Singha Water

Authorities claim that city water in Chiang Mai is safe. Safe to drink? I think the jury is out. As far as I am concerned most locals drink bottled water, so I do too. I use tap water to clean my teeth, but I use bottled water to boil eggs and cook vegetables. Maybe this is taking if a bit far.

I accept factory ice in my drinks without qualms.

James Austin Farrell of City Life has researched the matter.

I use Singha drinking water. It’s bottled by the same Company that brews Singha and Leo beers and I buy it from the same shop where I buy my eggs.


Mike loads me and the water in the side car of the shop motor bike and drives to my apartment at Green Hill, just around the corner. He then brings it up to my 7th floor apartment.

The water is packed in clear plastic bottles and comes in 0.5, 1.5, and 6 litre sizes.

6,1.5,and 0.5 litre bottles

I give the empties to the gardener Kaan for re-cycling.

Boton Sashimi/ Sushi Restaurant

Last night the Dining Out Group ate at the Boton Sashimi/ Sushi restaurant. This small unpretentious restaurant is located in a small soi behind the Honda Motor Cycle dealership In Huay Kaew Road. It is half on the footpath and half inside an open front shop.

Boton is Japanese name for the Peony fower.


Obviously popular with locals there were plenty of customers.

I am not really fond of Japanese food. I ordered Gyoza and Tempura prawns and vegetables and a large bottle of Leo beer.




The Gyoza was delicious and the Tempura better than it looked!

A group of 10 of us enjoyed a pleasant evening. The total cost of my meal, including beer, was 150 baht(A$5.03)

The Chef

Our Table


St Florianer Choir Boys Concert

Last night I attended a concert at the E.C. Cort Auditorium at Payap University Campus in Kaew Nawarat Road.

The concert was organized by Faculty of Fine Arts Chiang Mai University, and promoted by M & M Productions

It was a rare opportunity to see and listen to a unique choir from Austria with pianist and choir master Franz Farnberger.

Franz has been The Director of Music since 1983. After completing his studies in Vienna, he conducted the Vienna Boy’s Choir for eight years, while also teaching at the Anton Bruckner University.

“The St Florian Boys’ Choir can look back on almost one thousand years of history as it was founded in 1071 when the Augustinian Canons took over the Abbey in Upper Austria, 10 miles south-east of Linz, and established a school. Its full title is the Augustinerchorherrenstift St. Florian. The best known of its choir boys is the composer Anton Bruckner (1824-96) who entered the choir aged 12 and was connected with the Abbey until 1855 as pupil, choir boy, violinist, organist, composer and teacher, subsequently returning there to work during holidays and on retreat, staying in a room (the Brucknerzimmer) always kept ready for him.

Today the approximately 30 boys are admitted to the choir between ages 8 & 10 and usually stay until 14. They board at the Abbey, a magnificent baroque palace, and attend local state-run schools. At the Abbey facilities include a computer room, football field, swimming-pool and gymnasium. The boys wear a sailor-style uniform of dark blue and white, emblazoned with the choir’s red & white badge, as shown in the adjacent photo. Although the choir primarily exists to sing at the Abbey services, it also participates in opera & concert performances at Linz, Salzburg, Vienna & elsewhere & tours abroad. The Artistic Director since 1983 has been Professor Franz Farnberger, formerly a conductor for 7 years with the Vienna Boys’ Choir.”

It was a night of fine choir singing which also featured yodeling and traditional folk dancing.



Morning Walks Sun & Mon

Here are a few pictures of my morning walks the last couple of days.

The first shows a new construction on the corner of Moo 5 and the Superhighway. No idea what it is going to be, but the land is said to be owned by the Jet Yod Temple. Therefore its use should be restricted…..but this is Thailand! It is being constructed by The Pun-Iyara Company. They have a great logo. In the construction photo, Vieng Ping Mansion is on the left and Green Hill 3 is on the right.

I walked through the Harbour Shpping Mall. Sprung Clark Kent changing into Superman in a phone booth. Yes he protects Chiang Mai too, fighting for “truth, justice and the Thailand way”.


New Construction Site

Pun-Iyara Logo



Superman at Harbour Mall

Entrance to Harbour Mall

Japanese Restaurant Harbour Mall














Along Huay Kaew Road, I pass a Thai lady who has set up a restaurant on the footpath outside her very humble house. I say hello to her every morning. She never seems to have customers at that time of the day. Sometime she offers me a taste of what she has cooked which I politely decline! Maybe customers come later! It’s no wonder her prices are exorbitant!. (1 Baht = A3.5 cents)


Exorbitant Prices!

Thai Stret Food








Construction of the Maya Mall, at the corner of Huay Kaew Road and the Superhighway continues at a furious pace. Many food and other vendors take advantage of the large number of construction workers.

Food Vendor


Maya Construction










Maya Construction

Fruit Vendor

Construction Staff Clocking On

Drink Vendor










Expats Meeting June – Elephants

Joanna  MacLean filled in for Carmen Rademaker from The Asian Elephant Foundation to talk about elephants and the elephant parade.

Joanna MacLean

Joanna is associated with The Colour Factory who have shops in Chiang Mai and also at Mae Tang Elephant Park and Maetaman Elephant Camp, outside the city.

Joanna gave an excellent Powerpoint presentation. In Thailand where the Asian Elephant is seen as the  national symbol, there are just some 5000 elephants left, of which only 2000 live in the wild. It is a matter of humans and elephants competing for space.

Deforestation and habitat loss for oil palm and rubber plantations contribute to the problem, as does poaching of baby elephants from the wild for the tourist trade.

Elephants live for about 75 years, about the same as humans, so an elephant and it’s mahoot can bond for life.

Joanna talked about Mosha and Motala, who lost limbs caused by landmines, and how they have both been fitted with a protheses at the Lammpang Elephant Hospital. She showed a film about their progress.The link is I think you will need Quicktime installed on you computer to watch it.

Today more thn ever before, life must be characterised by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation,and human to human, but also human to all other forms of life……Dalai Lama

She also talked about Elephant Parade. This organisation uses the sales of large hand painted elephants, to raise funds for The Asian Elephant Foundation. They have arranged  exhibitions in many cities around the world.




The Beginning

Last night was the inaugural concert of the newly formed the Chiangmai Clarinet Connection Ensemble, a group of clarinet players who were born and live in Chiangmai.

The concert featured beautiful and popular compositions by well known composers.The Ensemble also invited well known musician friends to perform in this concert.

The venue was the AUA Auditorium Ratchadamnern Road.


“Allegro”                                                                Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
from “Symphony No. 25 in G minor K. 183”
for Clarinet Quartet

From Ganges’ Beauteous Strands                               Bernhard Crusell
for Voice, Clarinet & Piano                                       tran. by Pamela Weston

 Concerto                                                                Franz Krommer
for two Clarinet and Orchestra in Eb major

  Der Hirt auf dem Felsen                                        Franz Schubert Op.129 D 969

Fur Singstimme, Karinette und Klavie

 Meditation from Thais                                           Jules Massenet
for Clarinet Quartet                              
arr. by Ioan Dobrinescu

 1812 Overture                                                      Peter Tchaikovsky
for Clarinet Quartet                                                            
arr. by Chaipruck Mekara

Chiangmai Clarinet Connection Ensemble, Chaipruck Mekara on the left

Members of the quartet are,

Chaipruck Mekara: Clarinet

Tanapong Intajak: Clarinet

Nopakun Wongkwanmuang: Clarinet

Tanut Vongsoontorn: Clarinet

Deborah Child: Soprano
Naprang Nanator: Soprano
Atsuko Seta: Piano

The Quartet is led by the popular Dr.Chaipruck Mekara, Dean of the College of Music, Payap University

Naprang Nanator

From Ganges’ Beauteous Strands  was beautifully sung by the soprano, Naprang Nanator who I had not heard before.

The beautiful Meditation was written by Jules Massenet as fill in music between scenes for his opera Thais. I saw this opera in Bangkok a few years ago. It was a terrible opera redeemed only by this music. Normally it is played as a violin solo accompanied by a piano. I enjoyed the clarinet quartet but I prefer the violin solo.

Chaipruck bought some humor into the programme, especially in the concert finale, The 1812 Overture.

The Artists, Naprang Nanator had left for Another Engagement

It was a well crafted programme played by accomplished musicians. I hope the quartet plays further concerts. The artists were rewarded by a near capacity audience.



Burma Update

Ashin Sopaka

Last night at the Sangdee Gallery, Burmese Buddhist monk, Ashin Sopaka, discussed issues affecting Burma today as we look towards the country’s 2015 elections. Ashin is the co-founder of The Best Friend Library in Rangoon. The link is to the library branch in Chiang Mai.

This is Ashin Sopaka’s first public speaking engagement in Thailand since he returned to Burma in late 2011, faced ‘village arrest’ for leading a public protest in Mandalay, and established a new branch of The Best Friend Library in his home village in Sagiang.

A 21 min film (‘Peacewalker”) was screened showing Ashin’s participation in a Peace Walk in Thailand, which is embedded below.

The manager of The Best Friend Library , Garrett Kostin, gave background details about Burma and introduced Ashin. Continue reading

West Restaurant

Last night the Dining Out Group ate at West Restaurant, located in Fah Tani Square,Nimmanhaemin Soi 5,


The chef / owner is David. He is originally from a  Cohuna, a country town in Victoria, Australia. He lived and worked in New York City for 13 years, and then had restaurant in Japan for 16 years. Apart from a 12 month break in southern Laos, he has been in Chiang Mai for the last 5 years.

Aussie Favourite- Lamingtons

He is renowned for his deserts and cakes. At the entrance to the restaurant is a refrigerated glass showcase of baked goods….including lamingtons! He also serves another aussie favourite, sticky date pudding.

Eleven of us enjoyed the evening. I ordered vegetable soup in a pork stock, crispy fish fillets with ginger, and passion fruit and ice cream, which I have had many times before. Everything was fine as usual

Baked Goods Showcase

Our Table

Nop & Kris

Monsoon Trough

Today is cool, wet, and windy. Maximum temperature forecast is 25 degrees. Quite a relief from the hot weather we have been experiencing.

Maybe an early start to the wet season! From City News,

Heavy Rain is Coming: Northern Meteorological Centre

Jun 10, 2013

CityNews – The Northern Meteorological Centre has issued a warning saying that from 10th – 13th June a monsoon trough will cover northern Thailand, resulting in widespread heavy rain,  and strong winds. People living in northern Thailand should be beware flash floods says the office.

Komson Suwan-ampha, the head of Chiang Mai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, revealed that the department has been closely watching the rain over the last three days. He added that from 13th – 16th June another monsoon trough will visit northern Thailand resulting in storms.

Chiang Mai Ensemble & Friends


Last night the “Chiangmai Ensemble and Friends” celebrated its second anniversary with a programme of Mozart, Saint-Saëns and Prokofiev, at the AUA Auditorium in Ratchadamnuern Road.

Pedestrian and vehcle traffic in the area was terrible due to some religious event at one of the wats. Fortunately I was able to park my car in the AUA grounds. Continue reading