The Parade marches on
Heavy rains fail to stop Grand Parade
The Mae Jo
lantern release saw thousands of people release khom loy to the skies on
November 16, 2013 (Photo by Ally Taylor)
Yee Peng was marked by heavy rains on the last evening although revelers
still packed the streets and the parade marched on. Yee Peng was celebrated
in Chiang Mai from November 16 – 18, 2013 with the Mae Jo lantern release
taking place on the 16th in a separate event. The Small Krathong Parade went
through crowded city streets with a change of route to end at the Municipal
Building on the 17th.
Krathongs filled the rivers and moat and Khom Loy lanterns of all shapes and
sizes filled the skies. Although the “Angry Birds” and other characters
didn’t float away as successfully.
University took the Royal Trophy in the Grand Parade on November 18, 2013.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)
Mae Jo University took the Royal Trophy
in the Grand Krathong Parade on November 18 with an elaborately gorgeous
float. There were 27 teams taking part in the contest, from both the public
and private sectors. The parade, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. didn’t get
started until around 8:20 p.m. and shortly after heavy rains began to fall.
However, this did not dampen the spirits of those taking part in the parade
and they continued on from Kotchasarn Road to Tha Pae and on to Praisanee to
end in front of the Municipal Building. The last float passed by around
midnight but parade goers applauded their dedication enthusiastically.
sculptures were lit to decorate the city at the Gates, the corners and at
the Lanna Folklife Museum opposite 3 Kings Monument. (Photo by Shana
Maejo University won the Royal Trophy
Krathong and took home 70,000 baht. The winner of Group 1 which includes
government agencies, companies, organizations, associations, clubs, shops,
shopping centers, hotels, banks, colleges and universities, winner was
Chiang Mai University which won 60,000 baht with a trophy, second place when
to Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University Chiangmai Campus, and third to
Mahamakut Buddhist University Lanna campus.
Group 2 included government schools, private school, Municipal schools,
Younth groups, Village Scouts, communities and agencies which not listed in
Group 1, with no first place winner. Second went to the Non-Formal Education
Centre, and third to Rachawadee Culture group.
released khom loy around the city as part of the celebrations. (Photo by
Chiang Mai flocks to Central Festival opening
Massive crowds take their chance to win a new car
Thai Army and Police Region 5 join Governor Wichien Putthiwinyoo, Sudhitham
Chirathivat, and Kobchai Chirathivat on stage to formally open the new mall.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Central Festival celebrated its grand opening on November 14, 2013
and people turned out in force to view the newest mall to open in Chiang
Mai. This huge mall covers 250,000 sqm and was built with a budget of around
7 billion baht. The mall has all the top named stores found in Bangkok from
Marks and Spencer to La Senza, to Topshop and Topman.
lined the walkways to listen to popular singer Chin Chinawut perform.
Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo joined senior executives from
Central Group to launch the new mall in front of a large crowd of people who
turned out to see Thai pop stars such as Chin Chinawut, Pope Thanawut and
Min Pechaya as well as take a chance at winning either a Nissan Cube or
Mazda CX5 and other prizes. There was a fashion show featuring designs from
the stores that fill the mall.
The day saw many stores holding opening ceremonies including Marks &
Spencer, Topshop and many others. The mall also has many local businesses
such as the popular Doppio Rist8to from Nimmanhaemin Road.
Traffic to the mall remains heavy as locals turn out to see the first ice
skating rink, take in food from over 60 restaurants, and experience movies
at the IMAX 3 and 4DX theaters.
General Michael Heath and the Chiang Mai Diplomatic Corps present a donation
for charity to Kobchai Chirathivat, Executive Director of Central Group of
Companies and CEO of Central Pattana Public Company Limited (CPN).
Chirathivat, Executive Chairman of Central Group of Companies Ltd. (center),
is joined by Patson Sarindhu (4th left) a former actor and International
Marketing executive with the company and other guests.
U.S. Consul draws a full house at the Expats Club
General Michael Heath (center) with Expats Club board members Charles Burke
(left) and Richard Prouse (right)
By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai Expats Club hosted the new U.S. Consul General, Michael Heath
on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at Le Meridien Hotel. The meeting started out
with announcements including that there will be only one meeting in December
to be held at River Market on December 20th, this will be an expanded brunch
with a great set lunch so participants were encouraged to reserve early.
Mike Heath took the podium and talked a bit about himself, mentioning that
Chiang Mai is considered a plum assignment in the State Department, earning
him a few enemies he added with a chuckle. Mike mentioned that one of the
great things about the internet and social media these days was how much
easier it made it to keep in touch with friends and family elsewhere, making
it much easier to be in a new place.
and Pom enjoy the spread of coffee and croissants laid out by Le Meridien
for the Expats Club.
Mike said that he comes from quite a
multicultural background, his father a British citizen and his mother a
second generation Japanese American. He grew up all over the place as his
family moved around before he went to University and joined the State
Department. His first post was in Guiana, formerly British Guiana where he
learned first-hand that the lines between communism and capitalism are quite
blurred as the country elected its first “communist” President; a lesson
that was furthered in China where he was last posted and saw the
entrepreneurial spirit continue to outpace the government.
He mentioned the history of the U.S. Consulate, which used to be the palace
of the last Prince of Lanna, the U.S. government has leased it from the
Crown Property Bureau since the 1950s and the beautiful architecture and
gardens make it unique among the Consulates and Embassies worldwide.
were happy to get a seat near the front in the meeting which saw a very
large turnout to hear U.S. Consul General Michael Heath speak.
“Northern Thailand, to me, is the most
interesting part of the country; for its history and especially the history
of its expats,” Mike said. He noted that his recent attendance at
Remembrance Day / Veterans’ Day ceremonies at the Foreign Cemetery were very
interesting since he is currently reading the story of the British Consul,
W. A. R. Wood about his experiences in Chiang Mai titled “Consul in
Paradise. Mike said that he saw many of the names in the book in the
cemetery, giving it a real poignancy.
Mike talked about the role of the Consulate in the North including drug
trafficking, human trafficking, refugees and migrants and cultural
preservation as well as economic policies to facilitate investment by both
American companies in Thailand but also Thai companies in the U.S.
Mike kept the crowd both interested and amused with his interesting and
often funny stories and comments. He promised to bring his wife Michelle, a
Thai born naturalized American and their two children to meet everyone at
the next meeting. The floor was opened to questions and answers although the
Consul General pointed out he may not be able to answer them all as “”we
tend to develop a broad range of knowledge there isn’t a lot of depth but
promised to find answers or connect people to the right person to find those
Skålleagues dine under the stars at the Anantara
A photo of
the group before dinner, on the lawn in front of the Anantara Chiang Mai on
Thursday, November 21, 2013. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)
By Shana Kongmun
Tables set under the clear evening skies on a cool November evening
on the lawn at the newly renamed Anantara Chiang Mai was the perfect setting
for Skål members as they enjoyed great Indian food and good company. General
Manager Nick Downing was a genial host as his chef Chef Prabhash Prahakaran
and the staff who offered delicious food and excellent service at the dinner
held on November 21, 2013.
Several members celebrated early birthdays including Skål members Andrew
Bond and Paul Humphreys and Skål Local Member Richard Johnson.
Congratulations were also offered to newly approved member Jenny Croyston of
Hot Spots to Shop. President Annette Kunigagon.
Beverage Manager Kanoklak Nitirat joins General Manager Nick Downing and 137
Pillars General Manager Manfred Ilg for cocktails before dinner.
Skål Chiang Mai and the North donated
100,000 baht from its funds to be used by the Skål Clubs of the Philippines
for various relief projects which they would see as most beneficial to the
local population. Skål Bacalod, Skål Cebu and Skål Makati were all affected
by the typhoon that struck the country earlier this month, leaving over
5,000 people dead and thousands more homeless. President of the club Annette
Kunigagon pointed out that when the 2004 Tsunami struck Thailand Skål clubs
from around the world donated more than 5 million baht. Other Skål Clubs in
Thailand have also donated large sums.
The Skål toast was given in English by Linda Stevens, a visiting Skål member
from the Skål Australia Sunshine Coast club and in Thai by Young Skål member
Patrick Hennessey before members settled down for dinner and convivial
Next month’s dinner is the gala Christmas charity dinner at Le Coq d’Or on
December 12. More information at
Julie are joined by Skal events director Tim McGuire.
(2nd left) chats with Skal committee members Annette Kunigagon, Tim McGuire
and Frans Betgem.