Mayor joins in Chiang Mai’s Shan New Year celebrations
Dr. Duentemduang na Chiengmai (2nd left), joins
other dignitaries at the opening ceremony of the Shan New Year festivities
held at Wat Kutao.
The Mayor of Chiang Mai, Dr Duentemduang na Chiengmai, was on hand
recently to grace the opening celebrations of the Shan New Year 2103 at Wat
Kutao, next to the Municipality Stadium.
Whilst many Americans and their friends celebrated Thanksgiving on November
27, Wat Kutao came alive with colour and music as thousands of Shan and
other ethnic groups arrived for the two days of ceremonies and festivities -
and not a turkey in sight!
The ceremony included blessings and religious incantations led by the Wat’s
abbot, Khrubar Jantharangsi and followed by a speech given by Saengmuang
Mangkorn, Chiang Mai Shan literature and culture chairman.
This historic temple, the oldest of several Shan temples in Chiang Mai,
having been established in 1450 during the reign of Chao Yod, is currently
under major reconstruction.
This year, the festival’s organisors decided to charge 30 baht per person
entry and to tighten security at the gates, resulting in a less visible
police presence in the crowd.
After the evening performances, including traditional dancers in their
colourful costumes, popular comedian, Sai Yoi, and singer Nang Mwe Ngeun,
the music got louder, with rock bands taking the stage.
Many of the revellers had travelled to the celebrations from all over the
province and slept the night in the temple compound.
Academy for Education USA celebrates scholarship awards
ACE-ETS TOEFL Opportunity
Scholarship winners are congratulated by Fulbright Director, Porntip
Kanjananiyot (2nd left), US Consul General Michael Morrow (center) and ACE
Counsellor Mike Hock (right).
During their International Education Week 2008, the Academy for
Education USA, (ACE), celebrated the awarding of scholarships worth 120,000
baht with an event at the Prince Royal’s College in Chiang Mai.
Guest of honour, US Consul General Michael Morrow, joined guests and
students attending the Ed-eXpo USA Keynote lectures and the closing
reception being hosted by ACE, and also presented ACE-ETS TOEFL Opportunity
Scholarships worth 60,000 baht to the 6 winners in the Graduate and
The Consul General noted that the Open Doors 2008 statistics showed there
were over 9,000 Thai students studying in American universities, making
Thailand the 10th largest supplier to the USA of international students.
ACE’s Goa Linprasert summarized Ed-eXpo USA 2008’s coverage, which included
a 2 day Chiang Rai roadshow, and a college application essay workshop headed
by Roman Sturgis, M.A. Education USA. Talks on international relations
programs were given by U.S. Vice-Consul Kevin Rosier at the American Corner
and AUA, with, again, over 60,000 baht of scholarships awarded by ACE.
Keynote lectures were also given by Porntip Kanjananiyot, executive director
of TUSEF-Fulbright Thailand and ACE Education USA counsellors, and Mike Hock
shared updates on ACE students applying to many U.S. universities including
Princeton, Yale, Boston and Stanford.
ACE is affiliated with the US State department’s Education USA’s global
network through their 2 Chiang Mai offices and also their base in Bangkok.
For further information, please call on 053-942-896, (Chiang Mai), or
Chiang Mai hosts
‘Green City’ conference
A two-day conference and workshop was held at the Novotel Chiang Mai
recently to discuss and debate the ‘Green City Philosophy Project Chiang
Mai,’ and attended by over 240 people including representatives of the
National Housing Authority, the Provincial and Municipality Authorities, the
Office of Nature Environmental Planning (ONEP), and a number of local
Konijn (right), from the Dutch Embassy, is pictured with Chiang Mai Mayor’s
representative, Sudchai Kannakulsoonthorn (centre).
His Excellency, Tjaco T. van den Hout, the Dutch Ambassador to Thailand,
opened the project, saying that its aim is to show authorities and
businesses that ‘going green’ is a sound investment with economic
incentives, including raising property values by improving and ‘greening’
the surrounding environment. The workshop is the third such meeting to be
held here in Chiang Mai, with the original having been staged at the Royal
Flora Ratchaphruek 2006.
Rupert Konijn, Counsellor for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality at the
Dutch Embassy in Bangkok explained that similar seminars had been held, not
only in the Netherlands, but also, with the help of the Dutch government, in
China, Slovakia Poland and Paris, France. The Dutch Government provides
financial support for its advisors at each venue.
Chiang Mai was chosen as a pilot project in Thailand because of the urgent
and huge opportunities it presents, with an already serious pollution
problem caused by both crop burning and excessive traffic. Participants in
the project took time to examine and discuss the ‘green’ infrastructure
already in place in the city.
Several points about the benefits of increasing ‘green’ measures in Chiang
Mai were made, including the encouragement of walking in ‘green’ areas, with
its subsequent health and weight-loss benefits.
The workshop is now working on a ‘Green Master Plan’ for the city, which
will include control of the water supply and irrigation to facilitate
grassed areas along the roads and the river, and the study of ‘horizontal
pollution’, as in billboards, a move which may well be much appreciated by
residents. Researchers are aware that tourism is an important source of
revenue in Chiang Mai, and that beautification of the city’s environs will
encourage more visitors to come, and to stay longer.
Rupert Konijn is planning to visit the city again in April 2009 to check on
progress. For further information on the project, he can be contacted on
An afternoon of pure nostalgia and great exercise
Mom Luang Preeyaphun receives
a bouquet of flowers
from the Shangri La’s GM, Elaine Yue.
A brand new twist on the traditional ‘tea dance’, formerly much
loved in the West, seems as though it will be a great success here in Chiang
November 22 saw over 150 people gathered at the Shangri La Hotel for the
first of their regular Saturday ‘High Teas’, including, of course, ballroom
dancing on the hotel’s recently installed dance floor. For those who aren’t
quite sure of their skills, teachers from Mom Luang Preeyapun’s Chiang Mai
Ballet Academy are on hand to teach, advise and reassure.
The guest of honour at the opening tea dance was, of course, Mom Luang
Preeyaphun herself, who introduced the teachers who will be on hand to pass
on their expertise. A brilliant display of Latin-American dance was given to
the admiring guests by Watcharakorn Suasuebpun and M.L. Warapa Jumbala,
winners of a great many national and international dance competitions, Thai
National Champions for 4 years, and the proud holders of 4 gold medals in
the South East Asian Games 2007.
Whilst the cucumber sandwiches and scones were being served, the guests were
encouraged to try out the new dance floor, especially imported from the
West. The Blue Jazz Band played slow foxtrots, waltzes, quicksteps and even
the jive, with Jintana Siampiromsak and Pakkasaran Phormvanna revving up the
nostalgia with songs like ‘Oh, Carol’, ‘Tell me when you will be mine’, and
‘As time goes by’ – reminders of a much simpler world thousands of miles and
many years away.
Couples of all ages and nationalities danced the afternoon away, and, no
doubt, are looking forward to repeating the experience regularly at the
Expat ladies Italian
lunch - with Tiramisu
Several of us gathered outside in the beautiful grounds of the
Arcobaleno Restaurant last Wednesday morning, November 26, where lunch had
been planned to begin at noon. Once inside, we all enjoyed the bruchetta and
then had a choice of main course in tagliatelle with eggplant and olives,
lasagna, or crab gratin in wine sauce.
Everything was wonderful, and then they put a lovely Tiramisu in front of
us. With great dismay, several commented that they were soooo full, and
really shouldn’t … but somehow we all managed! I was concerned that some
would lick the plate, but, with dainty decorum, the composed ex-pat ladies
refrained from so doing.
Following our Expat Ladies’Lunch tradition, we were a very chatty group,
discussing everything from politics and cooking to golf and shopping. The
service was excellent and the house wine tasty, at a mere 95 baht a glass.
Come and join us next month. If you are not on the list, email Fran at
Paws for Cocktails a howling success - What’s next?
Success is a term that easily springs to mind when recalling the
Paws for Cocktails fundraising party and auction at Zoe in Yellow. People
who had come together for the benefit of dogs found they were in good and
like-minded company, with many old acquaintances being rekindled.
and John draw the final numbers in the raffle at the Paws for Cocktails
fundraiser. So many prizes were donated that almost everyone got lucky!
During the event Otto Bercham, an artist with AIDs Art, asked the
organisors, “Are all these people volunteers?” and he received the response,
“No, just a few,” until the numbers were counted and it was realised that
over 20 people, and probably many more are currently actively involved in
promoting and helping Care for Dogs. All those volunteers at the same party,
under the same roof, at the same time - a wonderful and inspiring
In addition to the volunteers were friends and relations, people who have
previously adopted dogs, more people that would like to help in some way,
and others who were without their loved ones, either travelling or
remembering their times together.
Huge thanks go to Soraya Holbrook for initiating, designing and organising
this event from start to finish. Her idea, her effort, her heart, drive and
determination - Soraya, everyone is so proud of you!
In her thank you letter to all those who gave and helped, Soraya wrote,
“Thank you to Reenie and Yianni of the Zoe in Yellow Lounge Bar and Bistro
for their tireless preparation, organization, peace-cheese making,
fruit-juicing, bartending and all-round generosity. And, of course, for
their delicious ‘Poochies’ Paradise’ cocktails, all the proceeds from the
sale of which went to Care for Dogs.
“Lovers of dogs, former adoptive parents of Care for Dogs hounds, and
care-takers of Snowball Columbus, Reenie and Yianni agreed without
hesitation to open up their venue in support of this event.
“Thank you also to John, Jelly and Linc for donating their time, talent, and
hip-shaking rhythms to keep the party lively and upbeat all night. Thank you
to all the volunteers at Care for Dogs whose untiring commitment stretches
from picking up sick and injured dogs in the streets, cleaning the shelter,
feeding, bathing, walking the dogs, administering medical care, organizing
events, maintaining our website, performing accounting, to giving
unconditional love to our four legged friends. The success of this event
could not have happened without their undying support and hard work. Thanks,
too, go to John Richard, who stoically and very amusingly acted as both
auctioneer and raffle-caller.
“Thank you especially to all the dog lovers who came out to Zoe in Yellow to
show their support for Care for Dogs - the adoptive parents of Care for Dogs
charges, travellers who are temporarily separated from their pets, people
who have once lost a beloved dog, and expats and locals who just want to
show love and care for the strays that roam Chiang Mai. Without you and your
donations, Care for Dogs would simply not be able to do the work we do. A
‘Bark-felt’ thank you to you all!”
Next week Care for Dogs will be attending the Nimmanhaemin Arts & Design
Promenade, held on December 5-9, in Soi 1, just off the main road, and
Soraya would love to see you all there again.
The ‘Old Girl’ gets a facelift
Surat Patong, the Montri’s GM,
(centre), shown hosting
the opening party for the Brix Bar and Restaurant.
A much-loved landmark hotel in the city centre, the Montri is
presently undergoing renovations and was the venue recently for a party
given to celebrate the opening of the Brix Bar and Restaurant, located under
Taking time off from the supervision of the renovations to welcome VIP’s and
invited guests was Surat Patong, the Montri’s new GM.
The new restaurant has a modern design with a Lanna mix, aimed at a
clientele which is expected to be at least 70% foreign. In line with the
present economic situation, the Italian/Thai menu is reasonably priced, with
opening times between 7 a.m. and 12 midnight. Evening guests will be
entertained by a live band playing ‘chill out’ music.
Surat is possibly the only female Thai GM of a major Chiang Mai hotel, an
innovation which should be encouraged. The Chiang Mai Mail wishes her and
the hotel’s staff all the best for the future.