HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Lanna Yi Peng celebrations, the most spectacular ever

Chiang Mai expats and locals celebrate Thanksgiving Day

Fee, Fie, Chatty chatters! – The art of party talk


Lanna Yi Peng celebrations, the most spectacular ever

Every Parade, Every Celebration, Every Thought. During the weekend everywhere you went - all thoughts were on HM The King

At Tapae Gate the Loy Krathong tree is all light up.

Many local people go to The Three Kings Monument to make merit
on this important occasion

Earlier this year, Madame Mayor Dr. Duantemduang na Chiang Mai promised residents and visitors the biggest and most spectacular Loi Krathong Festival ever held in Chiang Mai, and so it proved! Dedicated to honouring His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday on December 5th, and themed on Lanna culture, the extended four day festival attracted tens of thousands of happy participants, who thronged the moat and Ping River areas of the city for the duration of the celebrations.
Citizens and businesses had spent days hanging lanterns on hundreds of trees and decorating their homes and premises with palm leaves and lights in the traditional manner, providing a beautiful setting. Large numbers of visitors and tourists came from all over the world to take part in the famous and unique Lanna Thai version of Loi Krathong, and to view the amazing sight of thousands of huge lanterns dedicated to their hopes and wishes floating upwards into the night sky. Traditional krathong floats, in the form of lotus leaves with flowers, candles and incense, were set adrift on the Ping river, and floated away with the words “ aria mai dee, bpai”, —what is bad, go! Many Thais visit temples prior to the celebrations, in order to make merit, cleansing themselves from sins past and preparing for a fresh merit filled future.
The festival began on 22nd November with the Yi Peng (meaning the full moon night of the 12th lunar month), 2007 Ceremony, held at the Three Kings Monument in the old city. Lanna musical performances were enjoyed, together with a local food festival in the vicinity, and many other traditional activities. The “Miss Yi Peng” beauty contest began on 22nd, with the final scheduled for the last day of the festival.
The city streets along the river were crowded with stalls selling lanterns, krathongs, and all kinds of festive food . Many Lanna Thai cultural presentations and folk performances took place all over the area, together with a Krathong making competition, bamboo raft and boat races on the river, and, of course, spectacular and very noisy firework displays! Many of Chiang Mai’s major hotels held special “Loi Krathong” nights, with traditional Lanna Thai music, dance, and events as well as launching lanterns and floating Krathongs.
On the night of the 24th, visitors and residents were treated to a wonderful parade of decorated “light and sound” boats on the Ping River, and on the final night, the 25th, many beautifully decorated “Krathong Yai “ floats paraded through the streets as part of a Krathong contest, all depicting stories from the Lord Buddha’s life and from Thai history, literature and legend.
The traditional Lanna Thai Loi Krathong festivities have been held here in Chiang Mai for 700 years; everyone who was fortunate enough to be part of this year’s celebration will surely agree that it must have been one of the best ever!

The D + JKX Moorn group from Holland at the Holiday Inn

Anchalee, Lawrence, Peter and Ken about to make a wish before
launching their Krathongs at the Holiday Inn

Elizabeth and Robert enjoying the festivities on the Holiday Inn Terrace

All around Chiang Mai Loy Krathong is celebrated. Even in the Northern Child Development Centre it is a special time for the kids.

The Dhilawla family; Sakina, Azure, Mohan and Armand at the Sofitel .

Sarah Daly and Saowaluck Chanprome are all smiles at the Sofitel.

Chiang Mai Madam mayor Dr Duentemduang na Chieng Mai in white
traditional dress is seen releasing krathong into the Ping River
in front of Chiang Mai Municipality.

Dominique, Gop, Leonie, Vincent, John and Julie at the River Ping Palace
Party on Saturday night

Eshter (hostess) Bruce, Mai, Eva, Vincent Home and Leng
at the River Ping Palace Party

(Left) Leonie, Youtin and Gop at the River Ping Palace Party

Angela, Ray, Kwang, Noi, Margaret, Don and John at the River Ping Palace Party

Aquila, Zassako, Bill, Zac and Susan at the River Ping Palace Party

The Staff at the Pub enter into the spirit of Loy Krathong – (l-r) Tong, Som,
 Amee, John, and Chompoo

Large numbers of visitors and tourists came from all over the world to view the amazing sight of thousands of huge lanterns floating upwards into the night sky.


Chiang Mai expats and locals celebrate Thanksgiving Day

Relaxing on the Holiday Inn River Terrace after a large Thanksgiving lunch
l/r Arline Sarvell, Chanchira Panyasiri, Gothe Svensson,
Joakim Sillren and Hakan Olsson.

Esther chose the Holiday Inn for her Thanksgiving dinner. Back row l/r Carl Crouch, Esther Ting, Luca (Food and Beverage Holiday Inn) and Denis Ryan. Seated Lilli Chequer, Candice Crouch and Colleen Page.

The Bridges Family decided on the Holiday Inn lunch buffet for their Thanksgiving. l/r Aubrey, Russ, Kelly and Sydney.

The Vantage Team from Boston chose the Holiday Inn lunch buffet to relax for a few hours during Thanksgiving. l/r Ann Smets, Joan Pitman and Cheryl Kobayashi.

Charles Rodgers and Karen Baker had their Thanksgiving by the swimming pool at the Amari. Wim Fagel (General Manager) had no worries about being thrown into the pool - the buffet was as good as ever.

The Pub Thanksgiving Sunday lunch saw Saowanee, Derek, Malee and Stan tucking  into a great roast turkey

Rod and Tao pictured just finishing their roast at The Pub on Sunday Thanksgiving.

Richard Bell and Michael Linington chose the Amari Ricome Thanksgiving 
buffet lunch this year.

Janet celebrated her 40th birthday on Thanksgiving weekend with friends from Prem at the Four Seasons Resort: l/r Wally, Trisha, Jenn, Chris, Mel, John, Janet (birthday girl), Graig, Owen, Diana, Maxine, All, Mary, Rod and Jim.

Pam and Susu invited Ben and Marsha from San Antonio in the USA to Thanksgiving at the Four Seasons - what could be nicer!

Julia and Tom along with Dan and Maureen enjoying a sunny afternoon
at the Thanksgiving weekend at the Four Seasons Resort.

At The Four Seasons were Michelle, Rob, Antony and Helen enjoying Thanksgiving.

The Pub on Thanksgiving Sunday found Jeni and Peter having
the turkey and all the trimmings.

Thanksgiving by the pool at the Amari found standing (l-r) Teerapong Yimsiri,
Michael Kennedy, Steve Mars and Frank James. seated (l-r) Michael Lucia,
Karen and Abby Sheak and Randy Readon.

The Bush family dropped in on Duke’s for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately The President was too busy to come. However Tom Bush brought the rest of his family; Andrew, Lenora and Deborah. Mike Longrich joined the happy family .

Thanksgiving at Duke’s found lots of little Red Indians participating in the celebrations - this time they were from Ban San Faan Children’s Home.

Waiting for their Turkey on Thanksgiving at Duke’s were Bernard Davis Bud Velat Maurice Lawson and Ric Richardson.

Thanksgiving at Duke’s is quickly becoming a tradition for the Bill Moeller, Milt Owens, George Scudder and Thomas Ohlson.

One would think that Chiang Mai was one of the last places in the world where one could find Thanksgiving Day events. Do we really celebrate this ages old traditional American festival? Yessiree, we sure do! Chiang Mai is a city of pilgrims - people who have travelled from all corners of the world to live in this wonderful city. We all have so many reasons to be happy and contented here, and to celebrate with gratitude on this special day.
It all began on a warm summer’s day back in 1676, when the pioneers who had travelled to the New World decided to express thanks to God for their good fortune, having settled by then into their new and thriving communities. A day in June was proclaimed as Thanksgiving Day, and on that day, and subsequently annually, the celebrations were held with a great deal of enthusiasm! Several hundred years later, in 1941, the United States Congress sanctioned Thanksgiving Day as a National Holiday, and moved the date on which it would be held each year to the fourth Thursday in November. Since then, American citizens, both in the USA and elsewhere in the world, have treasured that special day as a reminder to give thanks for their blessings, and to share the day with family and friends.
Here in Chiang Mai, we give thanks for the wonderful experiences that living here gives to us - the friendly Thai people we meet, the exquisite and spicy Thai food we eat, the beautiful trees and flowers we see, the sunsets over the nearby mountains, the all-embracing warmth of the sun, the life-giving rains, and even the spectacular thunderstorms!
This year we celebrated in many different ways, as the pictures show - we thronged the pubs and restaurants, we arranged parties in our homes and invited all our friends, whether from the USA or elsewhere, and we all, expat and local people, enjoyed that favourite Thanksgiving treat - roast turkey! Here’s to next year!

Fee, Fie, Chatty chatters! – The art of party talk

Our very own Chiang Mai Trend Trekker argues that becoming the star of the party this time of year depends on much more than a gorgeous outfit

Slip into your Jimmy Choos! Throw on your black silk Chanel minidress! Glue on those lashes! The cocktail party season has arrived. But remember – these occasions, however festive and frivolous, are more than just opportunities to knock back free cocktails and flaunt your latest fashion purchases; they are the perfect place to hone all those all-important conversational skills. What’s the goal? It’s quite simple: if you are smash hit at one social soirée, then you are quite likely to get invited to…more social soirées. Voila!
As soon as you RSVP to an event, minimize your PPA (party performance anxiety) by mentally preparing. Think of who might be there, and make lists of things you could chat about with them. Never, ever let yourself to be intimidated: Use every gathering as a chance to garner valuable info. For example, if it’s a literary bunch and you are more a “magazine person”, grill the guests about which books you should be reading. If lots of wearisome (yawn) finance people are going to be in attendance, snag some free investing tips or research sneaky tax deductions.
If there is a guest of honor, make sure you get to speak to this illustrious person. Think of what you’ve always wanted to ask him or her. Don’t be shy. Most prominent people would be utterly disappointed if someone did not come over and ask them a probing question about their personal life. Channel Oprah Winfrey or, better yet, Ali G.
If your conversational gambits are going nowhere, do not fall into the trap of telling jokes. It’s too hit-or-miss. There is no guarantee that when you get to the punch line, everyone will fall over themselves with laughter. They may just stare at you as if you were a lunatic. And ladies, be warned: Telling dirty jokes will make the men present this you are easy (which is a good idea only if you are, in fact, easy)
Yet there is one thing worse than unwarranted vulgarity, and that’s mind-numbing appropriateness. Last year a well meaning lady sidled up to me at a holiday party and, apropos of nothing, said, “I find you can’t get a bad meal in Malaysia. Don’t you agree?” I found myself taking revenge by regaling her with an unnecessarily detailed description of a fruit rojak I’d had in KL that made a negative impact on me.
Don’t be too passive, however. There is a place for bluntness in cocktail banter. If you find yourself working overtime asking some stone-faced bloke loads and loads of questions about him only to receive monosyllabic answers, there is nothing wrong with saying, “Have you always been so bubbly and vivacious?” Don’t hold back. You will be helping this poor fool improve his social skills.
Be creative! Set an example for all the other guests with your cheeky, wide-ranging choices of topic. Tell everyone about the time you sat next to a nun on an airplane and taught her how to put on a lipstick. And what about that time when you were embroiled in a coup? (You know, when you were arrested and then got back onto the straight and narrow.) Go for it! Tell the world! Everyone loves a redemption story.
But what happens if none of your efforts are working and the party is a total screeching dud? You have two choices: You can throw on your trench coat and flee – or, better yet, have one too many cocktails and flirt with the help.