Vol. V No. 14 - Saturday April 1, - April 7, 2006
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai, a shopping mall for IT products

Complete Tourism Service in Anusarn Market

Contemporary art from Myanmar at Dhara Dhevi Gallery

Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai, a shopping mall for IT products

Leading-brand shops inside Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai.

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Communication technology and I.T. appliances play a major role in our lives. Numerous organizations and even families want to purchase computers, laptops or various other I.T. appliances for both their career or as a hobby. Most people purchase this equipment according to the product’s reputation for quality and service, especially considering the well-known brand-names of the various products as their first priority.
Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai is an IT center containing stores selling leading brand-name IT products and famous computer service centers; serving customers who want the convenience of purchasing all their various IT requirements under one roof. There are not only computers, laptops, printers, and other IT products being sold there, but also experts to give advice, guarantee and demonstrate their products, provide computer checking and sell guaranteed genuine spare parts.
Inside the four spacious stories of Pantip Plaza building, there are leading-brand computer service centers; with top names such as Toshiba, Samsung, Epson, Canon, LG, Brother, BenQ, Asus, SVOA, and Panasonic; each carrying a full range of IT products.
Starting on the 1st floor, you will find the Sony Shop, Comp Nect IT who distributes IT appliances, TT&T and TOT Internet and network providing center, and Office Depot, who carry a complete range of office appliances.
Moving up to 2nd floor, you can buy products from the leading computer superstores in the country; such as IT City who are the only distributor and service center for Lexmark printers, and HP Experience Center, which distributes and provides service and advice to those who are interested in products of HP and IBM.
Continuing to the 3rd floor, you will find the ACER Shop and the TD Star service center who is the only distributor for Plasma display monitors in the Northern Region.
It is considered that Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai is the biggest comprehensive computer and IT product shopping center in the Northern Region with the capability of fully responding to customers’ needs. Those who want more information concerning any brand of IT product can contact tel. 053-288383 Ext. 101-104 or visit at Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai, Chang Klan Road Night Bazaar area, from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. daily.

Complete Tourism Service in Anusarn Market

Preeyanoot Jittawong
Nowadays, although Chiang Mai is constantly changing to meet the needs of the modern traveler, the city still manages to retain its Olde Worlde charm and remain a town packed with historical interest. Examples of original Lanna culture continue to attract both Thai and foreign tourists to Chiang Mai.

Travel service booth in Anusarn Market.

As well as exploring the ancient historical sites in the city itself, many tourists also like to take guided treks in the forests to visit the natural tourist attractions that are to be found in the unspoiled mountainous areas surrounding Chiang Mai. This can best be accomplished by engaging one of the many tour servicing companies which provide a comprehensive service.
In the Anusarn Market there is also a comprehensive tour-booking service. Nan, or Sanan Taewsakoo, Managing Director of Siam Great Travel Centre Co. caters for the eco-tourist’s needs at a service booth there. His company has a wealth of experience in providing guided tours.
He was the first one to see the potential of setting up an office in Anusarn Market and specializes in arranging guided tours around Chiang Mai and nearby locations such as Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son. If tourists want to travel to other places in the country, he can also respond to those needs. The most popular tour for visitors is a trip to experience the natural beauty of the country; such as trekking, visiting tribal villages, elephant riding, rafting, and various types of adventures. There are several ways that this can be organized; one day and half-day trips for the tourist in a hurry, or longer treks lasting two, three or even four days, with the trekkers staying overnight in the many different Hill-tribe villages, the latter option proving to be the most popular among both Thai and foreign adventurers
There is another company, based at Anusarn Market, which also provides a different tourism service. This is the Asia Hotel Center directed by Kanchala Leetrakoon, who specializes in providing air-tickets and reserving hotel accommodation in Asian countries, as well as arranging and providing travel information all over Asia. Although this company has only recently opened for business, it is a well-established company with a proven track-record of providing a comprehensive tourism service for any traveler who wishes to tour Asia.
Travelers who are interested in tour programs can ask for more information at Siam Great Travel Centre Co. Tel. 053-446882 or Asia Hotel Center Tel. 053-283298 every day.

Contemporary art from Myanmar at Dhara Dhevi Gallery

Phatthawut Wutthipraphanphong
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, and Gold Leaf are presenting an extraordinary selection of 16 of the top contemporary artists in Myanmar, comprising a total of 50 works. The exhibition will begin with an ‘invitation only’ preview opening on Friday, April 7 at 7 p.m. at ‘The Dhara Dhevi Gallery’, Kad Dhara Shopping Village. The opening will be preceded by a special digital presentation at 6 p.m. in the resort’s Jum Sri Hall Library. This exhibition, which will be open to the public from April 8 through May 31, is one of the largest showings of contemporary Myanmar art in one venue in Thailand.

One of the paintings which can be seen in the exhibition.

The works range from acrylic on canvas, collage, pastel on paper, to the most cutting edge digital mixed and manipulated photography being done in Myanmar today.
Gold Leaf founder, Jacquelyn Suter, says that “Gold Leaf is not a gallery nor a business – it is a project with the aim of bringing Myanmar’s top contemporary artists to the attention of an international audience.” As a travel writer with lifelong interest and study in contemporary art, Ms. Suter had traveled in Myanmar a number of times before she became aware that the country had exceptional contemporary art that was getting some exposure in Hong Kong and Singapore, but rarely anywhere else. “It seems that the art world is now most keen on the work coming from China, Vietnam, and Thailand – and rightly so – but my feeling is that the exceptional work being done in Myanmar is being ignored, both in press coverage and in exhibition opportunities. I want to change that.” Gold Leaf was founded this year in order to promote Myanmar artists to the American and European art world. In addition to promotion, Gold Leaf aims to assist the continuing art education of current and young emerging artists by bringing to their attention exhibitions, competitions, and grants for their consideration. “Because Myanmar is much more isolated in terms of access to worldwide art information than other Asian countries,” Ms. Suter comments, “I found that I could help by filling this gap with my own access, knowledge, and communication links.”
Gold Leaf has also created an avenue for the general public to assist artists. The ‘Friends of Myanmar Artists’ project provides an opportunity for people to select and buy art books and DVD’s for the artists’ use. The American Center in Yangon (the Public Affairs section of the United States embassy in Myanmar) has generously agreed to receive all donated media into its own library and manage this project for Gold Leaf. The upcoming art exhibition at Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai, is the first in what the hotel plans to be an ongoing series of educational/cultural activities for its local and international guests. Mark Bradford, General Manager of the resort, stresses the importance of this stating that, “Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi showcases the craftsmanship and traditions of northern Thailand’s Lanna culture and that of the surrounding region. As a living museum with a strong cultural focus, we are keen to play a part in promoting contemporary artists and artisans and to raise awareness of their work in the local community and amongst foreign visitors to Chiang Mai.” Bradford continues, “This exhibition of contemporary art from Myanmar offers a unique perspective on the way that Myanmar artists rooted in their culture’s age-old traditions forge a modern, hopeful, and forward-looking future.”

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