Friday, June 20, 2008

The International Pattaya Golf Club

The International Pattaya Golf Club was formed in 2000 to organise and coordinate competition golf in and around Pattaya, on Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. It is a non-profit organisation and "member club" offering membership to all players regardless of handicap, race or gender. IPGC offers regularly weekly scheduled competitions and "major" tournaments from time to time throughout the year.

Competitions are organised by the three member venues six days a week. IPGC negotiates with local clubs, on behalf of its member societies, to achieve the best discount rates for competition green fees and offers advice when necessary. All I.P.G.C. competitions are played in accordance with the Rules of Golf as jointly administered by the Royal and Ancient Golf Society (R&A) and by the United States Golf Association (U.S.G.A.), and supplemented by the Local Rules of the course on the day and by those Local Rules of the I.P.G.C. itself. I.P.G.C. players compete using their CONGU handicaps administered by the I.P.G.C whenever available with exceptions being made for those players with well-seasoned and properly maintained outside handicaps. These exceptions shall be determined by the golf organizer of the day's competition.

The I.P.G.C. competitions are run with the full intention that the golf be friendly and that the comradeship on the course shall be carried to the member venues afterwards.

Five golf societies currently comprise the IPGC. They are:

PGS at the OK Corral
The Pattaya Golf Society (PGS) can be contacted at: the OK Corral Bar on Soi Rungland, Pattaya Tai. They play Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
TAGGS at the Haven
The Alternative Gentlemen's Golf Society (TAGGS) can be contacted at: The Haven Hotel or by visiting the Haven Hotel and Restaurant on Soi 13.
Lewiinski's Golf Society
The Lewiinski's Golf Society can be contacted here or by visiting Lewiinski's Bar and Hotel on Soi Pattayaland One. They play Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Accomodation available.

Jomtien Golf
The Jomtien Golf Society can be contacted here or by visiting Paweena's Bar, Soi 5, Jomtien, or by calling Glyn on 068375464 or Rob Heath on 070873810 . They play every Monday and Wednesday, leaving Jomtien at 8:30/9am for a 10:30am tee off. Accomodation available.
Donovan's Donovan's Sports Bar is situated on Third Road, opposite the Xcite disco. It arranges golf every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hill tribes of Thailand

Northern Thailand is home to interesting and colourful ethnic minorities, known as the hill tribes. These add an important element to tourism here and you may visit, or go trekking to, numerous villages, where they are happy to receive you. Since most are rural and poor, any economically uplifting opportunities are welcomed.

Most of the hill tribes have migrated into the region during the past 100 years from the Asian interior and have largely preserved their traditional ways, making them a fascinating cultural study. They prefer living above 1,000m, and shy away from the outside world.

There are seven broad hill tribe groupings: Karen, Lahu, Hmong, Lisu, Akha and Mien. However, within these categories, there are sub-categories and clans that further divide the groups. Each hill tribe has its own customs, language, dress and spiritual beliefs and this is sometimes true even of the numerous sub-categories within one hill tribe. For example, the Green Hmong and White Hmong speak in different and distinct dialects and dress differently. The hill tribes are most distinctly recognised for their colourful and unique costume, which they continue to wear daily.

Most of the hill tribes living in the remote upland areas practice subsistence farming. They were pretty much left alone until the 1950s, when the increase in their numbers, extreme poverty, statelessness and threat of insurgency forced the Thai government to establish the National Committee for the Hill Tribes.

Opium cultivation was a major source of income for many of the hill tribes and the government worked hard to eradicate this cultivation by successfully substituting it with other cash crops, such as cabbages and fruits. This is known as the Royal project, initiated by his Highness King Rama IX, and commended internationally for its success.

However, as is the case with any minority groups, hill tribes have issues with citizenship, conforming to mainstream Thai society and the loss of their indigenous customs and languages. Furthermore, their placement at the centre of the lucrative drug trafficking along the Myanmar border has often put them in compromising positions. These are all difficult issues faced by both the hill tribe people and the Thai government.

Thai Culture
Northern Thailand
Hilltribe museum
Doi Inthanon national park
Population: approx 300,000 Origin: Myanmar
This is the largest of the minority groups and many of the Karen were converted to Christianity by the missionaries, with some tribes still practicing animism or being Buddhist. Within the Karen, there are three main sub-groups: White Karen or Sgaw, Black Karen or Pgo and Red Karen or Kayah.

The Karen wear woven v-neck tunics of various natural colours and turbans. Unmarried women wear distinctive long white v-neck tunics. The Karen occupy lowland areas, engaging in agriculture, including rice cultivation. They are also skilled weavers and the most environmentally conscious of the hill tribes - practicing crop rotation, thus preserving the forest.

Population: approx 124,000 Origin: Yunnan
This is the second-largest hill tribe group and is sometimes referred to as Meo. They are largely animistic and best known for their intricate embroidery. Known to be fiercely independent and with nomadic tendencies, they sided with communist rebels in Thailand in the 1970s, while the Hmong of Laos sided with the US during the Vietnam and Laos wars - both seeking self-determination.

The Hmong are sub-divided into White Hmong and Green Hmong. The Green Hmong are the most numerous in Thailand and women wear heavily embroidered, very tightly pleated skirts. The men wear baggy black pants with various levels of bright embroidery along the cuffs and seams. The Hmong have settled in the province of Chiang Mai and villages can be visited near Doi Suthep and Doi Inthanon. Their succession is patrilineal and polygamy is widely practised.

Population: approx 73,000 Origin: Yunnan, Myanmar
Also known as Musor, the Lahu are concentrated near the Burmese border and have five sub-groupings: Red Lahu, Yellow Lahu, Black Lahu, White Lahu and Lahu Sheleh. The Black Lahu is the largest sub-grouping, making up close to 80 per cent of the Lahu population. The women wear very distinctive black and red jackets and skirts and the men wear baggy green or blue pants. They have a reputation as excellent hunters, and survive off vegetable cultivation, with some supplementing this meagre income with opium production.

Population: approx 50,000 Origin: Tibet / Myanmar
The Akha are among the most down-trodden and often most impoverished of the hill tribes, resisting assimilation into mainstream Thai culture. They are, however, the most fascinating and colourful of the hill tribes and can easily be visited, particularly in Chiang Rai province where many reside. Many villages have been converted to Christianity, though some observers decry this as a dilution of their culture.

The Akha have a very unique and rich oral literature tradition, in which they can recite their ancestors back numerous generations. The Akha came to Thailand in the early 20th century, mainly due to their persecution in Burma. The women wear very plain indigo died shirts, which are in turn adorned with all kinds of eye-catching paraphernalia, such as coins, beads, shells, etc. The women are also very visible by their ornate headdress adorned with silver, and many can be seen at the Night Bazaar hawking their intricate silver jewellery. Every year the Akha have a unique swing festival. Opium is still used among this tribe.

Population: approx 40,000 Origin: Central China
Also known as the Yao, they are distant linguistic relatives of the Hmong and originated from China. Because of this, many of the older Mien can still write Chinese, and many display distinctive Chinese facial features. Being the smallest group, the Mien live in isolated villages, mostly in and around Chiang Rai and Nan. The Mien women are known for the long black jackets that are adorned with pom-pom like red trim. They are skilled embroiderers and silversmiths.

Population: approx 28,000 Origin: Tibet / Yunnan
The Lisu women are distinguished by their brightly coloured tunics, worn over long pants; some of the older generation continue to wear tasselled turbans on their heads. Occupying villages above 1,000m, they keep livestock and cultivate corn and vegetables. Unlike other hill tribes, they don't usually live in stilted houses. The Lisu men and women are also recognised as some of the most physically attractive of the hill tribes and marriage outside of their tribe is not uncommon.

Population: marginal Origin: Thailand
The Paduang are a sub-group of the Shan, who aren't entirely considered minorities as they have always occupied the areas of Northwest Thailand and the Shan states of Myanmar. The Shan speak a dialect similar to Thai and are even known as Thai Yai, having been assimilated into Thai culture.

There are pockets of Paduang around Mae Hong Son. The Paduang attract many curious visitors on account of their long-necked women. A tradition of beautifying women by adding brass rings to their necks has been preserved largely for generating tourism. Although the neck appears cruelly elongated, it is the collarbone which has been displaced rather than the stretching and weakening of the neck.

Travellers footage: Colourful Akha performingThere are some lesser tribes which you are unlikely to see on mainstream tours, however, they historically play a significant role in the area. The Lua were original inhabitants of Northern Thailand. They speak a Mon-Khmer language, which differentiates them from the other hill tribes, which mainly speak Tibeto-Burman languages. Their villages are much more isolated in comparison to other hill tribes and there is less of a chance seeing them. However, along the Chiang Mai-Mae Hong Son border, you may see women with many tiny orange bead necklaces walking to market.

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Hilltribe Museum and Education Centre in Chiang Rai

The Hilltribe Museum is a public-benefit organization which aims to help educate local and foreign tourists about Hilltribes' fast disappearing culture. The Museum aims to preserve artifacts and to provide information to tourists and tour operators so that responsible tourism can occur. When people are informed about Hilltribe culture, it is hope that negative impact of tourism on Hilltribe life will be minimized.
The Hilltribe Museum is under the supervision of the Population and Community Development Association.

The Hilltribe Museum: is conveniently located near the center of Chiang-Rai. It is walking distance from major hotels like the Wiang Inn and Wangcome Hotels as well as the Golden Triangle Inn.

History And Trade Of Opium:
The Museum shows information about the 5,500 year history of opium, how it reached Asia and its impact on Hilltribe people. This section will broaden your perspective opium and its abuse.

The Hilltribe Museum and Education Center : has just gotten BIGGER. We have moved to the new Building of the Population and Community Development Association in Chiang- Rai province, which is adjacent to the Cabbages and Condoms Restaurant.
The Hilltribe Museum: is conveniently located near the center of Chiang-Rai. It is walking distance from major hotels like the Wiang Inn and Wangcome Hotels as well as the Golden Triangle Inn.
Scholarships Donations to the Hilltribe Museum: are used to support higher education of Hilltribe students. As of the end of December 2000, a total of 200 students have already been supported. The education of female Hilltribe students is our priority as many end up in the commercial sex industry.
Alternative Tourism: The Hilltribe Museum along with the PDA Tour Office is pioneering in a project on alternative tourism wherein Hilltribe Village receive move benefit from the tourism activity. This project called the Lorcha Project will be a community-based tourism project which is being supported by the Association of Thai Tourist Agencies (ATTA) and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
Blanket and Sweater Donation: During the winter months, (November to mid-March) temperatures often drops to the low 10's especially in the hilly areas. The Hilltribe Museum has launched a new project to assist hilltribe families provide for warm clothing for young children aged 4 to10 year old. Funds are raised through donations to purchase sweaters for hilltribe children.
Water Resource Development: In cooperation with the PDA, income from the Hilltribe Museum supports activities such as the construction of piped water systems in Hilltribe village to improve their access to clean and potable water supply. These facilities have reduced time required for collecting water as well as improved the sanitation condition in villages.

Address: 620/25 Thanalai Rd.
Population and Community Development Association Chiang Rai

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Asian Institute of Technology

The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is an international institution for higher education in engineering, advanced technologies, and management and planning. It "promotes technological change and sustainable development" in the Asian-Pacific region, through higher education, research and outreach.

History, mission
Founded in 1959 as SEATO Graduate School of Engineering, with a mission to develop highly qualified and committed professionals who will play a leading role in the sustainable development of the region and its integration into the global economy, it receives funding from organizations and governments around the world (initially from SEATO members).

In 2006, AIT claimed that it "has become a leading regional post-graduate institute and is actively working with public and private sector partners throughout the region and with some of the top universities in the world". (See note presented at the Asia Commons conference, Bangkok, June 2006.)

It also sees itself as being "recognized for its multinational, multi-cultural ethos".

This institute operates as a self-contained international community at its campus located some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Bangkok, Thailand.

The school was hosted by Faculty of Engineering, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, before it became the AIT, an independent institution, in November 1967. While its main campus is located in Thailand, there is a remote campus in Vietnam called AIT Center in Vietnam. Another two centers have been authorized to be setup in Indonesia and Pakistan.

Academic Structure
AIT consists of three schools, the AIT Extension, the AIT centre in Vietnam and the AIT centre in Indonesia.

The three schools are

School of Engineering and Technology (SET)
School of Environment, Resources, and Development (SERD)
School of Management (SOM)

AIT prides itself in the athletic diversity offered within the campus. Sports such as badminton, takraw, table tennis, tennis, basketball, cricket, volleyball, swimming, slow bicycle, and running enable students the chance to not only exercise but share valuable experiences with such a diverse student body.

Rival competitions with competing universities makes for a great athletic atmosphere. After six straight losing seasons to rival NIDA, the basketball team, led by talent brought in from countries such as Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Philippines, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and the United States sent the NIDA team home with a loss. The final score read 72-46. Next year's game is expecting larger crowds with participants from all over the Asian continent.

Ramon Magsaysay Award
In 1989, it received a Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding, "... for shaping a new generation of engineers and managers committed to Asia , in an atmosphere of academic excellence and regional camaraderie.".

Students, faculty
Hosted 1,949 students from 50 countries, and 104 faculty from 22 countries (August 2006), its main campus in Pathum Thani, Thailand, is situated just next to Thailand Science Park and Rangsit Center of Thammasat University. The campus is approximately 42 kilometers north of Bangkok, the capital of the country.

The institute is a member of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Academic and Research Network, and LAOTSE – an international network of leading universities in Europe and Asia.

Asian Institute of Technology
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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EWRI-AIT International Conference on “An International Perspective on Environmental and Water Resources

5-7 January 2009: EWRI-AIT International Conference on “An International Perspective on Environmental and Water Resources”

The Environmental & Water Resources Institute of ASCE (EWRI of ASCE) in cooperation with Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) will organize a conference on “An International Perspective on Environmental and Water Resources” on January 5-7, 2009 at the AIT Conference Centre (AITCC).

This conference will cover a wide variety of topics related to environmental and water resources. While technical sessions will include topics on both developed and developing countries, much of the focus of this conference will be on water resources and the environment in developing countries, especially in Asia and Africa. The emphasis will be focused on global effect of regional issues and solutions. Participants, including paper presenters and attendees, will include engineers, scientists, and planners from all over the globe.

The conference committee is currently accepting abstracts for this conference. Abstracts should describe the theme and content of the proposed paper, should address one or more of the conference topics and should be submitted online. For a complete listing of conference topics, visit the conference website at

Proceedings and abstracts will be published and will be available for distribution at the conference.

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Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority signs multi-million Baht deal for 40 staff scholarships and research at AIT

Thailand’s Provincial Electricity Authority signs multi-million Baht deal for 40 staff scholarships and research at AIT

In a multi-million baht deal, the Asian Institute of Technology has partnered with the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) to offer master’s degree level scholarship opportunities for up to 40 PEA staff over the next four years. The education and research partnership was formalized with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) at a ceremony on June 16th at the headquarters of PEA in Bangkok.

According to the agreement signed by the Provincial Electric Authority Governor Mr. Adisorn Kiatchokewiwat, and AIT President Prof. Said Irandoust, PEA will provide 27,374,000 Baht for up to 10 members of its staff per year to study in the Energy Field of Study at AIT's School of Environment, Resources and Development. The government enterprise under the Thai Ministry of Interior will also cooperate in an alliance with AIT for research and technology development for practical applications and transfer spin-offs. PEA staff selected for scholarships will study for 22 months at AIT.

For its part, the Asian Institute of Technology will also support partial tuition fees of up to 13,440,000 Baht for PEA staff to enroll at AIT, starting with the initial batch in the August 2008 semester. The institute located north of Bangkok agreed to liaise with its partner universities and research institutes in Europe and North America to find opportunities for PEA students to conduct research during inter-semester breaks. PEA will fund international research field visits for staff scholarship recipients.

Officials expressed confidence this innovative partnership will benefit both parties. For PEA, the tie-up with AIT forms a major part of its effort to develop the skill and capacity of its employees to improve the implementation of its energy services, and to work in international environments by engaging in high-level research and development. PEA will get all students’ research outputs, officials said.

At the ceremony, Governor Adisorn Kiatechokvivat called the partnership with AIT a key investment for the long term development of PEA’s professional human resources, especially in the field of energy engineering education and research. AIT President Irandoust echoed these sentiments, telling a large delegation of 25 senior PEA executives that AIT was impressed by PEA’s ambition in terms of its commitment to increasing the professional, experiential and technical skills of it staff, and of its desire to increase the quality of its service to Thailand and the region. Calling its energy program a key academic strength of AIT, President Irandoust added that the institute looked forward to translating its research outputs into viable practical applications for use by PEA, via this partnership agreement.

Established in 1960, the Provincial Electricity Authority is primarily concerned with the generation, distribution, sales and provision of electric energy services to the business and industrial sectors as well as to the general public in provincial areas of Thailand. The authority has expanded electricity supply to 73 provinces of Thailand, covering 99% of the country’s geographical land area.

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Northern Rangsit Golf Club In Thailand

Northern Rangsit Golf Club is the golf course with 18 holes located in the northern of Don Muang International Airport about 35 km. to Saraburi. The area of the course is generally flat and the course layout is mainly based on the combination of water hazards. Another element for the score making is a wind which attacks players sometimes during the game.

The course is very flat, but has four of the longest par five holes in the country, each playing over 550 yards from the back tees. From the white tees the course plays fairly short, but accuracy is required on account of the many water hazards. An unusual feature at this club is that it has two "play off'' holes.

Clubhouse facilities are good and the course is within easy reach of Bangkok.

Address 19/2 Moo 7 Phaholyothin Rd. KM 58 Tambol Wangnoi Amphur Wangnoi Ayutthaya 13170

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FUTURE CITY is gateway of Bangkok

FUTURE CITY is situated on one of the best location of Bangkok, as the gateway of Bangkok to 56 provinces in the Central, Northern and North – Eastern part of Thailand.
FUTURE CITY - EAST is the place that Future Park Rangsit Shopping Mall, a mega mall, Homepro, Major Cineplex, Index Living Mall, German Country Place taken place.

FUTURE CITY - WEST is the place that Rangsit Fresh Market, Rangsit Apartment, Toyota Showroom, and Honda Showroom taken place.
4.5 Million people are in catchment area.
In 20 km. radius area :
79,257 new houses increased during 2003 - 2006.
22 educational institutes with 170,000 students.
30 government offices with 195,000 officers.
In the near future, 25 government offices with 60,000 officers will move in, and more than 300,000 people per day will be served in those government offices.

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History of Muaythai

1. MUAYTHAI and the Thai people
Thais are classified in the Mongolian tribe. The distinguished physical features include small body with average height of 5' 3". They are usually strong, light-weighted, and agile. They have light brown complexion, black hair, little body hair and beard. The face is round with black eyes and plump cheek. Since Thailand is in the tropical zone close to the equator, most of the people live on the riverside and use boats as vehicles. The Thai people wear little light clothes and do not wear hat and shoes. They are able to use fist, foot, knee, and elbow efficiently. These bodily weapons are used as the self-defensive weapons to fight with the enemies to protect the country.
Muaythai is the cultural heritage descended from the ancestors for centuries. In the past, Thailand had numerous wars with its neighbors. Thai males had to practice Muaythai and other weapons to defend the country. Muaythai has been developed to have its own identity, with graceful but ferocious style. It was practiced for self-defense, health, and profession.

2. Muaythai in Sukhothai Period
Sukhothai Period dated back to 140 years ago from 1238 - 1408. From the stone inscription, it was obviously inscribed that Sukhothai made several wars with the neighboring countries. So soldiers had to be trained to fight with weapons like sword, lance, including bodily weapons at close quarters.
After the wars, young men in that era liked practicing Muaythai to strengthen their fighting skill and prepare themselves for military service. It was a tradition for a Thai young man to study Muaythai in a well-known boxing camp; for example, Samoh Khon Camp in Lopburi. Muaythai was also trained in the courtyard of a temple by monk. In the old days, the trainees were taught by fetching buckets of water, pounding paddy, cutting firewood, swimming, swinging on creepers and vines to gain physical strength and patience before starting practicing Muaythai skills. These skills included the punching of folded bathing loincloth hanging on a branch of tree, kicking banana trees, fighting and clinching with sparring partners. The practice would end with swimming to clean the body and relax the muscle before going to sleep. Muaythai masters did not teach only skills but ethics to their students as well.
In the Sukhothai Period, Muaythai was considered as a course taught to the king. It was described in the legend that King Si Inthrathit, the first king of the Sukhothai dynasty, with his far-sighted vision, dispatched his second son, King Ram Khamhaeng at the age of 13, to practice Muaythai in Samoh Khon Camp in Lopburi. He wished this son to be a brave king in the future. From 1275-1317, King Ram Khamhaeng composed a military fighting manual in which Muaythai was mentioned. King Li Thai, who was interested in all fields of studies and was famous as a great scholar, learned Muaythai in parallel with other weapons

3.MuayThai In Ayutthaya Period
In the Ayutthaya Period 417 years ago, from 1350-1767, Thailand was from time to time in wars with Burma and Cambodia. The young men of this period had to learn fighting skills with weapons and Muaythai, which was taught to either aristocrats and general public. Budhai Sawan Camp was very famous at that time. The camp taught the students to fight with rattan sword and bare hands, which was known as Muaythai. In this period, the temple was still the center of knowledge where general subjects and fighting skills were taught.

King Naresuan the Great (1590-1604)
He picked up a group of young men to teach Muaythai. They were trained to be brave, confident, and skillful in using all weapons efficiently. They were recruited to be soldiers in a special task force set up by King Naresuan to be the Guerilla squad. This squad played an important role in proclaiming independence from Burma in 1584.

King Narai the Great (1604-1690)
Under the reign of King Narai, the country was peaceful and prosperous. He was greatly interested in promoting and encouraging sports, especially Muaythai that was so popular among the public that it became a profession in this period. There emerged considerable boxing camps. The fight was generally made on ground with a rope encircled in a square. Cotton yarn made hardened by dipping into starch or tar would be wrapped around the fist. The boxers wore headband and armbands during the fight. The arrangement of bout was mainly based on the will of both fighters regardless of the weight and age. The rules and regulation at that time was so simple; both boxers had to fight until any of them yielded. Muaythai was usually arranged in festivals and the bet was inevitable.

King Saeu or King Tiger (1697-1709)
King Tiger was very fond of Muaythai. Once he went in disguise to Had Kruad District with 4 pages, he got into the boxing ring to fight with 3 skillful boxers whom he defeated. He also trained his own sons to acquire skills in Muaythai, swords, and wrestling.
In early Ayutthaya Period, the ruling kings set up a royal boxing unit. This unit was responsible for selecting young men who were good at fighting with Muaythai to box in front of the king. The best fighter would be appointed a royal guard to protect the king while he was in the palace or went to other places. This guard would be responsible for training the king's children and soldiers.

Late Ayutthaya Period
After Ayutthaya fell to Burma for the second time in 1767, there emerged 2 renown boxers as follows:
1. Mr. Khanom Tom was taken as a hostage in Burma. In 1774, the Burmese king arranged a festival to commemorate the great chedi in Rangkung. In this festival, he wished to have a skillful Thai boxer to fight in his presence on March 17, 1774. Mr. Khanom Tom could defeat 10 Burmese boxers without a break. This bout was regarded as the first dissemination of Muaythai abroad. Mr. Khanom Tom was therefore considered the father of Muaythai and March 17 the Muaythai day.

2. Phraya Pichai Dabhak (1741-1782) or Joi was born in Pichai of Utraradit Province. He had profound knowledge in Muaythai. He started learning Muaythai from Master Thieng and used Muaythai to earn his living to the age of 16 when he began learning sword and Chinese martial art. With his distinguished skill, he was selected by Phraya Tak to serve the country as a soldier and became the Governor of Pichai during the reign of King Taksin. When Pichai was attacked by Burmese troop, he fought violently until his both swords were broken.

4. Muaythai during Thonburi Era
During the Thonburi Era from 1767-1781, the country was under the restoration after proclaiming independence. The practice of Muaythai in this period was actually intended for military purpose.
There were numerous good boxers. The boxing competitions were often arranged between boxers from 2 different regions or masters. The rule and regulation have not prescribed yet. The bout would stop when a boxer surrendered. The ring was simply made on the ground of a temple. The boxers themselves still used wrapped cotton yarn and wore headband and armbands

5. Muaythai during Rattanakosin Era
During 86 years of the early Rattanakosin Era from King Rama I to King Rama IV (1782-1868), Muaythai was still regarded as national sport. The competition was usually held in festivals. Rules and regulations were initially defined. The boxers were required to fight in rounds, each of which lasted until a bored coconut shell sink to the bottom of a container. Each bout had no specific number of rounds. The boxers would fight until one of them yielded.

King Rama I (1782-1809)
King Rama I had practiced Muaythai since childhood. He was interested in going out to view Muaythai competitions. In 1788, two French merchants who traveled to different parts of the world by a ship to trade with the local people arrived in Bangkok. They were good boxers and bet on boxing everywhere they went. In Bangkok, they wanted to bet on a fight with Thai boxer. King Rama I heard of the news and asked his brother who was in charge of the royal boxing unit to arrange a boxing match between the French and a Thai boxer. A temporary ring was constructed on the courtyard behind Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The ring was made in square of 20 m. long, encircled with a rope around 4 poles at each corner. In front of the ring was a royal pavilion. The fight started and continued until a fighter would surrender.
The French boxer was bigger and when the fight began, he tried to get approach and clinch with the Thai boxer. Muan Phlan, the Thai boxer, tried to defend by delivering thrust kicks, punches and stepping aside. Time lapsed and the Westerner was in disadvantage. The brother of the French boxer couldn't stand and helped his younger brother by blocking the way of Muan Phlan. Such action provoked the anger of the crowd and drove the situation into the mutiny in the ring. Many Westerners were injured. King Rama I sent a nursing team to take care of them. When they recovered, they left Thailand for good.

King Rama II (1809-1824)
At his early childhood, he practiced Muaythai from Wat Bang Hwa Yai (Rakhang Khositaram Temple). The master who taught Muaythai to him is Phra Wanarat (Thong Yu), who was once a general. At the age of 16, he moved into the old palace and learned more Muaythai skills from his father's royal guard. He commanded the construction of boxing stadium at the courtyard behind his palace and the Thai-boxing style, which was previously called "Ram Mut Ram Muay," was changed to Muaythai since then.

King Rama III (1824-1851)
He studied Muaythai from a royal guard. In this period, the people in provincial area liked learning Muaythai and sword altogether. Therefore, Thaow Suranaree or Lady Mo, the wife of Korat Governor, could lead the people to defeat the invading troop of King Anuwong, a Loatian king.

King Rama IV (1851-1868)
While he was a little prince, he dressed in boxing attire and played sword show in the festival held to commemorate the ordination hall of the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this period, Thailand had been influenced by the Western civilization. However, Muaythai was still the national sport.

King Rama V (1868-1910)
He practiced Muaythai from the royal boxing camp taught by Master Luang Phol Yothanuyok. He was very fond of Muaythai and liked viewing Muaythai competitions held in front of the royal pavilion. He asked the governors in different provinces to dispatch skillful boxers to compete in the competitions. The best boxers would be recruited as his royal guards under the royal boxing unit.
He was greatly aware of the value of Muaythai as the national sport. He therefore commanded all provinces hold Muaythai competitions so as to promote the sport. He also provided royal boxing masters to different provinces to teach the skills to the public, hold and control the boxing competitions held in the royal ceremonies, royal hair cutting ceremony, cremation, royal guest reception. In the cremation of Krom Khun Marupong Siripat, the winning boxers from the provincial area were granted a rank called "Muan". Those boxers included
1. Muan Muay Mee Chue or Mr. Plong Chamnongthong from Chaiya, who was famous for his distinguished style of throwing the opponent to the ground.
2. Muan Muay Maen Mut or Mr. Kling from Lopburi, who was smart in using attacking and defending techniques including excellent straight punches.
3. Muan Changud Cherng Chok or Mr. Daeng Thaiprasert from Korat (Nakorn Rajsima), who had a famous cast punch, called "buffalo-casting punch".

Picture: Boxing competition held in front of the royal pavilion in the cremation of Krom Khun Marupong Siripat.

In 1887, King Rama V commanded the establishment of the Ministry of Education and Muaythai was taught as a subject in the Physical Education School and Royal Military Academy.
This period was known as the Golden Age of Muaythai.

King Rama VI (1910-1925)
From 1914-1918, Thailand sent a military troop to join the Allied in the First World War in Marseilles, France. The troop was led by General Thephasadin. He was greatly interested in Muaythai so he held a Muaythai competition to show the sport to the Allied soldiers and the people there. This competition was the first time Muaythai was held in Europe.
In 1921, after the first World War, Suan Kuhlab Stadium was constructed on the ground of Suan Kuhlab School. It was the first permanent boxing stadium where the boxing programs were regularly arranged. In the initial stage, the viewers had to sit or stand around the square ring of 26 m. long. The viewers were not allowed to get into the ring line made on ground. The boxer wore headband, armbands, shorts and groin guard. The referee in the ring was in the Thai-style attire.
The most interesting bout was between Muan Muay Maen Mut, a skillful boxer in the reign of King Rama V, aged 50, and Mr. Phong Prabsabot, a young man, aged 22 from Korat. For Phong, this bout meant the revenge for his father, who was once defeated by Muan Muay Maen Mut just in 2 minutes. Muan Muay Maen Mut was this time knocked to he ground by Phong's powerful cast punch. The cheering crowd was excited with Phong's victory and turned the ring into chaos. This event caused trouble to the staff who took care of the order. So after the competition, a ring was constructed on an elevated platform, 4 feet higher from the ground. The ring floor was covered with mat and the ring was encircled by a rope of 1 inch. There was an entrance for boxers and reference at a corner. The referee was dressed like a scout. There were 11 rounds of 3 minutes and the time of each round was kept by 2 watches. The gong was used to give signal for fighting. The fighters had to take a break when ordered by the referee. They were not allowed to bite or hit after the referee broke the fight. If a boxer fell to the ring floor, the other had to wait at a corner.
Picture: Boxing competitions held in Suan Kuhlab Stadium

The public were interested in viewing the competition and asked for following programs. King Rama VI commanded Phraya Nonthisensurenthorapakdi, the chief of scout unit, to hold competitions with a view to raising money for purchasing guns. The officers based in provinces were requested to dispatch local boxers to compete in this stadium. Most of the boxers who came from upcountry would stay at the club of the scout unit in Suan Dusit. After comparing the weight and set the matches, the correspondence would take a picture of the rivals of each match to print in newspaper. This was the first time that Muaythai was printed for public attention.
The match that broke the record of selling tickets was between Mr. Young Hanthalae and Mr. Ji Chang (How Jong Kun), a Chinese boxer. The match ended with the loss of the latter who was hit on the face and kicked down to the floor. He lied still and let the referee count to 10.

King Rama VII (1925-1934)
From 1923-1929, Lt. Gen. Phraya Thephasadin built a boxing stadium called "Lak Muang Tha Chang Stadium" at the now national theatre. The ring was encircled by big ropes, each of which was stretched from pole to pole with no space left for entrance. The ropes were stretched in such a fashion to prevent the boxers from falling down onto the ground outside the ring.
In 1929, the government issued an instruction requiring the boxers to wear gloves during the fight. This instruction was issued because there was a case in which Mr. Pae Liangprasert, a boxer from Uttraradit, hit Mr. Jia Khaekhamen with his fists wrapped with cotton yarn to death.
On November 9, 1929, Muaythai competition was first held in the amusement park of Suan Lumpini together with other entertainment. Skillful boxers nationwide were selected to fight in the competition, which have been regularly held on Saturday. The ring was constructed to meet the international standard. The ring was encircled by 3 ropes. The floor was covered with canvass. There were red and blue corners. There were 2 judges giving the scores and 1 referee in the ring. The bell was used to give the signal of the start and the end of each round. On December 30, 1929, a New Year competition was arranged. The major match was between Samarn Dilokwilas and Dej Phoopinyo whereas the other match was Air Mange VS Sudan Niwasawat. In this competition, the iron groin guard was introduced and used for the first time by Air Muangdee.

King Rama VIII (1934-1946)
1935-1941: There was a well-known millionaire who constructed a boxing stadium called Suan Chao Set Stadium. The stadium was operated by the army and the revenue earned from selling tickets was used to support the army affairs for years. The stadium was closed when the second World War broke out and the Japanese troop invaded Thailand on December 8, 1941.
1942-1944: The second World War nearly came to an end. However, there were still patrol planes flying day and night. Muaythai contests were held in theatres during daytime since the public still wanted to view.

On December 23, 1945, Rajdamnoen Stadium was formally opened with Mr. Pramote Peungsunthorn as the chief, Phraya Chindarak as the ring management director, and Master Chit Ampholsin as Promoter. The boxing program was held regularly on Sundays from 16.00-17.00 h. The rules and regulations applied in this stadium were adopted from the department of Physical Education (1937). There were 5 rounds of 3 minutes with two-minute break. In the initial stage, the boxer was weighed in stone like horse. Two years later, the scale was changed into kilogram and into pond in 1948. The category of boxers was classified by weight, ranging from Flyweight (not exceeding 112 lbs.), Bantamweight (not exceeding 118 lbs.), etc. In 1951, the construction of permanent roof of Rajdamneon Stadium was started.
On September 3, 1953, Pol. Col. Pichai Kulawanich, assistant chief of Rajdamnoen Stadium issued a regulation for the boxer to wear shorts in the color corresponding to his own corner and for the seconds to wear proper clothes.
On December 8, 1953, Lumpini Stadium was formally opened with Erb Saengrit as the chief and Khet Sriyaphai as the manager.
In 1955, Rajdamnoen Stadium Co., Ltd. published the rules and regulations of professional Muaythai for the first time. They were based on those prepared by the Department of Physical Education.
In 1959, Mr. Nokuji, a Japanese businessman, took a team of Japanese boxers to fight with Muaythai boxers. He took the pictures from the competition, studied the game and changed the name of the game to Kick Boxing.
Mr. Kaito Kenkuji, a master of Japanese martial art, was very impressed after viewing Muaythai at Rajdamnoen Stadium. He put Muaythai as a course taught in primary school of Japan.
In 1960, Rajdamnoen Stadium Co., Ltd. added more rules, requiring the boxers to be 18 - 38 years old.
In 1961, Rajdamnoen Stadium held a Championship in which the champion would be given the royal trophy.

The list of champions is as follows:
November 13, 1961: Namsak Yontrakij
May 8, 1963: Dejrit Itthi-Anuchit
February 25, 1965: Sompong Charoenmuang
December 14, 1969: Chalermsak Ploenchit
November 6, 1971: Sornnakrob Kiatwayupak
January 17, 1979: Phadetsuk Phitsanurachan
On October 29, 1964, Chalerm Chiewsakul,
the Chairman of Rajdamnoen Stadium Co., Ltd. issued additional rules concerning the contention for championship, defending, and ranking of boxers of Rajdamnoen Stadium for the first time.
In 1965, Rajdamnoen Stadium Co., Ltd. revised the rules and regulations of professional Muaythai and called "Rajdamnoen Professional Muaythai Rules and Regulations 1965".
In December, 1984, the top ten boxers were ranked as follows:
1. Phol Phrapradaeng
2. Suk Phrasarthinphimai
3. Chuchai Phrakhanchai
4. Prayuth Udomsak
5. Adul Srisothorn
6. Apidej Sithiran
7. Wichannoi Pornthawee
8. Put Lohlek
9. Phudphadnoi Worawuth
10. Deiselnoi Ch. Thanasukarn

Amateur Muaythai
At present, Muaythai is popular, not only at the professional level but at the amateur level as well. In 1971, Sawaeng Siripile of Srinakarinwiroj University (Physical Education) gave a comment that Muaythai should be generally competed at the amateur level and accepted in the Olympic Games. The amateur Muaythai should set its focus on the wit and style of applying Mauythai techniques to make scores. He therefore prepared Amateur Mauythai Rules and Regulations and held a campus competition among physical education colleges. From then on, amateur Muaythai has gained more popularity.
In 1973, the first competition among physical education colleges nationwide was held.
In 1984, Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand was established by Mr. Boonyuen Suwanthada and his team.
In 1985, the competition was first held among the students under the Department of Physical Education. Yuttana Wongbandue and Chan Paiboon introduced the application of protective guards to prevent the competitors from being injured. These guards were still used in the Amateur Muaythai Championship at all levels.
In 1992, Muaythai was first included as a game in the 25th national sport held in Khonkhaen.
In 1993, International Federation of Muaythai Amateur was set up.
In 1994, Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand held the first International Training Program for Muaythai instructors and a meeting among the judges and referees from all over the country was arranged by Yuttana Wongbandue with a view to updating the amateur Muaythai rules and regulations to meet the international standard. The revised rules and regulations were translated into English by Professor Phansri Wichakornkul.
In 1995, International Federation of Muaythai Amateur held the first Amateur Muaythai Championship in Bangkok. The scoring system was computerized. The Amateur Muaythai was accepted as the demonstrative sport in the 23rd SEAGAMES held in Chiangmai.
In 1996, Federation of Amateur Muaythai of Asia was established.
From 1996-1998, Gen. Chetta Thanajaro, Chairman of the World Muaythai Council and Lt. Gen. Vorayudh Mesommonta, Chairman of the Amateur Muaythai Association of Thailand have given serious attention and provided full support to amateur Muaythai with a goal to encourage it as a world sport accepted in SEAGAMES, Asian Games, and Olympic Games in the future. Amateur Muaythai was finally approved by the Olympic Council of Asia to be a demonstrative sport in the 13th Bangkok Asian Games, to be held in Bangkok from December 6-20, 1998.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Editorial: Orthopaedic trauma following tsunami: Experience from Phang Nga, Thailand

On the morning of 26 December 2004, a tsunami hit the western coast of southern Thailand, including the provinces of Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Chumporn, Trang, and Ranong. Six to 8 huge waves measuring 5 to 7 metres high destroyed almost everything along the beach and inundated areas more than 300 metres from the seashore. Victims were injured by debris carried by the waves, including stones, trees branches, as well as concrete, broken glass, and metal from buildings destroyed by the surging water. Most of the victims sustained lower-limb injuries because of being submerged in the water, and most of the survivors had minimal to moderate injuries to the body and extremities. Causes of death included drowning, being entrapped inside collapsing buildings, and being thrown under cars.

Takuapa Hospital of Phang Nga province, a general hospital with 180 beds, located 3 km from the coast, was severely affected. During the first 24 hours of the disaster, more than 1000 patients presented to the emergency room; however, only 10 physicians were available: 5 general practitioners, 2 orthopaedists, 2 paediatricians, and one surgeon. While the hospital was capable of accommodating a mass casualty of only 50 to 60 patients, more than 500 patients were admitted to the hospital within 3 hours. All available staff were called to the emergency room to help resuscitate and identify patients requiring surgical debridement. Some severely injured patients were transferred to a nearby provincial hospital. Because telephone services were not available for several hours, the call for help was passed directly from the ambulance drivers to the medical staff of the provincial hospital, who then dispatched several ambulance and medical personnel to assist.

During the first day after the tsunami, more than 1000 patients were admitted to Takuapa Hospital, half of them requiring hospitalisation; however, because there were only 4 operating theatres, most patients were unable to be operated on within the golden period. Almost all wounds were treated late and gradually became infected. Most of the 60 severely injured patients were transferred to provincial hospitals and many injured tourists were transferred to hospitals in Bangkok. Almost 200 patients who required emergency surgical intervention were treated at Takuapa Hospital. The next morning, organisations in Bangkok such as Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital dispatched more physicians to assist in the rescue efforts.

Most of the severely injured patients had open fractures of the long bones on either or both of the upper and lower limbs. Wounds were of specific characteristics: multiple; of small-to-medium size; along the head, face, and extremities; often on the posterior aspect of the head, back, buttocks; and legs. Almost 140 patients undergoing surgical intervention had infected wounds, most of which were severely contaminated and foul-smelling. Some wounds had only small opening tracts but contained large amounts of contaminants such as sand, soil, and sticks inside the cavity. During debridement, extensive fat necrosis was usually found above and below the fascia of the muscle, along with greyish, sand-like contamination. Most of the wounds had spread to more than 5 times their initial size (Fig. 1). The wounds were adequately debrided and sutured on the first day, but almost all were infected, required redebridement, and were left open for drainage. One third of the cases needed redebridement due to further tissue necrosis. One of the most severe and massive contaminations was found in a wound at the posteromedial aspect of the knee (Figs. 2a and 2b). Only 3 to 5 cases of open fractures of the distal humerus, hand, distal tibia, and femur were treated at Takuapa Hospital. The fractures were not securely fixed with any implants because of the serious contamination of the wounds.

According to Takuapa Hospital, as of 19 January, 5222 cases had presented to the emergency room; 2937 (56%) were admitted to hospital and the remaining were treated as out-patients. Most of the patients were adults: 36% were aged 40 to 60 years and 32% were aged 20 to 39 years. Foreign patients numbered 1087 (21%). Most wounds were to the lower (2545; 49%) and upper (1685; 32%) extremities, the rest being found on the buttocks, back, neck, head, and chest. More than 3000 victims were found dead. Takuapa Hospital recorded 115 dead, 105 (91%) were dead on arrival. Ten patients died of gram-negative septicemia, mostly caused by Klebsiella and Escherichia coli.

Several problems arose in the care of orthopaedic trauma patients after the tsunami. The available medical personnel, equipment, and surgical facilities were inadequate to deal with the huge number of patients, and failure of the communications system hindered the rescue efforts between hospitals. Almost all wounds and open fractures were treated late and became infected, being highly contaminated and of special characteristics. Infecting organisms were mostly gram-negative.

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