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Extravagant Gala evening at the historic site of Wiang Kum Kam

CEC January meeting again on the ‘up’

Extravagant Gala evening at the historic site of Wiang Kum Kam

Chiangmai Mail Reporters Photos Nopniwat Krailerg

The Khom Lois (hot air balloons) were a highlight of the night.

The historic site of Wiang Kum Kam was the extraordinary venue for the recent Agavo Technologies Gala Dinner, organized by local adventure specialist Track of the Tiger. Participants from all over Asia were welcomed at the Grand Pagoda at the early evening, and walked the short distance to the party site, appropriately set-up and illuminated by open fires and hundreds of candles. The 86 managers and executives were first treated to a Kad Mua (northern food market), and could enjoy a great variety of delicacies such as deep fried curry corn cake, lemongrass shitake, Thai herbal wraps, and Sai Uaa, (grilled spicy pork sausage), accompanied by Nam Kek-Huay (Chrysanthemum drink), Nam Matoom (Bale fruit drink) or simple fresh fruit juices.

After a short welcome by Agavo’s Senior Vice President (Worldwide Sales and Marketing) Jeff Henderson, the guests were treated to a more substantial buffet, accompanied by traditional dances and drums.

Upon arrival, participants were treated to a local Kad Mua market.

The highlight of the even-ing was the Award presentation to the most successful Agavo Partners in Asia, as well as the illuminations and floating of the hot air balloons. An impressive evening for all participants took home fond memories of the spectacular site Wiang Kum Kam.

This had been originally a settlement long before it became King Mengrai’s capital around 1287-90. The buildings were eventually buried, covered by silt after years of flooding, which might be the reason why Mengrai moved his capital to Chiang Mai. In fact, the Ping river originally flowed along the north side of the town, but at some point during the Burmese occupation from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, the river changed course and now flows along the west side of the site.

The change of course was apparently the final straw which caused the city to be largely abandoned for 300 years. The area was restored as a historical park during the 1980’s. Research concluded that this was the city of Wiang Kum Kam, one of many fortified cities built by King Mengrai as he consolidated his hold on the north.

No one wanted to miss the opportunity to have their picture taken with the dancers.

CEC January meeting again on the ‘up’

Phillip Johnson

Alinda Chotinaruemol, health insurance representative from BUPA Health Insurance Agency.

Old and many new Chiang Mai expats gathered for the first meeting of the year on Saturday, January 14, at the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel. Vice-president Tom Matty welcomed everyone, and pointed out how the club has grown immensely since its inception in September 2005. Tom gave recognition to the many business establishments in the Chiang Mai area who give their support to CEC through generous donations and by offering discounts to members. He also reminded everyone that the annual membership dues are just 150 baht, while a lifetime membership costs only 600 baht.

Jim Cox, club president and founding member said that the club has a membership in excess of eighty expats, and is still growing.

A request for volunteers went out to the membership so that the club can continue offering the best information and programs not only to the club members, but also to Chiangmai in general.

Club secretary, Lucy Coombs reported that seventy-six people attended the last official meeting on December 10, 2005. At that meeting thirteen new members joined the club.

Horst Bruch, club member, shared information on several upcoming cultural events: Earth, Wind and Water at Luna Gallery, Art Cafe art exhibit, Forever Young in Bangkok presents the Backstreet Boys, new art exhibit at Chiangmai University, and the presentation of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Color Dream Coat musical at Kad Suan Kaew, organized by Voice Studio.

Guest speaker, Alinda Chotinaruemol, a health insurance representative from BUPA Health Insurance passed on information on worldwide private health coverage for Thailand residents. The only country where the coverage is not available is in the United States. The cost is between 8,000 and 25,000 baht per year per individual. Family plans are available at a discount.