06 News & Events 14 Dispatches
16 Street Smart: Yota Road
50 Seven Spoons
20 Q&A with Jess Barnes
22 Photo Essay: Hidden Istanbul
on the cover
26 You're Not Alone
32 Who Are V64? 34 The Sound of the Country
style & design
52 Behind The Scenes 56 Form Follows Feeling 58 Connoisseur
36 Only The Best Will Do
60 The List 82 Spotlight 89 The Two Of Us
38 Cellblock Massage
90 Pub Quiz
40 Tracking Down Disaster
48 Taking the Thai Food
44 Undiscovered Male 46 Darjeeling Limited
Cover Photography Nick McGrath
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note from the editor Yvonne Liang The New York born, American-Taiwanese first realised she had a knack for writing when her teacher awarded her a coveted scratch n sniff sticker for her creative writing piece that used ketchup bottles as a metaphor for the Twin Towers. She’s come a long way from condiments and stickers, moving half way across the world to Singapore and California. After spending many fun summers in Bangkok, she relocated once more, working as a corporate PR consultant and events correspondent for lifestyle magazine CatandNat.com, before joining AsiaLIFE Thailand as our Associate Editor.
Mark Bibby Jackson It is almost six years ago now since Jonny Edbrooke and myself set up AsiaLIFE – first in Ho Chi Minh City and then in Phnom Penh. Since then many things have happened. We’ve gained three partners, the world has been shaken by a global recession that decimated advertising revenue and the internet revolution has transformed the way the publishing industry works today. Throughout this we have shared the same vision that we held all those years ago – there is the space for a strong, regional lifestyle magazine and that AsiaLIFE has the right brand to fill it. Today, with the launch of AsiaLIFE Thailand we are taking the next step on our journey. What is different about AsiaLIFE? After all isn’t the Thai market already saturated with magazines, many of which are, like us, free publications. In some respects AsiaLIFE represents a return to good old-fashioned journalistic principles. We will not run advertorials or PR pieces even if an advertiser threatens to pull out of the magazine because we write what we believe to be true. What we will do is publish well-written, in-depth human interest articles that are of “interest” to our readers. That is my promise to you. In the six years since we launched AsiaLIFE at the old Vasco’s in downtown Ho Chi Minh, we have seen many pretenders come and fall. The reason why we have survived is our commitment to serve our readers right, and to understand what you want. After all we are you. AsiaLIFE has tackled controversial issues such as human trafficking and domestic violence. Both Jonny and myself are proud to publish the first magazine to write about ‘being gay’ in the mainstream media in Vietnam and Cambodia respectively. For this issue, we have talked to Bangkok counsellors and expats to find out how difficult it is for us to adjust to life in this culturally complex and at times frustrating city. It is a process many of us have gone through. Not that AsiaLIFE is all about serious social issues. We have commissioned original articles on Thai country music, the V64 art collective and a Chiang Mai massage parlour run by the women’s prisons’ inmates. Quality writing, design and photography – by award winning Australian photographer Nick McGrath – this is the AsiaLIFE way. I hope you join us on our journey. Follow AsiaLIFE on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ asialifemedia. You can email Mark about anything raised in this issue at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Group Editor-in-Chief / Director Cambodia: Mark Bibby Jackson email@example.com Director Thailand: Nattamon Limthanachai (Oh) firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Thailand: Piyalai Tandhnan (Ming) email@example.com
Regional Creative Director: Johnny Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Editor Thailand: Yvonne Liang Photo Editor Thailand: Nick McGrath email@example.com
For advertising and marketing enquiries please contact: +66 8 7933 1112 or 66 8 1496 2926 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AsiaLIFE Group Group Director Sales & Marketing / Director Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke email@example.com Managing Editor Vietnam: Chris Mueller Sales Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Editor Cambodia: Ellie Dyer Art Director Cambodia: Steve Tierney Sales Cambodia: Sorn Chantha Chantha@asialife.asia
Next time you're in Cambodia or Vietnam, check out the latest issue of AsiaLIFE or download it from www.asialife.asia
NEWS Chatuchak Car Parks Go Underground
Great news for car owners who go to the Chatuchak Market to do some serious shopping at weekends. The State Railway of Thailand is planning to build car parks underneath the Chatuchak Market on Phahon Yothin Road. Besides a new car parking area, investors from China and South Korea are also planning to build an underground shopping arcade for those who can’t stand the heat, but still want to have the market shopping experience.
Nick McGrath Scoops Golden Scarf
AsiaLIFE Thailand photographer Nick McGrath won the prestigious Golden Scarf Award at the 2012 Foundry workshop last month in Chiang Mai. The award was the highest accolade
EVENTS presented at the workshop. Instructor Ashley Gilbertson praised both McGrath’s photographic works and his team spirit. “He’s bent over backwards to assist every single other student in our workshop,” Gilbertson said. Elsewhere at the festival Min Zar, Guy Likasit, Maneenoot Boonrueng, Kaung Tet, and Barat Ali Batoor won one-year websites from cosponsor liveBooks.
St Andrews Gains IB Status
The International Baccalaureate Organization in Geneva, Switzerland has granted St Andrews International School’s Sukhumvit 107 campus official authorisation as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Starting last month, the school offers pre-university
IB Diploma Years programmes for 16-18 year olds in Years 12 and 13. With students from over 50 nationalities, St Andrews management claims the school to be a true "International School". With three small and exclusive campuses – located in the Sathorn area, Sukhumvit 107 and in Green Valley, Rayong – the school’s philosophy is to encompass the whole child. For enquiries and further information email: admissions@ standrews-schools.com.
Koi Art Gallery presents ‘Desire’, an art exhibition showcasing art works by Smai Jundasri, Todsapon Bengrun, Piya Charoenmaung, Amornthep Mahamart and Natthawoot Rangphung from Sep. 7. The talented artists tackle the subject of “waiting” in their own individual artistic ways, hoping their audience will take a moment to think about what is their heart’s desire and how much time they are willing to dedicate to waiting for something they want. Desire, Koi Art Gallery, 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Tel: 02 662 3218, from Sep. 7 to 30 (11am to 7pm).
Music Box Francaise
An exhibition by award winning photographer Preecha Charoenyoss is on display at the lobby of the Pathumwan Princess Hotel throughout the month. Thai Insights depicts the daily life and culture of Thai people. The exhibition commemorates the sixteenth anniversary of the opening of the hotel, and all proceeds from sales of the images will be donated to the Cardiac Children's Heart Foundation under the patronage of HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana’s sister, Krom Luang Narathiwat.
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Alliance Francaise Bangkok is hosting a Choir Concert titled ‘La Boîte à Musique’ this month. Choir master and choral director Henri Pompidor will conduct the Thailand InterUniversities Chamber Choir with its 26 Thai singers and soloists from Thailand’s top universities. Accompanied by piano improvisations, this choral concert will take listeners through a history of French songs, from the melodies of Claude Debussy to Serge Gainsbourg. The concert will be staged on Sep. 14 and 15 from 7.30pm at the Alliance Francaise’s auditorium.
Tickets (B250 for students and members, and B400 for public)can be purchased from Alliance Francaise’s library, Sathorn Tai Road (closed on Monday), Tel: 02 670 4231.
Oriental Residence Opens in Bangkok
ONYX Hospitality Group, one of Thailand’s foremost hotel management companies, announced the launch of Oriental Residence Bangkok last month. The company claims the property offers sophisticated housing surrounded by a green and flourishing enclave
right in the heart of the city. The residence accommodates corporate and upscale MICE clients, international visitors and long-stay medical tourists, offering a hospitable and friendly feeling of being right at home. For more information, visit: www.oriental-residence.com.
Elemis has launched its very own skincare line to go handin-hand with its spa services, ensuring all the benefits you receive from a spa can be continued in the convenience of your own home. Elemis products
World Gourmet Festival
Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok will be hosting the thirteenth World Gourmet Festival this month from Sep. 3 to 9. Since the beginning of this festival, food connoisseurs have had the opportunity to taste the culinary art of some of the world’s best chefs, winemakers and food experts. This year international chefs will come from Italy, Argentina, Spain, the USA and France, supported by Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, Eleveur de Fromage Jean-François Antony, and mixologist and ambassador for Dilmah Tea Robert Schinkel. The Festival supports HRH Princess Soamsawali’s ‘Save A Child’s Life from AIDS’ project under the patronage of the Thai Red Cross Society. A portion from each ticket sold, as well as proceeds from the auction, will be donated to this charity. For the latest updates and more information, visit www. worldgourmetfestivalbangkok.com.
focus on skin revival and antiaging solutions for all skin types, such as Pro-Collagen Marine Cream (50ml, B5,90) which contains extracts from deep sea algae and marine kelp. Until Oct. 31 customers can purchase the cream as part of a ProCollagen Anti-Aging Treasure Trio set (B4,800) that comes in a jewellery box and features the marine cream (30ml) along with lifting serum (10ml) and eye renewal cream (15ml). Available at MSpa spas across Thailand, including Elemis Spa at The St. Regis Bangkok, Tel: 02 207 7779.
Champion Sound is bringing party goers an unforgettable night with Booka Shade at Bedsupper Club on Sep. 27. Following on from their successful Bangkok debut last year, Arno & Walter return to the City of Angels with DJ Dan Buri in support. Entrance to Bedsupper Club on the night will be B1,000 inclusive of two drinks. While if you’re looking for a party vibe on Sep. 14 then head to Glow nightclub on Sukhumvit Soi 23 where PhatFunk is returning with guest DJ Syncretic and support from the usual PhatFunk
The Grande Club
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit has introduced a new premier membership programme – The Grande Club. For an annual membership fee of B7,900, Thai residents and expats registered as residents in Thailand can enjoy a 30 percent discount on dining at the hotel’s restaurants and bars, and treatments at the Grande Spa, as well as a 20 percent discount on special occasions such as gourmet wine dinners, wine tastings, Christmas and New Year celebrations, special jazz performances and art theatre. Other benefits include discounted room rates as well as a complimentary one-night weekend stay in a deluxe room and a five-day trial at the hotel’s fitness club (for two people). Also, the first B7,900 you spend will be on the hotel’s tab. For more information, phone: 02 649 8560, or email: email@example.com.
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Making the Grade DJs Azek, Delorean, Instinct & Orawan. Entrance to Glow will be B300 inclusive of one free drink. More information can be found at www.glowbkk.com.
Originated in 1996, this year’s Meinhardt Cup was contested between the Lighthouse and the Bags/Sags golfers at the Burapha Golf Club, Chonburi on Aug. 11. Over 60 golfers competed on the day raising B30,000 for the Lighthouse charity, which supports construction workers’ children through building schools and paying for teachers. The event is sponsored by Meinhardt Thailand. This year was a bumper year for Harrow International School’s students at A and IGCSE levels. According to figures released by the school, Graduating Year 13 students obtained a higher number of A* grades than at any time in the school’s history, with 60 of the 245 grades attained by students being A*. Similarly just over half of the IGCSE grades achieved by Year 11 students were either A* or A. The school claims that the majority of Harrow students secured their first choice university course.
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Suno Entertainment, in collaboration with Dragoon Bar, is bringing Bollywood Flashback 2 – an exclusive event with celebrity
DJ Sameer from Mumbai and India’s top percussionist Jonqui – to Club 87 on Sep. 8. DJ Sameer has been capturing audiences and party people in India and all over the Asian region for over ten years. After a successful party a year ago, DJ Sameer has been invited back for another spectacular night. Dress code is funky retro and tickets are B1,100 inclusive of two drinks. Bollywood Flashback 2, Club 87, Conrad Hotel, 87 Wireless Road, Phatumwan, Tel: 02 690 9999.
Asia Expat Pool Challenge
Teams from around the region will descend upon Bangkok this month for the 2012 Asia Expat Pool Challenge. Held in the grand ballroom of the Westin Hotel on Sep. 15, teams from Singapore, Shanghai and Jakarta will compete for the trophy won
last year by Team Bangkok. A series of friendly games will be played out on Sep. 14 at bars and pubs around town. For more information, visit: asiaexpatpool. wordpress.com.
Uniqlo is launching its Autumn/ Winter 2012 collection encompassing clothing from knitwear and ponchos to bright bottoms and dark-coloured tops. There’s even a timeless corduroy selection, with its mid-range sweaters in bright colours like red and orange for men and trendy, easy to wear leggings for women. Uniqlo, 3/F CentralWorld, Ratchadamri Rd., Tel: 02 690 7000.
Don’t miss out on the Moon Festival (Mid-Autumn Festival) this year on Sep.
Mirage at Thavibu Gallery
One of the region’s leading abstract and figurative artists, Vietnamese Pham An Hai will be showing his ‘Mirage’ collection at Thavibu Gallery this month. Inspired by landscapes, cityscapes and nature, Pham An Hai offers his own individual analysis of these subject matters. In ‘Mirage’, the artist places great emphasis on the Lotus: “The Lotus is beautiful and full of emotions – it has a delicate, classy beauty and also evokes harmony and is symbolic for Hanoi. I am not describing the Lotus literally in my paintings, but rather through the emotions it evokes in me”. ‘Mirage’ at Thavibu Gallery, Silom Galleria 308, 919/1 Silom Rd, from Sep. 15 to Oct. 13.
30 with celebrations taking place throughout Chinatown (Yaowaraj). Hailing from China – where the fable of revolutionary champions on a full moon night originated – the Moon Festival takes on a different meaning here in Thailand. This is a time for you to sample some creative moon cakes, available throughout the city in markets or bakeries. Flavours and fillings range from the more traditional red bean with yellow egg yolk to coffee, prune, durian, roasted chestnut, green tea or even peanut butter and ice cream.
Helping Kids Adjust
Thai Property Guide with the support of St Andrews International School is putting on a coffee morning discussion aimed at helping parents understand the issues their children face in adjusting to expat life in Bangkok. Held
at the BNH Hospital on Sep. 8, from 10am to 11.45am, the discussion will have two speakers – Marisa Chuwiwat, a specialist in cross-cultural communication, and a second speaker from parents’ network BAMBI. Catering will be provided by the British Club.
An evening of Scottish comedy featuring the talents of Raymond Mearns and Gary Little will be held at the ballroom of the Rembrandt Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 18, on Oct. 5. Organised by the Scottish Business Group, tickets cost B2,750 per person or B25,000 for a table of ten and include a four-course meal, wine, beer, soft drinks and plenty of laughs. All proceeds go to the Gift of Happiness Foundation. For more information, call 081 824 3157, or email: Andrew. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portrait of Myanmar
A joint exhibition by Myanmar's top artists U Tin Win & Khin Zaw Latt will be on display at La Lanta Fine Art from Sep. 8. The works feature paintings by two artists from different generations in Myanmar's contemporary art world. Tin Win illustrates authentic portraitures of members of an ethnic community whose rich culture has been preserved despite modernisation. Khin Zaw Latt presents his view of Burmese people through a series that captures the adversity and annoyance with a hint of optimism. Portrait of Myanmar, La Lanta Fine Art, 245/14 Sukhumvit Soi 31, from Sep. 8 to Oct. 5, artist reception: Sep. 8 from 5pm to 7pm.
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Assange Asylum Ecuador comes to the rescue of WikiLeaks founder if only he can escape from the London embassy
Paul Ryan Praised for his boy scout looks, the rightist American VP hopeful joins Romney’s ticket
Bo Xilai Scandal The sentencing of Bo’s wife for murder – Justice dispensed or a lesson in what happens when the Party is displeased?
Osain Bolt The world’s fastest man proves his doubters wrong with three more golds at the London Olympics
Walnuts Two handfuls a day improves sperm health in young men, research says
GOING UP GOING DOWN Japanese Pickles Consumers shocked as six die from eating pickled Chinese cabbage
RStew & KPatz Bad omen for vampire-human couplings as Twilight stars call it quits after Kristen Stewart affair discovered
Peaceful Protest More than 30 South African miners killed as police and protesters clash at British-owned mine
Pussy Riot Despite the support of Madonna, Patti Smith and other icons, Russian punk band pay the cost of pushing Putin’s buttons
English Cricket Briefly top of all three lists grades, England’s nanosecond of glory is burst by Proteas power
Phnom Penh & HCMC News Download the current issue of AsiaLIFE HCMC and AsiaLIFE Cambodia online at: www.asialife.asia.
Protesters got in a flap about chicken rights last month when the Asia director of a leading animal rights group was detained in Phnom Penh during the organisation’s first protest in Cambodia. Jason Baker, of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says he was put in police custody for around three hours after sitting in a cage outside KFC. Baker has also been deported from Syria for pulling a similar stunt.
Photos Give Hope
Photographs of more than 1,200 people imprisoned at Khmer Rouge torture centre Tuol Sleng were donated to the research institute Documentation Centre of Cambodia last month by an anonymous donor. The previously unknown images are set to be scanned for public use. Researchers hope that the portraits, many of which have names written on the back, could help families discover the fate of relatives lost during the murderous 1975-79 regime. Only a handful of inmates survived captivity at Tuol Sleng, also known as S-21. The former prison in Phnom Penh is now a genocide museum.
Legendary Filmmaker Dies
One of Cambodia’s best known filmmakers, associated with a “golden age” of Cambodian cinema, has died. Veteran director Yvon Hem passed away last month aged 75, reported local media. Though many of his works were lost during the cultural nihilism of the Khmer Rouge regime, some survived to the modern day. The Bophana Centre in Phnom Penh holds copies of Hem’s films 'Shadow of Darkness' and 'Rumduol Angkor' with English subtitles for public access. Last month, the centre held a series of events celebrating his life, including a talk with Hem’s fellow cinema professionals of the 1960s.
New UNICEF Rep to Cambodia
Australian Rana Flowers has become the new representative of United Nations Children’s Fund
in Cambodia. A former UNICEF representative to Mongolia and Belize, she presented a letter of accreditation to the Cambodian government last month. "I am delighted to have this opportunity to serve the women and children of Cambodia and to work for the fulfilment of their rights,” said Flowers. She holds a master’s in business administration, a bachelor’s in social work and a bachelor of arts degree with majors in psychology and education. She is married and has two children.
On Sep. 29, the inaugural Danang triathlon in Vietnam will offer athletes the chance to select from five different challenges. Choose from the full triathlon (5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run), a half triathlon (0.75km swim, 20km cycle, 5km run), student fun run (ages 18 to 23) with best crazy costume surprise prizes, junior (ages 12 to 17) and youngsters (ages 6 to 11). Email philbozz@ hotmail.com for details.
and Community Yoga course is built around 24 days of intensive practice, organic vegetarian meals, cultural activities, bike tours and relaxation at the four-star beach resort. Those interested in joining the teacher training course or family holiday in December can find more details at rainbowkidsyoga.net.
VietJetAir Launches Route With Sexy Hawaii Dance
Any press is good press. Vietnam’s low-cost carrier VietJetAir made international headlines last month when it got a slap on the wrist for flight attendants who dressed in beach holiday attire and performed a sexy Hawaiian dance. The performance helped kick off the airline’s service between Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang, which operates once a night, each way, on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. In August, VietJetAir also introduced its
“You’re No.1” package, which will enable passengers to be the first to board the aircraft and collect their baggage after the flight. Passengers now can pre-book seats, including hot seats with extra legroom.
Representatives from Cambodia’s food and beverage sector are set to compete for glory at the Camfood Expo on Diamond Island from Oct. 10 to 12. The industry show will feature a series of competitions, with 150 hopefuls from 30 establishments battling for the glory of being named Cambodia’s best barista, fruit carver, table setter, bartender, cake decorator, bed maker and waiter. A national culinary competition will also take place. The event is backed by Cambodia Restaurant Association. For more information call the CRA on 092 332 905 or email: info@ cambodiarestaurantassociation. com.kh.
Rangers have saved the lives of 260 poached animals over the last six years while safeguarding the forests of Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, according to a new review of law enforcement efforts supported by the World Wildlife Fund. Endangered animals such as green peafowl and elongated tortoises were rescued along with civets and macaques. Most of these animals were released back into the forest, while a few were sent to the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre near Phnom Penh for rehabilitation or long-term care.
Yoga Finds Its Footing in Quy Nhon
Experienced yoga teachers from Australia are queuing up for the first intensive, monthlong training course to be held in Vietnam's central Quy Nhon. Australian yoga school Rainbow Kids Yoga will hold its annual specialisation teacher training at the 63-room Life Wellness Resort Quy Nhon, from Dec. 9 to Jan. 1. The 280-hour Rainbow Family asialife Thailand 11
OPENINGS Traditional Onsen Spa
Tawn C. Boutique
The first Tawn C. boutique has opened at Central Chidlom department store featuring the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection called ‘Mercury Voyage’. The brand, headed by Bangkokbased fashion designer Tawn Chatchavalvong, features clothing that “empowers women to present the side of themselves they want to highlight, whether it is their playful side or their strong side”. Chatchavalvong, who debuted at the Bangkok International Couture Fashion Week, describes his design aesthetic as “timeless elegance”. Tawn C. Boutique, 2/F Central Chidlom department store, Thai designers zone. Tel 080 262 5556. Open from 10am to 10pm.
Yunomori Japanese Onsen
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The ancient Japanese tradition of ‘onsen’ comes to Bangkok with the opening of Yunomori Japanese Onsen Spa Center. Literally translated as “hot bath forest”, an onsen is a traditional Japanese bath of mineral-rich hot spring water. The Japanese soak themselves in these hot baths to relieve ailments, diseases and even constipation. Yunomori Super Sento will also feature a bar with Japanese brews, two restaurants and traditional Japanese gardens. The cost for spending a day at the onsen is approximately B450. You can spend all day detoxifying with different types of onsen such as the “soda bath” which uses water infused with CO2 to help encourage oxygen production in the body, while the main onsen uses mineral water obtained from Thailand’s Ranong province. Yunomori Japanese Onsen Spa Center, A Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26. Tel: 02 259 5778. Open from 10.30am to midnight.
Barnes cooks up home-styled dishes within the modern yet comfortable setting of a 1950s styled home in Sukhumvit. Try his signature dish, smokey eggplant with sweet onions, Labne, Romesco, and edamame. We also recommend the cos leaves,
which consists of egg, candied bacon, and anchovy mayonnaise. Just the candied bacon alone will blow your mind. Quince Eatery and Bar, 4 Sukhumvit Soi 45, Klongton Nua. Tel: 02 662 4478. Open 11.30am to 1am.
Only the Freshest
One of the newest eateries in town, at Quince you can be certain the food is made with the freshest and finest of ingredients. Named after the fruit quince – a perishable fruit that needs care and attention – chef Jess
Quince Eatery and Bar
Student Life Gets More Creamy
Chulalongkorn students and visitors alike have a new chillout spot at U-Center with the opening of ice cream shop, Creamery Boutique Ice Cream. In-house creations change with the season as the freshest ingredients are used to make classic flavours with a Creamery twist. Try the Brit Pop Bacon & Eggs, a savoury bacon caramelised in brown sugar and gently folded into fluffy egg custard ice cream or the Ca.Le. Ho.Yo ice cream, a combination of cardamom, lemon, honey and yoghurt that creates a natural diuretic. It’s B45 a scoop or B250 a quart. Creamery Boutique Ice Cream, U-Center, Chulalongkorn University, Chulalongkorn Soi 42, Phayathai Rd. Tel: 087 909 8080
The latest chapter in the Crêpes & Co. story unfolds with the opening of the new Langsuan branch to replace the original Soi 12 one. The menu features the same recipe of savoury and sweet crêpes mixed with salads, appetisers and dishes from the Mediterranean that has made the company one of Bangkok’s most popular since
1996. The new restaurant is set within a stunning wooden house complete with small garden. Crêpes & Co., 59/4 Langsuan Soi 1, Ploenchit Rd. Open Mon to Sat from 9am to 11pm and Sunday from 8am to 11pm. Tel: 02 653 3990
Ash in Wonderland
Mr. Jones’ Orphanage is a new dessert shop featuring age-old recipes from Amy Hipkin – the grandmother of Ash (Fat Gutz, Iron Fairies fame) – that were published in the book How to be a Good House Wife, in 1902. Pages from the cookbook decorate the ceiling of this fairytale eatery. The entire interior is made of the same light-coloured wood, giving it a warm, welcoming atmosphere. It feels like you’re in a children’s toy shop or a life-sized dollhouse, and you can’t help but feel like a kid again. Sink into this fantastical world as teddy bears hang on miniature swings suspended from the ceiling, while a static merry-go-round displays menu favourites and mini chalkboards inspire dessert lovers with friendly reminders such as ‘Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.’ Mr. Jones’ Orphanage, Seenspace, Thonglor 13. Open from 11am to 11pm.
Crêpes & Co.
Mr. Jones’ Orphanage
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Travel news from around the region and beyond
Brunei Gets Back to Basics Offering a mild adventure in Borneo's best preserved rainforest, Ulu Temburong National Park in Brunei benefits wildlife, science, and visitors. A day tour will introduce you to great hikes and views, local food, and river travel among waterways and mangrove islands. Watch for hornbills, butterflies, gibbons and macaques. Cross the Suspension Bride, climb the 1,200 steps to the Canopy Walkway, and enjoy a buffet lunch near rock pools and waterfalls. You also have the option to swim, canoe or go rafting. For more news, including information about tours with longhouses, tent accommodation, rural living, crocodiles, and campfires, go to bruneibay.net.
Singapore’s Night Drive The world’s greatest F1 drivers race around the streets of the Lion City in the Singapore Grand Prix from Sep. 21-23. Will reigning world Champion Sebastien Vettel win for the second year running, or will current F1 leader Fernando Alonso pip him to the chequered flag? After the race champion is crowned at the podium on Sep. 23, Katy Perry will crank the heat up a few more notches as she performs her chart-topping songs at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. A three-day, Zone 4 Walkabout ticket costs from S$178.
Music in Manila If you can’t get to the United States anytime soon, let the pop concerts in Manila bring it to you. The American Idol summer tour stops there Sep. 21, when the final 10 from the show’s eleventh season will perform solos, duets and group performances. For a little less sugar, you also can wait till Oct. 2 to catch Keane. Four men from England make up the alternative rock band with a pretty soft side. But maybe not as soft as The Fray, the American band, which plays in Manila on Oct. 11. For tickets, go to mtvasia.com/mini/ gigguide.
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An obscure corner of Bangkok that often goes below the radar is the area of Talad Noi. While Chinatown is crowded every night due to its irresistible seafood options just a stone's throw away the quiet street of Thanon Yota is packed with local flavour. Photos by Nick McGrath.
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Viva Aviv B/F, River City Shopping Complex, 23 Yota Road Take the Chao Phraya River Express Boat from Saphan Taksin pier and get off at Si Phaya (N3). Right on the walkway is where you will find this rustic riverside restaurant that’s known to serve up some mighty strong cocktails such as Man Goes Nuts featuring fresh mangoes. Guest DJs spin house tunes for your enjoyment at this
laid-back eatery where you’ll love the Carlito’s Carnitas pulled pork pizza. Food and drinks average about B250. Tuesday Street Market Wanit 2, Yota Roda Walk through the River City Shopping Complex and veer towards the left, just past the mall’s car park you’ll see a small street called Soi Wanit 2 (blue sign). This short cut will lead you to a weekly street
market on Yota Road. Every Tuesday starting from early morning, an assortment of vendors set up their stalls selling everything you can imagine. Underwear, t-shirts, children’s toys, fresh fruit & vegetables, and even laundry detergent can be bought here.
with a towering spire appears on your left. This is the Holy Rosary Church, built by the Portuguese back in 1786. A statue of the Virgin Mary sits at the main entrance, overlooking a courtyard where students from local schools often spend their afternoons in play.
Holy Rosary Church 1318 Wanit 2, Yota Road As you walk through Soi Wanit 2, a large, yellow building
Grilled Fish Stall Yota Road As you exit the church and continue onto Yota, the food asialife Thailand 17
stalls on your left serve some of the best grilled fish in town. Stuffed with a mixture of herbs, the fish are covered with a thick layer of salt and grilled side by side on a BBQ pit. The result is moist, tender fish hidden under a salted crust. Served with a green chilli dipping sauce, you can also order some side dishes such as green papaya salad (som tam) and sticky rice (khao niao). An abundant meal for two is about B250. Siam Commercial Bank 1280 Yota Road Just past the fish stall, the original Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is on your left. This colonial-style building, designed by Italian architectÂ Annibale Rigotti, was completed in 1910. As the first commercial Thai bank, the purple themed SCB has come a long way and is now one of the most successful financial institutions in the
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country. The building is not only beautiful on the outside, but its antique interior design is also a sight to see. Coconut Ice Cream Stall Yota Road Directly across from the Siam Commercial Bank is a vendor selling homemade coconut ice cream served in real coconuts that are shaved down to make a small cup. The coconut juice is saved in small bags which can be purchased as well. This jolly woman is there almost every day of the week, rain or shine. One hefty serving of about eight mini-scoops is only B30 and you can add a variety of toppings such as crushed peanuts and evaporated milk. Duck Noodles Stall Yota Road Behind the coconut ice cream vendor and adjacent to the 7-Eleven youâ€™ll see a row of
roasted duck hanging inside a glass case. One order of duck noodles (bamee ped) might not be enough so you can ask for the super-sized version (pi-set) which is still only B50. The noodles can be served with soup or dry (heng), but either way you should order a side of tasty soup. Other toppings such as solidified pig’s blood can also be added on the side. Hong Kong House Restaurant 1-3 Yota Road As you bid farewell to the duck noodle stall, turn left and walk towards the vast Charoenkrung, which is the oldest street in Bangkok. Just before you reach that main road you’ll find Hong Kong House Restaurant on your right. It’s adorned with red lanterns so you can’t miss it. Here you can enjoy a proper Chinese meal of dishes such as the deep-fried sand goby fish with soy sauce, pan-fried sea
crab with black pepper, braised beef in clay pot, and Hong Kong styled green kale. A meal for two comes to about B700. Thai Kung Chinese Foot Reflexology 1008 Charoenkrung Road, Soi 22-24 Directly across from the Hong Kong Restaurant is an unmissable medicinal massage site. Don’t expect decorative orchid flowers or lavender scented bed sheets here. This is where you come to get healed the ancient way. Besides traditional Thai body massage and foot reflexology, regular patrons visit the master or ‘ah-chan’ for acupuncture and cupping. Many travel far and wide to come here for treatment of various injuries and illnesses, but a regular massage can also be relaxing after a long walk along the street. Treatments are B250 per hour.
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Jess Barnes Like so many expats, Jess Barnes first came to Thailand as a backpacker, the now head chef of Quince Eatery tells all to Yvonne Liang – from how he discovered his love for cooking to his views on how we should dine. Photo by Nick McGrath. When did you realise you had a passion for cooking? My mum was pretty sick so I started cooking from a young age. Food was a strong part of our lives as kids. We were poor but we always had good food. I worked as a butcher when I was a teen, something I didn’t enjoy at all. I moved into cooking accidentally – I was trying to be a cool artist and a friend asked me to help at his restaurant. I realised instantly I had found something I liked doing. Where do you get your inspirations for Quince’s menu? A mixture of things. Things I’ve eaten, countries I’ve travelled to, places I’ve worked, things my nan and mum made – mum was a terrible cook though – I don’t mind a bit of a trend here and there; a powder of this, a bit of foam. Just for fun. How would you describe your food? It's rough, imperfect, real and honest. I don’t peel a lot of the
vegetables. I want people to see the occasional fish scale or bit of blood. We have the best bread in town – made for us exclusively by Michael Conkey – we churn our own butter. Get their hands dirty, break some bread and slosh it down with some booze. You have some interesting views about how customers should dine? Food is designed to be shared. I want people to break down those ideas about western food. The first/main course, and individual plating is a relatively new concept, maybe 50 years old. Food is meant to be shared with the ones you work with, love, and care for. I understand you try to source as much of your food locally as possible? I get what I can locally. I have no interest in bringing second rate produce half way around the world. Oysters from France? Half of them are dead by the time they arrive. You’re sup-
posed to eat oysters in winter – when the water is cold and the oysters aren’t spawning! I believe the local food industry is developing greatly. I’ve met a lot of new producers, the produce is getting better all the time, the range is widening – great mozzarella and goat cheese, lamb and beef, amazing pork, beautiful figs and tomatoes. Using local produce supports our community, saves on energy consumption, keeps the money in Thailand where it is needed, and I can have direct dialogue with the producers. What's your philosophy when it comes it food? Eat. Respect, love, integrity. Simplicity. I have become disenchanted with the concept of dining. We should place emphasis on eating, being aware of what we eat, where it's from, respecting nature and the people who work hard to feed us all. I’m still passionate about food but I wish people would think about food in a more thoughtful way
rather than it being an assumption. Food is a luxury for a lot of us sadly. It doesn’t need to be that way. Where do you go for a good meal in Bangkok? I eat simple. I eat a lot of street food or cook at home. My favourite places to eat are Soulfood and Bo.lan – hands down. They are run by two of my closest friends as well but seriously I’m impressed every time I go to both of them and they have helped me a lot getting my foot back in the door here in Bangkok. What advice would you give chefs who are inspired by your style of cookery? Just do what you believe in and be careful with compromises – meet people in the middle but don’t change to please people. Keep it fresh, keep it simple. Try and like what you do. Cooking can really suck at times, but think of how happy you make people. It's what I do it for. asialife Thailand 21
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Earlier this year AsiaLIFE photographer Nick McGrath spent 10 days walking the backstreets of Istanbul from Fatih to Emininou. Away from the mosques and into ordinary suburbia, he discovered an amazing city full of the most hospitable people.
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You're Not Alone Whether it is the pollution or the traffic, a difficulty communicating with colleagues and domestic help, or finding a partner, many expats find the process of adjustment to life in Bangkok more difficult than they first envisaged. Dirty, noisy and vast or chaotic, friendly and overflowing with great street food – these are the two faces of a city that perplexes, invigorates and ultimately either makes us love it or drives us away. Words by Mark Bibby Jackson. Photos by Nick McGrath. Modelling by Kim Philley and Nathan Edgerton. Sipping a cappuccino in one of Bangkok’s many sophisticated and inviting cafés, it’s hard to imagine Michelle ever had difficulties adjusting to life in Bangkok, but she did. “My second week here … I felt pretty overwhelmed being alone, without friends, with two children and living in temporary housing. I didn’t know anyone.” A mother of two, Michelle is keen to stress that the decision to relocate to Bangkok was a “family” one that she has never regretted. Despite this, she believes it was more difficult for her to settle in Bangkok than for her husband. “Immediately, he knew where and what he’d be doing Monday to Friday during the work day,” she says. “For me, it was less obvious to know where to go, who to meet.”
This sense of isolation and entrapment only lasted a few days before she picked up her “Nancy Chandler” map and started exploring the city, but her experience is typical of many expats – and not just mums. Whether we are following our spouse, making a career move, or embracing the challenge of living in an exotic Southeast Asian country, the reality of expat life is often different from our expectations. Battle of the Sexes Daniel Boyd, a counsellor and psychotherapist at Psychological Services International (PSI) who has been practising in Bangkok for 22 years, agrees with Michelle that married couples often have contrasting experiences asialife Thailand 27
adjusting to Bangkok expat life. “She’s more face-to-face with the culture oftentimes than the husband is and this presents a different kind of struggle for her,” explains Boyd, pointing out that sometimes the traditional gender roles are reversed. While the stay-at-home spouse may encounter problems communicating with domestic help and coping with a sense of ennui, the wage earner experiences a nine to five office life with many offers of post-work social outings. “A lot of guys don’t get that,” says Boyd’s partner, Ben Weinstein, a licensed clinical psychologist. This can cause tension within the marital relationship. What at first seems trivial can become blown out of all proportions, especially if the stay-at-home spouse did not “sign up” to the life they are now facing. A move could mean former powerful executives are reduced to the role of managing the home and referred to at parties as so-and-so’s partner. There is a saying that: 28 asialife Thailand
“Bangkok is where mediocre marriages go to die,” Michelle informs me before adding that “you need a good partner.” It is not just married couples who can struggle. According to Jean-Francois Botermans, a clinical psychologist and third partner in the PSI practice, in many cases adjustment can take a totally different form for men than it does for women. “The main problem for women in terms of adjustment is boredom and for men is excitement,” he says. Many of Botermans’ male clients come to Bangkok on the back of a promotion and encounter the twin perils of a stressful workplace during the day and a plethora of readily available sex, drugs and alcohol at night. Once here they are isolated from friends and family, and lack the usual “guy network” they had back home. All three counsellors believe that generally men need to live in a structured world, but discover that limits in their own country just do not exist in Bangkok.
Back home we might consider what the neighbours will think. Here the neighbours either do not care or are doing just the same. Surrounded by men who are living a similar life of excess, Bangkok is a city with many pitfalls for those less grounded, especially younger men. “It’s dangerous … a magic Disneyworld where everything seems to be easy but it is not and you don’t learn the rules as you would in the West,” explains Botermans, who specialises in patients with obsessivecompulsive disorders (OCD). He has seen several CEOs of major companies fall off the rails, often having experienced some form of burn-out. In such cases the best cure is often a geographical one. “They need to go home,” agrees Weinstein. Feeling positive about yourself Shalinin Yamdagni would disagree. Five years ago, Yamdagni was bed-ridden with costochondritis, an inflammation of rib
cartilage that can cause severe chest pains. Despairing of conventional medicine, she says she cured herself through an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that involves tapping upon the source of pain while focusing on positive thoughts. Since then she has advised around 500 clients who are as she puts it “on the edge”. Believing that our blueprint for life is developed in the first seven years, Yamdagni contends that simply removing yourself from the symptoms leaves the root cause untreated. “Wherever you go, there you are,” she says. She cites a client who was never able to communicate properly with his parents. Now he is showing similar symptoms with his Thai girlfriend. Through EFT she asks her clients to neutralise the belief they are holding on to – in this case that the couple are not able to communicate – and instead to focus on more positive things. “Eventually it becomes like a movie,” she says. “No matter how intense it was it seems like a neutral ground.” Yamdagni believes the people you surround yourself with, influence the world that you perceive. “Whatever you are radiating, that’s what you are going to attract,” she says. “If you really believe that Thai people are lazy … you will find exactly those ones … and it compounds and confirms your belief, and the belief just gets stronger and you experience it more and more.” In addition to focusing on the positive, she advises clients to add some meaning to their lives. “When you are feeling useless and hopeless, if you go out and do something for someone else it’s just a way to pump yourself up,” she says. “Instead of feeling victimised and sorry for yourself it’s good to go out there and do something.” Finding Your Match Unlike Michelle, many people are not in a relationship when they arrive in Bangkok or, if they are they, often find themselves single pretty quickly. What is the city like for those seeking a partner? Of those single women interviewed in the course of this article, most had formed some asialife Thailand 29
sexual relationship while here. Few though had met their Mr Right. “It’s not difficult meeting guys here,” says Lynda, who came to Bangkok three-anda-half years ago to work as a financial consultant. “It is difficult meeting the right sorts of guys, the ones I would be interested in having a relationship with.” Her colleague, Judy, has lived in Thailand for 12 years, meeting her now husband on the beach at Koh Samui. She recommends women looking for partners to focus their attention on people who are here to stay, especially those who have their own business. The problem is that the men who are committed to Thailand might not be equally committed to western women. Claudia, 33, has lived in Thailand for 12 years. During that time she has dated quite a few men – both Thai and western – as well as having many male friends. She believes that the men who have lived here for a long time often find western women “quite intimidating”. Is this part of the point that Yamdagni is making? If you surround yourselves with friends who feel that western men only want sex with young Thai women then that is the type of man you will meet. Likewise men who feel that feminism in the west has “gone too far” will bond with likeminded friends who see the western women they meet as “ballbreakers”. Sadly, this is the impasse that drives many single women away from Bangkok, despite enjoying the lifestyle. Both Claudia and Judy refer to female friends who had left the country because they couldn’t find the right man, and felt their body clock was ticking. Cultural Differences It is not just sexual relations that cause problems for expats. John Krukowski is a psychotherapist who 30 asialife Thailand
has practiced in Bangkok and Pattaya since 2005. Most of his clients come to him due to problems in their relationships with Thais. Broadly speaking this breaks down into two categories – men having problems with their Thai partner’s family, and office workers having problems with their colleagues. These are problems that western experience has left them ill-equipped to manage. “Ninety-five percent of the people that come to me don’t have a problem, they just need a few more tools in their toolbox,” Krukowski claims. Like Botermans, Weinstein and Boyd, he believes that the more grounded you are, the better you are likely to cope with life in Bangkok. However, he also believes that people must be prepared to relinquish some of the lifestyle choices they have back home when they come here – whether that is high-speed internet or watching American Football on a Monday night. “If you don’t want to give up some of the things then go back,” he says, adding that most people who come here are in reality escaping an issue back home.
suddenly stop. What we tend to do is go through an extinction burst – which is we just try harder, and harder, and harder,” explains Louw. There is an intensity in behaviour that crescendos until a breaking point is reached and we either change what we are doing or go back home. One strategy Krukowski teaches in anger management sessions is to have a plan about how you can avoid issues. If you tend to get aggravated with taxi drivers, then take the BTS, or at least prepare yourself for the eventuality of the taxi driver speaking little English, refusing to turn on the meter, or driving off without you. Living in a Bubble Many of the expats questioned refer to the expat “bubble”. The only Thais you may meet – apart from that infuriating taxi driver – are your domestic help, colleagues and Thais married to expats.
While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it means you will find it even harder to understand the culture in which you have chosen to live. In the worst case your friends could end up reinforcing negative preconceptions of both Thai culture and expat life. On the whole though, most questioned seemed to paint a positive picture of both Bangkok and our Thai hosts, emphasising how easy life is here compared to the West. People stressed the friendliness of the people, a standard of living that could not be maintained at home and the fantastic food, rather than the pollution and traffic. However, for those of us who are finding adjusting to life in Bangkok more difficult than anticipated, maybe it’s best to heed a few words of advice from Michelle’s friend Ann, also a mother of two, in between her sips of cappuccino. “Slow down,” she says. “Any new place takes time to get used to. Don’t expect things to be the same as in the West – this can be a good thing.”
Extinction Burst Many of his clients suffer from a perceived lack of respect from Thais. Others interviewed complain of the Thai ‘yes’ culture – of always giving an affirmative response even you don’t know what the answer is. Then, of course, there is the traffic. When AsiaLIFE carried out similar research in Ho Chi Minh City, Ton Louw, managing director of Educational Support Services Asia, spoke of an extinction burst. An example of this is where we explain the same thing again and again to colleagues, becoming increasingly frustrated as they do not accept what we are saying or change their behaviour. “As organisms, as human beings, what we do in a situation is that we don’t just asialife Thailand 31
Who are V64? Studio space, gallery, art academy, cafĂŠ, bar and events venue, Emma Rosenberg discovers that V64 is more than an art collective that likes to party. Photos by Nick McGrath.
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The warehouse is empty on a Sunday afternoon. Beer bottles flank the wall of the main building, which is painted with a mural of a blue-haired, snoutnosed creature, its mouth agape as if still thirsty. Two young girls canter up and down the ramp leading to the information desk, and an unclaimed baby shoe stands upright on the lawn. Of the some 45 artists who occupy more than 30 studios, a few laze in the courtyard, drinking yet more beer. “We’re all a little tired from last night’s party” Linjie Zhou, the sales and marketing director explains, a smile behind her Yoko Ono hair. Originally from China and a violinist in a local orchestra, Zhou was drawn to V64 because of its warm community and round-table style of management. In a country where funding contemporary art is a low priority, V64 fills a niche most were not even aware was missing – serving as the grout between religious art conservation and more synthetic commercial endeavours. Modelled after M50, a textile factory turned artist district in Shanghai, which in turn drew inspiration from 798 Art Zone in Beijing, what sets V64 apart is its self-sufficiency. It has no connection with the government and does not benefit from the largesse of a big-name sponsor. The initial artists, many of whom met selling art at Chatuchak Market, pooled together their resources, built
the studio-spaces by hand, and planted every tree in the garden. “The decision was made easily, but it was made very quickly,” over loud music and stub-filled ashtrays, says Attasit Pokpong, who had wanted to join a co-operative of artists since he was in college – a concept then unheard of in Thailand. Roused by his friends, he decided to start one himself. “I was the first one to have the idea, and I felt pressured.” Pokpong’s business experience of working at a framing store was enough for the others to elect him as one of three managing directors. An artist himself, he also fills the role of accountant, landlord, bartender, and even wet nurse to the eager and petulant egos of artists. On his list of management grievances – second only to money – are the artists themselves. “You have to accommodate them, as each has their own style,” he says. “But at the same time, it’s exciting.” The art at V64 varies in direction but the similarities are more obvious than the differences. A quick walk through the studios, and you’ll notice a pattern – acrylic portraits of female faces. These paintings are glorified illustrations rather than fine art. Some artists brave beyond the puckered lips of pretty women. Boonchai Wedmakawand paints like a modern day Paul Gauguin and Sinit Saejia’s mixed-media sculptures depict adult nightmares caught inside a child’s
world – toy soldiers load cannons in a military warehouse, a young girl uses a tank as a chair. What is most interesting is how the artists choose to occupy their studio space, which doubles as a gallery, and in a few cases, their family home. One artist built a couch out of vintage suitcases and put down a shag rug, as if ready for guests. In another studio, open paint cans and nappies share floor space – a statement on the process of creation, or a haphazard cleaning job? The goal of V64 is to be a working studio space for artists, and not just an empty gallery. “Some people just put up their art and leave,” says Cecê Nobre, who lives and works in his studio. “They’re trying to get rid of them.” He has just moved into a studio with an outdoor deck for spray painting. “It’s necessary I have this space,” he explains with the absolute certainty of a young artist, “or else I would die.” A penchant for histrionics tends to be part of the discourse at V64. A phalanx of artists, misunderstood by the world, living solely to create – with frequent breaks to party. V64 knows it is an unfinished canvas. “We are fighting a lot of problems,” says Kitti Narod, who shares a studio space with his boyfriend. “We don’t know how to learn the business. People say ‘I give up’, ‘I don’t want to know anything anymore’.”
But despite these setbacks, the artists have faith in V64, both as an artistic haven to support their craft, and an opportunity to learn from each other. Narod recently came back from Singapore, where his art was featured in an international exhibition. “For the artists here, it’s very hard to sell art because we’re no-name,” he says. “We’re grouping together so we can show our artwork outside.” V64 provides much needed publicity for artists and strives to promote art itself. “We want the public to think about us and have a better attitude towards art,” says Porntip Rojanapenkul who sculpts sand dunes and horses out of bronze. Part of this awareness process has been the creation of the V64 Academy, which offers courses taught by the resident artists, as well as free monthly classes for aspiring young artists in the area. This is now V64’s main form of revenue. The subject of the last class was a pizza – a lesson in drawing circles, colouring in pepperoni, and resisting temptation as the students could only eat the pizza once the class was over. “They’re my inspiration too,” Kitti Narod says, holding up a crude drawing of an egg-shaped pizza. V64 Art Studio, 143/19 Changwattana Soi1 Yak 6 (Vibhavadi 64 Rd.), Bhangkhen Laksi, Bangkok 10210, Tel: 02 973 2681, email@example.com, www.v64artstudio.com. asialife Thailand 33
Forget hip hop and heavy rock, for the great mass of people in rural Thailand, music has a root that would not feel out of place in Nashville Tennesee. Words by Peter Scott. Photo by Nick McGrath.
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hile the urban youth of Bangkok goes about listening to pop bands with names like Big Ass, Potato and Bodyslam, much of the rest of the country is listening to something different – the more traditional and less jarring sound of luuk thung, the Thai country/folk music. You can hear the distinctive warbling sound of luuk thung (literally 'children of the fields') and its close relative maw lam around Bangkok wherever there are economic migrants from the countryside – at small food stalls, in taxis and buses. Primarily rural music, it is especially linked to the vast underdeveloped Isaan region of northeast Thailand. The sound is often minor key, vibrato and melancholy, using instruments such as the two-string sawbang and the wot, a circular wind flute, to balance the guitars and accordions. And like its American counterpart, Thai country music
celebrities with all the accoutrements of fame – fodder for gossip columns, cosmetic surgery, and the ultimate dream of all Thai artistes, the lucrative advertising contract. Such is the story of the current queen of luuk thung, Dtai Orathai. Born in Ubon Ratchatani in the far east of Thailand, where the Mekong River separates Thailand from Laos, she treads a carefully-crafted fine line between pop princess and simple village girl. She has sold over a million albums, toured Canada and the US, but is often seen in her videos wearing traditional rural garb, surrounded by willowy but chaste village maidens, with a strategically placed water buffalo in the background. Like most luuk thung singers, she sings mainly in the regional Isaan dialect, which is closer to Lao than to standard Thai. And with appearance being an important part of success she has, it is widely alleged, under-
They identify with luuk thung because it is more than music. It is about the rural versus the urban, rich versus poor, favoured versus forgotten. It is about identity. focuses on the laments of the downtrodden – poverty, hopelessness, infidelity, longing, loneliness and abandonment. These themes were all present in the life of the woman credited with inventing modern luuk thung in the 1980s, Pumpuang Duangjan. Illiterate, the fifth of 12 children born in grinding poverty, she both mesmerised and scandalised Thai society with her up-tempo music and provocative lyrics and stage act. The money she made was largely wasted by her alcoholic husband, who ran off with her younger sister, and was subsequently shot dead by one of her brothers. In a final, tragic tribute to the spirit of luuk thung, the self-professed 'bumpkin singer' died of kidney disease at the age of 30. But luuk thung is no longer bumpkin-to-bumpkin music, but rather big business, whose leading lights are national
gone several cosmetic procedures to enhance her features. Her male counterpart, less easy on the eye but equally successful, is Mike Piromporn, who sings songs of such unremitting woe that it makes Leonard Cohen seem upbeat. Mike is always out of luck, money, work, and love but not rice wine, and there's nothing on TV but advertisements when he gets home. Collections of his best songs could easily be titled "A Bad Day for Mike Piromporn" and "Another Bad Day for Mike Piromporn". The reality is rather different. He too has toured the US and Europe, holding his position as a leading luuk thung singer for almost 20 years, while doubling as an actor. Furthermore, his advertising campaign for Kubota farm machinery has been so successful that the brand name is now used as a slang Thai expression for tractor.
Most luuk thung singers are from Isaan, though there are exceptions such as Alexandra Bounxouei from Laos, and the intriguing duo of Jonas Anderson (Sweden) and Christy Gibson (Netherlands), both of whom came to Thailand when they were children. They also tend to be prolific. Jintara Poonlarp, the grittyvoiced singer from Roi Et in central Isaan, has produced 40 original albums and another 18 live or compilation albums, Mike Piromporn is up to 30, Dtai Orathai over 20, and even the young singer Takkadairn Chollada has racked up eight albums in a six-year career. When the big luuk thung stars come out to play in market towns, it is usually one of the big events of the year. A makeshift stage is set up near the marketplace and the concerts, usually featuring three or four separate acts, are played in front of large, enthusiastic audiences. A concert tour with the likes of Takkadairn Chollada, Pai Pongsatorn or Jintara Poonlarp is guaranteed standing room only around the east of the country, and the events are advertised months in advance. Increasingly, they are playing outdoor venues in Bangkok, to cater for the army of migrant workers who long for the simple feel of home and the countryside. They identify with luuk thung because it is more than music. It is about the rural versus the urban, rich versus poor, favoured versus forgotten. It is about identity. The hard-scrabble element of luuk thung is central to its popularity, which explains why the big stars tend not to flaunt their considerable wealth, and maintain an appearance of thrift, even if they have, like Mike Piromporn, moved into the country-style restaurant business on the proceeds of their careers. The music, and the Isaan dialect itself, may be looked down upon by successful urbanites, but as it resonates with people whose lives remain stubbornly difficult, it carries an enduring appeal to country folk, even those who have made the move to the city. asialife Thailand 35
With so many international schools to choose from, how do you select the right one for your child? An especially harrowing experience for expat parents who have just moved to Bangkok, Yvonne Liang guides you through the scholastic minefield. Photo by Fred Wissink. When it comes to their loved ones, most parents want one thing – a safe environment where their children can make friends and learn about the world they live in to help them create a bright future. They might want their kids to excel in tennis, cultivate their artistic talents, become multilingual, or even pursue their dreams of becoming a mad scientist, but deep down parents just want to choose the best school for their kids, within their budget. One of the advantages of sending your children to an international school is the cosmopolitan nature of their fellow students. For instance, St. Andrews International Schools have 60 percent foreign students coming from a diaspora of nations, with 40 percent Thai students. The teaching staff is, like the curriculum, unashamedly Brit-focused 36 asialife Thailand
with 90 percent coming from the UK. Part of a larger group of three schools in Thailand with 65 sister schools throughout the world, St Andrews schools meet standards set by Cognita UK, yet Annie Hansen, its director of marketing and admissions, prefers to emphasise the schools’ lack of size. “We provide a strong feeling of a cosier community compared to other much larger international schools in Thailand,” she says. “The schools have small classroom sizes, low teacher student ratio, and an overall higher percentage of foreign students which may also be favourable aspects to consider when choosing an international school.” At Bangkok Patana, which has around 2,200 students split almost equally between the primary and secondary schools, the student population represents over 60 different nationali-
ties with British making up the largest proportion (21 percent), followed by Thai (20 percent), American (8 percent), Indian (7 percent) and Australian (6 percent). Thai admissions at Bangkok Patana are capped at 20 percent. All of the school’s academic staff are fully qualified teachers with 45 percent coming from the UK and the rest from various countries such as Australia, the USA, Canada and New Zealand. “Our approach to learning enables students to receive a diverse and engaging education, whilst the extensive extra-curricular activities and curriculum enrichment programmes ensure a holistic approach to learning,” says Emma Goligher, the development, alumni and marketing manager of Bangkok Patana. The school aims for its students to graduate not only prepared for higher education, but
also as well-rounded individuals ready to play their part in global society. At Shrewsbury International School, the 1,500 students come from 38 countries with Thais, British, Americans, Indians and Australians heading the list. The teaching staff is predominantly recruited from the UK, while native speakers are recruited to teach the languages taught at the school – Thai, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese. Noted for its academic achievements as well as excellence in the creative and performing arts, music and sport, many students go on to study at leading universities in the US and the UK, according to Heather Preen, the school’s director of marketing. “In 2012, eight of our students were offered places at Oxford and Cambridge, and others were accepted by top universities in
the US – Harvard, Brown and University of Pennsylvania,” she says. For many parents, the curriculum is the most important factor. While many schools adhere to either UK or US curriculum, lots of international schools and parents prefer the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, with its emphasis upon the child’s role within society: “The IB aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.” While many schools offer the IB programme – including St Andrews which has just received authorisation from the IB headquarters in Geneva – the New International School of Thailand (NIST) is one of the few to offer all three IB programmes, from primary to diploma level.
Indeed NIST was formed in 1992 in order to provide a truly international curriculum. At NIST, much emphasis is placed on the student’s role within society. The school is involved in the International Peace Foundation’s Bridges programme and has hosted Jackie Chan and Jesse Jackson in the process. It also ran a flood relief drive last year whereby raising money for the flood victims as well as temporarily housing many of them on campus. A multi-cultural environment, excellent teaching or the child’s role within society, whichever is your priority, ultimately there is no replacement for visiting the school you are interested in with your child in tow, and chatting with the staff and teachers. Sometimes all it takes is seeing a smile on your child’s face to know which school is right for him or her.
massage For many massage is seen as a means to relaxation, but as Vivienne Chen discovers, for a group of Chiang Mai convicts, it can become a pathway to a new life. Photo by Nick McGarth. Dow was 19 when the police caught her selling drugs on the streets of Chiang Mai with her friends. Sentenced to the city’s women’s prison, what for many would have been a process of just doing the time, instead opened up a new career, through a chance encounter with the prison’s director, Naowarat Thanasrisutharat. “I was cleaning her front yard,” says Dow. “I told her I only had one week left and had no idea what I was going to do after I got out.” As director of the prison, Naowarat put Dow on a 180hour crash course in massage – the only reform programme of its kind in Thailand. Now 26 and sporting a spunky, black-haired pixie cut, Dow still works at the Chiang Mai Women’s massage programme just across the street from the prison proper. The programme attracts travellers from around the world, who flock for the unique experience of getting a traditional Thai massage from these female inmates. “We were surprised,” says Qinqi from Nanjing, China, who had learned about the programme online and decided to visit while on holiday. “We weren’t sure if they were real inmates or not. In China, prisoners must cut their hair short and cannot wear makeup. But this place was interesting because it was like all other massage places. The women are
not treated differently at all.” It is this imperceptible difference that makes the programme unique, and not just to Thailand. While many prison systems around the world grapple with recidivism and rehabilitation gone wrong, the Chiang Mai women’s prison seems a striking example of a situation gone right. There are no locked doors between the massage parlour and the main road, and the women wear no shackles or restraints as they walk across the street from their cells to work in sea-green mas-
just one of the many training options at the prison – inmates can also learn skills such as cooking, sewing, or hairdressing. They keep 40 percent of their earnings, set aside for them in a savings account until they complete their sentences. Now a grandmother at the age of 65, Naowarat has retired from the prison, but she has not moved far. For despite the successes of the women’s massage programme, Naowarat’s former inmates returned to her saying that potential employers refused to hire them.
“Many massage parlours do not want one of their employees to be an ex-con... They still face discrimination from the public for their past.” seuse attire. The only noticeable difference is the tan uniforms of the prison officers who staff the desk where appointments are made. Much of this success can be credited to Naowarat, who founded the programme in 2001. She believed her female inmates, many of whom were serving short-term sentences for low-level crimes such as selling drugs or shoplifting, would benefit from developing vocational skills that empowered them financially. The massage programme is
“Many massage parlours do not want one of their employees to be an ex-con,” she says. “They still face discrimination from the public for their past.” Thus, in 2006, Naowarat founded a new chain of parlours called Lila Thai Massage. The work force comprises of 90 percent former inmates from the prison. There are now four branches in Chiang Mai – two new within the last year. Known fondly as “Mama” by her former inmates, Naowarat treats the staff as family – in fact, some of them are. Her
son-in-law, Piyapong Chutipongvivate, works in the office, helping translate for Naowarat. “There is a reason everyone calls her ‘Mum,’” Piyapong says of his mother-in-law. “She is always there to talk to them when they have problems, like trouble with their family.” Naowarat’s goal is to help break the cycle of crime and give these women greater opportunities in their new life. For some of these women, such as Dow, Lila Massage was that opportunity. After her release, Dow began working for Naowarat’s massage parlour. She eventually became tired of massage as a profession and asked to be moved to Lila's management, which she finds more interesting and gives her a steady career path. She now helps manage the shopfront of Lila’s Ratchapakinai branch The reason why Dow fell into crime in the first place sounds familiar. Spending too much time on her own due to her parents going off to work, she fell in with a group of girls that sold drugs (usually methamphetamine) for extra money. Now, thanks to the prison programme, she has a chance to rebuild her life. “I am happier,” Dow says comparing her life now with what it was before she her incarceration. She hopes one day to open and manage her own massage store – a long step from peddling drugs on street corners. asialife Thailand 39
Tracking Down Disaster In the closing days of the war in Vietnam an audacious plan was hatched to fly thousands of Vietnamese orphans out of the country. The first of those flights ended in disaster, killing more than 150 people. Almost four decades later, Brett Davis accompanies a survivor of that fateful flight on a search for the scene of his brush with death. It's an unusually clear earlyAugust afternoon and we are standing in the middle of a small cluster of rice paddies in Ho Chi Minh City's District 12. It is only a kilometre or two from the main road but the landscape quickly takes on a semi-rural feel, dotted by low-set houses with small front gardens. The directions were not exact; we had a rough idea and then started asking around once in the vicinity. Pulling out the photographs we were given, there is no doubt we have found the spot. This is where the first of the Operation Babylift flights came to a shuddering halt, crash landing shortly after take-off in April 1975. I’ve come along on the day’s search with Landon Carnie, who with his twin sister was 40 asialife Thailand
among the fortunate who survived that day. They were both thought to have perished. Yet the two were found more than a day later in a nearby field, unharmed and reportedly clinging to each other. While he says he has often thought about visiting the site, Carnie only became aware of the general location of the crash recently. “I was interviewed a few months ago by a reporter from Al Jazeera, and she was on one of the later Babylift flights and she told me about the location,” he says. There are 173 other survivors. Another 153 people, including government officials, air force crew, nurses, civilians and 76 children were killed. Yet there is little to mark the location of such a significant event — just an old bowl and vase
atop a cracked bit of concrete, nestled between two rice paddies hidden by the tall grass. The Crash In the dying days of the war in Vietnam, then US President
The only marker of the resting place of the plane's front section
Gerald Ford gave the order to commence an operation to help thousands of orphans evacuate the country. Between Apr. 4 and 26, some 3,000 children were relocated to the United States as well as Australia, Canada and France. The first of these flights took off from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhat airfield around 4pm. A quarter of an hour later, about 24 kilometres off the coast from the fishing village of Vung Tau, the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy carrying the human cargo suffered a catastrophic failure. The rear cargo doors blew out, causing an explosive decompression and severely damaging the aircraft’s control systems. With extraordinary skill the pilots of the stricken aircraft managed to turn the plane around and get it back in sight of the runway in Saigon. But at about 4.45pm the Galaxy hit the ground in rice fields, miraculously bouncing again to allow it to clear a branch of the Saigon River, before smashing into a dyke and breaking into pieces. The area at the time was farmland and the crash site was more than a kilometre from the nearest road so firefighters could not reach the burning wreckage. The first rescuers had to be choppered in. On learning it would be up to 11 days before the surviving children could be airlifted out of the war-torn country, American business man Robert Macauley mortgaged his house to charter a Boeing 747 to get the children out. Back at the Site As we walk back out of the fields to the road where our
taxi is waiting, a couple of local residents are talking animatedly with other members of our party. One woman, whom I would guess to be in her 60s — although she declined to give her name or age — tells us there’s another site nearby where the middle part of the fuselage came to rest. We are astounded when she adds that the single remaining piece of the aircraft is still there. Everyone piles into the cab as the woman hops onto the back of a motorbike and we head back down the road. She later tells me she and her husband were living in the same place back in 1975. They remember hearing a tremendously loud noise. They ran out of their house and were “scared” by the site of burning wreckage and bodies strewn across the landscape. Heading roughly due east, we turn on to one road and then another, before taking a right on a rutted dirt track just wide enough for the car to pass. Tall trees line the path and the houses are a little closer together than before, but the shade at least provides some respite from the sun. After bumping along for about a kilometre we stop at a typical countryside house set at the back of a wide courtyard. It takes a moment to realise where to look, or even what exactly we are looking for. But there it is. Tucked just inside the front gate of the property is a little altar divided into halves, top and bottom. The top chamber of the small concrete structure contains a flower and a small bowl, and underneath, protruding from the earth about 30 centimetres, is the last
An eyewitness to the crash
Landon Carnie searching for the 'Operation Babylift' crash site
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It takes a moment to realise where to look, or even what exactly we are looking for. But there it is.
mottled-grey piece of Lockheed C-5A Galaxy number 68-0218. The owner of the house initially is not too pleased to see us. Despite our excitement at finding this artefact from Operation Babylift, we apparently are not the first to make the trek to his front door. It is not long though before Mr Dang, who says he is a year shy of 50, warms to us once he understands the reason for our interest. He tells us his family moved to the area when he was a boy and built the house he currently lives in. At that time, he says, there was still much of the wreckage to be found. He also related stories about people gathering clothing and even jewellery from around the crash site. I wonder why there is still one piece of the aircraft remaining and an altar built around it. Apparently, like an iceberg, only a small portion is visible and Mr Dang estimates the piece of metal extends perhaps two metres below ground. It was simply too large to dig away so life continued on around it. From somewhere cans of 333 are produced and we enjoy a beer and amiable conversation. Out of a clear blue sky commercial airliners regularly descend on their final approach to the airport only a few miles away. It is a reminder of how close that flight in 1975 came to making it to safety. Carnie is uncharacteristically quiet, and seems content to take things in while others do the talking. I ask how he is feeling now we have found the crash site, and even the 42 asialife Thailand
remaining piece of the plane. “I can't fully grasp it at the moment,” he says. “But I’ll let it sit for a while as I digest everything that has happened.” He says he is maybe a little disappointed there was not more tangible evidence of what had occurred. “I also realise why there wouldn’t be, it is not the story of the Vietnamese living here.” When I met Carnie at his apartment at the beginning of the day, before we set out on our search, I was interested to know if he felt in any way special because of what he had been through, the very fact he was alive. He tells me it is difficult to say because he has no recollection of the events of that day, being only 18 months old at the time of the crash. “But it was always something I kind of knew, even though I don’t remember when or how I was told,” he says. It is understandable that it would take some time to process everything he thought or felt on the day of our expedition, so I get in touch a few weeks later to ask how he is feeling about it now. “I think I feel more at peace about one small bit of my life and experience of coming to America,” he tells me. “I think about the sacrifices that were made to get me and many others to countries which would provide us with great opportunities. Mainly, I think you have to live life as you want to, not how you are expected to, and just try to make others’ lives better and show compassion.”
The last remaining piece of the aircraft
Mr Dang, on whose property the makeshift shrine is located
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Undiscovered Malé Most visitors to Maldives, a South Asian country of nearly 1,200 islands, bypass the capital of Malé in favour of the resorts. Exploring the often-overlooked city, Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen finds its charms merit a stopover. White sand beaches, swaying palm trees and aquamarine sea. That’s the setting people come to Maldives to experience. The Republic of Maldives may be Asia’s smallest nation in territory and population – with 298 square kilometres of land and under 400,000 people – but its reputation is great. Located off the coast of Sri Lanka, Maldives offers breathtaking tropical beauty, exotic aquatic life and a secluded atmosphere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. “This is paradise,” I remark to a Maldivian friend upon arriving at one island resort’s stunning beach. “That’s what they say,” he replies with a shrug. Of the country’s 1,190 islands, about 90 are resorts. Hy44 asialife Thailand
droplanes and speedboats wait at the airport to carry guests directly to pristine paradises both near and far. But that’s not all there is to Maldives. Although surrounded by the same crystal clear waters, the urban capital of Malé feels worlds apart. The city comprises four islets, with the main part of the capital covering the whole of Malé Island. Crammed with cars, motorbikes and around a third of the Maldivian population, Malé is one of the most densely populated islands in the world. Sunni Islam is the official religion of the country, which means the call to prayer can be heard five times a day throughout Malé. Forget sipping fruity cocktails on this island – alco-
hol is banned everywhere in Maldives except for the resorts. Instead of bars, coffee shops are where friends gather to chitchat over cappuccinos. The only beach is known as the “artificial beach” – created with shippedin sand – where women are more likely to be dressed in full clothing and veils than bikinis. Although the island may not have the fun-in-the-sun vibe of the resorts, a trip to Malé is a must for those interested in encountering Maldivian culture. The ambience is distinctly maritime, with boats bobbing in the harbour and the scent of sea salt in the air. The brilliance of the turquoise waters is matched by the brightness of buildings painted in sherbet shades of peach, blue, violet and pep-
Photos by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen
permint. Narrow streets wind throughout the island, which can be circumnavigated via foot in about an hour. I spend my first morning in Malé strolling around, passing by the Hukuru Miskiy (Friday Mosque), which was built in 1658 and is currently under consideration for UNESCO World Heritage nomination. There are several mosques throughout the island, but the stately, golden-domed Hukuru Miskiy is by far the most impressive. Inside, coral walls are engraved with Arabic writings and motifs. The nearby National Museum provides an introduction to Maldivian history, encompassing the Buddhist era, the conversion to Islam in the 12th century, the years as a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965 and the recent period of modernisation. The trove of artefacts includes stone sculptures, royal furniture from the sultanates, exquisite editions of the Qur’an and the country’s first computer from the 1980s – a large bulky box that stands about five feet high. There’s also a massive skeleton of a rare Longsman’s Beaked Whale, discovered stranded on a beach in 2000.
My lunchtime port of call is The Hive, a restaurant located on the 10th floor of the Nalahiya Hotel. Though newly constructed high rises threaten the restaurant’s vista, it’s still one of the best places to look out at Malé. While waiting for my grilled prawns in garlic and butter – which turn out to be tender and flavourful – I head outside to the balcony for the 360-degree panorama, relishing the sight of water in all directions. The city’s radiant colours and compactness are all the more apparent from this bird’s eye view. Reflected by the relatively high cost of dining, the vast majority of food in Maldives is imported. Fish is the main exception. Due to the abundance of the surrounding waters, seafood – predominantly tuna – comes in by the boatload each day, and the fish market is one of the island’s most lively spots. It’s a scene that is not for the squeamish, as sellers hack and gut fish in front of customers for ultimate freshness. The commercial harbour on the northwestern side of the island is a popular place to promenade, and as dusk arrives in Malé, my friends and I buy
coconuts from a simple roadside stall and sit on folding chairs next to the water. The setting sun creates a melange of bold hues, painting the sky like watercolours. This setting feels like an idyll, but I learn that it could all become a paradise lost. Malé may one day become submerged like the lost city of Atlantis. As the lowest lying country in the world with most islands under 1.5 metres above sea level, Maldives faces the possibility of being engulfed by the ocean – a
fear that was enhanced by the 2004 tsunami, which destroyed six islands and left more than 80 people dead. The Government has established a fund to purchase land in India, Sri Lanka or Australia for Maldivians to relocate to in case their present country vanishes. Whether or not the threat is as dire as some believe, it’s all the more reason to visit Maldives for more than lazy days beside the shore. Vibrant and distinctive, Malé Island is a destination worth visiting.
Malé, Maldives How To Get There: Flights to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport from Southeast Asia transit via Colombo, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Prices generally range upwards from US$600 roundtrip. When To Go: Temperatures on the Maldives average around 30°C, consistent throughout the year. Monsoon season is between May and November, with peak tourist season between December and January. Travel Tips: Hotels in Malé often fill up in advance, with rates starting upwards from US$100 per night. The official language is Dihevi, although English is widely spoken.
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There's more to the Himalayas than high-altitude trekking. Faine Greenwood dons her woolly jumper and checks out the old world charm of the area’s hill stations, and tries to catch a glimpse of Everest along the way.
India's hill stations offer a unique temperate charm all of their own. Visitors can enjoy hot tea and astonishing mountain views while discovering fading hints of the British Raj era. From famed Darjeeling to the little-known town of Gangtok, each station is a unique insight into times past. Here are three of the best. Darjeeling Profoundly English Darjeeling was the favoured hill-top city of British tea plantation owners, who built the city in a slightly skewed image of their villages back home. Now resolutely In46 asialife Thailand
dian – though Gurkha separatists would beg to disagree – this decaying hill station has an unmistakabe, bizarre charm. Darjeeling's top attractions are located near the Mountaineering Institute which was founded by Everest-conqueror Tenzing Norgay and Indian Prime Minister Jahwarhal Nehru. Attached is a surprisingly good zoo housing Himalayan wildlife. It's also possible to visit tea plantations, but a morning visit to Tiger Mountain, where you might catch a flash of Everest, is a must. The most iconic symbol of the British years in Darjeeling must
be the Darjeeling Planters Club, which has been converted into a hotel. Travellers can wander through the ghostly Club's limegreen halls, ancient English library and smoking area, decorated with hunting trophies. Food-wise, it's impossible to miss out on Blind Date, an inexpensive Tibetan cafe located off NB Singh Road. Try cheese curry, fresh noodle soup and dumplings, fried Tibetan bread, and spicy chilli chicken while sampling tea varieties. If you're lucky, the clouds will part as you sip, offering a view of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain.
For accommodation, the Shangri-La Regency hotel is centrally located and has warm, updated rooms. Doubles are $53 in high season. How to Get There: The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, where you can book a taxi for the steep ride ahead. Another option is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway or toy train, which makes a slow but scenic run up the hill from the New Jalpaiguri Station. When to Go: April and May have the best weather while the following rainy season, which runs until October, can obstruct views.
Mussoorie Dizzyingly steep Mussoorie was the favourite hide-out of British dignitaries stationed in Delhi during the British colonial period and was a place where Raj-era families and convalescing soldiers could come to escape the heat of the plains. After the fall of the British, the Delhi elite claimed Mussoorie as their own, retaining the old-school charm and slightly rickety colonial architecture of the “Queen of the Hills". Mussoorie town can be busy but is worth a look and provides good restaurants, people-watching opportunities, and cold-weather shopping. Locally-made honey, peanut butter and woolly sweaters are on sale. But it’s an exceptionally steep yet serene walk up the hill to the hamlet of Landour that provides a quiet escape from the holiday buzz. Housing the famous Landour Language School and the Woodstock American School, Landour is a haunt of the literary. Actor Victor Banarjee and writers Ruskin Bond and Stephen Alter all have homes here. Contemplative strolls
and views of pine forests and the snows of Himalayan peaks are the name of the game in Landour and weary explorers can head to the Four Shops for a cup of tea and excellent pancakes. Most cheap lodgings in Landour are occupied by Language School students, but high-budget travellers can stay in the historic Rokeby Manor. It has doubles available for $188 in high season. Budget travellers will find the historic Padmini Nivas hotel provides a quiet get-away in Mussoorie town. Rooms range from $30 to $50 depending on season, and the attached Gujarati restaurant is excellent. How to Get There: Mussoorie is most easily reached by a five hour train ride from Delhi to Dehradun. From Dehradun, you can hire a taxi up the steep hill to the town. When to Go: March to June and September to November have the best weather, and the most tourists. Gangtok Little-known and hard-to-reach Gangktok may be the Hima-
layas most pleasant small city. Although getting here requires either a helicopter ride or a seriously adventurous taxi trip, this gem is well worth the effort, as it features Tibetan monasteries and unique cuisine along with good restaurants, coffee-shops and attractions. The massive Kanchenjunga peak dominates the scenery when the weather is clear. Gangtok is located in the semi-autonomous state of Sikkim, which was an independent kingdom until 1975. It remains culturally distinct from the rest of India, with a Nepali, Bhutia, and Tibetan ethnic majority. Hire a taxi for the day and make the bumpy trek to the vibrantly painted Rumtek Monastary, the rightful seat of the 17th Karmapa, head of one of the four major Tibetan Buddhist schools. Outwardly serene, Rumtek is the source of a long-brewing controversy over who is the real reincarnation of the Karmapa. Also worth visiting is the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which features a museum, library, and friendly Englishspeaking Tibetan exiles to show
you around. You can also take a cab to the nearby Chomgo lake and the scenic village of Lachung. Sikkimese food is a delightful mid-point between the cuisines of India and Tibet, with a focus on forest ingredients, including ferns and wild nettles. It's hard to beat fried momos (dumplings) with chilli sauce at downtown's Taste of Tibet accompanied by Gyathuk noodle soup and local Hit beer. The Hidden Forest Retreat hotel is the place to stay, with $37 rooms in wood huts with views of the valley below. How to Get There: Flights to Siliguri Airport are available daily from Delhi. From there, it's easiest – and most fun – to take an hour long $65 helicopter ride into Gangtok. Taxis take six hours up steep mountain roads. When to Go: The rainy season makes the going damp from May to October. You will also need a free Inner Line Permit to enter Sikkim, which is valid for 15 days but is extendable. Ask for it when you apply for your visa. Rules change often, so check online. asialife Thailand 47
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Where can you find the best Thai food? Balanced on an unsteady table next to a box of chopsticks, or under the chilled bliss of central air-conditioning with fan-shaped napkins by its side? Emma Rosenberg takes the challenge. Photo by Nick McGarth. There’s a saying that when dining in Bangkok it’s best to stay close to the pavements and avoid anything resembling Thai ambience – the cheaper the food, the better the taste, the more limited the menu, the fresher the food. But is it true? AsiaLIFE tried out three beloved Thai dishes – pad thai noodles, chicken green curry and tom yum soup – first at a high-end Thai restaurant and then at a low-end joint to see if we could taste the difference.
PAD THAI Baan Khanitha, a teak-wood restaurant boasting authentic Thai cuisine with the tagline “definitely your best choice”, is an odd locale for pad thai, which is often wrapped like a parcel in wax paper and dripping with day-old oil. Served on ceramic turquoise dishes by Englishspeaking waiters in traditional Thai clothes, Baan Khanitha’s Pad Thai Kung Sod (B210++) is fresh and colourful, with green onion and bean sprouts hailing from an organic farm in Khao Yai and a generous helping of shrimp. In an attempt to take the streetfood dish up a notch, large dried shrimp encased in fried batter are strewn throughout, adding a distracting layer of texture. The eponymous pad thai at the family-owned Pad Thai corner restaurant is a haphazard mush of noodles, egg, and tofu tossed in an outdoor wok, with an indulgent handful of palm sugar making this verge on dessert territory (B50). The flavours are not as pure and unalloyed as at Baan Khanitha, but the dish as a whole has a clearer sense of purpose. Fine Dining 0 The Street
Baan Khanitha, 36/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Tel: 02 258 4181; 69 South Sathorn Rd., Sathorn, 02 675 4200-1, www.baan-khanitha.com. Open 11am to 11pm. Pad Thai, Corner of Soi 2, Phahonyotin 7, Tel: 02 270 1553. Open 10am to 14pm, closed Sundays.
Gaeng Kieow Waan Gai If an authentic Thai restaurant requires cascading waterfalls and miniature Thai pagodas, then Naj, housed in an aristocratic family’s former estate, is the real deal. With a live classical Thai dancer twirling in the corner and a constant stream of burning incense, the focus is far from food. Green curry, chicken, beef, pork, or vegetarian, is only one of the numerous options on a menu spanning every region of Thailand, each dish subject to a chilli rating system, from mild to very hot. The gaeng kieow waan gai (chicken green curry, B180++) comes in a plain green bowl, a surprising front of modesty for a restaurant that serves pomelo salad out of a carved pomelo basket. Despite the droves of foreigners with feeble palates, the curry is appropriately spicy – a pleasant companion to the jasmine white or brown rice served out of a wicker sueng. At Ocha Rod, a popular kap khao (with rice) stand inside the Talad Ruamsab lunch tent, there’s an absence of Thai silk pillows – cafeteria-style seating accommodates the 12 o’clock mass exodus of office workers. Food is steaming hot, ready-to-serve, and rationed in prudent moderation. The green curry, ladled out of an industrial sized spoon, is thin and mild, the spice condiments a necessary addition. The dark meat on the bone and squares of congealed chicken blood dominate the plate, a delicacy for some but not for all. Fine Dining 1 The Street
Naj Exquisite Thai Cuisine, 42 Convent Road (Opposite BNH Hospital), Tel: 02 632 2811 3, www. najcuisine.com. Open 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11.30pm. Ocha Rod (Delicious Taste), Block 11G Talad Ruamsab, Soi Sukhumvit 21. (Next to Midtown Asoke). Tel: 08 1297 1041. Open Monday to Friday, 7am to 3pm.
Tom yum Tom yum has found its way onto everything, from potato chips to pizza. The addictive flavour is sweet and sour – a healthy marriage between polar opposites. At Patara, a dimly lit restaurant inside the stark walls of a house, the tom yum kung is spicy enough to offset the arctic air-conditioning. But the communal joy of the hot pot is lost – the individual bowls (each B195++) arrive as a preamble to the entrée. The small serving is a medley of fresh ingredients, with tender shrimp, whole shallots, and unexpected slivers of coconut meat. Chilli oil floats to the top, giving the soup the look of a gas spill, but the effect is delicate, erring on the side of sour. Ton Muang Lop, a street food stall tucked beside the Ratchatewi BTS, serves tom yum to share (B110 for small, B150 for large). The cramped outdoor kitchen is a mass production, employing a team of servers and creating a cloud of cooking smoke. The inthe-gutter ambience does not arouse an appetite – the air too hot to notice any urban fauna scurrying under your feet. The soup is creamy, though thinner in taste than Patara’s, with mounds of oyster mushrooms and a smiling shrimp to be headed and deveined at your leisure. Fine Dining 2 The Street
Patara Fine Thai Cuisine, 375 Soi Thonglor 19 (Sukhumvit Soi 55), Tel: 02 185 2960, www. patarathailand.com. Open 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. Ton Muang Lop (Monkey Kitchen), Exit 3 of Ratchatewi BTS on Phaya Thai Rd., Tel: 08 516 05414. Open 6pm to 1am, except the 2nd and 3rd Monday of every month.
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Seven Spoons The formula for Seven Spoons is a simple one – find a tumbledown Chinese shop house, retrofit the kitchen and set up four tables. With a sewing machine for a table and plastic taxidermy mounted to the mall, the atmosphere is homey without becoming cloying. Falling somewhere between Mediterranean and international, the cuisine is a product of its context, born in an era of organic seitan and free-range chicken. Created by the founders of Birds in a Row, a gourmet catering service providing nutritious lunches to the office masses, Seven Spoons extends this concept from the desk to the table. 50 asialife Thailand
Emma Rosenberg follows the mellow glow of antique lights to discover one of Bangkok’s most virtuous treats. Photos by Nick McGrath.
Homespun sincerity imbues each dish – fresh, local, and prepared with care. The mild-spiced roast vegetables and quinoa (B190) is an easy crowd pleaser, although after the second bite I found myself questioning whether I like it, or believe I like it because I should. Unfortunately, the soft shell of the mango salsa shrimp taco (B160) is no match for what’s inside, with the watery salsa dripping onto the plate. The pasta and mains make up for any shortcomings in the starters – the hand-made tortellini is packed with the smashed peas my mum used to
make, smothered in lemon butter sauce, pecorino cheese and pine nuts (B220). The tender aubergine is stuffed to capacity with a basmati rice pilaf, lentils, and topped with local goat’s cheese (B240), while the cinnamon and cumin are redolent of a winter’s night far from the tropics. Self-taught chef, Somkiat (Joke) Pairojmahakij, allows alterations to his seasonal menu – forbidden in most Thai establishments – without an eyebrow raised. The only criticism is that the flavours follow a predictable pattern by aiming to please, and consequently lack a punch.
Drinks from the bar – a cubbyhole in the corner – arrive as an afterthought to the food. But the bartender, poached from Khao San’s Sripoom, is gaining attention with his classic drinks and more daring recipes. The signature Silver Spoon (B180) is a zesty blend of Martini Bianco and spiced rum offset by lime wedges and galangal, almost as a reminder – we are still in Thailand. Seven Spoons, 211 Chakkrapatipong Road, Tel: 08 4539 1819, 02 628 4588. Open from 6pm to midnight, seven days a week. Visit http://sevenspoonsbkk.wordpress. com.
Carnivores can indulge themselves in this swish meatery. Yvonne Liang puts Smith to the butcher’s knife and even discovers a vegetarian option. Photos by Nick McGrath.
Backed by the same guys from the ever popular HiSo hangout Hyde & Seek, it's no wonder Smith is the newest who's who hot spot in the Bangkok restaurant scene. If you want to dine amongst the VIPs then you’d better call ahead for reservations because it's so packed that even the bar stools are taken. There are some serious meat lovers under this roof, which stays true to its warehouse roots. Even the servers wear heavy duty butchers’ aprons – without the splatters of blood. The menu is filled with meaty options, but we decided on a veggie dish to start the evening. In the fried egg salad (B180) we
found a refreshing combination of apple, pistachio, ricotta and garden greens that was packed with fresh, natural flavours to balance out the heavily spiced dishes we were about to have. Next was the calf's tongue (B180) with Mexican spice, pressed cabbage, millet and shallots. The small cubes of beef tongue looked so similar to the cubed cabbage cakes that we started playing a guessing game to see who could identify the meat from the cake. Chicken breast (B310) may not sound exciting, but we gave this basic dish a try and were not to be disappointed. Laid over a bed of pearl barley and
topped with Chinese olive, Brussels sprouts, oyster mushroom and a tasty side of deep fried chicken liver, the crispyskin chicken was definitely the winning entrée that night. Of course we also had to go for something a little more succulent just to grease our engines, the sweet and savory verjus glazed pork belly (B350) did the trick. Be prepared for pangs of guilt after eating the melt-inyour-mouth pork paired with slices of tangy poached pear, spicy lentil, mint and coriander. We chose something light to bring the meal to a nice end. The Eton mess (B180) is a colorful plate of fresh strawber-
ries, blueberries, and raspberries berries, mixed with bits of crunchy meringue over a praline crust and topped with fresh cream. Not that Smith is just about meat. One of the reasons people love coming here in groups is the large number of kegs of Heineken or Hoegaarden that can be purchased for your party. It can get pretty loud here so bear in mind it’s not the best setting for a romantic dinner for two. Smith, 1/8 Sukhumvit Soi 49, Tel: 02 261 0515-6. Open from 5.30pm to 1am (kitchen closes at 11pm). Parking: valet only. BTS: Thonglor. asialife Thailand 51
BEHIND SCENES Cool designs, lightweight state-of-the-art fabrics and a style that makes people look twice – that is the Keith Shannon way. Born in a Bangkok recording studio, the Keith Shannon brand has its own fragrance as well as classic jeans and t-shirts. A brand that says “attitude with individuality” Keith Shannon is strictly for men only.
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Model: Rick Stickney Art Director: Johnny Murphy Photographer: Nick McGrath Website: www.mykeithshannon.com Follow Keith Shannon on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/mykeithshannon for launch date and availability. asialife Thailand 55
Form Follows Feeling 56 asialife Thailand
Palm at Kuramathi Island Maldives
Above: French International School. Below: Kowloon Restaurant.
Australian architect and designer, Peter Harper has been working in Asia from his Bangkok studio for the last twenty years. His projects have included the Australian Bar, Tapas CafĂŠ, Kowloon Restaurant and Neilsen Hayes Library and Gallery in Bangkok, the Amari Tower in Pattaya and other projects in the Maldives, Phnom Penh and the Seychelles. Coming from a surfing background Peter loves curves and sexy forms as well as pragmatic boxes. He loves creating beautiful spaces and places while working with the natural beauty of Asia and the urban jungle of Bangkok and other Asian cities. www.harperdesignstudio.com
Above: Neilsen Hayes Library. Below: The Australian Bar.
Photo by Fred Wissink
Connoisseur IT'S OK TO LIKE NICE THINGS
Single-Malt Scotch Whisky Scottish scholar and writer David Daiches wrote in his 1969 work Scotch Whisky: Its Past and Present, “The proper drinking of Scotch whisky is more than indulgence: it is a toast to civilisation, a tribute to the continuity of culture, a manifesto of man’s determination to use the resources of nature to refresh mind and body and enjoy to the full the senses with which he has been endowed.” Whisky is produced in many parts of the world. However, there are strict rules governing what may be called ‘Scotch’ or ’Scotch Whisky’. It must be produced and matured for no less than three years in Scotland. There are also stipulations about ingredients and distillation methods. A single malt whisky is made using only water and malted barley, and is made in a single batch using pot stills. Other grain whiskys are made by continuous distillation using what is known as a Coffey Still. These grain whiskies are predominately mixed with malt whisky to make blends. Blended whisky accounts for 90 percent of whisky produced in Scotland and include household names such as Johnny Walker, Chivas Regal and The Famous Grouse. For the true appreciator of Scotch Whisky, the single malts are the pinnacle of the craft. The production process begins with soaking barley in water for several days and allowing it to germinate – this is called malting. It is then dried using hot air, with many distillers also using a peat fire to give a distinctive smokey taste. This mix then proceeds through mashing and fermentation and 58 asialife Thailand
on to distilling. The finished spirit at this stage is water clear. The distinctive colour of whisky is derived from the oak barrels in which it is aged. Most single malts are matured in barrels that formerly held bourbon, although many use former sherry casks. There are sometimes other exotic barrels used to finish whisky such as those that once held port, cognac, rum and even some wines. The passing of the sprit in and out of the wood over many years will impart a particular character. The drinking of a good single malt Scotch whisky should have more tha a touch of ceremony about it. First, selecting a good glass, preferably in a tulip shape, will help capture more of the aromas. Look for colour, which gives clues to the age and maturation methods, as does checking the ‘legs’. This is the liquid running down the sides of the glass after swirling the whisky. If the legs are thin and run quickly, then it may be a younger or lighter whisky. If the legs are slow and thick, then it may be a heavier or older whisky. Use your nose to breathe in the character. A master distiller will make judgments on the quality of a whisky through this method alone. Adding a little water will raise the temperature slightly and release more of the flavours. Finally, sip the whisky, rolling it around the mouth to cover all the taste buds. Each single malt Scotch whisky is different, as is each person’s preference and interpretation. What we all should agree on is the delight this ancient and special spirit can bring.
Reservation/Ticketing: 02 263 8333 www.asiana-gsa.com Bangkok Airways (PG) Bangkok Airways Bldg, M.14, Viphavadee Rangsit Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 1771 Head Office: 02 265 5678 www.bangkokair.com
hotel & travel
British Airways (BA) Reservation/Ticketing: 21/F, Charn Issara Tower, 942/160-163 Rama 4 Rd. Tel: 02 627 1701 www.britishairways.com
AIRPORT INFORMATION Airport Express Service from 5am to 12am Fare is B150 per person. Contact at Airport Bus Counter Level 1, near entrance 8.
Don Mueang Domestic Airport Call Centre: 02 535 1305 Public Transportation Center Shuttle Bus (24 Hours Services) Tel: 02 132 9532 Free Service for passengers and employees working in the airport, within the airport area. Suvarnabhumi Airport Call Center: 02 132 1888
Air Asia (AK) (FD) (QZ) 1/F, OSC Bldg, 99 Moo 5 Kingkaew Rd. Call Centre & Reservation: 02 515 9999 www.airasia.com Air Berlin (AB) 17/F, Overawed Bldg., 849 Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 267 1202/4 Air France (AF) 20/F, Vorawat Bldg, 849 Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 635 119 www.airfrance.co.th Asiana Airlines (OZ) 18/F, Ploenchit Centre, 2 Sukhumvit 2 Rd.
Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) 11/F, Ploenchit Tower, 898 Ploenchit Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02-263 0606 www.cathaypacific.com Emirates (EK) 2/F B.B Building 54 Asoke Rd., Sukhumvit Soi 21 Reservation/Ticketing: 02 664 1040 www.emirates.com Etihad Airways (EY) 11/F, Tonson Tower, 900 Phoenchit Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 253 0099 www.etihadairways.com Eva Airways (BR) 2/F Green Tower, 3656/4-5 Rama IV Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 269 6288 www.evaair.com Jetstar Airways (3K) (JQ) GSA: Tour East (T.E.T) Ltd., 3/F Charn Issara Tower 1, 942/160-163 Rama lV Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 267 5125 www.jetstar.com KLM Airlines (KL) 20/F Vorawat Building, 849 Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing Office: 02 635 2300 www.klm.co.th Lao Airlines (QV) 491/17 G/F Silom Plaza, Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 236 9822/3
Malaysia Airlines (MH) Unit 332, 3/F All Seasons Place, Wireless Rd. Reservation: 02 250 6568-74 Ticketing: 02 250 6560-7 www.malaysia-airlines.com.my
Turkish Airlines (TK) 3/F, C.P. Tower, 313 Silom Rd Reservation/Ticketing: 02 231 0300/7 www.thy.com Vietnam Airlines (VN) 10/F Wave Place Bldg, 55 Wireless Rd. Reservation: 02 655 4137/40 www.vietnamair.com.vn/vnhome.htm
Myanmar Airways INT'L (8M) 8/F, Unit 3803 BB Bldg., 54 Asoke Road, Sukhumvit 21 Reservation/Ticketing: 02 261 5060 Qatar Airways (QR) Unit 2102, 21/F, 388 Exchange Tower Sukhumvit Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 259 2701/5 www.qatarairways.com
Nok Air (DD) 17/F Rajanakarn Building, 183 South Sathorn Rd. Call Centre: 02 900 9955 Reservation/Ticketing: 1318 Thai Air Asia (FD) 1st Flr, OSC Bldg, 99 Moo 5 Kingkaew Rd, Bangplee, Samut Prakarn 10540 Call Center & RSVN: 02 515 9999 www.airasia.com
Silk Air (MI) Chiang Mai: Duangtawan Hotel, 132, Loykroh Road, Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai Reservation/Ticketing: 053 904 985/7 Phuket: 101/17 Bypass Square, Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Rd., Tambol Kathu, Phuket Reservation/Ticketing: 076 304 018/20 www.silkair.com
Singapore Airlines (SQ) 12/F, Silom Centre Building, 2 Silom Rd. Reservation: 02 353 6000 Ticketing: 02 353 6030 www.singaporeair.com/th Thai Airways International (TG) 89 Vibhavadi Rangsit Head Office 485 Silom Rd. Reservation: 02 280 0060 www.thaiairways.com Tiger Airways (TR) 1091/173-174 7/F, Unit 702 S. Group Tower, Soi Petchaburi, 33 New Petchaburi Rd Reservation: 02 649 9688 www.tigerairways.com
Banyan Tree Bangkok 21/100 South Sathon Road Tel: 02 679 1200 www.banyantree.com Claiming to be a sanctuary for the senses, the Banyan Tree has spectacular views of Bangkok’s cityscape from its lofted Vertigo bar. Those with no head for heights can enjoy the elegant guest rooms and spa facilities. Conrad Bangkok All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road Tel: 02 690 9999 www.conradhotels.com Conveniently located in the heart of Bangkok’s business hub, the Conrad Bangkok offers a combination of modern luxury and innovative design. Enjoy jazz at the Diplomat Bar or practice your Pilates on site. Dusit Thani Bangkok 946 Rama IV Road, Silom Tel: 02 200 9000 www.dusit.com The granddaddy of Bangkok’s luxury hotel scene, with over 40 years of service, the 500 plus rooms and suites,
take flight with travel promotions around the region
Amari Coral Beach Getaway Package
Leave Bangkok behind and escape to Thailand’s most popular seaside destination with Amari Coral Beach Phuket. The Getaway Package includes three nights in a superior room inclusive of daily breakfast for two, round-trip Phuket Airport transfers, a 45-minute foot massage for two at Breeze Spa and one set menu dinner at Rim Talay restaurant. Rates start from B14,800++ per three nights for two people and is available until Sep. 30. For more information or to make a reservation, visit: www.amari.com/coralbeach/ or call 07 634 0106-14.
Beyond Resort Opens in Krabi
Celebrate the opening of Beyond Resort Krabi with an exclusive two-night stay for only B7,500. Accommodation is based on a single or twin sharing basis, inclusive of tax and service charges with the resort’s
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Lufthansa Airlines (LH) 18/F Q. House Asoke Bldg., 66 Sukhumvit Soi 21 Reservation/Ticketing: 02 264 2400 www.lufthansa.com
exclusive ‘Great Time in Krabi’ package and includes breakfast, welcome drink and cold towel on arrival, fruit in the room, free shuttle to Aonang (one-way), free round-trip transfer to Krabi airport, one set Thai dinner with soft drink, free WiFi in the room, 10 percent discount on food and beverages and 20 percent discount on spa treatments, available until Oct. 31. For further information, call: 02 616 3140-4.
Summer Indulgence at Indigo Pearl Phuket
Indigo Pearl’s Designer Suites and Private Pool Villas is offering up to 25 percent savings on some of the resort’s most luxurious accommodation available until Oct. 31. Special ‘his & hers’ extras include one complimentary breakfast-in-bed for two, 20 percent off treatments in the awardwinning Coqoon Spa, an Indigo Pearl gift and special in room welcome on check-in, complimentary airport transfers and late
check-out (4pm subject to availability). To book email: reservations@indigo-pearl. com, or call 07 632 7006.
Discover The Art Of Romance At U Chiang Mai
The award winning U Chiang Mai boutique resort is offering a special promotion until Oct. 31. A one night stay in a superior room costs B6,110++ per couple, including a Royal Siam or Classical Swedish massage for two people, round trip airport transfer, romantic candlelit dinner for two people, complimentary bottle of wine, floral bouquet, free WiFi, iPod and speakers in your room. As an added bonus couples staying for two nights will receive a complimentary room upgrade to a deluxe room, and those staying three nights or more a special price of B3,420++ per room per night will apply for the third night onwards. For more information and reservations, please call 053 327 000 or visit: www.uchiangmai.com.
as well as eight signature restaurants, make this a popular place for travellers and locals alike.
guest rooms reflect the elegance of Rama V yet with a contemporary and sometimes playful twist.
Four Seasons Bangkok 155 Rajadamri Road Tel: 02 126 8866 www.fourseasons.com/bangkok A mainstay for up-market travellers with almost 400 rooms, suites and cabanas as well as Biscotti and Madison restaurants and M Spa. Noted for its lavish Sunday brunch.
Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Charoenkrung Soi 40, 48 Oriental Avenue Tel: 02 659 9000 www.mandarinoriental.com Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the Mandarin Oriental has been an inspiration to a host of world-renowned writers from Joseph Conrad to Somerset Maugham and John Le Carre. Voted the world’s best hotel by readers of influential magazines, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok boasts an international reputation for splendid service and facilities.
Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok 494 Rajdamri Road Tel: 02 254 1234 www.bangkok.grand.hyatt.com Opposite the Erawan shrine, the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has 380 rooms and suites and six dining outlets offering plenty of choice to its guests. Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Bangkok 30 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke) Road Tel: 02 204 4000 www.millenniumhotels.com Towering above Asoke, the Grand Millennium Sukhumvit has several restaurants, a jazz bar on the first floor, and a well equipped spa for in-city pampering. Hansar Bangkok Hotel 3 Soi Mahadlekluang 2, Rajdamri Road Tel: 02 209 1234 www.hansarbangkok.com A minute’s walk to the BTS Skytrain, yet nestled in the seclusion and comfort of Rajdamri Road, Hansar has endless views of Bangkok greenery and timeless style, with suites adorned in Jim Thompson silk. InterContinental Bangkok 973 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 0444 www.ichotelsgroup.com Conveniently located at Chitlom BTS Station, the Intercontinental is a short walk away from Bangkok's shopping district. Even if you're not checking in, the international restaurants and relaxing spa make this a go-to spot for locals. JW Marriott Hotel 4 Sukhumvit Road Tel: 02 132 1888 Situated right on Sukhumvit Road, the Marriott is well known for its many dining venues, including the New York Steak House and several Japanese restaurants. The Landmark Bangkok 138 Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 254 0404 www.landmarkbangkok.com This 31-storey hotel offers first-class accommodation and service to discriminating business travellers and tourists visiting Thailand. Only minutes away from the city's Nana BTS, the complex houses the 414-room Landmark Hotel including Club floor with video on demand, internet TV, and laptop connect plus a three-level shopping plaza and a multi-storey car park with space for 600 vehicles. The wide range of bars and restaurant include Chinese, and international restaurants, plus a gourmet Rib Room Grill, English-style pub with live music nightly. Lebua at State Tower State Tower, 1055, Silom Road Tel: 02 624 9999 www.lebua.com All the 357 suites have views of Bangkok and the Chao Phraya river. Those with a head for heights should visit the rooftop Scirocco bar with sweeping views of the city. Hotel Muse Bangkok 55/555 Soi Langsuan, Lumpini Tel: 02 630 4000 www.hotelmusebangkok.com A hotel dedicated to fashion and the arts, each of the 170 PIA-designed
Aloft Bangkok 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 207 7000 www.aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com With a strong passion for fashion, music and design, Aloft Bangkok is a true oneof-a kind hotel that rattles the cage of convention. Located on Sukhumvit 11 at the heart of Bangkok’s thriving entertainment district, the hotel is close to Nana BTS. Aloft features all the high-tech facilities including free WiFi in every room and all public areas.
Metropolitan by COMO 27 South Sathorn Road Tel: 02 625 3333 www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok A cool and contemporary east-west aesthetic with modern Oriental accents is combined with award-winning cuisine, a holistic spa and Bangkok's chicest lounge bar.
Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi Tel: 02 476 0022 www.bangkok-riverside.anantara.com Situated on 11 riverside acres of verdant gardens, Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa blends the thrill of urban living with tropical luxury. Imparted with Thai tradition and famous Anantara service, this exotic Bangkok resort offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy metropolis.
The Okura Prestige Bangkok 57 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 687 9000 www.okurabangkok.com This 240-room hotel occupies thirty-four floors of the glass-clad Park Ventures Ecoplex Building. Its thinning shape is inspired by the wai, the traditional Thai hand greeting.
Arun Residence 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road Tel: 02 221 9158-9 www.arunresidence.com Seven-room boutique hotel has great views of Wat Arun across the Chao Praya river as well as a small café on the ground floor which serves breakfast.
Plaza Athenee Bangkok 61 Wireless Road Tel: 02 650 8800 www.plazaatheneebangkok.com This Royal Meridien hotel has seven dining venues including The Reflexions French restaurant and the Rain Tree Café which serves a popular Sunday Brunch.
Dream Hotel 10 Sukhumvit Soi 15 Tel: 02 254 8500 www.dreambkk.com Ancient Siam meets modern, five-star decadence as playful hotelier Vikram Chatwal's avant-garde destination blends the mystique of the East with the essence of the West.
Pullman Bangkok Hotel G 188 Silom Road Tel: 02 238 1991 www.pullmanbangkokhotelg.com Stylish five star hotel boasts 345 exquisite rooms and suites and tremendous city views as well as some cutting edge restaurants and bars, including Scarlett Wine Bar.
Four Points by Sheraton Sukhumvit Soi 15 Tel: 02 309 3000 www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoint New upscale Bangkok hotel a fiveminute walk from Asok BTS with 68 stylish guest rooms and suites, an exclusive rooftop bar with views of Sukhumvit and one of the best beer vaults in town.
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit 250 Sukhumvit Road Tel: 02 649 8888 www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com Located on Sukhumvit close to Asok BTS, this five-star hotel has an excellent Sunday brunch with an excellent jazz trio. Rooftop pool and garden terrace offer good alfresco dining options.
Ramada Hotel & Suites 22 Sukhumvit Soi 12 Tel: 02 664 7025 www.ramadasuitesbangkok.com This boutique hotel provides an usual retreat in the heart of the city for business and leisure travellers alike. A variety of rooms and suites offer contrasting views of the Bangkok skyline, over Benchakitti Park lake and the hotel’s tropical gardens. All rooms feature flat screen satellite TV, DVD player and complimentary WiFi/Lan internet access. For long-stay guests there are suites all equipped with small, fully equipped kitchenettes.
Sofitel So 2 North Sathorn Rd Tel: 02 624 0000 www.sofitel.com Designed by Thai architect Smith Obayawat, the hotel features works by Pongthep Sagulku and Vitoon Kunalungkarn. Enjoy the Manhattan views over Lumpini Park’s tree tops, complete with soaring skyscrapers. The St. Regis Bangkok 159 Rajadamri Road Tel: 02 207 7777 www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/ bangkok Experience Bangkok’s splendor from a premier location along Rajadamri Road, with seven dining outlets to choose from. The Sukhothai Bangkok 13/3 South Sathorn Road 02 344 8888 www.sukhothai.com Claiming to be a place apart, the hotel fuses the feel of the ancient city of Sukhothai with modern functionality. Various dining options include a chocolate fantasia.
Siam@Siam 865 Rama 1 Road (Opposite National Stadium) Tel: 02 217 3000 www.siamatsiam.com Hip boutique hotel in the heart of Bangkok that has a daring contemporary design and a friendly atmosphere, as well as a rooftop champagne and wine bar with great views of the city.
Baan Dinso 113 Soi Silp, Dinso Road Tel: 02 622 0560 www.baandinso.com Restored, late 1920s townhouse with nine rooms, and oodles of charm, tucked down a tiny soi in the heart of the old city. All the rooms come with cable TV, air-con and fridge, although only the five double rooms have bathrooms but communal washing areas are spotless.
Baiyoke Sky Hotel 222 Rajprarop Rd Tel: 02 656 3000 www.baiyokehotel.com If nothing else, the Baiyoke Sky hotel has a room with a view, situated in Thailand's tallest building. Fortunately prices are not similarly sky high. Bangphlat Resort 77/1 Charansanitwong Road,Bangphlat Tel: 02 885 5737 www.resortbangphlat.com A row of 30-year-old two-storey Thai wooden houses conserved and converted into an urban resort amidst Bangkok. An oasis of calm barely 100 metres away from the chaos of Charansanitwong Road. Loy La Long 1620/2 Song Wat Road (inside Patumkongka Rachaworawiharn Temple), Chinatown Tel: 02 639 1390 www.loylalong.com Seven wooden, colour-coded rooms designed by Jurathip Intrasai make this a eclectic hang-out. Relax in the open area and float off on the cool river breezes. Lub d 4 Decho Road, Suriyawong Tel: 02 634 7999 www.lubd.com Voted as on of the 17 coolest hangout hostels by the Observer, Lub d has four types of rooms including dorms. Has another hostel in Siam Square.
Oriental Residence Bangkok 110 Wireless Road, Lumpini Tel: 02 125 9000 www.oriental-residence.com Epitomising casual elegance and traditional luxury, Oriental Residence Bangkok offers refined accommodation surrounded by a lush enclave in the centre of the city. The fine service attracts business and leisure guests alike to this Bangkok serviced residence.
TRAVEL COMPANIES Backyard Travel United Centre Building; 323 Silom Road, Silom www.backyardtravel.com Travel company that offers 16 tours throughout Thailand, visiting Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai and Phuket Island and promising authentic local experiences to provide a deeper, personalised tour of this distinct country. Footsteps in Asia Room 605, Tonson Bldg., 50 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Tel: 02 168 7467/68 www.footstepsinasia.com Independent tour company offering trips around Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam including cycle tours, full-moon parties and tailor-made tours. Smiling Albino 2098/414 Ramkamheng Rd Tel: 02 718 9561 www.smilingalbino.com Adventure tourism company offering tours in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and Vietnam, whether it's motorcycling over hills in northern Thailand, or dancing with villagers in the Himalayas. Spice Roads Cycle Tours 14/1 Soi Promsri 2, Sukhumvit Soi 39 Tel: 02 712 5305 www.spiceroads.com Cycle tour company started by passionate cyclists in 1995 now offering tours throughout Thailand and 17 other countries. If your ideal getaway involves being active, discovering cultures, fabulous food and the camaraderie that results from travelling with interesting people, then a SpiceRoads Cycle Tour is for you.
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www.hobsbkk.com If you like your beer to carry more punch than a Chang or Singha then House of Beer is the place for you. Around 40 Belgium beers, including Leffe on tap, tempt you to become a Trappist monk. Also has some decent food including the Belgian classic moules frites. Open from 11am to 2am.
food & drink BAR RESTAURANTS
The Australian Pub & BBQ 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 0800 www.theaustralianbangkok.com Claims to be the first pub in Thailand to have a bunch of Aussie beers such as Crown Lager, VB and Coopers at just above freezing point in the specially made fridges. Nine flat screen TVs and two big screens keep Aussie sports fans happy as does the Sunday Barbie. Open from 10am to 1am. Bourbon St. Restaurant & Oyster Bar 9/39-40 Soi Tana Arcade, Ekamai Tel: 02 381 6801-3 www.bourbonstbkk.com This popular bar cum restaurant serving cajun and creole cuisine as well as all-day breakfast has recently moved to Ekamai, with a boutique hotel upstairs. Fat Gut’z 264 Thonglor Soi 12 Tel: 02 714 9832 www.fatgutz.com With the best fish and chips in town, you might imagine Fat Gut’z reeking of vinegar, but far from it. A contemporary design mixes up some great cocktails along with music to match. Open from 6pm to 2am. HOBS G/F Penny's Balcony 522/3 Thonglor Tel: 02 392 3513
Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar 65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Road Tel: 02 168 5152 www.hydeandseek.com Imagine Mad Men coming to Bangkok and you have Hyde & Seek. Enjoy American and European comfort food in between the Martinis, and watch Thailand’s HiSos come out to play. Open from 11am to 1am. Iron Fairies 394 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Thonglor Tel: 08 442 5808 www.theironfairies.com An iron workshop converted into Thonglor’s most popular jazz wine bar by Australian Ash Sutton. Monkey nuts on the floor, crowded tables and rocky chairs make for the perfect combination. Grab a glass of wine and one of their famous burgers, and soak up the jazz and unique atmosphere. Open from 8pm to 2am, closed Sundays. Niu’s on Silom 661 Floor 1-2 Silom Road, Silom Tel: 02 266 5333 / 4 www.niusonsilom.com One of the few true jazz and blues bars in Bangkok, Niu’s has live music each night while the upstairs Concerto restaurant serves the highest quality Italian cuisine. Will be open lunchtimes from September. Soi 8 Pub and Restaurant 25/4 Sukhumvit Soi 8 Tel: 02 653 3144 www.soi8.net One of Bangkok's most successful pub venues. Situated in a central location just 100 meters from Nana BTS station, it offers good food and a great selection
The Spice Market restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel has recently introduced new dishes to its menu. Head over to try crispy catfish salad; sweet pork, chilli and green mango sauce; salted egg duck relish with fried fish and vegetable; and simmered mackerel with sugar cane and tamarind sauce. Spice Market, Four Seasons Hotel, 155 Rajadamri Road Tel: 02 126 8866 (x1231), open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm. Chef Kesinee Wanta will be showcasing Issan cuisine throughout this month at Basil restaurant. Dishes will include: somtam pla kai (a spicy papaya salad with crispy Willow Leaf fish), koy pla tuna (an Issan-style tartar), and nahm tok moo (spicy grilled pork salad with fresh mint, Thai parsley, spring onions and roasted rice powder).
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Tenderloins 7/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel: 02 258 4529 www.tenderloins33.com/location.html Claiming to be a sports bar and steakhouse, the food at Tenderloins has moved more into the American bracket, although the sports still remain Australian, as burgers and hot dogs vie with the excellent steaks. The set lunch represents excellent value for money.
After You Desert Café Thonlor Soi 13 Tel: 02 712 9266 Popular café set in Thonglor renowned for its Shibuya honey toast and other sweet delights. Can get very crowded at peak times. Open from 7am to midnight. Café Tartine Athenee Residence, 65 Wireless Road Tel: 02 168 5464 www.cafetartine.net Offering breakfast, soups, sandwiches, make-your-own salads and naturally tartines and quiche, Café Tartine focuses on using high quality ingredients. The food has a homemade feel. Open from 8am to 8pm with free WiFi and parking. Coffee Beans by Dao 47 Sukhumvit Soi 12 (Ekamai) Tel: 02 713 2506 Has a large menu featuring Thai and international cuisine as well as dozens of cakes and pastries. Truly a place with something for everyone, leave room for dessert. Open from 11am to 8pm. Creamery Boutique Ice Cream U-Center, Chulalongkorn University, Chulalongkorn Soi 42, Phayathai Rd. Tel: 087 909 8080 Ice cream parlour with in-house creations change with the season. Try the
Brit Pop Bacon & Eggs or the Ca.Le. Ho.Yo ice cream, a combination of cardamom, lemon, honey and yoghurt that creates a natural diuretic. Chu 2/F Floor Exchange Tower, 388 Sukhumvit Road Tel: 02 663 4554 www.facebook.com/chu.bkk Very contemporary coffee bar ideally located just across the pedestrian link from Asok BTS that offers great coffee, hot chocolate, pastries and more substantial bites, such as paninis. Excellent place for meeting up with friends or just gearing yourself up for the rush hour battle of Asok. Open from 7.30am to 9.30pm (Mon-Thu) and from 11am to 8pm (Sat / Sun). Dean & Delucca MahaNakhon: 92 Naratiwasrachanakarin Road, Silom Tel: 02 234 1434 Park Ventures Ecoplex: 1/F ParkVentures Ecoplex, 55 Wireless Road Tel: 02 108 2350 Sathorn Square: 1/F Sathorn Square Office Tower, 98 North Sathorn Road, Silom Tel: 02 108 1414 www.deandeluca.com International chain of coffee houses with branches in the US, Japan, the Middle East, South Korea and now Thailand that has excellent coffee, pastries and cheese, as well as selling some kitchen accessories. Much more sophisticated than Starbucks. I Wane 1975 14 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 664 0350 www.iwanne1975.com Japanese bakery that serves very western looking pastries and coffees. Does have a range of Japanese dishes as well such as Yaki Soba and Katsu curry rice. Open from 7.30am to 9.30pm. Mr. Jones’ Orphanage Seenspace, Thonglor 13 Tel: 02 185 2378
broaden your palate with promotions around town
of local and imported draft beers with live sports and music. Open from 8am to 1am.
Basil, Level 1 of Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Road, Tel: 02 649 8366, open from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Zuma is now serving brunch (B1,280++ per person) for Japanese cuisine lovers with live oysters, tuna tataki with marinated red onions and chilli ponzu, housemade tofu with barley miso, chilled cold soba noodles and hot appetisers from the charcoal Robata grill. Zuma also has a Kids’ Corner so grown-ups can continue sampling all the food Zuma has to offer while their kids play. Zuma, St Regis Hotel, 159 Rajadamri Road, Tel: 02 252 4707 or email: email@example.com, available from 11am to 3pm every Sunday.
Unlimited premium Dom Perignon champagne and a three-course menu (B7,900++ per person), besides the regular buffet
spread, several dishes such as a seafood platter including king crab, sea urchin, Boston lobster and Tsarskaya oyster, with sautéed mussels and clams will be served right to your table. VIU Restaurant, 12/F, The St. Regis Bangkok, 159 Ratchadamri Rd., 02 207 7777, every first Sunday of the month from 12.30pm to 4pm.
Imperial Queen’s Park
Each afternoon, the Lobby Lounge of Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel will feature a Japanese themed high-tea buffet (B499++) including Daifuku, Chestnut cookies (Japanese style), and Kushidango (Japanese skewer with sweet salty sauce) paired with free flow of Lavazza coffee and Ronnefeldt teas and accompanied by soft jazz from the resident pianist. Lobby Lounge, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Sukhumvit 22, Tel: 02 261 9300 (x5009) from 2.30pm to 5.30pm.
Dessert shop featuring recipes from Amy Hipkin that were published in How to be a Good House Wife in 1902. Pages from the cookbook decorate the ceiling of this fairy-tale eatery, which feels like a life-sized dollhouse, with mini chalkboards providing friendly reminders such as ‘Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.’ Open from 11am to 11pm.
The China House Mandarin Oriental, 48 Oriental Avenue Tel: 02 659 9000 Ext. 7650-1 www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/ dining/restaurants/china_house/ Inspired by the vibrant 1930’s Shanghai Art Deco period, this two-storey colonial building has been transformed into an avant-garde culinary destination, reminiscent of old world opulence. Executive Chinese Chef Andy Leong Siew Fye brings over a decade of award winning culinary experiences to a brand new a la carte Cantonese menu. China Town Scala Shark’s Fin Restaurant 483-5 Yaowarat Road Tel: 02 623 0183-5 We know it’s a horrible trade, but if you have a taste for shark’s fin this is the place to go. There are other options, including fried fish, crab and suckling pig, but it’s hard to escape the fin. Open from 10.30am to 2am Huasenghong Yaowaraj Road Tel: 02 222 7053, 02 222 3563-5 Central Department Stores: Changwattana / Rama 2 / Rama 3 / Rama 9 / Ratanathibet Tel: 02 835 3838 / 02 872 4352 / 02 673 5725 / 02 160 2484 / 02 526 8731 Paradise Park Tel: 02 787 2329 Sukhumvit Soi 101 Tel: 02 730 5141 Popular chain of well-priced Chinese food that is in a department store close to you. Je Ngor 541/9 Maha Set (Charoenkrung Rd.), Si Phraya The original of the multi-outlet Chinese chain looks like a hole-in-the-wall establishment but inside it is bristling with Chinese spice. Open from 11.30am to 2pm and 5.30pm to 10pm. Liu Conrad Hotel, 87 Wireless Road Tel: 02 690 9999 A neo-classic Chinese restaurant that blends the culture, traditions and cuisine of old China, including Cantonese, Shanghainese and Sichuan dishes, with new and contemporary interpretations. Enjoy Liu's signature dish Dong Po Pork, stewed pork belly with black soy sauce served with Chinese buns, succulent duck dishes to seafood. Open from 11am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. The Mayflower Dusit Thani Hotel, 946 Rama IV Road Tel: 02 200 9000 (x2799) The grandiose European interior lined with Chinese antiques, leaves guests in no doubt that this is one of Bangkok’s finest Cantonese eateries, with an a la carte menu as well as daily set menus. Also has six private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2pm, 6pm to 10pm. SBL Restaurant 710-714 Wangburapha Tel: 02 225 9079 www.sblrestaurant.com Serving traditional Taechew food since 1954, Somboonlarb was initially a
small shop selling food to the Chinese people in the Yaowaraj area. Of these dishes, the Taechew sukiyaki is still on the menu. Refurbished in 1997, the new style is a mixture between classical Chinese and fine Italian. No MSG. Sui Sian 10/F The Landmark Bangkok, 138 Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 254 0404 (x4908) www.landmarkbangkok.com/suisian. html Authentic Cantonese dishes prepared by award-winning Hong Kong chefs, including 10 signature dishes such as deep-fried salmon spring roll and stirfried giant prawns with salted egg, in a 180-seat restaurant with eight private dining rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Summer Palace Mezzanine level, InterContinental Bangkok, 973 Ploenchit Road Tel: 02 656 0444 www.dining-experience.com/intercontinental/summer.html Renowned for its traditional Cantonese specialties by Dim Sum master chef, Summer Palace is ideal for special occasions with its 140-seat dining room and 10 private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Tang Jai Yoo 85-87 Soi Yaowaphanit, Yaowarat Rd. Tel: 02 224 2167 Open-air seafood restaurant in the heart of Chinatown with whole crabs, lobsters, and fresh fish as well as roast pig skin. Open from 11am to 2pm, 4.20pm to 10pm. Xin Tian Di Level 22, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park 952 Rama IV Tel: 02 632 9000 With a stunning view of the Bangkok city skyline, Xin Tian Di is a good option for either business or a family get-together in one of its seven private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Yim Yim 89 Yaowaphanit Rd Tel: 02 224 2203/5 Around for some 80 years, Yim Yim is a Chinatown institution. Ignore the décor and gloomy low ceilings and enjoy the great food. Famous for its chicken soup, a flavourful broth and its raw fish. Open from 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 10pm.
4 Garçons 113 Sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor 13) Tel: 02 713 9547 www.4garcons.com A journey for gourmands, le quatre garcons mixes classic French chic with a modern twist. For simple French cuisine without any pretension and a touch of je ne sais quoi, this is the place. Open from 11.30am to midnight. La Colombe d’Or 59 Sukhumvit Soi 8 Tel: 082 489 6164 www.la-colombedor.com Thailand's oldest independent French restaurant has been serving its patrons for 23 years. Famous for its pressed duck, enjoy traditional French cuisine and ambience. Open from 6pm to late, and for lunch on Saturday / Sunday. Le Bouchon 37/17 Patpong Soi 2 Tel: 02 234 9109 One of Bangkok’s most authentic bistros, this small bar has only
seven tables but buzzes with more atmosphere than many grander affairs, offering simple, home French country cuisine. Open from 12pm to 3pm, 7pm to 11pm, closed Sunday lunch.
French and Italian cuisine featuring imported ingredients such as lobster, foie gras, black truffle and caviar. Open from 11am to 1am.
Le Normandie Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, Charoenkrung Soi 40 Tel: 02 659 9000 www.mandarinoriental.com Marbled foie gras, roast Sisteron rack of lamb and line-caught sea bass, the menu at Le Normandie is almost as exclusive as its high-society clientele. Formal dinner has a jacket only dress code but the lunch sets can offer some surprisingly good deals. Open from noon to 2.30pm and 7pm to 11pm.
Be Your Guest 24, Sukhumvit Soi 53 (Thonglor) Tel: 081 637 9047 www.beyourguest.asia An oasis in Thonglor, La Villa Be Your Guest is a Mediterranean-style villa with private garden and swimming pool that serves gourmet French and Thai food as well as offering outside catering, private chef at home and French and Thai cooking class in French, Thai and English. The 600sqm venue is ideal for private parties, business dinners or birthdays.
Le Petit Zinc 110/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 259 3033 www.le-petit-zinc.com Chic bistro with a distinct art nouveau feel set on the bend of Soi 23 just after Giusto. Choose between sitting on the wood-decked terrace or inside in air-con comfort. Open from Tue-Sun 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to midnight (Sundays 11.30 to midnight), closed Mondays.
The Bistro 33 22 Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel: 02 260 3033 www.thebistro33.com Contemporary dining venue offering bistro cuisine including a wide range of steaks and pizzas and an extensive selection of wines in a casual and elegant and atmosphere. Its quiet, tucked around the corner location and generous gardens makes this a great option for private parties and events.
Mrs. Balbir's Fine Indian Cuisine 155/1-2 Sukhumvit Soi 11/1 Tel: 02 651 0498 www.mrsbalbir.com One of the first Indian restaurants in Bangkok, Mrs Balbir is still one of its finest despite the increasing competition. Open from 11am to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, closed Mondays. Indus 71 Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 258 4900 www.indusbangkok.com Bringing Indian cuisine to the world of fine dining, Indus mixes the contemporary with historical Moghul, alongside its cocktail lounge and outdoor garden terrace. The cuisine is Kashmiriinspired Mughalai, modified by using fresh local ingredients. WiFi is available on request. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 11pm. Rang Mahal 26/F, Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 Tel: 02 261 7100 (x7527) www.rembrandtbkk.com/dining/rangmahal Named after a famed pavilion within Delhi’s Red Fort, Rang Mahal’s menu has an appropriately regal air with food covering the sub-continent’s Mughlai, Nawabi and frontier cuisine, alongside service to match. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 11pm.
Above Eleven 33F Frasers Suite Sukhumvit Hotel, 38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 207 9300 www.aboveeleven.com Nikkei, the Peruvian-Japanese fusion food arrives in Bangkok at this most contemporary restaurant, equipped with outdoor wooden deck bar with glass walls and central bar, dining tables, lounge areas and huge daybeds. Open from 6pm to 2am. The Bar & The Restaurant 24th Avenue, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 082 222 7474 Classy champagne lounge and restaurant rolled into one, the Bar has an incredible selection of signature Moët & Chandon Champagne cocktails, whisky, cognac, Armagnac and fine wines, while the Restaurant delivers
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Crepes & Co. 88 Thonglor Soi 8 Tel: 02 726 9398 59/4 Soi Langsuan Tel: 02 653 3990 www.crepes.co.th Serving its particular blend of crêpe, pasta, salads and more substantial dishes since 1996, Crepes and Co has become one of the city’s most favoured institutions. The original Soi 12 outlet might have closed, but the franchise has expanded across town, down the coast to Hua Hin and even to Shanghai. Open 9am to 11pm (Sunday from 8am). Eat Me Restaurant Silom 20m off Convent Road (in Soi Pipat 2) Tel: 02 238 0931 www.eatmerestaurant.com Sleek Australian-owned restaurant and lush garden vie for your attention in this cool, popular expat hang-out. Rotating exhibitions feature both Thai and international artists. Food is modern, international and ‘regional’. Open from 3pm to 1am. Firehouse Pub & Restaurant 3/26 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 3643 www.firehousethailand.com If you like burgers, Firehouse is the place. From racks of three miniburgers to an Australian Black Angus beef, it even has a Breakfast Burger, for those who prefer their patty at the crack of dawn – even though this place only opens at 11.30. Smother with cheese, mustard and pickle, or for the more daring top with avocado and gorgonzola. Open from 11.30pm to 3am (to midnight Sunday), closed Monday.
Roti Gluay The preparation of this popular snack is wonderful to behold. The chef stretches out a ball of dough by throwing it on a smooth metal surface, and then frying it to a golden crisp. As the roti is cooking, condiments such as bananas and eggs are added and folded into the crispy dessert (B35). Roti can also be served alone,
Tel: 02 625 3366 www.como.metropolitan.bz Glow has a strong emphasis on health food, from the fresh fruit, muesli and wholegrain breads for breakfast to the pick-me-up shot of pure wheatgrass for those who partied the night before. The wholesome menu is equally appealing or you can try from the selection of energising juices or organic wines. Once you leave you are sure to have a healthy glow. Open from 6am to 9pm. Greyhound Cafe 2/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 664 8663
sometimes rolled up for easy consumption (B20). When it comes with fillings the vendor will chop it into mini-squares and provide a wooden stick or fork for you to eat it. Rotis are a sweet snack usually topped with sweetened condensed milk and white sugar. This dessert is enjoyed throughout the day, most commonly as an after lunch snack.
4/F Central Chidlom Tel: 02 255 6964-5 J-Avenue, Thonglor Soi 55 02 712 6547 G/F Siam Centre Tel: 02 658 1129-30 Reliable chain of contemporary restaurants that has been serving a good selection of Thai and international dishes in unobtrusive atmosphere for 11 years. Also has a catering branch. Little Beast 44/9-10 Thonglor Soi 13 Tel: 02 185 2670 A gastrobar serving contemporary
Gaggan 68/1 Soi Langsuan, (Opposite Soi 3) Tel: 02 652 1700 www.eatatgaggan.com The creation of El Bulli trained chef Gaggan Anand, this fashionable eatery has an ever-changing menu with fresh produce. The tasting menu is a good option for those who have yet to experience molecular gastronomy at first hand. Open from 6pm to 11.30pm. Glow The Metropolitan Bangkok, 7 South Sathorn Rd
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red open kitchen. Open from 6pm to 11pm (Mon to Thur), and to 11.30pm Fri / Sat, from 12pm to 2.30pm (Sun) Roast 2/F Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Tel: 02 185 2866 www.roastbkk.com A deliberate attempt to replicate the chilled vibe of an East Coast café, Roast has an indie American menu which it by and large succeeds in delivering. Open from 10am to 10.30pm. Salt Soi Ari (near Soi 4) Tel: 02 619 6886 This restaurant-cum-bar has a postmodern glean and a menu which screams of the global cuisine appearing from its rear kitchen, from fresh sashimi platters to the thin-crust pizzas cooked in the wood fire. Open from 6am to midnight, closed Sundays.
Chicken/Pork Satay One of the most common and easy to eat street foods in Bangkok is chicken or pork satay (sa-tay gai/saitay moo). Usually sold side by side for B5 each, they are served with the same homemade peanut sauce that not only adds flavour to your grilled meat, but also an awesome thick, gritty texture of minced peanuts. Strips of chicken or pork
American small plates and inventive drinks led by Chef Nan Bunyasaranand. Opened in July 2012, Little Beast is a place to hang out, enjoy the food and drink well into the night. Open from 5.30pm to 1am, closes at midnight Sunday. Mezzaluna 63/F The Dome at Lebua, 1055 Silom Rd Tel: 02 624 9555 www.lebua.com Spectacular views of the Bangkok skyline unfold from Mezzaluna perched at the top of the Dome in Lebua Hotel. Inside ornate chandeliers and string quartet provide an ambience designed for haute cuisine and the food does not disappoint. Open from 6pm to 10.30pm, closed Monday. Minibar Royale Citadines Bangkok, 37/7 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 261 5533 www.minibarroyale.com The simple black and white interior gives this diner a retro art deco feel. The menu is slight and simple with the set menu scoring high on value though slightly less on quality. Open from 11am to 1am. The Oyster Bar 394 Narathiwas Soi 24 Tel: 02 212 4809 www.theoysterbarbangkok.com Especially for crustacean lovers, the Oyster Bar has a vast range of fresh seafood, including oysters from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of America and Japan, Alaskan king crabs and New England clams, washed down with a fair selection of house wines. Open from 6pm to 10pm (til 10pm Sundays), closed Mondays
are marinated in a special Thai paste of lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal, and turmeric giving it a yellow colour. Then the meat is skewered and grilled over a BBQ right on the pavement. You can also enjoy this dish with a fresh and tangy cucumber relish. Thais enjoy this street snack all day, especially popular after clubbing late at night.
Pla Dib 1/1 Areesampan Soi 7, Rama 6 Tel: 02 279 8185 Renovated house has been turned into a popular Ari local with dishes that are best shared with your fellow diners. Unashamedly fusion, larb sits beside pizza, sushi and soft shell crab on the menu. Open from 5pm to midnight. Quince 4 Sukhumvit Soi 45 Tel: 02 662 4478 One of the newest eateries in town, at Quince you can be certain the food is made with the freshest and finest of ingredients. Named after the quince – a perishable fruit that needs care and attention – chef Jess Barnes cooks up home-styled dishes within the modern yet comfortable setting of a 1950s styled home. Open from 11.30am to 1am. The Roof Restaurant Siam@Siam, 865 Rama 1 Road Tel: 02 217 3000 www.siamatsiam.com Thailand’s first stone grill alfresco restaurant designed to accommodate private dining and various parties or functions of up to 130 seated guests. The Roof offers a variety of international dishes freshly cooked on volcanic stones. This multi-level restaurant provides every seat on the roof top with remarkable angles of Bangkok by night. Open from 6pm to 11pm. RR&B 138 Sukhumvit Rd Tel: 02 254 0404 (x3100) www.landmarkbangkok.com Located on the rooftop of the Landmark hotel and with breathtaking views of the Bangkok skyline, RR&B specialises in steakhouse favourites, from its Ferrari-
Seven Spoons 11 Chakkrapatipong Road Tel: 08 4539 1819 Tumbledown Chinese shop house with four tables including a sewing machine and plastic taxidermy mounted to the wall, the atmosphere of Seven Spoons is homey without becoming cloying. Falling somewhere between Mediterranean and international, the cuisine is born from an era of organic seitan and free-range chicken. Open from 6pm to midnight. Smith 1/8 Sukhumvit Soi 49 Tel: 02 261 0515-6. Backed by the people behind Hyde & Seek, Smith is heavy on the meat – even down to the heavy duty butcher’s aprons the servers wear. Vegetarians are accommodated, but this really is an establishment for people who like their pound of flesh. Open from 5.30pm to 1am (kitchen closes at 11pm). Whale’s Belly 2/F 41 Boulevard Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 39 Tel: 02 160 0333 www.facebook.com/whalesbelly Dine in the Whale’s Belly with its curved ceiling designed to make customers feel underneath the blue ocean and sparkling stars. Has a selection of fresh seafood and premium products and a contemporary French and Italian cuisine ideal for paring with both new and old world wines. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Antonio’s 26 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02 662 1001 This Italian diner has a very loyal following largely due to its daily specials menu and top-notch imported ingredients. Open from 6pm to 11pm. Basilico 8 Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel: 02 662 2323 15/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20 Tel: 02 663 6633 34 Phaholyothin Soi 7, Yadsawadee Building www.basilicopizza.com Central wood-fired oven give this pizzeria chain an air of authenticity and enough popularity to see the formula repeated around town. For the non-pizza eater there is also a range of dishes and other Italian dishes as well as 40 different wines. Biscotti Four Seasons Bangkok, 155 Rajadamri Rd. Tel: 02 126 8866
www.fourseasons.com/bangkok One of Bangkok’s most popular Italian restaurants, Biscotti serves up good yet simple Italian fare in a casual atmosphere. The express lunch menu with an antipasti buffet is popular with business people while the a la carte dinner invites a more intimate occasion. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Concierto 661 Floor 1-2 Silom Rd., Silom Tel: 02 266 5333 / 4 www.niusonsilom.com Excellent Italian restaurant set above Niu’s on Silom, one of the few genuine jazz venues in Bangkok. If the music doesn’t tickle your fancy, then try some of the most original Italian treats upstairs, before retiring down below for some mellow notes to accompany your grappa. Will be open lunchtimes from September. Gianni’s 34/1 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road Tel: 02 252 1619 Cosy Italian trattoria that sparked the trend in genuine Italian restaurants. Excellent food and service still make Gianni stand out from the crowd despite the ever-increasing competition. Open from noon to 2pm and 6pm to 10.30pm. Giusto 16 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 258 4321 www.giustobangkok.com Restaurant and wine bar which serves some of the finest Italian cuisine and wines in an elegant setting. Occasionally invites chefs from the region to showcase their talent. Open from 11.30am to 2pm, 5.30pm to 11pm. Limoncello 17 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 0707 Look no further for excellent woodfired pizzas than this small diner tucked away just off popular Soi 11 with over 50 types of pie. Also has salads and pizzas in an atmosphere that feels very Italian. Open from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm. Pomodoro 5/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 259 8395 www.pomodorogroup.co.th Chain of Italian restaurants that serves Italian food made with the freshest ingredients as well as doing catering. Also, has outlets at Siam Square and on Sukhumvit Soi 5. Rossano’s 116 Sukhumvit Soi 21 Tel: 02 260 1861 The antipasti alone make a trip to Rossano’s worthwhile. Decorated to represent an Italian style tavern, Rossano’s is a refreshing change from the minimalist modern interiors possessed by many new restaurant in Bangkok. This is a place without a lot of frills but is for people who like good food. Open from 11.30am to 2pm, 6pm to 11pm. Zanotti 1/F, 21/2 Saladaeng Colonnade Condo, Saladaeng Rd, Silom 02 636 0002 / 0266 www.zanotti-ristorante.com Up-market Italian diner that has been consistently serving excellent Italian dishes for a number of years. The décor is beginning to show its age, but the quality of food and service remains at the highest level. Open from 11.20am to 2pm and 6pm to 10.30pm.
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JAPANESE / KOREAN
BonChon Chicken 2/F Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Tel: 02 185 2361 Hailing from the South Korean city of Pusan, BonChon serves up healthy chicken with little grease and even less fat, coated in either soy garlic or spicy soy garlic. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 11pm, Friday / Saturday 11am to midnight. Drinking Tea Eating Rice 3/F Conrad Bangkok, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 690 9999 Featuring a Teppanyaki table, sushi counter and tatami rooms, this restaurant serves traditional Japanese food with a special focus on fresh sushi, sashimi, oysters, French lobsters and Kobe Beef. Has an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet at weekends. Open from 11.30am to 11.30pm. Isao 5 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02 258 0645-6 www.isaotaste.com A fusion sushi bar which gives traditional Japanese cuisine an international twist, it is the brainchild of chef Isao, who used to run the Green Tea Japanese restaurant in Chicago. Open from 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm.
Wine-Food Pairings By Darryl Bethea I got schooled in the magic of pairing a dish with the perfect wine in Northern California. Typically we would consider the protein, sauces, and dominant flavours, then find the appropriate wine that would compliment and elevate the experience. But in Asian dining, the ordering of meals is not usually an individual choice. It is more like a little of this and that for all to share, and the flavours could run all over the map. Soy sauce (with or without chilli), wasabi, fish sauce, and sweet and sour sauce all have their own flavour profiles. And at one meal sitting, you can experience them all. To describe wine on the palate, we talk about the “mouth feel”, the physical sensation a food or drink creates. Tofu, sushi, steamed shellfish, curry, and fried foods all have the their own “mouth feel”. Get the pairing wrong (too fat, oily, or dry), and the dining experience becomes flawed. So what can we do? Stay away from wines with high tannins, whose bitterness and dryness in the mouth may dominate and interfere with seafood. Also, if a red wine is high in alcohol, it will intensify the spiciness and result in a fire in your mouth, destroying your taste buds. As a simple guide, seek wines with excellent acid-
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ity, wines that will have a refreshing, palate-cleansing quality that either compliments or stands up to the bold flavours. Keep in mind, a lot of traditional Asian beverages are not consumed to compliment the flavours of the meal. Many times, green tea comes at the end of the meal to aid in digestion. When it comes to wine, consider a few options. Sparkling wine like Champagne or Brut Prosecco. It will not overpower the food, is low in alcohol, and has great acidity. Just stay away from anything with an oaky flavour profile. Dim Sum & Sparkling wine is divine. Off-dry Riesling. The crisp acidity combined with the slightly sweet impression at first taste will combat the spiciness of chilli. The key here is off-dry, from Germany or Washington state. Pinot Noir with a medium body, and a light, fruity aroma and taste. Be careful not to get a high-alcohol, tannic variety from the New World. Look for one that has a description of good acidity, with round, smooth tannins. Darryl Bethea is Group Sales Manager for Fine Wines of the World and a Certified Sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Email Darryl@finewinesasia.com.
Zuma 1/F, The St Regis Hotel Bangkok, 159 Ratchadamri Rd, Tel: 02 252 4707 www.zumarestaurant.com The contemporary Japanese restaurant that has proved so successful in London has opened up in Bangkok, and you can tell from the solid rock of the grill counter to blocks of stone at the sushi station that these guys are here for the long run. Zuma delivers an elegant, yet informal, dining experience based on the traditional izakaya style of eating and drinking. Open from 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11pm, the bar stays open to 2am on Fridays and Saturdays.
MEXICAN / TAPAS
Coyote 575-9 Sukhumvit Rd. (Near the corner of Soi 33) Tel: 02 662 3838 www.coyotebangkok.com Margarita bar cum Mexican and southwest grill restaurant spread over two floors has much of the décor imported from the USA and Mexico. Its tequila collection is the largest in Thailand and over 75 different margaritas served. Open from 11am to 1am. La Monita Taqueria 888/26 Mahatun Plaza, Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 650 9581 The five tables, bench seating and window bar creates the informal atmosphere of a little Mexican diner – even the food is served in plastic baskets. The orange interior provides a warm atmosphere for some tasty food. Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm.
www.tapasiarestaurants.com On the same sub-soi as Cheep Charlies, this tapas bar makes for a good pit-stop for those who want some food with their drink. The menu changes frequently but the sangria keeps on flowing regardless. Open from 11am to late.
Al Majlis Tearoom Praduu Spa Club 83/8, Soi Charoenchai (Ekamai 12) Tel: 02 392 2345 www.almajlis-tearoom.com Replete with shisha pipe and mint tea, Al Majlis has a lanterned garden and tearoom, providing a genuine Moroccan ambience. The food includes that all-spice favourite tagine. Open from 4.30pm to 1am, closed Sundays. Beirut Lebanese Restaurant Ploenchit: B/F Ploenchit Centre, Sukhumvit Soi 2, Tel: 02 656 7377 Silom: 1/F Silom 64 Building, Silom Road Tel: 02 632 7448 Bumrungrad Hospital: 10A/F, Bumrungrad Hospital, Sukhumvit Soi 3 Tel: 08 4466 7576 Thonglor: Level 1, Eight Shopping Building, Thonglor Soi 8, Tel: 02 714 8963 www.beirut-restaurant.com Offering a unique dining experience with food made fresh daily, each restaurant offers a menu of Lebanese and Mediterranean prepared dishes that include a variety of appetisers, salads, soups, vegetarian items, grilled meats and poultry and combination plates. Nadimo's Baan Silom, 651 Silom Soi 19 Tel: 02 266 9081 www.nadimos.com This much talked of Lebanese restaurant is the chosen place to sample Middle Eastern cuisine in Bangkok. All the classics feature on the menu along with some interesting specials for the more adventurous diner. Open from 11am to 11pm.
Baan Khanitha 36/1 Soi Sukhumvit 23 Tel: 02 258 4181 www.baan-khanitha.com The original of two award-winning Thai restaurants has been operating for more than 17 years, serving high quality authentic Thai food. Set in a traditional Thai house full of antiques and with an outside terraced area this is one of the foremost Thai restaurants in town. Open from 11am to 11pm. Baan Khanitha & Gallery 69 South Sathorn Rd Tel: 02 675 4200-1 www.baan-khanitha.com The second of Khanitha Akaranitikul’s two restaurants, features an art gallery exhibiting the paintings of both local and foreign artists as well as the award winning food. Open from 11am to 11pm.
Spanish on 4 78 Silom Soi 4 Tel: 02 632 9955 www.tapascafebangkok.com If you like your tapas to come small on price as well as quantity, Spanish on 4 will fit the bill. Jamon iberico, patatas bravas, paella and tortilla: you know the formula by now, but it never ceases to be fun. Open from 11am to midnight.
Blue Elephant 233 South Sathorn Rd Tel: 2673 9353 www.blueelephant.com Renowned for its Thai Royal Cusine, the Blue Elephant serves both traditional and fusion dishes served in carved fruit bowls, clay pots, and folded leaves, such as foie gras with tamarind sauce and lamb chop Kra Paow. Open 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30.
Tapas Café 1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 2947
Bo.lan Essentially Thai 42 Soi Pichai Ronnarong Songkram Sukhumvit Soi 26
tastes and textures in his creations. There’s also a private dining room ideal for corporate or social events. Open from 12pm to 2pm (Mon. to Fri. only), 7pm to 10.30pm. Naj 42 Convent Rd., Silom Tel: 02 632 2811-3 www.najcuisine.com Set in a building that dates back to the era of Rama V, Naj produces “exquisite Thai cuisine.” The décor is faultless with an outside terrace area and three floors of dining, the top one of which is for VIP guests. Naj has won awards for its cuisine. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11.30pm.
Green Papaya Salad Som Tam (or shredded green papaya) chopped green beans, tomato, dried prawns, unsalted roasted peanuts, chillies, garlic, and lime juice are all pounded together in a mortar using a pestle to make this local salad (B30-B50). If you can’t take the heat of the chillies then ask for it to be toned down or not added at all.
Tel: 2602 9612 www.bolan.co.th Believing in following the cooking rituals practised in Thailand for countless years and by utilising the abundance of natural resources Thailand has to offer, Bo.lan takes full advantage of the fresh and seasonal produces available. Adopting the slow food philosophy it aims to promote the biodiversity of both wild and cultivated produces. Open from 6.30 pm till late, closed Mondays.
There’s enough flavour in there for you to enjoy it without the spices. This comes from sour lime, hot chilli, salty, savoury fish sauce, and sweet palm sugar which produces a tangy and savoury taste. The papaya salad is usually eaten with sticky rice (khao neow) and grilled chicken for lunch or dinner.
Thai restaurant set in a 1920s building that formerly housed Le Café Siam, has a very relaxed garden ambience almost unique to Bangkok. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 1am (kitchen closes 10.30pm), bar open to 2am.
Cabbages & Condoms Sukhumvit Soi 12 Tel: 02 229 4610 Mr Condom’s restaurant has developed a strong international following due to its social cause. Lampshades, sculptures and wall-hangings made from condoms are part of the founder’s campaign to make rubbers socially acceptable. Open from 11am to 11pm.
Thompson Restaurant and Wine Bar Jim Thompson House, 6/1 Soi. Kasemsan 2, Rama I Rd. Tel: 02 612 3668 www.jimthompson.com Mastering the fine art of pairing classic Thai cuisine with old and new world wines, the décor is luxurious with iridescent Thai silks used throughout. The restaurant presents the very best in Thai cuisine and hospitality evoking memories of the legendary Jim Thompson himself. Open from 9am to 11pm.
The Deck Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Road Tel: 02 221 9158-9 Excellent views of Wat Arun accompany authentic Thai cuisine and international fare at very reasonable prices. Open from 11am to 10pm.
Lemongrass 5/1 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 258 8637 Set in a traditional wooden house just around the corner from The Emporium, this small diner has tasty Thai food at affordable prices hidden among the antiques.
Home Kitchen 94 Lang Suan Rd., Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 281 9228 This charming hole-in-the-wall restaurant is a bit of a steal with its excellent, flavoursome Thai food and good presentation.
Nahm Metropolitan by COMO, 27 South Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 625 3388 www.comohotels.com/metropoliatanbangkok Occupying the ground floor of the Metropolitan and overlooking the outdoor pool, this award-winning Thai restaurant is for serious gourmets. Renowned Australian chef, David Thompson values the strong, fresh flavours of traditional Thai cuisine, and he delivers surprising
Issaya Siamese Club 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Rd, Sathorn Tel: 02 672 9040 www.issaya.com
Puangkeaw 108 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 258 3663 Reasonably priced and reliable Thai restaurant tucked around the corner from Giusto that has been serving its customers since 1985. In addition to the compact restaurant there is a small garden area. Open from 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 10pm (11am to 10pm Saturday / Sunday). Ruen Malika 189 Sukhumvit Soi 20 Tel: 02 663 3211-2 www.ruenmallika.com This large Thai teak house set on two stories oozes with a sense of tradition from the staff who greet you in their northern Thai costumes to the bowl of water in which you wash your hands before dining and the celadon in which the dishes are served. Ruen Malika specialises in Royal Thai cuisine. Ruen Urai The Rose Hotel, 118 Surawong Rd Tel: 02 266 8268 Set in a 100-year old teak house and surrounded by lush gardens, Ruen Urai is an oasis of a Thai restaurant popular with travellers and locals alike. Open from 11am to 11.30pm. Sala Rim Naam Mandarin Oriental Bangkok 48 Oriental Avenue Tel: 02 437 6211 www.mandarinoriental.com Located on the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River to the Mandarin Oriental, this Thai pavilion offers a wide selection of Thai cuisine including a buffet lunch and special set dinner as well as al fresco dining on the Terrace Rim Naam. There is also a performance of classical Thai dancing each night. Salathip Shangri-La Hotel, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu New Rd. Tel: 02 236 7777 www.shangri-la.com A quintessential Thai dining experience beside the Chao Phraya River. Savour authentic cuisine in Thai-style teak pavilions while enjoying classical Thai dance performances. Open from 6.30pm to 10.30pm. Soul Food Mahanakorn 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 Tel: 02 714 7708 www.soulfoodmahanakorn.com Part cocktail bar, part Thai restaurant, Soul Food believes that dining should be both satisfying and fun. It also has a strong heart, sourcing most of its produce from small farms in the northeast of Thailand. The rice is organic and fair trade, the meat is free range and the menu has seasonal daily specials. Supatra River House 266 Soi Wat Rakhang, Arunamarin Rd.,
Tel: 02 411 0305 www.supatrariverhouse.net Converted into a restaurant in 1998, Supatra has a magnificent terrace overlooking the river as well as two dining areas, one of which is airconditioned. Each Saturday night there is a performance of Thai classical dance by the Patravadi Theatre. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 11pm.
PUBS / SPORTS BARS
The Clubhouse 21/1-3 Soi 23, Sukhumvit Tel: 02 664 1376/7 Excellent Australian-owned sports bar and grill specialising in burgers, steaks and pub classics. Wine buffet each night from 6pm to 9pm with unlimited wine and beer and different specials each night of the week. Happy hour 3pm to 9pm. Open from 9am to 2am. The Dubliner 440 Sukhumvit Road Tel: 02 204 1841 / 2 www.dublinerbangkok.com Irish bar located across the park from the Emporium that serves traditional Irish fare and international food. Live music from 2pm to 5pm on Sundays and from 9pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Open from 8am to 1am. Duke of Wellington 101-103 Soi Suksavitaya, Silom Rd. Tel: 02 235 9518 www.dukepub.com An English pub in the heart of the Silom business district. With a full English menu, breakfast, Thai food, and a large selection of bottled beers and cocktails. The Duke has four large screen TVs and a digital projector for live sports. Durty Nellys 56-56/1 Ekamai Tel: 02 714 2692 www.durtynellysasia.com Located on up-and-coming Ekamai, this Irish pub has an extensive menu of Irish, British and European favourites, as well as live sports on multiple big screen TVs. Finnegans Irish Pub & Restaurant Sukhumvit Soi 4 Tel: 02 656 8160 Irish bar with a distinctly local feel to it as well as an extensive menu offering a selection of continental, Thai and Irish specials such as bacon and cabbage. Happy Hour from 12pm until 8pm, open from 9am to 1am. Hanrahans Sukhumvit Soi 4 Tel: 02 255 0644 www.hanrahansbangkok.com Set on three floors with a large outdoor patio and bar downstairs showing live sports, a middle floor lounge with comfortable leather Chesterfield sofas, pool table, and an open air roof terrace with decked flooring, heavy wooden outdoor furniture and tropical plants, Hanrahans serves western and Thai food. Open from 8am to 1am, kitchen closes 11pm. The Londoner Brew Pub Basement of UBC II Building, Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel: 02 261 0238-9 Famed for brewing Thailand's only pub-brewed English bitter and pilsner lager in its cellar - London Pilsner 33 and Londoner’s Pride Cream Bitter – the Londoner also has a selection of pub food as well as a multitude of screens for watching Premier League football. Open 11am to 1am
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master of mixology
Mulligans Irish Pub and Restaurant 22/22 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 255 5025 www.mulliganspubs.com Irish bar set on the ground floor of Citadines hotel on Soi 11 serves good Irish and Thai food as well as some excellent cold beer. Open 6am to late. O’Reillys 62/1-4 Silom Road Tel: 02 632 7515-19 www.oreillyspubbangkok.com A modern day take on an Irish bar, O’Reillys shows live sports on its big screens as well as live music from Lee Shamrock on Monday nights and Beetles tribute band, The Betters on Thursdays. Wednesday night is quiz night. Pickled Liver Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 Tel: 02 651 1114 www.thepickledliver.com Popular British pub and sports bar that serves pub grub, good Thai food and some devilish Indian curries. Thursday night quiz and Friday night music are particularly popular with expats. Happy hour from 3pm to 7pm. Open from 3pm to late.
By Matt Myers I have always wanted to work in Southeast Asia, in part because of the fresh ingredients used in local cuisine. Before I finally made the move to Vietnam, where I work at the MGM Grand Ho Tram, I was the master mixologist and assistant director of beverage at Bellagio Las Vegas. What qualifies someone to have such an auspicious title with the term ‘master’ in it? My title was actually only given to me as a way to describe my duties. A chef is a leader of cooks and creates dishes; similarly a master mixologist is a leader of bartenders and creates cocktails. I will use this experience in mixology to provide readers with useful recipes and techniques that are used in the hospitality industry. This column is for the mixologyminded, those in the hospitality, food and beverage industry, and for anyone who likes a good drink. As mentioned, the fresh ingredients found in most Southeast Asian countries are an inspiration. The one ingredient here I just can’t get enough of is fresh herb. The use of fresh herbs in a cocktail (other than mint) seems to be lost, or at least not that popular. There are countless ways fresh herbs can be used in drinks, and a basil gimlet is one example. This is a basic California staple and a fresh and easy cocktail that allows for creativity.
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What you need: 1 ½ oz gin or vodka 1 oz rock candy or simple syrup ¾ oz fresh lime juice 4 basil leaves Now it’s time to make it: 1. Make sure you have everything ready for the recipe (martini glasses polished and chilled, etc). 2. Combine the simple syrup and basil and muddle gently (Three light crushes. Don’t ring it up, you are not making pesto.) 3. Add fresh lime juice, gin and ice. Make sure the ice doesn’t smell, you don’t want this cocktail to smell and taste like durian. 4. Shake. Make sure you are smiling and looking at your guests. No limp-wristed shaking. 5. Strain with a fine mesh strainer (double strain). 6. Pick a leaf of basil, rub it around the rim of the glass and throw it away. 7. Pick another leaf, float it on top and serve.
The Pintsman Basement United Centre building, 323 Silom Rd. Tel: 02 234 2874 www.thepintsman.com With 10 beers on tap, including Leffe Brune, Hoegaarden and Kilkenny the Pintsman and around 40 imported bottled beers with a definite Germanic Belgian leaning, it’s clear why customers ask for the Pintsman. Each night has a special theme, sometimes with live music. Robin Hood 507/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 Tel: 02 662 3390 www.robinhoodbangkok.com
A rustic English tavern located just across the road from the Emporium with wooden floorboards and classic long bar. Downstairs gets filled up with punters here to watch live sports, so those looking for a piece of privacy should retire to the mezzanine level which also has a pool table. Serves pub grub alongside international and Thai favourites with live music every Wednesday. Open from 9am to midnight. Royal Oak 595/10-11 Sukumvit 33/1 Tel: 02 662 1652 www.royaloakthailand.com Outside decking on this relative quiet sub-soi provides a good place to chew the fat with a mate over a pint. On the same site as the first British pub in Bangkok, the Oak still has an authentic air with live sport each week. Open from 10am to 1am. Witches’ Tavern Thonglor (between Soi 8 & 10) Tel: 02 391 7170 www.witch-tavern.com Established in 1988, the newly modernised Witch’s Tavern serves traditional English dishes plus Thai and international cuisine with live bands playing most nights.
Anothai 976/17 Soi Praram 9 Hospital, Huay Kwang Tel: 02 641 5366 Small restaurant in a far northeast suburb of the city where the owner uses his own vegetables grown on his farm. Many of the pan-Asian dishes are vegan. Open from 10am to 9.30pm, closed Wednesdays. Khun Churn G/F Bangkok Mediplex, Sukhumvit Soi 42 Tel: 02 713 6599
Once you get the technique down, play with it. Try different herbs to create your own cocktail, and Impress your guests or friends with your creation. Cheers. Matt Myers is the director of beverage for MGM Grand Ho Tram, Vietnam.
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The capital’s version of the Chiang Mai veggie classic has been transformed from green fields to a sterile shopping mall. However, the same meat-free renditions of Thai favourites appear on the menu in all their faux brilliance. Na Aroon Ariyasom Villa, 65 Sukhumvit Soi 1 Tel: 02 254 8880 www.ariyasom.com This hotel restaurant has a great and varied vegetarian menu, including some most original dishes using fresh organic vegetables and fruit. Some fish dishes have slivered their way onto the menu, along with western dishes. Open from 6.30am to 11pm. Rasayana Raw Food Cafe Rasayana Retreat, 57 Soi Sukhumvit 39 Tel: 02 662 4803-5 www.rasayanaretreat.com Located in Bangkok and Pattaya, the Raw Food Café aims at those who take up vegetarian diet for health reasons. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies, wheatgrass juice, and tonics and enzyme drinks make giving up meat a little less arduous. Opens from 10am to 8pm.
494 B/F Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rachadamri Road Tel: 02 254 1234 Bustling wine bar in the basement of the Grand Hyatt hotel, gets packed in the evening largely due to cheap wine by the glass during its noon to 10.30pm happy hour. Open from noon to midnight (from 5pm Sundays). Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro G/F, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit 47 Tel: 02 261 7217 Wine Connection Deli & Bistro G/F K Village, Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 661 3940 The wine connection owners have practically made it their mission to make a glass of vino affordable to the Bangkok middle classes. Each of their establishments has a slightly different theme – while the Rain Hill branch focuses on tapas, the K Village branch has an excellent deli. Let’s see what the new Soi 30 branch has to offer. Open from 7.30am to 1am.
nightlife BARS & LOUNGES
See bar restaurant listings for more popular watering holes.
contemporary but with an old medicinal twist using western and eastern ingredients. Open from 5pm to 1am. Beer Vault G/F Four Points by Sheraton, Sukhumvit Soi 15 Tel: 02 309 3255 www.beervaultbangkok.com Put your feet up after work with a cold beer and simple snacks. The Beer Vault has a great range of international and local beers with 97 bottled beers and six beers on tap, as well as a few handcrafted beer cocktails. Open from 3pm to midnight. Cheap Charlie’s Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 253 4648 Doing what it says on the can, Cheap Charlie’s has become an institution for those expats and tourists who like their beer cheap. Situated on Soi 11’s hip sub-soi, customers spill out onto the street where striking up a conversation with the person next to you is mandatory. Open from 5pm to midnight. Clouds G/F SeenSpace, Thonglor Soi 13 Tel: 02 185 2365 Another venture from Ash ‘Fat Iron Fairies Gutz’ Sutton, Clouds is hidden behind a shopping mall off a side-soi. The place’s popularity with HiSos shows that the Australian entrepreneur has not lost his Midas touch although this creation might make you believe you’ve left your spaceship parked outside on the double yellow lines. Open from 6pm to 2am, closed Sundays. The Dome Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Rd. Tel: 02 624 9555 www.thedomebkk.com. Almost as death-defying as the heights are the number of bars and restaurants located within the dome. Those with no head for heights should stay within the indoor restaurants Mezzaluna and Breeze, but daredevils should head straight to the Skybar with its quite breathtaking view down to the mere mortals below. Has anyone thought of filming Batman here? Open from 6pm to 1am, the Skybar closes during stormy weather. Face Bar 29 Sukhumvit Soi 38 Tel: 02 713 6048 www.facebars.com Chic and trendy, Face is a stunning bar famous for its cocktails. A place where you can socialise in the great tradition of resting places for traders along the silk route, talk, relax and drink with friends and fellow travellers or just relax on one of the raised Chinese beds.
Amorosa Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Rd. Tel: 02 221 9158 www.arunresidence.com Overlooking the Chao Phraya River and Wat Arun, and with balmy breezes, soft Latin Jazz and cocktails Amorosa is a great venue for a sundowner. Open from 6pm to 1am or later if you book a room.
Nest Le Fenix Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 255 0638 www.lefenix-sukhumvit.com Le Fenix’s rooftop lounge bar attracts top DJs, musical acts and partygoers from across the city. An intoxicating combination of lounge lizard, beach bar and innovative urban jungle hotspot, you can just laze back and enjoy the view. Open from 5pm to 2am.
Apoteka Bar 33/28 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 08 3720 5586 www.apotekabkk.com Due to open end of September, this multi-roomed luxury bar and gastroeatery has a 19th century apothecary, opium den and laboratory as well as a 20m wide terrace incorporated into its design. Both food and drink are
Oskar Bistro 24 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 255 3377 www.oskar-bistro.com Next to Bed Supperclub, Oskar is the definitive late-night dining option, with pizzas, merguez harrissa, and Asian classics as well as a large selection of martinis, long drinks and mojitos. Open from 6pm to 2am.
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The Roof Champagne & Wine Bar Siam@Siam, 865 Rama 1 Road Tel: 02 217 3000 www.siamatsiam.com Offers a fine drinking experience with views overlooking Bangkok’s fantastic skyline. Open from 6pm to 0.30am.
Scarlett Wine Bar and Restaurant Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Silom Rd. Tel: 02 238 1991 Another rooftop bar with an outdoor terrace offering great views of the city’s skyline, but this time with a Michelinstar menu to boot. The tapas menu is great for sharing and can be washed down with some old world wine or a classic cocktail. Open from 5pm to 2am. Tuba 34 Ekkmai Soi 21 / Thonglor Soi 20 Tel: 02 711 5500 www.design-athome.com A bar, restaurant and furniture showroom all in one – why not? No complaints about not being able to find a seat, at Tuba you can even take one home with you. Two-for-one happy hours from 5pm to 8pm, decent Thai food and free WiFi make this a hit with the young Ekkamai and Thonglor crowd. Open from 11am to 2am.
Chocolate Mousse Serves 6
Ingredients 1 cup dark chocolate 1½ cup whipping cream ½ cup milk 1½ teaspoon gelatin powder Method of Preparation Chill 1½ cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer. Pour ½ cup of milk into a saucepan and sprinkle in the gelatin powder. Allow gelatin to "bloom" for two minutes. Then carefully heat over a low gas flame. Do not boil or gela-
tin will be damaged. Stir the cooled dark chocolate into the mixture until the chocolate melts and set aside. In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to create medium-sized peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining cream in two doses. To Serve Spoon into bowls or shot glasses and chill for at least 1 hour. Garnish with fruit and serve.
Recipe provided by Ploylada Sirichadapong, cooking instructor of Cooking Monster class by twosave. www.twosave.com
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in Bangkok, Niu’s has some of the best live jazz music in town each night as well as some special nights in a appropriately darkened ambience. Parking Toys 17/22 Soi Maiyalap, Kaset-Navamin Highway Tel: 02 907 2228 Like an aesthetic Tardis, Parking Toys seems almost non-descript from the outside but inside is all sensory overload. The wall-to-wall retro furniture and unupholstered chairs dangling from the ceiling match the eclectic nature of the music – from reggae through electronic and rockabilly to metal. Open from 6pm to 1am. Tawandaeng German Brewery 462/61 Narathiwat, Rama 3 Rd. Tel: 02 678 1114 www.tawandang.co.th House band Fong Nam plays this cavernous Thai-German beer keller that can seat over 1,000 diners. Tawandaeng brews its own beer to go with the German sausage and pork knuckle. When the band’s not playing a cabaret of hip hop, ballet and magic will give your night a little Oompah. Open from 5pm to 1am.
WTF 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 Tel: 02 626 6246 www.wtfbangkok.com A small shop front with the entrance signposted by graffiti on a corrugated tin wall in the street opposite, WTF has a bar lined with mirrors on one side and Thai film posters on the other. Decent cocktails, a tapas menu and occasional live gigs and art exhibitions with an edge, WTF is certainly a bar with attitude. Open from 6pm to 1am, closed Mondays. Gallery open from 3pm.
BASH 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Set to open in the middle September, BASH is an after hours night club with a glass steel retro NYC lift to take you up to the VIP seating on each floor for ‘Afterhours’ bottle service, a balcony-style (V.I.P. mezzanine) on the second floor overlooking the dance floor and DJ booth below. Facilities will include five full bars, two dance floor areas, and two LED DJ booths that will control high-tech sound and lighting systems.
Vertical & Moon Bar 61/F Banyan Tree, 21/100 South Sathon Rd. www.banyantree.com Vertical is a sophisticated rooftop grill featuring fresh seafood and premium steak while Moon Bar has panoramic views of the city, where you can gaze at the stars while sipping an invigorating cocktail. Open from 6pm to 11pm (weather permitting), Moon Bar open to 1am.
Bed Supperclub 26 Soi Sukhumvit 11 Tel: 02 651 3537 www.bedsupperclub.com Bangkok’s prime club since 2002, Bed is designed like a spaceship and unashamedly white. Dine on one of the plush white beds with a friend or do your own thing in the club room, practically anyone who has been anyone has been to Bed. Hell, we even had our pre-launch party there. Open from 7.30pm to 1am. Closed for refurbishment in September.
Brown Sugar 469 Phrasumen Rd, Banglamphu Tel: 089 499 1378 www.brownsugarbangkok.com The reincarnation of Bangkok’s 27-yearold jazz and blues haunt is very different from its granddaddy. Borderline grunge has metamorphosed into a slick, cosmopolitan jazz café. You decide which one you prefer. Open from 5pm to 1am. Check Inn 97 Sukhumvit Road (between Sois 5 & 7) Tel: 02 252 6706 Mama Noi is as much a Sukhumvit institution as the Inn itself, having worked here for 47 years, when she was not hosting Bob Hope. The Inn has stood at this place since most around was paddy fields, and has live cabaret music every night of the week including a big bash featuring some of the capital’s best expat musicians on the last Sunday of each month. Niu’s on Silom 661 Floor 1-2 Silom Rd., Silom Tel: 02 266 5333 / 4 www.niusonsilom.com One of the few true jazz and blues bars
Levels Club & Lounge 6/F, Aloft Hotel, 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 082 308 3246 www.levelsclub.com Situated in the heart of Bangkok, Levels Club hosts a world-class nightlife experience within an amazing audio-visual environment. Open from 9pm to 2am. Mixx Discotheque Bangkok 973 Ploenchit Rd., Basement of President Tower Arcade Tel: 02 656 0382 www.mixx-discotheque.com The “jewel of Pattaya” – if that’s not an oxymoron – opens it’s doors to Bangkok with two rooms offering the twin delights of Hip Hop and House. Q Bar 26 Soi Sukhumvit 11 Tel: 02 252 3274 www.qbarbangkok.com Like Bed, Q Bar has been a mainstay of the Bangkok club scene for over ten years now and attracts a similar expat / tourist crowd. International DJs and a renovation or two have helped to keep Q Bar fresh. Open from 8pm to 3am.
Attic Studios 45/4 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 083 301 1314 www.attic-studios.com Workshop-studio established by Scottish artist Elsie Evans holds classes in life drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media as well as classes for children. Bangkok Photo School Neilson Hays Library, 195 Surawong Rd., Tel: 084 907 3330 www.bangkokphotoschool.com Photographic classes, tours and workshops led by professional travel photographer Gavin Gough. Photography School Asia 4/F DOB Building, 318 Rama IV Rd. Tel: 081 363 1859 www.jonathantaylor.net Evening classes, workshops and photography trips for all levels by photojournalist Jonathan Taylor.
Major Cineplex Tel: 02 515 5555 www.majorcineplex.com SF Cinema Tel: 02 268 8888 www.sfcinemacity.com
Alliance Francaise 29 Sathorn Nua Rd., Tel: 02 670 4200 As well as promoting French culture, the Alliance has regular collaborative events and an interesting and varied cultural programme. Goethe Institut 18/1 Soi Goethe, Sathorn Soi 1 Tel: 02 287 0942-4 www.goethe.de/bangkok Holds regular concerts and screenings of films in German as well as holding German language classes. Open from 8am to 6pm.
P’Tendercool 48-58 Charoen Krung Soi 30 Tel: 02 266 4344 www.ptendercool.com Art deco building houses a warehouse devoted to the most amazing crosscultural table designs. Open from 10am to 6pm, closed Sundays. Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC) 6/F Emporium Shopping Complex, 622 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Over 26,00 design related books and multimedia are available to members from the TCDC’s library at the top floor of the Emporium. Holds symposiums and workshops. Also, has a great little café next to it. Open from 10.30am to 9pm, closed Mondays.
Art Gorillas 2/F Lido Bldg., Siam Square Soi 3
Tel: 02 658 3975 www.artgorillas.com Small gallery exhibiting the eclectic works of emerging Thai artists.
year-round exhibitions of works by international artists and photographers with an emphasis on the Himalayas. Open from 11am to 8pm, closed Mondays.
Baan Khanitha & Gallery 69 South Sathorn Rd Tel: 02 675 4200-1 www.baan-khanitha.com The second of Khanitha Akaranitikul’s two restaurants, features an art gallery exhibiting the paintings of both local and foreign artists as well as the award winning food. Open from 11am to 11pm.
Thavibu Gallery Suite 308, 3/F Silom Galleria, 919/1 Silom Rd. Soi 19 Tel: 02 266 5454 www.thavibu.com Gallery devoted to the best of contemporary art from Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar. Also publishes books. Open from 11am to 7pm, closed Sundays.
Bangkok Art & Culture Centre 939 Rama I, Tel: 02 214 6630-1 www.bacc.or.th Eleven-storey arts centre with over 3,000sqm of exhibition space encompassing a broad range of artistic events.
V64 143/19 Changwattana Soi1 Tel: 02 973 2681 www.v64artstudio.com A 30-studio space for artists to create work that can be viewed by the audience, gallery, exhibition space and café. V64 Art Academy offers art courses. Open from 9am to 6pm.
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) Penthouse Maneeya Centre, 518/5 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 652 0580-2 (x11) www.fccthai.com As well as being the drinking hole of choice for journalists popping into Bangkok from around the region, the FCCT has regular photojournalist exhibitions and talks by journalists and non-journalists alike. Open 10am to 11pm. H Gallery 201 Sathorn Soi 12, Tel: 081 310 4428 www.hgallerybkk.com One of Asia’s leading venues for regional and international art. Established in 2002, the gallery has established a programme of exhibitions and installations aiming to generate critical dialogue on contemporary art in the global context. Open 10am to 6pm (Tuesday by appointment). Koi Art Gallery 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02 662 3218 koiartgallerybangkok.com A cutting-edge art gallery and creative space that features emerging contemporary Thai and foreign artists. Open from 10am to 7pm.
Warp 54 Studios Charoen Krung Soi 30 Tel: 081 867 5002 www.warp54.com Teakwood warehouse where Belgian artist Christain Develter creates his vivid oil paintings of Asian characters with a distinct pop art reference. Also has events ranging from dance performances to gourmet sit-down dinners. Open by appointment only. WTF Bar & Gallery 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 Tel: 02 662 6246 wtfbangkok.com Gallery set on two floors above this popular café-cum-bar has become one of Bangkok’s most popular art hangout spots. As the organisers say “Seeing art should be as easy as a night out on the town.” Open from 3pm to 8pm, closed Mondays.
Patravadi Theatre 9/1 Soi Wat Rakhang, Arun Amarin Rd., Siriraj
Tel: 02 412 7287-8 www.patravaditheatre.com/ The Patravadi Theatre and Performing Arts School teaches classical Thai dances, singing and puppetry, as well as ballet, jazz, piano and classical dance.
Aksra Theatre 3/F King Power Complex, 8/1 Rang Nam, Phaya Thai Rd. Tel: 02 677 8888 (x5602) Six-hundred-seat theatre hosts the Aksra Hoon Lakorn Lek troupe as they perform Thai puppet theatre. Excellent entertainment for the kids. Performances at 7pm (Tuesday to Sunday), with extra performances at 1pm on Saturday / Sunday. National Theatre 2 Rachini Rd. Tel: 02 224 1342 Classic Thai drama, music and performance staged occasionally from November to May at an outdoor stage. Classic Thai masked dance (khon) is performed at 5pm on the last Friday of each month. Theatre open for visitors from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. Sala Chalermkrung 66 Charoen Krung Rd. Tel: 02 623 8148 www.salachalermkrung.com Former cinema houses performances of classic Thai masked dance (khon) on Thursdays and Fridays from 7.30pm. The theatre is known to put on Thai pop concerts too. Siam Niramit 19 Tiam Ruammit Rd. Tel: 02 649 9222 www.siamniramit.com With over 150 performers showcasing seven centuries of Siam history, you are sure to be in for quite a spectacle. With a capacity for an audience of up to 2,000 each night at least you should be able to get a seat.
Jim Thompson Art Centre 6 Kasemsan 2, Rama Rd. Tel: 02 216 7638 www.jimthompsonhouse.com Exhibitions of leading local and international art and crafts are shown within the museum. Open from 9am to 5pm. Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) 499 Moo3, Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd. Tel: 02 953 1005-7 www.mocabangkok.com Imposing 18,000sqm building set on many floors has both permanent and temporary contemporary Thai art exhibitions as well as films and events. Open 10am to 6pm, closed Sundays. National Gallery 4 Chao Fah Rd., Tel: 02 281 2224 Permanent collection of some of the finest examples of contemporary Thai art. Also has talks by Thai artist in the annex. Open from 9am to 4pm, closed Monday, Tuesday. Rotunda Gallery & Garden Gallery Neilson Hays Library, 195 Surawong Rd., Tel: 02 233 1731 www.neilsonhayslibrary.com Set in the historic library, the Rotunda features exhibitions by both expat and local artists, creating a perfect place to escape the city’s hectic bustle. Serindia Gallery OP Garden 4-6 Soi Charoen Krung 36 Tel: 02 238 6410 www.serindiagallery.com A gallery of fine arts and photography run by the publishing house, presents
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feel to it – Egyptian belly-dancing meets Argentinean tango. Has dances every day of the week for beginners and more advanced dancers.
sports & leisure COOKERY CLASSES
Amita Thai Cooking Class 162/17 Soi Wutthakat 14, Wutthakat Rd., Tel: 02 466 8966 Half-day hands-on Thai cookery classes set on the bank of the Chao Phraya river culminates with a four-course meal. Pick-up time approximately 8am to 8.30am. Blue Elephant Cooking School 233 Sathon Tai Rd., Tel: 02 673 9353 www.blueelephant.com/cookingschool The school offers courses from novices to professional chefs in the art of Thai cooking, including a five-day private course. Programmes start at 8.30am and 1.30pm each day. Oriental Hotel Thai Cooking School Oriental Hotel, 48 Oriental Avenue (Soi 38, Charoen Krung Road). Tel: 02 659 9000 www.mandarinoriental.com/bangkok/ leisure/cooking_school Separate hands-on cookery lessons, preparing different dishes are held each day, apart from Sundays, at the Mandarin Oriental from 9am to 1pm, followed by lunch.
BIDA (Bangkok International Dance Academy) 2/F Peninsula Plaza, 153 Rajdamri Rd. Tel: 02 253 9529 www.bidadancebangkok.com Specialising in Latin dance, BIDA also has lessons in waltz, jazz, ballet and even line dancing in addition to the standard cha cha, samba and tango. Open from 10am to 8pm. Dance Center School of Performing Arts 53/3 Sukhumvit Soi 33, Tel: 02 259 8861 www.dance-centre.com Focusing more on ballet and contemporary dance than some of the other dance schools in Bangkok, the centre also has lessons in tai chi and yoga as well as jazz and hip hop. La Rueda Dance Studio Soi Sukhumvit 18, Tel: 02 261 9669 www.larueda-ds.com A fun place to learn Latin dances, including Dominican bachata and Cuban salsa in a friendly atmosphere. Has classes for all levels every day of the week. Also arranges social events.
California Wow 4/F Siam Paragon, Rama 1 Rd. Tel: 02 627 5999 State-of-the-art fitness studio boasting over $1.5million worth of equipment. In addition to a cycling studio, yoga, pilates and kickfit, the gym also has an extreme Group X studio for fitness fanatics. Open from 6am to 11pm, from 8am at weekends. Cascade Club Level 6 and 7, The Ascott Sathorn 187 South Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 676 6969 Health club that provides a personal health plan for members as well as yoga and pilates lessons. Those not wishing to take their exercise too seriously can always go to the Mediterranean bistro and wine bar. Phillip Wain 8/F Pacific Place, 140 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 254 2544 This women's only fitness club and gym has many classes including aerobics and Tai Chi. True Fitness Exchange Tower, Tel: 02 663 4999 www.truefitness.co.th Set on five floors and spreading over 7,000sqm, True Fitness is the largest fitness centre in Bangkok. It offers members the most comprehensive fitness, yoga and spa facilities as well as True Café, where members can compare their bulging biceps. Sister centres at Central World and the Esplanade.
GOLF - BANGKOK
Alpine Golf and Sports Club Tel: 02 577 3333 www.alpinegolfclub.com Bangkok Golf Club Tel: 02 501 2828 www.bangkokgolfclub.com
Burapha Golf & Resort Tel: 038 372 700-2 www.buraphagolfthailand.com Khao Kheow Country Club Tel: 038 318 000 www.khaokheowgolf.com
Bangpoo Golf & Sport Club Tel: 02 324 0320-9 www.bangpoogolf.com
Laem Chabang International Country Club Tel: 038 372 273 ww.laemchabanggolf.com
Green Valley Country Club Tel: 02 312 5883-9 www.greenvalleybangkok.com
Mountain Shadow Golf Club Tel: 038 389 210-4 www.legacygolf.com
Kiarti Thanee Country Club Tel: 02 707 1700 www.kiartithaneecountryclub.com Lakewood Country Club Tel: 0 2 312 6278-86 www.lakewoodcountryclub.co.th
Pattana Golf & Sports Resort Tel: 038 318 999 www.pattana.co.th Phoenix Golf & Country Club Tel: 038 239 400
Pinehurst Golf & Country Club Tel: 02 516 8679 www.pinehurst.co.th Riverdale Golf Club Tel: 02 501 2789 www.riverdalegolfclub.co.th
Le Studio Art of Dance Room 9C,9/F Times Square Building, Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 250 0005, 084 211 4408 Classes in ballet, salsa, ballroom, waltz, jazz, hip hop as well as ballet classes for children.
Summit Windmill Golf Club Tel: 02 750 2112-20 www.summitwindmillgolfclub.com
Rumpuree World Dance Studio 96-502 Amarin Plaza, Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 08 1430 6684 www.rumpuree.com Dance school with a distinctly global
GOLF - PATTAYA
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Thana City Golf Tel: 02 336 0567-8 www.thanacitygolf.com
Bangpra Golf Club Tel: 038 341 149-50 www.bangpragolf.co.th
Rayong Green Valley Country Club Tel: 038 030 660-2 www.standrews2000golf.com Siam Country Club Pattaya Tel: 038 909 700 www.siamcountryclub.com Siam Country Club Pattaya (Plantation Course) Tel: 038 909 600 www.siamcountryclub.com St Andrews 2000 Golf & Country Club Tel: 038 030 660 www.standrews2000golf.com
LEISURE / CLUBS
Bangkok Hash House Harriers http://bangkokhhh.org/ The Bangkok Hash runs every
Saturday, at 5pm in the summer and 4.30pm in winter. Details of the run are published on the website. The run is male only. Bangkok Hash House Harriettes http://bangkokharriettes.wordpress. com/ Details of the female equivalent of the Hash can be found at the above blog page. Bangkok Pool League http://www.bangkokpool.com/ Bangkok’s pub-frequenting expats do love their game of pool. The Bangkok Pool League has regular inter-bar 9-ball and 8-ball competitions arranged in leagues. For details of the bars involved visit the above website and then buy your nearest landlord a pint. British Club 189 Suriwongse Rd., Bangrak Tel: 02 234 0247 www.britishclubbangkok.org With over 1,000 members from over 40 countries and having celebrated its centenary in 2003, the British Club Bangkok can rightly claim to be the social and sporting centre for the Englishspeaking expat community. Cricket, rugby, football, squash, golf, badminton and hockey list in the sports available here, in addition to the fitness centre. The club also has frequent events as well as more social activities in the Verandah Café and Churchill Bar. The Capitol Club 99/397 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 661 1210 www.thecapitolclub.com At the heart of the Capitol Club is the Fitness Dome where a 10m high rockclimbing wall takes centre stage as well as state-of-the-art cardiovascular and resistance machine. Members can also
join in classes in yoga and play tennis and squash or relax in the Ananda Spa and pool. Open from 6am to 10pm. Ice Planet 7/F Siam Discovery Center Tel: 02 658 0071 Ice skating rink in the heart of Siam has classes for all would-be skaters from children to adults as well as general figure skating. The Racquet Club 6/8 Amara 3, Sukhumvit Soi 49/9 Tel: 02 714 7200 www.rqclub.com With an emphasis on family, corporate and group activities, the Racquet Club has a wide range of facilities from tennis, squash and badminton to futsal and snooker. The complex also has a large gym and swimming pool in addition to a 13-metre rock climbing wall. Le Smash Club 499/213 Soi 64 Rama 3 Rd. Tel: 02 678 2472 www.lesmashclub.com Le Smash Club and Tennis Academy has seven top class Plexipave courts (the same surface as the US Open Championships) and an international coaching team offering a complete range of training programmes from mini-tennis (4-6 year olds), children’s tennis school (6-18 years old), adult tennis coaching, holiday tennis/sports camps, private tennis coaching as well as monthly tennis tournaments, leagues and ladders. Spice Roads 14/1 Soi Promsri 2, Sukhumvit Soi 39 Tel: 02 712 5305 www.spiceroads.com Adventure travel company has halfday bike rides across the river into Bangkok’s lush vegetation, around Chinatown and into the ancient heart of the city for sunset. Sub Zero Ice Skate Club 4/F Esplanade, Ratchada Rd. Tel: 02 354 2134 9/Floor Major Cineplex Ekamai Tel: 02 391 1944 2/F Mega Bangna Tel: 02 105 1581 www.majorbowlhit.com/ice-skate/ Like Ice planet, this club offers lessons for all ages as well as general figure skating at various rinks around town.
Bangkok Casuals League www.bkkcasualsfootball.com A great way to socialise, the Bangkok Casuals has 18 teams in two leagues. If you want to do more than talk a good game then click on the website above. Fortunately the league is sponsored by Bangkok Hospital just in case there are a few too many Vinny Jones moments. Bangkok Fight Club 2/F 235/3-5 Building, opposite Rutnin Eye Hospital, Sukhumvit Soi 21 Tel: 089 885 1112 Bangkok Fight Club offers training in, Muay Thai, mixed martial Arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Kempo karate and street selfdefence. Open from 9am to 9pm. Bangkok Ultimate Tel: 089 120 8223, 081 854 4510 One of the fastest growing sports in the world, Ultimate Frisbee is like American Football only played with a Frisbee rather than a ball. Games are played at the Army Base located 200m past the Veterans Hospital on Vihavadi Rangsit road.
The Muay Thai Institute 336/932, Prahonyothin 118 Vipravadee Rd. Tel: 02 992 0096 The Institute has a series of programmes both with and without certificate. The latter are held four times a day, six days a week, and recognised by the World Muay Thai Council. Old Bangkok Bangers www.oldbangkokbangers.com Rugby team has training every Wednesday (7pm) at NIST International School (Sukhumvit Soi 15) and on Sundays from 4.30pm at the Patana International School (Sukhumvit Soi 105). For more information, or to join, contact: oldbangkokbangersrugby@ gmail.com. Siam Cricket Club http://siamcc.org/ Bangkok cricket team formed by a bunch of cricket mad expats in 2004 plays in the Bangkok cricket league, as well as going on occasional tours. For more information, or to join, visit the above website. Thailand Tigers Australian Rules Football www.thailand-tigers.com Bangkok’s very own Aussie Rules team plays regular tournaments against other footy teams in the region. For further details contact Saul Morgan on 085 369 2997. Thailand Tigers Netball Club http://tigersnetball.blogspot.com/ It’s not just the guys who get all the fun, the Tigers netball team plays in the national netball league as well as going on tours, sometimes with the footy team. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Absolute Yoga (Thonglor Studio) 3/F RSU Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02-6621733-4, 19/F Liberty Square Building, Soi Convent, Silom Rd. Tel: 02-6311996-7, 086-318-6554 www.absoluteyogabangkok.com Offers one of the most comprehensive variety of yoga styles and classes to meet the needs of all levels of practitioners. Classes include hot yoga, Vinyasa, hot flow, hatha, ying & yang, Anusara, pilates and yoga pilates. All are taught by certified and qualified instructors. Has seven studios around Bangkok. Iyengar Yoga 3/F, Fifty fifth Plaza, Soi Thonglor Tel: 02 714 9924 www.iyengar-yoga-bangkok.com The first accredited Iyengar yoga studio in Thailand has classes at five separate levels as well as for children. Classes from 8am to 8.30pm, see the website for the schedule. Yoga Elements Studio 23/F Vanissa Bldg., 29 Soi Chidlom Tel: 02 655 5671 www.yogaelements.com Several classes based around the principles of Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga from 7am to 8pm.
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Harrow International School NIST International School St Andrews International School
Yoga Fly The Pilates Station, 3/F Ten/Ten Building, 593/2 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 662 334 ww.yogafly-bangkok.com Learn how to practice yoga while lying in a hammock. Combining the benefits of the world’s finest fitness methods such as traditional yoga, pilates, dance and aerial acrobatics, it’s a workout that integrates the full body and mind in a holistic way.
asialife Thailand 73
health & beauty BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Bodyshop G/F Siam Paragon, 991/1 Rama I Rd. Tel: 02 610 7745 Popular UK company with its heart in the right place has a selection of skin care, fragrances and general beauty products for both men and women. Boots Unit 207, 2/F All Seasons Place, 87/2 Witthayu Rd. Tel: 02 251 1617 Unit 2, 1F Amarin Plaza, 496-502 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 256 9946-7 Has a wide range of beauty products from the UK, often with an attractive buy-one-get-one-free discount policy. Erb G/F & 4/F Siam Paragon, 991/1 Rama 1 Rd. 5/F The Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Soi 5/F Central Chidlom, 1027 Ploenchit Rd. 2/F The Myth Shop, Gaysorn Plaza, 999 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 255 5872-3 Thai company that uses local products in the development of its beauty products for skin, bath and body and even for the home. Has now expanded globally but still retains its essential Thainess. THANNnative 5/F Siam Discovery Centre Tel: 02 658 0550 3/F Gaysorn Plaza, 999 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 1424 3/F Star Dome Zone, The Emporium Tel: 02 664 7677 www.thannspa.com Products aim to soothe and calm the mind by using natural plant extracts in all its beauty products.
Bangkok International Dental Center (BIDC) 157 Ratchadapesik Rd. Tel: 02 692 4433 / 02 245 0055 Siam Square 205/2-3 Phyathai Rd. Tel: 02 658 4500 / 4774 www.bangkokdentalcenter.com Equipped with the latest dental and medical technology, BIDC has over 20 treatment rooms with 35 dentists and can carry out the full range of orthodontic and dental treatments. Bangkok Dental Hospital 439/4-5 Naratiwatrajnakarin Rd., Silom Tel: 02 636 9092-5 www.bangkokdentalhospital.com Boutique dental clinic offers a holistic approach to dental surgery such as dental implants, braces, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and dental surgery. Bangkok Smile Dental 32/5 Sukhumvit 21 (Asoke Road) Tel: 02 664 2800 Ploenchit Bransh, 546/2 Ploenchit Rd., (opposite British Embassy) Tel: 02 251 4982 www.bangkoksmiledental.com Has an in-house dental lab with equipment from USA, Switzerland and Germany and experienced dental technicians offering treatments including dental
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implants, teeth whitening, dental crowns and bridges, dentures, gum treatment, root canal treatment and oral surgery. Denta-joy Fifty Fifth Plaza, Thonglor Soi 2 Tel: 02 789 3033 / 02 390 2772 The Avenue, Chaengwatthana, Don Muang, Tel: 02 573 7177 / 02 982 5841 Room 4017 4/F Seacon Square Shopping Center Tel: 02 789 3033 / 02 721 9266 www.dentajoy.com Has 40 US-trained and locally certified dentists and specialists providing a range of oral health care needs. All the utilities are American Dental Association certified systems. Dental Hospital Bangkok 88/88 Sukhumvit 49, Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 260 5000/-15, 02 260 5028/-30 www.dentalhospitalbangkok.com Private modern dental clinic provides complete dental services, such as composite white filling, ceramic veneers and inlays, braces, microscopic root canal treatment, crowns, bridges and dental implants.
HAIR & SALON
Cut & Curl Gaysorn Plaza Lobby Zone, BF-07/1 Phloenchit Rd., Tel: 02 656 1184 Central World F Zone, 4 Ratchadamri Rd., Tel: 02 613 1065 www.cutandcurl.co.th Established in 1984 to provide hair salons in shopping malls, Cut & Curl now has 11 branches throughout Bangkok. In 2005 it set up its own academy. IDA Art of Hair Dressing Rain Hill Sukhumvit Soi 47 Tel: 02 261 7003, 085 112 4477 Hairdressers conveniently located in the Rain Hill complex for those who want a glass of vino after their precious curls have been snipped away. Panipa Hair & Beauty Ekamai 19 Tel: 02 392 6218 90/2 G/F Sathorn Thani Building, North Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 233 9255 The Riverine Place 9/280 Moo 7 Phibulsongkram Rd. Tel: 02 965 2807 www.panipa.com Series of hair salons around Bangkok with an emphasis on the latest styles from London and Paris – where Panipa herself used to work in top salons. Uses L’Oreal, Kerastase, Wella, Schwarkkopf and Paul Mitchell products. Shiseido Professional Thailand Sukhumvit Branch The Emporium, 2F Plaza Zone Tel: 02 664 8544 www.shiseidopro.co.th One of the most famous hair products in the world, Shisedo has its own salon in the Emporium. At least here you can be sure the products are genuine. The Lounge Hair Salon K Village 93, 95 Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 665 6020-1 www.theloungehairsalon.com Run by one of Thailand’s top models, Metinee “Lukkade” Kingpayome, along with two of Thailand’s Top Fashion Hair Stylists Somporn "Kai" Tirin and Porntep "Rang" Wanpate, The Lounge is an intimate boutique where clients can relax and possibly celebrity spot. Tony & Guy Room 111, 1/F 989 Siam Discovery Centre, Tel: 02 658 0128-9 For nearly 50 years TONI&GUY has dominated London’s hairdressing scene and now its in Bangkok. All the hairdressers are fully qualified, having passed the TONI&GUY Diploma, which includes six weeks intensive training on all the company’s methods and
Chi Spa, Shangri-la Hotel techniques at one of its international academies.
Asoke Skin Hospital 18 Asoke-Dindang Rd., Huaikhwang Tel: 02 246 5111 www.skinhospital.co.th Thailand’s first skin care hospital specialises in dermatologic laser treatment as well as facial plastic surgery and hair and scalp solutions. Bangkok Hospital (Bangkok) 2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchaburi Rd. Enquiries: 02 310 3344 Emergency: 02 310 3456 www.bangkokhospital.com Bangkok Hospital Group is the largest hospital operator in the country with 13 network locations throughout Thailand and the largest ambulance and medevac fleet in southeast Asia. Bangkok Hospital (Pattaya) 301 Moo 6 Sukhumvit Road, Km. 143, Banglamung, Chonburi Tel: 1719 www.bangkokpattayahospital.com The Pattaya branch of the Bangkok Hospital has more than 100 specialists, fully trained nurses, well-trained staff and high technology medical equipment. BNH Hospital 9/1 Convent Rd., Silom Tel: 02 686 2700 www.bnhhospital.com Formerly known as the Bangkok Nursing Home Hospital, BNH provides the highest quality medical service with specialists and general practitioner doctors, from consultation and diagnosis, through to planning and executing treatment, following-up of results and post-operative card. Bumrungrad Hospital 33 Sukhumvit Soi 3 Appointments: 02 667 1555 Emergency: 02 667 2999 www.bumrungrad.com Founded in 1980, today Bumrungrad is the largest private hospital in southeast Asia, with 554 beds and over 30 specialty centres, state-or-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and intensive care facilities and the world’s largest private sector outpatient clinic including 150 translators in more than 10 languages. Naravee Aesthetic Center 16 Udom Suk Soi 30, Sukhumvit 103
www.naraveesurgery.com Tel: 08 4499 4470 One of the premier cosmetic plastic surgery clinics in Bangkok, its team of internationally trained doctors and nurses perform a wide range of plastic and cosmetic surgical procedures, including fat removal, breast and nose augmentation, face lifts and eyelid surgery. Paolo Memorial Hospital Phaholyothin Road Tel: 02 271 7000 (x11218) www.paolohealthcare.com A 260-bed, multi-specialty private hospital using state-of-the-art scientific methods and equipment, with a separate heart and liver centre. Praram 9 Hospital 99 Soi Praram 9 Rd., Tel: 02 202 9900 www.praram9.com Multi-specialty hospital noted for its cardiovascular and kidney transplant institutes. Has pre-wedding and stroke screening programmes. Rutnin Eye Hospital 80/1 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke) Tel: 02 639 3399 www.rutnin.com/eng Thailand's first ophthalmology hospital has full-support facilities including an outpatient clinic, day surgery unit, three operating theatres, and an in-patient unit. Samitivej Children's Hospital 488 Srinakarin Road Tel: 02 378 9000 www.samitivejhospitals.com Thailand’s leading children's hospital, Samitivej offers highly specialised services, such as adolescent psychiatry, down syndrome, weight control and pediatric snoring. It has developed a reputation for its bone marrow transplant and neo-natal intensive care services. Samitivej Sukhumvit 133 Sukhumvit Soi 49 Enquiries: 02 711 8181 www.samitivejhospitals.com With 270 beds, 87 examination suites and over 1,200 caregivers, Samitivej Sukhumvit has a comprehensive range of facilities and services from cosmetic to tertiary care. The hospital's range of high-technology medical equipment, complemented with its team of specialists has successfully performed complex surgery from open heart to liver transplant.
Vejthani Hospital 1 Ladprao Road Enquiries: 02 734 0000 Hot Line: 08 5223 8888 www.vejthani.com Hospital specialises in heart surgery, total joint replacement surgery and plastic surgery. Vibhavadi Hospital 51/3 Ngamwongwan Rd Tel: 02 561 1111 www.vibhavadi.com/english With over 300 physicians Vibhavadi Hospital has centres of excellence in cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics, and plastic surgery. Yanhee Hospital 454 Charansanitwong Rd. Tel: 02 879 0300 www.yanhee.net Specialises in a wide range of cosmetic and plastic surgery from breast augmentation to facelift, and tummy-tuck to liposuction, as well as in transexual surgery.
Better Vision Emporium 3/F Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 664 8536 Sells a range of glasses and sunglasses with designer brands, as well as performing eye tests. Has other branches around town. Isoptik Room 407 4/F, 494 Erawan Bangkok (Grand Hyatt Erawan) Tel: 02 251 0457 / 081 538 4200 www.isoptik.com Has a large range of designer glasses and sunglasses. TRSC International Lasik Center 6/F U Chu Liang Building, 968 Rama IV Rd., Silom Tel: 02 733 2020 Private-sector ophthalmic surgery center specialising in the surgical correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism using a surgical method called LASIK. Open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, until 5pm Sundays.
Boots Unit 207, 2/F All Seasons Place, 87/2 Witthayu Rd., Tel: 02 251 1617 Unit 2, 1F Amarin Plaza, 496-502 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 256 9946-7 An institution in its native UK, Boots has sprung up all over Bangkok like a bad rash, fortunately the pharmacy is the perfect place to go to cure rashes. Reliable products at good prices. South East Pharmacy 207-9 Sukhumvit Road Soi 15 Tel: 02 252 8241 Expat-friendly and helpful pharmacy that stocks pharmaceutical products you can rely on. Vitoon Pharmacy 246/1 Pradipat Rd. Tel: 02 279 9259 Cheap wholesale pharmacy which has a very wide range of pharmaceutical products. If you can’t fine it anywhere else, then go to Vitoon. Watsons 2/F All Season Place CRC Tower 87 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 975 5959 Hong Kong chemist has a chain of pharmacies across Bangkok selling reliable products.
Banyan Tree Spa Bangkok 21/F Thai Wah Tower II, Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 679 1052-4 www.banyantreespa.com For those who like their massages on a
lofted perch, Banyan Tree’s twenty-first floor provides the perfect location. All the therapists receive formal training at of the Banyan Tree Spa Academies. Try the innovative Rainmist experience – a combination of steam bath, rain shower and massage.
doctor in the house
CHI, The Spa Shangri-La Hotel, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Tel: 02 236 7777 www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/shangrila/ health-leisure/chi-the-spa Drawing inspiration from the origins of the Shangri-La legend – a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being – Chi’s award winning therapies include a variety of Asian and Thai options using pressure points, Thai sen (or meridian lines) salts, clay, oils and herbs. Devarana Dusit Thani Hotel 946 Rama IV Rd. Tel: 02 636 3596 At Devarana, all treatment rooms provide privacy with double rooms available for those who wish to share their spa experience. The hotel’s chefs also provide a comprehensive healthy selection of spa food that incorporates the daily essential vitamins and minerals required for a well-balanced meal plan. Open from 9am to 10pm. Divana Spa 7 Sukhumvit Soi 25, Tel: 02 661 6784 www.divanaspa.com Tucked down one of the smaller of Sukhumvit’s sois, the spa is housed in a post-modern Thai house. With the scent of orange essential oil oozing from its pores, Divana has private spa rooms set on two floors providing excellent massage treatments as well as steam rooms. Open from 11am to 11pm, from 10am at weekends. Health Land 55/5 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke) Tel: 02 261 1110 www.healthlandspa.com While the settings are grand and luxurious, Heathland’s services are priced at the same level as in general massage centres rather than high-end hotel spas. Originally intended as a health centre, Heathland now has a complete spa service, offering sauna, Jacuzzi, facials and body polishes in addition to its massages. Has other branches in Srinakarin, Sathorn, Pinklao, Ekamai, Chaeng Wattana and Rama 2. King & I 2/1 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Tel: 02 252 5248 Despite its cheesy name, the King & I provides an excellent massage at affordable prices. The rooms might be a bit close together but shut your eyes and let all that pent up tension float away. Mulberry Spa Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 664 1888 Up-market spa and beauty parlour set back from the main street around the corner from the sirens of Soi 23. In addition to the standard massage treatments, it has hair treatment using Shiseido products and promotional packages. Open from 9am to 10pm. The Oriental Spa Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 48 Oriental Avenue, Tel: 02 659 9000 (x7440) With 19 private suites, The Oriental Spa is exclusive and luxurious with treatments that blend ancient and contemporary techniques and philosophies from around the world. Each uses 100 percent pure essential oils and herbs. Phothalai 28 Soi Yothinpatta 3, Praditmanuthum Rd. Tel: 02 508 1238-49 Thai wellness centre that offers massage, body treatment, and facials as well as a number of other programmes including yoga, cookery classes and fruit carving.
Finding Dr Right By Ruben Toral There is one thing that 17 years in healthcare has taught me – finding a doctor is easy, but finding the right doctor is hard. With thousands of doctors just waiting to take care of you, why is finding ‘the one’ doctor so hard to do? We seem to take the longest route to get from point A to point B. We ask friends, neighbours and relatives, starting a chain reaction that eventually leads to a name. When you meet the doctor it feels like a blind date. Calling up the hospital is no better. Ask for a doctor recommendation at any major hospital and they will tell you that they cannot recommend doctors, and that you should visit their website for more information. That’s no help. Or you could go to the oracle – by that I mean Google – and try finding a doctor in a game of hit and miss. Doctor profiles and doctor finder sites range from good to abysmal. Doctors are not good marketers – and it shows. In the US, doctors are moving in droves to the internet, recognising that is where people are increasingly looking for information. Here in Thailand, doctors are much less active marketing their practice, either because they figure the hospital will do it anyway or because they rely almost exclusively on word of mouth.
What most doctors fail to recognise is that today’s consumer has changed forever. How we shop for doctors and how we shop for goods and services is essentially the same. Medicine is becoming commoditised, and that’s what makes find Dr. Right so difficult because everything, even your doctor, looks the same. As consumers, what we really want is Trip Advisor for healthcare – one place where we can find lots of doctors, compare them, read reviews from other patients and book an appointment online. Consumers want to read articles, see videos, hear testimonials, and “like” their doctor on Facebook. These are the metrics today’s consumers use to evaluate doctors. But that’s easier said than done. Believe me – I’ve spent the last four years trying. Sadly, doctors are the immovable objects and consumerism is the unstoppable force. Sooner rather than later, doctors will ‘get it’ and finding Dr. Right will be just as easy as finding Mr. Right. Ruben Toral is a healthcare marketing consultant based in Bangkok and former Group Marketing Director for Bumrungrad International. He is the founder of Medeguide, an online doctor directory at: www.medeguide.com
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Aksra Theatre 3/F King Power Complex, 8/1 Rang Nam, Phaya Thai Rd. Tel: 02 677 8888 (x5602) Six-hundred-seat theatre hosts the Aksra Hoon Lakorn Lek troupe as they perform Thai puppet theatre. Excellent entertainment for the kids. Performances at 7pm (Tuesday to Sunday), with extra performances at 1pm on Saturday / Sunday. Ancient City 296/1 Sukhumvit Rd., Bangpoo, Samut Prakan Tel: 02 709 1644 Miniature replica of Thai’s cultural history spread over a enormous area of land. A trip here is both fun and illuminating – and not just for kids. Attic Studios 45/4 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 083 301 1314 www.attic-studios.com/junior-workshop Workshop-studio established by Scottish artist Elsie Evans gives art classes for children (age 6-9 and 10-16) on Saturdays.
Bangkok Dolphins Sukumvit 49/9 Racquet Club Wattana 02 712 9297-8 www.bangkokdolphins.com Programmes aimed at educating parents to teach their children to swim in confidence as well as swimming courses for all levels of swimmers from toddlers to adults. The club also arranges pool and garden parties as well as holiday camps. Dream World 62 Moo.1 Rangsit-Nakornnayok Rd., Km. 7, Thanyaburi Tel: 02 533 1447 Amusement park for children of all ages with big lots of big rides.
classes for all would-be skaters from children to adults as well as general figure skating. Iyengar Yoga 3/F, Fifty fifth Plaza, Soi Thonglor Tel: 02 714 9924 www.iyengar-yoga-bangkok.com The first accredited Iyengar yoga studio in Thailand has classes at five separate levels as well as for children. Classes from 8am to 8.30pm, see the website for the schedule.
Dusit Zoo 71 Rama V Rd., Chitrlada district Tel: 02 281 2000 Thailand’s national zoo has many animals from around the world.
Le Smash Club 499/213 Rama 3 Rd. Soi 64 www.lesmashclub.com Tel: 02 678 2472 Le Smash Club and Tennis Academy has training programmes for minitennis (4-6 year olds) and children’s tennis school (6-18 years old) on its plexipave courts given by its international coaching team.
Funarium 111/1 Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 665 6555 Large new children’s playground suitable for children under the age of ten with rollerblade park, sand pit, paddling pool and bicycle circuit.
Safari World 99 Panyaintra Rd. Tel: 02 914 4100 An hour’s drive to the northeast of Bangkok this safari has the Big Five animals and flamingos, as well as an animal show.
Gymboree Play & Music Head quarters 145, F/1-3 Racquet Club 3 Bldg., Sukhumvit Soi 49 Tel: 02 762 7890 www.gymboree.co.th/en/index.php Based in the Racquet Club, the Gymboree has classes for children from 0 to 5 years in music and art as well as organising birthday parties.
Siam Ocean World B1-B2 Floor, Siam Paragon, 991 Rama 1 Rd. Tel: 02 687 2000 The biggest aquarium in Southeast Asia right in the heart of Bangkok has an underwater tunnel as well as plenty of fish, which kids can go and feed.
Ice Planet 7/F Siam Discovery Center Tel: 02 658 0071 Ice skating rink in the heart of Siam has
Siam Water Park 101 Sukhapibarn 2 Rd. Tel: 02 919 7200 www.siamparkcity.com Has x-zone, family world, fantasy world and small world (for kids under 130cm) as well as the biggest water park in Asia.
Sub Zero Ice Skate Club 4/F Esplanade, Ratchada Rd. Tel: 02 354 2134 9/Floor Major Cineplex Ekamai Tel: 02 391 1944 2/F Mega Bangna Tel: 02 105 1581 www.majorbowlhit.com/ice-skate/ Like Ice planet, this club offers lessons for all ages as well as general figure skating at various rinks around town.
Anglo Singapore International School Sukhumvit 31 Campus: Sukhumvit 31, Klongtan Nue, Wattana Tel: 02 662 3105, 02 662 3106 Sukhumvit 64 Campus: Sukhumvit 64 Bangchark, Prakanong Tel: 087 694 1654, 090 970 9564 www.anglosingapore.ac.th Singapore Curriculum from Kindergarten to Junior College level.
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Ascot International School Ramkamhaeng Soi 118 Sapansung Tel: 02 373 4400 www.ascot.ac.th British Curriculum for early years to secondary school. Bangkok Prepa & Grammar School 23 Sukhumvit Soi 53 Tel: 02 260 7890 www.bkkprep.ac.th English national curriculum from nursery school to Year 13. Bangkok Patana School 643 Sukhumvit Soi 105
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Tel: 02 398 0200 www.patana.ac.th British Curriculum from primary to secondary school. The British School Bangkok Ltd 36/ 36-1 Sukhumvit Soi 4, Klong Toey Tel: 02 656 9961 www.bsbangkok.ac British based curriculum from age 2-11. Bromsgrove International School 344 Mu 12 Ramkamhaeng 164 Rd, Minburi Tel: 02 540 7122-3 www.bromsgrove.ac.th English national curriculum from early years to secondary school with boarding school. Charter International School 36 Chaloem Phrakiat Ratchakan Thi 9 Road, Prawet , Prawet Tel: 02 726 8283-4 www.charter.ac.th British Curriculum from nursery school to Year 10. Concordian International School 918 Moo 8, Bangna-Trad Highway Km. 7, Bangkaew, Banglplee Samutprakarn Tel: 02 706 9000 www.concordian.ac.th International Baccalaureate curriculum for early to diploma programme.
Garden International School Rayong 188/24 Moo 4, Pala-Banchang Road, Tambol Pala, Amphur Banchang, Rayong Tel: 038 880 360-3 www.gardenrayong.com England and Wales Curriculum from foundation, to secondary school. Harrow International School 45 Soi Kosumruamchai 14, Kosumruamchai Rd., Sikun, Don Muang Tel: 02 503 7222 www.harrowschool.ac.th British Curriculum from primary to secondary school. Heathfield International School 10/22 Moo 4, Sukhapiban 3 Road, Ramkhamhaeng 132/1, Saphansung Tel: 02 372 2679-80 www.heathfield.ac.th British Curriculum for early years to secondary school. International School Bangkok (ISB) 39/7 Soi Nichada Thani, Samakee Road, Pakkret Tel: 02 963 5800 www.isb.ac.th American Curriculum from elementary school to high school KIS International School 999/124 Kesinee Ville, Pracha-Utit Road, Huay-Kwang Tel: 02 274 3444 www.kis.ac.th International Baccalaureate curriculum from early years to Grade 12. New International School of Thailand (NIST) 36 Sukhumvit Soi 15 Tel: 02 651 2065 www.nist.ac.th With support from the UN, NIST has received International Baccalaureate certification from primary school to diploma programme. The Regent's School, Bangkok 601/99 Pracha-Uthit Road, Wangtonglang Tel: 02 957 5777
www.bangkok.regents.ac.th Extended English National Curriculum, IGCSE and International Baccalaureate Diploma from early years to secondary school.
nationalities and all teachers hold teaching degrees and third of our teachers hold masters degrees. (IB and CfBT Accredited).
Ruamrudee International School 6 Ramkhamhaeng 184, Minburi Tel: 02 791 8900 www.rism.ac.th American curriculum and International Baccalaureate curriculum from preschool to Grade 12.
St Stephen's International School Bangkok Campus: 998 Viphavadi Rangsit Road, Lad Yao, Chatuchak 02 513 0270-1 www.sis.edu/bangkok National Curriculum of England and Wales from early years to sixth form.
Shrewsbury International School, Bangkok 1922 Charoen Krung Road, Wat Prayakrai, Bang Kholame Tel: 02 675 1888 www.shrewsbury.ac.th National Curriculum of England and Wales from early years to sixth form. Singapore International School of Bangkok Pracha-Utit Campus: 498/11 Soi Ramkhamhaeng 39 (Tepleela 1), Wangthonglang, Wangthonglang Tel: 02 158 9191 Ekamai Campus: 154 Sukhumvit 63, Soi Ekamai 14 Tel: 02 714 4097-9 www.sisb.ac.th Singapore-based curriculum from nursery school to secondary school. St Andrews/Cognita International Schools Thailand Sathorn Campus: 9 Sathorn Soi 4, North Sathorn Road, Bangrak Tel: 02 632 1995 Sukhumvit 107 Campus: 7 Sukhumvit Soi 107, Bangna Tel: 02 393 3883 St Andrew's International School, Green Valley Moo7, Banchang-Makham Koo Road, Banchang, Rayong Tel: 038 03 0701 email@example.com www.standrews-schools.com ww.cognitaschools.co.uk Comprises of three campuses, all owned and operated by British educational management organisation, Cognita UK. Sathorn is a primary specialist campus, centrally located in Bangkok with Sukhumvit 107 and Green Valley Rayong offering education right through to graduation in the I.B Diploma. The Green Valley Rayong campus runs a dual curriculum programme with the Dutch Stream. The education programmes are broadly based on the National Curriculum for England. The student body is comprised of over 50
The International Parenting Network (IPN) 11 Moo Ban Pakamas, Pattanakarn Rd., Kwaeng Suan Luang Tel: 02 382 4175, 089 225 4114 www.ipnthailand.com Bangkok Mothers and Babies International P.O. Box 1078, Suanphlu www.bambiweb.org
Australian International School Bangkok Early Childhood Centre 164 Sukhumvit Soi 20 Tel: 02 604 575 www.australian-isb.com Harrow International School 185/45 Soi Kosumruamjai 7, Si Kan Don Muang Tel: 02 503 7222 www.harrowschool.ac.th KIS International School 999/124 Kesinee Ville, Pracha-Uthit Rd. Huay Kwang Tel: 02 274 3444 www.kis.ac.th MulberryHouse International Pre-School 7 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini Sub-district, Pathumwan District, Tel: 02 684 5900 www.mulberryhousepreschool.com New International School of Thailand (NIST) 36 Sukhumvit Soi 15 Tel: 02 651 2065 www.nist.ac.th/
First Day at School By Gemma Jones How do you feel when going into a new work environment or moving house? Even as adults, they can be stressful and difficult situations. So imagine being three years old, going into a completely new setting and looking up at a host of big new faces. Starting nursery or kindergarten can be a traumatic experience for little ones, although in my experience leaving a child for the first time can prove just as difficult for some parents. One thing to remember is that all children will react differently to this new experience. The first thing I advise is to find out as much as possible about the school. Talk about the routine and what the staff will expect from your child. Look through the policies and procedures, and give the school useful information such as what your child can say, do and what his or her favourite stories and toys are. Some children may find the change easy and settle quickly, while others may feel distressed or be withdrawn for a few weeks. They may even become excited and restless. No matter how they react, it is vital to remember that they will get used to it eventually. It may be helpful to talk to your child and inform them where they will be going. Emphasise all the positives about going to school. Show your child that you are happy
with the situation and let them voice any concerns. Parents may find it best to build up the length of time your child spends at the facility — starting off part-time and building up to full-time is perfectly acceptable. Also, be sure to point out any activities or toys your child would enjoy and show them how to play with it before you leave. It is very important, however, to discuss with the teachers how long you should stay for. You should neither rush out too quickly nor prolong your stay too much. Be sure to work out a goodbye routine — normally a hug, a cheery “goodbye” and a reminder that you will be back later will suffice. Schools should allow you to call them to see how your child is doing if it will help put your mind at ease. Many children that are upset when parents leave will be fine once the initial separation is over. It is important to feel comfortable with the school your child attends, as this will rub off on youngsters. The key to a successful transition lies just as much with you as it does with your offspring. The last thing you want to do is alarm them during a tricky period. Gemma Jones has been working in childcare for over 10 years. She holds an NNEB diploma in nursery nursing and is currently a principal at Cambridge Child Development Centre.
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living BUSINESS GROUPS / CLUBS
The American Chamber of Commerce 7/F GPF Witthayu Tower A, 93/1 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 254 1041 www.amchamthailand.com AMCHAM has over 650 company members comprising of over 1,800 professionals including companies, non-profit organisations, and individuals. AMCHAM provides American businesses and businesspeople with a venue for the exchange of ideas as well as frequent networking events. Austcham 20/F Thai CC Tower 889 South Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 210 0216-8 www.austchamthailand.com Acts as a contact and information point for Australian businesses in Thailand, Australian businesses wishing to trade with or invest in Thailand and for Thai enterprises interested in doing business with or in Australia. The monthly first Wednesday sundowner is a major networking event. A list of members is available online. British Chamber of Commerce Thailand 7/F, 208 Wireless Road Tel: 02 651 5350-3 www.bccthai.com The oldest foreign chamber, the largest non-Asian foreign chamber in Thailand and the largest British Chamber in Asia. In 2011, the BCCT had a membership of approximately 600 including 550 companies with nearly 2,700 individuals. Membership is open to companies of all nationalities and sizes. The third Thursday of the month is networking night. British Women's Group Bangkok firstname.lastname@example.org www.bwgbangkok.org The BWG has been providing a network for expatriate women for more than 40 years in Bangkok. By joining the BWG, you will be able to attend its regular monthly events which are usually held on Thursdays, and also take part in a variety of day time activities. Regular events include bridge, a photography club and book club. Foreign Correspondence Club of Thailand Penthouse Maneeya Centre, 518/5 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 652 0580-2 (x11) www.fccthai.com Membership is open to any journalist or photographer working in Thailand as well as correspondents working overseas. The drinking hole of choice for journalists popping into Bangkok from around the region, the FCCT also has regular photojournalist exhibitions as well as talks by journalists and nonjournalists alike. Open 10am to 11pm. The Lighthouse www.lighthousebkk.com The premier social networking organisation in Bangkok for people involved in property development, including engineering, construction, architecture, real
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estate, investment, law, and related fields. The Lighthouse Club Bangkok raises money for various charities such as schooling for the children of construction workers.
Rotary Club Secretariat Club address: 975 President Place, Room 1711, Ploenchit Rd., Tel: 02 656 1634 www.rotaryclubofbangkok.org Founded in 1930, Bangkok’s Rotary Club is involved in many philanthropic activities including flood relief, polio immunisation, working with HIV children and English teaching.
CONSULTING APM Group F/7 2 Ploenchit Center, Sukhumvit Soi 2 Tel: 02 656 9310 www.apm.co.th Established in 1992, APM specialises in human capital management, organisational development and assessment consultancy services. Baker Tilly Thailand Level 21/1 Sathorn City Tower, 175 Sathorn Soi 3 Tel: 02679 5400 Suite 4/5, 10/F RSU Tower 571 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 662 3415 www.bakertillythailand.com The world’s eighth largest accounting firm, Baker Tilly provides high quality, independent accountancy and business services. Broadgate Financial 2811 Level 28 Central World, 999/9 Rama 1 Tel: 02 264 5706 www.broadgatefinancial.com One of Southeast Asia’s most diverse corporate consultancy and financial advisory groups, Broadgate specialises in a range of financial services including offshore investment, private banking, insurance, commodity trading, construction and property development. Coreharbour Ltd. L/9 Zuellig House, 1 Silom Rd. Tel: 02 231 8437 www.coreharbour.com From portfolio management to savings and retirement services, Coreharbour has over 15 years experience in the financial services industry. Coreharbour specialises in investment, insurance, retirement and legal services. Fame Placement 12831/F Room G /340 Payatai Plaza, Payathai Rd. Tel: 02 612 9536-8 www.fameplacement.com Recruitment company has staff with over 20 years professional experience from diverse commercial and manufacturing backgrounds within multinational companies. Was awarded the title of the best recruitment and search company in Thailand by the Ministry of Labour in 2011. Grant Thornton 18/F Capital Tower, All Seasons Place, 87/1 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 205 8222 www.grantthornton.co.th A worldwide leader Grant Thornton blends local knowledge and expertise with international experience specialising in assurance services, business risk analysis, executive recruitment, management consulting and corporate finance. ISM Technology Recruitment Ltd. 25/Floor Unit B Paso Tower, 88 Silom Rd. Tel: 02 634 3800 www.ismtech.net Established in 1991 as Thailand’s first
Volatile Markets By Judy Blair Market falls have been a fixture of the landscape in the last three months and are in danger of overshadowing some of the incredible gains we saw in the first quarter of the year and diminish fledgling optimism. Thankfully, the majority of markets have remained in positive territory for the year to date, but not by much. The ongoing European crisis and slowdown in the global economic powerhouse that is China have added to the malaise, with more bad news potentially on the way. The UK has seen its economy contract more than expected, with its GDP down by 0.7 percent – it was expected to be bad, but not that bad. Spain continues to struggle, with the cost of its debt surging towards 8 percent, a level which is likely to be unsustainable, and even Germany now faces the warning of a downgrade in its AAA rating from Moody's. Despite all of this turmoil, the MSCI World Index fell by just 5.82 percent in the last quarter, a small amount when you consider some of the losses that were incurred by indices in individual countries. Usually when main markets fall, you see a counterbalance in emerging markets – one of the main reasons to diversify your portfolio. While they have also struggled in the last three months, the figures over the last six months provide more to cheer about.
The Philippines has actually gained more than 24 percent in the last six months, with Turkey returning more than 25 percent in the first six months of the year, and Mexico clearing 13 percent overall. That said, the latter two countries both saw their markets fall by single digits in the second quarter, showing just how volatile these markets are. Interestingly, it was the frontier markets which produced the most impressive returns in the second quarter of the year to date. The MSCI Kenya, Nigeria and Bahrain indices posted 7.07 percent, 3.17 percent and 2.43 percent returns respectively – making the Frontier Markets Africa Index the only region index that stayed in positive territory between April and June. These figures show that world markets are currently about as volatile as many of us have seen them, and it is likely to remain that way for some time. But there are returns to be had, if you know where to look. It is at times like this that a good adviser is worth his or her weight in gold. Judy Blair is Marketing Director of Infinity Financial Solutions, which provides impartial, tailor-made, personal financial advice to clients in Southeast Asia. Should you wish to contact Judy, please send an email to: email@example.com or visit www. infinitysolutions.com.
IT-only placement agency, ISM has become the leading choice for companies looking to find and interview a pool of pre-screened candidates to match a specific technical job description. MBMG Group F/26 75/56 Ocean Tower 2, Sukhumvit Soi 19 Tel: 02 665 2534-9 www.mbmg-international.com MBMG Group is not authorised to provide financial and investment advice in Thailand. However, it works closely with multi-award winning and topranked global money managers – Scott Campbell and Martin Gray of MitonOptimal Guernsey (MOG), whose funds have outperformed the MSCI world index by as much as 240 percent over the last 10 years. Opus Recruitment Ltd. Abdulrahim Place, 21/F 990 Rama 4 Rd. Tel: 02 636 2323 www.opusasia.net Focusing on executive search, Opus tailors its work to the client’s specific requirements, resulting in the recruitment of the best-qualified candidate. It works with its clients to identify their needs and then develop a strategy tailored according to the specifics of each assignment.
Tel: 02 245 0088 www.chinaembassy.or.th/eng/ Open from 8.30am to 12pm, and 1pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday European Union 19/F Kian Gwan House II, 140/1 Wireless Road Tel: 02 305 2600, 02 305 2700 Open From 8.30am to 4.30, Monday to Friday. France 23/F CAT, Soi Maungkae, Charoen Krung Road Tel: 02 657 5100 Open From 8.30am to 12.30pm, 1.30pm to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4pm Friday. Germany 9 South Sathon Rd. Tel: 02 287 9000 www.bangkok.diplo.de Open from 7am to 3.40pm Monday to Thursday, 7am to 1pm Friday.
India 46 Soi Prasarnmitr, Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 258 0300-6 http://indianembassy.in.th Open from 8.30 to 1pm, 1.30pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.
Pacific 2000 8/F M Thai Tower, All Seasons Place, Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 654 0300 www.pacific2000.com Started operations in Thailand in 1998 to assist international and regional companies search and select personnel at middle to high management levels. Has built up business partnerships with some 100 multinational companies.
Indonesia 600-602 Petchburi Rd. Tel: 02 252 3135-40 www.kbri-bangkok.com Open from 8am to 12pm, 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday.
RSM Recruitment 26/F Sathorn City Tower, 175 South Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 670 9002 www.rsmrecruitment.com Part of RSM International, the world’s sixth largest organisation of international accountants and business advisors, it specialises in accounting and finance, IT, HR, legal, sales & marketing and general management recruitment.
Laos 520,502/1-3 Soi Sahakarnpramoon, Pracha-Uthit Rd. Tel: 02 539 6679, 02 539 6667-8 www.bkklaoembassy.com Open from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Siam City Law (SCL) F/20 Rajanakarn Building, South Sathorn Tel: 02 676 6667-8 www.siamcitylaw.com Provides general business law services, such as corporate, securities, banking and finance, corporate recovery services, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, labour, expatriate services and real estate.
Australian 37 South Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 344 6300 www..embassy.gov.au Open from 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday except for public holidays. Cambodia 518 / 4 Pracha Uthit Rd. Tel: 02 957 5851-2 firstname.lastname@example.org Open from 8.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday except for public holidays. Canada 15/F Abdulrahim Place, 990 Rama IV Tel: 02 636 0540 www.gc.ca Open from 7.30am to 4.15pm Monday to Thursday, 7.30am to 1pm Friday. China 57 Rachadapisake Road, Din Daeng
Japan 177 Witthayu Road, Lumpini Tel: 02 696 3000 Open from 8.30am to 12.00 pm, 1.30pm to 5.45pm Monday to Friday
Open from 8.30 am to 12pm, 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday. United Kingdom 14 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 305 8333 Consular: 02 305 2505 Open from 7.45am to 12pm, 12.45pm to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday and 7.45am to 1.15pm Friday. United State of America 120-122 Wireless Road Tel: 02 205 4000 Open from 7am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm Monday to Friday. Consular Section / Non-Immigrant Visas: Open from 7am to 9am. Immigrant Visas: Open from 1pm to 3pm American Citizens Services: Open from 7.30am to 11am and 1pm to 2pm. Vietnam 83/1 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 251 5836-8 Consular Section: 02 650 8979 Open from 8.30am to 111.30am, 1.30pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
FOOD / WINE
Foodland Sukhumvit Soi 5 24-hour supermarket with imported and local food and groceries, as well as products catering to special diets such as sugar free, fat free, gluten free and organic products. Fuji Supermarket 593/29-39 Soi Sukhumvit 33/1 Tel: 02 258 0697-9 Japanese supermarket chain with four branches in Thailand, sells Japanese goods as well as having a very good deli. Gourmet Market Siam Paragon Emporium K Village Terminal 21 Has a good selection of meat, charcuterie, seafood and fresh products from all around the world, as well as gourmet Thai food and wines. Also has a pet shop.
Malaysia 33-35 South Sathon Road Tel: 02 629 6800, 02 629 6836 Open from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 11.30am and 2pm to 4pm Friday.
Top Supermarket Central Chidlom Sukhumvit Soi 41 Small supermarket chain selling high quality and fresh products including goods from UK’s Waitrose supermarket.
Myanmar 132 Sathon Nua Road Tel: 02 234 0278, 02 233 7250 VISA section: 02 234 4789, 02 233 2237 Open from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm Monday to Friday
Villa Market Sukumvit, Between Soi 33 & 35 Has been serving expats with essential goods at reasonable prices since 1974, with an excellent selection of cold meats, cheeses and wines. Another branch is located in the basement of Ploenchit Centre, Sukhumvit Soi 2. Open 24 hours.
New Zealand M Thai Tower, 14/F, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road Tel: 02 254 2530 www.nzembassy.com/thailand Open from 8am to 12pm, 1pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday Philippines 760 Sukhumvit Rd., Sukhumvit Soi 30/1 Tel: 02 259 0139-40, 02 258 5401 www.philembassy-bangkok.net Open from 8am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm Monday to Friday. Singapore 29 South Sathon Rd. Tel: 02 286 2111, 02 286 1434 Open from 9am to 12pm, 1pm to 5pm Monday to Friday. South Korea 23 Thiam-Ruammit Road, Ratchadapisek Tel: 02 247 7537-9
Wine Cellar G/F Hotel S31, 545 Sukhumvit 31 Tel: 02 662 1355 Wine shop and bar in the lobby area of S31 hotel has a good range of inexpensive wines directly imported by the owners, as well as some cold meats and cheeses. Open from 11am to 11pm. Wine Connection G/F, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit 47 Tel: 02 261 7217 G/F K Village, Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 661 3940 In addition to being a great place to dine, the Wine Connection has a good stock of wine that can be bought either from its K Village branch or from the bottle shop at the rear of the Rain Hill branch.
Casa Pagoda Cnr. Sukhumvit & Soi 45
Tel: 02 258 1917 www.casapagoda.com Began in 2003 by a young creative team in Belgium, the Casa Pagoda travels around the globe to create unique collections. Combining different European styles of furniture and accessories with Asian flares, Casa Pagoda offers home furnishings of casual elegance and exceptional craftsmanship – from sofas, club chairs and occasional tables to bookshelves and dining sets – all at affordable prices. Open from 11am to 8pm, closed Sundays. Chanintr Living Nai Lert Tower, 10/F, 2/4 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 655 0415 www.chanintrliving.com Sophisticated shop selling international brand name home furnishings as well as providing interior design services for some of the leading hotels in Bangkok. Chic Republic 90 Soi Yothinpatana, Praditmanutham Rd. Tel: 02 514 7123 Furniture, lighting and home accessories shop aimed to suit a contemporary lifestyle, combining modern and classic designs from around the world in one chic mix. Goodrich Gallery 58 Ekamai Tel: 02 381 7778 With over 22 branches worldwide Goodrich has an extensive collection of interior carpets, fabrics and floorings, as well as its trademark wallcoverings. IKEA Mega Bangna 38 Moo 6 Bangna-Trad km. 8. Tel: 02 708 7999 The world’s largest furniture retailer arrived at Thailand in 2011, bringing its global brand of ready-to-assemble products with a Swedish functionality to the kingdom.
HOUSEWARE / SILKS
Almeta 20/3 Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 02 204-1412 or (662) 258-4227 www.almeta.com Small shop, close to Sukhumvit, stocks over 1,000 different types of hand-woven Thai silk in a wide range of colours, as well as supplying silk to Kiwi designer Octavia Fox. It takes three weeks to custom-make curtains your curtains and the shop will ship internationally. Also stocks a wide range of bedding and cushions, as well as silk wallpaper. Open from 10am to 6pm. Jim Thompson 9 Surawong Rd. Tel: 02 632 8100 www.jimthompson.com When you think of Thai silk your mind immediately wanders off to Jim Thompson, the man who singlehandedly revived the industry. Widely regarded as the best place in town to buy silk, this large showroom has an array of fabrics in various styles, as well as delicate silk cushion covers, ties, and wallets. The third floor of the showroom stocks the higher-end silks that Jim Thompson manufactures for Gaston Y Daniela, Elitis, and Sahco Hasslein. ME (Modern East) 3/F Gaysorn Plaza, 999 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 1127 Selling well designed houseware and clothing, ME has a few locations in Bangkok – each themed around a different colour. The Grayson Plaza branch sells only white and beige items, with white linen embroidered tunics and trousers, silver accessories and cushion covers.
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Pasaya Flagship Store Unit 32-33, 3/F Siam Paragon Shopping Center, Rama 1 Rd. Tel: 02 610 9338-40 www.pasaya.com The flagship store sells bedding from sheets and pillows to duvet sets with a 420-thread count, and a rainbow of colours. Pasaya also retails silk fabrics and can make custom made curtains and bed sheets with an average delivery time of three weeks.
Central World 999/9, Rama 1 Rd., Ratchaprasong Intersection Tel: 02 635 1111 www.centralworld.co.th When constructed, Central World was the third largest shopping complex in the world. It contains a shopping mall, department store, hotel, and office towers. Open every day from 10am to 22pm.
Romance in the Office By Gary Woollacott Are office romances good or bad? Surprisingly, this came up at a business lunch recently. Well, if everything goes smoothly it might not be a problem; it’s only if it goes wrong that grief can start. I am not endorsing office romances, only pointing out some considerations. Single people can do whatever they like without worrying about others’ feelings, but those involved in relationships have more to think about. It’s an easy situation to imagine: Two people who spend much of their working time together learn they have much more in common than they thought. Or maybe they regularly travel together for business. Either way, an initial spark of attraction turns into something else and before they know it they are spending much more time together, and this time it has nothing to do with work. The tough part with this type of situation is what can happen to the working relationship if the physical bit ends. That might be tricky, particularly if one party feels aggrieved about how it comes about. If both agree and can handle their feelings in an adult and professional way there's really no reason why they shouldn’t continue to work together — and no one needs to ever know what happened between them. The flip side
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is where one of them is angry. If you’ve seen Basic Instinct, you’ll know how nasty things can get. Speaking of films, forget sleeping with the boss to get ahead. That only happens in the movies and it rarely works out well even there. In Asia few secrets are kept, especially in a romantic entanglement between supervisor and subordinate, and it won’t take long for the rest of the office to find out. An insidious scenario is where one person supervises the work of another, or company money is involved, and maybe no one knows that these two are an item. That opens up the possibility of abuse of position, which is never a good thing. Many companies have rules barring couples from working together, which may not seem fair but at least it’s out in the open and easier to deal with. If you’re considering an office fling, it may be very exciting in the early days but consider the longer-term consequences. It could cost you your job as well as a lot of personal grief. Let me know if you have any particular topic you would like to see covered here. Gary Woollacott is the CEO of Opus executive search in Thailand and Vietnam. He can be reached at email@example.com. Opus is a partner of Horton International.
The Emporium Shopping Complex Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 269 1000 www.emporiumthailand.com Distinctly up-market shopping mall with a long list of the who’s who of international designers within its floors. The mall has its own Cineplex as well as the Thailand Creative and Design Center on the seventh floor, and a direct connection to Phrom Pong BTS Station. Open from 10am to 10pm.
Paradise Park 61 Srinakarin Rd., Nongbon, Pravet Tel: 02 787 1000 Paradise Park opened in 2010 to provide eastern Bangkok with shops, restaurants, and a cinema. Villa Market is on the ground floor, along with a food market serving Thai and international dishes and Laem Charoen Seafood that has fresh daily catch. Open from 10am to 10pm. Siam Paragon 991/1 Rama 1 Rd. Tel: 02 610 8000 www.siamparagon.co.th Opened in 2005, Siam Paragon is one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia, with 40,000 sqm devoted to luxury retail shopping. Siam Ocean World is located in the basement and the top floor has a quite remarkable Imax cinema. Next door is the Siam Centre and Siam Discovery Centre. Open from 10am to 10pm. Gaysorn Plaza 999 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 1149 www.gaysorn.com Opposite Central World, Graysorn Plaza boasts an array of luxury brands such as Burberry, Etienne Aigner, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, as well as local Thai designers. Open from 10am to 8pm. Terminal 21 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 Tel: 02 108 0888 With each floor decorated in the style of a different places – Rome, Paris, Tokyo, London, Istanbul, San Francisco and Hollywood – Terminal 21 has reinvented the concept of a shopping mall. The food floor on the fifth floor represents remarkably good value for money, and there is a cinema on the top floor as well. Open from 10am to 10pm.
Acute Realty 216/65 L.P.N. Tower 15/F, Nanglinchee Rd. Tel: 02 285 4645 www.acuterealty.com One of leading real estate agents in Thailand since 2000, Acute offers
professional real estate brokerage service, sale and project management, property consultancy and tenancy management for individuals, corporations and investors. CBRE 46/F, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, 87/2 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 654 1111 www.cbre.co.th Has an in-depth knowledge of properties available in Bangkok’s central areas, including condominiums and houses in new and existing projects and individual residential development land plots. Also advises tenants on leasing office premises in Bangkok. Colliers International 17/F Ploenjit Centre, 2 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 656 7000 www.colliers.co.th Global commercial real estate company formed more than 30 years ago in Australia has a diverse range of properties for sale or lease whether it’s an office, retail store, industrial space, rural property, hotel or development site. Knight Frank 65/192 23/F Chamnan Phenjati Business Centre, Rama 9 Tel: 02 643 8223 www.knightfrankthailand.com A leading real estate service provider in Thailand, Knight Frank specialises in helping clients buying, selling or renting residential or commercial properties. Urbaan Real Estate F/15, 209/1 K Tower B, Sukhumvit Soi 2 Tel: 02 664 2784 www.urbaanrealestate.com Sells and rents properties in brand new developments, through to luxury penthouse and duplex properties. As a Thailand based real estate agent, it specialises in Bangkok and Pattaya properties for sale and rent.
Asian Tiger Mobility 21/F 3388/74-77 Sirinrat Building Rama IV Tel: 02 687 7888 www.asiantigers-mobility.com Leading provider of international relocations, with 30 offices in 14 countries. Each year Asian Tiger moves thousands of families to their new homes from every corner of the globe providing a comprehensive end-to-end service tailored to clients’ needs. Crown Relocations 116/90-91 SSP Tower II, 24/F, Na Ranong Rd. Tel: 02 249 0219 www.crownrelo.com With 250 operations worldwide, Crown’s global team of almost 3,000 professionals delivers a full range of relocation services ranging from international and domestic transportation of household goods, online tracking, storage, transit protection, home and school search and a host of departure and destination services for relocating employees and private expats. Santa Fe 207 Soi Saeng Uthai, Sukhumvit Soi 50 Tel: 02 742 9890/2 www.santaferelo.com A tried and tested partner for leading corporations, Santa Fe offers comprehensive relocation services from designing relocation policies to finding executive accommodation.
Again and Again Market Place, Thonglor Soi 4 Tel: 08 9486 5359 With a wide selection of costume jewellery – from chunky gems to show-stopping sparklers – Again and Again dishes up all manner of sparkly vintage items without you having to battle through any second-hand market. Open from 11am to 9pm. Mob.F 4/F Siam Center Tel: 02 658 1115 Promising trendsetting – rather than trend following – clothing, accessories, bags and shoes, Mob.F describes itself as the ‘Fashion Rebels in Mob We Trust’. One-off labels targeting the youth and young at heart include suede bags, stripy bow ties, faux jewellery made of silicone, casual evening dress. Open from 11am to 9pm.
anr 3/F Siam Center Tel: 02 252 2762 Acclaimed Thai fashion designer Anurak Thangsomboon has a range of stylish ready-to-wear clothes for both men and women. Fusing western sleek with the spiritualism of the east, anr is designed for today’s multicultural lifestyle. Minimalist and chic, the clothes are practical for everyday use. Open from 11am to 9pm. Belle Gaysorn Plaza, Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 1109, 02 656 1110 The place to go for international designers, this designer boutique stocks Anna Sui, Cacherel, and Stella McCartney. Cloud 9 2/F, Gaysorn Plaza, 999 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 656 1428 Small boutique stocks top international designers including Orla Kiely, Tracy Reese, Trina Turk, Paper Denim and Cloth, as well as jewellery designer Erickson Beamon. Code 10 G/F Siam Paragon Tel: 02 610 8312, 02 610 9794 Multi-brand boutique store showcases the latest seasonal designs by wellknown local brands. Also has a good collection of brooches, pendants, earrings and clutches for those who want to add some dazzle to their eveningwear. Flynow 2/F Gaysorn Plaza Tel: 02 656 1359 One of the leading lights in the local fashion industry, Flynow launched a small women’s collection back in 1983. The avant-garde style appeals to those opting for a smart, sophisticated look. Everything from classic modern dresses to accessories, such as leather bags, belts and shoes. Its offshoot brand Flynow by Chamnan caters to a younger and more moneyed clientele. Open from 10am to 8pm. Friday 27 Nov 3/F Siam Center Tel: 02 658 1179
Fashion veteran Chanachai Jareeyathana’s latest themed brainchild – after 27 Friday, 27 Nov and No.27 – is a mix-and-match style for both men and women. As each design comes in limited quantities the chances of you running into someone with the exact same look is minimal. Open from 11am to 9pm.
Greyhound 3/F Siam Center Tel: 02 658 1179 A fashion institution with more than 15 shops in Thailand, Asia and Europe, as well as five cafés in Bangkok, Greyhound is chic and contemporary. A reinterpretation of essential Thai, the designs involve a subtle palette, dynamic cuts and innovative fabric combinations. Its sister brand, Playhound by Greyhound, offers casual, street wear for non-working days. Open from 11am to 9pm. Kai Boutique 2/F Gaysorn Plaza Tel: 02 656 2108 Thailand’s first haute-couture brand is not the place to go for casual everyday wear. Dating back to 1968, the brand stands for quality crafting elegant, feminine eveningwear and devastating wedding dresses. Open from 10am to 8pm. Sretsis 2/F Gaysorn Plaza Tel: 02 656 1125 Renowned for their use of whimsical prints on delicate fabrics and nostalgic details, these sister designers, first came to the attention of New York fashionistas for their offbeat designs with a girlish twist. After making their name abroad, the designer pair brought their success home and opened their first boutique in Thailand at Gaysorn. As for the name, look at sisters in the mirror. Open from 10am to 8pm. Zenithorial 2/F Gaysorn Plaza Tel: 02 656 1064 With a strong emphasis on the individual, Zenithorial fuses dynamic cuts, sharp lines and vivid colours. Boring it is not, though minimalist it can be with mostly white, black and grey colour palettes setting the trend for classic menswear. Open from 10am to 8pm.
RETRO / SECOND-HAND
Chao Chan 1/F, Park Lane Tel: 081 833 3655 If you are looking for secondhand Ralph Lauren shirts, Levis jeans from the 50s or tailor-made leather shoes, Chao Chan is the place. Open from 11am to 10pm. Cocue Basics 1/F Baan Ekamai, Ekkamai Soi 21, Tel: 02 711 4783. A warehouse with the feel of a secondhand clothing store in London’s East End, Cocue sells old military jackets, vintage dresses and classic jeans. Also has a Siam Square outlet. Open from 1pm to 9.30pm. It's Happened to be a Closet Siam Paragon Tel: 08 1754 1791 English teaches look away, but this boutique scores many more points for its retro-style clothing and kitsch knickknacks than it does for grammar. Also has an adjoining café. Open from 10am to 10pm. The Trapeze Swingers Soi Chana Songkhram Tel: 08 1908 1381 This two-storey shophouse hidden amid all the same same tourist shops along Khao San Road sells male and female clothing from the 60s and 70s with a few retro trinkets added to the melting pot. Open daily 1pm to 9pm.
Know Your Skin By Christina Yu Those who know Ipa-Nima know we didn’t start producing leather bags until about seven years ago. Around that time I went to a course held by the British Leather Centre to learn more about leather. I was surprised to find how similar our skins are to animal skins, and how many misconceptions we have about leather. Many who own leather bags think they should be as durable as possible and never fade. The truth, however, is the complete opposite — we need to look after leather in the same way we look after our own skin. The best kind of skin is the top layer, also called aniline. We buy skin care products with collagen to ensure our own skin looks as radiant as ever. The same concept goes for leather — the top layer is the most precious. The best aniline should have no scars or marks, and be smooth and consistent in texture. This is why we buy aniline chemicals. That way the texture remains soft and looks natural. However, because of the lack of chemicals, aniline leather is not as durable as you might think. In order to keep the leather, you need to moisturise it from time to time, and look after it from the very beginning. The first step in taking care of aniline leather is having a
good leather moisturiser and a good repellant, like Scotch Guard Fabric Protector. When you buy your bags, moisturise them first and then spray them with the repellent. Concentrate on the back of the bag where there may be more friction. This can protect it from being easily scratched or scarred and also from getting soiled in light rain. Test your moisturiser on a small part of the bag first to see what kind of reaction it will have on the rest of the leather. Do not leave the bag in sunlight — put the bag in a shady area of the room so it will not change colour easily. Some types of leather, called a natural crust, may change to a darker shade with use and sunlight. This is a natural progression for the leather (similar to how our own skin changes when exposed to the sun). Although you may think your leather bag is defective because it gets scratched and scarred easily, the opposite holds true. Now, you know your skin. Christina Yu is the creative director and founder of Ipa-Nima, an award-winning accessories brand. Email your questions to Christina@ipanima.com or visit: Ipa-nima. com.
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AsiaLIFE Pre-Launch Party at Bed Supperclub
Mexico vs Japan at The Clubhouse
Photos by Nick McGrath and Jonny Edbrooke
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Bangkok Young Professionals at Koi Restaurant
Latin Dance Night at Bed Supperclub
The Lab Launch
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soundfix album review
by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen
Janka Nabay and Antony and The The Bubu Gang Johnsons
En Yay Sah
Cut The World
I Was A Cat From A Book
Sierra Leonean singer Janka Nabay began by performing reggae, but he has built a career with the lesser-known bubu music. Bubu has its origins in the witchcraft ceremonies of Nabay’s homeland and he has breathed new life into the centuries-old music, expanding the genre beyond its flute and pipe-based folk form to create a popular, modern sound. When civil war drove Nabay to the United States, he rebuilt his career as a musician while working in fast food joints to survive. In Brooklyn, he began collaborating with a band comprised of members of Skeletons, Chairlift, Starring, Saadi and Highlife. The group’s first full-length record stays true to the uplifting sound of bubu, with beats designed to move hips.
The core of Antony and The Johnsons, Antony Hegarty is not easily forgotten. On the second track of Cut the World, he presents seven and a half minutes of his musings on the moon, religion, feminism and his transgender identity. Rather than being overly indulgent, his monologue — delivered in an accent forged of his English roots and American upbringing — is as hypnotic as his falsetto. Recorded live, Cut the World culls highlights from the group’s previous four full lengths. Hegarty has always conducted himself as an artist in the capital A sense — performing with international symphonies, staging elaborate installations and collaborating with music heavyweights like Yoko Ono and Lou Reed — and this latest work is no exception.
From Bjork to The Knife, various musicians have carved out a niche that celebrates the ethereal and eerie. Purity Ring, a Canadian duo from Alberta, are one such act. Their carefully constructed debut album, Shrines, pairs Corin Roddick’s electronic beats with Megan James’ vocals. The result is a haunting sound, reminiscent of the witch house tunes of Salem and Austra. Scratchy synths layered with a throbbing almost hip hop bass create dance floor rhythms, while James’ girlish voice floats over like a spectral presence. Although selecting a favourite from an overall cohesive work is a challenge, Ungirthed — the duo’s snappy first release — remains one of the record’s best.
With a substantial discography from the past decade, James Yorkston is one of Scotland’s bestkept secrets. Inside the United Kingdom, the singer-songwriter maintains a loyal following. Yet despite his notable Domino Records imprint, Yorkston hasn’t quite captured the breakout notoriety enjoyed by fellow Fifebased Scots King Creosote. That’s not to say he’s undeserving. His thoughtful lyrics, delicate vocals and lithe guitar are remarkable, but in a gentle sense. Quiet and contemplative music, even as honest and emotional as Yorkston’s, has the danger of being overlooked. This latest album is solid and will be appreciated by his fans and perhaps attract some new admirers, but ultimately his audience must be measured in quality over quantity.
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xoneFM top ten
US TOP 10 rank title 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Whistle Lights Call Me Maybe Wide Awake Payphone Somebody That I Used to Know Titanium Some Night Home Where Have You Been
artist Flo Rida Ellie Goulding Carly Rae Jepson Katy Perry Maroon 5 Gotye David Guetta Fun Phillip Phillips Rihanna
Treme By Chris Mueller UK TOP 10 rank title
1 2 3 4
Heatwave We'll Be Coming Back Taking Over Me Spectrum
5 6 7 8 9 10
Lost In Your Love Payphone Fell The Love Round the Alarm Black Heart Brokenhearted
artist Wiley Calvin Harris Lawson Florence and The Machine Redlight Maroon 5 Rudimental Nicki Minaj Stooshe Karmin
UK INDIE TOP 10 rank
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Language Harder Than You Think Bom Bom Right Here Right Now Screw the Nether The Rockafeller Skank Through the Night
Porter Robinson Public Enemy
Midnight City Million Voices Everybody's on the Run
Big Hits 2012 Fatboy Slim In the Little Wood Fatboy Slim Drumsound & Baseline Smith feat Tome Cane M83 Otto Knows Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Region, most of the postapocalyptic landscape in and around New Orleans has been cleaned up. While its people haven’t forgotten the immense challenges, setbacks and frustrations around the storm, they and their unique culture are still standing strong. In David Simon’s newest made-for-HBO series, Treme, he has succeeded in portraying the difficulties New Orleanians faced, and continue to face, long after the floodwaters receded. The show begins three months after Katrina and is set partly in Treme, a poor neighbourhood famous for its contribution to the New Orleans music scene. Simon, who gained recognition for his widely acclaimed series The Wire, has taken the same taut, realistic format to Treme. The show intertwines the lives of a number of characters, such as the affable Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce), a jazz trombonist constantly struggling to find the next gig in a city full of musicians. Then there is Albert ‘Big Chief’ Lambreaux (Clark Peters), a Mardis Gras ‘Indian chief’. The Indians dress up in elaborate feather suits inspired by Native Americans during Mardi Gras, and are an important part of New Orleans traditions. Other notable char-
acters include DJ Davis (Steve Zahn), a character based on real New Orleans musician Davis Rogan, who consulted for the show; and Annie Talarico, a classically trained violinist who makes money busking on the street. After the first few episodes it becomes clear that the true star of the series is the music. Every character is influenced in some way by both the hurricane and New Orleans music. Like the tough bar owner LaDonna, also Batiste’s ex-wife, who desperately tries to keep a familiar part of the community alive as the city seemingly descends further into chaos around her. Or John Goodman’s excellent portrayal of a vocal English professor and author who tries to show the world his city is still alive and kicking. In the opening of the first episode he throws a British TV journalist’s camera into the river after the reporter suggests the city doesn’t deserve to be saved. The gloomy premise of the show and the light it shines on the pathetic mishandlings by local and federal governments during and after Katrina can sometimes make for depressing viewing. But there is enough humour and brilliant acting that the viewer can’t help but sympathise with nearly every character. Treme shows how the city can bring out the best and worst in the characters that inhabit it.
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Resident Evil: Retribution
In this dystopian envisioning of the future, earth has been devastated by atomic wars. In one of the remaining metropolises, known as Mega-City One, order is maintained by a police force known as the judges. Tasked with stopping the spread of an addictive drug known as Slow-Mo, the formidable Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and his trainee Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) take on dealer Ma-Ma (Lena Headey). The two must fight to take back a 200-storey slum under Ma-Ma’s control, in what becomes a thrilling battle for survival.
Three brothers (Tom Hardy, Shia La Boeuf, Jason Clarke) run a bootlegging operation during the depression, up in the mountains of Franklin County. But crooked deputy Charles Rakes (Guy Pearce) is after a share of the brothers' profits and the local competition is elbowing in on their activities. When Forrest (Hardy) is wounded as tension with Rakes escalates, Jack (La Boeuf) must prove his worth against gangster Floyd Banner's (Gary Oldman) mob, as well as wooing the off-limits preacher's daughter, Bertha (Mia Wasikowska).
In the fifth instalment of the Resident Evil series, the Umbrella Corporation continues to dominate the planet, using a deadly virus to transform people into zombies. Alice (Milla Jovovich) is humanity’s last hope. She awakens in the corporation’s secret headquarters, discovering that memories have been imprinted on her brain. Together with old and new allies, she sets out to fight back against those behind the outbreak, on an explosive mission that takes her to Tokyo, New York and Moscow.
Entrepreneurs Ben (Aaron Johnson) and former Navy SEAL Chon (Taylor Kitsch), a, run a lucrative, homegrown industry – raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with Ophelia (Blake Lively). Life is bliss until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in. But Lado (Benicio del Toro) underestimates the unbreakable bond of the three friends, Ben and Chon and a seemingly unwinnable war against the cartel ensues. And so begins a series of vicious ploys and manoeuvers in a high stakes, savage battle of wills.
On General Release Resident Evil: Retribution (from Sep. 13) Dredd 3D (from Sep. 20) Lawless (from Sep. 13) Savages (from Sep. 13)
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Information correct at time of going to press. Check cinema websites for screenings.
bookshelf Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox Lois Banner Bloomsbury
Fifty years after her death, Marilyn Monroe continues to captivate. The blonde bombshell has inspired countless biographies, films and Las Vegas impersonators. The icon has been especially en vogue over the past year, with homage paid in the film My Week with Marilyn, the US television show Smash, and this recent biography by Lois Banner. Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox explores the actress’s many contradictions, drawing from interviews and recently discovered documents to provide new insight into the star’s complicated life. The biography follows Marilyn from her troubled childhood and early years as Norma Jean, on to her sensational Hollywood career, her personal relationships with husbands Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, and the murky circumstances surrounding her death.
The Price of Inequality Joseph E Stiglitz W.W. Norton & Company
In response to the notion that inequality is inevitable, Joseph E Stiglitz begs to differ. The Nobel laureate economist deviates from a purely economic lens to understanding the shape of our world and considering the impact of politics. As the gap between rich and poor widens, Stiglitz sees that “while there may be underlying economic forces at play, politics has shaped the market, and shaped it in ways that advantage the top at the expense of the rest.” In his view, inequality serves to weaken democracy, as well as create fissures in economy and society, when potential is limited by lack of opportunity. Change, Stiglitz argues, can be achieved when equal competition in the free market is safeguarded by government oversight.
Night Dancer Chika Unigwe Jonathan Cape
A Belgium-based Nigerian writer, Chika Unigwe is part of an emerging wave of African women novelists. Her third publication, Night Dancer, is narrated from the perspectives of two women with different backgrounds. Set in Nigeria during the 1970s, the first half follows Ezi, a young, university-educated woman struggling to meet expectations for a male heir. To the disappointment of her in-laws, she becomes pregnant with a daughter. When her husband’s affair with the maid, Rapu, produces a son, Ezi’s position within the family is threatened. She decides to leave her husband and raise her child alone, facing intense stigma from her family and community. The second part of the book follows Rapu’s own struggles to rise, mirroring Ezi’s fall.
Vladimir Nabokov: Selected Poems Vladimir Nabokov Knopf
Known best for Lolita and Pale Fire amongst other literary feats, Vladimir Nabokov is considered one of the great modern novelists. Less is known about his ventures into poetry. This collection features selected poems translated from Nabokov’s native Russian as well as 23 pieces originally written in English. The earliest piece comes from 1914, when the writer was only 15 years old. Ever erudite, Nabokov writes poetry with the same attention to structure and depth as can be seen in his novels. In The Poem he seems to encapsulate his own style of poetry: “In the tangle of sounds, the leopards of words, the leaf-like insects, the eye-spotted birds fuse and form a silent, intense, mimetic pattern of perfect sense.”
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radar A Better Use for OkCupid
blog.okcupid.com Dating site OkCupid hasn’t updated its blog since last year, but if you’ve never had a look, do it. You’ll be glad you did, no matter your feelings about cyber romance. OkTrends takes data from millions of users to show titillating patterns such as: the percent of men who prefer rough sex increases with age, or, vegetarians enjoy performing oral sex more than meat-eaters. Most of the findings reflect correlation more than causation, but that doesn’t make them useless. One blog post applies the data to first dates. For instance, if it’s too soon to ask your date’s religious views, ask whether she minds spelling and grammar mistakes. If not, odds are she’s religious, according to trends OkCupid found among its members.
Just the Facts
snopes.com Watching the news has become so much more interesting with sites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com to alert us almost immediately when a public official is full of, well, not facts. But another breed, Snopes.com, takes vetting in a different direction. What it lacks in the depth and timeliness of the other sites, Snopes makes up for in breadth. Besides political rumours, it investigates urban legends, folklore, and all around misinformation. So in addition to the truth about that photo of a gun-toting, bikini-clad Palin, the searchable database will tell you whether Morgan Freeman really said Black History Month is ridiculous, or the origin of German cake (hint: not Germany).
friendlyfoodfinder.com A friend told you about a great milk free substitute for whipped cream, where can you find it? You want to bake a cake, who would know if the vegan buttery sticks you found are good for baking? Friendlyfoodfinder.com can help. This new social networking site creates a place for those with food allergies or sensitivities to share food substitutes that have worked for them and where they bought them. The site currently includes products suitable for those with milk and peanut allergies and is designed to expand with help from you. Through this website people with allergies can connect with one another and discover manufacturers that are sensitive to those with food allergies.
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THE TWO OF US Scott Coates and Daniel Fraser founded the action-packed travel company Smiling Albino more than a decade ago. Yvonne Liang finds out how the adventure-driven duo came together to create one of the region’s best travel operators. Photo by Nick McGrath.
Scott I’ve known Dan since we went to high school in Calgary, Canada. We used to talk about building a travel company together. One night over beers and Jagermeister I said to Dan, “Let’s do this or stop talking about it.” Dan was working in advertising and I was about to get into doing some television work at this time. We decided to drop everything and head to Thailand with only $2,000 each to start the Smiling Albino travel company. While we both share a passion for showing people a great time, the best thing about working together is that we tend to fill each other’s voids. Dan relishes in the public eye and being the face of Smiling Albino, while I’m quite happy to work in the background to make sure everything flows
Daniel and operates. Besides going on trips with private helicopters and hosting Hollywood actors, one particular tour really defined what we wanted to do with the company. We hosted seven doctors, really respected people in their fields. We designed a sophisticated, high calibre trip that combined cycling and road riding along the border of Thailand. Our guests were taken through rare hill-tribe footpaths and remote dirt trails that were paired with daily roadmaps tailor-made by the team at Smiling Albino. Since moving to Thailand, I’ve learned to become a softer and more patient person. I can be really direct at times, but in this country you have to be easier going about things you just can’t control.
Scott and I have a lot in common, including our passion for travel, adventure, customer service and living on our own terms. We're both stubborn and think our own ideas are always the best. What sets us apart from others is that we are firmly committed to moving to Thailand and setting up a business where failure was not an option. We had many reasons to quit in the early years, and since, but the overriding goal of proving others wrong and creating something we believed in is what has ultimately built this business, and what makes it better than other businesses in travel. Scott is more detail and systems oriented, which means he is better organised,
methodical, pragmatic and goal-oriented. I’m the more spirit driven one who can't be bothered with details and systems, but we are always working to improve, or outdo ourselves. We had a dream of building a travel business based on the way we liked to travel – fun, active, luxurious and unconventional. The terms 'adventure' and 'luxury' didn't fit together 10 years ago and we believed we could create something that would appeal to the uppermiddle market of western travellers. We both love travel, adventure, culture, and experiencing things that others have not so we thought that building a business based on these interests was a natural fit.
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Spirits 6) Which spirit derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries? 7) What is the best selling Irish whiskey in the world? 8) According to a CNN article, Jinro Soju is the world’s best selling brand of liquor. In what country is it produced? 9) Which Greek spirit was the first to be consumed in space? 10) Originally drunk in the navy, what spirit is found in grog?
Fruits 11) How are Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky better known? 12) Who played Daphne in Some Like it Hot? 13) Where would you go to have your custom made motorbike built by the Teutul family? 14) Grenadine, found in many cocktails, was originally made from the juice of which fruit? 15) Which fruit was given its name by missionaries, because parts of the flower seem reminiscent of the torture of Christ prior to his crucifixion?
Connected 21) Which film starred Al Pacino as Tony Montana? 22) In which city did the first competitive football match of the 2012 Olympics take place? 23) What is the second longest mountain range in Europe, with more than half of it in Romania? 24) In which body of water are the Cayman Islands? 25) What is the largest coastal town in North Yorkshire, made famous in a song?
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Behind the Scenes - Photo by Keith Nolan
Vegetables 16) Which American producer is best known for his work on James Bond films? 17) What two vegetables are the main ingredients in Aloo Gobi? 18) Which vegetable gets its Australian and North American name from the Italian for small pumpkin? 19. The US Department for Agriculture stated in 2005 that this vegetable, gram for gram, contains more iron
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Pub Quiz Answers
1) Which ‘new’ red wine is released for sale on the third Thursday in November? 2) Traditionally, German wines from the Rheinhessen are sold in bottles. In what colour bottles are wines from the Mosel region sold? 3) In which country is the winegrowing Barossa Valley? 4) Wines from Italy are sometimes sold in a fiasco. What is it? 5) Which country is South America’s largest wine producer?
than an average hamburger patty. 20) Which vegetable takes its English name from the Latin word for root?
1) Beaujolais Nouveau 2) Green 3) Australia 4) A straw basket around the bottle 5) Argentina 6) Gin 7) Jameson 8) South Korea 9) Metaxa 10) Rum 11) The Banana Splits 12) Jack Lemmon 13) Orange County (New York) 14) Pomegranate 15) Passion Fruit 16) Albert (Cubby) Broccoli 17) Potato and Cauliflower 18) Zucchini 19) Spinach 20) Radish 21) Scarface 22) Cardiff 23) Carpathians 24) Caribbean Sea 25) Scarborough 26) Bogart and Johansonn 27) Laurie and Bergman 28) Cooper and Roberts 29) Cruise and Wayne 30) Hepburn and Downey Jr