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Dr. Zhu bids farewell to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s longest serving diplomat returns to China

By Shana Kongmun
Dr. Zhu Wei Min, the Consul General for the People’s Republic of China is a well-known figure among the diplomatic, government and media corps having served as Consul General for over three years.

Dr. Zhu Wei Min spoke of his time in Chiang Mai and how grateful he was to have been assigned here, he added that his wife and daughter have loved the home they made in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

His ready smile and friendly attitude has endeared him to those who know him and his active presence in the Overseas Chinese Community as well as at important Chiang Mai festivals has shown his commitment to Chiang Mai and the North. He has actively worked to promote Chinese tourists to Chiang Mai, campaigning for more direct air flights to the city, as well as promoting Chinese culture here in Chiang Mai.

Dr. Zhu told the Chiang Mai Mail in an interview several years ago that the exchange of language and culture was an important part of his job, noting that 1,500 Chinese students are currently studying in Chiang Mai and 10,000 Chinese students studying around Thailand. He said that there are about 30,000 Thai students studying in China and that an estimated 600,000 students are studying Chinese in Thailand.

The Chiang Mai Governor was happy to accept a gift of the Chiang Mai Mail from Managing Editor Shana Kongmun at the party, noting that he enjoyed reading the English language news as well as the Thai. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

A native of Shanghai, Dr. Zhu was originally a hydro engineer before the Chinese government approached him for a drastic change of career; that of a diplomat. His first post was in San Francisco, where he made many friends, he said, “The police even escorted me to the airport when I left.” He concluded with a laugh, Maybe they were trying to make sure I really left!”

The party was held at the Holiday Inn Hotel on July 5, 2012 where Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul gave an emotional farewell to a man he calls friend. Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn also attended the party, adding that he will miss Dr. Zhu very much, a sentiment echoed by the diplomatic corps as well, which saw the Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata, Todd Bate-Poxon representing the U.S. Consul General Ken Foster, the Indian Consul Mr. Dhirendra Singh Garbyal as well as the many Honorary Consuls who represented their nations at the party.

The local business community was there in force, bidding farewell to a man that most had met at the many business and social activities that Dr. Zhu has attended over the past 3 years.
Dr. Zhu said initially he will return to Beijing and then, he hoped, back home to Shanghai. His replacement will be arriving in August.

Chiang Mai Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul offers his good friend Dr. Zhu Wei Min a heartfelt “wai” at the party. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn (3rd right) is joined by the Commander of Wing 41 (2nd right) Grp. Cpt. Prayoon Thammathiwat and members of the diplomatic and business communities as Dr. Zhu spoke of his time in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

The party was attended by the Governor as well as members of the diplomatic corps and the Chiang Mai business community. Here, the Governor (center) is seen standing with Dr. Zhu’s wife Angie (5th left) as they listen to the Consul General’s farewell. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

The diplomatic corps of Chiang Mai joined Dr. Zhu Wei Min and Governor M.L Panadda Diksul for the final group photo. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Chiang Mai celebrates American Independence Day

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai locals and residents joined together at several venues around the city to celebrate U.S. Independence Day on July 4, 2012. There was no large party held at the Municipal Stadium this year, last year’s was hosted by Creative Kingdom, but several business owners hosted their own parties and the U.S. Consulate hosted a fashion show by American fashion designer Anthony Lilore at the Northern Village at Central Airport Plaza.

Vice Consul for the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai Paul Neville opened the show and introduced the designer to the audience, he talked about the importance of creativity and the emphasis that the Embassy and Consulate have placed on helping it to thrive in Chiang Mai. (Photo by Ally Taylor)

The largest party by far was hosted by David Anichowski of The Dukes at his new restaurant the River Market near the Iron Bridge on Charoen Prathet Road from the late afternoon to nighttime when a fireworks show was held. Aussie John and the Experience played again this year and kept the crowd entertained as they fed on the All-American fare the Dukes is so famous for.

Dave Anichowski of The Dukes fame hosted the 4th of July party at his new restaurant The River Market. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

The U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai hosted a fashion show featuring the casual clothing of American designer Anthony Lilore, a U.S. Textile Arts Envoy, and the founder of Restore Clothing, a Top 10 New York Green Business. His clothes featured all organic cotton and polyester woven into fabric from recycled water bottles, something, the designer pointed out, we have in all too much abundance and is made from a diminishing resource.

The fashion show saw members of the Chiang Mai Creative City Committee attend as well as U.S. Vice Consul Paul Neville and well-known local women that include Cat Ratchada, Amber Hedges Ferry, LiLi Tan, Shana Kongmun, Khanidtha Aounfour and Chattra Baude acting as models for the show along with performers from Chiang Mai Troupe.

Several other venues around town also held celebrations including Soho Bar and Guesthouse on Huay Kaew Road as well as private parties around town.

The Aussie John Experience kept the crowd rocking through the evening.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Everyone had a lot of fun at the party although sadly no American beer this year. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Chiang Mai Creative City Committee member Premruedee Kullasu is seen here chatting with designer Anthony Lilore. Anthony said he was inspired by the creativity in Chiang Mai and was looking forward to a return visit. (Photo by Ally Taylor)

Dave hosted the 4th of July party at his new restaurant River Market.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Fashion Designer Anthony Lilore (5th left) is joined by guests and models at the end of the show. (Photo by Ally Taylor)

Performers from Chiang Mai Troupe opened the event with a flash mob style dance. (Photo by Ally Taylor)

People turned out in festive gear for the party.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Kids had a good time at the event, enjoying the wonderful fireworks show.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Dave obtained permission from the Municipality and had a wonderful fireworks show off the Iron Bridge. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Dr. Zhu bids farewell to Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai celebrates American Independence Day