Chiang Mai The Beauty of Diversity

NOXimage, Cineholic , and BEVfilms have created a beautiful short film about Chiang Mai. They comment as follows,

“Chiangmai the beauty of diversity, has presented works of art, custom, culture, nature, and how the northern Thai has kept it’s magical way of living, we don’t deny civilization but do view and keep northern Thai under a magical way.

The results from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) video contest came in and we have been honored with 2nd place in the category of Thailand in the eyes of foreigner’s or point of view.

With the help of my former colleagues , I am glad and grateful that we had the chance to work together in the name of NOXimage, Cineholic , and BEVfilms.

My special thanks and gratitude to the people and places that helped us achieve this honor, including the Thai Cultural Association , Pat Elephant Farm, and The Chiangmai Natural Park.”

The music is beautiful. I think you will enjoy the film.

Why Not? Restaurant

Last night we ate at the popular Why Not?, Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar, with Leigh & Kris and Fran.

The restaurant runs between Soi 11 & Soi 13 Nimmanhaemin Rd.

I leave for a routine trip to Australia on 01 Sep and I wanted to catch up with them before I went away.

I ordered a pizza with the works, including anchovies. Yum! It was so filling that I bought home the leftover, which was enough for lunch today.

My Pizza

Kris & Me


Beethoven’s Symphony No.9

On Saturday night at the impressive Kad Theatre,The College of Music, Payap University,The Chiangmai  Symphony Orchestra, and the Payap Choir, presented Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 ”The Choral Symphony” . The concert was part of Payap’s 40th Anniversary celebrations, and included a song especially written for the occasion.

Chaipruck Mekara

Ayu Namtep

The orchestra was conducted by the popular Chaipruck Mekara and the choir director was the equally popular Ayu Namtep. Soloists for the choral finale were,
Kingkarn Uprajong: Soprano
Naprang Manator: Alto
Rungsun Poonsup: Tenor
Tarit Phonjarernrat: Baritone

This wonderfu concert was a credit to Chiang Mai and all concerned. It was a huge undertaking for a city of this size. The performers were drawn from uviversities and schools throughout northern Thailand.


Expats Club August Meeting – Gate Theatre

Expats President, Nancy, with Stephen and Members of the Gate Theatre Group

At yesterday’s Expats Club meeting, at the Le Meredian Hotel, Stephan Turner, the founder and Artistic Director of The Gate Theatre Chiang Mai presented a fast-paced review of Seven Years of the Gate Theatre, clock-a-block full with still and video clips from their past productions, with news and plans for their future. I have attended most of their productions. Without exception I have enjoyed their work.

Stephen During the Presentation

Stephen is originally from the Chicago area in the USA. He has lived in Chiang Mai for about 9 years and has a drama class at the Chiang Mai International School (CMIS).

The Gate Theater is a non-profit English language theatre group in Chiang Mai, Thailand that has been staging professional quality community theatre productions for the past eight years. The goal now is to take it to the next level by becoming a registered foundation in Thailand. This would enable The Gate to have a permanent theatre “home”, expand its audience, host a dramatic arts internship program, and widen the group’s outreach efforts to include more members of the Chiang Mai community.
In order to become a registered foundation in Thailand,in addition to filing the appropriate legal paperwork, The Gate needs to keep 250,000 Thai Baht (approximately 8060 USD) permanently on deposit in a Thai bank. Between legal fees and the permanent deposit, this fundraising effort’s goal is $8500 USD.

The Gate Theatre Of Chiang Mai Is appealing for financial help to achieve this, by asking for donations.

It was a most interesting presentation which held the interest of the audience.



Thai Wedding – The Reception

Grand Ballroom

The wedding reception was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Shangri-La Hotel. This elegant hotel was a perfect venue.

It started a 6:30 which made it a very long day for the wedding party and guests.

The newlyweds were available for more photo opportunities.

At the venue, there was a reception table where guests could deposit their envelope of money with their names written on, into a box and sign the blessing book for the couple. Guests normally offer money as a present to the couple. The amount depends much on what your social status is and how close you are to them or their family.

The ballroom was set up in a Thai village style, complete with a fairground. Guests were able to participate in games.

The meal was a buffet  with huge bain maries of western and Thai dishes A few short speeches were made, before the couple proceeded to the cake-cutting (a multi storey masterpiece).They offered a piece to their parents, their senior family members and some senior guests.

Throughout the evening, Thai vocalists sang songs accompanied by a huge sound gadget.

The whole day was a truly unique Thai experience. I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend. I wish the couple good health and hapiness for the rest of their lives.

See all the photos of the reception taken by CityNow! photographer Steve at

Thai Wedding – Khan Maak Parade and Holy Thread

The groom forms a parade comprising his family and friends bringing the dowry and other necessary elements of the engagement to the bride’s residence. Traditionally, the parade  departs from the groom’s residence to the bride’s residence, however, this one began in the garden grounds of the Shangri La  Hotel.This re-enactment of the engagement ceremony took place on the wedding day. The Khan Maak procession is a very joyful moment and accompanied by musicians who play long traditional trombones while dancing on the way to the bride’s house.

The Parade Forming

The Dowry

The Parade Underway

Chain of Gold

Once the parade arrives at the bride’s house, the way is generally closed by the symbolic doors. The gates are closed by a chain of gold or silver held by two young ladies who are close to the bride. The groom’s family offer a dowry along with other presents, including a pair of banana trees which represent fertility, and a pair of sugar canes which represents sweetness.

After the rings exchange, the parents will tie a holy thread ( Sai Sin ) on the wrist of the couples. The guests are also invited to put a holy thread on the couple’s wrist to bless them with good luck. These threads shhould be kept on for at least for three days for the luck to come true.

The Holy Thread


Thai Wedding – Water Blessing Ceremony

The next step of the Thai wedding ceremony is the water blessing ceremony. The newlyweds sit next to each other with the groom on the right.  The parents then place the “Circles of Luck (Saii Monkol)” made with white thread in a form of two circles linked by thick thread,  on the heads of the newlyweds and flower garlands around the necks of the couple. Saii Monkol represents that from now on the destiny of couple is bonded while their individual spirit is maintained.

The parents then use a shell (Sang in Thai) to pour the scented flower-garnished holy water (Rod Nam in Thai) onto the hands of the groom, starting from a wrist towards the tips of his hands – and then the bride, while blessing them.

The guests then proceed to bless the wedded couple and pour the water onto their hands individually.

Groom & Bride Wearing the Saii Monkol

The Water Blessing Begins


Step Dad (Graeme) Blessing Step Daughter (Barbara)

Queue for the Water Blessing


Pictures by CityNow! Photographer Steve


Wedding of Rungaroon & Satit Thammakorn – The Bhuddist Ceremony


The Invitation

The traditional Thai Wedding of Rungaroon & Satit Thammakorn was held at the Shangri La Hotel yesterday, (the couple are better known as Barbara & Tda from The Pub on Huay Kaew Road). I was privileged to have an invitation. The date and times were auspicious. To insure happiness and prosperity, the date and time of the ceremony must be chosen carefully. The couple may consult a monk or an astrologer to verify that their stars are compatible.

The first part of the ceremony at 8.09 am was the Bhuddist ceremony. Inviting monks to the ceremony assures spiritual credit to the young couple. Nine monks were in attendance this morning. The monks prayed while a lit candle was placed above a bowl of holy water. This water was later used by the senior monk to bless the couple.

On arrival at the venue, monks were offered food. The bride and groom served them tea later in the service and tea. (to be continued)


The Bride and Groom Place Food in the Monks Bowls


Bride's Mother Tong and Step Dad Graeme

The Bride and Groom Light the Candles Above the Holy Water

The Head Monk Blesses the Couple


The Couple Receiving the Monk's Blessing

The MC Introduces Mr & Mrs Thammakorn


Subito Trio Ad Libitium Concert

Last night I planned to attend the Ad Libitium concert of the  Subito Trio, at the CRK auditorium of the Kaew Nawarat Campus, of Payap University. The Trio is comprised of Natnaree Suwanpotipra: Piano,Sakkan Sarasap: Violin, and
Arnik Vephasayanant: Cello.

When I was about to leave the apartment, it looked like rain. I don’t like driving at night much so I decided to give the concert a miss. I had this blog already written in anticipation of my attendance, so I decided to publish it anyway.

All the Trio’s members have studied at the Chopin Music University in Warsaw and they have performed in many of Poland’s most prestigious philharmonic and concert halls.

Although each of the Trio’s members each have very intensive musical career away from ensemble, and live far apart, they regularly keep their passion and pleasure in making music together.

Debussy: Estampes L.100
– Pagodes
– La Soirée Dans Grenade
– Jardins Sous La Pluie
Kodaly: Duo for Violin and Cello Op. 7, 1st Movement
Beethoven: Piano Trio Op. 1 No. 3, 1st Movement


Bach: Double Concerto for 2 Violins, 2nd Movement
Piazzolla: Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas (Four Seasons)
– Verano (Summer)
– Otoño (Autumn)
– Invierno (Winter)
– Primavera (Spring)

The Gate Theatre – Love Letters

Last night I went to see “Love Letters”, Gate Theatre’s latest production. The play was directed by Stephan Tuner. Jiim and Joyce Matchett played Andy and Melissa.

It was a long play, about two hours. The actors sat at desks reading their letters to each other from childhood until Melissa’s death. The set was therefore static with no movement around the stage. Despte this, the play was both humourous and moving. Although they lived apart and married separately, their love for each ther was poignantly revealed in the last moments of the play.

Another enjoyable successful Gate Theatre production.


Jim Matchett

Jim was born in Belfast, N. Ireland. After a 26 year career as Disc Jockey, Singer and Band Leader in London, his first foray into acting, was as the character, Speed, in The Odd Couple.  At The Gate Theater, he is the Show Announcer for all shows. He has also served in various capacities including box office attendant and scenic artist for The Gin Game.

He was Mick, the bartender, in The Dodo Bird, which played for audiences in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. 

He joins the cast of The Laramie Project this coming October

Joyce Matchett

Joyce was born and schooled in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first connection with theater was at the age of around 7 when she put on a play about Cowboys and Indians and charged the neighboring kids a penny to see it. As an adult, her artistic side developed through writing children stories,which she called, Grandma Stories, as she sailed around the Mediterranean for 3 years.

Later, while living in Oaxaca, Mexico and being surrounded by known artists, she was inspired to try painting. Her medium is in oils and to this day, she continues to enjoy painting.

She is thankful for being a part of TGTG. Acting in The Gin Game, Driving Miss Daisy, and in Blithe Spirit this past January, has enhanced her life here in Chiang Mai. She brings back her acting as well as her stage management skills for the upcoming production of The Laramie Project.