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Mini ‘Son et Lumiere’ lights up Three Kings’ Monument

‘The Amari’ to celebrate its 40th birthday…still under the same ownership!

Edmund Frank Velat - an Obituary

Songkran celebrations continue till Thursday 16 at Night Safari

Mini ‘Son et Lumiere’ lights up Three Kings’ Monument

The student cast from CMU’s Faculty of Fine Arts portray
the ancient city of Chiang Mai’s Royalty.

Andy Archer
The first of several mini ‘Son et Lumiere’ shows entitled, ‘Nopburi Srinakornpinkh Chiang Mai’, lit up the Three Kings’ Monument during the series’ launch and opening ceremony held on April 4.
Prior to the performance, TAT’s director, Chalermsak Suranant hosted a cocktail reception in the courtyard of the Chiang Mai Art Museum, at which guests of honour were the province’s deputy governor, Chuchart Keelapang, and the deputy mayor, Dr. Ken Santithamnd. Representatives from local hotels, including the Amari Rincome and the Shangri La, and local media were also invited.
The aim of the show, which will be replicated in other Thai cities all around the kingdom in 2009, is to promote the heritage and culture of each city and town to its residents and to tourists. Sukothai, Chiang Rai, Nakorn Sri Thammarat, Nakorn Ratchasima, Ayutthaya and, of course, Bangkok, will all present their own versions of the ‘Son et Lumiere’, focused on their differing cultures and history.
The story of Chiang Mai, presented by CMU’s Faculty of Fine Arts, chronicled the city’s history from its founding in 1292 a.d., beginning with the story of the Three Kings—King Mangrai the Great, (Chiang Mai’s founder), King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao, all of whom featured prominently in the opening sequences. The rich history of the Lanna kingdom and its capital continued, (including the chequered history of the city between the 16th and 18th centuries, and the final expulsion of the Burmese invaders in 1774, leading to the rise of Siam under the great military leader and king, Taksin), and was followed by later mention of Chao Phraya Kavila, (the first viceroy of Northern Thailand in 1802) and the much-loved Princess Dara Rassamee, wife of HM King Rama V and daughter of Chao Inta Wichayanon of Chiang Mai. In more modern times, the influx of Hill Tribe people from the surrounding areas and the establishment of Chiang Mai as a trade hub were portrayed.
Chiang Mai’s cultural events, such as Loy Krathong and Songkran, were also celebrated, with Khom Loys being released and water being sprinkled in the traditional manner on the deputy governor and each other by the dancers. Many colourful traditional dances were performed, and the backdrop of the Art Museum was illuminated with the use of spotlights and smoke—an effective spectacle, even without laser lighting and other technical effects. Repeat performances will be held on April 18, May 16 and June 20, all free, and more dates will be announced later in the year.
For further details, please visit www.tourismthailand.org.

Distinguished guests and organisers of the Son et Lumiere, pictured with the performers at the launch of the series of cultural shows.

 

‘The Amari’ to celebrate its 40th birthday…still under the same ownership!

Andy Archer
May 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the opening of one of Chiang Mai’s best loved hotels, the Amari Rincome, still owned by its original management company —possibly a record for any hotel in this city!

How things used to be!

To celebrate the occasion, a fascinating exhibition of photographs of ‘the old days’ in Chiang Mai will be set up in the hotel’s lobby, and students from the schools established by the Amari Group’s ‘Baht for a Better Life’ charity will be taking part in a painting competition entitled ‘My Dream’, in which 40 winners will each receive a scholarship of 1,000 baht.
The celebrations will culminate in a concert to be given on the evening of May 29, starring the Pink Panther, with his friends Vinai Phanturak, Virut Yoothavorn and resident musician Daeng Fantastic, as part of a poolside party between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. An auction of collectable items, all donated by the hotel’s owners and past and present GM’s, will be held —all money raised will go to ‘Baht for a Better Life’. Tickets for the concert and party will cost 950 baht, and will include a European set dinner.
The Chiang Mai Mail would like to congratulate the Amari Rincome Hotel on this milestone, and looks forward to the next 40 years!
For further enquiries of events scheduled, please contact the hotel’s Sales Department on 053-221-130 ext 454, 455 or email on [email protected]


Edmund Frank Velat - an Obituary

Becky Lomax
Edmund Frank Velat, known to family and friends as “Bud”, died in Chiang Mai on March 30, 2009 at the age of 84. Described by various friends as “international travel industry pioneer, man of honour, best friend, five star chef, impeccably fair, fabulous jokester, best pie maker on the planet, beautiful eyes-to-die-for, keeper of secrets, how can so many excellent talents all reside in one fine man?” He was a positive and loved presence in the expatriate community.

Edmund “Bud”
Frank Velat: 1925 – 2009.

Born in Minnesota in the U.S., Bud described his first job at age six as that of “bootlegger”, explaining that the U.S. was devastated by an economic depression and making and delivering beer was the way his family survived that era. His career took a turn for the better by the time he was eight, when he was hired by the local grocery store to deliver groceries. And by the time he was twelve he had gone to work in a bowling alley, a career path that took him all the way to World War II when he enlisted in the U.S. Army.
He learned railroad shipping and warehouse management in the Army, and travelled to Africa, Italy, France and Germany. After the war ended, he worked briefly for the Northwest Pacific Railroad, and then moved on to California and its opportunities.
International aviation was the business of the future, and Bud was hired by Douglas Aircraft to set up their parts warehouse. He was asked by his company to move to France to manage parts sales for the Caravelle project, later working directly for Caravelle. He became fluent in French, a skill that he continued to enjoy throughout his life.
Back in the U.S, the transition into the international travel industry was a natural for this well-travelled and adventuresome man. Asia became his specialty and he discovered a great love for the countries and people. By the time he retired in 1989 and moved to Thailand, he had traveled to ninety countries.
He learned the French language, but he also learned French cooking and developed an appreciation for French wines during his time in France. In retirement, he could indulge his love for all. Family and friends who were fortunate enough to be his dinner party guests never forgot his skills. Those who had the opportunity to be tutored in his kitchen were indeed fortunate. And lucky was the friend who made it onto his joke mailing list.
When I told Bud “goodbye” the day before he died, I thanked him for all of this, but most of all I thanked him for being my friend. I will always treasure that memory.
Bud is survived by his longtime partner, Dang Rosedis; his nieces, Sharon and Mary Kay, and innumerable friends all over the world. He will be lovingly remembered and missed.


Songkran celebrations continue till Thursday 16 at Night Safari

April 12- 16, Songkran at the Night Safari: If you don’t feel like ‘drying out’ just yet, the Songkran celebrations will continue at the Night Safari until Thursday, between 10 a.m. and 10.30 p.m. The entire event was organised to promote Chiang Mai’s cultural heritage and the traditions of Songkran.
As a special promotion, all visitors, including farangs, who wear traditional Lanna costume will be charged a heavily reduced entry price of 30 baht and 10 baht for children. The majority of the festivities will take place at the Fun Plaza Spring area.
On April 14, a fashion show of Lanna dress and styles, presented by 5 of Chiang Mai’s ethnic groups, will be held, and on April 15, the Rod Nam Damhua ceremony will pay respect to older people (Pu Yai), by sprinkling water in the traditional manner. Chao Dr. Duanduang na Chieng Mai, one of the most respected Pu Yai in the city, will preside over the ceremony.
For the convenience of visitors, a free bus service between the city and the Night Safari will be organised, to run from April 12 -16. Twenty-seater buses will leave from outside Central Airport Plaza’s Northern Village entrance. from 3 p.m to 9 p.m. and Khantoke Palace on Chang Klan Road, near the Park Hotel from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors’ cars may be easily parked and left at both pick-up points, where Night Safari ticket booths have been set up.
For more information, please contact the Night Safari’s Marketing Business and Public Relations Office by phone on 053-999000 or 086-3064815.