White and gold add sparkle to ‘Winter Dreams’ charity party
White and gold was the glamorous theme for the
‘Winter Dreams Charity Party.’
The Ratilanna Resort Spa Hotel lawns were transformed with white and gold
‘Winter Dreams’ recently as the theme for Chiang Mai’s latest charity party.
The event, staged November 29, was held in aid of the Education Children’s
Fund Development (ECFD), a new and independent group working to support
grandparents who are caring for their orphaned grandchildren. There are 70
such families at present under the care of the ECFD, which is chaired by
Hope Watcharaprecha, with Margaret Bhudungzong, its international secretary,
responsible for fundraising activities.
The ‘Winter Dreams Charity Party’ was the organisation’s first fundraiser –
and with over 100 tickets sold it was a great success. The secretary to the
chief executive of Chiang Mai’s Provincial Administrative Organisation,
Wiphawan Woraphutiphong, graciously opened the festivities.
Many elegant ladies and couples took the ‘White and Gold’ theme to heart and
arrived dressed in their glamorous best - all ready to try for the prize in
the ‘Best looking and Beautiful Couple’ competition. Everyone enjoyed and
danced to the live music; a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and a silent auction with
donated prizes completed the evening’s entertainment.
For further information on ECFD, or to contact them, please visit their
website at www.grandmacares.com.
Guests at the party were all elegantly dressed
for the occasion.
Citylife Garden Party:
biggest and best so far
Jo & Sally, two of the Garden
Party’s organisers, with Frank and the monks from the temple enjoy a great
day at the event.
Citylife opened its gardens on the last day of November for their
3rd ‘Garden Party’, held in aid of the Charity Rooftop Party. The event was
the biggest so far, with more stalls, more visitors and more money raised
than ever before.
Plenty to buy, eat, drink and be merry, The Chedi was there, selling
chocolate bars and donated all the money from their sales to the fund.
Together with the generous donations from others such as Tananan Willson,
Chat from the House, Bon Café, HQ Paper, Dukes and many more, a grand total
of 50,000 baht was raised.
Music was provided by the kids from School for the Blind; one of the main
charities who will benefit from this year’s Rooftop fund after the party
itself on January 10, 2009.
However, the above is only half the story, with 6 other charities and
foundations who, given free tables, successfully raised money for their own
worthwhile causes. Almost all the clothes and household items donated for
the ever-popular bric-a-brac stall were sold, with those remaining at the
end of the day given to a local temple who will deliver them to Hill Tribes
people in the province. A ‘Win-Win-Win’ situation!
The Garden Party was also the first chance for people to buy their tickets
for the 5th Annual Charity Rooftop Party on January 10 at Hillside Plaza and
Condotel 4. Tickets cost 800 baht, and include two complimentary drinks, an
international buffet plus the chance to win a special prize. There will be
live entertainment, raffles and live and silent auctions. Tickets can be
bought at Hillside 4 reception, and also at the Nimmanhaemindha Art and
Design Promenade from December 5 until 9.
HQ Paper at 3/31 Samlan Road in T. Prasing is offering to donate money
during December if anyone takes up the offer of their gift wrapping service.
For more information, please email [email protected]
New boutique resort holds grand opening night
Dr Chao Duangduan na Chiengmai
presides over the opening ceremony of the Ruen Raya Resort.
Over 80 foreign and Thai residents of Chiang Mai joined the owner,
Raya Luelai on November 28 to celebrate and take a quick peek at one of the
smartest new boutique resorts in the city area. The Ruen Raya Resort
Residence’s grand opening ceremony was performed by Dr. Chao Duangduan na
Chiengmai, after which guests received a taste of the fine design and
beautiful surroundings which will be on offer.
The resort, located just off the Mae Rim-Samoeng Road, began life as a
private home and has been redesigned and transformed with loving care by
Raya, using traditional and local construction materials, into a very
elegant place to stay. The central Thailand decorative theme of the lovely
‘Ayudthaya Suite’, and the luxurious comfort of the ‘Grand Royal Mae Rim
Suite’, are sure to delight visitors as much as the glorious green of the
Raya herself is famous locally for her culinary skills - a great reputation
precedes this young lady and her beautiful resort and we wish her well. For
more details, please visit the resort’s website, www.ruenraya.com.
Mentally ill in Chiang Mai
Dr. Paritat Silpakit M.D., M.B.A. and Dr. Kittiwan Thiamkaew M.D
from Chiang Mai’s Suan Prung Psychiatric Hospital were kind enough to agree
to an interview with the CM Mail. We had many questions for them that were
answered with both candour and concern by the two doctors. Here is a
transcript of the interview.
Paritat Silpakit M.D., M.B.A., with Dr. Kittiwan Thiamkaew M.D.
CM: How many patients do you look after, and do you have foreign patients
either in hospital or as out patients?
Doctors: There are approximately 700 Thais under our in-patient care at
present, with our out-patient facility dealing with between 100 and 200
people every day. Last year we had 155 foreign patients, mainly from the
USA, Europe and Australia, of which 38 were admitted for treatment. This
year, up until October, there have been 154 foreign patients so far, with 46
being admitted, showing an increase, with 90 foreign patients being between
the ages of 31 and 60.
CM: If visitors are allowed, do the foreign in- patients receive many
visits? Would you welcome expat visitors?
Doctors: Visitors are very welcome, under supervision, as many of the
in-patients receive few or no visitors. For example, an American dementia
patient has been here for one year, and received no visits during the whole
time. An English gentleman has just been admitted with severe depression; he
desperately needs someone to talk to. If anyone can spare a few hours to
visit, they can contact the hospital directly, or Dr. Kittiwan on
081-9500674. Dr. Paritat Silpakit, a director at the Chiang Mai branch of
the Samaritans, would also welcome a call on 053-225977/8. Anyone with
experience in dealing with the mentally ill would be most welcome, although
this is not essential.
CM: We believe treatment is a lot cheaper in your hospital than in private
hospitals around town – is this correct, and can you give any ideas on
Doctors: Treatment at Suan Prung costs a lot less than the private hospitals
or clinics. Many of the in-patients at Suan Prung have been referred from
private hospitals which do not have appropriate security facilities. Suan
Prung is the only hospital in Northern Thailand that is able to accept
foreigners with major mental problems.
CM: How many doctors in your team speak English and are able to deal with
foreign patients in their own language?
Doctors: There are three of us who are fluent in English, two of whom deal
directly with the patients. Some nurses also speak English. However, we
would use interpreters for Japanese, German and French wherever possible.
CM: What would you consider the most common mental problems you and your
team deal with?
Doctors: The most common ailments are bi-polar affective disorder,
schizophrenia and alcohol abuse. Of course, many patients suffer from
CM: What kind of treatment does the hospital favour, chemical or
Doctors: We favour both; however, we use mainly drug therapy, due to
resource restraints. Also, we find that health insurance companies will pay
for drug therapy, but not for therapists.
CM: What plans do you have for the future concerning foreign patients?
Doctors: We are planning a new building, due to be finished in 2009, in
which one of the wards will be international with appropriate
English-speaking staff. However, those foreigners without money will
continue to be treated alongside Thai citizens.
We treat foreigners who cannot pay, although this policy does have an effect
on our budget. Resources are stretched and we need to raise funds. For
example, one patient in a private hospital, once his money ran out, was
transferred to us at Suan Prung.
Also, the Samaritans would like to provide an English service for people who
are desperate, but they need foreigners to help with this. Both Paritat and
Kittiwan have stated that they need more collaboration and networking with
the consular and embassy authorities.
CM: What is the procedure, telephone numbers, etc – if someone wishes to
make an appointment to receive treatment?
Doctors: Those suffering from mental disorders - or someone who cares for
them - can contact the hospital direct, or speak to Dr. Kittiwan on
081-950-0674. Alternatively, they can email thiamkaew @gmail.com. Our
out-patient clinic is on Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. If people do
not want to queue for an appointment they can visit the private clinic.
The Chiang Mai Mail would like to thank both Dr. Paritat and Dr. Kittiwan
for sparing the time to talk to us.
Women weavers pay visit to JJ Markets
Hope Watcharaprecha (2nd left)
is pictured with the ladies from the Women’s Weaving Group of Pa Daeng
A group of ladies from Pa Daeng Village, together with their woven
products, descended on JJ Markets on December 3 to both present and sell
their wares to the public.
In 2005, these ladies formed their own Women’s Weaving Group to provide
themselves with a steady income. Many of the weavers in the group, which
works in the temple at Ban Pa Daeng, are grandmothers who are responsible
for their grandchildren’s welfare. Originally there were 5 families in the
group, but since its founding it has grown and now encompasses 44 families,
all from rural backgrounds.
The group’s traditional skills have been acquired working with wild silk
(eri silk) and cotton, and they are now linked successfully with the ‘One
Tambon, one Product’ (OTOP) marketing system. OTOP stalls can be found in
the ‘market’ areas of Tesco and Carrefour supermarkets, as well as in the
night market and walking street. The products are well-designed, beautifully
made, and sensibly priced.
For further details, please visit the village’s website at
A perfect Filipino
Thanksgiving - with music
Tananan, Dr. Lina, and friends
enjoy Thanksgiving dinner
at the Mabuhay Restaurant.
Even for those if us who don’t hail from the US of A, Thanksgiving
Day has its own significance, reminding us to be thankful for the many
positive things in our own lives, particularly if those lives are being
lived here in Chiang Mai.
So, as American residents in the city were settling down to turkey with all
the trimmings and home-made apple pie, we were arriving, having been invited
by Dr. Lina, at a small but very attractive Filipino restaurant in a soi off
Nimmanheaminda Road - to be greeted by turkey with all the trimmings and
home-made apple and pumpkin pies.
beautiful singing accompanies her husband on keyboard to end a perfect
evening on Thanksgiving Day.
Our small group included Chiang Mai’s own fashion designer and tireless
charity supporter, Tananan Willson, along with her friends and Ting, the
indispensable General Manager of Hillside 4 Condotel. Before we all tucked
in to large quantities of a totally home-made and very delicious traditional
Thanksgiving dinner, Dr. Lina introduced us to the owner of the Mabuhay
Restaurant, Annie Prathuangsuk, and her husband, an architect with a rare
talent for playing the electronic keyboard.
Annie is very proud of the fact that her restaurant, established for 25
years now, serves totally authentic Filipino food, all of which she cooks
herself, using only the best and freshest ingredients.
After the meal we had an unexpected treat. Accompanied by her husband, Annie
sang beautifully many songs which we knew and loved, bringing a perfect
Thanksgiving evening to a close - the kind of evening which only happens
here in Chiang Mai.
The Mabuhay Restaurant is located on Soi 2, on the right as you go down
Nimmanhaeminda Road towards Suthep Road, tel-053-223-753/089-478-8474.
The sky smiles down on Asia
Jupiter, Venus and the
crescent moon lined up perfectly just after dusk on Monday, December 1 to
create an image of a happy face in the sky, which was seen over many parts
of Asia. Experts say this is a rare planetary alignment which won’t happen
again for another 44 years. Pictured here is the moon beaming down a smile
over the Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. (Photo by Boonsiri Suansuk)