Expats Club welcomes new U.S. Consul General
U.S. Consul General Kenneth
Foster chats with members of the Expats Club at their meeting held on
Saturday, May 26, 2012.
By Shana Kongmun
The new U.S. Consul General Kenneth L.
Foster was welcomed to the Chiang Mai Expats Club on Saturday, May 26, 2012
at their monthly meeting at the Shangri La Hotel. Personable and engaging,
he spoke a bit about his background in the State Department where he worked
in Cambodia and Haiti. He noted that his appointment is only temporary as
previous Consul General Susan Stevenson returned to the United States early
due to a family emergency. He added that the assignments are made very early
on, so the new Consul General had already been named when he was asked to
step in as interim.
Noting that previous Consul General’s had
spoken to the Expats he covered the main functions of the Consulate for
Americans; Citizens services which includes reports of births, new
passports, B1/B2 Visas for tourists to the United States (immigrant visas
are processed in Bangkok), notary, in cases of emergency, arrests etc.
Additionally, they work with the Thai government regarding trafficking, both
drugs and human. Finally, the monitor and report back on political changes
both in Thailand and in Myanmar.
Alan Hall of
the Chiang Mai Expats Club meets with some of the members at the meeting
held at the Shangri La Hotel.
Ken noted that there is also an
installation on Doi Suthep run by the U.S in conjunction with the Royal Thai
Navy called Detachment 145 which monitors seismic and nuclear activity in
South East Asia.
Following his presentation, members took
to the floor with questions regarding issues important to Americans with the
enforcement of the bank account reporting law by the IRS. Americans are
required to report bank accounts if their total exceeds $10,000, however, as
members pointed out, finding out how to do this is not the easiest task.
Banks are also required to report their American account holders to the IRS
and this may prove problematic as smaller banks refuse to deal with the
paperwork and may request their American account holders to close their
accounts. Bangkok Bank and other large banks do report their American
account holders so those opening a new account may wish to choose a large
bank, Ken noted.
The American Fourth of July party is not
organized by the Consulate he noted, adding that local organizations usually
coordinate and organize the party but he has not yet heard of one for this
The meeting closed with the usual lucky
draws as many headed out hoping the skies would clear.
left) Nancy Lindley, Ken Foster and Ana Gracey
prepare for the start of the meeting.
North Gate celebrates 5 years
Northgate regulars perform on
their 5th anniversary.
By Shana Kongmun
The North Gate Jazz Co-Op saw a more
than full house for its 5th anniversary party on Saturday, May
26, 2012 with the small venue packed to the gills to listen to different
bands play throughout the night, even spilling into the street and onto the
moat as passersby were pulled in by the music.
Co-owner Pharadon 'Por' Phonamnuai was
there, meeting guests and letting people know about his new book in Thai
about his travels as a jazz musician. This well-traveled musician, who has
plied his sax from Mongolia to New York and many places in between, laughed
and said it would be great to have it translated into English as well, but
first things first.
Many musicians vied to make sure they
could perform on this important night for North Gate, a venue known for
nurturing local musicians and allowing them the space to grow in confidence.
Northgate is open every night from 9.30 p.m. to midnight and has live music
every night, Tuesday night is jam night. Northgate can be found on Facebook.
'Por' Phonamnuai shows off his new book.
Anselm dropped in to enjoy the music.
surrounded by ladies listening to the bands
play at Northgate Saturday night.
Skälleagues meet at the Siripanna Resort
The monthly Skäl group photo
By Shana Kongmun
The May meeting of the international travel and tourism professional
association Skäl met at the Siripanna Resort on Friday, May 25, 2012.
President of Skäl for Chiang Mai and the North Annette Kunigagon announced
that the next meeting will be held in Chiang Rai on June 16, directly
following the Mekong Tourism Forum which takes place June 12-15. Jaffee Yee
pointed out that those wishing to attend the forum and the Skäl meeting
could also attend the latest exhibition opening at his gallery there.
Skål International has approximately 23,000 members in 500 Clubs throughout
87 nations with more opening up, the first club in China held its first
meeting on the same evening, and more are opening in Burma and Bhutan.
Vanita and Frank Sethi of
Fashion King chat with Micaela Hobbs of Crouching Tiger Cycling Tours about
the most popular routes the tour takes.
New members to the club were introduced as were first
time guests including Micaela Hobbs of Crouching Tiger Cycling Tours, Chiang
Mai’s only road cycling tour company, many of whose customers are serious
cyclists that enjoy the challenge of the Samoeng loop, cycling to Mae Hong
Son and Chiang Rai.
Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King were back in Chiang Mai after a long
absence in Bangkok and were warmly greeted by many members. Annette talked
about her recent visit to Penang, Malaysia for the Asia Skäl Congress,
noting that Thailand’s father of Skal was posthumously awarded “Personality
of the Year”, a great reward for a man who had given so much to Skäl
The evening ended with Siripanna Resort’s fantastic buffet dinner and
barbecue featuring steak, seafood and pork as well as a delicious dessert
spread before everyone headed home in the rainy evening.
Tim McGuire of Segway Gibbon
is happily surrounded by the ladies at the pre-dinner cocktail party.
Jaffee Yee chats about the
next Skal meeting in Chiang Rai.
Philip Van Driesten is awarded
a certificate as a new Skäl member by President Annette Kunigagon.
Jaffee Yee and Shana Kongmun
of the Chiang Mai Mail lead the crowd in the traditional Skäl toast.
Bowling for International We Love the King Day
The bowlers gathered with the
Deputy Governor for a group photo before the event started.
The We Love Thailand Club held a fundraising bowling
event at Lanna Bowl on Sunday, May 20, 2012 for the December 1 International
We Love the King Day. The inaugural event was held with a parade from Tha
Pae Gate to JJ Market followed by music and dance performances by Thai,
hilltribe and foreign residents. The parade saw several thousand people join
in of all nationalities to show their love and respect for HM King Bhumibol
The group organized the fundraising
activitiy in conjunction with Chiang Mai Friends Group and the Lanna Bowling
Club and saw Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Adisorn Kummurdsiri take to the
lanes quite successfully. Parties interested in taking part in this year’s
International We Love the King Day can contact Boong Chaladlam at
Chiangmaifriends@gmail.com or Sudchai Kanulsoonthorn at
Deputy Governor Adisorn Kummurdsiri showed off his bowling form at Lanna
Bowl on Sunday, May 20, 2012.
Friends member Bob joins the Deputy Governor before the bowling begins.
Friends President Duenpen “Boong” Chaladlam takes aim.
AmCham Thailand explores opening a branch in Chiang Mai
(from left) U.S. Consul General
Kenneth Foster, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce Judy Benn
and U.S. Counselor for Economic Affairs Julie Chung at the AmCham meeting on
By Shana Kongmun
Executive Director of the American
Chamber of Commerce in Thailand Judy Benn traveled up to Chiang Mai on
Monday, May 21, 2012 to meet with interested business parties at the U.S.
Consul General’s lovely old home on the grounds of the U.S. Consulate. The
event was attended by both American, Thai and other nationalities interested
in working with the American Chamber to start a branch in the North. Ms.
Benn noted that 8 companies are required to agree to form the branch before
it can be submitted to the committee in Bangkok for approval. The U.S.
Embassy’s Counselor for Economic Affairs Julie Chung joined the event
alongside U.S. Consul General Kenneth Foster.
Ms. Benn noted that a business does not
have to be American owned or the person even an American to join the
Chamber, adding that of the 2,000 members only 22% are American and 50% are
Thai, but, she added, most of these businesses have some relation to the
United States, either as an importer or exporter or providing services to
American companies. She added that the Chamber felt it important to move
forward on a Northern Thailand chapter given the growing number of companies
with ties to the United States. AegisTek is one of those companies making
server racks that are sold to corporations and governments around the world.
Group Managing Director Monchai Jitkul noted that they just completed
telecom waterproof outdoor storage boxes for the London Olympics. Ms. Benn
said that the Chamber hopes to not only provide bi monthly meetings but
offer services and live streaming of talks held elsewhere.
The American Chamber also provides
grant aid to schools through their Adopt a School program and while they
already provide aid to many in Northern Thailand are always open to more
suggestions. Through corporate donations they have provided scholarships
through a teacher fellowship program, paying the salaries of 13 teachers at
business owners with ties to the United States attended the meeting.
Regional Security Officer: Corey Ford chats with Julie Chung and Jim Boyle
Jarvis joins Political/Economic/Public Diplomacy Officer: Paul Neville and
Monchai Jitkul of AegisTek over a drink at the meeting.
5th Annual Cancer Care Run
The 5th Annual Cancer Care Family
Day was organised by the Four Seasons Resort and saw a 3.5km fun run at Huay
Tung Taew reservoir. Over 370 runners took part in the charity event that raises
funds that will go towards research projects being conducted by the
Haematological Cancer Research Centre at Chulalongkorn Hospital. Chiang Mai
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul joined the runners at the fun run. (Photo courtesy
Chiang Mai welcomes new Swiss Honorary Consul
Long time Chiang Mai resident Marc Dumur to serve the Swiss community in the North
Swiss Ambassador Christine
Schraner Burgener presents HM the King’s endorsement of Marc Dumur as the new
Honorary Consul for Switzerland in the North.
By Shana Kongmun
Marc Dumur, well known among Chiang Mai
residents received approval from His Majesty the King to become the newest
member of Chiang Mai’s diplomatic corps at a reception held at the Imperial Mae
Ping on May 10, 2012. Marc Dumur has been resident in Chiang Mai and the North
since 1988 and has been a very active member of the hospitality organization
Skäl, including being chosen as President of the organization. Marc was welcomed
as the new Swiss Honorary Consul by the Ambassador of Switzerland, H.E.
Christine Schraner Burgener, who presented Marc with both his accreditation from
the Swiss Government and from HM the King as signed by Prime Minister Yingluck
She welcomed the visiting crowd of Swiss
residents, friends, well wishers and members of the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps
to the evening, speaking in turn in German, French, Italian and English, as the
three main languages of Switzerland are French, German and Italian, along with a
fourth official language; Romansh. However, she noted that perhaps it was easier
to speak in English so that all visitors could understand. She added that even
though the area of responsibility is quite large, and the Swiss population in
the North a fairly significant number, she was sure that the well behaved
reputation of the Swiss would keep Marc’s job easy.
The Swiss Honorary Consulate will serve the
Provinces of the North including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Phrae,
Phayao, Lamphun, Lampang, and Uttaradit. The Consulate is located in the
Frangipani Serviced Apartments on the ground floor, at 11/1 Soi 13 Prapokklao
Road. The Consulate will not be able to issue visas but can help with many
documentary issues and can aid Swiss citizens in need.
the Chiang Mai diplomatic corps welcome Marc Dumur on stage at the Imperial
Mae Ping Hotel on Thursday, May 10, 2012.
residents from Chiang Mai came to the ceremony to meet their new Consul.
well wishers and many Swiss residents were on hand to greet Marc Dumur in
his new role as Honorary Consul.
Consul General Dr. Zhu Wei Min chatted with Imperial Mae Ping’s General
Manager Peter Schnyder at the reception.
Honorary Consul Marc Dumur addressed the crowd and discussed his upcoming
role and responsibilities.
Honorary Consul Peter van Loo (right) joins Americans Roger and Nancy
Lindley at the party as residents of all nationalities turned out to meet
the new Honorary Consul.
saw friends and many prominent local residents turn out to greet Marc Dumur.
Paradise on Nimman
Sabine Zimpfler is a fan of K.
Jim’s as she presents a welcoming gift in front of a platter of delicious
The newest venture of K. Jim of La Gondola opened to great
fanfare and only a bit of rain on Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Nimmanhaemin Soi 6.
Also known for the wonderful Girasole, now the Nimman area of town will benefit
from their culinary expertise. The new restaurant is small but charmingly
decorated and has a large shared outdoor space in front, located inside Punna
Place next to the Powerhouse Gym.
The opening of Pasta Paradise was well
attended by many friends and fans of their food and the selection at opening did
not disappoint. The new restaurant has the largest selection of pastas in town
and will be open daily except Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
restaurant at Punna Place is cute and small but with a great menu.
Asiyah of Natiryas Galleria, Joyce Morgan and Margaret Bhadungzong enjoy the
opening of the new restaurant.
Some of the many
delicious canapés that guests enjoyed at the grand opening on May 5, 2012.
Governor opens OTOP Fair at Royal Park Rajapruek
Governor M.L. Panadda Diskul hits
the ceremonial gong to open the show while President of the Chiang Mai Culture
Council Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiangmai looks on.
The Royal Park Rajapruek is hosting a large OTOP Fair this
weekend featuring the “Wisdom of Lanna” with products made by elderly people in
Chiang Mai. The event is designed to promote the wisdom and knowledge of the
elderly. Chiang Mai Governor ML Panadda Diskul was joined by President of the
Chiang Mai Culture Council Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiangmai at the opening of the
event on May 3, 2012.
The Royal Park Rajapruek is working with
the Chiang Mai Tourism Business Association, the Commercial Development Office
and the Research and Development Branch of the Park to host the event that has
booths featuring everything from handwoven textiles to herbal remedies.
The fair is being held from May 4-6 from 10
a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Exhibition Building 2 at the Royal Park Rajapruek. (Photos
courtesy of Royal Park Rajapruek).
Panadda Diskul and Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiangmai are joined by Royal Park
Rajapruek officials and members of the Tourism Business Association at the
Duangduan na Chiangmai browses among the many beautiful items for sale.
enjoys live music performed by local people at the fair.
Chickynet hosts ladies get together
Chickynet, the online forum for
expat and Thai women in Thailand hosted a ladies night get together at the 2nd
Floor Gallery on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. The event was well attended by many of
the women who live and visit Chiang Mai. More information on chickynet can be
found online at chickynet.com. (Photo courtesy of CityNow!)
Classic cars and a kids day out
The kids waved goodbye to
everyone as their very fun day came to a close. (Photo courtesy of Franck
The Classic Cars of Lanna Club held a special Kids Day Out on
their last meeting, taking kids from the Garden Eden and Rena Green Memorial
Children Homes to the very fun Horizon Village and Resort on Sunday, April 30,
2012. The event was sponsored by Quantel Medical and Horizon Village and Resort.
The kids enjoyed their ride in the many classic cars that participated and
member Franck Morand’s generous help and organization ensured the day’s success.
The kids had lunch at the Resort, enjoyed the lovely gardens and generally just
had a lot of fun.
ANZAC Day in Kanchanaburi
The Wreath Layers at Chungkai,
nearest Maurice Hewson, British Ambassador Asif Ahmad, Tony Archer, and Fred
By Bert Elson
As always in April members of the royal
British Legion headed for Kanchanaburi and the River Kwai for the ANZAC Day
Memorial Service. This year however was a little bit special in that 70 years
ago this year work started on the infamous Thai/Burma Railway, also this year
was to be the first get together of the Royal British Legion Thailand.
Members from all over Thailand including
Pattaya, Bangkok, Korat, Chiang Mai and Udon Thai made their way to Kanchanaburi
on 24 April to get ready for the service on 25 April, many attended the dawn
service followed by the main one at 10 a.m. After that and the cold beer had
finished our group headed to the lesser known war cemetery at Chungkai to hold
our own small service and lay four wreaths (the only ones laid at Chungkai).
chats with Albert Trayling, our oldest member on parade.
British Ambassador Asif Ahmad was in
attendance at the main service and on hearing of our visit to Chungkai asked if
he could join us, this was another occasion where the Ambassador has shown both
his support and respect for the work of the Royal British Legion in Thailand.
Our Ceremonial Duties done we split into
smaller groups and visited the many attractions around town, many returned to
the hotel to get out of the intense heat to have a few cold ones!
We added an extra day on the itinerary this
year, on the morning of the 26th there were trips to the Bridge and Hellfire
Pass followed by the social highlight of the trip our BBQ at the Thai Garden Inn
resort, many thanks to Judy and John for hosting us, Grieg Ritchie, Clair
Ritchie, Dot Knowles and Tam Holmes for doing all the preparation and cooking
and to our new sponsors of the event Acorn Distribution formally MatVic
The group at
Chungkai war Cemetery, the Ambassador and Bert Elson centre.
The BBQ was once again a great success
allowing all our members to meet and greet, we also presented two five year
Poppy Appeal Certificates of Thanks to members Bob Myers and Fred Beavis, a
special thank you was also said to our Welfare Team.
Whilst we were all getting ready to travel
to the service four members were already in the area and walked, cycled and
kayaked the length of the railway from Three Pagodas Pass to the River Kwai in
aid of the Royal British Legion and the Australian Returned Services League,
they arrived just before the service and they more than anyone deserved a cold
beer along with a lot of thanks!s!
The Chiang Mai Royal British Legion meets
every Wednesday at the Olde Bell on Loi Kroh Road at 7 p.m.
Some Chiang Mai
members on the railway.