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Skål Chiang Mai twins with Skål Yangon

Skål Yangon President Sonny Aung Khin (center) and Skål Kualu Lumpur President Jean Wasser (left) exchange banners with Skål Chiang Mai President Tim McGuire (right) at the twinning ceremony.

Shana Kongmun
As part of the push by Skål Chiang Mai to create connections with different Skål groups members and guests recently traveled to Yangon with Air Bagan to hold a twinning ceremony with the newly created Skål Yangon.
Skål Chiang Mai President Tim McGuire was joined by committee members and Skål supporters in the trip that saw Skål International Yangon President Sonny Aung Khin sign the official twinning certificate at the Padonmar Restaurant. The ceremony was witnessed by Skål Kuala Lumpur President Jean Wasser standing in for Marco Battistotti, President of Skål Asia and Annette Kunigagon, Past President of Skål Chiang Mai as well as committee members Manfred Ilg and Shana Kongmun. The clubs then exchanged banners before citing the Skål toast in Thai, Burmese and English.
The clubs plan on holding joint activities and are certain that the increased number of direct Chiang Mai – Yangon flights will enable more frequent visits. Skål Yangon President Sonny Aung Khin said that “Good friends make good business.”
The group spent the weekend in Yangon visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, the Reclining Buddha, as well as viewing the old colonial buildings around town and other sights. The group also traveled to Bago to visit the famed Shwemawdaw Pagoda and the rebuilt Grand Palace there as well as the War Cemetery. They dined at Skål Yangon member the Governor’s Residence and the Green Elephant Restaurant to meet with other Skål Yangon members and forge close ties between the two groups and the two cities.
Skål Chiang Mai President Tim McGuire said, “What an honor and pleasure to twin Skål Chiang Mai & North Thailand with the wonderful members of Skål Yangon. The city was nothing short of spectacular and the food and tours magical. I can’t express enough the warmth and sincerity I saw in the people I met. My entire outlook on Myanmar has changed and I can’t wait to return to this beautiful country!
Sonny and his team could not have done a better job in welcoming us and providing us with a completely awesome journey. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and very much look forward to working closely with you all in the future to strengthen the bond between our countries and to support and assist one another in any way possible....Skål!”


AirAsia launches new route to the islands

The airline will launch the new route with a special one way price of 590 baht booked online at airasia.com.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Thai AirAsia announced the launch of their newest direct route of out Chiang Mai, connecting the province with Surat Thani, gateway to Koh Samui and Koh Pha-ngan in the Gulf of Thailand. The new route will begin on November 1, 2014 and departs from Chiang Mai daily at 12:30 p.m. arriving in Surat Thani at 2:20 p.m. The Surat Thani flight departs for Chiang Mai at 2:50 p.m. and arrives in Chiang Mai at 4:45 p.m. The airline will offer land and ferry transfers to the islands. The route will use the 180-seat, all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.
The CEO of Thai AirAsia Tassapon Bijleveld said, “We are focusing on diversifying our routes this year. Chiang Mai-Surat Thani is an exciting addition as it allows for travellers from Chiang Mai to make their way to the ocean.” He added, “The island transfer via car and ferry to Koh Samui should be another great allure for Thai travellers as well as visitors from China and Europe who appreciate convenient and cost effective travel.”


TEDx; creating connections in Chiang Mai

Architect Pitupong Chaowakul onstage at TEDx Chiang Mai on September 27, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
An astronaut-in-training, a heart specialist, a construction industry evangelist, an IT applications developer, filmmaker and others from different fields in Asia, came together on Saturday to share their stories, innovations and ideas on “Creating Connections”, the theme of this year’s TEDxChiangMai 2014. More than 800 participants attended this fourth TEDx event, held again at Le Meridien. Many more watched it live elsewhere on http://livebox.me/tedx.

Organizer Martin Venzky-Stalling and Le Meridien’s Michael Hofstetter take a break during the TEDx talks.

This year’s mix of scientists, designers, architects, IT developers, anti-human trafficking organization founders and artists, went on stage to share their passions, research and ideas on community tourism, a new approach to education, organizing arts festivals, making polycarbonate saxophones and more. There were projects and ideas aplenty to stimulate the audience to mull over, discuss and plan for action.
Whether a project was still in the idea stage or in development, the distinct thread that ran through the talks was that we should continue dreaming, believing, and innovating in different ways, using or re-working the ‘old’ as well as coming up with new technology and ideas that ultimately connect people and help improve their lives. These ideas can be as beautifully ‘banal’ (Pitupong Chaowakul, architect) as creating street wire covers that are safe for people yet still manage to insulate wildlife like birds and snakes from harm; or as ambitious as using crowd funding to pay for solar cells and projectors to capture images of the open sky, or, as Pok Kobkongsanti (one of Thailand’s leading landscape architects) puts it, “to return the sky” to BTS users and people in Bangkok.

U.S. Consul General Michael Heath and his wife Michelle are greeted by speaker Hossein Farmani and his wife Apple Leewiraphan at the TEDx sign that holds hand crafted goods made by TEDx attendees.

Another presenter, Suthat Ronglong, Founder of Do in Thai, uses IT software to build applications and prototypes like The Braille Eye equipped with a small camera placed inside spectacle glasses that will ‘see’ and send data to an IPad or tablet, to enable the visually-impaired experience and touch raised images. This innovation will greatly assist them in their learning. Pirada Techavijit from Lampang dared to dream and worked hard towards being an astronaut after winning last year’s competition by AXE Apollo and Space Expedition Corporation (XCOR). She will make history by being the first Thai astronaut to go to space next year.
There were others who called for a holistic education (Haresh Khoobchandani, CEO, Microsoft Thailand); to preserve and to re-invent new ways of using old standalone theatres as places for the community to come together (Philip Jablon), while other speakers like the founder of the Hug Project (Boom Bean) shared their work on protecting children from exploitation by human traffickers. Finally, in the midst of all our attempts at sustainable social, educational and technological advances and growth, heart specialist Dr. Rungsrit Kanjanavanit reminds us to switch off our computers and mobiles to take time out to re-connect with nature, which can also be a springboard for further scientific and social innovations as well as a source of relaxation. Videos of each talk will soon be available online, look out for their announcements online.
There were also interactive booths at Saturday’s event offering art and other activities for attendees. They could browse through books, buy natural made-in-Chiang Mai products and/or sign up for technological and design clubs and upcoming events, while stretching their legs. Those with aching shoulders and necks could also get free head and shoulder massages.
The TedxChiangMai committee of volunteers will continue to organize smaller events and activities the rest of this year. The next one coming up on 16 November is TEDxChiangMai YOUTH, organized by students, schools and universities for their peers and more information can be found on the TEDxChiang Mai page.


Golden Myanmar Airlines launches new Chiang Mai route

Golden Myanmar Airlines celebrated the launch of their new Yangon – Chiang Mai route at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel recently. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya congratulated Mr. Khin Maung Aye, President of Myanmar Aung Business Development Enterprise, along with the company’s executives and staff. The airline flies from Yangon to Chiang Mai every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 6:30 a.m. arriving in Chiang Mai at 8:20 a.m. and returns to Yangon from Chiang Mai every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 9:05 a.m. arriving in Yangon at 9:55 a.m. The airline offers a free 20kg checked baggage allowance. Tickets can be booked online at their English language website www.gmairlines.com.


Chiang Mai Cabaret Theatre ready for high season

Chandee Apiradeesathit is joined by Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul and Chinese Consul General Chao Xiaoliang at the grand opening of the newest tourist attraction in Chiang Mai; the Chiang Mai Cabaret Theater.

Nopniwat Krailerg
The grand opening of the new Chiang Mai Cabaret Theater located behind Rimping Superstore Chotana was held on September 19, 2014 and attended by Deputy Governor Chana Pangpibul and Chao Xiaoliang, the Chinese Consul General.
The Chairman of the Chiang Mai Cabaret Theater Chandee Apiradeesathit donated funds to help victims of the earthquake disaster in Yunnan Province, China as well as donated money to the Province to assist Chiang Mai people affected by natural disasters. Each donation was at 90,000 baht and an additional 20,000 baht was donated to veterans and members of Division 93, the lost army of KMT soldiers who settled in Thailand.
Chandee Apiradeesathit noted in his opening speech that Chiang Mai has several million tourists each year and that the opening of a fully professional cabaret theater will give tourists in the city even more entertainment to enjoy during their stay.
The company has invested more than 20 million baht in the venue featuring state of the art equipment, modern lighting, sound systems and comfortable seating with top performers on the bill. The new theater will create jobs in the local economy and promote tourism to the city.
The theater has 468 seats and ticket prices of 500 – 700 baht. The theater will have one show a day to start but hopes to add more as the high season kicks in.


East-West-Seed to cooperate with corporate giant Monsanto

Bruno Lefeuvre,Group Sales and Marketing Manager East West Seed Group , Wichai Laocharoenpornkul , General Manager East West Seed Thailand, Wenjo Lapez, Asia Business Strategy Manager, Monsanto Co. and Boonlert Aphinaiprasit, Key Account Manager-SEA, Monsanto Thailand signed a distribution agreement recently.

Nopniwat Krailerg
East - West Seed (EWS) signed a business cooperation contract with Monanto Co. on September 22, 2014 a Suan Paak Chiang Mai as the two companies hope to promote winter vegetables into the Asian markets and increase choices for growers to enter the global market, according to East – West Seed executives.
Bruno Lefeuvre,Group Sales and Marketing Manager East West Seed Group , Wichai Laocharoenpornkul , General Manager East West Seed Thailand, Wenjo Lapez, Asia Business Strategy Manager, Monsanto Co. and Boonlert Aphinaiprasit, Key Account Manager-SEA, Monsanto Thailand jointly signed a business cooperation contract to build an important partnership for the two leading seed companies to expand business opportunities for both.
Bruno Lefeuvre, Group Sales and Marketing Manager for East - West Seed Group said that the partnership can expand market opportunities for EWS as the dominant company in the tropical vegetable seed market with a market share of 38% from a total market value of approximately 2,200 million baht The company will be able to expand its product lines of winter vegetable seeds with the Monsanto brands “Seminis” and “De Ruiter” as exclusive distributors under East West Seed packaging. Additionally, the company will act as the exclusive agent for marketing and after sales service, to allow farmers access seeds of Monsanto through a strong dealer network of East West Seed in 4 countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Myanmar.
This Distribution Partnership at an ASEAN level will help develop the potential and strength in the seed business and add more choice for farmers. EWS also researches plant breeding under the operation of Seeds Research and Development Centre in San Sai, Chiang Mai; the center is the only one private center that uses DNA Maker, valued at 30 million baht to shorten research times.


Dewdrop to install solar rooftops at factory

As part of their aim to use clean energy to reduce global climate change, reduce the use fuel and encourage other factories to turn clean, Dewdrop Chiang Mai Co. Ltd, the drinking water producer in the North, will be installing solar rooftops. Dr. Wichai Wongchai, Managing Director of Dewdrop Chiang Mai Co., Ltd. signed a contract on the with Uthai Phuangsaijai, a representative of V. Energy Engineering Thai Co., Ltd. at Dewdrop Chiang Mai Company on September 17, 2014.


Travel Around Thailand Without Limit to support disabled people

The Tourism Authority of Thailand launched the new project to promote tourist routes for the elderly and disabled titled Travel Around Thailand Without Limit with TAT Chiang Mai Director Wisut Buachoom launching the event at the Ratilanna Riverside Spa & Resort on September 21, 2014. The project aims to not only promote ease of tourism for the elderly and disabled but to also raise awareness among tourism operators of the importance of ensuring facilities have ease of access for the disabled. Chiang Mai, as a major tourist destination will take part in the pilot project which will start with surveys and testing of routes.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Skål Chiang Mai twins with Skål Yangon

AirAsia launches new route to the islands

TEDx; creating connections in Chiang Mai

Golden Myanmar Airlines launches new Chiang Mai route

Chiang Mai Cabaret Theatre ready for high season

East-West-Seed to cooperate with corporate giant Monsanto

Dewdrop to install solar rooftops at factory

Travel Around Thailand Without Limit to support disabled people