The Royal Project Fair 2013

The 2013 Royal Project Fair is currently being held in the auditorium of Chiang Mai University.

The four-day event is scheduled for 26-29 December.

An initiative of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Royal Project came into being in 1969, when he stayed at Bhuphing Palace in Chiang Mai. He visited and talked to hilltribe villagers, who told him about their sources of income. They said that the income from the growing of opium and peaches was about the same. At that time, tribal people living in the highlands had become a problem to the Government, partly because of their destructive slash-and-burn technique of clearing land, as well as their traditional cultivation of opium poppies.

In his speech at Chiang Mai University in the same year, His Majesty said that he intended to help hilltribe people grow useful crops that would give a higher income than growing opium, so that they would switch from opium cultivation to other crops. The project would also support the Government’s policy of banning opium cultivation and trade. He pointed out that the traditional farming method of cutting down and burning the forest conducted by hilltribe villagers would lead to forest destruction and deterioration of soil quality.

There are currently 38 development centers under the Royal Project in northern provinces to help farmers collect, distribute, and sell highland produce, while improving their quality of life through education, health care, and environmental preservation. All 38 development centers will bring their organic produce to be sold at the  Royal Project fair in Chiang Mai.

A wide variety of products, especially organic fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers, under the Royal Project, is on show. We went to inspect the magnificent displays this afternoon. We also bought a pumpkin, cape gooseberries, passionfruit oranges, and pecan pie.

HillTribe Performers

XL Cape Gooseberries

Me & Wooden Horse




More Roses

Floral Arrangement


Eliane Page and Susan Boyle

Every now and again I post something here which is not Chiang Mai related.

Eliane Page

I have been a long term fan of Elaine Paige and I have a number of her CD’s. One of my favourites is “I know Him So Well”. Here are the lyrics.

Susan Boyle

After Susan Boyle won Britians Got Talent in 2009, she said her dream was to sing a duet with Elaine Paige.

Well she has fulfilled her dream her dream of singing with her musical idol,  performing a live duet on an ITV television show, hosted by Piers Morgan.

Together they sing a great rendition of “I Know Him  So Well”


Christmas at West

Christmas Menu

Last night we had a three course Christmas Dinner at West restaurant. Our table of 7 included Ann and Linda from the UK, who are Don’s cousins. Thay left behind foul weather and floods in England.

The menu is on the left. Thanks to Christopher who bought along two bottles of French champagne to get the evening off to a great start.

French Champagne

The meal was enjoyed by everybody. A night of great company and fun.



A Christmas Toast, Don with Linda (left) & Ann (right)


First Course

Christmas Dinner

Plum Pudding

Toy & Ken

Our Happy Party

Chef David with Don & Ann


Merry Christmas from Thailand

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thailand is a Bhuddist country (95% of the population), but they don’t like to miss a party. Thai people love celebrating and Christmas is no exception.

It is not a holiday here, but just a normal working day. All the shops and supermarkets are open.

Read about Christmas in Australia here.

An Elephant Gives Presents to Thai School Children

Santa Tuk-Tuk

 Tonight for Christmas Eve dinner at home, we will be having roast turkey legs, with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and chips.

Tomorrow night we are having Christmas Dinner at West restaurant.


A very Merry Christmas to everyone!









Dining Out Group – Mix

Wine Rack

Last night the Dining Out Group ate at Mix restaurant. The restaurant is situated at 36 Lane 1 Nimmanhaeminda Chiang Mai, right at the end of the lane. It has a huge menu, which consists of Chinese, Thai, Japanese, and International dishes. A feature of the restaurant is it’s extensive wine list

The food is superb, and the service efficienet. Unfortunately the room we were in was a full and a bit noisy. Nevertheless 17 of us enjoyed the evening, no doubt bouyed by the festive spirit.

I ordered fried prawns with cream and fruit followed by grilled Australian tenderloin served with peppercorn sauce, as well as sharing deep fried snake head fish with soy sauce with Toy. Everything was fantastic and I finished up completely stuffed. With a carafe of Chilean wine it cost a heap and I’m not sure it met the diabetic guidelines, but heck its only money!

Glid & Don Study the Large Menu

Fried Prawns


Part of our Group

Fried Snake Head Fish with Soy



Our New Car

Toyota Stock Photo

We have a new car. Picked it up this morning from Lanna Toyota.

Ivory Leather Upholstery

It is a Totota Vios1.5 G.The colour is Quartz brown metalic with ivory upholstery.

We negotiated a deal where the price included one year’s insurance, registration costs, floor mats, six parking sensors, Lamina film on windows, window visors, and side moulding on doors for parking protection (still coming).

Toy Beside the New Car



Gate Theatre – Land of Smiles

The Gate Theatre is presenting a new musical called “Land of Smiles”. The book, music, and lyrics are by Erin Kamler a Los Angeles-based composer, writer, musician and scholar

I went to the matinee performance at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

Kachin People

The Land of Smiles is a fictional, full-length musical about the trafficking of women in Thailand. The story focuses on the aftermath of a brothel raid in Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand. Lipoh, a young Kachin (ethnic minority) from Burma seems to be underage, and is questioned by an American NGO worker. What transpires is a journey into Thailand’s anti-trafficking movement.

The University of Southern California was a major funder of the project, and most of the cast came from the USA, supported by a few locals. The production staff were local and international. The Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand and the We Women’s Foundation were community partners.

The main cast members were Ann Fink (Lewelyn) and Marisa Mour (Achara) both NGO Officers, Amanda Kruger a Case Worker and Jennie Kwan (Lipoh) a young Kachin.

This powerful musical is written in opera style format, with sections of dialogue followed by singing. All the voices of the all female cast were more than adequate. Subtitles in Thai, Burmese, and English were projected behind the players.

I really enjoyed this production. An unusual topic for a musical, but it worked well, and delivered a powerful and emotional message. Another huge success for the Gate Theatre group here in Chiang Mai which enriches our cultural life with their productions.

Lewelyn, Emma, and Achara

Subtitles in Thai, Burmese, and English





Emma at the Sex Workers Bar

The Cast Taking a Bow



This is my City

Chiangmai online social spread a song clip called This is my City was made by an Australian tourist to show his love for Chiangmai, the video was shot in all the important tourist spots and attraction.

Mr.Patrick Kenedy, Australian tourist who has been in Chiangmai for 3 years, who is a teacher in Prem Tinnasulanon international school, Chiangmai, who is so obsessed with Chiangmai after visiting there 10 years ago made a song about the place with some foreign friends.

In the video he sings about the floods, Thai people helping each other, and also reflects on the careless of people riding motorcycles without wearing helmet which causes a lot of accidents in Chiangmai. At the end of the clip there is switching between a lot of cities in the world, and a question is asked to the audience “where is your city?”

Learning to Drive

Toy is learning to drive a car. He already holds a Thai motor cycle licence.

His first lesson is 10.00 am on the 14th December then every day until the 17th. He will do his driving test and hopefully get his Driving Licence on 18th December.

The driving licenses for motorcycle and motor vehicle are issued separately.

The initial licence is for one year. When the one year driving licence has expired, you can apply for the driving licence with a 5 year validity period.

The Dining Out Group – Krachang Thong Restaurant

The Krachang Thong Restaurant is a Thai seafood restaurant located on Mae Jo Road. It is 5.6 kilometers from the Super highway  going north. Last night the Dining Out Group ate there.

Kratong Thong literally means golden cups or golden baskets. Here is a krachang mould and some recipes. I don’t know if the name of the restaurant is related to this because there was no sign of them on the menu!

Enjoying My Meal

As it was the King’s Birthday, the restaurant was not able to serve alcohol. We were however permitted to bring our own, for which there was no corkage charge.

The food was excellent and was enjoyed by our small group of eight diners.

I ordered a prawn fried rice and a sweet and sour snake head fish and also shared a plate of prawn cakes with Don.

Prawn Fried Rice




Shrimp Cakes





Ann & Colin






Nop Helping the Waitress Serve Ann & Colin's Fish