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Update December 18, 2014


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
FEATURES
 

Chiang Mai honors Emperor Akihito on his 81st birthday

Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya (right) and Consul General Akihiko Fujii (left) toast the Emperor of Japan celebrating his 81st birthday.

By Shana Kongmun
Chiang Mai residents gathered at the Holiday Inn Chiang Mai on December 17, 2014 to honor Emperor Akihito of Japan on the occasion of his 81st birthday. Emperor Akihito was born on December 23, 1933 and acceded to the throne in 1989. He is the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan’s traditional order of succession.
Guests were delighted to an arrangement of big bikes from Japan including Suzuki, Honda and others. Guests took their photos with the big bikes as they waited to take their photo with Consul General Akihiko Fujii and his wife.
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya took to the stage to congratulate the Emperor and the people of Japan on his birthday, citing the close ties between the two countries as well as two Royal Awards given to Emperor Akihito; the Most Auspicious Order of the Rajamitrabhorn and the Most Illustrious Order of the Royal House of Chakri. Emperor Akihito visited Thailand on a first state visit in 1991, the first time a Japanese Emperor visited an Asia country and again for the 60th anniversary of the accession of HM King Bhumibol to the throne.
Consul General Akihiko Fujii then spoke on the close relationship with Thailand and the many projects supported by the Japanese government in the North through their grassroots project program, speaking in fluent Thai and then in Japanese, Consul General Fujii was eloquent in his affirmation of the importance of Chiang Mai to Japan.
The national anthems of both countries were played and the guests toasted Emperor Akihito for his birthday and then HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Consul General Akihiko Fujii and Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya are joined by Chiang Mai media and business people at the party.

Jakarin Wangvivat (far left) Honorary Consul for Canada joins Michelle Heath, wife of U.S. Consul General Michael Heath, and U.S. Consular Chief Mark Carlson are welcomed by Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii and his wife.

The entrance to the party was lined with big bikes from Japanese makers.

Former Greek Ambassador George Sioris and his wife Oy chat with Michelle Heath.

Honorary Consuls Ben Svasti Thomson and Agkarajit Phanomvan na Ayudhya and his wife with lovely ladies in Japanese kimonos.


Chiang Mai celebrates HM King Bhumibol’s birthday

International We Love the King Parade 2014

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn is joined by police, consuls and organizers to hit the ceremonial gong to start the parade.

By Shana Kongmun
The community of Chiang Mai turned out for events honoring HM the King for his birthday for several very busy days starting with the International We Love the King Parade and Celebration on December 3 to official ceremonies at the Chiang Mai University Convention Center, Sala Klang and at Tha Pae Gate on December 5, 2014.
The first event on December 3, 2015 saw over 2,000 people take part in a parade on its 4th year this year. Organized by local residents, both Thai and foreign, the event gives everyone a chance to honor His Majesty in a public parade and candlelight ceremony.
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn was joined by Akhiko Fujii, Japanese Consul General and Michael Heath, U.S. Consul General, at both the opening and the parade which started from JJ Market and ended at Tha Pae Gate where Acting Commission of the CIB, Royal Thai Police Pol. Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri presided over the ceremony joined by Acting Commission of Region 5 Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanitsak Theerasawas, Consuls- General, Consuls, Honorary Consuls, leading Royal Thai Army officers, Wing 41 officers, and multinational groups from around Chiang Mai including members of the American, Canadian, Scottish, Irish, Filipino, Burmese and German communities among many others.
The evening ended with a beautiful candlelight ceremony with everyone singing the Royal Anthem after distinguished members of the community took to the stage offering their birthday wishes to HM the King and phan phum or offerings, to the portrait of HM the King. There were also music and dance performances including one by a talented local Nepali girl.
The parade and event was a great success event organizers said, with over 2,000 people taking part and the close involvement of local residents of Chiang Mai, both foreign and Thai, coming together to show their love and respect for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (Photos by Nopniwat Krailerg)

Acting Commission of Region 5 Police Pol. Maj. Gen. Thanitsak Theerasawas and Acting Commission of the CIB, Royal Thai Police Pol. Lt-General Prawut Thawornsiri join organizers on stage after the ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Aaron Espana)

Members of the local community joined together to show their love and respect for HM the King.

The Rotary International Club of Chiang Mai joined in the parade on December 3, 2014.

Marchers were encouraged to carry portraits of His Majesty the King, This couple came with their favorite photo of His Majesty and an elephant.

Members of the Thai Turkish Business Association wore native costume in the parade.

The Taiyai Education and Culture Center joined the event with local members wearing traditional clothes for the parade.

Even the littlest fans of HM the King joined the parade.

Members of the armed forces including Army, Air Force and Police carried flags of Thailand and the Royal Flag.

British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson and American Consul General Michael Heath joined the parade along with Japanese Consul General Akihiko Fujii and other consuls.

Samlors joined the parade carrying local residents along the route.

Miss Chiang Mai International joined the parade.


International Balloon Festival fills the Gymkhana Club with light and sound

President of the Provincial Administration Organization Boonlert Buranupakorn and Napassanan Aom Krainara of Earth, Wind and Fire (center) are joined by event sponsors and pilots in toasting the launch of the mini-balloons to start the festival. (Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai International Balloon Festival filled the skies of Chiang Mai once again as balloons took flight early morning on December 6 and 7, 2014 before returning to the Chiengmai Gymkhana Club for a fabulous light and sound show at night.

There were booths selling food and drinks along with local businesses and charitable projects, a magician and dog show along with a large bouncy castle and donut shaped air filled balls that kept the kids entertained. Adults stuck around for the light shows as the tethered hot air balloons flashed their fires for a night glow show to music followed by fireworks.

Chas and Rachel enjoy the festival with their two daughters, the festival had many great food booths from local hotels and restaurants.

Additionally the Chiang Mai International Rotary Club held a golf ball drop fundraiser, with over a hundred golf balls dropped from the tethered balloon by Laurence O’Keeffe, the winner won a 30,000 baht cash prize. The fundraiser earned the club over 100,000 baht to fund service projects such as eyeglass clinics with AmigoVision Thailand, the Mae Tao Clinic and others. President Roger Lindley said the club was thrilled that in their very first year they were able to hold such as successful fundraiser and thanked event organizer Napassanan Aom Krainara for all her help and support in letting the club use one of the balloons for the drop.

Chiang Mai Rotary International Club members Laurence and Patty are joined by team members of the balloon that carried them over the golf course to drop golf balls for the club’s fundraiser.

The International Balloon Festival entered its 12th year this year and offered full size and mini hot air balloons and tethered rides for lucky draw winners. The event featured music from international acts like Drums United from the Netherlands, Neung Lakkawal from Thailand and others. The grand opening ceremony was presided over by sponsors including Provincial Administration Organization President Boonlert Buranuapakorn and visiting TAT Dubai Director (and former Chiang Mai head) Chalermsak Suranont. President Boonlert welcomed the visitors to the event noting that this popular event was a great event for Chiang Mai offering fun for the entire family.

The night glow show was spectacular, filling the Gymkhana Club with glowing balloons and music.

Magicians, clowns and a dog show kept the kids entertained.
(Photo by Nopniwat Krailerg)

As the night fell the balloons inflated to put on the light and sound “nightglow” show.


Rimping in the Park brings local producers out of the market

Rimping Executive Chef Khun Noppaklao Kengkoompol offers up delicious food for visitors to the Rimping in the Park.

By Shana Kongmun
The highly successful Rimping in the Park returned to fill the middle plaza at Promenada Resort Shopping Mall at the end of November and saw throngs of people enjoy food and drink tastings including everything from locally produced goat cheese, take me home tomatoes, sausages, chicken, ice cream and many many other delights. Also on hand were local producers selling handcrafted goods, informational booths and more.
The huge event was one of the highlights of the local calendar this year as thousands of people flocked to the sold out event. In addition to food and drink there were live music concerts, performances and other events to keep the whole family entertained. The cowboy theme saw not only vendors dressing up but many visitors got into the swing of things with checked shirts, cowboy hats and actors dressed up in full Native American regalia. Kids loved to see the farm animals and spend time feeding them and petting them too. Everyone said they were really looking forward to the next year’s Rimping in the Park as this one was such a huge success.

Cowboys were the theme of the day with these guys presenting a pretty good rendition of banditos.

The littlest visitors enjoyed the cowboy theme too, taking advantage of cowboy hats and gear on sale.

Take Me Home Tomatoes offered up delicious food with, of course, tomatoes!

The farm animals were a big hit with many people trying to guess which were sheep and which were goats.

These guys went all out with one in full Native American regalia. Or a rendition thereof anyway!


NAP Fair bigger than ever

15th annual Nimmanhaemin Art & Design Promenade

The 15th annual Nimmanhaemin Art & Design Promenade showcases local artists and artisans at the popular 5 day fair held on Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 on December 5, every year.

By Shana Kongmun
The 15th annual NAP Fair as the Nimmanhaemin Art & Design Promenade is popularly known saw the area hugely expanded with a side road for foods and almost all of the shops on the North side of Nimmanhaemin Soi 1 re-opened and revitalized. With lots of new vendors and many returned favorites the NAP Fair was hugely popular this year seeing the road filled with visitors and locals alike.
The Fair offered parking at the CMU Convention Center and many too advantage of this far more convenient way to get to the Fair. The cool and funky arts and crafts ranged from clothes to jewelry, stuffed animals, leather goods, pottery, sculpture, art, health products and far more. There was also a great section featuring Northern Thai Food including the popular Khao Soy noodle dish, rice and more. Desserts were also on offer with My Secret Café’s Jaja back with her famous brownies.
The event was greatly expanded this year and as a result was even more popular than ever. Wisut Buachum, Director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chiang Mai office, joined Fair sponsors and organizers at the opening ceremony on December 5 with a fabulous dance and music performance and a candlelight ceremony singing the Royal Anthem in honor of HM the King on his 87th birthday.
The NAP Fair is one of the highlights of the high season, offering visitors and guests a view into the crafts and arts that have made Chiang Mai a creative hub.

Pottery and sculpture were abundant at the Fair.

TAT Head Wisut Buachum (2nd left) joins NAP sponsors at the start of the event in a candlelight ceremony to honor HM the King on his birthday.

The popular Sabu Sabu, natural health products and body products, had a fun and colorful booth. Here is owner Virginia Bird and her daughter Marisa Marchitelli.

Monsoon Teas had a booth offering their delicious special blended teas taken from sustainable farms. Owner Kenneth Rimdahl (far right) chats with Wouter and Jennie, both enjoying a refreshing iced tea.

Delicious northern Thai food was also available at the NAP Fair

Down to the tiniest crocheted elephant, the arts and crafts at the NAP Fair are always unique and interesting.

Amp and her daughter joined in singing the Royal Anthem for HM the King on his birthday at the opening of the NAP Fair.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai honors Emperor Akihito on his 81st birthday

Chiang Mai celebrates HM King Bhumibol’s birthday

International Balloon Festival fills the Gymkhana Club with light and sound

Rimping in the Park brings local producers out of the market

NAP Fair bigger than ever

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