Nimmanhaemin one way plans change again
Delayed to February 1
Members of the Nimmanhaemin
road residents group address their concerns regarding the one way sois and
other traffic issues on Nimmanhaemin at a meeting held with Pol. Col.
Sittichai Thananchai, head of the Traffic Police, recently.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
At a recent meeting held at Khun Chern restaurant on Nimmanhaemin road with
the Chief of Traffic Police Pol. Col. Sittichai Thananchai another change in
plans was announced. The one way sois will now begin at Soi 5 instead of soi
3 and end at Soi 15 instead of Soi 17. Soi 3 and Soi 17 will remain two way.
The center soi that is parallel to Nimmanhaemin will run one way, North, for
the duration of the test period. Soi 5 will be one way from Sirimangkalarn
west towards Nimmanhaemin Road while Soi 7 will be one way from Nimmanhaemin
to Sirimangkalajarn, with each soi alternating until Soi 15.
The launch of the one way system has now been delayed until February 1 and
will run for the month of February after which police will evaluate the
Parking on side sois will remain restricted to alternate days and the
enforcement of no right turns onto Nimmanhaemin will be in force for 7 hours
a day during peak traffic.
A short history of the old British Consulate of Chiang Mai
This photo was taken during a
flood in 1953. The building at rear is the consul, and the consul's
residence was on the second floor. The building at front was known as the
media building (Photo courtesy of Mr. Boonserm Satrabhaya).
The construction of the British Consulate building in
1915 was one of the first tasks undertaken by the then-newly appointed
Consul General in Chiang Mai, William Alfred Rae Wood.
Chiang Mai in the years when W. A. R. Wood arrived was a community with a
fluctuating number of British, the majority of them working for British
companies in the teak trade. The primary duties of the British consuls were
to ensure justice for the Queen’s citizens in Chiang Mai and to protect the
interests of the teak companies in northern Thailand.
One D. F. McFie who worked as a forest assistant for the Borneo Company kept
a monthly record of events between 1893 and 1919, giving us a taste of life
in Chiang Mai at the turn of the century. McFie’s notes mention happenings
such as the flooding of the River Ping in 1893, the capture of a revered
white elephant a year later, and a memorial statue of Queen Victoria raised
Two years after W. A. R. Wood’s appointment, construction began on the
building that is now the Restaurant and Bar at the Chedi Chiang Mai. Seven
rai (1.12 hectares) of land already owned by the British Government along
the banks of the River Ping was set aside for the new building, which would
replace an older consulate dating from 1884.
Carried out under the supervision of architect W. Osborn Keats, plans for
the building included a residence for the consul’s family, a courtroom,
offices, servants’ quarters, and stables for four elephants.
The consulate was modelled on Britain’s standard foreign office design for
tropical countries. Spacious verandahs were installed on the upper and lower
floors to catch the river breeze, and the dining room was cooled by a punkah
– a wooden board with a fabric fringe suspended from the ceiling that
rotated by pulling a rope.
The first floor was elevated on a metre-high rectangular base in case of
floods. In an edition of the Chiang Mai Newsletter, one Alberto Cosi notes
the unusual length of the structure at 22 yards -- the exact length of a
When it opened, the new consulate became a centre for sport and society,
with a constant stream of visitors. British citizens in Chiang Mai came to
pay their respects, register their presence, or seek help and advice. The
consulate’s parties for the British King’s or Queen’s birthdays were the
highlight of the year. Many a drink was shared or a meal served in the
consulate’s dining room; many a game of croquet played on its lawn.
A British Consulate Chiengmai Visitor’s Book from November 1947 to April
1953 has been preserved, showing a cross-section of the figures who came to
the consulate. Entries for 1949 show the signatures of a clutch of
distinguished Thais, members of the Royal Air Force, former consul W. A. R.
Wood and his daughter Amala, and the Governor of Chiang Mai.
The building remained a focal point for society in Chiang Mai, only closing
for three years during WW2 and again for two years from 1970, before it was
officially shut in 1978 and sold.
In the mid 2000s, GHM signed a deal to rehabilitate the old consulate
building, and place this structure at the centre of contemporary Asian
resort. The second floor was re-imagined as a casual Terrace Bar and Cigar
Lounge, and the first floor is now an international restaurant, specialising
in Indian and Thai dishes and featuring panoramic views of Chiang Mai’s
Stefan Noll, the General Manager of the Chedi Chiang Mai said, “It is a
great pleasure to have such a unique piece of history as a part of the
hotel. We appreciate the building and the connections we can build through
it. Personally, I love the VIP room on the second floor, which I use
whenever I entertain a small group of guests.”
He added that most guests are amazed and love to learn the history of this
When asked about the ghost stories Stefan added, “Most old consulate
buildings have ghost stories and ours is no exception. I personally have not
seen any of the spirits who other people have spoken to me about, but I
respect those stories and find them fascinating.”
Mr. Stringer, who was British
Consul (white-suited man at center), had this photo taken with his staff and
some workers in front of the first British Consulate (Photo courtesy of Mr.
30th Annual Bor Sang
January 18-20, 2013
The 30th Annual Bor Sang Umbrella
Festival will be held from January 18-20 in Bor Sang in San Kamphaeng
The 30th annual Bor Sang Umbrella Festival will features shades of
yellow, blue and pink to honor the birthdays of Their Majesties the King and
Queen and HRH the Crown Prince this year. Held from January 18-20 in Bor
Sang village in San Kamphaeng, the annual festival is highly popular with
the famous parade of beautiful ladies on bicycles with parasols as well as
traditional music and dance performances and the Miss Bor Sang Umbrella
On January 8, Wimol Mongkolcharoen, Permanent Secretary of Muang Ton Pao
Municipality, which is organizing the event in cooperation with the Chiang
Mai Provincial Administration Organization, the Office of Small and Medium
Enterprises and the Tourism Authority of Thailand announced that in addition
shopowners and will take part in a store front decoration contest and that
carts will be provided for visitors so they can park their cars and view the
decorations and visit the festival more easily.
Chiang Mai tops
the nation in number of accidents over New Year
The “7 Dangerous Days of New
Year” saw Chiang Mai have the highest number of accidents and third highest
number of fatalities in the nation.
Chiang Mai topped the nation in number of accidents and injuries during the
“7 dangerous days of New Year” December 27, 2012- January 2, 2013 and third
in number of deaths, with 14 killed in road accidents, Deputy Governor
Ritthipong Techapun announced at City Hall on January 3, 2013.
Nationwide, there were 3,176 accidents with 3,329 people injured, and 365
traffic fatalities, last year there were 336 killed. Chiang Mai had 141
accidents and 147 people injured. 14 people were killed in Chiang Mai, while
Nakhon Pathom had the highest death toll with 18 and Nakhon Ratchasima
second with 15 fatalities.
Nakhon Sawan tied with Chiang Mai in number of fatalities with 14 dead,
while 13 people were killed in accidents in Bangkok. Six provinces reported
no fatalities; Uttaradit, Phang Nga, Ranong, Nakhon Nayok, Nong Khai and
Trat which was also the only province to record no accidents.
Komsan Suwanampha, Chief of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Chiang Mai
Provincial Office said that Chiang Mai saw a 54.94% increase in number of
accidents and 45.54% increase in accidents. Last year there were 107 road
accidents in Chiang Mai with 10 deaths.
Most of the accidents involved motorcycles and involved drunk driving and
not wearing a helmet. All of the fatalities were residents of Chiang Mai
Japan donates Cherry trees to Royal Rajapruek Park
Japanese Consul-General Kazuo Shibata and
members of the Japan Cherry Blossom Association delivered 10 cherry blossom
trees to Dr. Siripong Hangsaphruek, the Director of the Highland Development
Institute and Tassanaee Srimonkol, the Director of the Royal Rajapruek Park
on December 30, 2012. The ten trees were planted in the park at the Japan
Garden, a very popular garden at the park. Asst. Prof. Benjang Jaisai,
Deputy Dean for Research and International Affairs for the Faculty of
Humanities at Chiang Mai University coordinated the donation.
Prime Minister meets with Provincial Governors
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra chaired a
provincial governors meeting at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel on December 27,
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra traveled to Chiang Mai late last
month to attend a meeting with Provincial Governors from throughout
Thailand. The meeting was held at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel on December
27, 2012 to deliver government policy to the governors where the governors
were told to provide information about the proposed Constitutional
referendum to people in their provinces.
The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Interior along with key members of
the Interior Ministry, Governors, and Executive Agencies attended the
meeting where the Prime Minister discussed policy and development of the
region. She noted that the meeting was to discuss the dynamics of the
government’s strategic plan to prepare for entry into the ASEAN community
and to develop the country’s agenda with input from each provincial
Thailand’s first giant anteater at Chiang Mai Zoo
Chiang Mai Zoo welcomed the nation’s first giant anteater recently; Tyco, a
3 year old giant anteater was the first giant anteater born in Thailand.
With the cooperation of the Zoological Park Organization and the Khao Keaw
Open Zoo, Tyco will be in a special exhibit mimicking her natural home for
three months. The Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is a large
insectivorous mammal native to Central and South America tropical and
deciduous forests. While their main diet is ants, they also eat small
insects and small fruits. An adult anteater can reach as big as 217 cm long
and they have a long nose and tongue to eat ants. Their tail acts like a
fifth hand to help bend branches. The anteater has a sense of smell 40 times
more sensitive than that of a human and a body temperature much lower than
most mammals; 33 degrees Celsius.
Region 5 police volunteer to work in the Deep South
Region 5 police volunteer to serve 2 years in
the three Southern provinces.
22 Region 5 police submitted their names to a draw to volunteer in three
Southern provinces on January 2, 2013, Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa,
Commander of Police Region 5 announced. The Board Committee asked for lots
to be drawn from 377 qualified police officers to pick 17 police to work in
the South. However, 22 men submitted their names as volunteers so no draw
The Royal Thai Police have asked for qualified officers to work in the
South, asking for a total of 150 officers from around the country.
“These police will assist the government in the provinces for 2 years
without any additional privileges. They will receive the usual allowances in
accordance with the regulations of the Bureau of the Budget. It is a good
sign to have such a number of police officers volunteer to sacrifice the
comforts of their homes and family to serve in the three Southern provinces.
There are many other officers who have filed complaints against Deputy Prime
Minister Chalerm Yubamrung. The police will serve in the South from January
7, 2013 until January 7, 2015.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep added that most police officers work to serve and that
the 17 officers who will perform their duties well and show the public a
more caring side. He thanked the families of the volunteers for sacrificing
their personal happiness for the nation.
one way correction
Despite a personal interview with the Chief of Traffic Police in the last
issue stating that Nimmanhaemin Road would be one way, it seems that a
correction is necessary as the police have now come out with another
statement that the traffic will be running one way on the sois. Each soi
will alternate with Soi 3 one way away from Nimmanhaemin and towards
Sirimangkalajarn Road, Soi 5 will be one way towards Nimmanhaemin, Soi 7
away, etc until Soi 17. This will begin January 20 as a one month trial and
will operate 24 hours a day.
Northern Provinces Group 1 discuss master plan for cosmetic industry
Northern cosmetic companies
met with academia to formulate a master plan for the industry in the North
at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel.
The Northern Provinces Group 1 met at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel
recently at seminar to discuss the strategies and objectives of the growing
cosmetics industry. Narong Kongprasert, President of the Chiang Mai Chamber
of Commerce led the seminar that focused in building networking, improving
performance and focusing on sustainable eco friendly and organic products.
The study focused on herbal resources available in the region and potential
production, promoting innovation and strengthening ties with research labs
at leading universities in the region such as Chiang Mai University and
A brainstorming session was held with academics and experts in the private
sector to propose a master plan for the cosmetics industry in the North;
they hope to receive comments and suggestions from all sectors involved
including on long term logistics issues, product development and research.
UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT: Todd Tongdee
New music festival coming to Chiang Mai
Todd is seen here on a visit to Chiang Mai last
The Chiang Mai Mail had a chance to hold a short interview with Todd Lavelle
or Todd Tongdee as he is more widely known in Thailand. He recently started
a TV show featuring Lanna culture in the North on Thai television and is
currently organizing a concert to be held in February.
The Festival, “Lanna World”aims to celebrate the heritage, music, and
culture of Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, and Mae Hong Son along with
peoplefrom throughout Thailand and 4 continents.
Todd said, “We are working with the Province of Chiang Mai, the Ministry of
Sports and Tourism (Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son offices) as
well as the Provincial Administrative Organization of Chiang Mai. Private
supporters include the Singha Corporation, the Government Bank, PTT and the
Northern Hotels Association.”
The festival will be held February 14th-17th, 2013 at Kad Cherng Doi
(Prasert Land) just off Canal Road. The festival is free and features both
national and international performers with big shows coming from India, the
USA, West Africa and the Middle East.
Todd noted that he and the organizers chose to hold the concert in Chiang
Mai for several reasons.
“Chiang Mai is now home to a myriad of Lanna, Tai and Thai as well as
international cultures. We’d like to create a music festival that celebrates
these colors as well as the cultures of the 4 provinces in the UPN1
group-Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, and Mae Hong Son.
Secondly, last year’s World Colors Festival in Chiang Mai was a phenomenal
success. The then Governor of Chiang Rai, Tanin, a Chiang Mai native is now
the Governor of Chiang Mai. We talked about what we could do to celebrate
Chiang Mai as a world-class “cradle of creativity”. This festival is one
Finally, there is a great wealth of talent in the youth of Chiang Mai. Bands
and performers here have won numerous national awards-most recently the band
who won Singha’s Master Band contest. We’d like to show them off in this
festival and create the opportunity for them to share the stage with World
Musiq groups from around the world.”
Todd discussed his television show which features Lanna culture on national
television and has proven to be very popular.
“The latest show (we have several) is called “Lanna: Miracles and More” and
is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, UPN1 and schools, groups
and people from throughout Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang and Mae Hong Son.
The show is a reality-variety show aimed at promoting “creative
tourism”-i.e. using the wealth of cultural, natural and human resources here
to create NEW poetry, songs, paintings, and ideas. The show brings together
celebrity artists like Eed Bonglang Sa-On, Tik Shiro, Lanna Commins, Andrew
Biggs and takes them to villages, rivers, caves, temples with blind,
autistic, deaf kids to kinda bust the walls of ideas open. It’s fun and
we’ve created some great stuff together.”
Finally, Todd has held a special place in his heart for Chiang Mai and he
tells the Chiang Mai Mail why that is.
“I fell in love with the North while studying herbal medicine at
Chulalongkorn University. Lanna Culture is a unique, colorful and vibrant
entity in and of itself. There is a quiet strength to the people and their
culture-800 years of it-1500 if you go to Lamphun!
I then was given another Fulbright grant to study minority cultures at
Chiang Mai University and traveled throughout Lanna and Eastern Burma to
write the stories of the ethnic peoples fighting against the military regime
in Rangoon. Their stories were (and are) inspiring. As we look around the
world Chiang Mai is a stunning example of a clear local culture (Lanna)
taking in the colors of a national government (Thai), local ethnic colors
and even international colors of culture in a mesh of fun that seems to
Over the last 3 years I have been afforded the honor and opportunity ( by
the Thai government, UPN1 and local people of Lanna) to create and produce
TV shows, songs, festivals celebrating these colors. It’s ridiculously fun
and much bigger than I had imagined.”
Todd moved to Thailand 25 years ago on a Fulbright scholarship having grown
up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA. However, he said that he came from a
background of entertainment.
“I am a child of life, dancing on this planet in peace and joy. I grew up in
a phenomenal family of foster kids, traveling minstrels and books.”
Todd wears many hats; writer, singer, performer, TV personality, producer of
his own songs, books and festivals which grew way beyond what he ever
“I have brought seeds of creativity. Thailand as a nation has watered and
fostered these seeds into the “works” before me-300 published songs, 15
original books, 10 original CD’s, over 500 TV shows, movies and 40+ World
Musiq Festivals around the country as well as in 15 other nations. That is
why I use the names “Todd (tongdee) Lavelle and Thailand” on almost all of
For more details on the festival visit www.lannaworld1.com or visit
toddeastwest. com for more information on Todd.
Chiang Mai hotel spas continue to gain recognition
Agoda.com, the widely used hotel booking site, recently released its list of
top ten Asian hotel spas as chosen by their users and Chiang Mai’s Panviman
Chiang Mai Spa Resort reached the top ten along with other notable Thailand
spas such as the Banyan Tree in Koh Samui, the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton in
Krabi, the Wora Bura Resort & Spa in Hua Hin and the Banyan Tree Spa
Sancturay in Phuket.
In fact, out of the top ten Thailand garnered the most with 5 spas reaching
the top ten. Malaysia had two spa resorts and the Phillipines, Dubai and
Indonesia had one each.
130,000 members responded to the poll on the site which focuses on the Asia
Chiang Mai high season saw 20% growth
The tourism market in Chiang Mai grew 20% in the high season that
began in October from the previous period last year, Wisoot Buachoom,
Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai Office recently
Director of the Chiang Mai Tourism Authority of
Thailand office Wisoot Buachoom reports on the latest tourism figures for
He said that the holidays brought more than 5million people to Chiang Mai.
Of those, 3 million were domestic tourists and 2 million foreign tourists.
Currently over 70% of the foreign tourists are from Europe, and 30% from the
Middle East and China but it is believed that the Chinese market will boom
in the next 2-3 years, eventually accounting for 40% of all tourists to
Between the start of the high season in October through December more than
200 million Baht a day was injected into the local economy, about 17 billion
Baht for the three month period.
Sarawuth Saeteao, President of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association
added that Chiang Mai is very livable city with many cultural and natural
attractions. He reminded business owners to treat visitors to Chiang Mai
with great hospitality and provide good services and not take advantage of
tourists during the high season to maintain a good image among visitors to
Chiang Mai Jazz in the City Festival
Chiang Mai Jazz in the City Festival will be held on January 19, 20 from
6 p.m. to midnight at Nim City Daily at the Airport intersection.
The 2013 edition of Chiang Mai Jazz in the City Festival is
coming to Nim City Daily near Central Airport Plaza on January 19 and 20
it was recently announced at a press conference. Sponsored by the
Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai, Nim City Daily, the Chiang
Mai Chamber of Commerce, Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, AIA
(Thailand), Diamond Brand Stainless Steel Water Tanks, Green Tree Septic
tanks, Krung Thai Bank, Rimping Supermarket and Singha Corporation, the
event will be held over two days for free.
The concerts begin at 6 p.m. and run through midnight. Donations raised
will be used to purchase water and septic tanks for schools in remote
locations around Chiang Mai.
Featuring Jazz and pop artists from around Thailand and overseas, such
noted musicians as Mr. Koh Sax Man, Naree Krajang Kanthamas, Pom Auto
Bahn, Off Pongsak, Be Peraphat, Pop Pongkul, Boonsri and Aom Rattanang,
Aod Pubrock and the Chang Saton Band will perform for the audience. Also
featured is a dance performance from Dance Zone.
Pha Muang in gun battle
with Lahu Home Guard
4 killed in shootout
The Pha Muang Task Force engaged in a gun battle
with the Lahu Home Guard where they uncovered 230,000 Yaba pills after
killing four men.
The Pha Muang Task Force were sent to patrol the mountain ridge on the
Thailand-Burma border, Baan E-Kor armae Thedthai sub district Mae Fah Luang
district Chiang Rai after they had been informed by military intelligence
that a large caravan of traffickers was expected. The intelligence said at
least 10 people carrying over 1 million methamphetamine tablets were
expected in the area.
On January 6, 2013, the patrol encountered a group who opened fire when
called upon to surrender. The gun battle lasted for more than 20 Minutes and
when the firing stopped two men were found dead. The patrol followed a trail
of blood where they found two more men dead from gunshot wounds and 5
backpacks that held a total of 230,000 methamphetamine tablets and 2 AK-47s
The dead men were wearing camouflage uniforms bearing the insignia the Lahu
Home Gueard led by Lt. Col. Yee Sae. Yee Sae is the leader of the splinter
group the Lahu Home Guard in Myanmar and is wanted by Thai police who are
offering a reward of 2 million Baht for information leading to his arrest.
German man arrested
on pedophilia charges
Lived in Chiang Mai for over 20 years
Region 5 police, working together with German police and Immigration
Police, uncovered a man who hired a tuk tuk driver to lure underage street
children back to his employer’s house for sexual abuse.
Region 5 Police obtained a search warrant and raided the home of Klaus
Michael Hicker, age 53, from Munich in Germany and arrested him on charges
of sexual abuse of minors. They also arrested Thip Yahong, age 21 of Thaton
Fang District in Chiang Mai, on charges of sexual abuse of minors and human
Police allege that Thip Yahong would lure street children of 12-15 years old
to the house where they would be sexually abused and paid 500 Baht. They
confiscated two computers, sexual enhancement pills, and condoms in the
Mr. Hicker told police that he had lived in Chiang Mai for 20 years, can
speak Thai and was working from the internet at home and studied Thai plants
and herbs. The defendant has been requested bail which has been denied.
Klaus Hicker, age 53, was arrested on charges of
indecent sexual assault of children under the age of 15 and human
trafficking on January 7, 2012.
Bangkok man arrested for selling illegal supplements and cosmetics
Police raided a home in Hang Dong after a
complaint was filed that Bangkok native Chakrist Pinkanchanaroj was storing
illegal food supplements and cosmetics there.
Acting on a complaint that a house was being used to store illegal
goods, police and Public Health Officials raided the home of Chakrist
Pinkanchanaroj, age 31 of Bangkok, where they uncovered illegally imported
cosmetics and supplements.
He was charged with offenses under the Certified Food and Drug
Administration’s 1967 Medicines Act, Food Act of 1979 and the Cosmetics Act
of 1992. The products seized in the arrest were illegally imported food
supplements and cosmetics mostly imported from China and containing unknown
ingredients. Police said that such products could cause serious harm to
anyone who bought it and tried it as there was no testing and no guarantee
as to the real content of the products.
65 year old woman arrested for smuggling Yaba
65 year old Orn
Wannasri of Fang pled guilty to drug smuggling after being caught with 10,000
methamphetamine tablets on the bus from Thaton.
Chai Prakan Police and the Pha Muang Task Force arrested a 65 year old
woman from Fang with 10,000 methamphetamine pills hidden inside her clothing and
Police set up a checkpoint at Baan Pha Hong Chai Prakan District on January 2,
2013 and boarded an orange bus on the Chiang Mai- Thaton route to check the
passengers. They discovered 65 year old Orn Wannasri of Fang with the
methamphetamine tablets strapped in packages to her body.
She confessed to police that she had been hired to carry drugs to Ayutthaya and
had taken the bus to Chiang Mai and then caught the train to Ayutthaya to
deliver drugs to a woman named Anne. She told police that she was paid 30,000
Baht for each trip.
Police launch pinpoint raids on
drugs in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai
Half a million methamphetamine tablets seized
display some of the half a million methamphetamine tablets seized in recent
On December 25, 2012, Royal Thai Police Chief Pol. Gen. Adul Sangsingkaew
presided over the launch of planned raids in areas in Chiang Mai and Chiang
Rai. The raids took part with a combined task force of Region 5 Police,
Office of Narcotics Control Board police, Immigration Police, the Pha Muang
Task Force and the Border Patrol Police, more than 1,600 officers targeted
107 different areas.
106 people were caught up in the net and over 500,000 methamphetamine
tablets were seized. 8 kilograms of opium seeds, 20 kilograms of raw opium
and 104 kg of substrate that could have been used to produce more than 50
million methamphetamine tablets were uncovered. Police confiscated 7 million
baht in cash and 2 AK-47s along with a hand gun and a grenade.
The National Police Chief said that the operation was focusing on specific
targeted areas in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in areas along the border known
to be the source of a large influx of drugs from neighboring countries.
Since October 2012, police have seized more than 22 million Yaba tablets.
The next target will be various prisons known to be havens of drug use and