__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 1


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


02 2013

Issue 5

26 front

www.asialifemagazine.com

06 News & Events 16 Dispatches 17 Street Smart: Thonglor 13 20 Q&A with Natalie Glebova

getaways

42 The Beauty of Kep

food

46 The Sporting Beer

22 Photo Essay:

26 General Hospital

storyboard

32 Spirtual Healing

48 Rossini's 49 The Local

The Golden Land

on the cover

44 Water Water Everywhere

style & design

50 Woman of the Wild

back

56 The List

Bangkok-Style

34 Reclaiming the Roads

54 Connoisseur: Sea Salt

78 Spotlight 85 The Two Of Us

36 Different Strokes

86 Pub Quiz

38 Tribal Art 40 Eight Tips for Digital Security

48

50

FEBRUARY 2013

Cover Art Direction Johnny Murphy Photography Nick McGrath

asialife Thailand 3


note from the editor Ruben Toral Ruben Toral is an American healthcare marketing professional with over 17 years experience building healthcare businesses, brands and doctor networks around the world. A pioneer in medical tourism and a former hospital marketing executive, Ruben consults for leading international hospital brands. He writes a regular column for AsiaLIFE Thailand – Doctor in the House

Mark Bibby Jackson Medical tourism is a big global business, possibly worth up to $100 billion each year. And with western nations struggling to fund their own healthcare services that figure is only likely to rise, with some reports placing growth at around 20 percent per year already. Many patients choose Thailand over other emerging medical tourism markets. According to The Guardian newspaper “more than 1.6 million foreigners are treated in Thai hospitals annually, with an estimated 500,000 travelling specifically for medical treatment.” By 2015, the foreign medical services sector is predicted to generate some B100 billion baht. These are “phenomenal figures given the nascent state of the medical tourist industry only a few years ago,” states the British newspaper. The country has moved a long way towards becoming a leader in medical tourism. In our first issue of 2013, AsiaLIFE asks why the Thai medical tourism industry has become so successful. We talk to health professionals to discover the country’s competitive advantage over neighbouring counties, and why so many regional expats and natives of other ASEAN countries visit Thailand for routine, specialist and emergency healthcare. Continuing the healthy theme, Yvonne Liang talks to the creators of Omroom, who have a distinctly spiritual take on cleansing both body and mind, while Gaby Doman talks to a bunch of Bangkokites who are literally taking to their bikes in order to reclaim the streets. With an eye to the year ahead, we also take a sneak look at four female artists hoping to make it big in 2013, as well as some of the bars in town where you can follow the major sporting events of the upcoming year. Together with trips to the greens of Myanmar and the idyllic Cambodian coastal town of Kep, plus all the regular AsiaLIFE features and columns, there is something here for everyone. As always, if there is anything you would like to share with us, contact me at my new email address: mark@ asialifemagazine.asia. You can also check out our website: asialifemagazine.com, where you can read all three magazines, as well as watch our AsiaLIFE TV videos. Follow AsiaLIFE on Facebook at: facebook.com/asialifemedia.

4 asialife Thailand

Group Editor-in-Chief / Director Cambodia: Mark Bibby Jackson mark@asialifemagazine.com

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

Associate Editor Thailand: Yvonne Liang

Regional Creative Director: Johnny Murphy johnny@asialife.asia

Sales Thailand: Mark Bibby Jackson mark@asialifemagazine.com

Photo Editor Thailand: Nick McGrath nick@asialife.asia

For advertising and marketing enquiries please contact: 090 963 2168 or 090 490 3119

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

Managing Editor Cambodia: Ellie Dyer Art Director Cambodia: Hilary Fastier Sales Cambodia: Sorn Chantha Chantha@asialife.asia

Sales Vietnam: Jonny Edbrooke jonny@asialife.asia

022013 ISSUE74

www.asialifemagazine.com

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 FatLive

Local indie radio station, Fat Radio is holding its FatLive Smallroom concert on Mar. 2. Local indie bands Somkiat, Summer Stop, and The Richman Toys will take the stage of the Thunderdome Muangthong Thani for an unforgettable night of live performances. Tickets can be purchased through we-booking. com or Tel: 02 900 9999.

Paramore Gig

American alternative rock band Paramore will play its first Bangkok gig at the Centerpoint Studio on Feb. 12. Led by the new Rock icon Hayley Williams, Paramore has become one of the fastest rising Rock bands. The single Decode already has over 72 million YouTube views and latest hit Monster was selected to be the main original

EVENTS soundtrack for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Supported by mewithoutYou, tickets B1,800 to B2,500 are available from Thaiticketmajor.com.

Santana Live in Bangkok

Ten-time Grammy Award winner Carlos Santana will be performing live in Bangkok this March. Organised by BEC TERO Entertainment, the guitar legend will play the Impact Arena Muanthong Thani as part of his Sentient Tour on Mar. 6 supported by Thai countryrockers Carabao. Tickets B1,000 to B5,000 are available from Thaiticketmajor.com.

Ballad of the Black Cloud Koi Art Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition by Pom Jitpratuk, entitled Ballad of the Black Cloud, from Feb. 1 to 28. A

AirAsia Gets Sharklet Wings

AirAsia is installing fuel-saving sharklet wing tips on its Airbus A320 planes. By improving the aerodynamics of the aircraft, these newly designed wing-tips will reduce fuel burn and emissions, cutting fuel cost by around four percent. This year, the AirAsia group expects delivery of a further 33 planes.

6 asialife Thailand

gifted artist and designer with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design from UK’s Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design, in this collection, Pom Jitpratuk utilises lines and colours to portray his understanding of dreams. Koi Art Gallery Bangkok, 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Tel: 02 662 3218.

Elements of Soul

Café Democ is hosting a party of electronic music on Feb. 7 from 10pm. An art café by day and electronic music club by night, Café Democ is giving a platform for underground DJs to share their talents. Dance the night away to non-commercial techno beats by DJs Mody, Oui Jui, and Kani. Entry is free. Café Democ, Silom Plaza Silom Rd., Tel: 089 497 8422.

RougeRouge Turns Black

Best known for their avant-garde bag designs, RougeRouge has mixed things up with its new Indy Bag. While previous collections featured bold colours, the latest line is a more classic shade of black and brown. Fashionistas can still expect the same high quality Japanese canvas and Italian leather, as well as their signature geometric details. RougeRouge Surreal Space, 1/F, Zen, Ratchadamri Rd., Tel: 02 258 7718.

Very Thai

Santa Fe Thailand is hosting a discussion with Philip CornwelSmith on his bestselling book Very Thai at the BNH Hospital on Feb. 6 from 9am to 12pm. The author will explore intriguing aspects of Thai popular culture, from whisky drinking etiquette

Cancer Care Run

The Four Seasons is holding its Cancer Care charity fun run at Lumpini Park on Feb. 23. In association with the Thai Red Cross Society and with the support of the Canadian Embassy, proceeds from the event will support research projects at Chulalongkorn Hospital. With both 5k and 10k routes and activities for kids, the run is great for families, joggers and health enthusiasts of all ages. The Queen’s Trophy will be awarded to the largest participating group. Registration is from 7am to 7.45am and the run starts at 8.05am. Participants are requested to make a minimum donation of B350 for a t-shirt or B500 for a t-shirt and breakfast box. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, Tel: 02 126 8866 or the Thai Red Cross Society, Tel: 02 251 1218 or 02 251 6964.


to the truth about pink tissues. The event, coinciding with the launch of the new expanded book, is held with the support of BNH Hospital and St. Andrews International Schools, with The British Club providing complimentary refreshments. Contact Katarina@santafe.co.th to confirm your attendance. BNH Hospital, 3/F Conference Room, 9/1 Convent Rd., Silom.

Live Jazz at Niu’s

Niu’s on Silom, Bangkok’s popular jazz and wine bar featuring the award winning cuisine of chef Marco

Cammarata, has a special night of jazz each Friday through February from 9.15pm to 12.45am. Feb. 1, The Joseph Marchione Quartet New York composer and sax player Joseph Marchione, Dan Phillips (guitar), Tae Rogue (bass) and Hong Techatananan (drums). Feb. 8, The Dan Phillips Quartet. Feb. 15, The Jakob Dinesen Quartet. Feb. 22, The Jerry Byrd Quartet. In addition Niu’s will have live music played on the other days of the week from 8.15pm to midnight. Regular features are

as follows: Mondays: Sunny Wongsansern; Tuesdays: Mauro Monti and Rustem Galiullin; Wednesdays: Dan Phillips and Pisut Prateepasana; Thursdays: Sunny Wongsansern and Rustem Galiullin; Saturdays: Rydsma backed by the Mauro Monti Trio; Sundays: Sunny Wongsansern. Niu’s on Silom, 661 Floor 1-2 Silom Rd., Tel: 02 266 5333-4

digital terrorism and hate at the FCCT on Feb. 3 at 8pm. The report identifies how social networking is increasingly the weapon of choice for bigots and how the internet continues to propagate conspiracy theories such as 9/11. Admission costs B300 for non-members, free for members.

Digital Terrorism and Hate

The product of seven years of rigorous research by Mumbaibased author Sudha Shah, The King in Exile: The Fall of the Royal Family of Burma casts a light not just on the last lonely

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, is presenting the centre’s 2012 study on

The King in Exile

asialife Thailand 7


days of Thibaw, the last King of Burma, but on the ruthless politics of the colonial era. Sudha Shah's book has met with glowing and thoughtful reviews. The author will present his book to the FCCT on Feb. 5 from 8pm. Admission costs B300 for non-members, free for members.

First Aid and CPR for Kids

Samitivej Hospital is running a first aid and CPR course for kids on Feb. 5 from 9am to 12pm. Presented by Samitivej Specialist, Dr Anjana Sachabudhawong, the course includes cardio pulmonary resuscitation, first aid for fainting and head injuries, treatment for allergic reactions, febrile seizures, nose bleeds, wounds, muscular and bone injuries, drowning and choking. Other courses will be held in May, September and November. The course will be held at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital’s Banquet Room and

costs B1,200 including snacks, refreshment and certificate. For reservations, contact Khun Pawita on 02 711 8499 / 8473.

Labour of Love

A sculpture of Dr. Thomas Heyward Hays created by artist group Rak-Pandin will be on permanent exhibition at the Rotunda Gallery, Neilson Hays Library from February. The gallery will also feature photos, paintings and sculptures by the group in an exhibition entitled Labour of Love from Feb. 4 to Mar. 4. Rotunda Gallery, Neilson Hays Library, 195 Surawong Rd.

Father Joe Maier’s Charity Golf Classic

Bourbon Street, the popular New Orleans restaurant, is signing people up for the 18th annual Father Joe Maier’s Human Development Foundation Charity Golf Classic on Mar. 8. Application forms can be downloaded

from: Bourbonstbkk.com/ golf_tournament.html. The restaurant is also holding a special Superbowl breakfast on Feb. 4 from 6am to 8.30am. All guests will receive a Game Pass that entitles them to buffet breakfast, soft drinks, coffee and tea for B550. Those wishing for something a bit stronger can enjoy a bloody mary, screwdriver or domestic beer for B100. Bourbon St. Restaurant, Oyster Bar & Boutique Hotel
9/39-40 Sukhumvit Soi 63 (Ekamai)

MASSEXperiment at WTF Gallery

Mass Universe in partnership

with ThaiGa and Canon Marketing (Thailand) is holding a design exhibition at WTF Café & Gallery until Feb. 9. The exhibition features 37 design works from 37 designer participants from MASSEXperiment. With support from ThaiGa and Canon Marketing (Thailand) the exhibition aims to promote learning practices and collaboration between design participants and professional designers. The workshop has been in place since August 2012. Under the guidance of 18 lecturers, the 20 selected participants collaborated within a democratic environment, with the freedom to express

Bangkok Prep Circus Party

Sombat Art

From now until Mar. 4, Sombat Permpoon Gallery is exhibiting a collection of 37 crayon on paper drawings created between 1976 and 2004 by one of Thailand’s most successful self-taught artists, Pratuang Emjaroen. Open every day from 9am to 8pm. Sombat Permpoon Gallery 2/F, 12 Sukhumvit Soi 1, Tel: 02 254 6040.

8 asialife Thailand

Parents and children from 18 months to 6 years are invited to Bangkok Prep’s Early Years Unit on Feb. 16 from 10am to 12pm for a “Circus Party”. This is a great opportunity for parents to visit the school, meet the teachers and learn first-hand about the teaching styles and academic programme offered to young children at Bangkok Prep’s Early Years’ Unit. Activities include circus-themed arts and crafts such as making clown’s shoes, bow ties and hats. The children will also enjoy clown face painting, decorating cupcakes and a variety of classic circus games. Bangkok’s popular Clown Eckie will entertain children with his magic shows and tricks, and dazzle children with his very own magical clown tuk-tuk. Not to missed is the clown parade and prizes given to the best-dressed clown. Admission is free and light snacks are provided. Early Years Unit, Bangkok International Preparatory & Secondary School, Sukhumvit Soi 53. Tel: 02 260 7890


and conceptualise ideas about the places and people they encounter in their everyday lives. Admission is Free.
 WTF Café & Gallery, 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Open Tuesday to Sunday, 4pm to 10pm.

Concert in the Park

Enjoy the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra in the beautiful setting and relaxing atmosphere of Sala Bhirom Bhakdi, Lumpini Park each Sunday from 5.30pm through to Feb. 10. Bring along families, friends and your hamper baskets (alcohol not permitted in the Park) and enjoy popular

Red Party

Get down to Novotel Bangkok’s Concept CM2 as the party turns red for Chinese New Year on Feb. 10 and Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14. Resident DJs spin the latest in dance, chart pop, R&B and hip hop, while the Crush Crew pumps it out loud on the centre stage. Both parties kick off at 10pm and tickets are B650 net including two drinks. Concept CM2, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Tel: 02 209 8888, extension CM2, CM2bkk.com.

tunes from the movies, Broadway and legendary Thai songs.
Admission is Free.
For more information all 02 255 6617-8 or visit Bangkoksymphony.org.

Music Notes

This month’s concert highlights include an evening of Greek music with the TPO conducted by Alkis Baltas and featuring oboist Philippe Tondre on Feb. 8 and Feb. 9; songs and duets from Medieval to Baroque on the theme of Woman by The Bangkok Music Society at the British Club on Feb. 19 from
8pm (B200, B100 Members & Students); Disney's Mulan
presented by the Satit Bilingual School of Rangsit University on Feb. 20 from
7pm at the Mahisorn Hall, SCB Park Ratchadapisek (B1,000); Sunlight and Shadows:
the TPO conducted by Norwegian guest conductor Terje Mikkelsen featuring violist Juliet White-Smith on Feb. 22 (7pm) and Feb. 23 (4pm) at the Mahidol University Salaya (B500, B300, B100 Students); Verdi's Otello
presented by Opera Siam
on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 from 8pm at the Thailand Cultural Centre Main Hall (B3,000 (VIP), B2,000, B1,000, B500).

Two to Watch Out For

This March sees two dramatic performances taking to the boards of Bangkok. The Theatre Guild performs Art
a play by Yasamina Reza directed by Michael Allman on Mar. 1 and Mar. 2 (7.30pm) and Mar. 3 (4pm) at M Theatre's Blue Box Studio (B450). Later in the month, the Bangkok Community Theatre perform Noel Coward’s classic Blithe Spirit directed by Mark Sobels at the British Club on Mar. 14 to 16 and Mar. 21 to 23 (7.30pm). This dinner theatre production costs B1,200. asialife Thailand 9


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

Singaporean Donation

As part of a community outreach effort, staff from the Singapore Embassy in Phnom Penh and the mission’s deputy chief, Edgar Pang, visited the headquarters of the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia on Jan. 4. The embassy donated 15 refurbished computers during the visit, with Pang saying that technology and computer skills would “not only boost the employment prospects of the Cambodian youths but also enhance Cambodia's economic competitiveness."

New Rail Line

The 256-kilometre long Southern railway line, linking the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh with Sihanoukville’s coastal port, began commercial rail operations in December. Asian Development Bank said the service was a significant development

towards the completion of the long-awaited Pan-Asian railroad stretching from Singapore to Scotland. It also said the launch of the route could lower the cost of local commodities and bring down road congestion levels.

Boots Made For Walking

In 2012, the Nokor Tep foundation in Cambodia successfully launched its first walkathon, which drew large crowds of enthusiastic walkers from different nationalities. Young and old were walking together towards one goal — to help raise funds to build the Nokor Tep Women’s Hospital in Cambodia. Last year 600 walkers joined in and $140 was raised. This year’s event will take place on Feb. 16, from 7am to 10am at Arrayksat village. Find out more information or register online at Nokor-tep.net.

Indigenous Centre Opens

Cambodia’s Minister of Culture and Fine Arts has inaugurated an Indigenous Cultural Centre in Ratanakiri province, northwestern Cambodia. Billed as the first ethnological centre in the country, it aims to promote the identity of minorities living in the remote province. The centre will be used as a space for indigenous cultural events, exhibitions, craft fairs, workshops and gatherings. “It has been equipped with a solar panel and natural ventilation and decorated with local handicrafts,” says the building’s architect Andeol Cadin. The centre will also be surrounded by a botanical garden.

Opening Doors

The music group Kampot Playboys, some of their friends and child protection NGO Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE) are launching a crowd-funding campaign for a initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of child labour and sexual exploitation, and to bring music and culture to those parts of Cambodia that have little access to the arts. The goal is a 12-day tour of specially targeted areas in late March. By day APLE will teach community leaders and villagers about the impact of child exploitation on its victims, their families and communities, while the musicians provide free concerts for all in the evenings. For further information visit: Aplecambodia.org

Japanese Chitchat

PechaKucha, meaning chitchat in Japanese, is a presentation guideline based on the format: 20 images by 20 seconds. Two architects in Tokyo created the PechaKucha format in 2003 as a way for designers and creative minds to meet, show their work and ideas, and share with one another at a social venue. Since starting in 2003, PechaKucha nights now are held in more than 570 cities. The first volume of PechaKucha Night in Ho Chi Minh City was held in December, with more than 50 people 10 asialife Thailand

attending. The next will happen Feb. 28 at 6.30pm at VinGallery, 4 Le Van Mien, Thao Dien, D2. Tickets are VND 100,000 at the door.

Sorry, Smokers

An eco-friendly hotel has joined a growing number of hospitality properties around the world in implementing a smoke-free policy. In anticipating an antismoking law set to take effect in Vietnam on May 2013, the Caravelle converted to nonsmoking status at the start of the new year. “Some 90 percent of our guests request non-smoking rooms,” said John Gardner, the hotel’s general manager. “Many smokers actually prefer non-smoking rooms; but even those who don’t still expect their rooms to be well-aired and smelling fresh when they check in — which is something we can guarantee for all our guests as a result of this shift.” A room recovery fee of VND 3,500,000 will be levied on guests who are caught lighting up in their rooms.

Business Travel

The Sofitel Plaza Hanoi is extending its ‘Residential Meeting Package’ for groups of 20 or more, which comes with luxury accommodation, breakfast, a meeting room, and AV equipment, lunch and refreshments, and a meeting planner. At VND 2.6 million per person, the package gives planners a choice of 10 Zen-inspired boardrooms and oriental-style ballrooms, and access to the hotel’s fleet of limousines. Known primarily as a business hotel, the Sofitel Plaza features panoramic views from its lakeside perch. It is the only five-star property in the capital to upgrade its meeting facilities in the past three years. Book at H3553-RE@sofitel.com.

Vietnam’s LinkedIn

Vietnam’s largest online network of management professionals has signed strategic partnerships with 10 top headhunting companies to co-launch the first headhunting information portal. Anphabe Top Headhunt


Baby Kimye The world’s most famous socialite, Kim Kardashian, overcomes divorce trauma and prepares for parenthood with superstar rapper Kanye West.

gathers leading Vietnamese recruitment companies, as well as global brands, and lists them by industry. Each of the 10 companies has opened an individual page on the site, so management professionals can connect with them directly. They also can “follow” a company to receive updates. Anphabe, a sort of LinkedIn for Vietnam with more than 50,000 members, will add more companies in the future, at Anphabe.com/Top-Headhunt.

Vietnamese Festivities, and Chinese, Too

HCMC’s Hotel Equatorial will have a Tet celebration starting at VND 5,628,000 per table until Feb. 9, in addition to the “Tet Hamper” gift packages it is selling. Until Feb. 24 it also will mark Yee Sang, in which lucky Chinese ingredients are tossed in the air for good luck. Tickets are VND 150,000. On Valentine’s Day, VND 1,398,000 per person buys dinner, unlimited wine, and a gift.

Lesser Known Halong

Now available in Vietnam’s Halong Bay is a day cruise through the rarely explored Western Isles aboard the UNESCO Heritage Site’s only international-standard fleet of private junks. Life Heritage Resort Halong Bay has begun ferrying small groups on customisable four- and six-hour cruises through lesser-known portions of the bay. Day cruises come with a set lunch of Vietnamese or fusion cuisine, afternoon tea, entrance fees to the optional stopovers along the route, and nonalcoholic beverages. Passengers have full run of the boat’s snorkelling equipment, kayaks and fishing gear. Two-person cruises are priced at VND 4.9 million for a six-hour cruise, and VND 3.55 million for a four-hour cruise. For more, Life-resorts. com.

Hotel Contest

La Residence, a five-star art deco hotel in Vietnam’s central Hue and a member of Accor's MGallery collection, is giving away a two-night holiday on

its Facebook page. The prize includes accommodation in a deluxe river view room, breakfast buffets, 60-minute treatments in the award-winning Le Spa, and a three-course dinner along the Perfume River. The contest is open to fans 18 years old and over, from anywhere in the world. The hotel opened in 2005 after a restoration of the former colonial governor’s residence, with a bowed façade, long horizontal lines and nautical flourishes that denote the hallmarks of art deco architecture.

Art and Wine

David Hockney will lead the next Canvas & Wine night, a monthly painting session hosted by VinGallery Ho Chi Minh City, which said the painter's landscapes are "full of colour, spontaneity, creativity and energy." The Yorkshire-born artist will teach participants to use lively strokes, colour, lines, and simple forms to create an acrylic artwork to take home. The fee covers materials and two glasses of wine. Reserve a spot at info@ vin-space.com.

VietJetAir Expansion

VietJetAir has bought another Airbus A320 just as it embarks on its first international flight between Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok. The low-cost carrier plans to add more domestic and international connections in 2013. The plane’s front section is emblazoned with Vietnam’s official tourism logo and slogan: a stylised five-petal lotus accompanied by the words, Vietnam — Timeless Charm.

German Tet

For Tet, Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant at the Kumho Link has prepared a festive menu featuring the “Germany-Vietnam reunion” theme. Fare includes everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to GermanVietnamese lucky duck, plus the signature German sausages, pork knuckle, crispy pork belly, and Sauerkraut. Brotzeit is also having a raffle until Feb. 9 and a 10 percent discount for reservations of five until Feb. 17.

Temperature Record heat for sweating Sydney-siders as Australia adds a new colour, signifying over 52C, to its temperature map.

Jodie Foster Veteran actress addresses her sexuality and loneliness in highly personal speech at the Golden Globes.

Les Mis Crowds weep as Victor Hugo’s classic tale makes its all singing, all dancing way to the big screen.

Gun Control The United States debate continues as President Obama calls for mandatory background checks for gun purchases.

GOING UP GOING DOWN Boeing Dreamliner Manufacturer’s dream turns nightmare as American regulators and Japanese airlines ground Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner following a series of safety incidents.

ECCC Khmer Rouge war crimes trial halted as two elderly suspects hospitalised within days of each other.

Algeria Al Qaeda hostage crisis ends in tragedy as at least 30 die in BP oil field attack.

Horsemeat British diners in melt down as popular supermarket’s ‘beef burgers’ are revealed to contain horsey DNA.

America’s Sporting Icons Does Lance Armstrong’s confession mean the end of pedestal status for America’s sporting superstars?

asialife Thailand 11


OPENINGS What a Catch

Bangkok’s original Kiwi fish ‘n’ chips shack has recently expanded into next doors. The net has remained as have the wooden furniture, but now Snapper has more room for you to enjoy the taste of the fresh New Zealand fish. If you have not been here yet, check out for yourself whether these are the best fish ‘n’ chips in town. Open Monday to Friday, 5pm to 12am (Saturday / Sunday from 12pm to 12am). Snapper, 1/22 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 651 1098.

Turning Japanese

Already well-known for its Japanese food Thonglor has a new addition in Seiniku-ten. The traditional Japanese house serves up yakiniku, meat you can grill at the table. Diners can choose

Snapper

12 asialife Thailand

between a la carte or the all-youcan-eat buffet (B559 per person). Dishes include imported New Zealand beef, beautifully marbled Seinikuten Wagyu beef, kurobuta pork and a range of sushi such as salmon nigiri. Seiniku-ten, 916/21 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Between Thonglor Soi 18 and 20), Tel: 081 925 666.

Thonglor Gets More Colour

Located towards the end of Thonglor, Pastel & Monochrome is one of the newest restaurants in the area offering a comfortable dining venue for those we like to take it easy. The menu includes Japanese, Italian and tapas dishes to satisfy most palates. Some items include Australian rib eye steak, spicy chicken with blue cheese sauce, and tuna and

wakame with a dressing made of wasabi and mayonnaise. Pastel & Monochrome, Thonglor Soi 25, Tel: 02 713 5949, Pastelandmonochrome.com.

Taste of the East

Al Dubai Sheeshah & Restaurant is a two-storey restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating and a private dining room for special events that offers a range of Arabic, Indian and Thai food. Meat lovers and vegetarians have a full menu of excellent dishes such as garlic naan, butter chicken, hummus, and Lebanese tabule salad. Shisha is also available in various flavours such as apple, mint, and grape, which can be mixed into tasty combinations and enjoyed on the covered terrace. Al Dubai Sheeshah & Restau-

Pastel & Monochrome

rant, 25/2 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Tel: 02 258 2628.

Gyudon Express to Ekkamai

Fans of Gyudon Express no longer have to make the trek to distant Vipawadee Road, now that the Japanese restaurant has opened its second branch in Ekkamai. Stock up on traditional Japanese donburi (rice bowl) dishes such as rice with beef. The child-friendly eatery also has toys and books to keep the little ones occupied as mum and dad munch away. Gyudon Express, G/F, Big C Ekkamai, Sukhumvit Soi 63, Tel: 084 655 8999.

Axis or Spin?

Set on two floors, Axis & Spin offers something for everyone. If


you enjoy a comfortable décor with ambient music, then Axis is your floor, while upstairs Spin has a dj spinning tracks. You can also access pool bar H2O, for a more relaxed environment. The interior is a mix of influences from all continents creating a timeless look in a spinning world. And if it’s cocktails you are after, the resident mixologist creates the most spectacular creations which go well with some light tapas. Open from 6pm to 1am. Axis & Spin, The Continent Hotel, 413 Sukhumvit Road, Tel: 02 686 7000.

Black Jazz

If you like jazz you’ll love Black, a new Jazz club that opened early January. Black features high energy jazz from seasoned

jazz veterans from the States, with New York jazz, hard bop, bebop and blues. Current headline performers are trumpeter and vocalist Idrees, who plays five nights a week – not Sunday and Tuesday when the Jerry Byrd Quartet play. Expect other local jazz musicians to pop in and let rip. Open from 6pm, the music is from 9pm to 12.45am each night. Black, 2/F Nuam Complex Sukhumvit Soi 33 (across from Novotel Lotus, next to Basilico Pizzeria).

New Light on Sathorn

Luce is the Eastin Grand Sathorn’s new Italian restaurant. Created by Italian chef Roberto Bellitti, the menu has some classic dishes such as black ink cannelloni stuffed with broc-

Axis & Spin, The Continent Hotel

coli and tiger prawns served in crustacean bisque or Sicilian tuna fillet on black olive powder. Outdoor seating at Luce offers a view of the Chaophraya river. Luce, 14/F, Eastin Grand Sathorn, 33/1 South Sathorn Rd., Tel: 02 210 8100, Eastingrandsathorn.com.

Rock Around Asia

Photographic art gallery Rock Around Asia has moved from Sukhumvit Soi 45 to the lobby of Novotel Hotel Suvarnabhumi. Although further from downtown, art lovers can still expect contemporary sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, carvings and art performances with a focus on Southeast Asian arts and crafts. Rock Around Asia, Lobby Floor, Novotel Hotel Suvar-

nabhumi, Tel: 02 131 1111, Rockaroundasia.com.

Sweet Tooth

Caffe Undici specialises in homemade food and desserts. Guests can enjoy classics dishes such as spaghetti carbonara or sweet temptations such as flourless chocolate cake, strawberry shortcake, and lemon curd panna cotta. If cakes aren’t your thing then try the Matcha green tea frappé. Caffe Undici, Senabadee 1 Building, 4/7 Paholyothin Soi 11, Tel: 02 279 6368.

New Face for Señor Pico Rembrandt hotel’s Mexican restaurant Señor Pico has had a major face-lift with brand new lighting, tequila bar and sound system. Friday nights is the time

Señor Pico

Black

asialife Thailand 13


to put on your dancing shoes with salsa teachers Ler and Pannada leading the steps on the all-new dance floor. Señor Pico, Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok, 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Tel: 02 261 7100

Angel City Diner

Taling Pling on the Move

After 25 years in Thanon Pan, one of Bangkok’s most well-loved restaurants Taling Pling has moved its flagship restaurant to Baan Silom. You can still expect the same level of food and service, but now guests can enjoy new dishes like charcoal grilled pon yang kam beef served with sticky rice and tom sai bua taling pling lotus root and Thai garcinia in curry. Taling Pling, Baan Silom Complex, 60 Silom Soi 19, Tel: 02 236 4829 30.

Americana on Soi 11

True blue 50s-era American diner opened late last year in the heart of Bangkok’s party street. Serving up American fare – burger, pancakes and foot-long chilli dogs – to the sound of classic Rock n' Roll music from its RockOla 'Bubbler' Jukebox featuring hits from Elvis, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino, Angel City claims to be the first “genuine diner experience in Bangkok”. With big booth seating, a soda fountain bar and an open kitchen inspired by diners from New York to San Francisco you'll be transported back to a bygone era. Open from 6pm to 3am. Angel City Diner, The Prime 11, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 651 3313.

Asiatique Ferris Wheel

Asiatique Riverfront Bangkok has a newly built 53-metre-tall Ferris Wheel. With a bird’s eye view of the Chaophraya River below, making for a nice break from all that shopping. A ride on the wheel is B250 for adults and B150 for children. Asiatique Riverfront Bangkok, 2194 Charoenkrung Rd., Tel: 02 108 4488, Thaiasiatique.com. 14 asialife Thailand

Asiatique Riverfront Bangkok


dispatches

Travel news from around the region and beyond

International Award Malaysia’s The Datai Langkawi was the only Southeast Asian hotel to walk away from the Tatler Travel Award 2013 ceremony at The Ritz Hotel in London with an award. It earned the title of “Enduring Excellence,” a top honour among eight other awards presented throughout the night. Tatler, a magazine, features 101 hotels in its annual travel guide, visiting each of the sites narrowed down for recognition. Located on the northwest tip of Langkawi island, the hideaway is surrounded by an ancient tropical rainforest, a white sand beach and the azure waters of the Andaman Sea. More at Dataihotels.com.

Valentine’s in Cambodia Knai Bang Chatt is gearing up for the month of love with a romance package at the resort in Kep. It will feature a two-night stay in a double ($435) or deluxe ($485) room, breakfast in bed, dinner for two at The Strand (book early to get a private table), sparkling wine, and a couple's spa treatment. Booking is valid Feb. 8-18. On Feb. 14 will be a Valentine-themed set dinner at The Sailing Club, $45 for five courses and $30 for four courses. More at Knaibangchatt.com.

Opera Nights The Opera House Ho Chi Minh City is the centrepiece of a new luxury vacation deal by the Caravelle Hotel. The 'Opera Nights' package comes with dinner at the hotel's Reflections restaurant, a performance of the cultural show Hon Viet (Soul of Vietnam) at the theatre, and three nights accommodation. The price tag also buys a 150-minute spa package for two, cocktails and canapes at the hotel's Signature Lounge, and daily breakfast buffets. The deal is available on the 14th and 23th of each month until May to fall on the semi-monthly performances, which weave hundreds of years of history into an hour of traditional music and dancing from Vietnam's three regions. Caravellehotel.com.

16 asialife Thailand


Street Smart: ThonGlor 13

Last time AsiaLIFE visited Thonglor, we took you into the unknown street of Soi 20 filled with local wonders. The complete opposite experience awaits you in Thonglor Soi 13, one of the trendiest and most happening streets in all of Bangkok. When night falls the bars are teeming with the young and fabulous. Yvonne Liang lists some places you may be interested in for activities around the clock. Photographs by Nick McGrath.

asialife Thailand 17


Seenspace 13 A short zip on a motorcycle (B15) or taxi (B35) from Exit 3 of Thonglor BTS station will bring you to the mini outdoor mall named Seenspace, located on the left-hand side about a hundred metres into Thonglor Soi 13. This little plaza is packed with bars that are most popular at weekends and a selection of cafés and restaurants that will feed you through brunch and dinner. You'll even find a salon and fashion boutique to help you look your best. Monlada G/F SeenSpace, Thonglor Soi 13 As you step into Seenspace, some mannequins with white rabbit ears may catch your attention. It's the signature touch of local fashion designer, Monlada's flagship store which houses some flirty, fun fashion for women with a romantic flair. From uber-short minitube dresses to flowing evening wear, and even office appropriate attire, Monlada has all the bases covered for the modern

18 asialife Thailand

woman. There’s even smart business casual attire for men. Mr. Jones' Orphanage G/F SeenSpace, 251/1 Thonglor Soi 13 Across from Monlada is a something that looks like an oversized children's play house. A tower of desserts and bottles of goodies such as marshmallows and biscuits tempt you from the moment you enter. Teddy bears swinging from the ceiling seem cute at first, but there's something creepy about forcing stuffed toys to play unceasingly. Upstairs the Chocolate Lounge has such low ceilings you're forced into a crouching position the whole time. Besides a full hand written menu of desserts and brunch items, alcoholic beverages can also be found on the ‘Grown Up’ section. Fatr Gut'z Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Next door to Mr. Jones' is the first of three bars that have teamed up to serve Bangkokians' lust for booze. On Friday

and Saturday nights you can barely hear your own thoughts with the number of people chatting and drinking in the courtyard of Seenspace where the surrounding bars share seating, and patrons are welcome to order from any menu. Fish and Chips sell like hot cakes at Fatr Gut'z making it a good dinner spot so you can stake out a table for drinking later. Brew Beers & Ciders G/F, Seen Space, Thonglor Soi 13 To the left of Fat'r Gut'z is Brew, the home of artisan beers. Its incredible selection of over 140 labels with 10 available on draught means there's something to please everyone. Have a girlfriend who claims she's one of the many "girls who don't drink beer"? Brew has a beer for her. Don't try ordering a gin tonic or any cocktails here though, you'll only get blank stares from the waiters. Keep in mind you can order a wide range of cocktails from neighbouring Clouds without leaving your seat. The servers know the drill.

Clouds G/F, Seenspace, 251/1 Thonglor Soi 13 The third of the powerful ménage à trois of bars, Clouds was the original watering hole that helped create Seenspace's reputation today. Inspired by a time far into the future, this modern restaurant cum bar creation of Ashley Sutton is full of surprises. In one corner you'll see the base of an old tree that seems to be totally out of place. Hanging from the ceiling are bobbing plastic pigs or Barbie dolls – it changes regularly. In addition to a full menu of drinks and a house speciality of snack-sized pizzas, there's also a candied apple station. You'll have to see for yourself if this western tradition is being picked up by the locals. Roast 1/F, Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Facing the street on the first floor of Seenspace, Roast offers the best brunch in town. The menu, designed to look like a newspaper, offers a great selection of fifteen brunch items like crab


cake benedict and duck confit. It's so hard to choose, especially knowing you have to save room for a not-to-be-missed strawberry waffle for dessert. Coffee lovers are also in for a treat. Roast serves its very own coffee made with in-house, roasted beans. The restaurant gets packed especially at weekends so make sure you make a booking or come early to get a table. BonChon Chicken G/F, Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Just across a bridge from Roast is a restaurant that needs no introduction. The international Korean fried chicken franchise was an instant hit from the moment it landed in Bangkok. Be prepared to wait for seating at peak hours during lunch and dinner times. Everyone wants a taste of the crunchy, glazed chicken wings and moist tender meat – it's mouthwatering just to think of. Menu options are sparse, as fried chicken is the main star. You can also try

pot stickers or pork bulgogi. Naturally the meal would not be complete without a bottle of Korean soju. After You Café 323/3 Thonglor Soi 13 Directly across the street from Seenspace is a dessert café that fits so well in this Japanese neighbourhood. After You is Thai owned, featuring cutesy artwork and a menu that brings you to the shopping and nightlife district of Tokyo. Shibuya Honey Toast sounds like an innocent, harmless dessert but one order can send you straight into a food coma. A thick slice of fried bread topped with honey, ice cream and whipped cream guarantees you'll be having sweet dreams. The menu carries many more temptations as well as milk tea and other drinks. Complimentary tea is available too. Regina 44/7-8 Thonglor Soi 13

Across the street from After You and about 200 metres further into the soi is one of the best kept secrets for Bangkokian women seeking hair free bodies. Originating from Japan, Regina is a salon specialising in hair removal using an FDA approved treatment called KPL (krypton pulsed light). It's virtually painless, especially compared to other hair removal options on the market. A complete treatment may take many months of return visits to get the desired results so it's best if you're living in Bangkok or a regular visitor. Packages can be purchased at discounted prices. This salon tends to be fully booked so it’s best to make a reservation. Toraya Bakery 87 Thonglor Soi 13 Right over on the other side of the street from Regina's is a popular Japanese bakery franchise, which has two other outlets in Bangkok. The flagship shop is also on Thonglor towards the

beginning of the road, while the third one is on Sukhumvit 26 and is more of a sit down café. The Thonglor 13 outlet has a selection of affordable pastries to please both sweet and savoury palates including soft chocolate cookies, taro bread and jumbo sausage roll, to name a few. Uomasa Rebirth 87 Thonglor Soi 13 Behind Toraya Bakery is a Japanese restaurant well known with locals. The clientele is mainly Thai and Japanese, which is a very good sign. Over the years the restaurant has gone through some changes including a menu expansion. Besides your regular sushi and sashimi, Uomasa also offers grilled options like beef tongue. Service is reliable and friendly. Prices are not cheap, but they do match the quality of food you Get directions get here.

asialife Thailand 19


20 asialife Thailand


Natalie Glebova

Former Miss Universe Natalie Glebova is a familiar face well-loved by Thais. Yvonne Liang discovers what brought this Canadian beauty to the Land of Smiles and what her future holds. Photo by Nick McGrath. How did you end up in Bangkok? Since winning the Miss Universe 2005 pageant – which was held in Thailand – and during my time as a titleholder living in New York City, I came to Thailand many times, working with several companies as their presenter. After I passed on the crown, I received an offer from Singha to come work for them as the company's brand ambassador. I decided I'd give it a try and moved to Bangkok for what I thought would be a year. Six years later, and counting, I'm still here and now call Thailand home. What do you love most about Thailand? The general atmosphere of comfort and easy-going lifestyle. People are friendly, customer service is incredible, and there are so many great restaurants and hotels here. I also love the heat and the spicy food. What are the greatest challenges you had to overcome living in Bangkok? I think moving to any new country is challenging, and it takes about two years to build up your own circle of friends and network. Besides the language barrier, I’ve found that I've had to become more patient living here, because the culture is more laid-back, and life is not as hectic as I'm used to in Canada and the US. Things happen at a slower pace here. It was an adjustment for

me to try to sit back and relax a bit, and let things happen in their own time. How has your life changed over the past six years? Although I do work a lot, I feel that my downtime is so much more interesting. I can take trips to the beach or mountains within a few hour’s drive, and do a lot of active things like biking, rollerblading, wakeboarding, and even ziplining any time of the year. My life is much more exciting now, with many fantastic events, fashion shows and parties. I don't travel as much as I used to when I was Miss Universe, but that's a welcome relief. I understand things are smelling of roses for you at the moment. Yes, my most recent business venture was partnering up with Bel Perfumes to launch my very first fragrance. It's called Beauty Icon and is developed by a French perfume company. It's a fruity-floral-musk and it smells amazing. Right now it's being sold only in Thailand at all Mist 1000 parfums stores, Watsons, Robinsons, Duty Free and through catalogues. We are looking at exporting Beauty Icon to other Asian countries soon. What other projects do you have in the pipeline? I'm looking to do a line of cosmetics and skin care products in the future. I love using products that are good for my skin and are as close to being all-natural

as possible. This is the goal for my own line – all natural organic products for the skin and body. How do you feel about being on the show Dancing with the Stars? It is an absolute dream come true for me to be on Dancing with the Stars Thailand TV show. I've wanted to be on this show since I watched it years ago in the US. I'm excited to learn all the new dances and be able to perform them in front of cameras and audience. I'm passionate about dance, music and performance, so this is a perfect opportunity for me to shine. What has been the most thrilling part of being on Dancing with the Stars? The most thrilling part for me is the actual performance of all the dances. I love the feeling of rehearsing something and then showing off my new skills on the dance floor. Ever since I was little I've been drawn to stage and performance – I was in every school dance production that was available. I love the rush I get before, during and after I dance my heart off. How far do you want to go on Dancing with the Stars? I want to get as close as I possibly can to winning. I do have some tough competition but I know I'm capable of going all the way to the finals. I also really hope to get the chance to dance the Cuban Rumba – it's my favourite style of dance. asialife Thailand 21


PHOTO ESSAY:

The Golden Land It's not often a country lives up to the hype that Myanmar is getting just now, but this is one country that might deserve it – if it’s a photographic experience you are after. Stepping into Myanmar is often like stepping back in time and into the Asia we all like to believe still exists but rarely does. If you have visited India, Cambodia and China, you will love Myanmar because it has a little bit of it all in an intoxicating mix. A warm and engaging country full of active, highly decorative golden temples, countless images of Buddha, amazing historic sites, beautiful landscapes, bucolic rivers and lakes, monks, nuns, diverse and pleasant minority tribes. Myanmar has more than its fair share of photo-opportunities all wrapped up in one. English photographer Nathan Horton runs two, 12-day photography tours to Myanmar this year (Apr.19 to 30 and Oct. 25 to Nov. 6). For further information visit: www.nathanhortonphotography.com or email: nathanhortonphotography@gmail.com

22 asialife Thailand


asialife Thailand 23


24 asialife Thailand


asialife Thailand 25


26 asialife Thailand


With a highly competitive international healthcare system that is the envy of many western countries, Bangkok has developed a reputation as a medical tourism destination. Mark Bibby Jackson discovers what the city offers for both expat and international patients. Photos by Nick McGrath. asialife Thailand 27


David Towers walked into a hospital in Cambodia for what he assumed was a routine medical check up. That was where the drama started. “They carried out a series of standard tests and told me I’d suffered a heart attack,” Towers explains. While detained for further tests, his wife Chansinoun was summoned to the hospital and then asked to pay for a three night stay. “She asked them why three nights, why not one, why not four?” "The level of care required seemed very dependent on what my insurance company would pay in the first 24 hours,” Towers says. “I lay in bed feeling like a hypochondriac for three days. Nurses kept telling me I looked fine, but the doctor insisted I was near death's door." Eventually, the fortysomething Scottish expat was evacuated to Thailand where an ambulance was waiting at the airport to take him at high speed to Bangkok Hospital. On arrival, he was wired up to machines by a team of heart experts in the Accident and Emergency Unit. Within minutes they 28 asialife Thailand

diagnosed that there was nothing wrong and he had not suffered a heart attack after all, much to his relief. “I’d carried some heavy bags shortly before my check-up,” he says. “I think the strain of that had something to do with it.” Fortunately Towers' hospital bill, which amounted to around $18,000, was covered by his medical insurance, but neither he nor Chansinoun received any compensation for the stress and anguish caused by the initial misdiagnosis. His story is one of many that stem from Cambodia. Shortly after I arrived in the country, some seven years ago, a friend of mine broke his leg while jumping from a motorbike that had collided with another vehicle. He was rushed to a hospital – not the one Towers visited for his check up – where they ‘set’ his leg. Armed with his x-rays, he flew to Bangkok for a check up on the work the Cambodian hospital had done. Two operations and $11,000 later – unlike Towers he had no medical insurance – his leg was broken again and then reset before being held

together with pins. The doctors said his decision to go to Bangkok had prevented from him walking with a permanent limp for the rest of his life and had possibly even saved his leg. The Hospital of Choice Both stories explain why expats across the region choose Thailand for both routine and emergency procedures. “It’s not uncommon for a patient to come here from one of those countries [Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia] and get a different diagnosis or treatment,” says Kenneth Mays, senior director of hospital marketing and business development at Bumrungrad International Hospital. “It runs both ways. You can get a patient who has back pain and is told it’s no big problem and he comes here and we say we have to do some surgery. Equally, we have patients who come to us saying their surgeon back in Vietnam or Cambodia wanted to do spine surgery and our surgeon says we can handle it with injections of pain killers.” The key is to get the right diagnosis for


the problem you have, and this is often more likely to be the case in Thailand than in some neighbouring countries. This is not to advocate patients jump on a plane for basic medical care. “You should have a doctor you can see about your routine aches and pains close to home,” says Mays. “If you run into more serious problems, patients should consider coming to a hospital like ours.” As an American, he maintains Bumrungrad compares favourably with hospitals back home, a view his patients seem to endorse. “Most of the American patients say it’s much better than going back to America for medical care.” According to Ruben Toral, Bumrungrad is by no means alone in the standard of medical care it provides its patients. “The top international hospitals in Thailand are competitive with those you would find in Europe, the US and Australia," he says. Toral, who has established web portal Medeguide, travels around the world working with hospitals and doctors from Brazil to Turkey.

Regional Migration One thing that makes Bangkok stand out from the crowd is the level of service provided at the leading hospitals. “Those of us who live in Bangkok are probably a little jaded, but for medical tourists and first time users there is a tangible difference in service standards found here versus hospitals in Europe or the US,” says Toral. “The top international hospitals employ an army of support staff, including interpreters, concierge services and even valet parking.” Another advantage is the lack of time needed to see a specialist. In Bangkok you can walk in and see an expert in his or her field, something that Toral claims is “unheard of in other parts of the world." Although all clinical doctors are Thai, as they have to pass medical examinations in the Thai language, many are trained overseas and accustomed to the needs of international patients. Some hospitals also have medical coordinators that are foreign doctors. Others — including Bumrungrad, Bangkok Hospital, BNH Hospital and Samitivej — have attained accreditation from the Joint Commission In-

ternational (JCI), the US-based agency widely regarded as the gold standard for healthcare providers worldwide. It is not surprising therefore that Bangkok has developed a reputation for medical tourism. Whether it is for a routine check up, emergency operations or specialist surgery, many regional expats choose Thai hospitals. Last year, more than 480,000 international patients chose to go to Bumrungrad, a further 200,000 went to Bangkok Hospital and 100,000 to Samitivej, to name just three of the many hospital groups in Bangkok. Many are natives of other Southeast Asian countries who realise that the healthcare provision in Bangkok is of a higher standard than that provided in their own country. “Cambodia and Myanmar are the two biggest outbound markets,” says Toral. “Vietnam less so, as their medical infrastructure is more advanced and they tend to prefer Singapore over Thailand for overseas medical care.” According to Toral, Cambodians and Burmese come predominantly for diagnostics and specialty medical services, like cancer treatment, cardiac surgery and neurological asialife Thailand 29


disorders. Vietnamese are much more selective, and tend to travel for cancer treatment, neurosurgery and specialty medicine. “We get thousands of patients coming here from Cambodia and Vietnam each year,” says Mays, equating the situation with that of small town Australia where people travel to a larger city for major surgery. “That’s the same way that people in Vietnam and Cambodia are using hospitals. They come because they feel that the medical facilities here are more advanced than what they get back home.” The Complete Package In additional to the quality of service, cost is a key factor in drawing medical travellers from not just across the region but around the world. “Our medical costs are typically far less than what might be found in Europe or America,” says Dieter Burckhardt, assistant marketing communications and branding manager of Bangkok Hospital. He cites a coronary artery bypass which costs between B450,000 and B600,000 and total knee replacement at B450,000 as two examples of 30 asialife Thailand

surgery that would cost much more if taken privately in the west. Reduced waiting time is another key factor. “We also have many patients coming to us from countries that have universal healthcare systems that, albeit free, have associated waiting times that drive the patient to seek a private alternative,” says Burckhardt. “An example of this would be a patient from Australia or the Netherlands, who could be faced with an 18-month waiting list for a total knee replacement.” This is what Burckhardt describes as the “complete package” – the combination of medical expertise, technological innovation and world renowned service standards that makes Thailand’s international hospitals rival more developed countries. Spoilt for Choice The quantity of international standard hospitals and the range of treatments and services that they provide has created a very competitive environment. According to Mays, this is intensified by canny Thais who shop around in order to ensure they attain best

value for money. The benefit of this in turn trickles down to both expat and overseas customers. “The international patients get the same prices as locals and they benefit from that competition,” he says. “They are getting great value for money. They are getting the same quality of care as in San Francisco or Singapore but at a fraction of the price.” Toral believes that the playing field is not quite as level as Mays maintains. He says that hospitals prefer expats and medical tourists because they tend to pay more. “While there are rules and regulations against dual pricing, any expat who lives in Thailand will tell you what’s on paper and what’s done in practice are two very different things,” he says. “Hospitals are not immune to this practice, and even if the hospital’s prices are fixed, doctors’ fees are not.” Also with so many hospitals marketing themselves as “international” and offering an array of services at competitive prices it can be difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. “It’s a buyer’s market and from a consumer perspective that's a good thing, but from a


Five of the Best Bangkok’s hospital scene is very competitive and can be confusing. Here are some basic details about five of Bangkok’s top hospitals.

Bangkok Hospital

Bangkokhospital.com Bangkok Hospital is the flagship of the largest network of private hospitals in Southeast Asia. The 500-bed tertiary hospital has 64 specialised centres and clinics with three primary hospitals: Bangkok Heart Hospital, Wattanosoth Cancer Hospital and the original Bangkok Hospital building where the vast majority of medical services are offered. Its 900 full-time and consulting physicians represent specialists in every major field of medicine. Last year it treated over 200,000 international patients.

BNH

Bnhhospital.com BNH provides specialty care for women including breast health, infertility, complex spine surgeries, beauty and plastic surgery. The Breast Health Centre specialises in holistic breast conservation treatment, the hospital also works closely with Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation in terms of clinical research and breast cancer support. The BNH Spine clinic was the first to introduce total artificial disc replacements to Thailand. The majority or patients from overseas are from China and Australia, mostly seeking elective treatment, such as IVF, Plastic Surgery and check-ups.

Bumrungrad healthcare consumer perspective too much choice can be a confusing thing,” says Toral. That is why he decided to establish Medeguide initially in response to hearing “thousands” of patients asking for the same thing – the name of a good doctor. "Users can search doctors by country, specialty, hospital, procedure or condition,” he explains. “Most hospitals only allow you to search by specialty. The key benefit for consumers is that Medeguide is an easier way to search for and connect with doctors instead of bouncing from hospital site to hospital site.” David Towers, for one, is not complaining about Bangkok’s competitive medical scene. One year on from his heart scare, he’s back in Bangkok, this time for a check-up at Bumrungrad. Passing without any mishap, he can spend a more relaxed time in the City of Angels together with Chansinoun. And, with his heart no longer on the endangered species list, he is even able to explore the city’s restaurants and shopping malls without running the risk of meeting his maker each time he sees the bill.

Bumrungrad.com With 554 beds and over 30 specialist centres Bumrungrad is the largest private hospital in southeast Asia, treating over 480,000 international patients in 2012. A one-stop medical centre with top doctors in over 50 sub-specialties including brain surgery, liver transplants, cancer treatment and spine surgery, it also provides for routine check-ups. It has the world’s largest private sector outpatient clinic, including 150 translators.

Rutnin Eye Hospital

Rutnin.com/eng Rutnin Eye Hospital was Thailand's first hospital specialising exclusively in ophthalmology. The hospital combines excellence in medical and surgical procedures, investment in the latest technology, and the highest standards of safety to care for your eyes. The full-support facilities include an outpatient clinic, day surgery unit, three operating theatres and an in-patient unit.

Samitivej

Samitivejhospitals.com Samitivej Srinakarin, with over 400 beds is Thailand’s first dedicated children’s hospital, with highly specialised services such as down syndrome treatment and adolescent psychiatry. Since inception, the Children Hospital has developed a reputation for its Bone Marrow Transplant and Neonatal intensive care services in its Bangkok Orthopedic Clinic.

asialife Thailand 31


Spiritual Healing Most of us will fall victim to physical injury and emotional distress at some time in our lives. When two women discovered alternative healing as their saviour, they decided to share it with the rest of us. Words by Yvonne Liang. .................................................................................. Caroline Link had suffered from gastrointestinal problems for years. Finding conventional treatment ineffective, she turned to a kinesiologist who cured her with alternative medicine. When later she broke her arm, she used acupuncture as a compliment to physiotherapy. She found it not only healed her arm, but also helped her digestive issues. “Holistic healing has made me more calm in my mind,” she says. “I’ve also gained 32 asialife Thailand

more clarity in different areas of my life.” Her co-founder at well-being centre Ormroom, Tulaya Pornpiriyakul turned to alternative means to cure a hernia she received from falling on her coccyx. She discovered that a combination of Thai massage, acupuncture and Reiki energy therapy healed her injury. The two friends, who met around seven years ago, eventually discovered they had a common bond.

“We both found ourselves not only liberated from the physical limitations of our injuries, but many other issues that caused us emotional grief,” said Pornpiriyakul. She believes that alternative medicine also helped her deal with splitting up from her boyfriend. They decided to establish Omroom in April 2012 to offer various forms of healing for individuals with different needs. “We help cultivate the soul’s potential through integrated


healing and meditation,” says Link. Omroom offers clients a wide range of healing techniques such as ‘sharpening your intuition’, ‘opening your heart to love’, ‘liberating yourself from patterns’ and ‘fast track to freedom’. “People can come to Omroom to find clarity, maintain finer balance, and acquire inner peace,” says Pornpiriyak. She believes that Omroom provides a solution to the needs of people in modern day society. “Omroom offers a quick and convenient escape from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.” Now a regular patron of Omroom, Kim Chongsatitwa-

tana had no experience of the spiritual realm before her first visit there. “I had zero experience with spirituality, so I wanted to explore what it is and how it can help me,” she says. “I think that in today’s world, where there is so much chaos and superficiality, it is important to get in touch with yourself. But it is not an easy thing to do. We need good guidance.” She has had sessions with almost all the healers who have practiced at Omroom, including Michelle Cempaka, a healer based in Bali. “I did the Bar session,” Chongsatitwatane says of a technique that activates certain

areas in the brain. “I could really feel my points ‘unlocked’. I could feel the negative energy unclog and run out of my head. I felt really relaxed and at peace afterwards.” Anil Kuludomphongse is another regular attendee at Omroom. He believes the sessions have improved him both on a personal and a professional level. “I have been able to appreciate better discipline and decision-making skills, which have improved my sense of people’s personality, while teaching me to tap into my creative side with visualisation techniques,” he says. The success of their venture

has led to Omroom outgrowing its current site in Central Chitlom, so Link and Pornpiriyak are looking to move early this year. Whether Omroom’s contemporary mix of spirituality and faith healing is for everyone is a moot point, but Kuludomphongse for one has no regrets. “Omroom is a great place for anybody who has an inkling that something is missing from their lives or is looking for self development but doesn’t know where to start,” he says. For more information aboutOmroom, call: 082 080 8581. asialife Thailand 33


34 asialife Thailand


Reclaiming the Roads Against all odds, a small community of cycling enthusiasts is attempting to turn Bangkok into a biking city. Words by Gaby Doman. Photos by Nick McGrath. Bangkok is notorious for its horrendous traffic problems and high levels of pollution. Its huge motorways and heavy congestion may make it an unlikely spot for a bicycle revolution, but a small community of cycling enthusiasts are working hard to make that happen. Dr Saranarat Oy Kanjanavanit, secretary general at The Green World Foundation, is one of the driving forces behind the movement. The foundation’s pro-cycling campaign began when an investigation into the air quality in Bangkok found that over half of the city has poor to very poor air quality.“The city is a human habitat, and it makes sense that we should develop it for humans,” says Kanjanavanit. “A campaign for cycling, which is a very simple human technology, will help to solve this air quality problem.” In a forum held by the foundation in Bangkok last December, Koy Thomson, the former chief executive of the UK’s London Cycling Campaign, said that Bangkok had a great potential for bicycle friendly measures such as bicycle lanes, but first there needed to be an attitudinal shift. "The important thing is that we need to change people's way of thinking," he said. "Roads are public places which should not be reserved for cars only. They should be designed for other purposes, including for bicycles." Bangkok could certainly benefit from London’s lessons, where many years of campaigning have led to an increase in the use of bicycles in the city, both as a means of travelling to work and for leisure. According to Thomson, the number of daily journeys by cyclists has increased from 400,000

in 2007 to 900,000 in 2012. High profile support from leading figures such as the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has helped to promote the cause. In contrast, Bangkok’s cycling enthusiasts appear hampered by a lack of political support. “Things are changing very slowly, but politicians are scared they’ll lose votes if they do anything that makes it harder for car drivers,” claims Kanjanavanit. At the moment, Kanjanavanit believes Bangkok to be decades behind other cities in the region. “There are lots of projects for bigger roads and it’s still very

With a lack of bike lanes and ramps leading to overpasses, as well as numerous potholes and open rain covers even on major streets, it seems the task of making Bangkok bike-friendly is hopeless, but Kanjanavanit says the new generation of cyclists are prepared to take up the challenge. Currently the foundation together with partners is drafting Bangkok's first cycling map. It welcomes the input of cyclists to the project as well as volunteers to test out safe routes. Kanjanavanit says that 90 percent of those interviewed in a survey of 4,000 conducted by the founda-

“Things are changing very slowly, but politicians are scared they’ll lose votes if they do anything that makes it harder for car drivers” car-focused in its development,” she says. “Jakarta, which is a similarly huge city with lots of people and traffic problems, is very good at promoting the road as a public space, and every Sunday they hold a ‘car free Sunday’ which helps encourage a major perception change when it comes to who uses the road.” In comparison, Bangkok’s Car Free Day is an annual event. There is also a distinct absence of amenities for cyclists.

tion wanted to ride a bike. The factor most of them cited for not regularly cycling was safety. It’s is a classic Catch 22 situation, says Kanjanavanit. More cyclists are needed in order for other road users to become more aware of them, while awareness of cyclists needs to improve in order to tempt more cyclists onto the road. While also campaigning for major changes to Bangkok’s road network, Nonlany Ung,

or Nan, from Bangkok Bicycle Campaign has a more practical approach towards getting more cyclists onto the street. She runs Café Velodome, a bike-themed café on Sanam Luang square, were she rents out bikes, offers advice on anything bike related and, as part of her enthusiasm for getting more people – especially women – on two wheels, runs free bike rides every weekend, supplying the bike, helmets and advice for safe riding. Nan’s mini tours take cyclists through small back sois and paths in the old town, near the river. Her knowledge of the city’s tiny sois allows those joining her tours to see the quirky side of the city they’d miss if travelling by car or train. Keen to keep recruiting more and more to this snowballing movement, she can even arrange a cycling buddy for those too scared to cycle in Bangkok alone. For her, cycling is not just a good form of exercise, it’s also a way to keep Bangkok life vital. “Before I started cycling, I was getting bored of Bangkok,” she says. “Now I love it again.” How successful Bangkok’s cycling enthusiasts are in creating a bike-friendly city only time will tell. But one thing is for sure unless something is done to tackle Bangkok’s increasing gridlocked road network, things will only get worse. Perversely this provides Kanjanavanit with hope. “Gas prices are getting higher, climate change is an issue that’s high on the political agenda, so people are less likely to think of a concept, such as cycling in Bangkok, as being impossible,” she says. “People want to make a difference and they want to make their life meaningful. That’s why we need to highlight the ecological advantages of cycling.” asialife Thailand 35


Different Strokes Bangkok is a vibrant and exciting city, nowhere more so than in the art scene. AsiaLIFE highlights four female artists to look out for in 2013.

Charintorn Rachuratchata After graduating from Sukhothai University, Charinthorn started her career with Cheeze magazine. Her interest in the visual arts drove her towards fashion photography. Now her interest has shifted to more playful work in which she ex-

presses a very personal vision of her perceptions, intuitions and reflections. “I use art as my therapy,” she says. “It's become the way I can overcome the deep wound inside me and also the way for me to find and get to under-

stand myself. This is the reason why I always make the concept from my point of view. I need to have something I really want to say, then the concept will come to me.” Her work is currently on show at Number1 Gallery until

Feb. 9, and she confesses to a certain unease whenever she has a new project. “The most funny things is I always feel insecure on my exhibition opening so somehow I still think of myself as young artist,” she says.

Busan Biennale, the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design Manila and the Singapore Art Musuem. “I create the artwork that relates to my life, my family, my

love,” she says. “Art makes me understand my life better.” She is planning a group show with Numtong Gallery this year and a solo exhibition next year. “In terms of being an artist,

I think the greatest artistic achievement to date is when my art work is finished because most of my happiness happens when I'm making art,” Imhathai says.

Imhathai Suwatthanasilp Imhathai gained a Bachelor and a Master of Thai Arts, from Silpakorn University. Her work has been exhibited at the International Incheon Women Artists Biennale, the 36 asialife Thailand


Yuree Kensaku Yuree Kensaku is a Japanese– Thai artist whose bizarre, cartoon-like paintings convey her fanciful insights into local and global situations. Her works have been in permanent collections at the Singapore Art Museum, Yokohama Museum of Art, Mori Art Museum and

several private collectors. “I usually create artworks from my surroundings,” she says. “The contents are all about changing, destruction, and uncertain things. I am interested in creating artwork from various materials, techniques and textures including wall paintings

and graphic design.”  This month she is participating in a project called Bukruk, an international graphic art project gathering over 30 artists from street art, graphic art and illustration at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Center (BACC). In April, she plans to join an

art event held in some caves in Ratchaburi province, before having a solo exhibition at 100 Tonson Gallery in August. “The greatest achievement for me is being accepted from people around me, and getting opportunities to create my artwork continuously,” she says.

2009 and ‘The Kissing Room’ at the Beyond Pressure Art Festival, Yangon, 2012. “My art work is part of my life,” she says. “I’m just living my life, and the conflicts, questions, struggles and philosophy that life brings becomes my art. Technically I’m very experimental. Conceptually, I’m inter-

ested in the existence of self and meaning of life.” She is currently working on an untitled project inspired by Pieterskerk cemetery in Utrecht. “When I walked in Pieterskerk and looked at all the shiny old grave stones, with names, dates, words, beautifully engraved, I felt so close,” she

says. “One thing I found very interesting is the characteristic grave stone floor. To me, it's a totally different point of view about death. I am from an Asian background where cultures and religions strongly focus on life after death. Death is a connection to a new life, and life is lived conscious of death.”

Sudsiri Pui-Ock Born in Chiang Mai, Sudsiri graduated from Chiang Mai University before gaining a masters in graphic arts from Silpakorn University. She works with a variety of media such as printmaking, drawing, painting, sculpture and video. Her exhibitions have included ‘Siamese Darling’ at the Venice Biennale,

asialife Thailand 37


Tribal Art

From starting off as a photo-journalist to becoming a collector of art, French cartoonist Stephane Peray has lived life to the fullest. Words by Voicu Mihnea Simandan, photos by Nick McGrath. “I’ve been drawing cartoons since I was a young kid,” says Bangkok-based French cartoonist Stephane Peray. “I was a photo reporter in Asia and one day in 1993 some journalist friends of mine launched a new monthly magazine in Phnom Penh and I asked if I could draw political cartoons for them.” And so Stephane, or Stephff, as he is known to his almost five thousand Facebook friends and others who read his cartoons, started a career as a cartoonist for Le Mekong, a now-defunct French-language magazine about Cambodia. By 1997 he realised he could make a living as a cartoonist. “I sold my photographic equipment at that time as a symbol of reaching the point of no return,” he says. “Then, in 1998, I got my first contract as an international daily cartoonist with another new newspaper launched in Dubai called The Gulf Today.” Stephff, 48, who has been living in Thailand for the past twenty-three years, believes a

good cartoonist has to possess more than an ability to draw. “Drawing skills can always improve over time, but the sense of satire must be an inner ability,” he says. “Good cartoonists need to see the ridiculous side of everything and then transpose it to the medium of their choice.” Just like writers who read many books in order to write the next bestseller, it’s important for cartoonists to look at the work of other cartoonists. “You need an open mind to be a successful cartoonist,” says Stephff. Regular followers of his editorial cartoons in The Nation or on Facebook will know that Stephff focuses not just on Thai life and politics, but on world affairs in general. “My main interest is the biggest news of the day in the world,” he says. “Actually, it’s not really my main interest, it’s more about choosing a variation of topics that won’t make readers bored.” Placing a great importance on feedback from his fans, Stephff believes that social me-

dia sites such as Facebook not only allow him to sell his work but also “measure what is really funny for the readers.” But social media is much more that a yardstick of what works. According to Stephff, with some notable exceptions, editors rarely choose the funniest cartoons but rather the most politically correct ones. This is why social media has become such an important tool for all artists. “You can measure the gap between what you can publish in mainstream media and what can be really funny – but politically incorrect or even in bad taste – for young readers who never buy newspapers anyway,” he says. Apart from being a talented cartoonist, Stephane Peray is also a collector of art. He has been collecting tribal art for twelve years now. His collection has grown to such an extent that he needs to sell some off in order to collect more. So, in June 2012, he opened Stephff’s Tribal Art, a primitive art gallery where he sells tribal art

from places as diverse as Mali, Borneo and Papua New Guinea along side his own contemporary art and cartoons. “It’s not an easy business as it’s a very small niche and [there are] only a few crazy people around the world who indulge in it,” he says. As for 2013, Stephff plans to compile his more popular cartoons into a book. Something he claims is more in response to his fans’ requests than for personal gain. "I'm collecting my cartoons in a book more because my readers and editor are frustrated that I haven’t come up with one than for my personal satisfaction,” he says. “Many fans have asked me so many times so I must make them happy." Stephff’s Tribal Art Gallery, Supreme Ville, 38/56 Yenakat Rd. Open from 1pm to 7pm, seven days a week. You can follow Stephff’s daily updates at www. facebook.com/stephff.tribalart or call him at 02 671 3535 to make an appointment.


EIGHT tips for digital security

40 asialife HCMC


David Petraeus served as head of the CIA, the most sophisticated of intelligence networks, but even he couldn’t protect his data online and on his computer. He should have taken these tips. By Lien Hoang. Photo by Fred Wissink. Use hypertext transfer protocol secure, or HTTPS, when surfing the internet. It’s simple, easy and most importantly, safe. HTTPS protects your data by encrypting it as you send it from your computer to your home modem, through your internet service provider (ISP), through the phone book of the internet that is the domain name system (DNS), until finally reaching the server of the website you’re accessing. This means third parties can’t read your information as it is passing through each of these steps (ie grab your passwords). Outsiders can only see that you’re accessing the server. How to use HTTPS? Just type https://www before the URL. Some websites add HTTPS automatically, though some others won’t recognise it even if you type it in yourself.

1

Encrypt sensitive messages with Encipher.it. This barebones website gives you a space to type a message, which it will encrypt once you enter a password or key. The message then appears as a jumble of meaningless letters and numbers that you can email to a friend, who must know the key to decode the message.

2

Download the software TrueCrypt, which builds a sort of lock safe on your computer or wherever you choose, such as an external hard drive or USB. You can produce as many “safes” as you’d like, which are passwordprotected folders of any size, in which to store private files. Once installed, open TrueCrypt and click “Create Volume” to start a new folder or container, select the location to put the folder, such as your Desktop, decide how many MB or GB the folder can hold, and then create a password. After the container is produced, you can select it from the main TrueCrypt window,

3

and “mount” it to a lettered drive (the A drive, the B drive, etc.) using the password. Open the drive, and start saving files to it. Clear all unwanted data with CCleaner. You might think you deleted that old Word document that holds your bank account number, even the copy you deleted from the recycle bin. But Microsoft Word creates backup copies that don’t show up in any search, except by third parties who know what they’re doing. CCleaner takes care of that, permanently trashing what you thought had been disposed of already. It also cleans up cookies, memory dumps, and other important caches. Run CCleaner weekly, or at least clear your browser’s history and cookies on your own.

4

Browse online anonymously through the Tor Project, which uses random servers worldwide to repeatedly encrypt the data you send so that websites you access aren’t traced back to your unique Internet Protocol (IP) address. Foreign Policy magazine listed the free browser’s creators in its 2012 Top Global Thinkers for a service that has been a “critical tool over the last two years” for “activists and journalists from Bahrain to Syria”. Tor is too slow for daily use, but it does help you get around a Facebook block. There are similar services like virtual private networks (VPN) and proxies such as Hidemyass.com. Remember all the steps described in Tip One? Think of these services as going from your IP address to the final server by tunneling under all these steps.

5

6

Sign in to websites like Gmail using two-step verification. It’s much less cumbersome than it

sounds. You add a phone number to, in this case, your Gmail account. The company sends an automated call or SMS to that number with a code, which you enter online after signing in with your usual user name and password. This protects you from people who try to hack into your email, because even if they steal your password, they’ll be asked for the code that was sent to your phone, which they don’t have. You can set up the service to ask for a code every time you sign in, or only once a month for trusted computers. I use the service in Vietnam, but turn it off when travelling, not that I have to: Google gives you 10 one-time-use codes you should save in your wallet in case you’re ever caught without your phone. Turn off geo-tracking on your smartphone. Mobile devices are especially vulnerable, so the only way to shield them is to remove the battery when not in use. Another trick to use occasionally is to shield the phone with tin, as in aluminum foil, which blocks anyone trying to tap the phone or access it remotely. That’s why executives at a sensitive meeting sometimes toss all their phones into a tin box until the end of the meeting. But this also blocks incoming and outgoing data, such as calls.

7

Change your passwords regularly. Don’t use full words because hackers have programmes to scan for passwords by going through every word in the dictionary. The classic tip is to take the first letter of each word in a phrase that’s easy to remember. For example, “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks” would be: atokwtpuk. And to state the obvious, use numbers and symbols to throw off the chain of predictably, and don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

8

asialife HCMC 41


The Beauty of Kep

The sleepy town of Kep in southern Cambodia is at a crossroads. Writer Claire Slattery discovers its glamorous past, and looks towards its future. Additional reporting by Oudom Tat.

In the 1969 film Crepuscule, a fictional Cambodian prince drives a Chevrolet Camaro sports car along a shady coastal road, next to the tranquil waters of the Gulf of Siam. The scene was shot in the seaside hamlet of Kep, with the character played by real prince and then Prime Minister Norodom Sihanouk. While Kep only features briefly in the movie, Serge Remy of the Vimana Association, a conservation NGO, believes it provides a valuable glimpse of the town at a time that many remember as Cambodia’s ‘golden era’. 42 asialife Thailand

“It’s one of the few moving pictures we have of the city of Kep. Most of the documents we have are fixed pictures. [But] when you look at the movie of the King it’s so amazing to see the beach, to look at the cars… and the people, they’re really fashionable,” he says. In the 1950s and 60s, following independence from French colonial rule, Cambodia experienced a renaissance of creativity and development, particularly in architecture. Sihanouk personally oversaw the construction of new buildings and the development of urban plans across the country.

The former King had a vision to turn the sleepy fishing village of Kep into the ‘French Riviera’ of Southeast Asia. The town had been a popular destination for the French since the early 20th century but became the holiday resort of choice for the Phnom Penh elite, who constructed villas in the New Khmer modernist style. “Kep was like a laboratory, for architecture, for urbanism, for cinema, for leisure — because it was also the beginning of [the concept of taking] holidays for Cambodians,” says Remy. During the Khmer Rouge

Regime, Kep was abandoned. Today all that’s left of that era are the eerie, decaying remains of 157 villas owned by members of the royal family and high-ranking officials. Many are now inhabited by jungle and monkeys. The place drips with a bittersweet nostalgia, but it is also somewhere on the precipice of potential change, as tourists return and developers circle the prime coastal real estate. For Remy, now is a vital time to plan for the city’s future. “Kep is developing in the same way as the rest of Cambodia – it’s booming. And the


Kep Beach, 1964. Archival image supplied. Left: The late King Father Sihannouk's House, Kep.

authorities want to increase tourism there, but they aren’t sure if they want to do it in the same way as Sihanoukville or Siem Reap.” For the past 12 months the Vimana-Cambodia Association has been developing Kep Expo, a project that documents the town’s past and creates new visions for its future. More than 60 volunteers are involved in the scheme, which has also partnered with Phnom Penh’s Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre and the Cambodia Film Commission. Part of the aim is to provide authorities with alternative

proposals that support Kep’s sustainable development. French and Khmer architecture students have analysed the abandoned villas and developed plans for their refurbishment or renovation that will be proposed to owners. “In Asia when you talk about nostalgia and heritage and the past sometimes people look at you and say ‘Why are you foreigners and especially Westerners always in the past and always talking about heritage?’”, Remy says. “But in order to look at the future it’s important to know what’s happened before.” Perhaps Kep’s most significant remnant is Sihanouk’s own villa, which was built in the mid-60s and designed by French architects. Known as the State House, it is nestled on the headland, looking out to ocean views stretching from the Vietnamese border to Bokor Mountain. The building is now inhabited by two families who are paid a small salary to act as caretakers. While it is not officially open to the public, according to caretaker Somurn, an average of one or two tourists a day come to snoop around. Somurn considers it a huge

privilege to live at the most esteemed address in town, but she wants to see the property’s future guaranteed. “My wish is that it will be a good place – I want it to be restored and to make it a proper place to honor our king.” Kep Expo will suggest the building be renovated to become a museum, but ultimately it is up to the royal family and the Ministry of the Royal Palace to decide its future. The ministry declined to comment, but Sihanouk’s close friend and former advisor, Prince Sisowath Tomico, said that while he is supportive of the idea, he’s unaware of any immediate plans for the building. In a country where development is rampant, it’s easy to be cynical about the future of Kep. Already, on a block of land near the city port, an old villa has been demolished to make way for the development of a large modern hotel. But, according to the deputy of Kep Provincial Hall Prum Chomran, the council’s planning department closely monitors building proposals and regularly asks for modifications or rejects applications outright. The city’s 20-year masterplan places an emphasis on tourism and preserving the environ-

The former King had a vision to turn the sleepy fishing village of Kep into the ‘French Riviera’ of Southeast Asia.

ment, she says, and planning zones limit development, particularly along the beachfront. “I expect Kep will change and develop a lot in the next few years, but we won’t be allowing skyscrapers to be built. We want to allow Kep to develop in response to tourist’s demands, but using what we have. We will allow some large buildings, but not many, and not concentrated.” Given Sihanouk’s vision was the construction of buildings that were the epitome of modernity and sophistication in the 1960s, it could be seen as hypocritical to ask for the Kep of today not to develop. But, over the course of this year, Remy has seen a dramatic change in the mentality of the students involved in Kep Expo. “I think that they fell in love in Kep,” he explains. “I think that’s because, step-by-step and day-by-day, they discovered a part of their history that they didn’t know existed, and they became truly interested. They realised that it’s necessary to know what’s happened before, in order to know what we can build for the future.” This article was produced in partnership with the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media. asialife Thailand 43


Water Water EVERYWHERE

As Myanmar opens its doors to business and tourism, Mark Bibby Jackson tries the fairways of Yangon’s Pun Hlaing Golf Club to test the country’s potential for golf tourism. My ball soars, as if guided by angels, straight towards the inviting green ahead. A 520-yard par five, the eighteenth is the longest hole on the Pun Hlaing Golf Club. It also proves to be my nemesis. The vast lake surrounding it claims my umpteenth ball of the day – I have already had to send back for reinforcements. I check with my caddy before placing

44 asialife Thailand

my last remaining ball on dry land on the far side of the water hazard. The Royal and Ancient Rules that govern golf will have to wait for drier times. Eventually I putt out. The day started in more auspicious circumstances. Early 20th century travellers described the 1901-built Strand Yangon as “the finest hostelry East of Suez”. Graced by the likes of

Somerset Maugham, George Orwell, Sir Noel Coward and Rudyard Kipling, it was to be my home for two nights. From the colonnaded exterior to the marble lobby and four poster beds, the Strand exudes a timeless elegance that has somehow survived the economic embargo of the country. That is more than can be said for the limousine that takes me


to the golf course some eight miles west of the city. At least it has a functioning seat belt and a semi-efficient air-con unit, unlike the car that took me from the airport the day before. While the Pun Hlaing Golf Club is imbued with green tranquility, the route to the course is far from that. With motorbikes banned from the city, Yangon’s streets are littered with beaten up cars playing a game of dodgems on the streets, as pedestrians stand in line awaiting a break in the endless stream of traffic. Since my last visit some 18 months previous, there has been an increase in the number of new cars — coinciding with the opening up of the country — but the banger is still de rigueur. The journey to the course can take anything from 40 minutes to an hour and a half and, as we plough our way over a clunkety-clunk bridge on the outskirts of town, I can see why. The queue of traffic going the other way bodes ill for our journey back. Designed by Gary Player, the Pun Hlaing Golf Club is set on a peninsular between two rivers, but it is the water located on the course that is the stand out feature. Water flanks the fairways and any errant drive is likely to suffer an early bath, as I find out to my cost. Having hosted the Myanmar Open in 2010, it is arguably the best course in the country. The first drive I hit is straight and true, but unfortunately this proves the highlight of the day. The following hole, the first par five of the day, is the first time I find water — twice off the tee. According to my caddy’s generous scoring I escape with

a triple-bogey, but she is not fooling me, this is going to be a long round. Although not as picturesque as the Dalat Palace course in Vietnam — surely the most aesthetically pleasing course in the region — Pun Hlaing is not without its charms. The par-four fourteenth is a stand out hole. Golfers must drive over a lake and onto the narrow fairway for an approach to the green. The surrounding fairways resemble an English garden, albeit with orchids substituting for petunias. Somehow I manage to clear the water and, despite triple putting, escape with a double bogey. It is however, the eighteenth that is both the most striking and the most challenging hole on the course. The green is an island set within the ubiquitous water, linked to the fairway by a narrow causeway. It is here that I am destined to lose three balls before throwing in the towel. My last encounter with water is undeniably the most pleasant. With a noon tee-off, a shower is essential, along with a change of clothes. The traffic is still steady as we cross the bridge back to Yangon, but at least I know that the Strand awaits. Paying off the driver, I enter the hotel bar to enjoy an early evening’s gin tonic and imagine what the hotel’s previous famed guests would have thought of my golf. Mark Twain may never have said the famous phrase attributed to him, “golf is a good walk spoilt,” and he certainly never stayed at the Strand, but it is this saying that I recall. For me, it was not so much the golf as the water that spoilt my walk. At least in the bar the only water to be found is tonic.

Photos Courtesy of Pun Hlaing Golf Club

asialife Thailand 45


46 asialife Thailand


AsiaLIFE takes a look at the sporting calendar, providing a few pointers as to where to enjoy the highs and lows of 2013. Odd years tend to get hidden in the sporting calendar between the twin extravaganza that are the football World Cup and the Olympics, but that doesn’t mean that this year is bereft of interest for sporting aficionados. The Ashes Whisper it quietly to Americans but the graceful sport of cricket is the second most watched sport around the globe, behind the type of football that is played with a round ball and predominantly with feet. Although its popularity is largely due to the hordes of fans in the Indian sub-continent, the Ashes played between England and arch rivals Australia is the sport’s oldest conflict. This year, there will be a series of tests first in England (July to August) and then in Australia (November to January 2014) to decide who is second best to South Africa. One to Watch: Bradmans, Sukhumvit Soi 23. Named after the great Don, where better to see Australia’s sporting heroes of today vanquished or vindicated. The Football Season Although nothing can match the climax of last season when Manchester City grabbed an injury time winner to deny city rivals Utd. the Premier League title, the end of the football season is always heavy-laden with tension. The final round of matches will be played out on May 19, with Manchester Utd. travelling to West Brom and City entertaining Norwich. Six days later the new club champions of Europe will be crowned at Wembley. Can the drama of last year’s penalty shoot out be matched? One to Watch: The Pickled Liver, Sukhumvit Soi 7/1. The reference to Georgie Best’s drinking habits says it all. Enjoy some traditional Yorkshire hospitality, just don’t ask how Wednesday are doing.

Superbowl Showdown Time zone differences make following sporting events in the US only for the hardy or those with a time delay on their TV, however there is still the Superbowl. Watched by over 100 million armchair fans, who will lift the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans – Baltimore Ravens or the San Francisco 49ers? For many by the time you read this article the question will have become redundant, but early birds can see all the drama unfold over an early breakfast on Feb. 4. One to Watch: Bourbon Street, 9/39-40 Sukhumvit Soi 63. Get a game pass at the home of New Orleans food, although you might need a bloody mary to keep you going through the half-time show. Grand Final & Melbourne Cup The sporting world turns to the Flemington racecourse on Nov. 5, where fashionistas rival the fillies for the mass media’s attention. Australia’s version of Ascot, the Melbourne Cup is sure to make some heads turn. At the other end of the fashion stakes – I still can’t see how anyone can play sport in those shorts – the AFL Grand Final will be played out on Sep. 28 at the MCG. Will the Sydney Swans repeat their 2012 success? One to Watch: Tenderloins, 7/8-9 Sukhumvit Soi 33. Grab a steak and settle down to all the best that Australia has to offer. Tour de France With Lance Armstrong under punishment of death, cycling’s image is at a low ebb. However, officials claim the sport has cleaned up its act since the bad old days of Liestrong, and Bradley Wiggins victory in last year’s tour sparked off an amazing year for UK sporting

achievement. Don a beret and pour yourself some wine, this year’s tour rolls from Jun. 29 to Jul. 21 and is the 100th edition. One to Watch: The Sportsman Sukhumvit Soi 13. Sports Bar does not translate too well into French, so enjoy the Tour on the numerous screens in this spacious sports bar. If the cycling starts to drag, you can always shoot some pool on some of the best tables in town. Wimbledon Strawberries and cream, Pimms by the jug and perpetual home disappointment – a British Summer wouldn’t quite be the same without Wimbledon. However, after his twin successes last year, first at the Olympics and then at the US Open, Murray mania is likely to reach unparalleled heights come the last week in June and first in July. Expect lots of rain delays and ultimate home disappointment, after all this is a British summer we are talking about. One to Watch: The Royal Oak, 595/10-11 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1. Where better to take in the glorious British summer than outside on the terrace at this popular bar. At least rain will not stop play here. Golfing Masters Last year’s Ryder Cup must go down as one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time. It’s quite remarkable how an individual sport has produced the ultimate team competition. This year it is back to personal gain starting with the US Masters on Apr. 11 to 14. Who will don this year’s green jacket. Expect a flurry of McIlroy mania as the lad from Hollywood, Northern Ireland shows that he is more than a match for Tiger on the greens, and a far more stable figure off them. One to Watch: The Clubhouse, 21/1-3 Sukhumvit Soi 33. Follow all the majors at Sukhumvit’s unofficial 19th hole. asialife Thailand 47


Rossini’s Until I came to Asia hotel restaurants were strictly preserved for Sunday brunches. You sleep in hotels and eat in restaurants and never the twain shall meet. So it is with a certain element of caution that I venture into hotel dining rooms even when chefs have Michelin stars attached to their lapels. The Sheraton Grande Rossini’s restaurant is an exception to this rule. Described as “innovative classic” Italian cuisine, the menu is inspired by chef Alfredo Russo – one of those aforementioned people with starry lapels – who visits the restaurant twice a year to host wine dinners and keep the chefs on their toes. If our experience was anything to go by, 48 asialife Thailand

With so many great restaurants in Bangkok, there really is no need to resort to five-star hotel restaurants. However, as Mark Bibby Jackson discovers, sometimes the journey is well worth it. Photos by Nick McGrath. his flying visits are well worth the cost of the flights. We started with lobster served with a borlotti bean paste (B750). The presentation of the lobster was perfection, coming with three soaked cubes of bread, a touch of spumante and some basil leaves. The textured juxtaposition of the frothy spumante and the paper thin, crisp basil leaves worked well, and the lobster itself tasted fresh and cooked to perfection. One of the attractions of the restaurant is the affordability of the wines. We washed the lobster down with a crisp and fruity pinot grigio from Umbria, which was only B190 and ideal for shellfish.

This was followed by some pappardelle pasta in an amatriciana sauce (B440). The standout dish of the meal, the pasta’s rich sauce had a slightly spicy tang that complimented the sharp flavour of the liberally applied parmesan. The homemade pasta pieces were light and once more cooked to perfection – sufficiently al dente. The size too was perfect for lunch. Our main was a seared duck that came with carrots and basil (B1,060). Once more the meat was cooked to perfection, but I was slightly disappointed with the puréed carrot and basil. Clearly I like my veg to be more substantial. By this time we had moved on to a pinot noir

from the Sileni winery in New Zealand (B190). The distinctive grape supported rather than rivalled the food, as is so often the case with heavier wines. With scarce room left for dessert, we opted for the ricotta cheesecake (B290) which most fortunately was light though distinctly moorish. Accompanied by a double expresso chaser I felt rejuvenated by my meal, not least as regards my attitude towards five-star hotel kitchens. Rossini’s, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Tel: 02 649 8888. Rossini’s offers a power lunch for B690++ (two courses) and B780++ (three courses).


The Local Coming from the UK, the Local comes across as a strange name for a Thai restaurant. Images of quaint pubs serving warm beer and stale sandwiches cross my mind as I head for the Thai restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 23 that is going to make me appreciate “real Thai cuisine made by … mothers of the kitchen” according to its literature. By nature I’m a cynic. Still, first impressions are important. And here the Local does not disappoint. The structure is a hundred-yearold house painted in the blue, in which the Naj collection of fabrics and home décor is situated. Around this a terrace

Mark Bibby Jackson pops down to The Local to see whether it delivers on its promise to bring local Thai food from every region of the Thailand to the heart of Bangkok. Photos by Nick McGrath.

area allows al fresco dining, or for those who like their food hot on the inside rather than outside there are airconditioned rooms at the rear. We opted for the terrace – my guest smokes. We opted for the set appetiser (B250). With pairs of small dishes set around a Chiang Mai noodles curry soup, this is the perfect way to share the local cuisine with your partner. The lime and shallot wrapped in a Lotus leaf was too much of an acquired taste for me, apparently I am one who likes to admire lotus leaves from a distance. However, the chicken wrapped in Pandan leaf retained just enough moisture to

maintain all the juicy flavour of the meat. The rice crackers added a crisp texture which contrasted well with the more fluid noodles soup. This we followed with a lemongrass salad with wiId betal leaves (B200) and a homemade yellow curry with crab and wild betel leaves in fresh coconut milk (B380). The crab was simply spectacular. Soaking up all the yellow curry sauce, I could have carried on eating the crab all day. Typical of the impeccable service throughout our waiter showed us how to wrap the lemongrass salad in the betal leaves, at the same time warning of the chilli that lay in the

deep. It was a good companion to the crab dish, with the lemongrass shavings combining well with the more liquid texture of the curry. Served in a voluminous basket, the jasmine rice showed that the owners have left no detail unturned. I shall leave it to more experienced judges of Thai cuisine to determine how genuine the Thai cuisine at The Local is, but one thing is for sure; those stale sandwiches down my local won’t seem the same again. The Local, 32-32/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 664 0664. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm and 5.30pm to 11pm. asialife Thailand 49


Model: Penelope Cadeau Clothing: Quynh Nguyen LEFT Model: Nina Nagual Clothing: Indonesian Vintage


Models: Tara Nichols and Caitlin Minogue Clothing: H&M LEFT Model: Nina Nagual Clothing: Linda Mai Phung ABOVE Model: Penelope Cadeau Clothing: Quynh Nguyen Photographer: Thai Pham


Photo by Nick McGrath.

Connoisseur IT'S OK TO LIKE NICE THINGS

SEA SALT For thousands of years salt has played a major role in human existence. Wars have been fought over it. The first tax was levied on it in 2,200 BC. Many myths, religious and magical rites involve salt. But, to the average person these days, salt is just salt. Sea salt can’t be that special, can it? Sea salt is the common term for unrefined natural salt derived directly from a living ocean or sea. Think of sea salt like wine—the flavours in the wine don’t just come from the grapes, they come from the minerals in the soil the grapes are grown in and water they are fed with. Sea salt derives its flavour from the water it is

54 asialife Thailand

harvested from. Because each body of water has different amounts of trace minerals, sea salts will look and taste different from one another. Sea salt can vary greatly. Surprisingly, some salts have

savoury dish if it’s too dry to eat. Finishing salts are considered the premier varieties in the world of specialty salts. They are harvested — generally by hand — in special

Fleur de Sel, literally translated as 'Flower of Salt,' is considered the 'caviar of salts.' a high water content. This matters because without it, the salt attacks the surface moisture of the food it's put on drying it out. No point in having a

areas around the world and are known for their unique textures. These salts bring out the depth of natural flavours of any dish, and also add to a

beautiful tableside presentation. The various colours and flakes of finishing salts make gorgeous garnishes for every meal. Fleur de Sel, literally translated as 'Flower of Salt,' is considered the 'caviar of salts.' It is harvested from the vaery top of the salt ponds in the Guérande region of France using the traditional Celtic methods. The salt harvesters carefully rake the salt crystals using only wooden tools. Weather conditions must be just right to produce a good Fleur de Sel harvest, and the process can only be completed once a year, in the summer. For salts that will add a broader variety of flavours or colours, try Hawaiian sea salts or smoked sea salts. Alaea Sea Salt is a traditional Hawaiian table salt used to season and preserve. Volcanic baked red clay gives the salt its distinctive red colour. The salt is said to have a mellower and more earthy taste than regular sea salt, and is the traditional seasoning for native Hawaiian dishes. Coming from the Pacific Northwest, a few grains of smoked sea salts can add a natural smoked flavour to any dish. Just be sure that the sea salt has actually been smoked and not just had liquid smoke flavouring added. So, next time you’re picking out that special wine to complement your dinner, swing by the sea salt section. You might be surprised by what you’ve been missing out on.


listings

hotel & travel 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

escape

Air France (AF) 20/F, Vorawat Bldg, 849 Silom Rd. Reservation/Ticketing: 02 635 119 www.airfrance.co.th

Jetstar Airways (3K) (JQ) 3/F Charn Issara Tower 1, 942/160-163 Rama lV Rd. Tel: 02 267 5125 www.jetstar.com

Asiana Airlines (OZ) 18/F, Ploenchit Centre, Sukhumvit Soi 2 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

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

British Airways (BA) 21/F, Charn Issara Tower, 942/160-163 Rama 4 Rd. Tel: 02 627 1701 www.britishairways.com 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

Planning a getaway just got easier with the Indulge in Style promotion by The Chedi Chiang Mai. From now until Mar. 31 a two-night stay costs B24,700 or B32,200 for a suite. The package includes two nights' accommodation, private roundtrip airport transfer by hotel limousine, daily breakfast for two, one yoga class, steam and sauna (one time per stay), choice of 60-minute Chedi Jade Massage or 90-minute Ancient Balinese Massage at The Spa, afternoon tea for two and complimentary WiFi. The Chedi Chiangmai, Tel: 053 253 333, or email: reservation@chedi-chiangmai.com. Ignite the romance with your loved one from now until Apr. 17 with the Amore Package at The Pavilions Phuket. The package (B58,700++) includes a threenight stay in The Pavilions Phuket’s all-new Spa & Pool Pavilion with in-villa private spa room and steam room, round trip airport transfer with VIP fast track escort, candlelit dinner with a bottle of Champagne, 90-minute couple’s spa treatment, daily Champagne breakfast and afternoon tea, welcome foot massage, unlimited WiFi in your villa and shuttle to Layan beach.

56 asialife Thailand

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

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

BANGKOK–DELUXE 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. Conrad Bangkok All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 690 9999

take flight with travel promotions around the country

The Total Package

Love by the Sea

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

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

The Pavilions Resort Phuket, Thepavilionsresorts.com/phuket-home/

Just for Spa Aficionados

Enjoy the Special Spa Package at Sandalwood Samui for B26,065 until Apr. 30. The Special Spa Package includes accommodation for four nights, round trip transfer from Koh Samui airport or ferry, welcome drink upon arrival, daily breakfast, fruit basket, chocolate in the villa, one hour facial massage, daily use of steam room, one hour body wrap or body scrub for two, early check in with free breakfast, late check out without extra charge, free villa upgrade if available upon check in, free WiFi or use of guest computer. Sandalwood Luxury Villas Koh Samui, Tel: 077 448982

Touch of Thai Massage

Anantara Hua Hin is offering an exceptional spa escape for you and your loved one starting at B5,900 all year. Included in the package is a 90-minute training session in the techniques of traditional Thai massage which will enable you to have a deeper appreciation of your next spa experience. Stay for longer on your last day with a late check-out time of 2pm. The package includes two nights’ accommodation, daily breakfast for two, late check-out time of 2pm (subject to availability), 90-minute

Thai massage lesson and take home pack for two and 20 percent discount on all additional spa treatments throughout your stay. Anantara Hua Hin Resort & Spa,Tel: 03252 0250, Huahin.anantara.com/

The Great Escape

From now until Apr. 30 enjoy The Great Escape package at Amari Emerald Cove Koh Chang for two nights from B21,700 with a special 10 percent discount on additional nights. Each package includes shared round-trip transfer from Trat Airport, welcome drink upon arrival, traditional Thai fruit and flowers in your room, one Thai set menu dinner at The Cove Terrace (food only), 20 percent discount on food, drinks and laundry services, daily breakfast and B1,000 credit at Breeze Spa. Amari Emerald Cove Koh Chang, Tel: 03955 2000, Amari.com/emeraldcove/

GLOWY Premier Upgrade

GLOW Trinity Silom has introduced a special promotion GLOWY Premier Upgrade until Mar. 31. Book a deluxe room (B2,500 net) for two nights or more and receive a complimentary room upgrade to a premier room inclusive of breakfast for two and WiFi throughout the stay. GLOW Trinity Silom, Tel. 02 231 5050, Glowbyzinc.com/silom.


www.conradhotels.com Conveniently located in the heart of Bangkok’s business hub, the Conrad Bangkok offers a combination of modern luxury and innovative design. Enjoy jazz at the Diplomat Bar or practice your Pilates on site. Dusit Thani Bangkok 946 Rama IV 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 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 three-level 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.

premier location along Rajadamri Road, with seven dining outlets to choose from.

TV, air-con and fridge, although only the five double rooms have bathrooms but communal washing areas are spotless.

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.

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.

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.

BANGKOK–BOUTIQUE

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.

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 worldrenowned 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

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 fiveminute walk from Asok BTS with 68 stylish guest rooms and suites, an exclusive rooftop bar with views of Sukhumvit and one of the best beer vaults in town. 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

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.

asialife Thailand 57


all-day breakfast has recently moved to Ekamai, with a boutique hotel upstairs.

listings

Fat Gut’z 264 Thonglor Soi 12, Tel: 02 714 9832 www.fatgutz.com With the best fish and chips in town, you might imagine Fat Gut’z reeking of vinegar, but far from it. A contemporary design mixes up some great cocktails along with music to match. Open from 6pm to 2am.

food & drink BAR RESTAURANTS The Australian Pub & BBQ 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 651 0800 www.theaustralianbangkok.com Claims to be the first pub in Thailand to have a bunch of Aussie beers such as Crown Lager, VB and Coopers at just above freezing point in the specially made fridges. Nine flat screen TVs and two big screens keep Aussie sports fans happy as does the Sunday Barbie. Open from 10am to 1am. Bourbon St. Restaurant & Oyster Bar 9/39-40 Soi Tana Arcade, Ekamai Tel: 02 381 6801-3, www.bourbonstbkk.com This popular bar cum restaurant serving cajun and creole cuisine as well as

feast

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. 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. Iron Fairies 394 Sukhumvit Soi 55, Thonglor

Niu’s on Silom 661 Floor 1-2 Silom Road, Silom Tel: 02 266 5333 / 4 www.niusonsilom.com One of the few true jazz and blues bars in Bangkok, Niu’s has live music each night while the upstairs Concerto Restaurant serves the highest quality Italian cuisine. Will be open lunchtimes from September. Soi 8 Pub and Restaurant 25/4 Sukhumvit Soi 8, Tel: 02 653 3144 www.soi8.net One of Bangkok's most successful pub venues. Situated 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 burg-

ers 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. 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:

broaden your palate with promotions around town

Sweet Valentine Bring the one you love to The SQUARE on Feb. 14 and indulge in an international buffet highlighting an array of delights from Europe and Asia, with a special Indian corner, live grill and Japanese sushi and sashimi bar, accompanied by imported cheese, homemade ice cream, crepe station and deluxe chocolate fountain. The dinner is only B2,400 net per couple and includes a glass of sparkling wine to toast the romantic occasion. The SQUARE, Novotel Bangkok, Siam Square, Tel: 02 209 8888, Novotelbkk. com. Flavours of Chinatown In celebration of Chinese New Year, Dean & Deluca’s MahaNakhon Café is offering a limited time menu inspired by San Francisco’s Chinatown. Until Jan. 10, chef Timber and his team are creating intricate dishes such as Wagyu beef and broccoli, Tellicherry peppercorn soft shell crab, sesame crusted tuna on soba, and honey and lemon tiger prawn to give guests a west coast Chinese dining experience right in the heart of Bangkok. Dean & Deluca MahaNakhon Café, Tel: 02 234 1434. Open daily from 7am to 11pm. Chinese New Year by the River On Feb. 10, bring your family and loved ones to the Anantara Bangkok’s Riverside Terrace for an unforgettable Chinese

58 asialife Thailand

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.

New Year gala dinner buffet (B1,888 net). Guests can enjoy the tea smoked Atlantic salmon carvery station and chilled seafood display as well as a range of dim sum, juicy roast suckling pig, and hanging duck. Entertainment includes Thai dancers performing on a flame lit stage. Each table will receive a lucky draw entry. Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa Tel: 02 476 0022 Ext. 1416, Bangkokriverdining.com. Valentine’s Day Splash Enjoy your Valentine poolside on Feb. 14 at Aloft hotel’s Splash from 6.30pm. The Chef has designed a decadent Valentine’s day themed four-course set dinner with unlimited wine (B1,999 net) including braised abalone with truffle meringue, smoked trout, dill and quark cheese dipping, grilled lamb racks and red rose velvet cake with unlimited wine and a set of complimentary chocolate praline per couple. This dinner is limited to only 10 couples. Splash, Aloft Bangkok, Sukhumvit Soi 11, Tel: 02 207 7000, Alofthotels.com/ bangkoksukhumvit11. Anantara Valentine The Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa has a rang of options for those wishing to celebrate Valentine’s Night. These include a Manohra dining cruise along the Chao Phraya river with regional specialties, imported meats and seafood (B4,499 net per couple, including a bottle of sparkling

wine and a rose); five-course international dinner at Trader Vic’s (B4,499 net, including a bottle of sparkling wine and a rose); and Brio is serving up a five-course Italian Saint Valentine set menu dinner (B3,499 net per couple, including two glasses of sparkling wine and a rose). Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa, Tel: 02 476 0022 ext. 1416, Bangkokriverdining.com. Mexican Revival Recently renovated Señor Pico is celebrating its re-opening throughout February each Monday when tables of six adults will receive a pitcher of any margarita on the house. Children under 12, if accompanied by a paying adult, will get to enjoy free food from the kid’s menu while they are entertained by the special Spaghetti Westerns. Señor Pico, B/F Rembrandt Hotel, Tel: 02 261 7100 ext. 7550. Open daily from 5pm to 1am. Be My Mauve Valentine What better way to say “I Love You” than a romantic and elegant dinner with your Valentine at Radisson Suites. Mauve is offering a Be My Valentines three-course set dinner including one complimentary bottle of wine at B3,200 (net) per couple. The promotion is only available on Feb. 14 from 6pm to 12am. Mauve, Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, 23/2-3 Sukhumvit Soi 13, Tel: 02 645 4999.


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 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 lifesized 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 Huasenghong Yaowarat Rd, Tel: 02 222 7053, 02 222 3563-5 Paradise Park, Tel: 02 787 2329 Sukhumvit Soi 101, Tel: 02 730 5141 Popular chain of well-priced Chinese food that is in a department store close to you. Liu Conrad Hotel, 87 Wireless Rd Tel: 02 690 9999 A neo-classic Chinese restaurant that blends the culture, traditions and cuisine of old China, including Cantonese, Shanghainese and Sichuan dishes, with new and contemporary interpretations. Enjoy Liu's signature dish Dong Po Pork, stewed pork belly with black soy sauce served with Chinese buns, succulent duck dishes to seafood. Open from 11am to 2.30pm and 6pm to 11pm. The Mayflower Dusit Thani Hotel, 946 Rama IV Road Tel: 02 200 9000 (x2799) The grandiose European interior lined with Chinese antiques, leaves guests in no doubt that this is one of Bangkok’s finest Cantonese eateries, with an a la carte menu as well as daily set menus. Also has six private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2pm, 6pm to 10pm. SBL Restaurant 710-714 Wangburapha Tel: 02 225 9079 www.sblrestaurant.com Serving traditional Taechew food since 1954, Somboonlarb was initially a small shop selling food to the Chinese people in the Yaowaraj area. Of these dishes, the Taechew sukiyaki is still on the menu. Refurbished in 1997, the new style is a mixture between classical Chinese and fine Italian. No MSG. Sui Sian 10/F The Landmark Bangkok, 138 Sukhumvit Rd,

asialife Thailand 59


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 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. Xin Tian Di Level 22, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park 952 Rama IV Tel: 02 632 9000 With a stunning view of the Bangkok city skyline, Xin Tian Di is a good option for either business or a family get-together in one of its seven private rooms. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm. Yim Yim 89 Yaowaphanit Rd, Tel: 02 224 2203/5 Around for some 80 years, Yim Yim is a Chinatown institution. Ignore the décor and gloomy low ceilings and enjoy the great food. Famous for its chicken soup, a flavourful broth and its raw fish. Open from 11am to 2pm, 5pm to 10pm.

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

60 asialife Thailand

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.

street gourmet

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 Mughalai, modified by using fresh local ingredients. WiFi is available on request. Open from 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 11pm. Rang Mahal 26/F, Rembrandt Hotel, 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.

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

Khanom Jeeb Found in your basic roadside stalls, these savory dumplings (B5 each) originate from China where they are called ‘siu mai’. The name comes from kanom meaning ‘snack’ and jeeb meaning ‘pleat’, which is what the chef does to the corners of the wrapper to create the corners. The filling usually includes minced pork and shrimp wrapped

Serving its particular blend of crêpe, pasta, salads and more substantial dishes since 1996, Crepes and Co has become one of the city’s most favoured institutions. The original Soi 12 outlet might have closed, but the franchise has expanded across town, down the coast to Hua Hin and even to Shanghai. Open 9am to 11pm (Sunday from 8am). Eat Me Restaurant Silom 20m off Convent 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. El Gaucho 8/1-7 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Tel: 02 255 2864 Two-storey Argentinean steakhouse 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

in sheets of rice or wheat dough. Once steamed they are served with a dipping sauce of dark soy, vinegar sauce and toasted garlic. Locals normally eat about four to five dumplings as a light snack or a side dish to their meal. As a snack on the go, you can eat them conveniently with a wooden skewer.

The creation of El Bulli trained chef Gaggan Anand, this fashionable eatery has an ever-changing menu with fresh produce. The tasting menu is a good option for those who have yet to experience molecular gastronomy at first hand. Open from 6pm to 11.30pm. Glow The Metropolitan Bangkok, 7 South Sathorn Rd, 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. Greyhound Cafe 2/F Emporium, Sukhumvit Soi 24 Tel: 02 664 8663 4/F Central Chidlom Tel: 02 255 6964-5 J-Avenue, Thonglor Soi 55 02 712 6547 G/F Siam Centre Tel: 02 658 1129-30 Reliable chain of contemporary restaurants that has been serving a good selection of Thai and international dishes in 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 post-modern 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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). 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

asialife Thailand 61


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.

imbibe

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.

Wine Glassware: Does It Really Matter? By Darryl Bethea There is an entire industry devoted to the enjoyment of wine, based on quality crystal glassware and differentshaped glasses specially developed for each type of wine. How does it work? For starters, a lot of the science is based on the angle at which the wine enters the mouth. Different diameters of glass openings also allow you to put your nose in the glass to experience the first aromas emanating from it. Olfactory abilities increase your assessment and enjoyment of wine, and go hand-in-hand with your taste buds. Just imagine taking a sip with your nose plugged. Speaking of taste buds, they can recognise four basic kinds of tastes: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Look in the mirror and stick out your tongue. The tip of the tongue has the salty and sweet taste buds, the sour ones are located at the sides, and the bitter buds are found at the very back. Now consider the flavour profiles of wine. There is a big spectrum of taste, which can be dominated by fruit, minerality, tannins, or varying degrees of sub-flavour profiles. Are tannins important to a cabernet sauvignon? Yes, but it’s not the first impression you want from the wine. First you should experience the hints of dark fruit, chocolate, herbs, and tobacco, so the location of the entry point of wine is very important because of the primary location of your taste

62 asialife Thailand

buds. Try for yourself. Smell your favourite wine in three different shaped glasses. Then taste the wine in the same order and pay attention to where the wine enters the mouth, or your head angle. If you do this with an open mind, you will discover why many people decide to invest in quality glassware for each type of wine, or attend a tasting seminar held by Riedel crystal wine glass company. Many of the tasting seminars include take-home glasses, rendering the cost of the seminar virtually free. Now let’s talk about decanters. When do you decant a wine and invest in a quality crystal decanter? With young wines you decant to aerate the wine, letting the oxygen bring the wine to life and reveal hidden complexities, if they exist. With older wines, sediment naturally appears in the bottle, but you don’t want that in your glass. Tannins also can be tamed and smoothed with the benefit of the decanting process. Plus modern decanters provide another beautiful vessel from which to serve the wine. Quality crystal glassware and decanters are for more than just serving wine, and are a good investment for your immediate enjoyment. Darryl Bethea is Group Sales Manager for Fine Wines of the World and is a certified sommelier from the Court of the Master Sommeliers. Contact: Darryl@finewinesasia.com.

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 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. 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. 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 BonChon Chicken 2/F Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13 Tel: 02 185 2361 Hailing from the South Korean city of Pusan, BonChon serves up healthy chicken with little grease and even less

fat, coated in either soy garlic or spicy soy garlic. Open Sunday to Thursday from 11am to 11pm, Friday / Saturday 11am to midnight. Drinking Tea Eating Rice 3/F Conrad Bangkok, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 690 9999 Featuring a Teppanyaki table, sushi counter and tatami rooms, this restaurant serves traditional Japanese food with a special focus on fresh sushi, sashimi, oysters, French lobsters and Kobe Beef. Has an all-you-can-eat Japanese buffet at weekends. Open from 11.30am to 11.30pm. Isao 5 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02 258 0645-6 www.isaotaste.com A fusion sushi bar which gives traditional Japanese cuisine an international twist, it is the brainchild of chef Isao, who used to run the Green Tea Japanese Restaurant in Chicago. Open from 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm. 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 allspice favourite tagine. Open from 4.30pm to 1am, closed Sundays. Beirut Lebanese Restaurant Ploenchit: B/F Ploenchit Centre, Sukhumvit Soi 2, Tel: 02 656 7377 Silom: 1/F Silom 64 Building, Silom Road Tel: 02 632 7448 Bumrungrad Hospital: 10A/F, Bumrungrad Hospital, Sukhumvit Soi 3 Tel: 08 4466 7576 Thonglor: Level 1, Eight Shopping Building, Thonglor Soi 8, Tel: 02 714 8963 www.beirut-restaurant.com Offering a unique dining experience with food made fresh daily, each restaurant offers a menu of Lebanese and Mediterranean prepared dishes that include a variety of appetisers, salads, soups, vegetarian items, grilled meats and poultry and combination plates. Nadimo's Baan Silom, 651 Silom Soi 19 Tel: 02 266 9081 www.nadimos.com This much talked of Lebanese restaurant is the chosen place to sample Middle Eastern cuisine in Bangkok. All the classics feature on the menu along with some interesting specials for the more adventurous diner. Open from 11am to 11pm.

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. Home Kitchen 94 Lang Suan Rd., Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 281 9228 This charming hole-in-the-wall restaurant is a bit of a steal with its excellent, flavoursome Thai food and good presentation.

a hundred-year-old house with individual rooms that take inspiration from a floating market or royal barge. The menu also has dishes hard to find in other Thai restaurants such as pla paak nam, seafood in red curry paste, taken from a recipe in Siam’s first cookbook. Open from 11.30 to 2.30 and 5.30pm to 11pm. 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. 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. 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. 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

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. The Local 32-32/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 664 0664 Promising real Thai cuisine made by mothers of the kitchen, The Local is set in

asialife Thailand 63


master of mixology

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

Valentine’s Day Cocktails By Matt Myers It’s time to get ready for this hallmark holiday of taking our significant other out for fabulous dinners and buying lavish gifts. Generally for Valentine’s Day, Las Vegas is full of newly weds and soon-to-be weds, holding hands and watching the Bellagio Fountains. We often start the dinner experience we specialty themed ‘his’ and ‘hers’ cocktails and end the meal with a gift of house made chocolates and flowers. When I think of Valentines in Asia, I think of flowers, cute couples riding on motorbikes, champagne, strawberries and romantic walks on the beach. Here are two of my recipes that are staples for Valentine’s Day at the Bellagio Bars. Enjoy. Besito de Jorge (Named after Jorge Pagani, general manager of Michael Mina-Bellagio) 2oz Belvedere vodka 1/2oz simple syrup 1oz fresh lime juice 1 1/2oz pomegranate juice For rose water foam: 1 splash of rose water 2oz of egg whites 4oz sweet and sour 1oz of simple syrup

64 asialife Thailand

Foam Recipe 1. Combine all the rose water foam ingredients in a whipper. 2. Shake vigorously. 3. Add one charger. The foam should be loose, not tight like whipped cream. Drink Recipe 1. Fill a mixing glass 3/4 full of ice and combine all the ingredients. 2. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. 3. Top off with rose water foam. 4. Garnish with rose petal. Elderflower Gimlet 1.5oz Hendrick’s gin 1oz simple syrup 3/4oz lime juice 1/2oz St. Germaine Elderflower or Elderflower syrup Drink Recipe 1. Fill a mixing glass 3/4 full of ice and combine all the ingredients. 2. Shake vigorously and strain into rocks glass over fresh ice. 3. Garnish with cucumber Ribbons and Edible Viola flowers. Matt Myers is the director of beverage for MGM Grand Ho Tram Beach.

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 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. Bradmans Sukhumvit Soi 23. Tel: 02 661 7176 Named after the great Don, where better to see Australia’s sporting heroes of today vanquished or vindicated in this year’s two Ashes series. Has surprisingly good grub for such a hole-in-a-wall bar and a great back room in which to enjoy your sport in comfy chairs. Open from 11am to 11pm or until the last customer leaves. The Clubhouse 21/1-3 Soi 23, Sukhumvit Tel: 02 664 1376/7 Excellent Australian-owned sports bar and grill specialising in burgers, steaks and pub classics. Wine buffet each night from 6pm to 9pm with unlimited wine and beer and different specials each night of the week. Happy hour 3pm to 9pm. Open from 9am to 2am. The Dubliner 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. 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 Anothai 976/17 Soi Praram 9 Hospital, Huay Kwang Tel: 02 641 5366 Small restaurant in a far northeast suburb of the city where the owner uses his own vegetables grown on his farm. Many of the pan-Asian dishes are vegan. Open from 10am to 9.30pm, closed Wednesdays. Khun Churn G/F Bangkok Mediplex, Sukhumvit Soi 42 Tel: 02 713 6599 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

The Sportsman is back! now in Soi 13

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. 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. 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

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


www.oskar-bistro.com Next to Bed Supperclub, Oskar is the definitive late-night dining option, with pizzas, merguez harrissa, and Asian classics as well as a large selection of martinis, long drinks and mojitos. Open from 6pm to 2am.

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 Michelinstar menu to boot. The tapas menu is great for sharing and can be washed down with some old world wine or a classic cocktail. Open from 5pm to 2am. to 2am.

Modern Beetroot Salad

Ingredients 150g fresh beetroot 10g robiola cheese 5g blue cheese 5g mascarpone cheese 150g watermelon 50g fresh cucumber 2g kaffir lime leaves 5g lemongrass 1g extra virgin olive oil 2g (1 sheet) of gelatin 120g lemon 5g walnuts 10g white martini 5g corn flakes 3g salt 2g black pepper Preparation Peel, wash and slice the beetroot. Arrange in a tray and season each layer with sea salt. Rest for 30 minutes, then dry with canvas and place in a plastic box. Dice the scraps of the beetroot add the kaffir leaves, lemongrass and a pinch of salt. Cook in water until it becomes soft and the mix with a pacojet mixer or equivalent. Once mixed whisk with extra vir-

gin olive oil. Keep in a sauce bottle. Pass the three cheeses through a strainer and mix with a spoon till the consistency is smooth. Keep in a pastry bag. Peel the watermelon and blend the red pulp with a blender, strain and mix again with salt, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Heat a small part of the juice with the soaked gelatin, add to the rest of juice and keep in a plastic container in the refrigerator. Once hard, cut into small cubes, and keep in a cool place. Peel the cucumber and cut into small sticks (2cm), put in a vacuum bag with the martini and vacuum seal. Slice the walnuts really finely and keep in a dry place. Blend the corn flakes with a blender and keep in a plastic box. Presentation Place the beetroot on a serving dish. Drizzle the sauce onto the beetroot slices and adorn with the watermelon cubes, cucumber and walnut / corn flake mix.

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

66 asialife Thailand

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-year-old 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 hightech 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 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). 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.

www.serindiagallery.com A gallery of fine arts and photography run by the publishing house, presents yearround 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.

town.” Open from 3pm to 8pm, closed Mondays.

PERFORMING ARTS Patravadi Theatre 9/1 Soi Wat Rakhang, Arun Amarin Rd., Siriraj Tel: 02 412 7287-8 www.patravaditheatre.com/ The Patravadi Theatre and Performing Arts School teaches classical Thai dances, singing and puppetry, as well as ballet, jazz, piano and classical dance.

THEATRE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Sala Chalermkrung 66 Charoen Krung Rd. Tel: 02 623 8148 www.salachalermkrung.com Former cinema houses performances of classic Thai masked dance (khon) on Thursdays and Fridays from 7.30pm. The theatre is known to put on Thai pop concerts too.

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., 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

asialife Thailand 67


listings

FREE COPIES AVAILABLE IN OVER 100 PLACES IN BANGKOK INCLUDING:

sports & leisure COOKERY CLASSES

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

www.asialifemagazine.com Free live-view to your computer, tablet or smartphone

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. Pickup time approximately 8am to 8.30am. Blue Elephant Cooking School 233 Sathon Tai Rd., Tel: 02 673 9353 www.blueelephant.com/cooking-school 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 68 asialife Thailand

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 self-defence. 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.

asialife Thailand 69


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. Boots Unit 207, 2/F All Seasons Place, 87/2 Witthayu Rd. Tel: 02 251 1617 Unit 2, 1F Amarin Plaza, 496-502 Ploenchit Rd. Tel: 02 256 9946-7 Has a wide range of beauty products from the UK, often with an attractive buy-one-get-one-free discount policy. 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.

DENTAL 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. 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

70 asialife Thailand

Asoke Skin Hospital 18 Asoke-Dindang Rd., Huaikhwang Tel: 02 246 5111 www.skinhospital.co.th Thailand’s first skin care hospital specialises in dermatologic laser treatment as well as facial plastic surgery and hair and scalp solutions. Bangkok Hospital (Bangkok) 2 Soi Soonvijai 7, New Petchaburi Rd. Enquiries: 02 310 3344 Emergency: 02 310 3456 www.bangkokhospital.com Bangkok Hospital Group is the largest hospital operator in the country with 13 network locations throughout Thailand

and the largest ambulance and medevac fleet in southeast Asia. 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. TRSC International Lasik Center 6/F U Chu Liang Building, 968 Rama IV Rd., Silom Tel: 02 733 2020 Private-sector ophthalmic surgery centre specialising in the surgical correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism using a surgical method called LASIK. Open from 8.30am to 8.30pm, until 5pm Sundays.

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 twentyfirst 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. CHI, The Spa Shangri-La Hotel, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road, Tel: 02 236 7777 www.shangri-la.com/bangkok/ shangrila/health-leisure/chi-the-spa Drawing inspiration from the origins of the Shangri-La legend – a place of personal peace, enchantment and well-being – Chi’s award winning therapies include a variety of Asian and Thai options using pressure points, Thai sen (or meridian lines) salts, clay, oils and herbs. Devarana Dusit Thani Hotel 946 Rama IV Rd. Tel: 02 636 3596 At Devarana, all treatment rooms provide privacy with double rooms available for those who wish to share their spa experience. The hotel’s chefs also provide a comprehensive healthy selection of spa food that incorporates the daily essential vitamins and minerals required for a well-balanced meal plan. Open from 9am to 10pm. Divana Spa 7 Sukhumvit Soi 25, Tel: 02 661 6784 www.divanaspa.com Tucked down one of the smaller of Sukhumvit’s sois, the spa is housed in a post-modern Thai house. With the scent of orange essential oil oozing from its pores, Divana has private spa rooms set on two floors providing excellent massage treatments as well as steam rooms. Open from 11am to 11pm, from 10am at weekends. Health Land 55/5 Sukhumvit Soi 21 (Asoke) Tel: 02 261 1110 www.healthlandspa.com While the settings are grand and luxurious, Heathland’s services are priced at the same level
as in general massage centres rather than high-end hotel spas. Originally intended as a health centre, Heathland now has a complete spa service, offering sauna, Jacuzzi, facials and body polishes in addition to its massages. Has other branches in Srinakarin, Sathorn, Pinklao, Ekamai, Chaeng Wattana and Rama 2. King & I 2/1 Sukhumvit Soi 12, Tel: 02 252 5248 Despite its cheesy name, the King & I provides an excellent massage at affordable prices. The rooms might be a bit close together but shut your eyes and let all that pent up tension float away. Mulberry Spa Sukhumvit Soi 23, Tel: 02 664 1888 Up-market spa and beauty parlour set back from the main street around the corner from the sirens of Soi 23. In addition to the standard massage treatments, it has hair treatment using Shiseido products and promotional packages. Open from 9am to 10pm. The Oriental Spa Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 48 Oriental Avenue, Tel: 02 659 9000 (x7440) With 19 private suites, The Oriental Spa is exclusive and luxurious with treatments that blend ancient and contemporary techniques and philosophies from around the world. Each uses 100 percent pure essential oils and herbs. Phothalai 28 Soi Yothinpatta 3, Praditmanuthum Rd. Tel: 02 508 1238-49 Thai wellness centre that offers massage, body treatment, and facials as well as a number of other programmes including yoga, cookery classes and fruit carving.

doctor in the house

Tips on Selecting a Hospital in Bangkok By Ruben Toral Fifteen years ago if you got sick or needed an operation your treatment options were limited to a handful of private hospitals and clinics in Bangkok. Today, the city is awash with private hospitals catering to expats and medical tourists. So how do you choose the right hospital? These are the things I look for in hospitals when I evaluate their readiness to cater for international patients. Doctors. As a foreigner, I take more comfort in knowing that my doctor is educated, trained or board certified in the USA, Europe or Australia. Is this biased? Yes it is, but then again a doctor that has trained overseas will probably understand me better both from a language and cultural point of view. International Patient Department. Catering to international patients requires a whole layer of services that are not found at Thai-only hospitals. These include multilingual staff, interpreters, customer service personnel and forms and instructional material in English. International Medical Coordinator. When I was working at Bumrungrad, one of the smartest things we ever did was hire an international medical coordinator to help our international patients when they get lost in the system. Hospitals are big, confusing and intimidating places, and a good international medical coordinator helps patients get the right care by the right doctor. Transparency. Does the hospital make information about its quality, costs and services readily available to pa-

tients? As a consumer, I want to know what something will cost before I buy it, and I want to know that it’s good. Responsible hospitals provide written price quotations, publish their outcomes (performance) data and post their policies. Maybe you don’t understand what a re-admission rate is but the fact that it is public and published goes a long way to helping me trust the institution. That’s why I applaud initiatives like Bumrungrad’s “real cost” – you can go on their website and see what other patients have paid for similar treatments and procedures. Language Proficiency. Like so many expats, I am challenged with the Thai language and I will never be fluent enough to carry on a conversation with anyone other than a taxi driver or a 4 year old. A hospital that can “speak my language” is important, and not just the receptionist but the technician, the nurse, the doctor and cashier too. Many of the international Thai hospitals are English fluent, and there are some that portray themselves as international, but are not. Finding and hiring quality doctors, nurses, pharmacists and technicians that speak functional English is a real asset. Why do you think there are so many Filipino nurses working all around the world? 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

asialife Thailand 71


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/juniorworkshop 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.

72 asialife Thailand

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

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

Bangkok Prep Circus Party

tion 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/

Biting By Gemma Jones Most childcare settings and schools will have to deal with the rather difficult situation of one child biting another. Usually this results in hand-wringing from the parents of the child who was bitten, but also from the parents of the biter. It may sound bizarre, but toddlers sometimes bite as a way to show love. Young children struggle to express their feelings, which can result in intense ways of showing them. Remember this is fairly normal behaviour for little ones, so even if your child has started biting, it does not mean you are raising a monster. Toddlers are learning how their body works and they often put things in their mouth and take a bite. If they do hurt somebody by doing so, it is unlikely that it was their intention – it is not dissimilar to when a baby is teething and likes to nibble on a finger. On the other hand, your child could be feeling anxious, emotional or threatened. If he or she cannot talk they may use biting as a defence. It can also be a way of gaining power, as this behaviour will get him or her attention, even if that attention is negative. If it happens when your child is in your presence, act fast but keep cool. It’s important that you do not teach them that violence causes violence by hitting or biting your child back (believe it or not, many parents do this). But they do need to know imme-

diately that it is inappropriate behaviour. It is also useful to teach your child how to express their feelings in a less painful way. If you notice your little nibbler is biting to show love, teach them to hug instead. If they are doing it to defend themselves, show them how to find an adult to help, or try teaching them to say “stop” to other children. If the biting seems to be a means of gaining attention, then give no more than a firm “no!” and focus on the victim. Give the child or adult who has been bitten lots of sympathy. This will send a clear message that biting is not a way to get attention. Stand or sit your child away from everyone else for a short while and take any toys away (this is what we call a ‘timeout’). Ensure your commands are clear and positive – try not to be too negative but do raise your voice a little. Most importantly, always praise good behaviour and make it clear when your child is being kind and gentle that they are behaving well. Your child will almost definitely grow out of the biting stage but there is no harm in nipping it in the bud that bit quicker. 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.

asialife Thailand 73


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,

74 asialife Thailand

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.

Five Ways to Boost Your Finances By Judy Blair Money matters are often high on the agenda when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, and if you want to get your finances in shape for 2013, there is some work to do. When it comes to financial boosts, there are a few ways you can make a big difference to your pocket by taking the initiative, and here are five of the best: Discuss money with your significant other – one in seven Brits fail to talk to their partner about money, according to a recent survey from insurance giant Prudential, partly because they feel awkward doing so. But awkwardness is nothing compared with a lack of financial security, so get over it and start planning ahead together. You can achieve much more as a team, because you will both be working towards the same goals. Automate your savings – don’t wait until the end of the month to see if you have any money to put away in savings, because the chances are you won’t. Using this as a savings strategy is a non-starter. So take the initiative and set up an automatic transfer for savings as soon as you get paid. That way you should not miss it, and you will build your nestegg faster. Plan for your retirement – a comfortable retirement does

not happen by accident, you need to know when you want to retire and how much money you will need to achieve it. Use an adviser to help you crunch the numbers, and keep your savings on track year after year with regular reviews. The sooner you start the easier it is to reach your retirement goals. Get everything you can out of your employer – employee benefits are often a perk for expats, but you need to get everything you can out of yours. Take time to speak to HR, read the employees’ literature and get every benefit going for you and your family. Not doing so is like turning down a pay rise. Teach your children about money – the earlier your children start to learn the value of money, the easier it will be for them to not only earn it, but keep it. This has a added benefit of helping your children to fend for themselves earlier, rather than relying on the bank of mum and dad. 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

asialife Thailand 75


people matter

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 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. 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.

Re-entering the Workforce By Gary Woollacott This month’s topic comes from a reader who asked me to discuss the difficulties facing people who re-enter the workforce. Perhaps they have run their own businesses — successfully or otherwise — and have sold or closed it, or raised a family, or just wanted time away from work. The question is: If they are too young or don’t have enough money to retire, what comes next? The simple answer is to get a job. But then they are competing against people who have the same years of experience, but ones gained within a company, rather than through self-employment. One of the wonderful things about being human is that we all have different opinions. For every hiring manager who dismisses experience gained via self-employment, there is another who values it greatly. I would say a company that isn’t interested in what was learned by being one’s own boss, or raising a family, probably wouldn’t be an enjoyable environment for someone with the motivation and dedication to have done that. So keep looking for the organisation that recognises and respects your experience, it does exist. As with my consulting work, to find my clients the

76 asialife Thailand

best person for the job, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. You may find that compromising too much on salary, position or work environment only delays bigger issues that will flare up later. But flexibility and creativity on both sides can overcome that. Some people have to do that simply to survive; any salary is better than no salary. So hold your nose, get on with the job and keep your eyes open — with your career goal in mind — for something better. Perhaps you will work part-time for a while. But don’t complain or think you will change the company’s culture. You won’t. Just recall the challenges you faced in installing your own culture, values and work practices, and then try to nudge and nurture those actions into habits. Above all, stay optimistic. There's always something out there for great people. 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.

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.

REAL ESTATE Acute Realty 216/65 L.P.N. Tower 15/F, Nanglinchee Rd. Tel: 02 285 4645 www.acuterealty.com One of leading real estate agents in Thailand since 2000, Acute offers professional real estate brokerage service, sale and project management, property consultancy and tenancy management for individuals, corporations and investors. CBRE 46/F, CRC Tower, All Seasons Place,

87/2 Wireless Rd. Tel: 02 654 1111 www.cbre.co.th Has an in-depth knowledge of properties available in Bangkok’s central areas, including condominiums and houses in new and existing projects and individual residential development land plots. Also advises tenants on leasing office premises in Bangkok. Colliers International 17/F Ploenjit Centre, 2 Sukhumvit Rd. Tel: 02 656 7000 www.colliers.co.th Global commercial real estate company formed more than 30 years ago in Australia has a diverse range of properties for sale or lease whether it’s an office, retail store, industrial space, rural property, hotel or development site. Knight Frank 65/192 23/F Chamnan Phenjati Business Centre, Rama 9 Tel: 02 643 8223 www.knightfrankthailand.com A leading real estate service provider in Thailand, Knight Frank specialises in helping clients buying, selling or renting residential or commercial properties. Urbaan Real Estate F/15, 209/1 K Tower B, Sukhumvit Soi 2 Tel: 02 664 2784 www.urbaanrealestate.com Sells and rents properties in brand new developments, through to luxury penthouse and duplex properties. As a Thailand based real estate agent, it specialises in Bangkok and Pattaya properties for sale and rent.

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. 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.

RENTAL CAR 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.


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.

The Colour Red By Christina Yu I am about to fail my O levels: Research has proven that red is a powerful colour. Alarm bells are ringing as the dreaded ‘research has proven’ statement enters my monthly column on colour. I was taught always to question any statement that begins this way. But it is true. In Olympic boxing, the two contestants always wear red or blue uniforms. But the boxer wearing the red uniform statistically wins more fights than the one wearing blue, by a marginal but statistically significant figure. How’s that for sounding like an economist? This is odd, given there are no ratings to determine who wears which colour, and the colour is decided arbitrarily. Logically, the fighter in blue should win as frequently as the fighter in red. Since even I know the history of deciding boxing matches is dodgy, it is no wonder that researchers have been trying to determine what is up with the power of red. Did donning the red uniform empower the boxer, or was something else going on? Is red the secret to boxing? It sort of turned out that it did nothing for the boxers themselves — at least, until this research was announced and gave them added confidence — although it did affect the judges, who sub-consciously awarded the red boxers with more prowess.

Empirical evidence includes mothers’ advice to their sons to “never trust a girl in a red dress”, as well as the success rate of Thai bar girls who perform in red. Biologically, looking at the colour does make the heart beat faster, pupils dilate and blood pressure rises, so you can tell your husband to look at the red wall rather than the girl in red and he’ll get the same effect. Likewise, red should not be used in negotiating tricky business deals, as you may get your potential partner hot and bothered over a detail you were trying to sweet talk your way through (think blue or neutral for business deals). Red should also be avoided by anyone with slightly blotchy skin as it will accentuate the blemishes. So who looks great in red? The first image that comes to mind is Kelly LeBrock in the movie Lady In Red but it is more about her full and pouty red lips and curvaceous body than her dress. Red is possibly the most interesting colour in the whole spectrum. No other colour can embody both the good and the bad as well as red does. 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.

asialife Thailand 77


Burlesque Night at Levels

Decadence Party at Bash Night Club

Photos by Nick McGrath

78 asialife Thailand


Kolours Sunday

Apoteka Opening

asialife Thailand 79


soundfix album review

by Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen

Rachel Zeffira

Motorama

The Game

Ex-Cult

The Deserters

Calendar

Jesus Piece

Rachel Zeffira proves how much a classical background counts. With a seraphic soprano, multi-instrumentalist skills and brilliance for composition, she is an argument for sending more musicians back to school. Last year, the Canadian teamed up with The Horrors’ Faris Badwan to form Cat’s Eyes. The Deserters is her solo debut. Arrangements are intricate and lush, drawing together a host of instruments including the organ, flutes and strings. Then, to keep it current, she’ll pull a trick like incorporating psychedelic rock up-andcomers TOY on ‘Here On In’. Each of the album’s tracks are refreshingly varied. ‘Front Door’ evokes dainty 1950s-girl-in-love lyrics over stirring instrumentation, followed by ‘Break the Spell’ with a pulsating beat straight out of the 1980s. Zeffira has managed to craft something that is haunting, beautiful and unique enough to be significant without being too experimental to enjoy.

There’s not much to find out about Motorama on the internet. The band’s Wikipedia page is blank and the official webpage is minimalist. The lack of attention would be surprising if Motorama were from Brooklyn, LA or Manchester. Instead the five-piece hails from Rostovon-Don, a small town in Russia near its southern border. Aside from the infamous Pussy Riot and the singing Babushkas of this year’s Eurovision, few Russian music acts have broken into the international consciousness. Motorama’s second album, Calendar, is a case for highlighting the Russian indie scene. A mix of flat vocals over upbeat melodies, the band is a nod to New Order and 1980s postpunk. Sung in English, these are straightforward songs about heartbreak and nature — with picturesque references to snowstorms, rivers and the moon that conjure up the country’s wide open spaces.

With a penchant for borrowing heavily from others, The Game can be considered rap’s chameleon. His fifth studio album, Jesus Piece, is no exception. For the album’s title track, The Game enlists two of the artists to whom his style is most indebted, Kanye West and Common. Even the song’s name, as well as the background choir refrain, evokes a lighter version of Kanye’s 2004 ‘Jesus Walks’. But as much as he likes to blow his own horn, he’s nowhere near the level of those who have inspired him. With repetitive lyrics and arrangements that can seem all too familiar, The Game can’t be credited with contributing much originality to the hip hop industry. Yet with his savvy collaborations — with appearances from 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar and many more on this album — and choice of catchy beats, The Game does have a knack for creating exoteric gangsta rap. It’s an incongruity that bodes well for the charts.

The past decade hasn’t been too good for punk rock. Aside from some standouts, the genre’s been dominated by watered down, mainstream acts. Ex-Cult is one of the exceptions. More Ramones than The Offspring, Ex-Cult is a XXX out of Memphis, Tennessee. Their SXSW performance won over current punk luminary Ty Segall, who went on to produce the band’s first album. The eponymous debut sounds like a tribute to the early punk scene of 1970s New York City, which also draws some comparison to the fuzzy, let-loose tenor of early Strokes songs. The opener ‘Knives on Both Sides’ makes for a strong start, with riffs set to make dive bars dance. The group shares members with indie pop group Magic Kids, which lends enough of a pop feel for this record to be melodious, without losing a reckless tone.

80 asialife Thailand

Ex-Cult


xoneFM top ten

endorsed

US TOP 10 rank title 1 2 3 4 5

Locked Out of Heaven Diamonds I Knew You Were Trouble Ho Hey Thrift Shop

6 7 8

Home Beauty And A Beat Scream & Shout

9 10

One More Night I Cry

artist Bruno Mars Rihanna Taylor Swift The Lumineers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Phillip Phillips Justin Bieber Will.i.am and Britney Spears Maroon 5 Flo RIda

The Fisheye Camera By Ruben Luong UK TOP 10 rank title

1 2

Impossible Scream & Shout

3 4 5

Gangnam Style Locked Out of Heaven I Knew You Were Trouble Troublemaker Stay Diamonds Don’t You Worry Child Beneath Your Beautiful

6 7 8 9 10

artist James Arthur Will.i.am and Britney Spears PSY Bruno Mars Taylor Swift Olly Murs Rihanna Rihanna Swedish House Mafia Labrinth

UK INDIE TOP 10 rank

title

artist

1

Not A Saint

2 3 4 5

Skyfall Gold Dust He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother Matilda Sweet Disposition Someone Like You Hometown Rock And Roll Love Affair Thrift Shop

Vato Gonzalez vs Lethal Bizzle & Donae'o Adele DJ Fresh The Justice Collective

6 7 8 9 10

alt-J The Temper Trap Adele Andy Burrows Prince Macklemore (feat. Wanz)

The compact, 35mm-film fisheye camera produces warped photos using a convex, wideangle lens. With surprising distortions and off-the-wall inversions in each shot, the camera is an addictive, veritable thrill for the senses. Fisheye cameras were conceived from lomography, a once-underground style of photography that employs an experimental approach to capturing images. Lomography emerged in the early 1990s in Vienna, where a group of students dabbled with a small Russian camera called the Lomo Kompakt Automat. Their experiments resulted in quirky, unconventional snapshots of random subjects and situations. The concept of lomography relies on thinking fast, being open minded about the environment, and collecting a variety of images. Since the 1990s, lomography has grown into a socio-cultural sensation, and notable photographers, such as Helmut Lang, are known for their lomographic images containing whimsical compositions and colourful saturations. Today there are major exhibitions featuring nearly 100,000 lomographic photos in cities like New York, Berlin, Madrid and Tokyo, but also in more casual locales, such as homes, bars and abandoned buildings. These snapshots showcase anything from

skateboarders and sunbathers to pets and lush cityscapes. While there is a plethora of digital cameras available today, the fisheye camera is a refreshing alternative with satisfyingly tangible results. I own a more professional camera, but my red fisheye is definitely more fun to carry around. Those who rarely use the professional functions on their digital camera will find the fisheye to be remarkably easier to use and transportable in comparison, as it is slightly smaller in height and width than an iPhone. Although my fisheye lacks the hi-tech settings built into my professional camera, it yields equally stunning snapshots by exposing organic qualities only a fisheye camera can produce without focus. Looking through the viewfinder to take your picture actually is not recommended with the fisheye lens. Because of its ultra-wide angle view, it will capture much more than the eye can see from a viewfinder. It’s also large enough that it casts arbitrary shadows on subjects or washes them out, leaving a cool effect. The camera is available in two generations, Fisheye 1 and 2, for roughly $100. And in a place like Southeast Asia, filled with rich colours, interesting people, food, animals, and ways of life, the fisheye comes in pretty handy.

asialife Thailand 81


boxoffice

Warm Bodies

Les Miserables

Bachelorette

Jack the Giant Killer

Horror comedy flick cashing in on the success of The Walking Dead, from director Jonathan Levine stars Nicholas Hoult as R, a zombie who becomes involved with the girlfriend of one of his victims (Teresa Palmer). Their romance sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world. Cameo performance from John Malkovich.

Multi Oscar nominated adaptation of the successful stage musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in 19thcentury France. Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) after he breaks parole, agrees to care for factory worker Fantine (Anne Hathaway)'s daughter Cosette (Amanda Seyfried). The fateful decision changes their lives forever. With Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen supporting, expect plenty of laughs as well as spectacular set pieces.

Three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule back in high school. Making a mess of her wedding dress they try desperately to get it back to her in time to marry her childhood sweetheart. Will they succeed? Do you Care? Staring Kirsten Dunst, this film is strictly for girls only – and only those with more Kleenex than sense.

A modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer Jack (Nicholas Hoult, again) leads an expedition into the giants' kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess (Eleanor Tomlinson). Adventure fantasy features Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and veteran British hammers Bill Nighy and Ian McShane

On General Release Les Miserables (from Jan. 31) Warm Bodies (from Feb. 14) Bachelorette (from Feb. 14) Jack the Giant Killer (from Feb. 28)

82 asialife Thailand

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


bookshelf Fairy Tales From The Brothers Grimm Philip Pullman

The Revolution Was Televised Alan Sepinwall What’s Alan Watching?

Viking

From the author of the children’s classic The Golden Compass comes a collection of quintessential fairy tales. Philip Pullman presents 50 stories by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, translated from German into clean, elegant English. Rather than complicate narratives with modern settings and complex characters, Pullman seldom strays from the original plotlines. He follows each tale with analysis, background information and translation explanations. Children and adults alike will enjoy Pullman’s retellings.

A television fanatic best known for his blog, critic Alan Sepinwall examines the shows he argues have revolutionised the small screen. Covering selected series such as The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire, The Revolution Was Televised explores how television has progressed as a medium for portraying drama to rival cinema. Sepinwall describes the recent surge in quality programming and production as creating a golden age for television and uses sharp commentary to delve into the significance of 12 selected shows.

Raffles and the Golden Opportunity

New Finnish Grammar

Victoria Glendinning

Diego Marani

Profile Books

The Text Publishing Company

The 19th-century English adventurer Thomas Stamford Raffles is an intriguing historical figure. His employment with the East India Company brought him to Asia, where he eventually founded modern Singapore. Years after Raffles’ death, the island’s most famous hotel — and now hospitality chain — bore his name. Beyond his exploits in the East, Raffles spent his last years in England pursuing botany and zoology and created the London Zoo in 1826. Victoria Glendinning’s biography follows the controversial figure’s colourful life, including his professional accomplishments and personal tragedies.

When Sampo is discovered in Hamburg without any memory of who he is, the only clue to his identity seems to be a Finnish sailor costume. The doctor who tends to him — Friari, a Finnish expatriate— assumes Sampo must be a compatriot and sends him to Helsinki. There, Sampo witnesses the impact of The Winter War, a conflict between Finland and Russia. In a postmodern approach to narrative, the story is told through a series of excerpts from Sampo’s diary, edited and commented on by Friari.

asialife Thailand 83


radar 15 Seconds of Fame

Viddy.com Viddy is one of the premier social video apps for iPhone and Android. Users can record and edit clips with vintage filters and select soundtracks, then instantly publish them onto the Viddy website. Each clip is limited to 15 seconds, so they load fast and provide an ordinary, yet artsy glimpse into strangers’ lives. Still, you’ll find major celebrities like Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift frequently uploading snippets of their daily jaunts. Selfpromotion may or may not be your thing this new year, but Viddy will make you think twice about it.

Sightseeing from the Comfort of Home

Worldc.am With 58 photos uploaded every second on Instagram, it’s easy to wonder what people could be posting from all parts of the world. Worldcam allows you to discover this by compiling the latest Instagram photos in your current location, or any destination and venue of your choice. You can find recent Instagrams posted from places like Machu Picchu in Peru to the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Once you’ve entered your hotspot of choice, you can scroll through an endless stream of Instagrams. Rare subjects and a variety of unique photos, which are displayed large for easier viewing, will leave you curious for more.

A Happy Medium

Medium.com From the founders of Twitter comes a posh sharing site that curates meaningful, in-depth stories between users. Medium allows users to browse or add to a growing visual grid of ‘collections’, or themes. Each collection invites users to read, share, or contribute to the respective topic or concept. Medium’s founders are rolling out the service to ensure quality content and features, but users can log in with a Twitter account and get a feel for the emerging content. Smart and entertaining, collections like ‘Airport Stories’, ‘Dear (blank)’, and ‘100 word stories’ are thought-provoking outlets for writers and story-lovers alike.

84 asialife Thailand


THE TWO OF US Creative director Tim Swainson and production director Gove Kidao are the backbone of digital media production company Invisible Ink. Yvonne Liang finds out how these two expats from Britain winded up working together. Photograph by Nick McGrath.

Tim Swainson My first experience working with Gove was at a former agency when I commissioned him to work freelance on a video production. The collaboration was a great experience and the end result was a real hit. Finding a creative with similar direction, we began to discuss the potential of setting up an agency with others. Plus, we both wanted to be our own bosses in the Thai creative industry. We are of a similar age, share similar tastes in arts and culture and we both come from Britain. One major difference would be the amount of time we’ve spent in Thailand. Gove’s a real newbie while I’ve been a resident for approaching six years now. Our professional backgrounds also differ. Gove's background and focus is primarily in produc-

Gove Kidao tion, whereas I come from a background that is more in branding, advertising and the creative process. Not much bugs me about doing business in Thailand, apart from the internet connections here. Relying heavily on the internet for one of our core services, web design, and the transfer of large files to clients both in and outside Thailand has its slow moments, especially in Monsoon season. However, on the bright side, Thailand is at the crossroad between the Asian sub-continent and the Far East and as the centre of the world shifts away from the West there are few countries better located to benefit from this. There is a fantastic creative community of both Thais and foreigners – this is a genuinely bohemian city.

I moved to Thailand with my wife about 18 months back. I'd been working for the BBC for a decade, at the same time maintaining other projects as a musician and DJ. The time was right to make a move and Asia felt like the right neck of the woods. I met Tim and our other business partner through a common love of music and mutual friends not long after my arrival. We worked on a couple of projects before setting up our company so we knew there was lots of common ambition. As the Production Director of Invisible Ink, I am responsible for all aspects of our video, animation and sound creation process. But we're a small company, so we all have to pitch in on everything from client services to copywriting. Our roles aren't too fixed.

The language barrier is the main thing I’m having to work hard to get to grips with. I try to learn a little Thai vocab everyday, the key is not to hold back, even if at first you are misunderstood. I’ve certainly made a few Thai’s laugh – but they are equally encouraging to correct my pronunciation. Overall, I think it’s an easy place to move to and establish yourself. I would recommend it to anyone. Even if you migrate from the West, its far less of a culture shock than most people imagine compared to other cities in the region. Starting a company in Bangkok has certainly been an adventure with plenty of drama along the way, but being your own boss is a wonderful luxury, and it seems far more attainable out here in Asia than many places in the world.

asialife Thailand 85


pub quiz 13

Water

1) Which docu-drama directed by Ron Howard stars Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon and Ed Harris? 2) Who released the album 13 in 1999? It reached number one in the UK charts. 3) Which Southeast Asian public holiday usually starts on 13 April? 4) In the Friday the 13th films, what does Jason wear on his face? 5) In the 2001 film, what are Thirteen Conversations About?

21) Which city in Ireland is famous for its crystal? 22) Which 1995 box office flop was the most expensive film ever made at the time? 23) How many players make up a water polo team? 24) In 1815, the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo. In what modern day country is Waterloo? 25) “Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink” comes from which famous poem?

Jan

Celebrity Sideshow 26)

Behind the Scenes - Photo by Fred Wissink

27)

5

8

28)

6

29)

4

3

5

9

7

6

2

5

4

8

1 2

7

8 9

30)

3

8

6

Pub Quiz Answers

86 asialife Thailand

9 1

2

Fire 16) Who claimed “we didn’t start the fire” in 1989? 17) What is the name of Mozilla’s free open-source web browser? 18) What is the Italian name for Florence? 19) Fire was one of the classical elements. Name the three others. 20) Who invented a lamp to reduce the danger of firedamp in coal mines?

4

3

Gems 11) Which song gave the Kaiser Chiefs their first UK number one single in 2007? 12) American TV character Archie Bunker was based on which British character, star of Till Death Us Do Part? 13) What is Eddie’s daughter called in Absolutely Fabulous? 14) What is the capital of The Land of Oz? 15) Who played Ritchie Valens in La Bamba?

AsiaLIFE is a registered trademark. No content may be reproduced in any form without prior authorisation of the owners. © AsiaLIFE Media (Thailand) Co. Ltd.

1) Apollo 13 2) Blur 3) Buddhist New Year (Songkran) 4) Hockey mask 5) One Thing 6) Johannesburg 7) Janet Leigh 8) Janis Joplin 9) Squash 10) Jana Novotná 11) Ruby 12) Alf Garnett 13) Sapphire (Saffy) 14) The Emerald City 15) Lou Diamond Phillips 16) Billy Joel 17) Firefox 18) Firenze 19) Earth, Water, Air 20) Sir Humphrey Davy 21) Waterford 22) Waterworld 23) 7 24) Belgium 25) The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 26) Phil Collins 27) Samuel L Jackson 28) Tommy Lee Jones 29) Leonardo DiCaprio 30) Julia Roberts

6) Which city is served by the airport that was, until 1994, named Jan Smuts Airport? 7) Which actress was famously stabbed to death in the shower in Psycho? 8) Who died in a hotel room from an overdose of heroin in October 1970? 9) Jansher Khan won the World Open a record eight times. In what sport? 10) Who lost the 1993 Wimbledon final despite being up 4-1 in the final set?

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 Thailand 87


Profile for AsiaLIFE Magazine

AsiaLIFE Thailand February 2013  

AsiaLIFE Thailand looks at International Hopsitals in Bangkok

AsiaLIFE Thailand February 2013  

AsiaLIFE Thailand looks at International Hopsitals in Bangkok

Profile for asialife
Advertisement