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Chiang Mai News
 

Chiang Mai Food Festival kicks off Nov. 6

Fifty top restaurants will highlight northern cuisine amid a backdrop of dramatic lighting and live music at the Chiang Mai Food Festival Nov. 6-14 at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.

By Nopniwat Krailerg

Fifty top restaurants will highlight northern cuisine amid a backdrop of dramatic lighting and live music at the Chiang Mai Food Festival Nov. 6-14.

The event sponsored by Singha Pattana Chiangmai Co. will take place at Central Plaza Chiang Mai Airport.

Organizer Yotmetha Chantarawarot said Chiang Mai Province and the mall invited retailers and restaurants to help promote northern tourism by offering food, music and deals.

Scheduled to perform are Violette Wautier, Zeal, Burin Boonvisut, Ink Waruntorn, Lomosonic, Palmy, Clash, Aof Pongsak and The Toys.

Each night also will see prize drawing and special activities from 6 p.m. to midnight.


Protestors demand leaders’ release in demonstrations across Chiang Mai

About 1,000 students and residents rallied in Chiang Mai against the government’s persecution of the students, its alleged failures to govern, and demanded the release of core movement leader Anon Nampa.

Nopniwat Krailerg

As young pro-democracy protestors battled police in Bangkok, about 1,000 of their comrades rallied in Chiang Mai, demanding the release of core movement leader Anon Nampa. He is being held without bail for violating the terms of his parole for a September demonstration in the northern city.

Protestors also demanded the release of Prasit Krutharoj, head of the Liberation People's Party. Together they are accused of inciting unrest and sedition.

Demonstrators moved from Chiang Mai University’s Ang Kaew Sala to Huay Kaew Road where they sat and blocked traffic in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. Speakers railed against the government’s persecution of the students and its alleged failures to govern.

Another 100 people assembled at Chiang Mai Provincial Court where they called for the release of the two leaders, who were denied bail and taken the Chiang Mai Central Prison.

Youth raises the three fingers symbol from the Hunger Games.

A protester holds up a #SaveAnon banner at Chiang Mai Provincial Court.

Over 100 people from the Liberation People's Party assembled behind Chiang Mai Provincial Court where they called for the release of party leader Prasit Krutharoj.


Chiang Mai fire crews prep for Yi Peng blazes

Chiang Mai emergency personnel practice using fire-foam in preparation for the upcoming Yi Peng Festival.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai emergency personnel practiced their response to fires that could be sparked by the Yi Peng flying lantern festival later, during Loy Krathong.

Deputy Mayor Sunthorn Yamsiri opened the Oct. 16 oil-fire drill with firefighters from Chiang Mai International Airport and the local Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, using extinguishing foam.

The crews also practiced various response tactics to aid people injured or endangered by fires set off by the lanterns on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Trained firefighters work in concert with high-pressure hoses.

The crews also practiced various response tactics to aid injured people.


Deadline passes for Chiang Mai flying lantern registration

Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization President Chalit Thipkham and Chiang Mai’s city, police and PAO officials inspect a lantern seller, checking for proper registration.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Friday marked the deadline for Chiang Mai retailers to register to sell flying lanterns for this year’s Loy Krathong Yi Peng Festival.

Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative Organization President Chalit Thipkham and Chiang Mai’s city, police and PAO officials inspected lantern sellers Oct. 15, checking registrations before the deadline.

Lantern sales are highly regulated, as they pose serious risks to aviation. Flying lanterns are prohibited around Chiang Mai International Airport for all but six hours Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 and completely banned within the flight path and near the airport grounds.

Lantern sales are allowed in outer areas, but sellers must register in advance.

The flying lights also must be made of natural materials, be 90 centimeters in diameter or less and no longer than 140 cm. It also must have a serial number so it can be tracked back to the retailer if necessary. 

The flying lanterns must be made of natural materials, be 90 centimeters in diameter or less, and no longer than 140 cm.

Each krathong must have a serial number so it can be tracked back to the retailer if necessary.


2 million meth pills seized in Chiang Rai

Chiang Rai police and soldiers seized almost 2 million methamphetamine tablets being smuggled over the border from Myanmar.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Rai police and soldiers seized almost 2 million methamphetamine tablets being smuggled over the border from Myanmar.

Maj. Gen. Narit Thavornwong, commander of the Pha Muang Task Force, and Mae Sai police announced the arrests Oct. 15.

Soldiers found the caravan of 15 people carrying 13 bags containing 1.95 million pills while patrolling Ban Pha Mee in Wiang Phang Kham Subdistrict of Mae Sai District. All the suspects escaped in the dark.

Despite not managing a single arrest, the army commander commended his task force for at least seizing the drugs.

Soldiers inspect the cache to determine it was, in fact, illegal drugs.

The suspects escaped, but law enforcement was able to confiscate the illicit drugs and take them off the streets.

Evidence is seized, bagged and prepared for transport as evidence.


Free flu shots offered at Lanna Hospital

Lanna Hospital kicked off its annual flu-vaccination campaign in Chiang Mai this week, offering free flu shots to people over 50.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Lanna Hospital kicked off its annual flu-vaccination campaign in Chiang Mai this week, offering free flu shots to people over 50.

Deputy Gov. Saranyu Methongkam and Ladda Sae Li, chief of the Social Security Office, opened the campaign Oct. 15 with hospital Executive Director Dr. Dusit Srisakul.

Ladda said people enrolled in the Social Security system and over age 50 are entitled to free flu shots each year.

The “Healthy Thailand” campaign also offers free health checks and medical advice. The goal is to keep people from developing illnesses or chronic diseases and keep them productive members of society.

The free vaccinations are available through Dec. 31.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Saranyu Methongkam welcomes participants to the opening ceremony.


Yi Peng lanterns allowed 6 hours Oct. 31, Nov. 1

The airport safety zone covers six kilometers in all directions, plus 15 kilometers on each side of its airplane flight path.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai’s famed “Yi Peng” lanterns can be flown only six hours each night of this year’s Loy Krathong Festival to prevent interference with airport operations.

Chiang Mai International Airport Deputy Director Mathayat Kraisorn Thongsri said Oct. 9 that the floating lanterns will be allowed between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Those planning to fly lanterns must request permission before Oct. 16.

Five districts, however, have banned any lantern-flying in numerous subdistricts to protect incoming and outgoing flights. Included are all of Muang and Hang Dong districts; Khua Mung, Don Kaew, Tha Wang Tan and Nong Phueng in Saraphi; Don Kaeo, Rim Tai and Mae Sa in Mae Rim; and Nong Han in San Sai District.

The airport safety zone covers six kilometers in all directions, plus 15 kilometers on each side of its airplane flight path.

Mathayat said airport officers will patrol the grounds hourly searching for lanterns both in flight and on the ground and frequent warnings and updates will be given to pilots.

Chiang Mai’s famed “Yi Peng” lanterns can be flown only six hours each night of this year’s Loy Krathong Festival to prevent interference with airport operations.

Chiang Mai International Airport Deputy Director Mathayat Kraisorn Thongsri said Oct. 9 that the floating lanterns will be allowed between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.


Bangkok ‘10-day-10-night Vegetarian Festival’ in Chinatown kicks off Oct 17

Bangkok’s Chinatown Yaowarat will celebrate the Vegetarian Festival from Oct 16 to 25

Bangkok’s Chinatown also known as Yaowarat will celebrate its Vegetarian Festival from Oct 16 to 25 in a COVID-19 control manner. 

Teeradet Sintopruangchai, chief of a committee organizing the festival, said that the festival would be officially opened on Oct 17 at the Chinatown Gate. There will be the processions of Guanyin as well as dragon and lion dances. 

Besides, a statue of WahToh, God of Medicine, will be placed for people to worship amid concerns about the coronavirus disease pandemic. There will also be demonstrations of vegetarian food cooking and shops of delicious foods will line both sides of Yaowarat Road throughout the ten days and ten nights of the festival. 

The Vegetarian Festival in Yaowarat will be the first festival after the government eased business and activity lockdowns earlier imposed to control COVID-19. 

The organizers of the festival will implement strict disease control measures which will include health screening checkpoints where visitors will have their body temperatures checked. Besides, all visitors must use the Thaichana check-in and checkout application, wear face masks and observe social distancing. (TNA) 

Yaowarat Vegetarian Festival would be officially opened on Oct 17 at the Chinatown Gate.


Chiang Mai next up for STV program

Chiang Mai International Airport Director Amornrat Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, members of the Chiang Mai Aviation Business Operation Committee, airline representatives, and government disease-control, immigration and customs officials inspected the airport Oct. 6.

Chiang Mai Mail

Chiang Mai will be the second Thai airport to receive international visitors traveling on the new Special Tourist Visa, with up to 400 foreigners a day allowed to arrive.

Chiang Mai International Airport Director Amornrat Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, members of the Chiang Mai Aviation Business Operation Committee, airline representatives, and government disease-control, immigration and customs officials inspected the airport Oct. 6 to check its readiness to receive the STV travelers, who will go directly from the airport into quarantine.

Phuket on Thursday was expected to receive the first batch of foreign tourists since March, a group of 130 Chinese nationals traveling on Special Tourist Visas. Another flight is planned for Oct. 21.

If things go smoothly in Phuket, the STV program is expected to be expanded to Chiang Mai, which could accept two international flights a day with a maximum of 400 people total.

Chiang Mai will be the second Thai airport to receive international visitors traveling on the new Special Tourist Visa, with up to 400 foreigners a day allowed to arrive.

If things go smoothly, the STV program is expected to be expanded to Chiang Mai.


Demolition begins on encroaching Chiang Mai forest resort

Officials brought in heavy machinery to tear down the five-story hotel.

Chiang Mai Mail

Chiang Mai forestry officials began the demolition of Suvarnabhumi Resort which was encroaching on protected land in Doi Angkhang.

Kamon Nuanyai, director of the Forest Resources Management Office 1, led the brigade of 150 government, police and forestry officials to the 36-rai resort, the largest in the Doi Angfang area, Oct. 6.

The government has been trying for more than two years to demolish the resort for encroaching on public land.

Following its conviction in the Fang Provincial Court, officials began seizing property left inside the resort and brought in heavy machinery to tear down the five-story hotel.

Officials look on as the destruction of the offending resort finally begins.

A brigade of 150 government, police and forestry officials converged on the 36-rai resort, the largest in the Doi Angfang area.

Following its conviction in the Fang Provincial Court, officials began seizing property left inside the resort so they could start to tear it down.


Drinking buddies suspected in Chiang Mai vagrant’s murder

Chiang Mai police examine the body.

Chiang Mai Mail

Chiang Mai police are searching for drinking buddies of a homeless man found murdered under the Mae Rim where he lived.

Anan Duangmalai, 58, was discovered by fishermen lying face down in the grass under the Ping River Bridge in Ban Sang, Khilek Subdistrict Oct. 6. He had been hacked in the head with what is believed to be a machete.

Anan was last seen in town drinking with a couple of men who, police said, likely returned to the “home” Anan had made under the bridge, complete with mattress and dressing table.

Village headman Kusol Khamsai, 58, said Anan was a good man who never was known to have problems with anyone. He chose to live under the bridge after divorcing his wife six years ago and selling his house.

Chiang Mai Provincial Police deputy commander Pol. Col. Sukhon Sri-Arun said the men with whom Anan had been drinking in town are the prime suspects in the killing. They have vanished.

Forensic officers inspect the home Anan had made under the bridge, complete with mattress and dressing table.

Anan Duangmalai was discovered by fishermen lying face down in the grass under the Ping River Bridge in Ban Sang, Khilek Subdistrict Oct. 6.


Chiang Rai resort turns to quarantining to survive

The Wiang Inn Riverside Hotel has no choice but to join the Local Quarantine (LC) program because there are no foreign tourists and the income from domestic tourism is negligible.

Chiang Mai Mail

A Chiang Rai luxury hotel is going the route of many resorts, turning their business into state quarantine centers for the trickle of foreign tourists starting to arrive in Thailand this month.

Ruangchai Jitsakul, managing director of the Wiang Inn Riverside Hotel next to Mae Kok River in Muang District, said Chiang Rai has a dearth of quarantine facilities. The province has had about 700 Thais and Burmese expats return from abroad.

The government only pays quarantine hotels 1,000 baht a day for each person, which includes three meals. But even that small amount of revenue is more than hotel is getting now, he said.

The resort is spread over 80 rai outside Muang Chiang Rai and has nine stand-alone buildings, which are conducive to quarantine facilities.

The hotel will remain open for regular tourists, he said.

Ruangchai, a local car dealer, also owns the Wiang Inn Downtown Hotel in Chiang Rai which has just opened for tourists after being closed for months.

“Usually, my hotels targeted 80 percent foreigners and 20 percent Thais,” he said. “So, we have been really affected. Hotel owners having not much money are definitely facing serious problems. I accept that now we don’t see a way out because this crisis is worse than the economic crisis in 1997.”

Ruangchai Jitsakul, managing director of the Wiang Inn Riverside Hotel said that this crisis is worse than the ‘Tom Yum Gung’ economic crisis in 1997.

The Wiang Inn Riverside Hotel is spread over 80 rai outside Muang Chiang Rai and has nine stand-alone buildings, which are conducive to quarantine facilities.


Chiang Mai celebrates Loy Krathong-Yi Peng Festival Oct 31-Nov 1; limits lanterns

Chiang Mai is preparing celebrations for the upcoming Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festival from Oct 31- Nov 1.

Chiang Mai has issued an announcement to restrict lanterns release in the sky to prevent danger or damage to Chiang Mai airport, communities and public members.

Chiang Mai province announced restrictions on launching sky lanterns and smoked lanterns during the upcoming Loy Krathong and Yi Peng Festival from Oct 31- Nov 1 for aviation safety.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor, Rathapol Naradisorn said a provincial announcement had been issued to prevent danger or damage from lantern floating to Chiang Mai airport, communities and public members.

The traditional activity to launch sky lanterns can be done at the places, approved by district chiefs. Organizers must seek prior permission 15 days in advance, according to the announcement.

Time restriction has been imposed to ensure safety. Celebrants can launch the lanterns overnight on Oct 31 and Nov1 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Smoke lanterns can be released on Oct 31 from 10am to noon.

Violators are subject to a maximum jail term of three years and/or a fine of not over 60,000 baht. (TNA)

 


Chiang Mai’s Maya mall holds Tak Bat Devo ceremony

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Saranyu Meethongkham (5th from left) with Chang Phueak Mayor Boontham Srikhamul and mall Assistant Manager Sarayut Thongrompho open the Tak Bat Devo ceremony.

Chiang Mai Mail

Maya Lifestyle Shopping Center marked the end of Buddhist Lent by inviting 149 monks to receive alms from its employees and the public in Chiang Mai.

Organized with Chang Phueak Subdistrict, the Oct. 3 Tak Bat Devo ceremony opened with Chiang Mai Deputy Gov. Saranyu Meethongkham, Chang Phueak Mayor Boontham Srikhamul, and mall Assistant Manager Sarayut Thongrompho leading the offerings.

Tak Bat Devo, derived from the Sanskrit word "Devorohana," is celebrated at the same time as Auk Phansa, the end of Buddhist Lent. Usually centered around a temple on a hillside, monks who’ve been in their rains retreat for three months of Lent emerge in a procession of golden gowns down the hill depicting the path Buddha took down a celestial stairway made of silver, gold and crystal.

At Maya, there were three parades, one of monks and two others of angels and devils.

According to ancient tales, Buddha returned to his home in Kapilavastu seven years after achieving Nirvana and becoming the Enlightened One. At the start of Lent that year, in remembrance of his mother, Buddha ascended to the heavens to deliver a sermon to his mother. There he resided for three months.

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On the first day of the waxing moon of the eleventh lunar month – Oct. 3 this year – Buddha returned to throngs of angels, disciples and followers who received him with offerings of food and other sacred items. Followers repeated his return in following years during a ceremony that has come to represent the Buddhist belief in reincarnation as much as its historical significance.

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Saranyu Meethongkham and others offer alms to revered monks.

The three world parade (angels, humans and hell) marches to Wat Jed Yod.

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Japanese-run cannabis oil production factory raided in Chiang Mai

National police arrested a Japanese national and four Thais during the raid of an end-to-end cannabis oil production facility in Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai Mail

National police arrested a Japanese national and four Thais during the raid of an end-to-end cannabis oil production facility in Chiang Mai.

A team of Bangkok, Special Division 191 and Chiang Mai Provincial police, led by deputy national police chief Pol. Gen. Manu Mekmok and officials from the Japanese embassy, arrested Katsuhisa Komiya, 41, and four unidentified Thais at a three-story commercial building on Mahidol Road in Muang District Oct. 3.

Each floor served as a production stage for the production of cannabis oil, with trees grown on the third floor and leaves processed on the second. More than 100 trees were seized as well as reagents, oil-extraction equipment, CBD e-cigarettes and oil, and more than 1,000 packing boxes.

Police said the end-to-end facility produced cannabis oil and e-cigarettes for online sale via Twitter, with most customers living in Japan, although with some in Thailand.

The investigation is continuing into the trade and transportation routes and others in the international network in both countries.

More than 100 trees were seized as well as reagents, oil-extraction equipment, CBD e-cigarettes and oil, and more than 1,000 packing boxes.


Chiang Mai students cheated by bogus online ticket scalper

Four Chiang Mai students who thought they were buying sold-out concert seats from an online ticket scalper instead were cheated out of their cash.

Chiang Mai Mail

Four Chiang Mai students who thought they were buying sold-out concert seats from an online ticket scalper instead were cheated out of their cash.

The unnamed youths transferred 3,800 baht to a Twitter account, foolishly trusting the account was genuine. Instead, as soon as the money was transferred, they were blocked and their money gone.

The youths had wanted to attend Chiang Yai Fest 2 Nov. 20-22, but the concert was sold out. They found a Twitter account by the name of “Num” offering the ducats for 950 baht each.

The students took their bank-transfer record to police and filed a complaint.


5 arrested; meth, heroin seized at Phrae checkpoint

Provincial Police Region 5 commander Pol. Lt. Gen. Prachuap Wongsuk and Maj. Gen. Wanchai Suwannasiri, deputy commander of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board Region 5, announced they arrested five people and seized methamphetamines and heroin at a Phrae checkpoint.

Chiang Mai Mail

Northern police arrested five people and seized methamphetamines and heroin at a Phrae checkpoint.

Provincial Police Region 5 commander Pol. Lt. Gen. Prachuap Wongsuk and Maj. Gen. Wanchai Suwannasiri, deputy commander of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board Region 5, announced results of the operation in Den Chai District Oct. 1.

In addition to the arrests of the unidentified suspects, police recovered 1.3 million ya ba pills and 3.5 kilograms of heroin.

Police also seized the suspects’ vehicles.


‘Wow Africa’ marks full reopening of Chiang Mai Zoo

Officials sound the horn to open the exhibit.

Chiang Mai Mail

The Chiang Mai Zoo celebrated its full reopening with the launch of a new exhibit highlighting Africa's wildlife.

The Zoological Park Organization took limits off its six affiliated zoos nationwide Oct. 1, but retained strict sanitary and safety standards for tourists.

Chiang Mai’s zoo took the opportunity to open Wow Africa, which puts people, not the animals, in cages – in the form of a service car – to see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, waterbucks, and springboks, all walking free and up close.

ZPO Director Suriya Saengphong and Zoo Director Wuttichai Muangman said Sept. 30 the Chiang Mai Aquarium also now has fully reopened, showing tourists animals from “the bottom of the sea to the top of the mountain.”

The exhibit allows people in service cars to see giraffes, zebras, ostriches, waterbucks, and springboks, all walking free and up close.

Zoo staff and management celebrate the reopening.


Wheelchair-bound lottery seller rolls through East on quest for customers

Bielae Biepha steers his wheelchair along Thailand’s eastern region selling lottery tickets.

Pattaya Mail

A Chiang Mai man is steering his wheelchair dozens of kilometers a week to sell lottery tickets in the Eastern region of Thailand.

Bielae Biepha, 36, isn’t content to stay in one place. And despite not being able to drive, he uses his arms to push his own wheelchair 40 kilometers between downtown Chonburi and Samut Prakan looking for ticket buyers.

On Sept. 29, Bielae was spotted on Sukhumvit Road entering Bangsaen Beach. Cars actually pulled over to buy tickets from him.

Bielae suffers from myasthenia gravis, a long-term neuromuscular disease that leads to varying degrees of skeletal muscle weakness. While it has left him unable to walk, his arms and hands remain rock solid.

He was born and raised in Chiang Mai, but was unable to find work there and moved to Chonburi a year ago. Much of the money he makes selling lottery tickets Bielae sends home to his mother.

Customer Ponthakorn Boonsom, 42, said he stopped his car because he admired the effort Bielae makes to earn a living and support himself and his family.

Passersby stop to buy lottery tickets from Bielae along Sukhumvit highway in Chonburi Province.

Enduring the extreme heat of the sun, Bielae rolls his wheelchair along the highway peddling his lottery tickets.

Motorists pull up alongside Bielae hoping to buy a winning lottery ticket.

Ponthakorn Boonsom said he was touched by Biele’s efforts and determination, he stopped to buy 5 lottery tickets.


Six Zoos in Thailand open gates for visitors in October after long closure

Chiang Mai Zoo will welcome visitors to its outdoor and indoor sections as well as the aquarium. 

Six zoos will resume their full operations on Thursday after temporary closures due to COVID-19.

Director of the Zoological Organization of Thailand Suriya Saengpong opened an event to restart the activities at Chiang Mai Zoo on Wednesday.

Along with others operated by the Zoological Organization, the Zoo will welcome visitors to its outdoor and indoor sections as well as the aquarium. 

Suriya said that he expected 2,000 to 5,000 visitors at Chiang Mai Zoo each day. 

Social distancing and disease prevention measures will be enforced throughout the zoo, he said. (TNA

Director of the Zoological Organization of Thailand Suriya Saengpong opened an event to restart the activities at Chiang Mai Zoo.

About 2,000 to 5,000 visitors are expected at Chiang Mai Zoo each day. 


Chiang Mai International Airport opens new parking garage

The new modern parking garage at Chiang Mai International Airport is fully equipped with state of the art security and parking systems.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai International Airport officially opened a new multi-story parking garage to accommodate more than 1,300 cars.

Airport Director Amornruk Chumsai Na Ayutthaya presided over the Sept. 28 opening ceremony with Chiang Mai Deputy Gov. Weeraphan Dee-on, Airports of Thailand officials and lot manager of CAPS Company.

The 10-floor car park covers 40,000 sq. meters with capacity of 1,317 vehicles. It offers automatic ticketing and barrier gate controls, counting system for all vehicles entering the building, license plate recording and analysis, availability meter, and vehicle-locating system.

The parking fee will continue to be 20 baht for up to an hour with a maximum 200 baht for up to 24 hours. There is on-site security around the clock.

Government and airport officials gather for a group photograph at the opening ceremony.

The 10-floor car park covers 40,000 sq. meters with capacity of 1,317 vehicles.


Trail runners challenged at Doi Inthanon Oct. 30-Nov. 1

Chiang Mai Mail

Trail runners are challenged to cross the “roof of Thailand” over two days as Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc comes to Chiang Mai Oct. 30-Nov. 1.

The “Thailand by UTMB” race offers trail runners four punishing courses covering elevations from 400 to 2,100 meters and distances of 10 to 175 kilometers.

More than 60 of the world’s top trail runners, including America’s Meredith Edwards and Jason Schlarb, had registered before the coronavirus pandemic in February. While the event will likely be a Thailand-only event now, amateur Thai runners are invited to join in. A test event in February drew 1,000 people.

The full route showcases the local biodiversity and the forest changes with the gradual elevation climbing to 2.1 kilometers above sea level.

The journey will take runners to experience the peaceful Hmong, Pga-Gan-Yaw, and Karenic tribe ways of life, the awe-inspiring views of terraced paddy fields, and areas brightened by golden ears of rice, as well as the picturesque montane farms.

The start/finish line is at Doi Inthanon National Park Headquarters.

Thailand by UTMB will have five distance races: 175, 120, 80, 25 and 10 kilometers. Each will gain International Trail Running Association points and Running Stones which will bypass the lottery for entry to UTMB.

Each race takes place in one single stage, at an undefined pace within a time limit.

The Inthanon 6: 175 km. for about 7,600 meters of height gain, starts from Doi Inthanon headquarters, in semi-autonomy and in 48 hours maximum.

The Inthanon 5: around 120 km. for about 5,400 meters of height gain, starts from Doi Inthanon headquarters, in semi-autonomy and in 30 hours maximum.

The Inthanon 4: around 80 km. for about 4,000 meters of height gain, starts from Doi Inthanon headquarters, in semi-autonomy and in 20 hours maximum.

The Inthanon 1: around 25 km. for about 800 meters of height gain, starts from Doi Inthanon headquarters, in semi-autonomy and in seven hours maximum.

The Inthanon 10K: around 10 km. for about 500 meters of height gain, starts from Doi Inthanon headquarters, in semi-autonomy and in four hours max.

Register at Running Connect.com or call 062-345-4122.


Thai man pulls gun on store clerk after being told to wear mask

A CCTV camera photo shows Settapol entering the store without wearing a face mask.

Chiang Mai Mail

A man pulled a gun on a convenience store clerk in Nan province northern Thailand after being asked to wear a facemask.

The suspect, identified only as “Settapol”, 45, was captured on video threatening the clerk at a PTT gas station mini-mart Sept. 25 after he was refused entry due to not wearing a mask.

Settapol argued, then went back to his car and got a gun, pointed it at the staffer and left.

Na Noi police issued a summons for Settapol to surrender within seven days for carrying a firearm in public without reason. He also must surrender the weapon for a license check.

Not happy at having been asked to wear a face mask, Settapol threatened the clerk with a hand gun.


Chiang Mai Zoo celebrates famed panda’s birthday

Lin Hui proudly struts around her cool nine-tiered ice birthday cake celebrating her 19th birthday.

Chiang Mai Mail

The Chiang Mai Zoo celebrated the 19th birthday of panda Lin Hui, offering her an ice cake filled with fruit as a gift.

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China’s local Consul-General Wu Zhiwu joined zoo Director Wuttichai Muangmun Sept. 28 for the party with panda fans participating in the celebration. They sang “Happy Birthday” to her and gave her the nine-tiered ice cake, filled with fruit, which she enjoyed.

Lin Hui climbs onto her cake enjoying the ice cake filled with fruit.

Lin Hui arrived in Chiang Mai on loan from China at the age 2 as the goodwill ambassador. She is now healthy and weighs 125 kilograms.

Meanwhile, a flower-laying memorial ceremony was held for male giant panda Chuang Mangrum, which died last year. The flowers will stay on display through Oct. 8

Chuang Mangrum, also on loan from China, were taken from southwest China’s Sichuan Province in 2003.

Negotiations are under way to send a replacement panda to the Chiang Mai Zoo. It is expected the deal will be reached before the end of the contract to allow Lin Hui to stay in Thailand until 2023.

Lin Hui arrived in Chiang Mai on loan from China at the age 2 as the goodwill ambassador. She is now a healthy 125-kilogram teenager.

Wu Zhiwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Chiang Mai and Wuttichai Muangmun, director of the Chiang Mai Zoo place bouquets to wish Lin Hui a happy 19th birthday.

Wu Zhiwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Chiang Mai also signed the book wishing Lin Hui a happy birthday.


Russian arrested for Doi Suthep campsite burglaries

Police officers subdue the raging Russian burglar after stabbing another officer in the face and neck with a pair of scissors.

Chiang Mai Mail

A Russian man was arrested in Doi Suthep-Pui National Park for allegedly robbing tourists at the Chiang Mai mountain campground for the past three months.

Identified by Thai-language media as “Cemnh Semin”, 32, the man was spotted about 3 a.m. Sunday in the Suan Son campground. He ran after spotting the patrol officer, who gave chase and tackled the suspect.

The two fought, with the suspect allegedly stabbing the officer in the neck and face with a pair of scissors. The suspect suffered back and head injuries as he was subdued by backup officers.

Thai tourists at Doi Suthep have complained for months that they’ve awoken to find their property missing. The national park has stepped up patrols in recent weeks, with officials expressing surprise to find the alleged culprit was a foreign expat.

The wounded official received first aid and was transferred to hospital.

The officer is treated for his scissor inflicted wounds caused by the wild Russian burglar during their vicious fight.

The injured police officer, with the assistance of another officer, finally subdues the powerful Russian burglar.


U.S. ambassador breaks ground on new Chiang Mai consulate

An artist’s rendering of the new U.S. Consulate General building in Chiang Mai.

Nopniwat Krailerg

American Ambassador H.E. Michael George DeSombre and Thai officials on Friday broke ground on a new consulate-general building in Chiang Mai.

Joining the ambassador at the ceremony on Super Highway Road in Muang District was Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat and Wichawat Isarapakdee, assistant foreign affairs minister.

DeSombre noted that the United States opened its first consulate-general in the northern city 70 years ago and he expects the new building to last another 70 years.

Completion of the facility is expected in 2023, with the project cost estimated at 8.8 billion baht. The construction will create about 400 jobs.

The new consulate is located on 16.5 rai on Super Highway Road with a design inspired by classic northern architecture and landscaping and will have a pavilion and terraced gardens.

U.S. Ambassador to Thailand H.E. Michael George DeSombre, accompanied by Sean K. O’Neill, U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the new U.S. Consulate, witnessed by Wichawat Isarapakdee, Asst. Minister of Foreign Affairs; and Chiang Mai Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat with Nong Phaklung Mayor Somkit Lertkiatdamrong.

VIP guests inspect a scale model of the new U.S. Consulate.

Honorable guests participate in the groundbreaking ceremony.


Chiang Mai group revives push to decriminalize prostitution in Thailand

The Empower Foundation is once again campaigning for Thailand to withdraw the Anti-Prostitution Act.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A Chiang Mai group hopes to gather 10,000 signatures on a petition to pressure the government into decriminalizing prostitution.

The Empower Foundation, which supports sex workers, is urging authorities to remove all penalties for selling sex, saying the 1960 law that made prostitution illegal invites corruption and exploitation.

“Although we work in legal entertainment venues, we are the people considered breaking the law because of the Anti-Prostitution Act,” said Empower Coordinator Thanta Laowilawanyakul. “The law was created to help people in this industry develop their lives, but police only go after the workers (not the employers) and don’t help them at all.”

Thanta claimed that 80 percent of the women working in the sex industry are mothers or the breadwinner for the entire family. It’s also a very transient business, with most women working in it for a short time, often due to a financial crisis. However, if they are arrested, they are branded for life with a criminal record, she said.

“Walking away from this point is difficult. If they have a criminal background, it’s hard for them to apply for a job or start a new life,” Thanta said.

According to the Royal Thai Police Office, more than 24,000 people were arrested, prosecuted and fined for sex work-related offenses in Thailand last year.

Empower collected 1,000 signatures at the massive anti-government protest on Sept. 19, an event also staged to demand more rights and better protection for Thailand’s LGBT population. But even if the group gathers the targeted 10,000 names, changing the 1960 law, which was amended in 1996 to close loopholes and gave police increased powers to prosecute, will be nearly impossible to change. It’s been tried repeatedly.

More than 24,000 people were arrested, prosecuted and fined for sex work-related offenses in Thailand last year

Thammasat University researcher Mataluk Orungrot wrote in 2018 that the law doesn’t work because of the chronic corruption of Thai police. Brothels in the form of massage parlors, karaoke bars and gentlemen’s clubs can pay off the police and still reap a windfall.

Rangsit University criminology expert Jomdet Trimek has said repeatedly over the years that bribes start from 200,000 baht a month and reach as much as 400,000 for venues trafficking in illegal migrants from neighboring countries.

The government long has known how much it’s losing in tax revenues. In 2003, the Justice Ministry held an unprecedented public hearing on a government proposal to legalize prostitution and register sex workers. Representatives from the government, sex industry, non-government organizations and academics all laid out their cases for how legalization could benefit human rights, legal, economic, cultural, social and moral problems.

“Although we work in legal entertainment venues, we are the people considered breaking the law because of the Anti-Prostitution Act,” said Empower Coordinator Thanta Laowilawanyakul.

In June this year, Mongkolkit Suksintharanon, an MP with the tiny Thai Civilized Party, announced another attempt to get a Lower House committee to consider both legalizing prostitution and sex toys, all in the name of combatting rape. He tries every year and every year it goes nowhere.

That’s not to say the government hasn’t taken notice of Empower’s petition. A spokesman for the Social Development and Human Security Ministry women’s affairs section said it was reviewing the Anti-Prostitution Act with an eye toward amendments that could be put up for public debate next year.

A major obstacle toward changing the law is the massive corruption that illegal prostitution fuels. Police get rich off taking bribes from go-go bars, massage parlors and brothels, even accepting cash to allow underage prostitution to continue. At the same time, they collect fines off the sex workers employed by those paying the bribes.

The Empower Foundation is hoping to gather 10,000 signatures on a petition to pressure the government into decriminalizing prostitution.

A 2014 report by a United Nations anti-AIDS agency estimated Thailand has 123,530 sex workers in Thailand but Empower and other social-welfare groups peg it as closer to 300,000, many of them migrants from neighboring countries or even underage children.

“Sex workers are lawfully registered in Germany, Amsterdam and Singapore. Why not Thailand?” Thanta asked. “The answer is no because the government thinks it will ruin the country’s reputation. Meanwhile, Germany has over 700,000 prostitutes, yet the profession is not stigmatized.”

Thanta claimed that 80 percent of the women working in the sex industry are mothers or the breadwinner for the family.

 

Police go after the employees and not the employers.

 

A 2014 report by a United Nations anti-AIDS agency estimated Thailand has 123,530 sex workers in Thailand but Empower and other social-welfare groups peg it as closer to 300,000, many of them migrants from neighboring countries or even underage children.


Relocated Thai passport office opens in Chiang Mai convention center

Minister of Foreign Affairs Advisor Chaisiri Anaman (center), along with Department of Consular Affairs Deputy Director-General Narong Boonsatheanwong (2nd left), and Chiang Mai Governor Charoenrit Sanguansat (right) cut the ribbon during the opening ceremony of the Chiang Mai Temporary Passport Office.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Foreign Affairs Ministry officials were on hand to officially open Chiang Mai’s new passport office.

Narong Boonsatheanwong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Consular Affairs, along with ministry advisor Chaisiri Anaman and Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat cut the ribbon on the office inside the Ruang Phung building at the International Convention and Exhibition Center Sept. 23.

The passport office – open since 2005 – was relocated from Chiang Mai City Hall to the convention center. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Services available include applications for all types of Thai passports, legalization and assistance for Thais abroad.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Advisor Chaisiri Anaman welcomes dignitaries and guests to the event.

Artists perform traditional Thai dances at the opening ceremony.

Services available include applications for all types of Thai passports, legalization and assistance for Thais abroad.


Chiang Mai hill tribe father who wanted son kills newborn daughter

Anupap points to the spot where he killed and buried his 7-day old infant daughter.

Nopniwat Krailerg

A hill tribe man who killed his newborn daughter because he had wanted a son dug up the infants remains outside Chiang Mai Wednesday.

Anupap Panya, 45, led Chang Phueak police to the spot in the forest outside Mai San Khong village in Luang Nuea Subdistrict of Doi Saket District. The Lisu hill tribe gift shop owner also pointed police to the hoe he used to bury the 7-day-old baby.

Police said Anupap admitted killing the girl because he already had two daughters and had wanted a son to carry on the family name and take over his Thanin Market business when he grows up.

The baby was born a week ago and, since coming home, his wife and he had argued repeatedly. Without her knowing, he took the baby to the car, poured toilet cleaner down her throat and buried her.

The mother called police to report the child missing.

Forensic police inspect the remains of the murdered infant girl.

Police converge into the forest to investigate the scene of the horrific crime.


Lanna Expo continues through Sept. 27 in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat and honored guests collectively perform the opening ceremony for Lanna Expo 2020 in Chiang Mai.

By Nopniwat Krailerg

Three provinces brought their homemade goodies to exhibit and sell at Lanna Expo 2020 to promote trade and investment connections in the Upper North.

Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat said the event, running through Sept. 27 at the International Convention and Exhibition Center, invites people to “live well, eat well, live a new normal.”

Participating are merchants and businesses from Lamphun, Lampang, Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai, which are hoping to build on success and promote the potential of businesses and increase job creation.

Charoenrit said the event will help small businesses expand their markets for their products and services, both domestically and abroad.

The exhibition is split into zones with booths for displaying and selling furniture and decorative items, health and beauty products, herbal lifestyle products, fashion and textiles, souvenirs, food and beverage and agriculture.

There also is a Lanna handicraft exhibition showcasing the work of Lanna heritage, including demonstrations of indigo dye-powder printing, wicker, colored Sa paper on umbrellas, and blowing mulberry paper, Lanna silverware, and scripture wrappers. Keychains from woven fabric, lamps and lanterns are also featured.

In addition, the We Love Chiangmai Group has brought special promotions from the hotel.

Dignitaries and honored guests sit back and enjoy the opening show.

Fashion and textiles feature at the Lanna Expo 2020 in Chiang Mai.



Opium growing continues rapid slide in Chiang Mai’s Omkoi District

Army Maj. Gen. Suebsakul Buarawong tells the press that during 2020, the military has found only 5.1 rai of land in Yang Peang and Mae Tuen subdistricts devoted to opium growing, a decrease from 24.6 rai in 2019 and 908 rai in 2017.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai’s Omkoi District has seen a tremendous drop opium growing, but trafficking of other drugs remains a problem, an army security meeting heard.

Army Maj. Gen. Suebsakul Buarawong of the 33rd Military Circle chaired the Sept. 22 meeting at the Green Lake Resort Hotel aimed at reviewing progress on narcotics and human trafficking.

He said that during 2020, the military has found only 5.1 rai of land in Yang Peang and Mae Tuen subdistricts devoted to opium growing, a decrease from 24.6 rai in 2019 and 908 rai in 2017.

The army also has pushed residents to surrender opium seeds, with locals complying to turning over 36 kilograms of seeds, up from 23 kg. in all of last year.

Drug seizures in the district continue apace, however. Suebsakul said there had been 237 arrests so far this year with seizures of 33,110 methamphetamine pills, 11.5 kg. of raw opium, 231 grams of heroin, 10 kg. of marijuana, and 25 g. of crystal meth.

Army Maj. Gen. Suebsakul Buarawong of the 33rd Military Circle chairs the Sept. 22 meeting at the Green Lake Resort Hotel.

Chiang Mai’s Omkoi District has seen a tremendous drop opium growing, but trafficking of other drugs remains a problem.


Stricter enforcement, better education needed to control PM 2.5, Chiang Mai governor says

Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat and government officials begin the seminar to find ways to resolve Chiang Mai’s chronic air pollution.

Chiangmai Mail

Authorities will have to be more vigilant when enforcing exiting laws and educating the public if Chiang Mai hopes to resolve its chronic air pollution, Gov. Charoenrit Sanguansat said.

Speaking at a Sept. 20 seminar, the governor said more patrols and better systems to detect forest and farming fires are needed if Chiang Mai ever hopes to prevent a resurgence of dangerous micro-dust, or PM 2.5, pollution that chokes the North every year from February through April.

More effective public relations and education efforts also are needed, with farmers taught alternative ways to clear their fields.

The seminar focused on integrated management and establishing a network of cooperating partners. Participants listened to suggestions, guidelines and plans for solving problems long-term.

Those attending were from relevant government agencies and representatives from local government organizations in all 25 districts.

Hundreds of interested officials from all 25 districts attended the meeting.


Chiang Mai Youth Space opens with cultural shows

Deputy Gov. Wirun Phandhevi presides over the opening of the Khuang La-On Chiang Mai Project,

Chiangmai Mail

Youths from across the province showed off local arts and culture at the Chiang Mai Youth Space opening.

Deputy Gov. Wirun Phandhevi opened the Sept. 20 celebration at the Three Kings Monument, where schools and youth shelters were invited to illustrate and recount the culture of Chiang Mai.

The Chiang Mai Department of Child and Youth Affairs organized performances from the Chiang Mai Outstanding Youth Club, Wattanothai Payap School, Child and Youth Council of Rong Wua Daeng San, Child and Youth Council of Nam Phrae, Phatthana Embrace studio, Ban Pae Child and Youth Council.

There also were booths for children and youth exhibitions.

Wirun said the Youth Space is intended to keep local culture and heritage alive to be passed on to future generations.

Youths show off their musical talent by playing local instruments.

Exhibition booths are set up, including this one demonstrating how to make local lamps.


Long Live Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of The Queen Mother

Loving Mother of the Thai Nation

August 12 is a very special day throughout the Thai Kingdom, as it is the day the entire nation celebrates the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign’s Birthday. The day also is celebrated throughout the Kingdom as Mother’s Day. The management and staff of the Chiangmai Mail join Thai people and many others from around the world to present our loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign and best wishes for a most Happy Birthday and a continued long life on the occasion of her 88th birthday Friday, August 12. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Royal Household)

Adapted from a Story by Peter Cummins
Photos Courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign is the daughter of H.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath (M.C. Nakkhat Mongkol Kitiyakara) and his consort Mom Luang Bua Kitiyakara (nee Mom Luang Bua Snidvongs). Prince Chandaburi Suranath was the third son of H.R.H. Prince Chandaburi Suranath and H.S.H. Princess Absarasman Kitiyakara.

She was born on August 12, 1932. The year 1932 is a significant one: it was the year when constitutional monarchy was introduced into Thailand. Her father was a prominent and capable Major-General in the Thai Army at the time of the constitutional change. He left the army and went to serve as First Secretary at the Thai Legation in Washington D.C. As HM the Queen was then still a little child, she remained in Bangkok in the charge of her relatives. She did not see her parents again until their return home.

She attended the Kindergarten class at Rajini School. But subsequently went to St. Francis Xavier School at Samsen District in Bangkok in order to be nearer to home. Her father later on became Thai Minister to France, to Denmark and ultimately Ambassador to the Court of St. James. Her Majesty accompanied him and continued her general education in the three countries and lastly in Switzerland.

In this Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, photo released by The Royal Household Bureau, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign, center, is visited by her children, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun and HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn at the Chitralada Palace on the Queen's 86th birthday. (The Royal Household Bureau via AP)

It was while her father was stationed in Paris that she first met His Majesty (the late) King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was then studying in Switzerland but went now and then to Paris. The chance meeting in Paris ripened into friendship and understanding. When His Majesty met with a serious motor car accident in Geneva, Switzerland and had to stay in a hospital at Lausanne, Her Majesty was a frequent visitor. When His Majesty was well again and left the hospital, he was graciously pleased to arrange for Her Majesty to continue her studies at “Riante Rive”, a boarding school in Lausanne.

On July 19, 1949 Their Majesties were quietly engaged in Lausanne. On March 24, 1950, Their Majesties landed in Bangkok by ship after a long absence. On April 28 of the same year, the Royal Wedding took place at Padumawan Palace before the Queen Grandmother. As a democratic King and Queen, Their Majesties signed their names in the Registry Book of Marriages. His Majesty then crowned HM the Queen in conformity with Thai tradition.

Their Majesties had four children, Princess Ubolratana, born on April 5, 1951, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, born on July 28, 1952, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, born on April 2, 1955 and Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn, born on July 4, 1957.

Their Majesties took great care in the education of their children in order to prepare them to meet the various duties which they had to undertake in later life. A choice had to be made between private tutoring and sending the children to an ordinary school. Private tutoring is a good medium for imparting knowledge, but it lacks human contact with children of similar ages. Attendance at an ordinary school also has its drawbacks. From experience, it would appear that teachers, pupils and even parents are subjected to biases either favorable or unfavorable. In order to avoid these inconveniences, His Majesty, with the entire concurrence of Her Majesty, set up a school in the compound of Chitralada Villa. Better control and supervision could thus be assured. The school was established and registered in accordance with the law in November 1958. There were about 78 children in the school. The classmates of the Royal children were sons and daughters of ordinary people of various vocations.

Her Majesty has always been very devoted to her children. During their younger days, she used to spend as much time with them as her duties would allow, and kept close supervision on all their activities. When Her Majesty was in the United States of America during the State Visit with His Majesty in 1960, a TV representative asked her what her favorite hobby was. The reply was: “Looking after my children!”

 

Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign stands by His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej as he waves to the crowd during celebrations of the 60th anniversary of him becoming Thailand's King June 6, 2006. (AP Photo /Thailand Public Relations Department, HO)

Humanitarian and Social Welfare

Her Majesty has performed many public functions. She became President of the Thai Red Cross Society on August 12, 1956, and her keenness in the work built up her popularity and aroused enthusiasm in the public for the cause of the Red Cross. Towards the end of 1959, H.R.H. Prince Nagor Svarga, who was Executive Vice-President of the Thai Red Cross Society, died unexpectedly. Her Majesty very ably carried on the duties which would ordinarily fall upon the Vice-President until a new Vice-President was appointed on March 18, 1960.

Later on, in 1979, upon learning of the influx of about 40,000 Cambodian refugees into Thailand’s Trat Province, Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign flew to the site to see the situation herself. Then in her capacity as President of the Thai Red Cross Society, Her Majesty set up the Khao Larn Thai Red Cross Centre to give shelter, food and medical care to those Cambodian refugees who were mostly peasant families with small children and unaccompanied orphans. The center became a refuge for these displaced people for some years.

Queen Sirikit has always been very devoted to her children.

In her role as Honorary President of the Thai Red Cross, Queen Sirikit always gave her direct support to people in need. Recently, she donated funds to help support the treatment of people infected with the Chikunkunya virus, and took financial responsibility for many patients in desperate need of intensive care. A former entertainer, paralyzed for 7 years; a 7-year-old child with bone cancer and a 17-year-old badly burned girl were just 3 of many victims aided by Her Majesty’s generosity. During the disastrous floods of 2008 and the severe storms in early 2009, She immediately ordered that packs of food, blankets, clothes and tools to repair homes be distributed to those affected, in order to ensure her subjects were able to recover quickly from these natural disasters.

When His Majesty entered the monkhood in 1956, Her Majesty became Regent during that period. She gave the oath of allegiance before the National Assembly. She performed her duties so well and so satisfactorily that, on the recommendation from the Government, Her Majesty was given the title of higher distinction. She became “Somdech Phraborom Rajininath.” Such a title is given to a Queen who has ably performed the function of the Head of State on behalf of the King, when he was absent from the realm or for some reason was unable to exercise his function temporarily.

On the social side, Her Majesty accepted to become the Honorary President of the National Council on Social Welfare of Thailand under His Majesty’s Patronage on August 10, 1961. The organization comprises of around 905 private and public social welfare units throughout the Kingdom and it is now a member of the International Conference of Social Work.

 

The SUPPORT Foundation

The Royal rural development efforts attracted a large number of donors whose contributions formed the basis of SUPPORT, or the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, founded in 1976 under Their Majesty’s Royal Patronage and Chairmanship. The promotional work of the foundation has been recognized as highly effective, particularly since SUPPORT provides outlets for local wares and handicrafts from all regions of the Kingdom.

In 1979, the Support Foundation Chitralada Training Center was set up to teach Thai arts and crafts to children of landless villagers. Through this project, Her Majesty succeeded in preserving some dying arts. At the present time, there are hundreds of thousands of poor and needy families around the country whose livelihoods have been much improved through Her Majesty’s SUPPORT projects.

While improving the livelihood of her people through the SUPPORT Project, Her Majesty worked simultaneously on the conservation of natural resources and the environment. The Highland Agricultural Development Stations initiated by Her Majesty, Her “Forests Love Water”, “Little House in the Big Forest” and “Sirikit Reforestation” project has enabled people to live in harmony with nature. Forests that had been ravaged have been replanted with useful trees and medicinal plants. Watersheds have been restored and preventive measures put in place against forest fires.

In addition, during the past decades Her Majesty launched many other notable environmental conservation projects, to name a few: “Offshore Natural Rehabilitation”, “Sea Turtle Conservation”, “Metallic Beetle Conservation”, “Lady Slipper Orchid Conservation By returning Them to the Wilderness”, “Elephant Conservation by Releasing Them to Return to the Forest”, and “Rehabilitation of Thai Fish, River Prawns, Mountain Frogs, Native Fowls, etc., to Feed the People”.

On this most auspicious occasion, the management and staff of the Pattaya Mail Media Group join the Thai people and the many others from around the world to present our loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign and best wishes for a most Happy Birthday and a continued long life on the occasion of her 87th birthday Friday, August 12.


Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn Walailak

(Photo courtesy of the Bureau of the Royal Household)

Born on July 4, 1957, Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Walailak is the youngest sister of His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. She has two daughters, HRH Princess Siribhachudhabhorn and HRH Princess Adityad­hornkitikhun.

Princess Chulabhorn graduated from the Faculty of Science and Arts at Kasetsart University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organic Chemistry, First Class Honors, in 1979, following with a doctorate in 1985, being awarded a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Organic Chemistry from Mahidol University in July of that year, capping off a record of excellent academic achievement.

In 1986, she was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in London and was awarded the Einstein Gold Medal by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The following year, she undertook post-doctoral studies in Germany, and has since been a visiting professor at universities in Japan, Germany, and the United States, as well as holding Honorary Doctorates from many universities around the world.

Her Royal Highness is chairperson of the Working Group on the Chemistry of Natural Products, a collaborative program between the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Council of Thailand.

HRH the Princess has received international recognition for her scientific accomplishments, resulting in her appointment to various United Nations posts, namely special advisor to the United Nations Environment Program and member of the Special High-Level Council for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations.

As a result of her experience as a scientist, HRH the Princess became aware of the difficulties Thai researchers have in obtaining the necessary funding for their research and so, in 1987, she established the Chulabhorn Research Institute to provide a new fund-raising agency for such research.

This institute now acts as a focal point for the exchange of intellectual and other resources in Thailand, for the purpose of solving urgent problems confronting the country in areas of health, environment, and agriculture.

As president of the Chulabhorn Research Institute, HRH the Princess currently directs many special research projects, including the AIDS program; a program on restoration and integrated development of the flood-affected areas in Southern Thailand; seawater irrigation for cultivation of economic marine species and preservation of the mangrove forests; a rabies eradication program, with a special project for accelerated immunization in five southern provinces in Thailand; the Light for Life Foundation for Epilepsy, Chulalongkorn Comprehensive Epilepsy Program; Tabtim Siam Secondary School in Surin province; and the ‘Voice of Dharma for the Public’ Radio Station in Udon Thani province.

Through these programs HRH the Princess plays an auspicious role in improving the environment and living standards of the villagers in a number of Thai provinces.

Thank you HRH Princess Chulabhorn for your lifetime of dedication.

All of us at the Chiang Mai Mail join the entire Kingdom in wishing Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn a Most Happy Birthday on the fourth of July 2020.


Long Live Her Majesty Queen Suthida

June 3 is a very special day throughout the Thai Kingdom as it is the day the entire nation celebrates the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s Birthday. The management and staff of the Chiang Mai Mail join the Thai people and many others from around the world to present our loyalty and devotion to Her Majesty Queen Suthida. Best wishes for a most Happy Birthday and a long life on the occasion of her 42nd birthday. (Photo courtesy Bureau of the Royal Household)

June 3 marks the auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Suthida Bajrasudhabimalalakshana’s 42nd birthday.

Born June 3, 1978, as Suthida Tidjai, Her Majesty is from Hat Yai. She graduated from Hatyaiwittayalai Somboonkulkanya Middle School and Assumption University with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts in 2000.

HM Queen Suthida held the rank of general in the Royal Thai Army before her marriage, having been promoted to the position in December 2016 by HM King Vajiralongkorn by royal decree shortly after he took the throne following the death of his father, HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Before the wedding, she was deputy commander of the King’s Own Bodyguard Regiment. The King himself is commander of the unit, and he first designated her to the special officer unit of Crown Prince’s Bodyguard Regiment in 2013.

HM the Queen made her debut on Royal News, a nightly segment about HM the King and his family aired on all Thai television channels, in May 2019, hours after her wedding.

Her Majesty Queen Suthida has been awarded royal honors in 20 royal decrees, the first in 2012 when HM King Bhumibol awarded her the Order of the White Elephant for her “honesty, loyalty and responsibility ... dedication and sacrifice” in service to then HRH Prince Vajiralongkorn. The royal decree named her as Lieutenant Colonel Suthida Vajiralongkorn.

Happy Birthday HM Queen Suthida.

Suthida was appointed commander of Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn’s household guard in August 2014.

On 13 October 2017 she was named a Dame Grand Cross (First Class) of The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao, which bestows the title Than Phu Ying. She is the first female officer to receive this honor since 2004 and the first in the reign of King Rama X.

On 1 December 2016, she was appointed Commander of the Special Operations Unit of the King’s Guard and promoted to the rank of general.

On 1 June 2017, she was appointed as acting commander of Royal Thai Aide-de-Camp Department following the reorganization of the Royal Security Command.

She played a notably prominent role in the sacred October 2017 funeral ceremony for the widely revered HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

At a ceremony held on 1 May 2019 at Ampornsathan Throne Hall in the Dusit Palace, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn married Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya.

An announcement Wednesday, 1 May 2019 in the Royal Gazette said that in keeping with royal traditions, HM the King is now legally married to Gen. Suthida Vajiralongkorn Na Ayudhya.

Gen Suthida was also proclaimed Queen Suthida with all the honors and titles of the royal family.

According to an announcement published in the Royal Gazette, as one of his first acts as King Rama X, His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn conferred upon Queen Suthida the formal title of Her Majesty the Queen, presented her with the traditional royal regalia and accorded her royal rank and status in keeping with royal traditions.

The Royal Gazette also stated HM the King sought the powers of sacred forces to protect the queen.

All of us at the Chiang Mai Mail offer our humble and heartfelt wishes for long life and happiness on this auspicious occasion of Her Majesty Queen Suthida’s birthday.

Long Live HM the Queen!


TAT readies discount-tourism website

Klissada Ratanapruk, TAT Executive Director for ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Region.

Nopniwat Krailerg

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is preparing to offer big discounts on hotels, restaurants and attractions in Chiang Mai to boost domestic tourism.

Pakanan Winitchai, director of TAT’s Chiang Mai office, told a group of local tourism industry executives July 3 that the “Chiang Mai I Meet You” promotional site will launch July 12 after which area businesses will be able to register to join the campaign.

TAT will subsidize the cost of vouchers to offer large discounts on rooms, meals and tourist attractions so that hospitality business don’t lose money by discounting.

Klissada Ratanapruk, executive director for TAT ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific, told the industry luncheon at the Lum Dee Tee Kua Dang restaurant that domestic tourists are most important right now as foreigners likely won’t be allowed back into Thailand until at least next month and only then in very small numbers.

He said most of the 1,000 visitors per country allowed into the country each day will come from North and Southeast Asia. He said he hopes if the limited “travel bubbles” work and do not spark a second wave of the coronavirus that the program might expand by the end of the year.

Klissada Ratanapruk, Executive Director ASEAN, South Asia and South Pacific Region, TAT greets Chiang Mai Tourism Industry representatives.

Tourism entrepreneurs in Chiang Mai take part in the event.


Chiang Mai police seized 155 modified motorbikes

Provincial Police Region 5 announce the results of a crackdown on illegal street racers carried out June 20-30.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Police seized 155 modified motorcycles in a crackdown on illegal street racers.

Provincial Police Region 5 carried out the June 20-30 operation across the North, targeting street racers. A total 103 people were arrested on charges of blocking traffic, reckless driving, driving without a license, lending a vehicle to an unlicensed driver, and driving an illegally modified vehicle. Police also confiscated 70 loudly modified exhaust pipes.

Region 5 deputy chief Pol. Maj. Gen. Pandit Tungkasetranee warned parents and guardians of young drivers to better supervise their children and teach them about the dangers of road racing.

 

Chiang Mai Police seized 155 modified motorcycles in a crackdown on illegal street racers.


Chiang Mai flights increase 36%

The number of flights serving Chiang Mai has increased 36 percent since interprovincial travel restrictions were lifted last month.

Chiang Mai Mail

The number of flights serving Chiang Mai has increased 36 percent since interprovincial travel restrictions were lifted last month.

Amornrak Chumsai Na Ayutthaya, director of Chiang Mai International Airport, said July 2 that there are now an average 68 scheduled flights a day, up from 40 when the airport reopened last month. Passengers have increased about 50 percent to 4,000-5,000 a day.

Despite the increase volume, Chiang Mai still in complying full with the government’s disease-prevention requirements, he said.

Airlines have increased flights from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Utapao, Hat Yai, Ubon, and Udon.

Passengers have increased about 50 percent to 4,000-5,000 a day.


Cabaret dancers create spicy environment at new restaurant in Chiang Mai

Transgender cabaret performers in Chiang Mai haven’t been able to strut around on stage for almost four months due to COVID-19

Chiang Mai mail

Transgender cabaret performers dressed in full costume to lure customers to their new Thai restaurant.

Dancers from across Chiang Mai came together to open Reung La Yum on Soi Rajamangala University in Chang Phueak as they’ve been out of work for four months with no firm idea when they go back on stage. Many are hoping it will be in October.

So, to make ends meet, the transgender women turned their shared house into a restaurant, cooking up their own spicy recipes including “yum pladuk fu,” (spicy crispy fish with green mango salad) “yum ruam” (mixed spicy salad) and “maha reung la yum” (big dish spicy salad). Dishes start at 40 baht and are available for dine-in or delivery from noon until 8 p.m. daily.

The flamboyant dancers put on their over-the-top costumes July 1 to market their food.

Manfah “Matoy” Sukprakob, 26, said they had considered actually doing cabaret shows, but their house is in a residential neighborhood and the neighbors objected.

Transgender cabaret performers pooled their money to open Reung La Yum restaurant on Soi Rajamangala University in Chang Phueak.

 

They used the opening as a good excuse to dress up and promote the restaurant.

 

Trans Manfah, aka Matoy Sukprakob, one of the owners, displays what’s on sale at the new restaurant.


Flash floods wipe out Chiang Mai roads

A night of heavy rain washed out roads in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai at Ban Mae Wan, Ban Mae Nae, Ban Pong Aor, Pa Miang sub-district, and Doi Saket.

Heavy rain across the north washed out roads in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.

Flash floods sent rivers of mud and debris across Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Road after a night of rain June 27. Damage was reported at Ban Mae Wan Km 33, Ban Pha Nae Km 35, and Ban Pong Aor Km 37 in Pa Miang Subdistrict of Doi Saket. Several meters of water made passage impossible.

Pha Miang Subdistrict Deputy Mayor Sujin Sangkaew said the rain began about 11 p.m. the night before and lasted long enough for the Kwang River to overflow.

He urged motorists to use alternate routes, such as Bang Pang Fan from Chiang Rai to Chiang Mai at Kha Moo Phuket going to the Ban Mae Ton junction and the route from Chiang Mai at the Pong Din police booth going to Pong Kum Temple onto Ban Mae Ton.

Crews worked Saturday to fix the main route with heavy machinery and backhoes. (MCOT)


Chiang Mai hotels, hospital team up for health packages

V Group President Watchra Tantranan (3rd left) signs a contract with Dr. Sira Hantrakul (3rd right) from Chiang Mai Ram-Lanna Hospital for a health promotion at the Furama Chiang Mai and other hotels.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai’s V Group hotels are turning the current health crisis to their advantage by offering wellness packages from 4,400 baht a night.

The hotel group partnered with Chiang Mai Ram-Lanna Hospital for the health promotion at its Furama Chiang Mai and other hotels. The three-day, two-night packages are available for a year from July 1.

On June 24 at the Furama Chiang Mai, V Group President Watchra Tantranan kicked off the campaign with executives from Kum Praya Resort and Spa and White Boutique Hotel and Spa and officials from the two hospitals.

Watchra said he recognized that health is at the top of most people’s minds now and that the hotel group wanted to leverage the expertise of the area’s hospitals and hospitality to create a unique holiday experience.

The packages include a full medical checkup with additional treatment options available.

Dr. Sira Hantrakul from Chiang Mai Ram-Lanna Hospital said the medical services will take only four hours and includes shuttle services between the facility and hotels.

For more information, call Furama Chiang Mai Hotel at 053-415-222.

V Group President Watchra Tantranan addresses the press.

Chiang Mai’s V Group hotels are partnering with Chiang Mai Ram-Lanna Hospital for wellness packages.


‘Clean, safe, worry-free’ Chiang Mai welcomes back tourists

Deputy Interior Minister Nopon Boonyamanee (3rd left) and Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanuangsit (center) invite domestic tourists to return to Chiang Mai

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai relaunched tourism with assurances to visitors that it is a “clean, safe and worry-free” destination.

According to a new Suan Dusit Poll, Chiang Mai is the number-one place Thais want to visit now interprovincial travel has been allowed and the nation’s lockdown mostly lifted.

Deputy Interior Minister Nopon Boonyamanee and Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanuangsit invited domestic tourists to return to Chiang Mai during a June 18 news conference at the Tha Phae Gate.

Chiang Mai has not reported a case of Covid-19 in more than a month and has lifted its requirement that visitors go into quarantine upon arrival.

 

Chiang Mai Gov. Charoenrit Sanuangsit presents his opening speech.

 

Deputy Interior Minister Nopon Boonyamanee bangs the gong Lanna style to open Chiang Mai domestic tourism after COVID-19.


10 kg. heroin, 800K speed pills seized in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai authorities seized 800,000 methamphetamine tablets and 10 kilograms of heroin while patrolling the Doi Ang Khang highway.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai authorities seized 800,000 methamphetamine tablets and 10 kilograms of heroin while patrolling the Doi Ang Khang highway.

Fifth Cavalry Regiment Col. Narit Tavornwong and Fang District police announced the arrests June 16, detailing how soldiers and police stopped two vehicles carrying 10 people, the ya ba pills and heroin.

Authorities managed to arrest only eight of the 10 people. 

 


Chiang Mai Night Safari sees 50% revenue cut for 2020

Chiang Mai Night Safari expects revenue to fall 50 percent this fiscal year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Night Safari expects revenue to fall 50 percent this fiscal year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but hopes domestic tourists can rescue the business by year-end.
Anucha Damrongmanee, executive director for Pinkanakorn Development Agency Plc., which operates the Night Safari, said May 6 that the tourist attraction also will try to cut costs by upgrading its information technology systems to analyze its business processes.

The year-end push for domestic tourists, he said, will be based around the park’s planned Dinosaur Planet attraction, currently under construction.

Chiang Mai Night Safari shut down on March 27 after posting 107 million baht in revenue from October-March. Before closing, business had plunged 90 percent in March, he said. By Sept. 30, the end of the park’s fiscal year, it expects revenue to have declined 50 percent.

Anucha said the park still has about 200,000 baht in expenses to cover and so management is cutting costs by, for example, canceling orders for office supplies and renting office equipment, along with making more efficient use of water and recyclables.


Chiang Mai Airport reopens with flights to Bangkok, Hat Yai

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Rattapol Naradisorn (3rd left) paid an area visit to follow up and observe passenger screening after airlines started providing services.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai Airport is open again, with four airlines resuming the first direct flights after the coronavirus shutdown.

Deputy Gov. Rattapol Naradisorn inspected airport operations May 1 to ensure passengers were undergoing proper health screenings and the impact it had on lines and crowding.

Body-temperature scanners have been installed at all entrances and those entering the airport must be wearing face masks at all times.

Passengers arriving from high-risk areas, such as Bangkok, must complete health certificates and agree to enter quarantine for 14 days.

Airlines have been instructed to have passengers complete the forms before arriving or to use a mobile phone application to reduce arrival delays and lines.

Resuming flights this month are Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air and Thai VietJet, connecting Chiang Mai with Bangkok’s two airports and Hai Yai. Only 18 flights – evenly split between departures and arrivals – are scheduled currently.

Chiang Mai Immigration officers require foreign and Thai passengers traveling from areas at risk of COVID-19 outbreaks to fill out tracing documents.

Chiang Mai Airport provides surveillance and screening measures for both arrival and departure.

Atmosphere at arrival hall, passengers wait for their baggage after Chiang Mai Airport reopened.


Broke Brit found living at Chiang Mai airport

Margaret Mary Jumbo explains her situation to Chiang Mai immigration officials.

Nopniwat Krailerg

Chiang Mai International Airport immigration officers helped a destitute foreign tourist living in the airport for a week.

Margaret Mary Jumbo, 44, had flown to Thailand from the United Kingdom March 14 on a visa-exemption stamp that expired April 12. However, all flights out of Thailand had been suspended and her visa was automatically extended.

That didn’t help her financial situation, however. With the U.K. in coronavirus lockdown, her employer did not transfer money to her as expected and she’s been waiting at the Chiang Mai airport for it.

Kanchana Aranruk, owner of 24 Guest House, contacted immigration to offer Jumbo free accommodations and food. She’s awaiting the resumption of flights to the U.K. to return home.

 She was transferred from Chiang Mai airport to a guesthouse by airport pickup.

Kanchana Aranruk (woman in grey t-shirt at guesthouse), owner of 24 Guest House, offered to give Margaret a place to live with no charge until her money arrives.


 
Next To Page 2  
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Chiang Mai Food Festival kicks off Nov. 6

Protestors demand leaders’ release in demonstrations across Chiang Mai

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5 arrested; meth, heroin seized at Phrae checkpoint

‘Wow Africa’ marks full reopening of Chiang Mai Zoo

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Six Zoos in Thailand open gates for visitors in October after long closure

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Russian arrested for Doi Suthep campsite burglaries

U.S. ambassador breaks ground on new Chiang Mai consulate

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Relocated Thai passport office opens in Chiang Mai convention center

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Lanna Expo continues through Sept. 27 in Chiang Mai

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Chiang Mai Youth Space opens with cultural shows


Long Live Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of The Queen Mother

Happy Birthday HRH Princess Chulabhorn Walailak


Long Live Her Majesty Queen Suthida


TAT readies discount-tourism website

Chiang Mai police seized 155 modified motorbikes


Chiang Mai flights increase 36%


Cabaret dancers create spicy environment at new restaurant in Chiang Mai


Flash floods wipe out Chiang Mai roads

Chiang Mai hotels, hospital team up for health packages

‘Clean, safe, worry-free’ Chiang Mai welcomes back tourists

10 kg. heroin, 800K speed pills seized in Chiang Mai


Chiang Mai Night Safari sees 50% revenue cut for 2020

Chiang Mai Airport reopens with flights to Bangkok, Hat Yai

Broke Brit found living at Chiang Mai airport