Loy Krathong

Loy Krathong finishes tomorrow. This is my favourite Thai festival.

Yesterday was full moon and the actual Loy Krathong day. All day fireworks were being let off and at night thousands of kom loys were released into the sky. It was a spectular sight from my seventh storey balcony. Tonight will be similar.

Thais believe that by releasing komloys and floating krathongs in rivers and ponds, all their troubles will drift away. Tonight there will be a parade in Chiang Mai that goes on for hours. Many Thais also visit temples during this time.


Floating Krathongs

 Here are a few videos. The first is the Loy Krathong song which is receiving saturation coverage on radio and supermarket background music. The second is from the Buddist Meditation Centre of the Mae Jo, where 10,000 lanters are released every year. The third is on the Narawat bridge during Loy Krathong.

Duo Violin & Piano Recital

On the 17th of November I attended the CRK Recital Hall , Kaew Nawarat Campus, of the Payap University, for a Duo Violin and Piano recital, by guest artists
Dr. Rebecca Hunter, violin, and Lynn Kompass, piano, from the University of South Carolina, USA

Ayala Asherov-Kalus
Sunsets 4 pieces for violin and piano

L.V. Beethoven
Sonata for violin and piano Op. 12 No. 1 D Major

John Fitz Rogers (b. 1963)

Winter Music

J. Brahms
Sonata for violin and piano Op. 78 No. 1 G Major

Another superb concert in Chiang Mai!


Hay Day

I have the game Hay Day on my iPad. It is completely additive!

If you have an iPad and plenty of time to waste then give it a try!

It is free to download but beware do not download diamonds. The Apple Store will charge you!

 The game is reviewed in this video.


I have not posted many blogs lately. I could not upload photos without getting an error message. 

Apparently I had run over allocates space.It has now been extended

Steppin’ Out

On Monday 16 November I attended a concert at the Sangdee Gallery featuring singers Ana Gracey & Markus with John Smith on guitar/banjo and ‘Luscious Luis’ on double bass. They performed songs from the Broadway shows.Entrance was 100THB ($A3.25) to benefit ‘Support the Children Foundation’.

Both Ana & Markus are popular entertainers here in Chiang Mai. Ana is also active in the Expats Club.

It was a wonderful concert which was repeated on Wednesday night. Both shows had capacity audiences.

The attached video has highlights of the first half of the concert.

Ana Gracey & Markus

John Smith and 'Luscious Luis'




Mendelssohn Double Concerto

On Thursday  night I attended a concert in the Pa Sak Luang Room of the Lotus Pang Suan Kaew Hotel. The concert was by the Chiang Mai Symphony Orchestra which is part of the Chiang Mai Youth Philarmonic Band. Members are made up of youth from schools in and around Chiang Mai.

The beautiful room was quite large and the orchestra performed from a specially built stage. Unfortunately the air conditioning was a bit noisy.

A large audience containing many Thais supported the performance.

The programme for first part of the concert was concertos by Antonio Vivaldi and Felix Mendelssohn.

The first was Vivaldi’s Flute Concerto in D Major, No, 10, No 3, RV 428 with soloist Xavier Vichitporn who is also a member of The Chiang Mai Ensemble.

Senond was the Mendelssohn’s Double Cncerto in D Minor with distinguished North American soloists, Rebecca Hunter (violin) and Lynn Kompass (piano).

After interval the orchestra played some contemporary music and Thai traditional music and finished the evening with a not so rousing Radetzky March. This is better.

Four young conductors shared duties.

I  enjoyed the evening. While I normally love to watch young people making music I though their performance was very conservative and lacking the enthusiasm usually associated with youth.


Travel Club

Last night’s speaker at the Travel Club, at the Sangdee Gallery,  was Dorothy Engmann, who is the convener of the group.

She spoke about her recent trip to Santa Fe to visit her daughter who was writing up her thesis there. Together they visited areas surrounding Santa Fe and also had a trip to Las Vegas.

Dorothy is not ony a good speaker, but she has a happy personality and a great sense of humour. Her popularity ensured a big turnout

Her presentation was richly supported with projected photos. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to them so  I had to download some from the web.

Adobe Style Buildings

Santa Fe is the capital of the state of New Mexico. Dorothy outlined the history of the city and spoke of the unique adobe style buildings. The city does not have high rise construction.Here is the Official Santa Fe website.

Las Vegas of course was in complete contrast to Santa Fe. She enjoyed the city but pointed out some of it’s grotesque features. One example was the Heart Attack Grill where burgers came in single, double, triple, and quadruple bypass sizes. Customers over 250 pounds eat free. Dorothy said while she was there a guy weighed in at 260 pounds and all the patrons applauded.

Quadruple Bypass Burger


9 Moo 9


Yesterday I lunched at a restaurant called 9 Moo 9, with Paul & Nop and Bill & Ruth. Paul has been talking about how great this restaurant is for a long time and I finally went to try it.

9 Moo 9 is the address. The restaurant is located located in a small back soi just off the Irrigation Canal Road, close to the Hang Dong Golf Club. It’s a little hard to find Fortunately I got a ride in Paul’s car.

It has limited opening hours, lunch and afternoon tea, Thursday to Sunday. The proprieters are Tony (English) and Sirapan (Thai) Kidd. They have lived in England, France, and the USA. Sirapan does almost all of the cooking. She says she learnt how to cook western meals in France.

The menu is fairly limited and consists mainly of delicious home made sausages and chicken and duck dishes. accompanied by home made cakes and desserts.
Sausages, cakes , and jams are available to purchase to take home.

The restaurant is in a beautiful garden setting. Also on the premises is a gallery, which I didn’t visit, and a couple of guest house rooms.

A very pleasant way to spend a Sunday lunch, with good food and good company.

I forgot to take my camera. I am grateful to Nop for emailing the photos below.

Who Had Desert?


Where is Nop - Taking the Photo of Course

Paul & Me

Paul had Duck

Three of us had Pork Sausages


Bill & Ruth



Trio Chicago & Friends

Last night I attended a concert of American Classical Music at the CRK Recital Hall at the Payap University Kaew Nawarat campus. The recital which featured  “Trio Chicago & Friends” was sponsored by the Payap University and the U.S. Embassy.

The group make annual tours to remote parts of the globe as cultural ambassadors. Although  billed as an evening of American Classical music, it consisted of mainly contemporary music and light classics.

Read the programme and programme notes .

An encore “When I Fall in Love”  was dedicated to the audience and the country of Thailand.

The audience really appreciated the playing of this group of distinguished musicians.


Soprano Laura Ham, Viola , Maarlon Johnston, with Elliott Golub

Founder, Elliott Golub

Soprano, Laura Hamm

Flute. Laura Hamm, Piano, Susan Chou



Elliott Golub presents Ayu Namtep (Payap) with a book about Chicago




Lemon Tree

Last night the Dining Out Group ate at the Lemon Tree restaurant. Located opposite the Shell servo in Huay Kaew Road, it seems to have been here forever. In fact it opened in 1995.

I doubt if anything has changed in all that time. I remember eating there as a tourist about 10 years ago. The menu seems exactly the same. In fact last night I ordered red snapper sweet and sour that I remember eating way back then.

We only had a small group, 6 actually, the usual suspects.

Red Snapper Sweet & Sour

 Here is a review from the “Chiang Mai Mail” October 14, 2008, but it doesn’t sound dated!

Lemon Tree :  By Neil Robinson

Reliable, superior Thai food at reasonable prices

I have eaten at Lemon Tree on Huay Kaew Rd. many times. The atmosphere, like many Thai restaurants, is rather utilitarian. What keeps me coming back is that you can rely on the food always being at least good, and often very good, coupled with the reasonable prices and the fact that most of the customers are Thai. There are some Thai restaurants with predominantly farang or tourist clientele, which makes me suspicious.

I went there with a Thai companion. We ordered four dishes – more than ample for two. Deep fried pork ribs, soft shell crab with black and fresh pepper, two types of mushroom in oyster sauce and young coconut salad. We drank fruit drinks. The best dishes were the soft shell crab and the salad. As I bit into the soft shell crab, it was first spicy hot, then came the peppery flavour (which I really like), then the mild, but still tasty crab. This is a dish not to be missed if you do not mind spicy food. If you eat the coconut strips from the salad by themselves, then they have a slightly sweet, firm and crisp texture. Eating all the ingredients together, I realized what an excellent mix the salad was, with spices, minced pork, shrimp and tasty basil combining in a way that makes Thai food such a successful cuisine.

The meat, though fairly tender, was rather fatty. Eaten together with the accompanying crispy shredded garlic however, the flavour was very good (although most savoury items taste good with crispy shredded garlic!). The mushroom dish, including both regular (het hom) and golden needle mushrooms, was quite mild, but did offer two quite distinct mushroom flavours. The service was friendly and efficient. The cost, for more than ample food, came to a little over 200 baht per person.

The Huay Kaew branch is on Huay Kaew Rd., quite close to Central at Kad Suan Kaew and opposite the Shell station.

The restaurant has very basic decor with yellow paint, cafe style, and is not really suited for a romantic tryst. It has survived all this time because the food is good and cheap. Service was fast and pleasant.

Happy Campers


Seafood Salad


Morning Glory Vegetable

Steamed Crab Cake

Me Al & Paul



Nop's Desert