His Majesty the King wishes for
a united and happy Thai people
The 2013 royal new year
greeting card shows His Majesty the King wearing a casual outfit flanked by
his beloved royal pets, Khun Thongdaeng and Khun Mali. His Majesty’s poem on
the card speaks of compassion which is a virtue and can bring happiness to
all. The gratitude expressed to those who extend their compassion will add
to ties of care and friendship between people. Small human smiling faces
frame the postcard. (Photo: Courtesy Bureau of the Royal Household)
His Majesty the King’s utmost wish on the New Year’s Day
is to see Thai people have compassion towards each other, help and encourage
each other and keep strong bonds of friendship.
In his televised New Year address, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej urged
people in every sector to cooperate for the happiness, stability and
prosperity of all individuals and the nation as a whole.
He also expressed grateful appreciation to the people who had turned up in
full force on his birthday with good intentions which he would never forget.
He thanked his subjects for their concern about his recent illness and their
wishes for his speedy recovery and good health. He also extended his wishes
for them to enjoy happiness and success in the coming year.
His Majesty urged all Thais to perform their duties to the best of their
ability and allow wisdom to guide their actions.
“Each and every one of you should think first of the public interest in your
personal behaviour and work performance. That is a truly sustainable benefit
that everyone can share in, and it can lead to improved welfare for
individuals and Thailand as a whole, which is what everyone desires.”
His Majesty called on the power of Khun Phra Sriratanatrai (Triple gems) and
all that is sacred to protect his subjects and grant them happiness, success
and good health in the new year.
Nimmanhaemin Road to become one way
Trial period from January 20, 2013
Police have erected signs up and down
Nimmanhaemin road informing drivers of the changes, however, the signs are
almost entirely in Thai.
Traffic police have decided to start a 30 day trial period of
one-way traffic on Nimmanhaemin Road on January 20, 21013. With the one way
beginning on Soi 17 and ending at Soi 3. Traffic will be diverted down side
sois and to Sirimangkalajarn to go the other direction. It has not been
announced that Sirimangkalajarn will be one way as well, only Nimmanhaemin.
Pol. Col. Suthichai Thananchai Superintendent of Chiang Mai Traffic Police
told the Chiang Mai Mail that it was hoped this would ease congestion and
allow cars to park on Nimmanhaemin road directly. He added that the one way
would be 24 hours a day and not at rush hour only. Traffic jams were
expected initially but the police are hopeful this will resolve the near
gridlock conditions that hit Nimmanhaemin every day.
However, concerned area residents and businesspeople expressed disapproval
of the idea. “I don’t think this is a good idea,” said one Sirimangkalajarn
home owner. “It will divert traffic onto Sirimangkalajarn which is already
quite narrow and backed up.” A man who works in the Nimmanhaemin area felt
it would be better to restrict parking on the main road, allowing traffic to
flow. He added that he felt the police didn’t want the added work of
policing illegally parked cars. A Nimmanhaemin road business owner felt that
it would be better to stop traffic flow going to and from the Superhighway
through Nimmanhaemin, adding that they could use canal as the way through
instead. This way, he said, the street could become more pedestrian friendly
and live up to its boutique shopping and dining area reputation.
City signs MoU for transport and traffic management
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai
Buranupakorn signed an MoU with the World Bank to begin projects for bike
paths around the city as well as for traffic planning.
The Chiang Mai Municipality signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the
World Bank on December 14, 2012 in a project that will tackle the growing
traffic and transportation problems that face Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn met with World Bank Representative
Dr. Chanin Mano-Pinivej and Chanchai Suwisuthakul, Deputy Director of the
Office of Transport, Traffic Policy and Planning at Le Meridien to sign the
MoU. The signing means that the city will receive technical assistance in
planning and creating transportation alternatives.
Mayor Tussanai said that the City understands how important transportation
and traffic planning are and will be looking at appropriate land use and
routes for non-motorized vehicles. The planned paths for bicycles and other
non-motorized vehicles will be designed under a project funded by the Global
Environment Facility, which has donated U$729,300 for the 18 month period.
Additionally the City will work with the World Bank, the Office of Traffic
and Transportation Policy Planning, the Ministry of Transport and
Communications in a joint operation with the Bureau of Public Debt
Management Policy under the Ministry of Finance to formulate transport
policy and planning, and support public participation in transportation
planning and traffic in the city as well as for the bike paths.
Public and private groups join forces in LEAF meeting
Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen paid a visit
to the recent LEAF meeting held at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel. The USAID
funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) held a workshop on
December 18, 2012 to establish a collaborative network of to guide
activities in the Mae Sa-Kog Ma Man and Biosphere Reserve which was
established in 1970 by UNESCO to minimize the loss of biological diversity
and to make people aware that cultural diversity and biological diversity
affect each other. LEAF is working to apply an integrated approach with Thai
counterparts to address climate change challenges. The LEAF program is a 5
year cooperative agreement and is being implemented by Winrock International
in partnership with SNV-Netherlands Development Program, Climate Focus and
RECOFTC The Center for People and Forests. More information on
Mayor works to instill
confidence in Moo Kata
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn eats at a grilled
pork restaurant to instill confidence in moo kata restaurants in Chiang Mai.
After the recent death of a student from Streptococcus Group B
bacteria at a “moo kata” or grilled pork restaurant, Chiang Mai Mayor
Tussanai Buranupakorn called upon consumers to feel confident in eating
grilled pork at these restaurants but to make certain the meat is fully
Mayor Tussanai paid a visit to the Sukhontha Moo Kata restaurant on Huay
Kaew Road in December to point out that eating grilled pork was harmless so
long as the restaurant was clean, the meat fully cooked or the that the
restaurants had been approved by the Public Health Department as clean and
The Mayor noted that in today’s society people have changed from cooking and
eating their own food at home to going out to eat, the moo kata restaurants
have become very popular due to the low costs. He reiterated that people
should make certain the food is thoroughly cooked before eating, to use
chopsticks to pick the food out rather than fingers and to always wash ones
hands before eating. He added that if anyone were to fall ill after eating
they should always visit a doctor. Mayor Tussanai concluded that consumers
need to be aware of the food safety when eating at these restaurants.
Police ready for New Year’s holiday
More than 300 police officers met at 3 Kings
Monument to pledge their cooperation with local forces, government officials
and police volunteers to help combat crime during the New Year.
Police Region 5 have increased measures to ensure visitor safety
during the New Year holidays, over 300 police joined Pol. Lt. Gen. Eakarat
Meepreecha Assistant of Royal Thai Police Commander at 3 Kings Monument on
December 15, 2012 to hear the measures being taken.
Region 5 Police are working with the local police and government officials
as well as volunteer community police to increase patrols in busy tourist
areas and to enforce laws against thieves, drug dealers and those suspected
of criminal activity.
The Assistant Commander noted that Chiang Mai is a major destination for
holiday makers during the New Year period and that the close cooperation
between all sectors involved shows that they are working together to prevent
and combat crime during the New Year to reinforce confidence and trust in
the safety of Chiang Mai.
Convention Center slated to open at Songkran
In a progress report on the construction of the Convention Center,
Seksan Nagwong Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Sports,
said the construction is complete, some remaining outbuildings and
infrastructure remain to be completed but it is expected to be fully
completed by March 2013 and the opening is scheduled for some time during
The Deputy Permanent Secretary also announced that the Cabinet has approved
the Pingnakorn Development Office (Public Organization) which will see the
merger of the Chiang Mai Night Safari, Royal Park Ratchaphruek and the
International Convention and Exhibition Centre under one management,
commemorating His Majesty’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary or CMICE. This
operation will be used to promote both domestic and international tourism.
“The Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center is a policy
driven and MICE driven project. Thailand’s MICE industry promotes normal
growth of 7-10% to 10-15%. Chiang Mai has organized 427 different MICE
conventions, with more than 60,000 people bringing in more than 3.35 billion
Baht to the economy. The conventions have included public sectors, Chambers
of Commerce, trade fairs, private associations and more in the year 2012.
Among international events, conventions from the Federation of Global
Exhibition, UFI: Union des Foires International Association, IAEE:
International Association of Exhibition and Events Association, and ICCA:
International Congress and Convention Association. Marketing strategies such
as roadshows, tradeshows, and marketing development through networks such as
chambers of commerce members have been the main focus,” the Deputy Permanent
Secretary said, adding that CMICE will be used to promote both domestic and
Health Office checks on New Year’s gift baskets
Department stores around Chiang Mai
The Public Health Office inspected pre-packaged
gift baskets to make sure they were safe for human consumption.
The Chiang Mai Public Health Office has sent officers to department
stores and superstores around the city to check the popular gift baskets
that go on sale for the New Year. Dr. Surasing Wisarutrat, Deputy Head of
the Chiang Mai Public Health Office joined officials on visit to the Tesco
Lotus Khamtieng on December 17, 2012 to inspect gift baskets for sale.
Dr.Surasing Wisarutrat said that because the supermarkets, department stores
and supercenters sell a wide range of goods in already prepackaged baskets
it is difficult for consumers to check on the products to make sure they are
not expired or not safe. It is the duty of the Public Health Office to check
these goods to make sure they are safe and still valid.
Any goods purchased that are past the expiry date in a gift basket should be
reported to the Public Health Office, noting that any food products that are
found to be expired or products that contain hazardous substances could see
two years imprisonment and up to 20,000 Baht in fines. Any product label
that does not give the expiration date can result in a fine not more than
Free Wi-Fi at Chiang Mai Zoo
TOT will launch a free Wi-Fi
service at the Chiang Mai Zoo after Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sanungsat,
Zoo Director Thanapat Pongpamorn and Acting Manager of Sales for TOT
Chalermsilp Sukserm signed a memorandum of understanding to offer 11 free
hot spots around the Zoo, offering a speed of 512 kbps which the public can
access using their ID card number to log in and use for 2 hours per day. The
Deputy Governor said the project offers access to communication and is a New
Year’s gift to the people who visit the Chiang Mai Zoo.
Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi celebrates 8 years
Two lovely ladies clad in traditional dress were
on hand to greet visitors to the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi’s welcome
The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Devi threw a welcome party for General
Manager Andrew Abram on Monday, December 17, 2012 as well as for newly
arrived F&B Director Carmen. The evening started with a tour of the property
and ended at the Rice Terrace restaurant with members of the local press.
Andrew chatted with guests at the dinner party noting that he had arrived in
Chiang Mai back in September and has enjoyed his stay here so far, coming
from Jakarta he finds the much lower rate of humidity and cool temperatures
a refreshing change.
The evening ended with a khom loy release in front of the main lobby of the
The large resort covers 60 acres, including their own rice terraces growing
sticky rice that is donated to local schools, and an organic garden. The
hotel has 54 colonial suites set in beautiful colonial style buildings, 64
private villas and 5 residences. The hotel is also adding longer term time
share residences for people looking for a holiday home in Chiang Mai. (Photos
by [email protected])
General Manager Andrew Abram releases a khom loy
after the dinner.
The beautiful private villas are in a
traditional Thai style, two stories with a magnificent bedroom and bathroom
Midnight Tak Bat at Wat Suan Dok
The midnight alms giving at
Wat Suan Dok takes place every full moon that falls on a Wednesday. Buddhist
faithful gather at Wat Suan Dok around 11 p.m. with offerings of food,
drinks, robes and other items for the monks in residence at Wat Suan Dok.
The ceremony, called Peng Pud is based on the legend of Shin Upagutta, a
Buddhist monk living in the reign of Ashoka in India, who would go out at
midnight to ask for offerings from the faithful. The belief is that anyone
who gave food offerings to him would be prosperous and protected by the
monk. Wat Uppakut is also the site of another midnight alms giving. (Photo
by Ronnakit Norkham)
Chiang Mai Zoo makes merit for baby elephant
A merit making ceremony was held on December 17
at the Chiang Mai Zoo for baby elephant Hong Kwan Chang who was born to
Billy and Chaiyo on June 17, 2012. Elephants are considered very good luck
for the Northern people and so Zoo Director Thanapat Pongpamorn and Deputy
Director Nipon Vichairat led the staff in a Lanna style parade from the
monorail station to the Elephant enclosure to perform the ceremony for Hong
Global motorbike travelers to meet in Chiang Mai
The 7th annual Southeast Asia
gathering of global motorcycle adventure seekers is slated for January
11-12, 2013 in Chiang Mai. The travelers and travel dreamers will meet
at the Rider’s Corner Bar and Restaurant both evenings at 6 p.m. to
mingle and trade information on everything from the latest and best
maps, motorbikes, routes and border crossing regulations and Customs.
On Friday there will be a “Welcome Motorcycle Travellers” reception
sponsored by The Heaven and Earth Golden Triangle Riders’ Band from 6 -7
p.m. Attendees from as far away as Canada, Germany, Singapore, Australia
and the Republic of South Africa have registered. Saturday evening is
scheduled to include multimedia presentations by travelers from Great
Britain, Canada and Australia after a BBQ (200 THB, reservations
required for the BBQ). The shows will feature topics such as ongoing
motorbike journeys around the world, through China and one adventure
that seems to have no end. More information can be found at the
globalmotorcycle adventure travel website http://www.
Countdown to 2013 at Tha Pae Gate
Chiang Mai will celebrate New Year at Tha Pae Gate with the Chiang
Mai Happy Festival to welcome in the New Year as part of the ongoing
celebrations to celebrate HM the King’s 85th birthday this year.
The Chiang Mai Municipality, together with the Provincial Administration
Organization and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation are holding shows and
performances at Tha Pae Gate every night from December 25. The performances
focus on Lanna culture, also, there are colorful floral decorations and
sound and light shows. There will be live concerts from such bands as Lemon
Band, Blossom Blooming, as well as ballet and hip hop performances from the
Ballet Academy and Hug Academy. Fireworks will culminate the New Year in the
No Alcohol zone around Tha Pae Gate.
Baby tapir born
at Chiang Mai Night Safari
baby tapir to be born at the Chiang Mai Night Safari was born on December 13
and named Christmas, CEO Dr. Sarawut Srisakun announced. Tapirs are an
endangered species on the CITES list and live in the wild in only protected
forest zones in wildlife reserves. The tapir can gestate for up to 395 days
and has only one baby at a time. The tapir belongs to the same group of
herbivores that also includes rhinos and horses and the genus Tapirus can be
traced back 8 million years. A tapir can grow up to 2.5 meters long and
weigh up to 500 kg. They are forest dwelling creatures that eat twigs,
leaves, and fruits, they are mainly nocturnal. The Night Safari now has 6
tapirs in residence.
Opium poppy fields
destroyed in the North
Army personnel with hilltribe people growing
cash cool weather crops instead of poppies.
The Royal Thai 3rd Army based out of Phitsanulok has been eradicating opium
poppy fields in conjunction with the United States Embassy and the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency in Thailand since 1994. The project is a bid to reduce
opium poppy cultivation in Thailand, about 1,200 rai are destroyed every
year for the past 3 years, according to Lt. Gen. Preecha Chan O-Cha, Deputy
Commander of the Operations Forces of the 3rd Army.
Lt. Gen. Preecha said that cultivation in the Northern provinces continues
and that eradication can be problematic as fields are usually in extremely
remote locations in mountainous areas and can be difficult to reach in poor
weather conditions. He added that the price of opium remains high so it does
not offer a disincentive to farmers to stop growing. He said that they
continue to find poppies cultivated in the usual places but that new
cultivation has been undergone at Tha Song Yang District, Tak Province close
to Ohm Koi district Chiang Mai.
1,297.35 rai of land under opium poppy cultivation was destroyed in 2011,
representing 95.71% of the area planted in year 2011 -2012.
Region 5 police visit Nan after arrest of area policemen
Commander of Police Region 5 Chamnan Ruwdrew and Wichai Chaimonkol, Director of
the ONCB Region 5 paid a visit to Auan Police Station in Pua District, Nan,
after ranking police from the station were arrested for drug trafficking.
Following the arrest of 5 high ranking local police officers from the Auan
Police Station by Narcotics Police in Ayutthaya on December 13, 2012 with 1
million Yaba tablets, Region 5 police paid a visit to the Auan Police Station.
The police were accused of using police vehicles to smuggle drugs over the
border from Burma undetected and it is suspected that they smuggled hundreds of
Deputy Commander of Police Region 5 Chamnan Ruwdrew and Wichai Chaimonkol,
Director of the ONCB Region 5 paid a visit to Auan Police Station in Pua
District, Nan, to offer encouragement to local police after a drug trafficking
network was uncovered involving five ranking police officers and 3 civilians
operating out of their station. The Deputy Commander said they were ready to
provide support in practical duties to the police station and have instructed
the police there to keep a more watchful eye. He said that the police must
ensure justice and that those arrested be prosecuted despite their ranking as
He added that confidence must be restored at the station and that most police
officers are good, but good judgment must be used and that respect and dignity
must be restored to the police.
Tai Yai couple
arrested in murder
Chay Tah age
25 and his wife Lee Kwuan age 27 of Burma were arrested for the murder of
their employer; Chanok-Suda Amatayakul in Doi Saket.
A Tai Yai couple from Myanmar were arrested on December 13 for the murder of
the woman’s employer in their luxury villa in Doi Saket. Chay Tah age 25 and
his wife Lee Kwuan age 27 were arrested in Lamphun and confessed to the
murder, stating that they fell into a rage and strangled Chanok-Suda
Amatayakul age 63 after she refused to pay their wages. They stole jewelry,
a computer, mobile phone and other valuables.
Police were called to Sila Waree Lodge in Baan Pang Fan Doi Saket on
December 12 when the body of Chanok-Suda was found, police said she had been
dead at least 5 days. The victim lived alone and witnesses said she had not
been seen for several days. The police tracked the couple to Lamphun where
they were arrested.
Drug arrests net 180,000 methamphetamine pills
Two men from
Mae Hong Son were arrested with 60,000 Yaba or methamphetamine tablets in a
series of sting operations that netted 180,000 methamphetamine pills and 7
Two Mae Hong Son were arrested on December 13, 2012 after a sting operation
in a restaurant in Nongpakrang. Phuwadol Siriang and Nitat Klinkajorn both
of Mae Hong Son were arrested by police after information led them to set up
a sting with the two men as part of a broader drug trafficking network.
Police arrested Phuwadol after they set up a meet at a local restaurant, he
came with a backpack with 40,000 methamphetamine tablets. They investigated
the room where he lived with Nitat where they found a further 20,000
methamphetamine tables, a 9 mm handgun and 2.5 million Baht in cash. The two
men pled guilty to the charges saying they brought the drugs over the border
from Myanmar to sell in Thailand.
On December 17 Fang police and Narcotic Police and Border Patrol police
arrested three drug traffickers netted in a sting operation in Fang
District. Guan Jiang Farn, age 41 Ying Kamsai age 34 and Mat loongsu age 49
all from Burma were arrested with 60,000 methamphetamine tablets and a hand
grenade. However one suspect named Soon escaped from police.
And in a separate case, two Lahu hilltribe women were arrested in Mae Taeng;
Payanart Jalae age 22 and Lumi Jawha age 28 were found with 30 packs of
drugs totaling about 60,000 methamphetamine tablets. Police were informed
that drugs were being trafficked in Mae Taeng and police set up a sting to
arrest the two women.
Body found in Irrigation Canal
22 year old CMU student
Phu Ping Police were called to the irrigation canal near Baan Sai
Kham in Suthep after a body was reported to be floating in the canal on
December 12, 2012 at 11:30 a.m.
Doctors and rescue personnel used a rope to pull the body from the canal to
the bank. The victim was 22 year Chiang Mai University student Pathompong
Chikthaweepanich of Nakhon Sawan.
Pathompong had been reported missing on Sunday, December 9 at 5 a.m. when
his friends went to the police to report that he had crashed his motorbike
on the road. He had gone out with friends on the evening of December 8, they
returned to the dormitory but Pathompong did not show up. They returned back
along the route and found his crashed motorcycle opposite Chom Doi Condos on
Canal Road but no sign of Pathompong.
Police theorize he had been catapulted into the canal and floated to the
surface several days later, his friends and family went to the scene of the
rescue when the report came in.
41 students hit
with food poisoning
Chonpatan Phatake School in Doi Saket
41 primary and secondary school students ranging in age from 7 years
of age to 15 were hit with mass food poisoning on December 19, 2012 at
Chonpatan Phatake School in Doi Saket District. All students were sent to
Doi Saket hospital to treat the symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
Students fell ill after eating steamed rice with chicken soup for lunch,
with many starting to show symptoms later. 9 students returned home from the
hospital to be treated at home.
Public Health Officials have taken samples of all food served at the school
to determine what caused the food poisoning and how the tainted food came to