Vol. VII No. 6 - Tuesday
February 5, - February 11, 2008



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


OUR COMMUNITY
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival draws the crowds

No more “low season” in Chiang Mai!

ExPat Women’s Lunch Group meets at the Shangri-La

Rachapruek GMS Expo 2008 to open February 9

Annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival draws the crowds

Traditional Umbrella pageant delights visitors

Staff reporters
January 18-20 saw the staging of the 25th annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival, organised by the Chiang Mai Provincial Authority. The much-enjoyed event included the traditional Umbrella Pageant. The festival’s official opening ceremony on January 19 heralded three days of parades and events, with the area’s streets crowded with more sellers of fine quality and colourful handicrafts, umbrella and paper items than in previous years. The area of the event itself was beautifully decorated for the occasion.
Many visitors and tourists came to enjoy the cultural shows, to see the parades and to experience the Lanna lifestyle of the area. For many, the event proved to be a very successful “shopping trip” as well as a great day out. Presented for their enjoyment were a window dressing contest, an umbrella painting display, a bicycle parade and many other interesting an enjoyable activities.
The winner of the Miss Bor Sang Umbrella pageant was announced as Nitaya Bamrungrat, 19, a 2nd year BA student of agriculture at Chiang Mai University, who charmed the judges and won many prizes. The Governor of Chiang Mai presented her with the crown, sash, and trophy, together with prize money of 10,000 baht.
A new building for the display and sale of handicrafts is planned for the near future, to be constructed on 7 rai of land owned by San Kampaeng district office. The development is supported by the government, which has already allocated funds.

 

No more “low season” in Chiang Mai!

Local businesses hold “Passport to Chiang Mai” to coincide with Flower Festival

Supaphon Svetasreni, Deputy Governor of Tourism of Thailand,
 opening the Passport to Chiang Mai Fair 2008.

Amid gathering concern about tourist revenues in Chiang Mai, a group of innovative businesses and entrepreneurs decided to take action themselves. The inspired result of their deliberations, “Passport to Chiang Mai”, was presented on February 1 through 3, and proved a great success for all concerned. Held at JJ Markets, the fair attracted over 100 booths manned by Chiang Mai businesses, and was organised by Jiram Siri, the managing director of Passport to Suvennaphoum, in less than two months!
The opening ceremony was conducted by Suraphon Svetasreni, Deputy Governor of Marketing Communications with the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and attended by over 70 representatives of tourist-based businesses in Bangkok and Phuket. Many of Chiang Mai’s top tourist-focused businesses took part, including hotels large and small - the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi, the Chedi, the Imperial Mae Ping and Tamarind Village were all present. Top restaurants included Le Crystal and The House. Air Asia and SGA Airlines joined the event in order to give Chiang Mai a much-needed boost.
During the three day festival there were various events, including an exhibition of photographs which was entitled “Chiang Mai never walks alone”, and dance performances, both in Lanna and in Modern Contemporary styles, given by Chiang Mai University students and the Chiang Mai Rhythm and Motion Technique Institute. Also delighting visitors to the festival was an exhibition of contemporary flower arranging, and providing much-needed refreshment was the Wine Gallery, who organised a wine tasting event. All this was complimented by cookery demonstrations entitled “Thai Lanna Fusion” and “Modern Foods - Modern Life”.
The aim of “Passport to Chiang Mai” was simply to stress to potential visitors the fact that a visit to Chiang Mai in what is usually referred to as the “low season” - May to September - is as enjoyable and as much fun as a visit during the better known “high season”. The organisers would like to rename the summer period the “Rainy Season” as they feel that the former name has poor connotations for tourists, who might well actually prefer the climate of the summer months here in Chiang Mai. Previously, “Amazing Thailand” was seen to refer mainly to and therefore to promote the southern part of the Kingdom - Jiram hopes that “Passport to Chiang Mai” will be a major force in redressing this situation and result in many more tourists visiting the Rose of the North throughout the summer months. He is determined, after the positive responses of the exhibitors, to make the fair an annual event.


ExPat Women’s Lunch Group meets at the Shangri-La

The ‘ExPat Women’s Lunch Group’ at the Shangri La consisted of; Janet, Judy, Judith, Vanita, Philip (G.M.), and Fran (standing), with Celeste, Jay, Margaret,
Ruth and Rose (seated).

Photographed at the ‘ExPat Women’s Lunch Group’ were Saitong, Beryl,
 Vajra, Sally, Joyce, Aileen and Philip, (G.M), (standing), with Joyce,
 Rachel, Barbara and Ann (seated).

On January 23, the ExPat Women’s Lunch Group enjoyed the fabulous buffet at the new Shangri-La Hotel. There were 27 women in attendance, with two long tables overlooking the gardens. The sushi, pasta, Asian, and salad stations were filled with enticing offerings. However, the lunch reached its crescendo at the “dessert island”, where the chocolate fountains and vast choices dazzled the eyes! Compliments go to Julian Wipper and his superb staff for a wonderful afternoon.


Rachapruek GMS Expo 2008 to open February 9

600 exhibitors from Thailand and Mekong River countries expected to attend

Staff reporters
Chiang Mai Provincial Authorities in cooperation with the Ministry of Commerce and with the aid of the Provincial Commerce Office and the CM Chamber of Commerce, will stage a new exhibition at Rachapruek 2006 between February 9 and 17. Known as “Rachapruek GMS Expo 2008”, the exhibition is intended as a trade show, and will feature businesses and representatives form China, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia as well as from Thailand itself. All goods shown will be for sale, and will include handicrafts, weavings and textiles, furnishings, ceramics, agricultural products and herbs, together with food stalls from all regions. It will feature 600 booths, more than half of which have already been booked by businesses from the countries bordering the Mekong River.
The Expo is designed to attract at least 300,000 visitors to Chiang Mai, and to stimulate the local economy as a result. It is also hoped that it will stimulate trade between Thailand, (particularly the 17 Northern provinces), and the Mekong River countries as well as promoting good relationships between the Kingdom and its immediate neighbours. The Chiang Mai tourist and commercial sectors are expected to benefit enormously from the increased number of visitors.



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