HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A rose of the North sought for Elite International modeling contest

SGA floats idea of Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai ‘air limousine’ connection

Khun In’s ranad performance a highlight of music festival celebrating school’s centenary

A rose of the North sought for Elite International modeling contest

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Four hundred hopeful applicants from the Northern region tried but only 90 made it through the selection process to go forward to the Elite Model Look Thailand 2005 contest.

One of the three supplementary girls who received a prize for best figure and most beautiful skin from Nathasith Itthithavorn, managing director of Elite Model Look Thailand, who will be evaluated again in Bangkok, where the highest scorer will become the presenter for Brand Veta and receive a cash prize of 200,000 baht.

The final winners in turn will then take part in the Elite Model Look International competition, when they will be competing against models from 80 different countries.

Elite Model Look Thailand 2005 was presented by the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Organizer IQ, which holds the license for the event, which was sponsored by Brand Veta.

These girls went through the procedure last year and were ready for advice for the new contestants. Chiang Mai Elite girls 2004, together with MCs Gik and Daisy pose for press and VIPs. From left, Boo, Jiap (overall winner 2004), MC Gik, Daisy, Pom, Yaem, Yoon and Mai.

The organizers had already hand-picked beautiful young models from different regions in Thailand, starting with the East and Pattaya three weeks ago, and Phuket in the South two weeks ago. Now came the hard task of selecting the Northern beauties in Chiang Mai.

The final competition will be on October 26 at the Bangkok Convention Center, Sofitel Central Plaza Bangkok.

Number 38 became “Model of the Day” for outstanding performance, seen here receiving her prize from Ajarn Kandalporn Sirijiam, national casting director of Elite Model Look Thailand competition and of Barbizon Modeling School. On the left, the overall winner of Elite Model Look Thailand 2004 Kamonlook Panin (Jiap).

At Elite Model Look International the winner will compete for prize money of over 16 million baht and will become the special ambassador of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, receiving the Elite representative Mercedes Benz A Class to drive for one year, and cash and prizes worth 2 million baht. She will also be traveling to Paris to model in November.

There is also a special prize for the “Veta Radiant Model.” The winner will become the presenter for Brand Veta and receive a cash prize of 200,000 baht.

Beaming with pride was the family of Supaporn (Namwan) Roberts, a student of Chiang Mai International School. Meow and Patrick Roberts with model Namwan in the middle while little sister Tara can’t stop smiling, being proud of her beautiful sister. She made it onto three national newspapers’ front pages the next day!

The Saturday competition at Central Airport Plaza was divided into two segments, the first which whittled the contestants down to 35 finalists, who then entered the second round. They introduced themselves wearing the Elite International uniform. Even though some of the contestants seemed to have lost their voice when it came to talking, and a few appeared to run rather than walk down the catwalk, others were very confident in presenting themselves.

Out of these 35, the judges, comprising of representatives from Grammy, TAT, Central Pattana, Organizer IQ and Barbizon Modeling School, the 11 semifinalists were chosen. There was a special prize for the Model of the Day, which went to an outstanding contestant who had shown herself as a superb model that day.

The 11 winners of the Chiang Mai competition received their “Elite Pass” which will take care of their travel arrangements to the semifinal competition in Bangkok to compete in the semi finals on Sunday, October 9, and posed with the five judges in the middle.

Ajarn Kandalporn Sirijiam, national casting director of Elite Model Look Thailand competition and of Barbizon Modeling School, together with her husband Nathasith Itthithavorn, managing director of Elite Model Look Thailand, handed over the prizes and wished all Northern contestants the best of luck for the semifinals in Bangkok.

SGA floats idea of Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai ‘air limousine’ connection

M. Vogt

At a recent meeting of Skๅl International Chiangmai and North Thailand, held at Jirung Spa of Eternity, Mae Rim, members had the opportunity to welcome Dr. Jain Charnnarong, managing director of SGA, and its commercial director Sansanan Koomman.

Different perspectives – aeronautical professionals (from left) Sansanan Koomman, SGA’s commercial director, Dr. Jain Charnnarong, managing director SGA, and Yutakit Wanichanond, managing director Wind & Fire, exchanging their views.

SGA proclaims to be the leading general aviation company in Thailand, established in February 2001, and BOI promoted. The company received its Air Operator Certificate in July 2002 and has been operating a Cessna authorized service station since May 2003. The ISO 9001-2000 certification was received in August 2004 and the Bangkok-Hua Hin air shuttle became a reality in November 2004.

Skๅl members and guests are networking prior to the meeting – from left Lilli Saxer, Impulse Tourism, Mohamad Jesr, Lotus Hotel, Rob Waardenburg, Rowaco Asia Travel, Annette Kunigagon, Marketing Manager Palaad Tawanron Restaurant, Marc Dumur, The Legend Chiang Rai, and Ramlah Magnusson, Magnus Media.

So far a great success story. SGA is operating Cessna Caravans, known for their excellent operation visibility, and one of the most rugged aircraft due to the short take-off and landing. Being asked about the available comfort on board, Sansanan explained and showed the interior comfort with 12 seats and plenty of baggage space, excellent passenger comfort and sightseeing capabilities. Interesting also were the facts of the dependability of the Cessna Caravan. Over 1,300 airplanes are operating in 60 countries, there is a Cessna 24 hrs factory support, they fly 30,000 flight hours every month with a +99 percent fleet dispatch reliability, are simple and low cost in maintenance with SGA as the local authorized service station. Recognizing the fact that Hua Hin air shuttle operates eight months without flight cancellation sounds almost too good to be true.

Impule Toursim’s Armin Schoch, in his incomparable style, shot the first questions towards the SGA representatives.

SGA is currently studying the feasibility of a regular connection between Chiang Mai (CNX) and Chiang Rai (CEI), a distance of 88 NM (140 km) one way, flight time 34 min one way, and a convenient check-in of only 15 minutes before departure. But how about the costs? Taking into consideration that an airport limo (Corola-Camry) one way costs between 2,200-3,500 baht, a hotel van one way even 3,000 baht with an average time on the road of 3 to 3.5 hours, the 34 minute flight with a fare of 2,200 – 2,400 baht sounds very tempting.

Wirat Thong U-ral, general manager Tao Garden (center), enjoys being taken care of by his personal assistant and Natalia Kortchouganova, asst. spa director Jirung Spa of Eternity (right).

A survey for the route CNX-Pai was put to 1,350-1,500 baht one way. To make it profitable, at least two to three trips per day are needed, with 25 person/day per route for a start, (average 50 percent cabin load factor), working on a semi-scheduled basis where resorts/agents book SGA flights at Chiang Mai. The Cessnas could even be booked privately, and one could consider SGA’s services to be an air limousine.

The Skๅl members followed both Dr. Jain’s and Sansanan’s explanations with great interest, and the common feeling toward the idea was very positive. Without being over-enthusiastic, SkŒl’s tourism specialists considered such a service a potential add-on to the ever-growing improvements of Chiang Mai’s infrastructure. The meeting ended with a big thank you to the presenters, and a massive flower pot for Natalia Kortchouganova, Jirung’s assistant spa director, for organizing this very enjoyable meeting. The next meeting of Skๅl International Chiang Mai & North Thailand will be held at the Rydges Amora Tapae Hotel on Thursday, October 27, from 7 p.m. onwards.

The meetings attendants were invited to fill a survey form, assisting SGA in their planning for a possible air link between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Khun In’s ranad performance a highlight of music festival celebrating school’s centenary

Preeyanoot Jittawong

A traditional Thai “ranad” or xylophone performance was a highlight of the music festival held to celebrate the centenary of Yuparaj Wittayalai School.

Chiang Mai governor Suwat Tantipat (2nd left) and Dr. Chao Duang Duan na Chiang Mai (2nd right) jointly open the centenary event.

The event was organized under the patronage of HRH Princess Petcharat Rajsuda and held on September 25 at the Kad Theater, Kad Suan Kaew.

Chiang Mai governor Suwat Tanipat presided over the event along with Dr. Chao Duang Duan na Chiang Mai, president of the Chiang Mai Cultural Counci. Thana Anonthawilad was chairman of the organizing committee.

Narongrit Tosa-nga or Khun In performs on the ranad.

The ranad performance was by Ajarn Narongrit Tosa-nga, also well known as Khun In, a character in a Hom Rong Thai movie. Earlier in the month he had given a ranad performance in Moscow. For the Yuparaj Wittayalai event the performance was accompanied by puppets from the Joe Luis Theater, a very different style of presentation as the puppets move in a human manner.

Khun In is currently teaching ranad in Bangkok and in addition to his movie work he is well known as a musician with the Bangkok Acoustic Band.