater confidence in Thailand’s spa and massage industry, and tempting more tourists to try the services. So far more than 2,000 spa and massage businesses throughout the country have applied to be listed, according to a senior public health official, Dr. Rewat Wisarutvej.

The Public Health Ministry hopes to finish all the examinations by the end of September. Places which open without a government certificate will be definitely closed down, and their owners will face tough penalties, he said.

The government expects to generate more than 200 billion baht from the health-related industry over the next five years. Two-thirds of this is expected to come from Thailand’s medical services, 50 billion baht from the spa and massage business, and 20 billion baht from health products. (TNA)

A touch of Mexico to draw tourists to Mae Hong Son

Staff reporters

This year’s Bua Tong or Mexican sunflower festival of Khun Yuam district, Mae Hong Son will be officially opened on November 9.

Khun Yuam planned ahead for the festival to attract more tourists to the district by planting the Bua Tong flowers in 500 rai of barren areas, along the 38 km road to Doi Mae U-Kor and the 20 km Mae Chaem-Khun Yuam Road.

As a result, tourists this year can experience and take pleasure in the Bua Tong flowers while driving on these two roads before reaching the Bua Tong yellow fields on Mae U-Kor Mountain.

The Khun Yuam district chief officer said that last year tourists did not have anywhere to pitch their tents on the mountain. To solve the problem, this year the district has assigned the tambon Mae U-Kor Administration Organization to provide all necessary facilities to serve the visitors.

As one of the important income generating sites for the province, Mae Hong Son granted 5 million baht budget to the district to spend on improving the site. To date, 90 percent of the improvements have been made, and the rest will be completed before the festival begins in November.

The Bua Tong field in Mae U-Kor Mountain is ranked fifth on the list of Mae Hong Son’s tourism attractions by the Mae Hong Son Tourism Coordination Center, after Fish Cave, Phra That Doi Kong Moo temple, Jong Kham and Jong Klang temples and the long-necked Karen village.