Maya – Open at Last


Maya, with it’s impressive facade and promoted as “the life style mall” is open at last.

We wandered over about 10 o’lock but the blessing ceremony by monks was still underway. We returned about 2 o’clock. It was very crowded. Rimping supermarket did not open until 4 o’clock.

Almost all of the shops were open but some are still to be fitted out. First impressions,

The main floor contained a lot of upmarket stores selling perfumes and fashion, the sort of stuff that most people look at but don’t buy!

An excellent food court with many Japanese restaurants. Seating seemed to be a bit limited.

Ten movie theatres, said to be state of the art. One was showing 7D which looked a bit gimicky.

All in all a favourable impression. It is going to be great having the Rimping suermarket and movie theatres in easy walking distance!

I took a few photos.

The Blessing Ceremony

The Blessing Ceremony

The Upmarket Spirit House

Giordano Fashion Store


Adidas Store

Dhara Dhevi Hotel Shop - Fruit Carving

Now Open

Inside Cinema - From Maya FaceBook Page

Shabushi Japanese Restaurant

Giant Mobile Between Levels

Fuji Japanese Restaurant


Trip to Chiang Rai and the North

Click to Enlarge Map

Earlier this month we had a short break in the North. We stayed for four nights at Toy’s sister’s house in his village, which is part of the Wiang Chiang Rung District. While there I also did a visa run one day to Tachileik in Myanmar.

Toy's 85 year old Mother

Toy Cooking Prawns

Cooking Sticky Rice on the Open Fire

We enjoyed a family party and BarB Que at his mother’s house. All cooking was done outside. A highlight was cooking sticky rice in bamboo on the open fire. Much beer, wine and Thai wiskey were consumed.








Toy's Nephew Arm (La's son), Me, and Sisters La & Lerm

Toy's Sister, Chan, Peeling the Cooked Sticky Rice

The Drunks - Me, Toy's Cousin (Ree), & Niece's Husband (Nai)














While we were there, Children’s Day was celebrated at the local Primary School. There are 92 pupils and it was the school Toy attended many years ago. We went laden with potatos chips, which were pooled with other stuff to give to the kids. It really was afun morning. We were introduced to the Principal and given a tour of the school’s historical museum. Toy met another one of his cousins who was a teacher at the school. It seems that Toy is related to half the vllage!

Toy & Sister Lerm with Potato Chips for the Kids

The Pooled Goodies








The Kid's Concert

Toy with the Headmaster







The School's Historial Museum

An Old Wooden Bell Used by the Village Headman to call a Meeting








 One afternoon we visited a market in a nearby village.

Toy's Niece Selecting Meat for Dinner

Cooking Thai Sausage


The Gate Theatre – Space

Last night I attended  Gate Theatre‘s latest presentation of the one man show Space.

The show was created and performed by Timothy Mann. Read an interview with him here.

Gate Theatre Notes

Timothy Mann During the Performance

What is SPACE? This infinite question is answered through a trans-dimensional psychic, an army general, a science professor and many more characters in this “fantastically energetic, hilariously clever and completely ridiculous” one-man performance.

No props, no set, no costume changes.
Just one man, his stage and his audience.

Lone performer Timothy Mann tells “a wild and imaginative story” set around the ever-changing meaning of the word ‘space’, “just using his remarkable talent for characterisation”. He plays a dozen characters, each one unique in body and voice – each one a living, breathing person. Mann is “constantly on the move, improvising and interacting with his audience” and as he switches characters seamlessly in the blink of an eye, the mind-bending narrative twists and turns towards its Earth-shattering finale and “secret improvised encore” (which must be seen to be believed.)

Some People Enjoyed the Show

Personally, I did not enjoy the show. It was a type of comedy I could not understand. In fact, I found some of the sketches quite stupid. The show might be “internationally acclaimed” but I was not impressed. It was disappointing for me because I have always been impressed by the high standard of Gate Theatre productions. Well, as they say, you can’t win them all!

Dining Out Group – Billy’s

About a year ago Billy Restaurant relocated to 42, Soi 1, Kampaengdin Road. Parking is difficult but he has now come to an arrangement where customers can park in the A.I.S. carpark, which is in easy walking distance of the restaurant.

Last the Dinng Out Group ate there, a large group of over 20. I have eaten at Billy Restaurant on and off over the years and have always enjoyed the food and the atmosphere.

The staff coped with the large number of diners fairly well. Our table took all of the inside of the restaurant, and the outside tables were well patronised also.

Billy (standing) with Ken & Toy

Billy was as affable as ever, but he was extremely busy! Here are some photos of our meals. My rack of lamb (three chops really) was great.

Another very pleasant evening of good company and good food.


Our Table from Outside

Scallops au gratin

Chicken Marsala

Rack of Lamb


Toy’s Cousin

Shop Front

Toy’s cousin, Da, lives at Nong Hoi. She shares a house with her sister Lha (married to Jui, a Singaporean man) and their daughter, Ben. Together they run a small restaurant from the house, serving typical Thai food. The restaurant is at the front of the house with the kitchen out the back and bedrooms upstairs.

The cousins were born in Toy’s village.He visits them regularly.

Earthernware Pots on Charcoal Burners

Lha's Sister Lha

Da & Lha in the Kitchen


Travel Club – Finland

Map of Finland

The speaker at Monday night’s Travel Club was Erkki Oksamen. Originally from Finland he gave a detailed account of his country, with pride and just the right amount of humour.

The national flag of Finland called Siniristilippu meaning Blue Cross Flag, was adopted in 1920. The color blue represent the country’s lakes (there are over 187,000 of them), and also the blue sky and white represent peace and the winter’s snow.

The coat of arms of Finland is a crowned lion on a red field, the right forepaw replaced with an armoured hand brandishing a sword, trampling on a saber with the hindpaws. The coat of arms was originally created around the year 1580. There  are of course no lions in Finland, but the heraldic lion is quite common in Western Europe, and several European countries incorporate it into their national coats of arms.

One Euro Coin Finland

Finland became a member of the European Union in 1995 and adopted the Euro currency in 2002. Elections are decided by proportional representation using the D’Hondt method, which is a little different to the Australian system.

A little trivia….the game ‘HeyDay’ which I play on my iPad and enjoy, was originally developed in Finland.





Dining Out Group – The House Of Palm

This Thai restaurant is situated at 62 / 6 Moo 5, Raungnaue, Doi Saket. It is off to the left from the Chiang Rai Road (route 118), about a kilometre before the Doi Saket turnoff.

After living in Los Angeles for 20 years and owning and operating the very successful “Jitlata” restaurant there, Khun Montree and his wife Khun Tim have returned to their native Chiang Mai and opened the ” House of Palm “. The Sultan of Brunei is said to have been a regular visitor to the Los Angeles restaurant.

Paul, the convenor of the Dning Out Group, reckons it is the best Thai restaurant in the world!

The setting of this restaurant is beautiful, with manicured gardens and a nice pond. The restaurant itself is on the ground floor of a modern “traditional” Thai house, thus open on all sides, though there are plastic curtains which can be pulled down in the wet season.

Mains are around B120 to B180, and portions are generous.

Fourteen of us enjoyed a great meal.

We ordered satay pork and fried won-tons, for starters and then Don and I shared Chicken Sunrise and Sweet & Sour fish. The food was delicious.


Main Courses


Don & Phim Enjoying Themselves


Twilight Concert 2013 Villa Darakorn

Villa Darakorn Brochure

Sunday night was the 5th Annual Twilight Concert at Villa Darakorn about 20 kms outside Chiang Rai.

Villa Darakorn and it’s botanical garden were built 24 years ago by Khun Saewt Piamphongsant, a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. He was an enthusiastic garden lover who. during his lifetime, collected flowering plants and exotic plant species from all over the world and planted them at this private botanical garden.

The Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra with Kah Chun Wong Conducting

The Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra performed. Players are drawn from schools in the area and their ages range from 12 to 18. Le Petit Band consists of the younger kids aged 6 to 12. They practise every Sunday for their 7 minutes of fame at the concert.

Le Petit Band


The Silapakorn Repertory Wind Ensemble

The Silapakorn Repertory Wind Ensemble, led by, oboist, Damri Banavithayakit, gave a special guest performance at the concert.

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