CMU Freshmen Walk Up Doi Suthep

On 4th July 2009, Chiang Mai University (CMU) held their annual welcome walk up Doi Suthep for their freshmen, or as the locals call them: freshy. It probably sounds like a great idea – building friendship and comaradarie among the new students by doing an activity together. But like any mass group activity anywhere in the world, there are problems. Here in Chiang Mai, the main problem is the traffic. You see, the road to Doi Suthep is not closed off for this event. They remain open to tour buses, cars, songthaews. Songthaews are the worst: spewing black and smelly fumes all the way up the mountain side. So instead of getting fresh air, you have to breathe in all these toxic fumes. Many of the senior students hire songthaews as their logistic and support vehicles, and sometimes as ambulances.

Well, enough of my own views. Let’s look at this mega event in photos!

Start point: CMU. A parade in traditional costumes.

One of the beauties of the faculty.

From CMU, they’ll walk to the Kru Ba monument and pray and receive blessings before they commence their walk up the mountain. They start of their walk in good spirits.

The hero of the day!

Along the way, there are many rest stops. And many drink companies giving out free drinks as part of their marketing campaign. This is a chance to try many strange drinks. This Soy Peptide drink is one of them. The reaction upon the 1st taste is almost universal. No photos of the looks on the faces, but here’s the graveyard of unfinished drinks.

Here is a major rest stop, with food and drinks stalls.

Traffic jam! Highlight of the event!

All lined up neatly at the final stretch of the walk. First some cheers, then the final dash to the summit!

For freshies, you got to leave your shoes here, even before going up the Naga steps.

Finally! You’ve reached the temple!

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Chiang Mai Wood

As in the Hollywood of Chiang Mai! Yes, big plans are coming! Chiang Mai Wood (CNX-Wood) will be a 175-acre mixed-use movie studio and residential development in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Once completed, the sprawling complex will house the state-of-the-art CNX Movie World Studios, as well as an integrated network of self-sufficient residential neighborhoods, a wide variety of entertainment offerings, cultural venues, museums and world-class restaurants.

These plans were recently unveiled by Creative Kingdom.

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When can you see the baby panda?

For real and not through a TV inside the Chiang Mai Zoo? Well, AsiaOne news just reported yesterday that the public will be allowed to view the panda cub directly from 4 to 6 July 2009. There will be two rounds of viewing each day, with the cub placed inside a glass cage.

With the high level of interest among Thais about the panda birth though, you can expect a squeeze at the zoo during the three days. It may be a better idea to visit after the display of the panda cub is fully open.

Full story here.

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Chiang Mai Zoo Panda Baby!

Chiang Mai Zoo Baby PandaChiang Mai Zoo’s panda, Lin Hui, has given birth to a healthy female baby panda at 10.39am Wednesday! Why is this such a big deal? Well, pandas apparently have a very low sex drive and births are very rare. Thailand is only the third country outside of China to succesfully breed a panda in captivity. The other two are U.S. and Japan.

The two pandas Lin Hui and Xuang Xuang are on loan from China in 2013. Under the loan programme, Chiang Mai Zoo can keep the baby panda for two years.

You’ll have to wait about a month before you are allowed to see the baby panda in the zoo though.

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