Rotary plans series of major events to honor HM the King’s birthday
Celebrations to be held in Lumpini Park on November 18, 2007
An artist’s impression of the spectacular float
that will feature during the parade to honor HM the King.
(L to R) Dr. Krisada Ruengareerat, Assistant
Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office; Pichai Chaipojpanit, Deputy
Permanent Secretary for the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, Suchada
Itthijarukul, chairwoman of the organizing committee and Apa Ataboonwongse
Tansode, Governor of District 3350 R.I. display their Rotary spirit at the
press conference held at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration.
Representatives from the 4 Rotary Districts in
Thailand unite to promote
this historic event.
Rotary Clubs throughout Thailand are planning a series of events to
celebrate the 80th birthday of His Majesty the King, with those in the
Bangkok Metropolitan area intending to donate 80,000 plants to public parks
and also to organize free medical check-ups in Lumpini Park.
Rotary wheel will come alive when 800 Rotarians gather to interpret the
Rotary symbol for photographs to honor His Majesty’s 80th birthday.
Mrs Suchada Itthijarukul, chairwoman of the organizing committee in
Metropolitan Bangkok said that some events are also planned as fund-raisers,
with all income after the deduction of expenses being presented to His
Majesty the King for his royally sponsored projects.
Rotary is working with Bangkok City Hall on the organizing of the
activities. Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayothin has already announced that
80,000 plants and saplings would be received from Rotary for planting in
public parks under Bangkok Metropolitan Administration authority. This, said
the governor, is in accordance with the BMA’s own environmental conservation
The plants will be delivered by a parade of floats that will take place on
November 18, starting from Lumpini Park and proceeding along Ploenchit Road,
Payathai Road and Rama IV Road before re-entering the park. The parade cars
will stop for people to take souvenir photos along the route.
Free health check-ups will also be held on November 18 at Lumpini, with
those who are accepted for free operations being transferred to
participating hospitals. Rotary says that the free treatment will cover 800
cases of cataracts, 80 cases of valvular heart disease, 80 cases of
degenerative knee, and 80 cases of finger lock. All people interested in
participating in this project must apply by presenting their ID cards and 30
baht health card at the activity location.
Another important activity will be 800 Rotarians gathering to interpret the
Rotary symbol for photographs to honor His Majesty’s 80th birthday. The
photographs will be used to publicize the celebrations amongst Rotary Clubs
Suchada said that November 18 at Lumpini Park would also feature booths
promoting other activities such as Rotary work to eradicate polio, and
various Rotary family events. Entertainment will be provided on-stage
throughout the day, ending with a concert featuring Whaen Thitim, Calorie
Bla Bla, Rose Sirinthip, C nam from AF 1 and Tod Thongdee.
Rotary is a worldwide organization that works to support the
underprivileged, along with world friendship and peace. There are about
1,200,000 Rotary Club members throughout the world.
For additional information please contact: Kanok-on Kasemsuk 089-816-4021 /
02725-9493, or Nisakorm Joraka 081-801-6501 / 02725-9366.
Free treatment will be given to treat 800 cases
of cataracts, 80 cases of valvular heart disease, 80 cases of degenerative
knee, and 80 cases of finger lock.
Chiang Mai’s newest five star hotel
Shangri La’s new General Manager Phillip Dailey talks to The Chiang Mai Mail
Philip Dailey (left) rallied his management team
for a photo outside
on the bridge – Julian Wipper Director of Food and Beverage; Sandeep
the Finance Manger; Morarot Sudtar, Director of Human Resources
and Golden Whitehead, the Executive Chef.
1. When will the Shangri La be open? It is going to be open on the
22nd of December. The Shangri La (Thailand) bought 5 acres of land in Chiang
Mai 15 years ago – the same time when the Shangri La in Bangkok was opened.
Approx 2 and half years ago building of the Shangri La Chiang Mai began.
2. Who owns the hotel? It is owned by Shangri La (Thailand) which is
part of a lot larger group - Shangri La Hotel (Asia). The third hotel
Shangri la Phuket will be opened in 2009.
3. How would you describe the hotel? It will be a City Resort of
Lanna Renaissance Style. The hotel, along with ‘Art Alliance’ has purchased
many local pieces of art and crafts to be displayed around the hotel. As
most readers will know – it is very close to the ‘buzz’ of the Night Bazaar.
It is within walking distance of the Mae Ping River and many restaurants.
The old town (inside the moat) is a five minute tuk-tuk drive and the
airport is only 10 minutes away.
view of the front of the new Shangri La Hotel as workers press on to make
the December 22nd opening day.
4. How many rooms will there be? 281 rooms and suites. The majority
are deluxe rooms (194 of them) and each are 43sqm, with a range of other
rooms and suites culminating in the Presidential Suite totalling 215sqm. The
deluxe rooms are expected to be in the range of US$270 and the Presidential
US$1000 per night (peak season rising to US$1127.) On floors 10-11-12 there
will be the Horizon Club – like a mini hotel in itself with its own private
lounge; these rooms and suites will be priced at about US$400 per night.
Every room and suite will have a book describing the flowers of Chiang Mai.
5. What about the restaurants? Philip explained that he hopes 60 per
cent of the restaurant clientele will be made up of locals and the expat
community. ‘Kad Kafe’ will be a live market culinary theatre showcasing a
variety of cuisines ranging from sushi, dim sum, western dishes, pasta and
pizza to Thai cuisine – with chef’s cooking in front of you – while you
wait. Prices will range between 350 – 450 baht per person. In the evenings
there will be ‘live bands’. The other themed restaurant is named ‘WOW Bar
and Grill’ (whisky or wine restaurant). In a casual setting where guests can
come in their jeans and T shirts – relax and have fun. You can get the best
burger in town, great steaks, after your Thai starter. The chef can come and
cook at your table upon request. The ‘Silapa Thai,’ restaurant (means Thai
art restaurant) wants to become the hip place in town – with a DJ booth in
the middle and private booths for more intimacy and even a chef’s table
which overlooks the kitchens (mingling with the chefs while they work) and
outdoor lounging beds and tables similar to the ‘Bed Supper Club’ in Bangkok
where international DJs will be brought in to entertain. However this
restaurant will open at a later date.
6. What other facilities will the hotel have? Philip explained that
the Shangri La will be the conference centre of the North of Thailand with 5
star luxury standards offering over 3500sqm. There will be a 100 seat
auditorium with a built in stage available for local theatre groups to use.
Three meeting rooms - including the showcase - Grand Lanna Ballroom - with 8
meter high ceilings. On top of the ballroom there will be a mini putting
green and tennis court. The Spa Village will be located in the hotel
7. How will the Shangri La differ from other 5 star hotels? Every
hotel is different Philip started off saying and then explained that he
wants Chiang Mai to be proud of the Shangri La and vice versa. It is a 5
acre plot of land in the centre of town with easy access to everything.
Although being a 5 star hotel; the Shangri La wants to make it a place for
the expat and local community ‘Lets go for lunch at the Kad Kafe Shangri
8. How many staff will be local Chiang Mai people? The entire staff
is from Chiang Mai. There is 350 staff currently employed.
9. Have you found it difficult to find staff locally and do you offer
training? There were over 2200 applicants for the 350 positions
available. Everyone will be multi-functional. There is a 9 week training
course including orientation, history of Chiang Mai, staff policies and four
weeks in the classroom. From December 1st it will be rehearsal time – where
staff alternate between being a guest staying the night and eating in the
restaurants. Philip wants his staff to be the ambassadors for the hotel and
Chiang Mai. He has also employed CMU as cultural advisors. The staff will
have colorful uniforms ‘Lanna style’ that are made in Chiang Mai.
10. Where have you worked before? Philip comes from New York. He has
a BA in Hotel Management, starting work at the Hyatt hotels followed by Ritz
Carlton and the Four Seasons. He was then offered a position with the
Shangri La in Asia and has worked in the Philippines, Malaysia and now
11. What attracted you personally to Chiang Mai? Culture. Philip has
been here over one year learning about the city. He loves the Sunday market
walking street. He is fascinated about the history of Chiang Mai.
12. What do you think are the main problems with tourism for Chiang Mai?
Chiang Mai is undersold. Basically Chiang Mai is not marketed correctly –
especially internationally. The Amazing Thailand effort is all about Bangkok
or Phuket – but it cannot be about Thailand if it does not include Chiang
Mai. Philip wants to see Chiang Mai become the Aspen of Asia; however there
is still a problem with ‘getting here’
13. When can I make a reservation? Straight away. All reservations go
via his office – however within 2 weeks it is expected to be online
At the end of the interview Philip explained he wants to work with the local
and expat communities, to become involved and to promote Chiang Mai for all
people. He wants The Shangri La to be available for everyone.
Cabaret at the Fondue House benefits
Chiang Mai Choral Society
l/r Joanna, Rujira, Ken and Jah waiting for the
show to begin.
(l/r) Pai, Waranan, Preecha and Mai
Pongcharoenkul meeting Becky and John. Waranan and Preecha are the owners of
the Fondue House and supporters of the Choral Society.
Mark Walder and Ard spent months preparing and
rehearsing for Cabaret.
The audience loved it.
Toe, Bob, Ginny and Kelli seen here enjoying the
Lianne, Astrid and Chaon looking forward to the
performance of Cabaret.
Members of the Chiang Mai Choral Society recently produced and performed in
a Cabaret at the Fondue House to benefit the choral society. Organized and
produced by Mark Walder, with musical backup by John, Ard and Jun, the
cabaret included dinner by the Fondue House followed by a musical review of
songs from Broadway shows.
La Cage aux Folles comes to life during Cabaret
at the Fondue House.
Mark and Ard set the stage with introductory numbers from the 1966 musical,
Cabaret, which were followed in the first act by My Fair Lady, Girl Crazy,
Top Hat, Singin’ in the Rain and others. Sharon and Richard, made guest
appearances and the act ended with the entire company performing The Lambeth
Act Two began with Ard’s rendition of Thoroughly Modern Millie, followed by
pieces from Show Boat, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, La Cage aux
Folles and others. Sharon, Richard, Becky and Frank made guest appearances
in this act, which ended with Together, Wherever We Go. Ard brought A Chorus
Line to life with his spectacular rendition of “One”, and members of the
audience could be seen singing along with the performers for many numbers.
But all were spellbound when Mark took the stage for “If I Were a Rich Man”
from Fiddler on the Roof. It was a delightful evening; one that many members
of the audience hope will be repeated.
Carla, Aubrey and Pam at the Cabaret.
Seated are Mongthakan, May, Roger and Philip
meeting Sharon and Ard from the cast of performers of Cabaret.
The Cabaret cast together on stage (l/r) Jun,
Ard, John, Sharon, Richard,
Becky and Frank.
Talented Chiang Rai students wow Bangkok
Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Mrs Agnes
Matthysen, H.E. Mr Jan Matthysen, Ambassador of Belgium in Thailand, and
President Komol Rattomrattana, of Rotary Club of Bangkorlaem, in front of
the large size pictures remembering the friendship between H.M. King
Bhumibol and H.M. King Baudouin of Belgium.
Happiness was the biggest reward for all the
students and everyone who was involved in the organization of this wonderful
A multi cultural concert with 40 children of the Chiang Rai hills to
celebrate His Majesty the King and his friendship with former King Baudouin
of Belgium took place in Bangkok when the talented students performed and
wowed the audience with their musical celebration at the Sala Chalermkrung
Jintanand Subhamitra and Thanpuying Pungjit Subhamitra. When King Baudouin
of Belgium died, H.M. The Queen Sirikit instructed Thanpuying Pungjit to
write a song as a tribute to the King of Belgium. The song, “At Dawn” was
played during the concert.
Over 600 distinguished invited guests attended a unique and unconventional
concert presided by H.E. Mr. Jan Matthysen, Ambassador of Belgium to
The event, initiated by Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz and the Rotary
Clubs of Maechan and Bangkorlaem, was the finale of a wonderful musical
experience for 40 children of the Chiang Rai hills.
The musicians of Belgian band Belch’Quartet accepted an invitation to join a
2 month project in which innovation and musical creativity was their sole
student sings a Hmong song accompanied by Mathieu De Wit, the Belgian
Rather than merely importing their western skills and knowledge, they came
to learn about the local cultures and their work soon evolved towards a real
fusion of styles.
After only a month of intensive rehearsal with the students at the
Suksasongkroh School of Maechan, they successfully achieved their goal,
respecting but uniting cultures, traditions and modernity.
Jazz, traditional songs, rock, Thai melodies and hill tribes’ compositions
kept surprising the audience, with the Belgian musicians and the students
singing several times in each other’s language.
The event was an occasion to remember the special friendship between H.M.
the King and former King Baudouin of Belgium, with a photo exhibition
presented during the cocktail party which took place earlier in the evening.
But it was during the concert that emotions and memories were brought back,
when the students sang a song written by Thapuying Pungjit Subhamitra as a
tribute to King Baudouin.
Celebration has been an exceptional experience for these disadvantaged
children. They not only could achieve their dream of going to perform in
Bangkok. They have been allowed a chance to also be part of this year of
celebration of their King.
Student Wisaed played Kreng and danced,
accompanied by Belgian musician Damien Campion at the double base.
Celebration was not only a concert; it was a
show which included numerous performers of the Suksasongkroh Maechan School.
Chalisa, a student of the Suksasongkroh school,
with Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz and the 4 Belgian musicians of
Students playing an Akha song with the Belgian
14 hill tribes violinists accompanied a
combination of traditional, rock, pop and western music during over an hour
Skål wines and dines
at the Mandarin Dhara Dhevi
Ampaipun, Malai and Chompunut.
Chaleenuch, Anchalee and Supranee at Skål .
Richard, Mohamad and Thana at the Skål dinner.
The monthly Skål dinner was held on Oct 26 in the Akaligo Restaurant at the
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi. Skål is an international association of
professionals in the Hotel/Tourism/Travel Industry. The local chapter
members and their guests meet once per month to socialize and to share
information about tourism in Chiang Mai.
Each month a local hotel or a restaurant will host the meeting and dinner
for the attendees. Mr. Mark Bradford, general manager and Mr. Savas
Rattakunjara, assistant general manager of the Oriental Dhara Dhevi planned
an excellent evening of dining and socializing in the incredible
surroundings of the hotel.
This month, formal presentations were made by Mr. Frank S and Mrs. Vanita
Sethi. They operate “Fashion King” custom tailors and have been active in
the Chiang Mai business community for over 20 years.
The Dhara Dhevi recently began offering a “Dine in Style Privilege Card” and
Mr. Thanabalasingham Balakrishnan of Hospitality Marketing Concepts outlined
the many significant benefits offered to card holders. The card is available
to all business and professionals for baht 3000 per year. Cardholders
receive substantial discounts at any of the fine restaurants on-site, and
the Spa, and Bakery. In addition, cardholders receive special room rates at
both the Oriental Chiang Mai and the Oriental Bangkok.
The evening started with wine and complimentary hors d’oeuvres at the
elegantly masculine Horn Bar and continued with a five course dinner at the
Akaligo Mediterranean Restaurant. The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang
Mai, continues to provide what some believe to be the finest service in the
world. The membership of Skål thanks everyone who was involved in this
evening – it will be remembered for a long time to come.
Skål members gather for their monthly group
photo at the elegant Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi hotel.
l/r Thana, Lawrence, Vanita, Frank and Sarah -
Frank and Vanita from Fashion King were the guest speakers of the evening.
Savas, Chompunut, Naphat and Chompunut at the
Skål dinner Mandarin Oriental.
l/r Todd, Mark, Annette, Jessica and Philip
before the Skål dinner
at the Mandarin Oriental.