City breaks in Bangkok
Centara Watergate Pavilion Hotel has a fabulous view
of the city from their new rooftop restaurant, offering excellent food and a
romantic atmosphere for couples looking to relax.
By Shana Kongmun
As part of a series of articles for Chiang Mai people on places to
consider when looking for a break, Bangkok must be at the top of the list. Most
Chiang Mai residents consider a trip to Bangkok a necessity born out of need;
work, or embassy visits, but a few days in Bangkok can also be refreshing and a
lot of fun. Most people end up staying somewhere along Sukhumvit but they’d be
remiss to not check out the Pratunam area. The shopping in this area is
fantastic and the traffic can also be pretty bad but dismissing it due to
traffic would be a mistake.
The Airport Link goes to the heart of the area with the Rachaprarop Station and
the BTS is not too far to walk. There are also the underused and often ignored
canal boat rides that come up just behind Central World and Platinum Fashion
Mall. The area is filled not only with a lot of great street food stalls but
restaurants and shops.
A quick visit to Centara Watergate Pavilion Hotel put me in popping over
distance to Platinum, Central World and Panthip Plaza, with a beautiful rooftop
restaurant with a select Thai and Western menu and local Chiang Mai produced
Nikki Spirit cocktails. The view over the city from the restaurant was
spectacular and the hotel offers a four star accommodation in an easy to reach
and vibrant neighborhood. The cocktail bar is set next to a stunning dipping
pool and the service friendly and fast. Rooms are quiet and comfortable and for
a change the television selection quite good. The hotel has rooms for all
different kinds of guests, from singles, to couples and families. It was great
to be able to pop out for my favorite shoes or technology and yet still have a
calm and relaxing place in the heart of such a busy district.
Nearby are nightspots and the ease with the Airport Link makes it a quick and
easy day trip without all the hassle of traffic. Trips to Bangkok can be
relaxing instead of the usual stress and ire filled trips that most people
Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai launches helicopter emergency services
Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai will act as a
Helicopter Emergency Service to airlift critical patients from remote
places so they can get timely medical treatment.
Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai held a workshop on Helicopter
Emergency Services (HEMS) from November 13 – 15, 2014 in areas of Chiang
Mai, the Mae Moh lignite power plant in Lampang and Pai in Mae Hong Son
Province.. The event was held in cooperation with government agencies in
Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office, hospitals in the
area, National Institute of Emergency Medicine (EMIT) and Kan Air.
On November 15, 2014 at Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai, Navin Sintusa-ard,
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Dr. Niwat Boonyuen, Director of Bangkok
Hospital Chiang Mai; Dr. Thoranee Kayee, Head of Emergency Medical
Chiang Mai office; and Issara Nanawichit, Head of Consumer Protection Of
Chiang Mai Public Health Office announced the workshop at a press
Dr. Niwat Boonyuen, Director of Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai said that
the hospital is the first hospital in the North that provides HEMS and
is an important opportunity to expand the medical services with modern
and international standards to the northern areas. The demonstration at
the hospital consisted of lecture to provide information on HEMS,
methods of moving patients, equipment for rescue and the facilitation of
mobility, and actual flight training operations from the helipad on the
12th floor of the hospital. HEMS is suitable for critical patients with
brain diseases, heart disease, stroke, etc., that need to be moved
rapidly and reduce the risk of disability. HEMS provide service by
helicopter model EC-145 2 engines 4rotors with a maximum speed of 264 km
/ hour available 24 hours a day.
Dr. Thoranee Kayee, Head of Emergency Medical Chiang Mai office said
that according to statistics in Thailand from 2010 to 2014, 163 critical
patients had been airlifted with the highest number in the North, about
20 -30 patients per year. EMIT signed an MOU with the government,
military, police and Kan Air in the support of HEMS in northern areas
but never had a direct service from any hospital.
Chiang Mai hosts International Society for Fluoride Research conference
Fluoride toxicity at issue
Researchers and academics will meet to
discuss fluoride toxicity at the 32nd Conference of The International
Society for Fluoride Research, Fluoride Prevention at the Holiday Inn
Chiang Mai from November 25 – 28, 2014.
Researchers from around the world will travel to Chiang Mai for
the 32nd Conference of The International Society for Fluoride Research,
Fluoride Prevention which will cover the theme “from research at the
cellular level to mitigation” from November 25 – 2, 2014 at the Holiday
Inn Chiang Mai.
Dr. Wuttichai Choompolkul, Director of the Intercountry Centre for Oral
Health of the Department of Health revealed that Thailand was chosen to
host the conference that saw more than 150 researchers and academics
attend the meeting.
The conference acts as a forum for researchers to present work, exchange
knowledge and study communities in Chiang Mai and Lamphun which have an
excess of naturally occurring fluoride in the groundwater causing health
concerns for fluoride toxicity. The forum gives different sectors the
opportunity to work together to solve problems.
The International Society for Fluoride Research: ISRF, is an
international organization that studies the problem of high amounts of
fluoride in the environment that affect people and it organizes the
regular conferences to allow discussion of these problems. The first was
in 1996 in Frankfurt, Germany and later was hosted by several countries
and turn of Thailand in the 15th year of the conference.
Dr. Wuttichai Choompolkul said that Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phayao,
Phrae, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Tak, Nakhon Pathom, Suphan Buri,
Uttaradit, Ratchaburi, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Nakhon Si Thammarat,
Ranong, Surat Thani, Songkhla and Krabi all have high levels of fluoride
in ground water and overconsumption can cause brittle bones in adults
fragile teeth, and kidney stones as well as health issues for children.
It can also cause goiters and interrupt the absorption of iodine that is
an essential mineral that nourishes the brain.
TAT organizes Chiang Mai & the North Travel Mart 2014
Table top sales to feature tourism operators from around the North
Wisut Buachum, director of the TAT Chiang Mai
and Pornchai Jitnavasathien of the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association
announced the upcoming Travel Mart at the Governor’s weekly press
Chiang Mai’s International Convention Center will host the Chiang
Mai and the North Travel Mart 2014 from December 8 to 11, 2014 and feature
tourism businesses from around the North offering table top sales as well as
a chance to meet tourism and media from around the world and officers from
27 overseas TAT offices.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is working with Chiang MaI Province, the
Association of Northern Tourism Federation, Tourism Council of Chiang Mai,
Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, Thai Hotels Association Northern
Chapter, and supported by the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration
Organization and several public and private units, to the event. The
official opening ceremony will be held at 1.00 p.m. on December 9, 2014.
Wisut Buachum, the director of Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai
Office said that CTM 2014 is held to promote sales at the international
level and increase competitiveness of tourism operators, as well as send a
good image of Chiang Mai tourism to the global stage. Three hundred and
sixty tourism businesses and media have been invited to attend the event and
meet with 120 operators from Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Lamphun
and Lampang. The event is held annually by the TAT, with Chiang Mai and
Phuket alternating as hosts each time.
International Balloon Festival fills Chiang Mai skies on December 6
Napassanan “Aom” Krainara is
joined by Director of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau Jaruwan
Suwannasat, Deputy Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai
Anand Sidaeng, and Vice President of the Tourism Council of Chiang Mai
Phunut Thanaiaopanich to announce the International Balloon Festival along
with sponsors such as Holiday Inn Chiang Mai, Duangtawan Chiang Mai and
Once again the skies of Chiang Mai will fill with hot air balloons as the
International Balloon Festival returns to Chiang Mai on December 6 and 7,
2014. Balloons will launch each day at 6 a.m. to fill Chiang Mai skies
before returning to Chiengmai Gymkhana Club for the party including a Golf
Ball Drop charity fundraiser from Chiang Mai International Rotary Club, dog
shows, kite flying, art workshops as well as international cuisine from
leading hotels and restaurants in Chiang Mai.
Napassanan “Aom” Krainara, organizer of the event, said that there would be
30 balloons from six nations including Spain, Czech Republic, the United
Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and Thailand. All pilots are experienced and
fully licensed, she pointed out. At night, when the balloons return to the
Gymkhana Club there will be a fantastic sound and light show with fireworks
from tethered hot air balloons as well as concerts from famous musicians
including Nantida Kaewbausai, Drums United, Maleewan and others. Adult
tickets are 200 baht, children 150 baht. www.thailandballoon festival.com.
Tigerair Taiwan opens direct flights Taipei - Chiang Mai
Tigerair Taiwan launched a direct Chiang Mai – Taipei route with the
inaugural flight arriving in Chiang Mai on November 15, 2014. Wisut
Buachoom, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand Chiang Mai was on
hand to greet the arrivals from Taiwan at 8 a.m. The flight departs Taipei
at 5 a.m. and arrives in Chiang Mai at 8 a.m. while the return flights
departs at 9:40 a.m. The low cost carrier will fly four times weekly; every
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Rotarians making a difference
Golf Ball drop to raise funds
President of the Chiang Mai International Rotary
Club Roger Lindley together with Napassanan “Aom” Krainara, sponsors and
supporters of the upcoming International Balloon Festival where Rotary
International Chiang Mai will hold their golf ball drop on December 6, 2014.
By Laurence O’Keefe
When I joined a Rotary Club nearly twenty years ago, it was for the sole
purpose of giving something back (on whatever scale I was able) to the
community-at-large that had given me so much in my lifetime. When I retired
here to Chiang Mai I knew that needs still exist and that my
community-at-large only happened to be in a new location.
As it turned out, a brand-new Rotary Club, the first all-English-speaking
Rotary Club in Chiang Mai;, the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club
(www.cmirotary.org), was starting up in the months around my arrival.
Having witnessed numerous Rotary fund-raising projects over the years it has
become clear to me that such fund-raising needs to not only (of course) have
a clear-to-all destination for the charitable funds that are raised but also
to present an opportunity for donors to have a potential financial outcome
(as an aside, if the project is sufficiently sexy/interesting (?) it can
also be a draw for potential members).
Some years ago I saw an email about a Rotary charity fund-raiser involving a
Rotary Club in Sydney, Australia, that invited donors to buy a charity
ticket in an event that involved golf-balls being dropped from a helicopter.
It’s not a new idea and you only have to Google “golf ball drop” to see how
many NGO’s have made a success of the concept.
It works! It generates worthy charitable funds!
Not in Thailand however. The laws here do not allow anything to be dropped
from a helicopter in a public area and this is quite understandable in the
interest of public safety.
After ignorantly ignoring suggestions from better-thinking people than I, it
finally dawned on me that another option would be a hot-air balloon. Given
the annual weather/seasons and Club cash-flow/fund-raising questions, it
became blindingly obvious that the timing of the Thailand International
Balloon Festival would be a “marriage made in Heaven”.
Cannot be overly grateful to Khun Aom from Earth, Wind & Fire Co. who
conducts the Festival, for her immediate acceptance of our fund-raiser as
part of the opening ceremony.
What is also blindingly obvious is the good that will come from this charity
fund-raising event. Our Rotary Club supports the provision of eyeglasses to
Thai and Burmese who would have no other way to get them, through our
support of Amigo Vision Thailand; the Big Brother project in and around
Chiangmai to protect “street children”; our current Winter Clothing Appeal
towards two orphanages in Chiang Dao district; and ongoing logistical
support for the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot.
Chiang Mai Bike Festival expected to attract 15,000 people
The Chiang Mai Bike Festival featuring cyclists and cycles of all
types will be held at the Chiang Mai University Arts Center from December 5
– 7, 2014 and organizer Nopparat Kaewrat of Right Man North Co. Ltd said
that up to 15,000 people are expected during the festival.
The opening ceremony of the event will be held on December 5 at 5 p.m. and
the festival will see short distance cycling trips, bicycles and accessories
for sale, workshops and seminars on topics like Impression Cycling Trip by
Dr. Nirandorn Photikanon, and Two Legs Travel the World by Charoen and
Orawan Othong about cycling around the world. Concerts by Tattoo Colour,
Byrd and Heart will also be highlights of the festival.
The festival aims to promote cycling in Chiang Mai in a bid to reduce
traffic congestion and pollution as well as promote healthy exercise.
Bangkok Airways is a major sponsor of the event offering visitors flying to
the city a chance to fly their bicycles to the city for no charge.