Santa Claus was busy this Christmas season!
Chilly Chiang Mai temperatures make it feel a lot like Christmas!
visited kids at Promenada Resort Mall at the Santa breakfast held on
December 15. (Photo courtesy of Promenada Resort Shopping Mall)
By Shana Kongmun
The tune “It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas” was certainly
running through a lot of heads in the week before Christmas as Christmas
trees, carols and chilly temperatures brought the true Christmas feeling to
Four Seasons Christmas Tree is made up of 15,000 Mondo grass plants and is
set in the middle of the rice fields at the Four Seasons Resort Mae Rim.
As temperatures dropped and people bundled up against the cold Santa Claus
came to town. He first paid a visit to the Santa Breakfast at Promenada Mall
on December 15 where kids of all ages greeted him in his luxury car. The
kids enjoyed fun and games while the parents enjoyed breakfast. Kid from the
Hug Academy performed dances while carolers kept the audience entertained.
All the children were thrilled when Santa showed up and handed out Christmas
presents for each child.
Santa Claus also joined children from the School for Life sang Christmas
carols and decorated gingerbread houses at 137 Pillars House on December 14.
Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai joined the festivities at 137 Pillars House as
did stars Owen Wilson and Lake Bell, on a break from shooting The Coup in
town. The kids had a great time expressing their creativity through candies
and sprinkles and marshmallow Santa Clauses and reindeer.
Hug Academy performed for the audience at the Santa Breakfast at Promenada
Resort Shopping Mall.
Christmas festivities also came to the
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai as they held a tree lighting ceremony in
conjunction with an Italian Wine Dinner. The amazing Christmas tree, set in
the center of the rice fields at the Four Seasons was featured in the New
York Times. The 11 meter tree was decorated with 15,000 Mondo grass plants
in a living tree. The Tuscan Wine Dinner showcased the talents of
Tuscany-born Executive Chef Mario Prestigiovanni and featured wonderful
Tuscan wines, braised rack of lamb, risotto and other delicious Italian
Governor Adisorn Kamnerdsiri (center) joins the Christmas Tree Lighting at
the Four Season Mae Rim with (from left): Wang Ping; Jacky Jin; Natthapimol
Chuenduang; U.S. Consul General Michael Heath, Deputy Governor Adisorn
Kamnerdsiri, Titiya Chooto, General Manager of Four Seasons Resort Chiang
Mai; Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai, Yukari Fujii and Japanese Consul
General Akihiko Fujii.
The Chiang Mai Expats Club held a
Christmas brunch at the River Market, the event saw a huge turnout with over
170 people showing up for pancakes and conversation. Many sat on the deck
soaking up the sun and getting some welcome warmth!
Christmas festivities carried on through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as
Santa made his rounds visiting those who have been naughty and those who
have been nice. Let’s just hope he handed out more presents than lumps of
guest offered Santa a toy at the Christmas tree lighting at 137 Pillars
from School for Life took their creativity to new heights decorating
gingerbread houses at 137 Pillars House.
River Market enjoys the Expats Club brunch with board members Richard Prouse
and Charles Burke.
Japanese community celebrate Emperor Akihito’s 80th birthday
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo and Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii raise
a toast to His Imperial Majesty Akihito on his 80th birthday.
By Shana Kongmun
The kimono clad Japanese community turned out to wish Emperor
Akihito a very happy 80th birthday at the Holiday Inn on December 20, 2013.
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo took the stage to offer Thailand’s best wishes
and to thank the Japanese government for their contributions to Thailand.
The Japanese government has a community grant program that has aided many
Northern communities in the past years. He also talked about the long
friendship between Japan and Thailand and the strength of Japanese – Thai
business ties. The Japanese Long Stay community in Chiang Mai is a large and
vibrant group of retired Japanese citizens.
term Japanese residents dressed to the nines to meet with Japanese Consul
General Akihiko Fujii.
The Japanese National anthem was then
played and a toast was given to His Imperial Highness, Emperor Akihito.
It was then the turn of Japanese Consulate General Akihiko Fujii who spoke
in Thai of the warmth and welcome of the Chiang Mai people for Japanese
citizens and the great relations between the royal houses of Japan and
Thailand. His excellent Thai and sense of humor showed his great care for
Chiang Mai and Thailand. He then translated his own speech into Japanese,
before the Thai Royal anthem was played and everyone toasted HM King
Bhumibol Adulyadej before retiring to the back to enjoy wine, sake and
French Honorary Consul Thomas Baude, U.S. Vice Consul Jin-Fong Lam, and
British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson.
‘Dr.Doom’ prescribes life in Chiang Mai!
Swiss Lanna Society holds annual charity fundraiser
(center), the well-known Swiss investment guru known as Dr. Doom spoke at
the annual charity dinner held by the Swiss Lanna Society at the Imperial
Mae Ping Hotel on December 12, 2013. Here he is seen with General Manager of
the Imperial Mae Ping Peter Schnyder (far left) and President of the Swiss
Lanna Society Andy Mannhart (far right). (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)
By Bill Sykes
There will always be plenty of food in Chiang Mai and Thai tourism continues
to look good, investor and advisor Marc Faber told a meeting of the Swiss
Lanna Society on December 12th. The “contrarian investor” who publishes the
‘Gloom, Boom and Doom’ newsletter gave a talk in English and Swiss-German at
the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel in aid of the Child’s Dream Foundation.
Internationally renowned financial expert Marc Faber and part time Chiang
Mai resident, waived his normal speaking fees for the fundraising event.
(Photo courtesy of Imperial Mae Ping Hotel)
As Mr. Faber spends his time between
Switzerland and Chiang Mai he has given this part of the world his personal
vote of confidence, but was far less optimistic about the USA and China. A
big crash will come along soon, but it was just not possible to predict the
timing, he said.
Our northern neighbor, the industrial giant with more mobile phones than the
U.S., is a very leveraged economy heading for a credit crisis, he said. Much
of the information coming from China could not be believed and an important
weakness was their dependence on oil from the Middle East.
the Swiss Lanna Society and guests filled the room to listen to Marc Faber
speak. The event raised funds for the nonprofit organization Child’s Dream.
(Photo courtesy of Imperial Mae Ping Hotel)
Although the U.S. dollar could no
longer be trusted, the U.S. was in a better energy position as it was able
to import oil in vast quantities from Canada. In fact, no government or
political party, or the Federal Reserve could be trusted, asserted Mr.
Faber, and American industry was a power that peaked long ago in the 1950’s.
Their debt situation was very bad, there was insufficient capital investment
and their financial system was now more vulnerable. Internationally,
tensions will rise, he predicted.
On a practical note Mr. Faber said that he was still buying gold, and that
platinum looked attractive.
Swiss Lanna Society raised 80,000 baht from the fund raising dinner for
Child’s Dream which will go towards a clean water system for a village in
the North. A Child’s Dream is a ten year old non-profit organization that is
dedicated to working with communities to improve the education and health
situation for children and youth in the greater Mekong sub-region including
Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Their activities range from health
programs, construction of educational facilities, youth employment centers
and scholarships for high school and university students. Their goal is to
give the members of each community the skills and tools to help themselves.
Skålleagues dig deep for a successful fundraiser
members and guests joined for the group photo before dinner (Photo courtesy
By Shana Kongmun
Skål Chiang Mai and the North’s Christmas Charity dinner at Le Coq d’Or was
a roaring success with a wonderful indoor/outdoor venue with guests greeted
by a stunning 1926 Morris Minor antique car. The evening started out with
guests purchasing instant win raffle tickets for prizes such as Segway
Gibbon, Flight of the Gibbon, subscriptions to the Chiang Mai Mail and
CityLife, treks with Tiger Trail, mountain biking and bottles of Nikki
donated by Nikki Spirit.
Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna, David Thomas of Wanna Tours Chiang Mai
and Armelle Pennors-Chungcharoensuk of Chang Puak Magazine enjoy cocktails
on the lawn before dinner.
The Silent Auction table featured such
great prizes as nights at the Rembrandt Hotel, the Legend in Chiang Rai,
Khum Phaya Resort, Le Meridien Chiang Mai and Le Meridien Chiang Rai, Mana
Thai Village, Oasis Baan Saen Doi, and Anantara Hotels around Thailand due
to the hard work of the General Manager of Anantara Chiang Mai, Nick
Downing. Other silent auction prizes included a beautiful cotton scarf from
Skål member Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna, spa and massage vouchers from
Toby and Pakin at Oasis Spa, a Chinese teapot, shirts and bow tie from
designer Lawrence Goldberg and a lovely bag from designer Taty – Z donated
by Destination Asian Professionals.
Skål member Manfred Ilg, the General Manager of 137 Pillars House, was named
in the first annual “Most Active Skål Member of the Year” for the year 2013
for his tireless efforts in supporting Skål with donations, prizes, and
suggestions as well as networking on an international level.
Manager of 137 Pillars House Manfred Ilg receives the award for Most Active
Skål member of 2013 from President Annette Kunagigon.
Annette then offered a special thanks
to Events Director Tim McGuire, committee member Ineke Martens and her
husband Mathy van der Pohl who donated so much of their time and energy in
making sure the event was a great success.
At the end of the silent auction, everyone went in for dinner where the Skål
Toast was given by Pakin Ploypicha in Thai and by Manfred Ilg in English.
After dinner, everyone returned outside to learn of their success (or
failure) at winning some of the many amazing prizes and the live auction was
held that saw lively bidding and big wins from Ed Hennessey, Rob
Waardenburg, and Frank and Vanita Sethi.
of 137 Pillars House and Pakin Ploypicha of Oasis Spa gave the Skål toast
All in all Skål members very generously
raised over 250,000 baht from ticket sales, matching funds from Skål, raffle
tickets and the silent and live auctions.
Next month’s meeting is being hosted by Jerome Sim at the Khum Phaya Resort
where members and guests are sure to enjoy another wonderful evening with
visitors from the new Skål Yangon Club in Myanmar. Sign up online at