Royal opening for new Nimmanhaemin salon
HRH Princess Soamsawali presses the button
to open the new Toni & Guy Salon at Kantary Terrace
Toni & Guy, a popular British chain of hair salons opened their first salon
in Chiang Mai on Wednesday February 16 at Kantary Terrace on Nimmanhaemin
Road. HRH Princess Soamsawali opened the event and attended the fashion show
where well known local personalities such as ML Preeyapun Sridhavat,
Honorary Consul of Peru, appeared as the models for a fashion and hair show
organized by Ongkarn 'JoJo' Chaiongkarn. The Toni & Guy Essensuals chain of
salons also has a salon in Siam Discovery Center and MBK in Bangkok. (Photo
courtesy of Ongkarn 'JoJo' Chaiongkarn).
Event organizer Ongkarn JoJo Chaiongkarn is
joined by models, designers and the Toni & Guy manager after the fashion
show of hair and clothing.
Birthday bash at the newest boutique hotel
MR Malinee (in red) joined Dirk
and friends for the occasion of Dirk’s 37th birthday.
By Shana Kongmun
Dirk Weeber-Araytumsopon and his partner Wutthipong of the Podology Clinic
of Chiang Mai and Bangkok held a 37th birthday bash for Dirk at the Kodcha
Sri Thana Hotel on Tuesday, February 22, 2011.
The party saw attendance by such local notables as M.L. Preeyapun Sridhavat,
the Honorary Consul of Peru and Montri Wongkasem of Office Plus and the
Chiang Mai Chamber of Commerce who joined Chiang Mai’s very own royalty, Dr.
Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai and Bangkok visitor, MR Malinee Chakrabhand at
the gala evening. The guests were kept entertained by a fashion show, and
fire dancers. A highlight was the appearance of Ongkarn 'JoJo' Chaiongkarn
who entertained the gathering with a few songs in honor of the birthday boy.
And while demonstrators could be heard outside, MR Malinee Chakrabhand
reminded the crowd of the importance of consideration and manners. Dirk
Weeber-Araytumsopon presented a 20,000 baht donation to one of his favorite
charities and also Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai reminisced about meeting
Dirk and his work for local charities.
The settings of this newest hotel were quite lovely and the evening was
enjoyed by all. The evening ran late as Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon visited
each table to offer his thanks and a special bottle of skin lotion from his
clinic. The crowd joined in wishing him a very happy 37th birthday.
MR Malinee Chakrabhand (in red) joins the Weeber
family as Dirk’s mother,
father and grandmother flew out from Germany for the party.
Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon’s grandmother signs
her birthday greetings on the giant photo of her grandson.
Ongkarn 'JoJo' Chaiongkarn entertained the
at the party at the Kodcha Sri Thana Hotel.
Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai holds the check
as she is joined by MR Malinee Chakrabhand, ML Preeyapun Sridhavat (second
left) and Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon and Wutthipong Arayatumsopon at the
Hilltribe in the city
Greig Phillpot (left) and Stuart Skversky
talk about the founding of the charitable organization.
By Shana Kongmun
Hilltribe in the City is the newest charitable organization in town and they
opened their fundraising activities with a bang at the West Side Pub on
Thursday, February 24, 2011 with performances by Book Kitavadhana and
Ong-Ard Kanchaisak keeping the crowd enthralled.
The evening was a group effort but the idea of starting a charitable
organization to help underprivileged hill tribe children that live far
outside the city attend good schools in Chiang Mai can be credited to locals
Stuart Skversky and Greig Phillpot who met and became fast friends after
volunteering at Wat Don Chan.
The organization plans to open a house here in Chiang Mai for Lahu children
from Om Koi to board at, and allow their parents to stay as well, and attend
schools in Chiang Mai. Red Mango, Miguels on the moat, Nimman Kitchen and
Yokkador bar were some of the generous sponsors who donated raffle prizes.
Flight of the Gibbons offered the grand prize of a trip for two to the
Interested parties can read more and contact the organization at
Ong-Ard Kanchaisak (left) and Book Kitavadhana
(right) keep the crowd entertained with their beautiful voices and great
Paul Cowin (far right) was one of the many
helpful volunteers who made sure the launch of the organization was a
Peace Walk for Gay rights
Deputy Governor Naruemol Plawat is joined by the
speakers to open the event.
By Shana Kongmun
Members of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Trans-gender)
community were joined by Burmese and women’s activists for a Peace Walk that
started from Buddha Sathan opposite the Governor’s Mansion and passed
through the Night Bazaar on Sunday, February 20, 2011.
Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Naruemol Plawat opened the event as well spoke to
the crowd of about 250 people. She was joined by speakers that included Dr.
Pra Maha Boonchway of Maha Chulalongkorn University, Dr. Kenneth Dobson of
the Office of the President, Payap University, Mr. Aung Myo Min, Director of
Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), Khun Kamonsaet
Kainkanlurang, Secretary of the Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand and
Scott Taylor of Soho Bar on Huay Kaew Road.
Pongthorn Chanlearn of MPlus helped organize the event and was joined by
speakers who called for non-violence and noted that Thai culture has the
ability to accept all people. Aung Myo Min, the Director of the Human Rights
Education Institute of Burma pointed out that members of the LGBT community
are not a problem for society but an important part of society.
Marchers carried candles to show that, even in daylight, a light needs to
cast upon those whose minds live in the darkness of hatred. In February of
2009, a Gay Rights parade was called off after members of Rak Chiang Mai 51
barricaded organizers in Wat Uppacut threatening violence should the parade
Organizers of this Peace Walk noted that the time was not for retribution
but reconciliation and non-violence.
Candles were carried to shine light on the
issue, even in the daytime.
Pongthorn Chanlearn of MPlus, an organization
dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention among the sexually diverse population of
Chiang Mai, is joined by Scott Taylor of Soho Bar who spoke of the need for
working together in a peaceful manner at the opening of the event.
The parade passed along the Night Bazaar before
to Buddha Sathan for dancing and other entertainment.
The Chiang Mai Toyride rides again
A Great Day
Best dressed bike winner, piled high with toys
(Photo by Shana Kongmun)
By Colin Jarvis
I had a great time on Sunday. I am really looking forward to repeating the
experience in a year's time. What am I talking about? Why the Chiang Mai toy
ride of course!
For those of you who are not familiar with the event it is the opportunity
for people with motorcycles to have some fun and bring a smile to the face
of a disadvantaged child. Don't worry the motorcyclists do not take the
children on bikes. What they do take, in most cases, is a beautiful cuddly
toy which children of all ages love.
The ride started from Tesco Lotus in Khamtieng, travelled around the moat,
down south to the Samoeng Road then up to Mae Rim to arrive at the X Centre
Zorb Ball Park where a huge party was held. The food was good and filling,
the beer cold, the music exceptionally great and the kids were wonderful.
What else could one ask for?
The children challenged the bikers to a tug of war and, as usual, the kids
won. I promise you the bikers did their best but I think there were about
three children to every biker. Later all the toys that had been brought were
piled up and the children were allowed to scramble for their favourites. All
of them seem to be delighted with their find and I'm sure they will give
their toys a good home in future.
The music was superb and I was truly sad when I had to leave at four o'clock
in the afternoon. But all this was not the best bit.
I have ridden motorcycles for the last 45 years. I have used them to commute
and for touring pleasure but usually in groups of no more than four or five.
Last Sunday I was in the body of nearly 100 bikes. The thrum of all these
engines was like a weird angelic choir with my own bike contributing its
soprano note. As we moved off, led by a police motorcycle escort we were as
one body. I felt as though I was a member of a victorious army driving in
triumph, (no not on a Triumph, I only have a Phantom), driving in triumph
through a country that was delighted to be liberated. I knew they were
delighted because they let us through at every traffic light and every road
intersection. What a feeling! What have I been missing over these last 45
years? I am determined to do far more touring in Thailand now that I have
been reminded of the joys of riding.
All the riders were grinning from ear to ear on arrival in Mae Rim. All the
children were grinning from ear to ear to see the crazy bikers and their
highly decorated machines.
Next year, if you have a motorcycle of any size, do come on the toy ride. It
costs nothing other than the purchase of a toy and a small amount of petrol.
But the fun and the reward is fantastic.
The web is full of photographs of this event including the competitors for
the best decorated bike, some fantastically beautifully restored vintage
bikes and some real beasts. Just put Chiang Mai toy ride into Google and you
will see what I mean by a wonderful event.
One other thing I would like to mention is that this event was attended by a
man who attends just about every event in Chiang Mai. He is very retiring
and modest yet he is always taking the pictures that enable us all to enjoy
the events we attend for months afterwards. He is one of those people who
helps make Chiang Mai work due to his own fantastic efforts. I thought
perhaps I would try to highlight such people in future in this column on and
in this case I would like to give my thanks and I am sure the thanks of many
other people to Steve Yarnold, Chiang Mai's photographer of record.
Riders prepare to head out, lined up row
by row with bikes decorated with toys. (Photo by Shana Kongmun)
Toyride organizers and participants line up for
a group photo before the start of the race. (Photo by Shana Kongmun)
Kids played games, got their faces painted and
won the tug of war over the adults at the X Centre at the Chiang Mai Toyride
Party on February 20, 2011. (Photo by Colin Jarvis)