Mini ‘Son et Lumiere’ lights up Three Kings’ Monument
The student cast from CMU’s Faculty of Fine Arts
the ancient city of Chiang Mai’s Royalty.
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
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
‘The Amari’ to celebrate its 40th birthday…still under the same ownership!
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!
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
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.
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
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
For more information, please contact the Night Safari’s Marketing Business
and Public Relations Office by phone on 053-999000 or 086-3064815.