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New Years Eve celebrations lower key than usual

New Years Eve celebrations lower key than usual

May 2005 bring peace and happiness!

This year, the New Year festivities were more subdued, as the tsunami disaster in the southern part of Thailand was still on everybody’s mind. However, as parties had been organized for months ahead, some parties were still held around town.

An impressive Thai Lanna Culture Show was the highlight at The Legend Chiang Rai’s New Year Gala, organized by Marc Dumur, acting general manager.

The Thai government had asked the public to tone down the fireworks displays, and to rather donate these funds to relief efforts in the south, so hotel and public fireworks were much fewer. Around midnight there were some brilliant displays of fireworks in the city but there was a dramatic difference from the usual displays.

Throughout the evening of December 31, Khom Loys could be seen floating in the sky as a sign of peace and tranquility but also a sign of mourning for all those who had been lost.

Driving through the city was the same as any normal weekday evening, as there were few cars on the roads and restaurants were empty. In the hotels, parties had been organized but the festive atmosphere was still overshadowed by sorrow.

Even at private parties, money and goods were collected and as midnight arrived people all over the city counted down the ending of 2004 and wished for peace and happiness in 2005.

David Strudwicke (far left) from the Bear’s Den celebrates with guests at the river garden of the restaurant and pub.

Grahame Quinn and Darling’s Daeng seen having a drink together at The Pub.

A glass of champagne (or more) at The House and Tapas Bar for Nikolaus Prachensky, Peter Handel-Mazzetti from Comvest Consulting Bangkok, and Raj Marwah.

A German Gala Dinner at the To Nobody Restaurant. (From left) Peter Brake, Joerg Eisenschmidt, Hilde Metternich, Aor Brake and son, Sunisa Eisenschmidt and food stylist Lilay Wunnenberg.

Many local Thai fishermen and their families celebrated New Year’s Eve at ‘The Floating Cottage’ (a.k.a. TK’s houseboat), just an hour from Chiang Mai.

Diners at the Rachamankha experienced Lanna culture, while enjoying European food and champagne. (Left front) Katsuhiro Shinohara, CG of Japan, and (right front) Hagen Dirksen, Hon. Consul to Germany, with their wives and guests from Bangkok.

Mandarin Oriental Chiang Mai had many VIP guests over Christmas, including Maria Sharapova (3rd left), Venus Williams (4th left), and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat (right).

Rydges Amora Tapae held a New Years Carnival, which had been planned for months, but the fireworks display was rearranged and GM Arie de Keijzer donated funds to the south instead. Here the Kappler family (KEK gems) from Chiang Mai at the gala.

Amari Rincome was chic and stylish, but the usual fireworks display was replaced by quiet Khom Loys.