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LIFESTYLE

HOTELS

DINING NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING EVENTS PERSONALITIES ART CULTURE SPAS

EST. 1971

April ISSN 0857-1139

TRAVEL

APRIL 2013

InterContinental Samui GM Peninsula’s Leading Lady Chef Bo Songvisva of Bo.Lan Celebrating Songkran Poy Sang Long Festival 10 Family Travel Tips Klong Guru Excursion Rock Climbing in Thailand Spotlight on Chachoengsao Water Library Thonglor Appia Anna Ugolini Kinki

APRIL 2013 VOL. 42 NO.4

Embracing Thailand

+

The hottest travel news, deals, & events, dining & bar specials, and spa offers this month!

thb100 www.lookeastmagazine.com


What's Inside

LIFESTYLE

Days// 16 Dousing The traditional Thai New Year – Songkran

– is really more than just a water-splashing festival; it embodies essential characteristics that make Thailand a truly amazing country

travel Rite of Passage// 18 Colorful In April, Mae Hong Son holds the wildly

It Up!// 42 Cranking Whether a newbie or a pro, you can always find a new route to crank -- a climber’s slang term that refers to the act of climbing or climbing something hard – in Thailand

Fun Awaits// 46 What Welcome to Krungthep, where never-

ending fun and excitement await at every corner

colorful ‘Poy Sang Long,’ a novice monk ordination festival

Chachoengsao // 20 Charming Quiet exploration of novel sights await visitors to this tranquil Thai town 100km east of Bangkok

22 Klong Encounters//

Experiencing Thailand’s age-old way of life as it persist in a still natural, simple, calm, and warmly generous manner with a local insider called ‘klong guru’

PERSONALITIES

wine & dine Italian As Can Be// 54 As Ugolini Italian Restaurant presents a

a Legend Better // 36 Making InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Samui GM takes the challenge of making the legendary resort better – and does it with a bang!

38

Embracing Thailand//

New Peninsula Bangkok GM discovers how The Peninsula philosophy and the Thai way of doing things match perfectly

HOTEL 40 2

New Luxury Urban Resort //

Hua Chang Heritage Hotel bridges the past, present, and future

Lookeast | table of contents

COVER: Katja Henke, General Manager, The Peninsula Bangkok

revelation of new taste – a perfect Italian experience in Bangkok

of Simplicity// 56 Beauty The arrival of Appia, right out of a page of

central Rome, is a most welcome addition to the Bangkok dining scene

58 Simply Incredible //

You know you’re in for something different and something special as soon as you enter Water Library Thonglor

on Top // 34 Woman Thailand’s top female culinary ambassador,

Bo Songvisva, wins ‘Asia’s Best Female Chef’ award

KidZania

Late-night Diners// 60 For Angel City could just become a must-visit

people watching spot in Bangkok as well as a decent place to refuel on comforting favorites

61

Authentic Western Taste //

The Bagel City proves to be a kind of place you’ll eat at a couple times a week

Anna// 62 Enjoying Anna Restaurant & Art Gallery has a lovely

vibe that makes it the kind of place you want to bring your friends and family in for a pleasurable meal

with Urban Attitude// 64 Japanese Kinki combines art, music, and great food for foodies of all persuasions

regulars 8 13 16 24 26 48 66 70 72 76

Calendar of events film: in theatres now Culture Fix Travel Deals Travel news spa offers Dining Specials Bar Specials Lisitngs/Directory My Favorite Place


WORLD-CLASS LUXURY

100 BRANDS MORE THAN 500 FASHION SHOPS WITH OVER


UNIQLO


From the Editor

www.LOOKEASTonline.com | APRIL 2013

A

pril has always been the hottest month in the Thailand. But who says we have to hide away from, and despair with the sweltering heat of this month? We who have been living in this country for a while have learned how the Thais take this opportunity to do fun and exciting things. We are therefore not the least bothered by the heat anymore. Nor should you. Indeed, April is “Play” month – if we relate it to our monthly theme – a time like no other to enjoy the many amazing fun activities that one can enjoy in this incredible kingdom. On top of these activities, for this month at least, is the water splashing (Dousing Days, Page 16) during Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, which -- as all visitors learn later -- is not only a rowdy rite of fun or a sacred rite of renewal but also a perfect mirror to see through the essential characteristics that make Thailand a truly amazing country. Like the "sanuk (fun)" attitude that can make even the most tedious pursuits here such amazingly fun. April is also another great time to explore and enjoy the variety of the country’s holiday spots, with the sun often shining in its golden best to reveal the lovely prism of these destinations. While the beaches of Thailand will probably be overcrowded with summer revelers, there are so many hidden gems not mentioned in mainstream travel brochures to explore, such as Chachoengsao (Mini Guide: Charming Chachoengsao, Page 20) or Mae Hong Song in where a wildly colorful novice monk ordination festival is held early April (Colorful Rite of Passage, Page 18) or if you don’t want to leave Bangkok, the canals (Klong Encounters, Page 22) that gave it the moniker “Venice of the East” in the past? You’ll be surprised “What Fun Awaits” (Page 46) you in Krungthep indeed (in fact, in all over Thailand). Really, never-ending fun and excitement await at every corner. We manage to feature only one for this issue: rock climbing (Cranking it Up, Page 42) but there’s more for the adventure minded indeed, whether on land, forest, rivers or underwater. From simple elephant treks to exciting white water rafting, from biking or horse-riding in national parks to swimming with whale sharks in the deep South, there’s really no better place than Thailand for those who in believe in working hard and playing hard! In fact, most expats living and working here would agree that being in Thailand often makes one feel like he or she is enjoying an over-extended holiday! So read on and enjoy our “Play” issue this month. And don’t forget that elsewhere – besides our regular departments -- we have many interesting features such as for Personality: The Peninsula Bangkok GM (Page 38), The InterContinental Samui GM (Page 36), as well as Chef Bo (Page 34), who recently won as “Asia’s Best Female Chef; for Hotels: the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel (New Luxury Urban Retreat, Page 40); and for Wine & Dine, more than just the usual number of restaurant reviews for you to enjoy! As they say, if you like to "Come Out and Play," just come to Thailand and you won't be disappointed And there's no beetter time than now! Have a great Thailand holiday every one! And be safe while having fun! Sawasdee Krub!

PUBLISHER: sid sehgal

sid@thesehgalgroup.com

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: percy roxas

percy@lookeastmagazine.com

SOCIAL EDITOR: earth saisawang art director: apichart boontid SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER: JARMMAREE JANJATURONRASAMEE ADVERTISING COORDINATOR: acharin suthisawad acharin@thesehgalgroup.com

Executive Assistant to ceo: Panitkan Apiratanapimonchai panitkan@thesehgalgroup.com

ACCOUNTING: Nattapol laokhonkha Marketing Executive Ankita Malhotra

ankita@thesehgalgroup.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Lauurence Civil Paul CYpert Atthasith Khupratakul John Howe Lekha J Shankar george saharat somapa Dave Stamboulis intern loic brand-srinaka ---------------------------------------------------------

DIRECTOR: gaurav sehgal GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: asha narula sehgal PRESIDENT: ravi sehgal CHAIRMAN: dato satish sehgal

is published monthly by:

Percy Roxas Editor-in-Chief

Lookeast now accepting interns · Male or Female · High School Diploma · Hard working, pleasant, eager to learn · Interested applicants, please contact K. Monika (hr@thesehgalgroup.com or Tel. 02-204-2449)

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Lookeast | from the editor

Advertising & Media Consultants Co., Ltd. Richmond Office Building 18th Floor 75/65 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110 Thailand. T. (662) 204.2449 F. (662) 204.2984 email. info@lookeastmagazine.com web. www.lookeastonline.com Views and opinions expressed in the articles herein by individual writers and contributors do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the editorial staff and management of either the Lookeast Magazine or the Advertising & Media Consultants Co., Ltd.


T

RADE WITH THAILAND BEGINS AT

HE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE PROMOTION

Partners in Prosperity The Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) is the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s foremost agency dedicated to the rapid sustained expansion of international trade for both domestic achievement and global benefit. Over the last 40 years the DITP has facilitated countless multi-million-dollar trade deals, both governmental and private, to the satisfaction of international investors and entrepreneurs worldwide. And as a whole new dimension unfolds with the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The DITP is ready to guide you in taking advantage of the almost unlimited possibilities presented by a tree-trade system in a single market bloc of 600 million consumers. The DITP, with its vast and varied database of manufacturers, exporters and service providers in Thailand and overseas, is ready to respond directly and promptly to all requests from international entrepreneurs for any kind of product of service. Through the DITP, you will be matched with an ideal partner in order to form a Business partnership that is both mutually beneficial and progressive.

Dial DITP for Business Success The DITP is just the ally you require in the complex and competitive international marketplace. In working with us, you will find all the information, networks and services you need to make your business successful-both in the Thai marketplace and offshore investments. You’ll find yourself well taken care of in terms of sourcing, subcontracting, franchising and licensing, plus green field and brown field investments. To help spread the good news about Thailand’s enormous pluses, the DITP organizes many promotions and trade fairs in Thailand and abroad. These also include instore promotions, product exhibitions and trade missions in target markets worldwide.

Get Great Deals Online The DITP’s online portal allows you to get right down to business 24/7. At www.thaitrade.com, great deals and B2B contacts are right at your fingertips. As the premier site for sourcing Thai products and materials, www.thaitrade. com remains unbeatable in proven quality and standards recognition. With DITP , the best deals are just a click away.

www.thaitrade.com DITP call center 1169 (only Thailand) Department of International Trade Promotiom, Ministry of Commerce Nonthaburi Office (Head Office) 44/100 Nonthaburi Rd., Bangkrasor, Amphur Muang Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2507 7999 Fax: +66 (0) 2547 4297

Rachadapisek Office 22/77 Rachadapisek Rd., Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2513 1909, 2512 0093 Fax: +66 (0) 2512 2670, 2513 6673


calendar

what's up in april 13-15

Chiang Mai Songkran Festival

Songkran festivities are always celebrated with a bang in Chiang Mai and is infamous for extending the usual three-day water festival to a full week.The grand celebrations start with the bathing of Phra Phutta Sihing image and a procession around the city. Then, it progresses to more funfilled activities. . Where: Chiang Mai //

standing ancient rituals, and the occasional water fight in Samut Prakan, just an hour’s drive from Bangkok. Samut Prakan is one of the few remaining places that celebrates Songkran in the Thai-Mon style. The big festival is usually held on the Sunday following Maha Songkran Day on April 13. See how the local Mons, who are among Thailand’s earliest settlers, still practice ancient traditions to this day. Where: Samut Prakan Province //

14-21 Phuket Bike Week:

The 19th edition of the biggest motorcycle event in Asia will be held in Patong beach, with thousands of ear-deafening bikes gathering from all over Thailand for various activities and spectators to admire. Where: Patong Beach, Phuket// Contact: www.phuketbikeweek. com/

National Events and Festivals 6 Chakri Day

Chakri Day commemorates the contributions of the Chakri Dynasty kings who have been ruling Thailand since 1782. On this day, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the dynasty, accompanied by other Royal Family members, leads a religious ceremony at the Royal Chapel to pay respects to his predecessors at the Royal Pantheon and then proceeds for laying wreath ceremony at the King Rama I statue at the Memorial Bridge. Where: Bangkok and Nationwide

13-15 Phra Padaeng Songkran Festival

Experience a more traditional Thai New Year featuring magnificent parades, long-

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Lookeast | calendar

1-30 The 3rd Samui Fine Dining Festival

Indulge in the culinary pleasures of the “3rd Samui Fine Dining Festival,” a dining extravaganza presented by a selection of top Samui restaurants until end of this month. This is for the increasing number of individuals who consider fine dining as an essential element of their lifestyle and a significant topic when choosing a holiday destination. For those who are keen to expand their culinary horizons, the festival offers a wonderful opportunity to do so every day, as each participating restaurant presents a superb individual Fine Dining menu complemented by wines. Thai hospitality is all around and service always comes with a smile so don’t miss out on this amazing chance to experience Samui at its finest. Participating restaurants are: Banyan Tree, Beach Republic, Chef’s Table, Dining on the Rocks, Le Jaroen, Nikki Beach, Ochos, Rockpool, Sala Samui, Sui Kin Pan Asian Restaurant, The Barge Fine Dining, The Edge, The Five Islands Restaurant, The Terrace, Tree Tops and Zazen Restaurant. Organised by the Cool Genie Group, the Samui Fine Dining festival is a corporate activity between hotels, resorts, private restaurants, suppliers and local media. There is additional cooperation from Absolute World, TAT, PATA, Bangkok Airways, G Four Fine Wines and Lombard Champagne. Where: Koh Samui // Contact: www.samuifinediningfestival.com


calendar

University's Kluay Nam Thai campus, Rama IV Road // Contact: 02-350-3626

(BTS National Stadium)// Contact: 02-214-6630

1-7 The Passage In My Mind

1-8 The Sea, Unless Expectations

Experience a more artistic and visual approach to Global Warming, through the eyes of Sirapat Deesawadee. Where: Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok

Marco Rossati, a prominent and internationally recognized Italian artist and art instructor, present art pieces that reflect the secret mystery and the powerful phenomenon of

nature, each embedded with symbolically profound meanings. Where: 99/45 Belle Ville, Boromrachachonanee Road// Contact: 02-422-2092

1-10 BB Forever

Arts & Culture 1-5 Soon (Every water is an island)

Filipino artist Poklong Anading's installation art exhibition called “Soon (taking the Thai word for zero, soon)” is on view from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tiesdays through Saturdays. Where: Bangkok University Gallery, Bangkok

7 May-2 June PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Longest-running Broadway musical comes to Bangkok

One of the biggest cultural events in the city this year, is the staging of the famed Broadway musical “Phantom of the Opera” from May 7 to June 2 at the Muangthai Rachadalai Theatre. “Phantom…” is the longest running Broadway show in history, having completed 25 years and 10,400 shows, this year. BEC Tero teams up with Scenario, the top Thai musical-theatre company, to bring this spectacular stageproduction to the city. Based on the story ‘Le Fantome De L’Opera” by French writer Gaston Leroux, ‘Phantom’ was first made into a silent film in 1925. It it hit the world headlines, when it was produced as a stage-musical in 1986, with outstanding music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman playing the lead-roles. The Times called it ‘God’s Gift to Musical Theatre.’ It was this version that was made into a film in 2004, by well-known director Joel Schumacher, with a great cast: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Minnie Driver. The movie went on to win three Oscar nominations.

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An art exhibition celebrating the life of legendary French actress Brigitte Bardot featuring an exclusive collection of close to 30 photos that trace her career. On view from 6 to 11 p.m. Where:

Meanwhile, ‘Phantom’ has become a huge favorite with theatre companies around the world. To date, it has been staged in as many as 145 cities and 27 countries, in 15 languages, from countries as varied as Mexico, Tokyo, Russia, and New Zealand. ‘Phantom’ has won at least 50 major theatre wards, including the top Tony and Lawrence Olivier Awards, the Outer Circle and Drama Desk awards, its album-sales have exceeded a record 40 million, while its boxoffice revenues have been higher than any other film or stage- play in history, including ‘Titanic,’ ‘ET,’ and ‘Star Wars.’ The present production is on a world-tour of several countries, including Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, in Asia. There are at least 230 costumes and 22 scene-changes in this extravaganza, including one memorable scene with 230 flickering candles and 250kg of dry ice – to denote a dark, foggy night. The main leads will be played by Brad Little and Clair Lyon, who have performed ‘Phantom’ in many parts of the world, and are excited at visiting new countries and audiences, on this trip. -- Lekha J Shankar


Catering Recently acclaimed on as the“Very Best Indian Restaurant in Asia” Entertain your guests in style with our award-winning light Indian cuisine at a venue of your choice. Whether it be an intimate birthday party for close friends at home, an important anniversary celebration in our newly-landscaped garden, or a grand wedding celebration in the ballroom of a five-star hotel anywhere in Thailand - let the Indus Catering Team make your special event the talk of the town! Buffet starting at THB 550 per person Live Stations starting at THB 3,000 per stall

Contact : Mr. Yash Pal Thakur General Manager Tel: 082-342-1765, 02-258-4900. Email: gm@indusbangkok.com #71 Sukhumvit Soi 26 www.indusbangkok.com www.facebook.com/indusbangkok


calendar

L'Appart Restaurant, 32nd floor, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Nana) // Contact: 02-126-9999

1-15 Colors of Life

InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort marked its recent anniversary by holding a special art exhibition to raise funds for charity. Himalai Kongvetch, an artist born and raised on Koh Samui and his protégés: Tanet Sujarithpongtai and Tawatchi Jampa join together for this exhibition that showcases some of their finest artworks inspired by Samui culture and nature. Where: Lobby, InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, Koh Samui // Contact: 077-429-100

1-20 May The Wonders of China

A collection of more that 80 photos of the natural wonders of China -- including the magnificent Forbidden City, the Potala Palace in Tibet, and the Himalaya Mountains – is on display at the outdoor arena of Central World. Admission is free. Where: Central World, 999/9 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: Chidlom) //

1-30 Musk – Love

Eleven artists, both established and emerging, explore the meaning of scent and love and their effect toward each other in this exhibition. The artists express how 'scent' affects their expression of things sensual, love, and lust. Where: 139/5 Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Contact: 02-251-5098

and presented it in a dreamlike, otherworldly way. Where: Kathmandu Photo Gallery, 87 (near Indian Temple), Pan, off Silom Rd.// Contact: 02-2346700

glamorous presentations of automobiles. Where: Challenger Hall 1-3 Impact Arena Muang Thong Than, Nonthaburii// Contact: www.bangkokmotorshow.com

3-30 The Twilight Zone

Renowned Thai artist Chuang Moolpinit brings you his biggest exhibition in a decade; an invitation to enter a state of surrealism portraying the concepts of nature, life cycles, and philosophy. Where: Queen's Gallery, 101, Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd //Contact: 02-2815360

14-5 May Possession

Nineteen artists join together to present this art show, which gives a sense of immersion into visual culture, engaging with the pervasive influence of Internet culture and contemporary visual reproduction. Where: Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Wang Mai, Pathumwan, Bangkok // Contact: 02-214-663

Every 2nd Tuesday of the Month German Film Series

Goethe Institute Thailand presents some of the best German movies in this film series, scheduled every second Tuesday of the month from 6 p.m. onwards. Film showings in English subtitles. Where: Bangkok Art & Cultural Center, Rachathevi Road (BTS: National Stadium) //

20-22 2013 Save The World Expo

“Earth, Fire, Land, Water” are all components in this major exhibition that will address audiences with a safe, sustainable way of living to resolve global warming and rapid climate changes. Where: Challenger Hall 2-3, Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi //Contact: http:// www.tv360ch3.com/

22-23 Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2013 (BIG +BIH 2013)

BIG+BIH 2013) is in close liaison with the Department of Export Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Royal Thai Government for bolstering housewares and gift items from around the globe. More than 700 exhibitors in 1,850 booths are exhibiting artificial flowers/plants, Christmas decorative items, household products, toys and games and stationery. Where: BITEC Bangna (BTS: Banga) //Contact: http://apr2013. bigandbih.com/

Trade Fairs & Shows 2-28 Imagining Flood

Miti Ruangkritya captures the foreboding and surreal nature of the 2011 floods in Bangkok

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array of online innovations for every business and lifestyle needs and desires. Embracing over 300 booths of cutting-edge services and technologies, further enhancing the interest level will be a packed program of seminars addressed by renowned experts covering over 10 hot online topics. Where: Queen Sirikit Center National Convention Center, Rachada Road (MRT: QSNCC) //Contact: www.qsncc.co.th

2 ThaiCraft Fair

The annual automotive spectacle aims to bring ergonomically advanced and innovative designs to the public eye, featuring state-of-the-art technology and

25-28 Thailand Online Expo ‘Enjoy the Future’

This event brings together an

Bollywood Cinema Returns to Bangkok

Major Cinema teams up with MVP Entertainment to bring the latest Bollywood movies to Bangkok, in a resurrection of Indian films in the city after more than two decades! For the large Indian community in the city, this is a treat indeed as they would get to see the latest Indian movies on the big screen almost on the same day as their release in India. For non-Indians, this would be a great opportunity to to be introduced to the exciting, new stars of the Indian cinema because they know little beyond Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Even Bollywood superstar Sharukh Khan has many rivals today! What’s more important is that the films have Thai sub-titles. There are almost three new Indian films being released every month, at the Major Ekamai Sukhumvit and Central Rama III, with some of the ‘big’ movies also playing at Siam Paragon. Watch out for some arresting films in April: "Chasme Baddoor," "Nautanki Saala," and "I love New York." The first is a remake of a delightful romantic entertainer of the 1980s,with handsome Pakistani singeractor Ali Zafar, Tamil superstar Siddharth Narayan, and new actress Taapsee Pannu playing the leads. The second has popular new actor-singer Ayushman Khuranna in some “hot” scenes with debuting actress Pooja Salvi and German model Evelyn Sharma; while the third sees the return of Sunny Deol after a break, in an exotic love-story shot at the Big Apple with sexy siren Kangana Raut. Check-www.majorcineplex.com/ indianmovie. – Lekha J Shankar


cafe

in theatres now

bar/loun

reel life

MOVIES TO WATCH SHOWING IN April

boutique

Oblivion

The Big Wedding

Storyline: On a future Earth evolved beyond recognition, humanity seeks a new home in the stars. Only one man, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) can find the truth and discover hope for our future. On this spectacular future, one man’s confrontation with the past will lead him on a journey of redemption and discovery as he battles to save mankind. Harper is one of the last few drone repairmen stationed on Earth. Part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying threat known as the Scavs, Jack’s mission is nearly complete. Living in and patrolling the breathtaking skies from thousands of feet above, his soaring existence is brought crashing down when he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft. Her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands. Director: Joseph Kosinski Cast: Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Melissa Leo, and Morgan Freeman

Storyline: This is about a charmingly modern family trying to survive a weekend wedding celebration that has the potential to become a fullblown family fiasco. To the amusement of their adult children and friends, long-divorced couple Don and Ellie Griffin (Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton) are once again forced to play the happy couple for the sake of their adopted son's wedding after his ultra-conservative biological mother unexpectedly decides to fly halfway across the world to attend. With all of the wedding guests looking on, the Griffins are hilariously forced to confront their past, present, and future - and hopefully avoid killing each other in the process. Director: Justin Zackham Cast: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Topher Grace, and Robin Williams

The Evil Dead Storyline: In the muchanticipated remake of the 1981 cult-hit horror film, five 20-something friends become holed up in a remote cabin. When they discover a Book of the Dead, they unwittingly summon up dormant demons living in the nearby woods, which possess the youngsters in succession until only one is left intact to fight for survival. Director: Federico Alvarez Cast: Jessica Lucas, Elizabeth Blackmore, Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, and Lou Taylor Pucci

JOBS Storyline: Chronicles the story of Steve Jobs' ascension from college dropout to one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century. The biopic stars Ashton Kutcher as the iconic Silicon Valley visionary, and will shed new light on Steve Jobs' most defining and personal moments, motivations, and the people that drove him. The film covers Jobs from his early years as an impressionable youth and wayward hippie, through his initial successes and infamous ousting, to his storybook return and ultimate triumphs as a man who set out to change the world and did just that. Director: Joshua Michael Stern Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, Ron Eldard, John Getz, Lesley Ann Warren, and James Woods

Jurassic Park 3D: An Adventure 65 Million Years in the Making Storyline: A wealthy man has created an island amusement park filled with dinosaurs cloned from fossilized DNA. When he invites experts to endorse it, nature takes over. Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, and Samuel L. Jackson

mall/sho

where to

Lotus Eaters Storyline: Follows a group of young Londoners as they struggle to find meaning in their lives while masking their discontent with sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. The story centers on exmodel and aspiring actress Alice (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) as she struggles with her relationship with Charlie (Johnny Flynn), her drug-addicted ex-boyfriend. The fashionable group of friends epitomizes a new modern “lost generation” reminiscent of Ernest Hemmingway and his cohorts. Director: Alexandra McGuinness Cast: Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Johnny Flynn, Benn Northover, Liam Browne, Amber Anderson, and Jay Choi

// Paragon Imax Theatre 5F-6F Siam Paragon (BTS: Siam Square) Contact: 02 515-5555

// SFX Cinema Emporium 6th Floor, Emporium (BTS: Phrom Phong) Contact: 02 268-8888

// SF World Cinema 7th Floor Central World Plaza (BTS: Chidlom) Contact: 02 268-8888

// Major Sukhumvit 1221/39 Sukhumvit 63, (BTS: Ekkamai) Contact: 02 381-4855

To find the theatre nearest you, log on to www.movieseer.com

April 2013 | 13

contact/

travel/de


travel

activities 10 Family Travel Tips for Summer Summer is right around the corner! This means increased family travel and fun with the kids. Here are 10 family travel tips:

1. Pack light - this might not sound easy when we are

used to overflowing diaper bags, but with things like the Babee Covee, a new baby blanket and cover that is six uses in one, you can save a ton of space but have all what you need with a little one in tow. Not to mention the time you will save from packing or turning back to the house when you forgot something.

2. Always have wipes - use them

for everything...from cleaning the usual suspects of diapers to hands and the unexpected mess on you, on them or in the car. I don't leave home without them.

3. Bring snacks - for the fussy child or the adult, it's always better to have a snack to stay on track. Hungry people get cranky; snacks will help avoid this.

4. Have a box of "tricks" - before going on any travel whether by car or plane, I always head to the $1 store to grab a whole bunch of stuff. So, when necessary, I can give the kids something new and exciting. When you arrive at your destination pack the tricks away so on the return home the toys will be exciting still!

5. Layer up - you can never predict the weather so it's

always good to have a few layers to take you from morning until night. It's much easier to take off than to not have enough. Being cold is not fun for anyone.

6. Charge up -

8. Bring a friend -

the more the merrier so if you can plan a trip with others, do so. Then, you can create lasting family memories together.

when all else fails, hand your child your phone. Be sure to have a backup battery or charger. There are a ton of smart phone apps that kids can play with too depending on their age.

you're traveling not going on an interview!

7. Use GPS - especially when traveling far, it's best to

You are with your family, enjoy them! Life is too precious.

know where you are going than to guess. Kids can't wait to arrive so avoid lengthening the trip by not getting lost.

9. Be comfortable 10. Have fun!

April 2013 | 15


travel

culture

Dousing Days

The traditional Thai New Year – Songkran – is really more than just a water-splashing festival; it embodies essential characteristics that make Thailand a truly amazing country

A

By Atthasith Khupratakul

pril is a great summer month to be in Thailand, and especially between April 13 and 15 when the country celebrates its traditional New Year, famous around the world as “Songkran.” Around the country, it's a time for laughter and entertainment, for religious ceremonies and merit making, for families and friends, and of course for splashing water – and lots of it! But while the spirit of good-natured fun and water splashing permeates this Thai holiday season, “Songkran” really embodies the essential values at the core of Thai society - enduring qualities such as caring and unity, which make Thailand truly amazing. The Thai holiday has become famous the world over because of its characteristic tradition of water-throwing, which can range from a courteous sprinkle and a polite splash, to harmless water pistols and garden hose showers as well as the well-aimed bucket or water-cannon shots in festive spirit. Without a doubt, on the practical side, “Songkran” is a refreshing solution to "beating the heat" in the hottest season of the year. There is a however a much deeper significance to "Songkran." Apart from marking a new beginning, “Songkran” is also a time for thanksgiving. It is an important time for individuals to reflect upon the many acts of kindness and thoughtfulness each has personally experienced and to remember how such acts of generosity and compassion bring peace, happiness and wellbeing. “Songkran” is

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also the time for reunions and family ties are renewed. At the heart of each Thai custom and tradition, there is always a logical reason for its existence. The festive elements of the celebration, the cultural values, the social code of conduct and individual belief and practices are intertwined. “Songkran” embodies the traditional Thai cultural values. The underlying significance of “Songkran” is the process of cleansing and purification — the purging of all ills, misfortune and evil and starting the New Year afresh with all that is good and pure. Water is symbolic of the cleaning process and signifies purity. "Songkran" is a Sanskrit word meaning to "move into." It refers to the orbit of the sun moving into Aries, and marks the end of a 12-month cycle and the beginning of a new solar year. Thus, it is really a New Year, a time of renewal for all Thais. But it’s also the kingdom's most 'sanuk' (fun-filled) festival, celebrated with tremendous enthusiasm. In most parts of the country, “Songkran” extends over a period of just three day but can be longer in some areas, as in Pattaya, where it can lasts up to 10 days! Visitors to Thailand can enjoy “Songkran” anywhere in Thailand – but major towns and cities hold the most spirited celebrations. If you want to enjoy this festival – be prepared to get really wet! But don’t worry, wherever you are – you probably will! So get ready to make your own splash too! 


SONGKRAN SPECIALS!

To celebrate the Thai New Year hotel operators and other travel service providers create special packages offering several benefits if not big discounts. Call your favorite hotel or tour operator on how to enjoy some of them. Here are some that made it to our deadline: Amari Orchid Pattaya – A specially tailored ‘Songkran Splash Package, available from April 10 to 17, this package is for those staying a minimum of two nights stay at the hotel. Offer includes stay in a Superior Garden Room or Deluxe Tower Room, including breakfast, a complimentary room upgrade to the next category, free Internet access, 20% discount on any Breeze Spa treatments, one set lunch or dinner per stay at Tavern by The Sea restaurant and a special Amari Lion Doll welcome gift. Get a 10% discount for any additional nights booked. The package starts at Bt5,186++. For more information, contact Amari Orchid Pattaya at 038-418-418 Centara offers rooms and water shooters -- Centara Hotels & Resorts offers a special Songkran package at selected properties that for a minimum two nights’ stay and includes breakfast for two persons, a laundry credit, and a Songkran survival kit that includes two water shooters per room and plastic waterproof covers for valuables. Valid during April 10 to 16, the package is available at hotels and resorts in Bangkok, Pattaya, Rayong, Koh Chang, Krabi, Phuket and Chiang Mai. The package is bookable via www.centarahotelsresorts.com/songkran

Centara Grand at CentralWorld -- CentralWorld is Bangkok’s epicenter for Songkran fun and there is no need to go home if you book a room with Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, where special rates are available to Thailand residents only April 5-21. Superior World rooms at this fivestar hotel are priced at only Bt2,888 net per night, including service charge and tax, the rate being for the room only, and for two people, with bookings starting from now. The rate is for residents of Thailand only, and guests will need to produce their Thai ID or their Thailand work permit upon arrival. For more information and reservations, contact 02-100-123, ext 6759-6763 or cgcwreservation@chr.co.th

The Peninsula Bangkok -- Throughout the Songkran, The Peninsula Bangkok’s sumptuous comforts are offered from just Bt18,000* for two nights (minimum two nights’ stay, including complimentary American buffet breakfast for two) in a Deluxe Room with a glorious river view. A complimentary package ensures an unforgettable Songkran encounter. One of the highlights is the communal daylong water splashing ritual, for which the hotel will fully equip guests with a “Survival Package.” Also featured in the package are water squirting guns and traditional Thai-style Songkran attire for two people, and perfumed powder, as well as a complimentary two-hour tour for two along Bangkok’s timeless canals where picturesque life proceeds at a slower rhythm – as it has for generations. Early bookings are recommended. For more information, or to make a reservation, contact the Reservations Department at 02-861-2388, via e-mail at reservationpbk@ peninsula.com

Novotel Bangok on Siam Square – There will be a “Wet and Wild Songkran Party” at Concept CM² of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square April 12-14, with an all-night open bar (standard house pours only) for Bt650 per person. The energetic Crush Crew band heat things up with the latest pop, R&B and hip hop, and as the steam starts to rise resident DJs spin Pop and House, while the bar team cool things down with a selection of spirits and beers to keep chilled. To find out more, contact 02-2098888, ext. CM2 or visit www.CM2bkk.com. Conrad Koh Samui -- Conrad Koh Samui is offering 30% savings on the bed and breakfast rate during the festival. Guests who wish to stay at Conrad Koh Samui during Songkran can take advantage of the brand new “Dream Resorts 2013” promotion and save 30% on bed and breakfast when booked until May 14 for stays until Dec. 31. With the promotion, guests will enjoy a wonderful Songkran celebration in style. For reservation or more information, e-mail conrad_koh_samui@conradhotels.com or visit www.conradkohsamui.com The Sukosol, Bangkok – Book The Sukosol, Bangkok’s two-night “Songkran Package” and enjoy staying at a Deluxe Room for Bt6,300++ from April 1-30. The package, created fro two persons, comes with unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi, daily breakfast, two signature drinks at aphhire Bar, late checkout at 3 p.m., buffet dinner at Patummat International Restaurant and more. Complimentary Songkran Survival Kit for guests staying between April 13 and 16 and 25% discount for booking extended nights. For more information, contact 02-247-0123, ext. 1103-1108; e-mail: reservations@sukosolhotels.com

April 2013 | 17


travel

culture

Colorful Rite of Passage

In early April, witness the wildly colorful ‘Poy Sang Long,’ a novice monk ordination festival in Mae Hong Son, Northern Thailand

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TEXT and Photos by Dave Stamboulis

ost visitors to Thailand never make it to Mae Hong Son, which is a pity because the town and surrounding province remains one of the most unchanged and welcoming areas of the country in terms of tourism. There is a wealth of outdoor activity to engage in (excellent trekking and rafting), visits to ethnic minority groups, and of course plenty of gorgeous nature. But one of the best reasons to visit Mae Hong Son is to witness the wildly colorful “Poy Sang Long” -- the novice monk ordination festival, which occurs throughout April.

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“Poy Sang Long,” meaning “festival of the crystal sons,” is a traditional ceremony hailing from the Shan State over the border in Myanmar. The Shan, known in Thailand as the Thai Yai, brought this rite of passage across the border. While Chiang Mai and other towns in northern Thailand have similar celebrations, none is as colorful or spectacular as Mae Hong Son’s version where for three days young boys become ordained as monks in a gaudy pageant. During the festival, dozens of boys are brought by their families to the temple to make merit for themselves and learn Buddhist tenets and teachings. On the first day of the festival, known as


“Rup Sang Long,” the boys enter the temple and have their hair and eyebrows shaved by the senior monks. For most of the boys, this is a traumatic event, as attachment to hairstyle is attachment to identity, not to mention that the razors often draw blood, leaving the youngsters looking slightly aghast. On the second day the boys, freshly shorn of their locks, are given ornate and vibrant costumes to wear, emulating Prince Rahula, the Buddha’s son, who sought to give up a worldly existence and follow his father’s teachings, and from this point on the young men are not allowed to touch the ground anywhere outside of the temple. To comply with this, the boy’s male relatives are used as horses and have to carry the young monks-to-be on their shoulders. A glamorous procession begins from the gates of Wat Hua Wing Temple, with the boys being carried throughout the town amidst great fanfare, with drums beating and cymbals crashing. Ponies, adorned in colorful ribbons join the musicians at the front of the parade, followed by the crowd of costumed boys and their caretakers. Old women put on their best clothing and dance traditional Thai dances, while the family relatives twirl and sway through the packed streets, each one trying to have their boy moved to the head of the parade. At this point, the change in the boys’ demeanor is quite interesting. Far from the shy and traumatized youngsters of the day before, they have realized that they are now the stars of the show, and bask in the limelight of the photographers’ flashes and tourists’ admiration. The procession weaves its way through the narrow streets of Mae Hong Son, everyone having a good time, oblivious to the 40-degree plus heat that bakes the town during the April hot season. Despite Poi Sang Long being a religious festival, there certainly is no shortage of alcohol consumption, much of it being cold beer to ward off the sizzling temperatures, with the main consumers being the relatives who are serving as personal horses! As the afternoon shadows settle in on the town, the parade winds down and the procession slowly breaks up, with the boys being carried into their prospective neighborhoods, paraded around the neighbors’ homes, and then brought into their own houses for the night. Each neighborhood then throws a giant block party, celebrating the young men and their noble path, as well as a joyous occasion to share good times. On the final morning of the festival known as “Wan Kham Sang,” most of the town gathers at the temple, where the head abbot gives a stern sermon on the seriousness of becoming a monk. At this point, the flashy celebrating grinds to a halt and everyone sits silently in the stilting heat getting the message about what this event really is about.

When the abbot finishes speaking, the last stage of the festivities is reached. Once again, the boys make a transformation, from their garish costumes into the bright orange robes of the novices, which are handed out by the senior monks. Once dressed, the boys ask the abbot for permission to become monks, and thus granted, they have passed into a new realm. Wat Hua Wing resembles an ocean of orange, and the families make their way through the sea of colors to congratulate the boys, as well as to offer alms, prayers, and words of thanks to the monks. The final step in all the celebrating is a huge and sumptuous feast that has been prepared by the temple kitchen all weekend, and now laid out for the new monks. The boys are surrounded by their families and dig in with exuberance, famished and exhausted from all that they have experienced in the last three days. Different temples in Mae Hong Son hold the ceremony at diiferent times through April so make a call to check before your visit. Contact the Provincial Tourist Office at 053-612-982/3 for the relevant information. 

April 2013 | 19


travel

mini-guide Charming Chachoengsao

Quiet exploration of novel sights, many not mentioned in mainstream travel brochures, await visitors to this tranquil Thai town 100km east of Bangkok By Percy Roxas

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WHY GO Accessibility may not be the best reason, but for many it’s the first reason to visit Chanchoengsao. Its proximity to Bangkok makes it very attractive. There is more to it than can be seen in a day but a daytrip is perfect for those who don’t have enough time to venture outside Bangkok, have already seen the likes of Ayutthaya, Pattaya or Kanchanaburi, and are ready for a deeper exploration and appreciation of the Thai way of life. Next, and more important reason, of course, is immersing yourself to mores and values that might give you better understanding of the Thais and their culture as well as to discover a Thai destination less touristy than you usually visit.

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WHAT TO SEE & DO Wat Luang Sothorn, best known for its principal Buddha statue, is a humunguous Thai temple, and an important, fitting first stop to what can be a “mini-religious circuit” tour of sorts is on top of the program. Then, Ban Mai Market, which can be reached after about 30 minutes of leisurely sightseeing along the river. The riverside restaurant Ban Pa Nu, which serves an amazing lunch indeed is located here. This restaurant is known for Thai delicacies that one can seldom taste in urban Bangkok. Ban Mai means “new village” – probably what it was during its establishment during the reign of King Rama V (1868-1910). Today though, the market is a living

PHotos By HOTEL PR ASSOCIATION

ocated just 100km east of Bangkok, Chachoengsao is one of the easiest places to visit for a daytrip. Perhaps best known for the Bangpakong River and the Wat Luang Por Sothorn, which houses some of Thailand’s most revered Buddha images, it is hardly on anybody’s mainstream tourism map. But we thought it should be. In fact there are recent effort to focus more attention to Chachoengsao’s neglected tourism potential. The history of Chachoengsao (Paet Rio) dates to the reign of King Borommatrailokkanat (Ayutthaya period) when many people settled around the Bangpakong River and its canals. Chacheongsao is a Khmer word meaning “deep canal.” In the past, it was a fourth class city until King Rama V changed the administration system and it became a city in the Prachinburi Circle. It became province in 1916. Today, Chachoengsao is a relatively progressive province but with a way of life that for the most part has remained relatively simple and gracious reminiscent of the the old days.


where to

contact/ CHACHOENGSAO DEstinations to Discover

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thailand map with pointer to the for upcountry desti

THAILAND Bangkok Chachoengsao

testament to a lifestyle that had since faded from many parts of modern Thailand. It is quite interesting how the locals have preserved the market and their traditional lifestyles. The old wooden houses, which nestle many small stores and shops, are still in excellent condition. From Ban Mai, you can walk to Wat Chin Pracha Samosorn (of the Mahayana sect; Thailand’s Buddhism is Theravada). It was a shining example of Thai cultural and religious tolerance. The World Sand Sculpture, a fairly novel attraction in the province is also a great stop. You must also try to visit the 30-year-old Thai dessert shop named Rin, and a relatively new place where one can learn about pottery and clay sculpture – Koomwimarndin. The third quasi-religious sortie to include

is Wat Samanratanaram, home to a large reclining statue of the Hindu god, Ganesh, said to be the biggest in Thailand, at 16m in height and 22m in length. These are just a few. EAT & DRINK We have already mentioned the Ban Mai market, where a riverside restaurant called Ban Pa Nu, serves an amazing lunch indeed, with Thai delicacies one can seldom taste in urban Bangkok. If you’re staying to experience the nightlife, be warned that the city sleeps early unlike say, Pattaya, but you may find bars with a relatively a buzzing and comfortable atmosphere such as the Chaun Bar, located on the same road as Wat Saton. The bar has an entertaining live band performing from around 8 p.m. till late. Or

you can check out the Dome, Chachoengsao’s big nightclub. People of all ages patronize Dome for its mixture of dance music. There’s a live band every night, playing Thai and foreign music. Best to have a local friend to enjoy a a bottle of Blend (cheap Thai whiskey) and party. SLEEP From B&B facilities and guesthouses, to boutique hotels and design accommodations, to resort hotels and spas, there’s no dearth of places to stay in Chachoengsao. To get the best rates and offers, it is advisable to check the Internet for their individual websites and book there directly as it is often cheaper to book in the Net than if you are a walk-in guest. 

// how to get there: By train -- A train leaves Hualamphong station to Chachoengsao every hour from 5:55 a.m. to 6:25 p.m. daily. The trip is about one-and-a-half hours. Price for a third class train ticket is Bt13 (for foreigners). For more info, call 1690, 02-220-4334, contact the Chachoengsao Railway Station how at 038-511-007, or visit www. railway.co.th. Or if you’re more adventurous, take the Airport Link and get off at Lad Krabanghow station (between Suvarnabhumi International Airport and Bangkok's downtown area). Call 1690; visit how www.railway.co.th for more details, although if you’re new to Thailand, it may be difficult to get proper transport connections from there.

to go by bus

to go by car

to go by taxi

how to go by train

By car -- You can rent a car and drive to Chachoengsao using one of the three routes from Bangkok: 1) Highway 304 (Bangkok-MinburiChachoengsao), a total distancehow of 75km; 2) Highway 34 (Bang Na-Trat Road) and change to Highway 314 (Bangpakong-Chachoengsao), a total distance of 90km; or Highway 3 (past Samut Prakan how and Bangpakong) and change to Highway 314, a total distance of 100km.

to go by boat/

to go by airpla

By bus -- Air-conditioned bus service leaves the Northern Bus Terminal on Kamphaengphet II Road 5:20 a.m.-6 p.m. (every 30 minutes) daily. Travel time is about one hour and 20 minutes, using the motorway. For more info, contact 02-936-4041, 089-748-1349, or the Northern Bus Terminal (Kamphaengphet II Road) at 02936-2852 /66 ext. 311, 442. Additionally, you can get a bus from the Eastern Bus Terminal in Ekkamai (BTS: Ekkamai). Bus service starts at 5 a.m. and the last bus leaves at 9:30 p.m. For more details, contact 02-712-1018, 02-391-2504 (in Bangkok), or 089-752-9200 and 038-514-482 (in Chachoengsao).

April 2013 | 21


travel

activities Klong Encounters Experience Thailand’s age-old way of life as it persist in a still natural, calm, and genuinely generous manner guided by a knowledgeable insider: the 'klong guru'

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By PerCY ROXAS

PHotos By ANANTARA BANGKOk & PERCY ROXAS

angkok’s maze of canals have fascinated almost every visitor to the city, and experiencing them one way or another has become an integral part of holidaying here. It is a bit difficult to get the exact length of these crisscrossing canals but one thing is sure: unless you dedicate your life everyday to exploring each and every nook and cranny of them, you will never be able to discover them all during a short holiday. I’ve been living in the city for 20 years now and go around the city a lot, and I thought I have seen all there is to see and know all there is to know about these klongs (canals). I was wrong.

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There are still so many pockets of attractions that I have failed to explore, such as in this intricate system of klongs on the Thonburi side, which I thought – again rather wrongly – were just another face of Bangkok’s riverine culture. Thanks to Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa’s new “klong guru” program, I was able to experience again a side of Bangkok that seems light years away from this cosmopolitan city of cacophony, gleaming skycrapers, glittering lights, and reputedly seedy nights. It was an experience made more fun by the klong guru – who feeds you up throughout the entire tour with local knowledge that only an insider could provide. The klong guru trip easily confirms that googling is not enough to learn about things. Our “Klong Guru Tour” started at 11 a.m. at the Anantara Bangkok’s pier. Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is situated along the banks of the Chao Phraya River, the lifeline of the city for centuries. Guided by our klong guru, Visanu Kidkarn – who is actually an assistant chief concierge, we step aboard a traditional longtail boat owned by the resort itself en route to a klong tour that would take us four hours to complete. The “Klong Guru Tour” can be experienced every Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. Price is Bt 2,000 net per person, by the way. Korat-born Visanu (Pete) -- who moved to Bangkok for work and now calls the city home -- was said to have spent the first 10 years of his life living around these traditionals. Over time, Pete became more and more familiar with the most interesting klongs and otehr places of cultural significance in the city, appreciating the meeting of two different worlds. Based on his personal experience, he created a special tour for his friends, and so when Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa decided to launch a special klong boat tour for guests, he was a shoo-in for the position of "klong guru." Pete has been with the luxury five-star resort for 15 years as concierge and when the klong guru concept was implemented, he volunteered. Pete obviously enjoys sharing the wealth of klong knowledge with his guests but even on a personal level, he says, he enjoys being in the klongs as well.


where to

contact/ Travel Exploring Hidden Gems

From the resort’s pier, we went branching off into the heart of the city’s klong labyrinth. To be honest, we didn’t expect much as we’ve done the klongs probably a hundred times; on our own, as a guest of another hotel, or as a host to our own guests. But we have to admit that we haven’t seen this area of Bangkok yet – not by the klong anyway. And admittedly they weren’t the route usually taken by mainstream klong tour operators. It started rather ho-hum, as my Thai assistant – familiar as he is to these things -- says. The view wasn’t that exceptional at the outset of the tour, with the backside of the riverside residences, dilapidated stilt houses, occasional sightings of animals: a small alligator and birds; and local people getting about their usual daily chores. The water on some parts of the canal is even a bit murky. But as you get deeper and deeper into the klongs, you begin to understand why the organizers say the excursion has been “designed to showcase the city’s hidden cultural gems, and reveals unique glimpses of timeless local life and traditional wooden canal homes that jut out over the water.” What made the tour especially fun is enjoying first-hand experience of unadulterated, genuine Thai hospitality – starting with the klong guru, of course. Pete begins by telling us a bit about the role the rivers and canals play in traditional Thai life, and explains whatever he thinks would be interesting to us, such as floating plants, and glittering temples built during the Ayutthaya era. But these bits of wiki-knowledge pales in comparison with how he treats us: like VIPS. Just a few minutes after we entered the first klong curve, here is Peter stopping by something like a riverside convenience store to buy cold water and soft drinks. Then, in something like a few minutes again, we stopped by what looks like a small riverside eatery to buy us some coconut juice. The coconut juice we enjoyed as we plod along, until we reached the first “important” stop: a unique temple that King Rama 2 used to visit. Built with a unique Sino-Thai flair, the temple is an example of how Thais use foreign influences to expand and improve their way of doing things. We were supposed to also see the Reclining Buddha at the back of the temple, but it was closed at the time. Our boat continued its canal encounters, enjoying the smiles and waves of locals who live by the river, getting amused by some colorful artistic displays in individual homes, and enjoying more glittering temples and Thai buildings. Soon, we stopped for what is probably the second “important” activity: joining in the Thai custom of feeding fish for luck. Eventually we reached “The Artist’s House” – an intriguing wooden home-cum-gallery-art school-theater that is just one of the many shophouse-looking edifices connected by a wooden pathway that extends to the closest road and bridge. The house, our guru told us later, was more than 100-years-old and this was proven by an age-old chedi that still stands in the middle of the house. We were supposed to see a traditional Thai puppet show on this house, but unfortunately, there was no show that day – it was a Thursday. Even so, we enjoyed browsing over the collection of puppetry images, masks, costumes, books and many other relics of an age gone by. We were also supposed to enjoy lunch here: with one of Thailand’s signature street dishes, the noodle specialty “Pad Thai” but again, no one's doing it that day. But in fact, we weren’t thinking of lunch as yet busy as our eyes and mind are observing touches of local life that seems untouched by the Bangkok we

knew. A gentle stroll on foot this time, revealed that many of the shophouses have been converted into stores, shops for handicrafts and local arts, obviously to cater to visiting tourists. But most remain as they are, with the people seemingly oblivious to the peeking visitors, doing their own thing: sleeping on the floor, eating their noodles, and both sides of the river people just “watching the wheels” of life slowly go by, so to speak. We walked until the end of the pathway and crossed a small bridge that cuts through the klong, taking our lunch – was it chai kuap? – a humble but delicious dish at the first shop by the footbridge while enjoying the growing klong traffic. There were longtail boats coming from boat sides! And then it was time to return to ‘The Artist’s House’ to browse a collection of paintings on the second floor, the locally inspired drawings on the ground floor and enjoy local brewed coffee. Our guru says visitors here are usually invited to try their hand creating something here such as carving, creating an artistic paper print, or painting a traditional Thai mask. After the short coffee break – Pete phoned our longtail boat driver to pick us up, and he was there in a huff (where do they park the boats anyway?). Returning to the resort, the final leg of tour rejoins the Chao Phraya River, passing by iconic landmarks such as the Grand Palace and Temple of Dawn – and straight to the resort against Chao Phraya's choppy waves. “Whenever I feel the stress of the hectic city pace, “our klong guru tells us before we reached the resort pier to disembark, “I seek relaxation and a taste of cultural authenticity. I hop on a longtail boat and traverse the klongs, which have always felt like home to me. When I enter a klong, I feel as though I have entered another portal, a completely different realm, where Thailand’s age-old way of life persists in its natural, simple, calm and warmly generous manner. I hope my guests feel the same way too.”  April 2013 | 23

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TRAVEL

travel deals The hottest deals this month From Bt5,900++

From Bt175,000: Discovery Thailand Package Experience Thailand’s exotic diversity

with Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas’ “Discovery Thailand” package, which comprises nine nights in total at three unique hideaways -- beach, city, and jungle -- with a host of special benefits. They are:

Three nights at Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa -- Perched on a hilltop overlooking the hills of Thailand,

Myanmar and Laos, as well as the mighty Mekong River, this natural jungle retreat covers 160 acres and is home to Asia’s premier Elephant Camp. The stay includes three nights in an Anantara Three Country View Suite; transfers between airport and the resort; full board meals with a select range of unlimited beverages; a choice of one activity for each night stayed including elephant adventures; indulgent spa packages; a Thai cooking class or a Golden Triangle Private Excursion; one-time visit per stay to the Opium Museum; complimentary mini bar; and complimentary Internet.

Four nights at Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villa Resort & Spa

Explore the charms of Koh Phangan, famed for its full moon parties, as well as a quieter bohemian vibe and holistic retreats, traditional Thai villages and untouched natural beauty. The stay includes four nights in an Ocean Pool Villa inclusive of daily breakfast; and return scheduled speedboat transfers between Koh Samui and the resort.

Two nights at Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa

Enjoy Bangkok’s dynamic cultural, historic and cosmopolitan contrasts from this tranquil waterfront sanctuary as well as a choice of 11 dining options and other impressive leisure facilities. Step behind the tourist scenes with the resort’s “Streetwise Guru,” or book the “Klong Guru Tour” and traverse the city’s maze of canals aboard a traditional longtail boat, to name but a few of the unique local experiences available. The stay includes two nights in a Premier Suite inclusive of daily breakfast. Prices for this combined tri-destination escape, which can be enjoyed in any order, start at Bt175,000. Offer available until Dec. 15. For more information and reservations, contact reserveanantara@anantara.com

Bangkok Bt4,900++ The

Sukosol, Bangkok introduces its latest room deal, the special “Weekend Package” to give you more time to relax in Bangkok. Enjoy two nights stay in Deluxe Room with breakfast and unlimited Wi-Fi at only Bt4,900++ per night for two, inclusive of two signature drinks at Sapphire Bar, late checkout at 3 p.m., 20% off for food at Patummat Restaurant and a 25% discount for booking extended nights. Package is available until April 30 (for Friday-Sunday night stays). The hotel also offers two other separate packages: the “Romance Package” at Bt9,90++ and the “Family Getaway” package at Bt13,000++.For more information and reservations, call 02-247-0123, ext 1103-1108 or e-mail at reservations@ sukosolhotels.com or www.sukosolhotels.com

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LOOKEAST | TRAVEL

‘Songkran’ Package: 50% On Every Second Night

The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa Phuket has launched ‘Songkran’ offer to celebrate Thai New Year with 50% saving on every second night for stays until April 30. Save 50% on every second night for bookings made before April 15, and discover the refreshing celebration in Thailand with a limited time offer during “Songkran.” Rates start at Bt4,125+++ per night for a Superior Sea View room including buffet breakfast for two persons, subject to 18.7% tax and service charge. Terms and conditions apply. Guest can book through www. westin.com/siraybayresort or by calling 076-335-600

Grand Millennium Sukhumvit has designed a “5-in-1 Meeting” package for all business guests. Available until Sept. 30, the offer comes at Bt5,900++ per room per night, inclusive of breakfast, complimentary upgrade to a Grand Deluxe room; complimentary wireless Internet, and more. Minimum booking of 15 rooms. For more information, contact 02-204-4000 or e-mail: rsvn@grandmillenniumskv.com

Phuket From Bt5200

Regent Phuket Cape Panwa presents a special “Songkran Celebrations” promotion from April 11 to 16, guests can stay in a Pavilion for Bt5,200 per night, a Suite for Bt6,900 per night or an exclusive Pool Villa for Bt11,050 per night. Terms and conditions apply. The spa and the restaurant also having special promotions (April 13, 14 and 15). For more information, contact: 076-200-803

From Bt1,999++ To celebrate its launch,

Holiday Inn Phuket Patong Beach Central is offering guests a special opening rate from Bt1,999++ per night for stays from now till Oct. 31. As with all Holiday Inn Express rates in Asia, this is inclusive of free breakfast and high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel. For more information, visit www. holidayinnexpress.com


mall/shopping centre boutique/fashion store Lookeast recommendations travel deals

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From Bt3799++ The Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa and

the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas have announced special rates for early low season 2013. The Outrigger Phi Phi Island Resort and Spa is offering a Superior Bungalow with breakfast for two from Bt5,759 +++ per night. The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas is offering a One-Bedroom Suite from Bt3,799+++. Bookings have to be made before March 15. Stay dates are from April 1 to June 30. For booking in Phi Phi, call 0750628-900/99; e-mail: res03. phiphi@outrigger.co.th.; For the The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas call 076-336-900. E-mail: laguna@outrigger.co.th

Chiang Mai From Bt52,500 Net Siripanna Villa Resort & Spa Chiang Mai is

now offering a 3-day/2-night package stay in the grandest and most luxurious accommodations. Indulge in the Grand Royal Lanna Villa, featuring its very own outdoor bath and terrace, or experience the true spirit of Lanna culture in the unique Siripanna Grand Royal Lanna Suite, featuring a private living room and outdoor garden. Package rates for Grand Royal Lanna Villa: Bt52,500 net (until April 15 and from Dec. 1 to 31); and Bt45,290 net (from April 16-Oct. 31) . For Siripanna Grand Royal Lanna Suite rates are Bt 62,130 net (nowApril 15, Dec. 1-23) and t 53,050 net (April 16-Oct.31). Terms and conditions apply. For more information and reservations, call 053371-999 or e-mail: info@siripanna.com

Amphawa Touch of Nature Enjoy your next Songkran holiday at a very special price at Asita Eco Resort Amphawa. Located just one hour from Bangkok and just 10 minutes away from the Amphawa Floating Market as well as the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Asita is an eco friendly lifestyle resort perfect to escape the congested city and relax. The resort is surrounded by countless pine trees, adjacent a large tranquil canal, and designed to preserve the simple, yet elegant, lifestyle of rural Thai people. Choose between a traditional Thai house and Villa, designed for comfort and with ecofriendly amenities. Enjoy a private swimming pool, inspired by nature, in front of your room’s porch for the ultimate in relaxation. Activities abound both within the resort and nearby. For the “Songkran Holiday Special Offers” or reservations, call 089-866-2168; 089-866-3168; www.asitaresort.com

Pattaya New Spa Promotion Hilton Pattaya has unveiled its latest promotion, the ‘Juicy Mani Smoothie Pedi’ at eforea: spa at Hilton. Available daily at the spa (located on Level 17) 10 a.m. -10 p.m., the promo offers guests a new healthy range of juices or smoothies while they soak their tensions away, and their hands and feet are soothed and nourished in luxurious spa retreat surroundings. A blend of effective antioxidant and detox formulas naturally helps support and protects the body from many negative effects of modern day life. With all ingredients sourced from local produce, these juices and smoothies are great ways to kick-start a new regime or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get some luxury manicure and pedicure treatments and finish off with a massage and polish. Price is between Bt1,200 net to Bt1,600 net. For more information, call 038-253-000, e-mail pattaya.info@ hilton.com or visit Hilton.com/eforeaspa Looking for the best travel deals? For bookings and reservations, contact: LOOKEAST TRAVELS 18th Fl. Richmond Office Building #75/65 Sukhumvit Soi 26, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110 Tel. 02-204-2449; Fax. 02-204-2984 www.lookeasttravels.com


TRAVEL

travel news Amari Residences Phuket wins at AsPac property awards Hong Kong – Amari Estates has announced that its newest project, Amari Residences Phuket, has won the “Best Architecture Multiple Residence” award at the prestigious Asia Pacific Property Awards 2013. The Asia Pacific Property Awards are part of the long established International Property Awards and attaining one of these coveted awards is testimony to Amari Residences Phuket’s capability of outperforming some exceedingly strong contenders within the highly competitive Asia Pacific property arena. “We are hugely honored to have won the “Best Architecture for Multiple Residence” award at this year’s Asia Pacific Property Awards.,” said Yuthachai Charnachitta, CEO of Amari Estates & Italthai Group. “This is proof that Amari Residences Phuket stands head and shoulders above the competition in terms of longterm investment opportunities in Phuket, and will continue to set a high market benchmark in offering accessible and affordable luxury investment opportunities on the island.” Boasting panoramic 270-degree sea views and set on approximately three hectares of tropical beach forest, Amari Residences Phuket is located on the last prime undeveloped coastal site above Patong Bay, Phuket’s most expensive location where land prices averages HK$20,000 per square meter. Architecturally designed as two and three-story low-rises, the residences are spaciously laid out within the peninsula’s natural and pristine setting and offers sea-views from every unit, as well as access to a private beach and private jetty.

Accor signs 3 new hotels in Myanmar

Bangkok -- Accor opens new frontiers in Southeast Asia entering into Myanmar with an MGallery hotel in the country’s capital and two newly built Novotel hotels in Yangon and Mandalay The leading international hotel operator in Asia-Pacific recently announced the development of three new hotels in Myanmar – an MGallery hotel in Naypyidaw, Novotel Yangon Max, and Novotel Mandalay Mingalar – representing the group’s 18th market in the region. “We are excited to announce the signing of three new hotels in Myanmar – the first of which will open this year – marking Accor’s return to Myanmar,” says Michael Issenberg, chairman and chief operating officer for Accor Asia-Pacific. “Southeast Asia has long been a focus market for Accor, and as the country’s tourism industry develops, we see significant growth potential for international hotel operators with long-term experience in the region. These three developments represent yet another step towards our goal of operating 700 hotels in AsiaPacific by 2015.”

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LOOKEAST | TRAVEL

The upscale MGallery hotel in the heart of Naypyidaw, Myanmar’s capital city, will be the city’s first international brand hotel. The newly built property, expected to open this year, will be located a mere 15 minutes’ drive from the City Hall, Water Park and Gem Museum, and 20 minutes from Naypyidaw International Airport. Novotel Yangon Max, to be completed by the end of 2013, is within walking distance of Shwedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Inya Lake, Junction Square Shopping Center, and a 20-minute drive from Yangon International Airport. Novotel Mandalay Mingalar, a newly built hotel scheduled to open in 2015, is situated near the Maha Muni Pagoda, Mandalay Palace, Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay Hill, and a 40-minute drive from Mandalay International Airport.

Holiday Inn Express opens first Phuket property Phuket -- Holiday Inn Express has opened their first property on Phuket, providing savvy leisure travelers with affordable comfort in a prime central location. Offering relaxed,

hassle-free accommodation without compromising on quality, Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central has all the characteristics that guests expect of the trusted global brand. The 277-room hotel defines smart travel by combining comfort and convenience with proximity and price. Only a few steps from Patong Beach, the island’s most popular and well-developed beach, Phuket’s first Holiday Inn Express is also located close to a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. In addition to comfortable guestrooms with high-quality bedding and private balconies, situated away from the bustle of Patong’s nightlife, guests can also enjoy a wide range of facilities including a 24hour fitness room and a stunning swimming pool.

The launch of Holiday Inn Express Phuket Patong Beach Central underscores the brand’s commitment to expanding its footprint in Asia. The brand will open more hotels across Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia over the next 12 months. There are currently 39 Holiday Inn Express properties and 57 more in the pipeline across Asia, making the brand one of the fastest growing and largest in the region.

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom presents ‘new way to meet’

Bangkok -- Novotel Silom recently unveiled a new and innovative “Living Room,” designed to provide a far more relaxed and cozy atmosphere not just for meetings, conferences and functions but also for any type of social or leisure function. Located on Level 7 of the hotel, The Living Room provides a modern setting for up to approximately 30 persons. Meeting packages start at Bt800 net per person and are available for half and full-day events. Food and drink amenities as part of event package include coffee break, choice of lunch/dinner international buffet as well as a special menu prepared for exclusive events and dinners.

SKAL relaunches Pattaya, East Thailand clubs

Pattaya – Skal International Thailand’s Pattaya and East Thailand club has been relaunched. The new club president Tony Malhotra, deputy

Amari Orchid Pattaya gives away Junior Suite Room Brendan Daly (right), general manager of Amari Orchid Pattaya presents a voucher to the lucky couple, Keawalin Juejan and Surapol Tongprasert, who joined the recently concluded “Love Festival” at Central Festival Pattaya Beach. The couple won accommodation in a Junior Suite Room in the Ocean Tower including breakfast for two people and valued at Bt10,000.


mall/sho

boutique TRAVEL & TRADE NEWS INDUstRY UPDates

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travel/de managing director of Pattaya Mail Publishing Co Ltd, presided at the inaugural event held at the Dusit Thani Hotel Pattaya with travel and tourism professionals in attendance. Asked why it is important to have a Skal Club in Pattaya, Malhotra said, "Pattaya is expanding rapidly and there are many new tourism projects planned. Add to that a wide and diverse number of new Pattaya tourism executives stationed in Pattaya; a projected three million visitors annually and a record 22 million international visitors to Thailand. “They all add up to the need for a professional association that can communicate and share knowledge to ensure that Pattaya and East Thailand maintains its firm foothold on the stage of world tourism. A destination with a Skal Club sends out a message to all stakeholders and suppliers that we are serious about the business of tourism.”

Mövenpick marks Asian milestone with new hotels

Hong Kong -- Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has embarked on a journey to celebrate its 40th anniversary this year with the signing of two new hotels in China and Thailand. The upscale hotel company of Swiss heritage is to open a new beach resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, and a 250-room hotel in Enshi City, China. "The Mövenpick Hotel Enshi will be our first opening in China, marking an important milestone for our company. Chinese consumers regard Swiss products and services as refreshingly different and we are looking forward to leveraging our Swiss roots and culinary legacy to carve a unique niche in this fascinating country,” said Andreas Mattmüller, chief operating officer for Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Middle East and Asia. By 2015, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will have four properties open in China: the upcoming

hotel in Enshi; a 380-room resort on Phoenix Island, Sanya; a 350room property in Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia, and a 300-room hotel in Jiading, Shanghai. Within three years, the company will also be operating eight hotels in Thailand with two in Chiang Mai and one each in Koh Samui, Bangkok and Pattaya in addition to the new signing, the 190-room Mövenpick Resort & Spa, Hua Hin. The upcoming properties will complement the two existing Mövenpick resorts in Phuket.

11 Centara hotels place among ‘best in their locality’

Bangkok -- Eleven Centara Hotels & Resorts’ properties ranked among the “best hotels in their locality” according to Trip Advisor. With 38 deluxe and firstclass properties covering all the major tourist destinations of the kingdom. A further 16

resorts in the Maldives, Vietnam, Bali Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Mauritius Indian Ocean, brings the present total to 54 properties. “We are very proud to have received such a large number of awards. We believe this reflects on the quality of the individual properties, the strategic location each occupies, and the superb work of the management and staff, who are warmly congratulated, “ says Thirayuth Chirathivat, CEO of Centara Hotels & Resorts. “For 11 properties to have achieved such high profile honors despite formidable competition is a real achievement.”


TRAVEL

Peninsula Bangkok bags Asia’s ‘Top Skycraper Hotel’ award

Bangkok -- The Peninsula Bangkok has been ranked Travel + Leisure magazine’s “Top Skyscraper Hotel in Asia,” “11th Best Hotel in the World,” and the “Top city hotel in Asia.” The Peninsula Bangkok’s Spa was also recently ranked the third Best spa in Asia and the Indian Subcontinent by Conde Nast Traveler (USA) and claimed a place on The Golf List of The World’s Best Places to Stay. The Peninsula Bangkok was also rated the No. 1 Best City Hotel in Southeast Asia by The Gallivanter’s Guide (UK) one of Asia’s Best Hotels by Institutional Investor (USA) and one of The Best Hotels Around the World by Fodor’s (USA).

U Inchantree Kanchanaburi earns TripAdvisor award Kanchanaburi -- U Inchantree Kanchanaburi, under the management of Absolute Hotel

Services (AHS), recently won a “2013 Traveler’s Choice Award – Top 25 Small Hotels in Thailand,” from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel ranking website. “This is a proud moment for all of us,” said John Westoby, AHS managing director–Southeast Asia. “Traveler’s Choice Awards are based on millions of reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor reviewers and winning this is a great honor for us as it reinforces our brand mission of delivering a superlative experience every time for our valued guests.” In 2012, the hotel also received TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence,” which honors toprated accommodation, businesses, restaurants and tourist attractions worldwide.

Laguna Phuket Golf Club bares full course upgrade

Phuket -- Laguna Phuket Golf Club will begin a comprehensive course upgrade from July 1 to significantly improve complete golf experience at the world-class five-

Phuket resort owner sold on China Allan Zeman doesn’t look Chinese and ethnically nor is he. But the former Canadian rag trader-cum-restaurant, entertainment, and property developer not only regards himself as Chinese. He has citizenship to prove it. That may not be so startling for an entrepreneur who has spent twothirds of his 63 years living in Hong Kong and amassing a fortune from building a restaurant and entertainment colossus named after the area of Hong Kong that he transformed in the 1970s. Zeman, who has been a Chinese citizen since 2008, is embracing China like never before in his 40-year business relationship with Hong Kong and the Mainland. “I regard myself as Chinese. I think that way,” the 63-year-old entrepreneur reveals during a visit to one of his latest and boldest projects, at Mission Hills’ Haikou resort on the island of Hainan. “So it seemed logical for me to become a Chinese citizen. Almost all my business is in Hong Kong and China, and anyway the Chinese government doesn’t allow dual citizenship.” Zeman, who owns the Anadar Resort in Phuket, says what he admires most about modern China is the way things get done. “If I was starting out in business again, China would be my No. 1 choice. When China wants to do something, they just do it.” “The Chinese model works for China, which is why I am such a strong advocate of investing in China and why we [the Lang Kwai Fong group] are so positive about our projects here,” he said. These include a landmark shopping and entertainment development in Chengdu that is the flagship of Lan Kwai Fong’s investment in China, the Mall of the World retail complex in Guangzhou and, when it is completed at the end of 2013, the massive Lan Kwai Fong project at Mission Hills, Haikou. “We are going to build four or five [more] Lan Kwai Fongs [in China] in the next four or five years,” the flamboyant developer confirms. -- By Paul Myers

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Sisley unveils latest innovation at Millennium Hilton Bangkok Rujitr Susthanaseriporn, subsidary director of Sisley Thailand has organized an extraordinary event recently at the Millennium Hilton Hotel Bangkok to reveal the secret of the company’s latest innovation: Phyto-Blanc Absolute Lightening Essence, with several celebrities in attendance. Photo shows (from left): Suriyon Sriorathaikul; Saarunthorn Techaphaiboon, Benoit Wagner area director Southeast Asia and Travel Retail Sisley Paris; Rujitr Suthanaseriporn, managing director of Sisley Thailand; Nicolas Chesnier, regional managing director Asia Pacific Sisley Paris; Saraichatt Jirapaet; and Atchara Burarak.

Joining the ‘Golden Circle’ David Baldwin (center), Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square general manager, receives the ‘Gold Circle Award’ from Oliver Libutzki (lfet), senior regional directorhotels, South Asia & Southeast Asia of Agoda.com, in recognition of the hotel’s customer service efforts. The sole criteria of this award is based on customer feedback and reviews. star golf facility. The entire project is estimated to take a maximum of 18 months to complete, with the upgraded 18-hole course scheduled for full operation by Jan. 1, 2015.

New Centara Grand Bkk resident manager

John Kendes has been promoted resident manager of Centara Grand Bangkok @ CentralWorld . John is a British national. He has extensive experience in hotel management and in food and beverage, with more than 35 years in the hospitality industry. He has worked in many leading hotels including Sheraton hotels in London and Australia; Carlton Hotels and Prince Hotel and Residence, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. John worked at The Intercontinental Yokohama Grand, Japan as executive director of F&B prior to joining Centara Grand at CentralWorld as executive assistant manager (F&B).

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Welcomes New Hotel Manager

Marcus Bauder has been recently appointed hotel manager of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. A German national, Marcus holds a hotel management degree from a hotel school in Germany as well as several certificates from Cornell University, USA. He started his career as an apprentice at Hotel Breidenbacher Hof in Germany before leaving the country to work at Jebel Ali Hotel & Golf Resort and Burj Al Arab in Dubai. He later joined Corinthia Hotels in Libya and Prague. His first stint in Asia was as director of F&B at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel in Taipei. He was subsequently promoted to resident manager (RM) for the opening of the Shangri-La Tokyo. Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok he was hotel manager at China World Hotel, Beijing. He also spent three months at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore assisting as RM looking after food & beverage.


travel

tale of the tape Malaysia Remains Top Source-Market for ASEAN By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor,

www.travel-impact- newswire.com

F

or many decades, Malaysia was Thailand’s top source-market in terms of visitor arrivals. In 2012, for the first time, it was overtaken by China. However, as the process of ASEAN cultural integration advances, Malaysia will remain by far the top sourcemarket from the ASEAN countries. Let’s start with 2006, when Malaysian visitor arrivals to Thailand totaled 1.59 million, up 15.82% over 2005. In 2010, the figure crossed the two million mark for the first time, rising to 2.05 million, up 17.13% over 2009. In 2012, Malaysian arrivals totaled 2.56 million, up 2.43% over 2011. The main reason for the importance of this market is that about 70% of Malaysian visitors are border-crossers and by far the dominant source of business to the southern Thai provinces. Thailand is seen as a good short-haul and value-formoney destination with good transport connections and ease of access. There is also a high level of Malaysian investment in Thailand. Malaysians holding a valid passport can easily obtain either a seven-day border

pass to travel within a limited number of southern Thai provinces or a one-month visa-free facility to travel anywhere in Thailand. Most of them just cross over by car via the border checkpoints such as Sadao, Betong, and Sungai Kolok. Top five destinations among Malaysian tourists are Hat Yai, Bangkok, Sungai Kolok, Betong, and Phuket. Krabi and Samui, and the northern Thai cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, also enjoyed a growth in Malaysian visitors, clearly reflecting the importance and impact of the low-cost airlines. Hat Yai, the largest city in southern Thailand, is located near the border with Malaysia. It is renowned for its outstanding seafood, served in various styles thanks to Hat Yai’s diverse population of Chinese, Malays, and Thais. Hat Yai also features a multitude of markets, both local and international in style, and has a festive nightlife, including pubs and discos that are popular with Malaysian visitors, especially the ethnic Chinese.

Malaysian  Visitor  Arrivals  Thailand  2006-­‐2012               Year   No.  of  Arrivals   %  Change   2006   1,591,328   15.82%   2007   1,540,080   -­‐3.22%   2008   1,805,332   17.22%   2009   1,757,813   -­‐2.63%   2010   2,058,956   17.13%   2011   2,500,280   21.43%   2012   2,560,963   2.43%   Source:  Ministry  of  Tourism  and  Sports  

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Year   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012  (Jan-­‐ Jun)  

Tourism  Receipts  from  Malaysia  2008-­‐2012               Length  of   No.  of  Arrivals   Per  Capita  Spending   Tourism  Receipts   Stay   Mil.   Mil.     (Days)   Baht/Day   US$/Day   Baht   US$                                      1,828,324     4.87    4,035     121    35,933        1,078                                        1,748,341     4.49    3,995     116    31,366              914                                        2,047,175     4.56    4,080   128    38,090        1,201                                      2,492,034     4.78    4,184     137    49,794      1,633                                      1,174,792    

Source:  Ministry  of  Tourism  and  Sports  

Note:       2008:  Exchange  rate  US$1  =   Bt31.31   2009:  Exchange  rate  US$1  =   Bt34.29   2010:  Exchange  rate  US$1  =   Bt31.69   2011:  Exchange  rate  US$1  =   Bt30.49   2012:  Exchange  rate  US$1  =   Bt31.15  

           

3. Profile

4.94    

 4,423        

 

 

 

       

142    

       

 25,672              824            

 

 

 

     

     

4. Aviation Linkages

There has been a steady increase in airline linkages between Thailand and Malaysia. As of March 2013, there were 245 direct scheduled flights between the two countries, operated by 11 airlines, viz., Thai Airways International (TG), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Air Asia (AK), Thai Air Asia (FD), Bangkok Airways (PG), Lufthansa (LH), Egypt Air (MS), Royal Jordanian Airlines (RJ), Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Firefly (FY) and Berjaya Air (J8). Low-cost airlines are playing a major role in boosting connectivity to and from the emerging secondary cities of ASEAN, especially the beach resorts. This will go a long way towards helping reducing the social and economic disparities between the main gateway cities and the secondary cities.

Kuala  Lumpur  –  Bangkok   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Chiang  Mai   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Hat  Yai   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Krabi   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Phuket   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Samui   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Surat  Thani   Kuala  Lumpur  –  Hua  Hin   Kuala  Lumpur  (Subang)  –  Hat  Yai   Kuala  Lumpur  (Subang)  –  Samui   Penang  –  Bangkok   Penang  –  Phuket   Penang  –  Samui    

Malaysian visitors find Thai products good value for money and an ideal place to eat and shop, especially souvenirs and gifts for friends and families. In 2008, Malaysian visitors stayed an average of about four days and spent an average of US$121.16 per person per day, generating US$1.07 billion in total tourism income. By 2010, the average length of stay had grown to 4.56 days and the average daily expenditure to US$128.76 per person per day, generating total tourism income of US$1.2 billion. The expenditure figures for January-June 2012 show that Malaysian visitors stayed an average of nearly five days and spent an average of US$142 per person per day.

Profile  

The last available profile statistics are for 2011, but they indicate some very interesting changes and trends: • There was a spectacular growth of 72.6% in the number of female travelers. • Visitors traveling as part of tour groups more than doubled by 123.4% to 1.21 million while non-group visitors were down by 14.87% (1.28 million visitors). • About 35% of Malaysian visitors were first-timers, with a very strong growth of 186.2% over 2010. However, repeat visitors were down 7.2% to 1.61 million. • Convention delegates from Malaysia were up by 5.4% to 99,155. • Other fast-growing segments were young people under 25 (up by 83.3%) and senior citizens aged over 65 (up by 133.8%).

Routes  

2. Tourism Revenue in 2012

Airlines  &  No.  of  flights/   Total  flights/   week   week   AK  (42),  TG  (21),  MH  (35),   140   FD  (21),  PG  (7),  LH  (4),  MS   (7),  RJ  (3),  ET  (3)   AK  (10)   10   AK  (7)   7   AK  (7)   7   MH  (14),  AK  (27)   41   PG  (7)   7   AK  (3)   3   J8  (3)   3   FY  (3)   3   FY  (3)   3   TG  (7),  FD  (7)   14   FY  (4)   4   FY  (3)   3   Total   245  

2011   %Change  

%   Share             53.68     46.32             13.63     23.58     24.52     18.48    

      Sex       Male   1,337,763   -­‐  2.95   Female   1,154,271   +  72.60         Age       Under  25   339,706   +  83.34   25  -­‐  34   587,719   +  3.11   35  -­‐  44   611,152   +  3.57   45  -­‐  54   460,594   +  13.02   55  and   492,863   +  67.49   19.78     over             Frequency  of  Visit         First  visit   877,472   +  186.28   35.21     Revisit   1,614,562   -­‐  7.24   64.79               Travel  Arrangement         Group   1,210,656   +  123.36   48.58     Tour   Non  Group   1,281,378   -­‐  14.87   51.42     Tour               Purpose  of  Visit         Holiday   1,323,271   +  67.35   53.10     Meeting   491,436   -­‐  9.95   19.72     Incentive   391,750   -­‐  11.53   15.72     Convention   99,155   +  5.40   3.98     Exhibition   4,691   -­‐  2.29   0.19     Others   181,731   +  7.50   7.29               Source:  Department  of  Tourism,  Ministry  of  Tourism  and  Sports   Marketing  Database  Group,  Tourism  Authority  of  Thailand  

Conclusion

The advent of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 will further grow travel and tourism between Malaysia and Thailand. For the Malaysians, the priority now is to grow the number of Thais visiting their country. That is likely to be a major focus of attention in 2014, “Visit Malaysia Year.” Given their geographical proximity and close cultural, social and economic relations, the two countries are set to prosper together for many years ahead.  April 2013 | 31


travel

insights Take Advantage of the Rail-tours

With all the modernization coming up, railtours will also probably fade into history. Relaxed, convenient, and comfortable, they are well worth trying before that happens By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor,

www.travel-impact- newswire.com

V

isitors to Thailand do not often think of traveling around by railway, but they should think again. The State Railways of Thailand has put up a range of tours on its website, which offer quick one-day trips and a few overnight trips to numerous cultural and natural-beauty spots around the kingdom. Although all tours are in Thai, they are very convenient in one important aspect – transportation to and from these spots is taken care of, leaving the visitors free to consult their guidebooks and mobile-phone apps to fill in the details. Language poses less of a problem than logistics. Here is the website: www.railway.co.th/home/ The best places to visit by rail are Bangkok’s neighboring provinces of Kanchanaburi (home to the famous “Bridge over the River Kwai”), Nakhon Pathom (home to the Great Pagoda) and Petchburi (home to the popular beach resorts of Hua Hin and Cha-am). There are many advantages to taking a rail-tour. You never face any traffic problems, usually the biggest nuisance when traveling by road. The trains are clean and comfortable. You get to mingle with local people (some of whom are more than eager to have a shot at practicing their English), eat local food from the station stalls and enjoy the scenery of the countryside. The cost is also remarkably inexpensive. Bangkok’s main railway station from which the trains depart, Hua Lumphong, is conveniently connected to many of the hotels in inner Bangkok by the MRTA underground service. The only downside is that many of the train-tours leave early in the morning. However, this allows more time to be spent at the tourist spots. Those who are still sleepy will have no problem catching up on lost sleep during the journey itself.

Here is the choice of recommended one-day trips: Petchburi, Cha-am, Marukatayawan Palace: Highly recommended as it includes a visit to this fabulous early 20th century palace. Built between 1923-24, the palace was commissioned by King Vajiravudh to

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Lookeast | travel


serve as a holiday villa. It consists of sixteen teak buildings raised by concrete pillars and linked together by a series of walkways. Well worth visiting. Kanchanaburi Rafting: This is a good tour because it includes a rafting component down the spectacular scenery of the River Kwai as well as visits to the JEATH war museum and Allied war cemetery. Erawan Waterfall and Srinakarin Dam: Great for nature lovers, a trip to the largest and most beautiful waterfall in western Thailand. Includes stops at the Bridge over the River Kwai and the Allied war cemetery. Prasart Muang Singh Historical Park: This comprehensive tour to a historic stone castle dating back to the late Khmer period also takes in a stop at the Great Pagoda of Nakhon Pathom and a visit to the Bridge over the River Kwai. Note that the tours operate on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Tickets are available in both aircon and non-aircon compartments. Bookings can be made on the phone. There is an information call center hotline at 1690 and an English service is available during working hours on weekdays. So far, rail-tours have proved extremely popular with backpackers and adventurous experience-seekers. It is advisable to NOT take a railtour during a long-weekend period. The rush of domestic holidaymakers can be a bit disconcerting. Visitors will also be fascinated by a visit to Hua Lumphong station, one of Bangkok’s primary architectural landmarks, which is also located within walking distance of another popular tourist spot, the Chinatown area. Opened in June 1916 after six years' construction, the station has a distinctly Italian Neo-Renaissance style architecture, thanks to the involvement of Turin-born Mario Tamagno, who, with countryman Annibale Rigotti (1870–1968), designed a number of early 20th century public buildings in Bangkok, including Bang Khun Prom Palace (1906), Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall in the Royal Plaza (1907–15) and Suan Kularb Residential Hall and Throne Hall in Dusit Garden.

Hua Lamphong serves more than 130 trains and approximately 60,000 passengers each day. Thailand’s railways have a fascinating history. King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) ordered the first state railway line from Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima in the Northeast to be built in 1981. The first leg of this service from Bangkok to Ayutthaya was opened on March 26, 1894. Steady development was made in the following decades but systemic inefficiencies led to two different rail-gauges emerging. The East Bank System used a standard gauge of 1.4435 m while the West Bank system was 1.00 m gauge. Unification of gauges to the meter-gauge began in 1920 and took 10 years to compete, bringing it in line with the railways in neighboring Malaysia, Burma and Cambodia. During World War II period (1941-45), the railway buildings, lines and bridges as well as rolling stock and workshops suffered extensive damage nationwide. Reconstruction began after peace was restored. Today, the Thai railway network has a total route length of 4,041 km. The State Railways of Thailand is the largest state enterprise of Thailand in terms of manpower with a total staff about 26,412. However, it is also one of the most chronic money-losing operations, saddled with huge debts. Like most railway networks in developing countries, it was designed to serve low-income people and has been forced to keep fares low, even though operating costs have gone up significantly. Major changes are in the pipeline. Considerable amounts of money have been spent on improving Thailand’s airports and highways over the years, and railways

are next, especially in order to bring the country in line with the emerging TransAsian Railway network. Plans also call for construction of highspeed rail links between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. With all this modernization coming up, the rail-tours will also probably fade into history. They are well worth trying before that happens. 

April 2013 | 33


Personality

‘asia’s best female chef’

Chef Duongporn 'Bo' Songvisva Bo.Lan Restaurant, Bangkok Veuve Cliquot Best Female Chef 2013

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Lookeast | Personality


Woman on Top

Thailand's top female culinary ambassador and recent 'Asia's Best Female Chef' winner, Bo Songvisva, believes that as a chef, she has a social responsibility to promote not only healthy eating but also the importance of supporting sustainable and organic food practices

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By Laurence Civil

rom building a sustainable relationship with the growers who supply her kitchen to her health-conscious approach to cooking; to her commitment to providing a balanced dining experience, its easy to see why Chef Duongporn “Bo” Songvisva of Bangkok’s Bo.Lan Restaurant, was recognized as “Veuve Cliquot Best Female Chef 2013” in Singapore last month. Born in Bangkok and having graduated with a master's degree in Thai Gastronomy at Griffith's University in Adelaide, Australia (2003), Bo returned home to Thailand to work at The Metropolitan Bangkok with Australian chef Amanda Gale who first brought Bo to my attention. The Metropolitan Bangkok has several links to the global evolution and elevation of Thai cuisine. It was Amanda who introduced Bo to another Australian chef, the renowned David Thompson, who then had his one-star Michelin star restaurant at The Halkin in London. David recognized Bo's potential and offered her a job in London. In 2005, Bo relocated to London where she spent two years working closely with Thompson and his partners, Thanongsak Yordwai and Matthew Albert. Under their guidance, Bo was inspired to embrace old Thai recipes and the bio-diversity of produce not normally served in a Thai restaurant. It was this passion combined with meeting her now-husband Dylan Jones, with whom she returned in 2009 to open their restaurant, Bo.lan, in Sukhumvit Soi 26. Founded on a belief in maintaining Thai cooking rituals used throughout the country’s culinary history, the Bo.Ian team follows the “Slow Food” philosophy and uses fresh, seasonal, locally grown, and sourced ingredients to produce authentic dishes. The final connection with the Metropolitan is that it’s where Thompson opened his second Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, which in April 2012 was recognized as one of “The World's 50 Best Restaurants.” Never let it be forgotten the contribution these three Australian chefs: Gale, Thompson, and Jones, who have helped elevate global awareness of the best of Thai cuisine, a point often overlooked and not much appreciated locally. Chef Bo believes that as a chef, she has a social responsibility not only to promote healthy eating but also the importance of supporting sustainable and organic food practices. By educating the community on where and how ingredients are sourced, people will be more mindful of the environmental issues in sourcing ingredients. She hosted the Thai television program, “Eat, Am, Are,” founded by the organizers of the monthly artisans and farmers market, Eat Responsibly Day (ERD). The program examines the country’s food security and sustainable food consumption.

Much has been written about the excellent work done by the Royal Projects in the north of Thailand but the distance between the growers and Bo.lan's kitchen cant ensure a sustainable supply of fresh ingredients. Chef Bo has two demands from her suppliers: one, that what they grow must be transparently organic and second, that the supply must be sustainable. That is why she and Dylan have adopted a locavore approach of working with farmers in the provinces neighboring Bangkok to supply them the fresh herbs, spices, and vegetables needed in their kitchen. Only when ingredients can’t be sourced locally will they look elsewhere in Thailand. Sustainability has to work both ways; for it to survive it has to be financially viable for the farmers. "We can't use all the produce our suppliers grow in our kitchen," says Chef Bo, “so we came up with an initiative of a Farmer's Market every Sunday morning where the farmers could have a retail sales outlet for their fresh organic produce. Many customers tell us this is what they wanted to cook with at home. “The reality was many just didn't show up to buy what they said they wanted. The market has evolved into selling mostly nonThai artisanal produce. However we only accept these products providing they can't be grown in Thailand. Our priority is to promote Thai produce as much as possible." "We have also introduced street food dishes to our Bo.lan Balance tasting menu," she adds. "Too much oyster sauce is used on the street adding MSG to the dish. We want our customer to taste the best possible pad krapow, spicy stir-fried pork with holy basil for example." "Having put so much effort into sourcing the best quality ingredients for our own use," she says, "Bo.lan grocer is our retail extension. We have organic chili powder from Chaiyapum, which is handcrafted, fragrant and adds natural color to the dish. Our green curry paste is made with organic green chilies fried in organic coconut oil to reduce the salt content, which we then pasteurize to make them sustainable. The general public may not be aware that the salt content in some commercially available pastes can be as high as 12 percent; we want to offer the healthy alternative. We also have a range of 100 percent extracted pressed-oils and not infused olive oils. We plan to launch the range of food products at ‘THAIFEX World of Food Asia 2013’ in May.“ A lady with a vision not willing to compromise on her principles – that’s Bo. 

April 2013 | 35


Personality

hotelier

Arnaud Girodon General Manager InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Samui Resort

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Lookeast | Personality


Making A Legend Better

InterContinental Baan Taling Ngan Samui GM takes the challenge of making the legendary resort better – and does it with a bang!

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By PerCY ROXAS

ome legends just get better.’ That’s the tagline InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Samui Resort unveiled when it celebrated its first anniversary recently. The 20-year-old property, which started out as a Mandarin Oriental and then became a Royal Le Meridien, came under the InterContimental umbrella last year thus not only assuring that the legend of Samui’s first luxury resort continues but also ushering it notches further into the new pantheon of today’s best resorts in the world. Heading the team tasked with the job of ‘making the legend get better,’ is a 40-something French general manager (GM), who in his 20 years in the industry has worked in some of the most challenging places running some of the most successful hotels and resorts. His name: Arnaud Girodon. His achievements prior to InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Samui include being the opening GM of Indigo Pearl Resort Phuket, a design 5-star resort that has reaped various top awards globally, both for its stunning design and its successful operations. But Arnaud is not just out to duplicate his past successes at InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam Samui. He is out to surpass them by topping the previous achievements of the renowned resort legend. “I think every property has its own unique challenge,” says Arnaud who got onboard the Samui property in June 2011. “This one – which has more villas and so spread-out, definitely offers more challenges. The resort was built in 1993 so it is one of the oldest hotels on the island and has a reputation that has to be preserved. “Our main challenge was to get this legendary status and make it better. That’s why we had the tagline, ‘Some legends just get better,’” he points out, adding. “I think we got that worked out pretty well. We have positioned the hotel in both the local and international segments.” His personal profile tells us that Arnaud is no stranger to challenges. Born April 1, 1975 in a very tiny village in Southwest France, Arnaud’s passion for the hotel business started very early. As a 10-year-old walking in hotels in Paris, he found the world of luxury hotels very attractive. “So I went to school in Paris where I graduated with a bachelor degree in hotel management (Hotel & Catering University of St. Quentin en Yveline). Then I decided to improve my English and Spanish, and went to London when I was 18.” He recalls fondly: “It’s the sense, the feeling of luxury amid the glamorous chaos got me into it and also because of the opportunity to experience many lines of business and learn many things. As a GM, your knowledge has to be extensive because you’re managing various areas: food and beverage, front office, marketing, engineering, etc… so it has to be a passion. And I’m so passionate about it.” Arnaud started as a waiter in a London hotel and subsequently went up the ladder. Then he joined Accor, became an assistant restaurant manager at a Novotel in 1996, and made his way up to beverage manager in 1999. After two years in London, he moved to Dubai as assistant F&B manager for a beach hotel that doesn’t

exist anymore (among other positions that further enriched his career experience). “And I had enough of the Middle East so I took the offer to work in Phuket in 2006," he says. "The InterContinental group decided to open this amazing resort in Samui, so here I am.” InterContinental Baan taling Ngam Samui opened in February last year, which is a very challenging time for a hotel opening. “But, we had 70-80 percent occupancy in July, and the same in August,” says Arnaud. “It was the fastest in my experience, faster than I have anticipated. I think the hotel has made a name for itself.” Indeed, those visiting the resort today will not fail to sense the new energy and vibe of the property, even before they set foot on the lobby, which opens to the horizon and the big blue sea. There is the InterContinental spirit now written all over it. Actually, the only thing that’s totally new in the resort is the beach area. The main building was basically the same original structure but they major work was done on the interiors. They repainted the exteriors and brought in new decorations as well. They have also done entirely the pool systems and tiles. Of course some parts of the resort have to be built from scratch, and overall, facilities, services, and guest activities have been all beefed up as well. If you have been to other InterContinental hotels around the world, you know what we mean. But beyond the major cosmetic makeovers, Arnaud made sure special attention is given to the human resources. “You have to care for the employees, some of whom have been here 15 to 20 years,” he says, “To make sure the human resources are right we did a lot of on-the-job training. We have to keep the InterContinental standards, and make sure all our guest will get the InterContinental experience that they expect.” Arnaud also diversified the resort’s targets. From the traditional market, which was mainly European and Japan, they now put big focus on upper level Hong Kong, Singapore, and China. They have also widened the usual guest age profile, and the change in demographics proved effective: “We have increased our rates and enjoyed very high occupancy levels,” Arnaud says. One year later, Arnaud is obviously very happy with the results. “I’m actually very excited because it is very rare in hotel openings that you get this amount of commercial deliveries, especially in terms of profitability,” he says. “ We’ve had a very successful first year. Our positioning has been tremendously successful. We are also happy with the way the team has satisfactorily evolved. They’re really great to see.” He credits this success largely to the people who work at the resort. “Of course there’s the physical aspect including the architecture, location and the setting -- we have the best sunset on the island and lovely beaches, by the way. But the major asset is definitely the people: my team. These are major assets of the property and they serve us well,” he reiterates. Arnaud says he is proud to be GM of this magnificent hotel. He says: “I think this hotel has a soul, and that’s how we create beautiful experiences in our beautiful place. We believe that this resort enriches your holiday experience like no other in this paradise island called Samui.” 

April 2013 | 37


Personality

hotelier Embracing Thailand

In her first three months in Thailand, the new general manager of The Peninsula Bangkok discovers that The Peninsula philosophy and the Thai way of doing things match perfectly

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By Laurence Civil

hen Katja Henke took over as general manager at The Peninsula Bangkok on Dec. 27, 2012, she became the second woman to hold this role at the hotel. Not that it even matters. As she herself puts it: “Much has been said that there are now three female general managers of fivestar properties on the river. But gender shouldn't be an issue; it’s about time. In the nine Peninsula hotels worldwide, we have four have female general managers. There is nothing more important than having a balance.” A native of Hamburg, Germany, Katja started her hospitality career in Switzerland, where at the age of 18, she embarked on a two-year apprenticeship at the Bernerhof in Gstaad and attended the Schweizerische Hotelfachschule Luzern. Katja’s international career has also taken her to France, England, and the United States, where she worked as general manager of Blantyre, a Relais & Châteaux property in Lenox, Massachusetts. Prior to joining The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (HSH), she was hotel manager at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C. and the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills, California. Later, she joined the Peninsula Group as hotel manager of their Shanghai property. “I started playing with the idea of moving on from my job," she says, "and I was always intrigued by The Peninsula Hotels. I see The Peninsula as the perfect marriage between my two previous worlds: a family atmosphere like Relais & Châteaux and a corporate environment like Four Seasons. Moving to Asia and joining The Peninsula Shanghai was the best and most exciting decision in my career. Katja says it was very special to be part of the team that Forbes Travel Guide recognized with its prestigious five-star award for both the hotel and spa. “On a personal note, I greatly enjoyed learning about Chinese culture and connecting with local employees,” she says. But when she was approached about the general manager position at The Peninsula Bangkok, she said she was “over the moon.” “Thailand is the true essence of hospitality and this was an opportunity I had always hoped for,” she says. “The Peninsula Bangkok is a special place because its team has a great a sense of pride and is dedicated to providing high-level service. “There is something special about the Thai touch that has a sincere warmth which has not only met but exceeded my expectations,” she adds. “It comes from the smile and their actions that make the experience so special and comes from the heart. In the three months

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I have been in Thailand I have discovered that The Peninsula philosophy and the Thai way of doing things are a perfect match. Also being a family owned company makes the difference, our priority is the guest experience and their wellbeing, which is the key to what we are." "After a turbulent six years in Thailand," she says, "The Peninsula Bangkok, thankfully, had its first calm high season. It is time to move on from the past refocus of the guest experience. Both sides of the Chao Phraya River are a destination with so much to offer. I can only assume that anyone who says that our hotel is on the wrong side of the river hasn't taken our ferryboat from the Taksin Pier. Taking it to cross the river is therapy in itself." "I wanted to come to Bangkok," she continues. "But before I can change anything I need to observe and adapt first so that I don't offend but respect the culture. The first Thai custom I have embraced is the wai, the culture of stopping and taking time to show respect with the gracious gesture. It has a feel good factor that is never found in a casual ‘hi’. Her excitement about living and working in Thailand is reflected in the way she talks about her plans for the hotel, which incidentally is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year: “We plan to bring more life into our bars and restaurant. We are not standing still; if anything, we are walking a little faster and we will be announcing them as soon as they have been finalized. “Also, it’s important to listen to the mood of our guests and sense what they are looking for. We believe they now want to get out and explore a true Thai experience. That is why in one of our new Peninsula Academy packages, we are taking our guests to an area of the city to discover three religions in harmony in the same neighbourhood to visit a mosque, a temple, and a church.” "A point that is often overlooked," she adds, "is that The Peninsula Bangkok is the only hotel in Bangkok with its own golf course: The Thai Country Club, one of the finest courses in Asia. This relationship allows us not only to book guests a preferred tea time but also make it easier for them to get there and back." Katja is enjoying Bangkok very much on her own too: “I feel very comfortable living and working in Bangkok,” she says. “I like to explore the city by walking the streets at a pace I can appreciate what it has to offer, not just the cultural side but other aspects too like the restaurants. Those that have caught my eye so far are Harmonique, Opus, Bo.lan, and Eat Me -- with many more waiting to be discovered.” 


Katja Henke General Manager The Peninsula Bangkok

April 2013 | 39


Hotels

just opened New Luxury Urban Retreat Newly opened Hua Chang Heritage Hotel on Phayathai Road offers luxury service that bridges past, present, and future By Loic Brand and Percy Roxas // PHOTOs BY HUA CHANG HERITAGE HOTEL

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Lookeast | Hotels

D

ay in and day out many business and leisure travelers flock into different locations around the world, booking rooms at monogamous brand-name hotels, trying to get the most luxury for the least money. On top of these locations is Bangkok, where besides the already existing 7,000 hotel rooms, many new hotels are still popping up not only to fulfill guests luxury aspirations and search for great value but also to provide more enriching experiences inspired by the heritage and tradition they carry. Hua Chang Heritage Hotel is one such hotel. Yes, it is new – it just opened in January 2013; but it manages to have all the luxury expected from a top city hotel while at the same time reflecting an aspect of the rich Thai tradition and history, thereby promising to enhance further anyone's overall holiday experience in the city. Hua Chang, a direct translation of “elephant head” in Thai, is the name of the nearby bridge built by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who ushered Thailand into the modern times. The 7-storey hotel, the newest development by the Baiyoke family – owners of the tallest building in Thailand, Baiyoke Sky – was named after this historic bridge, a relic of an era when travel was largely equated with the romance of opulence, luxury, and exclusivity.


mall/sho

boutique Hua Chang Heritage Hotel NEW HOTELS

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contact/

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While the concept of blending (and preserving) heritage and tradition in contemporary hotels is not really unique anymore, it still is a delightful one, and one of the surest way to bring clients in. This concept is evident in every component of the Hua Chang Heritage Hotel -- built to the tune of Bt600 million -- from its “New Thai Colonial” architecture to the minutest elements in the appealing guestrooms. Obviously, the Baiyoke group has brought in considerable expertise in the industry with this luxury hotel project. They built a hotel with a keen sense of history, an understanding of contemporary desires, and a clear vision of the future. Walking into the lobby is like stepping into a scene from “Alice in Wonderland,” but toned down by chic, fashionista design elements that are compellingly attractive. Hints of Thai colonial tradition influence are everywhere, and even the service staff is dressed in elegant chongkraben enhancing the sense of arrival. The staff’s gracious smile and genuinely warm hospitality – expected as they are from Thais -- is a breath of fresh air especially to those so used to the typical “we’re a huge brand name, you’re just another customer to us” treatment in other places. The wow element continues in the rooms, of which there are three distinct categories. Again, here Thai cultural traditions are married with modern flair. Details like the color schemes based on the pink and purple hues of Thai orchids in addition to subtle interiors featuring like ceiling beams reminiscent of traditional teak homes yet in gleaming white – all contribute to a resolutely modern interpretation of the Thai lifestyle. In fact, the overall room design is rather minimalist, as opposed to the Baroque-opulence, with a clean and tasteful finish. Naturally every guestroom is fully equipped with expected modcons, with a bedside touch-screen panel for controlling room features, among many other cool features, as young visitors might say. Not enough? Each guest is assigned his or her own personal butler, giving an added touch of luxury to the overall experience. Just send the butler an e-mail and he will be happy to oblige. And the small nice touches are not forgotten as we have discovered. And amazingly, despite its location – the hotel is situated right in one of the noisiest areas of Bangkok, gridlock and all – there’s a total resort feeling inside; as if you’re in some oasis away from the maddening urban jungle. Just don’t go out on the terrace, of course. Certainly, being opened for just two months, the hotel still needs more time to fine-tune its way to truly impeccable service. But there’s much promise in Miss Siam, its all-day dining venue. There’s quiet allure in the other facilities too like the free-form swimming pool and the yet-to-open function rooms. It’s probably still way too early to call this hotel the new “ultimate” Bangkok urban retreat. But, based on the service and hospitality we have experienced so far, that’s an indulgence we are willing to give Hua Chang Heritage Hotel. It can be truly something special. And with its introductory price promotion of just Bt4,000 for a room, we say try it!  Contact Details: Hua Chang Heritage Hotel 400 Phayathai Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok Tel: 02-217-0777 // www/huachanghieritagehotel.con April 2013 | 41


Lifestyle

adventure calls

PHotos By DAVE STAMBOULIS

R

Cranking It Up!

Whether a newbie or a pro, you can always find a new route to crank -- a climber’s slang term that refers to the act of climbing or climbing something hard – in Thailand By PerCY ROXAS

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ock climbing is definitely one of the most spectacular activities you can do in Thailand, especially in the south – where you can climb on limestone surfaces, which are only accessible by sea or located right smack on the beach. There are many good rock climbing locations in Thailand -- such as those near the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Uthai Thani, or the limestone mountains that run through Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, and Prachuap Khiri Kan – but most rock climbers prefer to crank the likes of the monumental coastal cliffs of Krabi, including the most famous Railay Beach and Ton Sai in Phra Nang Bay, climbing sites. These two are the most developed and extensive climbing area in Thailand, with more than 500 bolted routes in walking distance in Railay alone. Railay is arguably one of the world’s top climbing destinations with more than 650 routes developed since the late 80s. In these routes, you can follow limestone crags, steep, pocketed walls, overhangs, and hanging stalactites. You can access some routes by boat and others via a jungle walk or by abseiling above the sea. Koh Phi Phi is another popular rock climbing destination, and especially Phi Phi Don, one of the two islands that make up the postcard pretty archipelago. Why go rock climbing? “These are many great reasons why people go rock climbing (in any form),” explains expert Chris Johnson, who has a blog on the sport (http://extremerockclimbing. blogspot.com). “There are so many amazing health benefits, as well as mental benefits. If you like adventure, you should really give climbing a try.” First, Chris explains, rock climbing is never boring. “There are tons of routes to climb, and if you get tired of the crags in your country, there are many more walls and crags in every other country on the planet. There's always something to climb.” Second, he adds, rock climbing offers the ultimate physical challenge. “Each day you climb is an opportunity to challenge yourself and go beyond what you could previously do,” says Chris. “You should push yourself each and every day you climb. Explore new and more difficult routes that teach you new climbing techniques. Depending on your own physical ability and level of risk acceptance, you will see that no wall is too hard to climb.” Third, as most of us probably know, rock climbing gives a different sense of adventure and freedom. Most climbers get going because of the great feeling they get scaling the rocks. Also, in this sport, you are able to go wherever you want, whenever you want.


where to

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Fourth, you will have a breathtaking view of the beautiful nature and scenery – and one only has to try climbing the Andaman rocks to prove this. “When looking for new routes, the climber will come across unexpected and beautiful scenery. Also, keep in mind that once you've reached the top, you have a stunning view of the surroundings that few people have seen before,” says Chris. Surprisingly, experts say rock climbing is not necessarily as arduous as many of us think. Of course, being physically fit is a general must. Your upper body must be strong because you will need to lift your entire body weight with both arms and sometimes with just your fingertips. It can also be dangerous. So if you are a beginner, sign up for trips with service providers that can provide trained staff to accompany you on climbs. Consulting a local expert is important. Even seasoned climbers consult a local to make sure they have accurate information on the various sites and the level of difficulty for specific climbs. According to experts, Chris included, most accidents in this sport happen not because of the equipment but because of the climber. This is why consulting with trained professionals is very, very important. To start off on a rock climbing experience, one does not need to scale mountainous heights right away. One can practice in a gym that offers climbing walls to give him or her a general idea on the sport. There are a number of these facilities in Thailand, so visit them and see if its something you’d like to pursue further. My own initiation is at a humble hill in Sakhon Nakhon, although it’s a pity I wasn’t able to progress to abseiling in a nearby waterfall. The great thing in Thailand is that in most places, you can book up with, or at least be referred to, reliable rock climbing schools and service operators. Safety is paramount and most of the schools and service operators are quite adamant in this. In Krabi, reasonably safe sport climbing

is usually practiced. Sport climbing is a form of roped climbing where metal bolts, placed close together permanently in the rock, are used for protection. If you slip, your harness and rope will arrest the fall after maximum 50cm, leaving you to concentrate on improving your technique. Experts we have spoken with say it doesn't take a long time to become a competent climber. A three-day course will give most people the confidence to lead a beginners' route, says one. And no special skills are required -- except the will to climb -- so it's an activity suitable for all ages, although I am not sure many parents will permit their small children to do this, yet. There are at least 10 rock-climbing schools in Railay and Ton Sai alone, which offer similar programs (halfday taster, and one-day and three-day courses), inclusive of instructors, insurance, equipment, and even

about beginners hogging the rocks. With more than 600 bolted routes graded from F4 (easy) to F8c (pros), there is plenty of space for everyone. If you come alone, the climbing schools can put you in touch with a partner. The variations of different rock climbing to try are many: traditional climbing, bouldering, solo climbing, deep-water soloing, scrambling, etc. So head on down to the local climbing gym and start making

refreshments. Prices vary, but usually run between Bt800 and Bt5000, the last time we checked (They may have changed so double check). Bookings are easy and can be made directly at rock climbing schools or through an agent. Once comfortable with the basics, you can sign up for outdoor climbing with the service operators. Most basic courses last up to three days with the service operator usually giving instruction for climbs appropriate to your skill. There are standardized grading for the level of skill required for each climbing site. Thailand uses the French grades because the French put up the first routes in the country. According to this system, “4” is considered easy, and “8” is very difficult. Seasoned climbers need not worry

some new friends. Learn more about the sport and get professional lessons if you like. Soon, you'll be climbing up those rock faces in no time. The best time to climb? If Krabi is any indication, it’s from November to midFebruary, but August is generally the best in terms of crowds although there is the possibility of rains. And the rewards? Perhaps the overwhelming sense of achievement when you reach the top of your route, as well as enjoying a fantastic view, is foremost. As Chris says in his blog, “There's no feeling like it in the world when you're on the top of a mountain or a cliff looking at that breathtaking view. I can't explain that feeling. You have to feel it yourself!” -(from various sources)  April 2013 | 43

travel/de


LIFESTYLE

role-playing

Play and Learn

KidZania helps children 4-14 learn important skills that will be useful to them in adult society while having fun at the same time through role-playing in an authentic real-world environment

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ids four to 14 now have a dedicated playground to spend their tremendous energies, develop their talents and capabilities, and gain first-hand experience on their own – while having fun at the same time – at KidZania, the world’s fastest growing education brand, which recently opened its largest indoor site in the world in Bangkok. Located on the fifth floor of Siam Paragon (although you have to enter via escalator at the Paragon Passage on the 4th floor), KidZania opened with a red carpet preview event filled with celebrity children during the last week of March. Bangkok’s newest – and probably biggest – educational playground covers a floor space in excess of 10,000sqm, where realistic replicas of city streets, buildings, utilities, and vehicles were meticulously recreated to provide children 4-14 years of age the opportunity to experience the jobs of adults through roleplaying in more than 80 different professions. The activities teach children essential life skills such as independent decision-making, teamwork, and money management. KidZania Bangkok is the 12th KidZania in the world and the largest built indoors, anywhere,” says KidZania CEO and founder, Xavier Lopez Ancona, who graced the preview event.

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“At KidZania, we give children the opportunity to try real-world professions. They will have lots of fun, but at the same time learn important skills.” Ancona’s company invested Bt10 million for the Bangkok project. “Our focus is on trying to make their experiences as real as possible, which is why we partner with real-world organizations in setting up establishments in KidZania and creating experiences for kids based on reality rather than fantasy, and with actual careers authenticated by our partner organizations,” added Scott C. Schubert, CEO of KidZania Bangkok. The establishments where kids will work are all familiar places and carry familiar brands from the real world so that they will really feel they are doing adult jobs, and are not in fantasyland. What really makes this new educational attraction something exciting for parents to take their kids to, is that among the many different professions that children give a try, they don’t just get to work at these jobs, they also get paid like adults – under the KidZania currency called “kidZo.” For example, kids can use the kidZos that they have earned to pay for tuition fees at a KidZania university and get a degree that will qualify them for higher paying jobs in another KidZania


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mall/shopping centre Lifestyle For Kids 4-14

boutique/fashion store

Servi ced Apart me n t

where to stay

establishment. Or, they can use their ‘kidZos’ to pay for lessons at a driving school and obtain a driving license that then qualifies them to drive kid-sized cars inside KidZania. They can also put their earnings in a bank, where they will receive interest in the form of additional ‘kidZos’ that can be used on a future occasion. “KidZabua helps kid learn the value of money, the importance of saving, and the need to make choices on how to spend money,” says Schubert. KidZania can accommodate nearly 4,000 children a day and approximately one million are expected to experience this educational phenomenon from KidZania Bangkok in its first year of operation. Kidzania is open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday- Friday and 10 a.m.3 p.m. and 2-9 p.m. on weekends. Tickets can be purchased at KidZania at Siam Paragon or ThaiTicketMajor. 

contact/e-mail

All the comforts

travel/destination

of home and more

Contact Details: KidZania 5th Floor Paragon www.kidzania.co.th //www.facebook.com/KidZaniaBangkok

47 Sukhumvit Road, Sukhumvit 20, Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 2 262 2400, Fax: +66 (0) 2 261 2018, E-mail: info@gm-servicedapartment.com www.gm-servicedapartment.com


LIFESTYLE

more activities

What Fun Awaits

Welcome to Krungthep, where never-ending fun and excitement await at every corner

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BY JOHN HOWE

angkok is a crossroad between traditional Buddhist values and breakneck capitalism, between East and West, between what old and what is daringly new. So where to start in this frenetic city? Nowhere better than the modern god of consumerism – shopping.

Shopping

Bangkok is truly a shoppers’ paradise catering to every taste, trend, and pocket. The city is studded with high-end shopping centers and malls, dotted with small specialist boutiques, threaded with tailors, laced with shoe shops, lined with Thai arts and crafts outlets and hemmed with street and night markets. The city does not have the equivalent to London’s Oxford Street, New York’s 5th Avenue or Paris’s 'Triangle d'Or' but what it does have are massive modern shopping malls that protect from worse of the heat and rain. Perhaps the best of them are Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, Central World Plaza, and the newest addition, Terminal 21 – virtual shrines to global consumerism where luxury brands from Hermes to Louis Vuitton Cartier to Cadeaux, Rolex, and Omega abound. But the more modest pocket is not forgotten; global retailers like Marks and Spencer, Next, and Isetan stand side by side with less illustrious counterparts. Chinatown is one area that must be on every one’s ‘to visit’ list. Chinatown is a thriving, heaving maze of alleys and lanes fed by the main Yaorawat Road where you can expect to find everything from offerings to dead ancestors, ethnic jewelry and particularly food, food, food. Lively by day and night Chinatown does not sleep, it is a magnet for modern gourmands who flock to the area to sample delicious street cuisine. Chinatown is home to gold shops galore, browse two or three of them but don’t expect to bargain for that necklace, bracelet, or ring.

Markets

Bargain hunters will not be disappointed by Bangkok’s markets, strings of makeshift stalls crowding the sidewalks of Silom and Sukhumvit, or the organized chaos of Patpong and Chatuchack (JJ) weekend market. Patpong on Soi Patpong 1 is easy to find as it connects two of Bangkok’s busiest roads Silom and Surrawongse. The market comes alive at 7 p.m. but its construction starts at around 4 p.m. when forklifts shuttle back and forth with rods, tubes and large pieces of plywood ready for the construction gang to assemble Lego-like into temporary stalls. As dusk descends on the busy scene lights flicker on to reveal the bits and bobs for sale; everything from reproduction Rolex and Longines, to dubious DVDs, shirts and T-shirts, along with silks and cottons of all kinds. Bargain hard and don’t accept the asking price. Chatuchack Market, open only on weekends, is a massive semi-covered Aladdin’s cave of treasures. To avoid the madding crowds and the heat of the day arrive early when it is possible to browse in some comfort. It seems that everything is available for sale besides the usual shirts, trousers and shorts, look out for replica Buddha ‘relics’; pets from cats and dogs to snakes and exotic fish.

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Massages and Spas

It is impossible not to notice the mass of massage parlors that line every street and lane, each of them offering a smorgasbord of massage treatments from a simple foot or body massage to full service spas where every luxury is offered. For a true pampering experience in salubrious surroundings, select a high-end hotel and relax for a couple of hours or all-day at their spa where trained masseurs and masseuses provide a professional and relaxing massage, scrub, or detox therapy. You will emerge from the spa refreshed, re-invigorated, and ready for what nighttime Bangkok has to throw at you.


Let the train take the strain:

Bangkok After Dark

Bangkok offers an exciting range of after-dark experiences, from fine dining 70 floors above the teeming metropolis, to the sounds of international DJs flipping the shellac at some of Asia’s liveliest and hippest nightclubs such as Bed Supper Club and Q Bar. Saxophone Bar, at Victory Monument, is noted for its funky jazz performances by local and internationally renown performers. Tawandang Brewery is a cavern of a bar and restaurant, with a microbrewery that produces some of the best white beers and lagers this side of Bavaria. At the other end of the scale there’s Cheap Charlie’s, always full from opening to close with an early night crowd of office workers chilling after a day at the office to the later crowd of revelers off to enjoy late night reveries at other salubrious hostelries around Sukhumvit Road. Calypso ladyboy show is an explosion of spectacular sets, gorgeous dancers, fantastic frocks and energetic musical numbers. Here is it possible to meet Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and 40s Brazilian bombshell Carmen Miranda all recreating their well known numbers. Calypso is a show that every member of the family from the youngest to the oldest will enjoy. Their new venue is at Asiatique.

Bangkok’s secret train leaves Thonburi’s Wong Wian Yai station on the hour every hour starting at 4.30 a.m., from Thon Buri’s Wong Wian Yai station and exactly one hour later the journey ends at Mahachai, a fishing community in Samut Sakhon, the line terminates at this pretty little Gulf of Thailand town, the train then trundles leisurely on the return journey to Thonburi. The passengers are as varied as the ever-changing scenery outside. Office workers, school kids, shoppers carrying fresh fish, vegetables and fruit from Mahachai’s markets, and job seeking hopefuls fill to capacity the three carriage train as it passes lush, green paddy fields, forests and palm oil plantations. The train stops at each station where ramshackle characters blend with the ramshackle station buildings. The journey is worth all the Bt45 for a round journey ticket. Try and you will not forget it.


lifestyle

spa offers Renew & Restore The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Bangkok offers a “Renew & Restore” treatment program Mondays thru Thursday from now until May 31 only. The treatment is a one-hour and-3-minute program that includes a facial and herbal poultice facial massage with a unique mineral-rich conditioning mud mask that leaves hair soft and smooth. The package is priced at Bt4,000++ per person. For more information and reservations, call 02 626-1946, or e-mail: spapbk@peninsula.com

Aquatic Aroma

Songkran Sand Magic at Spa Cenvaree Spa Cenvaree at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center at CentralWorld is celebrating the Thai New Year with the “Songkran Sand Magic” spa treatment available throughout this month. As suggested by its name, the key ingredient in the treatment is sand, based on a tradition among Thai people in which sand is carried into the temples to build miniature sand stupas as a New Year cleansing ritual. “Songkran Sand Magic” is priced at Bt3,450++ per person for a two-and-a half hour treatment. For more information or reservation, contact 02-100-1234, ext 6511, 6516 or e-mail: spacgcw@chr.co.th

Total Beauty, Relaxation For a total rejuvenating experience throughout April and May Tammachart Day Spa of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square offers a 50% discount on the treatment of your choice: Oatmeal Mask, Seaweed Mask, Green Tea Mask, or Lifting & Anti-ageing Facial (normally Bt2,000 for a 60 minutes) for every 60-minute Warm Organic Aroma Body Treatment you book. Price of this treatment is Bt1,800 net. For more information, call 02-209-8888, ext. Tammachart Day Spa. Or, visit www.novotelbkk.com

From now until May 30, Quan Spa at Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel takes you to a journey of total relaxation and retreat with marine body scrub, an absolutely sublime body treatment. With the benefits of the deep secret from the sea, they will gently eliminate clogging particles and re-hydrate your skin with healthy grow. Then, enjoy aroma fusion massage,” the ancient arts of aromatherapy and Swedish massage. Experience the healing powers of essential oils as we help you journey toward relaxation by utilize different blends of oil at different times of the day. Enjoy 90 minutes treatment for the price of Bt2,500++. For more details and reservations, call 02-125-50100

Blissful Moroccan Summer From April 1 to May 31, Sherazade Hammam & Spa at Villa Maroc Resort invites you to beat the summer heat by rejuvenating your body and skin with their “Moroccan Blissful Summer” spa package. Receive special 20% discount or Bt2,200 net per person. This 80-minute spa package starts with the Moroccan “Hammam” bath and scrub with Moroccan black soap, and then a relaxing and invigorating Thai Massage. Villa Maroc Resort is in Pranburi; the spa opens daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information or reservation, call 032-630-771 or e-mail spa@villamarocresort.com

InBalance membership starts at Bt499 Novotel Bangkok Platinum’s InBalance Wellness Centers offers a new range of membership promotions starting at only Bt499++ per month. Located at the hotel 9th floor, the Fitness Center features state-of-the-art exercise equipment by Life Fitness and offers a variety of low impact workouts. Members will also have access to the relaxation and steam rooms, outdoor infinity swimming pool and personal coaching service. Those who register to one of the membership packages will enjoy great advantages and enjoy complimentary Fitness classes throughout the year. They can also avail of a 15% discount on yearly membership, now offered at only Bt 15,300 net. Monthly subscription price start from Bt2,550 net including complimentary car park at The Platinum Fashion Mall and Novotel Bangkok Platinum. For other membership promotions, contact 02-160-7199 or e-mail H7272-FB4@accor.com

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Wine & Dine

top restaurants

'Asia’s Best'

Narisawa in Tokyo was named ‘S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia‘ at 'Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards' held recently in Singapore, where a number of Thai restaurants made their mark too

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arisawa secured the top spot at the inaugural “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” awards in Singapore, and has been named “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Asia.” The restaurant has also been named “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Japan.” “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants,” sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna and organized by William Reed Business Media, announced the winners of the first ever list at a glittering awards ceremony recently at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. China, Singapore, and Japan dominated the list with 16, 10 and nine restaurants listed, respectively. Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa’s unfettered imagination and sense of drama caught the attention of the “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” voting academy, earning his restaurant this prestigious award. Narisawa champions the theme of sustainability and gastronomy, taking environmental concern into consideration when creating his dishes in harmony with nature and the environment. Commenting on the success of the inaugural awards, William Drew of William Reed Business Media said: “We launched ‘Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ as part of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ program to recognize the region’s growing restaurant industry and diverse gastronomic landscape. The list is a reflection of Asia’s culinary talent and showcases individuals that share a passion for excellence. “It is exciting to see so many innovative and creative chefs pushing Asia’s culinary boundaries and supporting Asia’s growing influence on the global culinary stage. There is no doubt that Asia provides the ideal ingredients to foster a rich and diverse list of culinary excellence, and an impressive exploration ground for food lovers.”


This year's winners include: Janice Wong, ‘Asia’s Best Pastry Chef,’ sponsored by Cacao Barry

Wong, owner of 2am: Dessert Bar in Singapore, has gained this prestigious recognition due to her creation and delivery of a multisensory experience for those who taste her desserts combined with her experimentation with sweet and savory flavors, inspired from her childhood in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan.

JAAN, ‘One To Watch,’ sponsored by LesConcierges

JAAN is an intimate, 40-seat restaurant dedicated to showcasing the finest in modern French cuisine in Singapore. The view from the 70th floor is jawdropping, matched only by the wittily presented and immaculately executed dishes emerging from the kitchen of Chef de Cuisine Julien Royer. ‘One To Watch’ is awarded to an establishment within the inaugural Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list that the organisers believe has made a significant impact in a relatively short period and that has the potential to rise further up the rankings.

Seiji Yamamoto, ‘Chefs’ Choice Award,’ sponsored by Silestone by Cosentino

Yamamoto has been recognized by his contemporaries in Asia’s restaurant industry for innovating Japanese cuisine through the fusion of traditional and modern techniques. Yamamoto creates dishes that push the boundaries of creativity, following his philosophy “to pursue every single possibility for Japanese cuisine in the future,” a theme carried out at his restaurant Nihonryori RyuGin in Tokyo’s Roppongi district, which has been ranked No. 2 on the list. Joining the list of winners is Paul Pairet of Mr & Mrs Bund (No. 7) and Ultraviolet (No. 8) in China, winner of the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” sponsored by Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and the “Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef,” Duangporn Songvisava of Bo.lan (No. 36) in Thailand. China boasts 16 restaurants on the list for “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” with Amber (No. 4) in Hong Kong named as “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in China.” Chef de Cuisine Richard Ekkebus took Amber to new gastronomic heights with a place on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” for two consecutive years. His creations represent Hong Kong’s cultural crossroads between east and west, with dishes all presented with extraordinary flair. Following China closely is Singapore with 10 restaurants on the list with Restaurant Andre (No. 5) as the winner of “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Singapore.” Chiang’s Mediterranean-inspired menu exudes values synonymous with

‘octaphilosophy,’ a term used by Chiang to characterize his culinary style: unique, texture, memory, pure, terroir, salt, south, and artisan. Restaurants in India made their mark on “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” with seven making the list. Dum Pukht (No. 17) was named as “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in India.” Dum Pukht explores the tradition of cooking kebabs, stews and biryani in a sealed clay pot over a slow fire. Native to the 18th-century Awadh Kingdom from Lucknow, claypot cooking reaches new heights here. Thailand continues to gain prominence in Asia’s dining landscape. Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava was the first recipient of the “Veuve Clicquot Asia’s Best Female Chef” award, and Chef David Thompson’s Nahm was named as “The S.Pellegrino Best Restaurant in Thailand,” ranked at No. 3 on the list. Thompson serves up dishes bursting in flavor from recipes resurrected from old cookbooks of former Thai matriarchs, many of which haven’t been seen in years such as southern-style grilled mussels smoked with coconut husks then cooked with curry-infused coconut cream. Restaurants in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Indonesia also made their debut at “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.” Nihonbashi in Colombo is ranked No. 38, followed by Don’s in Hanoi at No. 47, and Mozaic in Bali at No. 50. Nihonbashi, the brainchild of chef restaurateur Dharshan Munidasa, brings a high-end dining experience, which majors in sushi and sashimi, among other disciplines from the Japanese culinary repertoire. Don’s serves classic and innovative international cuisine with a menu that covers practically all the gastronomic bases, from pasta and risotto to steaks and chops, soups and salads to Vietnamese and Asian favourites. Half-French, half-American Mozaic Chef Chris Salans combines classic French cooking techniques with Indonesia’s rich variety of ingredients and flavors. Yoshihiro Narisawa, owner and head chef of the winning Tokyo restaurant, Narisawa, has been recognized by "The World’s 50 Best Restaurants,“ sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, consecutively for four years and was the winner of “Acqua Panna Best Restaurant in Asia” for three consecutive years. “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna” provides a credible and trusted list that is dedicated to the restaurant industry in Asia and voted for by peers and luminaries in the culinary profession. The results of the awards and Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list are available at www.theworlds50best.asia. A standalone “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants" guide has been made available to the public since Feb. 26. 

April 2013 | 53


wine & dine

food tasting

As Italian As Can Be

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Ugolini Italian Restaurant presents a revelation of new taste – a perfect Italian experience in Bangkok By John Howe

how me an octopus resting on a plate and I will wrinkle my nose, stare at the creature’s tentacles and suckers, and reject the dish. But a Damascene conversion happened recently when I tried Chef Mario’s octopus carpaccio. It was a revelation of new tastes. The ivory-colored transparent thin slice of octopus meat rested on a deep green plinth of rocket salad spiced with piquant virgin olive oil vinaigrette. With some trepidation I took the knife, sliced into the pearly meat, the taste made me jump not with distaste but with joy at its fresh briny tang. Like all the dishes offered at Ugolini’s Italian Restaurant I took my time to savor the delights of this prime sample of excellent seafood. When the last morsel had been consumed, just like Oliver Twist, I wanted to raise my plate and plead for more. This dish is worth all of its Bt420.

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But further gastronomic experiences awaited to delight my eager palate. Placed next on the tasting block was another new dish to me. I recognized it as being a risotto but what risotto? Aquelor risotto with Taleggio cheese and fresh green asparagus. Taleggio cheese is an ancient variety and is made in Lombardy. It has a distinctively pleasant smooth and buttery taste that hangs around the palate defying you to dismiss it. This cheese coupled with the green asparagus seems like a marriage made in culinary heaven. This is a different dish and one that I would chose again and again. At Bt390 this is a taste sensation that is worth paying twice as much for. The next dish was every Briton’s favorite, braised beef. But this is beef like my mother never made and when Chef Mario told me of its preparation I can understand why.


restaura

Restaurants & Bars UGOLINI ITALIAN RESTAURANT

cafe

bar/loun

mall/sho

boutique

where to PHotos By UGOLINI

The beef is first marinated in red wine with vegetables for 12 hours or longer, this ensures that the wine seeps into every muscle fiber infusing the meat with an alcoholic base lightly gingered up with the flavors of the vegetables. Over one liter of wine is used for every kilogram of beef so this is a dish that can be said to be perfectly soused. The beef is slowly cooked one hour at a time over 24 hours, resting and roasting continuously. The beef is presented in a red wine reduction and resting on a block of polenta. The beef had been seared to seal in the flavors and juices, when I cut into the meat the fibers simply parted at the touch of the blade, which parted the meat like a hot knife through butter. The meat folded on to the plate and waited there as if saying, “eat me, eat me now.” How could I resist such an invitation? The beef seemed to waft away as if it had vaporized when rested on my tongue; chewing it seems superfluous. The essences of the meat mixed and mingled in a dance of epicurean ecstasy. The seared caramel taste took a gavotte with the flirtatious wine reduction. And the meat itself pleasured my tongue and palate in a courtly pavan that was both a delight and an experience of note. Now for the dessert, on the recommendation of the chef, I had Mario’s special dish. This was a multi-layered tower of small crisp caramelized tiles supporting a layer of mascarpone cream drizzled with a strawberry jus and topped with a single Chiang Mai strawberry. I chose a pleasing prosecco to accompany this sweet and to finish off an agreeable evening at Ugolini. 

Contact Details: Ugolini Italian Restaurant 59/6 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok Tel: 02-252-8108 E-mail: info@ugolinibangkok.com www.ugolinibangkok.com

April 2013 | 55

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travel/de


wine & dine

The Beauty of Simplicity The arrival of Appia, right out of a page of central Rome, is a most welcome addition to the Bangkok dining scene

Text and Photos by Dave Stamboulis

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hile Bangkok may have an abundance of Italian restaurants, it has been sorely lacking in down-to-earth traditional trattorias, casual eateries where one can chill-out with friends while enjoying mouth watering roasted meats and interesting wines. Thus the arrival of Appia, right out of a page of central Rome, is a most welcome addition to the Bangkok dining scene. Appia is the creation of Jarrett Wrisley, the Atlantic Monthly food critic and owner of the immensely popular Soul Food Mahanakorn Thai Restaurant in Thonglor, and his friend and business partner, Paulo Vitaletti, longtime master chef at the Aman in Beijing, and whose father was a butcher in the meatpacking district in Rome. Paulo wanted to have his own place serving the simple and rustic Italian food he grew up with, where fine cuts of meat were combined with a few basic ingredients to create delectable dishes. Wrisley’s motto at Soul Food Mahanakorn was “wholesome ingredients and honest cooking,” and this fits right in with Appia’s style, where basic staples like olive oil, tomatoes, and semolina flour are put together with just a few items like hard pecorino cheese or guanciale unsmoked bacon with plenty of tender care to produce simple gastronomic delights. In preparation for the opening of Appia, Wrisley and Vitaletti drove 2,000km around Italy eating their way from place to place and their research has obviously paid dividends. As a trattoria, it is no surprise that there is a focus on fine meats, the standouts, which include the porchetta organic pork rolled in fennel pollen, garlic, and rosemary and then roasted on a rotisserie or the oxtail stew rolled with herb gremolata served over hand rolled fregola pasta. All the pasta at Appia is made, cut, and rolled from scratch, and is featured in dishes like

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fusilli topped with cuttlefish stew and carbonara with dried paccheri pasta served with cured pork cheek and pecorino. The antipasto caprese in Puglia is a divine blend of burrata cheese, mackerel pancetta, eggplant, and marinated tomatoes served on bread. Fine wines of course are the perfect complement to all of the lovely menu items, and Wrisley has provided a bountiful cellar featuring 60-70 interesting labels from small producers from all across the Mediterranean, and while the Appia menu is still in its soft opening phase, the restaurant plans to feature a changing dish of the day, sticking true to its Roman trattoria origins. The décor at Appia -- located about a kilometer up Sukhumvit Soi 31 -- is simple, spacious, and inviting. While it is slightly less intimate than the old style Italian eateries (where one sits family style with strangers), nevertheless, the tables are lined up in close proximity but don’t feel cluttered. With the wines flowing freely and Chef Paulo wandering out of the kitchen to check if everything is satisfactory with each customer’s order, by the end of the evening feels like one has been lingering over a long and satisfying meal with family and friends. 

Contact Details: Appia 20/4 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Tel: 02-261-2056 www.appia-bangkok.com


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PHotos By PERCY ROXAS & WATER LIBRARY

Wine & Dine

Simply Incredible You know you’re in for something different and something special as soon as you enter Water Library Thonglor By PerCY ROXAS

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ee you 7 p.m. at Water Library Thonglor,” a colleague tells me over the phone. “We’re having the best dinner of your life!” Exaggerated? A tad perhaps, but after a dinner at this second Water Library in Bangkok, I’d say that wasn’t really off the mark. The experience was simply incredible: food fit for a connoisseur, wine/beverages geared for aficionados, and wonderful service from the beginning to end, from the serve staff and the top chefs to the management. It will probably take some time for me to again replicate such pleasure over a meal. From the outside Water Library Thonglor seems like just another chic, trendy venue at the Grass complex, where several “hot” restaurants and bars are now located. Water Library Thonglor built up a reputation from their original location in Chamchuree Mall (Rama IV Road), but this one takes their concept notches higher. It’s not just the place -- consisting of a restaurant upstairs, a cocktail bar with a unique Infusion Pharmacy Wall, a cozy terrace lounge, a walk-in wine cellar, and a private room. It’s the entire package: from the touch of exclusivity that permeates the place to the quality of food, drinks, and service, which can be easily described as novel, innovative, and unique. Even the comfort room has character. More superlatives aside, you know you’re in for something different and something special as soon as you enter Water Library Thonglor. Our experience started at the intimate seating area on the ground floor while we were waiting for the rest of our company to arrive. Usually, one of the beautiful hostesses make the guests comfortable

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during the wait, but this very night, Mirko Gardelliano – the affable Italian bar manager and a multiple award-winning mixologist – is our host, asking us to choose our preference from their 90 award-winning cocktails. Mirko is justifiably proud of their 40 homemade infusions and cocktails here, which included tamarind infused bourbon, vodka with white chocolate and wasabi, and the famous gummy bear infusions. He gave each of us a cocktail “suited to our taste and personality,” sort of to “open the senses” as a prelude to the exquisite culinary journey that was to follow. When, at about 7:30 p.m. sharp we were ushered to the restaurant upstairs, we were truly ready to savor the surprises. The Chef’s Table is usually prepared for only 10 guests by a team of 10 chefs from four different countries headed by Executive Chef Haikal Johari. But there were just seven of us that night, making it a bit more exclusive. On one side of the counter, the chefs let loose their culinary skills with inspired dishes that delighted our senses. On the other side, we enjoyed watching them work to satisfy our shared passion for fine food and good eating. Not only did they satisfy our taste buds but also our grey cells, as we try to anticipate what’s coming next. We eagerly awaited the chefs’ explanation on the ideas behind each dish, and the interaction made the meal a pleasant personal dining experience for all. Our particular dinner – a set menu of 12 courses with strong focus on high-end seasonal produce and creative preparation and presentation -- started with egg cocotte, described by the chef as “Chaud-froid


of organic eggs, scallop, and miso.” It was an absolutely delicious starter where you get to enjoy the rich, clear taste of even the minutest ingredient in the dish. Wordsmiths have probably tasted something like this when they coined the word, “appetizer.” This was followed by Zealand oysters, served in a transparent crystal bowl; a dish that perfectly blends horseradish, pickled cippolini, and osceitra caviar, and made more exquisite by the pairing of Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg (one of the seven or eight fine wines served with our food that night). Next came the Tasmanian lamb (lamb tartare, herb mayonnaise, and ponzu), the taste of which lingered like a melody, bursting into a full symphony with the exotic zing of the Japanese sake. The fourth dish as simply labeled – as all the dishes were actually -- foie gras, which belies its fantastic taste and unique presentation. It’s a truly artful rendition of foei gras parfait, New Zealand cherries, and coffee – made more sumptuous by the Bordeaux wine. Served next was the potato bread, hand-churned with truffle butter, usually served as a side dish but here as part of the meal, which as can be expected, was amazing. Crispy on the outside, but moist on the inside it had a delicate taste that prepares you for more unexpected flavors to come. The dinner continued with the lesoy langoustine (Danish langoustine, lardon, chervil root veloute) served with jasmine tea this time. The orange-colored roe added a zesty counterpoint to the generally white foamy dish that tastes simply exquisite. By this time, one would think the surprises would have ended and the “usual suspects,” as one of us puts it, would arrive. But when the crab torteaux – described by the chef as “our take on the typical Chinese congee -- was served, all we can say was “wow!” – how a simple Oriental dish transformed into an elegant, jawdropping fine dining, thanks to the sheer creativity of the chefs.

And the parade of amazing flavors continued: monkfish (baby monkfish, shellfish, acacia honey, and capers), which looks healthy as well as delicious and the chef will tell you why when you try this; suckling pig jowl (with savoy cabbage and beets); and the main course: Kagoshima beef (grilled Kuroge beef, winter vegetables, and garnishes) – all superlatively done, all served with creative flair and finesse that you would expect only in high-end, Michelin-starred eateries. The fantastic duo of Valrhona Guanaja (70% choc, passion fruit, vinegar and star anise) and the petit “four” (actually petit “five”) was a fitting highlight, perfect, for this meal. Needless to say, the food experience was enhanced by wine/ beverage pairings: French pinot noir, German Riesling, New Zealand chardonnay, Californian red, and unforgettable Bordeaux, but also sake, tea, and port wine from Portugal -- selected by the general manager, whose vast experience includes working at the worldfamous Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok, a staff whispered to us. The staff also explained to us why in some menus, not only wines

are served but also sake, cocktail or any infused beverage: “So you can enjoy beverages that match the food perfectly and give you a great experience in trying out new things, and novel combinations of flavors,” she said. Yes, the staff is very knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate about what they do. Of course, this dinner was not everybody: the price is something like Bt6,600 per person (food only); Bt8,400 with wine pairing, excluding tax and service charge. In fact, an “Exceptional Decouverte” (five guests minimum) can even go as high as Bt16,800 per person! But if you’re a true-blue foodie who enjoys new dining and wining concepts and exclusive, sophisticated Michelin-star quality meals, and can afford it, does cost matter? Oh, by the way, the menu changes every six weeks. As we sat down at the Terrace Lounge later to enjoy more of Mirko’s exceptional cocktails, we can’t help thinking about how exceptional, incredible, and unique the dinner we have just had. “Probably the most unique dinner experience in Bangkok today,” sums up my friend as he toasted his glass of kaffir lime vodka with my infused homemade gummy bear gin. “Probably,” I replied, my mind actually still chasing for some more adjectives to describe the experience in a fresher, more novel way. Anyway, we’re already making plans to visit again soon, to enjoy more of the Water Library Thonglor experience, and especially its unique cocktails and infusions. But that’s another story.  Contact Details: Water Library Thonglor The Grass, Thonglor Soi 12 (Sukhumvit 55), Bangkok Open daily except Sunday Tel: 02-714-9292 // ww.waterlibrary.co.th

Meet the Manager: Mirko Gardelliano

Mirko Gardelliano has been in charge of the Water Library Bars since February 2012. An award-winning mixologist, Gardelliano was the “German Cocktail Champion” in 2003 and was voted “Mixologist of the Year” in 2004 and 2006. Other honors include: Two times “Best Bar of the Year” (2005 and 2010); nomination as “Host of the Year 2010” for Switzerland, Austria, and Germany; and “Bar Team of the Year” (2005). He was also sixth placer in the “World Cocktail Competition “ held in Las Vegas, USA in 2006. Gardelliano has previously worked for the Robinson Clubs world of TUI Germany, where he was responsible for the worldwide bar team and also as bar manager for the legendary Shepherd Bar in Cologne,

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wine & dine

For Late-night Diners Angel City could just become a must-visit people watching spot in Bangkok as well as a decent place to refuel on comforting favorites

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TEXT & PHOTOS by Paul Cypert iners suit Bangkok. The casualness, with its all person's welcome atmosphere, is right in line to how most nights in the city come together. You never know when you'll need a solid plate of food to soak up a booze-filled night, so the greasy comfort food served up at most diners make as much sense at 5 in the morning as it does at 5 p.m. And since Bangkok's newest diner is located on Sukhumvit Soi 11 next to many popular nightlife venues, Angel City seems well-positioned to become a new late night dining must know. Managed by The Eclipse group, who already have Sukhumvit 11 veterans Australia Pub and QBar, Angel City has a pretty good pedigree behind them out of the gate. While none of the Eclipse locations will soon be winning Michelin stars to Bangkok, they know how to throw down some comforting pub food.

The outside is a bit garish on first approach, but then again classic diners were a bit loud in their day so you can't fault them on authenticity. Stepping inside the diner things are a bit more tactfully decorated (if still a bit loud). There are alternating color booths with long tables and jukebox controllers on the wall where you can throw your baht in to help deciding what vintage oldies come out of the speaker system. The floors are a checkerboard of white and black and there's the obligatory long soda-fountain counter as a center point of the entire room. The food is standard pub food with an emphasis on overindulgence. Giant burgers, foot long chilli dogs, and massive English breakfast plates of fried everything. There are also some menu items with a twist like the PB&J French toast and iceberg lettuce wedge salad. Excepting a few Thai menu items and the previously mentioned salad, all dishes are sure bets to content your cravings for calories. Desserts, in the way of milkshakes, are a definite must-try here. They have all the standard flavors (vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate) and then some more creative ones and even an epically sized Root Beer Float. It's rare to find a proper milkshake in Bangkok and this is the best we've seen so far. Angel City probably won't win any awards for its cuisine, but we're betting MANY people stumble their way in for pre night out burger or a post Suk 11 boozed up breakfast in the years to come. If anything we'll be back late night just to see the random types of people we're betting assemble here in various states of disarray. In all seriousness we say that it could just become a must visit people watching spot in Bangkok as well as a decent place to refuel on comforting favorites. ď Ž Contact Details: Angel City Diner Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS Nana, on the Ground Floor of The Prime) Tel: 02-651-3313

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Authentic Western Taste Is The Bagel City some super fancy new five-star restaurant worthy of a trip to Bangkok? No, but I only eat at the best of those a couple times a year -- and this is the kind of place you'll eat at a couple times a week Text & Photos By Paul Cypert

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atisfying your cravings for the fancier foods from home is fairly easy in Bangkok. There's no shortage of fine-dining Italian, French, and other culinary favorites but it's a bit harder to find the simpler, local-nuanced meals that are found in the corner stores or along the street. Sure we eat our business dinners of steak and foie gras every now and then, but it's the quiet staples that get us through the day: a quick bagel from the bodega for breakfast, cheap tacos from a cart for lunch, and a greasy slice for dinner. The Bagel Cafe (TBC) brings not just homemade bagels, but also sandwiches, desserts, spreads, and other odds and ends to Soi Ekkamai (all homemade daily). Not quite a "corner" store in the strictest sense of the word, but it is located well enough along the business soi to be a regular stop for the various people who work or live in the area. We actually came to the TBC from a recommendation of friends as a sandwich shop, which isn't a slight on their bagels, but more of an appreciation for their sandwiches. The menu is simple, concise, and covers the classics such as BLT, tuna salad and the tuna melt. But the standout sandwiches for us have been a couple of their "fancier" creations like the “Outlaw Gondola” with its coppa, tomatoes, salami, dill pickles and cheese. The Outlaw Gondola is the perfect sandwich when you want something that's going to fill you up but still leave you feeling fresh.

Other creations worth noting are “The Cuban” and “The Sweet Rueben,” both warm sandwiches that accurately reflect the origin locations. We'd probably give a slight favor to the Reuben for it's heaping of pastrami topped with that gooey Swiss cheese, thousand island dressing, and sauerkraut. The perfect sandwich when you want to eat something a bit heartier. Desserts, like everything else at the restaurant also all homemade and there are two American classics done in a closer style to any examples you'll find currently on offer in Bangkok. The brownies are dense, chocolaty bombs rather than the airy cake style usually found in coffee shops here. The NYC style cheesecake has delicate flavor without resorting to heavy cream or fancier toppings. We'd recommend either with a cup of coffee and then just sit in the cafe and watch Ekkamai's varied foot traffic. The Bagel Cafe succeeds in bringing authentic Western taste to Bangkok. Is it some super fancy new five-star restaurant worthy of a trip to Bangkok? No, but I only eat at the best of those a couple times a year -- and this is the kind of place you'll eat at a couple times a week.  Contact Details: The Bagel Cafe Soi Ekkamai (on the street shortly before reaching Big C) Tel: 084-658-4426 April 2013 | 61


PHoto By ANNA RESTAURANT

Wine & Dine

Enjoying Anna

Anna Restaurant & Art Gallery has a lovely vibe that makes it the kind of place you want to bring your friends and family in for a pleasurable meal

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By PerCY ROXAS

t is not uncommon for restaurants to try to re-invent themselves, especially in a city like Bangkok where trends and fickle tastes change faster than one changes clothes or cars. We have nothing against that. In fact, there are some restaurants that, no matter the physical changes they undergo, have remained in our list of favorites simply because they were able to retain the quintessential quality that made us like them in the first place. One of these is Anna Restaurant & Art Gallery. Anna Restaurant & Gallery, located on one of Silom’s many charming little arteries (sois) -- is the third reincarnation of a place called Anna’s Café, which at its peak made Soi Saladaeng very popular among avid modern-Thai food lovers. The second one, which opened at the corner of Narathiwat Ratchakakarin and Ratchadapshisek roads, was called Anna & Charlie’s Café, and made waves because of a very interesting guy nicknamed “Charlie San Francisco,” who’s life story is the very stuff of legends.

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While Charlie is now out of the picture because of bad health, his spirit of “honest food and honest service” lives on. But the new Anna restaurant is not just out to recoup its old glory, with Charlie or otherwise. It plans to grow its reputation beyond that -- at its present venue. But some comparisons are hard to avoid, at least for now. For one Anna still serves both authentic Thai cuisine and outstanding Western dishes still including the old favorites although with many new additions; the menu has grown to 100 from the usual 24. More importantly perhaps, the personal touch and winning ways that have made the first two restaurants a favorite haunt of many have not been lost. Also like the two previous restaurants, this one is nestled in a house although this one is twice bigger and more historic than both. As well, this one displays the same creativity and flair for fine food – albeit more European food this time -- served in tasteful surroundings by genuinely friendly staff as the two prior Anna restaurants were also


PHoto By ANNA RESTAURANT

PHotos By PERCY ROXAS

known for. In fact, this Anna is truly bigger than the previous two Anna’s in many ways. Set in a 2-rai area, the beautiful colonial white mansion that houses the Anna of today is so big it has to be divided into many special rooms, each with different ambiance, apparently designed for different types of guests. There are private rooms, for every conceivable occasion or function now, apparently as the restaurant tries to attract the lucrative corporate and expat segment in the Silom-Sathorn area. But there are rooms for families and groups too; and there is a bar on the way to the main dining area. The main dining area of the right wing reminds us of the vintage Anna: spacious, welcoming, unpretentious – with lots of natural light (during daytime) and an overall warm lovely vibe – the kind of place you want to bring your family, friends and colleagues for a great Thai or Western meal. Among the signature dishes to try at this restaurant is the spaghetti with pink sauce, which I tried hurriedly during a lunch visit (actually not in the proper menu yet). Now I have always been partial to pastas and after the black ink spaghetti that has been sort of a staple for me in Bangkok, I must admit I really enjoyed this one. Made with smoked Norwegian salmon, it is simply enjoyable – in an uncomplicated and easy way – if you’re there only for a short lunch break. If you’re in for a full meal, some of the most recommended dishes include Lamb Napoleon (lamb stuffed with shrimp and mushroom fillings, Bt350); and Kurobuta pork chop (grilled Kurobuta pork chop with pineapple sauce, Bt250). Rib-eye steak is Bt650 and The President’s Salmon (baked salmon stuffed with crabmeat, shrimps and cheese) is Bt320. These are my own choices, of course, and they are just among the few highlights of their new comprehensive menu. And yes, there’s a plan to open a sushi bar – now very popular in Bangkok – soon. Many plans are afoot to further improve Anna, business-wise and otherwise, according to our friends at the restaurant. Obviously, Anna needs to do more aggressive marketing to again tempt back Anna’s former loyal crowd as well as many of the city’s new discerning foodies, who are being lured away by newer, sleeker, trendier dining places around the city. The art gallery section upstairs – closed for the most part during our visit and being planned for another kind of business by the owners, we heard, should be revived at least. Creating more enticing special offers and promotional discounts on food and drinks could boost up guest visits as well as blowing its own horn more loudly in both the mainstream and social media like Facebook. For the restaurant has so much going for it: the warm friendly ambiance and the lovely palatial setting; the service (the staff seems attentive and always ready to assist although many foreign guests think they should strive to learn how to speak English more); the relatively inexpensive prices (an average meal for two seldom go beyond Bt1,000, depending on whether you pair your meal with wine of course), the big parking space, not to mention the great tasting Thai and Western food, a testament to the innate creativity and skills of many Thai chefs, Anna’s chefs in particular, today. Indeed we hope that this restaurant will again reach the level of stature that the previous well-loved Anna restaurants have enjoyed before. We have enjoyed Anna then, we did enjoy it now, and we hope to continue enjoying for much, much longer.  Contact Details: Anna Restaurant & Art Gallery 27 Soi Pipat, North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak Tel: 02-237-2788 April 2013 | 63


Wine & Dine

Japanese with Urban Attitude

Kinki - the new cool bar-cum-restaurant at the Rainhill Rooftop combines art, music, and great food for foodies of all persuasions By PerCY ROXAS

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hat, another Japanese restaurant in Bangkok? Don’t we have more than enough already? But wait, this is not just your usual Japanese restaurant. And this is obvious from the moment you set foot in it. Kinki, located on the rooftop of the Rainhill Complex on Sukhumvit 47, is described as Japanese with an urban attitude. If you’re not after catchphrases, that translates to a restaurant-cum-bar with a very young Japanese inspired spirit; not traditional Japanese restaurant as we know it, but more like a party restaurant where art (graffiti) and music enhance the inspired food and beverages for a true sensual feast. The Kinki concept was imported from Singapore where it has become something of an iconic place to be, according to Sabina Ahuja, who is marketing manager of Kinki Bangkok, which opened just three months ago. “I lived in Singapore for two years and that’s how I knew about the brand,” Sabina tells us. “My friends were always talking like: ‘I’m going to Kinki,' 'I wanna go to Kinki” – so I’m

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PHotos By Kinki

like, what is this Kinki place? Is it a bar? Is it a restaurant? I really didn’t know what to expect!” When she finally went to Kinki, she realized that it’s a really nice place (to put it mildly). “They really put art into the concept of the restaurant. And it has a real party atmosphere," she says. "I really love what they do – everything, including DJ music really gets to you. You feel like, this place is posh but not too posh. As soon as you step inside you feel the difference.” As in Singapore, Kinki Bangkok used the entire graffiti concept. It’s walls are blazing with art done by popular Thai graffiti artists, NFE Crew. Kinki Bangkok also has a big patio outside where you can enjoy great sunsets every day, not to mention a spacious, but very friendly, inner sanctum. “Guests can eat and drink and stay all night, unlike in other Japanese restaurants where you just sit down, eat, maybe listen to some tunes for a while,” says Sabina, “but not very engaging. Again, this makes us different.” Where did the concept come from? There’s a story about a town in Japan called Kinki and a chef, who’s also called Kinki. According to the story, Kinki wanted to be a sumo wrestler, and he tried his best to become one, but he couldn’t win any competition. So he decided that to do something in which he is really good at. He happened to be good in cooking and so to impress the sumos, he decided to become a chef. He opened a restaurant and indeed, all the sumos he had lost to in the ring came to his restaurant and enjoyed his food. So in a way, eventually Chef Kinki had good food, good company, and led a good life. Happy ending indeed. Most people would think that it was just the name Kinki that inspired the restaurant. But we thought his story has a message that Kinki restaurant is now trying to tell people: It’s a restaurant with good food; to be enjoyed with good company, for all of us to have a good life. How good is the food? Amazing to say the least: simple, but nice,

fresh, and interesting. It’s not just the flavors; it’s also the presentation. In most dishes, a sense of drama is achieved by the meticulous placements of every element of the dish on the plate. The tai carpaccio (thinly sliced snapper with shio konbu and Kinki’s truffle dressing –Bt380) was sensational, with a delicate taste that is rich, light, and satisfying. The foie gras and scallop sushi (pan-seared foei gras with Hokkaido scallop-Bt350) was even more jaw dropping, something special -- exquisite to the very last bit. A rather unique starter was the momotaro tomato (with ginger dressing-Bt140), the lipstick red color of which seduces you in temptation. A simple fresh tomato made more exciting by sheer creativity. And they kept on coming: the flavors and textures starting from lightly delicate to heavy rich, teasing your taste buds one after another: The dragon maki (prawn tempura, unagi, avocado and snow crab – Bt350) fires up the appetite even more as you let it tango inside your mouth; the spicy pork miso cod (pan-seared cod with Kinki’s pork floss miso-Bt350), with its yummy melt-in-the-mouth finish; the Kinki style okonomiyaki (pizza of Hokkaido scallop, prawn, apple wood smoked bacon, sweet onions and mozaralla-Bt320), another signature that tantalizes; the spiced miso Chammame (Chammame sautéed in spicy miso, garlic and soy-Bt120), and even the humble garlic yaki-maki (fragrant garlic rice-Bt40) – all turning a simple food tasting into a true gastronomic feast. If at all, the dishes show how versatile Japanese cuisine can be and how amenable they are to experimentation and innovation. But we haven’t even tried yet other specials in the menu, which looks attractive on its own. Obviously, the chefs have been putting a lot of attention to seafood, all fresh and imported, Oh, and did we forget to mention that washing them down with saketini (a favorite of gentlemen like us) and rambutini, just two of many creative cocktails on their comprehensive drinks’ list, made the food more interesting? Definitely, foodies of all ages will find Kinki a delight, although Sabina says their main target market are those high-spending 25-40 year olds. But with prices ranging between Bt280 and Bt300-something more or less, depending on food of course, Kinki is affordable posh, which is definitely a great idea in this side of the city where a lot of expats live. “Sometimes people come to our place and say this is a cool bar, and when they try the food, they realize it is more than just a ba. They are really amazed at how good our food are,” says Sabina. “That’s why I say we’re like the sweet spot: we’re not just a bar or a restaurant, We’re a lifestyle destination, which fits the whole concept of those who live and come to the Thonglor area.” Still on a soft launch period, Kinki is planning bigger events ahead after a grand opening that will soon be announced. But they are already doing a lot of things such as the “Ladies Night on Wednesdays, as well as the house event on Friday, which Sabina says have been going great. They do private events too – and add a touch of urban attitude to them, we suppose. “I think Bangkok really needs something different,” says Sabina, adding that Kinki is a brand she really believes in.“If you look at it, people are dining out these days not because they want to eat outside but because it’s part of their lifestyle. Dining-out has become a lifestyle. Kinki offers a good time at a place that has a different vibe and basically combines everything that you are looking for: art, music, great food!”  Contact Details: Kinki Rainhill Rooftop 777 Sukhumvit Soi 47 Tel: 02-261-7204 // www.kinki.co.th

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WINE & DINE

indulge & enjoy Sunday Brunch on the River

Millennium Hilton Bangkok has just launched “Brunch on the River,” inviting guests to discover their own personal ‘best’ combination of exotic cuisines and wines from distant lands. “Brunch on the River,” which can be enjoyed from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., starts with complimentary cocktails and canapés at ThreeSixty (11 a.m.- noon). Then, between noon and 3 p.m., guests can savor the International Brunch selections from the hotel’s signature restaurants, including Flow, Prime, Maya and Yuan. The International Brunch selection is made all the more impressive with free access to the private Cheese Room - the first of its kind in Bangkok and considered to be one of the best in Asia. There, diners can sample up to 75 kinds of cheeses, the widest variety of international cheeses, the most powerful aromas, the finest textures, and the most refined flavors, all served with freshly baked bread and condiments. That’s not all 20 wine labels are available at the “Brunch on the River,” and delicious smoothies, juices, and quenchers await you too. Coffee, tea and juices are all included with the meal. The meal can be enjoyed for just Bt1,999 net per person and Bt2,999 net per person for Brunch on the River with free flow wine and sparkling. For more about what’s included in this amazing Sunday experience, contact 02-442-2000

I Heart Songkran Dinner

Songkran at The Pen

In celebration of the Thai New Year, The Peninsula Bangkok offers special set menus at Thiptara and The Lobby on April 1-15. The Songkran set menu is priced at Bt1,800* per person while the Khao Chae set menu is priced at Bt460++ per person. Both menus will be available daily at Thiptara from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The Khao Chae set menu will be served at The Lobby from noon to 10:30 p.m. Where: The Lobby and Thiptara, The Peninsula Bangkok (BTS: Saphan Taksin (free shuttle boat at the pier) // Contact: 02254-1234

Traditional Songkran Delicacies

In the spirit of tradition, The Square of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square presents a family-oriented “Songkran Festival Dinner Buffet” on April 12-16. The buffet highlights traditional Thai dishes typically only enjoyed during the festivities, including the summer dish “Khao Chae.” Enjoy either the International buffet dinner celebration with “Come 4 Pay 2” (Bt950++/person) on dinner or the All You Can Eat Dim Sim Lunch at Lok Wah Hin Chinese Restaurant with "Come 4 Pay 3" (Bt620++/person). Where: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam) // Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. The SQUARE or Lok Wah Hin or visit the website www.novotelbkk.com

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Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit invites you and your family to celebrate “Songkran” from April 13 to 17 with an authentic 4-course Thai dinner at Mauve Restaurant where the chef will prepare plenty of irresistible Songkranthemed Thai dishes. The “I Heart Songkran” 4-course dinner features a special ceremony with the service staff performing the Thai traditional “Rod Nam Dam Hua.” Bt599 net per person. Book now and get a gift set of cold scented towel with lemon grass oil. Where: Mauve, Radisson Suites Bangkok Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit 13 (BTS: Nana) // Contact: 02 645-4999

Essential Khao Chae

April is a great time to cool off with the nation’s famous summer dish, “Khao Chae.” Enjoy Khao Chae on April 1-30 at Spice & Rice Thai Restaurant, The Sukosol Bangkok. Available daily at Bt395++ 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (lunch) and 6-10:30 p.m. (dinner). Where: Spice & Rice Thai Restaurant, The Sukosol Bangkok, Sri Ayutthaya Road (BTS: Phayathai) // Contact: 02-247-0123

Khao Chae Festival

On April 12-21, The Square at Novotel Bangkok Bangna, invites you to taste a bowl of traditional iced and rice soup “khao chae,” flavored with jasmine flowers and enjoyed with a vast variety of savory condiments. Where: The Square, Novotel Bangkok Bangna, Srinakarin Road // Contact: 02-3660505

Pathumwan Khao Chae

Khao Chae, the 200-year-old dish that consists of rice eaten cold with jasmine and candle fume scented water, which truly represents authentic Thai tradition will be available at the CiTi BiSTRo daily for the entire April from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for only Bt990 net per person. Where: CiTi BiSTRo World Cuisine Restaurant, Ground Floor, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 20100

Tom Yum Three Ways

basil’s gifted Chef Kesinee’s secret to ensuring diners enjoy an unforgettable experience is to create a feast for the eyes with contemporary presentation and excite the palate with authentic flavors. Now her award-winning cuisine is further enhanced by premium quality organic produce from the Royal Mae Fah Luang Project in northern Thailand. basil also offers a carefully chosen wine list to further enhance the unique tasting of tom yum three ways. Where: basil, level 1 of Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit (BTS: Asoke) // Contact: 02-649-8366, dining.sgs@ luxurycollection.com

Golden Palace in April

Put your taste to the test as the creative chefs of Golden Palace prepare some of the most delightful Chinese specialties you can ever enjoy in Bangkok. Recommended dishes include Hong Kong roasted duck and BBQ pork with herbs & honey; beef steak in Hong Kong sauce; steamed chicken with Chinese


Lookeast recommendations April Dining Specials

restaur cafe

bar/lou wine and jellyfish salad; and seafood salad with wasabi cream” – for scintillating tastes you will savor long after the meal is over. For lunchtime during weekends, enjoy the great music of “Kocheng” along with the delightful dishes. Special Offer: 'Come 4, Pay 3 All-you-can-eat for Buffet Lunch.' Dim Sum buffet lunch is Bt 499++/person and Dim Sum buffet dinner at Bt 699++ / person (with shark’s fin soup). Where: The Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, Windsor Suites & Convention Hotel-Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262-1234, ext. 1410

pumpkin soup, sea scallop: steamed with garlic or pan-fried with X.O. sauce or stir fried with black bean sauce starting from Bt600. Where: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam) // Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. Lok Wah Hin

Pan-fried Seabass

All You Can Eat Sushi

Wine Pub at Pullman Bangkok King Power introduces a new tasty menu: pan-fried sea bass served with sautéed spinach with raisins and balsamic drizzle, prepared the French style by talented French Chef Cyrille Vero, at Bt990 net/menu. Available every night, 6-10 p.m. Where: Wine Pub, Pullman Bangkok King Power , Rangnam Road (BTS: Victory Monument) // Contact: 02-680-9999

Special Summer Dish

Loop Italian Restaurant & Bar is introducing sumptuous Italian delicacies that stray away from the stereotypical highcholesterol toppings of pizzas and pastas. With the “Special Summer Dish,” Sicilian delights such as codfish salad, avocado orange, lobster salad with apple, green asparagus pan fried foie gras, cherry jelly, grilled scallop salad, caramelized baby carrot, vanilla dressings and much more. Explore your knowledge on Italian food daily, 11 a.m. -10:30 p.m., at Loop. Where: Loop Italian Restaurant & Bar, 8th floor, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 2081/8

Chinese ‘Junk Boat’

April is an ideal time to relax and enjoy light, refreshing seafood. Just like the food at the ‘Chinese Junk’ food promotion at Lok Wah Hin of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square throughout April. Enjoy an array of traditional Chinese dishes such as crab claw

From April 1 to June 30, Hiragi Japanese Restaurant at Novotel Bangkok Bangna offers an excellent selection of “All You Can Eat Sushi.” Prices are at Bt750 net per person, inclusive of a free flow of draught beer. There are also three private rooms for private parties. Available for both lunch and dinner. Where: Hiragi Japanese Restaurant at Novotel Bangkok Bangna, Srinakarin Road // Contact: 02-366-0505, ext. 1470

Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb

In April, the skillful chefs of Windsor Suites Café will wow you with their own interpretation of grilled New Zealand rack of lamb with mint sauce, one of the monthly highlights in the popular international buffet spread. Buffet Lunch is Bt499++per person; Seafood & International Buffet Dinner at Bt699++ per person. Come 4, Pay 3 All-you-can-eat for buffet. Don’t miss it! Where: Windsor Suites Café International Restaurant, Windsor Suites & Convention Hotel-Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262-1234, ext. 1406

Red Sky: New Daily Menu

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Chef Mikko Kataja and his creative kitchen team present a new menu of daily specials at Red Sky, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center at Central World until end of April only. On Mondays, it’s white stew of Kurobuta pork cheeks with morels (Bt955++); Tuesdays: veal shank braised in white wine, tomatoes and herbs (Bt1,255++); Wednesdays: 26oz-charcoal grilled Wagyu rib-eye (Bt3,695++); Thursdays: pan-roast skirt steak with shallot red wine sauce (Bt 1,555++); Fridays: whole fresh Atlantic lemon sole pan-fried in Echire butter and flat parsley (Bt1,655++); Saturdays: Bouchot mussels with white wine, garlic, thyme and parsley (Bt1,155++); and Sundays: French Charolais beef tenderloin baked in puff pastry, slice of foie gras, red wine sauce (Bt1,855++). Available for dinner only from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Where: Red Sky, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center at Central World // Contact: 02-100-6255

Lunchtime Treats

At Zest Bar & Terrace, the chef has created special a la carte selections to fit in with your busy schedule. Lunchtime diners can choose from tasty and satisfying dishes for just Bt290 net including one soft drink and coffee or tea. The menu features delights such as a crisp Caesar salad with bacon lardons, aged Parmesan cheese and garlic croûtons. There is also spaghetti Napolitano, classic

Journey Through Scotland in One Night

From left: Chennarong Bhumichitr, senior brand ambassador of Johnnie Walker (Thailand); Leslie Stronac, executive chef of InterContinental Bangkok; Surin Krittayaphongphun-VP marketing-sales The Bangkok Entertainment (BEC-Tero); Srocha Laysuwan, executive department manager at DKSH Thailand; Ittidaje Chanpini, VP commercial Diageo Moet Hennessy Thailand; Suri Jitjang, executive assistant manager of InterContinental Bangkok; and Stephen Meredith, director of food & beverage of InterContinental Bangkok; join the unforgettable journey to experience authentic Scottish cuisine paired with traditional Scotch whiskey at the Fireplace Grill recently. Guests enjoyed the 7-course gourmet from the Scottish-born, Chef Leslie, accompanied by the full range of Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky's, showcasing top 7 labels such as Johnnie Walker Green Label Johnnie Walker Blue Label, and Johnnie Walker Platinum Label. The night ended with each guest walking away with a complimentary 750ml bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue and a signature Riedel Crystal Whisky glass presented in a luxurious leather gift set.

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indulge & enjoy Korean Specialties A Journey through Thailand with Chef McDang

VIU at The St. Regis Bangkok last month took guests to “A Journey through Thailand with Chef McDang.” The exclusive epicurean experience featured Thailand’s preeminent celebrity chef, McDang, who showcased the incredible flavors of Thailand covering a different Thai region, from the North to Isaan to the Central and to the South as he introduced a new menu each day. Chef McDang’s modern Thai creations includes white turmeric salad, braised pork belly with quail egg, larb duck burger served with coleslaw, papaya salad dressing and french fries, and pan-fried marinated snapper with galangal mushroom dressed with coconut cream sauce and sided with black rice, and pumpkin sankaya creme brule.

Italian pasta dressed in rich and flavoursome tomato sauce, and Thai favorites such as gai satay, char-grilled marinated chicken skewers served with peanut and cucumber sauce, and a spicy tom yam soup with prawns, mushrooms accompanied by steamed rice, and more. Where: Zest Bar & Terrace, Westin Grande Sukhumvit (BTS: Nana) // Contact: 02-207-8000 or e-mail fb.bangkok@ westin.com

Pausa Pranzo in Bangkok

Executive Chef and Italian native Roberto Bellitti has created the “Luce Light Business Lunch” designed especially to evoke the feeling of a traditional Pausa Pranzo with a menu full of the aromas, tastes and textures of his homeland’s world-renowned cuisine. Chef Roberto’s weekly changing two or three-course set menu includes a variety of wholesome, tastefully prepared dishes. Two-course set lunch is available for Bt400 ++, three courses for Bt550 ++, both inclusive of tea and coffee available from noon till 2:30 p.m weekdays. Where: Luce Italian Restaurant, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, Sathorn Road (BTS: Surasak) // Contact: 02-210-8100

Taste of Italian Cuisine

Discover the unique flavor of Italian Cuisine prepared for all Italian food lovers and unique experience at Flava Restaurant & Bar on the 2nd floor of Dream Hotel Sukhumvit 15. Executive Chef Sarawuth usestop quality and freshest ingredients to give each dish their best quality. Five delectable Italian dishes will be served to your delight. Where: Flava Restaurant, Dream Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15 // Contact: 02-254-8500 or e-mail: info@ dreambkk.com

Youzen Sushi

Who can resist the fresh, flavorful exotica of the Japanese delicacy sushi? In April, Youzen Japanese Restaurant will tantalize

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your taste buds and make you yearn even more for these exquisite All-Nippon delights with its new Sushi Set and Sushi Nigiri Special Set. Special Offer: Come 4, Pay 3 All-you-can-eat for buffet. Lunch a la Carte menu; Buffet Dinner at Bt 699++ / person. Something not to be missed! Where: Youzen Japanese Restaurant, Windsor Suites & Convention Hotel- Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262-1234, ext. 1408

Shellfish Delights

Throughout April, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn presents a true trove of enticing ocean treasures at The Glass House Restaurant. The “Ocean Treasures” promotion will allow guests to indulge in their favorite “fruits de mer” prepared in a delectable variety of ways. Price is Bt1,399 ++ per person, children under 16 get 50% discount. Where: The Glass House Restaurant, 5th floor, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, Sathorn Road (BTS: Surasak) // Contact: 02-210-8100

Sunday Lunch

Experience the all-new Sunday Lunch Celebration; an indulgent gourmet feast at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok. Every Sunday, chefs invite you on a culinary journey with one price for three gourmet buffets, international buffet, traditional Japanese buffet and dessert buffet. It’s the perfect way to keep Sunday special for family and friends. The whole family can choose exquisite cuisine from three distinctive buffets with an array of gourmet international dishes including healthy dishes that children will love, as well as ‘a la minute’ cuisine prepared at live cooking stations, and an extensive selection of Mediterranean cuisine, and much more. Children can also enjoy all the fun of the Westin Kid’s Club with magician show, painting and a clown to keep them entertained. Price is Bt1,790 net per adult and Bt895 net per child (3-12). Where: Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok (BTS: Asoke) //

Savor the zest of tradition All-You-CanEat and A La Carte BBQ Buffet Lunch at Kongju Korean restaurant on the 2nd floor of Pathumwan Princess hotel open daily from 11:30am–2:00 pm for lunch, and 5:30pm– 10:00 pm for dinner. Accompanying the assortment of marinated meats and seafood, including beef, pork and pork belly, chicken, prawns, salmon, sea bass, scallops and squid, are mouth-watering Korean appetizers such as Nine Cold Pancake, fried scallops with fish prawns and mushrooms, prawns wrapped in lettuces, Kim chi, and seaweed soup. Price is Bt850 net per person, available from Monday to Friday. Where: Kongju Korean Restaurant, 2nd floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Roaad (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 20230

Japanese Gosyoguruma High-Tea Set Menu

Indulge in the perfect tea break each afternoon with classical high-tea tradition, “Japanese Gosyoguruma High-Tea Sweet Box,” the harmony of Japanese, Western, and Thai sweets including a selection of traditional favorites, the freshest finger sandwiches, fruit tartlette, scones, Japanese desserts and chocolate delightfully paired with your favorite beverages such as Lavazza coffee or Ronnefeldt loose tea in the lobby lounge. Price starts at Bt430 ++/set. Where: Lobby Lounge, Lobby Level, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Sukhumvit 22 // Contact: 02-261-9300, ext. 5089

White Asparagus Promotion

On May 8-31, Executive Sous Chef Fabio of La Tavola invites you to experience the sweet nutty flavors of white ssparagus. Enjoy sauteed white asparagus, pan fried scallop, aromatic salad, potato hazelnut cream, White asparagus soup, crab meat, lemon confit, salmon roe, Grilled white asparagus, lobster ravioli, porcini sauce and White asparagus risotto, burrata cheese, pistachio. Price starts at Bt 490++. Where: La Tavola & Wine Bar (Italian Restaurant), Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel (BTS: Chidlom) // Contact: 02-125-5020 or 02-125-5000, ext. 8300


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Thiptara Launches New Thai Lounge, New Set Menus

The Peninsula Bangkok’s Thiptara Restaurant has expanded its array of dining and relaxation choices with the addition of a classical Thai-style lounge where guests can gather before or after dinner for cocktails and appetizers, or simply come together to socialize. Traditional Thai cushions, bolsters and low tables allow are accompanied by a selection of innovative cocktails and snacks. Sight lines extend beneath the boughs of trees through to the river, as well as to the resort’s dramatic swimming pool and the Naturally Peninsula Garden where the fresh Thai herbs that distinguish Thiptara’s refined home-style cuisine are grown. The Chef de Cuisine Chamnan Thepchana has also created three new set menus that will take diners on a culinary tour of Thailand. For instance, one menu draws its appetizer from Chiang Mai, its soup from Phuket, its main courses from Surattani and its dessert from Petchburi. Another group visits Nakhon Pathom, Khon Kaen, Rayong and Ayudhya while the third menu tours Ubon Ratchathani, Surin, Yasothon and Nong Khai. Featured dishes range from steamed pork sausage with jelly noodles and grilled salt-crusted sea bass to Beef Sirloin with spicy tamarind sauce with Egg custard with mung beans. Where: Thiptara Restaurant, The Peninsula Bangkok (BTS: Saphan Taksin (free shuttle boat) // Contact: 02626-1849

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MANDARIN 'KHAO CHAE'

Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok welcomes the arrival of summer with the traditional Thai delicacy Khao Chae (chilled rice in jasminescented water with condiments) at Sala Rim Naam during buffet lunch from April 1 to 30. Come and stay cool with this Thai specialty at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, specially prepared and selected by Thai celebrity Chef Vichit Mukura. Sala Rim Naam is open daily for buffet lunch (Mon-Fri @Bt930 net, Sat-Sun @Bt1,154 net, and @Bt683 net for children) from noon until 3pm, For more info or reservations, contact 02-659- 9000, ext. Sala Rim Naam.

Thai

A total sensory experience and journey into the heart and soul of Siam, Maya combines live show cooking, contemporary Thai dance and a theatrical performance of service that has to be seen to be believed! Open: Curtain opens: Show start: Dress Code: 3rd floor, Millennium Hilton Bangkok 123 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600 T: +66 (0) 2442 2000 E: bkkhi.informations@hilton.com, hilton.com, hilton.co.th hiltonbangkok

Tue-Sat 7.00 p.m. 7.30 p.m. Smart casual

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relax & unwind Panorama: Inspiring by Day, Latin by Night

Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park has started a new concept at its signature restaurant Panorama. Billed as “Inspiring by Day, Latin by Night,” the new concept is a step forward from the hotel's recent successful Brazilian promotion. With the concept, Panorama promises to be the most distinctive Latin restaurant in Bangkok besides offering panoramic views of the bustling Bangkok skyline. An overall Latin theme will be the centerpiece of the restaurant, with music and entertainment playing a big role to create a true-blue Latino atmosphere. DJs and live bands will be playing on special days of the week. The restaurant has two distinctive areas: The inside area for those wanting to enjoy a culinary journey and the deck bar; a meet and greet environment with “sharing” style dishes with high emphasis on wines by the glass and specialty cocktails such as: sangria, mojitos, caipirinhas in different sizes and flavors not forgetting their signature flavored spirits. Cuisine will range from Mexican, Peruvian, Chilean, Argentinean, Brazilian, and Cuban, and integrates Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and French flavors. Special items will be prepared and served tableside by culinary experts. The restaurant is open for lunch (noon till 2 p.m.) and dinner (6-10:30 p.m.) Where: Panorama, 23rd Floor, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park, (Silom) Rama 4 Road // Contact: 02-6329000 or e-mail info-cpbkk@ihg.com

PARTIES & GIGS

Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. CM2

Songkran with Pirates of amBar

Wet and Wild Songkran

Ride the wave and party at Concept CM², Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square this Songkran, April 12-14, with an all-night open bar (standard house pours only) for Bt650 per person. The energetic Crush Crew heat things up with the latest Pop, R&B and Hip Hop, and as the steam starts to rise resident DJs spin Pop and House, while the bar team cool things down with a selection of spirits and beers to keep chilled. Where: Concept CM², Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam) //

Aloha Pool Party -- Dream Hotel

Up on the rooftop, poolside bar amBar’s annual “Songkran Pool Party” is special this year. The fun-filled celebration is back with a whole new dimension of fun, six gorgeous DJs, lots of snacks and drinks, and loads of surprises… in a Pirates style. The treasure has been stolen and must be found. The exciting journey is on April 13, mid-day till mid-night. Come in and soak up the fun by the pool, have some chilled drinks, enjoy cool music from the all- lady DJs (Cleo P, Arin, Fai, Queen P, and Lom) and let the water fight begin! Food and drinks at special prices

recently organized its first pool party (Series 2013) with a Hawaiian theme – the “Aloha! Pool Party” -by the rooftop pool of Dream 2, Sukhumvit 15. The party featured sexy Hawaiian and Fire Dance shows with good-vibe music by local DJs from Siam Spin. Celebrities and VIP guests attended the party, including (in photo) with Khun Ransaya, director of sales & marketing at Dream Hotel (4th from left) and Miguel Juan, resident manager of Dream Hotel (7th from left): Dale Lowrence, president – Skal International Bangkok (5th from left); Earth Saiswang, president of Thai Hotel PR Association (6th from left); shown here with guests and Hawaiian performers.

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ENTERTAINMENT/NIGHTILIFE Bar & CLUB specials

mall/sh Amsterdam’s ‘Biggles Big Band’ ready for Thai gigs

HE Joan Boer (4th left), Netherlands’ ambassador to Thailand, presided over a press conference with afternoon tea at his residence recently to announce the return to Thailand of the Biggles Big Band of Amsterdam. Photo shows – with the His Excellency: Kanokros Sakdanares (3rd left), group director of marketing communications; Marvin Bemand (2nd left), director of loyalty marketing at Centara Hotels & Resorts; and Phakapol Yawaluk (far left), general manager of Centara Hotel and Convention Centre Khon Kaen. The band has already performed at Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin last month. also available. No entrance fee. Where: amBar, Four Points Bangkok, Sukhumvit 15 // Contact: 02-309-3201

SPECIAL OFFERS The One, The Only

Ketel One has been dubbed as the “truly The One, The Only vodka experience.” This ultra premium spirit, which is distilled in small batches entirely from select wheat, is known for its crisp, sophisticated taste, and flawlessly textured body that will fill your taste buds with layers of spicy and sweet flavors leaving an elegant finish. Enjoy it straight up or in a cocktail, amidst the wonderful panoramic views of Moon Bar’s moonlit deck, for a true treat for all the senses. Where: Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road //

Cocktails & Mocktails

Thailand is home to some of the world's most magical art and architecture. Inspired by these symbols of Siamese folklore, Latitude brings you an exclusive selection of signature cocktails that will weave your evening into a magical journey. Where: Latitude Lounge & bar, 51st-52nd Floor Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road //

Cupcakes and Smoothies

Who doesn’t like to be a bit naughty at times? Well now’s your chance to let that little devil inside you out while at the same

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time staying nice and sweet with a “Cupcakes and Smoothies” promotion at Swizzle Bar and Lounge at Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok. Swizzles will be serving up a devilishly delectable display of freshly baked cupcakes until the end of April. Price is Bt200 to combine the cupcake of your choice with freshly blended healthy smoothies from local fruits such as strawberry, papaya, green apple, mixed berry and mango plus many more. Where: Swizzle bar & Lounge, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok, Sathorn Road (BTS: Surasak) //

Mango Season

Accompany this year’s summer season with the mango season at the Lobby on the ground floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel with a fantastic array of mango pastries. Meanwhile, for Songkran festival Studio Bar on the 1st floor of the hotel presents “Mango Fever Cocktail.” Open daily 11 a.m.- 1 a.m. at Bt250 per glass. Where: Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phayathai Road (BTS: National Stadium) //

‘Sunset Session’ at Horizon

Hilton Pattaya has just launched a new promotion ‘Sunset Session’ at Horizon Restaurant and Bar. The promo offers an array of signature cocktails and "best sellers" including yello, sea breeze, mojito, cosmopolitan, bloody mary, Singapore sling, and beers on a one-for-one basis. Available daily from 5 to 7 p.m. Where: Horizon, Level 34, Hilton Pattaya, Pattaya // Contact: 038-253-000

Editor’s Note: Send us your events for this section before the 15th of every month for the next month’s publication. First-come, first served basis. Just e-mail them to: editorlookeast@gmail.com or percy@lookeastmagazine.com

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Directory

hotels & serviced apartments Bangkok AMBASSADOR HOTEL BANGKOK

171 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS: Nana and MRT: Sukhumvit) // Tel: 02-254-0444 // www.amtel.co.th

AMARI ATRIUM 1880 New Petchburi Rd // Tel: 02-718-2000, 02-718-2020 // www.amari.com/atrium

AMARI BOULEVARD 2 Soi 5 Sukhumvit Rd

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BANGKOK SIAM 889 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: National

PULLMAN BANGKOK HOTEL G

HOTEL MUSE 55/555 Langsuan Rd, Ploenchit Road (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-630-4000 // Fax: 02 630-4100

RADISSON SUITES BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT

Stadium) // Tel: 02-238-4300 // www. holidayinnexpress.com

IMPERIAL QUEEN’S PARK 199 Sukhumvit 22 (BTS: Phrom Phong) // Tel: 02 261-9000 // www.imperialhotels.com/queenspark

188 Silom Rd (BTS: Chong Nonsi) // Tel: 02 238-1991/99 //

Tel: 02 645-4999 // www.radisson.com/bangkokth_sukhumvit

Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok

(BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-255-2930 // www.amari. com/boulevard

INTERCONTINENTAL BANGKOK

AMARI DON MUANG AIRPORT 333 Chert Wudthakas Rd, Don Muang // Tel: 02-566-1020 // www.amari.com/donmuang

9743 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-656-0444 // www.intercontinental.com

2074 Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120, Thailand. Tel. 66(0)2 688 1000 Fax. 66(0) 2 291 9400 www.ramadaplazamenamriverside.com

JW MARRIOTT BANGKOK 4 Sukhumvit

REMBRANDT, THE 19 Sukhumvit Soi 8

KANTARY HOUSE HOTEL & SERVICED APARTMENTS BANGKOK

RENAISSANCE BANGKOK RATCHAPRASONG HOTEL

AMARI WATERGATE 847 Petchburi Rd // Tel: 02-653-9000, 02-653-9101/8 // www.amari.com/watergate

ANANTARA BANGKOK RESORT & SPA 257 Charoennakorn Rd, Thonburi (BTS: Saphan Taksin to hotel ferry ) // Tel: 02-476-0022, www.bangkok-riverside.anantara.com

BANYAN TREE BANGKOK

21/100 South Sathorn Rd (MRT: Lumpini Station) // Tel: 02 679-1200 // www.banyantree.com

Centara Grand at

Soi 2 (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-656-7700 // www.marriot.com/bkkdt

14 Ramkamhaeng 42 Rd, Bangkapi // Tel: 02-374-5544 // www.kantarycollection.com/ kantaryhouse-bangkok

LANDMARK BANGKOK 138 Sukhumvit Rd

(BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-254-0404 // www.landmarkbangkok.com

Le Fenix Sukhumvit by Accor 33/33 Sukhumvit 11 (BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-305-4000 // www.lefenix-sukhumvit.com

CentralWorld 999/99 Rama 1 Rd BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02 100-1234 // www.centralhotelresorts.com

LEBUA AT STATE TOWER State Tower 1055 Silom Rd, Bangrak // Tel: 02-624-9999 // www.lebua.com/bangkok/

CENTARA GRAND @ CENTRAL PLAZA LADPRAO

MILLENNIUM HILTON BANGKOK

1695 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand Phone: +66 (0) 2541 1234

CONRAD BANGKOK

All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-690-9999 // www.conradhotel.com

DAVIS BANGKOK, THE

88 Sukhumvit 24 (BTS: Phrom Phong) // Tel: 02-260-8000 // www.davisbangkok.net

DREAM HOTEL 10 Sukhumvit Soi 15 (BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02-254-8500 // www.dreambkk.com

DUSIT THANI, THE 946 Rama IV Rd (BTS: Saladaeng) // Tel: 02 200-9000 // www.dusit.com Eugenia, THE 267 Soi Sukhumvit 3 //

Tel: 02-259-9011/7 // www.theeugenia.com

EASTIN GRAND HOTEL SATHORN

33/1 South Sathorn Road (BTS: Surasak) // Tel: 02-212-3770

FOUR SEASONS BANGKOK

55 Ratchadamri Rd (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-126-8866 // www.fourseasons.com/bangkok

FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON

Sukhumvit Soi 15 // Tel: 02-309-3000 // www.starwoodhotels.com

FURAMAXCLUSIVE Asoke-Sukhumvit 133/2 Sukhumvit 21 ( BTS: Asoke and MRT: Sukhumvit interchange) // Tel: 02-677-8484 // www.furamaxclusive.com/asoke FURAMAXCLUSIVE 27 Sukhumvit Soi 1

(opposite Bumrungrad International Hospital) BTS: Ploenchit - 10 minutes walk) // Tel: 02-255-4224

FURAMAXCLUSIVE SATHORN

59 Silom Soi 3 (Piphat 2) Silom Rd,3 minutes to BTS: Chong Nonsi // Tel: 02-266-8030 // www.furamaxclusive.com/sathorn/

GRAND HYATT ERAWAN 494 Ratchadamri Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-254-1234 // www.bangkok.grand.hyatt. com HOLIDAY INN BANGKOK 971 Ploenchit

Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-656-1555

HOLIDAY INN SILOM 981 Silom Rd (BTS: Surasak) // Tel: 02-238-4300 // www.holidayinnsilom.com

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123 Charoennakorn Rd (boat shuttle from Saphan Taksin Pier) // Tel: 02-422-2000, 02442-2035 // www.bangkok.hilton.com

METROPOLITAN, THE 27 South Sathorn

Rd (MRT: Lumpini) // Tel: 02-625-3333 // www.metropolitan.com.bz

NAI LERT PARK BANGKOK 2 Wireless

Rd, Pathumwan (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-253-0123 // www.bangkok-nailertpark. swisshotel.com

NOVOTEL BANGNA BANGKOK

333 Srinakarin Rd // Tel: 02 366-0505 // www.novotelbangnabangkok.com

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit 566 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-305-6000 // www. novotelbangkokploenchit.com

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom 320 Silom Rd // Tel: 02-206-9100 // www.novotelbangkoksilom.com

NOVOTEL BANGKOK PLATINUM

220 Petchburi Rd, Ratchathevi, Bangkok // Tel: 02-169-7100

NOVOTEL BANGKOK ON SIAM SQUARE Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam Square) // Tel: 02-209-8888 // www.novotelbkk.com

NOVOTEL SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT 999 Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel, Moo 1 Nongprue Bang Phi Samutprakarn // Tel: 02-131-1111

ORIENTAL, THE MANDARIN 48 Oriental Ave.

(BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02-261-7100 // www.rembrandtbkk.com

518/8 Ploenchit Rd, Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel:02-125-5000 // renhotels.com/bangkok

ROYAL ORCHID SHERATON

2 Captain Bush Lane // Tel: 02 266-0123 // www.royalotchidsheraton.com

SHANGRI-LA, THE 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu (BTS: Saphan Taksin) // Tel: 02 236-7777 // www.shangri-la.com SHERATON GRANDE SUKHUMVIT

PATTAYA ALL SEASONS PATTAYA 425/9 Moo 9 Pattaya 2 Rd. Soi 5 Central Pattaya // Tel: 038-418-888 // www.allseasonspattaya.com

AMARI NOVA SUITES 254 Moo 9, Soi Petchtrakool Nongprue, Pattaya City // www.amari.com/novasuites. com AMARI ORCHID RESORT & TOWER Pattaya Beach Road // Tel: 038-418-418 // www.amari.com

CENTARA GRAND MIRAGE BEACH RESORT PATTAYA 277 Moo 5, Naklua, Banglamung, Pattaya // Tel: 038 301-234 // www. centarahotelsresorts.com

D2 BARAQUDA

485/1 Moo.10 2 Road. Nongprue, Banglamung,, Pattaya, Chon Buri Tel: 038-769999

Nong Prue, Pattaya (Central Festival) // Tel: 038-253-000 // www.hilton.com

217 Sukhumvit 15 // Tel: 02 651-2000 // www.s15hotel.com

S31 Sukhumvit Hotel

545 Sukhumvit 31 // Tel: 02-260-1111 // www.s31hotel.com

siam kempinski 991/9 Rama I Rd

(BTS: Siam Square) // Tel: 02-162-9000 // www. kempinski.com/

SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT

189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15 (BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-126-9999

SOFITEL SO BANGKOK

2 North Sathorn Road (MRT: Lumpini) // Tel: 02-624-0000

SUKHOTHAI BANGKOK, THE 13/3 South Sathorn Rd (MRT: Lumpini) // Tel: 02-344-8888 // www.sukothai.com

SWISS LODGE 3 Convent Rd (BTS: Saladaeng) // Tel: 02-233-5345 // www.swisslodge.com ST REGIS BANGKOK 159 Rajdamri Road, (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-207-7777 // www.starwoodhotels.com UNICO PREMIER METROLINK

57 Asoke-Dindaeng Rd, Makkasan (Airport Link) and (MRT:Petchburi) // Tel: 02-652-9000 // www.unicopremiermetrolink.com

Beach Rd // Tel: 038-425-611/7 // www.dusit.com

Hilton Pattaya hotel 333/101 Moo 9 GARDEN CLIFF RESORT & SPA

220/2 Moo 5, Soi Naklua 16 Pattaya // Tel: 038-259-333 // www.gardencliffpattaya.com

HARD ROCK HOTEL 429 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Rd // Tel: 038 -28-755-9 // www.hardrockhotels.net

PATTAYA MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA

218/2-4 Pattaya Beach Rd // Tel: 038-413-601// www.marriottotels.com

ROYAL CLIFF HOTELS GROUP 353 Phra Tamnak Rd, Pattaya // Tel: 038-250-421 // www.royalcliff.com

SHERATON PATTAYA RESORT 37 Phra Tamnak Rd, Pattaya // Tel: 038-259-888 // www.sheraton.com/pattaya/com

THE ZIGN 555/65 Moo 5, 12 Naklua Rd //

Tel: 038-909-800-20 // www.thezignhotel.com

NORTH CHEDI CHIANG MAI, THE

123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Road, T, Changklan, A. Muang, Chiang Mai // Tel: 053-253-333 // www.ghm.hotels.com

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL CHIANG MAI

UNICO EXPRESS

Mae Rim-Samoeng Old Road 50180 Mae Rim Chiang Mai Tel. 053 298-181

VIE Hotel Bangkok 117/39-40 Phaya

KANTARY HILLS HOTEL & SERVICED APARTMENTS, CHIANG MAI 44,44/1-2 Nimmanhaemin Rd, Soi

74 Sukhumvit Soi 3 Road TEL: 02-655-2790

WESTIN GRANDE SUKHUMVIT

259 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Asoke/ MRT: Sukhumvit) // Tel: 02-207-8000 // www.westin.com/bangkok

PATHUMWAN PRINCESS MBK Center 444

WINDSOR SUITES HOTEL BANGKOK

PENINSULA, THE Charoen Nakorn Rd

OUtSIDE BAnGKOK – EAST

PLAZA ATHENEE 10 Wireless Rd

KOH CHANG 88/8 Moo 4 T. Koh Chang, Trat // Tel: 039-552-0001 // www.amari.com/ emeraldcove

(BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-650-8800 // www.hotel-plaza-athenee.com

8/15 Klong Prao Beach, Koh Chang, Trat // Tel: 039-551-290/6 //www.panviman.com

S15 Sukhumvit Hotel

OKURA PRESTIGE BANGKOK, THE

(BTS: Saphan Taksin to hotel ferry) // Tel: 02-861-2888, 02-861-1111 // www.bangkok.peninsula.com

PANVIMAN KOH CHANG RESORT

DUSIT RESORT PATTAYA 240/2 Pattaya

Thai Rd (BTS: Phayathai) // Tel: 02-309-3939 // www.viehotelbangkok.com

Phayathai Rd (BTS: National Stadium) // Tel: 02 216-3700 // www.dusit.com

Tel: 039-557-034/5 // www.kohchangcliffbeach.com

250 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Asoke/MRT: Sukhumvit) // Tel: 02 649-8888 // www.starwoodhotels.com/bangkok

(BTS: Saphan Taksin to hotel ferry) // Tel: 02-439-2258, 02-659-9000 // www.mandarinoriental.com

57 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Thailand Tel: 02687 9000

KOH CHANG CLIFF BEACH RESORT

8-10 Sukhumvit Soi 20 // Tel: 02-262-1234

AMARI EMERALD COVE RESORT

12, Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai // Tel: 053-222-111, 053 400-877 // E-mail: reservations@kantaryhills-chiangmai.com // www. kantarycollection.com/kantaryhills-chiangmai

MANDARIN ORIENTAL CHIANG MAI

51/4 Chiang Mai - Sankampaeng Road Moo 1 T. Tasala A. Muang, Chiang Mai 50000 Tel: 053-888 888

PANVIMAN CHIANG MAI SPA RESORT

197/2 Moo 1 Tambol Pongyaeng Amphur Maerim, Chiang Mai // Tel: 053-879-494 // www.panviman.com/chiangmai

RACHAMANKHA 6 Rachamankha 9, T Phra Singh Chiang Mai // Tel: 053-904-111, 053-814-521 // www.rachamankha


33 Chang Klan Rd, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai // Tel: 053 999-333 // www.ratilnnachiangmai.com

HUA HIN DUSIT THANI HUA HIN 1349 Petchkasem

THE KANTARY BAY HOTEL PHUKET 31/11 Moo 8, Sakdidej Rd., Cape Panwa Phuket // Tel: 076 391-514 // E-mail: reservations@kantarybay-phuket.com // www.kantarybay-phuket.com

THE NAKA ISLAND

Rd, Cha-Am, Petchaburi // Tel: 02-200-9999 // www.dusit.com

32 Moo 5, Tambol Paklok, Amphur Thalang, Naka Yai Island Phuket // Tel: 076-371-400

SHERATON HUA HIN RESORT & SPA

WESTIN HOTELS AND RESORTS

1573 Pechkasem Rd, Tumbol Cha-Am, Cha-Am // Tel: 032 708-000

CAPE NIDHRA HOTEL, HUA HIN

21/4 Moo 1 T.Rasada A.Muang Phuket // Tel: 076-335-600

97/2 Petchkasem Rd, Hua Hin // Tel: 032-516-600 // www.capenidhra.com

KRABI

KOH SAMUI

Tambol Nongtalay, Krabi // Tel: 075-607-777 // www.amari.com/vogue

AMARI PALM REEF RESORT

Chaweng Beach Road, Koh Samui // Tel: 077- 422-015/19 // www.amari.com

BEACH REPUBLIC

176/34 Moo 4, Tambon Maret, Koh Samui // Tel: 077-458-100

CENTARA GRAND BEACH RESORT SAMUI 38/2 Moo 3, Bophut, Chaweng Beach, Koh Samui // Tel: 077-230-500 // www.centralhotelsresorts.com

FOUR SEASONS KOH SAMUI

219 Moo 5, Angthong, Koh Samui, Surat Thani // Tel. 077-243-000

PANVIMAN RESORT KOH PHANGAN 22/1 Moo5, Ban Tai, A Koh Phangan // Tel: 077-445-101/9, 077 445-220/4 // www.panviman.com

SANTIBURI RESORT THE LIBRARY

14/1 Moo.2 Chaweng Beach, Bo Phut, Koh Samui, Suratthani 8// Tel. 077-422.767-8

CENTARA GRAND RESORT & VILLA KRABI 56/3 Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi // Tel: 075-637-789 // www.centralhoetlresorts.com

PHULAY BAY A RITZ-CARLTON

111 Moo 3 Nongthalay, Muang Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: 075-628-111

SHERATON KRABI

155 Moo 2, Nong Thale Muang Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: 075-628-000

SOFITEL KRABI PHOKEETHRA GOLF & SPA RESORT Klong Muang Beach,

JW MARRIOTT KHAO LAK RESORT & SPA 41/12 Moo 3, Kuk Kak, Takuapa, Khao Lak // Tel: 076-584-888 // www.marriott.com

KANTARY BEACH HOTEL VILLAS AND SUITES, KHAO LAK

PHUKET

LE MERIDIEN KHAO LAK BEACH & SPA RESORT 9/9 Moo 1, Kuk Kak,

AMARI CORAL BEACH RESORT Patong

Beach, Phuket // Tel: 076-340-106/14 // www.amari.com

AMANPURI PHUKET

Pansea Beach, Phuket 83000 Tel: 076-324333

CAPE PANWA HOTEL PHUKET

27, 27/2, Mu 8, Sakdidej Road, Cape Panwa, Phuket // Tel: 076 391-123/5 // E-mail: reservations@capepanwa.com

DEEVANA PATONG RESORT & SPA (MERCURE) 43/2 Rai-U-Thid 200 Pee Rd,

Patong, Phuket // Tel: 076-341-414/5 // www.deevanaphuket.com

DUSIT THANI LAGUNA PHUKET

390 Moo 1, Srisoontorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket //Tel: 076 362 999, ext.7156 // http://dusitthanilagunaphuket.dusit.com

291 Soi Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 24 // Tel: 02-672-0200 // www.oakwood.com/ serviced-apartments/furnished/th/bangkok/ prop38

// jewelry

PRESIDENT PARK 95 Sukhumvit 24 //

CHERI By Maneemas

Tel: 02-661-100 // www.presidentpark.com

PRESIDENT SOLITAIRE

Sukhumvit Soi 11 // Tel: 02-255-7200 // www.presidentsolitaire.com

ROYAL PRESIDENT 43 Sukhumvit 15 //

Tel: 02-253-9451 // www.royalpresident.com

SIRI SATHORN A BEAUFORT SERVICED RESIDENCE

Tel: 02-266-2345 // www.sirisathorn.com

CAPE HOUSE SERVICED APARTMENTS

1st Floor, D116 Zone D (Dazzle), Central World Plaza, Bangkok Tel: 02-613-1798/9 E-mail: onmanee@maneemasgems.com www.maneemasgems.com

ASTRAL GEMSTONE TALISMANS • ALL SEASONS PLACE • CONRAD HOTEL

123-C All Seasons Place, 1st Floor, 87/208 Wireless Rd, Lumpini, Bangkok Tel: 02-252-1230 /252-1231/ E-mail: info@agt-gems.com/www.agt-gems. com

43 Soi Langsuan (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-658-7444 // E-mail: sales@capehouse.com // www.capehouse.com

CAPE RACHA HOTEL & SERVICED APARTMENTS

35/1 Jerm Jompon Rd, Sriracha // Tel: 038-314-288 // E-mail: reservations@caperacha.com

Takuapa, Khao Lak // Tel: 076-427-500 // www. starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien

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64, 65 Moo2, Kuk Kak, Takuapa, Phang Nga // Tel. 076-584-700 // E-mail: reservations@ kantarybeach-khaolak.com // www. kantarycollection.com/kantarybeach-khaolak

ANGSANA LAGUNA PHUKET 390/1 Moo 1, Srisootorn Rd, Cherngtalay Thalang // Tel: 076-324-416 // www.lagunaphuket.com

OAKWOOD CITY RESIDENCE

Tambon Nongtalay // Tel: 075-627-800, 075-627-899 // www.sofitel.com/6184

84 Moo 5, Bophut Koh Samui // Tel: 077-245-480 // www.tongsaibay.co.th

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(BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-250-7000 // www.naturalville.com

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Road (BTS: Chidlom Station) // Tel: 02-658-7444 // www.capehouse.com

CENTREPOINT SUKHUMVIT

39 Soi 10 Sukhumvit Rd // Tel: 02-266-0521/49 // www.centrepoint.com

CONRAD RESIDENCE

All Season Place, 87 Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-690-9999 // www.conradresidence.com

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(BTS: Phrom Phong) // Tel: 02 664-9999 // www.emporiumsuites.com

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April 2013 | 73


Directory

dining AmericanA BOURBON ST. RESTAURANT & OYSTER BAR Specializes in Louisiana

“Cajun/Creole” dishes and other “New Orleans” favorites. 9/39-40, Soi Tana Arcade, Sukhumvit 63, Ekamai // Tel: 02-381-6801/3 // Open: 7a.m.1 a.m. // www.bourbonstbkk.com

Henry J. Bean’s Tex-Mex food, beer and fun in an all-American style, complemented by drinks from a professional mixologist. A.m.ari Watergate Hotel, 847 Petchburi Rd // Tel: 02-653-9000 // Open: 5 p.m.- 1 a.m. Hard Rock Café Another branch of the world-renowned, iconic Hard Rock restaurant chain known for authentic A.m.erican cuisine, live bands, and mementos. 424/3-6 Siam Square Soi 11 // Tel: 02-251-0792 // Open: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily; www.hardrockcafe.co.th

Hyde & Seek 65/1 Athenee Residence,

Soi Ruamrudee, Wireless Road, Ploenchit, Pathumwan, Bangkok // Tel: 02-168-5152

Smith Restaurant & Bar

1/8 Sukhumvith 49, Bangkok // Tel: 02-2610515/6

25 degreeS Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, lobby/G flr.188 Silom Rd, Suriyawongse, Bangrak Bangkok // Tel: 02-238-1991

Cafes

occasions. Conrad, 87 Wireless Rd, Bangkok // Tel: 02-690-9999 // Open: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and for dinner, 6-11:00 p.m.

Yuan

Specializes in Cantonese cuisine. A la carte and set menu available for lunch and dinner 2nd Level, Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Charoen Nakorn Road, (Free shuttle boat to River City and Sathorn Pier) // Tel: 02 442-2000 www.hilton.com

French 4 Garcons 113 Thonglor soi 13

Oakwood Residence Sukhumvit Thonglor Sukhumvit 55, Wattana, Bangkok // Tel: 02713-9547

Aubergine Great for a romantic evening,

iserves an eclectic menu from French and Italian cuisines. 71/1 Saladaeng Soi 1/1 // Tel: 02-2342226 // Open: 6 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

d’sens French haute cuisine with expansive

views over Lumpini Park. Dusit Thani Bangkok 946 Rama IV Rd // Tel: 02-200-9000, ext. 2449 // Open: 11.30 a.m.-2.30 p.m.; 6-10 p.m.

are larger than life. 16 Soi Sukhumvit 23 // Tel: 02-258-4321

Grossi Named after the top Australian celebrity chef famous for his Italian specialties. Intercontinental Bangkok 973 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-656-0444

Fresh ingredients in their traditional and fusion Japanese food is always a draw for lunch and dinner. Setting is beautiful with seating in and out. 159/99 Rajdamri Rd, main entrance located beside St. Regis Hotel Bangkok (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-252-4707

Jojo Traditional Italian cuisine with simplicity

Korean

at its finest, including a wide selection of imported delicacies exclusively available at Jojo. St. Regis Bangkok, 159 Rajadamri Road (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-207-7815

VIU For deliciously indulgent morning meals, lunch menu that includes exquisite dishes and by night, an internationally influenced menu and seductive ambiance that make it a favored dining destination, 12th floor next to the Sky Lobby, St. Regis Bangkok, 12th floor, 159 Rajadamri Rd (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-2077815 La BoTtega DI LUCA Sukhumvit Soi 49, Building Terrace 49 // Tel: 02-204-1731

Medici Kitchen & Bar

L’Appart Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 32nd floor 189 Sukhumvit Rd Soi 13-15, Bangkok (BTS: Nana Station) // Tel: 02-642-0000

Great Italian cuisine from traditional family recipes made with the highest quality ingredient. Extensive wine list. Hotel Muse, Basement floor 55/555 Langsuan Rd,Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-630-4000

Whale’s Belly 41, 39, Sukhumvit Soi 39,

Pizzeria Limoncello Friendly and relaxed

Thai culinay offerings featuring an international buffet. Don’t miss the sumptuos Sunday Brunch. 2nd Floor, Conrad Bangkok (BTS: Ploenchit Station) // Tel: 02-690-9299 // Open: 6 a.m.midnight // www.conradbangkok.com

German

restaurant offering truly Italian thin-crust pizzas using a traditional wood-fired oven. Sukhumvit Soi 11 // Tel: 02-651-0707 // Open: 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m. & 6 p.m.-midnight (Tues-Sun)

Bei Otto Nice traditional German and good

zanotti Described as “an expression of the

Café Claire

INDIAN

finest Italian dining in Bangkok.” Specialty Italian cuisine and wines. 21/2 1st Floor, Colonnade Condominium Saladaeng // Tel: 02-636-0002 // Open: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 6-10:30 p.m. daily

HAZARA Best of Indian cuisine with an Afghan

Japanese

CAFE@2 All day dining brasserie. French and

Lobby Fl., Oriental Residence Bangkok 110 Wireless Road, Lumpini Pathumwan Bangkok 10330 Tel : 02-125-9080

COFFEE BEANS BY DAO Enjoy the best

of Thai dishes and desserts. Lumphini, Pathum Wan, Bangkok // Tel: 02 254 7117

KUPPA Stylish, modern industrial design with a relaxed and hip vibe. 39 Sukhumvit Soi 16 // Tel: 02-663-0450/1 // Open: 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.

Chinese BAI YUN One of the leading Chinese restaurants in the heart of Bangkok. 21/100 South Sathon Rd // Tel: 02-679-1200 // Open: 11: 30 a.m.-2:30 and 6-11 p.m. CHINA HOUSE Represents the pinnacle of

Cantonese fine dining in Thailand since 1990. Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Soi Oriental, Bangrak // Tel: 02-659-9000 // Open: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 6-11:30 p.m.

Din Tai Fung 7th floor, CentralWorld Zone : B | Beacon Tel : 02-646-1282

Fei Ya Open daily 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 6-11 p.m. 3rd Floor, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, 518/8 Ploenchit Road (BTS: Chidlom Station) // Tel: 02-125-5030 heichinrou Cantonese specialty restaurant serving an eclectic selection of new favorites and traditional delicacies. Amari Watergate Hotel, 847 Petchburi Rd // Tel: 02-653-9000 // Open: Daily 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 6-10:30 p.m. LIU A gourmet Chinese restaurant offering

authentic delicacies creatively presented for contemporary diners. A must-try is the dim sum spread and Peking duck, while private dining rooms provide intimate settings for special

74

Lookeast | DIRECTORY

Sukhumvit Road Boulevard Tower A, Bangkok // Tel: 02-160-0333

beer. 1 Sukhumvit 20 // Tel: 02-260-0869 // Open: 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; www.beiotto.com

touch. 29 Sukhumvit Soi 38, Bangkok // Tel: 02713-6049 // Open: 5-11:30 p.m. daily

Indus “Best Indian Restaurant” winner from

multiple publications. A contemporary Kashmiriinspired Indian restaurant. Sukhumvit Soi 26 (BTS Phrom Phong) // Tel: 02-258-4900 // Open daily for lunch and dinner; www.indusbangkok.com

MASALA ART Serves cuisine that revolves

around Indian spices, imported whole, then ground and blended. 8 Thonglor, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 55 // Tel: 02 713 8357

RANG MAHAL Exquisite Indian cuisine in elegant setting, with great views of Bangkok. Rembradnt Hotel, 19 Soi Phichit, Sukhumvit 18, Bangkok // Tel: 02-261-7100

ITALIAN La Tavola & Wine Bar Open: Tuesday – Sunday ,11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m; 6-11 p.m. 3rd Floor, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, 518/8 Ploenchit Road (BTS: Chidlom Station) // Tel: 02-125-5020 Angelini’s Award-winning Italian favorite in Bangkok.Shangri-la Hotel Bangkok, 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road // Tel: 02-206-8677/8 Calderazzo Amazing food, great place, with fast, efficient and friendly service. 59 Soi Langsuan // Tel: 02-252-8108/9 // Open: 11 a.m.2 p.m.; 6-10:30 p.m. daily La Bottega Di Luca Terrace 49, Sukhumvit Soi 49, Klongtan, Wattana, Bangkok // Tel: 02-204-1731 Giusto Italian restaurant and glass wine bar

with clean, modern interior, elegant food, an art house cigar lounge and chef-owners that

ZUMA Contemporary Japanese Cuisine.

KiSara Representing the culinary spirit of Japan, the 110-seat restaurant features a sushi counter, sizzling Teppanyaki counter, and private rooms. Succulent meats and exquisite seafood are accompanied by an exclusive range of Japanese sake. Set Lunch starts fat Bt480+++ All you can eat Lunch weekday Bt1,000++ and weekend Bt1,480++. Conrad Bangkok, 3rd floor, All Seasons Place, 87/3 Wireless Road (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-690-9299, Email: reserve@ conradbangkok.com ISAO Famous for sublime fusion sushi -- sashimi and rolls -- with a Western flair. Sukhumvit Soi 31// Tel: 02-258-0645

ARIRANG The restaurants always offers

quality food and service. Sukhumvit Plaza, Sukhumvit Soi 12 // Tel: 02-653-0111

Kongju Very popular with families. Dishes are prepared authentically, in big hearty servings. 2nd Flr, Pathumwan Princess Hotel, MBK Center 444 Phayathai Rd // Tel: 02-2163700 // Open:11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 6-10:30 p.m.

Mediterranean SIROCCO One of the most recommended restaurants in Bangkok. Great menu and equally great views of Bangkok and Chao Phraya River. 63rd Floor, lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Rd (BTS: Saphan Thaksin) // Tel: 02-624-9555 // Open: Daily 6 p.m – 1 a.m; www.thedomebkk. com/ Park Society Sofitel So Bangkok, 29th floor 2 North Sathorn Road Bangkok (MRT: Lumpini) // Tel: 02-642-0000 Vertigo For a romantic tête-à-tête, glamorous cocktail party, or fashion launch venue than this. Fresh grilled seafood and premium steaks. Wide selection of cocktailsand drinks. 61st Flr, Banyan Tree Bangkok 21/100 South Sathorn Rd // Tel: 02- 679-1200 // Open: 5 p.m.-midnight daily; www. banyantree.com

Seafood Seafood Market One of the oldest

seafood restaurants in the city, popular with tourists. 89 Sukhumvit Soi 24 // Tel: 02-261-2071 // Open: 11:30 a.m.-midnight

Fifty Five Centara Grand CentralWorld,

54th floor 999/99 Rama 1 Road, Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-100-1234

Spanish Rioja Known for imported fresh ingredients from Spain. Specializing in northern Spanish region. Ploenchit Road (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-251- 5761/2 // Open: 6-11 p.m.

Koi Excellent Japanese cuisine with a definitive Californian twist surrounded by chic decor. Sukhumvit Soi 20 (BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02258-1590 // Open: 4 p.m.-midnight

Tapas Café The first authentic Spanish tapas bar in Bangkok. Not a Spanish theme bar but a modern innovative tapas bar serving both traditional and modern tapas dishes.1/25 Sukhumvit 11 // Tel: 02-651 -947 // Open: 11 a.m. –midnight daily; www.tapasiarestaurants. com

Mugendai

Steakhouses

7 th Floor, Grass Thorglor Tel: 02-726-9222 Business-like setting with the warm familiarity of a busy downtown Tokyo favorite. 971/973 President Tower Arcade, Ploenchit Road // Tel: 02-656-00378 // Open: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; 5-10 p.m.

ARTUR’S From the man behind many of Bangkok’s finest steakhouses comes his most personal project. Great martinis and steaks at lower than average prices. 9 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road // Tel: 02-658-6288 // Open: Daily 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. & 6-11:30 p.m.

SHINTARO Get the finest quality slabs of

FiFTY FIVE Bangkok’s highest steakhouse right

nippon tei Extensive menu for all occasions.

sashimi, artfully hand-rolled sushi, succulent foie gras rolls, or tasty soba noodles here. Four Seasons Bangkok, 155 Rajadamri Rd (BTS: Rajdamri)// Tel: 02-126-8866 // Open: Daily 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5-10:30 p.m.

TENSUI Fish for sushi and sashimi freshly

imported from the markets of Japan; everything served is less than 48 hours old. 33 Sukhumvit Soi 16, Nana // Tel: 02-663-2281

in the center of town. 55th Floor Centara Grand at CentralWorld, 999/99 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-100-1234 // Open: 1:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 6:30 - 11:30 p.m.

Madison Bangkok’s best charcoal grilled steaks. High-end steakhouse with the quality and creativity expected from Four Seasons. G/F, Four Seasons Bangkok, 155 Rajdamri Rd (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-250-1000


New York SteakHouse New York

caliber steakhouse, with the food, service, and refinement expected from its namesake city. JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok 4 Sukhumvit Rd, Soi 2 // Tel: 02-656-7700

Prime Watch your steak smoulder in the wood fired oven or take in the fantastic Chao Praya river view as the sun goes down. Millennium Hilton Bangkok Hotel 123 Charoennakorn Rd // Tel: 02442-2000 // Open: Daily 6-11 p.m.

Pramuan Road, Silom (BTS: Surasak) // Tel: 02236-4361, Open: 11.30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily

Isaya Siamese Club

4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn, Bangkok // Tel: 02-672-9040/1

Patara 375 Soi Thonglor 19 Sukhumvit 55, // Tel: 02-185-2960

NARZ Massive after-hours club for those

searching for a more sophisticated late-night club. Something for everyone throughout the four floors and eight bars covering everything from house to trance to hip-hop nightly. 112 Sukumvit 23 (BTS: Asoke Station); Open daily: come late and stay later

Route 66 Long-time favorite for young farangs

Tea Rooms

Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor) // Tel: 085-9042691

and locals alike. Sprawling complex houses two separate areas featuring hip-hop and techno. Some nights has farang upcharge. Royal City Avenue, RCA Open daily: 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

ERAWAN TEA ROOM Serves traditional Thai

Bo Lan 42 Sukhumvit 26 Soi Pichai

SPASSO An Italian restaurant by day; nightclub

cuisine complemented by refreshing beverages in a beautifully appointed semi-casual setting. 494 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Childom) // Tel: 02-250-7777

Agalico 20 Sukhumvit 51 Rd, Bangkok //Tel: 02-662-5857

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique

Emporium G floor, 622 Sukhumvit (Sukhumvit Road), Bangkok

Thai The Anna Restaurant & Art Gallery

27 Soi Piphat (Sathorn 6), North Sathorn Road, Silom , Bangrak, Bangkok Tel.02-237-2788/9 Fax. 02-235-5341

BALEE LAOS Arguably the best of Laos

and Isaan food. Sukhumvit Soi 16 // Tel: 02663-1051

Baan Khanitha & Gallery Winner of

Soul Food Mahanakorn 56/10

Ronnarong Songkram // Tel: 02-260-2962

Naam Sathorn Tai // Tel: 02-625-3333 Thai on 4 Amari Watergate Bangkok, 4th floor, 847 Petchburi Rd, Bangkok // Tel: 02-653-9000

Su Tha Ros Hotel Muse, 19th floor

55/555 Langsuan Road Lumphini, Pathumwan Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-630-4000

Bars Diplomat Bar In the afternoon, the cozy

lounge serves up a quintessential afternoon tea but when the sun goes down, it transforms into a classy vibe jaz bar featuring specialty cocktails, premier cognacs, and the finest champagnes and wines. Conrad Bangkok, 1st Floor All Seasons Place, 87/3 Wireless, Bangkok (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-690-9999

– with live band—by night. A favorite of older expats, tourists, and others who like a more mature night-out. Grand Hyatt Erawan, 494 Rajdamri Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-254-1234 Open daily: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

TAPAS One of Bangkok’s oldest club and it has lasted for a reason. Multi-storied club with different DJ’s playing on each floor. Also check out the Rooftop area. 114/17-18 Silom Soi 4 (BTS: Saladaeng) // Tel: 02-632-7883, 02-234-4737 Open daily: 8 p.m.-1 a.m. www.tapasroom.net Q BAR Once notorious for crowds but has

started to turn around its image and continues to bring in top flight DJ’s and after parties. BTS: Nana Station // Tel: 02-252-3274 Open daily: 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Cover charge: Bt500-Bt700 w/2 drinks www.qbarbangkok.com

Live Jazz BAMBOO BAR Home to some of the more refined jazz music in Bangkok. Oriental Bangkok 48 Oriental Ave Tel: 02-659-9000 Open daily: Mon-Fri, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Sat-Sun, 11 p.m.-2 a.m. www.dininginthailand.com

more than 10 ‘Bangkok’s Best Thai Restaurant’ awards. Serves high quality authentic Thai food in traditional atmosphere. 36/1 Sukhumvit 23 // Tel: 02-258-4128, 02-258-4181 // Open: 11 a.m. -2 p.m.; 6-11 p.m. daily; www.baankanitha.com

Red Sky Centara Grand CentralWorld, 55th floor 999/99 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-100-1234

Blue Elephant Another great Thai

BED SUPPERCLUB The only club in 12 Sukhumvit 55 (BTS: Thonglor) // Tel: 02-714-

restaurant. Menu include classics and innovations for the future. Old World ambiance enhances the dining pleasure. 233 South Sathorn Rd (BTS: Surasak) // Tel: 02-673-9353/4 // Open: 6:30 -11:30 p.m.; www.blueelephant.com

Cabbages and Condoms Established in part to support the activities of PDA with several locations around Thailand, this restaurant offers a pleasant dining experience. 6 Soi 12, Sukhumvit Rd // Tel: 02-229-4611 // Open: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily; www. cabbagesandcondoms.co.th

Celadon A bit pricey but the menu

offers great selection, inventive without being ridiculous. The Sukhothai Hotel, 13/3 South Sathorn Rd // Tel: 02-344-8888 // Open daily; www.sukhothai.com

CURRIES AND MORE Best of curries brought to you by the Baan Khanita group. 31 Soi Sukhumvit 53 // Tel: 02-259-8530/6 // Open: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 6-11 p.m. Mahanaga (THAI FUSION) High-end,

relaxed al fresco experience. Serves high quality classic Thai dishes with a subtle fusion twist. 2 Sukhumvit Soi 29 // Tel: 02-662-3060 // Open: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 3:30-11 p.m. daily

MAYA Authentic Thai menu -- 15 courses --

served tapas-style and show. Millennium Hilton Bangkok, 123 Charoennakorn Rd // Tel: 02-4422000 // Open: 7 p.m.- 1 a.m. (Mon – Sat)

THE ORIENT THAI Great Thai food, great a.m.bience and great prices. 27 Sukhumvit 49, Thonglor // Tel: 02-258-7908 Open: 11a.m. – 2p.m. Dinner: 5p.m. – 10p.m. Thanying Royal Thai Cuisine, from palace recipes. Thanying has been deligjhting food lovers with authentic dishes since 1985. 10

CLUBS

FAT GUTZ Innovative cocktails, chic decor, and surprisingly good fish and chips. 264 Thonglor soi

Bangkok virtually guaranteed to be packed every night of the week. Luxurious dining on white coaches on one side, hot tracks on the other. Top international DJ’s on special nights. 26 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-6513537 Cover charge: Bt300-Bt800 w/1-2 dinks www.bedsupperclub.com

9832 Live music 9p.m. - 12 a.m.; www.fatgutz. com

CONCEPT CM2 Long-running favorite in the Siam Square area, and dubbed by many as a top favorite nightspot. Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam Square) // Tel: 02-209-8888; Open daily: 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

LIVING ROOM Tasteful décor, a sweeping bar, and large selection of fine whiskies, cocktails, cognacs and Cubans make this a jazz club for the highbrow scene. Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, 250 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02-6498641 Open daily: 9 p.m.- midnight

87 Plus Sip on your favorite drink, mingle with stylish club-goers, and dance the night away in this elegant entertainment venue. The club features exclusive DJs, nightly themes and a diverse selection of specialty beverages. Conrad Bangkok, 1st Floor All Seasons Place, 87/3 Wireless, Bangkok (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-690-9999

SAXOPHONE Bangkok’s most popular jazz

Demo Sparse exterior and pitch-black inside,

it’s the thumping tech house that packs in hiso Thais. An established club that feels like a wharehouse rave. Thonglor Soi 10 BTS: Thonglor Station Open daily: 8 p.m.-2 a.m.

The Speakeasy

Partake in Speakeasy’s varied collection venues and pursuits, from star gazing, smoking cigars to book browsing and board games. Hotel Muse, 55/555 Langsuan Rd, Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-630-4000

IRON FAIRIES Antique factory with live metalcrafting, wine bar and restaurant. 394 Thonglor Road Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS: Thonglor) // Tel: 084-425-8080; www.theironfairies.com

club for years. Three sets a night, great food, and some of the freshest jazz talent Thailand has to offer. Come hang with Thailand’s artist scene. 3/8 Victory Monument Phayathai Rd, Bangkok (BTS: Victory Monument) // Tel: 02-246-5472 Open daily: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. www.saxophonepub.com

LOUNGES Blue Velvet Entrance is is a castle facade, and once inside you find yourself in a surprisngly stylish medieval dungeon. Quirky lounge for Thonglor’s younger crowd. Thonglor Soi 5, Sukhumvit 55 (BTS: Thonglor) // Tel: 02-3921769;Open daily: 6 p.m.- 1 a.m. Diplomat Bar Jazz bar/lounge in the midst

-650-8800 Open daily: 6:00 p.m.-2 a.m. www.plazaatheneebangkok.com/theglazbar

Long Table Chic bar where Bangkok’s glamorous come to lounge on long sofas and look out over the city. 48 Column Building, Sukhumvit Soi 16 (BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02-302-2557 // Open daily: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. www.longtablebangkok.com/ NEST Wonderful little rooftop bar on the top of

the @ Le Fenix Hotel. Situated in the midst of Suk 11, yet feels intimate and relaxed. 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 (BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-6546935 www.thenestbangkok.com/

Three Sixty One of the more stunning views Bangkok has to offer high up on the 32nd Floor of the Millennium Hilton Hotel with panormaic views of the Chao Praya River. 123 Charoennakorn Road Klongsan (Free shuttle rom BTS Saphan Taksin pier) Open daily: 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

PUBS Dubliner A favorite for it’s weekly quizes and

giant English breakfasts. 440 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Phrom Pong) // Tel: 02-204-1841-2 Open daily: 5 p.m.-2 a.m. www.thedublinerbangkok. com

THE LONDONER BREW PUB Two different pub-brewed beers, a pilsner and cream bitter, and satellite feed from around the world keep sports enthusiasts happy. Buy 1, get 1 promo on drinks all-night every Wed. 591 UBC II Bldg, Basement B 104, Sukhumvit 33 (BTS: Phrom Phong)// Tel: 02-261-0238/9 www.the-londoner.com Molly Malone’s Silom area pub with regular drink and food specials. Serves up a great Sunday Raost. 1/5-6 Soi Convent Silom (BTS: Silom) Open daily: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. www.mollymalonesbangkok.com

WINE BARS GLASS Stylish, contemporary wine bar space

at the back of Giusto and doubles as an art space for an eclectic range of art. 16 Soi Sukhumvit 23, Sukhumvit Road, (BTS: Asoke) // Tel: 02258-4321 Open daily: 6 p.m.-midnight. www. giustobangkok.com/glass.html

WINE PUB 2/F, Pullman Bangkok Kingpower, 8/2 Rangnam Rd (BTS: Victory Monument) // Open daily: 6 p.m.-2 a.m. www. pullmanbangkokkingpower.com Wine Republic

137 SoiThonglor 10, Bangkok Tel: 02-714-7599

Wine Connection 93,95, K-Village Room A116-118,
Soi Aree (Sukhumvit 26), Sukhumvit Road // Tel: 02-234-0388

DECANTER Features a selection of vintage wines in a gentelmen’s club ambience with an oriental influence. Offers an extensive cellar from the world’s most celebrated vineyards with two private rooms for exclusive tastings or wine dinners. St. Regis, 12th floor,159 Rajadamri Road (BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-207-7829 SCARLETT Panoramic views of the Bangkok

skyline. Wine can be expertly paired with food or sipped by the glass. Sofitel Silom, 188 Silom Rd (BTS: Chong Nonsi) // Tel: 02-238-1991 Open daily: 5 p.m.-2 a.m.

of Bangkok’s diplomat district. A place for world changers, or those who consider themselves one, to chat over martinis. Conrad Hotel, 87-3 Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Open daily: 10 a.m.-2 a.m. MIXX Discotheque Bangkok All night dance www.conradhotels.com/bangkok lounge featuring house and hip hop rooms. 973 President Tower, Room B06-B10 in the Glaz Bar Sit and sip a cocktail and also enjoy basement of the Intercontinental Hotel (BTS: the innovative Thai tapas on this posh Wireless Chidlom); Open daily: 10 p.m. - late Road watering hole. Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel, 10 Soi Ruam Rudee, Wittayu-Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02

April 2013 | 75


where to

travel

my favorite place

contact/ travel diaries EXPERIENCES & tips

Chiangrai: Nature at its Best

A

Justin Malcolm

General Manager Aloft Bangkok-Sukhumvit 11 Tips to Share : Must-Do: Go for afternoon tea at Chivit Thamada. Travel up the Mae Kok River by longtail boat; it’s the best way to see Chiangrai Must-See: The White Temple, Doi Tung, Baan Dam, and the Opium Museum Sleep at: Le Meridien Chiang Rai Resort Eat at: The Coffee Hub Drink at: The Coffee Hub Bar Bring: Your sense of adventure Don’t forget: To book more than two days, you’ll need it!

76

Lookeast | travel

By earth saiswang

ustralian national Justin Malcolm hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing much of Thailand as much as he wishes. But if there’s one place in the kingdom that qualifies as his favorite place at the moment – it has to be Chiangrai. “Having just spent just over two years there, I fell in love with the countryside and its raw charm,” says the new general manager of Aloft Bangkok-Sukhumvit 11. Justin describes himself as an optimist by nature, although he remains rather curious at the same time. “I love the company of others and is socially outgoing, which probably has led to my love of travel and working in many different countries. In fact, as with many of us, Justin’s ideal holiday destination keeps changing over years. He explains, “I used to thoroughly enjoy keeping busy on a holiday, exploring new places and discovering new experiences. Now I prefer destinations that offer some quiet as well,” Chiangrai certainly fits the bill. Not only that, Justin says he fell for Chiangrai because, “The people are great and if you’re willing to explore, there’s so much to see and do -- and not just your usual attractions. It is nature at its best!” He says he can’t think of any downside to a Chiangrai holiday yet and plans to continue coming back to this charming, interesting destination in Northern Thailand when time permits. “Definitely, I would love to take my wife, our little boy, Jackie; and our French bulldog, Pheebie, to this place with me.” In fact, at the time of the interview, he was already planning of going there over the weekend! 

travel/d



LOOKEAST April 2013