Chiang Mai readies border checkpoint for trade
Will submit request to Ministry of Interior
A committee meeting was held to discuss border
checkpoints at Ban Lak Taeng and Kew Pha Wok.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Governor Wichien Puthiwinyoo recently reported that Chiang Mai held a
committee meeting with governmental and private agencies, academics and other
related groups to discuss the border trade possibilities at the Ban Lak Taeng
border crossing in Wiang Haeng District. The meeting of the committee, Border
Trade Thailand – Myanmar (Kew Pha Wok) was held on February 12, 2014 to update
businesspeople in Chiang Mai as to the progress of the proposal.
A presentation of various situations as well as various changes in Myanmar that
ensure Chiang Mai’s readiness for the opening of the AEC and Myanmar in
2015.Also under discussion was increasing the importance of the Ban Lak Taeng
border crossing to increased trade and transport. It was noted that one of the
positive aspects of elevating the checkpoint was that although the road was in
the mountains it was not very steep. The current distance is 156 kilometers, of
which 50 km is through mountainous areas. It is believed that by improving and
developing the roads it would reduce the distance to 126 km.
The committee resolved to propose the opening of Ban Lak Taeng to border trade
to be temporary permitted by the authority of the Governor with the approval of
the Ministry of Interior.
The committee also agreed to support the Kew Pha Wok border trade point in
Chiang Dao to become a permanent border crossing focusing on tourism. The next
step would be to request approval from the Ministry of Interior and the Office
of National Security and then enter into discussion with Myanmar to set a
suitable date and time with the Shan State to oversee the border area. Also, the
border will strengthen relations with Chiang Mai’s sister city Chiang Tung.
Chiang Mai will continue to push for the opening of border crossings to add
channels for entrepreneurs and strengthen cross border relations.
Hall of Opium the newest attraction in Chiang Rai
The new Hall of Opium is open daily except
Mondays at Baan Sob Ruak, in Chiang Saen district, Chiang Rai.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Mae Fah Luang Foundation
proudly present an enticing tourist attraction in the glorious province
of Chiang Rai – the Hall of Opium in the Golden Triangle Park.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of the TAT said, “We think this will be
of great interest to tourists from around the world. After all, it was
only a few decades ago that the areas around the Golden Triangle were
notorious for being at the heart of South East Asia’s opium trade, with
poppy plantations hidden in the hills far from preying eyes.”
Thanks to the hard work of the Princess Mother over many years, to
initiate royal projects in Chiang Rai, the trade in opium was gradually
TAT Governor said, “The Princess Mother encouraged the local people to
stop cultivating poppies and switch to cold-climate plantation. Orchards
replaced the opium fields and poppy farming became a thing of the past.”
“Now that the opium industry has faded into the mists of time, people
are interested in how people lived and worked and why things changed for
the better,” he added.
The Hall of Opium at Golden Triangle Park offers a glimpse at this dark
period in Chiang Rai’s history and is well worth seeing. There are
modern interactive displays and multimedia presentations that bring the
past to life as this fascinating story unfolds.
Located at Baan Sob Ruak, in the Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai
province – close to the very fields where millions of poppies once
bloomed, the Hall of Opium gives a full picture of the opium trade, its
history, some of the characters involved and how it blighted the lives
This is a tale of a trade that stretches back some 5,000 years and gave
rise to some of the biggest events in history – the Chinese Opium Wars,
the colonisation of India and the rise of international drug cartels.
Despite being a dark tale, the history of opium is fascinating and The
Hall of Opium’s exhibition has been designed to make a big impact on all
visitors. Put together by historians and multimedia experts, the show
treats visitors to sound and light displays, unique photos, video
exhibits and interactive presentations. This means it is accessible and
exciting to people of all ages and nationalities as well as being
poignant and thought-provoking.
Because it has been designed to be educational and instructive, the Hall
of Opium will be especially interesting to younger visitors, who may
find it hard to imagine that just a few years ago things were so
different in this bustling modern nation.
The drug trade of the Golden Triangle is not glorified in any way and
there is a strong focus on the dangers of the poppy – that lovely bloom
which ruins lives. Once the flower’s sap was extracted and boiled into
addictive opium it became a magnet for crime.
The museum teaches all about drug trafficking, addiction, and smuggling,
but most of all how the drug can affect the people who take it,
destroying families and communities. But the final lesson the museum
teaches is how there is hope and ultimately things can change for the
The museum is open every day (except Monday) from 8:30 – 17:00 hrs. A
visit takes around 2-3 hours. The entry fee is 200 baht per person. For
more information call Tel: +66 (0) 5378 4444 – 6. (TAT)
Chinese tourists still show strong interest in visiting Thailand
Travellers from China still show a strong interest in visiting Thailand,
despite political tensions in Bangkok, with the number of visa
applications at the Thai Consular Office in Shanghai remaining high at
7,000-8,000 applications a day while flight bookings with Thai Airways
International (THAI) also remain robust with a 75 per cent load
capacity, according to a survey conducted by the Tourism Authority of
Thailand’s (TAT) Shanghai Office.
Mr. Thawatchai Arunyik, Governor of TAT said, “China remains Thailand’s
number one tourist market, with a total of 4.7 million arrivals in 2013
– a 68.83 per cent jump over 2012. We are happy to see that the number
of daily visa applications and flight bookings for Thailand remains high
at present, and we are working closely together with all authorities
involved as well as private agencies to facilitate travel and
hospitality for all tourists during Bangkok’s current unstable political
Surveys conducted during last week by the TAT Shanghai Office show that
independent Chinese travellers and repeat visitors, who account for 30
per cent of the total number of Chinese tourists coming to Thailand,
have confirmed that their trips to destinations in the kingdom including
to Bangkok will go ahead as planned.
Meanwhile, some group tourists travelling with charter flights have
changed their itineraries to visit destinations outside Bangkok,
according to major tour operators and airlines operating in Shanghai,
Hangzhou and Nanjing.
The top alternative destinations include Phuket, Phang-nga, Krabi in the
South, and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the North. Centara Hotels and
Resorts and Ctrip land operator in Phuket said in the survey that their
Chinese guests now make up 90 per cent of hotel occupancy rates in
Phuket, with similar figures for travel services.
Thanks to a successful marketing drive by the TAT Shanghai Office, the
organiser of “Miss Earth Shanghai 2014” has confirmed bookings for
Pattaya and Ko Chang in March 2014, and various Chinese wedding studios
have organised trips for newly-married couples to honeymoon on Ko Li Phe
in Satun in April 2014.
In addition, four Thai boxing tournaments are being staged in four major
cities in China between January and March 2014, to promote Thailand as a
sports destination. There will also be a five-day Thai Festival
scheduled to be held in Shanghai in April to showcase and promote Thai
products and Thai tourism to the Chinese market.
TAT Governor attributes this positive outlook to the hard work of TAT
including the drive to keep tourists updated with constant press
releases and reports about the situation in Thailand through wechat – a
hugely popular instant messaging application in China with 600 million
users – and weibo – a Chinese microblogging website, as well as the
websites of the major travel agencies in China.
He added, “This has been done alongside extensive marketing campaigns
that have promoted some of the alternative destinations in Thailand
which have scheduled and charter flights; such as, Phuket, Krabi and
The TAT Shanghai Office is also collaborating with China Eastern
airlines, Shanghai Airlines and Air Asia to obtain permission from the
Airports of Thailand to operate a total of 10 special flights from China
to Chiang Mai from 28 January to 9 February, 2014. (TAT)
Museum app launched by CAMT
The new mobile application
titled CM Museum was recently launched and offers visitors information on
Chiang Mai’s historical sites.
The Chiang Mai Historical Centre, and College of Arts, Media and
Technology of Chiang Mai University (CAMT) launched the new Chiang Mai Arts
& Culture Center mobile phone application tilted CM Museum at a press
conference held at Chiang Mai Arts & Culture Center on February 12, 2014.
Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul presided over the presentation of the new
mobile application along with Dr. Pitipong Yodmongkol, Dean of Faculty of
CAMT and Chatchai Shinawatra, Director of Plan and Project Division of
Chiang Mai Municipality.
Dr. Pitipong Yodmongkol said that the application has three languages; Thai,
Chinese and English. The app was developed in a collaborative effort between
Chiang Mai City Arts & Cultural Centre, Temasak Polytechnic (Singapore) and
CAMT to convey the story of Chiang Mai’s history through mobile technology.
The last ten years has seen a fundamental change in communication with
everyone having easy access to information via internet and 3G, the
proliferations of smartphones and tablets has brought about a fundamental
change in the way people travel and learn.
The new CM Museum application conveys information found at the Chiang Mai
City Arts & Cultural Centre from the past to the present, the easy to use
app allows users to scan QR codes to view images in a virtual 3D, along with
sounds and stories. The application is available both in Google Play and the
Apple app store under the name CM Museum.
Android application developed for
walking – cycling route around the moat
Chiang Mai’s newest mobile
application is being developed to offer visitors and tourists
walking and cycling routes to areas of interest around the city.
As more and more tourists turn to their smartphones and
tablets for guidance and information lecturers in Animation of
the College of Arts, Media and Technology, Chiang Mai University
have developed an application that offers visitors a
walking/cycling route around the moat. The Android application
will simulate the old city of the early Lanna Kingdom combined
with the era of Monthon Burapha to show a model of the ancient
city of Chiang Mai as it appeared during the Lanna period of
1297 – 1558 AD.
Chiang Mai’s 700 years of history make it a unique attraction
for the nearly 5 million visitors per year. Historical evidence
shows that many of the common dwellings, ancient pagodas and
ancient city walls have deteriorated. The app will recreate the
old city around the moat, main areas such as Wat Chedi Luang,
Wat Pra Singh Worawiharn, Three Kings Monument, police station,
Post Offices and the ancient town. The team is installing
navigation around the city with recommended walking and cycling
routes to help travelers understand the history and architecture
of the city. The application is currently under development by
New Bangkok – Chiang Rai flight
Bangkok Airways, has recently announced its latest expansion to
the northern part of Thailand – Chiang Rai by offering non-stop
flights from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Chiang Rai, the northern
most large city in Thailand. Commencing on 28 March 2014, the
airline will be using a 162-seater Airbus A320 aircraft to
service on this route.
The first outbound flight PG231 will depart Bangkok
(Suvarnabhumi) at 07.35hrs and arrive Chiang Rai Airport at
08.55hrs. while the second outbound flight will depart Bangkok
(Suvarnabhumi) at 18.05hrs and arrive Chiang Rai Airport at
19.25hrs. The first inbound flight PG232 will depart Chiang Rai
Airport at 09.45hrs and arrive Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at
11.05hrs. while the second inbound flight will depart Chiang Rai
airport at 20.10hrs and arrive Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) at
Stay connected on Thai Air
Airline announces on board Wi-Fi
Thai Airways International (THAI) announced the introduction of
THAI Sky Connect service for wireless internet connection
(Wi-Fi) on board THAI’s Airbus A330-300 and A380-800 aircraft.
Mr. Chokchai Panyayong, THAI Senior Executive Vice President of
Commercial, and Acting President, said, “THAI is pleased to
introduce THAI Sky Connect, an in-flight Wi-Fi product and
service that adds to passenger convenience on board flights
operated with Airbus A330-300 and A380-800 aircraft in all
classes of service.
“In the era of digital media, online technology is very popular
and essential to everyday life, even during the time spent on
board an airplane. With THAI Sky Connect, passengers are able to
remain connected to the internet without missing important
“Passengers are able to connect to the internet with a laptop,
tablet, or smartphone and use various applications on the
internet, such as Virtual Private Network (VPN), e-mail access,
instant messaging, and web browsers. Through a credit card or
debit card, passengers have options in selecting their Wi-Fi
THAI received the Wi-Fi license from the Office of the National
Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) on 7
January, 2014 and began the THAI Sky Connect service on 14
Wi-Fi internet connectivity is available on THAI’s six Airbus
A380-800 aircraft and THAI’s seven Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
Wireless internet connection (WiFi) is available on THAI
aircraft that have Wi-Fi equipment installed in the passenger
cabin. OnAir provides internet connectivity for THAI Sky Connect
in each THAI aircraft, whereby the internet signal is
transmitted via satellite through a ground network.
OnAir collects the Wi-Fi internet package fees from passengers
by credit card payment and has a customer relations service for
passengers to contact for customer inquiries.
Prices for WiFi Packages: Smart Phone Package 3 MB = USD 4.50,
10 MB = USD 14.50, Laptop/iPad Package 10 MB = USD 14.50, 20 MB
= USD 28.50. (TAT)
Central Festival Chiang Mai opens premier lounge
Central Festival Chiang Mai launched the new
premier lounge for credit card holders on
January 20, 2014. The lounge, according to
Suchart Chaimongkol, General Manager of Central
Festival Chiang Mai, will be available to
Central Credit Card holders; Platinum, White
Gold, Gold, Red and Classic cards with the
Foundation Member identified on the card. One
card works for 2 people. The Premier Lounge
serves coffee and other drinks, and offers
magazines and Wi- fi Internet for customers to
relax or discuss business.
Thai AirAsia, TAT join
hands to promote tourism
Thai AirAsia Airbus lands at
Suvaranahbumi Airport (Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland,
Thai AirAsia joins hands with the Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) in launching a
campaign to boost tourism in the country to
generate additional revenues of over Bt305
million. Airline executive Tasspon Bijleveld
said a single flight ticket will start at Bt555
for those buying their tickets at
www.airasia.com today until Feb 23 in order to
travel from Feb 20-Jun 30.
Over 40,000 passengers are expected for this
Mr Tasspon said Thai AirAsia wants to give
importance to domestic market. The airline flies
to 14 domestic routes in all regions as well as
inter-region routes such as Chiang Mai-Krabi and
Tawatchai Aranyik, TAT governor, said this
campaign complies with TAT’s objective to create
allies with others for more tourism activities.
It hopes the project will help boost more travel
among Thais. (MCOT online news)