Chiang Mai General Information

Experiencing the merging of the past into the present in Chiang Mai where locals are proud of the city’s 700-year history. Its rich traditional heritage and unique culture is a perfect foundation for the development of the city. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to find in the heart of the city centuries-old chedis and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. The original city layout still exists as a neat square surrounded by a moat with vestiges of the fortified wall and its four main gates offering prime access to the old town.

For years, tourists have mistaken Chiang Mai as the northern junction and the base from which they can explore other provinces. The phrase “a day in Chiang Mai is enough to see things around” was common. Today, tourists are surprised by the fact that there is always something new to discover Chiang Mai. Intriguing diversity among ethnic tribes coupled with breathtaking scenery makes Chiang Mai one of Asia’s most attractive tourist destinations. Two weeks in Chiang Mai may not be long enough for serious travelers.

The old city of Chiang Mai with its fascinating indigenous cultural identity such as diverse dialects, cuisine, architecture, traditional values, festivals, handicrafts and classical dances is a prime location in its own right. In addition, the presence of hill tribes and their wealth of unique cultures enhance Chiang Mai’s distinctive diversity.

Chiang Mai is also blessed with pristine natural resources of mountains (dois), waterfalls, and other nature-based tourist attractions. At the same time, Chiang Mai residents are warm, gracious and congenial providing authentic hospitality making visits memorable and meaningful. Moreover, visitors from all walks of life can collect handicrafts of silk, silver and wood produced locally as timeless souvenirs. Chiang Mai is a place where both backpackers and luxury tourists can enjoy themselves to the fullest.

The Past
Chiang Mai literally means new city and has retained the name despite having celebrated its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai founded the city as the capital of the Lanna (A Million Rice Fields) Kingdom on Thursday, 12th April 1296 during the same period of time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai the Great conferred with his friends, King Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Phayao before choosing the site where the capital of the Lanna Kingdom was to be founded.

From then, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also the centre of Buddhism in northern Thailand. King Meng Rai himself was very religious and founded many of the city’s temples, which are still important today.

At the height of its power, the Lanna Kingdom extended its territory far into Burma and Laos, and southwards to Kamphaeng Phet a province above Sukhothai.

The Burmese conquered the Lanna Kingdom in 1556 ending the dynasty founded by King Meng Rai that lasted over 250 years. As Burma had occupied Chiang Mai for nearly 200 years, Burmese architectural influences are visible in many temples. At the end of the 18th century, King Taksin the Great regrouped the Thais in the south and finally drove the Burmese out with the help of King Kawila of Lampang thereby regaining Thai independence from Burma. Chiang Mai was then governed by a succession of princes who ruled the north as a Siamese protectorate under the Chakri dynasty. In the late 19th century, King Rama V appointed a high commissioner in Chiang Mai and it was only in 1939 that Chiang Mai finally came under the direct control of the central government in Bangkok the same time the country was renamed Thailand.

In the past, Chiang Mai was only accessible by river and elephants. More convenient access was achieved only when the railway line was completed in the late 1920’s. Moreover, the first motor vehicle driven directly from Bangkok arrived in Chiang Mai in 1932. Such isolation was more favorable to Chiang Mai as it helped to nurture and preserve the unique Lanna culture.

When we look at Chiang Mai today, it is the economic, cultural and communications hub of northern Thailand complete with excellent infrastructure, good roads, by passes and road tunnels, and reliable communications infrastructure.

The Setting
Chiang Mai, with an altitude of approximately 310 meters above sea level, is situated approximately 700 kilometers from Bangkok on the Mae Ping River basin. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, the city covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometers and is the country’s second largest province. Chiang Mai borders Myanmar on the north, Lamphun and Tak Provinces on the south, Chiang Rai, Lampang and Lamphun Provinces on the east and Mae Hong Son Province on the west. The terrain is mainly comprised of jungles and mountains, which are home to the hill tribes. In addition, wildlife and exotic flora may be found in the national parks.

Most of Chiang Mai’s mountains are oriented from north to south. Together they create a multitude of streams and tributaries including Mae Chaem, Mae Ngat and Mae Klang. One of Chiang Mai’s distinctive features is Doi Inthanon, Thailands highest peak, which is 2,575 meters above sea level. In addition, the province boasts flat, fertile valleys, which spread along the banks of the largest and most important river in Chiang Mai Mae Nam Ping (Ping River) which originates from the Chiang Dao mountain range.

How To House Train Your Dog Effectively

House training is one of the most important parts of training any dog to be a valued part of the family. As with many other aspects of dog training, the best way to house train a dog is to use the dog’s own nature to your benefit.

The great thing about dogs, and the thing that can make house training much easier, is that dogs are instinctively very clean animals. Dogs would rather not soil the areas where they sleep and eat. In addition, dogs are very good at developing habits regarding where they like to urinate and defecate.

For example, dogs that are used to eliminating on concrete or gravel will prefer to eliminate there rather than on grass or dirt. It is possible to use these natural canine habits when house training your dog.

Setting up the training area
The first step in house training your dog is to set up your training area. A small, confined space such as a bathroom, or part of a kitchen or garage, works best as a training area. This method of training differs from crate training. Crate training is great for puppies and small dogs, but many larger dogs find a crate too confining.

It is important for the owner to spend as much time in the training area with his or her dog as possible. It is important for the owner to play with the dog in the training area, and to let the dog eat and sleep in that area. The dog should be provided with a special bed in the training area, anything from a store bought bed to a large towel to a large box. At first, the dog may eliminate in this area, but once the dog has recognized it as his or her own space, he or she will be reluctant to soil it.

After the dog has gotten used to sleeping in the bed, the owner can move it around the house, relocating it from room to room. When you are not with your dog, the dog should be confined to the training area.

Setting up the toilet area
The second part of house training is to set up the toilet area for the dog. It is important for the dog to have access to this place every time he or she needs to eliminate. It is also important for the owner to accompany the dog each time until he or she gets into the habit of eliminating in the toilet area. This will ensure that the dog uses only the established toilet area.

A set feeding schedule makes the house training process a lot easier for both the owner and the dog. Feeding the dog on a regular basis will also create a regular schedule for the dog’s toilet habits. Once you know when your dog is likely to need to eliminate, it will be simple to guide the dog to the established toilet area.

Once the dog has established a toilet area and is using it on a regular basis, it is very important to not confine the dog without access to the toilet area for long periods of time. That is because if the dog is unable to hold it, he or she may be forced to eliminate in the training area. This habit can make house training much more difficult.

Continuing the house training process
After the dog is consistently eliminating in the toilet area and not soiling the training area, it is time to extend that training area to the rest of the home. This process should be done slowly, starting with one room and slowly expanding to the rest of the house. The area should only be extended once you are sure of the dog’s ability to control its bladder and bowels.

When you first expand the training area to a single room, let the dog eat, play and sleep in that room, but only when supervised. When it is not possible to supervise the dog, place it back in the original training area. Then, after the dog has accepted the room as an extension of the original training area, the area can be extended.

Speeding up the process
If this process is too lengthy for your needs, it can be speeded up, but it is important to proceed cautiously. It is easier to take your time up front than to retrain a problem dog later. One way to successfully speed up house training is to praise and reward the dog each and every time it uses the established toilet area. It is also important not to punish the dog for mistakes. Punishment will only confuse the dog and slow down the house training process.

Choosing a Company Name

When forming a limited company the name of the company can be an important decision. Some people may choose the first name that they think of and others may select a ready made company for speed or because they like a particular name. However, many businesses may prefer to select a company name that either clearly distinguishes itself from its competitors or contains something unique or personal. Company names can be chosen for different reasons.

One of the most common ways of selecting a company name is to use something personal. A quick look through your local newspaper will probably introduce you to many personalised business names. Johnson Consulting Limited, T Smith & Son Limited, Stephens & Barley Limited are some fictional examples of what may be found. This may instantly make a company recognisable locally, it can be deemed as more personal by its customers, and often works well within geographical areas. However, it does little to tell new customers what your company does.

A popular choice for a small business is to choose a name that is ‘descriptive’. This tells prospective clients exactly what your company does. Examples of this may be to call your business The Window Company Limited, City IT Consultants Limited or The Advertising Agency Limited. Whilst this does serve to reinforce your primary business it offers little differentiation and may easily be adapted by competitors.

A less personal option is to use a company name that is ‘associative’. This type of company name helps to create an image or connection to your business activity. It is less direct than using a descriptive name but helps to position your company’s name within the market through peoples understanding of what words mean. For example a flick through the Yellow Pages will offer plenty of examples of this. A hairdresser called Classic Cuts or a printer called Selectaprint Limited are examples of what may be found. These names offer some differentiation but may not ultimately set your company aside from its competitors.

An alternative is to choose a company name that is ‘freestanding’. These names are completely abstract and not related to the companies business activities. A fictional example may be to call your catering company Zedoc Limited. There are many popular brand names that illustrate this point. Consider, Kodak, Gillette, or Mars, these names will probably be instantly recognisable to you and conjure up a particular product or business. This is a good way of setting your company aside from the competition but it is important to consider the market that you operate in. Will your prospective clients know what your business is offering?

Choosing a company name may be a simple process, but it is not uncommon for people to deliberate over names for quite some time. Whilst company names can, and often are, changed during the life of the company most people like to choose a name that they like from the outset. Therefore consider your market, how much you want to differentiate from your competitors and what your company name should say about your organisation. Once the decision is made focus on the important business of making your company a success.

8 Things Not To Forget When Traveling To The Tropics

Sometimes it is hard to pack for a place or climate that is new. When packing to go to the tropics there are some items that you don’t want to forget.

1. Appropriate Identification: With tighter security these days it simply makes sense to carry a passport and photo ID. Also be sure to have identification for your children traveling with you.

2. Contraceptives: Well… If you think you will be getting down and dirty on your trip you should bring contraceptives.

3. Appropriate Clothing: Yes the tropics are warm but if a sudden storm rolls in it can get quite cool, fast. Always bring good shoes, pants and even a light jacket.

I find it is better to pack lightly, You never know when you will need to carry your luggage for a distance. 3 or 4 full changes of cloths will often be enough.

4. Sunscreen: SPF 30 minimum. Any less and you stand to get burned. A sunscreen should also contain either zinc oxide or titanium oxide.

Before leaving on your trip it is a good idea to spend some time in a tanning bed. This can give you a good base to withstand the intense sun near the equator.

5. Medication: Obviously bring any prescription medication but you should also think about Aspirin, Pepto Bismal and other pharmacy items.

Be sure to carry any medicine in the original package and carry copies of your prescription as well.

6. Guide Book: A guide book to the area that you are visiting can come in real handy. Besides showing you the attractions in the area it will also have important phone numbers in case of an emergency.

7. Cash: Having a credit card and travelers cheques with you is a must. Also carry enough American cash for 2 days of emergency living. You never know when a storm will knock out the power.

8. Snorkel: If you have any plans to go snorkeling you may want to bring you own snorkel and mask, or at least a snorkel. Rentals are shared by many people. If you are packing light a snorkel takes up almost no space.

3 Tips for Easy Meal Planning

Where has the family dinner hour gone? There once was a time when we would all come home from a long day and sit down with our family for a nice home-cooked meal. In today’s fast paced world, we need more bonding time with the family. One might say that in today’s day where people pile way too much on the plate of life, that it is impossible to have a family dinner everyday. I disagree. Wouldn’t you like to get back to the way it used to be?

One way to make family dinners easier to prepare is by planning ahead. Often times I find myself going to the grocery store every other day to pick up needed items, and this is how family time gets lost. Spend a little time planning out dinner ideas for the coming week. Pick meals that are quick and easy for your dinners during the week and save the more time consuming recipes for the weekend. Did you know that software has been developed that makes meal planning a breeze? With a click of the mouse you can organize your recipe collection into daily meal plans complete with nutrition facts and shopping lists. With the computer generated shopping list you won’t have to worry about forgetting a needed item when you go grocery shopping.

Another great way to ensure that your family eats together most nights of the week is to share the responsibility of preparing dinner. It can be difficult for one family member to be responsible for cooking everyday. Each member of the family can take turns cooking each night. This is also a good way to add some new flavors to your meals since each member may have a different cooking technique. For those family members who don’t cook often, this can prove to be a great learning experience. Review each family member’s weekly schedule and delegate the meal preparation tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking, and clean up. Working as a team is a great way to build strength as a family.

“Not meatloaf again!” I’m sure everyone has heard the complaints from that same meal being served week after week. Keep your family dinners exciting by trying different variations of your favorite recipes. An even better idea would be to test out some new recipes. Surprise your family with a delicious new dinner tonight and they will be sure to come back to the dinner table tomorrow.

Nothing is more important than your family. It’s worth the effort to make sure that your family eats together daily. Besides the needed nutrition, this time spent together will help open the lines of communication and make your family bond stronger.

Travel to Barcelona, Spain – Picasso Museum

Spain is a country, a part of the European continent, both of which are over flowing with museums, living and/or established specifically for this purpose. So why do I single out this average size museum amongst all the living Castles and large museums with very recognizable names. Could this be due to the single artist that this museum represents? Or is it possibly due to the 3,500 works that make up its permanent collection. As you read on, the answers should become crystal clear.

To fully understand an artist, Pablo Ruiz Picasso, and why his art pieces are associated with such a continually increasing demand while the supply remains finite, then The Picasso Museum in Barcelona becomes indispensable. This Museum is also key point in understanding Picasso’s genius as a young artist along with his solid and intimate relationship developed with the City of Barcelona. This relationship that was originally shaped in Picasso’s adolescence and youth, continued until his death in 1973.

The museum boasts, and rightly so, to have acquired the most complete collection of Picasso’s youthful works found under one roof, that remains open and available for the visual consumption of the general public. Barcelona must thank a friend of the artist, Jaume Sabartes, along with Picasso’s wishes, which were made very clear in 1970 with his own donation of all his early works to this museum. This very large donation now makes up a large part of the museum’s present total collection, which includes representations of every period of the Artist’s life, up to his death in 1973.

The museum also possesses a large and fairly complete representation of his works starting with an important chapter in Picasso’s life. This chapter begins in 1917, the year that the artist met Olga Kokhova, kicking off his most important relationship with a mate. At this point, to stay with Olga, the artist went to Rome along with the Diaguilev’s ballet company. Later, Picasso, with Olga at his side, traveled to Barcelona. The purpose of this trip was to introduce her to his Spanish based family.

His stay in Barcelona was long. This period was marked by his transition from Cubism to the reencounter with classicism. The museum also has a priceless group of works from his later Blue Period.

Therefore, I hope that after reading my short article, the traveler can appreciate how a visit to this exciting and cosmopolitan city of Barcelona cannot be considered as worth mentioning without highlighting a crucial visit to one of the most important 20th century born European museums, The Picasso Museum In Barcelona.

Do Your Dreams Have a Hidden Meaning?

Dreams, what are they?

Dreams come from your subconscious mind as a means of processing and sorting information. But the truth is no one really knows what causes dreams and why some folk seem to have vivid colorful dreams and others have short uneventful ones.

Dreams mainly occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. REM occurs every one and a half hours during the sleep cycle. During REM the eyes move from side to side and the body is relaxed and almost incapable of movement.

Have you ever told people, “I never dream”? Well you’re wrong. The fact is everybody dreams every night. You just may not be able to remember your dreams.

Don’t worry too much if this is the case. Not remembering dreams doesn’t mean you’re abnormal or unnatural in any way. While most people do remember their dreams, the memory is fleeting and occurs mainly when the sleeper first awakens.

If you really want to be able to remember your dreams, the best way is to ‘remind yourself’ before falling asleep. This programs the subconscious mind – the source of your dreams – to hold on to the memory.

When you wake up, try and hold the dream in your mind until you have a chance to record it. The easiest way to do this is to have a notebook and pen or a personal voice recorder beside your bed, so you can write down the dream before it disappears and gets ‘buried’ by the normal thoughts and concerns of everyday life.

With a bit of practice you’ll find little snippets of your dreams beginning to reveal themselves. This procedure will also work well for those who remember occasional dreams or those who want to remember every dream they have.

Books on dream interpretation abound and many people believe that dreams create a window into the subconscious mind where they can find answers to their most pressing problems and even see into the future.

This can be a dangerous practice. At best you can waste a lot of money buying books which lean towards the esoteric and lack knowledge in this area. Even sleep specialists know a large part of interpreting dreams is pure speculation.

At worst dream interpretation can be taken too seriously and people can depend too heavily on finding the (sometimes false) meaning of their dreams. This can lead to depression and even paranoia. It’s best to treat dream interpretation as a bit of fun and realize that there may be many different ways to analyze dreams and their meaning.

If you are having recurring dreams or nightmares, it’s best to contact a therapist experienced in this area. Don’t go down the mystical route of trying to analyze yourself by means of a book.

Nightmares can be caused by stress, so work on ways to relieve this and the nightmares should ease or may even disappear by themselves.

What Is a Stock Split?

A stock split occurs when a corporation decides to issue new stock and distribute it to it’s current stockholders. This is a decision made by the company’s board of directors.

The most common stock split is a 2 for 1 split. When this happens the stockholder will now own twice as many shares as before the split but at half the price. The total value of your stock does not change. For instance, if you owned 100 shares before the split and the price was $50 a share, after the split you would own 200 shares at $25 a share. After the split the shareholder owns exactly the same percentage of the company as before the split, only the number or shares and share price has changed.

While a 2 for 1 split is the most common, companies also distribute 3 for 1 splits, 3 for 2 splits, 5 for 1 splits, etc.

Why does a Company Split their Stock?

Companies will split their stock when they feel that the share price has grown to the point that it will no longer be considered affordable by many investors. Since most stock transactions are in round lots (lots of 100 shares), the total cost for 100 shares might be out of reach for some investors. Once a stock price hits $100 a share, for instance, evidence shows that many investors consider it to be too expensive. If the price per share were reduced it would be more affordable. The effect of more people buying the shares will hopefully lead to a price gain.
What effect does a Stock Split have on the Share Price?

When a company splits it stock it sends the message that the company has been profitable and it will probably continue to prosper. Companies normally announce their upcoming stock split some time in advance. Many investors and traders search for these companies and consider them prime candidates for a further price increase.

In theory a stock split should have no impact on the value of the stock, it should be a neutral event. The only thing that has changed is the share price and number of shares. When you do the math you still have the same value and the same percentage of ownership in the company. In practice however, companies who split their stock most often see price increase when the split is announced or after the split actually occurs. The company knows this and is eager to see it’s stock price increase.

Reverse Split

Sometimes a company will issue a reverse split. When this happens the shareholder will have less shares at a greater price. For example, a typical reverse split is a 1 for 10 split. For example, if a company has been trading at $1 a share and you have 100 shares, after a 1 for 10 split you will have 10 shares at $10 a share. A company might perform a reverse split when their share price has dropped to a very low level and they want to increase the share price to appear more respectable to potential investors. In addition, some exchanges will de-list a stock when the price drops below a certain level for 30 days.