Zip-line victim’s family receives ‘record’ payout
The victim’s father accepts the 2.8 million
baht compensation for his daughter’s death.The victim’s father accepts
the 2.8 million baht compensation for his daughter’s death.
The family of a Chinese woman killed at a Chiang Mai zip-line line has
received what was described as the largest-ever compensation payout for
a tourist-related death.
Provincial Gov. Pawin Chamniprasart on Oct. 21 invited the parents of
32-year-old Wang Qi to meet with representatives from the Tourism and
Sports Ministry, Chiang Mai Business & Tourism Association, local
police, and executives from the Flying Squirrel zip line and its
operator, Tree Top Flight.
Pawin said all the area’s tourism organizations regret the death of
Wang, who fell from the Pong Khrai ride and suffered a broken neck Oct.
Flying Squirrel’s insurance policy paid the family 1 million baht. In
addition, the Ministry of Tourism & Sports contributed 300,000 baht and
Flying Squirrel put in another 1.5 million for a total 2.8 million baht.
Chiang Mai Business & Tourism Association President Pornchai
Jitnawasathiern said that amount is the most ever paid anywhere in
Thailand after the death of a tourist.
Patchamon Suntrakorn, CEO of the Tree Top Flight, apologized to the
family on behalf of area tourism groups and her staff, which has been
vilified on social media for apparently attempting to shift blame for
the accident, initially telling police Wang had a heart attack. It
wasn’t until friends questioned that determination that a postmortem
examination was performed, showing the true cause of death.
Flying Squirrel Manager Santhi Pitikarm, who attended the meeting with
the family, was subsequently arrested after authorities determined the
zip-line ride was operating without a permit and had encroached on the
Mae Rim National Forest Reserve.
Patchamon asked for consideration from the public, claiming her company
has taken full responsibility and has worked to do the best thing
possible for the family.
Wang’s father prepared a letter in Chinese, which was read out in
English. In it, he said Flying Squirrel did take full responsibility and
“the Thai government has kept its promise to compensate them.”
“Although we have lost somebody very precious, I will return to China
and tell the media that everything has gone well in accordance to what
was stated by the Thai government and will encourage people to still
visit Chiang Mai,” he said.
Kingdom celebrates 105th Chulalongkorn Day
HM King Chulalongkorn the Great.
Friday, October 23, marks the 105th anniversary of HM King
Chulalongkorn’s passing. Chulalongkorn Day is a national holiday here in
the Kingdom, meaning banks and government offices will be closed.
However, as usual, ATMs and many foreign exchange booths will remain
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V) was born in 1853, the
son of His Majesty King Mongkut (Rama IV) and Her Majesty Queen Thep
Sirinthorn. In 1868, He was given the title Duke ‘Meun
HM King Chulalongkorn ascended the throne in 1868, with the title
‘Phrabat Somdej Phra Paraminthra Maha Chulalongkorn Bodinthorn Thep
Phaya Maha Mongkut Burutsaya Ratanaraj Rawiwong Warut-tapong
Saboripatara Wora Khatiyaraj Nikarodom Jaturatana Borom Maha
Chakarapaddiraj Sangart Boromtammika Maha Raja Thiraj Boromanat Bopitara
Phra Chulachomklao Chao Yoo Hua’.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn lived with one purpose in his mind and
heart: the happiness and well-being of the Siamese people. His Majesty
would often dress as a commoner and move among his people with only two
or three advisors. In this way, he could find out how his subjects
really felt and see what was happening in his Kingdom.
There is one famous story of His Majesty and two counselors who, after a
hard day’s travel, stopped at a farmer’s house to ask for a drink of
water. Rural hospitality being a hallmark of Thai people, the family
asked the three strangers to stay and have food with them. Speaking
freely, the farmer and his wife told the strangers of how their life was
progressing and what they would like to see done for their village by
the ‘Great King who lives in the Palace in Bangkok.’ The farmer’s son
noticed that one of the strangers looked familiar. He went and looked at
a daguerreotype the family had of the King. Running back to the group,
the family learned that they were serving food to the ‘Lord of Life’ in
Siam. HM King Chulalongkorn the Great did this often and thus became ‘in
touch’ with the needs of the Siamese people.
Another story of the great love and respect happened in 1893. The
territory hungry French had formulated a plan to take the Siamese
territory of Laos and certain valuable territories on the Eastern
Seaboard which produced precious rubies and sapphires.
In a carefully formulated plan, a French warship entered the Chao Phraya
River. It was required by international law that all foreign ships fly
their colors when entering the waters of another sovereign country. The
French deliberately did not do this. When hailed by the river guard to
fly their colors, the French ignored the guard. The guard fired a
warning shot over the French ship’s bow.
The French Embassy in Bangkok was prepared in advance to carry out the
plan. Bringing a letter sent from France months before the incident, it
stated that Siam had performed an act of aggression on the French and
must pay huge reparations.
The French were not prepared for what happened next. Hearing of the huge
demands, Siamese both wealthy and poor brought cartloads of jewels,
precious metals and every valuable possible to the Royal Palace and
offered it to His Majesty to keep the French out of Siam.
The French had not imagined that Siam was so wealthy and the people so
devoted to their King.
Siam was able to pay the reparations but the French, deciding this was
not enough, took all Siamese territory east of the Mekong River.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn was wise, knowing that Siam could not
resist the French and British and held the motto of ‘giving up some so
as not to lose all.’
Siam lost over 160,000 sq. kilometers of territory to the French and
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn was the first Siamese monarch to visit
the West. He believed in adopting all things good from the West while
Siam kept its culture. The wise King Chulalongkorn made Russia a strong
ally of Siam to counteract the British and French influence in SE Asia.
He followed the Chinese concept of ‘have strong allies but make sure
their borders are far away.’
Many of the Royal Princes were sent to study in Russia. In His letters
to His sons, HM King Chulalongkorn wisely warned them ‘do not feel that
you are important because you are a prince. In Siam, there are many
princes, whereas in Russia there are few. Do the best you can at your
studies and that is enough.’
HM King Chulalongkorn’s most noteworthy achievement in Siam was the
abolition of slavery. He did not do this in a haphazard manner as it was
done in other countries. He devised a complex method of ‘freeing’ slaves
so that older ones would not be left in poverty with no place to live.
Younger slaves were to be released by ‘stages’, responsibility falling
to the owner to see that they had a way of supporting themselves.
His Majesty King Chulalongkorn the Great is beloved of Thai people and
considered a truly ‘enlightened’ ruler among historians. His Majesty
passed away 105 years ago, on October 23, 1910, after the second longest
reign in the history of the Thai nation.
He is remembered and loved by the Thai people and the date of his death
is commemorated every year. Ceremonies are held, offerings are made to
his memory and the entire student body from the university that bears
his name perform obeisance before his statue.
Locally, city officials, people from the business community, members
from local charitable organizations, the private sector and many local
residents hold ceremonies in the morning at the Chulalongkorn monument
in front of the Banglamung district offices to celebrate this
Remembrance Day for King Rama V, all paying homage to one of the
greatest and most highly revered Kings of Thailand. Each organization
and institute will present wreaths to the King Rama V statue.
Would that all countries were so lucky to have one such enlightened
ruler in their collective histories.
The Government of Japan provides a Fire Engine for Huaypong Sub-District, Mae Hong Son Province
Mr. Shinya Aoki,
Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai (4th left), and Mr. Satien
Khayandee, (4th right),Chief Executive of Huaypong Sub-District
Administration Organization jointly signed the funding contract at the
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human
Security Projects Scheme (GGP), is providing funds amounting to
2,858,000 baht for “the Project for Procurement of a Fire Engine in
Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization in Muang District, Mae
Hong Son Province”. On 13 October, 2015, Mr. Shinya Aoki, Consul-General
of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Mr. Satien Khayandee, Chief Executive of
Huaypong Sub-District Administration Organization, jointly signed the
funding contract at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai.
Huaypong Sub-District is located in the southern part of Muang Mae Hong
Son District, and is a vast mountainous area. The Sub-District has a
population of 6,952 in 15 villages and most of the residents comprise
ethnic minorities with low average incomes such as Shan and Karen and
are engaged in agriculture. As the west part of the Sub-District borders
Myanmar, there are also almost 5,000 refugees and migrants from Myanmar
living in this area. They can live peacefully alongside the residents
without any communication problem because they are also Shan and Karen.
However, problems associated with rapid population growth, such as
shortage of agricultural land and scarcity of water for daily life are
beginning to surface.
In such a mountainous area, haze from agricultural burning and forest
fires is a serious issue because many inhabitants are still engaged in
slash-and-burn agriculture. Most of the residents use water from streams
for daily life, however, the shortage of running water in the dry season
from January to May is becoming a serious problem which is exacerbated
by climate change due to global warming, deforestation in water resource
areas and increasing demand for water for agricultural. Therefore the
Sub-District Administration Organization is obliged to supply water to
all 15 villages daily during the dry season using a single fire engine.
However, this is practically impossible because of the wide area to be
covered and the age and poor condition of the vehicle.
In response to a request from Huaypong Sub-District Administration
Organization, the Government of Japan will bear the costs of purchasing
a medium size fire engine with a water tank and crane. It is expected
that this support will contribute to ensuring the security of the
residents in Huaypong Sub-District and the nearby area as well as
mitigating smoke haze and aiding conservation of the natural environment
in the north of Thailand.
The Japanese government intends to continue supporting projects which
contribute to the mitigation of haze and the preservation of the
environment as well as projects which improve Human Security of ethnic
minorities from Myanmar in the north of Thailand through its Grant
Assistance for Human Security Projects scheme (GGP).
Situation update for tourists in Bangkok
Erawan Shrine in Bangkok has seen worshipers
and tourists return to pay their respects after the bomb blast on August
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to report that in the
wake of Monday’s incident at Ratchaprasong’s Erawan Shrine, tourist
events and activities are continuing as normal in the city with
Bangkok’s most popular attractions and shopping districts still
thronging with visitors enjoying the wide range of attractions on offer.
Normality returned to the areas of the city most popular with tourists
thanks to an increased security and police presence in all areas popular
with tourists. Visitors have been reassured by the stepped up security
and understand that everything possible is being done to ensure their
safety while they are visiting Bangkok or travelling further afield.
Bangkok’s premier tourist attraction, The Grand Palace, has reported
that numbers of tourists visiting have remained steady with high numbers
of visitors, local and international coming through the gates to see the
Royal Palace and the temple complex of Wat Phra Kaew. Other tourist
attractions in old Bangkok such as the stunning riverside temple of Wat
Arun, and Wat Pho, famous for its reclining Buddha are also recording
high numbers of tourists visiting. Many of these visitors are coming via
the city’s Chao Phraya River Boats which are operating as normal. All
the city’s other piers are also recording usual numbers of commuters and
In Bangkok’s backpacker district of Khao San Road in Bang Lam Phu,
travellers are still able to enjoy the restaurants and shops in the area
which are as busy as always and the confidence of tourists in the area
has been boosted by the increased police patrols.
In Bangkok’s shopping districts of Sukhumvit, Siam, Silom and
Ratchaprasong, as well as the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market, shops
and restaurants have remained open and a number of tourists and local
shoppers have continued coming to the big malls and stores in the
downtown Bangkok. The weekend has seen large numbers of people visiting
central Bangkok’s entertainment districts and cinemas.
Worshipers and tourists have also started coming back to the Erawan
Shrine to pay their respects to the Four-Faced Brahma God, and the
people who lost their lives following the five-faith religious ceremony
that was held at CentralWorld on Friday. Many said they came to offer
moral support and to show their faith to the Erawan Shrine.
Looking ahead, TAT is still on track with the 2015 global marketing
activities with several travel trade events and road shows in the
pipeline between now and December to maintain tourist confidence and
strengthen the image of Thailand as a top tourist destination.
The Tourism Monitoring and Communication Centre of the Tourism Authority
of Thailand (TAT), with 27 overseas offices and 35 domestic offices, is
closely monitoring as well as assessing the situation, and will be
providing regular updates. (TAT)
Useful contact for tourists:
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports +66 (0) 2134 4077
TAT Call Centre 1672
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hotline +66 (0) 2644 7245 / 2643 5522 / 85
Tourist Police Hotline 1155
New Walking Street Market debuts on Nimmanhaemin Soi 8
The new Kad Luang Nimman Soi 8 opened on Friday,
August 21, 2015 offering Chiang Mai three walking street markets during the
A new Walking Street Market titled Kad Lang Nimman Soi 8 was
launched on August 21, 2015 by Pongsatorn Thongyu, the owner of the large
parking lot where the new market is located. Kad Luang Soi 8 will be held
every Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will have vendors selling food and
drinks, crafts, souvenirs and other items.
Pongsatorn Thongyu said that the Nimmanhaemin area has many Thai and foreign
tourists and that the new market will be very attractive for visitors as it
takes place on Fridays. He noted that there are already two markets, one on
Wualai on Saturdays and one in the Old City on Sundays but by opening on
Friday this will give Chiang Mai a total of three days of walking street
markets in different areas of the city.
Chiang Mai works to increase security for tourists
The government is working to boost tourist
confidence in security measures around the city.
Government officials met with hotel and shopping mall
representatives to work out details on cooperation to ensure the safety
and security of tourists after the August 17 bomb blast in Bangkok
killed 20 people and injured more than 130, both Thais and tourists.
Montri Piyakul head of Tourism and Sports Chiang Mai Office chaired the
meeting on August 20, 2015 to work together to form a strategy to
increase tourist confidence in their safety and security in Chiang Mai.
One result was the establishment of a coordination center for the
private and public sector.
Surveillance measures were also discussed including checking on all CCTV
cameras and ensuring they are effective, Tourist police and volunteers
at tourist attractions and public areas such as shopping centers and
increased security measures at the airport, train station and bus
Man arrested with Yaba after highway stop
Jakraphan Noruang confessed to police after
being arrested with 16,000 Yaba pills hidden inside his car.
The Chiang Mai Highway Patrol arrested a Saraphi man with 16,000
methamphetamine pills in his possession after receiving an alert to stop
his car by the Region 5 Police.
Police arrested 29 year old Jakraphan Noruang after receiving a request
from the Region 5 Police, he was stopped on the Super Highway at the
flyover bridge near the Xin Sheng School in Saraphi in Sub-District Nong
Phung in Saraphi District. A search by police uncovered 16,000
methamphetamine pills hidden inside a gray Mitsubishi sedan. Police also
found a gun in the car. The suspect confessed to police that he was
smuggling the drugs to Central Thailand for sale.
Chiang Mai locals condemn Bangkok attacks
Police increase security
Krisada Kampangkaew and members of the Chiang
Mai Cyclists Club submit their petition condemning the violence in Bangkok
to Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.
Chiang Mai locals met with Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya to hand him a
letter condemning the bomb blast in Bangkok that killed 20 people and
injured more than 100 at Erawan Shrine on August 17, 2015. There were more
attacks on Tuesday August 18 but no reported deaths or injuries. The dead
include people from China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and
Indonesia as well as many Thai people.
Krisada Kampangkaew led the members of the Chiang Mai Cyclists Club in
submitting the petition to the Governor on Tuesday, August 17 at City Hall.
They group offered their condolences to the families and loved ones of those
killed in the attacks.
Police Region 5 has ordered Chiang Mai police to beef up security in the
area; implementing checkpoints and patrolling popular tourist areas and busy
spots. Chiang Mai International Airport, Railway Station and Bus Stations
are at the highest security alert level.
Bike for Mom sets World Record
Prasatbuntitya (far left), President of the PAO Boonlert Buranupakorn
(center) and Director of the Pinkanakorn Development Agency Sarawut Srisakun
lead the cyclists at the start line.
Over 7,000 people in Chiang Mai joined the nationwide event “Bike for Mom”
on Sunday, August 16, 2015 to set the Guinness World Record for number of
cyclists on the road at one time. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya opened the
event which started from Chiang Mai International Convention & Exhibition
Center (CMICE) at 3:09 p.m.
Joined by President of the Provincial Administration Organization (PAO)
Boonlert Buranupakorn, the group cycled the 32 kilometers to the Chiang Mai
Night Safari and back to CMICE.
Bike for Mom was held to honor Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on the occasion of
her 83rd birthday on August 12, 2015. Nationwide over 300,000 people took
part in the cycling event that beat the previous world record set by Taiwan
with 72.919 in 2012.
New 1000 baht banknote has features for the blind
The face of the new 1000 baht note will have
special ink and feature HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul announced the launch of
the new 1,000 baht banknote featuring a portrait of King Chulalongkorn
and special Braille markings for the visually disabled.
The new notes, which will be put in circulation on August 22, 2015, will
have special security features including watermarks, reflective
holographic foil, latent images with color shifting ink, and special
security threads that change color upon tilting the note. The new
features will also make authentication by machine easier.
The notes will feature King Chulalongkorn on the reverse and HM King
Bhumibol Adulyadej on the face. The new notes will be available at banks
on August 22 but all previous notes will remain legal tender.
Donation Center for Myanmar flood victims at City Hall
Chiang Mai Governor announced the opening of
a money donation center for the flood victims in Myanmar at the
Damrongtham Center at City Hall.
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya reported that the
government has set up a bank account to receive funds and a donation
center at the Damrongtham Center at City Hall for cash donations.
Rakhine, Chin and Kachin States have been declared in a state of
emergency and tens of thousands people displaced in the floods that have
ravaged northern Myanmar recently. Sixty nine have died in the heavy
flooding that began on July 22, 2015.
The Chiang Mai Damrongtham center opened for money donations at the
first floor of City Hall or transfer to Krungthai Bank account number
983-5-96381-9 Account Name "Donations to help flood victims in Myanmar"
or direct donations through the Chiang Mai Governor. For more
information contact Call Center 1567.
Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul visits flood warning system project in Hang Dong
Minister M.L. Panadda Diskul visited a flood
warning system in Hang Dong District on August 6, 2015.
Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office M.L. Panadda Diskul returned to
Chiang Mai on August 6, 2015 where he joined government officials in
inspecting a flood and mudslide warning system set up in Hang Dong
Rainfall measuring equipment was set in place to measure the amount of
rain, relative humidity and temperature sensor and when rainfall amounts
reach what could be dangerous levels messages via email and text message
are sent out to area residents. Twenty two districts have had 243 of
these machines installed in vulnerable areas.
M.L. Panadda Diskul said that there was a great concern of heavy rains
upstream creating the potential for flooding and mudslides and that the
equipment would give residents forewarning of extreme weather conditions
and reduce the loss of life and property of area residents.
Japanese government funds Youth HIV/AIDS education project
The Government of Japan, under its Grant Assistance for Japanese NGO
Projects, is providing funds for “The Project for Youth HIV/AIDS Education
in Chiang Mai” conducted by a Japanese NGO, PH-Japan. On July 29, 2015, Mr.
Shinya Aoki, Consul-General of Japan in Chiang Mai, and Ms. Jeeranun
Mongkondee, Regional Director for Thailand, PH-Japan, jointly signed the
funding contract for the Project at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang
Thailand has been effective in preventing the transmission of HIV on a
national scale. However teenagers now in Thailand are among the most likely
generation to be affected by HIV infection. It is suggested that the major
reasons for HIV infection today include declining HIV/AID knowledge,
inconsistent condom use and increase in multiple partners. The youths have
confused views on how to protect themselves from HIV.
PH-Japan has conducted a project for HIV/AIDS prevention for university
students since 2002. Based on this experience, PH-Japan will start a Project
targeting youths in Chiang Mai Province with preventative HIV/AIDS education
in cooperation with the Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office and
In response to a request from PH-Japan, the Government of Japan has decided
to provide funds amounting to 4,561,764 baht for the third phase of the
Project. The funds will be used to procure educational equipment, to arrange
learning for youths, and to arrange seminars for youths and school officials
on HIV/AIDS prevention. It is expected that youth HIV/AIDS prevention
education will provide clear and accurate information regarding HIV/AIDS
that is relevant and meaningful to youths, and more youths will obtain
knowledge about HIV/AIDS properly in order to reduce their HIV infection
Chiang Mai undergoing waste management as trash piles up
Chiang Mai is to undergo waste management in a sustainable manner as
garbage continues to pile up, especially in business areas and
According to the Chiang Mai Governor, Suriya Prasartbandit, a memorandum
of understanding (MOU) has recently been signed, in relation to a waste
management pilot project.
The pilot project is a collaboration of local authorities and
educational institutions in Mae Rim district.
Meanwhile, Mae Rim sheriff Passadej Honglada said the amount of trash is
likely to increase significantly in the next couple of years. To tackle
the problem locals will be encouraged to participate in the waste
management project, in which they will learn how to make recycle the
items disposed of. (NNT)
Bike for Mom to set World Record
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya
Prasatbuntitya announces the readiness of Chiang Mai for the
Bike for Mom event on August 16, 2015 at 3 p.m.
Thailand hopes to set the Guinness Book World Record for
simultaneous number of cyclists on the road in one event. The
government is expecting over 100,000 people and possibly up to
200,000 people to take part in the event nationwide, topping
Taiwan’s record of 70,000 people.
Chiang Mai is ready for the big Bike for Mom event on Sunday,
August 16 where over 7,100 cyclists are expected to cycle 32
kilometers from the Chiang Mai International Convention Center
(CMICE) to the Chiang Mai Night Safari and back. Riders will be
asked to scan a bar code to ensure certification by the Guinness
Book of World Records.
Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya said that the first 1,000
registrants will receive their free Bike for Mom cycling shirts
and special pins bestowed by HM the Queen at a special ceremony
at CMICE on August 12, 2015 at 1 p.m. Those who are number 1,001
and onwards will receive cycling shirts at the start on August
16 at noon at CMICE.