HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Tourism fair at CMU Convention Centre

Myanmar’s Air Bagan opens permanent offices in Chiang Mai

Where do we go from here?


Tourism fair at CMU Convention Centre

From left, Ms. Sansanee Thasom, of Chiang Mai Provincial Community Development Office, Veerayuth Sukwattako, Vice President of the Federation of Thai Industries for the Northern Chapter, Sushi Sartwej, the chairman of the organizing committee, Wanchai Pipatsamut, Head of Chiang Mai Provincial Industry Office, and a press conference MC were at the recent press conference announcing the upcoming tourism fair.

Jedsadapong Wongkiew

Lanna handicrafts will be in the spotlight on Friday July 30 at the Chiang Mai Innovation Market and Lanna OTOP Village Exhibition (CIM & LOVE 2010) opens at the Chiang Mai University Convention Centre. Held until August 3, the event is being sponsored by Provincial offices, such as the Industrial Office and the Community Development Office as well as the Federation of Thai Industries for Chiang Mai and the Office of National Innovation.

The Exhibition will not only feature local OTOP products but also offer information on development in tourism industry innovations, Suthi Sartwej, Chairman of the organizing committee and Deputy Secretary of the Federation of Thai Industries in Chiang Mai noted. He said that this will also provide local tour operators a chance to meet with peers in the eco-tourism and tourism innovation sectors.

There will be different areas covering different sectors, he added, green tourism, sufficiency economy, tourism for happiness, food safety, world heritage and more. SME operators, community enterprise groups, OTOP producers from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phrae, Lamphun, Lampang, and Mae Hong Son are expected to attend. The event is open to those in the tourism business and to the general public and runs from July 30 to August 3 at the CMU Convention Center.


Myanmar’s Air Bagan opens permanent offices in Chiang Mai

Visiting Myanmar business and tourism professionals are greeted by traditionally dressed staff of Air Bagan on their arrival for the grand opening of Air Bagan’s new office in Chiang Mai. An exclusive Chiang Mai Mail interview with Daw Kyi Kyi Aye, the Director of Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar will be published in the next week’s issue.

Air Bagan celebrated the official opening of permanent offices in Chiang Mai with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Pasakorn Supannapan (2nd left) Director for ASEAN, South Asia, and South Pacific Market Division of Tourism Authority of Thailand, Mr. U Htoo Thet Htwe (center) Managing Director of Air Bagan, and TAT Chiang Mai Office Director Chalermsak Suranant (2nd right) on July 23 at their new offices on Chang Klan Road opposite the Shangri La Hotel.

Where do we go from here?

By J.P. Boyd

Last week I talked about the differences between Sicily and Chiang Mai as a retirement destination, this week we tackle security and one concern many people have: food!

Italy’s food staple is pasta, Thailand’s is rice. The Thai diet is almost void of dairy products while Italy’s diet is rich in cream based B้chamel sauce, panna (cream), cheeses (ricotta and parmesan-reggiano, for instance) and specially cured deli meats like mortadella, speck, and prosciutto crudo. Both places have a wealth of fresh fruit and vegetables at “Farmer’s Market” type stands. Fresh ingredients are in high demand for most households in both Italy and Thailand. The diversity of ethnic choices is much greater in Thailand. In Sicily, your choices are Sicilian food or Chinese, period.

Neither country relies on tap water for drinking purposes. Bottled water is used, but tap is still used to do dishes, shower, etc. Both countries have polluted city air at times.

Safety and security are the next level of consideration. Protection from physical threat is paramount, where ever you live. Sicily is well known via movies and legends for its’ Mafioso” society, but as a citizen living there, I haven’t seen it cross over into the regular populace. Rumor has it that the nefarious fellow directing you to park (so he can extract a euro for his services) is the lowest end of mafia. I can’t verify this except by wide spread urban legend.

Thailand, on the other hand, has more immediate problems with as many as 30 recordable political uprisings in 20 years. Though bystanders are not the target, deaths do ensue. National curfews of 8 p.m. are enforced, grossly retarding tourism. It is backed up by armed military in the streets. It is important to stay alert and in contact with your State Department via internet. Registration with your Consulate is a must. Know, though, the conflict is not directed toward tourists or residents.

Psychological safety. For me, this includes freedom of speech and the precepts outlined in the U.S. Constitution. I know in Italy people only whisper the name, “Mafioso” and I am told that a book about Thailand titled has been banned. But using a modicum of good manners and staying out of local political discourse should make either one of these two residential choices amenable.

Next week: Can an ex-pats “social needs” be met in Thailand or Sicily?