Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna mourns His Majesty the King with giant heart
thousand lecturers, staff, students and personnel of Rajamangala University
Technology of Lanna joined the nation in mourning the passing of His Majesty
King Bhumibol on Wednesday, October 19 by joining together to form a giant
heart shape with the number 9 inside.
Students, faculty and staff of the
Rajamangala University Technology of Lanna joined the nation in mourning the
passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol on Wednesday, October 19 by joining
together to form a giant heart shape with the number 9 inside.
President of the University Associate
Professor Numyoung Songthanapitak spoke on the passing of His Majesty the
King and everyone including staff, lecturers, and students united together
to plede allegiance to the values and principles of living espoused by His
Three thousand people joined together
to form a giant heart with the shape of the number 9 in Thai script inside.
For the 70 years long of His reign, the
Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna worked in cooperation with King
Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi and academic organizations to
serve the Royal Project and Projects initialted by His Majesty by offering
supporting academic work and energy and environment engineering technology
to develop agriculture systems
in areas of Royal Projects. They worked
with personnel and staff of the Royal Project Stations to share knowledge
and skills of engineering and energy and environment systems, maintenance of
equipment and machines through preventive maintenance and total productive
maintenance and others.
With His Majesty’s boundless and
gracious kindness, the students and staff of Rajamangala University of
Technology Lanna have conducted his initiatives in practice, research,
development, and to further knowledge with the purpose of transferring
knowledge to communities to create sustainable opportunities and careers for
Expats air their concerns with Minister of Tourism & Sports
In the highest level meeting between
resident expats and government officials in over seven years the Minister of
Tourism traveled to Chiang Mai to meet with members of the local expatriate
community at the Long Stay Tourism Seminar held at the Empress Hotel on
Friday, October 21, 2016.
The day started off with members of the
business and governmental communities discussing growing long-stay tourism
not just in Chiang Mai but also Lampang, Lamphun and Mae Hong Son. The need
to expand international standard medical services, improve infrastructure
and grow human resources to cope with the influx including better language
skills and service training were identified as the major factors addressed
at the start of the seminar.
The meeting, which saw about 125 people
attending from the business sector, government and local resident
expatriates, was opened by Deputy Governor Prajuab Kantiya representing the
Upper Northern Provincial Cluster 1 and Tomrong Vongtaveesukcharoen, Chief
of Strategy and Information for Lampang Provincial Office.
The Deputy Governor said “Tourism is
like a flower that blooms in many colors” and that they government
understands the importance developing friendship relationships with
foriegners “But the most important thing we want to know is what do
foreigners think? What do we need to change? What do we need to do more of
or less of? We look forward to hearing from you on this.”
The main objectives of the seminar were
to support tourism, support development, knowledge and understanding of
long-stay tourism in the North and increase the understanding of how to be a
good long-stay tourist. . Long stay tourists are defined differently by
different departments, the TAT identifies anyone as a long-stayer who has
been in Thailand more than year, while other organizations can view people
as long-stay who are here for more than a month.
Dr. Kannika Pornpatkul, talked about
the development of long stay tourism, with a focus on health and wellness
noting that Chiang Mai is already well-placed to take advantage of the
growth in people coming to stay in Chiang Mai for longer periods of time,
not just medical tourists but those who live. She added that developing
facilities to an international standard not only provided for the foreigners
coming here but also gave local Thai people access to much better medical
care. She noted that the government estimates there are 30,000 expats in the
North, mainly Americans followed by Japanese and Koreans.
She added that there are four main
groups that come to stay in Chiang Mai; to retire, to access health care, to
obtain an education and to work, especially remotely. Some of the local
expats offered that there needs to be some way for people on visa extensions
to enroll in the health care scheme. Also brought up was the issue with
terrible air quality in the smoke season but also pollution from cars and
trucks. Also mentioned was an interest in retirement communities will
assisted living services.
Dr. Kannika was followed by Dr. Korawan
Sangkakorn of the Center of Tourism Research and Development at the Social
Research Institute at Chiang Mai University who presented the Master Plan
that was ordered by the government and submitted to it for consideration.
The master plan was quite comprehensive and addressed issues such as
developing the infrastructure including access for the disabled, public mass
transportation, and signage in other languages. The plan includes the
creation of a website for visitors to access information on services and
products in the four Upper Northern provinces as well as the improvement of
products and services for visitors. Included is the need for promotion and
marketing in other areas besides Japan or Europe and cooperation from all
sectors in Thailand to achieve the necessary goals.
They were followed by a panel led by
Rachan Veeraphan, Bangladesh Honorary Consul, and member of the Chiang Mai
Chamber of Commerce comprising Wisut Buachoom of the Tourism Authority of
Thailand, Suthon Wichairat director of the Tourism and Sports Office in
Chiang Mai and two representatives from Immigration.
Wisut addressed the need to
differentiate marketing to long-stayers and marketing to tourists. Under the
TAT a long-stayer is defined as staying one year, the government has a
policy of emphasizing the promotion of long-stay visitors and he noted that
the TAT and Ministry of Tourism are paying close attention to the long-stay
but agreed that there were many problems that needed to be worked in.
Suthon Wichairat talked about the state
of tourism in Chiang Mai and the Upper North nothing that the area had much
to offer from a thriving art and culture scene to handicrafts, good weather
and beautiful nature spots.
Rachan then called on Immigration
telling them he would like to see Immigration supporting long-stayers and
implementing policies across that country that do so. Deputy Superintendent
Satri spoke on Immigration’s main goals which were security and service. He
cited the new Immigration policy of “Good guys in, bad guys out” noting that
they could not sacrifice security for service.
The Chiang Mai Immigration Office has
seen the numbers of people using the office grow, in 2016 they have handled
185,000 requests of which 3,500 were retirement visas. He added that there
are 800,000 foreigners living illegally in Thailand but did not go into
details of the nationalities of those foreigners.
He noted that the move to Promenada
had eased the parking and space issues but noted that there are still
manpower issues. He said that Immigration has recently changed their
requirements and it is now possible to apply for your visa extension 45 days
before expiry. He encouraged foreigners to come in early to renew and not
wait until the last minute, noting that the expiry date will remain the same
regardless of when you come in to the office.
They have also just started a Priority
Lane on the 2nd floor for disabled people elderly people or those
with emergency needs. However, pre-screening is required and when asked by
Rachan how people would contact Immigration he said that they are still
working on the system but it should be in place fully soon.
The Immigration officer also announced
that they have the budget for the new building and it is expected to be
completed in one year and six months. When it is implemented they will have
a new system in place that should solve the issues people currently face. He
added that they have also increased the office hours – on Monday and
Wednesday they will open at 8:30 am and close at 6:30 pm and on Tuesday,
Thursday and Friday close at the usual 4:30 pm as per government
This was followed by a panel led by
British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson consisting of representatives
from four different countries and areas; Toshiki Kawashita representing
Japanese long-stayers, Mun Ryung Dal of Korea, Montha Chiang representing
Taiwan and Nancy Lindley representing USA, Australia and Europe.
The panelists addressed the main issues
expats face in Chiang Mai with Nancy starting off listing some major
concerns but also pointing out “We are not tourists, we bring our
possessions, our pets. We intend to spend our lives here, we support
families. I would liken us more to shrubs or trees than flowers, we put down
Nancy noted that the service problems
expats face in Chiang Mai Immigration are not duplicated across the country,
that all they want is an equivalent service level to that given in Phuket or
Pattaya. She also asked that Chiang Mai Immigration fall in line with other
offices in enforcing rules, noting the implementation of the requirement of
a TM30 form by people applying for extensions noting that some people have
been forced to move because their landlord cannot or will not supply the
needed form. Other provinces do not require this form.
She mentioned national problems such as
90 day reporting, the foreign national information forms and spot checks on
homes. Locally Chiang Mai suffers from poor air quality, “The seasonal issue
is getting worse and needs to be addressed” and finally other issues expats
face around the country such as health insurance, property ownership and
getting scammed out life savings buying homes they do not own, allowing
volunteerism from those on retirement visas and the issue of digital nomads
who work online, get paid overseas and yet have no access to a long-term
Toshiki mentioned that while he gains
many benefits from living in Chiang Mai he would like to contribute to
society in Chiang Mai and yet is not allowed to do so as he is on retirement
visa. Montha came next saying she is Thai but her husband is from Taiwan and
the issues they face on the marriage visa extension even though he has been
in Chiang Mai for many years. From the need to prove income with a letter,
to providing the same documentation year after year, even though they are
still married to the lack of a online queue reservation system.
One member of the audience noted that
the technology exists to solve many of these problems but the government
does not utilize it. Ben Svasti Thomson informed the audience that
everything was being recorded and would be presented to the Minister as well
as their questions when she arrived.
The Minister flew in from Bangkok
arriving in time to speak with the group at the end, bringing up His Majesty
King Bhumibol Adulyuadej. Minister of Tourism and Sports Kobkarn
Wattanavrangkul said, “I am talking about His Majesty the King because the
way of His Majesty was to welcome all. I am here to walk his path. I know
there have been many obstacles, many promises that have never been realized
so I want to make sure that we still walk this path, to solve these problems
She continued, “We have just finished
drafting the four-year long term policy for the path of tourism. Tourism for
old age and tourism for all is part of our four-year strategy, we have
included medical and wellness. The Ministries recognize the importance of
this and it will be part of the ten most important industries for
“We want to grow the Lanna region for
quality leisure tourists, aiming for people to stay longer, visit often and
pay more per day,” which elicited a laugh from the Minister and the
audience. She added they are aiming for ASEAN connectivity and greater
implementation of the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
Minister Kobkarn said “I don’t believe
in a beautiful plan but rather real action. It is the general opinion of the
government that we must work in collaboration, that we work with other
ministries and other organizations together.”
“I come with realistic news and to hear
realistic plans for the future. We never stop to work for you because you
are friends of our country as per our King.” She then called on members of
the group to address long-term issues that need to be addressed.
The smoke issue is a major concern of
everyone who lives in Chiang Mai, this writer pointed out, it affects
tourism by turning away visitors, grounding planes and affects the health of
everyone who lives here, expats and Thais alike. While it is a regional
issue affecting not just Chiang Mai but Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son and
Chiang Rai the solutions must be made at the local level. Local enforcement
of the no burning laws must be done, local governments need to enforce the
laws and people need to understand that they cannot burn.
The Minister replied that the
government does place the smoke issue as one of its top problems but added
that the issue has become international with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia also
burning. She said the government feels that education on the issues and a
concerted education campaign can work to address these issues.
Nancy Lindley addressed the concerns
she had brought up in the panel; why Chiang Mai Immigration has such major
issues in providing services that other Immigration offices do not, why they
insist on enforcing difficult rules that no other office does. The Minister
said she will look into why Chiang Mai Immigration is less effective and
said she sees this will have a solution in the short to medium term.
Nancy brought up the need for some kind
of health care for expats, suggesting that an option be to bring them into
the National Social Security health care scheme albeit with higher rates,
another member of the group asked if it were possible for the Thai
government to come to some agreement with foreign countries so that
nationals could use their Medicare insurance here.
The Minister said she would look into
this and also check with insurance agencies about possible solutions for
Neal Robinson brought up the issue of
the annual renewal of the visa, suggesting that perhaps after five years of
one year extensions retirees be eligible for a long-term visa, from 5-10
years with a report every year. Minister Kobkarn said that they are working
on the length of stay and that the government realizes this is an issue. She
also addressed the issue of volunteerism that Nancy Lindley had brought up,
saying “You are the brain bank of the country. We need this kind of synergy,
it will definitely help Thailand and the region and it is something we are
working on. It may be in the long-term but we recognize that it is there.”
Martin Venzky-Stalling urged that the
government consider the long-term implications and establish goals for
long-stay development, noting that most expats consider themselves part of
the community, not tourists and they want to be included in the community.
Several members of the Chiang Mai
Chamber of Commerce stood up and spoke up stating that these changes were
absolutely necessary were Chiang Mai and Thailand to see a growth in
long-stayers. Noting that this had been discussed many times but nothing had
ever been accomplished. The Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce has been pushing
the government for a five year long-stay visa for over 6 years.
Minister Kobkarn concluded, “I am here
to let you know that this is an important issue for Thailand. I will go back
and talk with the Governor, the Chamber of Commerce and I hope it can be a
priority for the government. I do hope that it will be a dream we can work
Funeral rites for His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Royal Household Bureau announcement
The Royal Household Bureau issued an
official statement on the funeral services for His Majesty King Bhumibol
Adulyadej recently, including a timeline of his passing and early ceremonies at
the Grand Palace.
The Royal Household Bureau announced the
passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej at 6.55 pm on Thursday October
13, 2016. His Majesty had gone to Siriraj Hospital for medical treatment on
Friday 3 October 2016 according to an announcement made by Royal Household
Bureau. Although, medical team worked hard to treat His Majesty his health
continued to deteriorate and he passed away peacefully at 3:52 pm on Thursday,
October 13, 2016 at the age of 89 years old.
On Friday October 14, 2016 at 3.40 p.m.,
The Crown Prince, Vachiralongkorn Prince went to the Pimanrattaya Throne Hall,
Grand Palace to await the arrival of His Majesty’s funeral cortege, which left
Siriraj Hopistal at 4 p.m., led by Somdej Phawannarat, Abbot of Wat
Bawornniwejwiharn to the Chalermphakiat Building. The cortege moved from Siriraj
Hospital to the Grand Palace as the streets were lined with tens of thousands of
people who came to pay their last respect with sadness and tears. The nation
also watched the procession and ceremony on televisions across the country.
The funeral will be held at
Dusitmahaprasart Throne Hall for 100 days or the mourning period. The ceremony
will start each day at 6 a.m. for monks' chanting followed by food offerings at
7 a.m. This will be followed by further chanting from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. when the
monks will be offered lunch. Further prayers will be at 12 noon and 3 p.m.
followed by 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and again at 9 p.m.
The Royal Funeral Ceremony or Sattamawarn
Ceremony which is held on the 7th day, was held on Wednesday, October
18, 2016 at 5 p.m. when thirty monks chanted Buddhist mantra followed by a
sermon and chanting from four monks.
On Thursday October 20,2016, thirty monks
changed for blessings at 10.30 a.m. followed by food offerings. This was
followed by a sermon and chanting performed by four monks, and lastly presenting
ropes to 89 monks in regards to His Majesty’s age.
The Panrasamawarn Ceremony, which marks the
15th day, will be held on Thursday October 27, 2016 at 5 p.m. and
Friday October 28, 2016 at 10.30 a.m. The Panyasamawarn ceremony, which marks
the 50th day, will be held on Thursday December 1, 2016 at 5 p.m.
and on December 2, 2016 at 10.30 a.m. The 100 days ceremony or the Satamawarn
ceremony (100 days) will be held on Friday January 20, 2017 at 5 p.m. and on
Saturday January 21, 2017 at 10.30 a.m.
The Royal Household Bureau announced that
people will be allowed to pay respects in the Dusitmahaprasart Throne Hall from
October 28, 2016 at 1 p.m. onwards.
Royal allowance is made to allow people to
pay respect in front of HM the late King’s photo at Sahathai Samakom Pavilion,
Grand Palace every day from 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is a book for mourners to
sign at the Pavilion.
Royal allowance is made to allow people to
pay respect HM the late King at Dusitmahaprasart Throne Hall after completing 15
days of the Royal Funeral Ceremony from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every days starting
from October 28, 2016 at 1 pm.
Royal allowance to allow various sections
including personal, government section, state enterprises, private and civil
section to host royal funeral of chanting rite after completing of 50 days of
the royal funeral ceremony.
The Royal Household Bureau asks that
tourists in Thailand understand the sadness of the Thai people and to act
accordingly. Tourists are asked to wear dark tones or somber clothing and the
government has asked for cooperation from all sectors to refrain from parties,
live music and concerts from October 14 – November 13, 2016.
Governor presides over merit-making for His Majesty the King at 3 Kings Monument
Next ceremony to be held October 27
Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart and President of the Provincial Red
Cross Monsuda Chamniprasart offer monks food to mark the Sattamawarn
Ceremony held at Three Kings Monument.
Monks chant at the Sattamawarn Ceremony
marking the 7th day of His Majesty the King’s passing at
Three Kings Monument.
Governor lights candles and incense as part of the ceremony to mark the
military, students and members of the public turned out for the
Sattamawarn Ceremony held on October 19, 2016. The next ceremony will be
held at Three Kings Monument on October 27, 2016 to mark the 15th
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart
presided over the Sattamawarn Ceremony at Three Kings Monument to mark the
seventh day of the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej on
Wednesday, October 19, 2016. He was joined by government officials, military
and others in presenting food offerings to 89 monks, to mark the age of His
The Governor was joined by his wife
Monsuda, President of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross, Red Cross
officials, students, and members of local organizations as well.
The Panrasamawarn Ceremony, which marks
the 15th day, will be held on Thursday October 27, 2016 at 7:30
p.m. at Three Kings Monument and members of the public are invited to join
in the ceremony.
Governor leads mourning ceremony at City Hall
Ceremonies to be held at temples around Chiang Mai
The Governor of Chiang Mai led
government officials, members of the Chiang Mai Provincial Red Cross,
students, organizations and foreigners in paying their respects to His
Majesty the King at 8:30 a.m. on October 16, 2016 at City Hall. The group of
over 300 people formed a giant heart to pay their respects, the event was
broadcast across the nation.
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart led the
ceremony which saw simultaneous events held across the country in twelve
provinces; Khon Kaen, Ubon Ratchathani, Chiang Mai, Phistanulok, Chantaburi,
Kanchanaburi, Phuket, Surat Thani, Songkhla, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, and
Yala. The remaining provinces will organize their ceremonies later.
The Governor invited the residents of
Chiang Mai to sign the mourning book at City Hall or at their District
Ceremonies have been held at Wat Jet
Yod on October 19 and at Three Kings Monument followed by Wat Srisoda on
October 27, 2016, Wat Suan Dok on November 3 and Wat Prathat Doi Suthep on
November 10. Wat Phadapirom in Mae Rim will have ceremonies on November 17
followed by Wat Chedi Luang Worawiharn on November 24 and Wat Phra Singh on
December 1, 2016.
Bank robber leaves extra cash on the road
Keeps amount to pay back loan on coffee shop
Police announced the arrest of a
Bangkok man in the robbery of the Krung Thai Bank on Nimmanhaemin Road
on October 17, 2016, reporting that he had taken the amount he needed to
pay off a loan for his coffee shop and abandoned the rest of the cash in
a bag on the side of the road after robbing the bank on October 15,
Thirty-year-old Chapanon “Mink”
Noochnu of Bangkapi in Bankgok was arrested for robbing the bank and
also for motorcycle theft. He confessed to police that on October 15 at
1:25 p.m. he knocked Bussaborn Tiewtraakul off her motorcycle near Wat
Suan Dok and stole the motorbike. He told the police that he then drove
to the bank and robbed the bank at knife point. He then drove the
motorcycle off to Chiang Mai Maharaj Nakhon Hospital where he changed
clothes and abandoned the motorcycle.
Police found cash
totalling 173,960 baht along with a knife, a full-face motorcycle
helmet and clothing worn while committing the offense from dense grass
in Soi 6, Suan Dok behind Suan Dok community.
They used CCTV to track the robber,
finding he had parked his own motorcycle about 400 meters away from
where he stole the motorcycle. They checked the registration plate and
identified and tracked down the suspect. They arrested him at 11 p.m. on
October 16, 2016 wit 9,180 baht in various bank notes.
The suspect confessed to police
that he had stolen the money to pay off his debts. He told police that
he had taken out the money he needed for the loan then put the remaining
cash with shirt, pants, and sharp knife in a green bag on Soi 6 Suan Dok
where police had found the cash.
Mae Ai man arrested with 20 kilograms of heroin hidden in gas tank
Phrae police announced the arrest of a Mae
Ai man who had hidden 20 kilograms of heroin in the gas tank of his pickup
truck. Police stopped 29 year old Jeerapan Wattanchart of Mae Ai, Chiang Mai at
a checkpoint at Baan Huay Rai in Den Chai Phrae for acting suspiciously.
Police saw the truck make a fast U-turn
just before the checkpoint and managed to stop the truck. At first they could
not find anything but the suspect was shaking and behaving in a suspicious
manner so they ended up scanning the truck where they found 60 bars of heroin
weighing 20 kilograms hidden in the gas tank.
Police arrested the suspect and will
investigate further to find the drug trafficking network responsible.
Governor gives OK to Loy Krathong events
Must be held in appropriate fashion
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart met with Mayor Tussanai Buranaupakorn, tourism
officials and business organizations to discuss the Loy Krathong or Yee Peng
Festival. He’s given the go ahead on the events but the concerned parties
will meet again on Friday, October 21, 2016 to determine the most
appropriate formats for the event.
Chiang Mai Governor Pawin Chamniprasart
gave the go ahead for Loy Krathong events to be held after conferring with
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn, Deputy Mayors, the Ministry of
Tourism and Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Chiang Mai
Tourism Association. However, they will reconvene on Friday, October 21 to
determine the most appropriate formats for the event.
Many businesspeople asked the
Municipality to reconsider the ban on the city’s famed Yee Peng parades and
events citing that it falls at the end of the 30-day mourning period issued
by the government.
The Chiang Mai Governor said that they
had not been ordered to halt the Red Cross Fair, the Krathin ceremony; the
annual merit-making ceremony in which new yellow robes are presented to
Buddhist monks or Pha Pa: making and off-season offering of robes and other
needs to monks, and other religious activities. These can be organized as
usual, but shall not have any musical performances or concerts.
The traditional and annual events are
not prohibited, but shall be in appropriate formats. The concerned parties
will meet again on October 21, 2016 to determine the appropriate formats for
Yee Peng or Loy Krathong on November 13 – 15, 2016.
Governor announces Walking Street Markets, Night Bazaar to continue
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart announces that the Chiang Mai Municipality has
rescinded the order to halt sales at the Saturday and Sunday Walking Street
Markets and stalls at the Night Bazaar.
The Chiang Mai
Municipality issued a notice on October 14 asking for cooperation to suspend
sales or any activity on the Saturday and Sunday Walking Streets and stalls
at the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road in mourning for the loss off His
Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Chiang Mai Governor
Pawin Chamniprasart announced on October 15, 2016 that the Municipality had
cancelled the order after some discussion and will allow people to sell
goods in the three areas as usual, on Ratchadamnoen Road area for the Sunday
Walking Street Market, Wualai Road area for Saturday Walking Street Market
and the stalls at the Night Bazaar on Chang Klan Road. However, vendors
should be dressed in mourning clothes, either black or white and not play
music or perform. He called on cooperation from the public and businesses to
join the nation in mourning the loss of Thailand’s revered King.
will be allowed to sell at the Walking Street Markets and Night Bazaar but
are asked to wear mourning clothes in black or white and refrain from music
Progress report on Mae Jo tunnel from Highway Office
Expected completion January 2018
Construction at the Mae Jo intersection of the Superhighway is moving
ahead of schedule despite delays in moving water pipes and is projected
to be completed by January 2018.
artist’s rendition of the completed construction at the intersection.
Once done the new underpass should ease traffic flow at the busy
bridge at Pa Tan crossing the Ping River will ease bottlenecks caused by
the narrow bridge.
The Chiang Mai Highway Office 1
reported that the construction on the Superhighway for the Mae Jo
tunnel, Pa Tan Bridge and highway expansion are due to be completed by
Mr. Rattapong Lertsuwanpaisan,
Inspector from the Chiang Mai Highway Office said that currently the
tunnel is at 40 percent completion, the bridge at 40 percent and the
expansion of the current bridge at 60 percent completion. The Mae Jo
tunnel will be at the intersection of Highway 11 and 100 and includes
the expansion of the Pa Tan Bridge, and road expansion to ten lanes.
The new tunnel and road expansion
will ease traffic congestion on the Superhighway and ease the bottleneck
that occurs at the Pa Tan Bridge where the road crosses the Ping River.
The contract started in March 2015 and is scheduled for completion on
March 2, 2018 with Chiang Mai Construction Co. Ltd.
The biggest obstacle has been
moving 600mm and 900mm around the side of the Pa Tan Bridge due to
obstruction from the foundation posts. Moving the pipes requires the
cooperation of the Provincial Works Authority and has delayed the
movement of the pipes until the end of October. This has delayed further
construction but once the pipes are moved further work can be done on
the expansion of the bridge. The expansion and new part of the bridge
are expected to be finished by the middle of 2017.
The Mae Jo tunnel is currently at
40 percent completion which is further along than originally planned.
The road expansion plans have also hit some obstacles due to the need to
remove and replace underground water pipes. Mr. Rattapong said that the
entire project could open as early as the end of 2017 or January 2018,
ahead of schedule.
Governor joins elderly people in mourning the loss of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej
Pawin Chamniprasart lights a candle as part of the ceremony to mourn His
Majesty King Bhumibol Aduladej at a ceremony held specifically for the
elderly community in Chiang Mai as part of the International Day of Older
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart was joined
by elderly members of the community at Wat Suan Dok on October 15, 2016 to
honor the International Day of Older Persons. The World Health Organization
established the International Day of Older Persons in 1990 to raise
awareness of the importance and needs of the elderly in society. As society
ages so increases the importance of helping elderly people to remain an
active and vital part of that society.
Governor Pawin Chamniprasart led a
ceremony of blessings for His Majesty the King and joined the elderly
community in holding the ceremony and giving them a chance to pay their last
respects to His Majesty who passed away on October 13, 2016 after 70 years
of reign. For many of the people attending this event the memories of his
ascension to the throne remain strong while for others he has been the only
King they have ever known.
The hall at
Wat Suan Dok was filled for the blessing ceremony held on Saturday, October
15, 2016 to honor HM the King as part of the International Day of Older
Persons events, giving the elderly a chance to pay their last respects.
Chiang Mai Mayor announces cancellation of Loy Krathong events
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn cancelling Yee Peng or Loy Krathong
Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn
announced the cancellation of city sponsored Loy Krathong events such as the
parades and other festivities. However, individuals will still be able to
honor Loy Krathong by releasing krathongs on the waterways and Khom Loy
balloons, restrictions will still apply to the release of the hot air
balloons on only the 14th and 15th of November.
Additionally the Mayor announced the
closure of the Saturday Walking Street market on Wua Lai and Sunday Walking
Street Market on Ratchadamnoen. The period of time was not announced but the
government did announce an official period of mourning of one month and
asked people to refrain from celebrations during this period to show respect
for the grief of the Thai people.
Many events have been cancelled and
people are asked to dress in black or somber colors out of respect for the
Good Samaritan red truck driver returns forgotten bag
A red truck
driver returns the belongings forgotten in the back of his songthaew by a
Chinese tourist, she thanked him and gave him a reward for returning her
Red songthaew driver Somkiet Luangtumma
contacted tourist police after finding a bag left in the back of his red
truck. The driver said he found a green bag on the backseat, opened it and
saw the passport of a Chinese national. The tourist had taken the songthaew
from Tha Pae Gate to Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.
Mr. Somkiet contacted the tourist
police and Pol. Lt. Winai Konsombat, Sub-Inspector of the Chiang Mai Tourist
police said they had examined the passport and found the tourist who was
staying in a hotel in the city. Li Jing thanked the driver for returning her
belongings including two pairs of Ray Ban sunglasses, 700 Yuan and $AU460.
Miss Li Jing said she was delighted to
get her property back and thanked the driver and offered him a reward for
his kindness, noting she had been told of the kindness of Thai people and
had now experienced it for herself.
Eastin Tan Hotel investigated for operating without a license
Governor states the owner is not being targeted
officials question the hotel manager about operating without a license.
Eastin Tan Hotel on the corner of
Nimmanhaemin Road and Huay Kaew Road was raided as part of a government policy
to crack down on hotels operating without a license last week.
The hotel, owned by well-known businessman
Tan Passakornnatee or Tan Ichitan as he is know because of the green tea
business he started in Thailand, explained in a letter that the hotel had
applied for a license but after new zoning laws was denied and had to appeal the
ordered Eastin Tan Hotel to cease hotel operations after it was found to be
operating without a hotel license last week. The owner has appealed the
The Chiang Mai Assistant District Chief
Officer revealed that permission had been granted for the construction of a
condominium before 2012. After 2012, the new Hotel Act was issued and the owner
applied to change permission allowing for hotel rooms on the 2nd -4th
floors and the 5th- 7th floors to be condominiums.
Permission was denied because of the size of the building and that the plans
were not correct according to the Building Control Act. The Governor did not
approve the application but the building still opened as a hotel.
Tan Passakornnatee explained via his
personal Facebook page “I insisted that Eastin Tan Hotel operate with honesty
and full disclosure. We would like to cooperate with the government to explain
this situation.” He also issued a letter that detailed the case including the
fact that after the application for a change of use was denied the company
appealed that decision. He added that the company had never intended to be
violating the law, and had paid all taxes during the entire time.
The Tourism Council of Chiang Mai called on
the government to resolve the hotel business problems in Chiang Mai as there are
currently many hotels operating without licenses, in part due to zoning changes
and difficulties in obtaining licenses.
Burmese residents protest against military attack on Kachin State in Myanmar
Kachin groups protested in front of the Myanmar Consulate General calling on
the government to stop its bombardment and military attacks on the Kachin
and Shan states in Myanmar.
Burmese residents in Chiang Mai
protested in front of the Myanmar Consulate General and left a protest
letter in the mail box at the conclusion of the peaceful protest on October
Led by Mr. Norkam and Mr. Norlon, both
members of the Kachin ethnic group, and Sangmeuang Mangkorn, who is of the
Tai Yai ethnic group in Myanmar, were joined by around 50 people in front of
the Myanmar Consulate General to call on the Myanmar military to stop its
military actions in the Kachin state. They read the announcement and sang
the Kachin National song. When no one from the Consulate came to receive the
letter they left it in the mailbox.
Representatives said that the Myanmar
military has been attacking Kachin State since June 2011 and it has recently
intensified. They called on the army to stop attacking both Kachin State and
Shan State where a two year old was recently killed in a military attack.
The letter also said that the Kachin
people requested Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi to negotiate with Burmese army to
stop attacking various ethnic groups and to ask the government to help
evacuees escaping war in Kachin State. Additionally, requirement was made
Burmese Government to help and support evacuees who want to come back to
their motherland with safety.
Driver’s license exams to become more difficult in 2017
Land Transportation Department increasing training and tests
The Director of
the Chiang Mai Land Transport Office Chanchai Keelapaeng reported on the new
developments in driver’s license exams and training.
The Chiang Mai Department of Land
Transportation will be tightening up testing, training and requirements for
applicants for driver’s licenses beginning January 1, 2017 the head of the
department recently announced.
Education training at the Department will
be increased from four hours to five and applicants must have 90 percent of
their answers correct in order to pass the test.
Beginning in October 2017 applicants will
also be required to attend a standard driving school before they can get apply
for the license.
Chanchai Keelapaeng, Director of Chiang Mai
Provincial Land Transport Office reported that the Department of Land Transport
adjusted the criteria for the issuance of drivers licenses for all kinds of
vehicles. Applicants must have at least 45 correct answers out of 50, or 90
percent and the test will be revamped breaking up into different parts. Samples
will be available online for study at
Next year the office will require five
hours of theory and 10 hours of practical training. Currently the DLT is
certifying driving schools so that people taking classes can use their
certificate to apply for a driver’s license at Provincial Land Transport Office
across the country. This policy will become effective on October 1, 2017 and the
Provincial Land Transport Office will not responsible for providing training
The Director of Chiang Mai Provincial Land
Transport Office said that Chiang Mai province has over 200 applicants daily,
both Thai and foreign. About 70% of applicants could pass the test and there
were persons passing the test with full scores every day. The E-Driving System
has been currently used for practical testing instead of using officers’ vision
assessment since June 2016. At the beginning only 20% of applicants could pass
the test due to unfamiliarity with using the computer’s assessment. However,
over 60% of applicants could pass the practical test.
Provincial Health Office focusing on protecting pregnant women from Zika
Dengue kills three people this year
Provincial Health Office is calling on everyone to eliminate mosquito
breeding grounds to combat Dengue and Zika viruses carried by the insect.
The Chiang Mai Provincial Public Health Office is
focusing efforts on pregnant women to prevent the transmission of the Zika
virus due to the birth defects associated with the mosquito born disease.
The Office reported that 16 infected patients have been found. All districts
in infected areas were strictly ordered to eliminate larvae of common
The latest Zika patient was found in San Sai on October
1 and is a 33 year old male. Of the sixteen patients, three were pregnant
women. All of the infected people have recovered from the illness which is
characterized by a low fever and rash.
The government has been monitoring all areas and
examined all pregnant women in areas with the infection of suspected to have
it. The disease is mild in most people and not a danger but is linked to
birth defects in babies whose mother’s contract the disease while pregnant.
The government has called on people to cooperate in
removing all breeding grounds for mosquito larvae as it can also cause
Dengue fever as well.
Since January there have been 41,000 cases of Dengue
fever in Chiang Mai province, three patients died and five districts have
the highest rates; Mae Taeng, Doi Saket. Mae Wang, San Kamphaeng and Muang
Nearly 52 million Yaba pills seized in the past year
Heroin arrests down, Ya Ice arrests up
Police seized over 51.9 million Yaba pills in the past year in the
The Northern Border Narcotics
Control Management Center (NBNCMC) announced the results of their
drug suppression efforts in the year since October 2105, reporting
that 51.9 million methamphetamine or Yaba pills were seized in 21
Maj. Gen. Sompong Jangjamrat, Commissioner of Northern Border
Narcotics Control Management Center (NBNCMC) announced results of
drug seizures and arrests in the past year.
Maj. Gen. Sompong Jangjamrat,
Commissioner of Northern Border Narcotics Control Management Center
(NBNCMC) announced that in the year from October 2015 to September
2016 police and army seized 51,910,000 methamphetamine pills
entering the country. He noted that heroin arrests were down 61.1
percent compared to the previous year but arrests for Ya Ice or
crystal methamphetamine were up 81.1 percent.
Seizures and arrests occurred
in 21 districts and three provinces. Police also conducted random
urine checks and sent addicts for rehabilitation. The NBNCMC
established three learning centers of sufficiency economy and
participated in activities to strengthen communities in the village
projects Mother Fund, Civil State for Unity project in 13 villages.
The Northern Border Narcotics
Control Management Center (NBNCMC) also provided help for victims of
disasters totaling 3,400 people, joined 48 tree planting exercises
and built 53 check dams.
Buzzing noise coming from passenger bag delays AirAsia flight
officer checks a bag after baggage handlers noticed a bag buzzing
suspiciously. The object turned out to be a sex toy that had not had the
AirAsia flight FD3438 was delayed
on the tarmac on September 28, 2016 after baggage handlers discovered
bag vibrating suspiciously. They called the bomb disposal team to check
out the bag as there were concerns it could be a bomb. The EOD team
opened to bag to find a sex toy that had been inadvertently turned on,
causing the bag to vibrate.
The Communications Division of Thai
AirAsia Airlines reported that the flight was only slightly delayed by
the confusion as the EOD team turned off the device, removed the
batteries and packed it back into the bag. They reminded people to not
pack battery operated devices or to remove all batteries before checking
officer repacked the bag and the plane let only five minutes late.
Southern drug smugglers arrested transporting 300,000 Yaba pills
arrested three people, two women and one man from Trang on trafficking 302,000
methamphetamine pills at a hotel in Saraphi.
announced the arrest of three suspected members of a Southern drug gang and the
seizure of 302,000 methamphetamine pills after the driver of a pickup truck
abandoned the vehicle at a temple near a checkpoint in Chai Prakarn District on
September 25, 2016 at 10 p.m.
of the truck fled the scene, leaving the gray Isuzu truck parked at Wat Pang
Makam Pom. Police inspected the vehicle and discovered 302,000 methamphetamine
or Yaba pills concealed in bags of fruit in the truck. Police tracked the driver
down to a hotel in Saraphi where they arrested the driver, a 33 year old man
named Wongwanich, or Non, and two women; 55 year old Nittaya or Nid and 30 year
old Wanitchaya or Gib of Trang Province.
suspects confessed to police that they belonged to the notorious Jak Muang Trang
gang that is known for not only smuggling drugs but also involved in civil
unrest in the Deep South.
been trying to track the leader of this drug trafficking gang for some time and
plan on further investigations with the three suspects to trace other gang
Former student returns to college in uniform to steal
a former Chiang Mai Rajabhat University student for stealing at the campus
confiscate the motorbike of a former Chiang Mai Rajabhat University student who
confessed to police that she dressed in her old uniform to steal on campus.
A former Chiang Mai Rajabhat University
student returned to the university cafeteria to steal items from students and
staff police alleged at Chang Pueak Police Station on September 27, 2016 as they
presented the suspect to the press conference.
Police arrested 27 year old Pattrawan
Jaiban of San Sai after using CCTV footage to investigate thefts from the
cafeteria at the university on September 23, 2016.
The suspect confessed to police that she
had been a student at the school and was familiar with the place. She told
police that she dressed like a student several times to steal items from
students and staff at the cafeteria.
Provincial Employment Office moves daily labor service behind City Hall
Piboonphol, Director of Chiang Mai Provincial Employment Office
announced the new building and results for employees and employers since
December 2015, employees and employers visit the new site regularly.
The Director of the Chiang Mai
Provincial Employment Office reported recently that the office has moved
the location of its office for daily labor applications to a building
behind City Hall. The office enables daily laborers and employees
seeking laborers to connect.
The Office has organized work for
employees resulting in creating income totaling over 2.7 million baht in
the period from December 15, 2015 to September 20, 2016. The office has
helped 2,124 employers recruit laborers and 6,690 people find laboring
work in that period.
The jobs include construction,
manual labor, gardening and cleaning. Many people come to the office
after harvest season looking for temporary work. The Office is open in
the building behind City Hall every day from 6:30 a.m. to 12 noon
including public holidays. For more information, please contact
Employment Service Center for Thai people, Chiang Mai Provincial
Employment Office at 0-5311-2774-6.
Australian Embassy to conduct a Consular outreach visit to Chiang Mai October 14
The Consular Section of the Australian
Embassy in Bangkok announced that it will be holding a Consular outreach visit
in Chiang Mai on Friday, October 14, 2016 at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai.
The outreach, which will be held in the VIP
lounge, will be between 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The
During the outreach visits, the Consular
section will be providing the following services;
Passport applications (please ensure
you bring all original documents and a photocopy of each document with you)
Statutory declarations for marriage,
retirement visas and driving licence renewals
Certified true copies of documents
(please ensure you bring the original and a photocopy of each document with
Fees are payable in cash only so people are
asked to please bring the right change with you. Please contact the Consular
section on 02 344 6300 or email [email protected] prior to your visit
if you require further details and/or to confirm fees payable..