Chansom Memorial Bridge to be re-built
Chansom Memorial Bridge (photo courtesy of
The Chansom Memorial Bridge- the foot bridge near Waroros Market,
will be torn down and rebuilt at the cost of 8.73 million baht, construction
is expected to take around a year. Construction was scheduled for 2011 –
2012 but flooding delayed the start. Approval from the Marine Department of
Chiang Mai was given on May 8, 2013 and the bridge is slated to be 3 meters
wide and span 110 meters.
The bridge was not only heavily damaged during the floods but has also seen
subsidence since its construction in 1966 by Montriram (Montri) Koslaphirom
who named the bridge in honor of his wife Chansom.
Lin Ping to stay in Chiang Mai for 15 more years
Lin Ping will return to China
temporarily to find a mate and have cubs now that she has reached four years
Thailand reached a preliminary agreement with China after negotiations to
keep Thailand’s favorite panda, Lin Ping, in Chiang Mai. They reached a
preliminary agreement that Lin Ping could stay in Thailand for a further 15
years. However, the Minister of the National Forestry Bureau of the PRC is
requiring that she be returned to China on October 12, 2013 where they will
locate a mate in the hopes Lin Ping will become pregnant.
Deputy Prime Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said that China hopes Lin
Ping will not be gone for more than a year. In a deal that will cost
Thailand $US 1 million a year, her parents, Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui, who
were also scheduled to return to China in October after a ten year stay,
will stay on in Chiang Mai until Lin Ping returns.
Visakha Bucha Day celebrated May 24
This, one of the holiest days on the Buddhist calendar, is also a national
holiday. Government offices, banks and many businesses will be closed.
Devout Buddhists around the North and Thailand honor the birth,
enlightenment and death of the Lord Buddha on Friday, May 24.
Chiang Mai faithful will gather for the walk up to Wat Prathat Doi Suthep to
make merit before the day, then, on the day they make merit at the Wat. The
walk will start from the Kruba Srivichai monument on Huay Kaew Road in the
evening of the 23rd of May, with celebrants arriving at the temple at Doi
Suthep in the early morning. This will be followed by a merit making
ceremony in the morning where the devout will walk around the Bot three
times each holding three incense sticks, a lighted candle and a lotus flower
to represent the Triple Gems of Buddhism; the Buddha, the Dharma and the
Sangha. In the evenings there will be candlelight processions at temples
around the city.
Reminder: In 2009 the Prime Minister’s Office issued a no alcohol edict,
banning the sale of alcohol on important religious holidays. The
Notification of the Office of the Prime Minister RE: Determination of Days
of Prohibition of Alcoholic Beverage Sales (No. 2) B.E. 2552 (A.D. 2009),
signed by then Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, specifically prohibits the
sale of alcohol on Makha Bucha Day, Visakha Bucha Day, Asalaha Bucha Day and
Buddhist Lent holidays. On Friday, May 24 it is against the law for
businesspeople to distribute alcohol. This includes bars and restaurants,
supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, and community retail
stores. An amendment to the decree exempts hotels from the ban. Those caught
breaking the law can face up to six months in jail and fines up to 10,000
3G launched in Chiang Mai
AIS offers full service across the province
A launch party was held at 3 Kings Monument by
AIS as they launched long awaited 3G services across the province on May 7,
The long delayed and highly anticipated of full 3G service was launched by
Advanced Info Service PLC (AIS) on May 7 at the opening ceremony held at the
3 Kings Monument under the “AIS 3G 2100 World Standard” banner.
AIS received their license four months ago after months of legal disputes
involving the NBTC regarding the issuance of the licenses delayed the
implementation. AIS has installed all systems into place in all districts in
20 provinces nationwide. Chiang Mai has had partial 3G service but it is now
available everywhere as it is in Bangkok, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chiang
Mai, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Pathom, Prachuab Khiri Khan, Surat Thani, Nakhon Sri
Thammarat, Songkhla, Phuket, Nakorn Ratchasima, Khon Kaen, Udon Thani,
Chonburi, Rayong and Phitsanulok.
Dulyadej Shinawatra, AIS Northern Regional Director of the Bureau of
Operations said “Thailand is progressing to the next stage of 3G services
with the official opening of the 3G 2100 MHz band. 3G on the 2100 MHz
spectrum is the standard of the International Telecommunication Union, or
ITU, established around the world and have used this standard to provide 3G
services for a long time. Our customers do not have to worry about using
their mobile phones; or phones that support the 3G 2100 MHz they can use
immediately and can also use while traveling abroad since it is a worldwide
standard. The demand for client applications that use AIS Mobile Internet
stood at 12 million at the end of 2012 and will increase to 15 million by
the end of 2013 with the full 3G network for service.”
AIS will budget more than 70,000 million baht to expand the network as
quickly as possible. The company has over 5,000 base stations that can
accommodate up to 10 million subscribers in 20 provinces including cities
and major regional areas across the country. The company will increase the
base stations by at least 800 every month and expect to be able to provide
3G service to districts of 77 provinces by the end of 2013 and will cover
most of the country by the end of 2014.
Bank of Thailand reports
on the Northern Economy
Bank of Thailand Northern Director Supawadee
Punsri reporting on the slowing Northern economy.
Chiang Mai Mail Reporters
Senior Director of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) Northern Office
Supawadee Punsri reported that the expanding Northern economy is showing
signs of slowing at a press conference held on May 2, 2013.
She said that the BoT looked at the Northern economy from four aspects;
consumption, investment, government spending and foreign trade. She noted
that private investment had slowed and that the effects of the government
stimulus package were softening. She noted that the effects of the high
numbers of cars ordered last year had worn off and that they would have to
see how many people did not claim cars.
Department store and electrical product sales had dropped and foreign trade
was slowing although there was increased demand for consumer goods across
the border into Myanmar and Laos. Exports to Europe had also dropped due to
the economic issues plaguing the region. The huge influx of Chinese tourists
had boosted the Northern economy in the first quarter, she added.
Although domestic consumption and investment had slowed in the first quarter
she noted that long term demand would remain the driving economic force and
added that household income and employment rates remain high. Private
investment continued to grow in two sectors however; construction and
Supawadee added that Myanmar’s economic growth had seen border trade and
Myanmar exports expand and predicted that it would continue to grow.
Additionally, the American economy is predicted to begin recovery and the
growing Chinese economy would see expanded markets for Northern products
such as electronics, processed fruits and vegetables.
City dredges drains around the city to prevent floods
14 fresh markets targeted
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn visits
dredging operations at Waroros Market on May 10, 2013.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
As part of the Chiang Mai Municipality’s flood prevention plan
drains in 14 fresh markets around the city are targeted for dredging. The
dredging procedures started on May 10 in Waroros and Ton Lamyai markets. The
city has asked vendors to not dump food waste and garbage in the sewers and
drains of the markets to help keep them unblocked as the province heads into
the rainy season.
Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn noted as he visited the first dredging operation
that in heavy rains the streets often flood as the drains take a long time
to clear the water, slowing traffic and causing traffic jams. He added that
litter and waste dumped in the drains were the main reason for the blockage.
The local authorities will clean the drains in fresh markets around the
city, with Waroros and Ton Lamyai first, followed by Baan Tor, Muang Mai,
Muang Sunthorn, Ming Muang, Boriboon, Thong Kham, San Pakoi, Nong Hoi,
Chiang Mai Gate, Ton Payom, Siri Wattana and Pratu Gom markets.
Dredging began on May 10 and is expected to be concluded by July 27, 2013.
Hardys Wines of Australia celebrate 160 years
A party was held at the Glasshouse to introduce
and celebrate Hardys Wines 160th anniversary.
Ambrose Wine Limited launched the sales of Hardys Wines at a party
held in honor of the company’s 160th anniversary at the Glasshouse on May 7,
2013. Regional Director for Asia for accolade Wines International Division
and Executive of Ambrose Wines hosted the party for guests and held a wine
tasting of the newest wines to tempt wine lovers in Chiang Mai.
Hardys Wines was founded in 1853 by Thomas Hardy, an Englishman who moved to
Bankside in Australia and started the vineyard and making wine. In 1857 his
first export of 2 hogsheads (286 liters) of wine was sent to the United
Kingdom. Hardys was recognized as South Australia’s largest wine producer
with a yield up to 315,000 gallons per year. In the past 160 years Hardys
wines has passed from generation to generation and has been awarded 3,000
Mr. Brown said that six different wines are being imported into Thailand;
Oomoo, Hardys Nottage Hill, Hardys Mill Cellars, Hardys VR, Hardys The
Riddle, Hardys Stamp and William Hardy, which is available both in
restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.
“The current wine market in Chiang Mai has seen a good response and more
than 300% growth is expected. This year the number may go up to 400%.
Thailand is one of three top in the Asian markets. I came to Chiang Mai 10
year ago and have seen a rapid change. There are a lot of restaurants, a
good economy and wines are not expensive resulting in the increase of wine
sales as well as interest in wine culture,” he concluded.
Chiang Mai Night Safari
welcomes two white tiger cubs
Named Asia and Pacific
Asia and Pacific are introduced to the public,
they were born on April 21, 2013 at the Chiang Mai Night Safari.
Two white tiger cubs were introduced to the public at the Chiang Mai
Night Safari on May 4, 2013. Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Director of Pingnakorn
Development Agency (Public Organization), revealed one male and one female
were born to mother Ploy and father Phet on April 21, 2013. The Chiang Mai
Night Safari now has 20 tigers in the group which is known as a “streak” or
Dr. Sarawut said the white tigers are the pride of the Chiang Mai Night
Safari and that they offer the people of Thailand the chance to learn more
about these endangered animals. He added that it gives people the
opportunity to see, experience and learn to love wildlife species.
The cubs were named “Asia” and “Pacific” in honor of the 2nd Asia Pacific
Water Summit being held in Chiang Mai at the new Convention Center.
Chiang Mai to host global
forestry meeting in 2015
Chiang Mai will play host to the Global Forest Resources Assessment
(FRA2015) Preecha Rengsomboonsuk, Minister of Natural Resources and
Environment, announced on May 6, 2013. Representatives from international
organizations of 104 countries will join members of the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) at the international conference
that will be held at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel.
The 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment continues the tradition of
seeking to describe the world’s forests – a tradition that began in 1948.
The exchange of experience and information will greatly benefit the country
in the management of national resources, Minister Preecha noted.
The Minister said that Thailand had focused on the evaluation of forest
resources throughout the country since 1955. In 1988 forests were declared
closed and so the goal of exploring the forests had changed from
exploitation to research on the distribution of plants and to determine
areas that have the potential for sustainable management.
He added that it requires a lot of manpower and high capital explore the
forest and to collect field data on the nation’s forests. The conference
will help in finding faster more accurate ways to survey the forests to cope
with the changing variables of forests including encroachment and land use
“Data from the surveys and the statistics of the Department of Forestry
shows that Thailand currently has approximately 171,585 square kilometers of
forest remaining, representing 33% of the total area of the country.
However, the area of forest that has been reported by various agencies may
have slightly different definitions and it suggests that it is time that we
should set a definition of the forest. We need to standardize the technique
used in data collection and format the reports to international standards
country organizations. We need to strengthen relations with the United
Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and partners in all participating
“This is a great opportunity to build relationships with each other and to
lead to the development of each country’s forests in the future,” Minister
Thai youth arrested in Facebook drug deals
Social network trafficking
9 youth under the age of 23 were arrested after
police uncovered drug deals that were enacted online.
Nine Thai youth were arrested after police investigation uncovered drug
deals being brokered online through Facebook chat and the mobile messaging
Pol.Maj.Gen Chamnan Ruwdrew, Deputy Commander Police Region 5, announced the
arrest of the 9 people,on May 1, 2013. The ringleader of the group Choltawat
Plangwong, was arrested on April 29, 2013 alongside two other suspects near
Suan Prung Hospital. Police said they found 125 methamphetamine or Yaba
tablets on the suspects as part of a planned drug deal.
Police believed that the drug ring was larger than just the 3 members so
investigated further and arrested 6 other suspects, aged between 19-23 years
old. They found 555 methamphetamine tablets on the other suspects at the
time of arrest. The police believe that the group started selling drugs to
fund their own addictions.
Hail storm strikes Chiang Mai
Heavy winds cause building to collapse
The roof of the restaurant Kornwan Country
collapsed into the second ring road in the city from the storm.
Strong winds and hail pounded Chiang Mai province on the evening of
May 2, 2013, causing the roof of a building to collapse and hail
accumulating on the roads in Samoeng.
Heavy winds and rain hit the Muang District in Chiang Mai causing damage to
homes and businesses in the municipality. The roof of the restaurant Kornwan
Country collapsed into the second ring road from the storm, causing traffic
jams. Police and rescue were called to the scene and a forklift was needed
to lift the steel structure off the road, the work took more than two hours
to clear the road about 3 kilometers from City Hall.
Nearby districts saw hail storms with residents in Samoeng reporting heavy
hail that accumulated on the roads. Many locals came out to view the hail as
they had never seen it in their area before. Many farmers reported heavy
damage to their crops from the hail and wind.
Broken trees and branches caused blackouts in some areas around the city and
Doi Inthanon saw an overnight power outage although no severe damage was
Red Shirts rally at Thai Rath office
Protest against political cartoonist
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Members of the Chiang Mai Red Shirt group Rak Chiang Mai 51
rallied at the Chiang Mai office of the Thai language national newspaper
Thai Rath protesting against what they felt were inappropriate comments
by political cartoonist Somchai Katanyutanant or Chai Rajchawat on his
Around 30 members of the group were led by Dr. Phetchawat
Wattanapongsirikul, advisor to the Minister of Social Development and
Human Security at the rally which gathered at the offices.. The group
laid wreaths and placed empty coffins in front of the Thai Rath office.
Later, the group traveled to the Muang Police Station to report the
remarks to the police and request they take action. The group’s protest
at the police station caused an uproar but the group dispersed without
The cartoonist, who posted photos and remarks about Prime Minister
Yingluck Shinawatra on his personal Facebook page has been sued for
defamation by the Prime Minister for the comments. The comments quickly
went viral on Facebook, angering many supporters of the Prime Minister,
who also laid wreaths at the main Thai Rath office in Bangkok.
of the Rak Chiang Mai 51 group led by Dr. Phetchawat Wattanapongsirikul
rallied in front of the Thai Rath offices to protest the Facebook
comments of one of their columnists.
Pha Muang Task Force soldiers battle drug traffickers in Chiang Rai
5 dead in shootout
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Members of the 31st Rangers Regiment of the Pha Muang Task Force
engaged in a gun battle with drug traffickers at 2:30 a.m. on May 4,
2013 in Baan Ar-lae, Mae Salong in Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai. The
commander of the Task Force, Maj. Gen. Somsak Nilbanjerdkul said that
they had reports that drug trafficking gangs had hired members of the
Lahu Home Gueard led by Lt. Col. Yee Sae. Yee Sae is the leader of the
splinter group the “Lahu Home Guard” in Myanmar and is wanted by Thai
police who are offering a reward of 2 million baht for information
leading to his arrest.
After the gunfire between the Pha Muang soldiers and around 20 drug
traffickers stopped, remaining members of the gang scattered into the
forest leaving 5 of their group dead. The soldiers uncovered 7,000
methamphetamine tablets in 1 million baht in cash.
The Commander of the Task Force said that the group was well organized,
professionally run and had local support although their bases are over
the border in Myanmar. Officials plan on expanding their efforts to
pursue fugitive members of the group.
Major drug network
busted in Uttaradit Prison
A major drug network in the provincial prison in Uttaradit was
uncovered by Region 5 Police Investigative Division this month when
police announced the arrest of 5 people who were working for a drug lord
currently serving time in Uttaradit prison.
On May 5, Police Region 5 officers announced the arrest of Sanong Yusoom
age 26 from Sukhothai, Nopparat Visawawisut age 19 from Chonburi,
Nateetorn Sangkham age 21 from Ratchaburi, Warinthorn Siritat age 21
from Uttaradit, and Private Mana Sriyarat age 21 with 20,000
The leader of the gang, known as Nont Uttaradit, is currently
incarcerated in Uttaradit prison on charges of drug trafficking but
enlisted the gang to bring in drugs from neighboring countries. The
police arrested them when they came to collect the drugs hidden in a
trash can at the PTT gas station in the Muang District of Uttaradit.
Police found that one of the accused, Nopparat Visawawisut, is the
ex-wife of the gang leader, Nont. Nont would call his ex-wife or other
members of the gang to coordinate the drug purchase and network to
distribute the drugs from prison.
Toyota Thailand joins forces with City to offer eco-safety
The “Smiling Road” project was launched on
May 9, 2013 at the accident prone intersection in front of the Municipal
Stadium by Deputy Governor Adisorn Kamnerdsiri and Toyota Motors
Thailand, Co. Ltd. The project is the third of its kind in the nation,
after Udon Thani and Chumphon, and will improve the intersection’s
roundabout, provide CCTV cameras, as well as clean up the area and
provide a more eco-friendly environment as part of the 50th anniversary.
Toyota is working to help the government promote road safety and a low
The Magnificent Seven!
Local lady rescues neighborhood kittens
This local expat resident was alerted by her Thai neighbours to this
street cat who’d given birth to seven kittens! Worried our Soi would be
over-run with cats they asked her if she could take them in and re-home
them. There are 7 kittens; a mix of girls and boys, very sociable, all
with long tails. Mommy has been sterilised and can now live a peaceful
life back in the soi.
If you are interested in one of these gorgeous kittens give Gilly a call
0871 89 1623 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.