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Chiang Rai

The Mu Pa 13, minus one, attend blessing ceremony before becoming novice monks

The Thaiger & The Nation

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The Mu Pa 13, minus one, attend blessing ceremony before becoming novice monks | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: The Nation

Eleven of the Mu Pa football team rescued from the Chiang Rai cave in Mai Sai, along with their assistant coach, participated in a Buddhist ritual this morning (Tuesday) in more carefully stage managed media appearances in the aftermath of the rescue.

The ceremony honours the cave’s resident Phra That Doi Wao spirit. This afternoon they will have their heads ritually shaved and undergo a Naga “baisri soo-kwan” blessing ceremony at Wat Phra That Doi Wao in Mae Sai district.

Their teammate 14 year old Adul Sa-mon didn’t participate in the ceremonies as he attends a Christian-school.

The 11 boys are to be ordained as novices and the coach as a monk at Wat Phra That Doi Tung tomorrow morning and will remain at the temple overnight. They will then live at Wat Phra That Doi Wao for another eight days observing the dharma.

Read more about ‘Dharma’ HERE.

Mae Sai resident Nonglak Khammona, who was among several hundred people attending this morning’s spirit-worship ritual, brought 100 pouches filled with coins for the 12 “Naga” being ordained so they could distribute them to others to earn merit.

She said she hoped the boys and the coach learned and practised the dharma well to make merit for Saman Kunan, the ex-Navy SEAL who died during the cave rescue mission.

“When the team members repay the one who sacrificed his life so they could live, their lives will be better,” she said.

Sangkhom Phetchkao, who works for a Chiang Rai rescue foundation, was pleased to see the boys and the coach getting ordained in gratitude for their return to safety and so many people showing up to witness the morning’s merit-making event.

The Mu Pa 13, minus one, attend blessing ceremony before becoming novice monks | News by The Thaiger The Mu Pa 13, minus one, attend blessing ceremony before becoming novice monks | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

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Chiang Mai

Earthquake could hit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Greeley Pulitzer

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Earthquake could hit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai | The Thaiger

A magnitude 4.1 tremor shook seven districts of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai on Friday night, prompting the Department of Mineral Resources to warn that the two northern provinces could face a magnitude 5 earthquake within ten years.

The prediction is based on analysis of movements in the Mae Tha fault lines, including the 5.1 ML quake in December 2006, centred under the Mae Rim district of Chiang Mai.

Geological studies in Ban Pong Samakkhi, Chiang Mai, indicate that the area experienced a 5.9 ML quake about 2,000 years ago.

Earthquake could hit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai | News by The Thaiger

Photo : earthquake.tmd.go.th

Friday’s temblor occurred at 9:46 pm, with its epicentre about six kilometres below the surface in Doi Saked district.

The tremor was felt in the Muang, Prao, San Sai, Doi Saket and Hang Dong districts of Chiang Mai and Wiang Papao district of Chiang Rai, though there have been no reports of casualties or property damage.

SOURCE: thaipbsworld.com

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Chiang Mai

Jump in national park visitor numbers as ‘winter’ arrives in northern Thailand

May Taylor

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Jump in national park visitor numbers as ‘winter’ arrives in northern Thailand | The Thaiger

As northern Thailand moves into the ‘cold season’ (well, cold for Thailand) and temperatures drop, national park officials are reporting an increase in visitor numbers. Whilst the temperature is cooling down on the local northern mountain tops, the ground level temperatures are still around 30 (forecast below). But later in December the temperatures sometime reach as low as zero for places like Doi Inthanon.

The Bangkok Post is reporting that Kritsayam Khongsatri, Head of Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai says the park welcomed 21,994 visitors over the recent long weekend, over 7,000 a day.

Kritsayam says most of the visitors are Thais who enjoy camping in the colder weather, with average temperatures at the summit of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain, being just 5-11 degrees Celsius.

Khao Yai National Park, north east of Bangkok, has also seen a significant increase in visitor numbers, with wild elephants coming out from the jungle to feel the warmth of the sun as temperatures dropped to below 20 Celsius yesterday.

“Visitors to the park are being asked to refrain from using car horns, or bright lights such as flashing cameras and full beam headlights to avoid disturbing the resident elephants.”

Winter in northern Thailand typically sees a dip in temperatures and a decline in rainfall coupled with strengthening winds from the north.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Jump in national park visitor numbers as 'winter' arrives in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger Jump in national park visitor numbers as 'winter' arrives in northern Thailand | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Rai

Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Journey back to Tham Luang in ‘The Cave’ – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller on site during the filming of The Cave – AFP

Determined divers racing against time. Rising waters threatening lives. 12 teenagers and their soccer coach trapped inside for two weeks. A remote cave that most had never heard of.

The stuff of a Hollywood drama, except that it’s all true and happened in Chiang Rai last year. Now the first of several re-tellings of the story comes to the big screen in The Cave.

The ordeal in late June and early July last year had barely ended when filmmakers began their own race to get the nail-biting drama onto cinema screens. The first of those projects premiered at the start of October, when director Tom Waller’s The Cave showed at the Busan Film Festival in South Korea.

The film was shot over three months earlier this year and has been in post-production since then. The 45 year old Thai-British filmmaker says the epic tale of the Wild Boars (Mu Pa) football team was a story he simply had to tell.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet.”

The 13 young men entered the Tham Luang cave complex after soccer practice and were quickly trapped inside by rising floodwater. The boys were forced to spend nine nights lost in the cave, whilst Navy Seal and other diver searched frantically, before they were spotted by a British diver.

It would take another eight days before they were all safe, against all odds, in a risky mission.

Waller was visiting his father in Ireland when he saw television news accounts of the drama.

“I thought this would be an amazing story to tell on screen.”

But putting the parts together after their dramatic rescue proved to be a challenge. Thailand’s government, led by the military NCPO, became very protective of the story, barring unauthorised access to the Mu Pa team or their parents. Waller often feared his production might be shut down.

His good fortune was that the events at the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai province had multiple angles and interesting characters. Especially compelling were the stories of the rescuers, particularly the expert divers who rallied from around the world. He decided to make a film “about the volunteer spirit of the rescue.”

Other people proposed telling the story from the point of view of the boys, and Netflix nailed down those rights in a deal brokered by the Thai government.

“I took the view that this was going to be a story about the people we didn’t know about, about the cave divers who came all the way from across the planet. They literally dropped everything to go and help, and I just felt that that was more of an exciting story to tell, to find out how these boys were brought out and what they did to get them out.”

Waller even had more than a dozen key rescue personnel play themselves.

Waller said they were natural actors, blending in almost seamlessly with the professionals around them, and helped by the accuracy of the settings and the production’s close attention to detail.

“What you are really doing is asking them to remember what they did and to show us what they were doing and what they were feeling like at the time. That was really very emotional for some of them because it was absolutely real.”

Waller says his film is likely to have a visceral effect on some viewers, evoking a measure of claustrophobia.

“It’s a sort of immersive experience with the sound of the environment, you know, the fact that is very dark and murky, that the water is not clear.”

“In Hollywood films, when they do underwater scenes, everything is crystal clear. But in this film it’s murky and I think that’s the big difference. This film lends itself to being more of a realistic portrayal of what happened.”

Some scenes were filmed on location at the entrance to the actual Tham Luang cave, but most of the action was shot elsewhere.

“We filmed in real water caves that were flooded, all year-round. It is very authentic in terms of real caves, real flooded tunnels, real divers and real creepy-crawlies in there. So it was no mean feat trying to get a crew to go and film in these caves.”

The Cave goes on general release in Thailand on November 28.

ORIGINAL ARTICE: Associated Press | Time.com

Journey back to Tham Luang in 'The Cave' - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Tom Waller – Associated Press/Sakchai Lalit

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