a small world’ was celebrated at the Amari Rincome Hotel including
aboriginal dancers from Australia.
While people on the Christmas Islands and New Zealand,
who entered 2006 first, had already gone to sleep, and people on Samoa and
Hawaii were still busy with last minute shopping for the party of the year,
Chiang Mai was alive and in party gear to welcome the next 365 days Lanna
style, mythical, traditional or extravagant.
In small towns in America, Europe, or Africa, people
bring out their customs and follow them, but Chiang Mai has been a melting
pot of cultures, who all shared their individual traditions and ways of
life. The Rachamankha Hotel, in the center of the old town, was transformed
to an ancient Lanna village and their program included drum beating, sword
dances, puppet performances, ‘khom loys’ for all guests and colorful
performances by the Hom Loeng Group, who love and preserve local traditional
arts. Guests wandered through the village, having the choice of watching
mythological creatures such as the half-bird, half human ‘kinnaree’,
‘garuda’, eagles, dragons and ‘naga’ serpents from the Himalayan
forest at the entrance to the hotel while the garden was transformed to a
Lanna food market place and the inner yard and dining room of the hotel was
filled with elegant people munching on international hors d’oeuvres,
sipping champagne and watching human - marionette dances.
performances led by Vilawan Svetsreni was the center of attention in one of
the inner yards of the Rachamankha Hotel.
Many hotels in town had theme parties, from ‘It’s a
small world’ to Fun Fairs to New Years around the world, all reflecting
the international flair found in this town in the North of Thailand.
As a change from previous years, the fireworks seemed to
be slightly less and wailing of car horns, which is a ‘noise custom’ to
drive away evil spirits, could not be heard anywhere in town, other than the
occasional sirens of police and ambulances who seemed to be busy all night
Chiang Mai’an ‘Austrian connection’ (Alfred, Nikolaus and Alexander)
The largest crowds were probably around Thapae gate with
beautiful decorated stages but whoever was caught in traffic there most
probably had to wait until after midnight in the car, as traffic came to a
In restaurants around town, people were in a great mood,
wearing colorful paper hats, playing trumpets, smoking ‘the last
cigarette’, blowing party horns and dancing the night away. But there were
also couples and friends, sitting together, just enjoying each others
company and trying to let 2005 end in ‘slow motion’ contemplating the
New Years resolutions yet to be executed.
Whatever you did and whichever resolutions you might have
for 2006, Chiangmai Mail wishes you peace, health and prosperity in the next
12 months ahead.
hats, good mood and no politics on New Years Eve. (From right) Pornchai
Jitnawasathian, Chiang Mai Deputy Mayor; Suwat Tantipat, Chiang Mai
Governor; Boonlert Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor; Yaowapa Wongsawat Deputy
Chief of Thai Rak Thai Party; and Kraisorn Pornsuthee Permanent Secretary of
Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at the official party
at the Thapae Gate.
Somock Inthavong (right), Angele Liu, Guru 2 of D2 Hotel (lady in the
middle); and Chawalit Rungsirinatee Drink and Dine Whiz gave a warm welcome
to in-house guests and visiting Chiang Mai residents.
Bauer, General Manager of Imperial Mae Ping Hotel (middle) and his lovely
receptionists in their fancy dresses at the countdown party in the Imperial
Mae Ping beer garden.
the largest khom loy in town had more than 10 people trying to make it fly,
to take away their sins, bad luck and the worries.
Changtrakul (5th from left) was the initiator of the Lan Na Cultural fair.
Seen here with guests from the diplomatic corps, the universities and media.
Canale of Buonissimo presented a huge variety to his diners at his newly
renovated ‘Buonissimo’, La trattoria del Sergio, on December 31.
Torphet (Chef Pom) (standing left), and Hans B. Christensen (standing right)
welcomed Alan Holm and Rita Gustafsson from the ‘Kids Ark Foundation’ at
‘The House’ on December 31, 2005.
mood at ‘To Nobody’. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jeffrey and friends after their
meal and raffle…
Nitzsche, (standing back) cook and proprietor from The Green Oasis
restaurant treated his guests to a five course Gala dinner and Russian
Choce, owner and soul of Pum Pui Italian Restaurant showed his hospitality
with authentic Italian dining during the countdown for 2006.
the ‘Delaney’ family was spotted at ‘The Glass Onion’ with
proprietor Kris Lee (right rear).
Ting (standing right) and Livio Barell (standing left) celebrated the New
Year countdown with friends and guests at the romantic River Ping Palace.
Brown, David Summers and Dr. Howard
C. Graves Jr. enjoyed food and drinks with
friends at the New Year party at ‘Krit’s Pasta’ on Nimmanahaeminda
Year party at the Amora Tapae Hotel Chiang Mai was celebrated with tourists
from USA, Europe, and China who were treated to cultural dances,
international food and a huge raffle before the firework display.
was filled with mythological creatures such as ‘kinnaree’, ‘garuda’,
eagles, dragons and ‘naga’ serpents from the Himalayan forest.
Phraew Nuttida Damrongwisetpanich, a well known actress had her picture
taken with Santa Claus during the end of year celebration at Central Airport
Plaza, Chiang Mai.