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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Yet another award for Oasis Spa!

CEC celebrates its third birthday in style

Local ladies’ Lions Club donates 200 bikes

Wat Don Chan’s 650 children inspire two volunteer groups

Ice cream for all

Don’t Miss in October!

A new direction in Asian Jazz

Yet another award for Oasis Spa!

CMM Reporters
Oasis Spa, with its specifically Lanna identity, has been a trend-setter in the Thai Spa industry during the 5 years since its beginnings in Chiang Mai.

H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat, Minister of Tourism and Sports (right), hands over the award to Pakin Ployphicha, President of Oasis Spa.

In addition to the city’s two branches, residents and visitors in Bangkok and Pattaya can enjoy the superb facilities and friendly, welcoming staff that characterise this highly successful enterprise, which has served nearly 100,000 guests since it first opened. Its aim is to carry the now-famous brand to all major tourist destinations in the kingdom.
In recognition of Oasis Spa’s outstanding quality, reliability and success, TAT’s 2008 Hallmark of Excellence award was recently presented to its president, Pakin Ployphicha by the Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Weerasak Kowsurat.
The company has created employment for more than 170 people, and maintains an in-house training academy in Chiang Mai where the focus is on customer service skills and foreign language training. It developed its own customer management system in order to monitor customer satisfaction, appointments, marketing and other essentials, based on its strategy, which involves value creation, efficiency, leadership, team building and social responsibility.
The recent award is the third in the company’s short history; in 2007 Oasis Spa received the Prime Minister’s award for the most recognised service by foreign patrons, and also an award for the most outstanding brand.

 

CEC celebrates its third birthday in style

Members who enjoyed the delicious buffet included Maya (3rd left)
who has ‘never been in the newspaper before!’

George Powell
A very special celebration took place September 25 at the Shangri La, when the Chiangmai Expats Club met for a delicious brunch on the third anniversary of its founding. Members were entertained during the meal with traditional Thai music performed by musicians from CMU’s Faculty of Arts.
Three years ago, Jim Cox and Lucy Coombs were two of the main founders of this successful club and are still on the board. The current president is Alan Hall; the other board members are Jay Thirst, Al Trussell and Chris Hedges. Alan, when asked what he considered were the highlights of the previous year, replied that the 2007 Christmas party at the Amari Rincome and the BBQ at the Centre of the Universe were the most popular events.
The club meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at the Shangri La, with the meetings starting at 10.30 a.m. During the previous year, guest speakers have included the Mayor of Chiang Mai, Dr Duentemduang na Chiengmai, and the U.S. Consul General Michael Morrow. There are currently over 630 members – life membership costs 600 baht. For more information, or to join, please contact Alan Hall at [email protected]


Local ladies’ Lions Club donates 200 bikes

Guests and members of the Maeraming Lions Club.

George Powell
Children aged 8 years and upwards from 20 poor schools in and around the city were thrilled to bits on Sunday September 28, as 200 of them were presented with bikes by the local ladies’ Maeraming Lions Club of Chiang Mai. Guests of honour at the presentation included Surachai Jongruk, representing the Governor of Chiang Mai, along with US Consul General Michael Morrow and his wife Shannon. After the ceremony, the children were also given gold t-shirts, and were escorted by local police on a celebratory ride around town.
The Maeraming Lions Club is a purely local women’s organisation, consisting of 40 members who meet each month. Should any lady over 25 years old like to apply to join them, please contact Praiwan Kalapat (Lhin) at [email protected]


Wat Don Chan’s 650 children inspire two volunteer groups

Volunteers from Dreams Can Come True with the girls at the temple.

George Powell
A September visit by CM Mail reporters to Wat Don Chan, situated off the Superhighway near Big C, found two groups of volunteers working hard for the 650 children whose home and school this is. The first group was formed almost two years ago by Kit and Mu Charuvastra, who decided to recruit volunteers to supply and prepare a once-a-month nourishing meal for all 650 kids, as their normal diet only consisted of rice and vegetables with little or no protein, an essential brain food. At that time, the Wat and the children it looks after were little known and received few visitors or outside help. On this occasion though, there were 19 volunteers, rather more than usual, with each donating 500 baht to provide the food and hours of work to prepare the “dish of the day” – pork with basil topped with a fried egg. As dessert, that all-time kids’ favourite, ice cream, was served. More volunteers are needed (the 500 baht is optional) also donations and food. Please contact Larry on 087-177-8036 or email him on [email protected] hotmail.com if you feel you can help.

500 eggs to go!
The second group “Dreams Can Come True,” was set up by Jemma Jacques 5 years ago. Jemma works on a cruise ship for six months of the year, and raises money for the Wat during the remaining months. Recently, she raised $10,000, which enabled a dormitory to be built for 120 girls. All monies go to the foundation; even the volunteers pay for their own flights, although they stay free at the Wat during their visit. Jemma’s group of 30 are here for two weeks, during which time they will teach the children 4 subjects; art (including painting, handicrafts and jewellery crafting), English, sports (including music and dancing), and photography. The volunteers give two classes per subject per day; average class size is 35. Julian Kilburn, a doctor from the UK, was quoted as saying that the kids were “fit and healthy,” and is planning to use his time here to teach basic first aid skills to the children.
“Dreams Can Come True” are planning to hold an open day at the Wat on October 8, with food stalls, sales of handicrafts made by the children during the group’s visit, and entertainment featuring tribal dances performed by the children. The event will showcase what the kids have learned and made, and will also raise money for them. Further information about the open day and the project can be obtained from Jemma by email on jemma @dcct.org or jemmajacques @gmail.com.


Ice cream for all

Andy Archer
Recently established regular monthly visits on Saturdays by Tim McGuire and his friends to the Home for Boys on Mae Rim Road are anticipated eagerly by the 140 kids living at the home – it’s ice cream time! The project is a combined effort between Tim and Partin Ice Cream, who sell him the traditional children’s treat at the reduced price of 3.5 baht per scoop. It’s also Tim’s personal initiative, unaffiliated to any organisation. The personal payback comes immediately, just by watching the children’s delighted faces as they slurp up the ice cream! Not forgetting to note that some of the more adventurous come round twice…
Tim is looking for more volunteers to help in the project – no money is involved, as he will fund the expansion himself. If you’d like to help, please contact him at [email protected] Join in, and see those smiling faces for yourself!

The kids pose for a souvenir shot, before the ice cream party gets on its way.


Don’t Miss in October!

Michael Davies
Wednesday October 8
Open Day at Wat Don Chan, an orphanage looking after 650 children, near Big C on the Superhighway. Organised by ‘Dreams Can Come True’ Foundation. Entertainment provided by the kids including tribal dancing, arts and crafts made by the children for sale. For further info contact [email protected]
October 16-22
Japanese Food Festival at Nimman Bar & Grill, Kantary Hills. Guest chef from Bangkok. Includes special Japanese dinner buffets on October 17, 19 & 22. Buffet 420 baht ++, children under 12 half price. For reservations contact 053-222-111.
Sunday October 26
Russian violinist Vadim Tchijik will perform at the Saisuree Chutikul Music Hall at Mae Kaow Campus, Payap University. This is his fourth appearance in Chiang Mai, and this time he will be accompanied by French/Japanese pianist Sayaka Funakoshi. Vadim Tchijik has performed with many of the great orchestras around the world and won prestigious prizes in Moscow, Paris, Hamburg and Genoa and is a Professor of Violin at 2 State Conservatories in Paris. Sayaka Funakoshi was a prize winner at the European Competition Claude Kahn in Paris. The program consists of works by Beethoven, Piazzolla and Franck. Admission to the concert is 200 baht and starts at 7.30 p.m. Sponsored by Alliance Franšaise and Payap University.
Monday October 27
Happy Hour at the Chedi Hotel from 6.30 p.m. until 7.30 p.m. 350 baht per person, includes 3 glasses of wine from Darling Wine Bar and nibbles from Chef Blair. Profits go to the Hillside Charity Rooftop Party 2009. Special 3 course set dinner available afterwards. For further information contact charityrooftopparty @gmail.com.
Friday October 31
Beelzebub’s Halloween Hullabaloo at the Artspace Factory on Kamphaengdin Soi 3. From 9 p.m. until midnight. Live performance from Alchemy Pops Band. Tickets available 250 baht in advance or 400 baht on the door. For further information contact Laura on 085-622-6607.


A new direction in Asian Jazz

Andy Archer
The Japan Foundation, together with Payap University, are planning to co-organise the Unit Asia Jazz Concert 2008’s Southeast Asia Tour, which will be supported by the Consulate General of Japan in Chiang Mai, the Old Japanese Students Association’s Northern Region Office and Yamaha, the Japanese manufacturers of musical instruments.
The Chiang Mai concert will take place at the E.C. Court Auditorium on the Kaew Narawat Campus of Payap University on Saturday November 8, beginning at 7 p.m., and will be part of the Southeast Asian tour entitled ‘A New Direction in Asian Jazz’ undertaken by five highly individual musicians active in Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia. Isao Miyoshi (guitar) is the bandleader; Hiroyuki Noritake on drums, Shigeki Ippon on bass, and Tay Cher Siang on piano will be joined by Thai sax player Koh “Mr. Saxman.”
Unit Asia is a new group formed especially for this project with musicians who play jazz, fusion and pop. Apart from the Payap Concert, they will tour five countries in Southeast Asia, in a month-long tour of live performances. For all Chiang Mai Jazz lovers, this is a ‘Must Not Miss’ event – for further information contact the Department of Music at Payap University on 053-248-037.