Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Loy Krathong Festival
- Chiang Mai

The world famous Loy Krathong Festival in Thailand this year takes place between 1st & 2nd November 2009.

If you are planning to be Visiting Thailand & even more importantly Chiang Mai during this period, make a note in your diary to attend this truly magnificent event.

It's a time of year when the nights are getting a little cooler & the magic that is Chiang Mai comes alive!!.

To read the full article, please CLICK HERE .

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The X-Centre
- Chiang Mai, Thailand

“Be there if YOU Dare!”

The X-Centre Chiang Mai is the ultimate metropolis for all adrenaline junkies visiting northern Thailand.

The centre is located at Mae Rim some 20kms (12 miles) north west of the centre of Chiang Mai and takes around 20 minutes to reach from town.

The X-Centre at Chiang Mai are very proud of their slogan “Be there if YOU Dare!”, and I suppose the Xtreme sport that best typifies this from the considerable range on offer is the bungee jump at over 50 metres (150 feet) from the raised platform to the ground below!!. The centre has been operating the jump since 1990 under the confines of the stringent New Zealand Standard, and your personal safety is always of paramount importance.

The full range of activities are:* Off-Road Buggies
* Trail Bikes
* Go Karts
* Paintball
* Bungee jump
* Zorb Ball - more a little later!.
* Sports Bar & Restaurant

Please click the link to X-Centre, Chiang Mai to read the full article.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Stunning Lotus Wall Panel

The Lotus flower is a symbol of prosperity, fertility and enlightenment.

Lotus flower carved panels are highly prized in Thai homes and usually take centre stage in the main living area of the home.
For ease of shipping, handling and mounting ,all our Lotus Panels arrive in 30cm wide sections ready for assembly.

Once home these can be either assembled together directly next to each other, or slightly apart for a more contemporary feel.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL prices quoted are for the item set, and include FREE SHIPPING.

Item No: 286
Description: 6' Round Handcarved Lotus Wallpanel Set
Item Price:US $699.00

Beautiful square handcarved teakwood lotus wall hanging set in a stunning modern whitewashed finish.

The set contains 6 individual panels and can be displayed either with slight gaps in between the panels, or altogether.

Handcrafted by the highly skilled artisans around Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, this set will add beauty & tranquility to any room within the home.

The set measures approximately 180cm wide x 180cm high x 3cm deep (72"wide x 72" high x 1.5"deep).

This item is shipped by FedEx / DHL, deliveries worldwide within 7 days.

PLEASE NOTE: Any taxes or charges levied within the destination country are NOT included within the selling price, and are therefore the responsibility of the buyer.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thailand Tourism Plunges 22%

Published: 23/07/2009 at 03:07 PM

The tourism industry has suffered its deepest slump in many decades with the number of visitors expected to be down 22 per cent on last year, according to the Tourism Council of Thailand chairman Kongkit Hiranyakij.

It was the biggest plunge in tourism growth in 49 years, he said.

Besides the global economic crisis, the country's continuing political turmoil had contributed to the sharp decline in tourism, Mr Kongkit Hiranyakij said on Thursday.

The expected number of tourist arrivals had been reduced from the expected 14.1 million to 11 million, he said.

The A(H1N1) flu outbreak could make tourism contract by three to four per cent, causing the country to lose up to 200 billion baht of tourism revenue this year, he said.

Last year, Thailand gained 540 billion baht in tourism revenue.

"If the government can solve its political problems and is able to host the Asean meetings successfully, tourism should be revived by the end of this year or the beginning of 2010," Mr Kongkit predicted.

However, he said Thai tourists would help generate an estimated 430 billion baht in revenue this year.

Source: Bangkok Post - 23rd July 2009

Thousands Gather to Watch Solar Eclipse

Thousands of enthusiasts gathered at various spots across the country yesterday morning to grab a glimpse of the much publicised solar eclipse.

The cheers grew in just a few provinces, though!!.

Thanks to the Rainy Season ,only the sky over Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and a few other areas was clear enough for people to watch the crescent sun.

In Thailand, yesterday's solar eclipse was just partial. But other Asian countries like India and China were able to witness a total eclipse, the longest of the century.

"Here in Chiang Rai, the sun was obscured by about 69 per cent," Prayong Huaklang said yesterday in his capacity as the head of the Chiang Rai Rajabhat University's observatory.

He said the eclipse lasted from 7am to 9.14am.

His observatory also provided free devices for keen gazers.

In Udon Thani, about 500 students and people crowded Rajabhat University's basketball court to watch the eclipse.

After rain fell throughout Monday night, the sky was clear in this northeastern province yesterday morning.

"From here, the partial eclipse obscured about 54 per cent of the sun," university president Natthep Pitaksanurak said.

In Chiang Mai, over 300 enthusiasts gathered on the rugby field of the Chiang Mai University to watch the eclipse.

Clouds blocked a clear view of the sun from time to time.

"I was so excited. I came here because I saw news reports about this phenomenon on TV," Grade3 student Kittipong Suwaeng said. "But I was a bit disappointed that the clouds kept obstructing my view."

LtColonel Sompong Pornsee, 70, said that although the sky was "not quite open", he was impressed to see the eclipse.

"I am already old. I don't know whether I will be able to witness this phenomenon again," he said.

In Uttaradit, hundreds of students could watch the solar eclipse for just 10 minutes because of hovering clouds.

"Although the sky was not clear, I felt this was a very valuable experience," Grade7 student Kanokwan Panjakabut said.

Locals in Songkhla, Lampang, Sukhothai, Nakhon Si Thammarat and several other provinces did not see the solar eclipse at all.

"More than 100 people registered to watch the solar eclipse with us but clouds spoiled it all," Lampang Science Centre for Education director Jamrern Moonfong said.

However, while many people were clearly disappointed that they missed an opportunity to see the partial eclipse, others never wished to watch the phenomenon.

According to some superstitious beliefs, the solar eclipse is a bad omen.

Source: The Nation - 22nd July 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chiang Mai Cookery Schools

Cookery Schools over the last few years have become an ever increasing & important element of MANY tourists planned visits to the northern Thailand city of Chiang Mai.

With the burgeoning global popularity for all Asian dishes & particularly that of Thai Cuisine ,a host of cookery schools have sprouted up all around the area.

We have spent time looking at the various choices so that we could provide a useful guide to the Chiang Mai Cookery Schools and suggest an option that provides the best quality of instruction, facilities & overall value for money to the visitor.

Please Click Here to read the full article.

World's Best Cities
- Chiang Mai Achieves Recognition!

Udaipur in India has been named the World's Best City, taking over from last year's winner Bangkok, in Travel + Leisure magazine's fourteenth annual World's Best Awards.

Results from the magazine's poll of readers show that Bangkok has slipped to third behind Udaipur and Cape Town in the Top 10 Cities Worldwide category, but that Chiang Mai is a newcomer, in at No 5. Cities are judged for their sights, culture/arts, restaurants/food, people, shopping and value.

City of Lakes
Known as the City of Lakes, Udaipur is located in the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India.

It was once the capital of the kingdom of Mewar, ruled over for centuries by kings of the Rajput dynasties.

They left behind grand palaces which, along with the beauty of Udaipur's many lakes, have made the historic city the world's favourite this year.

"For a number of top-ranked cities - Udaipur, Cape Town, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang - value ratings were sky-high," says Nancy Novogrod, editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure. "And while many far-flung metropolises made a strong showing, old favourites like T+L's hometown, New York City, as well as Florence, Rome and San Francisco remain in the top 10 overall.

Holidays on a budget
"This year's results reflect our readers' travel interests in this challenging economic reality - value, intimacy, service and discovery are top priorities. As for that old-fashioned sounding word, luxury, it's all about enclaves that shelter 'stealth wealth', from Amankora Paro in Bhutan to San Ysidro Ranch in California, where 'casual' and 'laid-back' are the names of the game."

The 2009 results will be announced in Travel + Leisure's August issue, which comes out on July 24. The winners will be honoured at an awards ceremony on July 21 at the Cooper Square Hotel in New York.

For full details of all the top World's Best Cities, please click on the link.

Source: The Nation - 14th July 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Chiang Mai Zoo
- Giant Panda Cub
- Photos & Video

Latest Video & Photos of Chiang Mai's Top Tourist Attraction!

The giant panda cub at Chiang Mai Zoo continues it's high profile beginning to life, and is still featuring daily on the front pages of several of the Thai national newspapers.

The cub is very much being used as the "bait" to entice tourists to visit the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai during the current world economical downturn which has seen visitor numbers to the city dwindle to under half last years figures.

In addition to this the current fears about the global spread of H1N1 flu are also applying additional pressures upon an already beleagured tourism industry.

But anyway, that's enough gloom & despondancy!, here we have the Latest Giant Panda Cub Photos showing a geat collection of photos of the first 6 weeks of the baby cubs life.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Piano Recital by Juyeon Kang
- Chiang Mai July 15, 2009

D & M Music Studio presents A Piano Recital by Juyeon Kang

Location: AUA Language Center Auditorium in Chiangmai on Rajadamnern Road
Phone No: 081-682-8000
Date: July 15, 2009
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: adults 300baht and students 200baht available to purchase on the night at the door at 6:30 pm or call 081-682-8000 for advance booking.

Concert artist and educator Juyeon Kang is described by Natalya Antonova, distinguished professor at the Eastman School of Music, as a pianist of
"formidable technique & exquisite sound."

Dr. Kang has appeared extensively as soloist and chamber musician in the United States and abroad, including Spain , Finland , Italy and Korea .

She launched a performance career that included her debut solo recital in Boston's Jordan Hall after winning two first prizes in 1998: the Heida Hermann's Young Artists Competition in Connecticut and the Josef Hofmann Piano Competition in South Carolina.

The latter led to an invitation to perform at the Embassy of Poland in Washington , D.C.,where she presented the Chopin Commemorative Piano Concert on the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death.

Her solo appearance with orchestras include South Dakota Symphony Orchestra ,Hingham Symphony Orchestra (Massachusetts),
Augusta Symphony Orchestra (Georgia) , and Korean Symphony Orchestra, and her performances have been aired on television in Korea and on National Public Radio in New York, Massachusetts, Georgia and South Carolina .

A native of Korea , Dr. Kang earned a doctor of musical arts in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester,New York.She also received the prestigious Artist Diploma in piano performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston , where she was on the faculty in the college division.

In 2003, she was appointed assistant professor of music at Northwestern College in Orange City,Iowa, where she teaches private piano, class piano, music theory lab, and coordinates the accompanist.

Evening Programme Includes Works By:
Partita No.3 in A minor, BWV 827 by Johann Sebastian Bach. Polonaise in C Major, Op. 89 by Ludwig van Beethoven. Tango Suite by Astor Piazzolla. Arr. by Kyoko Yamamoto and Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the League of David), op. 6,by Robert Schumann.

Cash Bonanza for Chiang Mai Zoo

Panda Cub Helps Rake It In

The Chiang Mai Zoo took in more than Bt1 million last weekend, thanks to the panda cub going on direct public display for the first time.

Panda project chief Prasertsak Boontrakulpoontawee yesterday said 4,078 tickets were sold to visitors wanting to see the cub on Saturday and another 3,779 on Sunday. The number of tickets sold was much higher than the maximum of 2,000 a day that had been expected.

However, he insisted the baby panda's direct display would not be extended even with the long holiday lasting until tomorrow.

"We're concerned about the panda's health and safety, and taking the cub from its mother, Lin Hui, too many times will reduce Lin Hui's trust in her caretakers," Prasertsak said.

The cub weighed 2.07 kilograms yesterday, 40 grams more than on Sunday.

Prasertsak expects her right eye to open in the next two days. Her left eye opened last Saturday, and the cub should see clearly with it soon.

A poll conducted by Chiang Mai's Maejo University showed about 92 per cent of respondents believed the cub's direct public display and activities celebrating its birth helped tourismrelated business in the province.

A total of 1,100 visitors to the zoo were surveyed on Saturday. Of those, 60.5 per cent came from outside of Chiang Mai.

64% said they wanted to buy souvenirs decorated with panda logos. Also, 76.5 per cent wanted to see another direct public display organised after the cub was older and stronger, while 23.5 per cent did not think that was a good idea, due to the risk of infection.

Source: The Nation 7th July 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tough Times for Thai Tourism

Facing its worst crisis in years, Thailand's tourism industry is going to great lengths to drum up business that has plunged thanks to political upheaval, the global recession — and now swine-flu fears.

Thai Airways is trying to lure passengers from outside Asia with free domestic flights. Hotels on Thailand's resort island of Phuket are offering a fourth night free. And mountain lodges around Chiang Mai in the north are offering free golf and spa pampering.

Facing its worst crisis in years, Thailand's tourism industry is going to great lengths to drum up business that has plunged thanks to political upheaval, the global recession — and now swine-flu fears.

Foreign-traveler arrivals have fallen 16 percent so far this year, while hotel occupancy across the country has dropped to 44 percent, down from 66 percent last year. Luxury hotels in Bangkok have even lower occupancy rates.

Business is normally slower from June through October because of Rainy Season, but this year is particularly sluggish. And for those who do visit Thailand, there are plenty of deals.

Thai Airways is offering its inbound passengers from Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand a free round-trip domestic ticket through October. Budget carrier AirAsia is selling tickets from Bangkok to points around the country for as little as $10 for trips after October.

As part of a nationwide campaign called "Amazing Thailand Grand Sale," Bangkok's glitziest shopping malls are slashing prices on many goods by 20 to 70 percent.

High-end hotels are offering extra incentives rather than cutting rates.

The Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok is offering a special package that includes a 3,500-baht ($100) bar and restaurant credit — and a free second night at any Peninsula hotel around the world.

The luxury hotels seem to be hit hardest, with many in Bangkok reporting occupancy of around 40 percent.

Budget travel hasn't suffered as badly, with Thai Street Food Sellers and hostels along Bangkok's Khao San Road and other havens for backpackers still bustling.

"We are still fully booked every day and are offering no special deals," said Bern Poednie of Julie's Guest House in the northern city of Chiang Mai.

Thailand's image as an easygoing tropical getaway has been marred by political upheaval.

The troubles started last November when anti-government protesters shut down Bangkok's two airports for a week, stranding thousands. Then in April, a rival group of demonstrators broke into a summit of Asian leaders in the beach town of Pattaya and later clashed with riot police in Bangkok's streets, leaving two dead.

The turmoil has calmed down and most of the country is quiet — save flares of violence in the Muslim insurgency in the far south of the Buddhist dominated country. But the recent outbreak of flu in the region has added to the gloom.

Thailand has reported three swine-flu deaths and some 1,300 cases, most of whom have recovered. The tally is one of the highest reported in the region but less than Australia's 3,500 swine-flu cases and a fraction of the 21,000 in the United States.

Source: The Seattle Times 5th July 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Panda-monium at Chiang Mai Zoo!

Thousands flock to Chiang Mai Zoo
to catch glimpse of baby Panda

Chiang Mai: Thousands of people have flocked to a zoo in northern Thailand for the first public viewing of a baby panda cub.

The cub was born six weeks ago and has been featured on local front pages almost every day since.

The panda's coming out party Saturday at the Chiang Mai Zoo includes a parade led by an Orangutan.

Zoo officials stood beside the cub's incubator and tried to position her head so visitors streaming past could get a good look.

Thais have been captivated by the cub since her birth on May 27, which came after years of attempts to breed the rare mammal by the Chiang Mai Zoo.

Source: Gulf News - Dubai 4th July 2009