HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Raming Tea celebrates 70th anniversary

Opening ceremony for Chiang Mai’s New Year day

Chiang Mai Night Safari holds traditional Songkran ceremony

Chiang Mai turns out to celebrate Songkran

Lampang celebrates a traditional Songkran

Mae Hong Son celebrates Songkran

Lampang goes back in time to horse drawn carriages

Ratchaphruek Royal Park saw more than 20,000 visitors for Songkran


Raming Tea celebrates 70th anniversary

Raming Tea Co. Ltd celebrates its 70th anniversary with a country chic theme. Chairman Nit Wongwiwat is seen here, 4th from left with Raming Tea and Loxley Trading Co. management.

By Phitsanu Thepthong and Jittarporn Charasrum

Raming Tea Co. was founded 70 years ago by Prasit Pumchusri, inspired by books that celebrated the Lanna Kingdom’s long history of tea planting. Started as the Mountain Tea, the name was changed in 1967 to Raming Tea Co. Ltd. The company started out with 3,000 rai of land for cultivation in the highlands of Mae Taeng.

Tea planting and cultivation was promoted among the Lahu hilltribes as well as local Thais of the area with more than 2,000 families taking part during the intial stages. Raming Tea is famous for its high quality black tea and was awarded for its good business organization in the North by the Ministry of Culture.

Raming has redesigned their packaging for 2011 and is managed by Chairman Nit Wangwiwat, Penphan Wangwiwat, Vice Chairperson and Chakrin Wangwiwat, Managing Director.

Raming Tea held a country chic themed party a the One 0-Nine resort restaurant to celebrate its 70th anniversary and to introduce Loxley Trading Co. Ltd which distributes Raming Tea.

Managing Director Chakrin noted that the Raming Tea Company noted that the company had persuaded hill tribe farmers to plant Assam tea in the highlands and added that Raming is the only tea company left producing black tea of Chiang Mai for the country markets.

At present, there are millions of tea trees grown in Doi Saket and Mae Taeng districts of Chiang Mai, he added.

Kosume Sinpermsuksakul, the Managing Director of Loxley Trading Co., Ltd, which is the sales agent, dealer and distributor for Raming tea, said that tea production in Thailand was organic and that Loxley Trading Co, Ltd has helped plan marketing strategies for Raming tea in the domestic and international markets.

Opening ceremony for Chiang Mai’s New Year day

Traditional music performances sparked the start of the traditional Thai New Year

Tussanai Buranupakorn, Chiang Mai Mayor presided over the Opening ceremony of the traditional Thai New Year in Chiang Mai this year on April 10 at Wat Ched Lin. The opening ceremony, which was held at the start of Songkran week, featured traditional Lanna performances, merit making and alms giving. Songkran day is held on April 13 and the holiday’s extended through to April 15 but the start of the traditional ceremonies began in earnest on the 10th.

The 12th of April saw the founding of Chiang Mai 715 years ago celebrated and more merit making activities were held during the week.

Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn makes merit by offering alms to the abbot of Wat Ched Lin on April 10.


Chiang Mai Night Safari holds traditional Songkran ceremony

Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai Naruemol Plawat offers her respects to for Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai in the Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony.

The Chiang Mai Night Safari hosted a Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony for Dr. Chao Duangduen na Chiengmai on Saturday, April 16 with fashion shows on “Lanna Phusa Vichitre”.

The Night Safari hosted the traditional ceremony of forgivingness with beautifully decorated dressed models in a fashion show. Also, attending the ceremony were Naruemol Plawat, Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Chalermsak Suranant, Director of TAT’s Chiang Mai office, Dr. Sarawuth Sirsakhun, CEO of Chiang Mai Night Safari, Dr. Chumpol Musikanont, Deputy CEO, and other guests of honor.

Models Jitsurang Srisakhun, and Chatima Pingpayorm wore unique local costumes. The Rod Nam Dam Hua ceremony saw water bathing to pay resepcts, merit making and alms giving, as well as local Lanna performances. (PR)

Models wore unique Northern Lanna costumes in the fashion show.

Chiang Mai turns out to celebrate Songkran

Children love Songkran, what more to ask for? Play in the street and splash water on people.

Songkran started in earnest on April 13 even though the day was rather cold and grey, crowds of shivering people still took to the streets to throw water on passersby. Stages were set up in front of Central Kad Suan Kaew for the Redioactive show and across the street in front of the Discovery disco.

Foreign and Thai visitors alike joined together in the fun and festivities. Parades were held in the evening and Miss Songkran was crowned. The Chiang Mai tourist police went viral with an online video of them dancing to Korean pop band Super Junior’s huge hit “Sorry Sorry”.

The traditional Songkran ceremonies of merit making and water pouring still take place in the temples early morning but the moat quickly turns into a barely moving mass of vehicles and water.

The unseasonal cool weather didn’t persist and the next two days of Songkran saw temperatures warm enough to make the water throwing fun. And while the streets seemed quieter than in past years, many visitors raved about the fun and vowed to come again next year. (Photos courtesy of Thomas Skyum)

Thai visitors enjoy dancing in the streets in front of Central Kad Suan Kaew.

The 100 Pipers Stage was a popular spot as water shot out of the pipes on the top over the crowd dancing in the street below.

Foreign visitors join in the water splashing fun.

Even the trucks decorated with traditional items joined in the water throwing.

All that dancing and water throwing is a tiring business at the end of the Songkran holidays.

Lampang celebrates a traditional Songkran

Lampang Governor Athikhom Suphanapong joins
in the traditional ceremony to make merit and bring luck.

Thaweerat Pensalaphan

Visitors to Lampang took part in a traditional local merit making ceremony on April 12 at the start of Songkran when a Bussabok carriage containing the Phra Chao Kaew Dontao Buddha image from the famous Lampang temple Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang in Korkha District was paraded through town.

Athikhom Suphanapong, Governor of Lampang accompanied by government office heads, the Lampang Municipality mayor and officials took part in the water sprinking ceremony.

Along both sides of the road along which the carriage passed, Lampang residents and tourists sprinkled water on the Phra Chao Kaew Dontao Buddha image, before it was housed at Kuang Nakhon Hayaek. The Buddha image was brought so that Lampang people and tourists alike could join in this traditional new year celebration, to sprinkle water onto the most revered and respected image to bring good luck, fortune, prosperity and happiness to them and their families.

People lined up to throw water on the image to bring good luck for the new year.

Mae Hong Son celebrates Songkran

Residents make merit by offering food to Buddhist monks during the morning alms round on Songkran.

Khajohn Boonpath

The people of Mae Hong Son made merit on Songkran days joining Mayor Suthep Nuchsuang accompanied by Col. Boonyuen Inkwang , Deputy Commander of the Special Task Force of the 7th Infantry Regiment in making merit and offering alms to 84 Buddhist monks at Wat Chongkham on April15.

Mae Hong Son is home to a sizeable Tai Yai population but this doesn’t slow the celebrations down as residents and tourists take to the streets to splash water.

The Miss Songkran parade features old women also dressed as beauty queens, as this holiday, originally to pay respects to their elders offers the elderly a chance to join.

Mae Hong Son residents splash water enthusiastically in the streets.

The parade features both the young and the old.

Mae Hong Son kids join in the fun, throwing water on a passing truck.

Lampang goes back in time to horse drawn carriages

The grand procession of horse drawn carriages wound its way through Lampang.

Jittarporn Charasrum

Lampang commemorated the bygone era’ of horse drawn carriages and its historic railway with a festival held on the fairgrounds in front of the Railway Station on April 1-5.
Organized by Lampang Provincial Authority, Lampang Municipality, State Railway of Thailand, Tourism Authority of Thailand, The Lampang Horse Carriage Association, and Lampang Tourism Business Association, this was the 12 year for the festival.

The Lampang Governor, Deputy Governors, heads of government offices, Mayor, President of the Lampang Tourist Business Association, the Lampang Horse Carriage Association, the Lampang Railway Station Authorities, and others attended the Opening ceremony which begain with a merit making and alms giving ceremony. Art and cultural performances were held as well as exhibitions on the history of the State Railway and the Lampang horse drawn carriages.

Travellers on the Express Train Number 13 were greeted upon their arrival in Lampang where they then participated in the merit making ceremony which featured 55 monks in front of the Railway Station to launch the 5 day event.

The Hangchart Group performed for the crowd in the evening and a grand procession of horse drawn carriages travelled along the Chatchai road to the Prasarn Maitre road and on to the Fairgrounds.
Most guests and participants dressed in traditional outfits from the era of King Rama VI while others wore beautiful Lanna costumes.

April 1, 1916 was regarded as the first northbound train arrived in Lampang during the reign of King Rama VI and was also the day chosen to introduce the first horse drawn carriages to the North. It was regarded as the New Year day of Siam (Thailand) at that time as well. The railways and carriage services were important vehicles for transportation that helped promote Lampang’s economy. At that time, Lampang Province was governed by Chao Boonyawat Wongmani.

Both the train and horse drawn carriage services remain a charming aspect of life in Lampang.

Visitors and local dignitaries alike enjoyed the old style carriages.

The Lampang Governor was joined by local officials to mark the opening of the festival.

A model train was one of the exhibits on display at the Fairgrounds.

Ratchaphruek Royal Park saw more than 20,000 visitors for Songkran

Privy Councillor Air Chief Marshal, Kamthon Sinthawanontand (left) joins Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul in merit making for the Songkran festival at the Ratchaphruek Royal Park

A young man pours water over the shoulder
of an elderly man in the traditional New Year’s blessing.

More than 20,000 tourists visited the Ratchaphruek Royal Park to celebrate traditional Thai New Year under the theme of beautiful dok euarng orchid and flowers.

The 6-day Songkran Festival had the theme of the Romantic Touch of Orchids ended on April 17. Mrs. Tassanee Srimongkol, the Director of Ratchaphurek Royal Park added that it had started on April 12, noting the beauty of the many flowers on display, from dok dao ruang, dok ban mairoo roy, mali (jasmine) and others which are grown in the park, as well as local orchid nurseries offering the euarng kham and euarng luang orchids which are rarely found strains.

The Opening ceremony for Songrkan festival was graciously presided over by Privy Councillor Air Chief Marshal Kamthon Sinthawanontand then was followed by 27 floats in a parade representing 25 districts and Chiang Mai Municipality. (PR).

Families enjoyed the many activities on offer at the Park for Songkran.

Traditionally dressed girls offered water in the traditional Songkran style.