Flower filled streets herald the Chiang Mai Flower Festival
Fang District wins Best Float at 39th Flower Festival
Municipality took third prize for Most Beautiful Float in the Chiang Mai
Flower Festival 2015.
Nopniwat Krailerg and Shana
The streets of Chiang Mai were filled with beautiful flowers and
beautiful ladies as the Chiang Mai Flower Festival Parade set off from the
Governor’s Residence on February 7, 2015. Over twenty nine groups
participated in the parade with lovely dancing ladies, drum performances and
of course, flower covered floats from districts and organizations across
Thai and foreign tourists lined the streets from the Governor’s Residence to
Tha Pae Gate, down Kotchasaran Road to Changloh to Suan Buak Haad to watch
the elaborate floats pass by. Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya was on hand to
release the parade which included a float with Miss Thailand World 2014
Nontawan “Maya” Thongleng.
Thailand World Nontawan “Maya” Thongleng.joined the Flower Festival parade
First place and winner of the Royal
Trophy for Most Beautiful Float went to Fang District, Doi Saket took second
place and Muang District took third to the great pride of local city
The winners in the Culture Conservation category were Sarapee District,
followed by San Kamphaeng and third place went to Mae Taeng District. “Most
Creative Float” went to a combined effort from Hod, Doi Tao, Omkoi and
Chomthong Districts, while Sansai District took second and third place went
to a combined effort from Phrao, Wiang Haeng, Chai Prakan, Chiang Dao and
Mae Ai Districts.
Tha Pae Gate
was filled with dancers, fireworks and more during the Flower Festival.
(Photo courtesy of Harm DeVries)
In the evening concerts were held at
Tha Pae Gate and Miss Chiang Mai Flower Festival was chosen, during the day
fabulous bonsai trees were on exhibit along with cacti, orchids and many
others, filling the street at Suan Buak Haad with interested onlookers.
There were also plants for sale and many Chiang Mai Districts had set up
booths selling goods made locally in their areas. There was, of course,
plenty of food to be had and the pink-haired somtam man was one of the most
Inside the park were special flower displays and the many floats were parked
in the street Saturday the 7th and Sunday the 8th giving everyone a chance
to take their photo next to their favorite floats.
organizers took to the stage.
(Photo courtesy of Harm DeVries)
Club’s intricate bonsai trees were popular exhibits at the Flower Festival
at Suan Buak Haad.
growers went all out to win first place with the Orchid Club exhibits.
Skål Chiang Mai meets at historic Baan Jangorpor
Frans Betgem of Tiger Trail Thailand and Skål
Chiang Mai secretary with Potjana Suansri of the Thailand Community Based
Tourism Institute in front of the historic Baan Jangorpor Restaurant.
By Shana Kongmun
This month’s meeting for Skål Chiang Mai featured speaker Potjana
Suansri of the Thailand Community Based Tourism Institute at the historic
Baan Jangorpor Restaurant on Charoen Prathet Road on January 29, 2015.
The evening started with cocktails and mocktails on the lawn in front of the
historic building, once the site of the original Pub, according to new local
member Margaret Bhadungzong. The lovely 150 year old building was lit up for
the event, adding a magical quality to the cool night time air.
Vice President Annette Kunigagon and newest Skål
member Supachok “Joe” Buranusilapin of Qooco.
President Tim McGuire started out with reminding members they were welcome
to announce events they were having and Events Director Manfred Ilg was
first announcing an afternoon tea at 137 Pillars House for Valentine’s Day.
The hotel will match and double every tea bought and deliver to people in
retirement homes, hospitals, and shelters. Local member Frank Sethi
announced the delivery of further proceeds raised from their Bollywood
fundraiser last year, asking those who wish to join in to meet at Fashion
King at 11 a.m. on February 7 and then travel to the North Eastern Autistic
Center to hand over the donations.
Photo of all attendees to the January meeting at
Potjana Suansri gave a thorough overview of the Thailand Community Based
Tourism Institute and the importance of Community Based Tourism, explaining
that she has been working in community based tourism for 20 years and said
that it was important as it created interaction between people of different
cultures to learn about each other and give tourists a chance to learn in
depth about Thai society and culture. The TCBI is a non-profit
non-governmental organization that works in cooperation with research
organizations across Thailand with projects in both the North and South.
She noted that tourism can have a huge impact on communities, and not always
positive. So they worked to implement a model for the community to work and
manage on their own. Target groups include tour and travel agents, students
and university students, and government organizations. The organization
works only with responsible tour operators and work with partners in ASEAN
including organizations in Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, and Indonesia.
President Tim McGuire (right) and Events
Director Manfred Ilg.
She added that the key goals of CBT are to learn, share and celebrate local
life, offering a tool for development, respond to local development needs
and target the needs of tourists. She added that they bring in all members
of the community by creating a community fund which can then provide
financial resources for those not directly involved in tourism in the
community. She called on Skål members to consider the TCBI when booking
events, noting that they not only offer on-site events, but products for
sale and offer volunteer opportunities. More information can be found online
at http://cbt-i.org/ and
The next Skål dinner will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2015.
Chiang Mai International Rotary meeting raises funds for Mae Tao Clinic
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club president
Roger Lindley with Dr. Cynthia Maung of the Mae Tao Clinic.
By Shana Kongmun
Dr. Cynthia Maung, founder of the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Tak
Province, was the featured speaker at the special public meeting of the
Chiang Mai International Rotary Club on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at Le
Meridien Chiang Mai. Dr. Cynthia founded the clinic in 1988 after the 8-8-88
crackdown by the military junta in Burma to cope with the flood of refugees
that fled across the border.
Dr. Maung has expanded the clinic to include not only a hospital that works
with the Ministry of Public Health in Tak but also provides maternity care,
child care, health education and medical care including surgery but also
education and training for students. Dr. Cynthia talked about the
difficulties that the clinic still faces and that most people are still
afraid to return home, she noted that there were also many people who had
been recently displaced as their land was taken over by corporations for
construction. She added that despite the ease in conditions in Myanmar of
the past two years the need on the border was still great as most of the
people living there were from parts of Myanmar that were still seeing
conflict from differing groups.
Frans Betgem of Tiger Trail Thailand dropped by
to donate vouchers for tours, here with members Laurence O’Keeffe and Colin
Bangkok Airways donated two return tickets to Yangon from Chiang Mai for the
raffle as well as prizes from Tiger Trail Thailand, Flight of the Gibbon,
and Elephant Nature Park as well as donated items from members including a
dinner at Chez Marco. All told the evening raised 103,000 baht which was
donated directly to Dr. Cynthia on the night.
Students from BEAM, Chiang Mai University and the Burma Study Center
attended the event as well, their tickets donated by CMIRC members and were
some of the audience who asked Dr. Cynthia questions about her work, the
clinic and its needs.
The Mae Tao Clinic provides healthcare to over 150,000 displaced people
every year. More information can be found here;
Rotarians Elsie, Suparie and Chamnan join Dr.
Cynthia (center) before the meeting.
Members of the audience asked questioned and
asked how they could help after Dr. Cynthia finished speaking.