Political Prisoners in Thailand has a neat little story about a new district in Chiang Mai province that will be named in honour of Princess Galyani Vadhana. The ever-reliable Tambon has more details, as does this Thai-language report.

I am fascinated by this administrative change, and not least because I know the area (in the far west of Chiang Mai province) pretty well. That entire northern portion of Mae Chaem district was isolated from the Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son mainstream until quite recently. It is a predominately Karen part of the province and has long been described, in short-hand, as “Wat Chan”. I guess it will take some time before they start consistently using the new administrative designation.

It may also be worth noting that back in the 1990s there were various anti-logging protests at Wat Chan. They caused something of a stir. I can’t imagine there will be much local opposition to this new name (and the administrative promotion it represents) but you just never know.