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Vol. XIII No.14 - Sunday July 13, 2014 - Saturday July 26, 2014


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Business - Travel - Tourism
 

Promoting Thailand’s favorable image in the media and overseas

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya (center) and Acting Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul (4th right) join members of Chiang Mai media for a group photo.

Shana Kongmun
Former Chiang Mai Governor and current Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul joined the Public Relations Department Region 3 (PRD 3) in welcoming foreign Consuls and the press at the Chiang Mai Historical Center on June 25, 2014 to discuss the promotion of a favorable image of Thailand to the world.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya welcomed Permanent Secretary M.L. Panadda Diskul and the Director of PRD Region 3 Mrs. Thanthip Thongngamkam, the foreign consuls and members of the media to the event before noting that Chiang Mai had been mentioned on Fox News as one of the top places in the world for retirees citing its low cost of living, top notch medical care, services and natural beauties. The Governor noted that the PRD Region 3 has been in charge of promoting Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son since 2007 and had worked hard to show the world the charms of Northern Thailand.

Helping Hands Radio DJs on NBT’s radio station join Acting Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul (front 2nd right), Director of PRD Region 3 Mrs. Thanthip Thongngamkam (front 1st right) and Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya (center) before the meeting.

He added that Chiang Mai has 19 consulates; 15 honorary consulates, three consulate-generals and one consulate showing the international nature of the province, and that the province was preparing to act as the northern hub for the upcoming ASEAN community along with GMS and BIMSTEC countries.
Then Acting Permanent Secretary for the Office of the Prime Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul took the stage and thanked everyone for coming, welcoming old friends and new. He spoke emotionally on his time as governor in Chiang Mai saying that he had come to feel Chiang Mai was the second home in his heart. He also spoke on the recent political changes in Thailand saying that this is not about color or status about doing what is best for the country. He called on the media and the foreign consuls to join hands in promoting the good image of Thailand and Chiang Mai specifically, of its beautiful scenery, Lanna culture and friendly welcoming people.
The Director of Region 3 PRD then took the stage and reported on tourism in Chiang Mai and the work the PRD had done to promote the North before everyone enjoyed a traditional Long Mae Ping performance by students from the Chiang Mai College of Dramatic Arts and then group photos with the many organizations that attended, including media and DJs from the English language Helping Hands Radio program that airs on NBT radio at 93.25 FM.


Chiang Mai; New shining road or hopeless deadend?”

Seminar held on economic growth

Nopniwat Krailerg
Is Chiang Mai the shining new road in the property and economic sector or a hopeless deadend was the question posed at a recent seminar that was by the Chiang Mai Provincial government, Than Setthakit newspaper, the Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce, the Public Relations Department Region 3 and other agencies at Centara Duangtawan Hotel on June 26, 2014.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya presided over the opening of the event where he was joined by Chalermchart Nakarungkul, President of CMCC and Jessada Weerapong, president of Than Setthakit newspaper.
Somsak Wongpanyathaworn, Senior Vice President of the Bank of Thailand and other economic experts discussed Thailand’s economic growth and real estate while Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, Executive Vice President of Marketing of Central Pattana Public Company Limited and Jumnong Buakai, Managing Director of Agency For Real Estate Affair Co., Ltd. led the discussion on the property sector in Chiang Mai.
The Governor said the seminar was held to provide useful information and encourage entrepreneurs on the future of the economy. The Governor noted that the fast pace of change and customers’ behavior which follows trends quickly was a key problem businesspeople faced. Chiang Mai has unique culture and traditions and a beautiful natural environment along with a good infrastructure and ease of living making it a high demand destination and one of the most interesting provinces for investment as it sees continued growth.
The governor added that the government was currently in re-organization to not only return the country’s happiness but also purge the system of corruption and selfishness.


Wedding Fair season kicks off at Le Meridien

The wedding gowns featured a lot of lace, mesh and petticoats at the Urban Love, Your Day, Your Way wedding fair at Le Meridien Chiang Mai.

Shana Kongmun
The start of the rainy season is also the start of the Wedding Fair season as hotels around Chiang Mai present fashion shows, food and other events to promote Chiang Mai as a wedding destination. Le Meriden Hotel Chiang Mai held their lavish wedding fair; “Urban Love, Your Day, Your Way” where a fashion show featuring wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses in non-traditional colors and designs took center stage. There was also a make-up demonstration, spa facial treatment demonstration and cooking demonstration as well as elaborately decorated tables and a pergola with a giant wedding cake.
Lucky registrants won prizes including trips to the Sheraton Maldives, Le Meridien Samui and spa treatments at Le Meridien Chiang Mai. General Manager of Le Meridien Chiang Mai Greg Anderson took the stage to welcome everyone to the event, with the cool season not far off now is the time to book your wedding venue with Le Meridien Chiang Mai offering the complete package for peace of mind.


Enchanted Wedding Fair 2014 at Holiday Inn Chiang Mai

Lavish gowns were part of the fashion show at the Enchanted Wedding Fair at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai.

Wipanee Intapan
The weekend of the 4th was a busy one for engaged couples as many hotels held Wedding Fairs and Holiday Inn joined in the Wedding Fair season with a lavish “Enchanted Wedding Fair” featuring spectacular wedding gowns, champagne towers, delicious cakes and canapés.
Held on July 4, 2014 at the Grand Nanta Ballroom at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai, the event was opened by Jirarat Meengam, Assistant Director of Tourism Authority Thailand office in Chiang Mai who noted that Chiang Mai is a popular destination for Thai couples for cool season weddings. She was welcomed by General Manager of the Holiday Inn Stella Jacobs who noted that many foreign couples also tie the knot in Chiang Mai and with an increasing number of Chinese also looking to Chiang Mai for their weddings.
There were many booths offering beauty clinics, jewelry, wedding planners and studios and participants who booked any service had a chance to win many prizes.

General Manager Stella Jacobs and TAT Assistant Director Jirarat Meengam (center) toast with staff and organizers to launch the fair.


The Miracle of Love at Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel

Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel celebrated the Miracle of Love at their Wedding Fair that was held from July 4 -6, 2014 at the Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel where professional wedding organizers, designers and studios presented luxuriously designed gowns, flower displays and more. Leading wedding studios and planners were on hand to advise interested couples such as Koo Rak Professional Wedding Studio, Chansong Wedding Planner & Studio, House of Beauty and others.


Three month long Amazing Thailand Grand Sale in Chiang Mai

Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat leads the launch of Chiang Mai’s own Amazing Thailand Grand Sale. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Wipanee Intapan
Thailand’s annual huge nationwide sale kicked off in Chiang Mai as part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Amazing Thailand Grand Sale 2014 (ATGS) scheduled during June 15 – September 30 to boost tourism business and increase the money in circulation, in seven key target areas including Chiang Mai. The Amazing Thailand Grand Sale @ Chiang Mai persuades shoppers and tourists to purchase local products and services in the province and is one of 16 of its kind held annually by the TAT in conjunction with Visa International, department stores, shops and trade hubs.
The event which offers shoppers discounts and privileges and Chiang Mai; one of seven locations including Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, and Koh Samui, saw Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat preside over the opening ceremony on June 24, 2014 at Central Festival Chiang Mai. There was a shopping contest between ten teams of local media and an auction of goods to raise funds to purchase robes and other items for the Phansa season for monks at Wat Nam Tong, Chiang Mai.
Director of TAT Chiang Mai office Wisoot Buachum said that last year foreign tourists spent over 2,000 million baht on their Visa cards nationwide while this year’s amount was expected to reach approximately 2,400 million baht. There are 91 local businesses in Chiang Mai taking part and more than 15,000 throughout the country. He also noted that the event would exactly help stimulate local tourism businesses in this green season.


Chiang Mai’s own Rocket Festival kicks off the rainy season

Teams launch their home –made all natural rockets up into the skies to bring the rains. (Photo by Harm de Vries)

Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai’s own Rocket Festivals are not the lavish grand widely promoted affair as in Yasothon but they herald the start of the rainy season nonetheless as farmers and villagers craft rockets and launchers from traditional all natural materials including bamboo and hemp rope. The rockets are about 2.5 meters long and take off from very long, tall ramps, a long stick is used to facilitate launch, attached the end of the rocket. Held on July 5 and 6, this festival took place in San Kamphaeng near Huai Lan reservoir.
Supporters of each team of rocketeers banged drums and waved signs and banners to encourage the group setting up their rocket to launch. The highest and farthest flying rockets win praise but it is the spectacular failures exploding too soon that get the most attention. The winners of this year’s festival get the chance to start off the festival next year to bring the rains.

The launchpad is also made of all natural materials and each team takes turns launching their rockets. (Photo by Harm de Vries)


Payap University offers degree in Hospitality Management

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Payap University is now offering a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration specializing in Hospitality Industry Management at their International College as part of their ongoing efforts to support labor mobility in tourism in the upcoming AEC.
Dr. Somboon Panyakom, Dean of the International College noted that Thailand is pushing forward investment and commercial freedom among the 10 member countries of ASEAN. Businesspeople and staff need to prepare for the effects of the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community that will see increased labor mobility, especially in the tourism sector as well as multinational investment and changes in economic and socio-cultural situations.
The International College, Payap University launched the Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Industry Management focusing on developing expert staff that can analyze and solve problems in the hospitality industry. The program will enable enrollees in conducting research to develop their community and country. Graduates from the program will be able to work in multicultural teams and will be educated to maintain international standards, strengthening hospitality industries in the country to give them an advantage against the competition.


Dr. Pal Clinic now open in Chiang Mai Land

Dr. Jaspal Ahuja has more than 40 years of experience and takes a practical and pragmatic approach to treatment, his new clinic just opened in Chiang Mai Land.

Wipanee Inthapan
Dr. Jaspal Ahuja, or better known as Dr. Pal, is as known for his friendly bedside manner as he is to his practical approach to treatment. With over forty years of medical experience in Chiang Mai, he is one of the original founders of Chang Puak Hospital and more recently Chiang Mai Polyclinic on Moon Muang Road.
Dr. Pal launched his new clinic, both in general practice and Ayurvedic medicine in Chiang Mai Land, just before the exit to Mahidol Road.
Dr. Jaspal Ahuja said that “I am not a doctor that only dispenses to patient, I always provide patients information to understand their illness and urge them to live healthy lifestyles because the medicine is only a part of the treatment. Nobody understands the patient’s body as well as the patient does himself, so he or she needs to listen to what their bodies are saying. When my patients have a specific condition then I always recommend them to the best specialist doctors.. I want my patients to be healthy and happy. I am very happy with my new clinic in Chiang Mai Land. It has easy access to Mahidol Road and good parking. “
Dr. Pal’s Clinic is located at 422/51, Chiang Mai Land Road, Chang Klan Sub district, Chiang Mai, open from 9.00 a.m. to noon, and 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. every day except Sunday, Tel. 094-7587879.


Convention Center hosts MACRO 2014

IUPC World Polymer Congress in Chiang Mai

The Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center (CMICE) hosted 1,500 scientists and experts for the MACRO 2014 on July 7, 2014.

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
The Chiang Mai International Convention and Exhibition Center (CMICE) was the scene of some 1,500 national and international visitors on July 7 when the Chemical Society of Thailand, the Polymer Society of Thailand and the Faculty of Science, Chiang Mai University hosted the IUPC World Polymer Congress, also known as MACRO 2014.
The event saw scientists from 49 countries take part in the event that drew chemists, scientists, academics, students and teachers take the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and information. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Supawan Tantayanon, President of the Chemical Society of Thailand said that the CST under the support of Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau joined the bid to host the IUPAC World Polymer Congress, or MACRO 2014 of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). Chiang Mai won out over 70 countries.
Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of Pinkanakorn Development Agency said that CMICE will propel Chiang Mai as a national and international convention and exhibition center and will stimulate the economy of the province for the long term. The event was expected to boost tourism to the province during the low season and showcase CMICE in supporting international conventions. Around 80 million baht was expected to be injected into the local economy due to the convention.


Who is Your Investment Advisor Accountable Too?

By Don Freeman
In the world of providing financial planning and investment advisory services, just about everyone claims to be or tries to pass them self off as an expert looking out for your best interest. But just who is an investment advisor really serving and more importantly, who is watching over him or her? For expatriates, asking such questions is important because once you leave your home country, the world of investment advisory becomes rather murky and trustworthy advice can be hard to come by.
When I first relocated to Thailand from the United States, I would receive phone calls about offshore investment products - just like you have probably received. The difference between the calls I would receive and the calls many of you have probably answered was that the callers wanted me to sell their offshore investment products targeted towards expatriates in exchange for commissions of as much as 5%.
However, I cannot accept such commissions because I operate under the fiduciary standard rather than the suitability standard. Under the fiduciary standard, I am required to put my own interests below those of my clients and I am required to provide information that is as accurate or complete as possible while avoiding conflicts of interest. And rather than earn commissions paid by investment firms for selling their financial products, I earn my income by charging a small annual fee that is the percentage of the amount of assets you have me managing - meaning I have an incentive to grow your investment account while avoiding both risky investments and excessive trading to generate myself commissions.
In contrast, most other investment advisors, especially those targeting expatriates, operate under the suitability standard where they are not required to give you the best and most objective advice possible and are largely being compensated by commission. These investment advisors are encouraged to trade you in and out of investments (in order to generate themselves commissions) and they are most likely receiving a commission when they sell you certain types of financial products - especially offshore investment products that come with high fees.
However and no matter what standard an investment advisor operates under, truly professional investment advisors should be willing to disclose to you any relationships, compensation, other incentives or potential conflicts of interests that could impact their ability to provide you with objective advice. In that way, you can evaluate whether their advice is truly independent (and in your best interest) or not.
If you are wondering who regulates or licenses most offshore investment advisors who provide investment advice to expatriates, the answer is probably going to be no-one.
Of course, there will be some accountability for offshore investment advisors who are somehow affiliated with a large international insurance or brokerage firm or other financial institution as who they are affiliated with will have an interest in protecting their reputation. However, unscrupulous expatriate investment advisors or firms targeting other expatriates rather than locals can easily operate above and beyond any laws or regulations in local Southeast Asian countries - meaning its the wild west and buyer beware for expatriates.
Given that’s the case, you need to ask potential investment advisors (or someone cold calling you to sell you an offshore investment product) what licenses they hold and what jurisdictions they are accountable to. Moreover, don’t just take their word for it as the regulatory authorities in most countries should have websites where you can search for the names of individual licensed investment advisors or their firms.
In my case, I am licensed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) who hold me accountable to stateside fiduciary standards and other regulations. I am also a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and I have passed the Series 65 Investment Advisor Law Exam.
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: [email protected]


Centara Duangtawan’s chef to present “Taste of Indian Cuisine”

Centara Duangtawan Hotel’s master chef Vijay Singh has launched the new “Taste of Indian Cuisine” with a special a la carte menu offering such varied Indian dishes as Chicken Kadai, Dal Tadka, Chicken Tikka Masala and of course naan, papadoms, tandoori and more. The chef will be presenting a daily menu as well offering specialties of the day. Chef Singh will be offering this new menu for lunch and dinner daily at the Marco Polo Restaurant on the ground floor of the Centara Duangtawan Hotel.


World Gingers Expo to highlight Gingers in Thai culture

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in special lecture

Zingiber or Ginger plant with emerging flower and leaves

Chiang Mai Mail reporters
HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will be providing a special lecture on Gingers in Thai Culture at the 7th International Symposium on the family Zingiberaceae and the World Gingers Expo that will be held from August 17 – 23, 2014 at the Chiang Mai International Convention & Exhibition Center (CMICE). The Princess will preside over the opening ceremony and then give the special lecture on gingers.
The event is being held in honor of HM Queen Sirikit, mother of the protection of biological diversity and in honor of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn who celebrated her 60th birthday this year. The event is being held to provide information and support research and development into the very important plants of this family. Additionally the event will provide information on the knowledge and use of Thai local plants on a global scale.
An exhibition will be held at the event with local products, ginger contests and ginger food products as well as field trips to the Gingers Garden at the Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, to Doi Suthep – Pui National Park and to other agricultural sites in Chiang Mai and Lamphun for interested parties.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Promoting Thailand’s favorable image in the media and overseas

Chiang Mai; New shining road or hopeless deadend?”

Wedding Fair season kicks off at Le Meridien

Enchanted Wedding Fair 2014 at Holiday Inn Chiang Mai

The Miracle of Love at Chiang Mai Grandview Hotel

Three month long Amazing Thailand Grand Sale in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s own Rocket Festival kicks off the rainy season

Payap University offers degree in Hospitality Management

Dr. Pal Clinic now open in Chiang Mai Land

Convention Center hosts MACRO 2014

Who is Your Investment Advisor Accountable Too?

Centara Duangtawan’s chef to present “Taste of Indian Cuisine”

World Gingers Expo to highlight Gingers in Thai culture

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