HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

New venue successful for Chiang Mai Expats Club

Restaurant and hotel staff learn about growing popularity of Thai wines

More than 300,000 visit Lampang Ceramics Fair and spend 130 million baht

Medieval Festival at CMIS

Concert funds will go to Juvenile Court for helping young people in Chiang Mai

New venue successful for Chiang Mai Expats Club

Lucy Coombs Photos: Marshall Hortig

Pol. Lt. Col. Wisit Chamnanprai and Alastair Connon

76 people last Saturday, including 13 newcomers from five different countries listened to president Jim Cox who led the meeting at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. Now the club is large and cohesive enough to form different groups - a group for charity, a flying group and one for hiking. Jim encouraged participation in these and for more interests to flourish. Horst Bruch, the cultural representative spoke on several cultural events coming up at the CMU Art Museum.

The main speakers at the last meeting before Christmas were Pol. Lt. Col. Wisit Chamnoanprai from Chiang Mai Immigration and Alastair Connon, Foreign Advisor to Coordination Committee Police.

Alastair Connon stated that he works to alleviate conflicts between the Immigration Department and foreigners. This department is necessary for protection of foreigners as well as of the Thai nation and people. He emphasized that we as foreigners do not have a “right” to be here, but are guests in this country – we should not try to change the Thai people. Anxiety and pressure often bring farangs to respond aggressively, which will usually cause Thai people to withdraw.

He spoke about the differences between visas, which can be single or multi-entry. He emphasized that everyone with a visa must report every 90 days – no exceptions. This is needed for the foreigners’ safety as well as this country’s security. If there are any changes in residences, immigration must be informed within 24 hours. If a person submits a written complaint regarding immigration, Alastair will research it and find out where the problem is.

Jim Cox presided over the large crowd

Pol. Lt. Col. Wisit, the new face in town reported that he has been on the job for only one month, having been transferred from Bangkok but he has been with immigration for 12 years. He told us that immigration is in the process of developing an internet system for doing the 90 day reporting, but it will take just a little more time. He spoke about re-entry permits – how important they are to avoid starting over with a visa every time a person leaves the Kingdom. These can be obtained at the airport upon leaving as long as it happens during regular working hours.

Some interesting and complicated questions were brought up which were answered very quickly and effectively as possible.

Due to the reassignments in Immigration, Alastair Connon’s position is in limbo. CEC encourages everyone possible to go to the website www.chiangmai-immigration.com and send an email to [email protected] to encourage keeping Alastair on in that position, which can be very helpful to all concerned.

The next meeting, on the fourth Saturday of December will be on Christmas Eve, December 24 and be a Christmas lunch at 12 noon at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. Charge is B. 400 (advance notice is preferable) and please bring gifts which will be distributed. This last meeting of the year will be a family affair with children under six eating free.

Restaurant and hotel staff learn about growing popularity of Thai wines

Nopniwat Krailerg and Preeyanoot Jittawong

Participants from restaurants and hotels in Chiang Mai attended the Horeca seminar.

Restaurant and hotel staff from Chiang Mai gathered at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel during November 29 and 30 for a tutorial on wines organized by Horeca Supply Co., Ltd. with presentations by Emilia Mupo, business development manager of San Pellegrino Mineral Water of Italy, and Laurent Metger-Toppin, wine maker of Monsoon Valley.

Laurent Metger said that Chalerm Yoowithaya was one of the founders of wine making in Thailand. Thai wine is now being made successfully and much of the production is being exported to Thai restaurants overseas. About 900 out of the estimated 9,000 Thai restaurants worldwide, in 80 countries, is taking wine made in Thailand. England is one of the best markets, where there are about 400 Thai restaurants.

Attendees at the training session learned about grape types used to make wine, and types of wine and kinds of food appropriate for each kind of wine. At the end of the training, they tried wines to study the taste of them and to learn how to make recommendations in their own business places.

More than 300,000 visit Lampang Ceramics Fair and spend 130 million baht

Chiangmai Mail Reporter

More than 300,000 people visited the Lampang Ceramics Fair during December 2 to 12, adding an estimated 130 million baht to Lampang’s economy and giving an enormous boost to the image of the province as a ceramics producer.

The 1st Thailand Ceramics Fair and the 18th Lampang Ceramics Fair were jointly held at Lampang municipality stadium opposite Big C Supercenter over a 10-day period. The event filled the four air-conditioned halls, and there were more than 400 show booths for visitors to browse amongst. One of the halls featured OTOP products and there was a local cultural show plus performances from well known singers.

Special low prices made the fair a delight for bargain hunters and stimulated sales. The produce on display came from more than 200 factories in Lampang and other parts of the country, and featured modern technology alongside traditional crafts. Baan Mae Tam and Baan Thung Jee Arts and Crafts Center arranged a special display area.

The 300,000-plus tourists came from Lampang, nearby provinces, and all over the country.

Medieval Festival at CMIS

Nicki Gamble

Procession to the feast

What say thee? A Medieval Festival at CMIS? ‘Tis a most splendid idea, M’Lord! Fourth grade students at CMIS have spent the past two months absorbing the fascinating details of life in the Middle Ages. Almost every subject area offered a way of integrating learning about medieval times into the curriculum. Among other activities, the students designed models of catapults and drawbridges (Science), played medieval games such as dice and chess (Math), read legends and gave speeches about different aspects of life in the Middle Ages (Language Arts), and practiced some of the period’s crafts and skills such as calligraphy, stained glass work, and potpourri (Art).

I asked a few of Jamie Mulvihill’s students whether or not they would have liked to live in medieval times. Ben told me he wouldn’t have minded being a brave knight, or perhaps even Richard the Lionheart, but he wasn’t sure how he’d have managed to depend on horses for transportation, and he was sure he’d miss modern technology. Akane said that she loved the beautiful dresses the medieval ladies got to wear, but she too wouldn’t want to live without electricity and other modern conveniences. Jenia particularly enjoyed learning about the special crafts of those long-ago days, but she strongly objected to the lack of hygiene, especially the necessity of smelly chamber pots!

Anna, Tara, Jenai and Ye Rin in period attire

This engaging unit of study culminated in a Medieval Feast to which parents were invited. The haunting strains of the bagpipes - an instrument that became popular in the Middle Ages, was skillfully played by Andrew McRady, and that was the signal for the colorful procession of jesters, kings, ladies, monks, nuns, knights and other period characters to make their way to the feasting hall. Raucous dining on meats, corn and pastries ensued, followed by fine medieval entertainment.

Jamie Mulvihill and Mary Fish’s fourth grade students will now bid a fond farewell to the Middle Ages, and will take leap forward through the centuries for a look at pioneers in North America.

Medieval musicians Anna, Akane, Jenai and Faar.

Lords and ladies assemble to the strains of Mr. McRady’s bagpipes.

Concert funds will go to Juvenile Court for helping young people in Chiang Mai

Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda Suwanchaisri (student trainee MFLU)

The guests of honor dancing together with the Next Generation

The Chiangmai Ballet Academy together with the Juvenile and Family Court in Chiang Mai and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held a charity concert entitled “Music in the Art Gallery” on December 9, at Gongdee Studio, on Nimmanhaeminda Soi 1

ML Preeyapun Sridhavat was the MC with Chamaiphan Baude, associate judge of the Juvenile and Family Court amongst the many guests of honor, who also included Arnud Ubekkanunkul, chief judge of the Juvenile and Family Court in Chiang Mai; Scott F Hansen, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thailand Bangkok Mission; Sister Suzi Hansen; Hal J Allen, Asia area public affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Thailand Service Center; Sister Connie Allen; and Suchat Chaichana, country director, church education system, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The concert was performed by volunteers from the USA, the Next Generation band who sang many Thai songs including folk songs, popular songs for teenagers, and the songs of the King.

The Next Generation band is an international volunteer band that sings mostly Thai songs. Most of the content focuses on family relationships and avoidance of drugs. The band has played at many schools and universities throughout the country, and is very well known.

The concert is donating all revenue to the Juvenile and Family Court in Chiang Mai to help in organizing activities to that will help juveniles in the province stay away from drugs and become responsible members of society.