HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chiang Mai Ballet presents Alice in Wonderland

Chiang Mai heads back to the Stone Age

Garden party brings out locals for fun and food

Charity gala fundraiser for the Northern School for the Blind

Japan Summer Festival

Playhouse hosts German Princess

Honoring Thailand’s national symbol

Asahi fireworks show wows the crowd

Sláinte: Chiang Mai turns out for St Patrick’s Day


Chiang Mai Ballet presents Alice in Wonderland

Two little girls ready for the show

The entire community turned out for
 the performance with most people dressing in pink to honor HM the King.

The Chiang Mai Ballet’s latest production of Alice in Wonderland on Sunday, March 27 at the theater at Kad Suan Kaew saw many happy faces at the matinee performance as parents and children flocked to the event to see a children’s classic performed in Chiang Mai. The evening show saw the adults turn out for what many say was the best show yet. The Chiang Mai Ballet featured well known local singer Book Kitavadhana and local personality Ongkarn “JoJo” Chaiongkarn feature among the many talented dancers.

This year’s performance got many wondering how Khun ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, the owner of the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy could top it next year, with everyone eagerly awaiting to see the outcome.

Chiang Mai heads back to the Stone Age

Partygoers dressed in fanciful clothes for the tribal party at the Playhouse.

By Shana Kongmun

The Tribal Cave Party held by Team Club Martini at the Playhouse Entertainment Complex on Saturday, March 26, 2011 brought crowds of people dressed in “stone age” attire out to dance the night away. The event proved popular although it ended far too early for many people. The unique décor at the Playhouse suited the atmosphere perfectly. Team Club Martini is known for their well organized parties and the Playhouse is a good venue for such an event as it has the facilities to handle the crowds. Many people expressed the hope that Chiang Mai could see more parties of this sort organized on a regular basis. (Photos courtesy of Utsanee “Aey” Sripet).

The evening saw many people in different costumes and face paint dance the night away.

The Playhouse’s unique décor suited the theme of the party perfectly.

Garden party brings out locals for fun and food

Pim Kemasingki (in red) is joined by party goers at the Citylife Garden on Sunday.

By Shana Kongmun

Citylife’s famous garden parties saw a smaller turnout than usual as the skies threatened rain, but fortunately for the many people who did attend, the rains stayed away long enough for everyone to enjoy the food and fun on offer.

Randi Egan of Miguel’s in Nong Hoi was there to offer Mexican Food, while Spicy Bollywood served up Indian and Riddhi Diskul of Le Crystal offered fine dining on a paper plate. The Chedi offered up some delicious cakes while the band that played kept the crowd entertained with their excellent performance. Many local charities were on hand as well as others selling second hand goods. The Citylife Garden parties are a staple feature of the local community and this one proved no different as old friends and new gathered together for a Sunday afternoon of fun and food.

Scott Taylor of Soho Bar (left) and Tim McGuire enjoy the afternoon at the Garden Party.

Randi Egan of Miguels’ of Nong Hoi was just one
of the vendors offering delicious food. The margaritas were a big hit!

Charity gala fundraiser for the Northern School for the Blind

Princess Maja von Hohenzollern is joined by award winners and honored guests.

Thailandfreunde EV held their annual charity fundraising auction and dinner at the Mercure Hotel on Friday, March 25, 2011 with Princess Maja von Hohenzollern handing out awards to honored guests.
The Principal of the Northern School for the Blind, Pramuan Ploykamonchun was joined by Air Berlin representatives, CEO of the Night Safari Dr. Sarawut Srisakun, Petchnoi Osathaphan representing Dr. Watchara Thantranon, the South Korean Honorary Consul, Designer Tananan Willson and others in receiving their awards from the Princess. Additionally, she handed out honorary pins to honored guests and members of Thailandfreunde.

A Ballet performance from the Russian Ballet Chiang Mai was one of the highlights as was the fashion show featuring the interesting designs of well known designer Tananan Willson. Auctions and ticket sales raised funds for the Northern School for the Blind and the generous sponsorship of such companies as Air Berlin, the Chiang Mai Night Safari, Playhouse Entertainment Complex, Fashion King, Co-Co-Ok, On Top Jewelry, Kids so Cute and MJ Hummel Club helped the organization hold the event.

Including an earlier donations, a total of 150,000 baht was raised for the Northern School for the Blind with auctions of air tickets donated by Air Berlin, as well as tickets donated to the lucky draw, along with vouchers from Accor hotels, West Inn Sukhumvit Bangkok, Kodchasri Thani Hotel Group Chiang Mai and many more.

The Princess will return to Chiang Mai around Loy Krathong to present the fairy tale book The Siamese Pot. The Rosamontis Publishing Company Limited will announce when the book will be presented the first time to the public. The book already exists in German language.

It is a collection of fairy tales – Princess Maja von Hohenzollern personally wrote one story for the book. All proceeds will go to the Northern School for the Blind.

Models from the fashion show join the designer on stage.

Princess Maja von Hohenzollern hands out awards while the Deputy Mayor of Chiang Mai joins David Shrubsole and Wuttipong Arayatumsopon.

Many local notables attended the party.

Partygoers joined Thailandfreunde members and award winners for pictures.

Japan Summer Festival

Festival goers donated money for disaster relief at the Japan Summer Festival

Japanese musicians kept the crowd entertained.

Even the smallest members dressed up for the occasion.

By Shana Kongmun

The Japan Summer Festival was held at JJ Market on Saturday, March 19 and helped to raise funds for the tsunami and earthquake survivors in Japan. A donation box was located at the front of the event and various fundraising activities were held at the event.

Many people dressed for the event and a special room was set up for festival goers to dress in Yukatas, or summer Kimonos, loaned by the Japanese Consulate General in Chiang Mai, with photos taken and burned onto a cd for 100 baht and the money going to disaster relief. Japanese musicians, food, and games were all part of the evening’s entertainment that attracted a crowd of Japanese residents as well as many other local and foreign residents of Chiang Mai.

This talented Japanese violinist thrilled the crowd with her virtuoso performance.

Many Japanese residents turned out for a show of support at the event.

Playhouse hosts German Princess

Princess Maja von Hohenzollern is greeted on her arrival at the Playhouse.

Two small ballerinas were on hand to welcome the Princess to the event.

James Nopparat, Marketing Director of the Playhouse Entertainment Complex and Frank Sethi of Fashion King were there to greet the Princess and attend the show.

Princess Maja von Hohenzollern is joined by Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon,
Wutthipong Arayatumsopon and members of Thailandfreunde, staff and guests at the Playhouse.

Janet & Dennis Henry join Theresa Kongtham of Nok Em Dead Jewelry and Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King.

German Princess Maja von Hohenzollern visited the Playhouse Entertainment Complex on Monday, March 21, 2011 to enjoy their unique show and a meal in their lovely venue. The evening saw many residents turn out, not only to meet the Princess but to see the show at the Playhouse.

The Princess is in town to visit some of her favorite charitable organizations and to attend the gala dinner for Thailandfreunde EV, the German – Thai Friendship foundation. Air Berlin graciously donated two plane tickets for this charity tour of the Princess.

Honoring Thailand’s national symbol

Elephants enjoy their feast at Mae Sa Elephant Camp in honor of National Elephant Day.

By Shana Kongmun

Thailand’s national symbol, the elephant, is in danger of disappearing as their habitats disappear and the domesticated elephants have found their jobs increasingly irrelevant. Expensive to feed and house, an adult elephant can eat up to 500 kilograms a day and drink over 150 liters of water. In the wild they will range over vast areas looking for food to eat. At the turn of the century there were over 100,000 elephants in Siam, that number has dropped drastically and its estimated there are less than 4,000, with more than half of these domesticated.

Many parks have been set up for elephants so that the mahouts and the elephants have a place to live and work. National Elephant Day was established in 1998 by an Act of Parliament to pay homage to this great intelligent animal. Mae Sa held their annual feast for the elephants and invited guests of honor, locals and children in to see this great event.

And while a day to honor the elephant is a wonderful thing, let’s not forget their plight for the rest of the year. This national symbol of Thailand needs protecting.
Photos by Randi and Daryn Egan

Lined up row by row, the elephants enjoy their treats.

Anchalee Kalmapijit welcomes police and other guests to the Elephant Camp.

Dance and traditional performances were part of the show on National Elephant Day.

Elephant painting is really quite unique
and funds raised from the sale of the paintings goes to help elephants.

A mother and baby enjoy the day under shade.

Asahi fireworks show wows the crowd

The spectacular show sponsored by Asahi wowed the crowd.

Crowds flocked to Nawarat Bridge on Saturday, March 5 to view the spectacular fireworks show put on by Asahi to celebrate 120 years of Japan-Thai relations. The show went on despite heavy rains earlier and Thais and foreigners ooh and aahed as the fireworks got better and better after each session. The finale left everyone applauding. Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn hopes to repeat the event next year as it was such a success.

More Japanese events are taking place at JJ Market, Saturday night with donation boxes set up to help victims of the tsunami and earthquake and Governor ML Panadda Disul and TV and film stars have donated items for auction.

This little girl seemed more intent on her food
but once the fireworks started she was just as excited as everyone.

From the small to the big, even punk rockers enjoyed the show.

The finale was spectacular and everyone left exclaiming over the show.


Sláinte: Chiang Mai turns out for St Patrick’s Day

Feeling like a true Irish pub with the rain outside,
U.N. Irish Pub put on a feast that attracted many.

By Shana Kongmun

Despite the unseasonably rainy and cold weather, pubs in Chiang Mai put on an Irish feast to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17 and people happily flocked to them. The Olde Bell on Loi Kroh, although run by a Welshman, joined the U.N. Irish Pub in offering delectable Irish goodies, from Guinness Pie to the ubiquitous potato dishes for which the Irish are famous.

The U.N. Irish pub featured the Irish band The Itinerants playing favorites from Ireland and got the crowd singing and stomping while drinking their Guiness and eating their potatoes!

Sandy Cullen (far left) of the U.N. Irish pub shares a drink with friends outside.

Guiness was the drink of choice for a night that mimicked cold and rainy Ireland!