to become a monk
Chiang Mai Mayor announces his resignation to
take up the saffron robes at Wat Chedi Luang to honor and repay the kindness
of his late uncle Pakorn Buranupakorn.
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn announced his resignation on
September 6, 2013 citing his intention to become a Buddhist monk to honor
his late uncle, well known politician Pakorn Buranupakorn who passed away on
September 1, 2013 of heart failure at the age of 55.
He noted that while he was resigning one month ahead of the end of his term,
which would have expired on October 3, he explained that he felt he needed
to repay the kindness and support of his uncle by becoming a monk at Wat
He announced that he would run for re-election under the Chiang Mai
Khunnatham party as City Council members in the party joined him for the
press conference. He added that a good leader should be grateful to those
who helped them as well as be knowledgeable and hard working.
He is confident that his re-election campaign will be successful and that in
his next term he will work to install CCTV cameras around the city to
increase security for locals and tourists and will work to eliminate dengue
and other diseases that endanger the health of locals. He thanked the Deputy
Mayors including Chatree Chua-manocharn, SoonthornYamsiri, Wilai
Booranupakorn and Natchudej Viriyadiloktham for their support now and in the
next election which will take place within 60 days after his resignation.
Lin Ping returns to China
Chiang Mai’s beloved panda to leave September 28
Lin Ping turned 4 in May and will be sent to a
special sanctuary in Chengdu, China to find a mate. She will return to
Chiang Mai in a year.
Chiang Mai’s favorite furry animal, panda celebrity Lin Ping, will
be returning to China for mating on September 28, 2013. Lin Ping will travel
via Thai Airways to Chengdu in a special pressurized and temperature
controlled live animal chamber in the Airbus A 330. The disease free zone
will be prepared to minimize vibration and noise and will be as comfortable
for Lin Ping as the passenger section. Veterinarians will travel with Lin
Ping on the 2 and a half hour flight to monitor her situation.
The Chiang Mai Zoo, under the management of the Zoological Park Organization
under the Royal Patronage of H.M. The King was confident that Thai Airways
was the best choice for the transportation as they had previous experience
bringing Lin Ping’s parents, Lin Hui and Chuang Chuang to Chiang Mai, it was
announced by Dr. Singthong Buachum, member of a special committee appointed
by the Zoological Park Organization for the operation.
The Zoo will hold countdown activities beginning September 21 and on the
27th will hold a traditional Lanna ceremony followed by a parade at 7 a.m.
Lin Ping will not take part in the parade but will leave the Zoo for the
first time to travel to the airport at 9:15 a.m. and then depart for China
at 10:30 a.m. to minimize her stress at the trip.
Lin Ping will return to China for one year to find a mate, she will then
return to Thailand with her mate for the next 15 years under a new loan
agreement that sees Thailand pay China US$ 1 million a year as well as a
further US$500,000 a year to extend the stay of her parents, Lin Hui and
800,000 Yaba tablets smuggled
in health volunteer bus
TAO candidate head of ring
4 men were arrested after hiding 800,000
methamphetamine tablets on a bus carrying Khon Kaen health volunteers in
The suspected head of a ring arrested smuggling 800,000
methamphetamine tablets was a candidate for a Sub-District (Tambon)
Administrative Organization position in the sub-district of Jorakae in Khon
Kaen province. Thanyaphat Khumdej was arrested by Region 5 police on
September 16 along with 3 accomplices after police uncovered a plot to
smuggle the drugs in a tour bus carrying a group of health volunteers who
were traveling from Khon Kaen to Chiang Rai. Police were tipped off that
someone was planning on trafficking drugs on a tour bus and set up a
checkpoint between Nong Mor village and Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai on
September 15, 2013.
Region 5 Police arrested Nattawat Kerdsuk age 44 of Chumphon, Thanyaphat
Khumdej age 41 of Khon Kaen, Santad Naluang age 18 of Lampang and Suphachok
Pholkhokklong age 25 of Prachin Buri with 800,000 methamphetamine pills
hidden in the bus. The gang dropped the group of volunteers off at the hotel
before picking up the drugs. They confessed to police that they had been
hired to smuggle drugs to Bangkok for a buyer there for 2 million baht.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Suthep Dejraksa said the drugs came from the Mae Fah Luang
area. He added that the drug traffickers were constantly changing their
methods and that police needed to be alert and do random checks on tour
buses as well.
Japanese government provides
ambulance to remote Uttaradit village
Consul General of Japan Akihiko Fujii and Sombat
Boonsaklert, Director of Nampad Hospital sign the agreement for the new
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to 1,515,000
baht for “The Project for Procurement of an Ambulance for People in
Mountainous Areas in Nampad District, Uttaradit Province”. On September 11,
2013, Mr. Akihiko Fujii, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr.
Sombat Boonsaklert, Director of Nampad Hospital, jointly signed a funding
contract for the project at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Nampad district is surrounded by mountainous areas and the northeast part
borders Laos. The majority of the population are Thai-Lao people engaged in
agriculture. They live in a hard environment on poor hilly farmland. As a
result, people survive in extreme poverty and suffer from chronic
malnutrition, diarrhea, food poisoning, parasitic diseases and dengue fever.
Unfavorable geographical conditions and poor maintenance mean that many
roads in these steep mountainous areas are muddy or blocked in the rainy
season, impeding access to health care. It is impossible for many to receive
adequate medical services.
Nampad hospital, which is the only government hospital in the district,
covers 38,000 residents of 55 villages in 7 sub-districts, and treats about
62,000 cases a year. Moreover, it provides humanitarian treatment regardless
of the expense, because there are many stateless residents from Laos..
However, because there is no four wheel drive ambulance, only a pickup truck
which has neither bed nor life support equipment can be used to transport
patients. Therefore, many patients lose vital time in receiving treatment.
The Government of Japan has decided to provide funds for a four wheel drive
ambulance with life support equipment for Nampad hospital. This will give
patients better prospects for recovery through prompter treatment and
transportation. It is expected that this assistance for Nampad hospital will
strengthen the emergency transport system and health services in Nampad
district and neighboring areas, helping the medical services to reach all
and reducing the regional disparity. (GGP)
and Happy Day
The Suandok Healthy and Happy Day Episode: HUG
was organized on September 4, 2013 by the Committee on Health Promotion and
Occupational Health, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University together
with the Nursing department, Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital to raise
awareness of health care and to be a place to exchange knowledge for health
projects. The opening ceremony of the activity was held at the 50 Year
Operation Building, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University and was
presided over by Assoc. Prof. Wattana Navacharoen, Dean of Faculty of
Medicine Chiang Mai University.
Chiang Mai lawyer tosses her hat into the election ring
Thidarat Siriwittayakorn runs for Mayor
Thidarat Siriwittayakorn or Jah, announces her
candidacy with Manat Sirimaharaj, a legal adviser.
Chiang Mai lawyer Thidarat Siriwittyakorn or Jah as she is known,
announced her candidacy for Mayor of Chiang Mai Municipality on September
15, 2013 at the Chiang Mai Orchid Hotel. K. Thidarat will run under the
Phuer Chiang Mai Group’s banner which has announced its policy to develop
Chiang Mai with integrity and transparency under the new generation with
experience in management and the community.
Thidarat Siriwittayakorn is a Chiang Mai resident and the daughter of
Thawatchai Siriwittayakorn, a real estate businessman. She graduated from
Chiang Mai University with a Bachelor’s degree in Law and has been working
on community disputes. She said that her working experience made her aware
of the problems and needs of Chiang Mai people as well as understand the
problems of management of various agencies. She said she wants to make
changes in the development of the city, work to solve the traffic and waste
problems. She will develop Chiang Mai to be the second city of Thailand and
prepare the city for the AEC. She added that she plans on upgrading the
quality of schools under the Chiang Mai Municipality to the same level as
private schools, and provide training courses in foreign language, and
tourism management. Elections will be held on November 3, 2013.
ACT NOW! Anti - Corruption Day
Over 200 students participated in the seminar on
The annual Anti-Corruption Day 2013 was held at the Conference Room
of the Bank of Thailand Northern Region on August 6. 2013 under the theme
“Act now”. Held by the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of Thailand
Northern Office, the Office of the National Anti – Corruption Commission and
the Chiang Mai government the event was organized to make Chiang Mai people
aware of the risks of corruption as well as to commemorate former CMCC Chair
Dusit Nontanakorn whose initiatives to fight corruption in the private
sector has helped to change attitudes towards corruption especially among
Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sanguansat presided over the event which saw over
200 students participate in speech contests on what young people think of
corruption as well as receive more accurate information on corruption and
its effects on society.
Tiger Air launches Chiang Mai route
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Singapore based low cost carrier Tiger Air has launched new
Singapore – Chiang Mai direct route that will travel between the two cities
four times a week; departing for Singapore from Chiang Mai on Sunday,
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Return flights from Singapore to Chiang Mai
depart on the same days. The flights are scheduled to begin with the onset
of the high tourist season in the beginning of November. Fares begin at
2,375 baht plus tax.
Tiger Air’s Chief Commercial Officer told reporters that history and nature
play a big part in attracting seasoned travelers. He added that their four
new destinations which include Chiang Mai, Lijiang in Thailand, Langkawi in
Malaysia (all four times a week) and Lombok in Indonesia three times a week.
Family of Man Festival
at Prasert Land
The Family of Man Festival will be held at
Prasert Land on September 26 – 29, 2013 and is being hosted by the Province
of Chiang Mai, and the Provincial Administration Organization of Chiang Mai
and is organized by Todd Tongdee and Lannaworld1.com. The Family of Man
begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26 when Lamphun New World Colors
opens. Other performers include the Kamu people of Nan, Tai Lue people of
Chiang Mai, Padong of Mae Hong Son, the Puan people of Udon, Burma’s
Mandalay Dance, Central Thai rap with Jum – Uad na Man, Korean Pung Ryu, Ted
Lewand of the U.S., Superyouth from Mae Hong Son and Todd Tongdee. The event
brings together music from around the region and the world and will feature
dancers as well as singers and bands. The last performance begins at 10:30
p.m. every night.
Bangkok Air only airline
to fly to capital of Myanmar
Bangkok Airways has recently announced its latest expansion to Myanmar by
offering non-stop flights from Bangkok to Nay Pyi Taw, the capital city of
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar. Commencing on 30 September 2013, the
airline will be the first scheduled foreign air carrier to service this
route and the only Thai airline that serves all three main cities of
Mr. Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth, Bangkok Airways’ President said, “It has
long been our plan to cover the three key cities of Myanmar by the end of
this September. Mandalay service will commence on 15 September 2013 offering
4 non-stop flights per week. Lastly, the capital city of Myanmar – Nay Pyi
Taw, from 30 September 2013 with 3 non-stop flights per week.”
Bangkok Airways will offer 3 non-stop flights per week (Monday, Wednesday
and Friday) from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) – Nay Pyi Taw with 70-seater ATR72
The outbound flight PG721 will depart Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at 17.00hrs and
arrive Nay Pyi Taw Airport at 19.00hrs. The inbound flight PG722 will depart
Nay Pyi Taw Airport at 19.30hrs and arrive Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at
22.30hrs. All of Bangkok (The local time in Myanmar is 30 minutes behind
For more information and reservation, please contact www.bangkokair.com or
Call Center Tel. 1771 (24 hr – services) or contact Bangkok Travel Club for
package tour in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar at Tel: 02 265 8966 or
visit website www.bangkoktravelclub.co.th.
Chiang Rai’s Lam Nam Kok National Park plan to develop tourism
Khon Korn Waterfall in Lam Nam Kok National Park
(Photo courtesy of the Department of National Parks Thailand).
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Rai’s Lam Nam Kok National Park is located in Doi Hang Sub
district, Mae Chan District and is a beautiful mountainous region divided by
the Mae Namkok River. The Chief of the Park, Jirasak Saenkhat met with
groups at the Visitor’s Center Building in the park on September 5, 2013 to
discuss development of tourist facilities in the park including nature
trails, building facilities for tourists, ensuring tourist safety and
prohibiting encroachment by locals as well as burning.
The Chief noted that the main problem with encroachment and burning was a
lack of knowledge by area residents and that rubber tree plantations have
been planted in boundaries of the park. He noted that such plantations will
be destroyed and the farmers charged with encroachment.
Lam Nam Kok National Park has significant waterfalls including Huai Kaeo,
Huai Mae Sai, Khun Korn and Pongprabaht waterfalls as well as Huai Mak Liam
and Pong Fu Fueang hot springs. The popular Huai Kaeo waterfall is only 25km
from Chiang Rai city.
Akha Swing Ceremony in Chiang Rai
The Akha Swing Ceremony was held in Ban Huay
Yuak Pah So-yard village on September 10 this year.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The traditional Akha Swing Ceremony was held in Mae Fah Luang on
September 10, 2013 and saw District Chief Vorayan Bunarach and Tambon Mae
Salong Nai President Piyadech Choengpithak preside over the opening ceremony
of this popular event. The timing of the Swing ceremony will vary from
village to village depending on the village headman’s determination of an
auspicious time but it is held in the 10th lunar month of the Akha calendar.
It is a village ceremony and so each family will take part in the
construction of the swing.
Ban Huay Yuak Pah So yard in Mae Salong Nai sub district, Mae Fah Luang
district in Chiang Rai held their ceremony for four days which included the
day to build the swing, feeding village elders and festival day when men and
women wear their finest to swing on the swing. The ceremony is also held to
celebrate planting season and the restoration of traditions and tribal
culture, encourage children and youth to learn traditions and local culture
of the Akha tribes, and publicize tribal culture to tourists worldwide and
enhance unity in the village.
Chiang Mai tops the list for new passports
The Chief of the Passport Office Chiang Mai, Waraphannee Damrongmanee,
announced that 64,510 Chiang Mai people applied for passports in the
past fiscal year, an average of 6,000 people per month or 300 people per
day except Saturday and Sunday. Chiang Mai has the highest number of
passport applications of any province outside of Bangkok but that number
is expected to drop as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has opened a
branch office in Chiang Rai at the Central Stadium there.
New stops to support
AEC tourism in Chiang Rai
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Chiang Rai plans on building a series of rest stops along the
road between Chiang Rai Mae Fah Luang University to attract visitors and
support transport and logistics to the University.
The first stop at Mae Khaw Tom Sub-district opened on September 23, and
another three stops will be added along the 12 kilometer route with the
ASEAN Flower stop at Kok River Bridge, the Art stop at the entrance to
the Chiang Rai Airprot, the Fruit stop at Mae Khaw Tom and a Coffee and
Tea stop at Mae Fah Luang University.
Chiang Rai Deputy Governor Piphat Ekphaphan said that this will enable
Chiang Rai to link tourist routes seamlessly and create jobs for locals
Chiang Mai Night Safari
offers Buddhist meditation
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun of the Chiang Mai Night
Safari invited Buddhists and interested parties to join a meditation
retreat at the Night Safari as part of a 4 day 5 night package held by
Dr. Siri Karinchai and her team. This is the 7th such meditation package
to be offered by the Special Area Office of the Chiang Mai Night Safari
and will be held form October 2 – 6, 2013. Participants will receive
accommodation, 3 meals, and snacks in addition to the meditation
teachings. 053-999020 or 053-999000 ext. 1074 for application or further
Man arrested for kidnapping his own nephew
A 20 year technical college student was
kidnapped and held for ransom by his uncle and a family relative.
Region 5 Police announced the arrest of two men for kidnapping
20 year old Adisorn Srimee on September 16, 2013. The two men confessed
that they had conspired with a man named Derm to kidnap the student of a
private technical college in Chiang Mai. Both men arrested were related
to the victim, Rungroj Saelee age 34 is his uncle and Siwakorn Panthusil
age 21 is also a relative.
The police said that Adisorn had been lured to meet the men who had been
posing as a pretty girl on Facebook at the B2 Premier Hotel on Canal
Road. At the hotel the men cut their car in front of Adisorn’s and
claimed to be Narcotics Suppression Police before grabbing him and
holding him in a resort in Mae Rim. Police say the suspects demanded
500,000 baht from his mother and then released him after they took him
to several ATM machines over a few days to withdraw the money. The
victim went to Chang Puak police on September 10 after being released.
Police viewed CCTV tapes from the banks where the victim had been forced
to withdraw the money to find two out of the three kidnappers. The two
suspects confessed to police that they had worked together with Derm but
get the money and a police investigation showed that the victim had not
been involved in the crime. They apologized to Adisorn and his mother
saying that they did not intend to hit the victim but that Derm had been
Drug arrests in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai net 600,000 Yaba pills
Ten arrests total, one dead in Chiang Rai firefight
Nopniwat Krailerg and Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Police seized 602,000 methamphetamine tablets in arrests in Chiang
Mai and Chiang Rai from September 4 – 16, 2013 resulting in the arrests of
ten men in the two provinces.
Two men fled from the Pha Muang Task on September 4, 2013 after suspicious
behavior triggered a police investigation in Ban Pha Ji in Chiang Rai. The
two men stopped the motorcycle and fled on foot, escaping police. Police
found 120,000 methamphetamine tablets in a bag on the bike.
On the same day in Hod, Chiang Mai police arrested Sojo Anurakpongprai of Om
Koi with 4,000 methamphetamine tablets hidden in a soda can under the seat
of his Honda Dream motorbike. Police stopped the 34 year old man at
checkpoint in Dong Dam village as they had information leading them to
believe he was trafficking drugs. The suspect was arrested although his
friend who was also on the bike, Jangjo Pananimitr, escaped into the forest.
Police have been actively investigating the spread of drugs among Chiang Mai
youth set up a sting to buy drugs from Sitthichon at a corn farm in Chiang
Dao on September 5, 2013. However, the suspect and another person opened
fire on the police and escaped. Police uncovered 10,000 methamphetamine
tablets there. Arrest warrants have been issued for Sitthichon or Pae Chalor
age 25 of Chiang Dao, Pae’s wife Yupin Jader age 23 of Mae Ai and Aeu
unknown surname age 18 of Chiang Dao.
Lampang police arrested two men alleged to be carrying 18,000
methamphetamine pills at a checkpoint in Sop Prap. Manoon Khanta of Chiang
Mai and Manit Lopralang of Krabi were arrested by police after they had
received a tip off that drugs were being trafficked out of Chiang Dao to
Nakhon Si Thammarat in the South. The drugs were hidden in the glove
compartment of the car and the two suspects confessed that they had been
hired by a Lisu man named Sam to carry the drugs for 150,000 baht.
On the same day in Chiang Mai on the Chiang Mai –Hod Road near Mae Soi four
Lisu men were arrested with 400,000 methamphetamine pills as they drove
three pickup trucks and towed a speedboat. The police had information that
they planned on taking the drugs to Bhumibol Dam and carrying the drugs by
the speedboat to avoid police detection. The officers then tracked them and
stopped them at Mae Soi sentry box to find the drugs packed in 2 boxes in
the black Toyota Vigo pickup truck. The officers later seized the properties
of Phuwit Wisarnwattana, one of the arrested men, including a house in
Sivalee Village, 5 cars, the speed boat, 9 mm pistol and other properties
worth over 10 million baht.
The officers of the 31st Rangers Regiment of the Pha Muang Task Force
ambushed a group of drug traffickers after a tip off led them to Ban Huay
Rai Samakhee in Mae Fah Luang, Chiang Rai on September 11, 2013 at 11:45
p.m. The officers found a group of 5-6 suspicious persons carrying sacks and
weapons through the area. The group opened fire on the Rangers and the
officers returned fire. After a ten minute firefight the group scattered
into the forest. The Rangers found one man dead and 40,000 methamphetamine
tablets packed in a sack. The Pha Muang Task Force sent more troops to find
the other members of the group.
Region 5 Police announced the arrest of a member of a known drug trafficking
gang operating out of Chiang Dao. Anusa Saeli was arrested with 10,000
methamphetamine tablets on September 13 after Khajorn Putthima and Montree
Sakpong, arrested on September 11 with methamphetamine tablets led police to
Opium poppy cultivation on the rise
80% of fields in Chiang Mai
80% of the opium poppy fields under
cultivation in Thailand are located in Chiang Mai. (Photo courtesy of
Chiang Mai is home to 80% of the illegal opium poppy fields
being cultivated in Thailand Tipaporn Tassapakdi, Director of the
Strategy and Administration Division of the Narcotic Crops Survey and
Monitoring Institute, Office of the Narcotics Control Board recently
announced. The office has been conducting ground and aerial surveys of
76 highland areas since 1984 and recent surveys found that cultivation
has grown to 1,659 acres 2012/2013, up from 1,303 acres in 20122/2012.
They surveyed 8 provinces in the North and one North Eastern province
and found that 80% of those fields were located in Chiang Mai province.
Tak came in a distant second followed by Mae Hong Son, Kamphaengphet,
Nan and Phetchabun.
The survey found that there were 1,300.20 acres under cultivation in 20
sub districts, a 36.64% increase from last year. Om Koi was home to the
largest number with 888.29 acres, followed by Chiang Dao and then Mae
Units from Army Area Region 3, Border Patrol Police 33 and National
Command Centre for Drugs Elimination Chiang Mai office destroyed
1,2950.90 acres of the illegal opium under cultivation or almost 100%.
Tipaporn Tassapakdi said that opium had quite a high price of
134,000-168,000 baht per choi (1 choi=1.6kg) and as high as 200,000 baht
when it is not peak growing season. The areas are located far from
cities with bad roads and the lack of transportation makes it difficult
for locals to improve their lives. Also teens in the area want the same
comfortable life as those in the city and grow opium to meet their
needs. Authorities are working to discourage cultivation and encourage
Corn farmers demand price controls from government
Mae Chaem corn farmers demand price controls
from the Thai government.
200 Mae Chaem area corn farmers gathered at City Hall on
September 17, 2013 to demand that the government buy corn at the same
price in all areas and not just to those areas with the right documents.
Other demands they submitted to Governor Tanin Subhasaen to send to
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra include set buying locations in the
district so that farmers can more easily sell their corn, set the price
of corn until February 28, 2014 at 8 baht per kilogram for corn with a
moisture content of less than 30% and 10 baht per kilo for that less
than 14.5% moisture content.
The farmers said that they expect an answer from the government by
September 24 and if they don’t get the assistance they need they will
protest to pressure the government like the rubber growers in the South.