HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

British residents gather to celebrate the birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II

US Alumni flock to Consulate

Increasing cooperation between police and consuls

Australian Chamber returns to Chiang Mai

Expats club celebrates 5 years in Chiang Mai

Peruvian Ambassador visits Chiang Mai for a “A taste of Peru”


British residents gather to celebrate the birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II

(From left) Deputy Director of Trade and Investment Paul Reid and his wife join Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson and the British Ambassador, Quinton Quayle at the receiving line for the birthday celebrations.

By Shana Kongmun

The diverse gathering of party-goers at the Shangri La Hotel on September 23rd included many resident British expatriates, Consuls and Honorary Consuls, local Thai dignitaries and of course, the event sponsors; Varee Chiang Mai School, Abbeycrest, Italasia, Chivas Regal, PFM, Tesco, Boots, Bangkok Airways and more.

Ambassador Quayle raises his glass in toast of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The highlight of the evening was the fashion show by the incomparable Dame Vivienne Westwood, with Thai models on the catwalk wearing some of her avante ggardecreations. Tesco premiered their own line, F & F in a fashion show, with more street savvy, trendy look. Chiang Mai University Performing Arts students performed a selection from the Shakespeare classic, A Mid Summer’s Night Dream in a modern interpretation with a Thai twist.

The British Ambassador, Quinton Quayle toasted HM Queen Elizabeth II after the playing of God Save the Queen and then toasted HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej after the Thai National Anthem.

Chiang Mai Governor Amornphan Nimanant shares a laugh in Thai with the U.K. Ambassador to Thailand, Quinton Quayle and British Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson.

All in all, the evening was quite a success despite the necessary delay from the original date in mid-June. In an earlier interview with the Ambassador, Mr. Quayle noted that the troubles in Bangkok had forced a postponement of the celebration. Celebrations were held in Bangkok the week prior, attended by Prime Minister Abhisit Vejajiva and he noted another event in Phuket for the following week.

Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson noted that he felt it important to promote to a wider sphere what Britain is in Thailand. From trade, education, fashion and the arts to the popularity of the English Premier League among Thais.

U.S. Consul General Susan Stevenson is greeted by Paul Reid and his wife at the reception.

Ambassador Quayle noted that nearly one million British citizens visit Thailand every year and 5,500 Thai students attend schools in the U.K. It is estimated that about 50,000 British citizens are resident in Thailand as well. He added that trade between the two countries was quite large and varied, noting that for both Tesco and Boots their largest operation outside the U.K. is in Thailand, with both companies planning further expansion here.

Residents Gary Newitt and Rex Baggaley enjoy the party in honor of their Queen’s birthday.

He added that while he is concerned for stability in Thailand as major issues have not yet been addressed he feels the peaceful demonstrations on September 19 were a good sign. He noted that his first posting in the Foreign Office took place in Thailand, where he learned to speak Thai in Chiang Mai, so upon his return as Ambassador, he returned to Chiang Mai for a few months to brush up on his Thai language abilities. He concluded saying that it is a terrific posting for him, as he loves Thai food and finds the culture rich, diverse and strong and the Thai people to be a lovely, friendly people.

(From left) Jerri Matthayamphan, Honourary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson, British Ambassador Quinton Quayle, Pakin Ployphicha and Toby Allen of Oasis Spa at the event at the Shangri La Hotel.


US Alumni flock to Consulate

By Shana Kongmun

The U.S. Consulate General recently hosted a party for alumni of U.S. Universities as well as to introduce new exchange students to returnees. Judith Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok was on hand to greet former and new students along with Consul General Susan Stevenson. Dean Tidwell, the political and economic chief for the Consulate also met students whose stay in the United States extended back to 1963.

U.S. Consul General Susan Stevenson greets visiting Pol.Col. Montri Sambunnanont, Deputy Commander of the Lampang Provincial Police at the recent alumni event held at the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai.

One new student was Hataitip Tasena, preparing for her visit to the United States in December where she will be an exchange student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie for a semester. A bit concerned about arriving in the country in the dead of winter, nonetheless she was game for the experience. A student who had been the previous year, to the University of Montana, albeit in the autumn, chatted about his experiences and his first encounter with snow.

Chiang Mai University’s Assoc. Prof Terapatt Vannaruemol, Asst. President for Public Relations and Alumni Affairs, right, joins Sasikarn Limpiti of the Faculty of Mass Communications at CMU in presenting U.S. Consul General Stevenson with a bouquet of flowers.

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright Scholarship in Thailand, local former Fulbright scholars were also in attendance as well as Chiang Mai University faculty (many of them also alumni of U.S. schools) and the President of the North Chiang Mai University, Narong Chavasint. Dr. Amnuay Tapingkae, Chairman of the Friends of Asia Foundation and President Emeritus of Payap University chatted about his time in the United States in 1963 as a Fulbright Scholar as well as Supattra Suttilagsana, Fulbright Scholar in 1979, who also worked as a public diplomacy assistant at the Consulate, now retired.

The fascinating cross section of people attending showed the broad diversity that attends U.S. universities, enriching not just their lives but those of the people they meet while overseas.

Gao Linprasert, center, Director of Institutional Relations & Counselor at Ace! the Academy for EducationUSA chats with alumni Supattra Suttilagsana, right, and Hataitip Tasena about her upcoming trip to the United States to study at the University of Wyoming.

(From left) Phitsanu Thepthong, Editor of the Chiang Mai Mail joins Judith Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, U.S. Consul General Stevenson, Shana Kongmun, Managing Editor of the Chiang Mai Mail and Arkom Supangphao of ATSME for the alumni party.

Increasing cooperation between police and consuls

By Shana Kongmun

In an effort to increase communications and better relations with foreign diplomats in Chiang Mai Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 Commissioner, Pol.Lt. Gen.Somkid Boonthanom, invited members of the local Consular corps to join him in celebration of the 111th anniversary of the Provincial Police Region 5.

Pol.Lt. Gen.Somkid Boonthanom, Commissioner for Provincial Police Region 5 in the North, greets the gathered consuls and honorary consuls to the 111th anniversary of the Police Region 5 building.

The Commissioner graciously showed guests around the newly refurbished museum. Of special interest were Buddha images commissioned by renowned Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat of which, amulets made and given to police officers in Region 5. The funds raised for the images and 116,000 amulets also went to a 10 million baht scholarship fund for the sons and daughters of local police.

The very first police force was instituted by King Rama IV and further modernized under King Chulalongkorn, Rama V appointig a Danish military officer as head. The force was reorganized again in 1932 when the regional police were set up in Lampang to cover all 17 Northern Provinces.

Peter VanLoo, the newest honorary consul for The Netherlands, entertained the crowd with his wonderful singing voice.

The current office was established in 1993 when Provincial Police Region 5 was moved to Chiang Mai.The Provincial Police Region 5 also includes Immigration for Region 5 covering 7 regions with main offices in Chiang Mai which includes Lampang and Lamphun, offices Chiang Rai which includes Phayao, Tak offices that also includes Sukhothai, Nan Immigration covers Phrae and Uttaradit, Mae Hong Son, Phitsanulok also covers Petchabun and Phichit, and Nakhon Sawan includes Kampaeng Phet and Uthai Thani. Additional branches include the Special Branch, and the Crime Division.

Commissioner Somkid invited the Consuls and Honorary Consuls to attend to ask them for their advice and to improve police relationships with the consuls. From Ben Svasti the British Honorary Consul who thanked the Police on behalf of the consuls for the dinner to the new Honorary Consul for Holland, the evening was well attended and beautifully catered by Le Crystal.

Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 5 Commissioner, Pol.Lt. Gen.Somkid Boonthanom describes the renovations and the creation of the Buddha images to Consul for India Arvind Kumar, Regional Security Officer for the U.S. Consulate Corey Ford and M. L. Preeyapun Sridhavat, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Peru

Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat, Honorary Consul for the Republic of Peru, greets the welcoming police with a wai in return as she arrives at the celebrations for the 111th anniversary party.

Several of the consuls listen to the history of the Police and its role in Chiang Mai as presented by several police officials.

Australian Chamber returns to Chiang Mai

By Shana Kongmun

It seems that the Australia Chamber of Commerce networking event, the Sundowners, held on September 10 at the lovely Dusit D2 Hotel’s Moxie restaurant, attracts more than just Australians as attendees hailed from Thailand and all parts of the world. Resident expats and local business people showed up for the event, which saw quite large gathering.

Australian Chamber President Andrew Durieux shares a laugh with Dusit D2’s Sukanya Janchoo.

Held in the stylish and modern Moxie restaurant, the hors d’oeurves were snapped up by the guests that ranged from Bangkok visitors Maurice Bromley and his lovely wife Renita, they of the famous or perhaps, infamous, Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes, also travelling up from Bangkok, Mark Wood of the Australian Trade Commission and of course members of the Australian Chamber including the host, President Andrew Durieux.

Andrew Durieux opened the evening and was joined by Dusit D2’s guru Sukanya Junchoo and the well-dressed Toby Allen of Oasis Spa who gave a rousing speech as event sponsor and led the evening’s toast. His partner and President of Oasis Spa, Pakin Ploypicha, also very nattily dressed, joined the event that evening but left it to Toby to amuse the crowd.

Lucky Mark Isenstadt found his card drawn and won the obligatory bottle of wine. Guests found themselves interviewed by Rod McNeil of Capital TV, an Australian founded, Thailand based television company that has become quite widely known in Thailand for their show “Destination Thailand” that airs on True. The evening ended as enjoyably as it started as old friends and new met at the event.

Toby Allen from sponsors Oasis Spa, lifts a glass in a very entertaining toast.

Toby Allen and Pakin Ployphicha of sponsors Oasis Spa are joined by Sukanya Janchoo of Dusit D2, Greg Bruce and Eric Lynn of LCT Consultants.

Guests from Bangkok join Sukanya Janchoo, Anchalee Kalmapijit and Pakin Ploypicha at the Sundowners evening.

Mark Isenstadt was the lucky winner of the bottle of wine.

Rod McNeil of Capital TV interviews Maurce Bromley
about his visit to Chiang Mai for cricket planning.

Expats club celebrates 5 years in Chiang Mai

(From left to right) Chris Hedges Vice President of the Chiang Mai Expats Club (CEC), Tim, Alan Hall President CEC and Khun Uh. (Photo courtesy of Citynow!)

The Chiang Mai Expats Club held it’s 5th Birthday party in the Silapa-Thai Lounge at The Shangri La Hotel on the evening of Friday, 18th September.

Ana Gracey, left, Sally Ward of the 200 Club and Gill Dobson enjoy the celebrations at the Shangri La Hotel. (Photo courtesy of Citynow!)

President Alan Hall alongside Vice President Chris Hedges (who organised the event) welcomed members and newcomers alike to the luxurious surroundings. Guests sipped cocktails and ate from a menu specially prepared for the occasion by the hotel. To top it all off was the enormous and delicious birthday cake made by club sponsor Butter is Better. Happy Birthday CEC! Meetings are held on the 4th Saturday of every month, 10am for 10.30am at the Shangri La Hotel, Chiang Mai. Everyone welcome. www. chaingmaiexpatsclub.com for further details.

Peruvian Ambassador visits Chiang Mai for a “A taste of Peru”

By Shana Kongmun

Extolling the famed wonders and natural beauties of one’s home country must be part of every Ambassador’s job description. Peru is blessed with just such riches, but fortunately for Ambassador Jorge Casta๑eda, they are also blessed with a variety of delicious foods as well.

dusit staffers dress in Peruvian National Dress for the Taste of Peru.

The dusit D2 Hotel hosted the Taste of Peru with the Ambassador and Deputy Head of Mission Arturo Arciniega travelling up from Bangkok to join chef Martin Velasquez and Peruvian Honorary Consul Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat at the event.

An elegant evening, as always at the dusit D2 Hotel, the event was well attended by many of Chiang Mai’s better known faces, with Chinese Consul General Zhu Wei-min taking a break from the GSM seminar to try the many delicious dishes of Peru. Chatting with Arturo Arciniega, they mentioned the many connections with China as well as a few dishes that seem almost Chinese in origin. Dusit D2 General Manager Sukanya Janchoo made it back from meetings in Bangkok in time for the event, and joined the Ambassador and his lovely wife in time for dessert.

Peruvian Honorary Consul Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat chats with Deputy Head of Mission Arturo Arciniega and Chinese Consul General Zhu Wei Min as guests arrived at the hotel.

As always, the food was excellent with Chef Martin whipping up fresh fish and octopus ceviche, in addition to some wonderfully unique salads and sides, one was with mashed potato, whose origins are, famously, from the Peruvean Andes, where they were first domesticated up to 4,000 years ago.

Ambassador Casta๑eda noted that this is not his first trip to Chiang Mai, adding that he really liked the slower pace of life and friendliness of the people in Chiang Mai.

Visitors to the dusit D2 were also given a small handbook filled with Peruvian recipes in both Thai and English, definitely worth dusting off the cooking pan to try.

(From left) Sukanya Janchoo, General Manager for dusit D2 Hotel Chiang Mai joins the Peruvian Ambassador, Jorge Casta๑eda and his wife, dusit staff, chef Martin Velasquez, Peruvian Honorary Consul Mom Luang Preeyapun Sridhavat and Deputy Head of Mission Arturo Arciniega at the conclusion of the event at the hotel.

Guests and friends gathered for the Taste of Peru,
sipping Peru’s national drink the Pisco Sour.