HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

CMU Freshmen walk up Doi Suthep in decades old tradition

Sundowners in Chiang Mai

Classic car enthusiasts in Seventh Heaven

Chiang Mai Expats Club goes dramatic


CMU Freshmen walk up Doi Suthep in decades old tradition

Monks bless students with holy water as they pass through Chiang Mai University Gate on their way up Doi Suthep at 6:19 a.m. on July 3.

In a 46 year old ceremony titled, “baby elephants walk up Doi Suthep:” after the Chiang Mai University (CMU) nickname for incoming freshmen students, 25,000 current students joined the 6,800 new freshmen students and members of the faculty in walking up Doi Suthep early morning on July 3.

CMU students gather round to pay their respects to the statue of Khru Ba Siwichai.

Closing one lane of traffic on Suthep Road, the 31,800 students streamed out of the Chiang Mai University Gate and up the mountain in a parade featuring drums shows, performances, and a blessed elephant that walked up the mountain to bring one of the Buddha relics back to the University to ensure good fortune for the students.

Prof. Dr. Pongsak Angkasith, the President of Chiang Mai University, said that the ceremony has been held since the founding of the school 46 years ago. He added that the students walk up Doi Suthep to pay their respects to the Buddha relics and that the walk builds a good relationship between new and current student s and the professors. The parade this year was held to honor the 60th wedding anniversary of Their Majesties the King and Queen.

The very first walk up Doi Suthep took place at the founding of the University in 1964 and consisted of the 291 students. The current intake holds 6,800 freshmen students led by the Students Association. /The parade started at the auspicious time of 6:19 a.m. and monks blessed the students with holy water as they passed through the gate on their way to Doi Suthep. Students have to run up the very last uppermost curve, a holy curve that signifies reaching the topmost goals. The whole journey is 14 kilometers and develops unity, a good heart, and shows the strength of the students to improve Chiang Mai University, the first university in the North. (CMU). (Photos by Jedsdapong Wongkiew)

A traditional horse drawn carriage leads the students up the mountain in a tradition that dates back to the founding of Chiang Mai University.

Students from the Faculy of Humanities dressed up for the annual parade
to welcome incoming Freshmen students at CMU.


Sundowners in Chiang Mai

Phitsanu Thepthong

The “Chiang Mai Sundowners” event of the AustCham Thailand was held on June 21 for the second time in Chiang Mai at U Hotel on Ratchadamnoen road amid the humidity with a warm welcome from Chiang Mai residents to the Australian Chamber members and Board that travelled from Bangkok. Around 40 people attended the event.

Andrew Durieux, President of Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce listens to Australian Ambassador Paul Grigson introduces himself to the crowd.

The Sundowners networking evening was originally scheduled for May 21 but the curfew and unrest forced its postponement by a month.

AustCham Thailand President Andrew Durieux told Chiang Mai Mail in an interview “We are trying to connect with Australian businesses in Chiang Mai as well as in surrounding areas, and with Thai businessmen doing business with Australian companies. Generally, we try to promote Australian and Thai trade relations.”

Australian businesses in Chiang Mai vary from mining to other manufactures. “We also do have a lot of companies working with Thai companies to use their Australian partnerships, selling their products back to Australia or supplying to Australian companies,” he added.

Pakin Ployphicha, President of Thai Lanna Spa Association, Laksasubha Kridakon, Vice-President of Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce, and Richard Mark Hefner, Office of International Marketing and Communications Payap University share a drink at the event at the U Hotel on June 21.

Although AustCham Thailand does not have any offices in Chiang Mai, the Austcham President said, “We are trying to hold more networking functions this year, with two events having been held already. We do hold networking meetings every month in Bangkok, so, we want to increase our connections up here, where we can do more and more,” he said.

“We will come back one more time this year. Hopefully ,we will meet, connect and maintain contact through email, as we try to promote more and more things, especially Australian -Thai activities here in the future,” he concluded.

Andrew Durieux, President of the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce presents lucky draw winner Graham Guerin with a bottle of wine.

Australian Ambassador Paul Grigson was able to join the event, saying “I’m here in Chiang Mai for a while” adding that he was enjoying the beauty of the city and the surrounding areas.

AustCham announced a new pricing structure for new members, for details email [email protected]

Attending the networking party was V Australia Airline which will organize the AFL, Grand Final Day 2010, on September 25, at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel. The AFL Grand Final is one of Australia’s largest annual sporting events and Austcham’s event is one of the largest Grand Final gatherings outside Australia. For more information, please email: [email protected]

AustCham Thailand aims to provide constructive input into the formulation of policies impacting business, both by the Thai and Australian governments and to contribute to the development of relations between the two countries in all spheres.

Rene Balmer, VP Operation & Technical Services is joined by Phitsanu Thepthong, Editor of the Chiang Mai Mail, Suchada Saengarun, General Manager of U Chiang Mai Hotel, John Anderson, Vice President of the Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce and Tony Malhotra, Managing Director of the Chiang Mai Mail for drinks at the Austcham Sundowners event at the U Chiang Mai Hotel.

Classic car enthusiasts in Seventh Heaven

Shana Kongmun

Classic car enthusiasts, both Thai and expat, meet for a monthly event at NIM City Daily on the last Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m. From an old VW van to a smart bright blue Mini, a classic Mercedes formerly owned by a Prince and a revamped American muscle car, a 1973 Chevelle SS owned by Rob Kelly. (Ok, it doesn’t have the original engine but it’s still got a V8 and makes a lovely roaring sound as it accelerates), the event offers a change from the usual boring cookie cutter cars on the road. The event is free and open to the public and is a good natured gathering of like minded individuals sipping coffee and enjoying the cars.

John Richardson shows off his baby, a V8 Ford Mustang with the original engine. Vroom Vroom!

This past weekend was something special as newly transplanted Chiang Mai resident John Richardson showed off some of his classic car collection to the invited guests at his place. Neil Robinson of Chiang Mai Mail’s Bridge column fame was there and quickly hopped into the British racing green Sunbeam while others oohed and aahed over the various classic cars on display. Lucky guests enjoyed looking at cars, listening to the engines (Mustang!), sitting in the seats (Lotus Elan!) and taking their photos with their favorites (I loved the MG). Lunch was on offer for an added bonus. The return trip to NIM City Daily was great fun we got a ride in the Mercedes Benz sedan. The camaraderie amongst aficionados became clear as we waved and received waves in return from other classic car owners out taking their beloveds for a spin on a Sunday afternoon.

Neil Robinson would love to go for a spin in the Sunbeam.

It all made me seriously consider buying a car! David Hardcastle, one of the organizers of the group, has a website with cars for sale for those who feel left out of it all and yearn for something far different than the usual boring old Hondas, Mitsubishis and Toyotas. Classic cars are not as expensive as you would think. Well, as long as you don’t go for the Lotus that is! www.autonostalgia.info.

Classic cars lined up at Nim City on Sunday, June 27. Car lovers gather here
 the last Sunday of every month at 10:30 a.m.

Chiang Mai Expats Club goes dramatic

The Chiang Mai Expats Club meeting was well attended on its final meeting of June. There were several announcements for upcoming events and a special home visit request from an elderly German expat who is housebound here in Chiang Mai and would love to receive some home visits from other expats living in Chiang Mai. Please email [email protected]

Eric Danell of Dokmai Gardens announced free access to the gardens between July 3 and July 11 for all members of the Photographic club. You are invited to take and submit 3 photographs for a competition at Dokmai to win prizes including a beautiful vase valued at 9,000 baht. http://www.dokmaigarden.co.th. You will need to be a member of the Photography OGA. [email protected] for details. This is also your contact for the worldwide photo walk also taking place in Chiang Mai on July 24.

Guest speaker saw Mr Neville Powis return and once again enthrall the crowd with some of his film work more details of which can be found at his website. http://sites.google.com/site/nevilleorg/Home. His work includes Natural Agriculture: following the progress of a recycling plant showing that there is a viable alternative to just burning, Blue Skies, about the work done at a children’s foundation for underprivileged youngsters. Health Gurus is promotional film that poked a little fun at the author, and which was very funny.Loy Krathong, a very short but spectacular video showing the massive annual lantern release in Sansai.

Neville then put his acting hat on and gave a very strong rendition of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo.You really had to be there to understand the powerfulness and range of his voice. To finish off he had the whole audience on their feet doing various breathing routines and finally the laughter exercise.

The open forum followed with questions about the lovely “quiet” Tuk Tuks, England’s goal keeper getting his “green” card, power cuts and the dreaded tax liability.

Draw prizes included wine from our sponsor Wineways and vouchers to eat at different restaurants courtesy of the Dining Out Guide, another valued sponsor of the expats club. The next meeting will be on July 10 and will feature Care for Dogs.