HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Dutch foundations help in Mae Sariang

Prem provides co-curricular galore!

Tom Yum Goong to reach one billion baht?

Chill out at the Bear’s Den

Art and Advertising - La Luna Gallery exhibits in Bangkok ad agency

Charity party planning for January 2006 is in full swing

Two Piano Concert comes to Chiang Mai

New Expats club

Dutch foundations help in Mae Sariang

Annelie Hendriks

Almost none of the 168 schools in the mountains of Mae Sariang have access to clean safe drinking water. It is not such a big investment per school. For 18,000 baht a school is able to install a PVC tank, piping and before the water hit the taps, a water purification machine with UV filter.

Annelie Hendriks, in the name of the Samsara Foundation, presents a cheque for 2000 baht for the necessary piping material for the much needed water purification machine.

But if schools do not have enough books for the simple reason there is no budget available it is obvious that there is also no budget for clean drinking water.

The Dutch Samsara and Wild Goose Foundations, registered under the umbrella of the Foundation for Education of Rural Children (FERC) in Chiang Mai are not able to build dormitories, canteens and libraries in the rainy season. The roads are in such a condition that it is impossible to transport construction materials to the schools.

But on a dry day pick-ups with 4WD are able to reach the schools now and then, and lucky it was a very sunny day when the foundations delivered 18 PVC tanks, 18 water purification machines and 18 envelopes each with 2000 baht to buy the necessary piping materials themselves.

It was fun to see all the directors of the 18 schools and their pick-ups line up for the distribution of the donation and to see all the blue PVC tanks disappear in the back of the pick-up. The color blue dominated the premises of the Department of Education in Mae Sariang. But in moments the pick-ups all went their own way for a two to five hour difficult drive in the mountains. 18 schools, that means 1,800 children will have access this month to safe clean drinking water. Which means less diarrhea, less absence from school and a better educational future.

Prem provides co-curricular galore!

Tara Colen, 5th Grade/Boarding Intern

Students play table tennis for their co-curricular activity.

As I walk into room 36 at 3.45 p.m. on a Thursday, I am greeted by a strong “Ni Hao!” The room is filled with students sitting on both sides of a semicircle of desks. Two students sit at the front to practice a dialogue, as Mandarin instructor Ajarn Angelika helps them out. These students are participating in just one of the many co-curricular activities offered at Prem International School this term.

Ajarn Angelika helps students Howard Cheng and Indianna Grassot with their Mandarin dialogue.

As part of the Creativity, Action, Service, (CAS) component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, senior school students have the opportunity to choose from over 30 different activities for Term 1, including; Mandarin, recreational Volleyball, Korean Drumming, Short Film Documentary, Photography, Fitness Training, Amnesty International and many more! In addition, a selection of students has become part of the Prem volleyball team, competing in two divisions (U 16 and U 20), against other international schools.

Younger students choose from activities such as Thai cooking, Paper Flower Making, Tennis, Drama, Cricket, and Chess.

Students play a Mandarin Activity game by having a short dialogue with a partner and then switching partners down the line.

Each term students will have the chance to choose from a new selection of activities. Some activities will be offered again so that students can really improve at a sport, musical instrument, or a language. From the looks of it, by the end of the term there will many non-native Chinese speakers conversing to their friends in Mandarin, students practicing Korean drumming during free time, and several great Thai cuisines cooks in the junior school!

Tom Yum Goong to reach one billion baht?

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Having spent two years in production, Saha Mongkol Film Production has released Tom Yum Goong, a Thai movie that after being in theaters in Thailand for only three days, box office sales reached 70 million baht and it is expected will top 1 billion baht worldwide.

The queue waiting for Tom Yum Goong movie ticket in Chiang Mai.

Sia Jiang, or Somsak Techaratanaprasert, CEO of Saha Mongkol Film, said that he expects only one billion baht worldwide revenue from Tom Yum Goong while he reckons 200 million baht will be made in Thailand. He believed that it could reach the target as 50 countries had already purchased the movie.

The Tom Yum Goong movie was directed by Pratya Pinkaew who produced Ong Bak, a movie that made USD 4.5 million at the box office in the USA, Japan and UK, and ignited Thai boxing fever around the world.

Tom Yum Goong production and promotion expenses were 300 million baht. The Thai actors are Tony Jaa, known as “no sling - no stunt”, famous comedian Mum Joke Moke and Bongkot Kongmalai, along with foreign actors such as Johnny Nguyen, Miss Jin Xing and Nathan Jones.

The movie is about a young man (Tony Jaa) looking for his sire and baby elephant that had been stolen and exported to Australia. He has to fight with the mafia to get his elephants back, which takes up most of the film’s two hours. Whilst the camera work and fight scenes are well done, the character played by Tony Jaa does not give him scope to show much in the way of emotion. Plenty of fists and feet, but very little emotive drama.

Five out of seven theaters at Major Cineplex, Central Airport Plaza Chiang Mai are showing Tom Yum Goong. Tickets are available only on the day and forward reservations are not accepted. It has been shown since August 11 and is still screening to packed houses.

Chill out at the Bear’s Den

Sandy Clark

It was a race against time, or better, a race against water, to get the Bear’s Den dry again for their first big music night that would include three bands and a live CD production of the night’s music.

The Sweetwater Band with local singer Richy Castro brought their ‘groupies’ and warmed up the crowd.

Kevin o’Hanlon revealed that the event was actually planned on short notice due to the water rising in the Ping, but with the help of Horeca Food Supply, Tiger Beer and T.I.T.S. Radio Station it worked out. He said that just two days prior to the event the Bear’s Den was still covered in mud and water and it was a miracle to see so many people now dancing and singing.

Local musicians and friends, all well known from their performance at Kad Theatre’s Musical Concert Episode 3, were determined to ‘just listen’ and enjoy.

The Sweetwater Band with local singer Richy Castro warmed up the crowd while the Fusion Band continued later with some more mellow songs. The Live CD of the Night will be available next week at the Bear’s Den Restaurant, and more events are already in the planning stages including a Latin Night and an evening for people ‘Over 35’.

Art and Advertising - La Luna Gallery exhibits in Bangkok ad agency

The opening of the art exhibition “Heaven and Town” on Tuesday, August 30, marked a new and interesting cooperation between the international advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather and La Luna Gallery in Chiang Mai. The idea of an art exhibition open to the public but also meant to inspire the employees comes from Tim Isaac, Ogilvy’s vice-chairman for Asia-Pacific.

A colorful painting by Chiang Mai based artist Jittiwut Sriyang.

“It was in the brief to the architect, when we built our new offices. We told him that we were looking beyond the convention of a workspace, that we wanted to turn the workplace into a campus, an art school, a fun place, because creativity breeds creativity,” he says.

The first exhibition “Heaven and Town” will inspire both staff and visitors. At the same time it reflects the cooperation between the two cities. Chiang Mai based artist Jittiwut Sriyang represents the celestial side with his paintings of colorful natives and tourists in the northern capital, often equipped with wings. Bangkok-based Worawat Chortabtim (Budis) climbed high to look at Bangkok from above, to search for and find the beauty of the big city, and he exhibits his impressions in a number of linear and abstract cityscapes. The exhibition will run until September 30 at Ogilvy & Mather’s event hall, 14th floor, The Offices at Centralworld, 999/9 Rama 1 Road. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For further information, please call Sommai Lumdual 09 635 7667.

Charity party planning for January 2006 is in full swing

M. Vogt

Readers might remember the rooftop party in January this year when a group of foreign residents organized a party that raised 637,750 baht for the King’s foundation for the tsunami fund.

During a dinner at River Ping Palace, it was agreed to support five different good causes in Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand with the charity event in January 2006.

After this success, the same group of friends decided to go ahead and organize another charity party for early next year, but this time the funds will stay in Northern Thailand. After meetings with authorities, Prinya Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai, agreed to support the charity appeal and the date has been set for January 14, 2006.

From December 1, 2005, the board, comprising of Roy Blom, Dr. Howard Graves, Guy Pace, Bart Sutton and the driving force Steve Yarnold, will start selling the main raffle tickets and entrance tickets to the function. A prominent businessman of Chiang Mai has agreed to fund the party, so all monies raised will go to the charity appeal.

Five different charities will be the beneficiaries, depending on their needs and requirements. No money will be given to individuals but it will pay for something they need. The five causes will be:

1. FERC - a charity which pays for and constructs buildings, buys water tanks, books, and essentials for schools for hill tribe villages in Chiang Mai province.

2. Dr Apichana of Suan Dok Hospital - helps disabled people in Chiang Mai and in particular looks after smaller centers and families that have disabled people that are not funded by the government.

3. Baan Kingkaew Orphanage - takes care of babies and small children from 0-5 years who are not wanted by their mothers and dropped off there or who are HIV and AIDS orphans.

4. Downs Syndrome Centre in Chiang Mai which currently takes care of 30 children.

5. Vienping Orphanage on the road to Mae Rim.

There will also be smaller events and evenings where money will be collected and paid in for the fund. If you would like to help (and maybe have fun at the same time), get in touch with one of the committee members or let us at Chiangmai Mail know. We will connect you.

Two Piano Concert comes to Chiang Mai

Hannah delos Santos, Karen Thomson

After three months of preparation, Chiang Mai music lovers had the rare opportunity to attend a “Two Piano Concert” by acclaimed pianists Nat Yontararak of Thailand and D้sir้ N’Kaoua of France. The concert took place at Chiang Mai’s KAD Theater before an audience of nearly 1000 people.

Acclaimed pianists Nat Yontararak of Thailand and D้sir้ N’Kaoua of France.

The world-renowned artists entertained the crowd with an astounding mix of skill, dexterity and artistry through complex piano pieces that included a Two-Piano Concerto by J. S. Bach and Mozart’s Sonata in D Major. Works by Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Ravel transported listeners on a magical adventure through various styles and moods, from romantic waltzes to lively tarantellas.

The evening performance was hosted by Naamtaan Yontararak and popular From Heart to Heart TV hosts, Dr. Niran Pattranakul and Sucheewa Insuwan. Dr. Niran is also the director of the Van Sant Voord Hospital of Lampang. The Chiang Mai concert was performed as a benefit for the hospital’s nursing home project. A video before intermission gave the audience an overview of the excellent work being done for the sick and the elderly in our neighboring city.

When the concert ended, the audience showed their appreciation with a standing ovation and were treated to a surprise encore. The two artists were joined by Yontararak’s daughters, Paranee and Pinnaree, for a rousing “eight-hand” piano piece. The two teenagers have been studying piano with D้sir้ N’Kaoua at his studio near Paris and showed themselves to be excellent performers in their own right!

“I’m very happy with how successful the concert turned out to be,” said Dr. Niran. “Even though Chiang Mai was flooded beforehand, a lot more people than expected turned out. And we received great help and sponsorship from a number of organizations and individuals to whom we are very thankful.”

New Expats club

Jim Cox

Are you interested in ‘Learning to live more legally and successfully in the Kingdom of Thailand’?

Jim Cox, Chiangmai Expats Club

If you are, Chiangmai Expats Club has something for you. We are new in town, just organized and ready to go! We will be providing advice and information on Thai Law, encouraging people to keep visas up to date, and how to safely and legally own a house, car or motorcycle. We will have talks given by doctors and nutritionists to encourage good health and from insurance specialists and lawyers to make sure we have adequate protection and legal information. We aim to give visitors of all nationalities a better understanding of Thai Culture so they will better integrate into their adopted second home here in Chiang Mai.

We also plan to provide a good and worthwhile informal service to assist foreigners to live safely and legally in The Kingdom and as such to be a small contribution to assist the Thai Authorities reduce and prevent crime. We aim to give our members a better understanding and awareness of their responsibilities while staying in Thailand.

We hope this is considered a useful service to have here in a region with a large tourist and ex-pat population. Our first meeting is scheduled for September 10, 2005, 10.30 a.m. at Art’s Cafe, 291 Thapae Road at Thapae Gate. This meeting will be held in the upstairs area of the cafe. Thereafter, the meetings will be on a by-weekly basis, the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.

For more information please contact: Jim Cox, 0 5321 0273. If no answer, please leave a message. Mobile: 0 1746 8510. Email:[email protected]