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XII No.13 - Sunday June 30 - Saturday July 13, 2013

Around Town
Arts - Entertainment
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Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern

Chamber holds their 19th annual general meeting

Imperial Mae Ping General Manager Peter Schnyder and staffers welcome President Chalermchart to the hotel and congratulate him on his position.

By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai Chamber’s new President Chalermchart Nakarungkul greeted guests and well-wishers at the Imperial Mae Ping on Monday, June 24, 2013. Mr. Chalermchart has taken over the role of President from outgoing President Narong Kongprasert who was on hand to congratulate him on his new position. Governor Tanin Subhasaen joined the event and gave the opening speech congratulating the Chamber on their work dedicated to advancing Chiang Mai.
It seemed every member of the business community and some of the diplomatic community were on hand to join the Chamber members in their annual meeting. Marc Miller from the U.S. Consulate General joined the event along with the new Japanese Consul General Akhiko Fujii and honorary consuls from many consulates in Chiang Mai. The Grand Ballroom was packed with members and guests including the women from Business and Professional Woman’s Association of Chiang Mai, the Muslim Women’s Association and many other groups to hear the new President talk about the Chamber’s goals and plans for the coming year.
The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce was established in 1977 while the first national Chamber of Commerce in Thailand was established in 1933 and provincial chambers established in 1966.

Chamber President Chalermchart shares a laugh with French Honorary Consul Thomas Baude and U.K. Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson.

Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen (center right) is joined by Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce President Chalermchart Nakarungkul (center left) and leading members of the Chamber at the Imperial Mae Ping on Monday, June 24, 2013.

Chamber member Orarick (Rick) Sriwong welcomes Chiang Mai newcomers Cory Sieverson and Amy Hongmanee to the Chamber event.

Wine Casa Grand Opening at The Legend Chiang Rai

Max introduces his chef Phasit Promwangkwa, while General Manager Marc Dumur looks on.

By Shana Kongmun
Wine lovers from Chiang Mai made their way North to the much sleepier but no less wine loving neighboring Chiang Rai on Saturday, June 15, 2013 for the grand opening of Wine Casa at The Legend Chiang Rai Boutique River Resort & Spa. It was here that guests were greeted by the affable Eknarin “Max” Thammaraks and his equally charming parents, owners Dusit and Achara Thammaraks.

Eknarin “Max” Thammaraks proudly shows off some of the many bottles of wine that are on offer at Wine Casa.

Dusit, a native of Trang in the South, has been long time resident of the North and also owns Beccofino in Chiang Mai. Wine Casa was opened by their oenophile son, Max who has been taking sommelier courses and was eager to share his knowledge and,fortunately, his wine cellar! The specially built wine fridge houses many wonderful wines from Italy, France, and around the world. As Max so kindly pointed out to wine newbies, “You don’t have to be an expert to know what you like.” He encouraged guests to try out his “Nose Kit”. Perhaps it has a different name but this box, which Max so lovingly shared, contains many small bottles of scents most commonly found in wines. He held one under my nose encouraging me to guess. I missed the first one but the second one was clearly identifiable as rose. Max’s joy in discovering wines is infectious and his new Wine Casa is sure to reflect that love.
The grand opening party was well attended with many Chiang Mai notables making the trek up to meet with their counterparts in Chiang Rai. Nii Hao publisher Jaffee Yee was in Chiang Rai for the opening and greeted the latest edition to the town with enthusiasm. For Chiang Mai travelers, we enjoyed a peaceful and relaxing stay at The Legend, the lovely winding paths, tranquil gardens and charming seats along the river epitomize the relaxed and tranquil pace of Chiang Rai.

The charming Dusit Thammaraks and his lovely wife Achara wait to greet guests as they arrive.

General Manager Marc Dumur greets partygoers for the grand opening.

Viceregal puppets on display

Hun Wang Na puppets are a smaller scale version of the Hun Yai puppets and are on display at the Shangri La ending today, Sunday June 30.
(Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

By Shana Kongmun
Shangri La Hotel Chiang Mai hosted the Hun Wang Na 137th Year Thai Viceregal Puppet Exhibition presented by Jona Puppets. The grand opening was held on Sunday, June 22 and the show runs through Sunday, June 30. There are more than 50 puppets on display in the Lobby Lounge of the Shangri La Hotel. These original Thai puppets were created by Krom Phra Rajawang Bovorn Vichaichan, a Siamese Prince and member of the Chakri Dynasty and the eldest son of King Pinklao.
Records show that the last performance of these puppets was held during the reign of King Rama V 137 years ago, since then the puppets have not been seen in public. Recorded writings indicate that the performance of Hun Wang Na was last seen during the reign of King Rama V 137 years ago. The earliest recorded history of puppets in Thailand was by Bishop Tachard, an envoy of Louis XIV of France, who visited Ayutthaya in 1685. Hun Wang Na puppets were smaller scale replicas of the more well-known and more widely seen Hun Yai or Hun Luang puppets that stand 100 cm high. Each puppet is made of wood and strings to tie the joints together and then elaborately clothed and decorated. It is believed that similar wooden Thai puppets were first on the scene over 300 years ago during the reign of King Narai.

Wooden puppets were first recorded in 1685 but it is believed they first appeared during the reign of King Narai in 1633.
(Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

Capturing Dreams

Art Relief International party

Art Relief International’s Executive Director Woravit Rattanakit joins some of the 12 volunteers currently helping out.

By Shana Kongmun
Art Relief International held a party at Documentary Arts Asia on Wualai Road on Thursday, June 20, 2013 to introduce their latest projects and raise funds for their ongoing classes and projects. Art Relief International currently works with 20 organizations around Chiang Mai including the School for the Blind, Hope Home and Wildflower Home. They also work with displaced refugees and migrant workers through organizations such as Thai Freedom House, BEAM and Mplus. This volunteer based organization works with the less fortunate to help them express themselves through art, not only a recognized form of therapy but a means of expression that allows people to reach out.

Executive Director Woravit Rattanakit is joined by volunteer Madison and Art Director Sarah.

The lively party saw a short talk and photos of Art Relief International’s work as well as opportunities to join craft sessions or listen to the smooth sounds of Ralph Thomas and musicians from North Gate Jazz Co-op. Finally the short film “Sketches: Lives in Burma” illustrating the power of art was screened. More information on Art Relief International can be found on their website

Cultural Canvas Thailand’s Assistant Director Emma chats with Nick who dropped in on the party.

Kate and Shauna man the dream catcher crafting table. Guests were invited to make their own dreamcatchers to take home.

EU Film Festival 2013 held at the new Promenada

Front row, from left) Penpak Sirikul, Actress; Suvannee Chinchiewchan, Deputy Managing Director, SF Corporation; H.E. Mr. David Lipman, Ambassador Čand Head of the EU Delegation to Thailand; Tanin Subhasaen, Governor of Chiang Mai; Suwat Thongrompo, Chief Executive Officer, SF Corporation, with actor and actress from Kriean Fiction. (Back row, from left) Tjeert Kwant, Chief Executive Officer and shareholder, ECC International Real Estate; Ger Vos, the legendary singer from The Netherlands and Peter van Zantan, Trade & Investment Advisor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, on stage to give the opening remarks. (Courtesy of the Promenada Resort Mall)

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai residents were eager for the return of quality documentaries, films and shorts with the arrival of the EU Film Festival and many made the trek out to the Promenada Resort Mall for the opening night ceremony on June 12, 2013. The film festival ran through the 23rd and saw many great films from around Europe.
EU Ambassador David Lipman was on hand for the opening ceremony which saw him join Chiang Mai Governor Tanin Subhasaen to talk about the importance of film and creativity and the close ties the EU has with both Chiang Mai and Thailand. The EU Film Festival screened 18 films from 15 countries over the ten days before it moved on to Khon Kaen for the first time.
Many Chiang Mai notables were on hand as well as local residents both Thai and foreign who love film. Ger Vos, a popular Dutch singer as well as many Thai celebrities came to Chiang Mai for the opening which screened the Dutch film “Cool Kids Don’t Cry”, an adaption of one of Benelux’s most popular books about a girl who is diagnosed with leukemia.

James, Neil, Mohamad and Lois and enjoy the party.

Lamorna and Chris try their movie star pose for the event.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chamber holds their 19th annual general meeting

Wine Casa Grand Opening at The Legend Chiang Rai

Viceregal puppets on display

Capturing Dreams

EU Film Festival 2013 held at the new Promenada



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