Long-boat races in Nan prolong ancient Thai tradition
It is said that one of the 64 kings of Nan assigned his
officers to cut a couple of large timber trees from Khun Samoon forest and
craft the stumps into 100 khan tokes (food trays) for the workers. The main
logs themselves were carved into two giant boats, 100 men spending two years
in the wild to achieve this. Ten elephants then had to drag the huge canoes
out of the forest to Nan River at Baan Puang Phayom where the king admired
the large boats named “Tai Lah Boat” and the other ‘Tai Thong Boat”
Kroo Phrome Weera Soonthorn, head monk of Baan Tone Hang.
More boats were carved for racing purposes using the two
boats as a model and a long boat racing event, entitled “Tan Guay Salak”
(to present Guay Salak) was set up. The lucky winner would receive betel
palm, Camellia relish, fruits and food as rewards. From that rather romantic
beginning, the “Nan Long-boat Race” has become a traditional annual
The race takes place in September every year, and each
village can send one or two boats to the competition, the winners will then
represent their village at the competition on the provincial level in
We went to Baan Tone Hang at Tambon Pa Kha in Tha Wang
Pha to see last year’s winning boat, medium-sized with 40 oarsmen, which
had previously won a cup presented by the Thai prince. Having talked with
the abbot of Niko Tharam Temple and Phajon Maiya, head of village at Tambon
Pa Kha, we learned that this particular boat called “Pech Champee” was
made from a tree with scented white flowers. Four villagers cut it from Doi
Phu Kha in Pua, Nan, and dragged it with the help of an elephant to the
village, which took them several days. The boat is 50 years old but still in
This boat is unique because its prow and tail are carved
in the shape of King of Nagas image, and the body of the boat is decorated
with Thai art. Some of the boats in this area are more than 150 years old,
and have become a Nan province symbol.
(Many thanks to Niko Tharam Temple for providing some of the photos
for Pech Champee, the Baan Tone Hang boat.
the boat Pech Champee sits with its bow and tail dismantled.
Thai art on the body of the boat.
and tail of Pech Champee are kept well protected.
up for a long-boat race on the Nan River.
races in Nan, on the Nan River.
getting ready for racing.
Skålleagues meet to enjoy comradeship
Network, business, and more
Members and friends of Skål International had their
second social gathering on Thursday, April 28 at the Rydges Amora Tapae
Hotel following an invitation from GM Arie de Keijzer.
and canapés opened the social networking evening for people from the travel
industry. (From left) Jason Friedmann from Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden
Triangle Thailand; Chompoonut Suntornpong, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
Resort; Lars Magnussen, Niramol Udomsilp from Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
Resort; Sun Suebsaeng, President Skål International Chiang Mai and Northern
Thailand and MD Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort, Andrew Harrison,
General Manager Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai.
After the assembly of Skål International Chiang Mai and
Northern Thailand at the Amari Rincome Hotel in March, the second meeting
showed an increasing interest to arrange such informal get-togethers of
people from the tourism sector and related fields.
networking (from left) Becky Lomax, David Hardcastle, Good Morning Chiang
Mai; Wirat Thong-ural, GM Tao Garden Resort; Norman and Eileen, visiting Skๅl
members from Skål International Pattaya and the East.
During the evening, discussions were held regarding
agendas and proved that there is a real need for networking. In this age of
globalization, personal contacts are getting rare and people are looking for
real values in daily life. To fill the widening gap of isolation, the values
offered by Skål International sound simple: Have fun, good health and enjoy
life as much as possible.
members and guests in the ballroom of Rydges Amora Tapae Hotel.
Skål President Sun Suebsaeng offered to bring guest
speakers in the months to come, who all work towards the same goal, to
increase tourism and income for Northern Thailand and who should get
together with the expatriate community and exchange ideas for a better
understanding of each other.
It was evident from those present that what counts more
in the long run is the idea of comradeship that will develop between members
and friends of Skål International - and the focus should be on our region -
Northern Thailand, an area that covers 17 provinces. The monthly venues
could be rotated through Chiang Mai, and the neighboring provinces.
The next meeting will be held on the last Thursday in
May, at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort in Chiang Mai.
For membership details, please contact Eleanor Hardy, GM of The Chedi
Hotel, email: [email protected]hiangmai.com
Moving on - Chiang Mai farewells US Consul Henry Jardine, Kathleen, and Tommy
Nearly four years after touching down in Chiang Mai, the
Jardine family is busily packing and being hosted and toasted at many
Henry? Or should it rather be o’Henry? Does this mean that those smiling
eyes are Irish?
US Consul General Beatrice Camp and David Summers hosted
a dinner at their residence, to bid farewell to Consul Henry Jardine and his
wife Kathleen, and the place was packed with people partying, Trader Vic
Henry had already received his Golden Triangle award
without having to take the watery test given to John Aloia — but he and
Kathleen did have to sit through several screenings of the new Karaoke hit,
“Oh, Henry” — composed and performed in their honor. (To explain: The
Order of the Golden Triangle is bestowed upon staff that leave the Consulate
Community. It honors their service and leaves open the possibility that they
will be called back for more!)
Jardine expresses her thoughts after having received a small farewell token.
With flashes of Henry’s great sense of humor and with
beauties on the screen behind a group of performing FSNs (foreign service
nationals), the singers led the group in their lively version of “Oh,
Henry”, adapted from the song entitled “Kiss Me.”
Henry Jardine and his family will soon move to Calcutta,
India where he will take his first post as consul general, a remarkable
achievement for a diplomat way under the age of 40 (a doubter’s glimpse at
his passport confirmed this). They will most certainly be missed, not only
by Chiang Mai’s diplomatic corps and community but also by a number of
bands that used to perform at various occasions on the consulate compound
over the last four years.
It will be a challenge for the US to fill the gap that
Henry leaves behind, as who else would take the microphone and treat the,
mostly bewildered and captive audiences to a very personal rendition of
Farewell and Bon Voyage to the Jardines, especially to Henry, truly a man
and his music.
CG Henry Jardine, flanked by French Hon. Consul Thomas Baude and his wife
and friends gathered to bid farewell to the Jardines.
angelic choir and their farewell song “Oh Henry”.