Lion Air ready for Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son route
Lion Air hopes to get confirmation of its new Chiang
Mai – Mae Hong Son route soon.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The recent cancellation by Nok Air of the Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son route has
caused Mae Hong Son many problems for tourists wishing to visit the province.
The cancellation of the flight saw many groups cancel plans to visit Mae Hong
Son, according to Supoj Klinpraneet, President of Mae Hong Son’s Joint Private
Committee. He said he had started talks with Thai Lion Air about starting a
Chiang Mai – Mae Hong Son flight and the airline agreed to submit an application
to take over the route.
Tawan Thianthong, Director of Engineering, Thai Lion Mentari Co., Ltd. said that
Lion Air was sending documents about the air transportation route and expected
that they would know the result soon. Lion Air has a plan to fly on every route
that is ready. The marketing team of Lion Air said that if Lion Air is allowed
to fly the Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son route, the cost won’t be expensive.
Lion Air or Thai Lion Mentari Co., Ltd. is the lastest low-cost airline to fly
in Thailand, established at the end of 2013. Thai Lion Air is subsidiary of
“Lion Group”, Indonesian low-cost airline. Lion Air has operated more than 13
years and is very well- known in low-cost airline industry.
Nan; rich with the history and culture of the Tai Lue people
Huan Tai Lue House of Ban Rong Ngae,
preserved for tourists visiting by Ban Rong Ngae Cultural Leaning
By Nopniwat Krailerg
Chiang Mai’s neighbor to the East, Nan, is surrounded by mountains and
is rich in nature; its extensive forests and rivers a tourist
attraction. Nan is also home to the Tai Lue people who maintain their
traditional lifestyle and rich culture.
Nan was established since the Sukhothai period named “Pua”, and later
became a vassal of the Lanna Kingdom with the decline of the power of
the Sukhothai kings. The kings of Nan fought against the Burmese
occupation but were defeated. The capital city of Nan was restored
during the Rattanokisn period but large parts of the province were ceded
to the French during the Paknam crisis.
The murals of Wat Nong Bua
are known for their beauty and interesting details.
Nan is a largely rural province, most people still rely on agriculture
as the main occupation. The Nan River flows from the Luang Prabang range
through the heart of the city to eventually join the Ping, Want and Yom
rivers to become the Chao Phraya River.
The Tai Lue people living in Nan were settlers originally from
Xishuangbanna in China. Originally,the Lue or Tai Lue settled in Lue
Luang, the upper of Mekong River area and later moved into the area
where Kunming is now before moving to the Mekong River Basin or
Xishuangbanna. They extended their area to Dien Bien Phu, Keng tung,
Chiang Saen and Lan Xang to reestablish a unified residence and
establish the twelve districts of Tai Lue called “Xishuangbanna”.
Some groups of Tai Lue migrated or were forcibly moved out of these
districts about one hundred to two hundred years ago and resettled in
the more Southern countries such as Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. In the
reign of King Rama I the Chao Fah Atthawalapanno (Ruling Prince of Nan)
and Chao Sumon Dhevaraj (Ruling Prince of Nan) led the army to push the
Tai Lue People from Xishuangbanna to Nan and some cities in Laos and
later in the reign of King Rama IV, Chao Suriyapong (Ruling Prince of
Nan) pushed more Tai Lue People from Xishuangbanna to Nan.
Pua district has the largest population of Tai Lue people in Nan. Tha
Wang Pha district also has a large number of Tai Lue people in 5
sub-districts as does Mengla, Yom sub district, and Chom Phra sub
district. Other Tai Lue people are scattered in Song Khwae district,
Chiang Klang district and Thung Chang district. In the past many also
migrated to other provinces in the north such as Lamphun, Lampang,
Phrae, Doi Saket sub district in Chiang Mai, and Chiang Maun, Chiang
Kham and Phu Sang in Phayao.
lamps made from clay, highly important to villagers before the advent of
Wat Rong Ngae is a beautiful old Tai Lue Temple in Woranakorn sub
district of Pua District with a viharn that is several hundred years
old. The building still has ancient wooden tiles and inside the temple
the murals behind the principle Buddha image are well-known for their
beauty and intricacy. It is believed that this temple was built in 1767
by Chao Luang Theppayalen and Chao Chang Puak Nga Kheaw, defeated
warlords from Xishuangbanna who gathered troops to this area and built
A living temple still used by the village, elders take turns to welcome
and care for tourists and they still speak the Tai Lue language. There
are 2 restored buidlings; Huan Tai Lue (Tai Lue house) of Ban Rong Ngae
opposite from the temple, is considered as a learning center of the
village so that visitors can see and learn about real Tai Lue culture.
The Tai Lue have homes similar to traditional Thai and other Northern
homes with a wooden house raised on stilts with a kitchen and livestock
living under the house. Housing remains a traditional mix of wooden Tai
Lue and Lanna architecture in some communities.
There is a traditional Tai Lue village in Ban Nong Bua, Pa Kha sub
district in Tha Wang Pha district beside the Nan River. Men do the
farming and women weave at home. The villagers plant cotton, and then
weave it into beautiful textiles from ancient designs showing water
flowing, such as the Sin Lai Nam Lai (water flow pattern), Sin Pong, Sin
Karn and Sin Man. Ban Nong Bua has a major ancient temple named “Wat
Nong Bua”. According to village elders, the temple was built in 1862 in
the Reign of King Rama V. Mural paintings inside the temple show the
lifestyle of villagers with women wearing the traditional textile
patterns especially the Sin Lai Nam Lai or Pha Sin Teen Jok, a weaving
technique for decorative pieces on the hem of women’s sarongs. The
murals show steamboats and western soldiers with rifles without bayonets
as western style was used extensively in the reign of King Rama 4 to 5.
The mural was restored after damage from the natural elements.
The ancient viharn of Wat Rong Ngae, Pua
district in Nan Province.
At the back of the temple is the location of Huen Tai Lue
Ma Kao (ancient Tai Lue house) or Ancient Tai Lue House Museum. The
house is traditional architecture with teak roof tiles or Cogon Grass
and raised on stilts. The house has only one large bedroom because the
Tai Lue family likes to sleep all together, but would build a new room
when a daughter married.
Although the Tai Lue people do not wear their traditional clothes in day
to day life, including the Phasin, they still dress in traditional
finery for the major festivals. The Tai Lue people of Nan still maintain
a rural traditional lifestyle in a province rich in natural resources
Microchips for ATM, debit cards to tackle fraud
Commercial banks in Thailand will use microchips instead of a magnetic
system on ATM and debit cards to prevent fraud, starting next year,
according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT).
BoT spokesperson Rung Mallikamas said the central bank and commercial
banks have been trying to find measures to prevent skimming – a fraud
method in which a device is affixed to the mouth of an ATM and secretly
swipe credit or debit card information when bank customers slip their
cards into the machines to withdraw money.
She said commercial banks have installed anti-skimming devices at cash
machines, warned people on the risks of ATM fraud, and told customers to
be more cautious in using their cards.
“It’s right that commercial banks hold responsibility in case of ATM
fraud, but they will have to change to microchip system for cards to
prevent skimming,” she said. (MCOT online news)
Do You Have an Expat Exit Strategy?
By Don Freeman
It may be too soon to think about leaving Thailand if you have only
recently arrived, but its still worth asking: Do you have an expat exit
strategy? If you don’t, you could find yourself digging a very deep hole
into your savings or illiquid investment accounts in a rush to fund one at
the very last minute. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind
when planning for a “proper” expat exit strategy:
· You Need To Tie Up Extra Emergency Funds. Ideally, you should keep liquid
emergency fund(s) in both Thai Baht to deal with the costs of leaving
Thailand and in your home currency to reestablish yourself back home.
· Don’t Assume You Will Get Your Rental Deposit Back or Sell Anything. Never
assume even if you are leaving at the end of your property lease that you
will get back your entire deposit or any deposit at all for that matter.
Likewise, any quick look at an expat forum or listserv will reveal how
likely you are to get even a fraction of the value for items like cars, home
electronics, furniture and other household goods you might intend to sell to
raise extra funds. In other words, do not count rental deposits or assets
sales as part of your expat exit strategy.
· You Can’t Take It All With You. Even if you moved to Thailand using a
40-foot shipping container, what you have accumulated while living here is
almost guaranteed to not fit inside whatever you came with and its
definitely going to cost you more to ship it home. Moreover, you will need
to check with customs both in Thailand and your home country (or a
professional relocation company) as what you were able to ship in may not be
easily shipped out or vice versa without a tremendous amount of paperwork or
· You Need to Maintain a Financial Track Record Back Home. If you still
maintain a property and most of your financial accounts back home, it should
not be too difficult to re-set yourself there. However and if you have been
away for a considerable amount of time and have little financial presence in
your home country, just re-opening bank accounts, getting a mobile phone
account and finding a place to rent can become a bureaucratic nightmare –
especially if you are British or European returning home after a long period
as an expat. Even for Americans, it might be difficult to find a place to
rent if you lack much of a credit history or credit score. That’s why it’s
important to at least maintain some financial accounts (especially checking
accounts and credit cards) in your home country in the event you need to
return there to live.
· Remember Entitlements (Or the Lack Thereof). Generally speaking, most
countries pay pensions to their citizens no matter where they are residing.
However, other entitlements like disability and unemployment compensation
are usually only for onshore residents while in the United States, there are
50 states with potentially fifty different sets of regulations. If you have
become disabled or unemployed while living as an expat abroad, be aware you
may have a tough time or you may not even qualify for entitlements even
after you return home.
· Check Your Health Insurance and Keep Your Medical Records. For Americans
in particular who aren’t retired, health insurance and health care tends to
be much more expensive back home than abroad. Therefore, you should have an
expat health insurance plan that works in your home country or is
convertible to a local plan in the event you return home. Likewise, don’t
forget to bring all of your medical records home with you and remember that
it could be difficult to reconnect with doctors back home.
· Don’t Forget Taxes. For Americans who never escape from filing income
taxes and from the reporting of their worldwide income or assets, returning
home might actually be easier than for other nationalities who once they
reestablish residency in their home country, could find themselves owing
substantial taxes on any offshore income, assets or investments. In other
words, consult with a tax expert from your country before you return home
and reestablish your residency there.
Don Freeman is president of Freeman Capital Management, a Registered
Investment Advisor with the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), based
in Phuket, Thailand. He has over 15 years experience and provides personal
financial planning and wealth management to expatriates. Specializing in UK
and US pension transfers. Call 089-970-5795 or email: