Princess Ubolratana visits Central Hotels & Resorts Booth at ITB 2006
recently paid a courtesy visit to Central Hotels & Resorts Booth at ITB
2006 in Berlin, welcomed by the company’s executives, led by Gerd Steeb
(standing right) president, Supatra Chirathivat (sitting second left) senior
vice president-development, Chris Bailey (standing left) vice president -
sales & marketing, Natapong Jantavetsiri (sitting second right), group
director of sales & marketing, Wallee Krooprasert (sitting far left)
director of sales Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort, and Malee Rojwiroj
(sitting far right) assistant to the director of sales. (Photo by Waratat
Chiang Mai Journalist Club to hold 31st Larb Festival
Nopniwat Krailerg and
One of the perhaps lesser known aspects of local culture
will be celebrated prior to the forthcoming Songkran period when the 31st
Larb Festival 2006 and Miss Larb Contest take place in Chiang Mai. There
will be many performances and almost 100 teams are expected enter the larb
competition scheduled to take place on April 8 at 12 noon at the outdoor
courtyard of Kad Suan Kaew Department Store.
Jongyodying (centre), editor of Pak Nua Newspaper, Manit Khemkham (3rd
right), chairman of organizers and committees, Udornpan Chantarawirot,
former president of Chiang Mai PAO and Pol. Lt. Suchai Kengkarnkha, MD of
Kad Suan Kaew Co. announce the festival.
Manit Khemkham, from Chiang Mai News and chairman of the
festival organizers, disclosed that the Larb Festival 2006 and Miss Larb
Contest has been held every year for the last 31 years, with the primary
objective of promoting larb (mince meat), a local northern food. The other
reason, which goes without saying, is to have a lot of fun and to promote
tourism in Chiang Mai before the Songkran Festival.
pretty model samples a dress that will be worn by Miss Larb contestants.
The larb competition will be separated into two
categories, professional and amateurs, and will be a contest between chefs
from restaurants and bistros. The champions of each category will be awarded
the “Golden Trencher” and prize money. Application fee for professional
chefs is 500 baht per team, with an entry fee of 300 baht for amateur teams.
Two further special awards are to be provided; one for the competitor who
puts on the best show and a prize for vegetable decorating.
Entry to the Miss Larb Contest requires no application
fee and the winner will receive many valuable prizes from the sponsors. One
of the previous Miss Larb Contest winners, On-anong Panyawong, later went on
to become Miss Chiang Mai, before eventually being crowned Miss Thailand.
Anyone interested in entering the contests should ask for
details from the Chiang Mai Journalists Club at Chiang Mai News Office
located on Ratchaingsaen Road, Tambon Hai Ya in Muang, Chiang Mai or by
calling 0 5327 9686 # 201, 202.
Grand celebration to honor King’s Diamond Jubilee
The Ministry of Interior and the Tourism Authority of
Thailand (TAT) are jointly organizing the “Thailand Grand Invitation
2006” to take place throughout the year 2006 to honor His Majesty King
Bhumibol Adulyadej on the auspicious occasion of the 60th anniversary, or
the Diamond Jubilee of His Majesty’s ascension to the throne.
Tourists around the world are invited to Thailand’s
year-long grand festival of events to be held throughout the country, Air
Chief Marshal Kongsak Wanthana said.
The interior ministry has asked all provinces nationwide
to cooperate with all parties, including the state and private sector, as
well as the local populace, in holding activities in their provinces to
celebrate the auspicious occasion. The most appealing landscapes and
important tourist attractions in each province need to be revitalized and
made more attractive, ACM Kongsak said.
Maps, easy to see and read street numbers, traffic and
direction signs and other elements for foreign travelers needing help in
finding their way, must be made easily noticeable to visitors, said ACM
In addition, security and general services for visitors
must meet international quality assurance standards, the interior minister
His Majesty King Bhumibol, now the world’s
longest-reigning living monarch, was born on Dec 5, 1927, in Boston,
Massachusetts, in the United States.
He became the ninth king of the Chakri Dynasty in June
1946. The kingdom celebrated his Golden Jubilee in 1996. Kings and queens
and other royalty worldwide have been invited to the celebrations of the
60th anniversary of his ascension to the throne in June. (TNA)
Receding Mekong River water levels affect tour operators
The declining water levels in the Mekong River has forced
many water tour operators in Thailand’s northernmost border district of
Chiang Saen to keep their craft at their moorings.
Tour services that are still in operation have halved
their passenger loads, resulting in a dramatic drop in revenue, said a local
Songchai Suksomjai, managing director of Nava Luk Luang
Company, said water tour operators have to bypass certain tourist
attractions as their boats could not access the areas as the water in the
river has receded to a critical level.
Tourist ferries have risked beaching on sandy riverbeds
or have run aground on rocky river bottoms which cause severe damage to
Songchai’s company is among the major tour operators in
the region that provides water journeys throughout the Golden Triangle in
He said bigger passenger boats that could not afford to
take the risks have remained at their moorings while smaller ferries have
halved their loads, reducing profitability. (TNA)
Indonesian government backs ailing
The Indonesian government is to issue undertaking letters
for Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara Airlines as a short-term move to
save the state-owned airline companies.
In a parliamentary hearing with House of
Representative’s Commission XI in Jakarta, Minister of Finance, Sri
Mulyani Indrawati said: “the undertaking letters are expected to attract
creditors to invest in both airlines.
“The amount, period, and use of fund (undertaken) will
be determined based on the due diligence the government is taking on the
airlines’ operations, financial audit, and business plans.”
The government is planning to set up a special purpose
vehicle or to do a debt conversion to save the two airline companies in the
mid- and long-term period, according to Minister Indrawati.
In the mean time, State Minister for State-owned
Companies, Sugiharto said his office would still continue to invite
strategic partners for Garuda. The government will sell up to 49 percent of
Garuda President, Emirsyah Satar, told the local media
the issuance of the undertaking letter was a new option the government had
taken to save the airline.
“We will start working on finding creditors (with the
undertaking letter), hopefully, we will be able to get one soon,” Satar
said. (TTG Asia)