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Tilokarat history on display at Chiang Mai Province Museum

Classical music lovers in Chiang Mai, the ball is in your court

Koom Jao Boo-ree-rat, Lanna Architecture Center

Tilokarat history on display at Chiang Mai Province Museum

Nopniwat Krailerg

Visitors to Chiang Mai should not miss this museum, not far from the city center, that presents the interesting history of the King Tilokarat period, where antiques, works of art and Lanna handicrafts and much more awaits. It is on Inthawarorot Road beside the Three Kings Monument.

Bees wax figure of Luangpoo Wean Sujino.

Visitors can carry palm computers to guide them around the museum and help them understand the history of King Tilokarat, which means God of the Three Worlds. He was the sixth son of King Sam Fang Kaen and his reign marked the golden era of Lanna.

Buddhism blossomed during his rule and it led to the Eighth World Buddhist Council convened at Wat Mahapotharam (Wat Jed Yot). During this time, Buddhists carried Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha) from Wat Phra That Lampang Luang to Wat Chedi Luang.

King Tilokarat died in 1487, but Lanna tradition survives until today. Tilokarat’s history is presented by 12 bas-relief and beeswax figures, looking astonishing real. They reflect King Tilokarat’s times and to make it all more realistic the handheld computers are loaded with sound effects of battles that can be heard and seen when admiring each picture of the story. These handheld computers are available in four languages: Thai, English, Japanese, and Chinese.

Lanna ladies of the past

The museum was established three years ago by Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization’s president Udornphan Jantharawirot. The Tilokarat conference room was developed to be the museum of local cultural traditions, village pastimes and distinguished persons in history, aimed at passing on local history to both succeeding generations and visitors.

This artistic rendition describes Tilokarat’s life before he became a King.

There are a number of other interesting exhibits including, for the ghoulish, the severe punishments inflicted in the past including ritual whipping and beheading.

The museum opens on Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. There is no charge for either Thais or foreigners.

Carrying Phra Kaew Morakot (Emerald Buddha) from Wat Phra That Lampang Luang to Wat Chedi Luang.

Visitors to the museum are greeted by King Tilokarat’s statue at the entrance.

Bees wax figure of Tilokarat after he had become King.

Punishments in the past were swift and brutal.

Model of Wat Mahapotharam (Wat Jed Yot)


Classical music lovers in Chiang Mai, the ball is in your court

A great finale to a wonderful classical music initiative

Cory Croymans-Plaghki

The third and final concert of the Chiangmai Classics series on Saturday March 12 at the Kad Suan Kaew theatre in Chiang Mai was a fitting close “en force”.

It opened with Joachim Quantz’ Trio-Sonata in C Moll for Violin, Flute and Piano. The Trio Sonata from this German flautist performer and composer (who wrote over 204 sonatas from the late Baroque era) reflects a transition in style from late baroque to early Classical. His composition was wonderfully performed by Pitijet Vichitporn who was smoothly accompanied by Krit Mekara on the violin and David Wilson on the piano.

Xavier Pittijet Vichitporn, Annop Ruangmanee and Judith Utley.

Then followed the recently established Chiangmai String Quartet which played Haydn’s Apponyi String Quartet, a wonderful piece which was played with great enthusiasm by this group of four male music teachers from Chiang Mai. These Chiang Mai born men were obviously very comfortable with this piece and rather well attuned to each other. It must have been a thrill for them to perform for such an attentive public and quite a change from teaching first grade musical students!

Pitijet Vichitporn, flute, Krit Mekara, violin, and David Wilson piano.

During the intermission, to benefit the fundraising activities of the New Life Foundation, the organizers were selling some flowery multipurpose greeting cards at very attractive prices and colorful paintings from Thai artists who had generously agreed to share the proceeds.

After the break, Xavier Pittijet Vichitporn, Annop Ruangmanee and Judith Utley played Debussy’s Trio Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp. This work has an austere, ethereal character, which seems fluid and improvisational and has inspired many composers to combine these three instruments. The six melodic ideas of the opening movements and the frequent tempo changes kept us all enthralled until the last note was played.

This same trio continued with Theodore Dubois’ Terzettino for Flute, Viola and Harp which is written in a typical French Romantic style. Dubois used the instruments in a much more traditional fashion whereby the harp plays an arpeggio accompaniment figure throughout most of the piece, while the flute and viola pass melodic material back and forth in a canon-like treatment. Judging by the warm applause, this was another crowd pleaser.

The evening’s closing piece was Mozart’s Piano Quartet KV 493, No. 2, whose first movement was fluidly played by the same quartet that performed another Mozart Piano Quartet at last month’s Chiangmai Classics concert.

Many asked when the next classical music concerts would be held. Unfortunately, as no cultural performing arts organization in the world can exist only from ticket sales, further performances will depend on the generosity of the sponsors and the ticket buyers.

So, classical music lovers in Chiangmai, the ball is in your camp. The Chiangmai Classics group has proven that there is market for quality concerts in Chiang Mai with artists being paid (which is not often the case).

If sufficient and generous sponsors can be motivated, another classical concert series could be planned towards the end of this year. Please pass the word.


Koom Jao Boo-ree-rat, Lanna Architecture Center

Watcharapong Jingkaujai

An ancient Lanna building stands at the Klang Wiang crossroads. The building is a mixture of western and eastern styles with the roof of the Koom Jao Boo-ree-rat building made in Manila style, featuring a veranda. It was built by a western architect at the end of King Rama V period making it 113 years old.

Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai, his wife and Bea Camp, US consul general to Chiang Mai; Julathat Kittiboot, Thai national artist and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sombat Thiratrakoolchai, the dean of Faculty of Architect attended the “Boo-ree-rat Night” party.

It originally belonged to Chao Boo-ree-rat, a nephew of Chao Luang Kamfan, the third Chao Luang of Chiang Mai. It survived several generations and was finally occupied by the Kittiboot and Thipmontol families who gave the building into the care of the Faculty of Architecture at Chiang Mai University, to maintain Lanna Architecture.

The attendants in Lanna Thai costume.

The Faculty of Architecture established Koom Jao Boo-ree-rat building as a museum of Lanna Architecture to collect, show and research information of Lanna history. As part of that, the Faculty of Architecture recently organized a “Boo-ree-rat Night” party to celebrate 10 years of existence. There was an exhibition of work by Thai artist, Dr. Julathat Kittiboot, and art works of lecturers and students were also shown.

Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai, presided over the opening. Honored guests attending the party included Bea Camp, US Consul General to Chiang Mai; Thai National Artist, Dr. Julathat Kittiboot; and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sombat Thiratrakoolchai, the dean of Faculty of Architecture.

From left: Mrs. Panthong, Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai, Mrs. Bea Camp and Julathat Kittiboot, Thai national artist.

Koom Jao Boo-ree-rat on Ratchadamnern Rd., Chiang Mai