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Good Morning Chiangmai News Magazine
News 20/1 Ratchamanka Road
A.Muang Chiangmai 50200
Tel/Fax: (053) 278516
gmorning@loxinfo.co.th
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.gifOn-line Edition ContentsOctober2002


Features

BARRICADES, BEERS & BHUN KHAN BOAT RACES.....

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Riverbank Stone rounds up his more than usually liquid month on the Mekong: The soi in front of my house has been under a metre of water for almost a month now, which means that the lake in front of my house now stops a mere 2 metres outside the front gate. I still have a metre to spare, elevation-wise, before I have to worry.

The lake is "No Fishing", but the soi and land around it are not, so everyone is out fishing on the soi and the non-lake land.

Luckily the few days that the Mekong flooded its banks have passed and a return to normal might just be around the corner, if the rains ever see fit to stop. The Mekong River Commission has a fine site at www.mrcmekong.org if you are interested

The boat race season of 'Auk Pansaa' (Buddhist Lent) got off to a flying start at Vien Cook, in Nong Khai province. My favourite village won and everyone was appropriately drunk for a day. TAT has organised the "International Boat Race Festival" in towns along the Mekong and, they say, China, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are participating.

    JUST LIKE THE REAL THING?

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    Almost! The Spitfire Mk V111 in RAAF livery (no red to avoid confusion with the enemy by ground gunners), arguably the best looking piston-engined plane ever! Framed in dark Thai timber, each piece is numbered and only 1000 pieces will ever be produced. Made by Thai craftsmen with care.

    Measurement: 24 x 15 x 3.5 cm

    email: gmorning@chiangmai-online.com

PRICE: 1000 BAHT

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PAYMENT CAN BE MADE ONLINE

VISA & MASTER CARD WELCOME

Last week's affair too place in Bhun Khan ("plague pond village") 140 kms east of Nong Khai town. As at most boat races, the races themselves are but a part of the festivities. TAT advertises handicrafts, which translates into the usual plastic junk, pirated shirts and hats and other debris that we see at any festival in the area. The most important part of the festival is the food, and this one had a mighty fine selection. I sampled some of the best Vietnamese food this side of Mukdahan.

When deciding to hold their festival in September and October, during Pansaa, TAT seemed to have forgotten that all this falls during the rainy season. Rains, lightning and mud have thus added their part to the event. The finals occurred during a major rainstorm, so having taken comfort in a few quarts, I somehow failed to write down all the names of the worthy winners.

But having gotten around to writing this before the weekend of September 21-22, I see that according to TAT the Nong Khai races will be held in front of City Hall. In front of City Hall lies Prajak Road. I will have to wait to find out how they manage this. An informed source tells me that the boat races will actually take place on the river! If it does not hiss with rain this weekend I may be able to see the plastic that I missed due to last week's rains.

Some visa news. A $US30 is now 1,500 baht. The Thai consulate in Vientiane is getting quite mean about double entry visas. Even with proof of income it took me some conversation and patience to get one.

And for those of you heading to Laos by long distance bus, the much-vaunted stories of the new service from Udon direct to Vientiane is rumoured to be in limbo, the business community of Nong Khai arguing vehemently to stop it.

Coming up in Isaan - more and more boat race through the Pansaa which ends on October 22nd. More boat race photos? Go to www.southeastasiatimes.com or email seatimes@loxinfo.co.th for Isaan info.

And in keeping with everybody's need to have a boring closing tag (ie "I don't give a. whatever") I have decided to do the same, but being a bit more interesting I will change mine periodically. So for this month:

"I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy."

.gifRiverbank Stone

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Features

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.gifA supreme sacrifice which brought lasting freedom

100 years ago, did this brave young Dane save Northern Thailand?

.gifRemembering countless other casualties

David Hardy

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.gifBoat racing on the mighty Mekong

Riverbank Stone

News

.gifChiangmai and the North

Regulars

.gifMy Chiangmai

David Hardy

.gifChiangmai Pool League

Night Fowl

.gifReasons to Relax

Ric Klein

Ric Klein learned more about his own city by guiding visitors.

.gifThe Drinks Page

Night Fowl

.gifLetters

Picks

.gifALASKAN CAN JOB SCAM

If you hear someone promoting work in an Alaskan fish canning factory, tell them to can it! Scammers are "recruiting" Thais to work a 2 year contract at US$7 per hour. (...).

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