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Fireworks fill the sky as the Cricket comes to town

Welcome party for the 27th “San Miguel” Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes

The Welcome Party for the Cricket Sixes tournament is a time for everyone to let their beaks down!

By Shana Kongmun
Once again River Market played host to a horde of hungry cricket players on Saturday, March 29, 2014 as the teams of the 27th San Miguel Chiang Mai International Cricket Sixes filled the city. This annual event sees teams from around the world come to Chiang Mai for cricket, camaraderie and a roaring good time. With colorful names like the Tokyo Dingbats, the Darwin Dilettantes, the Floggers and Robbers and Sons of Pitches the event is colorful and draws cricket players back to Chiang Mai year after year, with many of them considering it a highlight of their year.

The Stuffed Beavers are a Chiang Mai favorite.

This year the Cricket Sixes saw 32 teams from 12 different countries including Greece and Japan join the event, many of them attending the welcome party and enjoying the ribs, pizza, and of course San Miguel Beer. The private party, held just for the teams and their supporters filled River Market and saw many old friends reconnecting year after year. The games are divided into groups, with the more serious teams vying for the Cup, also the Gentleman’s League and two women’s teams that competed this year.
The Chiang Mai Cricket Sixes is a key fixture on the Chiang Mai event calendar and is played every year at the beautiful Gymkhana Club, this year the competition ran from March 30 to April 5, 2014.

The Awali Taverners traveled from Bahrain, Kuwait and London to make the tournament.

The Chiang Mai Armadillos sport some of the more colorful jerseys in the tournament.

Dave Danichowski of the River Market is joined by local cricket lovers at the party.

The AEC and its effects on tourism

A timely talk at the Skål

Skal members and guests gathered for the group photo before the dinner (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

By Shana Kongmun
Members of the travel and tourism professionals’ organization Skål met at the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai for their monthly meeting on Thursday, March 27, 2014. Led by Events Director Manfred Ilg of 137 Pillars House, members first enjoyed cocktails by the pool before retiring to Fujian Restaurant to hear Mark Hefner discuss the findings of his research on the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community and its effects on employment in the tourism business in Chiang Mai.

Speaker Mark Hefner (2nd left) joins Ryan, Wanna, Laurence and Jaffee before the dinner.

Mark began his talk by saying “Bottom-line, things will change.” He said that although the Thai government has not yet changed its labor laws it will need to soon to all in line with the rest of ASEAN. He noted that there were 32 specific jobs in the tourism industry that will qualify for employment in Thailand and include jobs as far ranging as Executive Chef to Bell Boy to tour operators. Tourism professionals in Chiang Mai will be able to source qualified certified employees from the ASEAN website. He believes, although again, he noted the laws have not yet changed, that there will not be the need for 4 Thai employees or 2 million baht in registered capital for qualified certified employees from the ASEAN nations, they will still need visas but the process will be easier.

Skål Events Director Manfred Ilg and Secretary Frans Betgem greet young Skål member Patrick Hennessey and his parents Ed and Janet.

Mark Hefner noted that the ASEAN site has set up training courses for certification, employees will also be able to use their life experience to qualify as well. Employees will be able to upload their resumes for prospective employers to the ASEAN website and He added that Thailand is behind in this, noting that Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines have been very ambitious in preparing for AEC. He pointed out that many think ASEAN integration begins in 2015 but in actuality it started back in 2008 and it is expected to be completed in 2015. He believes that most countries will reach 90% of ASEAN’s goals.
Members had a lot of questions and found the talk very informative, also announced was a seminar on sustainable tourism that will be held at Payap University on April 8. Registration can be made at [email protected]

Magical transformations in stories of Princes and Princesses

Chiang Mai Ballet Academy’s annual gala performance

U.S. Consul Michael Heath and his wife Michelle attended the matinee show. Here with Director M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat and dancers from the show. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai audiences were treated to performances from two stories of magical transformation; the Prince of the Golden Conch Shell is an old Thai story of 7 young princesses who choose from princes of the realm but one chooses the poor forest dweller who is really a divine prince in disguise, and Cinderella the story a poor girl given the chance to go to the ball in her beautiful gown by her fairy godmother.
These stories may seem a little old fashioned in this day and age; stories of girls looking for their Prince to rescue them from either a life of drudgery in the case of Cinderella or the choices of her parents in the tale of Rochana in the Prince of the Golden Conch Shell. However, they teach more than that; the Prince of the Golden Conch Shell is hidden in the body of an ugly poor man who lives in the forest and is rejected by the King and his wife. However, the youngest daughter, Rochana, sees the gold in his heart and chooses him over princely suitors chosen by her father. They dance and his true self is revealed to the Princess.

Princess Rochana dances with a princely suitor chosen by her father in the Prince of the Golden Conch Shell.

Cinderella, of course, is the story of a poor girl treated poorly by her wicked step mother and sisters transformed into the belle of the ball with a beautiful gown and her beautiful glass slippers. As everyone knows, at the stroke of midnight her gown is transformed back into rags, her coach into a pumpkin and her horses into mice. The prince however, sees through the rags to the real Cinderella when she slips on the glass slipper. Of course the story could also be that only girls with tiny feet get the Prince!

Princess Rochana chooses the disguised divine Prince instead over the suitor chosen by her father by offering him a flower garland.

The matinee show on Sunday March 30 saw children of all ages attend the performance along with guest of honor U.S. Consul Michael Heath and his wife Michelle while the evening show was attended by Dhirendra Singh Garbyal, Consul for India and his wife and Rachan Veeraphan, Honorary Consul for Bangladesh and his wife along with other gold clad local residents and ballet lovers. The funds raised from these gala performances will be donated to the charity Friends in Need (of Princess Pa) Volunteers Foundation for the Red Cross Society.

Dancers of all ages took part in the performances at the Kad Theater on Sunday, March 30, 2014

Principal performers were Cathrin Ballmer, Sirikwanchanok Singtong, Peera Phanlukthao, the first male dancer with a PhD from the UK, and Narach “Book” Kitavadhana, Chiang Mai’s well-known baritone singer. There were joined onstage by more than 300 students from the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy and the show was directed by M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat, who was awarded the prestigious Asia Pacific Woman Inspire Award for Art in Singapore in 2002. Not just classical ballet, the show featured jazz, modern, Thai contemporary, Latin, flamenco and hip-hop.

The mice that help Cinderella do her chores performed a modern hip hop style dance to a classic 80’s hit; Mickey.

Cinderella dons her beautiful gown and wins the Prince’s heart at the ball.

Two little girls dressed up for the show and join their grandmother for the event.

ML Preeyapun Sridhavat is joined by guests of honor and dancers at the start of the evening performance.

Fired by Rex Harrison, reinstated in 2 days

(From left): Le Meridien Chiang Mai’s F & B Manager Michael Hofstetter, new Chiang Mai Expats Club Nancy Lindley, David, and board members Lucy and Charles. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

By Bill Sykes
“The magic of live performances captured me”, David Gordon told the Chiang Mai Expats’ Club at Le Meridien Hotel on March 22nd.
Named ‘Best Director’ at his boarding school, David was so “captured” that he watched 8 or 9 productions a week, and was especially impressed when he saw a 35 year old actor successfully playing a 12 year old boy.
“After a 5 hour interview I was a director at the age of 18, dealing with stars such as Rex Harrison and Barbara Windsor” he recalled. “Rex Harrison ordered me to his home and fired me on the doorstep, but I was reinstated 2 days later.”
Highs and lows were commonplace. One of David’s shows opened in Edinburgh with just 28 people in a hall seating 100. The next night no-one attended at all, but a stunning review appeared in the local newspaper. After that, the hall was packed and Princess Margaret was one of the audience.
David later studied cookery in Italy and now runs David’s Kitchen restaurant on the east bank of the River Ping, north of Faham.
The Expats’ Club takes a break during Songkran and the next full meeting will be on May 24th as Nancy Lindley takes over as the new Chiang Mai Expats Club President.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Fireworks fill the sky as the Cricket comes to town

The AEC and its effects on tourism

Magical transformations in stories of Princes and Princesses

Fired by Rex Harrison, reinstated in 2 days