HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Rai Classic Car Weekend a great success

Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

Chiang Mai Pool League:What might have been?

Chiangmai SportRoundup

Chiang Rai Classic Car Weekend a great success

Miriam Amelynck Photos: Chris Xho

The first ever ‘traveling’ classic car event in the northern-most province of Thailand, the Chiang Rai Classic Car Weekend, took place November 11-13th.

Ford Model A, 1929, of Khun Santad, owner of Chiangmai News.

Hosted by Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz of Belgium and Weerapong Boonklieng, the goal was to reunite old cars with ancient cities and architecture in the Golden Triangle. Starting in Chiang Mai from the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort, 16 classic cars, including a 1929 Ford Model ‘A’, drove up north, to meet six more Chiang Rai entrants and attend a welcome ceremony.

The convoy then headed further north, reaching Mae Chan, and finally Insii Thai House, the residence of Count Gerald and Weerapong Booklieng. The classic car owners were later joined by nearly 80 more guests, coming from as far as Singapore, to enjoy a traditional Thai dinner at Insii Thai House.

During the dinner, prepared by The Legend Boutique River Resort and Spa, traditional Northern Thai dances were performed by 36 dancers and musicians from Mae Chan.

“I can only say one thing about the party at the house: it was magic!” said Count Gerald afterwards. Complimentary accommodation was provided at a nearby resort for all car owners and VIP guests.

Pongrit Srismith (owner of the Rolls-Royce from Chiang Rai), Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, and Miss Nacaskul, vice-president Thailand Elite.

After a continental breakfast around the swimming pool of Insii Thai House, the next day was spent admiring the classic cars displayed in the grounds. Visitors were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite cars, and while the most impressive cars were certainly the 1929 Ford Model ‘A’ and the magnificent Rolls-Royce Corniche, the “people’s favorite” was an immaculate red Morgan.

Red was also the color of Racing Team VDS, one of the most successful private racing teams ever, created in Belgium in 1965 by Count Rodolf van der Straten Ponthoz, grand-father of Count Gerald. A photo exhibition of Racing Team VDS cars, which won numerous victories up until 1983, was exhibited in the grounds of the house.

Bea Camp, Consul General of the United States in Chiang Mai, Philippe Damas, Worldwide CEO of ING Private Banking (Singapore), and Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, with the classic cars in the background.

Noon was the time for the cars and their lucky owners to leave Insii Thai House and drive further to the ancient city of Chiang Saen. Lunch was offered by The Legend Boutique River Resort and Spa at the Chiang Saen National Museum, and every owner was invited to the museum by its director, Khun Pramot, for a guided visit.

The rest of the day was free, during which the cars owners enjoyed the landscapes and monument of the Golden Triangle for some, coffee stop along the Maekong for others or even a shopping trip to Maesai for those who didn’t want to lose that opportunity.

Anan Laothamatas and David Summers in front of his participating car.

On the evening of Saturday 12, every entrant arrived at The Legend Boutique River Resort and Spa, where they checked into their complimentary rooms just before dinner. A presentation dinner was given by the resort, with musical entertainment by Chiang Mai resident Scott Jones.

While the whole event was hosted by Count Gerald, sponsors and partners were to surprise the classic car owners even further. Apart from great memories, presents were offered to each of them, such as valuable golden Regnas presentation boxes, high quality Ovidias Belgian chocolates, impressive ostrich eggs artistically decorated with New Zealand shells, as well as a beautiful painting of the late Princess Mother. “It was certainly not easy to organize this event from scratch but our efforts were rewarded by success,” concluded Count Gerald. “Many friends and partners were involved and the whole event will certainly lead to new friendships.”

Chiang Mai HHH Corner - “On On!”

CH3, the oldest hash club (males) in Chiang Mai runs on Mondays every 2 weeks. If you need a lift from the H3 Pub on Moon Muang Road (corner of Soi 2) at 4 p.m. please Call 09 99 358 27 before 3 p.m. Website:

CUMH3 is now the most popular Male hash in Chiang Mai and pick up is every week on Tuesdays from the Fish n Chips Shop on Ratchawithee Road (tel. 053-418210). Website:

CSH3 is a mixed hash. Runs every Saturday. Pick up from H3 Pub on Moon Muang Road (corner of Soi 2) at 3.30 pm. Website:

Chiang Mai’s Happy H3 is a mixture of traditional values and progressive thinking. Very democratic, good runs and “on on’s” guaranteed. Pick-up from Fish ‘n Chip Shop, Ratchawitti Road, 4 p.m. every Saturday. Website:

BH3 female hash (Harriettes) runs once a month on the last Sunday of the month. Pickup from H3 Pub on the corner of Soi 2 at Moon Muang Rd. is at 3.30 p.m. during the winter and 4 p.m. during the summer.

It’s great fun and you surely get value for your money plus you get to meet all the long-time expats here!

Chiang Mai Pool League: What might have been?

Pat Black

This season’s Chiang Mai Pool League has reached the halfway stage and it’s time to reflect on all those missed chances, wrong decisions and games lost that should have been won.

Here’s Puy

For the first 3 weeks of the campaign, last term’s strugglers Chiangers and Bangers topped the table with convincing performances, and after that they have dropped no further than 4th place.

But consistency is the name of the game when it comes to winning championships and at week four of the tournament Half Moon Pub moved in as new leaders and have remained there ever since.

At present, “The Lunatics” enjoy a 2 point lead over their nearest rivals, The Wall, who came good after winning only two of their first 5 matches. And Blue Sky Bar, now 3rd, will rue games they should have taken against Out Back, Blue Sky Garden and Friend’s Corner.

Last season’s Champs - The Local - ex runners-up - Rock Hard Bistro and highly ranked La Villa have so far turned in Jekyll and Hide showings that find them mid table, where they join Out Back, who have had to overcome away match team shortages by finely tuning a motorcycle shuttle between the pool table and stove for kitchen-staff players.

Blue Sky Garden, Enjoy Place and newcomers No.1 Bar have definitely underperformed to leave themselves on the lower rungs of the ladder, but they are probably the most likely teams to cause upsets during the second period.

The league’s foundations have been supported for most of this phase by December Bar, with two wins, and rookies Happy Bar - still looking for their first victory. But both sides have each lost by the odd game on four occasions and no doubt better days will come.

Friend’s Corner could give Happy Bar something to smile about because they started life in the league producing similar results. But with roughly the same side; strong determination and a string of good performances have currently lifted them to their highest point ever at 5th in the league.

It’s only halfway through the season and there’s still plenty to play for.

In last week’s encounters, Half Moon Pub replied to a brief 0-1 setback by rattling off the next 8 frames against a stunned Local outfit, while just across the road, The Wall kept pressure on the leaders with a 6-3 win at Happy Bar.

Chiangers and Bangers seemed untroubled at home when they dug a 6-3 hole into Blue Sky Garden’s recent revival, and major contenders - Blue Sky Bar - watched a 4-2 advantage slip to a 4-5 defeat against Friend’s Corner.

From a 2-4 deficit, Enjoy Place fought back well to square the match against La Villa. But “The Pizza Boys” broke down the charge and took the last game. Scoring followed the same sequence at Rock Hard Bistro, where Out Back managed to hold on for a 5-4 win.

Elsewhere, December Bar’s brave effort to launch a comeback against No.1 Bar fell just short of its target with a 4-5 defeat.

And this week, our Ladies Hall of Fame picture features top player, petite Puy from Rock Hard Bistro.