Hemorrhagic patients in Chiang Mai increase to 800
There has been a marked increase in the number of people suffering from
Hemorrhagic Fever, with around 800 patients now undergoing treatment in
Chiang Mai. Fortunately, there have been no reports of anyone dying from the
disease, but residents are warned to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes,
especially those who are sitting to work for a long time or sleeping during
the day time.
Veterinarian Surisingh Wisarutrat, deputy head officer of Chiang Mai
Provincial Public Health Office revealed that during this period most of
those who contracted hemorrhagic fever were people who worked nightshifts
and slept during the daytime or worked sitting in front of a computer for a
long time; and the numbers of such people were increasing. Recently, 800
hemorrhagic patients were undergoing treatment, the highest number for five
years. The deputy officer said that hemorrhagic fever is still spreading as
the end of the rainy season approaches and now officers of Chiang Mai
Municipality are accelerating the operation to spray chemicals in drains and
households around the city; as such places are the breeding grounds and the
source of these particular mosquitoes.
Residents were also asked for their participation in removing or destroying
the likely breeding places of these mosquitoes. There have been a large
number of hemorrhagic patients in the north, with almost 200 people
contracting the disease in the four districts of Hot, Muang, Mae Chaem and
Fang. One or two persons per day were visiting their doctors seeking medical
help; and parents were warned to bring their children to see a doctor if
they had a high fever; and not to purchase medicine from a pharmacy and
medicate themselves, because there was a high risk that children could die
if that kind of medicine was mixed with aspirin.
Military plane crashes in rice field
At 1:30 pm on Saturday September 16 an army plane crashed into a rice field
at Baan Khun Kong, Hang Dong district. The plane was traveling from Mae Sod
in Tak to Pai in Mae Hong Son to support the 7th Infantry Regiment in
tracing drug smuggling caravans. The two pilots and mechanic on board the
plane were not injured.
The pilot reported that whilst flying over Hang Dong at a height of 1,000
feet the plane’s engines failed. He made an emergency landing in a rice
field, breaking the right wing and slightly damaging the left wing. The hull
was also slightly damaged. Fortunately, due to the soft ground in the rice
field, the damage was not as extensive as it could have been.
Sources within the 3rd Army Region revealed that the T-41 plane was old and
had been used for a long time. After the accident thousands of nearby
residents came to see what had happened. Naresuan Task Force has sent
engineers to ascertain the cause of the crash.
No Northern Motor Expo this year
left) Weerayuth Sukhawathako, president of The Federation of Thai Industries
in Chiang Mai, Prapong Maicharoenm, Inter-Media Consultant Co. Ltd. CEO and
Khwanchai Paphaspong, president of Inter-Media Consultant Co. Ltd., at the
press conference, discussing the postponement of the forthcoming motor expo
in Chiang Mai.
The 2nd Northern Motor Expo, which was scheduled to be held in January 2007,
has been postponed until a permanent site for the show has been built.
Organisers claimed that the expense incurred in renting air conditioners,
along with proposed Motor Expo dates coinciding with those of the
International Horticultural Exposition, meant that the show had to be
Khwanchai Paphaspong, president of Inter-Media Consultant Co. Ltd., and
president of the Thailand International Motor Expo, highlighted the success
of last year’s expo. He said that exhibitions were held by 19 major
automobile companies and over 1,000 reservation list cars earned these
companies over 2 billion baht. Despite this, Khwanchai said, the organisers
lost 10 million baht, in part due to using air conditioning systems from
Singapore at a cost of 14 million baht. Construction for a permanent hall
for the Northern Motor Expo is expected to be completed in 2009.
In 2007 regional motor expos will be held in Khon Kaen and Southern Thailand
before returning to Chiang Mai. In Bangkok the 23rd Thailand International
Motor Expo will be held in Muang Thong Thani between November 30 and
December 11. Further information can be found at www.autoinfo.co.th
Khwanchai also discussed the automobile market in Thailand. He noted that
for the first six months of this year automobile sales had been in deficit
for the first time since the economic crisis of 1997. Pick-up truck sales
are in deficit by 10%; European sedan companies, such as Mercedes, BMW and
Volvo are all reporting low sales. Circulation of small cars such as the
Honda Jazz, Toyota Yaris and the Chevrolet Aveo, however, has increased by
15%, and sales of Japanese sedans, were slowly rising.
Khwanchai said “This year it is expected that the market will rise
approximately 3%, with overall exports reaching up to 500,000 units. In the
next 5 years Thailand will export more than 2 million cars, raising Thailand
to the rank of the 10th largest car exporter in the world.”
Panda breeding strategies considered
and Lin Hui in Chiang Mai Zoo (File Photo).
Chiang Mai Zoo’s panda couple, Chuang-Chuang and Lin-Hui, are to be
subjected to another alteration in their “breeding strategies”. The new
attempt follows on the heels of previous “breeding strategy” attempts,
such as bombarding the luckless pair with “panda porn”. The new breeding
strategy will begin on November 1.
Chiang Mai Zoo acquired the panda couple from China on October 12, 2003.
After three years in Chiang Mai, both pandas are of breeding age, yet
ultrasound scans have revealed that Lin-Hui is not pregnant. Analysis into
panda breeding habits has revealed that pandas rarely become pregnant on
their first attempt at mating. A team of expert veterinarians have taken
their cue from a maxim of human behaviour that has been commented on for
centuries by romantic novelists and poets: passion requires mystery. The new
“breeding strategy” will separate the pair from each other in such a way
that, although they will still be able to hear and smell each other, they
will not be able to come into physical contact. The theory being that their
separation will drive the pair into a hormonally induced sexual frenzy that
will produce positive results once they are allowed physical contact with
each other, rather than the mundane proximity that the pair live through at
Experts have noted that, in the wild, pandas are not social creatures, and
live alone except during the annual breeding season. Chiang Mai Zoo has
informed the public that there still remains a month in which members of the
public can take photos of both pandas together, although such exposure of
their private lives is unlikely to help their “breeding strategies”.
From November 1 the pair will be separated.
Ayuthaya TAO visits Chang Puek Children’s Development Center
Puek Children Development Center executives and teachers along with Khan Ham
Tambon Administration Organization (TAO).
On September 18, the Chang Puek Kindergarten, following its award of the
best children’s teaching centre in 2004, received a number of local
government officials, who came to observe their teaching methods. Nuchanart
Tansri, director of Chang Puek Children’s Development Centre, welcomed
Wandee Muksiklit-nayok of the Khan Ham Tambon Administration Organisation
(TAO) in Ayuthaya, along with 150 Tambon chiefs, village headmen and
The Chang Puek Children’s Development Centre was opened in 2003, and
provides education for children aged between 3 and 5 years old. Now, three
years later, the school has 96 children and four teachers. The teaching
methods of the school emphasise developing student’s confidence.
Activities at the school include reporting on news for the class, listening
to English language fairy tales, painting and drawing, playing music and
various outdoor activities. In the past three years over 50 groups have
visited the Children’s Development Centre, mostly from local
administration organisations, educational institutions and foundations from
Chiang Mai and other provinces.
Thasanee Buranupakorn, Chang Puek sub-district mayor, said that the
Children’s Development Centre had arisen due to an increased awareness of
the importance of education for young children. The Children’s Development
Centre has been successful because it is close to the homes of many of the
students and its fees are reasonable. Chang Puek municipality plans to
extend the centre to include Pratom level and is currently looking for a
suitable site to build the new centre.
Remote training program via satellite
On September 14 the Information Technology Service Centre at Chiang Mai
University began to broadcast its “Leadership Development for Success”
training program. The program, taught by Chulchai Chunchua, managing
executive of the High Performance Institute, is broadcasted directly from
the Information Technology Service Centre. Although the course has been
taught since July, this is its debut on satellite link up.
The program aims to develop management and leadership skills for executives
and business owners, in order to help them guide their organisations to
success. Participants in the program learn how to think like a leader and
become effective decision makers in order to be able to face any problems
their organisation may encounter. They also learn techniques to manage staff
The satellite training program offers a number of advantages. Participants
will save themselves the expense of traveling to attend the course. They
will also have the opportunity to question experts and receive advice in
real time. The Information Technology Service Centre is offering special
promotions to members of the government and private sectors who wish to
participate in the course. Information can be found at
www.it.chiangmai.ac.th or at Tel. 0-5394-3811 and 0-5394-9827 during office
4 million baht slated for new pagoda at Phan Own temple
The committee in charge of rebuilding the Phan Own temple pagoda, which
collapsed after heavy rains last month, approved a budget of 4 million baht
to construct a new pagoda. The design of the pagoda has been submitted to
the Department of Fine Arts, who are expected to reach a decision in a
month’s time. The temple’s committee has agreed to cover the entire
pagoda with gold.
Sahawat Nanna, director of the 8th Office of Fine Arts, revealed that the
new pagoda would be constructed on a steel and concrete base, while the
outside architecture would use bricks in a style similar to the old pagoda.
Two suggestions were made regarding the pagoda’s gold covering. The first
suggested covering half the structure, at a cost of 2.8 million baht; the
second suggested covering the entire structure, at a cost of 4.1 million
baht. The temple abbot, Phra Kru Amorn Thamathad, revealed that the temple
committee had agreed to cover the entire pagoda with gold.
The new pagoda will house the 640 antique figures and a number of bricks
recovered from the ruins of the old pagoda. Donations are now being sought
to pay for the gold to cover the new structure. Some funds have already been
collected and a quantity of gold purchased for the task.
Chiang Mai targets aviation hub status
Sirima Eamtako TTG
Chiang Mai has been undergoing massive changes over the past five to 10
years, and more large-scale developments are on the way.
Chiang Mai International Airport is undergoing a two-billion-baht (US$53.5
million baht) upgrade as part of the government’s plan to turn the city
into Thailand’s northern aviation hub.
Its four-year renovation is due to be fully completed next year and the
airport will open an international terminal on October 15.
Its runway has also been strengthened and can now handle long-haul flights.
However, the airport said it had not received any requests from airlines to
operate direct international flights.
Creative Destination Management managing director, Sumate Sudasna, said
Chiang Mai had the potential to grow as a destination but needed more direct
international flights to meet the demands of high-end leisure and business
Now, Chiang Mai only has direct access to Hong Kong and Taiwan.
China Airlines operates three flights weekly from Taipei using a 168-seat
Boeing 738 aircraft and Hong Kong Express Airways operates two flights
weekly from Hong Kong using 70-seat ARJ 170 aircraft.
Despite this shortcoming, the government has moved ahead with some
large-scale projects. The much-hyped Chiang Mai Night Safari – the third
of its kind in the world and billed as the largest – opened earlier this
Former Thai prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra – a Chiang Mai native –
said he wanted to build a 15km cable car, a world-class amusement park, a
spa village and an elephant village in a bid to turn the city into a major
international tourist destination and the country’s “second capital”.
Construction of the state-owned convention centre near the 700th Anniversary
Stadium is slated to begin later this year.
Foreign hotel chains have also jumped on the development bandwagon.
A 74-room Meritus resort is slated to open in October while next year’s
scheduled launches include a 304-room Pan Pacific in the first quarter, a
362-room Le M้ridien in October and a 280-room Shangri-La in the
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts announced it would open a resort in 2009,
while M๖venpick Hotels and Resorts said it hoped to open a hotel too.
Meritus Chiang Mai Riverside Spa Resort general manager, Marc Dumur, said
the surge in the number of rooms might worsen an oversupply problem.
There were 16,673 hotel rooms in Chiang Mai in 2005, an increase of 18.22
percent on 2004.
The number of rooms has been projected to grow beyond 25,000 over the next
couple of years.
Dumur said while most Chiang Mai hotels enjoyed about 90 percent occupancy
from November to December and over the Thai New Year in mid-April and 70
percent in March, they suffered for the rest of the year with less than 30
Food and drink sanitation preparation for International Horticulture Expo
Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, the organisation responsible for
nursing, and food, drink and environmental hygiene during the International
Horticultural Exposition, has revealed details of its preparation for the
Dr. Rattawut Sukmee, head officer of the Chiang Mai Provincial Health
Office, said that the increase in the number of tourists into Chiang Mai,
both Thai and foreign, meant that cooperation between the Health Office and
local administration organisations regarding hygiene and disease control had
to be strictly monitored. Places serving food at the exposition will receive
regular hygiene checks to ensure that food and drinks do not become
A project entitled “Food Sanitation and Disease Control Supporting
Ratchaphruek 2006” was started at the beginning of September. The project
aims to increase awareness regarding food and drink sanitation in
restaurants and to conduct regular restaurant hygiene checks. The project
has also sent a number of food samples for lab analysis. The Provincial
Public Health Office has asked all Chiang Mai restaurants to cooperate with
the sanitation project.
Government officials undergo language training
at the English language training program.
The Language Institute of Chiang Mai University, in cooperation with Chiang
Mai province, ran a personnel development program on September 18. The
program, attended by 150 participants and held in the Fai Kham room of the
University Academic Centre, aimed to improve the English communication
skills of various government officials.
Assoc. Prof. Thanan Anumarn-Ratchathon, vice-president of Chiang Mai
University, opened the training program. Among the participants was Vilas
Rujiwattanapong, deputy Chiang Mai governor. The program comprised of a 30
hour intensive course, aiming to improve the ability of the participants to
communicate with foreigners. The curriculum for the program was divided into
two parts; the first part for using English on an everyday basis with
foreigners, and the second part focusing on language needed to communicate
with visitors to Chiang Mai, both officially and unofficially. The training
program was taught entirely by native speaking teachers who hoped to improve
the participant’s ability to solve problems foreigners may face or to
establish good relationships with them.
Stone Tree Park in Tak in danger because of flooding
of stone trees, aged around 800,000 years, are being threatened by flood
waters. (File Photo)
Flooding in Sam Ngao and Baan Tak districts of Tak Province is still causing
major problems, with water 7 meters deep in some places, and the flood water
is seriously affecting the Stone Tree Park.
Water levels in Wang River have now risen to 7 meters, due to continuous
rainfall. Flash floods in Lampang have swollen the Ping River and caused it
to overflow its banks in Sam Ngao and Baan Tak districts. Residents are
facing serious shortages of food and drinking water, and the price for these
scarce commodities has increased alarmingly. Flood-water from the Ping River
has also covered many low-lying flat areas, which are agricultural lands
belonging to local residents.
Heavy and continual rain brought about flooding at Khao Phrabat and the
affected the famous Stone Tree Park at Tak Ok sub-district. The Stone Tree
Park contains the fossilized remains of trees that were still growing around
800,000 years ago. However, officers concerned are rapidly draining the
flood-water out from the park in an effort to maintain the good shape of the
Khom Kruayoo, head officer of the park, expressed his concern that the heavy
rainfall had seriously damaged the exhibits, so he had requested a budget to
construct a roof over the fossils for their protection, and to drain water
from the park to conserve these fossils.
Northern economical community exhibit products
Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat (center) presides over the opening ceremony.
Resident’s Networks of the 17 Northern Economic Community provinces
displayed their “One Tambon - One product” (OTOP) products at an
exhibition held at Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel between September 17 and 20.
Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat presided over the official opening
ceremony on September 18. This was the fourth OTOP product exhibition
organised by the Northern Economic Community, which represents 85 groups
spread over 17 northern provinces. Officials explained that the exhibition
provided an opportunity for communities participating in the Northern
Economic Community to exchange ideas, promote their products and strengthen
their community’s economy.
Suwat went on to say that the exhibition exemplified HM the King’s ideas
on sufficient economy and that academics should support the scheme at all
levels of the community, sharing knowledge, understanding and ideas.
The Community Development Department sponsored the exhibition to the amount
of 1,546,250 baht. The eventual goal of the Northern Economic Community is
to ensure that OTOP products are manufactured to within certain standardised
guidelines, according to HM the King’s sufficient economy ideas.
Raw pork leads to deafness
20 patients admitted to hospital
Over the course of the last month 20 patients have been admitted to Maharaj
Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital after eating raw pork, which led to the sudden
onset of deafness, revealed Assoc. Dr. Niramon Nawacharuen, head officer of
the auditory department at Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Medicine.
Thorn Singkham, 74, a resident of Hang Dong, was admitted to the hospital on
September 3 after suffering from high fever and spasms. Doctors learned that
the patient had eaten raw pork with his relatives on August 28. Around 3
days later he began to experience high fever and headaches and was sent to
the hospital. Thorn told doctors that he could not hear well from his right
ear and, on further inspection, it became apparent that his ear drum had
degenerated so badly that he was completely deaf in that ear. Doctors
identified the virus causing the deafness as Streptococcus Suis.
Niramon said the Streptococcus Suis is contracted from pork and is usually
found in the nose or mouth of pigs. Pigs will catch the bacteria when living
in crowded, humid conditions, which weaken the pig’s immune system and
allow the bacteria to reach the pig’s bloodstream. He said that humans
could contract the disease by coming into contact with infected pig blood
while having an open wound themselves, or by eating raw pork. Once inside
the human body the bacteria enter the bloodstream and the brain, eventually
leading to meningitis. Within three days the patient will begin to
experience headaches and fever. Hearing and balance will also be affected.
Although meningitis can be treated, any damage to the hearing is permanent.
For the past five years almost 10 patients a year have been affected by
Streptococcus Suis. This year 72 patients have been treated at Maharaj
Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital, the majority of whom contracted the disease from
eating raw pork.
Doctors have warned residents about the risk of infection and advised people
who work with pigs, such as vets, pig farm owners and food manufacturers, to
be especially vigilant. To minimise the risk of catching the disease people
should not eat pigs that have not been slaughtered, and should not eat pork
bought from unknown sources. People should also be suspicious of pork sold
at particularly low prices and refrain from eating raw pork.
Midnight crash at second-hand goods stalls
white Honda, after its collision with second-hand shops lining the road.
At midnight on September 18, residents living behind the Kham Thiang branch
of Tesco Lotus were awakened by the sound of a car accident. On arriving at
the scene, onlookers found a stationary 3-door white Honda Civic parked on
Asdathorn Road. The car was facing the Asdathorn intersection; its left side
was severely damaged and had caught a piece of tattered plastic canvas. The
driver of the car, a young woman, was in the car telephoning her friend for
When police officers from Chang Puek police station, along with the Ruamjai
Rescue Foundation, arrived on the scene they found that of the 20
second-hand shops lining the road, 6 were damaged, having had their store
fronts ripped away.
The driver of the Honda civic, Sataporn Chaosilp, 25, said that before the
accident she was driving past JJ Market heading towards Asdathorn Road.
Whilst going around a curve a pick-up truck pulled alongside her and pushed
her towards the side of the road. Sataporn said she turned away from the
pick-up truck then lost control of her car, mounting the footpath and
colliding with the second-hand shops. She was eventually able to get her car
under control. She added that she believed this had happened to her as she
was 25, an unlucky age according to Thai folklore.
After checking whether Sataporn had been drinking, officers charged her with
reckless driving and damaging property.
Ya ba-knickers bust
Kesini Sakham, 40, a resident of Fang district, Chiang Mai, was arrested
during a drugs search whilst travelling on a tour bus to Bangkok. Police
officers discovered 8,000 ya ba pills hidden in her panties.
Chai Prakan police officers, working in cooperation with soldiers of the Pha
Muang task force, stopped the tour bus at Pha Hong checkpoint in Chai Prakan
district, Chiang Mai. After observing Kesini acting suspiciously, officers
searched her and discovered the pills.
Kesini confessed that she was hired by a man based in Bangkok known only as
“Hai”. She was to purchase the ya ba then deliver it to him, where she
would receive payment of 20,000 baht. Kesini has been charged with
possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply.
Flirting leads to assault for luckless Romeo
Nopniwat Krailerg and
At a press conference held on September 17 at Chiang Mai police station,
officers disclosed details of a case in which a man was assaulted and robbed
after flirting with the girlfriend of one of the perpetrators.
Yaya, 21, resident of Mae Hong Son Province, one of the four suspects.
On September 14, Khamchan Kaabkaew, 57, a resident of Chiang Rai, informed
Chiang Mai police that his son, Buncha Kaabkaew, 32, was assaulted and
robbed by a group of youths. Amongst the possessions stolen was Buncha’s
motorcycle. The assault took place at Thapae Gate and Buncha was now
receiving treatment at Chang Puek Hospital. Police subsequently arrested the
four suspects at a snooker hall on Moonmuang Soi 1.
Three of the suspects were younger than 18, so their names could not be
disclosed to the press. The fourth suspect is Jare Yaya, a resident of Mae
Hong Son province. The stolen motorcycle was later recovered and the four
were charged with assault and robbery.
One of the suspects, known by his nickname, Eakaluck, told police that while
visiting Thapae Gate Buncha approached him and began flirting with his
girlfriend. Eakaluck then phoned the three other suspects and organised the
assault. All four denied stealing any of Buncha’s possessions other than
Yellow minibus u-turn may have caused crash with motorcycle
take care of the injured while waiting for his ambulance.
At 10:30 am on September 19, Mae Rim district police station received
information regarding a car crash occurring in front of Sinpranee Leasing
Co., Ltd., Baan Pa Tiew on the Chiang Mai-Fang road.
On arriving at the scene officers found a yellow Mae Rim district minibus in
the middle of the street, its front right fender damaged. A black Honda
motorcycle lay in the road, with parts of its mudguard and headlight lying
around it. The rider of the motorcycle, Aphichai Sae-yang, 25, a resident of
Mae Taeng district, was sitting at the side of the road. He had a broken leg
and a cut on his face and was crying out in pain. The rescue services took
him to Nakhorn Ping Hospital for treatment.
On further investigation police discovered that before the accident Aphichai
had been riding his motorcycle home during a rain storm. He said that as he
was driving his bike when the yellow minibus in front of him suddenly turned
into the middle of the road. Aphichai tried to stop his motorbike, but
crashed into the side of the minibus. The minibus driver claimed on
questioning that he had not seen the motorbike while turning his vehicle.
Further investigation will determine whether the driver will be charged with
Residents said that this area of the road sees many accidents caused by
minibuses from a nearby minibus stand making u-turns in the middle of the