Bangkok Air launches
new Chiang Mai routes
Bangkok Air will be using the ATR 72 on the new
routes to Myanmar. (Photo by Aero Icarus from Zürich, Switzerland via Wikimedia
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Bangkok Air announced the launch of two new direct routes from Chiang Mai to
Myanmar; Chiang Mai – Yangon, and Chiang Mai – Mandalay, scheduled to begin
October 26, 2014. New domestic routes that are also scheduled to begin October
26 are Chiang Mai – Udon Thani and Chiang Mai – Phuket.
Bangkok Air has decided to use Chiang Mai as a hub for the Greater Mekong
Sub-region with the new flights. The flight to Yangon will depart Chiang Mai
daily at 11 a.m. arriving in Yangon at 11:50 a.m. and will return at 12:50 p.m.
arriving at 2:55 p.m. The daily flight to Mandalay also departs and returns at
the same times. Promotional prices, good for bookings until September 30 are set
at 5,965 baht return.
The daily flight to Udon Thani in North Eastern Thailand will depart at 8:25
a.m. arriving at 9:50 a.m. and return at 5:55 p.m. arriving in Chiang Mai at
7:20 p.m. Promotional prices for this trip are set at 990 baht and 940 baht for
a one way trip. The flight to Phuket will leave daily at 2:20 p.m. arriving in
Phuket at 4:25 p.m. and the return flight from Phuket will depart at 11:30 a.m.
arriving in Chiang Mai at 1:40 p.m. Promotional prices are set at 1,690 baht,
Rich variety of local textiles presented in little-known bank museum collection
By Paul Surtees
Many visitors and newcomers to Thailand’s Northern areas are
much impressed by the great variety and high quality of the traditional
South-East Asian textiles, with lots of fine examples of old Lanna
textiles. The Bank of Thailand has - displayed in a special museum at
its Northern Thailand Regional Office in Chiang Mai - a superlative
collection of them.
North of the Kuang Singh intersection, at 68/3 Chotana Road, almost
opposite the Ratchamangkala Park, the building has an eye-catching
modern design and almost mirrors that of the strikingly-modernistic
(built in 1992) Ministry of the Interior building in Riyadh, the capital
of Saudi Arabia.
There is a security check as you enter the bank’s compound, the museum
is behind the main building. Bring along some I.D. with you, such as a
copy of your passport. Entry is free. This museum is generally open from
Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 4pm, and closed noon to 1pm. Best to call
ahead (on 053 931182/3) to make sure it is going to be open when you’d
like to visit.
The numerous items on display within this museum of traditional local
fabrics are rich and very varied. For the most part, they are labelled
in both Thai and English. The collection comprises ceremonial blankets;
a vast range of lovely tube skirts; banners; lovely shawls, curtains;
Buddhist manuscript-wrappers; shoulder cloths for both men and women;
sarongs; floor-cloths; tube skirts and more.The very varied displays
here include mock-ups of rooms, a loom, photographs, paintings, raw
materials, dioramas, silver belts and other ornaments coming from India,
Laos and Cambodia, as well as from nearer by.
The huge range of textiles on display here includes numerous designs
which are traditional, intricate, imaginative, traditional, colourful
and attractive; all well-displayed. Woven designs are shown in
abundance; as, also, are many varieties of dyes, materials, embroidery,
applice, silver and gold threads on satin, cotton, wool and silk. Rich
colours of purple and maroon are interspersed with intricate and
symbolic but harmonious designs.
These galleries of traditional local fabrics are not all there is to see
at this location. There is also a fascinating display of many of the
bank’s collection of items telling the story of the history of money in
this part of the world.
The displays at the Bank of Thailand Museum ranges from the origins of
money in Turkey some 2,600 years ago, and even includes some
pre-historic barter items. In earlier ages, wealth could be accumulated
by collecting silver utensils and ingots.. Drum money, bracelet money,
saddle money, cowrie shell money, ring money and junk money are all
included here, as the precursors to coins in silver, copper and nickel.
The current displays from the fabrics collection are in two parts. One
is the extensive permanent display, another shows a temporary exhibition
of additional items. The current temporary exhibition is about Nan River
Basin textiles, which comes to an end this November.
Elephants win in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo
Bill Heinecke, CEO of Minor International,
is joined by last year’s Ladies Day winner at the King’s Cup Elephant
Polo in congratulating this year’s winner Sarah from Canada.
By Shana Kongmun
The wet weather and pitch didn’t dampen the fun or the spirits
of the King’s Cup Elephant Polo held by Anantara Resorts on the weekend
of August 27 -31, 2014. Although many of the later matches ended up as
penalty shootouts due to the wet pitch, a few matches were played under
cover with a bigger ball that left many of the elephants thinking it was
their chance to go for the ball instead.
The Elephant Parade team joined the King’s
Cup Elephant Polo on August 27 – 31, 2014.
Children’s Day saw kids from around the area visit the free event; get a
chance to meet the players and the elephants. There were also two
elephant feasts for the elephants. The King’s Cup Elephant Polo is more
than a good time, many if not all of the 50 elephants are working on the
streets with mahouts who must search to find a comfortable place for
them to rest and enough food to eat. Anantara Resorts uses this
opportunity to provide the participating elephants with a full medical
checkup and treatment if necessary, lots of food, freedom to walk on the
grass and be out of traffic and noise in forest environment and a
comfortable place to rest at night. The mahouts are also given food and
accommodation as well.
Since its inception in 2001 the King’s Cup Elephant Polo has raised over
$750,000 towards to various charities that benefit the elephants of
Thailand. These include housing for the mahouts and families, shelters
for the elephants and a mobile blood centrifuge and elephant ambulance
for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC). This year Chiang Mai’s
own Elephant Parade featured heavily with large size painted elephants
positioned around the pitch and a tent selling smaller painted elephants
and souvenirs to benefit the program.
Since 2009 donations have also gone to funding the world’s first ever
elephant therapy program to research the rehabilitation benefits for
autistic children. The Thai Elephant Therapy Project (TETP) was created
in conjunction with Chiang Mai University and the TECC, initially
allowing a further five elephants to be rescued off the streets of
Bangkok, rented and trained as assistant therapists for autistic
children. The program now runs free therapy sessions for Thai children
every year. Other projects that have received funding from the event are
the first elephant hospital in Krabi, research and tree planting to
build elephant corridors in Kui Buri to avoid elephant/farmer conflicts;
and funding the first educational computer application for children to
teach them the importance of conservation and protection of wild
elephants in Thailand.
The Ladies Day event is always a popular one with newly local Bangkok
teacher Sarah from Nova Scotia, Canada taking the top prize for her
stunning purple Thai silk jacket and matching hat. Bill Heinecke of
Minor International, owners of the Anantara brand, was there to present
her with the winning trophy.
The event, held in Bangkok for the first time this year, was a big draw
with many Bangkok residents saying that they were glad to have it closer
to town, while Anantara executives pointed out that it had gotten too
big and too popular hence the move to Bangkok.
Teams from around the world joined in with former members of the New
Zealand All Blacks rugby team one of the favorites. They were joined by
Anantara Resort’s Arabian Knights from Dubai, local hotels including The
Peninsula and from countries as varied as Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and
Many of the players are experience polo players adding that while the
mahout steers their elephant, many of the elephants, especially the
younger ones, really get into the spirit of the game and
enthusiastically go after the ball. However, sometimes elephants become
too good of friends and cannot play on opposing teams as they end up
following each other around.
Much of the playing was originally delayed as the pitch was too wet and
they would not risk the elephants, the mahouts or the players for the
game. However, everyone had a good time and the elephants certainly
seemed to enjoy their time in the fresh air and green grass.
BOI makes changes that affect local businesses
Roadshow held to explain new investment promotion policies
Director of Regional Investment and Economic
Center 1 Sakchai Luangsathitkul is joined by Consuls General, Honorary
Consuls and local businesspeople before the event, Martin Venzky-Stalling
made sure to include Chiang Mai Creative City.
The Board of Investment (BOI) recently made the decision to
implement a new 7 year investment promotion plan that will see big changes
in promoted industries as well as in changes to promotions for regions and
the introduction of new “clusters” for promotion. The BOI is holding
roadshows around Thailand and the Northern branch of the BOI met with
consuls, investors and businesspeople from around the North on August 22,
2014 at the Empress Hotel.
Duangjai Asawachintachit, Deputy Secretary
General of the Board of Investment, spoke at length on the changes and
encouraged interested parties to contact the BOI for more information and
The meeting was opened by the Director of Regional Investment and Economic
Center 1 Sakchai Luangsathitkul who spoke to the Chiang Mai Mail before the
meeting saying that the meetings were held to inform investors of the
changes and to let potential investors know of the benefits of BOI
promotion. He added that the BOI works to promote and facilitate investment
and will offer foreign investors the same services as Thai. He invited
potential investors to their BOI office in the Airport Business Park on
Mahidol Road where they are more than happy to sit down and explain
requirements and the process to interested people. They also work to help
investors with by troubleshooting applications and facilitating the process.
He noted that a BOI company can be 100% foreign owned and can still sell
locally, bringing in raw materials for manufacture, but it must export and
if it sells in Thailand will need to pay tax on that. He added that they are
also allowed to bring in foreign experts and technicians but noted that with
the new regulations those that work to provide expert technical training for
workers will receive better promotion.
Duangjai Asawachintachit, Deputy Secretary General of the Board of
Investment then took the stage to explain the changes in policy and
promotions, the meeting while held in Thai, offered dual translation in both
English and Japanese for interested parties.
She said that the government is turning their focus towards promoting
knowledge based and creative industries that add value to the Thai economy,
as well as the green industry, alternative energy and logistics to promote
the country as a logistics hub for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community.
The broad based investment promotion will become more focused and
prioritized after January 1, 2015 and merit based incentives will be
implemented and some promotion incentives will be available to qualifying
companies after the promotion period ends. Incentives will vary depending on
the importance of the activity and criteria will be more specified as the
BOI hopes to eliminate labor intensive industry promotion.
Merit based incentives will replace sector based incentives and will include
research and development or design, advanced technology training, funding
educational and research institutions to promote research and contributing
to the S&T Development Fund. Merit based incentives include additional 1 – 3
years of tax holiday. She added that high tech businesses will enjoy a lot
of incentives as the country hopes to increase spending on R&D. Currently
R&D spending is only .3 percent of GDP and they hope to boost it to 1%.
Zoning incentives will be reduced as the government works to promote
regional industrial clusters that will see new industrial clusters promoted
in each region and in border areas to create new investment concentration.
The BOI will also include outbound investment in the new promotion. The BOI
has not yet defined the clusters which will be promoted with special
incentives while tax incentives will be reduced and facilitation oriented
promotion will be offered instead, this means working with other departments
in the Thai government to ease licensing etc.
The BOI is looking at ways to promote upcountry provinces, allowing them to
promote their own specialties. So, for example, the thriving software
industry in Chiang Mai could band together and apply to the BOI for
inclusion in the promotion scheme. There will also be a specific tourism
cluster for 8 provinces, food processing and special economic development
zones at the borders.
The current list of promoted activities in regional clusters includes
agro-industry and agricultural products, minerals, ceramics and basic
metals, light industry, metal products, machinery and transport equipment,
electronic and electrical appliances, chemicals, plastics, paper, and
service and public utilities.
The BOI is looking to add value to the Thai economy through Skills,
Technology and Innovation industries and companies promotions will be
determined by the value added to the country. Those promoting R&D and
advanced technical training will see great benefits in the new investment
The BOI also offers online work permit renewals for those companies who have
already been approved for promotion and noted that you can use the One Stop
office in Bangkok to complete all paperwork and then apply in the North. The
BOI is working to streamline the process and is hoping to move much of the
Smith Taweelerdnithi of Nithi Foods said that the BOI has proven itself to
be one of the most flexible of the government departments he has dealt with.
“They do listen to business people and investors and are willing to make
changes based on feedback which makes them much easier to work with.”
Property market is recovering,
Sansiri confident in Chiang Mai
Suriya Wannabuit, Assistant
Vice President for Project Management and Marketing of Sansiri (Public) Co.
Ltd said the company is confident in the Chiang Mai property market and is
not only offering special deals for buyers to boost sales in the second half
but has already planned two projects for next year.
Suriya Wannabuit, Assistant Vice President for Project
Management and Marketing of Sansiri (Public) Co. Ltd. said that the company
has seen signs of growth in the second half in the property market as
increasing consumer confidence and increased purchasing power is felt.
In a bid to stimulate the real estate market in the third quarter Sansiri is
launching a new campaign titled Make It Yours, which will offer special
discounts for buyers of single homes, condos and townhouses as well as
offering discounts for fully furnished units. In Chiang Mai the company will
be offering discounts of up to 1.2 million baht for their Satthasiri San Sai
project, the company’s first single house project in Chiang Mai.
Condos at their dcondo Campus resort will also see special promotions that
end September 31, 2014.
The Assistant Vice President expressed their confidence in the strength of
the property market in Chiang Mai and noted that they believe that the
market will continue to recover in the second half of the year. They noted
that fully furnished, move in ready housing projects have been very popular
with both Thai and foreign investors.
He added that Sansiri has two more projects scheduled for early next year
and the year end and that dcondo Campus Resort in Faham near Central
Festival is set to expand to 35 rai in two phases later on. (PR)
Central Plaza wins Best Company from Labor Protection Department
The Department of Labour
Protection and Welfare awarded Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport as Best
Company for Labor Relations and Welfare for the year 2014 at the Convention
Center, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani on August 20, 2014. The company was awarded
for its efforts in raising Thai labor standards..Panich Jitjang (3rd left),
Director General of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare presents
the award to Wilai Chaisamon (1st left), head of Human Capital Management
acting as a representative for Chiang Mai Central Airport.
Zoo welcomes new red kangaroo joey
Nipon Wichairat, Assistant
Director of the Chiang Mai Zoo reported that at 9.30 a.m. on August 22.
2014, a baby red kangaroo, also known as a joey, emerged from the mother’s
pouch. The mother, 10 year old Khun Nai, has proven to be a very protective
mother so the Zoo has not yet been able to determine the gender of the baby
kangaroo, the Zoo will hold a contest to name the new joey. The Zoo already
has a one year old male named Phromphon and Khun Nai.