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Yee Peng festivities not dampened by rain

Skies cleared in time for Loy Krathong

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn placed the HM the King’s Cup in front of the portrait of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej before the parade passed by the Municipal Building.

By Shana Kongmun
The Northern Festival of Yee Peng coincides with Loy Krathong and now the two events have become interchangeable. Loy Krathong is held throughout Thailand but is especially popular in Chiang Mai for the fabulous parades held over three nights, the lighted lantern sculptures decorating the city, and the temples decorated in lanterns and lights. This year the city was lit by the thousands of tiny candles known as Pang Pratheed, which the government encouraged people to use instead of launching the often dangerous khom loy or floating lanterns.

A woman lights Pang Phrateed at Three Kings Monument
(Photo by Ally Taylor)

Yee Peng means the second month in Northern Thai and accounts for the fact that the Lanna calendar falls a full two months earlier than in Central Thailand, so the 12th month in Central Thailand is the second month in Chiang Mai. The lantern festival in the North is signified by the many hanging lanterns seen decorating temples and at Three Kings Monument as well as the carrying lantern lit by a candle. In Central Thailand is the tradition of making floats out of banana trunks and decorating them with flowers, candles, incense and placing on it a piece of fingernail, hair and a one baht coin before sending it down the river to pay respects to the spirts of the river.

Chiang Mai University won HM the King’s Cup for their spectacular float in the Loy Krathong Grand Parade.

Held over three days and nights, including the popular Mr. and Miss Yee Peng and children’s Yee Peng beauty contests, the highlight of the festival is the Grand Parade held on the 7th of November this year. Every year companies and educational institutes vie for the coveted King’s Cup and it was no surprise to watchers that the spectacular float from Chiang Mai University took first place.
Around the city, visitors and residents launched their krathongs in the river and lanterns in the skies bidding farewell to misfortune and greeting a fresh start.

Hanging lanterns decorate Three Kings Monument and Tha Pae Gate for Loy Krathong.

A group of friends let go of a floating lantern in front of Three Kings Monument for Yee Peng. (Photo by Ally Taylor)

Lighted lantern sculptures decorated gates around the city featuring animals of the zodiac and mythical creatures as well as ASEAN mascots.

Little Miss Yee Peng contestants ready for the stage.

Dancers filled the city streets as part of the Grand Parade held on November 7, 2014.

Mae Jo University were strong contenders for the prize with this magnificent float.

Rajabhat University Chiang Mai wowed crowds with their float in the Grand Parade and took home first place in the Institutions Category. Second place went to Mahamakut Buddhists’ University and Rajamangkhala University of Technology took third.

The Japanese Consulate General of Chiang Mai had a float made out of bamboo and other natural materials. Joining the Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii were Japanese residents dressed in traditional outfits and Cosplayers dressed in elaborate costumes. First place in the Communities category went to Mae Gad Luang Female Society, 2nd prize to Rachawadee Cultural Conservation Group and 3rd prize to the Office of Non-Formal Education , Chiang Mai.

Creatures from the Himmaphan Forest danced from Tha Phae Gate to Municipal Building as part of the winning Rajabhat University team.

Skålleagues meet at a spooky dusit D2

Skål Chiang Mai President Tim McGuire with dusit D2 Food & Beverage Manager Jirhat Phuthajaroenwat and Director of Sales & Marketing James Hang before dinner.

By Shana Kongmun
Skål International Chiang Mai & North Thailand members and guests met at the dusit D2 Chiang Mai on Thursday October 30, 2014 for a fun – filled meeting that saw dancers from Sangdao Performing Arts School perform selections from their upcoming Charlie & the Chocolate Factory that will be shown at the Kad Theatre at Kad Suan Kaew on Sunday November 23, 2014.
The evening started with drinks at the colorful and trendy Mix Bar where the affable Jirhat Phuthajaorenwat, Food and Beverage Director for the dusit D2 Chiang Mai, greeted everyone and ensured they enjoyed the canapés and drinks. The club welcomed new visitors Pornchai Jitnavasathien, President of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association and Empress Hotel General Manager Chamnan Phukwatana as well as many members and regular guests.

(From left) visitors Pornchai Jitnavasathien, President of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, Tim McGuire and Empress Hotel General Manager Chamnan Phukwatana.

President Tim McGuire took to the stage to make club announcements including reminders that tickets for the special Christmas dinner at 137 Pillars House are on sale at Tiger Trail Thailand opposite the Iron Bridge on Charoen Prathet Road during office hours and at 137 Pillars House 24 hours a day at the reception desk.
Glen van Der Hoff, the producer and artistic director for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, talked a bit about the school and the reasons behind choosing this particular story as the kids here all know Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and it is a favorite. He added that he enjoys doing something unique and different and this performance will give the kids a chance to perform something that has never before been seen in Chiang Mai.

Glen van Der Hoff, artistc director for the upcoming Charlie & the Chocolate Factory performance with Lamorna Cheesman of Studio Naenna.

Funds raised from the performance will go to three separate foundations, including the Mae Mha Orphanage sponsored by Skål in Chiang Dao along with two other groups including one that supports kids affected by HIV/AIDS. Students then took to the makeshift stage to perform a few pieces from the show.
Frank and Vanita Sethi then gave the Skål toast, Vanita in Thai and Frank in English before everyone settled in to a fantastic dinner created by award winning Executive Chef Chalong Sakkapalangkul and his staff. The service was stellar and everyone remarked on what a successful evening it was. The dusit D2 team showed that their awards as one of Thailand’s Best Restaurants from Thailand Tatler were well deserved.
Next month will be held early so as to avoid Thanksgiving conflicts for many members and will be at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai on November 20 hosted by Skål member Stella Jacobs. Don’t forget to register online for the next event at

Phillipe Van Laetham of Expert Asia Travel joins Frank Sethi of Fashion King and his son visiting from Australia.

Vampires, zombies and Little Red Riding Hood on city streets

It can only be Halloween!

El Patio was the scene of these two killer Chinese ghosts!

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai streets filled with ghouls and goblins on the spookiest night of the year; Halloween. This year parties were held at venues all over town as the city got into the spirit of things! Even local residents who did not dress up for the event enjoyed seeing hordes of costumed people wandering around, yelling out ‘Halloween!” as they drove past.
From the zombie crawl to Zoe in Yellow, the Brasserie’s own walk and Rasta Café there were also events around the city including the always colorful Soho Bar’s costume party and El Patio that offered free (horrific!) face painting so that guests could join in.
Halloween is the one night of the year when the adults can play fancy dress and be whoever or whatever they want to be.

Ebola nurse was the new theme!

Everyone got into the evening, with parents dressing up in matching costumes with their kids.

Not sure what this guy is supposed to be but the costume is a classic!

Santia used food color and tomato skins along with makeup for this rather gruesome disguise.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Yee Peng festivities not dampened by rain

Skålleagues meet at a spooky dusit D2

Vampires, zombies and Little Red Riding Hood on city streets