His Majesty the King recovering
His Majesty the King was expected to remain hospitalized
for “a certain period,” the royal palace said Sunday, a day after he was
admitted with what doctors called inadequate blood supply to the brain.
HM the King was hospitalized Saturday after reportedly feeling weakness on
the right side of his body.
“Some eight hours of treatment alleviated the weakness in the right leg. The
team of physicians then recommended hospitalization for treatment and
observation,” the statement said.
Cerebral ischemia means that the brain or parts of the brain are not
receiving sufficient blood to maintain normal thinking and bodily functions.
It can result from various diseases and obstruction of arteries such as by
the blood clot removed from the monarch’s leg.
His condition improved after about eight hours of treatment, the statement
“The condition of His Majesty the King is improving,” the statement said.
“The right side of his body is regaining some strength.”
The statement said doctors will be treating the king with rehabilitative
medicine at the hospital, “and will continue to treat him for a certain
period.” It did not specify how long.
The palace said Saturday that an MRI showed the king had “a slightly
inadequate blood flow to the brain.”
Hundreds of well-wishers crowded outside Bangkok’s Siriraj Hospital on
Sunday, shouting “Long Live the King!”
Many wore yellow shirts and carried yellow flags. In Buddhist tradition,
yellow represents the day of the week on which His Majesty was born.
Her Majesty the Queen thanked the crowd for its support as she entered the
hospital to visit the king.
“His majesty is fine and getting better,” she told the crowd.
Privy Council members led by President Gen. Prem Tinsulanonda also visited
His Majesty the King, who will celebrate his 80th birthday December 5. AP
the Night Safari
Two elephants at the Night Safari died on October 5th after
apparently eating contaminated grass. Five other elephants became serious
ill and suffering from stomach cramps and constipation. They are being cared
for by veterinarians from Lampang and Chiang Mai University.
It took the management of the Night Safari five days to notify the media of
the deaths which may have gone unnoticed had it not been for local residents
who witnessed staffers using cranes to move the giants and then bury them in
The dead elephants, 12 year old Phang Joy and 60 year old Phang Khun Yai
were part of the animal attractions as the Night Safari which has been
plagued with problems since its opening.
From a herd of 11, the Night Safari now has 9 elephants.
According to Mr. Suphot Mathaphiwat, Director of Animal Management at the
Night Safari, when the first two elephants became ill experts from the
National Kachaba Institute and vets from Chiang Mai University were
Despite the attempts to save their lives the two elephants died from what is
believed to be ingestion of contaminated grass - possibly insecticides -
which led to an obstruction in their digestive system.
Five other elephants also fell ill but veterinarians were able to unblock
the intestinal tract to relieve the animals. They have recovered but are
still being treated according to the Night Safari management.
Investigators are looking into three sub-districts in the area who were
responsible for growing and providing grass as feed for the elephants at the
Apparently the staff responsible for feeding the elephants had not been
instructed properly on screening for contaminated grass and policy changes
have now taken place. Mahouts have also been instructed to provide more
water for the elephants.
The dead elephants were buried and funeral rights were provided by four
Chiang Mai ranks 3rd
as top Asian destination
The November 2007 issue of Conde Nast Traveler magazine
released its 20th annual Readers’ Choice Awards and the city of Chiang Mai
placed third in the list of top Asian cities. (No real surprise for those of
us who live here).
The results are derived from the largest independent poll of consumers’
Readers’ Choice Survey, second in size only to the U.S. Census. A record
number of travelers, over 28,000, voted this year.
The winning Asian city is Bangkok followed by Hong Kong in second place and
Chiang Mai in third.
Other notables on the popular readers choice is top airline. Singapore
Airlines is again the #1 International Route Airline, and has led this
category for 19 of the past 20 years (in 1994 Swissair took the top spot)
and remains the only carrier ever to earn an overall score above 90.0.
San Francisco, the #1 U.S. City, has also been #1 for 17 of the past 18
years (in 1992 Santa Fe in the State of New Mexico won the honor).
For only the second time in Reader’s Choice history, there’s a perfect 100
score. The honor went to the La Scalinatella Hotel on the island of Capri.
sidewalks coming soon
The footpaths around the moat
seen here, being torn up and remodeled
to make them more pedestrian friendly. Work is expected to be completed
by the end of the year.
The Mayor of Chiang Mai, Dr Duentemduang na Chiang Mai, has
expressed her concern about complaints regarding the ongoing improvement
work being made along the moat.
Sidewalks and footpaths have been obstructed for the past several weeks as
workers have torn up the old tiles and have begun to pour concrete in an
effort to make them more pedestrian friendly. The work though has led to a
series of complaints from tourists, residents and business owners.
The Mayor added that the repaving of the sidewalks and footpaths was
approved in August of 2006 by the former city administration and the work
had been slated prior to her becoming the city leader. She stated that the
remodeling of the sidewalks has enabled city workers to remove numerous
illegal billboards that won’t be returning once the construction is
The Mayor told the Chiangmai Mail that she realizes the importance of public
input and therefore will create a working committee comprised of residents
and business owners who will take part in future decision making regarding
improvements in the city.
The remodeling of the sidewalks and footpaths is expected to be completed by
the end of the year said the Mayor.
Recipients to meet HRH Princess Ubolratana
The Governor of Chiang Mai,
Mr. Wiboon Sa-nguanphong presided
over the honors award ceremony entitled “Example Communities and
Individuals” seen here presenting plaques at the Green Lake Resort Hotel
Conference Room, Chiang Mai.
Wiboon Sa-nguanphong, Governor of Chiang Mai presided over a
ceremony to award residents of Chiang Mai who have set good examples in
their drive to campaign against drug use in Chiang Mai.
The recipients were honored at a ceremony at the Green Lake Resort hotel
under the program known as “To be number One,” that was founded by Her Royal
Highness Princess Ubolratana.
The program is being held nationwide in which 10 individuals are being
highlighted for their work to campaign against drug use.
The honorees include monks, youths, local government officials and civil
Nationwide 90 individuals will then travel to Bangkok to attend the “Example
Communities and Individuals” where they will meet HRH Princess Ubolratana
who will honor their work in the community during an awards ceremony.
The Governor congratulated the recipients and asked that they maintain their
love and goodness and set an example to those around them who have erred and
encourage them to mend their errors for which they will redeem great merit.
He added that it will be the greatest honor for their families as they are
presented before HRH Princess Ubolratana.
Is your meter running?
When the yellow and blue metered taxis appeared on the roads in Chiang Mai
many residents were pleased to have an alternate source of inexpensive
drivers who refuse to turn on their meters or attempt to overcharge
passengers face loosing their license.
Months later that welcoming has soured due to numerous complaints from
passengers who have been overcharged by unscrupulous taxi drivers who tack
on additional charges or refuse to turn on their meters as required by law.
Mr. Charnchai Kilapaeng, head of the Chiang Mai Land Transport office, said
that the minimum service charge for boarding a metered taxi in the city
starts at 40 baht for the first 2 kilometers followed by a 5 baht per
kilometer charge after the first 2 kms. The charge for a full day costs
1,700 baht. These rates apply to trips within the city limits and inside the
third ring road.
The land transport official announced that every metered taxi must abide by
these rates and regulations or face losing their license if found
overcharging a customer.
If you feel you have been overcharged or if the taxi driver refuses to turn
on his meter, you may contact telephone number 1584 - available 24 hours -
to file a complaint or 053–270411 and 053–270409 during office hours to
initiate an investigation. Please provide the taxi number when filing the
Meanwhile, Mr. Ton Wongkaeng, president of Lanna Transport Cooperatives,
which controls the red mini-buses and metered taxi operations in Chiang Mai,
added that his office will also investigate complaints of overcharging. The
Cooperative office can be reached at 053-279193 or 053–271242.
Chiang Mai prepares for winter season
The Northern Meteorological Center has issued a warning to residents
in the Northern provinces, including Chiang Mai to prepare for the upcoming
“Cold wind from China is approaching the country and this year’s winter is
expected to be more severe than last year,” said the statement from the
Northern Meteorological Center.
Phajon Prabsakul, head of the Disaster Prevention and Relieve Center, said
that the province has begun preparations to provide necessities to all
people when the cold weather starts, expected to hit our area in mid
October. However, the budget for the purchase of blankets and warm clothes
for needy people is being revised for approval by the Governor of Chiang
Last year the center spent 20 million baht to provide blankets and warm
clothes to needy people and residents in the mountainous regions.
Local administration organizations have also allocated parts of their budget
to cover this expense.
High hopes for Korean tourists
Seoul-Chiang Mai flights begin Oct. 29
On October 29th Korean Airlines begins flying non-stop from Seoul to
Chiang Mai four times a week. This additional international air-link is
expected to draw thousands of Korean tourists to Chiang Mai.
In preparation for the influx of Koreans, the Thai Ambassador in Seoul,
Wasin Theerawechayarn met with the Governor and tourism leaders of the city
at the Sofitel hotel where they discussed ways to welcome the tourists.
According to the director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern
Region 1, Junnapong Saranak, 29,593 Korean tourists visited Chiang Mai last
year, a 0.43% increase from previous year. This number is expected to
increase with the addition of the non-stop flight. He added that businesses
in the golf, spa and Thai massage sectors were expected to see a rise in
business. However, the main obstacle is language since Chiang Mai has a
shortage of Korean speaking guides.
Songwit Ittipattanakul, President of Chiang Mai Tourism Business
Association, said that the city has a capacity to accommodate 50,000
tourists a day. Though many residents of Chiang Mai could not afford to
travel to Korea he believes Korean Airlines will profit by maximizing their
cargo shipments. He said studies of exporting Chiang Mai products should be
The Thai Ambassador said that currently only a few Thai products make it
into the Korean market but studies should be made to better understand their
He added that the major attraction for Korean tourists include the Thai
elephants and temples but tourism businesses should also focus on marketing
security, satisfaction and stable pricing to attract the tourists to the
Other areas that should be profitable are family travel, honeymoon packages,
golf and meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), said the
“No belly for Thais”
The Public Health Ministry in cooperation with other
eight organizations has launched ‘No Belly’ campaigns after Thailand ranked
fifth among the Asia-Pacific countries where the citizenry is defined as
“Globally, more than one billion adults are overweight, and at least 300
million are clinically obese. In the next eight years, the number of
overweight people will increase up to 1,500 million,” according to Dr.
Narongsakdi Aungkasuvapala, director-general of the Department of Health.
In a 2004 study of obesity in Asia Pacific region, Thailand also ranked
fifth among the countries with the most obese population, following
Australia, Mongolia, Vanuatu and Hong Kong.”, Dr. Narongsakdi stated.
Dr. Narongsakdi expressed concern over the ten million Thais are obese.
Among them are middle-aged women and urban residents. In the last five
years, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes patients have doubled, while
those suffering from cancers have increased by 1.5 times, a result of the
growing trend of overweight men, women, and children.
Therefore, he said, some eight well-known public and private agencies
concerned with obesity have launched campaigns with the Public Health
Ministry to encourage their employees to reduce their weight and related
fat-conditions for their good health and efficiency of work.
Organizations interested in joining the campaign can browse to
www.raipoong.com for more information.
The prevalence of being overweight and obese is assessed by using body mass
index (BMI). The weight in kilos divided by the square of the height in
Persons with a BMI over 25 kg/m2 are defined as overweight, and a BMI over
30 kg/m2 are considered obese. TNA
Wind shear caused
Phuket air crash
Analysis of flight and data recorders from the passenger
jet operated by Thai budget carrier One-Two-Go which crashed at Phuket last
month found that wind shear was the main culprit that caused Thailand’s
worst air disaster in ten years, according to the country’s top
The budget airline’s ill-fated flight OG 268 veered off a runway at Phuket
International Airport amid heavy rain and strong crosswinds on September 16.
The MD 82 model aircraft broke into two sections before bursting into
flames, killing 90 people on board, including 53 foreigners.
Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon, Permanent Secretary for Transport, in his
capacity as head of the fact-finding committee, told reporters last Friday
that US experts concluded after thorough analysis of the data retained in
two flight and data recorders and circumstantial witnesses that the wind
shear presence at the time forced the pilot to pull up the plane before it
lost balance and skidded off the runway.
Wind shear is the severe movement of winds at different altitudes blowing
forcefully in different directions, which causes erratic movement of an
aircraft attempting to navigate a direct path.
The air disaster is Thailand’s worst since a Thai Airways Airbus A310-200
crashed during an attempted landing at Surat Thani in December 1998, killing
101 of the 146 people on board. TNA
Protests against Myanmar continue
A peaceful march of several dozens demonstrators
gathered last week at Buak Hard public park in Chiang Mai to protest against
the Myanmar government. A number of rallies have taken place around the city
as activists condemn the brutal actions of the ruling generals.
Stolen vehicles make
their way North
Chiang Saen marine police fired shots in the air to stop
attempted car smugglers who were seen transporting a Toyota Vigo into Laos
across the Mekong river.
The Marine Police on routine patrol spotted a group a five men attempting to
load a brand new Vigo Free Runner on a barge and transport across the river.
As the police ordered the men to stop the gang dove into the river and
escaped from the authorities.
Officers, led by Pol. Col. Saksira Phuok-am, Superintendent, Pol. Lt. Col
and Phirawat Natibutr gave chase but the suspects were able to swim across
The confrontation took place in the Tha Laem Thong, Ban Chiang Saen Thong,
Viang Sub-district of Chiang Rai province.
Police confiscated the stolen vehicle and transported it to the police
station to investigate the whereabouts of the true owner who is believed to
be from one of the central provinces.
According to the police, car smugglers purchase stolen vehicles for an
average of 500,000 baht and then attempt to re-sell them in China after
driving them across Laos.
Mae Hong Son
Gov. promotes Long Neck tribe
Mae Hong Son Governor Thongchai Wongrianthong, accompanied by
several provincial officials paid tribute to the Long Neck Karen tribe in
the province by providing them with baskets of food.
The 34 families that make up the Karen tribe in Baan Huay Pu Kaeng has
become the provinces major tourist attraction where the villagers are said
to conserve their typical way of life.
The visit by the government officials prompted the villagers to perform a
tribal show for the guests.
The governor admitted that the Long Neck Karen tribe served as the unique
attraction of the province where tourists visit to experience their tribal
“Mae Hong Son is now ready to welcome tourists at the start of this high
season. To ensure security for all visitors, police officers from the Muang
District Police Station along with a group of territory volunteer soldiers
have been assigned at the village,” said the Governor.
One of the female Karen villagers said that they their survival is due to
tourism. “The more tourists visit the village, the more income is generated
for us. Conversely, less number of tourists also leads to our hardship and