Make Chiangmai Mail | your Homepage | Bookmark

Chiangmai 's First English Language Newspaper

Pattaya Blatt | Pattaya Mail | Pattaya Mail TV

 
 
NEWS
 

Chiang Mai celebrates Songkran

Prime Minister returns home for the festivities

An elderly resident ties string around the Prime Minister’s wrist in a good luck ceremony.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Thousands of visitors flocked to Chiang Mai streets with water throwing beginning April 12, 2013 at Tha Pae Gate. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra returned to her hometown to preside over the opening ceremony in the morning hours of April 13 where she was joined by Minister of Culture Sontaya Khunplume, Governor Tanin Subhasaen, President of the PAO Boonlert Buranupakorn and Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn to launch the festivities.
Tourists were thrilled by gorgeously dressed women and men, performing traditional Lanna dances and the early morning merit making ceremony with local monks.
The Prime Minister then traveled to Wiharn Lai Kham in Wat Phra Singh to worship the ancient Buddha image of Phra Buddha Sihing. The image was then bathed in a centuries old Songkran tradition of bathing Buddhist images. She joined in the parade where locals threw water on a Buddha image. Finally in a good luck ceremony, elderly people tied cotton strings around the wrist of the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister noted that Songkran was the time to discard the bad things of the previous year and to start the New Year with good things as well as bring blessings to the people and visitors to Chiang Mai.
 


3rd Army enlisted to help with forest fires

The 3rd Army has been coordinating with authorities in the 9 Northern provinces to help combat forest fires.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The 3rd Army was enlisted by the government to help combat Northern forest fires and haze over 3 months ago. The Army set up headquarters in Prapinklao Camp in Mae Rim December 16, 2012 and plan to conclude operations on April 30, 2013. They have been coordinating with relevant authorities in the 9 Northern provinces to coordinate firefighting equipment and personnel Maj. Gen Sutat Jarumanee, Chief of Staff of the Command reported.
The established the command to monitor the situation and broadcast and coordinate with the relevant authorities. The Army assigned 14 personnel to maintain and coordinate equipment, tools and vehicles as well as implement an education and information campaign. The War Room supported up to 100 operations units.


Lin Ping leaving Chiang Mai in May

Panda returns to China on her 4th birthday

Chiang Mai’s favorite panda, Lin Ping, will be sent to China on her 4th birthday, May 27, 2013.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Governor Tanin Subhasaen announced on April 9, 2013 that Chiang Mai’s beloved Lin Ping would be returned to China on her 4th birthday on May 27, 2013. Born to mother Lin Hui and father Chuang Chuang on May 27, 2009, Lin Ping’s stay was extended an extra two years although normally China allows baby pandas to be returned after two years.
The Governor said that the loss of Lin Ping would be a blow to the Chiang Mai people who have taken her to their hearts. Lin Ping, the Governor noted, has been a tremendous goodwill ambassador between China and Thailand and that Lin Ping was so popular that her virtual presence, online and on tv, extended her fan base and made Chiang Mai well known around the world.
Chiang Mai Zoo begins the countdown to Lin Ping’s trip to China and the Governor added that they have already set plans into place for the return flight.


Nong Nam Wan celebrates Songkran with Governor

The Chiang Mai Night Safari held a “rod nam dum hua” ceremony for Governor Tanin Subhasaen on April 9, 2013 where “Nong Nam Waan”, one of the elephants at the Chiang Mai Night Safari, poured water over the Governor’s hands. The Governor was joined by Dr. Sarawut Srisakul, CEO of the Chiang Mai Night Safari for the ceremony.


1st Chiang Mai Rock Festival this month

Chiang Mai’s first official rock festival, the Chiang Mai Rock Festival, will be held at Huay Tung Tao Reservoir in Mae Rim on April 27, 2013. The festival, featuring such famed bands as The Sun, Silly Fools, Lang Rock Orchestra, Dezember, Super Ritard, the Lord of Rock and the Bug, was organized by Fest Master Chiang Mai Jazz Festival, the Music School Class, Singha Beer, Overdrive Magazine, Dontree Season and the Tourism Authority of Thailand. Part of the income will be contributed to The Fund for the all who have dedicated their lives in the southern and in the area under Navy and Army responsibility. Tickets for the Rock Festival ae 350 Baht at Thai Ticket Major.www.chiangmairockfest.com.


Youth volunteers to conserve old city

Student volunteers took part in a training program to help conserve and protect Chiang Mai’s historical sites.

Nopniwat Krailerg
More than 100 students from various schools around Chiang Mai took part in a volunteer training course held at the Chiang Mai University Arts Cultural Center on April 4, 2013 in a plan to educate students on the importance of cultural and environmental preservation.
Dr. Kamolchai Kohcha, Director of the Office of Natural Resources and Environment presided over the ceremony that launched the project. Dr. Kamolchai pointed out to the volunteers that the old city is a conservation area and that it was vital to preserve and protect historical sites and attractions. The establishment of museums and legislation to preserve the city and promote its heritage was key to proper development in the area and that educating students as to the importance of their history and culture was an important part of that plan.


Pekky Pro Superbike grand opening

Adisorn Kamnerdsiri, Deputy Chiang Mai Governor presided over the opening of the Pekky Pro Superbike on Huay Kaew Road on April 8, 2013. Famed tennis star Paradon Srichaphan and former Miss Thailand Panadda “Boom” Wongphudee, girl groups and various motorcycle clubs attended the grand opening of the new store near Kad Suan Kaew shopping center. The owner, Jednipit Kanoksuthipong, said he had loved motorcycles since a child and that he wanted to bring the love of big bikes to Chiang Mai. The new shop is selling accessories for big bikes such as Ducati, KTM, Honda and others. They will offer nationwide delivery and a professional service technician as part of the growing biker scene in Chiang Mai.


ERDI CMU. Showcases Biogas Energy

CMU’s Energy Research and Development Institute is on Canal Road and is a leader in promoting biogas renewable energy sources.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Assoc. Prof. Prasert Rerkkriangkrai, Director of Energy Research and Development Institute – Nakornping (ERDI), Chiang Mai University revealed that there have been plants producing biogas energy or biodiesel for the livestock sector in the country for more than 18 years. There are more than 1,000 farms involved in the business of pig farming, dairy farming, poultry and slaughter producing biogas using innovative technology. The byproducts of farming are used to generate biogas across the country, providing renewal energy.
Currently there are 1,062 participating farms producing 170 megawatts of natural gas, around 676,399 cubic meters of electricity. The electricity produced by the farms is valued at around 3.3 billion baht which would power Mae Hong Son for 6 years.
The Institute has prepared a project to enlist the farms’ biogas energy to fight the energy crisis. Thailand was prepared for a serious power shortage in April when Myanmar shut down their natural gas pipeline for repair from April 5-14, 2013. The Department of Energy requested the cooperation of the country’s private sector in tackling low power reserves. Thailand imports 52% of its electricity from neighboring countries. The Department has set a goal of reducing the country’s dependence on foreign energy with such renewal energy sources as farms by increasing renewable energy sources to 25% of the total supply of power in ten years.


Mango Days

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Agriculture Office and the Confederation of Mango Farmers announced the new Mango Days which will be held at the Agriculture Office at City Hall from May 28-30, 2013.
“Chiang Mai is in the top level in the production of good quality mangoes for export and distribution for sale in the country. About 73,000 rai is planted in Fang, Phrao, Mae Taeng, Chiang Dao and Chai Prakarn districts. This year farmers expect to produce around 58,000 tons of mangos. The new consumer festival will promote conservation of the various mango varieties in Chiang Mai, Sompol Saenkham, Head of Chiang Mai Agriculture Office reported.
The event will feature a variety of activities such as an exhibition from the Agriculture Production Marketing from government agencies, private institutions, and exporters of mangos. There will be more than 20 varieties of mango available as well as a mango contest and processed mango products.


Usakane Songkran Festival showcases Splendours of Songkran

Splendid floats with lovely ladies took part in the parade on April 11, 2013. Here Laos PDR is represented as one of the countries that holds New Year water festivals in April.

Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai Provincial Government together with the Tourism Authority of Thailand launched a new celebration of the festival at Suan Buak Haad Park on April 11, 2013. A procession led by traditionally dressed, dancers, school bands, and floats traveled from 3 Kings Monument via Phra Pok Klao Road to reach the park at 4 p.m. Led by Khemanit “Pancake” Jamikorn, the well-known Thai actress who was presented as the “Nang Songkran” or Songkran Goddess named Mahothron Dhevi.
In addition to this new parade which celebrated our ASEAN neighbors that also have water festivals including Laos PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia, also included was the Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna Dai of the People’s Republic of China.
In addition to the parade, sculptures of sand pagodas were set up in the park, there were cultural shows and demonstrations from neighboring countries as well as performances by popular singers Aod Keereeboon, Chompoo Fruity, Tak Siriporn, Christy Gibson, Ford Sobchai Kraiyusen and Puifai AF4.
The Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Suraphon Svetasreni and Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen welcomed a special guest; the new Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Pureesrisak who made a special trip to Chiang Mai for the festival after only taking office on April 6, 2013.
The TAT hopes that the Usakane Songkran Festival will leave visitors with a memorable impression of Songkran beyond buckets of water.

The Minister of Tourism and Sports Somsak Pureesrisak joins the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Suraphon Svetasreni and Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen for the opening ceremony of the Usakane Songkran Festival.


TAT tourism figures for Songkran

2.7 million tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) projected that this year’s Songkran festival holiday will generate 2.7 million domestic and foreign visitors and estimated expenditures of 11.1 billion baht, up respectively 10% and 20% over the numbers recorded in the 2012 Songkran holiday.
The number of domestic travelers is estimated at 2,034,000, with expenditures of 4,450 million baht, and 678,000 foreign visitors, with expenditures of 6,675 million baht.
Said TAT Governor Suraphon Svetasreni, “Thanks to domestic political stability and a generally good economic situation, both within Thailand within our key source markets in the Asia-Pacific, we are expecting to have record number of visitors nationwide. We hope that the festival will help everyone ‘cool off’ in more ways than one.”
TAT research shows that hotel occupancies in major tourist destinations such as Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, Pattaya are already reported at over 70%. International arrivals are also up. A total of 177 charter flights (about 31,973 seats) were scheduled to arrive from major markets such as China and Russia during the Songkran festival.
Domestic travel boomed as thousands of people left Bangkok to return for family visits in their provincial hometowns or to participate in the “Songkran Splendour 2013” festivals being held in 12 provinces — Chiang Mai, Suphan Buri, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chon Buri, Samut Prakan, Sukhothai, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Khai, Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, and Phuket.
The projected visitor arrivals this month are expected to go a long way towards helping meet the TAT’s visitor arrival target of 24.09 million in 2013. So far, the trend is good. In January-February, visitor arrivals to Thailand totaled 4.56 million, up 18.8% over the same period last year. During 1- 27 March 2013, international visitor arrivals just at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport totalled 1,230,296 up 11.93 % over the same period of 2012. (TAT)


Sleepy Phrae gets its first boutique hotel

Phrae is becoming known as local Patcharin Taekul returns home to build the province’s first boutique hotel.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Sleepy Phrae province is opening itself up to tourism with the opening of a its first 4 star boutique hotel, the Huern na na. The new hotel will offer 28 luxurious rooms on the Sasiburta Road in the city. Phrae is noted for its untouched architecture featuring antique teak houses.
The owner of the new hotel, Patcharin Taekul welcomed guests to the new hotel at a party held on March 25, 2013. Famous Thai singer Jennifer Kim was on hand to join the festivities as was actors Boy Pakorn and Diana Jongjintanakan, bringing a touch of glamour to the province.
Patcharin said, “I have traveled to many different places but I realized that my hometown would make a good place for a hotel. I decided to make the hotel at the local residence at Huern Chetawan. There are 24 deluxe rooms, 2 Exclusive rooms and 2 Suites, each offering a different atmosphere.” The hotel is a modern style with a touch of Lanna.
The hotel has a pool and seminar and convention room as well. The hotel is near to government offices, the airport, bus terminal and shopping and entertainment areas. Contact 054-524800 or www.huernnana.com.

Famous Thai singer Jennifer Kim was on hand to join the festivities as was actors Boy Pakorn and Diana Jongjintanakan attended the opening party with owner Patcharin Taekul.


Chinese visitors to have their own magazine

Access China Communications (ACC) Limited announced the launch of NiHao, a new Chinese language travel magazine due to roll off the press on August 8, 2013.
NiHao is the way Chinese people say hello as is “Sawadee” in the Thai language. The magazine will be Thailand’s only definitive Chinese language travel and business guide promoting business investment and all tourism related businesses in Thailand. Content will focus on hotels, spas, shopping, golf, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues as well as properties.
Distribution will target the rapidly increasing number of affluent Chinese visitors to Thailand from Greater China (covering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as Taiwan), estimated to exceed 4 million in 2013. It will also reach overseas Chinese, visiting Thailand from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
NiHao will be distributed free-of-charge to all major cities in China and nationwide in Thailand. It will reach thousands of top business executives, and elite, affluent, and well-educated Chinese travelers who have a taste for travel, art, and culture. Each edition will have a substantial number of copies of controlled free circulation distributed in China and Thailand to embassies, selected airline lounges, deluxe hotel business centers and guest rooms, exclusive restaurants, top golf courses, national travel bureaus, major travel organizations, and at major travel fairs and conferences. (PR)
The international editorial team of NiHao is headed by an award-winning veteran publisher, Jaffee Yee, Skal Chiang Mai & the North committee member, with more than 30 years of experience in publishing. Yee was formerly based in Hong Kong as the regional manager of McGraw-Hill and CBS International Publishing (a Division of CBS Inc. New York). Access China Communications Limited is incorporated in Chiang Mai with liaison offices in Bangkok and Chiang Rai. The core business activities are publishing, marketing and public relations focusing on travel and tourism covering China, Thailand and other Asean countries.


Chiang Mai man arrested for stealing Buddha images

Police reveal many of the Buddha images stolen from Chiang Mai temples over the past weeks.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A 33 year old Chiang Mai man was arrested on April 10 after police investigation of a series of thefts from Wat Aruayawat uncovered the culprit, Maj. Gen. Prajuab Wongsuk Commander Region 5 announced. On March 26, 2013, Doi Lor Police received a report from Wat Aruayawat that many of the Buddha images had disappeared from the temple.
Police investigation of CCTV revealed enough information for police to track down Sitthisak Yuenjaidee, age 33 of Nongpakrang sub district in the city. A search yielded ten Buddha images that had been stolen. The man confessed to police that he had been stealing Buddha images from many temples around Chiang Mai and had sold them at shops around town.


Three teenagers arrested for murder of 16 year old

Nopniwat Krailerg
Three Tai Yai teenagers were arrested on April 8, 2013 after the brutal assault on two teens on the street. 16 year old Patpong Arpornhirun and 18 year old Khin Nainae were attacked and stabbed by three young men as they returned home from renting VCDs at a shop in Pa Phrao Nok Road in Padaed at 1:40 a.m. on April 6, 2013.
The 16 year old died from his wounds at the hospital while the 18 year old Khin Nainae sustained serious wounds.
The attackers fled after the assault but police managed to track them down from CCTV footage and arrested three young men under the age of 18 in Sarapee and Mae Taeng, police found the weapon, a foot long knife, with one of the suspects.
The teens confessed that they had decided to attack the two young men for fun, that there had been no prior provocation but that they had come back from partying and thought it would be fun.
The relative of the 16 year old victim presented police with a bouquet of flowers thanking them for solving the crime so quickly.


Police net 188 suspects in pre-Songkran sweep

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Chiang Mai Provincial Police announced the arrest of 188 people after they held a sweep through the province before the Songkran holidays to catch suspected criminals. On April 11 Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa Police Region 5 Commander and Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasemsan Boonyakran Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police announced the arrests resulting from the Royal Thai Police and Police Region 5 Commander order to mobilize the police to clean up crime ridden areas. The Commander noted that the pre-Songkran period was rife with crime as many people were traveling to visit relatives and carried drugs or stole from travelers.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Kasemsan reported that during the period of April 7-11, 2013 144 people were arrested for drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, opium and crystal methamphetamine. A further 9 people were arrested with firearms as well as other people arrested for gambling, sexual assault and assault.


Housing development seized by police as proceeds of drug trade

Police Region 5 and ONCB officers seized the Jasmine Happy Home Park as profits of the drug trade by the owner, Nittaya Jirayanithhikul.

Nopniwat Krailerg
A 37 year old Sansai woman who was arrested for hiring a hit man to kill her husband was also charged with drug trafficking and saw 575 million baht in assets seized under the law that allows police to seize the profits of the drug trade.
Nittaya Jirayanithhikul, age 37, was arrested by police on January 16, 2013 after her husband, Somchai Theja who had just been acquitted on a drugs charge, was found dead in Doi Saket in October 2011. 3 gunmen were arrested for the murder as well as Nittaya.
Police started investigating Nittiya after the arrest and connected her to the drug trade. The owner of the Jasmine Happy Home Park housing development saw the housing development seized by police, along with land in Mae Taeng and 12 bank accounts.
The seized property is valued at over 575 million baht; land and two houses valued at 50 million baht, the housing project including a club house, 6 units worth 20 million and 60 rai of land valued at 480 million baht. Also seized was Land in Mae Taeng valued at 23 million baht, bank accounts with over 2 million baht and a luxury car.


Drought sends farmer to traffic drugs

28 year old farmer Jito Kabulkanpai told police that the drought and wanting to take of his pregnant wife pushed him into carrying drugs for a local gang.

Nopniwat Krailerg
Police arrested a 28 year old Karen man from Om Koi on April 3 after he behaved suspiciously when stopped at a police checkpoint set up on Kuay Lor Dook. Jito Kabulkanpai was stopped by police for driving a motorbike with no license plates and his nervous behavior had police search him and the motorbike.
Pol.Col. Mondob Saengchamnong Deputy Commander of Chiang Mai Provincial Police reported that Om Koi police found a package containing 8,000 methamphetamine tablets and 3.2 kg of raw opium. He confessed to police that he normally worked as a farmer and the drought affected crops, he added that he needed to support his wife who is 9 months pregnant. He was hired by a drug trafficking gang in another village of his district to carry the drugs. He has been charged with drug trafficking with the intent to sell.


Environment Minister hits drought-hit areas

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment visited Pong Yang in Mae Rim on Monday, April 8, 2013 to meet with area people regarding the water issues the area regularly faces as well as encroachment in the National Parks.
Preecha Rengsomboonsuk met with area people to discuss implementing a ‘monkey cheeks reservoir” in the watershed in the Upper North which would allow for water storage in swampy areas and unused land. The Minister said that the government’s first priority for water is the consumer and agriculture to support the food system.
Chiang Mai is one of 40 provinces suffering from drought due to the weeks long heat wave of temperatures from 38-40 Celsius.
The Minister said that water would be released from dams at the beginning of May and will discuss the drilling of artesian wells in problem areas. He noted that farmers need to consult with the Land Department regarding the legal use of land before using it for farming. The Forestry Department will investigate complaints within 7 days.
Recently the Ministry of Defense distributed 25 water tanks of 1,500 liter and 2,000 liter capacities to the Pha Muang Task Force to help combat drought in the North, the tanks were part of a total of 180 from money given by donors who want to give the tanks to soldiers and civilians living in border areas.


Deputy Prime Minister reviews security at new Convention Center

Leaders of ten countries expected for water meeting in May

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi planted a tree in honor of HM the King at the International Convention Center before reviewing security measures for the upcoming 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit in May.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The Deputy Prime Minister visited the new International Convention and Exhibition Center Commemorating HM the King’s 7th Cycle Birthday in Chiang Mai where he planted a ‘kino’ tree, the symbol of Chiang Mai and a Pink Shower tree in honor of HM the King. A further 186 trees were planted after his visit to increase the shade and greenery surrounding the Convention Center.
Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi then traveled to the Chiang Mai International Airport where he met with officials from the Chiang Mai Police, the Army, and the Pingnakorn Development Agency to discuss security measures for the upcoming 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit. The 2nd Asia Pacific Water Summit, hosted by the Thai government, will bring Heads of State, Ministers, senior officials from national and local governments, as well as heads of international organizations, the private sector, the media, and technical experts to discuss the crucial issues of water security and water resources management under the theme of “Water Security and Water-related Disaster Challenges: Leadership and Commitment.” The Summit will be held May 14-20, 2013 at The International Convention and Exhibition Centre Commemorating His Majesty’s 7th Cycle Birthday Anniversary.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai celebrates Songkran

3rd Army enlisted to help with forest fires

Lin Ping leaving Chiang Mai in May

Nong Nam Wan celebrates Songkran with Governor

1st Chiang Mai Rock Festival this month

Youth volunteers to conserve old city

Pekky Pro Superbike grand opening

ERDI CMU. Showcases Biogas Energy

Mango Days

Usakane Songkran Festival showcases Splendours of Songkran

TAT tourism figures for Songkran

Sleepy Phrae gets its first boutique hotel

Chinese visitors to have their own magazine

Chiang Mai man arrested for stealing Buddha images

Three teenagers arrested for murder of 16 year old

Police net 188 suspects in pre-Songkran sweep

Housing development seized by police as proceeds of drug trade

Drought sends farmer to traffic drugs

Environment Minister hits drought-hit areas

Deputy Prime Minister reviews security at new Convention Center