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Farewell to Chinese Consul General

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presents a farewell gift to Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai.

By Shana Kongmun
The Empress Hotel was the scene for a farewell party for Chiang Mai’s gracious Chinese Consul – General Zhang Weicai. Only a year and a half into his post he is returning to Beijing to retire. The Chinese government, like the Thai government, requires mandatory retirement at the age of 60 and surprisingly Consul – General Zhang has reached that important milestone.

Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo joined the gathered crowd of government officials, businesspeople and diplomats in wishing Consul – General Zhang Weicai a happy and healthy retirement and thanking him for his service to Chiang Mai. He noted the close ties between China and Thailand, especially Chiang Mai which has a sizeable Chinese – Thai population. The upcoming Chinese New Year will see a large celebration from the Chinese community at Waroros Market including a parade and Miss China Town.

U.S. Consul General Michael Heath and Chinese Consul General Zhang Weicai share a handshake and a laugh at the farewell party at the Empress Hotel.

The President of the Thai Chinese Business Association of Chiang Mai Sonvit Ittipattanakul then took to the stage speaking in fluent Mandarin and then translating it into Thai for the non-Chinese speaking members of the audience. The business ties between China and Thailand have continued to grow and the increased number of flights between China and Chiang Mai have brought closer connections between the two. There are now direct flights from Chiang Mai to Shanghai, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong and Guangzhou with many business people and tourists taking advantage of the connections.

Chinese Consul – General Zhang Weicai will return to China, he said, taking with him the memories of the kindness and friendliness of the people of Chiang Mai he said before raising a toast to HM the King.

Lion dancers performed for the audience that gathered to wish Consul General Zhang Weicai well in his retirement in Beijing.

Best day of the year for kids!

Children’s Day 2014

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo is joined by government officials in donating goodies to kids on Children’s Day.

By Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Children’s Day is celebrated by kids nationwide on the second Saturday of January and is day of fun, games, and a lot more for the lucky children of Chiang Mai.

With venues such as the Night Safari, Chiang Mai Zoo, Wing 41, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, City Hall, Kad Suan Kaew, Central, and Promenada malls, and Royal Park Rajapruek there was no shortage of activities for city kids. Children in Mae Rim’s Chiang Mai Home for Boys as well as many other areas around the province enjoyed a variety of games, fun and foods.

This little boy had a great time riding the giant trike.

Children’s Day 2014 was held under the motto given by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra “Be good and grateful, know your duty, have discipline and help build the nation.”

With so many parents traveling with their children to the various activities traffic in the city was heavy. Chiang Mai Zoo offered free entrance for kids and Wing 41, had parachute demonstrations, let kids clamber on fighter jets and more which is always one of the big draws on Children’s Day.

Central Festival had many cartoon characters come to life for the children.

Dr. Sarawut Srisakun welcomed kids to the Night Safari for Children’s Day.

Wing 41 is always a popular destination for kids as they climb on fighter jets and other vehicles and enjoy the parachute show.

Kad Suan Kaew was filled with children playing games and having fun.

Central Plaza Airport Shopping Center welcomed disabled kids for special activities as well.

Skål Chiang Mai delivers fruits of charity dinner to orphanage

All Skål Chiang Mai and the North members and guests joined the children of Mae Maeh Orphanage in front of the donated goods at the school

By Shana Kongmun
Members and friends of Skål Chiang Mai and the North visited the Mae Maeh Orphanage on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Located up a steep mountain slope outside Chiang Dao the group of intrepid travelers started the day early at the Makro purchasing carts of goods; food, supplies and of course some toys for the kids purchased from the budget set aside from the Christmas fundraising dinner held at Le Coq D’Or in December.

General Manager Jerome Sim hands out sticky rice for the children’s lunches.

The group loaded the 6 wheel truck with goods and 1,000 kilos of rice and headed off to the orphanage, however the trip hit a snag at the very last few kilometers when it turned out the road was being paved and it was too narrow for the 6 wheel truck to make it up the rest of the way. So, everyone buckled down and everything was unloaded into the waiting trucks and SUVs and the group made their way up the rest of the mountain to the delight of the waiting kids.

The children ran out and in a flash had the trucks unloaded and then lined up for the wonderful lunch provided by Skål and cooked at Khum Phaya Resort. While the kids were having lunch Skål members toured the school and assessed the school’s needs; the girls need bunk beds as many are sleeping on the floor under the beds. The school director Saneh Jai-ut showed the group a new building going up, currently from repurposed and recycled wood taken from an older building. This new building will be a dormitory for the growing number of children. The Skål Board agreed to help fund this construction since so many of the children were sharing beds or sleeping on the floor.

After lunch the kids performed dances for the audience, with the teacher noting that “We don’t have any way to repay you but can repay you with our performances.” Each visitor also received a lovely handmade bag from the kids.

The students performed a dance for the group in thanks.

Some toys and games were brought out and the children kicked balls around and jumped rope. The children at the Mae Maeh Orphanage enjoyed the visiting guests and their enjoyment of the day made each and every one of the visitors glad to have come despite the obstacles that had to be overcome.

The kids had a great time jumping rope, so did the adults!

The apples given to each student were a huge hit among the kids.

President Annette Kunigagon and Director Tim McGuire watch over the children as they sing before lunch.

Beautiful umbrellas and beautiful ladies

31st Bor Sang Umbrella Festival

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo (center) is joined by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn (3rd left), Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat (far right) and head of the TAT Chiang Mai Wisoot Buachoom (far left)

By Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The 31st annual Bor Sang Umbrella and San Kamphaeng Craft Festival was held from January 17 to 19 at Bor Sang Village in San Kamphaeng, Ton Pao Municipality. The popular annual event features lovely hand painted umbrellas that have made Bor Sang famous and the beautiful ladies of Chiang Mai vie for Miss Bor Sang Umbrella Festival.

Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo presided over the opening ceremony of the event that was held under the theme “Preparing for the AEC” on January 17, 2014. He was joined by President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn at the grand opening which began with a parade of beautiful girls holding painted umbrellas and riding bicycles as well as a parade from each neighboring village each decorated with cultural symbols from the countries of ASEAN. There was also a parade of Chiang Mai culture by the TAT, photo and umbrella contests, cultural performances and demonstrations.

The beautiful ladies of Chiang Mai vie for the crown Miss Bor Sang Umbrella Festival.

One kilometer of the road in the village of Bor Sang was closed to traffic for the event, turning it into a Walking Street for visitors to view items, purchase umbrellas and view cars decorated with Bor Sang umbrellas.

The Bor Sang Umbrella and San Kamphaeng Craft Festival is held annually on the third Friday of January. Houses in the village are decorated with traditional lanterns and colorful umbrellas for the festival. Bor Sang Umbrellas are also for sale in the village year round.

A parade of cars decorated with umbrellas and the styles of ASEAN countries was part of the opening show.

Kangaroos and Koalas; Australia Day brings food and fun

R. Greg Wallis is joined by Australian chefs and representatives at the conclusion of the event.

By Shana Kongmun
Australia Day is celebrated on January 26 every year and the Australian Trade Board and Rimping joined in the celebrations with the launch of Austrade’s Australia Unlimited party at the Rimping Supermarket at Promenada Resort Shopping Mall on January 18, 2014. The promotional event, which features Australian beef, dairy and other products runs through February 2, 2014.

Peter Myers (left) of Dairy Australia and R. Greg Wallis, Senior Trade Commissioner for the Australian government are joined by Ramlah Jafri of Rimping Supermarket, the kangaroo and koala mascots.

The party was hosted by a very funny emcee who kept the crowd laughing in both Thai and English and visiting Chef Tim Hollands and Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner R. Greg Wallis on their toes.

Greg Walls was caught by surprise at the launch of the event.

Tim Hollands, a visiting chef from Melbourne, Australia kept pace as he offered slices of wonderfully cooked beef and lamb from Australia to the audience. He then demonstrated what appears to be a peculiarly popular dish in Australia, pan fried Haloumi cheese or, as he called it “squeaky cheese” because of the peculiar squeak it makes in your mouth when you chew. He served the cheese, which he added has a very high melting point so the outside is crisp but the inside remains firm, with watermelon and mint.

Chef Tim, who was ably assisted by Greg from the Trade Commission, demonstrated a few more dishes for the audience before the crowd went shopping. A small wine tasting was held to introduce fine Australian wines after the cooking show.

Napassanan “Aom” Krainara and Lamorna Cheesman and her daughter Sita enjoyed the cooking show.

Chef Tim Hollands explains about the cut of Australian beef he is about to serve.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Farewell to Chinese Consul General

Best day of the year for kids!

Skål Chiang Mai delivers fruits of charity dinner to orphanage

Beautiful umbrellas and beautiful ladies

Kangaroos and Koalas; Australia Day brings food and fun