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Home Recipes The cookbook championing northern Thai food Peaceful Side Kicking back at Phuket’s Mai Khao Beach Sip This Must-try new cocktail menus Hole Thing Ranking Bangkok’s bagels 2 Many Parties NO. 750 NOV 09, 2018. www.bkmagazine.com

Should you move across the River Why life on Charoen Nakhon has never been sweeter

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page 3 Who's in charge? Managing Director & Publisher Andrew Hiransomboon Managing Editor Oliver Irvine Digital Director / Deputy Editor Carl Dixon Senior Digital Content Coordinator Nontaya Kumyat Digital Content Coordinator Pakchira Bunphol Writers Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj, Dhipkawee Sriyananda Selley, Kankanok Wichiantanon Production Supervisor Komkrit Klinkaeo Graphic Designers Anunya Chobnitas, Wirankan Saiyasombut Photographer Poonsawat Suttama

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

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News Watch

upfront

Cookbook author recounts his northern adventures

Video Content Manager Wanlop Rungkuvijad Video Designer Saranya Laowtrakul Videographer Nattapol Srisukh Junior Video Editor Tham Rodjananaudomvutigul

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Advertising Director Wanida Akeapichai Sales Managers Tipkritta Chiraporncharas, Orajira Sukkasem Senior Sales Associates Tassanee Mahamad, Nattaya Bovornsettanon, Orakarn Laohakanjanasiri

cover

The good life across the river

ASIA CITY STUDIO Managing Editor Dietrich Neu Associate Editor Sureepak Janyapat Senior Project Manager Chayanap Tongdadas Business Development Manager Rangsan khamloi Assistant Art Director Ratchprapha Sunthornprasat Project Coordinator Sirinart Panyasricharoen Senior Developer Wasan Wangrach Writer-Translator Tripop Leelasestaporn Branded Content Writer Chakariya Cheewatara SOIMILK Editor Nathapong Suppavatee Senior Writer Rujiyatorn Choksiriwan, Atiwat Uton Brand Manager Onwara Sittirug Sales Associates Prawpraew Pairohg, Kornkanok Sriwaranant Finance Manager Supaporn Bangmoung Assistant Finance Manager Anchalee Limkhamduang Senior Accountant Maneeya Kanthongdang Accountant Manita Bangmoung Admin Executive Yaovaluck Srisermsri Contributors Angela Symons, Kathy MacLeod Intern Petpailin Kirdasaeng Photo cover by Poonsawat Suttama

travel

That’s almost word for word the announcement made by Dr. Jet Sirathraanon, chairman of the National Legislative Assembly’s public health committee. “This will be a New Year’s gift for all Thais,” he added about the plans to legalize medicinal marijuana.

Chief Executive Officer Greg Duncan (gduncan@asiacity.net)

Thai Junta Challenges Enemy Crew to Rap Battle

Director Gretchen Worth (gworth@asia-city.co.th)

In a very different case of “what are they smoking?,” the powers-that-be responded to a viral rap video critical of military rule, first with threats, and then with their very own rap video. Move over Drake and Pusha T, there’s a new rap battle beef to keep tabs on. Sadly, in terms of metrics, it’s all a bit one-sided. At the time of going to print, the government’s “Thailand 4.0” ditty with its “appropriate” lyrics lags some 25 million YouTube views behind its predecessor, “My Country’s Got.”

16 calendar

Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. 9/F, Sathorn Nakorn Tower 100 North Sathorn Rd., Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02-624-9696 Fax: 02-237-5656 Email: bkmagazine@asia-city.co.th

The streets are alive with art and culture

This Thailand Race was Rerouted Because Elephants are Screwing all Over the Place

BK “Asia City Living” Magazine is edited by Andrew Hiransomboon and published 24 times a year, twice a month by Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. Copyright ©2018 Asia City Publishing (Thailand) Ltd. The titles “BK Magazine,” “BK ‘Asia City Living’ Magazine” and their associated logos or devices, and the content of BK “Asia City Living” Magazine are the property of Asia City (Thailand) Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. Article reprints are available for B50 each. The magazine may not be distributed without the express written consent of Asia City Media Group (Thailand) Ltd. Contact the Advertising Department for ad rates and specifications. All advertising must comply with the Publisher’s terms of business, copies of which are available upon request. Printed by Comform Co.,Ltd. 212 Moo 13 Krungthepkreetha Rd., Saphansoong, Bangkok 10250

18 food

A 25th-floor twist on Thai cuisine

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TOC_BK 750_Nov 09_18.indd 3

Police investigators were quick to play mythbusters, ruling out the chances of human flesh being served or consumed on the tight logic that the restaurant wasn’t even open at the time. By that stage, however, the headline was shared into oblivion. But, really, who needs fake news when real headlines are often so much stranger than fiction? Here are just a few steeped (almost) entirely in reality. Thailand Has the Best Marijuana in the World, and it Could be Legal by Year-End

Asia City Media Group

The Asia City Media Group

Did you hear the one about the vegetarian restaurant owner in Bangkok who served the flesh of a man he murdered to his customers? Of course you did. The whole world did, thanks to Vice, The Daily Mail, News.com.au and countless others. Turns out it was all just Chinese whispers: Asia One, an English-language website, translated an unsubstantiated report from some Chinese-language publication and it snowballed from there.

25 Soaking up Phuket’s quiet side

Where to find us!

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21

24

taste test

drink

The best bagels around

Cocktail menus that will floor you

Fearful of running afoul of aggressive pachyderms in mating season, November’s Xterra Nong Yai Trail Run announced changes to its original course. The headline writes itself. Bangkok Taxi Service to Always Pick up and Drop Off Passengers at Their Desired Destination No, really. You read that right. The newly announced My Taxi app pledges that, for a fixed monthly price, its drivers will actually live up to the job description of a cabbie. A bold claim! The cheapest package, starting at B6,500, locks you in for up to three trips a day, however you can only redeem them between the hours of 6am-6pm. Guess that’s the price to pay for a normally functioning city.

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upfront

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

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HOT OR NOT

BACKPEDALLING

Instead of watching that “My Country’s Got” clip, Thai netizens should be looking at “commerce-related things.” That’s the verdict of Generalissimo who predictably wasn’t buying into the hype for the rap track slamming four years of military rule. The video (23 million Youtube views and rising) went viral when the artists, and their families, received threats of prosecution. The police have since backtracked and confirmed, nope, the video doesn’t break any rules.

This cookbook author is spreading the gospel about northern Thai food INTERVIEW

American writer and photographer Austin Bush, 41, just launched his first cookbook, The Food of Northern Thailand, and it has everyone from Andy Ricker (Portland’s Pok Pok restaurant) to Pim Techamuanvivit (Nahm) praising its esoteric recipes and vivid storytelling. A resident of Thailand for almost 20 years, Bush talks to us about his love of the north and why this book is more than a cookery manual.

“I just want to document the food in English because it’s always changing.” THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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What inspired you to write this book? I came to Thailand in 1999 on a scholarship to study Thai at Chiang Mai University. I would use my free time traveling around taking photos. I find people are always happy to talk about food. Around 2007, [Portland restaurant] Pok Pok blew up doing northern Thai, so many foreigners started learning there are other types of Thai food. The time was right. In putting together this book, I mostly knew where I’d be going and what dishes I’d be covering as I’d built a lot of connections. How long did it take to finish? I first envisioned this 10 years ago, but I knew then that I wasn’t a good enough writer or photographer. I worked on it for about three years. I both wrote and photographed it, which was kind of insane. I’d roll into a town, into a restaurant or family kitchen, with my notepad, iPhone and camera. I’m most confident in my photography skills, so I over-compensated by taking a lot of notes. Then I’d have to go back and test a recipe. I’m not a super-talented cook, but I’m pretty familiar with northern food. How would you describe northern food? It’s close to what Thai people ate thousands of years ago. A lot of the cooking methods are very basic, so you have a lot of grilled dishes, you have a lot of raw meat dishes, soups and nam priks. Traditionally there’s not a lot of frying; that’s either new or introduced by the Chinese. Northern cuisine uses chilis but it’s not as spicy, there are a lot of bitter flavors which you get from herbs, ingredients like cow’s bile and dried spices. A lot of people in Bangkok tell me they don’t like northern food, that it’s bland. I just think they haven’t had a good version of it. One interest-

LINING UP Queuing behind Chinese tour groups at the BTS counter could soon be a thing of the past if Rabbit Line Pay has anything to do with it. When the service launches fully in early 2019, Skytrain passengers will no longer need to queue up to buy tickets, add value or top up fares, as all it will take is a few swipes on the smartphone. Now, if only there was an app to clear those crowded carriages.

ing thing I learned from talking to older people in remote areas is that in the past they would eat meat once a year. If you grew up 60-70 years ago, they would kill a buffalo or pig for a Buddhist ceremony for everyone to have. Now, it’s all about grilled meats. Do you ever get put down for being a foreigner writing about Thai food, like some chefs do? Yeah, sometimes. On Twitter I might get comments like, “white privilege.” I’ve never claimed to be an expert on northern food. My whole approach is as a journalist: I just want to document the food in English because it’s always changing. Normally, someone writes a cookbook and then sets up a studio in NY or LA to take professional pictures. My photos were all shot at the places I visited. Me being a white guy who speaks Thai opens a lot of doors, I can’t deny that. I was allowed into so many homes and kitchens, and I’m very grateful for that. What’s your favorite Thai province and why? I love Mae Hong Son near the Burmese border. It’s really beautiful, very mountainous, with lots of caves and hot springs. It feels like another country. The people there are Shan, which is an ethnic group related to the Thais in the same way the Spanish and Italians are related. But they speak a different dialect and their food has elements of Burmese and even Indian, so there are more dried spices, it’s mild and kind of oily. There are dishes you can really only get there, such as khao som, which is rice kneaded with tomatoes drizzled with garlic oil. Megan Leon

SOI 11 Gone are the days when grabbing a few drinks on Sukhumvit Soi 11 meant a toss up between beers at a seedy sports bar or buckets at a curbside van. The likes of The Photo Booth and The Bar Upstairs have recently brought a touch of class to Nana nightlife, and there’s a whole lot more on the way: Cali-Mex, Fowlmouth, Rocket Coffeebar and Hemingway’s (minus the century-old teak house, sadly). Head over to goo.gl/bMqg5h for the lowdown.

TRAFFIC JAMS We love Charoen Nakhon, we do (see page 6 for why we almost want to live there). We also love the prospect of shopping at Apple and JD Sports by the river at IconSiam. But we also can’t help thinking that maybe, just maybe, the infrastructure promised for 2020 should have come first, the mall second. The luxury development expects to welcome 150,000 shoppers a day—consider this a warning.

The Food of Northern Thailand is available on www.asiabooks.com, B971

by Kathy MacLeod (IG: @kathy_macleod)

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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

If you go to one wine event this year‚ it should be this one

Great Wines of Italy is back‚ and tickets always sell out fast

James Suckling

Great Wines of Italy has arguably been Bangkok’s biggest and best annual wine event for the better part of six years. Hosted by renowned wine critic James Suckling and his eponymous brand (JamesSuckling.com), the event joins its usual landing spot at the Grand Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel on Dec 7.

(BK’s news story about this event last year wasn’t even published in time!). There are four ticket tiers— details below—based on early bird and regular prices. If you’re interested in upping your wine knowledge, or just tasting some damn good wine at very reasonable prices—just B1,200 for early bird tickets—this is a must-go event.

Each year, nearly all the serious wine heads in Bangkok join the event to sample over 180 Italian wines curated by Suckling, each receiving a score of 90 points or higher by the man himself—three of them scored a perfect 100. The selection, as always, is guaranteed to be superb, from Brunello and Barolos to Super Tuscans and Barbarescos, to Amarones and Chianti Classicos, from 100 top Italian producers bringing their best wines and latest releases.

As one of the world’s most respected wine critics, having tasted more than 220,000 wines over four decades, Suckling’s website explores the very best of the world’s wine culture through ratings, blogs and videos—the website alone includes over 60,000 tasting notes. In addition to Thailand, Suckling hosts regular wine events in Hong Kong, Mainland China, US and Europe. He holds other film credits to his name as well, including Cigars: The Heart and Soul of Cuba, Cannubi: A vineyard Kissed by God and The Miracle of Alto Adige.

Tickets sell out for the event every year, and are usually gone around week before the event takes place

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Tickets Early bird and regular tickets fall under the following tiers and can be found at jamessuckling.com/event/great-wines-italy-asia-2018-bangkok [Early Bird] Grand Tasting - B1,200

[2 for 1 Early Bird] Grand Tasting - B1,200

28 And Under Promotion - B850

Grand Tasting - B1,699

Special early bird pricing (regular is B1,299). This ticket gets you in the door from 5 to 8pm, as well as full access to all the wine, food and entertainment. Ticket includes a complete guidebook to this year’s top wines from Italy.

Special early bird pricing (regular is B1,299). This ticket gets two of you in the door from 5 to 8pm, as well as full access to all the wine, food and entertainment. Ticket includes a complete guidebook to this year’s top wines from Italy.

Only available to ages 28 and under at the date of the event, and ID is required during entry. This ticket gets two of you in the door from 5 to 8pm, as well as full access to all the wine, food and entertainment. Ticket includes a complete guidebook to this year’s top wines from Italy.

This ticket gets you in the door from 5 to 8pm, as well as full access to all the wine, food and entertainment. Ticket includes a complete guidebook to this year’s top wines from Italy.

Brought to you by James Suckling


cover | thonburi calling

Should you move across This Nov 9, new B54billion riverside mega development IconSiam is set to debut, unleashing 750,000 square meters of luxury mall, living and entertainment space on Charoen Nakhon. Much like the hipster revival that followed the opening of Charoenkrung’s Asiatique back in 2012, this new addition is expected to secure the area as a new business landmark. Add to that historical gems and an abundance of street food, and life on the Thonburi side of the river is an increasingly attractive prospect. By Petpailin Kirdsaeng

WHERE TO FIND THE BEST STREET FOOD

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the River ?

COMMUNITY Around 20 minutes from bustling Siam, life along this stretch of the Chao Phraya is peaceful yet vibrant, and equipped well enough to be a self-contained community. Malls like Sena Fest (542, 542/1-2 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-108-9000) offer familiar franchises like KFC, Starbucks and Wine Connection, as well as Jetts 24-hour Fitness and Villa Market. For River Fitness and Max Valu, head to 24-hour lifestyle mall Vue (707 Charoen Nakhon Soi 13, 02-029-1888), or for Tops, yoga and co-working, seek out The Lighthouse (Charoen Nakhon Soi 14, 02-861-0085). Visit Klongsan Plaza (Klongsan Pier, Charoen Nakhon Rd.) for more affordable food, fashion and accessories. If you prefer the outdoors to the gym, Chalermprakiat Forest Park (404 Krung Thonburi Rd.) offers bodybuilding, boxing, a playground, futsal field and basketball court, all hidden beneath Saphan Taksin Bridge. There are also plenty of schools in the area, as well as easily accessible healthcare services at Taksin Hospital (543 Somdet Chao Phraya Rd., 02-437-0123).

Don’t let all the new glitz and glamor distract from the amazing street food on offer, all for less than B100. For an endless array of jim jum (northern Thai hot pot), head to the Thonburi side of Lat Ya Road, or for Thai-Chinese steamed duck in a dark and salty soup, check out Nai Soon Charoen Nakhon (280 Charoen Nakhon Soi 12, 02-437-9357). A little further south, Jay Joo (1317 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 081-565-0175) serves up tasty yen ta fo pink

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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

COFFEE AND BREAKFAST

LUNCH AND DINNER

Newly launched Walden Home Cafe (451 Somdet Chao Phraya Rd., 062-362-9915) will hit you with its vintage green exterior—try their signature chocolate and matcha latte (hot B70/cold B80) or the healthier cold-pressed juice Sunny Day (B90) with carrot, apple and lemon; to eat, go for the grilled chicken salad with goma dressing (B130). Chill out at industrial-style cafe Li-bra-ry (41/1 The Jam Factory, Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-861-0968), situated within a bookshop, with a signature Library Waffle (B95) and refreshing Very Berry smoothie (B105). If you’ve got time to queue, Midnight a Cocoa’s (347/1 Prachatipok Rd., 080-076-6767) iced cocoa (B50) is next level. Dessert-lovers shouldn’t miss The Lantern (123 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-442-2000) at Millennium Hilton Bangkok Hotel for light snacks and a ton of sweet-tooth pleasers. Local favorite Baan Coffee (Krung Thon Buri Rd., 02861-0863) is known for its tasty homemade cakes, bread and coffee.

noodles (B45), while Kanom Jeen Hai Lum (1319 Charoen Nakhon Soi 19, 02-437-5391) specializes in Hainanese-style rice vermicelli with pork (B40). For noodles in all forms—tom yum, yen ta fo, kao lao lued moo (pig's blood and intestine soup, B45-B55)—the 40-year-old Ha Bai Tao Noodles (622 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-438-6840) is your go-to.To try rarely found orh lua (oyster omelet, B80-B100), go to Heng Hoi Tod Chaw Lae (1301

Head to Indian Food (1297 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 087-021-2203) for reasonably-priced traditional dishes, like lamb curry (B210) or chicken tikka masala (B160), with a plain (B40), onion (B50) or cheese naan (B60). Experience Thai cuisine in a chic setting at warehouse-style The Never Ending Summer (The Jam Factory, 41/1 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-861-0968), where secret recipes and rare ingredients shine in dishes ranging from sai bua pad kapi (B250), featuring stir-fried lotus stem with pork and flavourful shrimp paste, to the must-try nam prik long ruea (B280) with sweet boiled pork and salted egg. Alternatively, sibling restaurant The Summer House Project (41/5 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-861-0953) serves European comfort food like Fisherman’s Stew seafood soup (B240) or penne carbonara with roasted red pepper (B380). For more Thai, the elegant Thiptara (333 The Peninsula Hotel, Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-020-2888) serves pla hi ma sam rod (deep-fried fish with spicy, sweet and sour sauce, B820) and pla gao phad miang kham (B540)—deep-fried garoupa topped with herbs and peanuts. For more affordable Thai dishes with riverside views, head to Be My Guest’s (217 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-259-2653) two-storey white house by Klongsan Pier. There’s also a bunch of street food on offer—see below.

Charoen Nakhon Rd., 091-505-0317), or for tender kuay tiew nuea tun (beef noodles, B40 or B130 for hot pot) check out Nuea Tun Charoen Nakhon (271-275 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-877-9340). Finish off with a trip to Bua Loy Kai Kem (Klongsan Plaza, Klongsan Pier, 081-697-5971) to sample their forever-popular Thai traditional desserts like bua loy with kai dang kem (glutinous-rice flour balls in sweet coconut milk with with salted egg yolk, B20 to B30).

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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

HOW DOES LIFE BY THE RIVER DIFFER FROM THE CITY CENTER?

The Jam Factory

The 14th Barrel Chao Phraya River

Iconsiam

DRINKS

VISIT

Hidden away, The 14th Barrel (99 Charoen Nakhon Soi 14, 085-327-9889) offers mostly local craft beer alongside fusion food like duck breast spaghetti (B180) or BBQ pork ribs (B200/B590). For more craft beer, check out Wishbeer Garden’s (110 Vue, Charoen Nakhon Soi 13, 02-392-1403) industrial warehouse, where beer tasting flights are on offer (B750/six 175ml glasses), or play it safe with the Chalawan Pale Ale (B190/210ml). Warm and cozy Save Our Souls (250 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 098-424-6426) provides eight taps of rotating local and imported craft beer, as well as rare cans and bottles, like Sri Lanka’s Lion Stout (B200) with notes of coffee, plum and dark chocolate, paired with snacks like deepfried chicken tendons (B90). Visit Three Sixty Lounge (Millennium Hilton Bangkok, 123 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-442-2000) for jazz and delicious cocktails like the Testing Citrus Mojito (B450) with both an indoor and outdoor bar.

The 167-year-old Thai-Chinese compound Lhong 1919 (248 Chiang Mai Rd., 091-1871919) centers around a Mazu shrine, and has now been developed to include art and craft shops like Karmakamet and Room 5D, as well as event spaces, restaurants and cafes including street food-style Nai Harng, Thai seafood joint Rong Si, and dessert shop Plearnwan Panich. Housed within three renovated warehouses, The Jam Factory (41/1 Charoen Nakhon Rd., 02-861-0968) offers rustic, industrial vibes with its bookshop Candide, Li-bra-ry cafe, Thai cuisine at The Never Ending Summer, and art space The Jam Gallery offering fashion and furniture. The freshly opened super luxury mall IconSiam (299 Charoen Nakhon Soi 5, 02118-2211) is expected to become a new tourist hotspot, with four buildings of retail and entertainment, including a luxury shopping wing and two high-end condominiums—see box for specifics.

TRANSPORT The area is equipped with both water and land transportation. By 2020, BTS Krung Thonburi will in be connected to the currently under construction 2.7-kilometer Golden Line monorail—a joint project between the BMA, IconSiam business group and The Krungthep Thanakom Co. Ltd. to make the area

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT ICONSIAM? “Paragon by the River” is not only set to create a transport hub in a previously hard-to-access area, it will also draw in the hordes with 100-plus restaurants spanning Michelin-starred spin-offs, Taiwan’s Harbour rooftop bar and Bangkok’s first branch of Singapore's premium Jumbo Seafood restaurant, while over 500 shops will include the giant Japanese Takashimaya department store, Thailand’s very first Apple Store, A Land, COS, Adidas Originals, Nike Kicks Lounge and JD Sports. The complex will also include a Thai Heritage Museum and a world-class 3,500-seat auditorium, as well as the Sook Siam zone, dedicated to promoting local products and handicrafts—let’s see if that’s enough to balance the neighborhood’s historic vibe with such rapid urbanization.

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CHALERMKIAT WONGWALAIMAS, OWNER OF SAVE OUR SOULS “In the past, Charoen Nakhon was pleasant and not crowded. There’s still lots of delicious and affordable food hidden all along the street but, now, urbanization and changing lifestyles mean new businesses are responding with things like craft beer bars and cafes. I think Charoen Nakhon is going to become very developed in the near future.”

more accessible. The line will also connect to the future Red Line’s Klongsan station, and the Purple Line’s Prajadhipok station, as well as having a stop at IconSiam, with an additional station slated to open in 2023 at Wat Anongkharam. To travel by water, there are three main piers: Wat Suwan, Klong San and the so-called Pepsi Pier. Two more public piers from IconSiam will be available supporting the Chao Phraya express ferry and others.

ACCOMMODATION An abundance of luxury riverside condos have shot up in the area, from the 31-floor Baan Chao Phraya Condo (208 Somdet Chaopraya Soi 17, 02-863-3170), with 478 units, a pool, gym and sauna from B15,000/month, to the more BTS-accessible 30-floor Lighthouse (Charoen Nakhon Soi 14, 02-861-0085), offering 134 units from B12,000/month. The River Condominium (110/602 Charoen Nakhon Soi 13, 02-029-1888) comprises of two luxury buildings with 833 units and a private boat service, located across from Vue community mall from B28,000/month, while the 40-floor Urbano Absolute Sathon-Taksin (345 Charoen Nakhon Soi 14/2, 02-409-1600) boasts a rooftop infinity pool and 593 units from B14,000/ month. A number of developments seek to capitalize on the upcoming Golden Line, including IconSiam’s two super-extravagant condominiums: the 70-floor Magnolias Waterfront Residences (215 Charoen Nakhon Soi 5, 02-118-2211) and The Residences at Mandarin Oriental (117 Charoen Nakhon Soi 5, 02-118-2211). For shorter stays, there are a number of boutique hotels in the area, such as the stunning J No. 14 Lodge (16 Soi Charoen Nakhon 14, 085-122-5249. B1,800/night), within 15 minutes’ walk of IconSiam.

PEERAWAT HARNSOMBOONDEJ, CO-OWNER OF THE 14TH BARREL “Charoen Nakhon and the heart of city are like Brooklyn and New York. Here, it’s more peaceful and liveable, but it’s still vibrant with many upcoming restaurants and businesses. Developments like the Golden Line skytrain are likely to bring deadly traffic jams. I used to work around Siam, Sukhumvit, and Phrom Phong, and I think that living here is far better than being stuck in three hours of traffic on Sukhumvit Road.”

DITH CHANG, OWNER OF WALDEN HOME CAFE “I was once one of those busy salarymen, but living here, life becomes slower. Nowadays, Charoen Nakhon is growing, and we’re likely to see changes in the roads, traffic and the new skytrain. But I always wonder, did anyone ask the community what they want or need? Regardless of any developments, for me Charoen Nakhon will always retain the fascinations of traditional life and its old town vibe.”

TRAVEL TIMES FROM ICONSIAM TO... The Commons (Thonglor) 40 minutes by car, or 40 minutes by BTS (includes bike from BTS Thong Lo)*

Siam Paragon 30 minutes by car, or 25 minutes by BTS*

Mahanakhon Tower 15 minutes by car, or 20 minutes by BTS*

*includes 5-minute motorbike taxi to BTS Krung Thon Buri. Add 10 minutes for walking.

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hit list | 7 reasons to love bangkok

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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

01

Fitbit Pay launches in Thailand

TECH

Fitbit, one of the world’s leading wearable tech companies, has brought Fitbit Pay to Thailand. The US-based tech company has teamed up with leading Thai banks Kasikorn Bank, Krungthai Card and Siam Commercial Bank to offer its users the convenience to make secure contactless payments on the go. Customers of these banks can add a Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card to their Fitbit app and use their device to make payments directly from their wrist. Setting up Fitbit Pay can be done through the Fitbit Wallet section on the Fitbit mobile app on iOS or Android devices. To make a payment, simply press and hold the button on the left side of your smartwatch to display your payment card, and hold the watch near the NFC payment terminal until a confirmation of payment appears on the device screen. Like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay uses an industry-standard tokenization platform for all transactions, ensuring that your card information is never revealed or shared to vendors or Fitbit. The service will work with the Fitbit Ionic (B10,690) and Fitbit Versa (B8,490) smartwatches, as well as the brand’s newest tracker, the Fitbit Charge 3 (B6,490), available at major retailers like Copperwired, Powerbuy and KingPower.

NUMEROLOGY

6 things you could buy for B57,900 instead of the 512GB iPhone XS Max

1,158 plates of chicken kaprao (B50)

8,271 bottles of water (B7)

77 111 Whiskey Smash cocktails at The Loft, Waldorf Astoria Bangkok (B520)

all-day passes at Panpuri Wellness onsen (B750)

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CO-WORKING

MOTORCYCLES

02 Alexander Wang

and Uniqlo team up for underwear collection

03 JustCo’s second

location offers a youthful vibe

04 BMW Motorrad’s latest

Uniqlo has announced yet another highly anticipated designer collaboration, this time with New York fashion designer Alexander Wang. Wang’s Uniqlo collection merges his signature sleek and sporty streamlined aesthetic with Uniqlo’s innovative Heattech fabric, bringing you an underwear collection comprised of basic and practical pieces mostly in minimal, neutral colors, including bodysuits (B1,490), leggings (from B790), tees (B790), bras (B790) and briefs (B590) for men and women. Available at Uniqlo stores nationwide and online. www.uniqlo.com/th

Singapore-born co-working space JustCo has opened its second location at Capital Tower, All Seasons Place. Occupying a total space of 3,500 sq meters over three floors, the new venue exudes a casual and friendly vibe, dominated by light-wood furniture with pops of green and vibrant graphic wall art by Thai artist Pomme Chan. Key facilities include an in-house cafe by Coffeeology, hotdesk areas (B990/month), dedicated-desk areas (B3,900/month) and meeting studios (B7,500/ month). 9-11/F, Capital Tower, 87/1 Wireless Rd., 02-055-8606. Open Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm

What: BMW F 750 GS Price: B499,000 Who’s it for: Long-haul riders looking for a new bike to cruise the country. Why? This bike’s designed for all riders who prefer the sensation and aesthetics of a travel enduro with a lowered-seat height. Powered by a 853cc water-cooled in-line two-cylinder engine, the bike delivers a power output of 57 kW (77 hp) at 7,500 rpm and up to 83 Nm torque at 6,000 rpm. It is also equipped with “Rain” and “Road” riding modes plus ABS and ASC (Automatic Stability Control) for enhanced safety. www.bmw-mottorad.co.th

Shop Talk 6

two-day tickets to Universal Studios Singapore (around B3,455)

FASHION

pairs of OffWhite Vulcanized Low-Top Sneakers (B9,000)

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How to spend your hardearned baht.

BUY IT COMME DES GARCONS PLAY X CONVERSE CHUCK TAYLOR ALL STAR ’70 They’re a modern classic (B6,990).

BIN IT VERY DISTRESSED JEANS With holes that big, you might as well wear shorts.

big bike is the ticket to adventure

BARGAIN POWERBUY Until Dec 21, make a “Click & Collect” www.powerbuy.co.th purchase to receive discount coupons worth B1,400.

11/1/18 4:54 PM


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• Ringer Hut

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shopping | negative exposure

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

Shutter Stock

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LEICA PRO

Where to develop film in Bangkok

These are the six best 35mm film cameras for beginners. By Dhipkawee Sriyananda Selley 02 IQ Lab Good for: Processing and printing. Apart from specializing in C-41 negative film processing, IQ Lab is also an authorized dealer of Leica cameras, offering a full range of Leica products. Develop+Scan+Contact Sheet service starts at B480 for 120 film format. Two branches. Try ITF-Silom Palace Building, Silom Rd., 02-266-4080. Open Mon-Fri 8:30am-6pm; Sat 8:30amnoon. BTS Chong Nonsi. www. iqlab.co.th

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Canon AE-1 Program

Pentax K1000

Olympus Trip 35

Ask any film camera enthusiast what SLR they'd recommend for beginners, and chances are they’ll say the Canon AE-1 Program. It's one of the most highly regarded 35mm SLR cameras for a number of reasons. To start off, it is one of Canon’s earliest cameras to allow you to shoot on auto mode; the setup is pretty straightforward and easy to understand—just add the battery, load the film and start shooting. It has all the basic necessities too, like timer, shutter priority, exposure lock, aperture priority, interchangeable lens and a full manual mode option for when you want to have artistic control. It’s versatile, it’s sturdy, and it’s got a killer look that will turn heads when you’re out shooting. Plus, for film camera novices, the price is pretty reasonable too. Expect to pay: B5,750 Available at: Siam Klong Film (www.siamklongfilm.com)

For something a little less mainstream, the Pentax K1000 is another great film camera beloved by many newbies to the world of 35mm film. This camera is often given descriptors like “tank” or “beast” for its incredible durability—a rugged all-metal body that you can handle as roughly as you want without worrying about it falling apart. It’s a very straightforward camera—there are no fancy gimmicks or unnecessary buttons to confuse the hell out of you. Its fully mechanical and manual settings make it perfect for beginners to learn the ropes of shooting on film, and like the Canon AE-1 Program, you can buy it at a reasonable price. Expect to pay: B5,450 Available at: Klong Film DD (www.fb.com/Klongfilmdd)

This little snapper has been a big hit among film camera enthusiasts since 1967 for its incredibly simple design and operation combined with its ability to take professional high quality photos. The name “Trip” was a reference to its intended purpose—a functional compact camera that people can use on vacation. With its 40mm lens, solar-powered selenium light meter (meaning no battery is required), two shutter speeds and mostly auto mode settings, this low-cost cult classic is a true point-and-shoot, grab and go camera that makes taking quality film photos a breeze. Expect to pay: B3,000 Available at: Siam TLR, G/F, Mahatun Plaza, 888 Phloen Chit Rd., 081-431-0351. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-7pm. www.fb.com/SiamTLR.Shop

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Nikon FE

Minolta X-700

Yashica FX-3

Another classic workhorse, the electronic Nikon FE has proved to be a reliable companion for advanced photographers and new shooters alike since its debut in 1978. Its batteries can last for years, even with regular use, and it’s a much friendlier camera to work with than its older fully-manual sibling, the Nikon FM, due to its ability to shoot in aperture-priority mode—meaning the FE can do the work for you by automatically calculating the shutter speed. It’s also ideal for night photography, as the self-timer lever doubles as an exposure lock that lets you capture long, low-light exposures. Expect to pay: B6,450 Available at: Try Siam Klong Film (www.siamklongfilm.com) or Good Old Films (www.fb.com/ goodoldfilms)

Launched in 1981, this super sleek, all-black 35mm SLR camera from Japan is another perfect choice for newcomers to the analog world. What’s neat about this camera is that it has an aperture-priority mode and program mode, meaning the camera will work out the right aperture and speed, and all that’s left for you to worry about is the focus. Just select “P” mode and the camera turns into a point-and-shoot that anybody could use, but for those who want to be more creative and in control, full manual mode is also available, plus it comes with a fantastic array of accessories and lenses. Overall, this is another reliable shooter that should definitely make your shortlist. Expect to pay: B5,450 Available at: Siam Klong Film (www.siamklongfilm.com) or try 5/F, Mega Plaza, 900 Maha Chai Rd. Open daily 9:30am-7:30pm

Often considered one of the best 35mm film cameras for beginners, the Yashica FX-3 is a great option for those who really want to learn the basics of shooting on film. It is fully mechanical and manual, offering features like a focal plane shutter, but its major bonus is its compatibility with all Yashica and Contax lenses, plus it’s super compact and light, weighing in at less than 500g. Expect to pay: B4,390 Available at: Try Camera Film Day (www.fb.com/ camerafilmday) or Siam TLR, G/F, Mahatun Plaza, 888 Phloen Chit Rd., 081-431-0351. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-7pm. www.fb.com/SiamTLR.Shop

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Patani Studio Good for: Quality processing and scanning. Apart from negative film processing, Patani Studio is one of very few photo labs that offers color reversal film processing and a fully-equipped rental darkroom where customers only have to bring their own photo paper (B2,000/8 hrs). 59 Soi Nana,Charoenkrung Rd., 081-985-9691. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm. www. fb.com/patanistudio

A&B Digital Lab Good for: Rush-job processing. Color negative-film is developed in 1-2 hours at B3/photo. Though you’ll have to wait longer for professional C-41 processing. Opposite Central Ladprao, 1152/3 Phahon Yothin Rd., 02-511-3498. Open daily 8:30am-10pm. www.fb.com/ ABdigitallab

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hit list | calendar

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

ART

05

KENRO IZU: 40 YEARS RETROSPECTIVE The celebrated New York-based Japanese photographer will showcase his photo series including “BLUE” and “Sacred Places.” Through Nov 30. House of Lucie, Ekkamai Soi 8, 095-478-9987. OVER THE MOON Jaruwan Mueangkhwa’s multimedia paintings represent the way lunar phases guide lives in Isaan. Through Nov 30. YuYuan Art & Antique, Lhong1919, 248 Chiangmai Rd., 094-554-8883. SIGNATURE DRAWING AND PRINT Drawings and print works by rising Thai talents, curated by Charnchai Siriwittayacharoen. Through Nov 30. 1-2/F, River City Bangkok, 23, Trok Rongnamkeang, Yotha Rd., 02-237-0077-78.

FESTIVAL

Beamfest, the music festival established last year by nightclub favorite Beam, is back for more madness this Nov 16-18 (72 Courtyard, Sukhumvit Soi 55 [Thonglor], 02-392-7750), bringing genre-hopping headliners, from British deep house DJ Hot Since 82 and French electro-house DJ and producer Busy P, to Atlanta’s hot up-and-coming rapper MadeinTYO, as well as a number of familiar Bangkok names—Dan Buri, Wildealer, Slum Paradise and Jahjaboyz, to name a few. Studio Lam will be bringing molam vibes to the party with the “More Lam Terrace” led by Maft Sai, while Auntys Haus—the streetwear store by Blaq Lyte’s Nick Supreda—will be running a pop-up store with merch collaborations between Beamfest and Street X, and beats from the Blaq Lyte DJ crew. Appia will host a Mediterranean seafood dinner on Nov 16, while collaborative project “Yangon’ Wild” will feature Vietnamese tacos by Myanmar-based Rau Ram, coffee cocktails by Sawbwa Coffee Co and music by British-Burmese DJ Yu KT on Nov 17. Rounding off the party, Bangkok’s barbecue master Meat & Bones will be grilling on Nov 18. Tickets are B700/day at www.ticketmelon.com/beamfest2018.

ART

06 Reconnect with the streets at this festival of urban culture

NIGHTLIFE

07 Soho Hospitality

is throwing another huge party After whetting our appetites with their first Soho District Party back in March, the hospitality giants return with another big event at Fraser Suites Sukhumvit (38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 083-542-1111) this Nov 10. The lineup includes live music from Grammy-nominated fusion artist Kenny Dope, prizes and, of course, food and drinks from the parent company’s Havana Social, Above Eleven, Charcoal, Cantina, The Bar Upstairs and Brasserie Cordonnier. Entry is B300, which includes free-flow between 3-4pm and a free drink after 4pm.

Rita Ora

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THE WHITE WALL Black and white photographs by Chakrit Leelachupong, recording mourners’ grief over the passing of beloved King Rama 9. Through Dec 28, Kathmandu Photo Gallery, Pan Rd., 02-234-6700. KHAI MAEW X: KALALAND The elusive online cartoonist known for his cute characters and satirical digs at Thai politics hosts his debut exhibition. Nov 10-22. Artist+Run, 2198/1011 Narathiwas Soi 22, 099454-5955. SHIFTS Indian artist Varsha Nair presents her multimedia works and a site-specific installation exploring displacement and gentrification. Through Dec 2. WTF Gallery and Cafe, Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-6626246. Nov 10-Jan 13, Bridge Art Space, Charoenkrung Rd., 089-666-2051. HAPPY ENDINGS The acclaimed Spanish cartoonist Joan Cornella returns with his crudely illustrated black humor-laced comic strips that touch on socially-inhibited topics. Through Dec 3. Woof Pack, 1/3-9 Sala Daeng Soi 1, 089-826-2299. B200.

THEATER DEATH AND THE MAIDEN A performance of Ariel Dorfman’s psychological thriller, exploring the aftermath of a totalitarian regime, directed by Peter O’Neill. Through Dec 1, every Fri-Sat, 8pm. Peel the Limelight Studio, 2/F, Jasmine City Bldg., 2 Sukhumvit Soi 23. 097-293-4274. B700.

FILM

GIRL POWER

FOUR FIERCE LADIES ARE COMING TO BANGKOK

MARIAH CAREY The iconic five-octave vocal range singer returns this Nov 9 to belt out all-time hits like “Hero” and “Heartbreak.” Bitec Bangna, Bitec Bangna Hall 106, 88 Bangna-Trad Rd., 02726-1999. B3,500-15,000 on Thaiticketmajor.

MELANIE C The former Sporty Spice will perform catchy pop classics like “Never Be the Same Again” and “I Turn to You,” alongside her latest single,“Room for Love.” Nov 11. GMM Live House, 8/F, CentralWorld, 999/1 Rama 1 Rd. B1,500-7,000 on ThaiTicketMajor.

by South Africa’s “awkwardly relatable” comic Tsitsi Chiumya. Nov 17, 8pm. Westin Grande Sukhumvit, 259 Sukhumvit Rd. From B500 on ticketflap.com/ B800 on the door.

CONCERTS

Beamfest is back for its second year this November

From Nov 12-Dec 1, STREET will bring public spaces to life with urban art. Organized by the French Embassy and the Goethe-Institut, the event seeks to bring cultures together and encourage Bangkokians to explore the city through a series of performances from DJs, VJs, hip hop dancers and graffiti artists. Head to Home Cuisine Islamic Restaurant (Charoenkrung Soi 36) on Nov 15 to catch Thailand’s Alex Face—whose work you’ll recognise from Ekkamai and beyond—Germany’s contemporary urban artist Julia Benz and French artist Jace making their mark. Two more sessions will take place on Nov 16 and 29, culminating in a hip hop battle at Alliance Francaise on Dec 1.

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SHANGELA Shangela of the Emmy Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race is set to shake up Dr. Thaworn Phornprapha Auditorium this Dec 13—halleloo! Siam Motors Building, 891/1 Rama 1 Rd., 02-215-0830-50. B1,500 on ThaiTicketMajor.

RITA ORA The English pop singer of hits like “Anywhere” and “Girls” performs on Mar 11, 2019. Tickets TBA— watch out on bit.ly/2Q8XFBV. Outdoor Arena, Crystal Design Centre, 420/1 Pradit Manutham Rd.

FOCUS ON DAVID FINCHER A series of screenings (Zodiac, The Social Network, Fight Club, Seven, Panic Room) focusing on contemporary filmmaker David Fincher. Nov 17-25. Bangkok Screening Room. Sala Daeng Soi 1, 094-1259906. B200 on bit.ly/2L0W95h.

COMEDY CAREY MARX Award-winning British comedian Carey Marx supported

BLOSSOMS The English indie pop group are back with their new album Cool Like You. Nov 10, Voice Space, BBD Building, 197 Viphavadi Rangsit, 02-261-3883. B2,300 on Ticketmelon. CIGARETTES AFTER SEX The American dream-pop band returns with its gloomy mix of ambient and shoegaze sounds. Nov 13, 6pm. Moonstar Studio, Lad Phrao Soi 80, 02-5393881. B1,800 on Ticketmelon. BLUE HAWAII The Canadian electronic duo showcase their latest album, Tenderness, which captures the state of relationships in a globalized world. Nov 16, 9pm. NOMA, RCA Block C, 21/66 Rama 9 Rd., 080-939-7899. B850 on Ticketmelon.. POSTILJONEN Once again, the Norwegian-Swedish dream-pop trio perform their Balearic-inspired tracks. Nov 18, 8pm. NOMA, RCA Block C, 21/66 Rama 9 Rd., 080-939-7899. B850 on Ticketmelon. 2MANYDJS Belgian brother duo promise captivating audiovisuals and music ranging anywhere from progressive rock and funky R‘n’B to German techno. Nov 24, 9pm. Live Arena, RCA, Petchaburi Rd. B690 on Ticketmelon.

FESTIVALS

SUKHUM MUSIC FESTIVAL A three-day indie music festival with a lineup including Japan’s cult psych-rock outfit Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. and Finnish saxophonist and electronic musician Jimi Tenor. Nov 22-25. Various venues, including 12 x 12, De Commune, Live Cube (Okinawa Kinjo). Early bird B2,000 at bit. ly/2SAG8ns. MAHO RASOP Have You Heard?, Seen Scene Space and Fungjai present a one-day indie festival, featuring The Vaccines (UK), Washed Out (US), Dean (Korea), Slowdive (UK) and many more. Nov 17. Live Park Rama 9, 065509-9080. Limited Phase 1 tickets B1,745 on Ticketmelon. SIWILAI TOUR: THE CELEBRATION OF MOLAM SOUND A two-day party dedicated to molam music, headlined by esoteric British producer Four Tet (Nov 23) and Jurassic 5’s DJ Nu-Mark (Nov 24), plus Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, Toomturn Molam Group, Angkhnang Khunchai and Kwanjit Sriprachan. Nov 23-24, 6pm. Siwilai City Club, 5/F, Central Embassy, 02-160-5631. From B990 on Ticketmelon. CAT EXPO Cat Radio’s two-day Thai music festival returns with six stages hosting over 100 mainstream and underground artists— Wednesday, Greasy Cafe, Jelly Rocket and many more—plus a ton of pop-up stores. Nov 2425. Wonder World Extreme Park, 86/1 Khubon Rd. B1,500 on Thaiticketmajor.

Shangela

11/2/18 6:10 PM


travel | news

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

17

AYUTTHAYA

02 Cool off and hydrate

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at this perfectly placed chill-out spot

This new tropical resort takes over a whole island in Cambodia

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Beautiful as it may be, strolling through Ayutthaya under the beating sun is no walk in the park. So, when you lay eyes on the white-washed, air-conditioned Prang View Cafe (www.fb.com/Prangviewcafe), you’ll almost feel like you’ve reached the gates of heaven. Located right in front of the grand Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Mahathat, views through the airy floor-to-ceiling windows are stunning. Must-tries are the refreshing Thai tea with salted egg syrup (B95), or its bingsu counterpart (B195)—it might sound weird, but the saltiness adds a nice balance to the sugary treat.

03

CHIANG MAI

FLIGHTS

04 More flights to views at this hilltop resort Vietnam’s booming The all-villa 9,600-sq-meter Chantra Khi- seaside city 03 Enjoy sweeping green

CAMBODIA

Set to open this December, the strikingly exotic Six Senses Krabey Island (bit.ly/2QFfAQo) takes over a 121,405-sq-meter private island in Cambodia. The resort’s 40 modern private pool villas enjoy tropical surrounds, decked out in raw and organic natural materials like teakwood and bamboo. Rates for the 118-q-meter Hideaway Pool Villa start from B21,838 a night. Despite its seclusion, the facilities are extensive, ranging from an openair cinema and rooftop yoga pavilion to a holistic spa, while adventure activities include fishing, snorkeling and a night sky observatory for stargazing. The resort’s mainland reception is a 10-minute drive from Sihanouk International Airport—served by flights from Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur—while the island is a further 15-minute cruise away by boat.

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ri Chalet resort (www.en.chantrakhirichalet. com) offers panoramic views from its hilltop perch, just a short drive from Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Dotted with lychee trees, the resort is home to two-story villas that range from 100-180-sq-meters (from B4,375), decked out in Lanna style with dusky teakwood, multitiered roofs and spacious balconies offering stunning forest views, all centered around a man-made waterfall. The onsite restaurant, with its elegant chandeliers, crafted woodwork and colorful printed armchairs, specializes in traditional Thai and northern dishes, with floorto-ceiling doors that open out onto the resort’s hillside swimming pool.

VietJet (www.vietjetair.com) has launched new daily flights between Bangkok and central Vietnam’s Da Nang, starting at around B5,800/ round-trip—which is considerably cheaper than Bangkok Airways (from around B12,160/ round-trip). AirAsia also (very occasionally) drops its round-trips to a dirt-cheap B2,905— hopefully a little extra competition means we’ll see more of those promotions. Da Nang is home to floating markets and old colonial Vietnamese architecture, as well as a slew of major resort developments, and sits within easy driving distance of ancient cities Hoi An (40 minutes) and Hue (two hours).

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11/2/18 6:12 PM


food & drink | open doors

Taan celebrates Thai produce from its sky-high perch The buzz: This 25th- floor Thai restaurant bills itself as “hyper-local” in reference to the seasonal ingredients it sources from independent farmers around the country. Monthep Kamolsilp, the 29-year-old executive chef, cut his teeth in French kitchens, but cites a foraging trip to the north of Thailand as an epiphany moment. Choose from a nine-course dinner (B1,800/ person) or order a la carte.

basil-wrapped grilled eggplant. The pad kaprao  (B410), made with organic pork from Nan, as well as long beans, torch-ginger and southern budu fish sauce, is a light and delicious take on a classic—though we can hear the cries of “sacrilege!” from streetfood purists. Dessert (from B210) flips the script on old-school dishes like  loi-kaew, here served with poached kaffir lime pith and butterfly pea-infused shaved ice.

The decor: Taan’s clean minimalism and muted tones are a break from the hotel’s bright and busy bric-a-brac look. Diners are welcomed by stucco walls lined with displays of local herbs, spices and candid photos of the restaurant’s supplier network. The dining room proper enjoys 180-degree views, while a smaller adjoining room lets you cozy up on brown-leather banquettes amid shimmering gold walls.

The drinks: Cocktails are mostly easy-drinking and unobtrusive, with an emphasis on seasonal Thai flowers, fruits and local spirits—try the Klin-Jun (champak flower-infused Kristall gin with rose, lemon and tonic water, B330). Only the wine list heads abroad, with New and Old World labels from B1,400/bottle.

The food: Chef Monthep squeezes the best out of local produce without playing to the recipe rulebook. (“We do a lot of things the ‘wrong’ way,” he laughs). Each dish is listed in accordance with its key ingredient’s kilometers-from-source. Firm, juicy brackish prawns from Ranong and their roe star in the choo chee curry (B390) with

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Why we’d go back: Taan’s food is ambitious without being outlandish, delivering flavors consistently comforting but full of surprises. They also hold monthly “Farmer’s Talk” dinners to shine a light on local producers. Those spectacular views only add to the special-occasion vibe.  Carl Dixon 25/F, Siam @ Siam Design Hotel, 865 Rama 1 Rd., 065-328-7374. Open Tue-Sat 6pm-midnight

11/5/18 3:01 PM


BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

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BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2018

TABLE TALK

Sarath N. Chocolatier

KOI Restaurant

NEW AND NOTED

01 This picture-perfect Chinese cafe is made for Instagram

02 Head here for glossy bonbons and chocolate art

A Chinese-style upturned porch roof guides you into Heijii Bangkok’s (415 Charoenkrung Soi 43) moodily-lit shophouse. Within, the mint green counter and mishmash of cabinets, dressers and old school desks are surrounded by exposed brick and concrete walls, licked with striking Chinese lettering. Start with a plate of spicy fried wontons (B150) before moving on to a hot Aeropress El Salvador black coffee (B95) or a Hong Kong papaya milk (B85), topped with a cute brown paper lid tied on with string. Finish with a decadent slice of Earl Grey chiffon cake, or the delicious financier almond cake with kumquat sauce (both B150).

Taking over the old digs of Ansel and Elliott off Phahon Yothin Road, Sarath N. Chocolatier (19 Soi Suthisan Winitchai, Sutthisarn Rd., 094962-9898) has joined the Thai cacao party with its displays of truffles, pastries, gateaux and extravagant chocolate sculptures. Following in the footsteps of bean-to-bar trailblazer Kad Kokoa, master chocolatier chef Sarath Nimlamai focuses on single origin homegrown beans, even taking it a step further by infusing his creations with Thai herbs and fruit, resulting in picture-perfect boxes of glossy orb-like bonbons (B350 for six) and decadent hot chocolate (B175).

03 A trendy modern Australian hangout Gavin Vongkusolkit, of Glowfish and Kuppa Deli, goes Aussie with his new spot Odtomato (Park 24 Building, 68/2 Sukhumvit Soi 24, 094-3122355), with its warm woods, midnight blues, open kitchen and a live band. Ease in with a complimentary plump tomato served with a simple side of salt, followed by the signature Beef Wellington (B1,645) with prime Ohira beef, or lightly-seared snow fish (B725) with cauliflower, garlic chili, and ginger jus. From the well-stocked bar, try the refreshing Blossom (B355) with raspberry, elderflower, cava and a hint of citrus, or head to the wine shop at the back of the restaurant.

39/F, Sathorn Square, Narathiwas Rd., 02-108-2005. Open Tue-Sun, 6pm-late. BTS Chong Nonsi Step inside this long, narrow space with lounge-bar ambience from leather seats and polished bar to get California-fusioned Japanese comfort food. The chef, who was born in Kobe but made his mark in LA and NYC, serves you a platter of eight nigiri with fatty tuna and uni. Don’t forget to leave room for the wagyu beef served sizzling hot with buttery truffle potato puree and a bowl of fried rice, and a scoop of mango-coconut ice cream whose a little creamy but refreshing. Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get 10% discount for Citi ULTIMA, Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Preferred and Citi Select when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip Get 5% discount for all Citi credit card types when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip Get a complimentary signature KOI mocktail valued THB 380 for all Citi credit card members (limit 1 glass /card /table /sales slip) Today - 30 Sep 19

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11/5/18 3:01 PM


food & drink | taste test

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

20

Clouds Across The Moon

Wondering Bakeshop Cafe

NEW AND NOTED TABLE TALK

Ba Hao 8 Soi Nana, Maitri Chit Rd., 064-635-1989. Open TueSun 6pm-midnight Neon red Chinese letters and a do-nothing approach to shop-house restoration give this Chinatown bar the requisite look of old Hong Kong cool, complete with open frontage that spills onto the Yaowarat streets. The signature cocktails like the Opium sees a classic negroni spiked with ginseng and herbal liquor, while Five Rivers infuses the flavors of Chinese five spice into rum, Drambuie and Fernet Blanca. Don’t miss owner Tikhamporn Chuenkittivoravat’s duck wontons—she trained at the Oriental as a chef. Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get 8% discount when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip Today – 30 Apr 19

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04 Phloen Chit has a new one-stop-shop for all things Italian Within minutes of BTS Phloen Chit, Gourme Italia (11/14 Soi Ruam Rudee, 082-375-9522) has opened as an Italian restaurant, tapas bar, 200-bottle wine shop and delicatessen, supplying Italian paninis, salads, cold cuts, cheese, pasta, olive oils and other mouthwatering products from the Med. Their rotating set lunch menu changes every three days and will only set you back B390 for three courses—a pasta, such as bacon rigatoni or ricotta and spinach ravioli, a main, such as chicken with artichoke and cream sauce or caprese verticale (buffalo mozzarella with grilled vegetables), and dessert, like tiramisu or homemade apple cake. Wine starts at B200/glass.

05 Space out at this retro-chic bar Clouds Across The Moon (Pridi Banomyong Soi 14, 086-623-0094. ups Phra Khanong’s hipster-chic credentials with its retro yet space-age vibe. Head through the Art Deco-style panel doors into a pool of UV lighting, dotted with random bric-a-brac (anatomical models, electric guitars, a glowing tomato, lava lamps), a projector showing everything from old cartoons to starlit skies, and a large glowing moon fixture—ideal for getting that howling wolf silhouette shot. Head there during happy hours (5-9pm daily) for two-for-one on cocktails like their Moonflowers (vodka, triple sec, elderflower, lemon and lime juice, B280) to a soundtrack of DJs spinning anything from ‘90s pop to indie and disco.

06 French pastries and mid-century pastels collide Wondering Bakeshop Cafe (238/2 Nanglinchee Rd., 062-624-6156. Open Tue-Sun 9am-7pm) is the allday cafe hangout the Nanglinchee neighborhood has been craving. Using butter and flour imported from France, their plain butter croissant (B75) is the real deal, but for real indulgence try the Viennese coffee cake (B155), washed down with a refreshing Elder Garden Fizz (B125). The familiar combo of curves, pastel pink and midnight blue is given an edge with a stylish ombre effect, dotted with cacti, plush velvet banquettes and an elegant grey granite counter.

11/5/18 3:03 PM


food & drink | taste test

Who makes Bangkok’s best… Bagels? We’re obsessed with these doughnut-shaped puffballs: doughy, dense and slightly chewy with a crispy yet elastic crust—who would want bread when you can have a bagel instead? But who does it best? We’ve blind tasted bagels from some of the top spots in town and here’s what we think. By BK Staff

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

Dean & Deluca

BKK Bagel

Who: This upscale US deli chain has flooded Bangkok with NY-style goodies—10 branches and counting. Taste: The beautifully roasted crust has a slightly chewy, elastic finish that gives way to aromatic bread that’s perfectly salty with a mellow sweetness. However, the texture is almost just like typical white bread. Verdict: Not 100 percent bagel, but gets the job done. Price: B50 Where to get it: G/F, Mahanakhon Cube, Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Rd., 02-234-1434. www.deandeluca.co.th

Who: The name says it all, really—this collaboration between two friends (one Thai, one American) was the first to break the Bangkok bagel scene, and is wholly dedicated to the holey treat. Taste: Don’t let the uneven, creamy shade of this soft, chubby puffball fool you, as one tear reveals a dense, elastic dough inside. The bread is quite moist, only lightly flavored with a hint of saltiness, meaning you can easily top it with either sweet or savory spreads. Verdict: Goes with just about anything. Price: B45 Where to get it: G/F, Maneeya Center, 518/3 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-254-8157. www.bkkbagelbakery.com

Au Bon Pain

Barely

Who: Franchises of this casual a bagel Boston-headquartered bakery/ cafe have become ubiquitous in Bangkok, selling baked goods and icy drinks. Taste: The evenly-browned, crisp crust reveals a light, airy interior that unfortunately lacks the crucial features of a bagel: density and chewiness. On top of that, it’s bland and without fragrance—isn’t this supposed to be the brand’s highlight? Verdict: Disappointed is an understatement. Price: B65 Where to get it: Branches everywhere, aubonpainthailand.com

Holey

BK Pick!

Who: This Bangladesh-hailing bakery has become a mainstay on the Bangkok cafe scene, known for their perfectly-executed breads.

Taste: This plump, round bagel has a deep, tangy flavor thanks to its sourdough base, with just a hint of saltiness. The dark crust is chewy and elastic, giving way to a stretchy, springy, dense interior, which exudes the scent of fermented dough. We’d happily eat this on its own. Verdict: Worth getting out of bed for. Price: B70 Where to get it: Two branches. Try 45/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-101-1427. www.fb.com/ holeybreadbkk

Taste test_ BK 750_Nov 09_18_NEW.indd 21

21

FeedPoint

Local Who: Asoke’s humble neighPick! borhood bakery specializes in homemade kettled bagels. Taste: Tastes just as a real bagel should: doughy with a decent chew. Plump and nicely rounded with a light-brown exterior, its comfortingly homemade look gives way to dense dough. Verdict: The hefty homemade bagel. Price: B40 Where to get it: 88/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, 02101-6335. feedpointcafe.com

Maison Jean Phillipe Who: Bangkok’s favorite French viennoiserie specialist may have closed its standalone store, but its artisanal, fresh-baked breads remain a hit in the city’s high-end supermarkets. Taste: These experts nail it with their fresh, round, evenly-browned bagel. The chewy exterior opens to stretchy, slightly stringy dough, with the perfect balance of sweet and saltiness. Verdict: Something of a classic. Price: B85/bag of three. Where to get it: Villa Markets. www.fb.com/ MaisonJeanPhilippe

11/5/18 3:03 PM


food & drink | news

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

22

HOT OFF THE PASS

Notes from the Bangkok food scene

01

Sift through a chef’s sneaker collection while munching on viral burgers

WAY TO GO

PITTER PATTY

Surface Kitchen (107 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-2582858), headed by chef Chalee Kader, will be hosting a flea market this Nov 17-18. Running from 4pm-midnight, there will be food and drinks on offer, including Surface’s own hit In N’ Out-inspired burgers and a one-of-a-kind collaboration with the viral burger joint, Homeburg. Taiki Tsubota’s burgers have been in high demand since he broke the internet with his exclusive output of just four precisely-curated burgers per day from his pop-up kitchen in an On Nut co-working space. Having recently announced the temporary closure of his venture to improve space and quantity, this could be your best chance to try the coveted patties, 60 of which will be served per day on a first-comefirst-served basis. On top of that, you’ll be able to feast your way through a number of used clothing stalls straight out of JJ’s, as well as a vintage sneaker collection clear out from chef Chalee himself. There will also be an old-school vinyl records sale and you might even be able to get your hands on some swag from a couple of local celebs who will be emptying their closets. Reservations are highly recommended, call 0954964562 or message Line ID @EATER.

SCANDILOUS

LIGHT UP

FEIJOADA FESTA

02 Join in Bangkok’s Nordic obsession at Scandinavian Week

03 Secure riverside seats for the Loy Krathong celebrations

04 Cactus is hosting a Brazilian-themed party

Mandarin Oriental will be making the most of its riverside perch this Loy Krathong (Nov 22) with an array of entertainment. On top of dance shows and fireworks over the Chao Phraya, the Riverside Terrace will present a buffet dinner (B6,000 adults/ B4,000 children) as well as a parade and krathong contest. For haute cuisine spanning foie gras, oysters and lobster, head to two-Michelin-Starred Le Normandie (B9,500 for seven courses), but for the best views, watch the celebrations go by from Ciao Terrazza’s al fresco terrace over risotto, langoustine and coconut panna cotta (B4,000 for five courses). 48 Charoenkrung Soi 40, 02-659-9000.

On Nov 24, Cactus is going Brazilian with its theme event “Tudo Bem.” Starting noon, the Yen Akat bar’s rooftop will roar to life with Capoeira lessons by instructor João from The Home and live music from Brazilian percussionist and singer Valtinho Anastacio, accompanied by a Brazilian barbecue and feijoada special (beef and pork bean stew), as well as healthy options based on acai berries. Drinks will focus on cachaça (the Brazilian fermented sugarcane liquor), including Caipirinhas and other creations. After sunset, the party will move to the fourth-floor lounge, with a Brazilian set by Mike Allin. 15 Yen Akat Rd., 083-437-3515.

Bangkok can’t get enough of Nordic flavors lately, so it only makes sense that The St. Regis Bangkok has launched Scandinavian Week through Nov 11. Thai-born, Swedish guest chef Sayan Isaksson (previously of Stockholm’s Michelin-Starred Esperanto) will host a Scandi-Thai inspired Sunday brunch (B3,200) at VIU on Nov 11, as well as a full eight-course degustation menu (B3,800) and threecourse set lunch (B2,800) at Jojo Restaurant until Nov 10Swedish-inflected afternoon tea (B1,800 for two) will also be available through Nov 30. 159 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-207-7777

Good news for those who miss sundowners on Hemingway’s breezy terrace: the bar-restaurant is about to make a comeback. Sadly, no one can bring back the exquisite old teak house that used to sit beside BTS Asok, but the old owners can attempt to capture the same mood. Expect an opening on Soi 11 “soon.”

SLOB OUT Considering you’re never further than 10 meters from a 7-Eleven in Bangkok, their newly launched delivery service is pure lazy indulgence. Currently only being trialed in limited areas, the service is free for orders over B100 and can be requested via each store’s Line account.

GAME, SET, MATCHA Love matcha? Then head to The Commons on Nov 17, 2-3pm, when award-winning craft matcha experts Seven Suns will be hosting a Matcha 101 Workshop (B800). The class will cover different grades, tasting notes, how it’s made and even a matcha cocktail making session.

YOU SAID WHAT?

The news in online foodie posts

“I think @mamadolores.bangkok have the most delicious middle east food in bkk” INSTAGRAM USER @AMIRPEER TAKES AIM AT BK’S MIDDLE EAST TASTE TREK

Hit lists food and drink_750_Nov 09_18_01.indd 22

“A fixture on regional restaurant lists? Really...” @PARAI8A ON BK’S FIVE-STAR EAT ME REVIEW

“Nadimos in soi 24 was not impressive at all. But Beirut on soi 39 and Nefertiti soi 3 are awesome!” FB USER IGOR BOBRIAKOV REFUTES “BK PICK” FOR LEBANESE FOOD

11/1/18 6:59 PM


dining reviews

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

23

Shakarich

Shakarich HHH

Japanese. 416/6-7 Thonglor Soi 14, 02- 0454032. Open daily 5pm-3am. BBB.

You may be used to heading to Shakariki432 for some drinking food at the tail end of a heavy night, but this offshoot of the latenight izakaya offers a whole lot more than its sister branches. You’ll be greeted by the prerequisite group of energetic staff—a few of whom are Japanese—who’ll guide you past cozy wooden cube tables, which fill out as the night draws on with an equal spread of both Thai and Japanese punters. The welcoming atmosphere is supported by warm lighting, which softens the clean and formal Japanese-inflected decor. The food selection is pretty huge, placing focus on premium, seasonal ingredients from Japan (Hokkaido oysters, salmon from Nagano and Kagoshima-breed wagyu) and service is fast, whether you go for sashimi, steak, or even a Western pasta dish. Their signature grilled nodoguro shioyaki (blackthroat seaperch from Tokushima, B880) sees a crispy brown salted skin give way to delicate flesh—so soft, it slides off the bone with a

Rawabina HHH

Lebanese. Sukhumvit Soi 23, 092-820-2828. Open daily 11am-midnight. B-BB.

There’s something charming about restaurants that don’t wow you with flashy interiors or even well-thought-out concepts. Rawabina, a petite Lebanese stand on Sukhumvit Soi 23 with about four tables crammed into a modest shop-house floor, doesn’t impress with any of the above—and we like it that way. It’s a slender, pale-colored hole-in-thewall that gets the food right. Most customers seem to swing by the stall on the front terrace to grab juicy shawarma wraps (B100/ chicken, B120/lamb), chat with the owner manning the two large broiler machines outside and then bounce. On a recent lunch visit, we were some of the few people who braved the inside (including a group of the owner’s friends). Thanks to rickety wooden tables, floppy plastic menus, an understandable lack of alcohol and no air-con, Rawabina is best used as a dash-in-dash-out kind of lunch and dinner place. That’s not to say the unpolished vibe is a turn off. It’s this kind of ungentrified, no-frills restaurant that helps to make neighborhoods worth living in, largely because they nail fuss-free food. The menu spans all the Lebanese favorites, from

light pull of the chopsticks. The sea urchin rolled with a thin slice of wagyu beef (B380) offers a deliciously rich taste with perfectly contrasting creamy and chewy textures. The kaisen don set (B680) comes with steamed egg custard, miso soup and a big bowl of sweet-tasting, soy-marinated sashimi rice, topped with fresh cubes of tuna and salmon; although we found the tamako yaki (friedegg) to be overly sweet, all-in-all, this set was pretty satisfying. If you’re after some comforting bites, try the salt-crusted roasted beef (B780), which offers thinly-sliced, soft and mellow meat served with a tangy ponzu sauce and a salty kick; alternatively, go for the deep-fried oyster (B180) with its crisp crust and soft interior. As for dessert, the smooth and creamy matcha rare cheesecake (B180) exudes a green tea fragrance and makes a great follow up to all those heavy savory dishes. Sure, the decor is not as busy as your regular Shakariki 432 branch and the atmosphere’s not as hectic, but still this is not exactly fine dining. The very reasonable prices reflect this, too. This is somewhere to load up on solid Japanese grub with a few drinks before hitting the clubs of Thonglor.

creamy labneh (strained yogurt topped with mint and olive oil, B150) and among the best hummus we’ve tried (from B120) to tender sukjuk rolls packed with well-seasoned minced beef (B220). If you are on a solo mission with time to sit in, the shawarma lamb set (B280) is a must. It’s absolutely rammed with huge piles of hummus, labneh, tender lamb slices and a snappy, fresh “Arabic salad” (seasonal veg with olive oil, mint and lime juice). It’s one-stop shopping at its best and should be on everyone’s first-time order—especially at these portions and prices. Simpler items fare just as well, like the soothing and rich lentil soup and crispy sambusek meat pockets (deep-fried dough pouches stuffed with minced beef, B160)—both satisfying and well prepared. Nothing-y interior and aesthetic aside, Rawabina feels exactly as a mom-and-pop restaurant should: friendly and comforting. If we could stand to live in Asoke, we’d probably be regulars. With opening hours that stretch until midnight, it’s worth a stop if you’re bar hopping around the area, too.

Ratings P Forget it PP Only if you’re in the neighborhood PPP A pleasant dining experience PPPP Not to be missed PPPPP Flawless

B BB BBB BBBB

BK pays for its meal and does not call ahead or sit with the chef.

Price per person, including one drink, appetizer, main course, dessert, charges and tax.

Dining reviews_BK 750_Nov 09_18_NEW.indd 23

Price guide Under B500 B500-900 B900-1,500 B1,500 and up

Symbols Reservations recommended Parking Dress requirements Live music

H F E G

11/2/18 6:23 PM


drink | shaky tk shaky

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

24

Sip This

From wild honey to liquid popcorn, goat’s milk to cheese foam—trust us, you need to try these new cocktail menus. By Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj

Asia Today

Pink Flamingo

Chinatown is proven to still be where it’s at with this cocktail joint by Teens of Thailand founder Niks Anuman-Rajadhon. The bar specializes in local, natural ingredients, usually foraged by Niks himself on hiking trips rather than from the market. Their new menu centers around wild honey, with each named after the bee their nectar comes from: the Giant Honey Bee combines Tio Pepe dry sherry, Sacred dry vermouth (something that Niks imports himself), fresh lime, tiger’s ear mint, orange and prosecco (B300), while the Stingless Bee features Wild Turkey bourbon, Rittenhouse rye, Angostura bitters and pure coconut sugar (B340).

This retro tropical bar hidden behind thick, pink curtains inside the fine-dining restaurant Prelude is a fun little spot to try cocktails with local flavors. Fresh, tropical and easy to drink, their Forest Flower offers an upgrade on your standard G&T with the addition of red shiso, elderflower and white wine vinegar (B350). The Lady Marmalade (B350) is another interesting option that mixes aged rum with orange marmalade and milk. If you’re feeling indecisive, you can always go for the Mystery Box—a customized surprise by the bartender (B350).

35 Soi Maitri Chit, 097-134-4704. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-1am

Dim Dim This tiny Chinese-themed bar hidden in the back roads of Phrom Phong offers the perfect cozy, intimate experience. Cocktails stay in keeping with the Chinatown theme, like the Jasmine tea-based Zhen Chen Martini (B380), mixed with gin and white wine, or the Ong (B380), which mixes salted plum, apple, raisin, cinnamon and lime with cognac and gin. 27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-085-2788. Open Mon-Sat 6:30pm-1:30am

Locker Room No, this hidden bar is not closed, it just moved to a new location in Thonglor! The menu still sticks to the same concept of “Past, Present and Future”—meaning one classic cocktail gets turned into two twisted versions. Start your night with the Cheese Platter (B420) cocktail—we know what you’re thinking, but trust us, it’s tasty—a “present” twist on the classic Parisian (B390), mixing gin, dry vermouth, lemon juice, orgeat and raspberry jam topped with a cheddar cheese foam and grated cracker. For a more spirit-forward cocktail, Dear Juan Gallardo (B420) is a twist on The Matador (B390), combining earthy tequila and mezcal with sweet vermouth, creme de violet and a final spritz of fragrant rose water. 406 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 061-524-2689. Open daily 6pm-2am

2/F, Arena 10, Thonglor Soi 10, 061-384-1067. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight

Revolucion Our favorite late-night, fire-show spot on Sathorn Soi 10 has launched a new cocktail menu and it’s better than ever. Stepping away from the street food theme of the previous menu to something a little more refined and crafted, the tasty Banana Fashion (B333) combines banana-infused Diplomatico rum, sugar and bitters, garnished with rum sous-vide-banana. Other must-tries are the Bull Kiss (B333) topped with vanilla Red Bull foam, or if you’re feeling a little crazy, the youcorn.com (B299)—basically the cocktail version of sweet and buttery popcorn.

Asia Today

50 Sathorn Soi 10, 02-235-4823. Open daily 7pm-2am

Tropic City This tropical-leaning drinking den on Charoenkrung will celebrate its first anniversary this December, but until then, there’s a new, more grown-up cocktail menu to get excited about. If you think this is just a typical easy-drinking tiki bar, you’re wrong. The team has taken tropical cocktails to the next level through the use of a bunch of unusual techniques—the clear as crystal “milk punch” Tropicopop (B399) has everyone talking with its blend of Barcardi Carter Blanca rum, Diplomatico Planas rum, coconut water, lychee, lemon juice and goat’s milk, all of which is run through coffee filter paper to get the clearest of liquid, garnished with a simple edible flower. 672/65 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 091-870-9825. Open Wed-Sun 7pm1am

Revolucion

COMING SOON! Don’t miss your spot in BK Magazine’s most essential seasonal gift guide yet. NEW for 2018: • 100 perfect gifts under B5,000 for women • 100 perfect gift ideas under B5,000 for men • The BK Gift Guide Online Store

REVERSE COVER !

Make sure your products and services are featured by contacting us NOW! Call 02-624-9696 or email advertising@asia-city.co.th. Untitled-1 1

Feature Blend 750_Nov 09_18_NEW.indd 24

10/19/2561 BE 6:45 PM

11/2/18 6:25 PM


travel | andaman escape

BK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 09, 2018

25

Phuket’s Peaceful Side Why Mai Khao Beach should be your next quiet getaway. By Kankanok Wichiantanon

W

Mai Khao beach

ith its city-like downtown and hordes of noisy group tours, it’s no wonder “peaceful” doesn’t spring to mind when you think of Phuket. Yet, with cheaper flights than Samui and nicer beaches than Pattaya, it would be a shame to write off Thailand’s largest island completely. Almost as far as you can get from the madding crowds of Patong (an hour’s drive, to be exact), Phuket’s northwestern Mai Khao Beach could be just what you’re looking for. The island’s longest beach enjoys a pristine 11-kilometer stretch of sand within just 15-minutes’ ride of the airport, yet luckily mostly out of hearing range.

WHAT TO DO Sirinath National Park Covering 90 sq kilometers of preserved sandy beaches (Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Mai Khao and Sai Kaew), fertile coniferous forests and azure crystal waters, this park is the key reason why this part of the island remains so untouched. It is also a sanctuary for endangered sea turtles, who come to lay eggs on the deserted sands from November to February. The absence of noisy bars and restaurants make it the perfect place to chill, while beautiful coral reefs and colorful marine life just a little offshore make for great diving. Entrance fee is B20 for Thais or B200 for foreigners.

Splash Jungle Water Park Situated near Mai Khao Beach, this water park is home to hair-raising rides like the Boomerango (a dark tube with a 15-meter free fall) and the Super Bowl (a spinning slide that ends with a series of thrilling turns). For a slower pace, take a float down the Lazy River or explore the compact aquarium. Tickets B1,450 per person. 65 Mai Khao Soi 4, 076372-111. Open daily 10am-5:45pm. www. splashjunglewaterpark. com

Shopping Because Mai Khao is such a get-away-from-itall area, the shopping scene is limited to two small complexes: Turtle Village Phuket (889, Moo 3, Mai Khao, 076-390-203. Open daily 10am-11pm) sits between Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach and Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao, offering groceries, a few retail venues and some upmarket dining spots; meanwhile, nearby Mai Khao Plaza (11 Moo 3, Mai Khao, 099-318-9524. Open daily 10am-11pm) offers slightly cheaper restaurants and outlets, covering souvenirs, fashion and antiques.

International Wake Park (IWP)

Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

Spend a sporty afternoon on the water at this wake park, located 10 minutes’ drive from Mai Khao Beach. The park is home to two swimming pools, both overlooking the lake, and boasts a high-tech Rixen cable system to boost your wakeboarding and waterskiing game (from B1,200 for two hours, including equipment). There are also more kid-friendly activities like paddle boarding and kayaking on offer.

In partnership with the Phuket Marine Biological Centre and Royal Thai Navy, this conservation project on the ground floor of the JW Marriott Resort acts as a nursing home for injured sea turtles and leatherbacks, as well as providing a safe space for eggs to hatch and young turtles to gain strength before being released into the sea. The center also runs education sessions on turtles and conservation, as well as feeding sessions where you can see them up close. Free entrance.

49/12 1, T., 2, 8310 Soi Mo Yiam, Mai Khao Rd., 067-632-8542. Open daily 9am-9pm

JW Marriott Phuket, 231 Moo 3, Mai Khao Rd., Talang, 076-338-040 Ext. 3309

WHERE TO STAY The area is dotted with so many five-star resorts that we like to call it the “hi-so street”—Anantara Vacation Club Mai Khao (887 Moo 3, Mai Khao Rd., 076-337-200. From around B10,400), Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach (234 Mai Khao Rd., 076-338-000. From around B8,200) and Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa (555, Mai Khao Rd., 076363-999. From around B3,440) are the key players, with the latter feeling like the quietest (bit.ly/2O0mzS9), tucked away at the far end of the street boasting what feels like a private beach (though it’s not).

BEACH BOOGIE

Party in Style If all that quiet time has you itching for a night out, you’ll have to be prepared to travel a little. For something classier than rowdy Patong, head to Nai Yang Beach (a 20-minute drive), Surin or Bang Tao (both 30-40 minutes’ drive) on the mid-west coast of the island.

The Slate Resort At this five-star resort, the new Tongkah Tin Syndicate bar is populated with a refreshingly chic and elegant crowd compared with many other parts of the island. Although the Russian DJ and his sexy lip-syncing sidekick feel a bit out of place, the decor is exuberant: a mix of neon signs, luxuriant plants and industrial-chic steampunk architecture designed by Bill Bensley—all a nod to the island’s tin-mining past. Nai Yang Beach, 116 Moo 1, Sakhu, 076-327-006. www. theslatephuket.com

Xana Beach Club This is one of the swankiest beach clubs on the island, and by far the biggest thanks to its vast stretch of private beach. It’s also dedicated to bringing in bigname DJs (alumni include Paul Oakenfold and Frankie Knuckles). To mark the start of Phuket’s high season, on Dec 14 they will host a Carnival Launch Party, featuring five international DJs, Brazilian dancers and a Rio-themed catwalk show right on Bangtao Beach. For the event, the hotel will offer 30-percent off its room rates—from B6,410—with no minimum stay.

Catch The Twin Palms is slowly taking over Surin Beach, which means pretty wild parties and high-flying DJs. It also means the beach has become nearly private, drawing the ire of some locals. During high season, you’ll have to cough up B3,000 per day for a beach chair, which can be used as spending credit at Catch, essentially making it a minimum spend. Surin Beach, Cherng Talay, 076-316-567. Open daily 9am-midnight. www.catchbeachclub.com

Angsana Laguna Phuket, 10 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Rd., Cherng Talay, 076-324-101. Open daily 9am-midnight. www.xanabeachclub.com

Travel 750_Nov 09_18_NEW.indd 25

11/2/18 6:26 PM

BK E-Magazine 750, Nov 9 2018  

In this week's BK: Should you move across the river?

BK E-Magazine 750, Nov 9 2018  

In this week's BK: Should you move across the river?

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