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12 2012

Issue 4

26 front

www.asialifemagazine.com

06 News & Events 15 Dispatches 16 Street Smart: Sukhumvit Soi 11

getaways

40 Back to Nature

food

42 Bangkok Alfreso Dining 45 Pak Bakery

20 Q&A with Adriana Sanchez 22 Photo Essay: Land of Kings

on the cover

26 Putting the Poachers out

storyboard

32 A Zoo Redrawn

style & design

46 MONLADA: Tough Love 52 Casa Pagoda: Back to the Future

of Business

34 Some Like It Hot

44 Le Petit Zinc

back

56 The List 78 Spotlight

36 Searching for Sanuk

85 The Two Of Us

38 Cowboys of the Sea

86 Pub Quiz

44

46

Cover Art Direction Johnny Murphy Photography Alex McMillan Model Le Thanh Hung

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note from the editor Johnny Murphy From humble beginnings in New Zealand’s Timaru, Johnny graduated with top-of-the-class design honours from Massey University in Wellington. Flying in the face of convention he decided to ship off to Vietnam where he took up the role of art director for AsiaLIFE HCMC almost three years ago, rising to the position of regional creative director. In true Kiwi spirit Johnny agreed to take on the challenge of creating AsiaLIFE’s magazines both in HCMC and here in Thailand.

Mark Bibby Jackson The balance between the world of man and the world of nature is a delicate one. With deforestation, poaching and climate change rampant, it seems nature (and, by default, ourselves) could be on the losing side. This somewhat bleak outlook hasn’t deterred some individuals from dedicating their lives to battling against those who seek to profit from the environment. Many are profiled within our cover feature that looks at the wildlife trade in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Our article — for the first time published across three countries — emphasises that animal poaching isn’t just a problem confined to Thailand. Animals, including tigers and pangolins, are exported across borders to feed industries such as traditional medicine. With poachers putting sophisticated measures in place to avoid detection, rangers are employing top-notch technology such as GPS tracking to seek out criminality and monitor wildlife. It’s a fascinating insight into the battle for conservation being playing out in jungles throughout the region. Elsewhere, we look at a zoo in Cambodia showing that where there’s a will there is indeed a way. Dubbed the Zoo of Horrors in 2011, Kampot’s Teuk Chhou wildlife park is slowly being turned into a showcase school by its team of willing volunteers. Away from the wildlife we look at Bangkok’s jazz scene, discovering that there is life away from the lobby lounge. We also talk to Dwight Turner, whose NGO In Search of Sanuk is helping to transform the lives of some of Bangkok’s most needy inhabitants. Yvonne Laing gest on board a spear-fishing boat in Phuket as well as taking a stroll along the popular Soi 11, while I chat to the man behind furniture store Casa Pagoda. All this plus a trip to the forests of Vietnam and a fashionable voyage aboard the Tiatanic. Who could ask for more? As always, if there is anything you would like to share with us, then email me at: mark@asialife.asia. You can also check out our newly launched website: asialifemagazine.com, online, via tablet or on your smartphone. There you can read all three magazines online, catch up with the latest news, flip through our spotlight photos and watch AsiaLIFE TV's video reviews. Follow AsiaLIFE on Facebook at: facebook.com/asialifemedia.

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Group Editor-in-Chief / Director Cambodia: Mark Bibby Jackson mark@asialife.asia

Director Thailand: Nattamon Limthanachai (Oh) oh@asialife.asia

Associate Editor Thailand: Yvonne Liang

Regional Creative Director: Johnny Murphy johnny@asialife.asia

Sales Thailand: Linny Vo (Linny) linny@asialife.asia

Photo Editor Thailand: Nick McGrath nick@asialife.asia

For advertising and marketing enquiries please contact: 090 963 2168 or 08 9200 9404

AsiaLIFE Group Group Director Sales & Marketing / Director Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke jonny@asialife.asia Managing Editor Vietnam: Chris Mueller Sales Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke jonny@asialife.asia

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.asialifemagazine.com


Three countries at your fingertips

Check us out on your computer, tablet or smart phone • Updated with news • Listings with links to google map • Features • Video Reviews

www.asialifemagazine.com

asialife Thailand 5


NEWS Niu’s Jazz Fizz Festival

Niu’s on Silom will be celebrating its fifth anniversary with nine days of jazz from Dec. 7 to 15. The festival kicks off with the Joseph Marchione Quartet playing covers and originals by the US saxophone ace and concludes nine days later with a scintillating party vibe and jam by Niu’s jazz family, featuring Dan Phillips, Mauro Monti, Rustem Galiullin, Hong Techatananan, Oh Viriyapark, Pisut Prateepasana and a host of others. The full schedule is as follows:

EVENTS Dec. 7, The Joseph Marchione Quartet. Dec. 8, Rydsma with the Mauro Monti Trio. Dec. 9, The Jerry Byrd Quartet. Dec. 10, Silpakorn Jazz Acapella. Dec. 11, Mauro Monti & Rustem Galiullin. Dec. 12, Dan Phillips & Pisut Prateepasana. Dec. 13, Keith Nolan’s Love Gone Wrong. Dec. 14, Lookpad with Niu's Hot House Trio. Dec. 15, The Festival Allcomers Band.

Phuket King's Cup Regatta

Recognised throughout the eastern hemisphere as the premier sailing event of its kind, the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta will be held from Dec. 1 to 8. This year’s competition will feature the largest and most competitive fleet of any regional regatta, with top sailors from around the region and beyond converging on Phuket to compete for the prestigious Royal Trophy. Over 35 countries will be represented with 1,000 sailors competing. Along with the racing will be six beachside parties including host venue Kata Beach Resort & Spa, with close to 2,000 guests attending nightly.

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For more information, visit: niusonsilom.com.

Yantra at Farmani

Cedric Arnold’s comprehensive presentation of Thailand's spiritual ‘Yantra’ tattoo tradition will be on view at Farmani Gallery’s Rooftop Gallery through to Dec. 31. Arnold’s photographs depict a tattoo master, men and women and their inked protection from evil spirits and bad luck.Open from Wednesday to Friday, 12pm to 7pm. Rooftop Gallery, 440/10 Sukhumvit 55 Thonglor, Tel: 09 0910 8373.

Doomsday at The Lab

The LAB invites you to join Apocalypse workout on “Doomsday” Dec. 21, 2012 from 6pm to midnight where all the LAB Rats come together for a fun evening of crazy workouts, food, drink, DJ, music and loads of fun for a good cause. Make your "last day on earth" count with this charity fun night. Tickets are now available at The LAB for B1,200. All proceeds will be donated to charity. The LAB, 3/F RSU Tower, on the corner of Sukhumvit 31, Tel: 02 662 1618, tbtlab.com

SPIRAL at Eat Me

Sculptures and photographs by Steven Simon will be on display at Eat Me restaurant from Dec. 11 to Feb. 5, 2013. Curated by Pan Pan Narkprasert, SPIRAL is based on research into the geometry in nature, such as

structure, volume and space. His materials and method of mold-making capture the textured surfaces of flowers and vegetables that evoke spiral forms reminiscent of DNA spirals and galaxies. The opening party is on Dec. 11 from 6pm to 8pm. Eat Me Restaurant, next to the Carmelite Monastery on Convent Road, Tel: 02 238 0931 or Eatmerestaurant.com. Open from 3pm to 1am.

Bilou at Be Your Guest

The works of French artist Christian ‘Bilou’ Poggetti will be on display at Be Your Guest restaurant until April 2013. Having graduated from the School of Fine Arts in Nantes, Bilou was a make-up artist for 30 years before becoming a full-time painter in Thailand. He has had many exhibitions at Silom Galleria, and major hotels and restaurants.

St Andrews Eco-warriors

Members of the St Andrews 107 Eco-Committee and the Student Council visited Fiber Pattana Co on Oct. 24. This local factory recycles beverage cartons in partnership with the Global company, Tetra Pak so it was the perfect place for the school’s Eco Warriors to visit. The students were shown many of the ingenious products that can be made from recycled cartons, cups, stools, clocks, notebooks, table tennis bats and even boats. Tetra Pak manufactures the cartons, Big C provides a place for people to recycle and collect


the containers, and Fibre Pattana Co. does the processing from this state to usual and functional everyday items. It’s great teamwork.

Room Art

The Pikture Gallery is displaying the works of Jean Claude Chambre from Dec. 6 to Jan. 6, 2013. The exhibition of oil paintings offers scenes by the artist from his travels throughout south and southeast Asia in a French impressionistic style with bright oriental colours. The opening reception is on Dec. 6 at 6.30pm. The Pikture Gallery, Sukhumvit 49/1, Tel: 08 6339 1281. Open 10am to 7pm, closed Mondays.

Big Bite

Big Bite Bangkok returns to the car park of the Maduzi Hotel Dec. 9 from 11am to 2pm. The event features an expanded roster of

vendors showcasing everything from American craft beer and bagels, to healthy organic treats and traditional Thai-style street snacks. The market allows participants to sample 'bites' of food at no cost. Instead of purchasing tickets, market goers are encouraged to make a donation to charity. Previous Big Bite markets hosted hundreds flocking to try food from popular vendors such as Birds in a Row, Adam's Organic, Bo.lan, Quince and others. Proceeds from the event will benefit Dwight Turner's project working with families in poor Bangkok communitiesm In Search of Sanuk (see page 38 for an exclusive AsiaLIFE’s feature). Maduzi Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 16 on Ratchadapisek Rd.

Music Notes

The Bangkok Music Society Choir presents its annual Christmas Concert, conducted by Eugene

New York Jazz Diva in Bangkok

New York’s Jazz Diva, Pucci Amanda Jhones, takes to the stage of The Living Room for a much anticipated residency from Dec. 6 to Jan. 27, 2013. Jhones has a well-deserved reputation for her highly original voice which has been heard from Manhattan to LA, Las Vegas, Switzerland, Japan and Kuala Lumpur. In her native New York City, Pucci has performed at renowned jazz venues, Birdland, Blue Note, and the Lenox Lounge. Her latest CD, ‘Wild is the Wind’, features inspired takes of 12 timeless jazz standards.

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Dreaming of a Blue Xmas

Master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe has conjured up one of the most creative New Year Eve’s menus by using the freshest ingredients and products from the Royal Project. Called ‘Blue Magic’, the menu consists of eryngi salad, turmeric chicken stew, foie gras strawberry, phad chaa snow fish, sugar cane rosemary lamb chop and ‘forgotten husband’ rice wrapped in lotus leaves (B3,850net or B4,450net with a glass of Champagne). A live solo saxophone will enhance the atmosphere and a traditional “Pong Lang” will usher in the New Year. All diners will receive a photo souvenir, and have an opportunity to win the lucky draw for a return business class ticket Bangkok to Paris sponsored by Thai Airways with a complementary dinner for two at Blue Elephant Paris. To book, call 02 673 9353–8 or email: cooking.school@blueelephant.com.

Santa on a Surfboard

Eustaquio at the Christ Church, Convent Rd. on Dec. 7 at 8pm. Tickets cost B600, B500 for members, B300 for students. On the same night Dr Mina Ivanova will perform a piano recital in homage to Professor Ludwig Hoffmann, presented by Cholapat Piano Studio and C-Clef Classics at the Goethe Institute Auditorium from 7.30pm. Tickets cost B800, B400 for students. The following day, saxophonist Federico Mondelci will conduct the BSO with soprano Christina Zavalloni through Great Melodies from Popular Music's Golden Age at the Thailand Cultural Centre Main Hall from 8pm. Tickets range from B500 to B2,500. The TPO conducted by Claude Villaret featuring pianist Poom Prommachart will perform works by Prokofiev and Shostakovich at the music auditorium of the Mahidol University Salaya on Dec. 21 (7pm) and Dec. 22 (4pm). Tickets cost B500, or B100 for students.

single image, photo essay or the most impressive collection of work submitted by a single photographer in 2012. Winners in Spot News, Feature Photography and Photo Essay will each receive $1,000 cash plus an economy-class roundtrip flight ticket in Asia, courtesy of Star Alliance. The winner in the Migration in Asia category, will win $2,000 cash and the Photographer of the Year $3,000 cash prize plus the free flight. Cash awards are courtesy of Indorama Ventures PCL and Diethelm Travel Group in addition to the EU. Photos must be submitted by 12pm, Dec. 14. Winners will be announced in early 2013. Photographers can enter the contest by submitting images online to: fcct.onasia. lightrocketmedia.com. The contest rules and detailed submission instructions are available at the website, including a downloadable PDF version.

FCCT Photo Contest

Sheraton Gingerbread Christmas

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand and OnAsia, Asia's leading photo agency, is inviting photographers to participate in the Sixth Annual FCCT Photo Contest. Any photographer with images shot in the Asia-Pacific region can participate. Categories include Spot News, Feature Photography, Photo Essay and Migration – a special category, sponsored by the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, for the best single photo or photo essay focusing on issues related to migration involving Asians, human trafficking, and integration of migrants in Asia. In addition, the judges will select one Photographer of the Year to recognise either the best

The Sheraton Hotel is holding a Gingerbread House Workshop on Dec. 22 and Dec. 24 at Rossini’s restaurant from 10am to 12pm. At the special event pastry chefs will help youngsters create their own enchanting gingerbread house. The class is open to parents (B1,500) and their children aged from 5 to 12 years old.

FCCT Year-End Bash

FCCT is holding its traditional end of year celebration at the Mandarin Oriental's Sala Rim Naam riverside terrace on Dec. 15. This year it involves a threecourse, sit-down, individually served holiday feast, with traditional clam chowder, sage-

Follow AsiaLIFE Online Chef Tim Butler of Eat Me fame and Bangkok’s craft beer importer Beervana are teaming up for a three-day Christmas Luau feast and surf party, hosted by Flow House Bangkok. Butler has concocted a five-course traditional Hawaiian feast where each course will be paired with craft beers hand picked by Beervana, including some new brews such as Anderson Valley’s Solstice Cream Ale and Rogue’s Mocha Porter. Tickets (B2,700 including a free session on the wave at Flow House) are available from: sip@seekbeervana. com or 02 108 0387, or from behind the bar at Flow House Bangkok.

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AsiaLIFE launched its new website — asialifemagazine.com — on Nov. 20. Fans of the leading lifestyle magazine for Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam can now read articles online as well as in print. The website includes news and features articles, reviews and AsiaLIFE’s extensive listings of the best bars and restaurants in the three Mekong countries, as well as a gallery of its popular Spotlight photos. A new feature to the website is AsiaLIFE’s video reviews, which provide a glimpse inside the region’s finest dining outlets and pubs. In addition to reading current and past issues online, readers can also follow AsiaLIFE through its Facebook page — facebook.com/asialifemedia.


roasted turkey with a chestnut and dried cranberry stuffing and a special chocolate Yule log. A live band early and DJ later will provide lively entertainment.

National Celebrations

The SQUARE of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square will celebrate two national events in January. On National Children’s Day, Jan. 12 and 13, children can enjoy an array of treats and meet kids from different countries in the game area, complete with balloon art, clowns and painting. Tickets for children over 12 cost B475 net while those 12 eat for free when accompanied by two paying adults (B590 net). While on Jan. 26 celebrate Australia Day with stewed crocodile, seared ostrich fillet with Australian shiraz cabernet, baked Australian seafood ragout and lamingtons. (B950 net inclusive of a glass of Australian wine). For more information, call 02 209 8888 ext. The SQUARE or visit novotelbkk.com.

Ko-Hey! Arikawa

The Neilson Hays Library is presenting a solo exhibition of acrylic and mixed media compositions by Japanese artist Ko-Hey! Arikawa. The opening reception is on Dec. 7, from

7pm to 9pm. This is the first time Arikawa will exhibit his artwork in Thailand. He will showcase his new artwork produced specifically for this exhibition. Rotunda & Garden Gafe Galleries, Neilson Hays Library, 195 Surawong Rd. Tel: 02 233 1731

Atypical Love

Craft Fair at Bumrungrad

A two-day special ThaiCraft Fair will be held at the main lobby of Bumrungrad Hospital on Dec. 7 to 8, from 9am to 5pm. This is a great opportunity for shopping for gifts for the Holiday Season.

Pa Pang at La Lantra

La Lanta Fine Art is presenting a retrospect and new developments by renowned Thai illustrator, Pattreeda Prasarnthong (Pang) from Dec. 15 to Jan. 31, 2013. ‘Pa Pang’ showcases selections of the artist's illustrative work from the last 13 years. Besides retrospective work, this exhibition highlights Pattreeda's new paper characters. Through the combination of drawing and collages, she gives a second life to the expendable paper waste. The opening reception will be on Dec. 15, from 5pm to 7pm. La Lanta Fine Art, 245/14 Sukhumvit Soi 31. Tel: 02 204 0583 or 02 260 5381. Opening Tue to Sat 10am to 7pm.

A Photography Exhibition by British/Thai photographer Cattleya Jaruthavee will be exhibited at the RMA Institute from Dec. 13. ‘Atypical Love’ brings to light a myriad of memories from a point in time. She confronts the topic of domestic violence by revealing the perpetrator’s delusion of the meaning of love. The artist hopes that by visually documenting the memories of a fellow member of society, this will inspire the fortunate ones to be aware of abuse and the less fortunate to speak out. RMA Institute, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Tel 02 663 0809.

Ploenchit Fair

This year’s fifty-fifth Ploenchit Fair was held on Nov. 24 at the Bangkok Pattana International School. Organised annually by the British Community in Thailand Foundation for the Needy (BCTFN), the fair supports a range of diverse charity projects throughout Thailand, promoting self-sufficiency and improving the lives of the needy. With plenty of fun activities for the kids, a Petticoat Lane of stalls and many food and beverage outlets from some of Bangkok’s most popular outlets, such as The Londoner, Tenderloins and Witches Tavern, there was something for all the family. Unfortunately the British weather spoilt proceedings somewhat with rain stopping play for some of the live music performances. Still fun was had by all and much money was raised for a worthwhile cause.

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Phnom Penh & HCMC News Download the current issue of AsiaLIFE HCMC and AsiaLIFE Cambodia online at: www.asialifemagazine.com.

Song Saa Wins Award

Cambodia’s Song Saa island’s pioneering approach to sustainable tourism has been recognised at The Responsible Tourism Awards in the category of Best Accommodation for The Environment. The resort focuses on biodiversity conservation of the two islands it spans, and the surrounding marine environment off the coast of Sihanoukville. "Before we came people from outside the islands were using some very destructive fishing techniques in the area, such as blasting the corals with grenades,” says Wayne McCallum, Song Saa’s sustainability director. “Now it's amazing how the waters are teeming with life around Song Saa.”

Photo Phnom Penh

The fifth annual Phnom Penh photo festival opens on Dec. 8 and runs until Dec. 30. This year’s offering is a celebration of form, colour, space and time with works from photographers of all ages and many nations. Guest of honour, Georges Rousse, has produced a work especially to celebrate the exhibition, and is showing a huge retrospective of his oeuvre. Eighty past participants will be showcasing their new works. Open-air screenings, public space exhibitions, as well as works by other big names in photography will be held.

Top City

Ho Chi Minh City has been ranked first in the affordability

category of the Globe Shopper Index, published by Global Blue. The city scored particularly well for the cost of hotels, restaurants and bars, as well as clothing, watches and electrical goods. The expanded index, in partnership with the Economist Intelligence Unit, adds 25 AsiaPacific cities to the existing 33 European cities, listing them in five categories covering shops, affordability, convenience, hotels/transport and culture/ climate.

Flight Expansion

VietJetAir received a new Airbus A320 in Ho Chi Minh City. The aircraft will contribute to the airline’s schedule expansion for 2012, including its first flights last month between the southern Vietnamese city and north-central Vinh. Besides more internal connections, VietJetAir plans to debut an international route in early 2013. Recently it was voted the friendliest airline and the best

airline for promotion deals in Vietnam by the Trust & Consume market research report in Ho Chi Minh City. The report lists the country’s top 100 products and services as chosen by both Vietnamese and foreign consumers living here.

The Full Spa Treatment

Six Senses Ninh Van Bay announced that its spa is the first in Vietnam and the Six Senses Group to launch a full professional and retail range of intraceutical oxygen treatments, oxygen detoxification wellness programmes, and beauty and wellness spa holidays. These include a full course of oxygen infusion and inhalation therapies. The company can be found at Sixsenses.com.

Spring ‘Spa-liday’

On the third floor of Park Hyatt Saigon, Xuan Spa’s signature Orchid package has three treatments designed to revitalise, energise and

Christmas Carols

It wouldn’t be the holidays without Christmas carolers. The children from 1312 Kids at Ben Thanh Theatre, HCMC will delight guests on Christmas Eve (7.30pm to 8.15pm) and Christmas Day (12.30p to 1.15pm) with their a cappella renditions of traditional holiday songs as they move through Park Lounge, Opera and Square One. For those who prefer late afternoon, the Saigon Children’s Charity Choir will perform 3pm to 5pm daily Dec. 20-25 at the nearby Caravelle (pictured), where a Christmas tree greets guests at the entrance.

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Natural Disasters Hurricane Sandy’s dramatic assault is a point won for the 2012 doomsayers

Move to Cambodia Rihanna Plane Scandal Mayhem breaks loose on the pop star’s private aircraft when a journalist streaks down the gangway strengthen. The journey begins with a traditional Thai massage, followed by a Vietnamese coffee scrub and then a synchronised Abhyanga massage, the famed ‘four hands massage’ known as an ayurverdic therapy for detoxification.. More at Xuanspa. com or spa.saiph@hyatt.com.

Recycle Art

At the end of each art exhibition, a question arises about the supplies that went into it: Were they put to good use? Yet another exhibition, RE-PLEASE, tackles that quandary with artworks made entirely from recycled materials, namely, leftover PR printed matter. The 11 emerging Thai artists behind the show will come to Ho Chi Minh City as part of their drive to raise awareness about natural resources among the art world. A cocktail reception from 7pm to 9pm on Dec. 22 at sponsor Monsoon restaurant (1 Cao Ba Nha, D1) will kick off the exhibit, to last till Jan. 6.

Obama The US President retains the White House, but will he finally deliver on the promise for change?

One of the Phnom Penh’s favourite food bloggers, former Google employee Lina Goldberg of mybigfatface. com, has ventured into the literary world with her new work Move to Cambodia. Sure to prove a useful tool for new expats, the 175-page book explains everything from budgeting for a move to how to bargain with a tuk tuk driver. The work can currently be bought online for $8.99 from Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, Apple and Kobo. A handy accompanying website movetocambodia.com also offers a wealth of advice.

Try, Try and Try Again!

cross-dressing Septuagenarians Liu Xianping's playful photos increase his granddaughter's online fashion store's sales five-fold

Gangnam Style YouTube’s most popular video of all time — is there no stopping the man called Psy

GOING UP GOING DOWN Arab Spring Does the on-going violence in Egypt suggest the Arab Spring was a false dawn?

Gaza Peace Conflict between Hamas and Israel reveals — yet again — the need for progress on Palestine

Puppy Love Trouble in paradise? Rumours abound that teen idols Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez are on the rocks

The highlight of the 2012 rugby season was Team Cambodia’s unexpected invitation to take part in the Punjab International Sports Festival 2012 Rugby 7’s event last month. Team Cambodia were among 10 Asian teams taking part, including four from the host Pakistani province, with international teams from Auckland and Belfast also joining in. The Cambodians achieved two convincing wins in the early rounds and held Pakistan Green to a couple of close-run score lines. Finally succumbing to Hollywood from Northern Ireland, Cambodia finished fourth overall. The Kingdom certainly proved its mettle in what remains a relatively new sport for Cambodians. For more information, visit cambodiarugby.net.

David Petraeus Head of CIA steps down, after being deemed a home(land) wrecker

Roberto Di Matteo Chelsea coach pays the penalty with his job after Juventus trounces The Blues

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OPENINGS Dubliner Part II

Another casualty of the Washington Square massacre, Sukhumvit’s oldest Irish Bar has moved to Soi 33/1 just behind the Robin Hood. Much of the old Dubliner remains, with Brunswick pool table and live music, but the menu has been totally revamped with four chefs compiling what promises to be excellent contemporary fare. The new space is larger than the slightly cramped area of old, allowing more room for partying, although the strong use of wood retains the feel of a genuine Celtic oasis in Sukhumvit. There are also 18 guest rooms, including three suites upstairs. Open from 9am to 1am. The Dubliner, Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, Tel: 02 204 1841, thedublinerbangkok.com.

W Opens

Soi 11. Tel: 090 626 7655, apotekabkk.com.

Farmani in Bangkok

From Los Angeles to New York and now Bangkok, the latest endeavour of the Farmani

Gallery is the newly opened Rooftop Gallery. With a focus on photographic art, Hossein Farmani first established the Farmani Gallery in 2003, now he brings his expertise to help promote local and international

photographers in Bangkok. Open Wednesday to Friday from 12pm to 7pm. Rooftop Gallery ,440/10 Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor. Tel: 090 910 8373, farmanigallery. com.

The Sportsman’s Second Coming

The Dubliner

Due to the impending demolition of Washington Square, the Sportsman has relocated to Sukhumvit Soi 13, about 150 metres into the Soi from Sukhumvit, just after the main Trendy Condo building. One of Bangkok's landmark sports bars, the new location has the same winning formula of great atmosphere, six Brunswick pool tables and quality food at very reasonable prices, that made The Sportsman so popular over the past four years. With

The much anticipated W Hotel Bangkok is finally set to open in December. Situated in the highend business sector of Sathorn Road, W Hotel Bangkok claims to offer guests unbeatable 24-hour service, along with the normal dining, spa and drinking options within the hotel. W Hotel, 106 North Sathorn Road, Silom. Tel: 02 344 4000. whotels.com/bangkok.

The Apothecary

A new bar that plays heavily on its apothecary theme, the décor at Apoteka is reminiscent of a Victorian medicine shop, while drinks or “elixirs” contain their own medicinal flair. The cuisine is a mix of east meets west created to meet the needs of today’s discerning diners. Lounge areas are available both indoors and outdoors with a terrace that gives you full view of throbbing Soi 11. Open from 5pm to 1am (to 2am Friday / Saturday), from 3pm to 12am Sunday. Apoteka, 33/28 Sukhumvit 12 asialife Thailand

W Hotel


The Sportsman six Brunswick pool tables, two dartboards (in their own area), a golf machine, seven TVs and eventually three HD big screen projectors, The Sportsman certainly meets your every sporting need. Open from 2pm to 2am, from 12pm (Friday to Sunday). The Sportsman Bar and Restaurant, Unit 10/22 Trendy Condominium, Sukhumvit Soi 13. Tel: 02 168 7241.

Riva Surya

Riverfront Hotel

New 68-room riverfront hotel is set on a quiet street not far from the Khaosan backpacker area. Designed with a mix of Victorian and contemporary styles, Riva Surya’s in-house restaurant and bar, Babble & Rum, offers food and cocktails along with a view of the river. Room rates start at B3,300. Riva Surya, 23 Phra Arthit Rd., Phra Nakhon. Tel: 02 633 5000. rivasuryabangkok.com.

What’s in a Name?

A smiling monkey sign greets customers to this independent café that should not be confused with Crepes & Co. Chimp Chimp Crepes & Co recently opened in Ekkamai offering a selection of homemade ice cream and sorbets. The shop retails a variety of one-of-a-kind DIY kits, supplies and lifestyle goods, as well as gifts and treats from around the world.

Chimp Chimp Crepes & Co, Le Chateau Mansion, Ekkamai Soi 12. Tel: 089 992 9001.

Shopping with Nature

Both shopaholics and nature lovers can enjoy the eco-friendly Thanya Shopping Park. Located away from downtown Bangkok in Srinakarin, the Park aims to give shoppers an environment more in tune with nature than other malls. Open from 10am to 10pm. Thanya Shopping Park, 1km

Chimp Chimp Crepes & Co asialife Thailand 13


basil, ginger and sugar cane. Deco Bar, The Siam Hotel, Thanon Khao, Vachirapayabal. Tel: 02 206 6999, thesiamhotel. com.

before Pattanakarn intersection, Srinakarin Rd. Tel: 02 721 4555, thanyashoppingpark.com.

Pla Dib Goes Coffee

Popular Ari restaurant Pla Dib restaurant is expanding into coffee territory with the opening of sister café, Coffee Roasting. This will serve hot or cold drip coffee (both B80) alongside breakfast items such as waffles and double eggs (B100). Open from 8am to 4pm. Coffee Roasting, 1/1 Soi Ari Samphan 7, Paholyothin Soi 5. Tel: 02 279 8185.

Japanese at a Snip

Yet another Japanese restaurant in Bangkok, but this time in Phayathai, an area where few restaurants have yet ventured to. With a sushi set (B350), yam seafood (B250) and deep-fried soft shell crab salad (B180) Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi also aims to provide affordable dishes that remain true to their Japanese roots.). Kaizen Sushi & Hibachi, 308 Phayathai Rd. Tel: 02 215 2972.

Coffee and Alcohol

A café where you can grab a beer, in addition to regular coffees and teas (B40-B60), at B&B you can get a vitamin booster (B40) and an assortment of local and imported beer (B60-B220), depending on whether it’s ying or yang you are after. A cosy café with minimalistic décor, with the option of either indoor or outdoor terrace seating, Beans & Booze also has home-made pastries (B40-B50). Open from 7am to 9pm, Sundays from 9am. Beans & Booze, G/F SAF Residence, Sukhumvit 50. Tel: 02 332 9316, 081 496 6663.

Loving Japanese Food

Beans & Booze

Jazz by the River

River-fronted Siam Hotel has just unveilled its jazz bar, Deco Bar. While the interior has comfortable leather seating, the outside deck affords excellent sunset view. The bar’s signature cocktails use fresh, local ingredients such as tamarind, sweet

In The Mood For Love 14 asialife Thailand

Japanese restaurant In The Mood For Love has just opened another location, this time set on two floors with an open air terrace in Ekkamai. The owners promise some new dishes in addition to the regular favourites. In The Mood For Love, 69 Ekkamai Soi 1. Tel: 02 392 8477.


dispatches

Travel news from around the region and beyond

Biking on the River Recently opened Hotel Indigo Tianjin Haihe is the only internationally branded boutique and design hotel in the booming historical Chinese coastal destination. A personal tour of the hotel and local neighbourhood, plus a travel kit, map and tips on the surroundings will help guests explore the Haihe River Waterfront on one of the hotel’s complimentary bikes, along with refreshments on the way. They can immerse themselves in historical Tianjin and the inspirations behind Hotel Indigo Tianjin Haihe. On arrival, guests also may try the hotel’s free ‘Caring with Coffee’ special from the nearby restaurant Albert’s, plus little Indigo neighbourhood nightly treats in their rooms. Hotelindigo.com.

Golf Galore Five golf courses and three hotels have joined Golf Wonderful Indonesia, a consortium of premium courses, hotels and lifestyle outlets. Some of the new partners are Taman Dayu Golf Club & Resort in Surabaya, a stunning Jack Nicklaus design laid out at the foot of Mt. Welirang; Finna Golf in Surabaya, amid the lush, tropical highlands of East Java; and Merapi Golf & Mountain Resort in Yogyakarta, 800m above sea level and ringed by volcanic peaks. Golf travel packages are at: Golfwonderfulindonesia.com, which also serves as a clearinghouse of information centred on golf and tourism activities in the country.

Exotissimo Launches in China Exotissimo Travel Agency Bangkok is now offering in-depth travel experiences throughout China, capping a period of expansion that has seen the company grow out of Southeast Asia into Indonesia, Japan and now China. Those exploring China will uncover traditions and cultural facets to the country many visitors miss out on, engage with locals and provide a deep connection for travellers. Exotissimo China has three itineraries including Classical China, Southwest China and Minorities, and Great Landscape, uncovering the spectacular terrain, from deserts to mountains and the Tibetan Plateau. For more information, contact Frederic Lizee at: infobkk@ exotissimo.com.

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STREET SMART: Sukhumvit Soi 11

Sukhumvit Soi 11 is Bangkok’s official expat hub for dining and clubbing. Over the past year, several new venues have emerged in this familiar territory for foreigners living or visiting Thailand. Yvonne Liang gives you the low down on a few promising newbies as well as some tried and tested favourites that are worth your patronage. Photos by Nick McGrath.

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Zanzibar 139 Sukhumvit 11 Nana BTS station takes you to the start of Sukhumvit 11. Walk 100m into the soi and you’ll see Zanzibar on the left. This alfresco restaurant is only open during the evenings. Outside seating in its garden terrace can be pleasant for dinner or drinks. The menu features local and Italian dishes at western prices, but the ambience and live jazz tunes are well worth it. Open daily from 5.30pm to 1am. Cheap Charlie’s 1 Sukhumvit Soi 11 About half way into Sukhumvit 11 is a small cul-de-sac on the left hand side. Cheap Charlie’s dive bar has been here since 1982 and today it still sits in the same spot opposite Bangkok Bank. It’s covered with knick knacks and memorabilia collected over the years and packed most nights with local expats who take advantage of the cheap beer (B65). Open daily from 4.30pm to 1am, closed Sundays. The Alchemist 1/19 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Walk into the alley past Cheap

Charlie’s and you’ll hit a bar named after Paulo Coelho’s novel. The casual atmosphere welcomes all, whether you’ve had a long day at work (take advantage of the B100 Mojitos from 5pm to 9pm) or you’re prepping for a big night out at one of the nearby night clubs. Patrons of The Alchemist love their “potion” cocktails (B180 to B200). Potion #1 is an alluring combination of vodka, passion fruit, ginger, lime and coriander. Live music performances on Wednesday can pack the place out. Open from 5pm to 12am, closed Mondays. Charley Brown’s Mexicana 1/23 Sukhumvit 11 Just a few doors along is one of the oldest Mexican food joints in town, Charley Brown’s Mexicana. Over the past 20 years there’ve been some major changes in the look and feel of the restaurant, but the food is still reasonably priced. Promotions occur five days a week, our favourite being Margarita Madness when there’s half off Charley Brown’s infamous Margaritas and Sangrias on Tuesdays.

Open from 12pm to 12am, from 5pm on Mondays. Tapas Café 1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Next door to Charley Brown’s is the place you want to go to for Spanish Tapas in Bangkok. Service and food at Tapas Café are spot on even when it’s packed at evenings. An array of tapas means you can try something new every time, but if you look around the room it’s easy to figure out the best sellers. Happy hour occurs before 7pm

and it applies to the tapas (three tapas for the price of two) and sangrias (two for the price of one). Open daily from 11.30am to 12am. Chez Papé 1/28-29 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Bistro-styled Chez Papé is just one door down from Tapas Café. The décor is retro with old film posters and antique instruments adorning the walls. The food is inexpensive and portions are quite generous. Try the salmon tartar with crunchy asialife Thailand 17


vegetables and Avruga caviar (B230). Pair your dishes with a wine from their selection (B145 to B160 per glass) and you’re all set. Open daily from 5pm to 12am. Au Bon Pain Sukhumvit Soi 11 Back on the main drag, cross the road for one of Bangkok’s most popular chains. Street level Au Bon Pain makes for some air-conditioned relief from the activities out on the street. It has a range of well-priced drinks 18 asialife Thailand

and snacks with coffees (from B55), sandwiches (from B120), soups (from B95) and salads (from B80) on the menu. Open from 6.30am to 11pm. Raintree Spa 3/1 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Up-market spa provides for a sanitary alternative to the massage maidens lying in wait outside the Villa Market across the road. The soothing water in the reception area creates a sense of calm that continues into the treatment rooms up-

stairs. With foot massage from B350 and aromatherapy massage from B900 per hour, this might be slightly more expenses than many streetside parlours, but at least you know it’s only a massage you are going to be offered. Open from 10am to 10pm. Zaks 19 Sukhumvit Soi 11 The understated décor for this restaurant cum wine bar makes for a relaxing place to wine and dine, and the prices are stress-

free as well. House wine starts from B100 per glass, or you can enjoy a bottle (B1,000 – B4,000) from Zak’s wine cellar. Cocktails (B190 to B250) are designed by in-house mixologist and restaurant manager Keoma. Open from 6pm to 2am. Limoncello 17 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tucked behind Zaks is familyoriented Italian restaurant, Limoncello — perfect for bringing a large group of friends for dinner. Good reliable Italian fare is


listed on the menu with over 50 different pizzas and calzones. The pizza Zanotti, a blend of tomato, mozzarella, mascarpone cheese and imported Parma ham is just one of many superb choices. For dessert, try the traditional tiramisu. Open from 12pm to 3pm and 6pm to 11pm. Bash 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Touted as the “newest late night upscale clubbing experience”, one thing is definitely upscale at Bash — the drink prices. However, that’s not stopping the late night owls from partying here. It gets busy around 2.30am when the nearby clubbers pour into the after-hours venue. Friday and Saturday nights feature the most memorable entertainment. Open daily from 1am to very late. Australian Pub 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Next door to Bash is the Australian Pub with its wide range of sports on show as well as occasional live music and traditional tucker. A menu of barbequed meals is also available. Outdoor seating provides a view of the busy street which can be great for people watching. Schooners are offered at a special price during happy hour from 4pm to 10pm. Open from 12pm to 12am. Mulligan’s Irish Bar & Restaurant Lobby/F, Citadines Hotel, 22/22 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Hop over to the other side of the street to Mulligan’s Irish Bar & Restaurant. The soi’s only Irish pub has beer barrel tables and, a pool table, excellent pub grub and laissez faire licensing laws that make this a good option any time of the day. LCD television screens adorn the walls so you can catch the sports action from every corner. Local and international beers are available on tap. Take advantage of happy hour from 4pm to 7pm when all beers are 50 percent off. Open 24/7. Oskar Bistro 24 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Further down on the same side as Mulligan’s, by day Oskar Bistro looks like an empty shack, but at night it’s teeming with revellers. Diners can enjoy a reasonably priced menu of bistro style French, Mediterranean

and Thai cuisine. With plenty of bars in the area, the fact that Oskar’s is packed every night means someone’s doing their job right. Open daily from 6pm to 2am. Bed Supperclub 26 Sukhumvit Road 11 Just next door sits the spaceship-like restaurant/night club, Bed. Now in its tenth year, Bed Supperclub is known for its Wednesday night Model’s Nights and Tuesday’s Hip Hop Night where you can almost always spot celebrity rappers in the Bar Room. Cover charge varies on different nights of the week ranging from B600B800 including two drinks. Gourmands can experience a truly unique horizontal dining experience — take off your shoes and lean against big fluffy pillows while watching the live floor show. Open daily from 7pm to 2am. Aloft Bangkok 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Across the street from Bed is cool-looking hotel, Aloft. Its all white exterior matches that of the adjacent spaceship. Rooms are reasonably priced starting at B2,800 per night. The benefits of staying at Aloft hotel include super high tech facilities such as free WiFi throughout and fun gadgets. The Aloft Touch Room is a savvy feature that allows guests to use one mobile device to operate all the amenities in the room, from opening the door to ordering room service and controlling the TV, as well as free VIP access to nearby clubs. Levels 6/F, Aloft Hotel Bldg, 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Stepping out of Aloft, an elevator takes you directly to Levels nightclub. Opened earlier this year, the club is currently one of the hottest venues for clubbers. Friday nights are especially fun with new themed parties each week. Open from 9pm to 3am. Firehouse 3/26 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Follow the road round to the left to an American firehouse themed burger joint that provides some of the finest patties in town. Hot dogs, mac n cheese, clam chowder, pulled pork sandwiches and, of course, hamburgers can be

paired with your choice of beers and wines. Late night hours means you can have a bite after dancing in the nearby clubs. Open from 11.30am to 3am (to midnight Sundays), closed Mondays. Nest Rooftop Lounge 9/F Le Fenix Hotel, 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Continue along Sukhumvit 11 to Le Fenix Hotel, a great choice for out-of-towners. Take the elevator up to rooftop bar Nest, an open air hang out with comfortable hammocks and sand at your feet. It’s one of the more relaxed venues on this street. Thursday night’s live music with residents Johnny O, Tara and the Bangkok Collective are a great way to spend the evening. It’s so chill in fact that you may reconsider heading out for a crazy night. Open from 5pm to 2am (Sunday to 1am). Q Bar 34 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Just across from Le Fenix Hotel is the legendary Q Bar. Best known for its hip hop and electro house music, the club offers something for all party

animals. Recently renovated, the dance floor is conducive to dancing while outdoor areas on both ground floor and upstairs are great for catching up over drinks. Each day of the week has a different DJ line-up, but on Thursdays you get free entry and two-for-one drinks before 11pm. Open from 9pm to 3am. Above Eleven 33/F Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, 38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Further into Sukhumvit 11 is Fraser Suites serviced apartment, home to the newest rooftop bar on the block. Designed with New York’s Central Park in mind, here you’ll find man-made trees that glow with colour-changing light stands high above Sukhumvit 11’s skyline. Serving new to Bangkok Peruvian-Japanese fusion food, Wednesday is Ladies’ Night with salsa music by DJ Ricardo and 50 percent off mojitos and margaritas for women. Open from 6pm to Get directions 2am. asialife Thailand 19


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Adriana Sánchez

Bangkok-based Peruvian Adriana Sánchez has been practicing Reiki at her own Aura Centre in Sukhumvit. Yvonne Liang finds out how Bangkokians can benefit from this alternative healing therapy. Photo by Nick McGrath. ........................................................................................... What is Reiki? It’s a very simple form of healing which helps the body to balance the energy within us. The practitioner uses the palms of the hands to balance energy that could be blocked and drives the right flow into the human body. Reiki is an intelligent energy, it has the ability to know where healing is needed first. All living things are made up of energy that sustains life. It is important to keep it protected, balanced and bright in order to promote an emotional, physical and mental well being. You liken Reiki to music, can you explain more? If our body were a musical instrument, when there is an accumulation of stress the kind of music our body would be playing is without harmony. Reiki is a powerful tool to tune us back and make us sound beautiful again. What is special about Reiki? It allows me to contact a part of myself, which may not have shape, which may not be recognised by my mind, but at the same time is very strong and takes me to a state where I feel peaceful and calm. It’s an interesting experience to connect with your heart and feel its transmission. What type of Reiki do you practice? I practice Reiki Usui, rediscovered by Dr Mikao Usu. I use Reiki in combination with crystals and Bach Flowers and

the result is tremendous. These treatments do not just work on the physical body but also other bodies that surround the physical body, which are invisible to humans. Some people describe it as a big luminosity called the Aura. The kinds of treatment that I practice are focused on the restoration of the Aura. Reiki, along with Crystals and Bach Flowers, provides the key to unlock the door of our awareness, which will guide us to amend essential defects, leaving us better and more full than before. What common ailments can be healed by Reiki? I think in any big city like Bangkok, it’s normal to find people stressed and overwhelmed from long working hours, financial instability and relationship issues — to name a few. Most of our physical problems have their roots in our mind based on the thoughts that we generate. The common reason for visiting a Reiki practitioner in urban environments is usually for stress-related issues. In order to treat the person effectively it’s important to find out where the stress is coming from and treat each individual on a case by case basis. Bach Flowers are extremely useful in this process as the remedies are personalised depending on the needs of the patient. We are able to treat the person and not the disease, the causes not the consequences. What has been your greatest joy in assisting people through Reiki?

To see how they are able to take better control of their lives and to resolve their personal issues for greater mental and physical well being. Can you give us some example of your successes? People come to me with common problems such as insomnia, migraines and eczema. A few sessions are enough to make them feel better. I have witnessed people showing strong emotions in the middle of a session. This is a common experience of individuals who are going through the healing process and are releasing the pain and sadness they were holding on to. Of course, magic does not exist. It is a matter of frequency and discipline. What message would you offer those who doubt Reiki’s healing powers? I respect everybody has different beliefs. I think Reiki as a holistic method provides a different approach to health and well being. Some people like to call it an alternative medicine. I like to think of it as a complementary and natural medicine. Dr. Bach, a great doctor from the last century, used to say that everything in life is about peace, joy, happiness and health. When our personality goes away from the path the soul has delineated, conflict arises. Such conflicts are the root cause of disease and unhappiness. It is the simple truth. asialife Thailand 21


La nd AsiaLIFE photographer, Nick McGrath spent one month travelling across India from ‘the land of kings’ in Rajasthan to West Bengal. Mesmerised by the chaos and colour of the Indian continent,

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K i ngs McGrath found himself drawn towards its diverse culture and the paradox of life that unfolded in front of him. From the sand stonewalls of the desert fort in Jaisalmer to the

emerald blue city of Jodhpur and Kolkata’s huddled masses, with its rich colours, fantastic light and vibrant faces, India is one journey that assaults every sense of the human condition.


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Putting the Poachers out of Business The trade in animal parts is a multi-billion-dollar business that rivals drug and human trafficking in its global reach. In an exclusive article published simultaneously in Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, AsiaLIFE goes in search of the criminals involved in the industry and those tasked with preventing and punishing them. By Bridget Di Certo, Chris Mueller and Mark Bibby Jackson. Photo by Alex McMillan.

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The photograph shows a man sitting on top of a tiger. He is holding a rifle in his right hand. The tiger is dead. Taken on a mobile phone in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex, the image was used to convict Thai national Nai Sae Tao to five years imprisonment in February this year — the most severe punishment handed out for wildlife poaching in the country. His partner in crime, Vietnamese Hoang Van Hien, received a four-year sentence. The global trade of wildlife is big business. According to wildlife NGO Freeland, some experts estimate it at $10-20 billion annually, and it is growing. “Over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organised, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before,” US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said at a meeting on wildlife trafficking held at the State Department in Washington last month. The very fact that Clinton was addressing an international convention on trafficking emphasises the importance being placed on the issue by policy makers. Left unchecked the impact on nature could be devastating. “If trends continue, scientists predict 13 to 42 percent of Southeast Asia’s animal and plant species could be wiped out this century,” according to Freeland. “At least half those losses would represent global extinctions.”

Trafficking Across Borders It is not difficult to see the trappings of animal trafficking across the region. The streets of Vietnam are teeming with wildlife. In urban centres, cages perched on the backs of motorbikes are stuffed with wild birds, lizards, marine animals and sometimes monkeys on chains. Many are endangered. In some markets, in clear view, hawkers sell rhino horn and tiger bone paste, the authenticity not known. Wildlife restaurants are common, selling rare meat to those looking to impress their peers or trying to cure some real or imagined ailment.

“I think we’re getting very close to there being no hope for the elephants [in Vietnam],” says Nick Cox, the manager of WWF’s regional programme on species and protected areas. Vietnam is also playing a larger part in the thriving tiger parts trade, which they use in traditional medicines. Although the trade is officially illegal, licensed tiger breeding farms — formed by the Vietnamese government as pilot programmes for reintroducing tigers into the wild — still exist. Conservationists warn they could be fronts for the trade. Cox says that tigers are virtu-

“Scientists predict 13 to 42 percent of Southeast Asia’s animal and plant species could be wiped out this century” In August, the last remaining male in a herd of elephants in Vietnam’s south-central Dak Lak province was killed for his tusks. Conservationists now say the herd is unsustainable. The New York Times later wrote about the incident, stating that elephant conservationists in Vietnam had “essentially thrown in the towel”.

ally extinct in Vietnam and, as it’s not costeffective for poachers to hunt wild breeds, more farms are popping up to meet growing demand both in Vietnam and in China. Catching the Poachers The problem is not unique. In October, a man was arrested in Khon Kaen province in

Royal Thai Customs seized 247 elephant tusks (over 2 metric tons of ivory) at Bangkok's seaport in April 2011. The multi-million dollar contraband was smuggled in a shipping container from Kenya. Mekong countries act as conduits for ivory markets in China, the United States and Europe.

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northeastern Thailand while driving a truck containing 16 tiger cubs. Police said he was paid $470 by an unnamed trader to transport the animals from Bangkok. According to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT), the cubs came from breeding facilities in the Kanchanaburi and GreaterBangkok regions. It believes they may have been destined for the Laos city of Thakhek where “one of the largest ‘safehouses’ for wildlife is, with dozens of bears, tigers and hundreds of pangolins awaiting transport to Vietnam and China”. The driver claimed he did not know that the transportation of tiger cubs was illegal. Zoos that have legitimate licenses for breeding tigers could also be part of the illegal trade, reports indicate. In April the owner of a private zoo in Thailand’s Chaiyaphum province was charged with possession of protected wildlife after two tigers cubs were found during a July 2011 raid. At the time, DNA samples of the cubs were collected to verify claims that they were the offspring of animals legally owned by the zoo. A subsequent DNA test conducted by the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation’s Wildlife Forensic Science Unit showed the claims were false. The zoo is believed to be a cover for illegal international trafficking operations, according to Freeland. “What traffickers must understand is that Thailand is very serious about wildlife crime and will continue to use the latest forensic techniques to investigate and apprehend these organised criminals,” says Doug Goessman, law enforcement advisor for the wildlife organisation. “CSI and forensics not only applies to people, it applies to wildlife as well.” The use of DNA is just one of the many modern approaches that law enforcement agencies are now using to clamp down on the poachers. In Thailand’s Western Forest Complex, rangers are trained in GPS control systems to monitor the movements of protected wildlife and their prey. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) says such technology has helped to improve rangers’ morale, which was “very low” when the group started working in the area in 2005. “The key thing is to maintain the quality of the protection in the park,” says Anak Pattanavibool, director of WSC Thailand. Training, improved job satisfaction and the use of modern technology all help to achieve this, and the results are showing. The Western Forest Complex is one of the few places in the world where the number of tigers is actually rising. “It’s quite amazing,” Pattanavibool says. “The wildlife population is responding quite positively.” Technology also helped in the conviction of

A Thai forest ranger trains in basic navigations techniques, vital if GPSs fail. Improved training exercises like this have resulted in Thailand’s Western Forest Complex becoming one of the most important sanctuary reserves in the region.

Nai Sae Tao and Hoang Van Hien. Evidence provided by camera traps proved the tiger they killed came from the Western Forest Complex, rather than across the border in Myanmar as the poachers had claimed. It seems tigers have distinctive stripes that are almost as conclusive as human fingerprints for identification. A Few Good Men Those looking for more positive signs need to look across the border in Cambodia, where the wild animal trade was once rampant. Just five years ago, many local markets and restaurants were involved to some extent in purchasing or trading wild animals

for medicine or meat, according to conservation group Wildlife Alliance. It was a profitable business with high demand. In the mid2000s, a healthy pangolin — a scaly anteater found in parts of African and Asia — could be sold for about $80 per kilo. Now it is around $300. Pangolins are in high demand, especially in Vietnam and China where they are sold as meat and their scales are used in traditional medicines. Since then, renewed conservation efforts in Cambodia's jungles have resulted in a major slowdown of the highly damaging and illegal trade, but that it not to say it does not still exist. In fact, the stakes are higher than ever as hunters and traders resort to extreme

A tiger, which was rescued from the wildlife trade as a cub, is displayed to the press by the Royal Thai Police as they announced the arrest of a major trafficking gang’s “money man”. The gang is believed to be responsible for the trafficking of up to 1,000 big cats from Thailand into Laos and Vietnam during the last decade.

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measures to continue their plunder of Cambodia’s forests. “The scale of the problem in Cambodia is decreasing tremendously,” says Khem Vong, project manager of Wildlife Alliance’s Wildlife Rapid Rescue Team (WRRT). “It used to be that wildlife was openly for sale on national roads — trading was very out in the open but now it is more difficult to find wildlife meat.” The trade has been driven underground by

“In one recent raid, we stopped a luxury car with fake military plates that had a sealed medicine box in the trunk. Inside were six rattlesnakes, each in a medicine compartment being kept on ice to keep them quiet and generate oxygen,” Khem says. Dwindling populations mean that pangolins can now fetch up to $1,000. In part, this is due to large land concessions that can result in the razing of flora or fauna, says Nick Marx,

“Criminals see it as a lower risk way to make money because the penalties are just not as strong as for drug trafficking or human trafficking” the successful actions of Khem and the small team of investigators and military police. The wildlife taskforce, in operation since 2008, cracks down on trading cartels and rescues and rehabilitates poached wildlife. But the team has had to adapt to increasingly sophisticated and covert measures used by animal traders. Whereas animals like macaques were once transported by public bus from place to place and exported across borders — most frequently to Vietnam, traders now employ more clandestine methods of transportation.

director of wildlife rescue and care at Wildlife Alliance. “The big, charismatic, valuable stuff like tigers are simply gone,” he says. A Lesser Crime One problem in the region is that even when the poachers are caught the likelihood of conviction is slim and the punishment meted out seldom fits the crime. “It’s still a long process preparing the case [even if] the police are willing to prosecute,” says Seamas McCaffrey, communications officer for Freeland. “It can be years and at the

end of it all, they maybe just get a slap on the wrist. There are a lot of loopholes and gaps in law where cases can fall apart.” The organisation has a programme aimed at informing those within the law and order network that it is a multi-billion-[dollar] trade, often linked to money laundering and other forms of trafficking. “Criminals see it as a lower risk way to make money because the penalties are just not as strong as for drug trafficking or human trafficking,” he says. Although William Schaedla, regional director of NGO TRAFFIC, says the link between animal traffickers and organised crime is overplayed — the former requires specific husbandry skills that normal criminals do not posses, he agrees that there is a tendency to see animal trafficking as a lesser crime. “The case evaporates and there is no follow through in the court system or prosecution,” he says. “Prison sentences when they are actually carried through are often very low.” Wildlife at Risk (WAR), a grassroots NGO based out of Ho Chi Minh City, has an alternative approach, focusing on local education. It targets students rather than taking on lawmakers and fighting poachers directly. Simon Faithfull, a technical advisor, says the programme is popular, and many young Vietnamese are starting to understand the importance of protecting wildlife. “There is no point in butting heads with local authorities,” he says. “Do you play a softer ball game or butt heads and have your project shut down?” Sometimes new legislature can work to help rather than hinder the poachers. In

The illegal trade in pangolins has led to a drastic decline in their natural populations in Southeast Asia. Pangolins are often smuggled to markets in China and Vietnam where their meat is considered a delicacy and the scales are used in traditional medicines.

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Photo by Conor Wall

Wildlife Alliance's rapid rescue team briefing before a day out in the field.

October, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development legalised the commercial trade of 160 species they deem to be non-threatened. However, wildlife experts say many of the species are actually endangered. Others fear that it opens the door for hunters to capture or kill any species they come across by claiming misidentification. “A lot of the species cannot be readily identified by the forest management, hunters or rangers,” says Douglas Hendrie, the wildlife crime and investigations advisor for Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV), an NGO that works with the Vietnamese authorities to try to improve wildlife protection. “No one will know who is selling what and this will result in increased trade.” Laws like this continue to complicate wildlife protection in Vietnam, but at the same time Hendrie says that such legislation, though ill-founded, had good intentions. The aim was to create a hunting law, like many in the west that are used to control the population of certain animals. “A similar law is implemented in the United States, and there is nothing wrong with it,” Hendrie says. “But what’s wrong with this law here is that it is made for a Vietnam of the future, not the Vietnam of today.” A Hub for Trafficking The Mekong countries are not just feeder countries. They can also act as conduits for illegal animal products such as rhino horn and ivory from Africa, which are then exported to markets in China, the United States and Europe, often over the internet.

“Thailand is definitely a hub, you can tell that from the seizures that are coming in,” McCaffrey says. Vietnam is another major culprit, according to the Wildlife Crime Scorecard, a report released in July by WWF. Since the last Javan rhino in Vietnam was officially declared extinct in October 2011, the Vietnamese have had to look to the white rhinos of South Africa to meet demand.

Many believe rhino horn has multiple medicinal properties that can cure anything from cancer to hangovers. Some consumers simply do not know that these animals are on the brink of extinction. Others blindly believe the claims made by the peddlers of illegal animal products, despite the lack of scientific evidence. Still more believe that offering endangered species to their dinner guests is an overt demonstration of their wealth. Out of Business Back in Thailand, the efforts of Anak Pattanavibool and the rangers of WCS show the way forward. A combination of improved training, modern technology and transparent punishment of offenders has helped turn the Western Forest Complex into one of the most important sanctuary reserves in the region. The number of tigers in its Hua Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary has risen from 46 in 2007 to 65 this year. The photograph of Nai Sae Tao striding the dead tiger appears on a Facebook page called Save the Tiger. More than 1,600 people have “liked” a story documenting the poacher’s capture, with some comments indicating the intensity of people’s feelings on the subject. Their comments echo the sentiments of Clinton at the close of her speech. “Let’s put the poachers out of business and build a more secure and prosperous world for all of us, and particularly for children generations to come.” Additional photos supplied by Freeland Foundation.

Thai and Lao forest rangers being trained in counter-poaching patrolling at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand in 2009.

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A Zoo

Redrawn

Cambodia’s ‘zoo of horrors’ is being transformed. Ellie Dyer heads to Kampot town to see what changes are being made.

Inside the gates of Kampot’s Teuk Chhou wildlife park, a dedicated team of animal lovers has united behind a common goal: to change a failing zoo whose skeletal animals made headline news 18 months ago into a state-of-the-art environ32 asialife Thailand

mental education facility. It’s an ambitious aim for a sprawling park that is home to 43 species, including tigers, lions and elephants. In March 2011, The Phnom Penh Post newspaper painted a deeply troubling picture of a

facility that had fallen into disrepair under the headline ‘The Zoo of Horrors’. Calling it “quite possibly one of the worst” zoos in the world, the story was accompanied by a photograph of an emaciated elephant, whose bones were

clearly visible as it strained through the bars of its enclosure to eat blades of grass. But along with exposing the poor conditions at Teuk Chhou, which the well-meaning owner put down to a lack of funds, the article had a longer lasting ef-


fect at the zoo — it sparked the road to change. Expat couple Rory and Melita Hunter, the husband and wife team behind the luxury Song Saa island resort off Sihanoukville, were so moved by the article that they stepped in to help reform the zoo using their own finances. “There was rubbish in the cages and it was just not a great environment. There were so many things that could be done quickly to make a really big improvement,” says Rory Hunter, who took “step by step” measures to stabilise the facility with the help of Wildlife Alliance’s Nick Marx. In September, a 30-year lease was brokered that enabled their newly-formed NGO, Footprints, to oversee the zoo’s future development. “The fact is a lot of animals were dying, and we had a gibbon that looked like it had come from a death camp,” recalls Footprints’ director, New Zealander Dr Wayne McCallum. Vast improvements are being made, slowly but surely. Though some animals remain in small cages earmarked for future development, donations have enabled a new elephant

enclosure, costing more than $30,000, to be built. Officially opened last month, the sprawling space is the improved home of Kiri and Seila, a male and female elephant both thought to be 15 to 20 years old. Believed to have spent a decade of their lives in a small, inadequate enclosure, experts say their growth has been stunted by malnutrition. “They’d had this for 10 years. It was smelly, dirty, filthy, muddy,” says Louise Rogerson, of Hong Kong-based elephant charity EARS, which helped build the new home. Now the pachyderms have at least an acre of room, a clean pool, plentiful food and activities to peak their interest. “Kiri’s favourite toy is a tyre,” says Rogerson, watching as the bull plonks himself down in a large pile of sand, following a traditional blessing ceremony for the new centre. “They are so much happier.” More change is planned as the team develops a master plan with the aim of turning the facility into a wildlife park and education centre. “The park will be based on habitats: so wetland habitats for birds, rainforest, jungle habitat,”

Hunter says. “It’s very much a journey that you can go on that’s relevant to Cambodian fauna and also Cambodian flora.” The ambitious vision is estimated to be “in the millions” and the team is looking for funding in order to reach its goal. In the meantime, with feeding costs alone estimated at $8,000 a month, animals are available to sponsor. A recently launched

Chhou team of 12 have for the animals under their care. McCallum has bonded with much of the wildlife, including a young tiger called Meanchey. When the powerful cat nuzzles up to the bars, purring, the Footprints’ director does the same. Later, he carefully cradles a giant hornbill’s beak in his hands, an act that seems to hypnotise the bird before it begins to flick

The fact is a lot of animals were dying, and we had a gibbon that looked like it had come from a death camp ‘Paws and Claws’ programme also allows visitors to get a taste of the day to day challenges of zoo-keeping. The Hunters are realistic about the need for long-term sustainability. “For any initiative to work it needs to stack up financially. Funding is one element ... but it needs to work as a business,” Rory says. Despite the financial challenges ahead, one element that is certain is the love that the Teuk

chunks of watermelon into the New Zealander’s hands. The bond between the two is clear for all to see. “For me, this is a legacy project,” explains McCallum, who previously worked in the Cardamom Mountains in western Cambodia. “This is something I want to dedicate the rest of my life to.” For more information about the zoo, visit teukchhou.com. asialife Thailand 33


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For many, jazz in Bangkok is restricted to the sanctuary of the hotel lobby lounge, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Words by Mark Bibby Jackson. Photo by Jonny Edbrooke. What makes someone open a jazz bar? For Patrix Meesaiyaat, owner of Brown Sugar, it’s simple. “I love jazz,” he says. When the original Brown Sugar opened its doors in 1985, only a few places played jazz in Bangkok. The venue was a coffee shop that played some jazz in the background, rather than a bar dedicated to the genre. The name referenced the brown sugar served with its coffee — apparently then a novelty in Bangkok — not the Rolling Stones or illegal narcotics. Six months ago, the Thai Meesaiyaat moved the bar to a new location close to Khao San Road in order to accommodate Bangkok’s burgeoning jazz scene. Traces of the original still remain, such as the picture of Louis Armstrong over the stage, although Miles Davis is the owner’s personal favourite. Bangkok has a crop of promising, young Thai jazz musicians coming through, according to Meesaiyaat. “We have very good, young students and they come to play here,” he says, attributing the trend to jazz being taught at universities such as Mahidol and Silpakorn. One of those charged with developing Bangkok’s future musicians is Dan Phillips. The American guitarist came to the Thai capital about eight years ago to head the jazz department at Mahidol. After a sojourn in Japan’s jazz bars, he returned to teach at Silpakorn. “There are so many young talented guys right now. It’s just way beyond what is happening in any other country [in the region],” he says. Some of his former students play professionally; others are jazz professors themselves. One, Pisut “Aon” Prateepusana, plays tenor saxophone with him on Wednesday nights at Niu’s on Silom. He rates another, Hong Chanutr, as the best drummer in Southeast Asia. “I think there is momentum in Thailand right now for a younger generation coming up,” says Phillips.

One thing that he believes holds back jazz development in the country, as throughout Southeast Asia, is the surfeit of hotel lobby lounge jazz. “That’s not the real jazz,” says Phillips. “It’s just what they’ve been exposed to.” There are not many “specific” jazz clubs in Bangkok, but places such as Brown Sugar, Jazz Happens and Niu’s on Silom help introduce audiences to life outside the lobby lounge. Another venue trying to expand Bangkok’s horizons is Check Inn 99 on Sukhumvit, where the William Wait Quartet plays standard 50s and 60s jazz tunes on Sunday afternoons. “It’s a traditional jam session,” says Wait. “It’s both

at Iron Fairies on Saturday and Sunday evenings as well Check Inn 99. Like Phillips, he believes the standard of Thai jazz musicians is excellent, highlighting the bass player, Mai, who plays with him on Sunday afternoons. “He’s a pro, a really fine player,” he says. Another similarity between the two American jazz musicians is that they compose their own music. Phillips latest CD, Bangkok Edge, has recently been released. The motivation for the music came from the vibe the city gives off. “[Bangkok] is really kind of aggressive,” says Phillips, who knows something about metropolises having been born in

“What is unique about jazz is that it happens in the moment” a musical event and a social event. It’s a chance for musicians to get together, to meet each other, play together. It’s all spontaneous. We don’t know who’s coming in or what they want to play.” Wait has been working in Bangkok for 20 years, having started in Californian Blues bands aged 15. Now 71, he has a wealth of experience, although he did give up playing when 29 in order to pursue a 20-year career as a psychologist. His jazz resurrection happened by chance while passing through Bangkok on his way to India. “I met a Thai on the street, and I had a saxophone with me, and he kind of grabbed me and took me down Soi 11 and I jammed with them and they gave me a job’” he says. The club, called the Glass and located close to Bed Supperclub, is long gone. Now Wait plays

Chicago and lived in New York. “Bangkok is a very high energy city. It’s a true 24-hour city.” When not playing the jazz bars around town, Wait is mixing together elements of jazz, hip hop and electronic music on a personal project. “We’ll see how it works out,” he says with typical understatement. “I’m not sure how it’s going to go.” For all three men, it is the use of improvisation that makes jazz stand out from other forms of music. “What is unique about jazz is that it happens in the moment,” says Phillips, albeit admitting it is not to everyone’s taste. “It is a language that not everyone gets.” Meesaiyaat certainly gets it — after all that’s why he set up Brown Sugar in the first place. “The solo part in pop music is just like a melody, but in jazz the solo part is improvisation,” he says. “It’s beautiful.” asialife Thailand 35


How one expat is making a difference and having fun while he does it. Words by Ben Ashby. Photos by Nick McGrath. The family of nine are living huddled together in a sparse room above a karaoke bar. Originally from Vietnam, the ethnic Hmong family were forced to flee after threats and intimidation by government officials. After a spell in Laos they ended up in Thailand seven months ago. Since then bad has turned to worse. Two members of the family have been in a detention 36 asialife Thailand

centre for seven months, caught working illegally on a farm in Lopburi. The other brother and their wives, plus three young girls and two boys aged between 2 and 14 are simply trying to survive, stuck in a bureaucratic limbo, waiting to hear if they’ll be granted official refugee status and possibly be resettled somewhere else. In the meantime they have to stay hidden from the authorities,

unable to work and reliant on help from others. “Thailand is the layover from hell,” says Dwight Turner of the organisation In Search of Sanuk, who has brought us to see the family. Sanuk means fun in Thai, and the project looks to bring some hope and happiness into the lives of the most poor, underprivileged and unrepresented in Bangkok. “People arrive here looking


for refugee status only to find Thailand is not the most welcoming of countries.” For a family to get refugee status they need to get an interview with the UN, which can take five to six months. Then, once they’ve had that initial interview it can take a year to eighteen months to get a decision. “Even if they’ve prepared for the conditions they can’t prepare themselves financially for not being able to work for so long,” says Turner. Those conditions include a sometimes less than welcoming reception from the locals. “People take advantage, landlords try and rip them off,” says Turner, who often has to act as the point of contact for these families who speak little or no Thai. As a black man, Dwight also admits he knows what it’s like to face prejudice in Bangkok. “It can be difficult but I have connections, these people they have no one.” Like many expats, Dwight

Turner, now 28, first arrived in Thailand as a teacher. Back in 2006 his first year involved what he called a typical expat experience, hitting the town hard and having a lot of fun. After a break back home in Atlanta, US, he decided he’d done partying and wanted to try something more fulfilling. Six years later he’s certainly achieved that aim with In

funds for food and a place to live for 13 refugee families who’ve washed up in Bangkok. Turner never planned to go it alone and had just wanted to do some volunteer work with an existing NGO, but he never found one that worked for him. Then in October 2008 he met Marc Gold, who runs the 100 Friends Charity. “He told me to start my own project rather

“I’d like foreigners to know these people are here, understand their situation” Search of Sanuk, although he is typically modest about the work he does. “I wouldn’t call us a grassroots organisation, we’re not even a sprout,” he says. However, the reality is that every month he provides enough

than wait to find the perfect one to join,” he explains. The next month he accepted an invitation from a member of his church group to visit the Bangkok Refugee Centre. “I went along and it blew my mind,” says Turner. “There

was a Somali band playing La Bamba, Indian families serving Burmese food, it was just really cool. I just said what do you need, what can I do to help?” That help initially involved putting on fundraising parties and art shows but Turner always felt he wanted to be more hands on. He met more refugees and started helping five families with B500 a month for rent and food. As the charity’s name suggests he wants to have fun while doing it, which is why he set up the Big Bite food market. These irregular markets gather together small scale artisanal food producers to let people sample and buy their products. “To be honest I’m a real foodie, this is just a way of getting the community together,” he explains. “It’s important not to put people’s guard up, that makes it difficult to raise sponsorship.” Unclear as to what the future holds for the organisation, in the short term Turner aims to get all his families sponsored. In the longer term he wants to try and change people’s attitude towards refugees. “I’d like foreigners to know these people are here, understand their situation,” he says. “And I’d like Thais to be more compassionate towards them.” Before we leave the family, there’s just time to take part in an impromptu birthday party for one of the young girls. It’s a simple cake but it comes with a significant message from Turner who tells the girl to dream big. Her future might be unclear but at least thanks to Turner’s efforts this girl’s dreams and those of other refugees like her might just come true. To make a donation, sponsor a family or volunteer visit: www. insearchofsanuk.com. The next Big Bite Food market is due to take place at the car park of the Maduzi Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 16 on Dec. 9 between 11am and 2pm. asialife Thailand 37


COWBOYS OF THE SEA A few hundred kilometres from Phuket, the village of Kapoe offers great opportunities for fishing, Yvonne Liang takes a trip with the Barracuda Hunter. A spear gun is tossed over to Paul Laurain a.k.a. the Barracuda Hunter. He goes under once more. Two minutes later he resurfaces with two spear guns, each one with a writhing barracuda pierced through it. His face beams with pride as he blows out the imaginary smoke from his twin pistols.

Our adventure began at the dead of night. It was 3am when we loaded up the pickup truck with fishing gear and drove nearly 300km from Phuket to the Thai-Muslim village of Kapoe in Ranong province, next to the Myanmar border. Daylight was just peeking through the sky as we pulled

up to the house of Khun Latip Jainukul. His children ran over to greet us. They were full of smiles because they recognised Guy Denoes — the older Frenchman whom they affectionately call “poo yai” or big uncle. A couple of French expats who live in Phuket, Denoes and Laurain have embarked on


Photos by Yvonne Liang

countless fishing trips with Latip over the past seven years. “Latip is from the village so he knows the people’” says Laurain. “He knows the spots and he knows the weather. I teach him the technique that is necessary for free diving — to breathe slowly in order to go deeper and stay longer in the water. And not to make big movements that can scare the fish. The fishermen’s best friend on the sea is the captain – Khun Nut Nantakarn. His main job is to steer them in the right direction. He even has a sonar device to help locate fishing hot spots, identify where the rocks are and to determine the depth of the sea. The captain spends hours on the waters waiting for the divers. Sometimes he catches small fish on a fishing rod to pass the time. We pass by clusters of mangrove trees on our way into the great Andaman Sea. “That’s where the small fish stay after they are born,” explains Latip.

“They are crab farms. Small crabs are caught and kept there until they are big enough to sell.” The fish hunters use the travelling time to prepare their spear guns. By the time we get to our dive site, the men are ready. Each one is dressed in his choice of diving gear. Laurain wears a professional camouflage wet suit. Latip also wears a wet suit, while Denoes, who has over 50 years experience of free diving, wears only a T-shirt and swimming trunks. Free diving is already a risky sport as divers have no oxygen tanks. They go through extensive training in order to hold their breath underwater for as long as two to three minutes. Add a spear gun and threatening sea creatures, and you have real danger. “In the waters we have jelly fish, stone fish, sea snake, lion fish, Murray hill, sea urchin, and fire coral … sometimes …

sharks,” explains Laurain. “But the most dangerous thing is the fish we catch. For example, the teeth of the barracuda fish are very sharp and it’s an aggressive fish. You need to shoot and kill.” The men have different motivation for their fishing. For Latip it’s a household matter. “I fish for my family to have good fish to eat,” he says. “The extra fish I can sell to the neighbours.” Denoes like the camaraderie of the sport. “I feel good when I fish,” he says. “It’s a good way to exercise for me. And I can spend some time with my friends.” Other than providing a means of survival and enjoyment, Laurain claims that spear fishing is also better for the marine environment. “Fishing with spear guns is more selective,” he says. “The net kills everything; with the line you don’t know what is bit-

ing. With the gun you can even see if the fish is carrying eggs so you can avoid shooting. It’s the most ecological way to fish.” It is not just below the waves that the sights are stunning. We pass through an endless azure sea with matching sky holding light wisps of clouds. Mountains in various shades of blue-grey stand in the distance as we drive closer to smaller lush islands. Soon daylight fades into dusk and it becomes too dark to continue fishing. We return to the pier where the men divide up their killings. For Latip, three fish go directly onto the stove for his family’s dinner that evening. The rest will be sold fresh the following day. The Frenchmen take their fish back home to Phuket to enjoy with friends. An island day trip via speed boat or long tail boat starts from Rawai Beach, a 20-minute drive from Phuket Town. Call Khun Fit on 081 537 8120 to make a booking.


Back to Nature A trip to the wild forests of Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park and the comfort of the Forest Floor Lodge offer Chris Mueller a welcome escape. I had never seen so many leeches in my life. Dozens of them covered my lower legs, which were wrapped in canvas leech socks treated with repellant. The heavy rains that had penetrated the thick jungle canopy had washed most of the chemicals off, allowing the hordes of sticky worms to work their way out of my shoes and up my legs, attaching their bloodthirsty mouths to my thighs and stomach. I was looking for a weekend in the wild, and I certainly got it. It took us 15 minutes to remove our socks and pick off the leeches, which had injected enough anticoagulant to leave trails of unstoppable blood running down our bodies. We continued to find more of the greedy beasts that had worked 40 asialife Thailand

their way down our trousers and up our backs while we watched the crocodiles slowly swimming across the placid lake as the rain clouds disappeared in the distance. After a quick lunch, we stuffed our feet back into our still-infested shoes and prepared for the 10-kilometre journey through the jungle back to Forest Floor Lodge, a small retreat about four hours north of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam’s Cat Tien National Park, a 72,000-hectare protected forest and swamp. As we walked through the dark, wet forest, past the spot where our guide had come face to face with a spitting cobra the previous day, I had to stop just to take in what was around me — huge, ancient trees cov-

ered with vines, alien-like red mushrooms sprouting from the ground, the cries of monkeys and birds in the distance, and most importantly, fresh air. After a couple more hours of hiking, we made it back to the lodge. While not luxurious, the accommodation provide more than enough comfort than can be expected in such a remote area and it was a welcome sight after a long slog through the depths of the forest. The lodge consists of three tents, not the hastily set up nylon tents I’m used to, but permanent structures similar to safari tents. Each has a private covered deck overlooking the Ben Cu rapids on the Dong Nai River, which runs through the park. The tents are set away from the rest of the lodge and


Photos courtesy of Forest Floor Lodge

provide more privacy and views of the river. Depending on whether it’s the dry or wet season, there is a three- to four-metre difference in the depth of the river. When I arrived, it was the wettest part of the year and the rapids were deafening, providing a soothing lullaby before bed. During the dry months, the rapids are quieter and the gibbons across the river in the endangered primates centre can be heard singing back and forth to their wild brethren in the forest. Inside the tent is a large bed with mosquito netting and a clean bathroom with propane heated showers. The tents are very well-constructed and sealed tight so bugs and small animals can’t get in, though they sometimes do. For the

hotter seasons, each tent is equipped with an air conditioner and fan. If tents aren’t your thing, the lodge also has traditional Vietnamese wooden houses that are set further from the river. The Forest Floor Lodge aims to be eco-friendly and leave as small a carbon footprint as possible. The entire lodge runs on a diesel generator to augment the unreliable electricity supply. To conserve energy, the generators usually are turned off at night or when guests aren’t around, and each room is equipped with a powerful, rechargeable torch. If it’s particularly hot, or guests request power, the owners will keep the generator on. Overlooking the river the restaurant and bar offers simple, well-prepared Vietnamese food

and a few western options. All the ingredients are locally sourced and the owners try to find vegetable farmers who don’t use pesticides. All this comfort is welcoming after going on the many hikes, nature walks and tours offered in the park. Although the lodge cannot operate its own tours, it collaborates with park authorities who often get the best guides in the area. One of the partners in the lodge is a British biologist who knows the park and its animals well and has mapped out the area with a GPS. He also offers informative nature tours to guests when he is at the lodge. Cat Tien is considered to have the most diverse eco-system in Vietnam. With hundreds of species of flora and fauna, many

endangered, there is much to see any time of year. Although tigers and rhinos have been poached to extinction within the park, there are still large mammals like guar, sun bears and wild boars, as well as a few elephants in the northern section. If walking around the jungle looking for animals is too daunting, there is also a bear rescue centre run by Wildlife at Risk, or ethnic villages that can be visited on foot or by boat. As the sun sets over the river on my last evening at the lodge and the rain clouds began to move back in, the pressure of deadlines and the suffocating pollution and crowds that awaited me at home were far from my mind. Instead, all I could think about was when I would return to Cat Tien. asialife Thailand 41


Bangkok

Alfresco Dining

Cooler weather and the end of rainy season in Bangkok mean it’s time for some alfresco dining and drinking. Yvonne Liang scouted out the best spots for having your meal or enjoying a drink outside. Photo by Johnny Murphy. Viva Aviv Best known for being the premier venue of Kolour Sundays, Viva Aviv can go from full on party mode to relaxing with a cocktail by the river. Dine overlooking the Chao Phraya River complete with atmospheric music provided by a live DJ every night. The décor has a nautical theme with a bar constructed out of wooden crates and sailboat pieces hanging from the ceiling. Dishes and drinks have quirky names such as WTD?! (What The Duck?!) (B180) a platter of duck, mango pickles, fig paste, apple and bread. The river cruises load up just at the pier in front of Viva Aviv restaurant and bar. B/F, River City Shopping Complex, 23 Yotha Rd. Open from 11am to 12am. Indigo Housed within a magnificent colonial home, the owners of Indigo have created an elegant ambience for your meal. Outdoor seating is available within the green courtyard, or those preferring to dine under the moonlight can opt for the garden tables. The French Mediterranean cuisine is heavy on cows with bovine dishes ranging from succulent veal with morel sauce to a cote de boeuf (B1,500, 1.4 kg). There is also an excellent cheese soufflé for those less carnivorous. The bread from neighbouring La Boulange also comes highly recommended. 6 Convent Road (Silom). Open daily from 11.30am to 1am.

Amorosa Located on the fourth floor of Arun Residences, Amorosa lures people in with its unbeatable sunset view of one of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples, Wat Arun. When evening falls, the temple seems to shimmer with gold. You can add a river tour to your trip by taking the boat ferry to Tha Tian pier and then walking up Maharat Road and down into Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong. While the dress code is casual, the drinks are higher than most places, but it’s really the atmosphere you’re dishing out for. Make sure you get there in time to see the sun on its descent. Food is available downstairs at The Deck, which offers a similar view of Wat Arun. Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Rd. Amontre Situated with Fraser Suites, Amontre offers an array of modern international and Thai dishes. Amontre’s sleek interior with high ceilings creates a classy atmosphere that’s totally unpretentious. The signature dish is the Amontre burger with ground beef, sautéed onion, egg and cheddar cheese. Those wishing for Thai can try the khao phad Amontre, fried rice with tuna in green curry sauce. Amontre gives its own twist on classic cocktails, such as using coriander rather than mint in its mojito. The Credit Crunch Soothing hour is from 5pm to 8pm when guests can enjoy a buy-one-get-one-free deal. Fraser Suites, 55 South Sathorn Rd.

Salt This trendy restaurant is in the increasingly popular expat area of Ari. Just a short walk from Ari BTS, it’s worth the trip even if you’re not a local. The food and drinks have intriguing names such as Sugar Daddy and Some Thyme. With so many regulars coming here the atmosphere can be quite lively so there’re no awkward silences for those on a first date. Be prepared to exercise some patience as the kitchen can get overwhelmed with orders on busy nights. The extensive menu is filled with Japanese sushi and sashimi, wood-fired pizza, French cuisine and fusion dishes like rib eye steak with wasabi (B300). Ari Soi 4, Open daily from 5pm to midnight. Al Majlis Tearoom The best part of Al Majlis is its open air courtyard where comfortable seating makes you feel right at home the moment you sink into the cushions, especially in the evenings when everything is dimly lit by lanterns. Live music and vocal performances complete the relaxing mood. The cuisine is Moroccan with tagine, couscous and grilled meats priced at around B300. Those wishing to go the whole Mid-East hog can try some sweet mint tea or indulge in some shisha with flavours ranging from apple to mint (B300). 83 / 8 Soi Sukhumvit 63 (Ekamai 12). Open daily from 4.30pm to 12.30am.

Aubergine Based in the former Russian embassy, Aubergine exudes warmth and cosiness as if it were your own home. If you prefer outdoor seating there’s a patio for you to enjoy a balmy night. Service is exceptional with the waiters as smart as their attire. The menu is predominantly French with as dash of Italian and tracings of Thai and European fare. Enjoy a foie gras terrine, pan-fried frog legs, duck confit and crepe suzette, or those with a substantial appetite can try the beef cheeks served with mashed potatoes. Wine from France, Chile, Italy and California vie for your attention with bottles ranging from B1200 to B10,500. 71/1 Sala Daeng Soi 1/1, Silom Rd. Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. Baan Khanitha In the 17 years since it first opened in Sathorn Road, Baan Khanitha has been noted for serving authentic Thai cuisine untainted by the need to pander to wussy western taste buds. Signature items include Yam som-o, a salad of pomelo, shrimp and chicken; jim jaew som tam, imported sirloin steak served with northern style red chili sauce and papaya salad; and pla hima nueng manao, steamed snow fish with chilli, lime and garlic sauce. Dated furniture, antique ornaments and Buddha statues fills the atmosphere with an undeniable Thai-ness. 69 South Sathorn Rd


Le Petit Zinc For most, getting married is a life-changing experience, but for Thomas and Muriel Dazard it was also career-changing. The couple, who now run Le Petit Zinc Restaurant, decided to take a year’s honeymoon sabbatical from their jobs in Paris, where Thomas worked in financial auditing and Muriel in marketing. “We wanted to do something completely different to change our life,” explains Thomas. While in Bangkok, they noted that French restaurants tended to be very expensive, serving only fine food. The couple detected a gap in the market to 44 asialife Thailand

Many dream of opening their own restaurant, but few like Thomas and Muriel Dazard are brave enough to give it a go. Words by Mark Bibby Jackson. Photos by Nick McGrath.

provide “traditional French food at a reasonable price.” After a brief spell back in France, the Dazards returned to Bangkok with their backpacks in early 2011 and opened Le Petit Zinc six months later. The restaurant has the casual air of a French bistro, with stylish decorations reflecting the art nouveau period of the 1920s. It was a period when ‘zinc’ was commonly used as a slang term for a bar, after the material from which they were made, according to Thomas. The menu is equally simple with much of the ingredients sourced locally, though cooked

in a French style. Until recently Thomas did all the cooking himself. When the couple failed to find a reliable chef at the right price, he decided to give it a go. “I really enjoy the speed and the pressure,” he says. Now a couple of Thai chefs are in the kitchen, although Thomas still develops his own recipes. The half-cooked tuna with sautéed capsicums, tomatoes and bacon (B510) is one such example. One of the restaurant’s signature dishes, the bacon provides a smokey flavour that compliments rather than overwhelms the fresh tuna. Another signature dish is

the rolled duck breast stuffed with foie gras and served with mashed potato (B690). Despite its thick cut, the duck is succulent and suffused with the flavour of the foie gras. Judging from our tasting there is no danger of the Dazards returning to their previous officebound existences. “We try to live from something we really love,” says Thomas. “It’s something passionate and exciting.” Le Petit Zinc, 110/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 259 3033, Open 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to midnight, Sundays from 11.30am to midnight, closed Mondays.


Pak Bakery Initial impressions can be deceptive, especially at Pak Bakery, which at first sight appears to be little more than a bakery with a few tables added on as an afterthought. Avoid the chilled counters on the left, filled with various tempting cakes and pastries, and you'll find that Pak serves some fine and well-priced Thai food. Located just around the corner from our office on Soi 23, it’s a place I have often frequented, initially to grab a hot coffee (B60) to kick start the day, sometimes accompanied by a jam doughnut (B28) if I need sugar boost. Tasting

Open since 1979 Pak Bakery has proved popular with those looking for pastries and cakes, but as Mark Bibby Jackson discovers there is more to Pak than a sweet tooth. Photos by Nick McGrath.

just like the doughy pastries of my childhood the key thing is to make sure it’s served cold — doughnuts were never intended to be warmed up. From then on leave the bakery alone, unless you particularly want sweet-tasting bread in your tuna sandwich (B95). For me, Pak is about its Thai food, and judging by the crowds that come here most lunchtimes I’m not alone in this opinion. The one-dish meals afford great value for money (B70 to B110). I started with the Northern Thai curry noodle with chicken (B80). A rich and spicy soup full

of coconut milk, soft noodles and a chicken drumstick, it comes with a tray of condiments including a curry paste for those who like their food really hot. The drumstick had ample meat on it and the serving was generous enough to be a lunch on its own, especially if you like slurping the sauce at the end of your meal. This I partnered with a spicy beef salad (B150). The thin slices of beef were extremely tender having marinated in the salad’s juices which contained lemongrass, shallots and chilli as well as a host of Thai herbs, helping to create the most

flavoursome of dishes. Those who do not like their food too hot should not be scared off by the “spicy” label as in truth it lacked the punch of the soup. My only criticism of Pak is the service, which can be on the slow side, especially when busy. But with a pumped-up air-con interior and a few roadside seats for those who like their dining environment, as well as their food, hot, there really is no reason not to take some time over your meal. Pak Bakery, 96/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 258 1234. Open 7am to 10pm. asialife Thailand 45


M o n L a da

Presents

TOUGH

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LOVE

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Since the age of 15 Monlada Pongpanit wanted to be a designer and her distinct signature style makes a bold fashion statement. Taking the concept of the history of costume, she deconstructs and reassembles it into a modern chic style, adding a touch of glamour. Monlada shares her Spring / Summer 2013 collection with AsiaLIFE.

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Art Director: Johnny Murphy Photography: Nick McGrath Clothing: MONLADA Make-Up: Ithigorn Luksameejunporn Stylist: Dhammapakorn K. Hair Stylist: Trinnapat Methaburanakij Jewellery: Crystal Evolution Models: Valentine Carmin & Anastasiaya Venue courtesy of Duck & Noodle — facebook.com/duckandnoodle

Monlada.com

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Back to the Future Casa Pagoda has been bringing its brand of retro furniture to Bangkok, and more recently Shanghai, for the best part of a decade. Mark Bibby Jackson talks to its director, Philippe Bramaz. It might be unfair to interview someone the day after the first anniversary party of his restaurant, but Philippe Bramaz seems as fresh as the food served in Quince. “It was a great party,” he says. “Great people, great atmosphere.” Casa Pagoda’s offices are above the eatery that was, in part, designed to showcase the furnishing company’s products. 52 asialife Thailand

But Bramaz didn’t come to Thailand to open a design shop or restaurant. “We wanted to do a nightclub first but we didn’t get that space,” he says. “So we said we’d do a furniture store because we know more about furniture than nightclubs.” One of Bramaz’s partners comes from a family that owns a furniture factory, the other is a

product developer, while he has a background in interior design. As the name implies, Casa Pagoda is a blend of east and west. Walking through the showroom, next to the restaurant, you get a distinct impression of the retro feel the partners wished to create. The company uses vintage materials to create new products. Leather sofas made


of top-grade cowhide lie next to large wooden boxes made of reclaimed wood and cabinets carrying a union jack. “What makes the essence is the mix we have and also the price range,” he says. “That was something new for Bangkok. We were affordable, eclectic and chic. There was the low end or all these Italian branded names. There was nothing in between.”

According to Bramaz, British colonial furniture was in vogue last year, whereas this year’s fashion has a distinct 1950s and 60s American retro feel, in large driven by the success of TV programmes such as Mad Men. While he still sees retro as featuring strongly next year, he believes there will be more colour. “We are working on new lines of products,” Bramaz

says. “A lot of new linen colours.” The Casa Pagoda formula has proved popular and future stores in the Middle East are in the offing. But you sense that he is only prepared to enter a venture, such as the opening of Quince, when all the factors are right. “A lot of people want to open shops with us,” he says. “We’re

not ready for that. You need the right people to package the showroom otherwise it just doesn’t work.” Whatever Bramaz does there is a sense it will succeed. As Yves Saint Laurent said: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” Casa Pagoda, 4 Sukhumvit Soi 45, Tel: 02 258 1917, casapagoda. com asialife Thailand 53


Photo by Nick McGrath.

Connoisseur IT'S OK TO LIKE NICE THINGS

OLIVE OIL Greek poet Homer called it "liquid gold", and for thousands of years olive oil has been central to the culture of the peoples of the Mediterranean. Apart from in cooking, it has also been used as a medicine, fuel for oil lamps, soap making, skin care and even employed in some religious rituals. Olive oil was an extremely valuable commodity in the

ancient world and its cultivation and trade was the source of great power and wealth. There is some debate about where and when the olive tree was domesticated and oil first produced, but it is generally accepted that 5,000 years ago the practice of extracting oil from olives was widespread around the eastern Mediterranean. Today, olive oil is a multi-bil-

lion dollar business with Spain, Italy and Greece accounting for three quarters of worldwide production. Producers in Australia, Argentina, Chile and South Africa also make extravirgin olive oils. Constituting of 23 member countries and based in Madrid, the International Olive Council defines standards and tracks quality. The United States is not a member of the IOC and uses a different classification system. The different grades of oil are determined by the method of production and the level of acidity. The making of olive oil begins with turning the fruit into a paste, which is then mixed to allow the droplets of

oil or simply ‘olive oil’ will usually be a blend of virgin and refined oil and cannot exceed 1.5 percent acidity. These types of oils often have a lighter flavour. You might also come across terms such as ‘first press’ and ‘cold pressed’ on certain labels. The first of these is essentially just a marketing gimmick as all virgin oils are put under pressure only once to extract the oil. There is no standard definition of ‘cold pressed’ olive oil other than indicating they have not been heated during the production process so retain more of their nutrients. There is a huge difference even among extra-virgin olive oils in terms of taste and qual-

“Today, olive oil is a multi-billion dollar business with Spain, Italy and Greece accounting for three quarters of world-wide production” oil to concentrate and finally extracted by using pressure, either in a press or centrifuge. Oil that has been extracted using only pressure and with no chemical treatment is called Virgin oil, while Refined oil is that which has been chemically treated to neutralise fatty acids and overly strong tastes. ‘Extra-Virgin’ olive oil must come from virgin production, have no more than 0.8 percent acidity and be judged to have an excellent taste. ‘Virgin’ olive oil must use the same production methods and cannot have more than two percent acidity. Products labeled ‘pure’ olive 54 asialife Thailand

ity. A host of factors including the olive variety, growing conditions, production and storage methods will have an influence on the taste of an olive oil. For instance, oils made from mostly unripe olives may have a grassy, herbaceous flavour whereas oils from older fruit might be more floral or buttery. It really comes down to personal taste, but one thing that cannot be escaped is that it is expensive to produce a topquality olive oil. If you want your own liquid gold then you might have to be prepared to part with a small fortune to get it.


St. Andrews International School Sathorn ‡ Sukhumvit 107 ‡ Green Valle


Reservation/Ticketing: 02 263 8333 www.asiana-gsa.com Bangkok Airways (PG) Bangkok Airways Bldg, M.14, Viphavadee Rangsit Rd. Ticketing: 1771, Head Office: 02 265 5678 www.bangkokair.com

listings

hotel & travel

British Airways (BA) 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. 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 Suvarnabhumi Airport Call Center: 02 132 1888

INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES

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, Sukhumvit Soi 2

escape

Cathay Pacific Airways (CX) 11/F, Ploenchit Tower, 898 Ploenchit Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 263 0606 www.cathaypacific.com Emirates (EK) 2/F BB Building 54, Sukhumvit Soi 21 Reservation/Ticketing: 02 664 1040 www.emirates.com Etihad Airways (EY) 11/F, Tonson Tower, 900 Ploenchit 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) 3/F Charn Issara Tower 1, 942/160-163 Rama lV Rd. Tel: 02 267 5125 www.jetstar.com KLM Airlines (KL) 20/F Vorawat Building, 849 Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 635 2300 www.klm.co.th   Lao Airlines (QV) 491/17 G/F Silom Plaza, Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 236 9822/3 Lufthansa Airlines (LH) 18/F Q. House Asoke Bldg., 66 Sukhumvit Soi 21, Tel: 02 264 2400 www.lufthansa.com

From now until Dec. 31, Shangri-La Hotel Chiang Mai is offering the Lanna Experience package starting from B5,150 per night. This includes accommodation in a deluxe room, daily buffet breakfast at Kad Kafé, roundtrip airport transfer, one hour Thai massage at the CHI Spa, one customary northern Thai style dinner accompanied with Thai classical dance performance at the Old Chiang Mai Culture Centre and complimentary in-room wired Internet and Wi-Fi access. Minimum two-night stay is required. Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai. Tel: 053 253 888 or visit www.shangri-la.com/chiangmai/ shangrila. If you’re dreaming of sunshine, clear blue water and relaxing on a hammock then head to the tropical sanctuary of W Retreat Koh Samui. From now until Dec. 21 take advantage of the Thai-Away Weekend package to explore the island. Thai residents can stay at the Jungle Oasis retreat

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BANGKOK–DELUXE

Singapore Airlines (SQ) 12/F, Silom Centre Bldg., 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

Conrad Bangkok All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd. 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.

Tiger Airways (TR) 1091/173-174 7/F, Unit 702 S. Group Tower, Soi Petchaburi, 33 New Petchaburi Rd, Tel: 02 649 9688 www.tigerairways.com 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

DOMESTIC AIRLINES

Nok Air (DD) 17/F Rajanakarn Bldg, 183 South Sathorn Rd. Call Centre: 02 900 9955 Reservation/Ticketing: 1318 Thai Air Asia (FD) 1/F, OSC Bldg, 99 Moo 5 Kingkaew Rd, Tel: 02 515 9999 www.airasia.com

Banyan Tree Bangkok 21/100 South Sathorn Rd.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.

Dusit Thani Bangkok 946 Rama IV Rd, 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 and eight signature restaurants, make this a popular place for travellers and locals alike. Four Seasons Bangkok 155 Rajdamri Rd, 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. Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok 494 Rajdamri Rd, 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 30 Sukhumvit Soi 21, Tel: 02 204 4000 www.millenniumhotels.com

take flight with travel promotions around the country

Lanna Experience

W Retreat to Samui

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 Qatar Airways (QR) Unit 2102, 21/F, 388 Exchange Tower Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 259 2701/5  www.qatarairways.com

with a complimentary upgrade to a Tropical Oasis retreat (subject to availability). Included in the special price of B9,999+++ per night for stays during Friday to Sunday is a daily interactive breakfast at The Kitchen Table for two. W Retreat Koh Samui. Tel: 07 791 5999 or visit www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/ index.html.

A Christmas To Remember

This holiday season Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort is offering A Christmas To Remember Package from Dec. 21 to 27. This four-night-deal starts at B61,100 for a Garden View room, including breakfast, with round trip transfer from Krabi airport, Christmas Eve gala dinner with a bottle of sparkling wine, one Thai set dinner on the beach and one hour Thai massage at The Spa. The Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort. Tel: 07 562 8400 or visit www.tubkaakresort.com

Jacuzzi Family Package

The Veranda, Cha Am, has a Jacuzzi Fam-

ily Package available until Apr. 30, 2013. Two nights accommodation for two adults plus one child (under 12), including daily breakfast, free gel candle and kite making for children at Kids club, one Thai set dinner for two adults and one child, welcome drink and cold towel upon arrival and free Wifi costs B11,555+. Veranda Resort and Spa Hua Hin - Cha Am. Tel: 03 270 9000.

Chedi Christmas

This Christmas, the Chedi Chiang Mai has an exquisite five-course Christmas Eve dinner inclusive of warm Glühwein priced at B2,5000 per person. Alternatively celebrate New Years Eve poolside under the stars with live performances by Ohm Show Company along with a stunning fireworks display and the release of ‘komloy’ lanterns as we countdown to 2013. The New Year’s Eve buffet dinner is priced at B5,500 per person and is inclusive of a welcome cocktail and party favours. Chedi Chiang Mai, Tel: 053 253 333, or email: event@chedi-chiangmai.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. Imperial Queen's Park 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Tel: 02 261 9000 www.imperialhotels.com 37-storey hotel comprising of two towers and over 1,250 well-appointed guest rooms just off Sukhumvitk, with a fine selection of restaurants producing classic Chinese specialties, seafood and Thai favourites. 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 Rd, 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. Park Plaza 16 Rachadapisek Rd, Tel: 02 263 5000 www.parkplaza.com/bangkokth Modern hotel has 95 contemporary rooms, including 35 deluxe corner rooms and Café on 2 interactive restaurant. The cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean and Thai, and the rooftop has a bar, pool and fitness centre. Pathumwan Princess 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Rd Tel: 02 216 3700 www.pprincess.com Sitting adjacent to MBK Center and opposite Siam Square, this award-winning luxury hotel with a chic urban motif has Korean and Italian dining outlets as well as Tantara health spa and a 9,000sqm fitness centre. Rembrandt Hotel & Towers 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Tel: 02 261 7100 www.rembrandtbkk.com Newly renovated hotel and serviced apartments located close to Asoke, has numerous dining outlets including Indian Rang Mahal, Mexican Senor Pico Mexican and ThaiRed Pepper restaurants. Also has a pool and fitness centre. The Landmark Bangkok 138 Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 254 0404 www.landmarkbangkok.com Complex houses the 414-room Landmark Hotel including Club floor plus a threelevel shopping plaza and multi-storey car park with space for 600 vehicles. Wide range of dining options include Chinese, international, gourmet Rib Room Grill and English-style pub. Lebua at State Tower State Tower, Silom Rd, 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 its sweeping views. Hotel Muse Bangkok 55/555 Soi Langsuan, Lumpini Tel: 02 630 4000 www.hotelmusebangkok.com Hotel dedicated to fashion and the arts, each of the 170 guest rooms reflect the elegance of Rama V yet with a contemporary and sometimes playful twist. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok Charoenkrung Soi 40, 48 Oriental Ave, 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. Metropolitan by COMO 27 South Sathorn Rd, 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 most chic lounge bar. 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. Plaza Athenee Bangkok 61 Wireless Rd, 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. Pullman Bangkok Hotel G 188 Silom Rd, 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. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit 250 Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 649 8888 www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com Located on Sukhumvit close to Asok BTS, this five-star hotel has an excellent Sunday brunch with jazz trio. Rooftop pool and garden terrace offer good alfresco dining options. 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-like views over Lumpini Park’s tree tops, complete with soaring skyscrapers. The St. Regis Bangkok 159 Rajadamri Rd, Tel: 02 207 7777 www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis/ bangkok Experience Bangkok’s splendour from a premier location along Rajadamri Road, with seven dining outlets to choose from. The Sukhothai Bangkok 13/3 South Sathorn Rd, Tel: 02 344 8888, www.sukhothai.com Fuses the feel of the ancient city of Sukhothai with modern functionality. Dining options include a chocolate fantasia.

BANGKOK–BOUTIQUE

Aloft Bangkok 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 207 7000 www.aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com A true one-of-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. Anantara Bangkok Riverside 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road, Thonburi Tel: 02 476 0022 www.bangkok-riverside.anantara.com Situated on 11 riverside acres of gardens, Anantara blends the thrill of urban living with tropical luxury. Imparted with Thai tradition, this exotic Bangkok resort offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of the busy metropolis. Arun Residence 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, 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. 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. Four Points by Sheraton Sukhumvit Soi 15, Tel: 02 309 3000 www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoint New upscale Bangkok hotel a five-minute 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. Ramada Encore 21 Sukhumvit Soi 10, Tel: 02 615 0999 www.ramadaencorebangkok.com With 188 well-appointed guest rooms, the Ramada Encore takes is geared towards business and leisure travellers. All bedrooms are fully equipped with free high-speed internet access and a generous working area. Ramada Hotel & Suites 22 Sukhumvit Soi 12,Tel: 02 664 7025 www.ramadasuitesbangkok.com Boutique hotel provides an usual retreat in the heart of the city for business and leisure travellers. A variety of rooms and suites offer views of the Bangkok skyline, over Benchakitti Park Lake and the hotel’s tropical gardens. Fully-equipped suites for long-stay guests. Siam@Siam 865 Rama 1 Rd, Tel: 02 217 3000 www.siamatsiam.com Hip boutique hotel has a daring contemporary design and a friendly atmosphere, as well as a rooftop champagne and wine bar with great views of the city.

BANGKOK–BUDGET

Baan Dinso 113 Soi Silp, Dinso Rd, 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. Baan Mango 97 Sukhumvit Soi 8, Tel: 087 822 9382 Guesthouse can be rented for TV, cinema, audio-visual, photo shoots, private parties, networking, parties, product launches as well as overnight stays. Bangphlat Resort 77/1 Charansanitwong Rd, 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. Loy La Long 1620/2 Song Wat Road, Chinatown Tel: 02 639 1390, www.loylalong.com Seven wooden, colour-coded rooms designed by Jurathip Intrasai make this an eclectic hang-out. Lub d 4 Decho Rd, Suriyawong, Tel: 02 634 7999, www.lubd.com Voted as one of the 17 coolest hangout hostels by the Observer, Lub d has four types of rooms including dorms. Has another hostel in Siam Square as well.

BANGKOK RESIDENCES

Oakwood 15 Sukhumvit Soi 24, Tel: 02 612 5777, 113 Soi Thonglor Soi 13, Tel: 02 713

9500, www.oakwoodasia.com Global chain of serviced apartments has studio to three-bed apartments in four locations in Bangkok. The Sukhumvit 24 branch boasts 112 modern and fully equipped apartments while in Thonglor, there are eight floors of serviced apartments. Also has residences in Garden Towers Bagna and Sukhumvit Soi 18. Oriental Residence Bangkok 110 Wireless Rd, 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 Rd 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.   BOOK-IT MN 54 K-Village, G/F Bldg. B, 93-95 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Tel: 02 661 2965, 081 401 8886 www.bookit.co.th, info@bookit.co.th Travel company specialising in corporate and group bookings as well as providing air tickets, hotels worldwide, travel insurance, visas and tours. Welcoming walk-in customers, Book-It provides a reliable service at competitive prices. Open from 10am to 8pm. Exotissimo Travel Thailand 22/F Smooth Life Tower, 44 North Sathorn Rd, Silom, Tel: 02 633 9060 www.exotissimo.com infobkk@exotissimo.com Leading travel agency and preferred choice for expats living in Bangkok, Exotissimo can organise any holiday from day trips in Bangkok to exciting holidays covering multiple countries with your family. Exotissimo specialises in exploring Asia with experienced staff that can handle any request. Footsteps in Asia 605, Tonson Bldg., 50 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd, 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. Remote Lands 25/12 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Tel: 02 260 7584, www.remotelands.com Ultra-luxe boutique tour operator offering bespoke tours throughout Asia, from popular destinations such as China and Vietnam to less visited countries like Bhutan, Laos and North Korea. Works with the region’s finest hotels, resorts and villas, as well as providing private jet, yacht and helicopter charters. Open from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. 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. Ideal for discovering cultures, fabulous food and the camaraderie that results from travelling with interesting people.

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vinegar, but far from it. A contemporary design mixes up some great cocktails along with music to match. Open from 6pm to 2am.

listings

HOBS G/F Penny's Balcony 522/3 Thonglor Tel: 02 392 3513,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.

Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar 65/1 Athenee Residence, Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Rd, 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.

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.

Iron Fairies 394 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Thonglor Tel: 08 442 5808 www.theironfairies.com An iron workshop converted into Thonglor’s popular jazz wine bar. 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.

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

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

feast

No Idea 8/3-4 Sukhumvit Soi 22, Tel: 02 663 6686, www.noideabkk.com Gastropub and café set on two floors with a wide arrange of beers and wines as well as excellent food, including great burgers. With lots of wood throughout, No Idea is a great pace for dinner, watching some sport or listening to the live bands on Friday and Saturday nights. Open 10am to 1am. 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 close to Nana BTS station, it offers good food and a great selection of local and imported draft beers with live sports and music. Open from 8am to 1am. Tenderloins 7/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 33, Tel: 02 258 4529, www.tenderloins33.com 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.

CAFES

After You Desert Café Thonglor 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.

Beans & Booze G/F SAF Residence, Sukhumvit 50 Tel: 02 332 9316, 081 496 6663 A cosy café with minimalistic décor, with the option of either indoor or outdoor terrace seating where you can grab a beer, in addition to regular coffees and teas. At B&B you can get a vitamin booster and an assortment of local and imported beer, depending on whether it’s ying or yang you are after. Open from 7am to 9pm, Sundays from 9am. Bitter Brown Asoke Court, Sukhumvit Soi 21 Tel: 02 261 6535 A genuine oasis set amid the hustle and bustle of Asoke. Enjoy a quiet coffee while everyone else is stuck in the traffic. Open from 8am to 9pm, closed weekends. Bkk Bagel Bakery 518/3 Maneeya Center North, Ploenchit Rd., Tel: 02 254 8157 www.bkkbagelbakery.com New York-style bagel bakery and deli in the heart of Bangkok, serving homemade bagels, made fresh daily and daily specials on the deli/sandwich menu. Open from 8.30am to 6.30pm, (to 3.30pm weekends). Café Tartine Athenee Residence, 65 Wireless Rd, 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. Chimp Chimp Crepes & Co Le Chateau Mansion, Ekkamai Soi 12

broaden your palate with promotions around town

Turkey Season at D&D

In celebration of the holiday season, Dean & Deluca MahaNakhon is offering a Thanksgiving Turkey Plate featuring American turkey with Brussels sprouts, sausage-pecan stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy sauce. The dish is available from now until Jan. 1, 2013. Dean & Deluca MahaNakhon, 93 Thanon Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra, Silom. Tel: 02 234 1434.

Christmas Fireworks at the Mandarin

This Christmas Eve why not treat yourself to the Riverside Terrace gala buffet dinner (B5,600 net, B4,000 net children) at Mandarin Oriental? The Riverside Terrace offers an international buffet featuring a vast selection of dishes created for the festive season. Entertainment includes a live performance by Hot Chilli Band, an appearance by Santa Claus, and a spectacular fireworks display. Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Sheraton Christmas and New Year The Sheraton is celebrating Christmas and the New Year in more traditional manner with a Christmas Eve Grand

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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.

Buffet Dinner at Rossini’s and The Living Room from 7pm to 10pm. Christmas Day involves a buffet brunch at Rossini’s and the Living Room from 12 to 3pm. Both cost B2,950, children B1,200. There will also be a special four-course set menu on Christmas Day from 6.30pm to 10pm (B2,500). Alternatively on Dec. 24 you can enjoy a special gourmet four-course meal (B3,500) at Rossini’s from 8pm to midnight, followed by celebrating the New Year with an adults-only oysters and Champagne countdown party at the Living Room from 9pm to 1.30am or dance at BarSu. All prices are net.

Go Red at Christmas

After unwrapping your presents continue your celebrations with a Christmas Day Brunch at Red Oven. The buffet includes an international selection of holiday classics such as Boston lobster with truffle garlic butter, roasted ham with honey cinnamon gravy, suckling pig, maple log cake and much more. Brunch takes place from 12pm to 3pm on Dec. 25 (B1,999net per adult / B999net for kids aged between 2 and 12 years). For the same price, in the evening (6pm to 11pm), Red Oven offers dishes from the restaurant’s nine live

cooking stations. Enjoy homemade cured duck ham with fig chutney, sautéed red snapper with grated coconut and mincemeat tart. Red Oven, Sofitel So Bangkok. 2 North Sathorn Rd. Tel: 02 624 0000

Kempinski Christmas Tea

Celebrate Christmas all month long with afternoon tea at the Siam Kempinski Hotel’s Hanuman Bar from Dec. 6 to Jan. 6 including Christmas-inspired drinks using traditional spices (B820++). Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok. 991/9 Rama I Rd. Tel: 02 162 9000 or visit www.kempinski.com.

Go Boxing at Flavours

Flavours restaurant’s Boxing Day Brunch (B799 (food only) or B1199 per person for free flow special cocktail and sparkling wine) lets you savour fresh seafood such as oyster shooters, Swedish cured salmon selection of freshly baked pastries, hot plates from the live cooking stations and the desserts. On Dec. 26 from 6pm to 10.30pm. Flavours 1/F, Rembrandt Hotel, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18. Tel: 02 261 7100 or visit www.rembrandtbkk.com.


Tel: 089 992 9001 A smiling monkey sign greets customers at this Ekkamai café offering a selection of homemade ice cream and sorbets. The shop retails a variety of one-of-a-kind DIY kits, supplies and lifestyle goods, as well as gifts and treats from around the world. 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. The Coffee Club 1239 Unit B, G/F Major Ekamai, Sukhumvit Rd., Tel: 02 381 2736 m.coffeeclub.com.au This sleek and modern café is more than just your everyday coffee and sandwich pit stop, it also serves all-day western cuisine along with some local dishes. The menu includes beers and wines. Open Sunday to Thursday from 6.30am to 10.30pm, Friday and Saturday until 11.30pm. 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 92 Naratiwasrachanakarin Rd, Silom, Tel: 02 234 1434 1/F ParkVentures Ecoplex, 55 Wireless Rd, Tel: 02 108 2350 1/F Sathorn Square Office Tower, 98 North Sathorn Road, 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. Gastronom Café & Bakery G/F Yunomori Onsen & Spa, A Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26, Tel: 02 259 6138. Bo and Dylan of Bo.lan restaurant have opened this café with specially trained coffee baristas decorating cappuccinos with fun images such as local favourite cartoon character Doraemon. Open from 11am to 10pm. haPpy Beans Sukhumvit Soi 23 Tel: 08 8884 6869 Small shop features gourmet soybean desserts, with both modern and traditional handmade Asian inspired soybean curd delights, as well as healthy and nutritious soymilk with fruity ice blends, and other specialties such as fluffy soypancakes with homemade jam. 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 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. Sofa Café 101/1-2 Ekamai, Tel: 02 711 5171 Quaint hole-in-the-wall bar situated on Ekamai with an eclectic mix of ornaments, good coffee and some excellent vibes.

CHINESE

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 Rd, 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 Je Ngor 541/9 Maha Set (Charoenkrung Rd.), The original of the multi-outlet ChineseC chain looks like a hole-in-the-wall M establishment but inside it is bristling with Chinese spice. Open from 11.30am to 2pm and 5.30pm to 10pm. Y The Mayflower CM Dusit Thani Hotel, 946 Rama IV Road Tel: 02 200 9000 (x2799) MY The grandiose European interior lined with Chinese antiques, leaves guests in no doubt that this is one of Bangkok’sCY finest Cantonese eateries, with an a la CMY carte menu as well as daily set menus. Also has six private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2pm, 6pm to 10pm. K 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 Authentic Cantonese dishes prepared by award-winning Hong Kong chefs, including 10 signature dishes such as deep-fried salmon spring roll and stir-fried giant prawns with salted egg, in a 180seat 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 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

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Open-air seafood restaurant in the heart of Chinatown with whole crabs, lobsters, fresh fish as well as roast pig skin. Open from 11am to 2pm, 4.20pm to 10pm.

Mughalai, modified by using fresh local ingredients. WiFi is available on request. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 11pm.

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.

Rang Mahal 26/F, Rembrandt Hotel, 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.

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.

FRENCH

4 Garçons 113 Thonglor 13, Sukhumvit 55 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. 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. 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.

INDIAN

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 Kashmiri-inspired

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street gourmet

INTERNATIONAL

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 French and Italian cuisine featuring imported ingredients such as lobster, foie gras, black truffle and caviar. Open from 11am to 1am. 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. 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 atmosphere. Its quiet, tucked around the corner location and generous gardens makes this a great option for private parties and events. Crepes & Co. 88 Thonglor Soi 8, Tel: 02 726 9398 59/4 Langsuan Soi 1 Ploenchit Rd., Tel: 02 653 3990-1 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).

Gai Pad Gapow Gai pad gapow (B40) or stir-fried chicken with basil is a traditional Thai dish normally served with a portion of steamed jasmine rice. Locals enjoy it for lunch or dinner and it can be found at street stalls, food courts and even restaurants. If you don’t know what to order, this is a safe bet because it’s easy to cook. Just make sure you let the cook know how much spice you can handle. Non-spicy versions are usually available too.

includes an outdoor terrace and can sit up to 180 diners, serves the finest quality steaks, including tenderloins, tender lamb chops and rib-eye steaks. Open from 4pm to late. 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 mini-burgers to an Australian Black Angus beef, it even has a Breakfast Burger. 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. 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.

Eat Me Restaurant Silom 20m off Convent Rd (in Soi Pipat 2), Tel: 02 238 0931 www.eatmerestaurant.com Sleek Australian-owned restaurant and lush garden vie for your attention in this popular expat hang-out. Rotating exhibitions feature both Thai and international artists. Food is modern, international and ‘regional’. Open from 3pm to 1am.

Glow The Metropolitan Bangkok, 7 South Sathorn Rd, Tel: 02 625 3366 www.como.metropolitan.bz Strong emphasis on health food, from the fresh fruit, muesli and wholegrain breads for breakfast to the pick-me-up shot of pure wheatgrass. The wholesome menu is equally appealing or you can try from the selection of energising juices or organic wines. Open from 6am to 9pm.

El Gaucho 8/1-7 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Tel: 02 255 2864 Two-storey Argentinean steakhouse

Greyhound Cafe 2/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 664 8663 4/F Central Chidlom

It may surprise you that there’s almost a 1:1 ratio of basil leaves to the meat. Don’t try to pick the greens out – that’s where the flavour comes from. It’s also common to replace the chicken with pork, called moo pad gapow. In most eateries, gai pad gapow is served with condiments of chilli pepper in fish sauce, sliced cucumber and a wedge of lime. You can also add a fried egg (B5) on top of the dish for variety.

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 an unobtrusive atmosphere for 11 years. Also has a catering branch. Kitche Jatujak Green, Kampaengpech 3 Rd., Tel: 085 484 9033 Offering Italian cuisine at affordable prices, Kitche is a casual dining outlet with dishes such as baked aubergine with bacon and ham, grilled white snapper with barley risotto and feta salad with lime dressing. Dine either in the warehouse inspired interior or outside. Open from 11am to 9.30pm Tuesday to Thursday, to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday, and to 10pm on Friday and Sunday, closed Monday. Little Beast 44/9-10 Thonglor Soi 13, Tel: 02 185 2670 A gastrobar serving contemporary American small plates and inventive drinks led by Chef Nan Bunyasaranand. 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. Olive G/F Ten Ten Building 593/2 Sukhumvit Rd., (between Soi 33 & 35) Tel: 02 662 8028 olivebangkok.com The only Greek restaurant in Bangkok, has been serving up authentic Greek cuisine for the past ten years. This all day bistro offers a range of signature Greek dishes from tzatziki, dolmades, Greek salad, moussaka, and chicken souvlaki to its baklava. Also has an extensive selection of Greek wines. Open everyday from 9am to 10pm. Outback Steakhouse 6/F Siam Discovery Centre, Rama I, Tel: 02 658 0202 www.outback-sea.com Featuring contemporary decor, a celebration of original Australian art and imagery reminiscent of the Australian Outback, this steakhouse emphasises the quality and freshness of its food, and is a relaxing place for family and friends to dine. Open from 11am to 10pm. 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 Pla Dib 1/1 Areesampan Soi 7, Rama 6 Tel: 02 279 8185 Renovated house has been turned into this 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 Rd, 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 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-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. 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 homely 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). Tony Roma’s Unit G 21, G/F Siam Paragon, Tel: 02 610 9311 Terminal 21, Room SH-4-012, No. 2, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Tel: 02 108 0790 With nearly 200 restaurants in 32 countries, Tony Roma’s has brought his special recipe ribs all over the world. Also has a selection of steaks, seafood, salads and cocktails. Open from 11am to 10pm (to 10.30pm in the Siam Paragon branch).

Tel: 02 261 7217 The Rain Hill Wine Connection branch has a strong focus on tapas as well as a wider range of wines than the other branches. With a livelier atmosphere too, this is the place to go in order to get connected with your fellow wine aficianados. Has a wine shop to the rear rather than a deli on the premises. Open from 7.30am to 1am.

ITALIAN

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. Bar Italia Gaysorn G/F 999 Ploenchit Road, Tel: 02 656 1188-9 www.gaysorn.com A hip haven for hungry shoppers, Bar Italia has a selection of Italian appetisers, mains, pasta, pizza and sandwiches, as well as great coffee. Open from 11am to 8pm. Basilico 8 Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel: 02 662 2323 15/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Tel: 02 663 6633 34 Phaholyothin Soi 7, 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 pastas 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. La Bottega di Luca 2/F The Terrace 49 cnr. with Sukhumvit Soi 49/1 Tel: 02 204 1731 www.labottega.name Multi-award winning Italian restaurant by

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 pairing with both new and old world wines. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10.30pm. 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. The K Village branch has an excellent deli and wine shop as well as serving a wide range of steaks and other mains. Open from 7.30am to 1am. Wine Connection Deli Mille Malle Unit 101-102 1/F Mille Malle Project, 66/4 Sukhumvit Soi 20 Tel: 02 663 4517 / 02 663 4518 More like a smaller version of the K Village branch, but without the steaks, than the tapas inspired Rainhill branch. The Deli specialises in pizzas, pasta, salads and cold platters including mix and match options – choose yourself and pay per 100g. Aiming for local residents in the area, it has a range of breakfast including a la carte. Like K Village has a wine shop and deli attached to it. Open from 8am to midnight. Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro G/F, Rain Hill, Sukhumvit 47

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Luca Appino that provides rustic Italian cuisine infused with influences from the Mediterranean. Has a cozy indoor space and outdoor terrace furnished with leather sofas and high tables. Also has a private dining wine room available for up to 14 guests. Open from 11.30 to 2.30pm, 6pm to midnight, closed Monday lunch.

imbibe

Limoncello 17 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 651 0707 Look no further for excellent wood-fired 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.

Tis’ the Season for Sparkling Wine By Darryl Bethea During the months of December and January, the consumption of alcohol goes up dramatically, and for good reason. It’s a time for celebration, and there is no better way than with a bottle of sparkling wine. Here are the top five reasons to add some bubbly to your shopping list this holiday season: 5. Champagne goes well with your food. It has a high acidity and a great palate cleansing ability. Typically, it is the drink of choice with appetisers or before the first course. Certain champagnes may have a yeasty flavour, some light and delicate, which may determine your choice of brand. However, in general a blanc de blanc (100 percent chardonnay) or a blend containing pinot noir, and pinot meunier, all have a great acidity that help balance many flavours without spoiling the food. The same can be said for your favourite cava, dry prosecco, or sparkling wine not from the Champagne region of France. 4. There are so many highquality sparkling wines for every budget. Cava from Spain, Italian prosecco, methode champenoise from the US, are all high-quality sparkling wines without the traditionally high price of champagne. Often in blind tastings, these wines outperform their French counterparts. All of these wines have the same visual excitement when opening the bottle, the bubbles are the same, fine or aggressive, and the grapes are the grapes. It is possible to have champagne taste on a beer budget. 3. Sparkling wines can be

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festive, simply because of the colour. Pink is a very expressive colour and rose wines come in varying hues of pink. Women love the delicate colour, and people of all backgrounds have responded favourably to trying sparkling rose simply because it looks good. The bubbles from a rose prosecco or champagne can inspire feelings of fun, smiles and love. To spice up the excitement of a dinner or event, try it for a change. 2. Love and joy in every bottle. How many special occasions have you been to that were highlighted with the opening, pouring and drinking of the bubbly? Weddings, birth of a baby, birthdays, job promotions, holiday dinners with family and friends, all have love and joy as a common denominator. 1. Life is precious. Sometimes life can get us down, sometimes life can de downright depressing. However, I have never seen anyone drown their sorrows in a glass of sparkling wine. There is something special about this wine that reminds drinkers of the good times, and inspires us to enjoy our lives. So, regardless of your plans for celebrations this year, consider that any event can be enjoyed with a glass of bubbly sparkling wine. Darryl Bethea is Group Sales Manager for Fine Wines of the World (09 3378 5005) and is a certified sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Contact Darryl at 09 3378 5005 or email Darryl@ finewinesasia.com.

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 taverna, Rossano’s is a refreshing change from the minimalist modern interiors possessed by many new restaurants 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. Rossini’s Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Soi 13 Tel: 02 649 8888 www.rossinisbangkok.com With a creative menu inspired by Michelin star chef, Alfredo Russo, and resident chef, Stefano Merlo, diners can experience Italy’s rich culinary heritage and the finest contemporary cuisine in the setting of a Tuscan villa at Rossini's. Zanotti 1/F, 21/2 Saladaeng Colonnade Condo, Saladaeng Rd, Silom Tel: 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.

JAPANESE / KOREAN

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. 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

Charley Browns Mexicana 1/23 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 2215 Mexican restaurant that has been pumping out quality food and margaritas for over 20 years on the small pedestrianised sub-soi 11. Has almost nightly specials – on Sundays get a free complimentary kids meal with each adult meal ordered, 50 percent off for sports clubs members on Mondays, half-price margaritas and sangria on Tuesdays, three for two on light bites and appetisers on Wednesdays, and 20 percent off food for teachers on Thursdays. Open 11.30am to midnight, from 5pm on Mondays. 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. 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. Tapas Café 1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 2947 www.tapasiarestaurants.com On the same sub-soi as Cheap 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.

MIDDLE-EASTERN

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 Thonglor: Level 1, Eight Shopping Bldg, 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.

THAI

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. Basil Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 649 8353 Authentic Thai cuisine served in a contemporary setting using only the best of ingredients, this restaurant often has food festivals including northern Isaan cuisine. Also has a great jazz brunch on Sundays from 12pm to 3pm. Open 12pm to 2.30pm (Mon. to Fri.), 6.30pm to 10.30pm. 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. Bo.lan Essentially Thai 42 Soi Pichai Ronnarong Songkram Sukhumvit Soi 26 Tel: 02 602 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 produce 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. 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. 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.

Issaya Siamese Club 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Rd, Sathorn Tel: 02 672 9040 www.issaya.com 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. Pak Bakery 96/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 258 1234. Since 1979 Pak Bakery has proved popular with those looking for pastries and cakes, but it also serves excellent Thai fare that is a great value lunch option. Open 7am to 10pm. 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. 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. 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 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.

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. Somtum Der 5/5 Saladaeng Rd. Tel: 02 632 4499 Experience the unique taste of northern Isan somtum, with more than 20 varieties on offer, from tum pla tu khao mun (with grilled mackerel and coconut rice) to tum suo sakhonnakorn (with Thai vermicelli and white popinac seeds) and tum muo (with vermicelli, pla ra, pork roll and marinated raw pork sausage). Open from 11am to 12am, closed Sundays.

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 air-conditioned. 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 Ball in Hand The Rajah Hotel Complex, 18 Sukumvit Soi 4 Tel: 081 917 8530 www.theballinhand.com Established in 2004, The Ball in Hand was Bangkok's first professionalstandard pool venue fitted out with 11 of the finest quality Brunswick pool tables, making it not only a playing environment of the highest standards, but also a showroom for Brunswick's vast product line. Has a full bar and food, as well as a sister venue, the Metro Bar which places a greater emphasis on cocktails. Open from 2pm to 2am weekdays and from 11am at weekends. Black Swan 326/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 14 Tel: 02 626 0257

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. 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.

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master of mixology

Authentic British pub hidden underneath the overpass from Asok BTS serves good pub grub as well as some more sophisticated dishes. With breakfast from 8am and a very friendly happy hour, the Black Swan has a distinctly hospitable atmosphere. Open from 8am to late. 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.

Dealing with December By Matt Myers For anyone December can be a pretty brutal month, between the many parties, dealing with family and the pressures of shopping for loved ones. All of this can make for quite a stressful Holiday Season. Anyone working in hospitality can tell you that December is anything but a party. Between the pressures of trying to close the financial books of the fiscal year and working during every holiday season party, things can be anything but jolly. My recommendation: Have fun and enjoy those libations. You can always add “Drinking less” to one of those New Years Eve resolutions that you want to accomplish, but probably will forget by March. So I have prepared for you a family favourite, which I have made for many seasons. A majority of classic recipes for eggnog stem from the New England area of the USA. The early production of rum was in the new colonies and was driven to the Caribbean by part of the slave trade. Eggnog has deep roots in New England, so I am giving you a recipe passed down through the family. This recipe is great fresh, but is also great the second day, like making good stews or braised meats. Enjoy and use the spirit of your choice. I prefer bourbon, but rums and brandies work quite well. There are many arguments that eggnog stems from the brandy milk punch of New Orleans.

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I am really not sure. Cocktail history isn’t driven by fact as much as it is driven by those who tell the best story. Cheers! Eggnog Recipe Ingredients 4 egg yolks 1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon 1 pint whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 3 ounces bourbon or rum 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 vanilla bean, cut down the middle and seeded Directions In a medium mixing bowl beat the egg yolks until they lighten in colour. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the refrigerator to chill. Check this link for a demonstration: www. vegasvideonetwork.com/ top-of-the-food-chain-029learn-how-to-make-the-besteggnog-ever

The Dubliner Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, Tel: 02 204 1841 www.thedublinerbangkok.com Much of the old Dubliner remains in its new location on Soi 33/1, with Brunswick pool table and live music, but the menu has been totally revamped with four chefs compiling a menu of excellent contemporary fare. The new space is larger than the slightly cramped area of old, allowing more room for partying, although the strong use of wood retains the feel of a genuine Celtic oasis in Sukhumvit. Has 18 rooms, including three suites upstairs. Open from 9am to 1am. 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 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 Beatles

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. The Pintsman Basement United Centre Bldg, 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. The Sportsman Bar and Restaurant Unit 10/22 Trendy Condominium, Sukhumvit Soi 13. Tel: 02 168 7241 One of Bangkok's landmark sports bars, the new Soi 13 location has the same winning formula of great atmosphere, pool and quality food at very reasonable prices. With six Brunswick pool tables, two dartboards, a golf machine, seven TVs and three HD big screen projectors, The Sportsman certainly meets your every sporting need. Open from 2pm to 2am, from 12pm (Friday to Sunday). 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.

VEGETARIAN

Khun Churn G/F Bangkok Mediplex, Sukhumvit Soi 42 Tel: 02 713 6599 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 less arduous. Opens from 10am to 8pm.

WINE BARS

494 B/F Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, 494 Rajdamri 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 The Rain Hill Wine Connection branch has a strong focus on tapas as well as a wider range of wines than the other branches. With a livelier atmosphere too, this is the place to go in order to get connected with your fellow wine aficianados. Has a wine shop to the rear rather than a deli on the premises. Open from 7.30am to 1am. Zaks Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 02 651 0212-4 Once you get over the concept of a “wine cocktail pub” you will surely enjoy this wine bar and restaurant on throbbing Soi 11. Has a generous outdoor terrace area as well as a contemporary interior where you can enjoy the well-priced wines.

nightlife BARS & LOUNGES

See bar restaurant listings for more popular watering holes. The Alchemist 1/19 Sukhumvit Soi 11 The casual atmosphere welcomes all, whether you’ve had a long day at work or you’re prepping for a big night out at one of the nearby night clubs. Patrons of The Alchemist love their “potion” cocktails. Live music performances on Wednesday can pack the place out. Open from 5pm to 12am, closed Mondays. 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. Apoteka Bar 33/28 Sukhumvit Soi 11 Tel: 090 626 7655 www.apotekabkk.com A new bar that plays heavily on its apothecary theme, the décor at Apoteka is reminiscent of a Victorian medicine shop, while drinks or “elixirs” contain their own medicinal flair. The cuisine is a mix of east meets west created to meet the needs of today’s discerning diners. Lounge areas are available both indoors and outdoors with a terrace that gives you full view of

throbbing Soi 11. Open from 5pm to 1am (to 2am Friday / Saturday), from 3pm to 12am Sunday.

onto the building, with cocktails created by mixologist Karol Ansaldi formerly of the St. Regis’ Zuma.

Bar Su Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 649 8353 Late night drinking haunt set in the Sheraton’s basement with a contemporary décor and live music playing from Tuesday to Saturday. Has a monthly wine tasting. Open 5.30pm to 2am. Closed Sundays.

Hardrock Café 424/3-6 Siam Square Tel: 02 658 4090-3 Hardrock.com “Where good times are only as far away as your next electric slide step,” claims Bangkok’s branch of the global music, dining and partying franchise. Expect lots of fun and some solid music with a live band playing from 9.30pm each night. Open 11.30am 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.

Leapfrog Bar and Restaurant Ramada Encore Bangkok 21 Sukhumvit Soi 10 Tel: 02 615 0999 www.ramadaencorebangkok.com Enjoy Bangkok’s skyline from this rooftop bar and restaurant, with fine, intimate

dining, from Californian fare to tapas-like specialties and a more relaxed and casual atmosphere later in the evening. Open 4pm to 1am. 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. 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

Brew G/F Seenspace, Sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor) Soi 13, Tel: 02 185 2366 www.brewbkk.com Claims to stock the largest selection of draught and bottled beers anywhere in Thailand. With over 140 varieties, its encyclopedic collection contains brews from across the globe, including dozens of microbrewery brands. Also has a wide range of imported cigars and a variety of bar snacks and deli-counter platters with a pan-European influence. 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 subsoi, 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 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, chill out and drink with friends and fellow travellers or just relax on one of the raised Chinese beds. Gossip Thonglor Soi 15, Tel: 02 185 309 Julien Lavigne and his partners from Oskar’s Bistro have combined to open a new Thonglor bar set on two floors with a huge projector playing vintage movies

The Sportsman is back! now in Soi 13

6 Brunswick Pool Tables, 2 Dart Boards, 7 large screen TVs & 3 HD Projectors for all sports Every Day - Happy Hour, 11am - 7pm & free pool 11am - 4pm Tuesday - Kilkenny Happy Hour price all day, 170 baht Thursday - Magners Happy Hour price all day, 170 baht Friday - Ladies Night, wine and cocktails buy one get one free between 6pm and midnight and free pool on the challenge tables Sunday - Sunday Roast at 195 baht

Unit 10/22 Trendy Condominium, Sukhumvit Soi 13 Tel: 02 168 7241 www.sportsbarbangkok.com asialife Thailand 65


pizzas, merguez harrissa, and Asian classics as well as a large selection of martinis, long drinks and mojitos. Open from 6pm to 2am.

recipes

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. Sala Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 649 8353 Chill out poolside in tropical gardens and enjoy a glass of bubbly or some light snacks, or a barbecue during the dry season under the stars. Open from 7am to 10pm. 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 Michelin-star 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.

Octopus Cannellone

Ingredients 1kg Mediterranean octopus 1kg aubergine 300g celery 400g onion 200g tomato sauce 250g beef tomato 10g coriander 8g salt 15g sugar 35g vinegar 25g pine nuts 20g maltodextrine 10g cedar olive oil 30g extra virgin olive oil 5g Maldon salt Method of Preparation Steam the octopus for one hour, lean it in to a box with a heavy weight on the top and refrigerate. Cut the aubergine into small cubes, deep fry and add some salt. Cook the onion, celery, capers

and pine nuts in a casserole pot with oil. Add sugar, salt and vinegar. Once the vinegar has evaporated, add the tomato sauce and deep-fried aubergine, and refrigerate. Take the octopus terrine and slice into thin pieces. Fill with some caponata and roll with a plastic wrap. Dice the beef tomato and add minced coriander, salt, olive oil. Wisk maltodextrine with cedar oil and keep in a box. To Serve Serve the cannellone with a spoon of diced tomato and a spoon of cedar powder. Finish with Maldon salt before eating.

Recipe provided by Chef Carlo Valenziano of Jojo Italian restaurant, The St. Regis Bangkok, www.stregis.com/bangkok.

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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. 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. 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.

Music Venues

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. The Living Room Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 649 8353 Jazz lounge on the first floor of the Sheraton plays easy listening jazz in the early evening and more contemporary jazz from 9pm to midnight with international jazz musicians and resident pianist Randy Corner. Also has a great jazz brunch on Sundays from 12pm to 3pm. 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 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.

NIGHTCLUBS

BASH 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11 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. 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. 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. 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.


listings

culture CLASSES

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.

CINEMAS

Major Cineplex Tel: 02 515 5555 www.majorcineplex.com SF Cinema Tel: 02 268 8888 www.sfcinemacity.com

CULTURAL CENTRES

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.

DESIGN Accademia Italia 998 Sukhumvit Soi 55 Tel: 02 391 9103 aithai.co.th Fashion and design institute accredited both by the Accademia Italiana in Italy and the University of Wales University run courses in fashion design, graphic design and interior and product design.

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 cross-cultural 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.

GALLERIES

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. 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. 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. 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).

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 year-round exhibitions of works by international artists and photographers with an emphasis on the Himalayas. Open from 11am to 8pm, closed Mondays. 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.

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.

THEATRE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 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. La Lanta Fine Art 245/14 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Tel: 02 204 0583 or 02 260 5381 www.lalanta.com Focuses on contemporary art in Asia, featuring internationally acclaimed artists as well as high potential young talent. Open from 10am to 7pm, closed Sunday, Monday. 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.,

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listings

FREE COPIES AVAILABLE IN OVER 100 PLACES IN BANGKOK INCLUDING: BARS / CAFÉ RESTAURANTS The Australian Bar Italia Gaysorn Beirut Bo.lan Bourbon Street Brew Brown Sugar Charley Brown's Chu The Clubhouse The Coffee Club Crepes & Co The Dubliner FCCT Gaggans Gossip Hanrahan’s

Jim Thompson Rest. Le Petit Zinc The Londoner Brew Pub Mulligans Irish Pub No Idea Restaurant Niu’s Oscars O’Reillys Irish Pub Pak Bakery Pickled Liver Pub Quince Restaurant Robin Hood Pub Royal Oak Pub Spanish on 4 The Sportsman Tapas Café Zaks

HOTELS / RESIDENCES Aloft Dusit Thani Four Points by Sheraton Imperial Queen’s Park Intercontinental Lebua Mandarin Oriental Metropolitan by Como Oakwood Residence

Oriental Residence Park Plaza Pullman Ramada Encore Rembrandt Hotel Sheraton Sukhumvit Sofitel So Sofitel Sukhumvit St Regis

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS Bangkok Prep Berkeley Harrow International School Bangkok

KIS NIST Shrewsbury St Andrews

OR CHECK OUT THE LATEST ISSUE AT

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68 asialife Thailand

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.

DANCING

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. Le Studio Art of Dance Room 9C,9/F Times Square Building, Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 250 0005, 084 211 4408 Classes in ballet, contemporary dance, capoeira, Thai classical dance, jazz, hip hop as well as ballet classes for children. Rumpuree World Dance Studio 96-502 Amarin Plaza, Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 08 1430 6684 www.rumpuree.com Dance school with a distinctly global feel to it – Egyptian belly-dancing meets Argentinean tango. Has dances every day of the week for beginners and more advanced dancers.

FITNESS

Aspire Club 348/2 Sukhumvit Rd, Tel: 02 229 4114 www.theaspireclub.com A private, exclusive training experience designed for achieving phenomenal results with services including personal training and golf fitness. 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. The LAB 3/F RSU Tower, cnr. Sukhumvit Soi 31, Tel: 02 662 1618 www.tbtlab.com An exciting concept new, the studio is kitted out with state-of-the-art fitness training equipment from Olympic bars, kettlebells and TRX suspension trainers, to free form tools including big tyres, ceiling ropes and gymnastic rings. Qualified coaches create programmes designed for strength training, high intensity intervals, speed training and weight loss. 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 Bangpoo Golf & Sport Club Tel: 02 324 0320-9 www.bangpoogolf.com Green Valley Country Club Tel: 02 312 5883-9 www.greenvalleybangkok.com Kiarti Thanee Country Club Tel: 02 707 1700 www.kiartithaneecountryclub.com Pinehurst Golf & Country Club Tel: 02 516 8679 www.pinehurst.co.th Riverdale Golf Club Tel: 02 501 2789 www.riverdalegolfclub.co.th Summit Windmill Golf Club Tel: 02 750 2112-20 www.summitwindmillgolfclub.com


Thana City Golf Tel: 02 336 0567-8 www.thanacitygolf.com

GOLF - PATTAYA Bangpra Golf Club Tel: 038 341 149-50 www.bangpragolf.co.th

Khao Kheow Country Club Tel: 038 318 000 www.khaokheowgolf.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 English-speaking expat community. Cricket, rugby, football, squash, golf, badminton and hockey are included 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. 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.

SPORT

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 recognized by the World Muay Thai Council and Muay Thai Institute. 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: thailandtigersnetball@gmail.com.

YOGA

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 F/4 Amarin Plaza Bldg Tel: 02 252 4400
 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. 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.

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DENTAL

listings

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. Morf HOMME 44/5-6, Soi Thonglor 13, Tel: 02 712 5128 www. morfhomme.com The first exclusive men’s retreat in Thailand with state-of-the-art equipment, Morf’s specialists advise on a variety of non-invasive body and facial programmes to fit your needs. Open from 10am to 10pm, closed Sundays. 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 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 techniques at one of its international academies.

HOSPITALS

Contact Mark on 090 963 2168 mark@asialife.asia

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.

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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 Tel: 08 4499 4470 www.naraveesurgery.com 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 paediatric snoring. It has developed a reputation for its bone marrow transplant and neo-natal intensive care services. Samitivej Sukhumvit 133 Sukhumvit Soi 49 Tel: 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, orthopoedics, 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.

OPTICAL

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.

PHARMACIES

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.

SPAS

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 wellbeing – 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.

The Curse of the Weekend Warrior By Ruben Toral I would be a rich man if I had a dollar for every time someone with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) asked me for a personal doctor’s recommendation. The ACL is one of four major ligaments that support the knee and connect the upper leg bone to the lower leg bone. A torn ACL is a common injury among top athletes, like Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, as well as weekend warriors like you and me. They come in all forms – the weekend footballer with the buckling knee, the rusty skier with the blown knee, the notas-flexible-as-you-think-youare yoga practitioner with the popping knee. Men may have a higher incidence rate for torn ACL’s, but women are actually more prone to the condition. Typically people live with the pain for a while until inevitability sets in and they have to see a doctor. No one wants to go under the knife and be sidelined for six months. Everyone thinks that with a little rest and some ice it will go away, but it doesn’t and then the simplest acts, like climbing stairs, are steeped in pain. That’s when I get the call or the email asking for a recommendation. I tell people that you want three things in an arthroscopic surgeon – good diagnostic skills, good hands and lots of experience. Arthroscopic or keyhole surgery is the gold standard

treatment for ACL tears. It’s fast and minimally invasive. You are awake during the procedure. Top surgeons usually have at least 300 surgeries under their belt and tend to be very matter-of-fact in their approach. Their attitude is “do you want it fixed or not?” The speed of ACL surgery belies the speed of recovery, however. A torn ACL needs time to mend — typically six to eight months — and is highly susceptible to re-injury during that time. Many who have had the surgery find the recovery period aggravating, and more than a few gamble and take their knee out for a test drive before it’s ready. One doctor that I spoke with said re-injury rates are as high as 25 percent. If you’ve blown out your knee take comfort knowing that you are not alone. It’s one of the most common injuries among athletes of all ages. There are some very skilled sports medicine doctors in Bangkok who can get you back on your feet and onto the pitch, but remember that the path to recovery is all up to you. 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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listings

family ACTIVITIES

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 an 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 Tel: 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. Dusit Zoo 71 Rama V Rd., Chitrlada district Tel: 02 281 2000 Thailand’s national zoo has many animals from around the world. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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 mini-tennis (4-6 year olds) and children’s tennis school (6-18 years old) on its plexipave courts given by its international coaching team. 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. 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. 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.

DESIGN INSTITUTE Accademia Italia 998 Sukhumvit Soi 55 Tel: 02 391 9103 aithai.co.th Fashion and design institute accredited both by the Accademia Italiana in Italy and the University of Wales University run courses in fashion design, graphic design and interior and product design.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

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. Ascot International School Ramkamhaeng Soi 118 Sapansung Tel: 02 373 4400 www.ascot.ac.th British Curriculum for early years to secondary school.

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Berkeley International School 123 Bangna-Trad Rd., Bagna Tel: 02 747 4788 berkeley.ac.th College-preparatory international school founded in 2010 that provides an American-based education with an international focus in grades Pre-K through 8. Emphasises its small class sizes, international student body, and caring and dedicated teachers. 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 years 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.

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.

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.

Bangkok Patana School 643 Sukhumvit Soi 105 Tel: 02 398 0200 www.patana.ac.th British Curriculum from primary to secondary school.

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. Ruamrudee International School 6 Ramkhamhaeng 184, Minburi Tel: 02 791 8900 www.rism.ac.th American curriculum and International Baccalaureate curriculum from pre-school to Grade 12. 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 admissions@standrews-schools.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 nationalities and all teachers hold teaching degrees and third of our teachers hold masters degrees. (IB and CfBT Accredited).

kids corner

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.

PARENT ASSOCIATIONS

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

PRESCHOOL

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/

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Chatterbox By Gemma Jones From chatty to borderline mute, children have interesting ideas when it comes to communicating. There are books that state how many words children should say by certain ages, and many parents are concerned that children are not speaking early enough. But children vary and I think it is wrong to try putting exact numbers on the development of speech. As long as other developments are normal you should not worry too much. Even though 21-month-old toddlers should be speaking, if they aren’t it may simply mean they have a speech delay. As long as the other milestones are being met and there are no hearing problems, you should not be concerned. If worries remain it may be a good idea to keep a record or a diary of the child’s communication and speech. He or she may make slow improvements and should be adding words monthly. Once parents can see the small changes it will make them realise that their little one is developing. Another good idea is to put children’s actions into words as often as possible. For example, if they point to a toy you should say: “Oh you want this toy.” If you spill juice and he points at it say: “Spilt juice, messy!” You are showing them how to respond by using speech.

Another cheeky tip is to put your little one’s favourite things out of reach so they have to communicate with you to get them. If everything is easily accessed, children have less reason to interact with you. Perhaps the best way to teach communication is simply through play. Set time aside and ask your child what he or she wants to play with. Let them choose and always say the name of the toy. Get down to their level, even if it means lying on the floor, and allow them to lead you. Imitate their actions, movements and noises. Let them direct the play and they will become more interested in interacting. The worst course of action with a late- or non-speaker is to force them to speak. Do not show any signs of distress or sadness with their lack of speech, as this will only hinder communication skills and may even prolong the nonspeaking. Most importantly, remember to praise your little orator when he or she does speak to encourage them to do it again. Gemma Jones has been working in childcare for more than 10 years. She holds an NNEB diploma in nursery nursing and is currently a principal at Cambridge Child Development Centre in Phnom Penh.

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listings

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 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 info@bwgbangkok.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 non-journalists 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,

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real estate, investment, law, and related fields. The Lighthouse Club Bangkok raises money for various charities such as schooling for the children of construction workers.

money matters

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. Executive Homes Thailand 25/12 Sukhumvit Soi 16 Tel: 02 260 7585 www.executive-homes-bangkok.com Professional real estate agent with experienced staff that has a range of apartments and houses to rent and buy around Bangkok and further afield. Open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. 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.

Keeping Track of Your Pensions By Judy Blair Putting something away for retirement is always a good idea, but as an expat there is a chance that by the time you come to take that money back for your twilight years, you could easily have lost track of where, when and how much you need to claim. Your pensions will vary from the private provision you have made yourself, through company schemes that you may have been enrolled in while you were at a particular employer, to government schemes that you are set to benefit from as a result of social security payments you have made over the years. While efforts will be made to trace you, if you have not updated organisations with your changes of address, it will be tough to find you. So you may have to rely on any documentation and employment records you have yourself to identify every employer or government you need to contact upon retirement. If you do not have these, then try going through your employment history chronologically to discover where you entitlements may lie. However, the good news is you are not alone in your search. A number of organisations have been set up to help people who have lost touch with their entitlement. The website unclaimedassets.com provides you with a list of organisations that will help you find money you are owed.

In the UK, the unclaimedassets.co.uk website will help anyone who believes they have assets in the UK. For pensions specifically in the UK, you would need to use the Pension Tracing Service at www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension. In the US, finding your lost assets can be more complicated because the tracing service you need to contact could vary from state to state, depending on where you were working at the time, or where your savings and investments had been set up. However, there is a central research point for pensions through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation at www.pbgc. gov, and the National Registry of Unclaimed Retirement Benefits at www.unclaimedretirementbenefits.com. If you are convinced you are due more than you have been offered, then get the help of a professional adviser who can help to calculate exactly what any forgotten money should be worth over time. It will all go towards helping you have a much more comfortable retirement. 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: jblair@infinitysolutions.com or visit www. infinitysolutions.com.


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 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 top-ranked 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. 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. 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. 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.

EMBASSIES

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 camemb.tha@mfa.gov.kh 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 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. 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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

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. Top Supermarket Central Chidlom Sukhumvit Soi 41 Small supermarket chain selling high quality and fresh products including goods from UK’s Waitrose supermarket. 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. 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.

HOME

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 flair, 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 in 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 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 single-handedly 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. Pasaya Flagship Store Unit 32-33, 3/F Siam Paragon Shopping Center, Rama 1 Rd. Tel: 02 610 9338-40

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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.

MALLS

Resigning from Your Job By Gary Woollacott As the year comes to a close, it’s that time when some start thinking about changing jobs. Maybe a pay rise wasn’t as good as hoped for and you’ve decided to look around, or perhaps you’ve just reached the natural end of a work relationship and it’s time to move on. Either way, the year end and the holiday season may lead to reflections on achievements (or failures) over the past 12 months, and plans for the future. So if you decide to resign, how should you do it? The simple act of writing a resignation letter doesn’t mean listing every grievance you've had with your employer. Some, if not most, of these things are best left for an exit interview or, perhaps even better, left unsaid. For me, and this is only my opinion, the standard, perfunctory letter is entirely appropriate. Be clear that you are giving the required notice and what your last working day will be. You might choose to mention that you have enjoyed the time at your company and learned a lot. There is no need to have your letter acknowledged but, of course, your manager or HR must see it. I have heard stories where a company refused to accept

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a resignation and wouldn’t let the person leave. That's ridiculous, none of us is a slave (even if it feels like it), and we have the right to choose when to offer or withdraw our labour. If your manager tries to put this on you then he or she is living in the past, is a bully, or maybe just poorly informed about labour law. I’ve had some people tell me that they are dissatisfied with their company and are thinking of resigning to encourage their manager to improve conditions. Be warned: this is a dangerous strategy if you don’t have a back-up plan. What happens if your resignation is accepted? If it’s in writing and you can’t withdraw it you have a problem. If it was an oral resignation, your manager may understand your change of heart but you have probably lost some credibility — and that may never be regained. Tread carefully! As usual, 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 Vietnam and Thailand. He can be reached via gary@opusasia.net. Opus is a partner of Horton International.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

RELOCATION COMPANIES

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.

REAL ESTATE

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.

CBRE 46/F, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place, 87/2 Wireless Rd.

Sawasdee Rent a Car L/L Interchange 21 Building, Sukhumvit Road (Asok) Tel: 02 661 6505 www.sawasdeerentacar.com Provider of short-term and long-term rental cars for both business and leisure travellers in Thailand since 2006. Offers a wide range of models from compactsize to full-size SUV with legal rental car insurance to ensure your comfort and safety when driving. Open from 9am to 5pm, closed weekends.

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.

RENTAL CAR


listings

fashion ACCESSORIES

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. Flow 3/ F, Terminal 21 Tel: 021 080 858 Jewellery and accessories store on the Istanbul floor of Terminal 21 features the designs of Valaipan Chupan which combine jewellery with the finest Thai silk. Jude Smid www.judesmid.com www.facebook.com/judesmid Inspired by art, fashion and travel, Jude Smid Jewellery creates pieces that are timeless and luxurious, yet with a modern approach. The Jude Smid woman is independent, self-confident and adventurous. All the jewellery is made of high-end materials that enhance sophistication and elegance. RougeRouge Surreal Space, 1/F Zen, CentralWorld, Tel: 02 258 4230 A collaboration between Wannaporn ‘Duang’ Poshyanonda and British designer Mark Ketteringham, RougeRouge’s bold and sometimes outrageous bags have been making a statement in the wardrobes of local celebs. Open from 10am to 10pm.

BOUTIQUE

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. 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.

femme fashion

Keith Shannon www.mykeithshannon.com www.facebook.com/mykeithshannon 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. MONLADA Seen Space, Thonglor 13 G/F, Zen Department Store, Central World 4, 4/5 Rajadamri Road, Tel: 08 7015 5555 Local socialite and fashion designer, Monlada Pongpanit’s clothes capture a vintage style with a modern, feminine twist. Also has a range of menswear, eveningwear and swimwear. 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 teachers 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.

Fifty Shades of Grey By Christina Yu I have actually checked my Pantone colour chart. By the time you add in the blue greys and the greeny greys, there probably really are 50 shades of grey. Fifty Shades of Grey is the fastest selling paperback ever. It is apparently mainly read by women who: (a) are married, (b) are over 30, (c) have a secret desire for softcore porn, (d) think publisher Mills and Boon has no literary content and (e) are a member of a female book reading club. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an “un-closeted” reader of the book, clearly did not qualify for criteria ‘a’ and ‘e’, so you can make a bet on which ones she did satisfy. She is also one of the most public people I see always wearing grey. This raises all sorts of important fashion questions: Does grey cover her Aussie-pie-filled figure best? Or is it supposed to blend with her red hair? Or is grey simply her favourite colour? But what does wearing grey actually mean? Believe it or not, grey is in my corporate palette because it blends well with pink and purple. I have received lots of requests to use more of it and update our shop image, but I remain unconvinced. To me, grey is a colour for indecisive and submissive people. A person who wears grey cannot choose between black and white, so instead compromises with grey. Case in point: Calvin Klein, who has grey in every one of his collections,

apparently painted his office in 50 shades of white, probably because he couldn’t work out which white to use. Of all the colours grey has the least impact and is the most boring. In fashion texts, grey is mentioned every three years as the new black, when people need an alternative to black. Invariably, it is a charcoal grey which is almost black, so what is the point? Grey looks good in pin stripes office suits but, then again, the blue one with pin stripes almost always looks better and classier. In colour psychology, grey signifies timelessness, a neutral and practical mood, which is why grey is all the rage with any self-respecting bar or a five-star hotel. Grey doesn’t upset the customer and you get your money back with your renovation down the road. In baseball, many teams opted for grey away uniforms, because they didn’t show the dirt as much as the white home ones did. This is hardly a concern for the modern fashionista, and to me the white uniform always look more dashing. Can you imagine Richard Gere in a grey uniform in An Officer and a Gentleman having the same heartthrob effect? I can’t! Christina Yu is the creative director and founder of Ipa-Nima, an award-winning accessories brand. Email your questions to Christina@ ipa-nima.com or visit Ipa-nima. com.

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French Tuesday's at St Regis

Above Eleven

Photos by Nick McGrath, Sergio Del Amo and Samodra.

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Levels

Quince Birthday Bash

asialife Thailand 79


soundfix album review

by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen

Kendrick Lamar

Jessica Pratt

The Babies

Bomba Estéreo

good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Jessica Pratt

Our House on the Hill

Heralded as one of the year’s best hip hop albums, Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed second album is putting Compton, California, on the map once again. Raised in the home of Dr Dre and Ice Cube, the 26-year-old specialises in a smoother form of gangsta rap than his predecessors. Lyrics are introspective and highly quotable, delivered alongside catchy hooks and beats. Family values are a recurring theme, with voicemails from Lamar’s parents interspersed between tracks. Amongst an overall cohesive collection of songs, ‘Backseat Freestyle’ stands out for its hard-hitting rhythm and ironic send-up of typical rap bravado.

If you like delicate guitar chords and ethereal vocals, then Jessica Pratt is a singersongwriter worth getting to know. Pratt creates folk music perhaps better described as reliable rather than brilliant. She keeps it safe, which isn’t a bad thing. The San Francisco native croons with sincerity on songs that are uncomplicated, tender and confessional in both lyrics and tone. The influence of folk legends of the 1970s is central, with Pratt coming across as wise beyond her years. Her voice has an otherworldly quality, which thrives over gentle acoustic guitar, particularly on the poignant ‘Midnight Wheels’.

Side projects are often dubious ventures, but The Babies, a collaboration of Woods bassist Kevin Morby and Vivian Girls front-woman Cassie Ramone, can be considered a rock and roll coup. Their brand of straightforward garage rock, with a fuzzy lo-fi take, makes for a second album that’s a pleasure. Our House on the Hill kicks off strong with ‘Alligator’, combining Morby’s boyish voice with a playful guitar riff. The chemistry between Morby and Ramone, who alternate backup vocals, drives the record, as does a refreshing sense of rawness.

Colombian Cumbia — with its Afro-Latin origins — gets an electronic treatment from Bomba Estéreo, a Bogotabased band that is one of Latin America’s most engaging breakouts. The group’s sound has been referred to as electrotropical, an apt description of their sunshine-soaked beatdriven tunes. The group’s follow-up to their 2009 debut reveals a new level of maturity. Singing in Spanish, singer Li Saumet keeps up with dance floor rhythms while evoking a powerful sensuality on slower tracks. This is an album ideal for summoning a warm Caribbean vibe, even in the darkest winter.

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Elegancia Tropical


xoneFM top ten

endorsed

US TOP 10 rank title 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Diamonds One More Night Die Young Locked Out of Heaven Some Nights Let Me Love You Gangnam Style Ho Hey We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together I Cry

artist Rihanna Maroon 5 Ke$ha Bruno Mars fun. Ne-Yo Psy The Lumineers Taylor Swift Flo Rida

UK TOP 10 rank title

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Little Things Locked Out of Heaven DNA Beneath Your Beautiful The Power of Love Candy Gangnam Style Ho Hey Diamonds Love Is Easy

artist One Direction Bruno Mars Little Mix Labrinth Gemma Aplin Robbie Williams PSY The Lumineers Rihanna McFly

UK INDIE TOP 10 rank

title

artist

1 2 3 4 5

Skyfall Close Enemies Holdin’ On Gold Dust The Power of Love

6 7 8 9 10

ZIn Zimma Hometown Glory Wherever You Will Go Au Seve Everything You Need

Adele Example Monsta DJ Fresh Frankie Goes to Hollywood Sneakbo Adele Charlene Soraia Julio Bashmore Lewis Clay

Global Mail By Lien Hoang As a journalist I might be committing heresy by admitting this, but I don’t need to be the first to know. Election updates, roadside bombings, banker arrests — if I learn the news a day late, it’s usually no skin off my back (unless I am reporting it, in which case, let it be known to all editors that I do need to be first). I’ve come to feel this way because I care about the big picture, about what the breaking news means for the year and for years to come, not just what it means for that day. Unless we are voting or investing, our obsession with instant updates derives from curiosity more than any motive of use or impact. What a breath of fresh air, then, to discover TheGlobalMail.org. Launched this year, the Sydney-based website makes a point not to “swim in the 24/7 news cycle” and instead delivers well-researched and dense stories. Its stock in trade is journalism that is independent (no corporate dollars fund the organisation), analytical, and investigative. In other words: journalism at its finest. I have always respected the Christian Science Monitor for the same reasons. Don’t let the name fool you, this website reports the news with integrity and is almost unrelated

to the eponymous church. Setting it apart from other press, the Monitor strives to present not just news but an examination of why that news should matter to you. Headlines (such as: ‘Syria's opposition groups convene in Qatar — can they build a unified front?’) often come with question marks, because they look to the future. The Mail is a smaller operation and therefore not as comprehensive. But its scribes dig up unique angles, such as a piece about Indonesian rituals of sex and religion, called ‘The Swingers' Guide to Islam’. While the Monitor focuses on the United States, the Mail has an Australian tinge despite covering news from all corners of the world. For just regional articles, you can go to the author page for the Mail’s Asia correspondent, Aubrey Belford, who wrote the swingers story. The nascent publication is gaining traction (4,600 likes on Facebook, an op-ed from a former Australian foreign minister). But enjoy it while it lasts. A deep-pocketed philanthropist has pledged millions to keep the lights on for five years, but after that, the Global Mail will have to figure out how to convince consumers to pay for news, just like every other media outlet.

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boxoffice

Hotel Transylvania

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Chinese Zodiac

Silver Linings Playbook

Dracula operates a high-end resort away from the human world. When a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter the master of fangs goes into overprotective mode. Animated film featuring the voices of Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi and Kevin James, so expect plenty of witty one-liners.

Directed by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame, this film version of another Tolkein classic features Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Necromancer. Veterans Ian Holm, Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee make cameo performances, and Cate Blanchett and Billy Connolly join in the fun. Expect the sequel next year.

Asia’s most popular cinematic superstar returns to the screen in this film about a man searching the world for a set of mystic artefacts — 12 bronze heads of the animals from the Chinese zodiac. In addition to starring in the film, Jackie Chan also wrote and directed it.

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own. This romantic comedy from David O Russell also features Robert de Niro.

On General Release Hotel Transylvania (from Dec. 5) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (from Dec. 13) Chinese Zodiac (from Dec. 20) Silver Linings Playbook (from Dec. 27)

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Information correct at time of going to press. Check cinema websites for screenings.


bookshelf Border Vigils

Flight Behavior

Jeremy Harding

Barbara Kingsolver

Verso

In an age of increased globalisation and transnational travel, Jeremy Harding takes a look at the issue of illegal immigration in Border Vigils. He examines how anti-immigration sentiment and policies are on the increase in the US and Europe, despite an enduring market for migrant labour. Using interviews with migrants and people-smugglers, Harding sheds light on the motivations for crossing borders at great personal risk, raising questions about the roots of illegal immigration and offering suggestions for how policy approaches could change for the better.

Far From the Tree Andrew Solomon Scribner

Written over the past 11 years, Far From the Tree is Andrew Solomon’s extensive examination of families raising children under challenging circumstances. From interviews with more than 300 families, he looks at how they cope with various diversities, including deafness, down syndrome, dwarfism, child prodigies and more. Solomon draws upon his own childhood experiences of grappling with homosexuality and dyslexia in order to explore what it means to grow up “different” and how families must practice unrequited love to accept children for who they are.

Harper

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Flight Behavior tells the story of a woman whose life is changed by the unexpected appearance of migrating monarch butterflies in her small Tennessee town. Changing climate patterns have re-directed the butterflies’ flight plan, and their arrival gives the protagonist, Dellarobia, a new outlook. Narrated with Barbara Kingsolver’s lyrical prose, the story tackles the impact of global warming with a poetic and philosophical approach.

The Sound of Things Falling Juan Gabriel Vásquez Bloomsbury Publishing

When ex-pilot Ricardo Laverde is shot in the streets of Bogota, young lawyer Antonio Yammara sets out to discover his friend’s secrets. Antonio’s mission to understand Laverde’s killing leads him to revisit Colombia’s past, particularly the tempestuous 1960s when the capital city was under the throes of the marijuana trade. But, as Antonio finds out, investigating the past has its costs. Encompassing themes of memory and trauma, Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s newly translated work explores Colombia under the control of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar.

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radar YouTube Without the Garbage

Devour.com Everyone loves YouTube, home to millions of videos and always an easy way to kill time. But there is plenty of stuff on the site that isn’t worth watching, including thousands of clips involving cats being cat-like. Another problem is the comments, as they invariably turn racist and ignorant no matter what video you watch. Devour.com gets rid of both of these problems, as it compiles the best of YouTube’s most popular videos with no comments allowed. With a focus on HD videos, Devour is perfect for the more discerning online procrastinator.

Back to School

Coursera.com Many people harbour dreams of returning to school someday to obtain an advanced degree, or perhaps just to learn something new. But with increasing tuition prices, money often can be the biggest obstacle. Coursera offers a way around this with 204 courses in 20 different categories from 34 universities worldwide, all free. Most courses last five to 10 weeks and come with homework and quizzes. All you have to do is sign up and then learn on your computer. A few course examples include Introduction to Sustainability, A History of the World since 1300, and Social Network Analysis.

Humanity at Its Best

Lamebook.com This site collects the dumbest, most insensitive, and most inappropriate comments, statuses and pictures from Facebook, keeping the original posters anonymous. Much of the content, which includes incredible displays of ignorance and people sharing far too much personal information, is definitely not safe for work. This is a great site to visit if you want to feel more confident about yourself, as you surely are a better, more intelligent person than whoever posted, “If Obama wins, I’m getting the heck outta this country! I’m going to Alaska!”

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THE TWO OF US Shopping buddies Sameera Shah and Sarah Fischer are the co-founders of StylistaS, a personal shopping and styling service. Yvonne Liang speaks to them about retail therapy in Bangkok. Photo by Nick McGrath.

Sameera Shah The name StylistaS came from our desire to impart style onto others and the two big S’s stand for, of course, Sam and Sarah and Style. If you look at our logo the two S's form a heart as well — adorable, right? My own personal style is definitely cute, comfortable and girly. Currently, I'm obsessed with peplum style dresses. They are so figure flattering and work on anyone no matter what your body shape is. I lean towards jeans, skinny black pants, cute tees, tanks, jumpsuits, and rompers. They are so stylish yet so comfortable at the same time. And the best part is you can dress them up or dress them down. For handbags and shoes I am obsessed with Louis Vuitton. I love to shop online, my absolute favourite website is shopbop.com for clothes. I also love zappos.com and amazon.com – you can find virtually anything on there. I shop whenever I feel like it. I love shopping online because I don't have to leave the comfort of my own home

Sarah Fischer and it’s so easy. If I'm going out to shop I prefer to shop alone because I'm a very quick decisive shopper. If I see it I know if I like it or not right away and I either buy it or move on. Shopping with friends often annoys me because they take forever to decide what to buy and they linger in the dressing room forever. I'm a very systematic shopper. I don't take into consideration other people’s opinions when I shop. I buy what I like. After all I'm the one who’s going to be wearing it. When I was younger I was definitely a bigger impulse shopper. If I saw something I kind of liked I would just buy it without thinking twice about it. Then I'd look at my closet and realise I had so much stuff that I'd never even worn and I'm thinking to myself why did I buy this? That has definitely changed in recent years. Before I buy something I ask myself, “Do I love it? Or do I just like it?” I don’t buy something just because it is on sale. I only buy if I truly love it and it looks good on me.

StylistaS happened one night while Sam and I were having our usual conversation about clothes. When the idea came up, we both knew that it is something we could and would love to do. And we started planning what the business would entail, and also the name and logos. We started spreading the word out among our friends. We actually got to work that night immediately, writing out ideas and planning. And that's how StylistaS started. I'd like to think that I'm very feminine and quite classic. But I could be a little wild and eccentric at the same time. I stick to basic colours and style for my clothes but I would opt for handbags, shoes and accessories that make a bold statement. You would usually see me in a white fitted shirt and dark skinny jeans with blue metallic heels or a plain black maxi while carrying a pink neon clutch. I'm a sucker for massproduced brands like Zara or H&M, but I would invest more in classic pieces in my wardrobe. I like Ralph Lauren jeans and Chanel handbags, and I usually shop for shoes at

multi-brand stores like Club 21. Oh, and I have an obsession for Herve Leger dresses. I don't believe in shopping only when you need something because more often than not, you won't find what you need. I love window shopping and going through online shopping sites. That way, I know what is out there and I can decide if I want to have it or not. Shopping in Bangkok can often mean a bargain. Countless times I have found really interesting clothes and accessories at places like Platinum or Siam Square for a tenth of the price of designer pieces. However, shopping in Bangkok is very limited when it comes to higher end items. Very often sales associates tell me they only carry certain sizes or only one piece for each size so I only get to buy things if I'm lucky enough. One time I was looking for a dog collar at Gucci and they only carry sizes S and M. My chubby French bulldog, consequently, is now wearing a sports jersey instead since I still cannot find a collar his size at any designer store. Also the prices here areridiculous.

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pub quiz Merry 1) Merry Brandybuck is a character from which novel? 2) Sir John Falstaff appears in which Shakespeare comedy? 3) In which Oscar winning film did Julie Andrews win a race on a merry-go-round horse? 4) In which TV series did Buster Merryfield play Uncle Albert Trotter? 5) In which woodland might you encounter the Merry Men?

Christmas 6) Christmas Island is a territory of which country? 7) Which European country is generally accepted as beginning the custom of the Christmas tree? 8) In which song do the singers request figgy pudding? 9) On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... 12? 10) ‘Adeste Fideles’ is a hymn tune usually associated with which Christmas carol?

20) Which Shakespearean King has the line: “Now is the winter of our discontent”?

Cold 21) Which Oscar winning film stars Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, and Renée Zellweger? 22) What is the oldest British regiment in the Regular Army in continuous active service? 23) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is a 1963 Cold War novel by which popular author? 24) In 2000, which band released their breakthrough single ‘Yellow’? 25) Many people see 1991 as being the end of the Cold War. Who resigned as the last head of state of the Soviet Union in that year?

Printed by: Siam Printing Solutions Co., Ltd. Room Number 106, 13 Soi Napha Sap 2, Sukhumvit 36, Klongton, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110. Tel: 02 259 0898 ISSN: 2286-6949 AsiaLIFE is a registered trademark. No content may be reproduced in any form without prior authorisation of the owners. © AsiaLIFE Media (Thailand) Co. Ltd.

Celebrity Santas 26) Behind the Scenes - Photo by Johnny Murphy

Holidays

16) Who won an academy award for her acting in The Diary of Anne Frank? 17) In which country will the next Winter Olympic Games be held? 18) In the Northern Hemisphere, on what date will this year’s Southern, or Winter, solstice happen? 19) In Britain, fans of many football teams sing variations of which seasonal song to celebrate a particular team, player or manager? 86 asialife Thailand

7 1

7

6 5

4

6

4 9

4

9

7

28)

7

5

1

6 8

29)

2

30)

4

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Pub Quiz Answers

Winter

8

27)

1) Lord of the Rings 2) Merry Wives of Windsor 3) Mary Poppins 4) Only Fools and Horses 5) Sherwood Forest 6) Australia 7) Germany 8) ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ 9) Drummers Drumming 10) O Come, All Ye Faithful 11) New Year/Songkran/Chaul Chnam Thmey 12) Boxing Day (Dec. 26) 13) March 14) January 15) Jul. 4 16) Shelley Winters 17) Russia 18) Dec. 21 19) Winter Wonderland 20) Richard III 21) Cold Mountain 22) The Coldstream Guards 23) John Le Carré 24) Coldplay 25) Mikhail Gorbachev 26) Rowan Atkinson 27) George Clooney 28) Donald Sutherland 29) Denise Richards 30) Harrison Ford

11) In Theravada Buddhist countries, what holiday is is celebrated for three days from the first full moon in April? 12) What is the last public holiday of the year in the United Kingdom? 13) In which month will Western Christian countries celebrate Easter in 2013? 14) In what months do Australians celebrate Australia Day? 15) Ironically, on which date do the Philippines commemorate the official recognition of Philippine independence by the United States of America?


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