Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chiang Mai District Conference

Chiang Mai District Conference was on March 28-29.  Sister Moleff and I went to Chiang Mai the week before on March 21 -22 to teach the District Presidency and the Family History Consultants about the new features on FamilySearch and about the principles of FIND, TAKE and TEACH.  This Post covers those events.  First a little background information on Chiang Mai and our hotel.  Please locate Chiang Mai in relation to where we live and our office location in Bangkok.

Map of Thailand Showing Location of Chiang Mai

thailand travel map

Chiang Mai
Thailand’s “Rose of the North” is a cultural and natural wonderland with ethnic diversity, a multitude of attractions and welcoming hospitality.
Chiang Mai literally means “new city” and has retained the name despite celebrating its 700th anniversary in 1996. King Meng Rai the Great founded the city as the capital of the Lanna Kingdom on Thursday, April 12 1296 around the same time as the establishment of the Sukhothai Kingdom. King Meng Rai even 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. Henceforth, Chiang Mai not only became the capital and cultural core of the Lanna Kingdom, it was also to be the center of Buddhism in northern Thailand. King Meng Rai himself was a very religious leader who even founded many of the city’s temples that remain important to this day. Chiang Mai is one of the few places in Thailand where it is possible to experience both historical and modern Thai culture coexisting side by side: the city features centuries-old pagodas and temples next to modern convenience stores and boutique hotels. This dichotomy is best appreciated within the moat-encircled old city, which retains much of the fortified wall that once protected the city center as well as the four main gates that provided access to the former Lanna capital city.

Royal Princess Hotel Where We Stayed
Royal Princess Chiang Mai A luxury hotel in Chiang Mai Our gateway location gives you the inside track Royal Princess Chiang Mai offers every facility and service to make your visit to Northern Thailand a memorable one. Famed for its association with Thai aristocracy. The hotel is located in the heart of Chiang Mai. It provides a gateway to the region’s stunning scenery, the fabulous Night Bazaar and traditional Thai arts and crafts.

 Sister Moleff enjoying the pool before the start of a busy day
Looking down from our 8th Story apartment at the location of the Night Bazaar.

Night Bazaar
Chiang Mai is a shoppers paradise, and nothing beats shopping for a bargain more than in in the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.  The Night Bazaar, on the east side of the old walled city, is approximately 1km long on Thanon Chang Khlan (large roads in Thailand are named Thanon, and smaller side streets are named Soi) (so Thanon Chang Khlan translates to Chang Khlan Road). The Night Bazaar is open every day of the year regardless of the weather from dusk till around midnight.

In the daytime, Chang Khlan Road is an ordinary street full of shops, hotels and restaurants of all types including Starbucks and the Burger King, along with the first McDonalds in the city. There are also several large shopping arcades running off the main street. It's at night time tho that the place really comes alive.

If you go there in the late afternoon you will see lots of busy workers wheeling the little metal stalls out and lining them up side by side on the footpaths down both sides of the main road. As the sun sets over Chiang Mai all the street vendors turn up and load their goods for sale into their stalls. The Lights, fans and portable TVs (Thais love their TV soapies) are plugged in and turned on and the tourists start arriving in numbers. You will most likely find the same vendors in the same spot every night.

In the Night Bazaar you will find a huge variety of brand name designer goods (real and fake) (clothing, T-shirts, belts, shoes, jewellery, watches, DVD's & CD's) and local Thai goods at really low prices.

Remember to bargain for your purchases, it is expected of you and is all part of the fun. Bargaining is almost a national sport in Thailand. Even though the prices appear cheap by your normal standards you should always bargain and try to get another 20-30% off the asking price.

Family History Activities

The following is a photo summary of the Family History work we accomplished at District Conference.

The Sister on left is showing her Chinese ancestral file book that she hopes to upload into FamilySearch.  Sister Sasithorn on right is the Family History Consultant of the Chiang Mai 2 Branch

Elder Moleff helping a Sister with her Family Tree.  She just got a recommend for the first time and wants to take names to the temple.  The Elder is translating.

Sister Moleff helping the Sister with the large Chinese file

Elder and Sister Moleff teaching Thai Saints before District Conference on (1) how to register on FamilySearch using Thai instructions; (2) how to upload information in Family Booklet using Thai instructions; (3) How to upload information in Family Tree considering the Thai Template, Green Standard, and "about" dates; (4) how to use the Decadency view to Find; (5) how to use beta.familysearch to Find names to submit to the temple.  Sister Wan, Thailand Family History Adviser, on left is translating for us.

President and Sister Senior (Mission President) serving ice cream after Conference

Sister Imelda Chiang Mai District Family History Director

Sister Sasithorn Chiang Mai 2 Family History Director

Elder Moleff helping Elder and Sister Seppi Find names to submit to temple.  Elder and Sister Seppi are the PEF-Self Reliance Senior Missionary Couple.  Elder Seppi also serves as the 2nd Counselor for the Bangkok West District Presidency.  Elder Seppi emailed a name for his son to do the temple work in the states.

Elder Moleff assisting Sister Wan's Husband add names to his Family Tree.

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