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ASEAN puppets take the stage

The elaborate puppets on display were a big hit with both kids and adults.

By Shana Kongmun
Puppeteers from around South East Asia showed off their puppets and their skills at the ASEAN Enchanting Puppets show and exhibition held at puppet show at the Traditional Lanna House Museum on Canal Road behind the CMU Art Center. Talks, exhibitions and performances were held from February 22 to February 24 and both children and adults alike were delighted by the shows.
The Joe Louis Puppet Troupe from Bangkok was joined by performers from Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore water puppets from Vietnam, shadow puppets from Nakhon Si Thammarat in the south of Thailand as well as Chiang Mai’s own Hobby Hut Puppet Troupe led by K. Vilawan Svetsreni.
This is the first such showing of ASEAN puppets and we can all only hope that the Center for the Promotion of Arts and Culture and CMU Art Center make it an annual event.

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Suraphon Svetasreni joined the event with Chiang Mai TAT director Wisoot Buachoom and other members of the CMU Faculty of Fine Arts.

Vilawan Svetsreni (right) is joined by a visiting puppeteer.

Shadow puppet maker from Nakhon Si Thammarat displays his craft.

Wine and tapas opening

Raya, Tina and Michael dropped in to congratulate their friend on his new venture.

By Shana Kongmun
The newest hot spot to hit Nimmanhaemin is just around the corner from the very popular Beer Republic. Their opening night was held on Friday, February 22 on Nimmanhaemin soi 11 and saw not only foodies attend but wine lovers as well as there is an extensive wine menu and a knowledgeable owner.
The Spanish chef cooked up a giant dish of paella for the opening night and it was quickly eaten up by the guests. Keep an eye out for the food review in the next issue as we planned to go back and try more than a few samples.
A charming place to relax and enjoy good wine, the new tapas and wine bar is a welcome addition to the Nimman scene.

The Spanish chef making paella in a giant wok!

Chris, the owner, is the go to man for wine suggestions.

Burmese Puppet night at Rachamankha

Ajarn Vithi Phanichphant joins Vilawan Svetsreni and two traditionally dressed staff members at the start of the evening.

By Shana Kongmun
The Rachamankha Hotel took advantage of the visiting puppet troupes to host a Myanmar troupe and their elaborate marionettes. The elegant evening saw staff decked out in traditional Myanmar clothing and guests wearing everything from traditional Lanna to Burmese textiles. The evening started with a beautiful al fresco dinner and ended with the puppets taking the stage to traditional music.
More than 15 puppets were on hand and used by the four members of the troupe to great effect. The puppet troupe was enthusiastically received by the crowd that also enjoyed a fine Burmese meal in the beautiful setting of the hotel.

The Burmese puppet troupe wears all black so that they fade into the background behind the puppets.

One of the beautiful puppets used for the show.

Chiang Mai Airport celebrates 25 years

Rawewan Netrakavesna (center) joins the award winners at the party.

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai International Airport executives and staff celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday, March 1, 2013 at the Royal Rajapruek Park. Over 400 guests attended including Deputy Governor Adisorn Kamnerdsiri, Chiang Mai University President Assoc. Prof. Niwes Nantachit,MD and U.S. Consul General Ken Foster as well as Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal and Chinese Consul Liang Lin.
The spectacular backdrop of the lovely Royal Rajapruek set the tone for the evening which saw traditional dances, a kad Muang market and awards presented to Airport staff.
Chiang Mai International Airport was ranked no. 4 on the Airports Council International (ACI) list of the world’s best airports in the category of airports with annual traffic of under 5 million passengers last year. Mrs. Rawewan Netrakavesna, Executive Vice President of the Airports of Thailand and General Manager of Chiang Mai International Airport thanked the gathered crowd of friends, supporters and airport staff who enjoyed the show and the dinner for their support over the years.
Chiang Mai International Airport has become a regional hub for Air Asia and continues to add direct international flights with a link to Shanghai expected this year.

Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal (far left) and Chinese Consul Liang Lin (3rd right) join Malinee La-orpunskul of the Foreign Relations Office of the Governor’s office (center) friends and family for the evening.

Rawewan Netrakavesna (2nd left) welcomes Chinese Consul Liang Lin and Indian Consul Dhirendra Singh Garbyal and his wife to the party celebrating Chiang Mai International Airport’s 25th anniversary.

Le Beaulieu hosts Skål meeting

Skål group photo before the start of dinner.

By Shana Kongmun
Le Beaulieu in Chiang Mai Land was the scene for the most recent Skål dinner where over 40 members and non-members attended to enjoy the fine French dining in a charming atmosphere thanks to Dominique Leutwiler and Manager K. Nussara. The evening started with a hearty congratulations given to the newly formed Skål in Pattaya, led by President Tony Malhotra, also holding their inaugural meeting at the same time.

Skål Events Director Tim McGuire chats with Gill Dobson and 137 Pillars House General Manager Manfred Ilg.

Several announcements were made by President Annette Kunagigon; submissions are now being accepted for the Sustainable Tourism Award until April 30 with applications available on the Skål International site, as well as welcoming new members and renewals. Skål committee member Jaffee Yee is working on setting up a Skal Yangon, and she informed members that a portion of the membership fees would be donated to the Florimond Volkaert Fund, which is used to aide Skål members.
Then committee member Shana Kongmun took the floor to encourage members to use the Skål International site and to reap the benefits of being a member which include discounts at participating members. She mentioned that Chiang Mai members could log in and use the site to add their own promotions to help promote Chiang Mai and their businesses to Skål members around the world.
New member, Mr. Jerome Sim, GM of the lovely Khum Phaya Resort and Spa was introduced to the group and birthday bouquets were handed out. Dinner was held and the chef and staff were applauded for the fantastic meal. The next meeting will be held on the 28th of March at Rachamankha.

New Skål member Jerome Sim and his partner were welcomed to the party.

Saranakom Chutima, Deputy Managing Partner Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center, was on hand to inform everyone of the upcoming antique textile exhibit. Here he is joined by designer Tatyana Zakrevskaya, and Paul Humphreys of Destination Professionals.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

ASEAN puppets take the stage

Wine and tapas opening

Burmese Puppet night at Rachamankha

Chiang Mai Airport celebrates 25 years

Le Beaulieu hosts Skål meeting