Construction work on highway intersections slips into low gear
Sluggish progress on key local highway intersection
projects has prompted the Department of Highways to see if work can be
Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon, director general of the
department, said that work on the San Dek and Kuang Singh intersections was
lagging behind schedule, and causing great inconvenience to Chiang Mai
citizens. The department has called in a firm of consulting engineers and a
bank, to see if a further budget would be necessary. Legal advice is being
sought by the department before any further move is made.
The director general said that with just five months left
of the contract between the department and Jirathep Limited Partnership,
only 50 percent of the project had been completed. The 243 million baht
budget for the two projects comes from the national budget.
Besides this there are three routes to be built in Chiang Mai under the
direction of the prime minister, and these need to be finished within a
year. These routes are highway number 11 from Chiang Mai Airport to Rincome
intersection with 290 million baht of funding, highway number 121 beside the
irrigation canal, at 510 million baht, and highway number 1014 at 290
Suspected bird flu cases check negative
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Dr Thepnaruemit Methawin, head of Chiang Rai
Provincial Public Health Office, said that 21 patients with suspected
bird flu symptoms had been admitted to hospital during the period from
October up to November 9. However, examination had revealed none of them
were suffering from the H5N1 avian virus. The majority were cases of
influenza or pneumonia.
The department, in cooperation with the Chiang Rai
Livestock Office has sent officers to monitor the stocks of winged
livestock. Both government and private hospitals have set up their own
isolation wards to treat suspected cases. In addition, all officials of
the hospitals and the Public Health Office have received training to
minimize their own exposure to the virus, as well as how to deal with
It’s Nap time for the shops of Nimmanhaemin Soi 1
Nawaphumin Chaichomphu, executive of Man Muang Chamber Co., Ltd. (4th from
right), MC Ongkarn Chai-Ongkarn from Indeed Creation Co., Ltd. (3rd from
right), and a group of Nap committee representatives.
Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 is planning a festival from December 2
to 5, with the shops, boutiques and galleries in the soi working with the
TAT for the staging of the 6th Nap.
Dentist Nawaphumin Chaichomphu, executive of Man Muang
Chamber Co., Ltd., and MC Ongkarn Chai-Ongkarn from Indeed Creation Co.,
Ltd. held a briefing to announce the festival, which has a full name of 6th
Nimmanhaemin Art and Design Promenade.
The fair will be held over a four-day period, and each
day will have a different theme. Day one sees a “river of life” theme,
while day two is devoted to flower decor and fashion design. Day three will
feature an arts theme, with dancing, singing and marionettes. The final day
is based around “the light of life”, with the lighting of candles on the
occasion of Fathers Day, the birthday of His Majesty the King.
Along with the activities there is a product showcase and
an exhibition. Thai and Italian food will be provided by the Amari Rincome
Hotel, which is part of the Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 community.
The 6th Nap will start on December 2 and finish on December 5. Hours are
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The opening ceremony will be on December 2 at
6 p.m. in Nimmanhaemin Soi 1.
80 boys will become novices at Wat Chetawan on Fathers Day
Wat Chetawan is to hold a novice initiation ceremony on
the occasion of His Majesty the King’s birthday on December 5, which is
also Fathers Day, at which 80 boys will take the saffron.
Thongchai Chalermpon Nawawatcharaworawong,
Phra Thongchai Chalermpon Nawawatcharaworawong conducted
a press briefing at JJ Market on November 8 to announce the plans for the
young novices, which also include a birthday card making contest and a
drawing competition in which scholarships will be given as prizes.
The abbot said that this is the second year the temple
has held the novice ceremony. Last year 115 young novices took part. The
boys will be trained in Buddhist ethics and the duties of novice monks, and
a field trip to Lamphun is planned for December 10.
There will be a competition designed to test the novices
in the field of ethics, and this will be open to boys between the ages of 12
and 15 who are studying in Chiang Mai. The winner will receive 5,000 baht
together with a certificate, and will be the province’s representative in
the national championships. Application forms are available from now to
November 25 at education institutes. More details are available by calling 0
5323 3750 or faxing 0 5323 4751.president of the temple development project
which aims to make the temple the knowledge center of the community.
Drug smuggling routes have switched to Mae Hong Son and the Northeast, says ONCB chief
Secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics
Control Board, Pol Lt Gen Kritsana Pol-anan organized a conference in
Chiang Rai to discuss progress on drug suppression in the eight
Northern provinces. Provincial governors, police commanders, army
officers and narcotics control agents attended the discussions.
What has become apparent is that drug transference
routes have switched recently to Mae Hong Son and the Northeast of
Thailand, and therefore drug suppression organizations need to
continually monitor the borders in these areas.
Chiang Rai is a strategic point in preventing the
smuggling of drugs such as ya ba, heroin and ice from neighboring
countries. A vehicle fitted out with X-ray equipment at a cost of 47
million baht is based there for checking incoming traffic, and officers
are briefed to keep a continual watch on visitors crossing the border.
Governors in Chiang Rai province are cooperating with the Chiang Rai
Provincial Police commander in what Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra
has described as a “magic twins” relationship in suppressing the
spread of drugs and drug use.
All officers are urged to beware of fake ID cards
because alien drug dealers often use them. Neighboring countries have
been asked to participate in pursuing drug dealers who have slipped
across the border.
Pol Lt Gen Kritsana also discussed the recent
cooperation between Thailand and the USA in which the possessions of
Wei Hseuh-kang and his relatives, valued at around 400 million baht,
All smiles as Mexican Sunflower festival blooms
Direk Konkleep, Mae Hong Song governor, presided over the
opening ceremony of the Mexican Sunflower festival at Doi Mae Oo Kho in Khun
Yuam on November 5, the start of the season when the fields are at their
Konkleep, Mae Hong Song governor presides over the opening ceremony of
Mexican Sunflower festival in Mae Hong Son.
On the same day another prime attraction for visitors,
the caravan rally that negotiates all the 1,864 curves on the famously
winding road from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son got underway.
The governor said that the Mexican Sunflowers had become
one of Mae Hong Son’s favorite sights, along with Wat Doi Kong Moo, the
long-neck Karen village, and Tham Pla Cave. Several new service aspects have
been provided for visitors to Doi Mae Oo Kho this year, including camping
Mae Hong Son is examining other ways to attract visitors to see its
natural beauty. The governor said the administration is working to encourage
the development of hill tribe culture and eco-tourism, with local people
acting as guides.
Alcohol advert not appropriate, say citizens
Residents have protested against the display of a giant
advertising hoarding for an alcohol brand on the top of a car park building
near Ton Lamyai Market. They say it is inappropriate for the area, which is
beside the Mae Ping River.
Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that he had
already arranged for the signboard to be checked to see if it had been
erected without authorization. The advertisement, however, was later
withdrawn during the checking process.
The mayor said the municipality could not forbid the
advertising of specific products, only to force the advertisement owner to
construct a signboard to comply with an authorized size. If any sign was
larger than the specified size, a demand would be made for it to be
Conference will discuss Khong River basin management
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
Chiang Rai has been chosen to host the 12th international
Khong River Basin management conferences, which will take place at the Dusit
Island Resort from November 28 to December 2.
Nopporn Tornrap, Chiang Rai deputy governor, said that
the Department of Water Resources, on duty as secretary general of the Khong
River Committees of Thailand, would organize the conference timetables.
There will be an open discussion forum on November 28 and 29, followed by
senior government official conferences. Yongyut Tiyapairat, Minister of
Natural Resources and Environment, will preside over the conference opening.
The conference will bring together senior government
officials from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand.
“Shotgun” marriage for Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui
Bride and groom given no options
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
it true love? It sure looks like it, at least with the Chuang Chuang and Lin
The “wedding” of Pandas Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui was
the reason for the five-day celebration that began on November 8 at Thapae
A parade with floats bearing images of the two bears made
its way to Chiang Mai Zoo the following day, with dancers, Northern drum
players and students in Chinese and Lanna costumes. The procession wound its
way along a route outside the city canal to the Chinese Consulate, passing
Watthanothai Payap School and receiving a couple of pillows as a gift from
Kad Suan Kaew department store before entering the zoo.
Sophon Damnui, director of the Zoological Park
Organization, gave a presentation on the history of the zoo, describing what
its founder Harold Mason Young had achieved. After that, Thai and Chinese
ceremonies were held and guests wrote messages of congratulations which will
never be read by the panda couple.
Amongst the guests were Chinese Consul General of Chiang
Mai, Chiang Mai MP Payap Shinawatra, Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat and
Dr Chao Duang Duan na Chiang Mai, plus representatives from Chiang Mai
municipality, Tourism Authority of Thailand, AIS, Thai Airways
International, and Chiang Mai University.
Governor Suwat said that the two pandas had lived in
Chiang Mai for two years and had a happy home at the zoo. Now they were
ready to have little pandas as a gift for the Thai people.
Fruit-ice cake was given to the two pandas inside the display room but
because the flash lights from the cameras made Chuang Chuang a little
unhappy, he just walked around and let Lin Hui eat the cake alone. Let us
hope she continues to be fat and happy.
panda parade from Thapae Gate to Chiang Mai Zoo attracted a throng of
Duang Duan na Chiang Mai performs a Chinese wedding ceremony for the two
Chuang and Lin Hui discover the fruit-ice cake.
Night Safari opening is set for New Year’s Day
Chiang Mai Night Safari tested its lights on November
16 and is all set to open officially on the first day of the New Year.
Sa-nga Euatrakoon, specialist working on the Night
Safari had a few days earlier, on November 8, given an update on progress
of the project. Construction work was completed. The entire budget of the
project as authorized by the cabinet on October 28, 2004 was 1,155.9
million baht, with a year and six months assigned as the construction
period. The actual construction cost came in at 646.7 million baht. The
Lanna Village cost 180 million baht and the rest was for designing and
animal accommodation. There are 61 species of animal coming to join the
704 already on display.
of Lanna Village at Chiang Mai Night Safari.
Most of these animals are from the National Park, Wildlife
and Plant Conservation Department and the private sector. This safari will be
the third night safari and the third biggest safari in the world and it is
predicted the capital spent will be recouped within the next seven years.
Ticket prices to see the Predator Prowl, Savanna Safari and
Jaguar Trail zones is 250 baht for adults, 125 baht for children and 400 baht
for foreigners. Other activities will be provided, such as elephant riding,
water music and jumping jets. Water supplies are from five wells containing
290,000 cubic meters, 15 ground water points that are 180-300 meters in depth
and contain 1,552 cubic meters, 350 cubic meters of public water and 2,800 cubic
meters from Mae Hia Weir. Environmental systems are in place to protect
residents and the surrounding area from polluted water and garbage.
model of the 15-kilometer cable car is on display.
On November 16, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra introduced
the safari to 200 Thai businessmen to ask their participation toward animal
support, and to see the lights that were tested on that day. Students and
residents also witnessed the switch-on. The official opening will take place on
January 1, 2006.
A cable car 15 kilometers in length linking the International Horticultural
Exposition, Chiang Mai Night Safari, Elephant Park, City View Point and Kru Ba
Sri Wichai Monument will be constructed. A study has been commissioned at 50
million baht while 1,200 million baht will be spent on the construction. The
Elephant Park is also being in process of an environmental study as it is due to
be relocated in a national park, in an area covering 6,600 rai. An expenditure
of 600 million baht is projected.
World’s biggest orchid park will be feature of expo
Chiangmai Mail Reporters
The world’s biggest orchid park is to be set up on six rai
of land at the International Horticultural Exposition of Ratchaphruek.
A-nan Dalodom, Surat Thani senator and chairman of the
exposition, said that the park will be a huge showcase for Thai orchids,
allowing orchid collectors, academics and the general public to see for the
first time in one place just what diversity is flourishing in the kingdom.
The Orchid Park is separated into four groups, namely the
Thai orchid exhibition, mixed orchid species, an orchid contest and
international orchid zones.
“To have an area for an orchid display park in this 470 rai
expo area is an opportunity for growers to show Thai orchids to the world,”
said A-nan. “We anticipate that this will be one of the most popular parts of
the exhibition, and that the park will generate great interest amongst
academics, breeders and collectors.”
A conference is to take place that will be attended by
delegates from 15 or more countries, and predictions are that the event will
lead to greater cooperation amongst agriculturalists internationally.
40 expat tourist police volunteers take to the beat during Yee Peng
Pol Lt Col Nattawut
Chotikanchanawat, tourist police inspector (2nd from left) and tourist police
volunteers patrol on walking street.
Forty foreign tourist police volunteers were working
alongside regular Chiang Mai tourist police during the Yee Peng festival to
ensure that overseas visitors are given full support in terms of information and
Tourist police inspector Pol Lt Col Nattawut Chotikanchanawat
said that when the idea was first mooted, it was discovered there was a large
number of expatriates, many of whom had lived in Chiang Mai for a long time, who
were interested in acting as volunteers. Eventually, about 40 were chosen, and
they are from a variety of nationalities including American, Indian, Chinese,
British, Canadian, Swiss, Dutch, German, Burmese and Japanese.
The volunteers have undergone training and wear a dark blue uniform. They
help regular tourist police to communicate with people from their own
backgrounds, and are also able to give information on Thai culture and events.
The 40 volunteers have a love of Chiang Mai and are reported as being very happy
for the opportunity to help visitors to the city.
Cellphone agent seized for supplying porn downloads
Officers from Phuping Police Station arrested Woranut Buaban,
27, a mobile phone shop owner in a well known department store located on Huay
Kaew Road and seized two computers that had been used to upload 400 obscene
images and 35 pornographic video clips. The pictures and clips were for clients
to download to cell phones.
Pol Capt Anupap Chaisiri, deputy inspector of Phuping Police
Station, who led the team that arrested Woranut, said that many parents had
complained there were cell phone agents supplying pornographic pictures and
video clips, charging between 300 and 500 baht for each download.
Woranut has been charged with possession of obscene material,
an offense that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine of
Police nab 85 aliens smuggled in by human traffickers
Human traffickers not caught
Illegal laborers who were trucked in across the Burma border
hidden under canvas were seized when a village headman alerted the police.
On November 13, a police officer at Tha Sai sentry box was
informed by the headman of Wiang Klang, in Muang, Chiang Rai province, that more
than 100 Burmese were hiding out in a deserted resort.
Pol Col Jaran Worapatthananan, superintendent of Muang police
station, led a raid of more than 50 police officers and volunteers at the resort
in Tha Sai village. Seeing the officers, the alien laborers attempted to flee.
However, within 30 minutes the police had caught 85 of them, including five
women and five children.
Investigations have revealed that the workers had entered the
border from Chiang Tung, in Burma, where there is a community of Tai tribe
people. Human traffickers smuggled them in under canvas and kept them at the
abandoned resort prior to sending them to work in Chiang Rai and nearby
provinces, mainly in orange orchards. Before traveling, the workers had to pay
2,000 baht to the trafficking gang, although they claimed not to know who the
Teenage burglars arrested
Pol Col Chamnan Ruadreuw,
Chiang Mai Provincial Police deputy commander checking evidence.
Police have arrested a gang of teenagers who were
spending their nights stealing motorcycles and household goods from Chiang
The gang members, who were identified under aliases of
Noi, Thid and Chen, are all 17 years old and resident in Chiang Mai. Police
seized four motorcycles along with VCD players and many household supplies,
valued at 400,000 baht, as evidence. The youths stole from houses during the
Chiang Mai Provincial Police deputy commander Pol Col Chamnan Ruadreuw
held a press briefing on November 11 in conjunction with Muang, Chang Puek
and Mae Ping police stations to announce details of the case. Pol Col
Chamnan said that the police stations had liaised to arrest the gang. He
said it was the duty of every police officer to take care of the security of
residents and their possessions, and that information received from members
of the public was of vital use in helping the police with their duties.
Crime appeared to pay for villager, until he was caught
A Chiang Rai villager was doing well out of the ya ba trade
until police caught him and discovered that he had assets worth about 100
million baht, slightly more than the average villager has in his bank account.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Jamnong Kaewsiri, commander of Chiang Rai
Provincial Police, announced the arrest of Boonchuay Suprakarn, a 34 year old
villager of Tambon Pa Sak, in Chiang Saen district. Seized as evidence during
the raid were 240,000 ya ba pills, two Toyota pick-up trucks, 40,000 baht in
cash, and two mobile phones. Pol. Maj. Gen. Jamnong said that he had been
sending the ya ba to customers in Central Thailand.
However, smelling a good haul, Chiang Rai police investigated
further, with the help of Mae Sai and Chiang Saen district police stations and
the ONCB Northern Region, and discovered that Boonchuay had a considerable
amount of property, including a large Thai style house, the title deeds to 71
plots of land amounting to 872 rai, eight trucks, four pickup trucks, four
motorcycles, and 1,200 cows. The total vale of the property is estimated at
about 100 million baht.
The commander said that the street value of the ya ba seized
would in Bangkok have been not less than 50 million baht. It is believed there
may be other property elsewhere and police are continuing their search. Let us
hope they also find the next link in the distribution chain.
Obscene books and VCDs seized in porn raids
Chiang Mai to be squeaky clean in future
Police in a crackdown on pornographic material raided
several premises on November 3 and made a number of arrests.
Officers first headed to Sri Don Chai Road, where 266
obscene magazines and cartoons plus five VCDs were seized. A further search
of a bookshop in the Thapae area netted 120 VCDs, 10 calendars and 55 books.
A third raid on a VCD rental shop at Tambon Mae Hia uncovered 28 CDs.
The owners of each outlet were charged with possessing
pornographic media, an offense that usually carries a penalty of 6,000 baht
and up to three years in prison.
Police said the raids were in line with government policy
on eliminating obscene media. Search warrants had been obtained from Chiang
Mai Provincial Court before the officers searched the shops and vendor
stands. The materials seized had been found packed in plastic bags and
hidden from sight, waiting for buyers.
Sources did not advise what will happen to the 266
magazines, 153 CDs, 55 books and 10 calendars.