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Christmas in Chiang Mai


Christmas in Chiang Mai

Mary Russell
Suddenly, everything about Christmas is different. It’s not just that we ‘Ancient Brits’ are used to fog, frost and even a little of the white stuff. Nothing is the same and it comes as a big shock.
There’s no going over to Mum and Dad on Christmas Day and the in-laws on Boxing Day. It’s highly unlikely that your brother and his family will pop in for an hour on their way to see Aunt Ada in the home for the bewildered, so come to terms with it.
So what is it that you miss? Family and friends - fair enough.
Shopping- don’t be silly! It’s all here. Even better, you’re not trailing around in the cold and gloom this year. You’re in the air-conditioned shopping malls.
Midnight Mass, Christmas Carols, Nativity plays are all here. So, that’s religious needs provided for and, come to think of it, that’s what Christmas is all about.
The Traditional Christmas Dinner plays a big part. Everything you need is here. They will even cook the damn bird for you! It still doesn’t feel right.
The first year you have a quiet Christmas at home, just the two of you. Up at dawn, you make sure everything is prepared and the meal will be served on time. It’s beautifully cooked but you are too tired to eat it. You are not used to cooking a mammoth meal in this climate. Smiling determinedly, you get through the meal and then face a huge washing and clearing task with the late afternoon sun full in your face as you stand over the sink. Depression sets in and at the first suggestion of an early night you jump at the chance.
Don’t do it again, ever! Get a life, learn from experience and plan ahead.
Firstly, you book your Christmas meal at the ‘Hotel Splendid’, regardless of the cost. Then you get all your friends to do the same. That’s the hard work of Christmas over.
Early on Christmas Eve get a manicure, pedicure and hairdo, leaving tomorrow morning free for leisure.
Straight after, go, preferably with friends, to Doi Suthep and gaze down on Chiang Mai before the sun sets. This will give you a sense of well-being and serenity and helps you remember why you came here in the first place.
An early round of golf on Christmas morning gets your husband out of the way, giving you time to relax.
Christmas morning is one of the few days in the year when you can take a glass of champagne into the shower without feeling guilty. If it makes you feel guilty have another. Just practice until the guilt goes away!
By the time your husband is back you will be slightly merry and wandering around in a thin wrap. He will immediately remember the sweaty, tight lipped harridan he spent last Christmas Day with. Major improvement!
After a lovely, long chummy lunch you invite your friends back, knowing that they can’t possibly eat another thing and you’ve got gallons of chilled wine, good coffee and decent brandy to offer.
When the last guest has wobbled home you are pleasantly tired. You have had the best Christmas since you were nine and your new found friends think you’re the perfect hostess. Even better you all want to do it again next year. Win, win!
Remember what happened to the dinosaurs, they could not adapt and fizzled out. I have given you a recipe for success and happiness. So, like the intelligent, forward thinking person you are, get on and do it!!
Hope your Christmas was as good as mine.

Wanna, Amporn and Sabaitip, (seated), David, Richard, Ian and Sergio, the owner of Buonissimo, on Christmas Eve. (standing).

The Prem socialites are out celebrating Christmas Eve at Buonissimo (l-r) David, Richard, Ian, Linda, Linda and Aisha.

The Staff of Hillside wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Writers Club was full of pretty Santarinas on Christmas evening. (l-r) Sorn, Pim, Tong, Jane and Tiew, except for Bob and Kres, who had funny hats on.

Esther and the River Ping Palace staff wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Tara, Jessada, Udom and Sameeth enjoying Christmas Eve surrounded by the staff and D2’s beautiful Santarinas.

Somock (right) the Guru of D2 ,entertaining friends at Christmas Lunch. (l-r) Saixana, Bo, Jennifer, Hans, (escaped from the House), Karina and Somock.

Montika and Mike at D2 - ‘oh, what a lucky lad - surrounded by so much beauty’.

Kate, Greg and Steve enjoying the festivities at D2

Joe Kreps surrounded by his friends at the Expat Christmas lunch (l-r) Sopha, Margaret, Sak, Joe, Milt John and Wan.

Tom, Quenton, Jessica, Nikki, Cak, Nat and Tom about to tuck into a Christmas Feast at the Expat Lunch.

Jeff, Nai, Dennis and Janet, (standing) Anita, Peter, Jos and June (seated), are all smiles after listening to Scott Jones at the Expat Christmas Lunch.

Quite a bevy of beauties, (l-r standing) Ao, Victoria, Liz, Boong and Kate and (l-r seated) Barry, Pam, Achara and John at the Amari Rincome.

‘Norway Calling’ in on the Expat Christmas lunch at the Amari Rincome (l-r) Lynn, Michael, Ann, Sean and Anne

Queen Victoria may not be amused - but Mini is 94 years young and very happy to be with Jabber, Albert, Pen and Barry for Christmas.

Am, Aoy and Brian enjoying Christmas lunch at the Queen Vic.

Queen Helen surrounded by her courtiers, Dominic, Martin, Leanne Steve and Neil at the Queen Vic.

John, Karil-Heinz, Vanessia, Diamond, Stella and Joy standing behind Mike and Joyce during their most enjoyable Christmas Lunch at the Shangri La Hotel.

Daeng, Bill and George (standing) with Maurice and Thomas (seated) seem like a happy bunch at the Shangri La Hotel Christmas lunch.

Doll, Guy, Bla, Bart, Howard, Joyce, Ae (l-r standing) and Daw, Milt, Mark and Diana (l-r seated) all agreed the Christmas Lunch at the Shangri La Hotel is spot on.

Julian, the F & B Manager with staff, (l-r) Fai, Chok - Father Christmas for the day, Jay and Joy, at the new Shangri La Hotel during Christmas lunch.

(l-r) David, Victoria, Tannapan and Baz at the UN Irish Pub on Christmas Night.

Standing are Mic, Yuan, Ollie and Jessie. Seated are Michelle Elissa and Carmen all enjoying the garden in the UN Irish Pub

(l-r) John Cal, Cat, Clare and Warren at the UN Irish Pub.

Kuba, Pim and Chris at the UN Irish Bar on Christmas evening.

(l-r) Nick, Alan, Loren, Graeme, Larry, Eva, Keith and Barbara all enjoying the festivities at the UN Irish Pub.

Enjoying Christmas Eve at the Riverside Restaurant are (l-r) Bet, Pond, Yan and Am.

Christmas is best when you’re with your loved ones. (l-r) Hans, Rick, Agnes, Sterre and Fleur at the Riverside Restaurant.

Alexandra, Gabrealla, Fredrika, Ludwig, Lasse, Wendela and Charlotte were all celebrating Christmas Eve at the Riverside Restaurant.

Jasmine, Charlotte and Auloli, the beautiful trio, at The House on Christmas eve.

Tony and Ae join Hans from The House for a Christmas Eve drink.

Bob is surrounded by his friends on Christmas Eve at the House (l-r) Noi, Sweheep, Billy. Bob, Lek and Jun.

Mon, Martin, Ellis and Dave celebrating at Tusker’s.

Dam, Johnny, Alan, Mark, Lynne, and Lauren chose Tuskers to spend Christmas Day together.

Chrissy, Ken and Brenda celebrate Christmas Eve in style at The House.

Rachel (the boss is hiding somewhere in the picture) is pleased to welcome Barbara Jones, Caroline, Robert and Nicola Crumley along with Warrie, Leitch and Kristen Buckley who chose Tuskers as the place to be on Christmas Day.

Neil Fraymough, Chewchip, Ian and Sonia Collard, David Salisbury, Graham and Liz Lovett, Anong and Jar (l-r) all at the Pub for Christmas lunch. Ian and Graham are both ex soccer players from West Brom.

Jan, Grahame, Andrew, Lyle and Therm relaxing after the traditional Christmas lunch at The Pub.

Oasis Spa showed its employees appreciation and gave thanks for a year of hard work, by hosting the most flamboyant party in town at the Amari Rincome Hotel.

Nik, Doopey, Bashful, Lai, Onslow, Hyancth, Dewan and Victor having a laugh after Christmas lunch at The Pub.

Relaxing in the garden after Christmas lunch at the Pub are (l-r) Wadee. Hugh, Tdam, Buay, Alan, Eme, Ian, Phil, Miat, Graham, Annick, Sue, Jeremy and Carol.

Peter, Frank and Margaret chit-chatting before the Skål Christmas dinner at the Holiday Inn.

Mi Casa provided a clown to entertain the kids on Christmas evening.

Ruchanee, Klui, Nah-morh, Jagrario, Ismael, Meaw and Doug celebrating Christmas at Mi Casa.

Are Toby, Yvone and Linda getting some financial advice from Malai, our resident banking guru prior to the Skål Christmas dinner at the Holiday Inn?

Mi Casa regulars Mario, Doi, Brendan, Buck (hiding) and Pui know where to get great food at Christmas.

Johan, Khun Pik, Sieward, Gunnar, Mike, Tonny and Paul (standing l-r), with Kyan, Erica, Winnie, Mary-Ann, Jolanda and Silje (seated l-r) at Mi Casa.

Anchalee , Somock, Eleanor, Mohamad and David learning about the Christmas delights the Holiday Inn has to offer from the GM Alan Watts.

Heavenly beauties of all ages take part in the Nativity Play at the Gymkhana Club.

Chef Kike relaxing with Annie and Fernando after preparing one of the best Christmas dinners ever at Mi Casa.

Sally and Margaret, along with the rest of the Skålleagues listening to the very tuneful Carol Singers.

The Baggaley Family travelled from far and wide to be together by the Christmas tree at the Gymkhana Club.

Kris (centre) of the Glass Onion is flanked by 4 gorgeous people, (l-r) Jonas, Charlotte, Laurent, and Nathalie as they came by to wish him Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Boy, Anchalee and Tony - all dressed up with somewhere to go – the Skål Christmas party of course.

(l-r) Ari, Ilona, Paula and Raimo from Finland (l-r),celebrating Christmas at Giorgio’s.

(l-r) Bunying, Giorgio and Mr Art (l-r) celebrating without his beautiful wife at Giorgio’s.