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FEATURES
 

Viennese masked ball in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai’s own Princess, Dr. Chao Duenduang na Chiang Mai joins Dirk Weeber-Arayatumsopon for his birthday party.

A Viennese masked ball was held by Dirk Weeber-Araytumsopon and was attended by Dr. Chao Duenduang na Chiang Mai, Deputy Mayor Nutchudej Wiriyadiloktham, friends and supporters of Thailandfreunde EV.

The party saw the auction of an antique newspaper, over a 100 years old, to benefit the Northern School for the Blind whose director was on hand to receive donations from Thailandfreunde EV as presented by the Deputy Mayor.

Dirk and Thailandfreunde work tirelessly to help the school improve the buildings and dormitories for the children as well as improve their school and curriculum.

Dirk is joined by the designer of his outfit, Tananan Willson, far right.

Partygoers donned fancy masks for the evening.

Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King join Dirk and friends for the party.

Deputy Mayor Nutchudej Wiriyadiloktham didn’t wear a mask but still enjoyed the party.

Bangkok entertainer Joann flew up to sing for the birthday party.
 


Chiang Mai ToyRide blasts off to the X-Centre

Jacky of the Cat House on Sirimangkalajarn joins a friend in the ToyRide. Daffy Duck went along for the ride.

By Shana Kongmun

The annual Chiang Mai ToyRide took place on Sunday, February 19, 2012 and the roar of more than 250 motorcycles, scooters and big bikes filled the air as riders started their engines at the Tesco Lotus Khamtieng at 10:30 a.m. and headed off for a ride around the city and off up to the X-Centre in Mae Rim where they joined the kids.

The police escort kept the going smooth for the entire trip. Biker groups from as far as Lamphun drove to Chiang Mai to join this 5th annual ToyRide. The bikes were decorated with stuffed toys for the kids that planned on meeting the group on Mae Rim and many bikes competed for best decorated bike.

The ToyRide not only distributes toys for the kids but also raises funds for many worthwhile projects to benefit kids from blankets, athletic equipment, medical supplies and food to the Playgrounds Plus program which provides new playground equipment, educational and athletic supplies, or construction individually tailored to each needy school.

Games, face painting, magic shows and music kept the kids entertained but of course, the highlight of the day was toy distribution.

Generous sponsors include Tesco Lotus, the Office Plus, Richco Motors and many others.

More information about the Chiang Mai ToyRide can be found at http://chiangmaitoyride.com/.

ToyRide volunteers get the more than 200 riders organized for the ride out to the X-Centre.

Bike riders competed for best decorated bike.

Motorcycle groups from all over the North joined in the ride.

More highly decorated motorcycles for the contest, and for the kids.

Motorcycles of all sizes were welcome to join the parade of bikes, from big Harleys to scooters left the Tesco Lotus Khamtieng decorated with toys for the kids.
 


Bicycling for water

Young couple bicycle to raise funds for charity

Tobi and Mica take off from Tha Pae Gate to start the second half of their journey to raise funds for drinkable water.

Shana Kongmun

Tobias Heimhalt and Michelle Palharin, or Tobi and Mica as they prefer, are an enthusiastic young couple embarking on the second half of a bike journey that will take them around South East Asia, down along the coast into Malaysia and on into Papua New Guinea where they hope fly to Australia. Although they can’t make the entire trip by bicycle, they hope island hopping on their bikes will prove successful.

Tobi started his journey in March of 2010 after a high school exchange visit to New Zealand inspired him to bicycle from his native Germany to New Zealand. He decided that he wanted the journey to be more than just one of self exploration and wanted to raise awareness of the need for clean drinking water. He researched several NGO’s before deciding on Viva Con Agra, a German organization founded by a former professional soccer player that raises money for small scale water projects. Initially the organization worked in Africa but Tobi visited their latest project in a small village in rural Cambodia saying, “It’s really good to see where the money really goes and to see it’s affect on people’s lives firsthand.”

Tobi cycling with the new trailer on the way to Chiang Rai.

He started out in Germany and cycled across Eastern Europe, entering Asia through Turkey, where he cycled through Iran, noting that he had no difficulty there and the people were incredibly friendly. From there he cycled through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and on into Kyrgyzstan where he entered one of the few land borders open for foreigners into China.

He traveled through China, saying it was a big contrast from other places along the route where people were very curious and friendly, and farmers had opened their homes and dinner pots to Tobi as he cycled through. “The Chinese”, he said, “didn’t really seem to pay too much attention to me as I cycled through. I think they were too scared to try and speak English.” From China he crossed over into Laos, then Cambodia and finally Thailand, where, he says, “I ran out of money.”

Storing his bicycle he returned to Germany to work where he met Mica, a young Brazilian girl who was planning to cycle to Morocco. They met in the bicycle store where Tobi was working as she was looking for a part for her bicycle and it was two kindred souls meeting each other. Mica enthusiastically joined in the goal of cycling across South East Asia and, once they had enough money, purchased a trailer and flew back to Thailand to start their trip anew.

Coming from Pai as they entered Chiang Mai they were excited about the upcoming trip. Tobi has already done 17,000 kilometers on his bicycle and the remaining trip will add to Mica’s total as well. They plan on cycling back through Laos and Cambodia, back to Thailand then down through Southern Thailand into Malaysia and on into Papua New Guinea before heading to Australia to work and raise funds before heading to New Zealand. After New Zealand they are considering cycling South America.

“This whole trip opened up my mind more and more because I went through parts of the world where they don’t have access to drinkable water. You see how important it is first hand.”

Donations can be made at http://www.betterplace.org/en/groups/Wasserrad2010.

While you can follow Tobi and Mica on their journey on Facebook at wasserad2010 or read Tobi’s German language blog at www.wasserrad2010.de.
 


Rotary International Convention coming to Thailand 6-9 May

38,000 Rotarians and their families will generate more than 3 billion baht for Thai economy

Staff Reporters
On August 15, 1910, Rotary founder Paul Harris convened the first National Convention of the Rotary Clubs of America.

Bhichai Rattakul, Rotary International President (2002-03) “This is a proud year for Thailand”.

“This is going to be a convention in which we will get down to business and endeavor to launch the National Association of Rotary Clubs. We need the best thought and cooperation of every single man who is here,” Harris told the 60 registrants assembled at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.

At the time of the 1910 Convention, Rotary had 16 clubs and more than 1,000 members. By 2005, however, membership grew so much that more than 39,000 people attended the RI Convention in Chicago to celebrate Rotary’s centennial.

Rotary is a global humanitarian organization with more than 1.2 million members in 32,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Rotary members are men and women who are business, professional and community leaders with a shared commitment to make the world a better place through humanitarian service.

PRIP Bhichai Rattakul together with Past Rotary International Director Noraseth Pathmanand and Akapol Sorasuchart, President of TCEB pose for a photo with convention mascots Nong Yim and Nong Yam - large and small.

Rotary has held conventions throughout the world - including Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1921; Mexico City in 1953; Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1957; and Tokyo in 1978. These yearly meetings combine Rotary business with fellowship and feature guest speakers, workshops, meetings, and exhibits.

This year not only Rotarians but every Thai can be proud of the fact that we are hosting the 103rd edition of this international gathering of like-minded people from all over the world who abide by the principles of ‘Service above Self’.

Past Rotary International Director Noraseth Pathmanand (left) and Akapol Sorasuchart (right), President of TCEB, champions of the 2012 Bangkok Convention.

The Bangkok Convention 2012, as the event is affectionately called, will be held at the Impact Arena, Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani May 6-9, 2012.

This year’s Convention is expected to break the previous attendance record, with the largest number of preregistered participants in the history of the Rotary Convention. The expected draw of over 3 billion baht in revenues will help contribute to the country’s tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) industries.

Past District Governor Gen. Saiyud Kerdpol stops to taste the delicious Thai sweets on display.

At the press conference held on February 2 at the Centara Grand Convention Centre Bangkok, Past Rotary International President Bhichai Rattakul said, “We have waited 83 years for this dream to become a reality. Rotary first came to Thailand with the chartering of the Rotary Club of Bangkok on September 17, 1930 with H.R.H. Prince Purachatra serving as the Charter President. The founders of the first club could not have imagined that one day we would be hosting such a major International Rotary convention.”

Bhichai Rattakul, the first and only Thai national to serve as Rotary International President (2002-03), and now chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Host Organization Committee of 2012 Rotary International Convention continued, “The Thai people are very proud that our country was chosen as host of the 2012 Rotary International Convention. The Bangkok Convention will be one of the biggest and grandest conventions ever.”

Past Rotary International Director, Noraseth Pathamanand, chairman of the Host Organization Committee of 2012 Rotary International Convention said, “This year’s concept is to create happiness through smiles, and therefore we have chosen ‘The Land of a Thousand Smiles’ as our slogan, symbolizing the Thai culture of always extending goodwill to those who come to visit. The mascots of the convention are Nong Yim and Nong Yam, a Thai boy and a Thai girl in traditional Thai dress, who will act as ambassadors in welcoming over 38,000 Rotarians and their families from all over the world.”

PRID Noraseth went on to say that, “We have invited several world-renowned keynote speakers to highlight our convention. Included in the list of luminaries are Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Prize winner in 2006, Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project, and Amanda Martin of the Global Health Access Program.”

PRID Noraseth added, “The convention is primarily supported by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), who are co-hosts of this year’s convention together with Rotary. TCEB has and will continue to play an important role in cooperation with Thai Rotary. Their joint efforts in 2005 were instrumental in securing the rights to hold the convention in Thailand. TCEB is committed to providing continual support in cash and kind during the preparation period and during the convention.

“The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has also pledged support and cooperation to ensure the success of this world event. The TAT will oversee accommodation and travel arrangements for the multitude of participants from all over the world. It is a known fact that tens of thousands of participants will travel to Thailand before the convention to visit the different regions of our beautiful country and just as many will stay on for the post-convention tours.”

PDG Noraseth acknowledged with gratitude that “The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has also lent its unreserved support to this convention by assisting in the decorations of the capital city and ensuring that cleanliness and order are maintained throughout the period. The BMA has also planned various cultural activities for the recreation of our foreign visitors.”

Akapol Sorasuchart, President of Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) and co-host, stated that, “The 2012 Rotary International Convention is a very important event for Thailand as it is a strong indication of cooperation between the government and private sectors in order to develop the MICE industries. We received the latest news from Rotary International during their International Assembly in San Diego that as of January 19, 2012, there were over 28,000 pre-registrations. I am confident that by the end of April we will have more than 38,000 participants. The convention will also help promote MICE industrial growth in the year 2012, with an estimated 750,000 participants generating over 60,120 million baht in the country.

The success of this convention will also help to present Thailand in a better light and boost our campaign for both Thais and foreigners alike to “Believe in Thailand.”

A taste of things to come. Visitors will be awed by exhibitions of exotic Thai fruits, flower arrangements not to mention the passion of Thai cuisine.
 


BCCT meet at the elegant Four Seasons Resort

British Chamber of Commerce members and guests posed in a group photo for the evening.

By Shana Kongmun

The British Chamber of Commerce Thailand networking event was held in conjunction with AA Insurance and Networking One at the Four Seasons Resort on Thursday, February 9, 2012. The Four Seasons offered an elegant and beautiful setting the event which saw BCCT Vice Chairman Chris Thatcher introduce the new Deputy Director, Sarinthorn (Jyoti) Sachavirawong.

Joining the evening were Suwat Rerksujarit, Managing Director of Thai Health and Michael Barrett, General Manager for Southeast Asia of ACS Insurance. The British Honorary Consul, Ben Svasti Thomson also attended and Colin Jarvis, who is working with Ben on Lanna Care Net, introduced the organization. Lanna Care Net is a group that organized to help expats in need, especially retirees who may be house bound or need help with medical care. Lanna Care Net can be reached at 085-709-8801 for general inquiries; the emergency phone number is 089-700-4486.

The evening was well attended by many new faces and a few who were concerned that the British Chamber needed to increase their activity in the North. The British Chamber holds quarterly networking events in Chiang Mai organized by Networking One and AA Insurance.

(From left) Chris Thatcher of the BCCT joins Colin Jarvis, Jyoti Sachavirawong of the BCCT and British Honorary Consul Ben Svasti Thomson to discuss Lanna Care Net.

Clarence Shettlesworth of the Nugent Waterside Resort, far right, is joined by friends for the evening at the Four Seasons Resort.

Local business people joined the evening at the Four Seasons, enjoying the lovely ambiance. June Unland is joined by a friend and Marijke Schreurs of Planet Latex to discuss the new line she has on offer.

Namwan Nobulluhc of the Cabin joins Martin and Utsanee “Aey” Sripet of the Flight of the Gibbons, which has just started a new Segway Gibbon tour of Chiang Mai.

Colin Jarvis chats with Peer Andersen and his lovely wife Benjarattana.
 


Playhouse Chiang Mai moves to the bright lights of the big city

By Shana Kongmun

David Shrubsole was both saddened by the closure of the Playhouse in Chiang Mai and excited to announce their move to Bangkok. The new venue will be open in a few months at the Asia Hotel, taking over the location of the popular Calypso Caberet Show. He announced that most of the staff and dancers will be moving with the troupe to Bangkok, adding that they were all very excited for the new venue to be ready.

David Shrubsole is joined by his good friend Nimmy for the farewell party.

The bittersweet evening saw David perform on stage with the troupe for the first time ever. He was joined by his choreographer Ramon Viztamos and Ekkachai Nunjinda along with the full cast. The final performance was, as always, fun and interesting and everyone is invited to open them when they open in Bangkok.

ML Preeyapun Sridhavat of the Chiang Mai Ballet was joined by the Russian Ballet and Hug Dance Academy in bidding a fond farewell to the Playhouse cast and staff, adding that it has always been very supportive of their efforts to train dancers in Chiang Mai.

The evening ended with a party that lasted into the wee hours of the night. Best of luck to David and the performers and crew on their new venue in Bangkok!

Dancers performed many numbers, all with skill and great fun.

Tim McGuire and his friend join Utsanee “Aey” Sripet of the Flight of the Gibbons at the start of the evening. Tim has helped Flight of the Gibbons organize a Segway tour of Chiang Mai.

A tribute to Michael Jackson was thoroughly enjoyed by the gathered crowd of friends and supporters.

One of the top performers for the Playhouse, everyone enjoyed his performances ranging from Singing in the Rain to Mr. Bojangles.

David Shrubsole joined the cast on stage for one last performance in Chiang Mai.
 


Festival of Spring highlights Chinese culture

The entire cast joined together on stage at the finale.

By Shana Kongmun

The Chinese Consulate General of Chiang Mai working with the Embassy for the People’s Republic of China offered a fun and interesting show of Chinese dancers, singers, and musicians and even a magician! Focusing not just on the glories of the past but also ethnic groups and modern performances the nearly full house at Kad Theater on Friday, February 10, 2012 saw Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul welcome the distinguished guests and audience.

While the show was presented mostly in Mandarin, there was a Thai translator to help things along. For the most part, however, the performances spoke for themselves, from the traditional Chinese singer, to the amazing baritone, the musicians performing with traditional instruments such as the Er-hu, a two-string bowed Chinese musical instrument known in the West as the "Chinese violin" or "Chinese two-string fiddle" and the Pipa, a plucked Chinese instrument similar to a lute.

The dance performances showed incredible athletic and acrobatic grace along with beautiful costumes. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the show, including the magician who brought up a member of the audience to help him lift a table off the ground, the woman was clearly perplexed since there were no strings attached.

A fun and enjoyable show, the evening was yet another event that makes life in Chiang Mai always interesting!

This lovely lady performed on the Pipa, an instrument similar to a lute.

Colorfully dressed performers entertained the crowd with their athletic grace.

Wearing wooden shoes and performing a group dance, these lovely ladies kept the audience enlivened with their clapping shoes and jingling bells on their costumes.

The dancers performed a dance with large Chinese fans.

The final performance, this group dance kept the audience amazed with their perfect timing.
 


The ladies of Zonta hold a fundraising Bazaar

Zonta members Margaret Bhadungzong, President Somboon Suprasert and Joyce join together to sell at the bazaar.

The women of the Chiang Mai branch of Zonta International, an international organization of women for women, set up a Valentine’s Day Bazaar at Nim City Daily on Friday, February 10 offering goods for sale to benefit the Wildflower Home.

The Wildflower Home provides safe temporary shelter to mothers and their young children who come from crisis situations and provides them with educational and emotional support to help them move into a stable environment with a steady job or to continuing education.

Wildflower Home is located in Doi Saket and more information can be found at www.wildflowerhome.net. For women interested in learning more about Zonta Chiang Mai and the organizations they benefit please see www.zonta-chiangmai.org.

These lovely handcrafted silk boxes were being sold at the bazaar as lovely Valentine’s Day gifts.

The ladies of the Wildflower Home were also there, selling lovely Saa paper handcrafted cards and other handcrafted items.

Other members of Zonta joined to sell baskets, food and pottery to raise funds for the Wildflower Home.
 


Take A Ride. Give A Toy. Bring A Smile.

Chiang Mai ToyRide 2012: helping children in need with charity motorcycle parade, party, live music, games and toy giveaway!

The Chiang Mai ToyRide’s annual charity fundraiser features bikes laden with toys and stuffed animals for needy kids. (Photo by Shana Kongmun)

On Sunday morning, February 19, 2012, hundreds of riders on motorcycles of all types and sizes, laden with toys, games and stuffed animals, will parade through Chiang Mai and then create a massive pile of toys to be given to boys, girls and babies in need. Following the ride to the X-Centre Zorb Ball field, the charity party kicks off at noon with music for kids, a rock 'n' blues band for adults, clowns, magicians, games and prizes for the kids, food for sale from local vendors, awards for best decorated bikes and, once again, the highlight of every year’s event: the toy giveaway to the children!

All motorcyclists are invited to join the event whether their bikes are large or small. And there’s no admission charge: just bring along a new toy to warm a needy child’s heart.

Meet at Tesco Khamtieng for the Annual Charity Motorcycle ride on February 19, 2012 at 9:45 a.m. Motorcycles of all sizes and riders of all ages are welcome. The party continues at the X-Centre at noon with music, games and the toy giveaway. Admission is one new toy and a great big smile.

It’s not just about the toys. With the generous donations from sponsors and riders, Chiang Mai ToyRide has given away hundreds of toys and blankets, athletic equipment, medical supplies and food to hundreds of children and their families. In 2009 giving was expanded with “Playgrounds Plus” program, which provides new playground equipment, educational and athletic supplies, or construction necessary for the well being of the students. These donations are individually tailored to each needy location, targeting kids who are “under the radar.” Besides the main fundraising event, donations from individuals and businesses fund Playgrounds Plus events throughout the year, as well as the annual Christmas Eve Giveaway in the acute care wards at Chiang Mai’s Maharaj Hospital when ailing kids get a visit from Santa bearing bags of stuffed animals.

The Chiang Mai ToyRide committee (an international group of riders and non-riders from Thailand, Canada, England, Australia, Germany and America) has staged successful annual rides since 2008. Toys, goods and other charitable donations are gathered and distributed by the committee in the form of goods, not cash, after interviewing recipients, on site, to assess their real, tangible needs. Headline sponsors for 2012 are Tesco-Lotus, GT-Rider, Richco Motor Sports, the Chiang Mai X-Centre, Impulse Tourism, Parklane Systems, Geokon and Code Electric, plus major sponsors listed on our web site, banners, posters and t-shirts.

For more information visit www.chiangmaitoyride.com or email [email protected] To schedule an interview, become a sponsor, or donate to the children, please contact Richy at 081-030-8307. Online donations may be given the website through PayPal, which also takes most major credit cards.
 


Balloon weddings at Chiang Mai Miracle Flora for Valentine’s Day

14 couples will get married in hot air balloons on Valentine’s Day.

Romantic mid-air balloon weddings for 14 couples will be held at the Chiang Mai Miracle Flora on Valentine’s Day followed by congratulations speech by Governor ML Panadda Diskul and a party. The 14 couples will be selected from applicants who send a 4 x 6 inch photos to the Chiang Mai Provincial Administration Organization, call 053-891500, 084-2226215 for more information.

The Balloon Weddings will feature 14 couples from 6 PM on the 14th on the last day of the Floral Miracle of Chiang Mai held at the 80th Anniversary Commemoration Garden near the 700 Year Stadium. The garden features beautiful winter blooms with fabulous displays of tulips, lilies and more.
 


Swiss residents organize Swiss Lanna Society

From left to right, Matthias Froelich, Annelies Yokoyama, Andy Mannhart, Eveline Willi and Adrian Meister.

A group of Swiss and Thai nationals organized the founding meeting of the Swiss Lanna Society on February 4th, 2012 at the Imperial Mae Ping Hotel. More than 70 people joined the meeting to help lay the cornerstones of the organization. A committee was elected and officers chosen. The new President of the new society is Andy Mannhart, Secretary - Annelies Okoyana, Eveline Willi is in charge of events, Adrian Meister was chosen as the Treasurer and Matthias Froelich in charge of Public Relations. General Consul - Mr Bernahrd Bienz  and Vice General Consul Mrs Karin Rezel made a presentation about Swiss Embassy as well a Question and Answer session. For further details, information on how to join and photos please visit www.swiss-lanna-society.com.
 


Lanna-Japan Festival brings out the characters

Cosplayers added a colorful and unique dimension to the festival held at 3 Kings Monument on January 29, 2012.

By Shana Kongmun

The Lanna Japan Festival featured Bon Odori dancing along with cosplay characters, Lanna performances and a Lanna Ramwong dance that combined Japanese and Thai dances.

The Bon Odori Festival was held at 3 Kings Monument on Sunday, January 29 at 6 p.m. and was opened by Deputy Governor Worakarn Yokying, Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata, and Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn.

Featuring singers performing Japanese songs, Lanna performances, Japanese dances and a whole cast of cosplay characters, the evening turned 3 Kings Monument into a colorful, energetic display. Thai and Japanese food was on offer, with the sushi table seeing long queues of people lining up for their favorites. The evening saw Japanese Consul General join dancers on stage to perform the Ramwong as well as Bon Odori or the Odori Dance, a Summer Festival dance meant to welcome and respect the souls of their ancestors with happy, welcoming music designed to make the ancestors’ souls feel at home and at ease.

Cosplay characters, short for costume play, wandered around the area in their unique outfits from manga characters to cartoon characters from TV. Cosplay is a kind of performance art where the performers wear costumes representing a specific character or idea, usually taken from popular Japanese culture. Characters are often taken from such sources as manga, anime, comic books, classical novels and computer games but more and more, characters are being drawn from American cartoons and science fiction. Role reversal is common with players and players will often interact with each other to create a subculture around the concept of the play.

Deputy Governor Worakarn Yokying (far right) joins hands in friendship with Japan Consul General Kazuo Shibata (2nd right), Chiang Mai Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn (2nd left) and Festival organizer Kasuyoshi Suzuki.

Dressed as cartoon and comic characters, the elaborate costumes entertained the crowd.

Traditional Japanese summer kimonos or ‘Yukata’ were also abundant as many visitors and Japanese residents dressed for the occasion.

Traditional performers also took to the stage, with many traditional Lanna and Japanese musical and dance performances. (Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality)

Japanese Consul General Kazuo Shibata took to the stage to perform the Ramwong-Odori that makes this festival so famous. . (Photo courtesy of Chiang Mai Municipality)
 


Water and dam experts at water resources seminar in Chiang Mai

The seminar also features an exhibition from suppliers, technicians and many others involved in water resources management, hydropower and storage.

An international conference and exhibition for water experts titled Asia 2012: Water resources and Renewable Energy Development in Asia will be held at the Shangri La Hotel on March 26 and 27. Co-sponsored by the Royal Irrigation Department, the Electrical Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), the Department of Water Resources and UNESCO, the conference has been organized by the International Journal on Hydropower & Dams.

Given the recent floods and droughts to affect Thailand, a major focus will be on water management including flood mitigation. Pumped storage, already used in small communities in Europe, will be another focus as rural electrification and small scale storage such as pump storage.

Pumped storage is a technique widely used in small communities in Europe which sees water pumped up to a small reservoir during the night and then flow back down through electrical generating turbines during the day. Providing a clean and renewable energy resource without major interruptions to streams and rivers.

Asia has the biggest growth in water management with large dams built in China, and more planned for the Mekong in Laos. Construction in Asia is forecast to see 80% growth. Organizers believe that it is possible to offer dams as an energy and water source without having a huge impact on the environment and this seminar will bring in experts and academics from around the world to speak.

The Director General of the Department of Water Resources, Mr Jatuporn Buruspat, and Mr Hongpeng Liu, Chief of Energy Security at UNESCAP, will speak at the plenary opening, along with other leading experts including Mr Jun Xia, President of the International Water Resources Association, Dr Asit K. Biswas, Director of the Third World Centre for Water Management and 2006 winner of the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize, and Mr Avinash C. Tyagi, Secretary-General of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage.

Speakers will represent the major water and energy utilities of the Asia and Pacific regions, as well as financiers (World Bank, ADB, Agence Franšaise de Developpement), environmental specialists, professional associations (ICOLD, IEA, the Mekong River Commission) and international experts on all aspects of dams and renewable energy. Delegations from about 50 countries attend these Asian events, to discuss all aspects of water resources development of particular relevance to the Asian region.

Post-conference technical tours will give the opportunity to visit the Mae Ngat dam, a multipurpose small hydro scheme or the Theun Hinboun and Nam Theun 2 projects in Laos.

While the conference is open only to paying attendees, the seminar will be bringing a technical and academic focus to the water resources management in Thailand to those in authority.
 


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Viennese masked ball in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai ToyRide blasts off to the X-Centre

Bicycling for water

Rotary International Convention coming to Thailand 6-9 May

BCCT meet at the elegant Four Seasons Resort

Playhouse Chiang Mai moves to the bright lights of the big city

Festival of Spring highlights Chinese culture

The ladies of Zonta hold a fundraising Bazaar

Take A Ride. Give A Toy. Bring A Smile.

Balloon weddings at Chiang Mai Miracle Flora for Valentine’s Day

Swiss residents organize Swiss Lanna Society

Lanna-Japan Festival brings out the characters

Water and dam experts at water resources seminar in Chiang Mai