HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Networking nights continue to grow

Classic car meet at Nim City

Horeca celebrates the season with a thank you party

Chiang Mai photographers showcase their talents

Miss Bor Sang Umbrella Festival crowned

Chiang Mai Friends birthday bash


Networking nights continue to grow

Rob Hurenkamp, Managing Director and one of the evening’s sponsors, Mazars, joins Peter Smith of AA Insurance, Dutch Consul Peter van Loo and Chairman of the BCCT, Graham MacDonald for the BCCT/Dutch Consulate/Networking One evening at the Rachamankha Hotel.

By Shana Kongmun

Networking One, the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (BCCT) and the Dutch Consulate all joined forces to host the first networking night of the new year at the Rachamankha Hotel, and just in time for the start of the Chinese New Year as well.

Prior to the beginning of the event a seminar on SME (small to medium enterprise) businesses and their needs in Chiang Mai was held for area businesspeople with BCCT Chairman Graham MacDonald presiding. As Peter van Loo, the Dutch Honorary Consul, noted in his welcome speech to the crowd, the needs of Chiang Mai businesses are far different from the big corporations that often populate the Chamber events in Bangkok.

To that end, he suggested that the Chiang Mai community might consider starting a European Chamber, to cover everyone, or someone in the Dutch community could start a Netherlands Chamber with the idea of lower fees and interested parties would then not have to always travel to Bangkok for an event.

The evening was well attended, with Peter Smith of AA Insurance saying that while he doesn’t live in Chiang Mai he loves travelling up here every month and was trying to schedule his weekend to see the Flower Festival at Suan Buak Haad Park. Lamorna Cheeseman of Studio Naenna Textiles was a newcomer to the evening and was interested to see that businesses of all kinds were represented there. Rob Hurenkamp of Mazars, sponsor for the evening’s event, was noted that considering Chiang Mai’s size it was quite a good turnout.

The courtyard at the Rachamankha Hotel was as lovely as ever and Martin Venzky-Stalling enjoyed his dinner there before joining the networking evening. Other notable regulars such as Zane Crosby-Emery, Phillip Johnson and David Hardcastle were in attendance and quite a few new faces showing that the networking evening was offering the Chiang Mai business community a useful tool to meet and get to know one another.

Dutch Consul Peter van Loo discusses Chiang Mai businesses
 forming a European Chamber of Commerce.

Suwat Rerksujarit, General Manager for Thai Health Insurance (center)
joins Peter Smith of AA Insurance and renowned architect Kwan

David Hardcastle of the Elephants Voice magazine
and Lamorna Cheeseman of Studio Naenna talk textiles over a drink.

Al Trussel, Board member of the Chiang Mai Expats Club chats
with Peer Andersen of Get2Press and author Stu Lloyd.

Sally Ward was there selling tickets to Sunday’s Royal British Legion high tea event
and chatted with Margaret Bhadungzong of Boon Som Farms and Linda Ptofenhauer.

Lewis Levine, Ralph Van den Berg of Horeca, Colin Scobbie,
and Zane Crosby-Emery of Modernbuild share a drink at the Rachamankha Hotel.

Susan and Jerry Voss talked about their upcoming wine and chocolate tasting event,
“Love songs, bubbly and chocolate” on February 10, featuring the music of Ana Gracey and held at Mokador.

Classic car meet at Nim Cityy

Sponsors Chiang Mai Properties and Alan Hall of PFM International
cooked up a delicious barbecue at Ob Khan National Park

The monthly meet up of Chiang Mai classic car enthusiasts saw a good turnout for their special day out to Ob Khan National Park. Leaving in a caravan from Nim City, the cars travelled on out of the city to climb the hills into the national park, with some rough spots, a few of the lower riding cars had some difficulty and the Lotus had to bow out of the drive.

A young tourist was found on the way, having had a rather nasty fall on her rental bike, but the quick thinking of Craig, the volunteer photographer and David Hardcastle’s wife, saw the police called, and a rescue vehicle dispatched to the poor girl who ended up with a broken nose and cheekbone.

However, the day continued on and the cars surprised and delighted villagers all the way up to the scenic park. With a small sandy beach beside a sparkling stream, the setting was peaceful and relaxing for the gathered crowd of both Thai and foreign enthusiasts.

Rex Baggaley concocted a difficult classic car quiz that was run by David Hardcastle of Autonostalgia, that saw the first three places all taken by Thai teams. Horeca graciously sponsored the beer and wine while Alan Hall of PFM International and Chiang Mai Properties, La Fontana Italian Restaurant on Rachamankha Road and J & N Autos classic car and sports car engineers, on the southern ring road sponsored the barbecue. Nest of Villa Obkhan worked tirelessly to organize the day out. And while the day was a bit cloudy, it was not too hot and everyone enjoyed their trip out to this little known national park.

Located only 30 km from Chiang Mai city center, it is easily reached by Highway 1269 and features some very lovely paths to hike as well as free entrance. Peaceful and quiet, it was a great choice for the classic car crew to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The cars started out from Nim City near Central Airport around 11:30 a.m.
on Sunday, January 30.

Just a few of the really amazing classic cars that took part in the afternoon’s drive.

Classic car enthusiasts meet at the Nim City parking lot the last Sunday of every month, check it out if you love classic cars.


Horeca celebrates the season with a thank you party

Ralph Van den Berg (center, standing) shows his appreciation to all the Horeca customers that came to the party. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

Horeca Supply Co. Ltd. held a customer appreciation party out at their premises off the Superhighway on Saturday, January 29. This well attended event featured many of the beers and wines that Horeca supplies.

Rudy Van den Berg presents a birthday cake at the party. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)

Hosted by Rudy and Ralph Van den Berg and Horeca General Manager Joon Patinya Srisuk, partygoers had a great time enjoying the canapés and wine and beer. Bottles of Weinstephan were on display and they had tapped the kegs to offer the crowd; Erdinger, Bitburger and Stella Artois beers. They also offered wine from around the world with the wines of South Africa and Argentina taking center stage.

The evening wrapped up with a fire juggling show that kept the crowd talking even as they headed home. Here’s hoping that Horeca’s customers continue to be appreciated!

Chiang Mai photographers showcase their talents

Unique and beautiful photos by local photographers are on display
at the Northern Thai village at Central Airport Plaza.

Tod Malone’s photo of southern coffee being made.

Maxxime Berna’s lovely photo of monks as tourists.

By Shana Kongmun

Once again the Chiang Mai Photographic group has exceeded expectations with the thoughtful, beautiful and unique photos on display until January 30 at the Northern Thai Village at Central Airport Plaza.

Photos are not restricted to just Chiang Mai but from around Thailand and the world, with photos from the West Indies by Wyndham Hollis and Australia from Mick Jackson. Member Maxxime Berna’s photo of monks acting as tourists with cameras is both eye catching and thought provoking while Tad Malone’s photo of Southern Thai style coffee being made evokes the fluid movement of the maker.

A visit to the exhibition is definitely worth doing as the photos will inspire you to get out your camera and start taking photos. Interested photographers can visit www.cmpg.igroops.com for more information.


Miss Bor Sang Umbrella Festival crowned

Miss Thida Rom Bor Sang and the runners up with their prize winnings.

By Nopniwat Krailerg 

A Chiang Mai University student won the Miss Thida Rom Borsang, or the Miss Umbrella crown at the Bor Sang Umbrella and Handicrafts Festival on January 23, 2011.

Nong Noon, 19, Ms Nathida Thongkasem was crowned as Miss Thida Rom Bor Sang 2011.

The 28th year for this annual festival, it was organized by the Ton Pao Municipality, Tourism Authority of Thailand, San Kamphaeng district, public and private sectors in Chiang Mai.

The festival activities were including a spectacular and fascinating parade of Miss Mae Ying Kee Rod Theep Kang Jong, or Miss Bor Sang umbrella girls riding bicycles and holding umbrellas, Miss Thida Rom Bor Sang contest of which 20 beautiful girls participated in the contest.

The final round for the Miss Thida Rom Bor Sang contest saw Number 18, Ms. Nathida Thongkasem, 19, nickname Nong Noon take the crown. A first year student of the Political Science Faculty of Chiang Mai University Nathida was also voted as Miss Popular.

The first runner up was No 20 Ms. Natha Hongkiew, 20, a second year student of the Economic Faculty, CMU, second runner- up was No 10 Ms. Matchimala Suthana, 21, a third year student of Business Administration Faculty, Maejo University, the third runner up was No 4, Ms. Arthithaya Khunala, 19, a student of Rajamangala Technology University, and the forth runner- up was Ms Rungrada Karisaeng, 19, a student of Fine Arts Faculty, Maejo University..

Vichit Boonkangwan, San Kampaeng District Officer, and Chokchai Waidee, permanent secretary of Ton Pao Municipality, crowned Miss Thida Rom Bor Sang and presented prizes to the runners up.

The festival activities included a parade of the beautiful Miss Mae Ying Kee Rod Theep Kang Jong, or Miss Bor Sang umbrella girls riding bicycles and holding umbrellas to celebrate the Bor Sang Umbrella festival.

Chiang Mai Friends birthday bash

Models and designers join for a group photo after the fashion show at the Friends 3rd Anniversary party. (Photo courtesy of Citynow!)

The U.S. Consul General, the Honorary Consul of Bangladesh, the British Honorary Consul and the Immigration Sub-lieutenant helped Duenpen (Boong) Chaladlam cut the cake for the birthday celebrations. (Photo courtesy of Citynow!)

By Shana Kongmun

A large turnout to celebrate not just the 3rd anniversary of the Chiang Mai Friends but to also honor the birthday of its founder, Duenpen ‘Boong’ Chaladlam saw an eventful and fun evening.

With a fashion show featuring the elements, earth, water, fire, and air, as well as a’ few extras thrown in, like pollution, admirably unrecognizable was LiLi Tan while Kate Setthakorn Dabaransai was lovely representing the element fire,  the show delighted the crowd. Local funnyman Scott Jones performed a few songs for the group as well as his popular and funny show. Carole Beauclerk and Ricky Ward were presented Citizens of the Year awards by U.S. Consul General Susan Stevenson for their outstanding contributions to Chiang Mai and finally, a giant cake made by the Steak House was cut as consuls, honorary consuls and government officials joined Boong onstage and the crowd sang Happy Birthday.

Prizes were handed out and Horeca did a great job offering up beer and wine. The food was abundant and tasty and the desserts were a big hit. This family event was a good night out and great way to promote an organization working to keep Chiang Mai green. JJ Market offered up the venue and Jojo organized the staging. The evening ran on as members and guests danced in front of the stage. A great time was had by all and many are sure to return year after year for this worthy cause..

Models pose on stage during the fashion show.