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LIFESTYLE

HOTELS

DINING NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING EVENTS PERSONALITIES ART CULTURE SPAS

EST. 1971

NOVEMBER ISSN 9857-113

TRAVEL

NOVEMBER 2012

Island Escapes

NOVEMBER 2012 VOL.41 NO.11

Dusit Thani Maldives Centra Coconut Village Rising Star Dara Loy Dusit Thani CEO W Bangkok GM Pathumwan Princess GM TWG Tea Salon Din Tai Fung Mazzaro The New Bourbon St. di Pizza My Bebe Spa Chic Island Fashion

NEW LOOK THB100 WWW.LOOKEASTMAGAZINE.COM


Dusit Thani Maldives

What's Inside

SPECIAL FEATURE Escapes// 18 Island A guide to some off-the-beaten Thai island

52 Top 10 Reasons to Hold Your

Next MICE Event in Thailand //

paradises

What makes Thailand a favorite among organizers of international Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE)

TRAVEL Guide Khao Lak// 24 Mini Besides being a springboard to the top dive

sites in the Andaman, Khao Lak is a place to enjoy simple holiday pleasures

26 Touch of Thai in Paradise //

LIFESTYLE Chic// 58 Resort A rundown on 2012’s hottest trends and how to wear them for a year-round effortless holiday style in the Tropics

Dusit Thani Maldives is perfect to experience the distinctive brand of Thai hospitality

32

Away from the Madding Crowd//

60 For the Little Ones//

My BeBe Spa offers Bangkok’s littlest residents a haven of their own

If you really enjoy precious private moments, not to mention some great value, then Centra Coconut Village Resort & Spa in Samui is for you

INTERVIEWS

Dusit Thani Maldives

WINE & DINE 66 More Than Just a Soothing Cuppa//

Dusit Way// 40 The For Dusit Thani CEO and managing director

With dishes carefully developed and infused with its own select tea blends, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique offers a new fine dining experience in Bangkok

Chanin Donavanik, it’s important that his hotel group always represents what is good and beautiful about Thailand

Bangkok// 42 Electrifying GM Nick Heath explains how W Bangkok –

opening in December, -- is set to add more excitement to Bangkok’s bustling, dazzling scene

Top of Change// 44 On Christoph J Knichel, GM of Pathumwan Princess Hotel is excited not only about the recent completion of their renovation and upgrades but also about the hotel’s future

Star: Dara Loy // 46 Rising Meet Dara Loy, the half Thai-half British singer who is currently performing live Friday to Sunday at The Diplomat Bar

50 Top Homeopathic Healer //

One of the world’s topmost homeopathic doctors, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, will be in Bangkok this month to talk about his path-breaking concepts in the healing science

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LOOKEAST | TABLE OF CONTENTS

ON THE COVER:

64

Dumplings Divine//

The darling of dumpling lovers that has recently opened at CentralWorld, Din Tai Fung, lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s top gourmet restaurants

Pizza// 68 Di Di Pizza at Penny’s Balcony (Thonglor)

has expanded its menu from just pizza to include also pastas, salads, soups, and bruchettas

is Like Art// 70 Food At Mazzaro Boutique & Restaurant, classic selections from Thai and Italian cuisines are the main attractions but the surprises don’t stop there

72 Enjoying Southern U.S. Hospitality//

Bourbon St. Restaurant has been bringing the best of Cajun cuisine from the Deep South of America to Southeast Asia in the last 26 years

regulars 8 12 14 34 36 62 74 76 80 84

CALENDAR OF EVENTS FILM: IN THEATRES NOW CULTURE FIX TRAVEL DEALS TRAVEL NEWS SPA OFFERS BAR SPECIALS DINING SPECIALS LISITNGS/DIRECTORY MY FAVORITE PLACE


FROM THE EDITOR

T

he high season of tourism in Thailand is again upon us, and there are so many reasons to feel upbeat about it. Why, the year is almost over and thanks Buddha, for the first year in many, Thailand has enjoyed relative stability and a comparatively worry-free existence, especially for all of us in the travel and tourism industry. Of course, the crises that we have experienced in the recent past only proved to all and sundry how resilient Thailand is as a travel destination, and how so many people from around the world loved the kingdom. Lookeast Magazine welcomes the high season with an eye to a better next year too. To reflect our optimism of the future and gratitude for confidence of our advertising partners, we are adding more pages to our usual stock; recruiting more people to help us beef up the content, revamping our “traditional” system of distribution and exposure, among other things, doing whatever we need to do to improve our product even further. I’d like to welcome industry veteran Imtiaz Muqbil to the fold, who -- starting this issue -- will have a regular travel column and feature article every month. Of course, we also have other wrtiers joining us this issue – as freelance contributors at least – such as John Howe and Laurence Civil, in addition to our regular dependables: Dave Stamboulis, Voralak Suwanvanichkij, Paul Cypert, Devi Bajaj, Chris Dixon, Saif Isamilji, Atthasith Khupratakul, George Saharat Somapat, and Pashmina Jhangiani. There might be new names added them soon of course, as we continue to make Lookeast a magazine worthy of your time, attention, and respect. Some new things to look out for in this issue include Imtiaz’s article (Top 10 Reasons to Hold Your Next MICE Event in Thailand, page 52), on what makes Thailand a favorite among organizers of international Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE); and his travel column (Tale of the Tape, page 38). Of course I humbly recommend my exclusive interviews with Dusit Thani group CEO and managing director, Chanin Donavanik (The Dusit Way, page 40); W Bangkok GM Nick Heath (Electrifying Bangkok, page 42); Pathumwan Princess Bangkok GM Christoph J Knichel (Upbeat about the Future, page.44); and Laurence’s take on new local musical collaborators: Dj Ash, Akash Gulatti and half-Thai, half British singer Dara Loy (Musical Trinity, page 46). Elsewhere, we have a story on how to achieve an effortless holiday style while you’re in Thailand (Resort Chic, page 58) and on a new kid spa – arguably the first dedicated kid spa in Thailand (For the Little Ones, page 60); and the favorite of many, our Wine and Dine focus on new and/or top restaurants in town from page 64 to 73. (The complete line-up of articles this month is of course in our Table of Contents, page 2). For those who enjoy the Web more than print, take a look at our website: www. lookeastmagazine.com, or visit our facebook page (www.facebook/lookeast) for all the articles and continuing updates.

WWW.LOOKEASTONLINE.COM | NOVEMBER 2012

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 ACCOUNTING: WANNAPACHA SUKCHAI MARKETING EXECUTIVE ANKITA MALHOTRA CONTRIBUTORS: DAVE STAMBOULIS PAUL CYPERT VORALAK SUWANVANICHKIJ PASHMINA JHANGIANI DEVI BAJAJ CHRIS DIXON GEORGE SAHARAT SOMAPA SAIF ISMAILJI ATTHASITH KHUPRATAKUL ---------------------------------------------------------

DIRECTOR: GAURAV SEHGAL GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR: ASHA NARULA SEHGAL PRESIDENT: RAVI SEHGAL CHAIRMAN: DATO SATISH SEHGAL

Enjoy our November issue– and where ever you go, safe travels every one! Sawasdee Krub!

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.


calendar

november 12 National Events & Festivals 9 Royal Barge Procession

Global travelers seeking to add another masterpiece event their list of lifetime experiences should pencil Nov. 9 into their calendars and be in Bangkok to watch the majestic Royal Barge Procession along the Chao Phraya river, The River of Kings. One of the grandest spectacles in Thailand and indeed, the world, the Royal Barge Procession is an ancient tradition that was revived by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in 1959. This breathtaking waterborne procession is reserved for nationally auspicious occasions and has been held only 16 times during His Majesty’s reign. The main procession will be held between 3 and 4 p.m. on Nov. 9 full dress rehearsals by the Royal Thai Navy will also be held on Nov. 2 and 6 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at the website listed below for those wishing to watch the procession in comfort from the Royal Thai Navy pavilion. Alternately, the procession can be viewed from various public spots along the river. Price of ticket is Bt1,500 Where: Tassana Pirom Yard, Naval Assembly, Royal Thai Navy, Bangkok /// Contact: 02-970-2544/ 5

28 Loy Krathong Festival

As the full moon of the 12th lunar month (Nov. 28 this year) lights up the night sky throughout the kingdom, hundreds of thousands of ornately decorated krathong

(traditional banana leaf floats) are set adrift in rivers and waterways around the kingdom in a spellbinding ritual called "Loy Krathong." This 'festival of lights" is one of the kingdom's oldest and best-preserved traditions. Where: Throughout Thailand

November Phimai Festival

An annual festival held for more than a century, the traditional longboat races draw thousands of visitors from all over. This event is further enhanced by a light-and-sound presentation at Prasat Hin Phimai, several local art and cultural performances, various fun-filled competitions, and sales of local products and exhibitions. Where: Nakhon Ratchasima

November Surin Elephant Roundup and Elephant Show One of the most exciting Thai spectacles takes place again this month in Surin, known as the province of elephants in the country’s northeast.Surin folks are wellknown for their skills in rounding up, training, and taming wild elephants. Every year, more than 100 elephants take part in the festival, displaying their grace, strength and intelligence in games of soccer, log-carrying and tug-of-war, and the highlight of the festival, a dramatic mock battle. The festival tour also takes you to the old capital of Siam, Ayutthaya, and allows you to spend a day at an elephant center learning how to become an elephant mahout. Where: Surin

November Long Sapao Chao Wiang Lakorn, Lampang Floating Festival

The festival is held during the full moon of 12th lunar month. The tradition has been practiced over a thousand years, when locals

23-25 Thailand international Balloon Festival 2012

This year’s balloon festival in Chiang Mai promises to be spectacular. The theme will be “Glow Night,” and visitors are encouraged to wear or carry the illuminated accessories as part of the event. There will be music, food, soft drinks, ice cream, hot dogs, games, lightshow, mass launching of hot air balloon, free tethered balloon ride for visitors, and many other activties. Where: Gymkhana Club, Chiang Mai

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Lookeast | calendar

build beautifully decorated boats to be floated onto the river. It is believed that floating the boat is a way to dedicate or offer alms to the dead or deposit merit for themselves in the next life. Where: Lampang

weekend of November when buffet of scrumptious fruits and sweets, ice cream, and more are offered to the Macaque monkeys as a way of thanking them for the prosperity they bring to the town. Where: Lopburi

November-December Silk and Phuk Seow Festival

November Blooming Bua Tong (Mexican Sunflower) Festival

Thailand has always been famous for its lustrous silk. One of the major centers of silk production, Khon Kaen is the venue of a fair this month aiming to promote silk weaving and sericulture. This event is held in conjunction with the Phuk Siao friendship ritual of the Northeast. Colorful street processions and typical Isan cultural shows as well as exhibits on the silk industry add to the fun of the fair. Where: Khon Kaen

November-December River Kwai Bridge Week

Each year in late November to early December, the world famous River Kwae Bridge built by Allied prisoners-of-war during World War II, becomes the focal point of celebrations. Event highlights include historical and archaeological exhibits, a carnival, folk and cultural performances, rides on World War II vintage trains, and a spectacular light and sound presentation re-enacting the bridge's World War II legacy. Where: Kanchanaburi

November Yi Peng Festival

Yi Peng is an annual festival in the northern capital of Chiang Mai in November preceding Loy Krathong by one day. The word "Yi Peng" is the northern Thai term referring to the full moon of the 12th lunar month in the Buddhist calendar. Where: Chiang Mai

25 Monkey Buffet Festival The "Lopburi Monkey Festival" is held annually on the last

Buatong Ban or Blooming Mexican Sunflower Festival is held in November, affording people the opportunity to see the sunflower fields, waterfalls and mist at Ban Hua Mae Kham, Amphoe Mae Fa Luang. There are also hill tribe performances. Where: Mae Hong Son

21-24 Phuket International Sport Fishing 2012

A three-day team fishing event with top team honors going to the team that tallies the most points during the tournament. The tournament also gives prizes to the team that catches the largest fish (by weight) in each eligible species. Registration will be on Nov. 21 from 6 p.m. onwards at the Tamarind Bar & Grill, Chalong. The final evening and prize-giving party will also be held on Nov. 24 at the same venue. A special Release Trophy will be awarded to the team releasing the most billfish. Where: Chalong Bay, Phuket // Contract: Uwe Schittek at 076282-036

Art & Culture Until 4 Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism

Selected art works that cover seven decades showcase one of the largest exhibitions on Thai art in history. Open daily except Mondays 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Free admission. Where: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BTS: National Stadium) opposite MBK Shopping Center, Pathumwan, Bangkok // Contact: 02-2146630/1

Until 6 Mistaken Gear Wheel for Lotus

Social satire in mixed media and site-specific art installation


1 st fl., D116 Zone D (Dazzle), Central World Plaza

Tel. +66(02)613-1798/9

Email: onmanee@maneemasgems.com www.maneemasgems.com


calendar

by Pornpraseart Yamazaki. Open daily except Sundays and Mondays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Where: La Lanta Fine Art (BTS: Phrom Phong), 245/14 Sukhumvit 31 Rd, Bangkok

Until 10 A Reality of Water Color

The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, in conjunction with Chairit Srisa-ngasomboon and APDA Group Co., Ltd., presents this art exhibition, which honors the 84th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand and aims to raise funds for charitable purposes. Part of proceeds will be go to the TAPASA Foundation (Phra-da-bos school project). On view 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Where: Reception Lounge, Lobby Level, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Sukhumvit 22 // Contact: 02-261 -300, ext. 5938

1-14 Paintings from Bangkok Night

This special exhibition presents some of Chris Coles' most recent large-format acrylic paintings of various scenes and some of the people who populate the Bangkok Night. Where: Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT). Penthouse, Maneeya Center (BTS: Chidlom), 518/5 Ploenchit Rd // Contact: 02-6520580

1-28 Faith Eight

Exhibition of old and new Thai art Open daily except Mondays 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Free admission. Where: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, opposite the MBK Shopping Center (BTS: National Stadium), Pathumwan , Bangkok // Contact: 02 214 6630/1

1-25 Way of life: nature/culture

Exhibition by Srijai Kuntawang, Opas Chomchuen, Opas Chomchuen, Somsak Phromchak, Ammarin Kuntawong curated by Somporn

Nov 5, 6 & 7 Leading homeopathy doctor to give talk Dr. Rajan Sankaran will be in Bangkok next month to give a series of talks. One of the world’s leading practitioners, teachers, and authors in Homeopathy, Dr. Sankaran brings with him more than 30 years of experience in practice and teaching. He has contributed to the evolution of the practice of homoeopathy while maintaining the foundational grounds. This talk is expected to be an eye-opener. Homeopathy is a holistic form of alternative and complimentary medicine that is gaining popularity all around the world. Homeopathic treatment intends to treat the whole person rather than just symptoms. It works on the idea that the body and mind are so solidly connected that long-term treatment needs an understanding of the patient’s disposition and constitution. Dr. Sankaran’s colleague Dr. Sudhir Baldota will accompany him on this trip. Where: FCCT, Maneeya Bldg (BTS: Chidlom) on Nov 5; Bumrungrad Hospital Wellness Center at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 6; at the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce on evening of Nov. 6; and Soroptimist International Club of Bangkok luncheon at Grand Hyatt Erawan (Rajdamri Road) on Nov. 7 // Contact: Asha Sehgal at 081-837-6179; e-mail at ashasehgal@thesehgalgroup.com Rodboon. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Where: Ardel Gallery of Modern Art. 99/45 Belle Ville, (Moo 18) Boromrachachonanee Rd (Km 10.5), Salathammasob, Taveewattana, Taling Chan District // 02-422-2092

Trade Fair & Exhibitions 3-11 Health Cuisine and Beauty Festival 2012

Lookeast | calendar

5 Hit Man (David Foster and Friends Live in Bangkok 2012)

The show highlights products and services in food, health, beauty and fashion. Enjoy activities, and meet and exchange information with gurus from different sections. Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Where: Challenger 1, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-4229999, ext. 4197

David Foster returns to Bangkok after a successful concert last year with his friends such as Chaka Khan and many others. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are Bt5,000, Bt4,000, Bt3,000, Bt2,000, and Bt1,000. Tickets available at Thaiticketmajo.com. Where: Arena, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-262-3456

3-11 Baan Lae Suan Fair 2012

8-11 Hotel Equipment Expo

An exposition showcasing home

2 Chicago Live In Bangkok One of the world’s most popular rock bands in the 70s, who gave us a string of many musical hits, perform live in Bangkok in their latest world concert tour. Tickets are Bt5,000, Bt4,500, Bt3,500, Bt2,500, and Bt1,500 (sit/stand), available at Thaiticketmajor.com. Show starts at 8 p.m. Where: Hall 1, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-262-3456

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and garden featuring interesting activities such as home design contest gardening contest florist contest and plant competition for all enthusiasts. Open from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Where: Challenger 1-3, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-422-9999 ext. 4120, 4132 - 4135, 4189, 4200

The hotel and equipment exhibition is all-in-one expo that cover of Thailand and international manufacturer, suppliers as tool, equipment, furniture, technology equipment, food and beverage, healthy and beauty business that use in hotel, restaurant, café, bar, resort, spa. This exhibition can support and improve capability of your business, and provides opportunity of business such as matchmaking, finding business partners, and making business relationship. Where: Hall 3, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: http://thehotelexpo.com

6-8 In-Cosmetics 2012

The leading exhibition and conference in Asia for personal care ingredients, organized by Reed Tradex. Where: Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC), Bangna-Trad Road // Contact: 02-686-7299; www.incosmeticsasia.com/

28-Dec. 2 Photo Fair 2012

The Greatest International Photo Equipment Exhibition with the most Advance Technologies in the World of Digital Photographic. Where: BITEC, Bangna-Trad Road // Contact: 02-803-7570/1; www. photofairthailand.com

30-Dec. 9 New Year Gift 2556

Time 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Where: Hall 1-5, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: Department of Export Promotion at 02-507-7759/61

Others 1-30 Siam Center Pop Cont.

Siam brings to life pop-up stores offering top brands at Discovery Plaza, Siam Discovery, inside Siam Discovery, and inside Siam Paragon Shopping Center. Purchases of Bt10,000 or more will entitle buyers to a free oneyear subscription of 2 Magazine. Where: Siam Discovery, and Siam paragon (BTS: Siam Square) //


Grand

FUN FACILITIES Guests at Unico Grand Sandara will discover a host of wonderful facilities at their disposal including a magnificent swimming pool with water slide, Jacuzzi, pool bar, sauna, steam room, internet cafe, health club, children’s playground and playroom, table tennis and more! Contact Address: 241/4 Ruamchit Road, Cha-am, Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand Tel: 66 32 470 777, Email: info@unicograndsandara.com www.unicograndsandara.com


cafe

in theatres now

bar/loun

reel life

MOVIES TO WATCH SHOWING IN November

boutique

Wreck-It Ralph

Jack and Diane

Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly: "'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and "'Step Brothers'") is tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer: "'30 Rock'"), the "good guy" star of their game who always gets to save the day. But after decades doing the same thing and seeing all the glory go to Felix, Ralph decides he's tired of playing the role of a bad guy. He takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade through every generation of video games to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero. On his quest, he meets the tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch: TV's "'Glee'") from the first-person action game Hero's Duty. But it's the feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman: "'The Sarah Silverman Program'") from the candy-coated cart racing game, Sugar Rush, whose world is threatened when Ralph accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens the entire arcade. Will Ralph realize his dream and save the day before it’s too late? Director: Rich Moore Starring: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, and Jane Lynch

Jack and Diane, two teenage girls, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously. Diane's charming innocence quickly begins to open Jack's tough skinned heart. But when Jack discovers that Diane is moving, she pushes her away. Unable to grasp her new feelings, Diane's emotions begin to cause unexplainable violent changes to her body. Through these awkward and insecure feelings, the two girls must struggle to turn their first love into an enduring one. Director: Bradley Rust Gray Starring: Juno Temple, Jena Malone, Cara Seymour, Kylie Minogue, and Riley Keough

The Bay The quaint seaside town of Chesapeake Bay thrives on water; it is the lifeblood of the community. When two biological researchers from France find a staggering level of toxicity in the water, they attempt to alert the mayor, but he refuses to create a panic in the docile town. As a result, a deadly plague is unleashed, turning the people of Chesapeake Bay into hosts for a mutant breed of parasites that take control of their minds, and eventually their bodies. Director: Barry Levinson Starring: Kristen Connolly, Christopher Denham

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Lookeast | in theatres now

where to

contact/

travel/de

Skyfall Daniel Craig returns in this 23rd official James Bond outing as the secret agent is torn between his dedication to the agency and his superior, M (Judi Dench). Sam Mendes directs a script from Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and John Logan. Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Albert Finney head up the starring cast. Director: Sam Mendes Starring: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Judi Dench, and Naomie Harris

Lincoln Steven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award winner Daniel DayLewis in 'Lincoln,' a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President's tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to Director: Steven Spielberg Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Hal Holbrook

The Man With the Iron Fists Quentin Tarantino presents 'The Man With the Iron Fists,' an actionadventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA-alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu--tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all. Since his arrival in China's Jungle Village, the town's blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans' brewing war boils over, the stranger channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. As he fights alongside iconic heroes and against soulless villains, one man must harness this power to become savior of his adopted people. Director: RZA Starring: RZA, Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, Daniel Wu, Byron Mann

mall/sho

// Paragon Imax Theatre 5F-6F Siam Paragon (BTS: Siam Square) Contact: 02 515-5555 // SF World Cinema 7th Floor Central World Plaza (BTS: Chidlom) Contact: 02 268-8888

// SFX Cinema Emporium 6th Floor, Emporium (BTS: Phrom Phong) Contact: 02 268-8888 // Major Sukhumvit 1221/39 Sukhumvit 63, (BTS: Ekkamai) Contact: 02 381-4855

// Major Rama III 8th Floor Central Rama III, Contact: 02 511-5555 To find the theatre nearest you, log on to www.movieseer.com


TRAVEL

culture Festival of Lights Where to go for ‘Loy Krathong'

H

BY ATTHASITH KHUPRATAKUL eld annually, Loy Krathong is one of the most beautiful Thai festivals, and it is a time to give thanks to the goddess of waters and to seek forgiveness for past misdeeds. It occurs at night during the full moon of the 12th Thai lunar month (this year, Nov. 28). Loy literally means “to float,” while Krathong refers to the lotus-shaped vessels containing candles, incense and flowers which participants float down rivers and on lakes and ponds everywhere. The festival also includes beauty pageants, fireworks and contests making the Krathong from materials such as banana leaves, banana tree trunks, coconut barks or even paper. Each province has its own special features in celebrating this annual Festival of Lights, and here are some of the highlights:

The Delightful Color of Stream, Loy Krathong Festival, Nov. 24-28 The event begins with an opening ceremony on Nov. 24 plus cultural performances, light decorations and the float procession all along the banks of the Chao Phraya River. Where: Asiatique The Riverfront, Chao Phraya River (Krung Thep Bridge–Krung Thon Bridge), Bangkok Contact: For more details, call Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at 1672 Phra Nakhorn Si Ayutthaya, Loy Krathong Festival, Nov. 28 Experience the old market atmosphere, riverside night market, and the magnificent ruins of this once glorious capital city; beauty pageants, Krathong contests, and cultural performances are the highlights of this festival, competing to win His Majesty the King’s Trophy. Where: Bangsai Arts and Crafts Center, Ayutthaya // Contact: TAT office of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya at 03524 6076-7, or TAT at 1672

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LOOKEAST | TRAVEL

Yi Peng Festival, Nov. 28–29 : Enjoy local cultural performances and handicrafts, the Lanna style walking street, and opening ceremony “Yi Peng Festival 2012,” plus an amazing procession of hanging lanterns at Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, beauty contests, and a light and sound presentation on the Ping River. There will also be a Krathong procession competition for His Majesty the King’s Trophy. Where: Tha Phae Gate (Nov. 28–29), Amphur Mae Jo (Nov. 24–30), Chiang Mai // Contact: TAT Chiang Mai Office, at 053 248604, 0 5324 8607 Loy Krathong and Candle Festival, Nov. 26–28 Activities of the “Dawn of happiness,” the hanging lantern procession, grand fireworks display, Miss Noppamas beauty contest, light and sound presentation, plus Sukhothai arts and culture performances and Krathong desire contest. Where: Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai / Contact: TAT Sukhothai Office at 055 616-228/9

Loy Krathong Sai Festival and Thousand Floating Candles, Nov. 24–29 Amazing Krathong Sai (procession of floating coconut-shell Krathong), OTOP shopping (wares from the local entrepreneurship stimulus program), and the Krathong Sai desire contest for His Majesty the King’s Trophy. Where: Banks of the Ping River, Tak // Contact: TAT Tak Office at 055 514 341-3, or TAT at 1672 Loy Krathong Krab Klauy Mae Klong, Nov. 28 Feast your eyes on the Krathong Karb Klauy, enjoy the local cultural performances, the Krathong desire contest, Noppamas beauty contest, and give Pha Pa (donations) to Buddhist monks along the river. Where: King Rama II Memorial Park, Wat Chonglom, Samut Songkhram // Contact: TAT Samut Songkhram Office at 034 752-847/8

Loy Krathong Festival, 28 November 2012 Krathong desire contest, an amazing procession of hanging lanterns, fireworks display, and arts and culture performances from a variety of local artists. Where: Suphanburi River (Tha Jeen River), Suphanburi // Contact: Tourism Authority of Thailand at 1672 More information about the event please visit http://www. loikrathong.net/en/index.php 


TRAVEL

pack & bring BEACHREADS

TRAVELGEAR

Few things are better than getting a tan with your favorite book in hand. Here are some of the books you may want to bring on your holidays. You can buy them at local bookstores.

Functional, stylish travel gear are so easy to get these days, especially in cities like Bangkok, so don't let just anything cramp your style get these cool stuff now:

HOBBIT, THE By J.R.R. Tolkien Synopsis: Film tie-in edition of the best-selling classic work of fantasy of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures in Middle-earth, featuring the complete story told in both films, with a striking cover image from Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” and drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien. Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling farther than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of 13 dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again.’ They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon...The prelude to “The Lord of the Rings,” “The Hobbit” has sold many millions of copies since its publication in 1937, establishing itself as one of the most beloved and influential books of the twentieth century. Price: Bt260 (US$8.39)/ Available in Asia Books/Bookazine

Travelsafe (Bt3,600) The roomy Travelsafe™ 20L portable safe stores all your valuables and can be locked and left to a secure fixture to deter opportunistic thieves. It’s large enough to stash a 17” laptop, DSLR and other valuables, yet it can be folded down small to make travel easier. The portable safe boasts anti-theft features such as smart eXomesh® cage system and locks (closed & locks to fixture). It is also weather resistant, easy to use, folds up when not in use, lightweight, fits camera insert, and can be used inside any existing bag or pouch.

JONAH, THE By James Herbert Synopsis: The shadow of the past was always with him. But he never knew what it was, or when it would strike next. Sent to a small coastal town to investigate drug smuggling, Kelso stumbles on a dangerous organization and suddenly more than just his life is at stake. It’s his past, his future, his sanity. Through torture and drugs he discovers the terrifying secret of The Jonah. And learns, in the most horrifying way that it can destroy him as well as others. Price: Bt316 (US$10.20)/ Available in Asia Books/Bookazine TOTAL RECALL By Arnold Schwarzenegger Synopsis: “Total Recall” is the unbelievably true story of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life. Born in the small city of Thal, Austria in 1947, he moved to Los Angeles at the age of 21. Within 10 years, he was a millionaire businessman. After 20 years, he was the world’s biggest movie star. In 2003, he was governor of California and a household name around the world. Price: Bt520 (US$16.78)/ Available in Asia Books / Bookazine RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION: THE OFFICIAL MOVIE NOVELIZATION Synopsis: “Resident Evil: Retribution in 3D” will be released on Sept. 14, 2012. It is the fifth installment in the massively successful “Resident Evil” film series, based on the hugely popular Capcom survival horror video game series “Resident Evil”. The movie stars Milla Jovovitch and Wentworth Miller and is directed by Paul WS Anderson. This is the official novelization of the brand-new movie. Price: Bt236 (US$7.62)/ Available in Asia Books/ Bookazine

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Comfort Neck Pillow (Bt1,650) The self-inflating Comfort Neck Pillow is filled with foam cores that expand to inflate the pillow when valves are opened and features an adjustable strap in the front and thick inflatable side wings that hold your head in fully relaxed position. It is skin friendly, with super soft tricot polyester on either side, and has separate sturdy flat valves for super easy inflation and deflation. The anatomical shape holds head in place. Repair kit and stuffsack included. SlingSafe (Bt3,600) Functionality and fun effortlessly merge together in this Slingsafe™ 300 GII anti-theft backpack. Spacious enough to fit your iPad/tablet or 13” laptop, water bottle, guidebook, valuables and more, you can relax knowing you have everything you need, all in one place. Anti-theft features inlcude eXomesh® slashguards in lower front, side and bottom panels; slashproof detachable Carrysafe® shoulder strap; carrysafe® strap allows the bag to anchor to a secure fixture; smart zipper security™ and others. Water repellant too among other additional features.

First-Aid-Kit (Bt1,250) Often you only realize the importance of a first-aid-kit when you need it. With the ORTLIEB First-Aid-Kit, there are no more excuses. The compact little packages are characterized by low weight, small packing volume, durable, waterproof material and high functionality. In other words: there’s always space left for the First-Aid-Kit. Double check with the store as it may be out of stock at the moment. CitySafe (Bt2,600) Slip your iPad®/tablet into this elegant day to night handbag. Water repellent fabric and innovative anti-theft features keep your must haves safe from opportunistic thieves, whilst the removable and adjustable strap ensures you’re fashion ready for any occasion. Besides anti-theft features, the CitySafe is made of water repellent material, feature liner, has complete padded protection, zippered main compartment, internal electronics pocket, padded iPad/tablet compatible sleeve, and 3-way wear. For these and other travel gear and gadgets, visit the Outdoor Unlimited zone, 2nd floor, Amarin Plaza, 496-502 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Chidlom). The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tel: 02 256-9627; e-mail: outdoorspecialist@k-trade-international.com


Special Feature

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ith 15-million plus visitors a year, tourists and locals have had to face some very hard truths, that their lovely slice of paradise is slowly being eroded away. Koh Samui has come a long way from being an island with no electricity and a handful of thatched-roof bungalows in the not-so-distant 1970s to a packed party all night affair with an international airport. But c’mon, do you really need that many McDonalds, 7-11s, and Starbucks to fill every remaining inch of available sand? While the big beach players like Samui, Phuket, and Koh Chang might be heading for stripmall status, fortunately there remain some lesser sisters lurking just in their shadows, yet still offering a glimpse of what paradise was like before it was found.

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Island Escapes Getting Away From the Crowds and Finding Serenity: A Guide to Some Off the Beaten Path Paradises in Thailand Story and Photos by Dave Stamboulis

Koh Kood

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Special Feature

Koh Kood

Located just off the coast of Cambodia, Koh Kood has been known to Bangkok Thais for its pristine beaches and as a quiet place not overrun with foreigners, backpackers, or partiers due to its distance and difficulty to reach from the mainland. More recently, it has become known more as something like a “boutique” island, famed for having some upscale peaceful family style resorts, with speedboat transfers connecting to flights coming into nearby Trat city. While these conveniences have made Koh Kood more easily accessible, the island still remains sleepy and untouched (it still doesn’t have an ATM or fast food outlet), with plenty of rain forest canopy and waterfalls in the interior, along with some crystal clear bays, perfect for snorkeling, sunning, and kayaking. Elegant and tranquil resorts like Shantaa, a small private bit of personal heaven with only a handful of villas, or the hidden Captain Cook, where crystal clear turquoise water flows right into the resort are spots where one could easily spend days, if not a lifetime, luxuriating in what a real tropical beach paradise should be. Koh Kood is one of the few places left in the country where one can kayak up onto a white sand beach and have it all to oneself.

Koh Mak

Koh Mak

Sitting just a short ride away from the southern flank of Koh Chang, Koh Mak has managed to escape the massive development that has made her neighbor almost unrecognizable from its previous days. Changes on Koh Chang have been fast and furious but on Koh Mak, the vibe is still lazy and carefree. The island has no taxis or tuk tuks, and the resorts still send out their own pickup trucks to meet the incoming ferry each afternoon. The beaches are long, white, and sandy, and most of the visitors here seem to be returnees who have been coming back for years. While the island did receive accolades being named one of the “top 10 secret beaches in the world” by the Sunday Times in the UK, and although there has been a spate of resort building since then, it still manages to keep its soul. Perhaps it is the lack of bars, jet skis, or anything that might resemble fast, instant, and all else that is the complete contrast to what a lazy stint in the tropics ought to be. Nevertheless, if you must do something, there is some excellent walking around the small island, as well as a superb short kayak paddle out to the islet of Koh Kham, where a sandy beach and one small resort front a bay that has some of the most emerald sparkling sea to be found this side of the Maldives.

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Koh Kood

Koh Tao

Koh Tao

Koh Tao, which means "Turtle Island," has always played second or even third fiddle to its nearby Gulf of Thailand neighbors Samui and Koh Phangan. Samui’s jet set popularity and Phangan’s full moon party fame have wrought unchecked development to both isles, but Koh Tao has been spared, partly due to its mountainous topography; small bays separated by precipitous jungle clad terrain, completely unsuitable for building on. The west coast of Koh Tao contains most of the resort and nightlife scene, while the north and east coasts remain the terrain of nature lovers, with secluded bays beckoning, and beaches lying hidden off of every plunge from the steep mountain roads. Koh Tao is renowned for its diving, home to some of the best underwater life in Thailand, and there are plenty of PADI certificate courses to choose from for those who want to get certified. Best of all, Koh Tao is also home to Koh Nang Yuan, a tiny islet all to itself, which sits just off of Koh Tao’s northeast tip. Nang Yuan is comprised of two forest covered limestone peaks separated by a most beautiful strip of pure white sand with inviting swimming bays on both sides. There is one resort on Nang Yuan, should you feel the need to extend your stay in paradise.


Special Feature

Mu koh surin mokenvillage

Getting Around: Mu koh surin mokenvillage

Mu Koh Surin

While several Thai islands have national park status, this doesn’t preclude their being developed to the point of wondering just what is national or park about them, other than the Bt400 entry fee to get in. Not on Koh Surin. The Surin Islands (which are an archipelago of five islands with human habitation and park service facilities on two of them) are about as beautiful as it gets in Thailand, in terms of turquoise water, abundant marine life, and beautiful untrammeled beaches. While the more outlying Similan Islands might have better diving, they are marred by hundreds of daytrippers and live aboard boats coming out from Phuket, while the islands of Koh Surin stay blissfully ignored. You only have a few choices of accommodation on Surin, either camping (bring your own tent or bed down in the decently outfitted ones set up by the park service) or grabbing one of the few park bungalows that are usually booked by groups. Food on the island is limited to the park service restaurant, which does an admirable job given its being the only provider. But if you think you’re roughing it on Surin, it is well worth the effort. The coral reefs just offshore rise to a very shallow depth, making them possible to see here while snorkeling what most other places offer only via diving. The national park service provides inexpensive twice-daily boat trips out to see the reefs, and rents snorkel equipment as well. Additionally, Koh Surin is home to the largest population of Mokken sea gypsies in Thailand, who still live a fairly traditional life on a quiet bay on Surin Tai (South Island), and the park runs tours out to their village, or else one can just hire a kayak and paddle through the protected bay from the north isle. There are also hiking paths on the islands, along with opportunities for wildlife spotting. Rare birds such as the Nicobar pigeon and beach thick-knee call the islands home, and Malayan flying lemurs are sometime seen. You won’t be complaining about overrun, overdeveloped, or over-touristed on this strip of sand.

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Koh Mak and Koh Kood can be reached by both speedboat and ferry service from Trat, which is accessible via bus as well as a daily flight on Bangkok Airways. Koh Tao is best reached from Surat Thani, which has an airport and then via boat from town . The nearest air access to Koh Surin is Ranong (and then Phuket), and ferry service runs from the town of Khuraburi.

Stay:

Some of the best beach hideaways in Thailand are found on Koh Kood. The Shantaa Resort is a quaint private hideaway, with a handful of villas tucked into a 30 rai verdant property fronting beautiful Ao Tapao beach. Shantaa comes from the Hindi word for tranquility, and this small family run gem of a resort blends in seamlessly with the gorgeous surroundings. Tel: 081 817 9648, 081 444 1648; (www.shantaakohkood.com/ index.html) The Captain Hook Resort is another Koh Kood beauty that beckons. Located on a secluded cape between a meandering stream and the beach, Captain Hook offers a boutique escape into nature. The resort is surrounded by emerald water and feels like a fantasy island paradise. Management here also run the Peter Pan and Tinkerbell resorts on the island. Tel: 02-9661800/2, 081-826-1188 (www.captainhookresort.com/index-en. htm) The National Park Service runs all operations on Koh Surin. If you want one of the few bungalows available, it is best to book in advance. Tel: 076 472-145, 076 472-146 (www.dnp. go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp)

Do:

Koh Tao has excellent diving, although the ideal season is not December-February but March-May when the water is ultra calm and with highest visibility. There are dozens of operators to choose from, but Scuba Junction gets rave reviews in guidebooks and Trip Advisor reports, and seems to please just about everyone who sets foot in their door. They offer open water, advanced, rescue, instructor and all other possible PADI courses from beginner through expert. Tel: 077-456-164 ( www.scuba-junction.com/ )


travel

mini-guide Khao Lak

Where Simple Holiday Pleasures Awaits By Percy roxas

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ith the coming release of the film, “Tsunami,” starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor, Khao Lak has again resurfaced in the mainstream spotlight. The film was shot in this area boasting 20km of lovely beaches set against a backdrop of jungle-covered mountains just about 100km north of Phuket, which was hardest hit when the tsunami of Boxing Day 2004 struck Thailand. It had since made an impressive recovery and is again popular with travelers who prefer relative peace, quiet and nature rather that crowded touristic bastions. Le Meridien Khao Lak

WHY GO The main lure of Khao Lak stems from the opportunity it offers for visitors to enjoy utter peace and quiet amid a backdrop of an unspoiled natural environment. Now, you might say that can be easily said about many other Thai beach destinations as well. Indeed, that’s true, except that Khao Lak has less tourist crowds and is less commercialized – for the moment, at least. As one travel guide succinctly puts it, the attractions of Khao Lak are many but they are not flashy. It’s relatively tame, even boring, compared to Patong (Phuket), Chaweng (Samui), or even Ao Nang (Krabi) – that is, if you’re after exotic nightlife or rowdy full moon parties. You go to Khao Lak to relax, to de-stress, to recharge – and maybe avail of the many tropical activities that are so easily accessible to all. And numerous resorts and

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tourist facilities serve all your needs well, especially if you’re coming with family or loved ones. WHAT TO DO Doing nothing is a great idea, if that’s what you have in mind. Otherwise, great offshore diving easily comes to mind as the top “to-do” reason. The Similan Islands and Surin Islands, home to some of the best diving in Asia, are just offshore nearby, so why not take advantage of this. There are other several local divesites to choose from and competent local companies to guide you. But if you’re not the adventurous type or sport freak, you can still find things to make your visit worthwhile and enjoyable, such as the uncrowded parks, the lush green mountains, the roads and beaches – the natural surroundings are all relatively unspoiled. As in other Thai beach destinations,

you can swim, snorkel, kayak, go beachcombing, bike, nature trek, golf, massage, do spa, and learn a lot of many unique Thai ways of living. These are all easily available if you are interested. Otherwise, you can just enjoy the facilities of the many lovely resorts scattered around chiefly around the main urban areas of Bang la On, Bang Niang, and Khuk Khak. WHAT TO SEE If you want to see and explore more of the area, attractions include Lampi Waterfall, a very lovely waterfall about 30 minutes south of Khao Lak just off Highway 4 (turn off at Km820). Great for early morning visits. Swimming is allowed. Khao Lak Lam Ru National Park, one of the kingdom’s protected green realms is another great see. It is located at Km798.5, at the top of the Khao Lak headland, adjacent to police checkpoint.

The park is within walking distance of many resorts in Bang la On. Across the road from park headquarters is a Buddhist shrine to the Khao Lak god. Another waterfall worth seeing is Chong Fah Waterfall, 7 km inland off Route 4, at the northern end of Bang Niang. For those looking for some vestiges of the tsunami disaster, one only needs to go to central Bang Niang, where Police Boat 813, one of two police boats guarding Phum Jensen, son of former royal princess Ubol Ratana at the time of the 2004 tsunami, which was swept approximately 2km inland. It has been left where the tsunami deposited it as a memorial and historical landmark. The Cheow Lan Lake and Rachaphrapha Dam offers superb views over the lake to the limestone ridges. They are located just two hours north of Khao Lak off highway 401. Boat trips are available.


where to

thailand map contact/ with pointer to the for upcountry dest

travel/de

Khao Lak HOTSPOTS YOU NEED TO VISIT

Another national park, the Khao Sok National Park, offers jungle trekking river rafting and waterfall visits. It is located just over an hour north of the Khao Lak area on Route 4. You might also want to visit Takuapa and the Old Town. The town was a center for tin mining in the 20s and 30s, and its history can still be glimpsed by the surviving Sino-Portuguese architecture and quaint shops that gives the town a distinct character, among other things. SIDETRIP Similan Islands – this an archipelago of nine islands is a protected Thai national park hugely popular among divers owing to the spectacular underwater scenery. Park is open December to May, closed to visitors the rest of the year. Local dive companies can arrange visits. Surin Islands – is composed of five stunningly beautiful islands 100km north of the Similans. Open to visitors from Nov. 16 to May 15 May. Local dive companies can arrange visits. STAY & SLEEP There’s a number of large, luxury resorts at the north end of the area such as JW Marriott Khao Lak (076-584-

888), Sarojin (076-427-900), and Le Meridien Khao Lak (076-427-500). But all sorts of excellent resort hotels can be found along the coastline. Some tourist favorites: Poseidon Bungalows (076443-258), Banana Bungalows, Bang La On (076-485-8890), Jerung Guesthouse (076-485815), Seafan Bed & Breakfast (076-485-7620); Amsterdam Resort (081-8575-881), Baan Palm Thong Guesthouse (076-486-771); Casa de La Flora (076-428-999), Chongfah Beach Resort (076-486-858), La Flora Resort & Spa (076-428000), Ramada Resort Khao Lak (076-427-777), Riverside Guesthouse (081 963-7243), Khao Lak Mountain View Bungalows, (081-892-6614), Haadson Resort (076-593-510), Andara Khao Lak, Bundarika Khao Lak, and Khao Lak Oriental, and many others. Prices depend on the facilities and services, location and season of your stay. EAT Resort guests will have no problem looking for a place serving decent even great meals, but if you want to venture outside your hotel, here are some places to go: O'Rendez-vous (5/42 Moo 7, Bang La On opposite Andaburi

JW Marriott Khao Lak

Resort, next to Sea Dragon Dive Center/ 083-590-8002); Green Pepper (67/145 Moo 5, Bang Niang/ 085-655-7626); Hill Tribe Restaurant (13/22 Moo 6, Bang Niang next to RT Hotel, 500 m south of the market/ 086 283 0933); Ingfah, Bang Niang Beach (across from Casa de La Flora)/ 076 428 99); Lucky Seafood (60/18 Moo 5, Bang Niang/ 083 639 97310; Shire's Pie Shop at Central Bang Niang serves English breakfast; Takieng Restaurant (26/43 Moo 5, Bang Niang just north of the Police Boat ); Mama's Greeting, on the beach of JW Marriott Khao Lak beachfront; Phen Restaurant, Khuk Khak Beach; Pizza Pasta & Steak (across from Khuk Khak 7-11 on the sea side of road/ 087 269-3928) DRINK For the most part the topend resort has bar and restaurants great for chilling out and sipping your favorite holiday drink, but not a few guests enjoy drinking outside probably because it affords them the opportunity to meet locals and other likeminded people – for making connections, asking questions, learning of new places -outside their comfort circle and also because often times, the drinks outside are more adventurous and cheaper. For the most part Singha is only Bt60 or Bt70. Some options: Walker's Inn, 26/61 Moo 7, Bang La On/084-8402689); Gecko Bar (Central Bang Niang); Jungle Bar and Restaurant (Jerung St, Bang Niang/ 081-968-2443); Mars Bar, Central Bang Niang (across the highway from the Tsunami Museum); Mr. Chay Bar, Bang Niang Market (central Bang Niang on the sea side of highway); Moo Moo Cabaret Show, Central Bang /076-486-1560: Rusty Pelican Mexican Café (67/139 Moo 5,

THAILAND Bangkok

Khao Lak

// how to get there: By plane: The easiest way is to fly into either Phuket (the closest alternative) or Krabi and go to Khao Lak from there. Both airports serve how international as well as domestic destinations. Khao Lak is about 80km from the Phuket International to Airport. Bus fares vary from Bt80 how Bt100; some are air-conditioned, others not. Most resorts have transfer services to pick you up and send you back to airport. how By train: Only for the more adventurous. The nearest train station is at Suratthani on the east how coast, making this a less convenient option than just hopping on bus. By bus: No buses from Bangkok serve Khao Lak directly but the how region is served well by buses originating not only from Bangkok but also Chumphon, Phuket, Ranong, Suratthani, and Takuapa. Nga Buses depart Bangkok to Phanghow from the southern bus terminal Sai Tai Mai for a 12-hour overnight trip and from there you must change bus to go to Khao Lak. Warning: Getting to Sai Tai Bus Terminal can be a pain if you’re not familiar with the Bangkok traffic.

to go by bus

to go by car

to go by taxi

to go by train

to go by boat

to go by airpla

Bang Niang /087-192-1085); Song's Bar, (central Bang Niang, behind 7-11 on north side of market); and Tha Bar (Bang Niang, inland side, near Riverside Guesthouse). Note: These listings are not allinclusive and some places may be closed during the season of your stay. WHEN TO GO Simply speaking, Khao Lak has two seasons: rainy from April to October and dry, from November to March. November is the certainly an ideal season to visit.  November 2012 | 25


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outbound - hotels

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where to

contact/ Dusit Thani Maldives Outbound – Hotels

Touch of Thai in Paradise Surrounded by a pulsating 360-degree coral reef with a turquoise lagoon and a verdant landscape, Dusit Thani Maldives enjoys a secluded spot on the almost untouched atoll--a perfect location indeed to experience the distinctive brand of Thai hospitality By PerCY ROXAS

November 2012 | 27

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he world-renowned Thai hospitality is literally going places. Travelers can now enjoy the unique experience not only in Thailand but also in many places around the world as more and more Thai hotel companies expand their operations worldwide. Now, travelers can experience it even at the paradisiacal destination of Maldives, where Dusit International, Thailand’s pioneering hotel group, opened another lavish five-star resort – the Dusit Thani Maldives, a luxurious tropical resort framed by snow-white sandy beaches and lush palm fronds on Mudhdhoo Island in the Baa Atoll. Surrounded by a pulsating 360-degree coral reef with a turquoise lagoon and a verdant landscape, Dusit Thani Maldives enjoys a secluded spot on the almost untouched atoll, just 35 minutes by seaplane from the capital Male, and 10 minutes by speedboat from the new domestic airport; a perfect location indeed to experience the distinctive brand of Thai hospitality. “Maldives is everybody’s idea of paradise,” says resident manager Niti Radcharit. “And we at Dusit Thani Maldives are looking forward to welcoming guests with the renowned Thai hospitality to its stunning tropical surroundings.” But Dusit Thani Maldives didn’t just bring a touch of Thai to this paradise. What it did was blend the better of the two cultures to create a seamless brand of travel experience for the most memorable holidays, like what we experienced recently. We were truly impressed by the superb service here. From the time we were received at the aircraft landing to the time we were seen off by a whole team of their staff, we were pampered, pampered, pampered. Very few hotels can match this kind of hospitality aaywhere in the world. And the rooms were blissss! The resort’s 100 elegant and modern villas -- styled with classic Maldivian woodwork and contemporary Thai architecture and complemented by state-of-the art technology and luxurious amenities, including new sustainable product lines from Moiton Brown, U.K – are awesome to say the least. Whether guests choose to stay at the Beach Villas (122sqm), which overlook the beach with stunning lagoon views, the Lagoon

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Villas with Pool (150sqm) with its generous living space and impeccable detailing, or the Ocean Villas with Pools (180sqm) with their spacious deck, private plunge pool and large daybed, they will enjoy vivid designs, and modern amenities and conveniences, for a stylish stay. The exclusive two-bedroom Ocean Pavilions (370sqm) and Beach Residences (560sqm), were we stayed, present even more opportunities for indulgent living with their indoor and outdoor dining facilities, and expansive private swimming pools. It’s the ultimate Thai hotel experience transported to Maldives, indeed. Another great Thai hospitalty experience transported here is that of gourmet dining – an art that Thais has elevated to another level. Dusit Thani Maldives presents in this romantic Maldivian setting not only the Thai's love of eating but also their penchant for exquisite cuisine. Every restaurant on the island excelled in their food, style, and service. There’s the seaside Market, which brings Continental delights to the Maldives with an array of a la carte selections as well as a breakfast buffet and dinner served in a relaxing brasserie-style. The breakfast expereince was most special of all. Far away on an island where everything must be imported, they stood out over all the hotels we have visited in our travels around the world. We must also mention the highest quality imported steaks alongside the best of the ocean at The Sea Grill, truly exquisite! Dusit’s signature Thai restaurant, Benjarong, was recreated overlooking the crystal blue ocean, making its authentic Thai flavors even more enjoyable. I would say that it's somehow ahead of the cuisine at our favorite restaurant in Bangkok. In the evening, we joined other guests who reveled at the Maldivian sunsets from Sala Bar. This place is perfect for stargazing too, while talented bar artisans create innovative refreshments and Asian tapas for them to enjoy. Otherwise, you can opt -- as some of our companions did -- for poolside snacks or chill to music over evening cocktails at the Sand Bar.

'I was truly impressed by the superb service here. From the time we were received at the aircraft landing to the time we were seen off by a whole team of their staff, we were pampered, pampered, pampered. '

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'Our Thai lady butler was incredible, always there for us at every opportunity. She drove our samlor, escorted us everywhere, was on hand to sugest, to lend a hand -and yet never intrusive."

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And because Maldives is a paradise for snorkelers and divers, much like the similarly nature-endowed southern Thai islands and seas, Dusit Thani Maldives we were able to enjoy an array of activities highlighting waterborne Maldivian attractions. The resort itself is surrounded by a living coral reef that Maldives’ first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This reef is home to rich marine life including eagle rays, manta rays, a variety of turtle species, and the endangered whale shark. The remarkable house reef wraps entirely around the island thus allowing guests to swim the 360-degree faroe reef system and three underwater caves alongside schools of banner fish, big-eye trevallys and other diverse marine life. The environment is home to everything, from the ocean’s gentle giants and whale sharks, to Nemo-like clownfish and, with little luck, even dolphins and turtles. I don't know mantra ray from monkfish but the island’s on-site marine biologists, Lauren Arthur, was on hand to help me get enlightened about Baa Atoll’s phenomenal marine biodiversity. By the way, for those who want to take advantage of their unique vista, there is once in a lifetime opportunity to explore the reef during the day and night, join reef clean-ups, and monitor sea turtle nestling habits while staying at the resort. And as no Thai experience is complete without going to a Thai spa for relaxation and pampering, we wasted no time sampling spa plasures at the long-established Thai spa brand, Devarana, which was also transported to the Maldives. Lining the treetops of the island’s tropical rainforest, six of Devarana Spa’s eight elegant treatment pods are “up in the air” offering heavenly spa experience to guests from around the world. A comprehensive spa menu features a full range of massages


and treatments such as the brand’s famous “Devarana Signature Massage” and the exclusive treatment known as “Abhaynga Massage.” Needless to say, the Thai spa experience is authentic, with experienced Thai therapists brought here from the kingdom to administer treatments for ultimate relaxation and pampering. The spa is also well-equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as the relaxation area, sauna, steam, hot and cold tub, and plunge pool. Dusit Thani Maldives is a great child-friendly resort too, really perfect for creating wonderful memories for the entire family, and how we wished we had kids with us. The resort’s kid’s club, Baan Sanook, boasts exciting and stimulating programs that kids of all ages will enjoy. And the staff stands out for their superb service, politenes, sharing and willingness to accommodate request. Our Thai lady butler was incredible, always there for us at every opportunity. She drove our samlor, escorted us everywhere, was on hand to sugest, to lend a hand -- and yet never intrusive. And to add to it all, while the resort definitely transplanted the Thai concept of sanuk (fun) and relaxation to the Maldives, they did it within the framework of living in harmony with Maldivian biodiversity. The environment-conscious would be glad to know that Dusit Thani Maldives was launched as a local pioneer in green energy solutions, investing in state-of-the-art engineering for efficiency to ensure minimal impact on the environment. After a holiday at this resort, we're wondering what next could beat it. It was, surely for us -- the most memorable vacation ever, one that everyone must try to indulge in. 

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hotels Away from the Madding Crowd Centra Coconut Village Resort & Spa is for you if you really enjoy precious private moments – and some great value

T

Text & PHOTOS By PerCY ROXAS

he road to Centra Coconut Villa Resort & Spa -- one of the latest additions to the Centara group’s new value brand, Centra -- seems to lead to nowhere, if you’re coming from the Samui airport area and not familiar with Koh Samui’s new road network. The 55-room resort, which consists of just seven stand-alone villas and 48 deluxe rooms, is located at Thong Tanote Beach at the southwestern tip of the island. Even though we’ve been visiting the island for years now, it still took us a lot of effort to find the resort, which just started operating under the Centra brand last July 1. If you’re not using the resort’s van transfer from the airport and driving your own wheels without an accurate map, you might even get lost. It was easy to just give up and maybe look for another similar property somewhere near your other interests in the island. It was that kind of place, or so you would think, until you reach the resort. Once there, you will realize that the secluded resort – formerly known as Coconut Villa Resort & Spa – has its own captivating, albeit low-key, charm. The low-rise, intimately scaled property has a cool, modern tropical character that is easy to like, right from its humble lobby to the beautiful beachfront area where you can enjoy endless views of two islands noted for snorkeling and diving: Koh Tan and Koh Mutsum.

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Lookeast | travel


where to

contact/ Centra Coconut Villa resort & Spa Inbound-Hotels

We settled on one of the 24 Deluxe Pool access guestrooms, and realized early that the resort is definitely perfect for couples, although families could certainly fit in the rooms too. These rooms are on the lower level of a twin (two-storey) building facing each other separated by the pool running like a canal in between them. The upper level has a balcony to match the patio on the lower level, where two sun decks in each room make for great relaxing time – as we discovered later – during the early mornings and late at night before bedtime. The 37sqm-rooms were well-appointed and still look new, considering that the property, says the receptionist, was already four-years-old – and certainly great value for the introductory price that the resort offered after its Centra rebranding. Wi-Fi Internet is free as well (for us at least). But as we said earlier, the resort is not for those who crave the Chaweng nightlife. While the resort is said to be 15 minutes only from Nathon and Lamai, and maybe less than 40 minutes to the Fisherman’s Village in Bophut, I wouldn’t waste my time going there and anyway, if you’re in Samui for some peace and utter relaxation, this place is perfect. Even from our room’s patio alone, I just sat on the sundeck, looked up through the palm fronds through the white cirrus one early morning – and I was whispering to myself already: “What quiet…what bliss…” There was nothing to break the surrounding silence except maybe the humming of the open air-con in nearby villas, and a chirpy singsong of an occasional sparrow. In the evening, when we went to the lone restaurant (an all-day dining restaurant) by the beach, we were again to experience such a feeling. While waiting for our food to arrive, we just sat there gazing directly to the open darkness of the sea, feeling the soft breeze kiss our cheeks, listening to the occasional lapping of the waves on the shore, and just saying…ahhhh. Talk about breaking away from a noisy urban center, and choosing a secluded, exclusive place where nothing disturbs you. Oh by the way, we were pleasantly surprised by the food we ate that night: Thai food with a very distinct southern taste: fresh, rich and flavorful, aromatic, and just delicious – a true sensorial treat. On the way to the restaurant, you pass by the Sea View Villas, each about 44sqm in size and with a furnished terrace and Jacuzzi in the bathroom, except the lone Beachfront villa, which is 50sqm. There’s another swimming pool, beach bar and pool bar, near the restaurant, close to the beachfront, which is also great to hangout even if you’re alone, with maybe a cocktail in hand. We also saw a spa, which if we remember right, will be rebranded as Cense by Spa Cenvaree soon, but at the moment, they are by appointment only. Oh, another thing that made our short stay enjoyable was the staff. From the lobby receptionist to the restaurant staff to the pool cleaner, we received only gracious polite treatment, and smiles that melt the heart. We also learned later that the resort can arrange snorkeling, boating, and kayaking at Koh Tan and Koh Mutsum before or during your arrival, but we were there only for the weekend. As we were checking-out that Monday, we were thinking how great it would be if we did cap our privacy outing with a jaunt to maybe the idyllic Koh Tan, a small one-village island with no roads or cars and surrounded by a coral reef and with serene and sandy beaches or Koh Mutsum with its long and sandy beach that is ideal for picnics and barbeques. But ah, there’s always a next time. 

Contact Details: Centra Coconut Villa resort & Spa 114.1 Moo 4, Tambon Taling Ngam, Koh Samui Tel: 077 334-069/70 E-mail: cbs@chr.co.th www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cbs/cbs_default.asp

November 2012 | 33

travel/de


TRAVEL

travel deals Hottest Deals This Month! Book Now and Enjoy Free Nights at 25 Starwood Properties in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia Starwood Hotels & Resorts is offering a Free Nights promotion for guests who book two or three nights stay at any of its 25 properties in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia from now until Nov. 30 for stays until March 31, 2013. Participating brands include Sheraton, Le Méridien, Westin,W Hotels, St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Four Points by Sheraton, and Aloft with hotels and resorts located in many popular destinations including Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Khao Lak, Cha-am, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai; Siem Riep in Cambodia; and Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang in Vietnam. The campaign will also include two Starwood properties in Phuket -- The Westin Siray Bay Resort & Spa and The Naka Island, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa -- both of which been voted SPG Members’ Favorite Resorts for 2012. Alternatively, guests also have an option to enjoy 20% saving when they book two consecutive nights at participating properties, while guests booking five nights and more will be eligible for 25% savings off the hotels website flexible rates. Terms and conditions apply. For reservations, go to www.starwood-ap.com/freenights

Bed Supperclub, Q Bar, and Bash. For more information or reservations, call 02-207-7000.

BANGKOK

Meet and ‘Stay Free’ Book

a residential meeting of 15 room nights or more at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square and receive one complimentary night at any f the 12 Novotel hotels and resorts throughout Thailand. Ideal for business, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square offers convenient access to airports, business districts and nearby incentive attractions such as golf courses. Located in downtown Bangkok, the hotel is footsteps from the BTS Skytrain and is surrounded by a multitude of shopping malls and entertainment venues. Terms and conditions apply. Offer valid until March 31, 2013. Complimentary room vouchers are valid for six months from date of issue. A maximum of three room vouchers can be issued per event and subject to room availability. For more details call 02-209-8888 or visit www. novotelbkk.com

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Lookeast | TRAVEL

From Bt2,300++ Aloft Bangkok-Sukhumvit 11 has launched the “A-List Offer” with its best special rate offer ever, it said. Under the campaign, the hotel offers savvy travelers a chance to experience the first Aloft hotel in Bangkok and Southeast Asia with attractive rates per room per night. Valid for stays until Dec. 31, the special rates offer an opportunity for travelers to experience this stylish hotel at a great price – starting at Bt2,300++ per night (room only) and Bt2,800++ per night with breakfast for two persons. The special rate is inclusive of unlimited hotel-wide and in-room wireless Internet service, free shuttle tuk tuk from the Nana BTS Skytrain station and Sukhumvit MRT Subway station, and free entry to Bangkok’s trendiest clubs:

Best Available Rate Enjoy your winter in the City of Angels, and choose from three stunning Bangkok hotels: JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, and Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok. Until Jan. 14, 2013, stay two nights on a weekend at the best available rate, and enjoy the best of Thailand with 1,000 Marriott Rewards bonus points per stay and a $20 complimentary food and beverage credit. Terms and conditions apply. For more information and reservations, contact bookmarriott@ marriotthotels.com Bt1,710++ Need a break from

the hustle and bustle of the city? Novotel Fenix Silom is offering a “City Break” promotion with rates starting at Bt1,710. This great offer includes all room types and breakfast, and is the perfect location for both business and pleasure. This offer is valid until Dec. 31. For reservations and more information call 02-206-9100 or visit www. novotelbangkoksilom.com.

From Bt12,000++ The Sukhothai Bangkok has

launched an exclusive “Romance Package” honeymoon hideaway in the heart of Thailand’s capital, valid from now until Dec. 28. This unique package gives couples a variety of indulgent value-added extras during their stay, from stimulating cuisine to sensual spa treatments. The package is priced at Bt12,000++ (Deluxe Studio) and Bt15,000++ (Executive Suite) per room, per night. A minimum length of stay of four consecutive nights is required. For more details and reservations, e-mail reservations@sukhothai.com or visit www.sukhothai.com

Free Nights Enjoy free nights at any Novotel in Thailand with Novotel Ploenchit’s “Residential Meeting package.” The package brings one superb new benefit; a rewarded complimentary night voucher, which can be used at any Novotel location in Thailand when booking a residential meeting room for every 15 room nights or more. And, when it’s time to use it for a free stay, then the extensive options include popular business venues and leisure destinations from Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit, Novotel Chumphon Beach Resort & Golf, Novotel Hua Hin Cha Am Beach Resort & Spa, Novotel Phuket Resort, Novotel Phuket Vintage Park Resort,


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

UNIQUE THINGS TO DO IN THAILAND

where to stay

Thailand’s worldwide reputation is as varied as its geography. The “Land of Smiles” is equally known for its nightlife, beaches, mountains, wildlife, and more. No matter what kind of traveler you are, there’s something contact/e-mail unique to do in Thailand that either you’ll only find here, or will not be the same anywhere else. These experiences range from truly novel ways to spend to your vacation to some truly unordinary options. Here are some:

travel/destination

Become a Monk for a Month

Those looking for something a bit deeper in their travels should look no further. Rather than coming to Thailand and quickly visiting a wat (temple) why not get a deeper, behind the scenes look at things? There are a few groups now offering monk packages of various lengths. You’ll live in the temple, practice guided meditation, and learn about the Eight Precepts all while soaking in authentic culture.

Volunteer

There is no shortage of organizations working to help the people of Thailand. Groups exist to help Thais from all walks of life -- from orphans to those at risk of trafficking, from prostitutes to indigenous groups, and more. There are even organizations that work to motivate Thai people to help their neighbors. While certainly you can help people anywhere in the world, Thailand has some truly innovative and groundbreaking programs such as the pioneering Rahab Ministries that helps women stuck in the entertainment lifestyle in Bangkok.

Care for and Ride an Elephant

Novotel Rayong Rim Pae Resort, Novotel Bangkok Bangna, Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom, Novotel Bangkok IMPACT, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Novotel Bangkok Platinum to Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Promo runs until March 31, 2013. For reservations call 02-305-6000 or visit www.Novotel. com or www.Accorhotels.com

Bt3,999 net A new special

seasonal room package for those planning to spend a trip to Bangkok: From now until Dec. 31, Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok offers its well-appointed Executive Suites for only Bt3,999 net/room/ night (single) and Bt4,499 net/ rooom/night (twin-double) for those staying for at least two consecutive nights. A host of special privileges are included. For more information and reservations, call 02 262-1234

SAMUI From Bt8,570++ You’re

stressed, exhausted and need a break. The advise is to go somewhere where there is little to do. It’s not as if there’s nothing to do because Koh Samui is an island where you can either enjoy it all or do nothing at all. Yes, your break is done absolutely your way. And Mercure Samui Fenix's “Sun and Sea Package” may just be the perfect package for your rest and relaxation. Package includes: two-

way airport transfers, one lunch or dinner per booking and daily buffet breakfast. Offer ends Nov. 30. For reservations, contact hotline: H7439-RE@accor.com

FROM Bt29,725 ++ akyra Chura Samui has announced a five-night “akyra Anniversary” package to celebrate the chic Chaweng resort's first birthday last month. akyra Chura Samui is offering five nights of sophisticated beachfront fun, with a romantic candlelight private beach dinner for two including a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, a 60-minute pampering spa for couples, daily gourmet breakfast, and transfers. The package is available until Dec. 21. For more information, contact 02-514-8112 or visit www.aleenta.com FROM Bt16,560++ Anantara

Bophut Resort & Spa presents the “Thai Culinary Essence Package,” comprising a three-night stay in a deluxe room or suite with return airport transfers, daily breakfast, a 15-minute headand-shoulder massage, and a Thai cooking class. The package combines one of the resort’s most popular signature activities with convenient and rewarding benefits to offer an interactive and indulgent taste of island life. This offer is valid from now until Dec. 20. Prices start from Bt16,560+++. For more information and reservations, contact 075-205-888

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

If you really want a full elephant experience while also giving something back, visit the Thai Elephant Home just outside of Chiang Mai. Here you get the opportunity to not only ride them, but also truly learn about elephants and how they live. You’ll spend time cleaning the elephants and their homes, cut grass to feed the elephants, and hopefully make friends with one of the giants. The best part is that you are assigned an elephant for the day, rather than dealing with different ones through the day, increasing the likelihood of a bonding experience. The Thai Elephant Home is located at 50 Charoen Rd, Chiang Mai. Tel: 089 4342047; e-mail: wanacharts@yahoo.com

Explore Deeper Bangkok via Long-tail Boat

Bangkok was once known as the “Venice of the East.” These days many of the klongs (canals) have been paved over to accommodate growing modernization and development. There is still, however, a handful of river networks snaking their way through the city. Check out Klong Saen Saep, accessible at the end of most major roads along Suhkumvit. To get to the riverboats you need to leave the comfort of the BTS line (skytrain) and head to the end of Thonglor, Ekkamai, Asoke, etc. From the BTS station, grab a motorcycle taxi driver and tell the driver to get to the docks. Take the boat to the end of the line near Khao Sarn and enjoy a backdoor view of Bangkok not seen by those sticking with modern modes of transport.

Catch a Live Muay Thai Match in the Upper Decks

Catch a “Muay Thai” match at either the Lumpini or Rajadamnern Muay Thai stadiums, but don’t spring the extra baht for ringside. Instead head to the upper levels with the locals and watch the fight through a chain link fence. Here’s where the real action takes place: gambling, shouting, and the passion of true fight fans. It might not be the most comfortable experience, but you’re guaranteed to walk out with a story.

Get a Bamboo Tattoo

Most people take home a plate, poster, post card, or some other knickknack from their journeys. A traditional style bamboo tattoo is for those wanting something a bit more personal and permanent. Instead of the dull motorized drone of a modern tattoo, bamboo tattoos are done with a long bamboo “spear” with a metal tip at the end. Your skin will be pierced manually and ink applied. Check out Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Chaisri. Nakhon Chaisri is to the west of Bangkok, just outside of Nakhon Pathom. Here you can find many locals and a few adventurous foreigners receiving a sacred tattoo unique and personal to each person receiving.

Chomp Down on Something with Chompers

Thailand has long been famous for its food, but none is more infamous and notorious than its insect cuisine. Long favored by rural Thais, insect eating has become a tourist rite of passage in Thailand. With just a little bit of searching around Nana or Soi Cowboy late at night in Bangkok you’ll easily find a vendor (just look for the foreigners snapping pictures in the street). The vendors will typically serve up silk worms (maybe not the Thai Silk souvenir you thought you’d take away), grasshoppers, bamboo worms, water beetles, and crickets. Most of the insects have been battered and fried and could pass for anything if it’s dark enough (or the diner is drunk enough). November 2012 | 35


TRAVEL

travel news Centara Grand at CentralWorld ‘Best Meetings and Conventions Hotel’ 3rd year in a row Bangkok - Thirayuth Chirathivat (2nd right), chief executive officer of Centara Hotels & Resorts congratulates the management team following the 23rd TTG Travel Awards 2012, organized by TTG Asia Magazine, in which Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Center at CentralWorld won the “Best Meetings and Conventions Hotel Award” for the third year in a row. The TTG Travel Awards 2012 ceremony was held at World Ballroom, Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Center at CentralWorld

Centara upgrades, rebrands Koh Chang resort Koh Chang – Koh Chang Tropicana Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Centara is undergoing a multi-million baht upgrade prior to being rebranded as Centara Koh Chang Tropicana Resort. Rebranding begins in November when the renovation program is expected to be complete. Centara Hotels & Resorts acquired the management contract for the property, set on Klong Prao Beach on the island’s west coast, in April. The upgrade will see renovations and re-modellng undertaken to the entrance, lobby and reception, and the creation of a new lobby bar. The resort’s 157 spacious rooms and suites are designed to enhance the sensation of living in a tropical setting and are contained in two wings, Superior and Deluxe, spread throughout landscaped gardens.

Sheraton hotels celebrate 75th anniversary

Bangkok – Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has announced the 75thanniversary celebration of its iconic brand. The celebration of this milestone will coincide with the opening of the Sheraton Macao Hotel, Cotai Central - the largest hotel in Macau and Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ largest hotel in the world. Following the launch of the 75th Anniversary at the Sheraton Macao Hotel, a series of celebratory activities will take place at Sheraton hotels across the Asia Pacific division. Participating hotels will roll out two special anniversary offers including: “75 Free Room Nights” and “Pay for Breakfast at 1937

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Lookeast | TRAVEL

price.” For more information on the 75th Anniversary offers, visit www.sheraton75.com.

Hotel de la Paix unveils dream weddings with a difference

Hua Hin – Hotel de la Paix Cha Am Beach, Hua Hin's 'Peace of Cake' Dream Wedding package offers couples their choice of a seamless Thai or Western wedding ceremony with maximum style and minimum fuss, with all the details taken care of by the resort's meticulous planners and a host of pampered pleasures and privileges thrown in as part of the deal. The Thai 'Peace of Cake' Ceremony and the Western 'Peace of Cake' Ceremony, packages also offer the happy couple two nights of complimentary accommodation in a Horizon Room, including breakfast for two and other privileges. Other perks include a first wedding anniversary voucher worth Bt3,000, a wedding anniversary cake, and Champagne canapés for the bride and groom. Hotel de la Paix Cha Am Beach 'Peace of Cake' Dream Weddings begin from just Bt95,000++ per couple.

Minor Food Group holds ‘Manager Confab’ at PEACH Pattaya – Minor Food Group Public Company Limited recently held their Manager Conference 2012 – “Driving…To Unlock the Impossibilities” at Pattaya’s

the resort is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’s growing footprint in Thailand.

Royal Cliff Group’s restaurants recommended on TripAdvisor

largest and best convention venue, Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (PEACH). Some 850 managers of their restaurant outlets from four regions of Thailand attended the three-day event, which consisted of a conference with invited keynote speaker Choak Bulakul, Farm Chokchai Group’s managing director & CEO, team building activities, performance show by attendee and gala dinner with various entertainments. Minor Food Group Public Company Limited is one of the largest quick service restaurant operations in Asia, with over 1,100 restaurant outlets in Thailand, the Middle East, Singapore and Australia. PEACH is the largest and best MICE venue outside of Bangkok.

Pattaya – The multi awardwinning Royal Cliff Hotels Group has gained another exceptional honor. Four of the property’s 11 restaurants were declared “Recommended on TripAdvisor”: Rossini- Godfather’s Favorite, Larn Thong- Authentic Thai Tradition, Maharani- Queen of Indian Flavors and Grill Room & Wine Cellar- Excellence & Heritage. The ‘Recommended on TripAdvisor’ sticker is given to restaurants that have secured a significant number of positive reviews about business and service standards by travelers and diners alike. Vitanart Vathanakul, executive director of Royal Cliff Hotels Group, along with members of the management proudly displayed the awards at the new Sunset Lobby Bar at the Beach Terrace Hotel.

Le Méridien Koh Samui marks 1st year with return of introductory offer

Samui – Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa is marking its 1st Year Anniversary with an invite for guests to return; or explore the resort for the first time, with its “Discovery Awaits … Opening Offer Returns.” “From the success of Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa during the past year, we would like to thank all of our new guests and loyal travelers for their support and feedback that has helped us to deliver the limitless experiences and services that will continue for many more years, and celebrations to come,” said Tina Liu, general manager of Le Méridien Koh Samui Resort & Spa. Le Méridien Koh Samui prides itself as the 99th Le Méridien in the world having successfully provided unique and interactive experiences to guests for the past year. Opened on Sept.30, 2011,

Hilton Pattaya joins Coastal Cleanup

Pattaya – The team members of Hilton Pattaya recently participated in the ‘International Coastal Cleanup 2012’ organized by the Coca-Cola system in Thailand, inclusive of Coca-Cola (Thailand) LTD, ThaiNamthip LTD, Haad Thip PLC. There were more than 1,000 Thai volunteers and NGO inclusive of representatives from Pattaya city, Department of Marine and Coastal Resource, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Under the hotel’s commitment to make a difference through community service in Pattaya, Hilton Pattaya’s Blue Energy team will continue to work closely with other organizations to take the lead in implementing sustainable activities.


advisor of the Thai Hotels Association and Surat Kaewdee, general manager of the hotel.

Oasis launches first spa resort

Chiang Mai – Oasis Spa announces its expansion into a corresponding hospitality industry, boutique spa hotels, with the opening of a spa resort in Chiang Mai. Oasis spa is an acknowledged leader in Thailand’s day spa business with nine branches in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, and Phuket. Today, founders Pakin Ployphicha and Toby Allen are expanding the brand with their first “secret destination,” a sweet boutique retreat in Chiang Mai called Oasis Baan Saen Doi Spa Resort. The unique congratulatory event was recently organized in a stylish travel theme and attended by 80 guests of honor.

Cape Panwa Hotel welcomes VIPs

Phuket – Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai (middle) and Thanpuying Suthawan Sathirathai (right) were warmly welcomed by Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket general manager, Philipp S. Frickhinger (left), when they stayed at the hotel recently.

Oktoberfest Celebration

Bangkok – Bernd Hildenbrand, MD of Lufthansa Services (Thailand), recently presided over the opening ceremony of “Taste of Oktoberfest” at the Grand Fourwings Convention Hotel Bangkok’s Srinakarin Grand Café Restaurant. Hildenbrand received a warm welcome from Prakit Chinamourphong, honorary

World Luxury Hotel Awards honors Indigo Pearl

Phuket – Indigo Pearl has just won as Thailand’s “Best Luxury Beach Resort” at the recent 2012 World Luxury Hotel Awards. Indigo Pearl – a Bill Bensley design masterpiece -- is located on Phuket’s sheltered northern shore, an easy 10 minutes from Phuket International Airport.

Ramada Plaza Menam Charity Jazz Concert

Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok recently welcomed M.R. Priyangsri Wattanakun. director of Fund Raising Bureau, Thai Read Cross Society; Asso. Prof. Prasert Trivijitsilp. deputy director of King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital;

and Asso. Prof. Somchai Tanawattanacharoen. asst. dean for Student Affairs, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University; as the guests of honor to the “Charity Jazz duet Concert by the River of Kings” where Viyada Komarakul Na Nakorn and Nareekrajang Kanthamas performed. Photo shows (from left): Asso. Prof. Somchai Tanawattanacharoen, Vilai Vitayathanagorn (the hotel’s Vice President), Klaus Sennik (Hotel Manager), M.R. Priyangsri Wattanakun, Dr. Pichai Tangsin (the hotel’s Managing Director) with Chairlady, Malee Tangsin and Asso. Prof. Prasert Trivijitsilp with his wife Kwanta.


travel

tale of the tape As Thai Travel Industry Booms, 'East' Replaces 'West' asTop Source of Arrivals By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor,

www.travel-impact- newswire.com

T

hailand’s travel and tourism industry is its most successful service industry, and one of the top three economic sectors overall along with agriculture and manufacturing. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand recorded 19.23 million international visitors in 2011, up by 20.67% over 2010. With an average length of stay of 9.64 days, and an average daily spend of Bt4,187.12 (US$137) per person, the Thai tourism industry generated 776 billion baht in earnings. The target for this year is a little more than 20 million visitors. Although the industry has grown phenomenally over the years, one of the most important changes has been in the profile of visitors to Thailand. Today, all but two of the top-ten source-market countries are from within the Asia-Pacific region, replacing Europe and the United States, which once topped the charts in the 1980s and 1990s. In Jan-Sept 2012, visitor arrivals totalled 15,964,133, up 8.69% over Jan-Sept 2011. Lookeast readers may find interesting the following summary profile of arrivals (with all percentage changes being over Jan-Sept 2011), and a brief snapshot analysis of what is driving change. All the figures are sourced from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports: 1. Top performer: China with 1,945,948, up a whopping 39.13%. This figure excludes arrivals from Hong Kong SAR. China will become the first country to cross the two million mark in visitor arrivals in 2012. It has been the fastest growing source-market for the past five years, thanks to close geographical proximity, Thailand’s value

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for money, visas on arrival at international border checkpoints to Thailand and nearly 200 direct flight connections a week from cities across China to cities in Thailand. 2. Malaysia: 1,778,380 arrivals, down 6.54%. Because it is an overland bordercrossing away, Malaysia was historically the top source-market until edged out by China this year. The vast majority of visitors are overnighters and the numbers rise and fall depending on the circumstances in South Thailand. Recently, a number of Southern provinces have also been affected by floods. 3. Japan: 995,072 arrivals, up 9.46%. Japan is one of the largest investors in Thailand and there is a high percentage of business travel. Both leisure and business travel were affected in 2011 by the Fukushima tsunami disaster and the OctoberNovember 2011 floods in Thailand. Since then, arrivals have resumed to normal. 4. Korea: 843,136 arrivals, up 5.71%. This is a steadily growing market rarely affected by peaks and troughs. There is plenty of airline seat capacity and Koreans don’t need visas to come to Thailand. 5. Russia: 757,998 arrivals, up 18.93%. This is another fast-growing market, also projected to cross the one million mark within two years. It began with the huge popularity of Pattaya beach resort as a destination for Russians to escape their harsh winters but has since gained new impetus with advent of charters to other resorts such as Phuket.


'In Jan-Sept 2012, visitor arrivals totalled 15,964,133, up 8.69% over JanSept 2011. Lookeast readers may find interesting the following summary profile of arrivals (with all percentage changes being over Jan-Sept 2011), and a brief snapshot analysis of what is driving change.' 6. India: 757,998 arrivals, up 7.30%. All four of India’s major metro cities, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, and Chennai are within four hours flying time of Bangkok. The rise of the Indian middle class, removal of foreign exchange restrictions for Indian travelers, permission given to Indian airlines to start foreign flights plus visa on arrival facilities for Indian visitors to Thailand have been among the major reasons for this boom. More growth is still to come as cities such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru and many other rapidly growing Indian cities get more airline access. 7. Laos: 734,750 arrivals, up 5.24%. This is largely the result of a number of bridges with international checkpoint facilities that now connect Thailand and Laos across the Mekong River. Many areas in the border regions are booming as Laotians cross the border over to Thailand. There are now three bridges across the river and one more is due to open soon. 8. Australia: 689,984 arrivals, up 12.04%. The strong Aussie dollar and Thailand’s value for money promise have played a major role in marketing campaigns designed to show Australians that there is an alternative to Bali. Many Australians are now heading directly for Phuket in their winter months, which equates to Thailand’s summer. 9. UK: 628,880 arrivals, up 0.54%. Arrivals have been affected this year by the Olympics in August and economic conditions generally. However, UK arrivals have one of the largest average lengths of

stay (17 days) and one of the highest rates of repeat visitors (67%). 10. Singapore: 570,310 arrivals, up 12.54%. In spite of its small population base, Singapore has always generated strong arrivals to Thailand. Low-cost airlines are funneling weekend leisure traffic to Phuket and the approaching ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 is seeing Singaporean businessmen making a beeline for Bangkok to explore increased investment opportunities. One source-market growing strongly is Vietnam, which generated arrivals of 497,289, up a huge 23.45%. It is now the 12th largest source of visitor arrivals, but at that rate of growth, it will clear overtake the U.S. at Number 11 by 2013 and probably the UK by 2014.

The advent of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 will further boost intra-regional travel as free trade facilitates the flow of visitors within the 10-member ASEAN countries. Another promising market to watch in future is Indonesia. Over time, all these changes will lead to significant changes in the way the travel & tourism industry does business, including budget allocations, marketing strategies, service delivery, content of cuisine, signage and much more. The bottom line is that the Thai travel and tourism industry will remain a “sunshine sector” for the Thai economy for decades ahead. 

Visitor Arrivals to Thailand (Top-Ten Source Market Countries) Jan-Sept 2012

% Share

Jan-Sept 2011

% Share

%∆ 2012/11

1. China

1,945,948

12.19

2. Malaysia

1,778,380

11.14

1,398,610

9.52

39.13

1,902,901

12.96

-6.54

3. Japan

995,072

6.23

909,077

6.19

9.46

4. Korea 5. Russia

843,136

5.28

797,602

5.43

5.71

826,174

5.18

694,661

4.73

18.93

6. India

757,998

4.75

706,420

4.81

7.30

7. Laos

734,750

4.60

698,138

4.75

5.24

8. Australia

689,984

4.32

615,811

4.19

12.04

9. UK

628,880

3.94

625,515

4.26

0.54

10. Singapore

570,310

3.57

506,766

3.45

12.54

Nationality

November 2012 | 39


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Lookeast | lifestyle


PeRSONALITY

hotelier The Dusit Way

Chanin Donavanik Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Dusit International

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By PerCY ROXAS

we want to get more hotel overseas; we’re going to announce a lot any Thai companies – in particular Thai hotel chains more in the next few months." – are now marching ahead and making their mark The group is trying to do some other things as well. “We are internationally. Dusit International, the pioneering Thai seriously looking at other complementary businesses such as hotel hotel company, is not only among the first to venture education,” he says. “We have the successful Dusit Thani College and outside the kingdom but also among the most successful, with many Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School Dusit, and with more than 20,000 properties in many parts of the world today. Behind this company is full-time students in these schools, our company is doing more than a soft-spoken, well-mannered man who is only the second CEO in the anyone else in hospitality education and now, we have to do even hotel company’s 60-year history: Chanin Donavanik. more, because I think that is what Asia needs. We are doing many “I think our company is still a small company,” says the man who things in terms of education.” As of interview time, he said they are comes off as very humble and very well grounded considering all finalizing things in Indonesia, have a team right now in the Maldives, his achievements and reputation. “We don’t have too many hotels. and are talking to the Burmese government. If every year we can open one or two we’d be happy.” Chanin, who The group would like to get more into management of hotels, and holds an MBA from the U.S.'s Boston University, actually heads a Chanin sees a lot of opportunity in this. “Asia as a whole should hotel empire that consists of four brands: Dusit Thani, dusit d2, Dusit do well in this regard in the next two years; in particular Vietnam, Princess, and Dusit Devarana, not to mention the Dusit Residence Indonesia, and Burma. We’re already in India and Sri Lanka. We’re Serviced Apartments and Devarana Spa. trying to finalize things in China – we need to be big His mother, Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, founded the company 63 years ago with a hotel named the Princess, ‘The Dusit Thani there because it is a big market -- and in the Middle East, we’re active in about five hotels.” The next step is to see which opened on New Road in 1949. The flagship Dusit represents if the group can get to have something in places such as Thani Bangkok opened in 1970, quickly becoming a what Thailand Los Angeles (USA) and London, “Cities,” he says, “that favorite of locals and foreigners alike, and now, an iconic if we go in we can really make a difference with our Thai symbol of unique Thai hospitality. As is often described is all product. It would be wonderful not only for our brand by the media, “Dusit Thani Bangkok seamlessly fuses about.’ but also for Thailand.” European sophistication with ornate Thai flourish.” Chanin thinks it is a good thing that many Thai “My mother has always been proud of Thailand: companies today are expanding their horizons abroad, "because its culture, its beauty, its food -- everything that is Thai,” Chanin there’s no country in Asia who can do what we do in this industry; says. “That’s why when we built our second hotel, the Dusit Thani we are making it more interesting for the customers,” he says. Bangkok, she decided on using a Thai name, inspired by the character But unlike others, even as they continue to push overseas, “We still and ideals of King Rama VI whose statue stands opposite the hotel. want to be who we are," Chanin reiterates. "We try to push the unique Our hotel represents what Thailand is all about, everything that is brand of Thai hospitality everywhere we go. If we can open three to good in it.” five hotels a year, we’d be happy as long as they are hotels that truly Indeed, the Dusit Thani group has been associated with that for represent who we are." He said they might do well with 50 hotels in years. “Like all companies, Dusit Thani has also undergone lots of 17 destinations, but “we are not going just for the numbers.” changes through the years. But our basic philosophy and beliefs have What he is trying to do, Chanin said, is to make sure that when not changed in 60 years. Many companies in Thailand today try to he leaves the hotel will be in a better position. “My mother did so be farang (white-skinned foreigners). We don’t want to do that,” he well,” he says. “I want to make sure that when I retire, the company’s says. “We have a clear concept of who we are and that is not going to position -- financially, branding, and otherwise -- is solid and stable; change." maybe not the biggest or the most profitable, but something for the Chanin firmly believes that something which truly represents next generation to continue to do well.” Thailand will always sell. He says, "Even if we don't get any help from He says that as a whole, with what it offers, the Thailand will still the government in marketing Thailand, we can still sell Thailand.” do well, people will still come. "But we are reaching a level where we But Chanin admits his company still has a lot to do. “One of my are becoming more like a mass market destination and I’m not sure mistakes is that I did not push the company to extend farther earlier,” that’s the direction Thailand wants to follow," he says. "Thailand is a he says. beautiful, wonderful country with a rich culture, gracious people, and “Much of our revenue today still comes from Thailand, and thus other precious qualities. We should not lose them. In our own small when a crisis happens here we are severely affected. Also we did not way we all need to preserve what we have.“  diversify that much earlier, that’s another one of my mistakes. So now November 2012 | 41


PERSONALITY

hotelier

Nick Heath

General Manager, W Bangkok 42

Lookeast | lifestyle


Electrifying Bangkok

In December, a new hotel promises to add more excitement to Bangkok’s bustling, dazzling scene – W Bangkok

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By PerCY ROXAS

ew hotel brands in the city have created such buzz even before they open as W Bangkok. When news about its opening began to spread, there was more than just anticipation. There was real excitement among city sophisticates as to what the new brand will bring. With the soft opening at hand – on Dec.7, 2012 – Lookeast sought up the general manager, Nick Heath, to give us a sense of what the excitement is all about. Nick is not a Bangkok first-timer. He has worked and lived in the city before, and he is thrilled to be back “in a city that I love, Bangkok, and with a brand like W, which is a absolutely good-fit for me because I’m a design kind of guy,” he says. The W brand from Starwood’s perspective, says Nick, is a design luxury lifestyle hotel. But that seems like an understatement. As the W Hotels website succinctly says it, W “sets the stage for exclusive and extraordinary experiences with its iconic design and contemporary luxury offerings.” Born in New York in 1998, where it immediately became a phenomenon, W had since made a foray in select parts of the world with 43 hotels and resorts (including retreats as in W Retreat Samui) inspired by its destination, mixing cutting-edge design with local influences and creating a place to work or play by day or to mix and mingle in high-energy space at night. “We’re forging ahead to be a world-class brand,” Nick tells Lookeast, “with our passion points of design, fashion, music, what’s new and what’ next – the entire brand DNA, our whole philosophy. We bring to Bangkok not just a brand that is exciting and full of energy and passion but the first design-led hotel and we are excited about this.” Located at the main CBD of Sathorn Road just off Silom, with direct connection to BTS (Chong Nonsri Station), W Bangkok will have 407 spacious guestrooms and suites that are geared for a perfect slipaway after a day of sightseeing and shopping. The oh-so-spacious Duplex Suites (four of them) promises the ultimate guestroom experience. Each room boasts inspiring designs, motifs, fabrics, and custom furnishing, and modern amenities – more than the usual luxurious amenities and gadgets for sure -- to heighten your down time pleasure. “There are two facets of W Bangkok, which we call a hidden gem unveiled,” Nick says. “One is the very reflective tower, which is all about glitz and glamour. The other is the 100-year-old heritage mansion on our premises. The juxtaposition of the new and old, of history and contemporary – is part of our unique narrative, part of everything we very much want to project. " As Nick emphasizes, W Bangkok is more than a hotel; more than a place to stay and sleep, so expect something unique at the hotel, from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Even the wardrobe of the hotel associates, designed by a famous local designer, will delight guests. “The first thing we did was do away with the lobby,” says Nick, “so your arrival experience starts with a living room. Everywhere you turn you will be welcomed by surprising, sensory environments where amplified entertainment, vibrant lounges, modern guestrooms, and innovative cocktails and cuisine create more than just a hotel

experience but a luxury lifestyle destination.”What W Bangkok is all about is a marriage of the brand’s New York DNA with local context “Bangkok is really a great comparison to New York,” says Nick. “The great vibe of Bangkok is what we were really looking for when we decided to open here: the pulsating light, the exciting happenings, the collaboration between local artists and other people with some edge. At W Bangkok, you feel a certain energy as you arrive.” Nick makes special mention of the WOOBAR, where they hope to spread the brand’s great cocktail culture. This bar, which can be a literary salon, a music lounge, or anything you want, serves signature W cocktails along with smooth grooves to ensure unforgettable mingling and mixing. As well, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, The Kitchen Table, caters to globetrotting gourmets; those who love food from the heart. “Great honest food, great cocktails,” that’s just for starters. Like all W hotels worldwide, W Bangkok is expected to be the venue for live insider events, exclusive partnerships and “a Whatever/ Whenever® service standard that is anything but standard. “The idea is we really want to bring a more personalized level of experience,” says Nick. Thus instead of nametags, we introduce ourselves to guests. In that sense, W is a luxury hotel that’s also downto-earth, a real place to escape and get away from the everyday hotel experience. And W Bangkok doesn’t twist things for the sake of it. “We don’t change things for the sake of changing,” Nick says. “Being at the luxury end, there are some traditional standards in service that we observe, but we take them to a different level to result in a different kind of experience. For me it is casual luxury, of people being themselves and having a feeling for what’s new, and what’s next, excited to be part of something that’s emerging.” “Bangkok is one of the most prime cities ready for W,” says Nick, whose W Seoul hotel, as he was leaving, won the best luxury hotel award in Korea."The idea of that award is that we are true to our brand, to our marketing. I am confident that people will feel that we (W Bangkok) are really truly who we say we are, and that they will enjoy the W experience and be part of its lifestyle movement.”  ‘ACCIDENTAL HOTELIER’ Nick Heath, General Manager, W Bangkok He calls himself the accidental hotelier. And indeed, he didn’t go to a hotel school. He is a mechanical engineer by education who joined the hotel business as a corporate management trainee after graduating with honors. But, as he himself admits, in the hotel business, “ Once you’re in, you’re in for life. I figured that I prefer to be with people, that I like stress analysis and stuff, so now I’m a full-blooded hotelier.” A British national, Nick worked through operations and sales and marketing until he was promoted to general manager (GM) in 1999 after continuously honing his skills of running successful and profitable award winning hotels with international hotel chains. In 2007, he joined Starwood Hotel and Resorts to become GM of W Seoul-Walkerhill. Nick’s 23-year career has taken him global working in the US, Taiwan, Thailand, Israel, Indonesia, and Korea. November 2012 | 43


PeRSONALITY

hotelier

Christoph J Knichel

General Manager Pathumwan Princess Hotel, Bangkok 44

Lookeast | lifestyle


On Top of Change

Renovation work has been completed but Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok is not about ready to rest on its laurels.

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By PerCY ROXAS

he last three years has been most exciting for Pathumwan Princess Hotel Bangkok; the hotel has been undergoing a lot of changes to keep itself fresh, young, and more chiclooking. Renovation work and upgrades are now completed, but the hotel – headed by its general manager Christoph J Knichel – is already looking at more new ideas to enhance their facilities and services even further. Since Knichel became GM three years ago, the hotel completed renovation of all the rooms, including the ExecuPlus Suites last year, and continued with upgrades on the restaurants and bars as well as their popular facilities such as the Olympic Club and fitness areas, the Tantara Spa, and the swimming pool area this year. This, along with fine-tuning further the distinct service that has been giving the 16-year-old hotel its great reputation through the years. “We have renovated area after area gradually and now renovation is complete," Knichel reiterates. "We didn’t change everything but we made the hotel fresher, younger, and more chic-looking. We are proud of what we have done.” Indeed, the many returning guests who have been back to Pathumwan Princess since the completion of the renovation work are amazed and happy with the hotel’s new chic look. Perhaps the most obvious change guests notice this time are those on the pool area. “We have redesigned it entirely, including the greenery; changed the pool tile, and put a changing light at night,” Knichel shares. “We have also changed some wooden sundecks basically to give some shade to our guests, renovated the outdoor Jacuzzi, revamped other areas as well. We are just about finished with two more important upgrades.” Among these is the addition of outdoor changing rooms, which will have two effects: One, it will make it easier for guests to change without going down in their bathrobes; and two, those who are checking out late or have late flights and can’t enjoy late check-outs will have a place to relax until their actual departure time. Another particularly important change, and one that Knichel is justifiably proud about, was giving Loop, their Italian restaurant on the 8th floor, a new look. “This restaurant has always been strong, especially with our mostly Australian guest-base. But with its fresh and more appealing look and laidback service, I think we will be able to attract more and more local guests now,” he says. Knichel is aware that it’s a big challenge to keep the guests in a hotel all the time in a city as interesting and bustling as Bangkok (nor he thinks that is necessary) but he wants to maximize his guests' stay in the hotel. In this regard, various fresh F&B concepts and ideas are continuously evolving. Besides Loop, Kongju (Korean), and the lobby outlets, and CitiBistro, an Indian restaurant is opening in the hotel soon. He makes special mention of their popular buffet at CitiBistro, which he says, “offer a little bit of everything to everybody.” “Indeed, with a beautiful, really laidback pool, the lovely spa next door, Asia’s biggest hotel fitness center (the Olympic Club), and the option to at least grab a snack quickly before they go elsewhere, we encourage guests to make use of what we offer.”

Pathumwan Princess has always been one of the most popular hotels in the city. Not only is the hotel strategically located, with the most spacious rooms and excellent city views, it also boasts progressive 5-star facilities and services that spoil guests and visitors. Successful as the 455-room hotel already is – “Average room occupancy is 85 percent,” Knichel says -- they want to remain successful and popular. “In this business you can never rest, not only because more new hotels are opening but also because the habits of guests change by the day. You have to remain popular,” he says. For Pathumwan Princess, that means listening – really listening -- to its guests. “We adapt to guest behavior and provide important guest needs (such as Wi-Fi everywhere in the hotel). We keep ourselves young, up-to-date, and relevant. We continuously train people to exceed expectations. We do a lot of things to make their hotel stay a real experience, and lots of returning customers say they like what we do.” But as we said, Pathumwan Princess is not resting on its laurels, yet. Two new services standout in particular in their efforts to make the hotel service even more personalized:. “One, is the 24-hour butler services that we have already started in our top suites,” says Knichel, “a service that will be slowly implemented in all the suites within a decent timeframe.” The flexible check-in/ checkout service is another. “We are introducing check-in/checkout anywhere within the hotel and maybe at one stage in the airport or even in the car,” he adds. “These are additional services we want to offer, especially to business guests; and they are ready to roll-out early next year.” In conclusion, Knichel says: “Our hotel is all about atmosphere, service exceeding expectations, and providing value – in terms of making the guests feel safe, welcome and respected, and always treating them well. My associates and I are always on top of these.” 

Leading by Example

Christoph J Knichel, GM Always open to good ideas, approachable, caring, and relatively down-to-earth, Cologne-born Christoph J Knichel is a GM any associate would be pleased to work with. He believes that great service is all about attitude and leads his team by example. In Bangkok now for three exciting years, he has been overseeing lots of changes and upgrades to keep the Pathumwan Princess Hotel in top form and popular; and gives lots of credit to his associates for their success. “I couldn’t have done it all without my hardworking, dedicated associate,” he says. “Their dedication; how they do it together is truly special in this hotel. They are all very special to me. Having these people is certainly the highlight of my stay here.” An industry veteran of 20 years, Knichel has worked in many exciting countries but thinks Thailand is incomparable. "Hotels here are very different from many places, in product, in service and in work ethic,” says the Executive MBA graduate from the University of Applied Science, Switzerland; and University of Delaware, USA. “It’s a great pleasure working here. November 2012 | 45


lifestyle

celebrity

46

Lookeast | lifestyle


A Musical Trinity

Lookeast meets up with DJ Ash, Akash Gulatti, and Dara Loy at St Regis Bangkok to discover how a successful musical partnership resulted in the birth of the song 'Love Today''

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By Laurence Civil

ove today written by DJ Ash and Akash Gulatti is the debut single of Dara Loy, the half-Thai, half-British singer who is currently performing live Friday to Sunday at The Diplomat Bar, The Conrad Bangkok. Laurence Civil recently joined the three of them for Afternoon Tea at St Regis Bangkok to discover how the song and their successful interactive partnership was born. Dara Loy was born in Saudi Arabia where her Dad was working as an aircraft engineer. She still has fond memories of her early childhood: swaying palm trees, shwarma, growing up in a multicultural environment, attending a great American school, learning very basic Arabic, and understanding the Islamic culture of where she was living at that moment in time. The Loy household echoed to a diverse collection of music: Dad belting out Pink Floyd and The Beatles while Mum was more Disney and Michael Jackson. "It's my Mum I have to thank for forcing me at the age of four to learn the piano," she says. "It taught me the importance of key change and pitch, which proved invaluable to me." From a forced introduction, Dara developed a passionate relationship with the piano, studying it to the Royal School of Music's grade 8. That commitment is now paying off. Each time she is given a new piece of music she sits at the piano to get a feel for the composition and her personal interpretation. Dara had her first culture shock at aged 11 when the family moved from Saudi Arabia to her Dad's native Blackpool in the UK. Having been an American International School student, she was now school girl at a British state school. In theory, everyone spoke English but in fact divided by two very different accents: Dara with her strong American accent and all the other kids with their strong northern British accent. Neither could immediately understand what the other was saying. It was an uncomfortable first week. When one said something, the other would think: "What did you say?" "It didn't help my street cred that I was studious, geeky, and wore glasses," says Dara. She had since had laser eye surgery and dont need them. The first year Dara entered the school's talent show, she chose a Christina Aquilar number. The moment she picked up the mic, the cable dropped to the floor. That didn't fluster her. Performer-mode kicked in and she belted it out unaided. That year she came second. The following year she not only won the school's talent show but also ITV's "Copycat Kids" "I chose to sing Alicia Key's 'Fallin'," says Dara. "The song was freshly released and Keys was the American performer who impressed me the most and who I aspired to be. Winning "Copycat Kids" showed me the potential I could have as a performer. I entered the competition for the music. Winning it wasn't a motivation for increasing my street cred at school, but it did give this geek a new found respect."

Her mum was well-anchored. She gave her support for Dara's musical interest but it was conditional that she had a good education, which meant getting a degree. The challenge was deciding what to study at university, should it music or business. With A levels in art, English language, music, and film studies, she chose business after careful consideration; a course with a marketing focus that would be useful in the future. "Even when I was studying I was still performing," she says. "That's where my heart is, business is where my head is." Four years ago Dara moved to Thailand speaking only the very basic Thai that her mum had taught her while on holiday here. Looking across at Dara, cascading curled blond hair, nails that were a work of art, temporary lip tattoos and four inch heels, I discovered a side of Dara I wasn't expecting, the extreme sports presenter. Never judge a book by its cover. Despite language limitations she became an extreme sports presenter part of a team of four girls who were taught then practiced individual extreme sports. "I do like the great outdoors,"she says, "I saw this as an opportunity to improve my Thai and have fun. "My most embarrassing moment was while I was learning to kite surf, I lifted up into the air crashed down into to cameraman and coming out of the water still laughing. It was goo fun and luckily no damage done. I did say sorry to my cameraman, but he was okay." Fate brought Dara and her musical partners together. Having waited for hours at a casting and running late for date, she was on the point of leaving when the girl sitting next to her mentioned almost in passing that someone she knew was looking for a singer. She wrote down the details, left, and was still on time for her date. A few days later she had a casual meeting with the guys in Starbuck, the start of the next step of this musical journey.

November 2012 | 47


lifestyle

Birth of A Song: DJ Ash and Akash:

"Ash and I were going to a movie and I had just bought some popcorn," says Akash, "It was then he told me he was going into music production and could we collaborate together. We had created three to four songs but shelved them but shelved them when we couldn't find the right singer. That's what temporarily stalled the process." It was their coincidental meeting with Dara that jumpstarted their musical vision. She was uniquely different to other singers they had interviewed. What she had was a higher level of professionalism and musical knowledge. "What won us over was she sounds like Whitney and has untameable enthusiasm. "Before I write a piece of music I will already have a vision in my head of the type of vocals I am looking for,"says DJ Ash, Bangkok's No.1 Bollywood DJ. "Having written the music, I call Akash to listen to it, and he comes up with his idea. The genre of today's music is mood and feelings, an inspirational message that people can relate to. We have an uncanny synergery and habit of finishing each other's sentences, which makes working together both natural and fun." "My thought process for 'Love Today' is in the present." he explains. "One day I was traveling on the skytrain and saw a lady wearing a big hat. instantly I saw Dara wearing it on the beach. Not an object of value, a mere object; a symbol of how happy she is with her life." When the guys handed 'Love Today' to Dara, she wasn't just looking for the words and musical notes but also stage direction in the emotions they had envisaged for her performance. She then applies her music theory to give it her twist, the guys are open to change. The result is a synergy of three musical talents, an infused cross-cultural musical experience." "The guys sometimes want specific words to be delivered with a quirky sound," Dara chirps in. "Delivering exactly what they envision can be difficult, it can take days or hours to get it right, but in the end we do. I am a typical Virgo. Being a perfectionist is part of my DNA. Being passionate is a admirable but it has the potential to frustrate the creative process. This song is my message I wanted to present it as if I were making a declaration in Church before God." Never prepared to sit back on their laurels, they are currently working on a dance club version of 'Love Today,' which they aim to spread to every club in the city. They are already working on a second track that they will be taking into the studio very soon. Their longer term goal is to produce Dara's first album with each song having a different theme and feel. What they are aiming for is an international sound with a multi-cultural twist. Facebook has been instrumental in spreading the word with each of them posting on their personal pages. Drawing on Dara's dual Thai/British ethnicity, they are first targeting the local market and when they feel the time is right, getting it played in the UK. This is the dawn of a new musical partnership, the trinity of the singer, the songwriter, and the lyricist. Judging by the initial response of 'Love Today,' this is just the start with many more amazing sounds to follow. To hear 'Love Today' simply go to You Tube and search Dara Loy, Love Today to watch and listen to her amazing performance the product of three musical talents. ď Ž

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Lookeast | lifestyle


November 2012 | 49


lifestyle

personality Top Homeopathic Healer

One of the world’s topmost homeopathic doctors, Dr. Rajan Sankaran, will be in Bangkok this month to talk about his pathbreaking concepts in the healing science of homeopathy. He will be accompanied by his colleague, another renowned homeopath, Dr. Baldota

H

omeopathy is a holistic form of alternative and complementary medicine that is gaining popularity all around the world. Homeopathic treatment intends to treat the whole person rather than just the symptoms, and works on the idea that the body and mind are so solidly connected that long-term treatment needs an understanding of the patient’s disposition and constitution. While modern medicine has made tremendous strides in the management of symptoms and organ pathology, alternative and complementary medicine such as homoeopathy offers a holistic view and treatment of the patient. These two streams of medicine can complement each other, provided each one is fully aware of what the other has to offer. This month, one of the world’s topmost homeopathic doctors, Dr. Rajan Sankaran (MD Hom, FSHom), will be in Bangkok to give talks on the subject. Dr. Sankaran is an internationally renowned thinker, teacher, and writer of the homoeopathic system of medicine. He is reputed to be a clear and original thinker and is best known for his pathbreaking concepts in homoeopathy. In this upcoming talk, Dr. Sankaran will be showing video recorded cases along with photographs demonstrating clinical evidence of the effectiveness of homoeopathy in pathological cases. He will also demonstrate through these cases the conceptual basis of homoeopathy. The cases which will be of much interest to any medical practitioner include cases of autoimmune hepatitis, orbital hemangioma, osteolysis of bone, severe molluscum in an HIV child, steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome, chronic renal failure, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, transverse myelitis, cardiomyopathy, and Kostmann’s syndrome. Besides individual case studies Dr. Sankaran will show the application of homeopathy in clinical trials in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, autism and malaria, and prophylaxis in leptospirosis. This talk is expected to be an eye-opener, and hopes to raise awareness in the possibility that modern medicine and homoeopathy practitioners can work together in the best interest of the patient. With more than 30 years of experience in practice and teaching, he has contributed to the evolution of the practice of homoeopathy while maintaining the foundational grounds. Dr. Sankaran shook the medical world with his first book, ‘The Spirit of Homoeopathy,” where he presented the concept that disease originates from a false perception of reality (delusion). This book had since been translated into 15 languages.

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Lookeast | lifestyle


Then, he categorized the different perceptions of reality into plant, animal, and mineral types, in another book, ‘The Substance of Homeopathy.” Later he discovered that our experience can exist on one of seven levels, beginning with the name and facts of a phenomenon and culminating in its sensory and energy experience. His book, ‘The Sensation in Homoeopathy,’ describes the process of case-taking by following the energetic lead of the patient to increasingly deeper levels of experience to uncover the underlying sensory one which is the basis of the patient’s individuality and self- expression. This method has revolutionized the practice of homoeopathy and is considered as the cutting-edge in the field. Dr. Sankaran and his colleagues soon realized the ideas that they use in their practice are not restricted to homoeopathy but are in fact universal in application. This led him to write his latest book, ‘The Other Song – Discovering Your Parallel Self,” where he shares his findings with the world outside of homoeopathy. Dr.Sankaran lives and practices in the Juhu area of Mumbai, India, and teaches worldwide. His lucid style and simplicity has made him very popular as a teacher among homoeopaths worldwide. His seminars, workshops and teaching courses have been widely attended in India and abroad. Sine 1986, he has been giving lectures in several countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, and U.S.A. He counts among his students some of the wellknown teachers of homeopathy and heads of several homeopathic schools and colleges, and his books are included in the syllabii and recommended reading in several colleges and courses. Along with his colleagues he founded The Homoeopathic Research and Charities, which is an Institution involved in various teaching courses. He has been awarded a Fellowship of the Society of Homeopaths (U.K.). Dr. Sankaran will be accompanied in his Bangkok trip by his colleague, Dr. Sudhir Baldota. They will speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand at dinner on Nov. 5; at Bumrungrad Hospital’s Wellness Center on Nov.6 (11.30 am.); at the India-Thai Chamber of Commerce on the evening of Nov. 6; and at the Soroptimist International Club of Bangkok’s lunch meeting at the Grand Hyatt Erawan on Nov 7. For more details on these talks, call Asha Sehgal at 081 837-6179. For details of Dr. Sankaran and his homeopathy practice, visit www. rajansankaran.com; www.sankaransclinic.com, www.onlinehmp. com E-mail : info@sankaransclinic.com 

'Dr. Sankaran shook the medical world with his first book, ‘The Spirit of Homoeopathy,” where he presented the concept that disease originates from a false perception of reality (delusion). This book had since been translated into 15 languages.'

November 2012 | 51


lifestyle

special feature Top 10 Reasons to Hold Your Next MICE Event in Thailand By Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, www.travel-impact-newswire.com

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n May 2012, Thailand hosted 38,000 Rotary International club members for their annual convention. Said to be the largest turnout in the history of Rotary International, and the largest convention ever held in Thailand, it was also a major triumph for the entire Thai MICE (the acronym for Meetings, Conventions, Incentives and Exhibitions) industry, which has grown significantly over the years on the back of the economic boom in Thailand, the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries and Asia at large. The two main bodies responsible for promoting and supporting Thailand’s MICE industry are the Thailand

Conventions & Exhibitions Bureau (TCEB, www.tceb.or.th/) and the Thailand & Convention Association (TICA, www. tica.or.th/). As 2013 has been declared the “Year of MICE”, the two organisations offer 10 major reasons why Thailand should be a Lookeast reader’s next destination for holding an event (or attending an existing event). Yes, everyone knows that Thailand is famous for friendly people, great service standards, superb hospitality, excellent infrastructure and awesome food, but that’s only touching the surface. Here are 10 very practical reasons:

Centara Grand @Central World

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Lookeast | lifestyle


1. Easy access: Thailand now gives visa-free and/or visa-on-arrival facilities to 76 countries and territories. This circumvents the problem faced by citizens of many countries who have to go through arduous visa application processes. Even for the countries whose citizens do need visas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed Thai diplomatic missions abroad to clear applications within two working days. Further information: www.mfa.go.th. 2. Excellent airline links:

According to the Airports of Thailand, Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport, the country’s main international gateway, is now served by more than 80 scheduled airlines from 116 cities worldwide. Other airports such as Phuket are also getting more direct access from abroad. Along with visa-free access, the superb aviation linkages make it that much easier for MICE events to attract more participation.

3. Great hotels: Not every MICE

delegate is on an all-expenses-paid junket. Many are coming on their own account and need more spartan lodging. Thailand’s range of accommodation cuts across all denominations, from two-star lodges to six-star luxury. In Bangkok, most accommodation is close to the stations of the public mass-transit systems and thus easily accessible. Availability of such accommodation can go a long way toward making MICE events more broad-based and enhance attendance.

4. Superb convention and exhibition centers: Thailand boasts

no shortage of world-class convention and exhibition space both in Bangkok and in other popular destinations such as Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai. By far the biggest is the Impact Muang Thong Thani followed by the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center. There are several more nationwide.

5. Superb pre- and postconference tours: Nearly all major

MICE events are accompanied by a range of tours both within the host city as well as within Thailand. In recent years, this range of tours has expanded to include the neighbouring countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, especially Myanmar, which has now become relatively much easier for tourists to visit. Three of the world’s most fabulous temple complexes, the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok, Shwedagon in Yangon and Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, are once-in-alifetime experiences, all within easy reach of each other.

6. Excellent range of local speakers: One rarely highlighted asset

of the Thai MICE industry is that events can always draw upon a huge reservoir of powerful speakers to liven up their proceedings. Thailand’s status as a open and free democracy has made it a center for debate and discussion across a diverse range of perspectives and professional expertise. These range from United Nations experts to academics to nongovernmental organizations to diplomats and top thinkers and businessmen. Sourcing speakers locally also helps cut costs for events organizers and helps participants broaden their minds.

7. Great for spouses: A MICE

event is also usually an opportunity for an accompanying family member to come along. Regardless of whether that person is male or female, there is no shortage of activities to keep him/her occupied – a day at the golf course, a lesson in Thai cooking or Thai massage, a relaxing day at the spa, a quick medical check-up, a walk through Chinatown or a cruise down the Chao Phraya, the River of Kings.

8. Value for money: Although the Thai baht has strengthened against some of the global currencies, Thailand remains an affordable destination. Basic necessities such as eating and transportation remain remarkably good value in any currency. In addition, the VAT refund scheme, events like the Grand Sale in July-August and shopping discounts by department stores offer additional value. 9. Professional services and support: Every MICE event depends

on high-impact opening and closing ceremonies, and excellent support systems to deliver infrastructure services such as meet-and-greet, registration, and transport. All are at five-star capability in Thailand. Opening and closing ceremonies especially have become formidable works of art, combining the best of East and West music and dance.

10. Shopping: This is one of the all-time pleasures of holding/attending a MICE event in Thailand. Nobody wants to remain stuck in meetings. There are always things to buy for families and friends, especially for special occasions. The range of products – from branded goods to village-made handicrafts, ensures that there is always something available for someone, without having to look too hard. This list could go on for another 10 points or more. But it should be good enough to make anyone seriously consider bringing their next event to Thailand, or attending many of the trade fairs and public exhibitions ongoing at any given time. The TCEB and TICA websites listed here are good starting points for this journey. Organizers of big-ticket events may also find it useful to know that TCEB offers various forms of subsidy support to offset costs. Applicants will just have to make sure they have a really strong case to qualify for it. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. 

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lifestyle

good to know The Basics of Doing Business in Thailand By Voralak Suwanvanichkij

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s a foreigner, doing business in Thailand can be fraught with hurdles and pitfalls. Armed with the necessary information, however, it is possible to achieve success in one’s venture. Here is what one should know before jumping into the Thai business arena.

Getting Started

As in most countries, there are three major forms of business organization in Thailand: sole proprietorships, partnerships, and limited companies. According to the Kingdom’s Board of Investment (BOI), the most popular form of business organization among foreign investors is the private limited company. To start, this requires a minimum of three promoters or initial shareholders. “Overall, is isn’t that difficult for foreigners to do business in Thailand,” says Alessandro Tosato, a Foreign Business Advisor at Sunbelt Asia Co., Ltd., a comprehensive commercial and legal advisory practice in Bangkok. “There are not many restrictions on the types of businesses foreigners may do, and there are many firms that can help navigate the system.” In most cases, “the company must be majority owned, at least 51%, by Thais in terms of its shareholders, including companies or physical persons. This means that the company can be no more that 49% foreign owned. This is one of the more serious issues for the largest number of foreigners; it is where many disputes later arise when relationships with the Thai party sour, leading to the sale or demise of the business,” Alessandro explains. Also, “a minimum of two million baht capital requirement applies in this case,” he says, adding that there are exceptions to the rule of majority foreign ownership. The latter requires an Alien Business License from the Ministry of Commerce that is usually granted with the blessings of the BOI on the basis of significant investment, employment of a large number of Thais, and/or transfer of highly desired technology.

Registration Process

The first step in the registration process is the application for permission to use a unique company name, followed by the filing of a Memorandum of Association (requiring the company name, location, capital registered, business objectives, and promoters); and convening of a statutory meeting, where division and type of shares (preferred/common) are specified, any contracts are ratified, directors are officially appointed, at least 25% of the total shares are paid by the shareholders, and Articles of Association are announced. The company is then registered as a legal entity (juristic person) within 90 days of the statutory meeting, and a company income tax identity card is issued. During the registration process, the promoters will be required to supply the name, license number, and remuneration of the auditor (who must be a Certified Public Accountant) the company is planning to hire. The company is also required to pay the registration fee of 500 baht per 100,000 baht of registered capital. If the necessary documents are complete and duly signed by all involved parties, registration can be completed in a single day. Keep in mind, however, that rules, instructions, and forms are all in Thai.

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GM

Servi ced Apart me n t Basic Rules and Regulations

The Thai legal system in regards to companies and their tax liabilities is similar to some systems seen in the West. A balance sheet must be prepared and filed annually with the Department of Revenue and Commercial Registration. Accounting procedures must conform to the rules specified in the Civil and Commercial Code, the Revenue Code, and the Accounts Act. Accounting and auditing within the company can be performed in English. However, the standard forms submitted to the Thai government are in Thai, and other reports must be translated into Thai. The company is also required to withhold income tax from the salary of all regular employees. In terms of fulltime employment, the company must typically maintain a 4:1 ratio of Thai to foreign staff. “You cannot bring in all your foreign employees after starting a company. The number of foreign work permits granted depends on a number of factors: how many Thai staff you employ, the registered capital [2 million baht of registered capital per work permit], and the strength or influence of your business in other ways,” says Alessandro. “Another law to be aware of whenever foreigners are attempting to do business in Thailand is the Foreign Business Act B.E. 2542 [1999],” says Alessandro. This law sets the basic guidelines as to the industries that foreigners can work and/or invest in, and “there are exceptions in certain cases and it is worth reading before engaging in business in Thailand.” Depending on the business, there are also specific acts governing operations and providing for certain safeguards. For example, the Ministry of Industry administers the Factory Act, which covers factory construction, operation, and licensing, as well as safety and pollution-control requirements. Other examples are the Copyright Act, Patent Act, and Trademark Act that afford protections on all types of intellectual property. “There are other acts that apply to foreigners such as those requiring a specific type of visa or work permit,” adds Alessandro.

All the comforts

of home and more

Caveats

“There are risks involved for every kind of business. Most of the serious problems are from those inexperienced in doing business, or those who don’t have trustworthy business partners,” cautions Alessandro. “It all comes down to the basic principals of business – your successes or headaches will largely depend on the market for your product of services, your research and information, the licenses required, your partners and staff, and your ability to get around unexpected problems.” What are some of the biggest challenges for foreigners? “Well, there are quite a few concerns about official harassment, extortion, and other issues that are under the surface of the system, where the word of law may or may not mean anything. But as in any other country, you have to plan for this. It’s a normal part of doing business,” he explains. As for a good place to start for those interested in (and not deterred by) going into business in Thailand, “Sunbelt has a comprehensive listing of businesses for sale on our website. We also offer advice, legal assistance, and brokerage services for people anywhere in the country. Talk to us, talk to others, meet people – you never know where it will lead, and that part of the fun of doing business.” 

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 November 2012 | 55


lifestyle

stylish traveler Resort Chic

Casual, Chic, Cool… Tips on Achieving a YearRound Effortless Holiday Style

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By Voralak Suwanvanichkij

n the tropics, every season is beach season (lucky us!). But should one require a yearround effortless style, turn to the fashion runway for the latest trends for fun in the sun, from sailing the high seas to looking cool by the pool. Here’s the rundown on 2012’s hottest trends and how to wear them.

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Go Bright, Go Bold

On the whole, bright and bold is the message on the Spring/ Summer 2012 runways, especially when it comes to swimwear. Color blocking, the technique where blocks of various fabrics are sewn together to create clothing with a few different solid colors, appears frequently in various designer collections, providing sunny splashes of color to the tropical landscape. Modern shapes, vivid prints, sporty motifs, and nautical stripes are also in. Florals have also made a big splash, creating a look that is the essence of tropical glamour, and subtle Asian prints offer a rich and luxurious take on the eastern theme. La Perla, the world’s leading creator of luxurious and fashionable lingerie, nightwear, and swimwear, epitomizes these trends. Inspired by the energetic colors and geometric symmetry of artists such as Andy Warhol and Piet Mondrian respectively, La Perla’s Spring/Summer 2012 swimwear collection features large psychedelic flowers and primary squares with black lines. The collection is available at La Perla boutiques in Bangkok’s The Emporium Mall and Gaysorn Plaza.


Also, prints are going crazy this season, with basic bikinis vamped up by a mix of prints on the same piece. In addition to florals, tribal, animal, and geometric prints have made an appearance on the runway. From python scales and leopard spots to stripes and kaleidoscopic zigzags, designers have thoughtfully chosen patterns to mix and match, selecting complementary color palettes or themes to create a coherent design.

All that Glitters

Fabrics for swimwear are becoming more versatile; and this is apparent in designers’ penchant for metallic fabric, including shimmering panels, and metal hardware. Metallic swimwear in a shockingly bright color makes a bold statement, adding to the wow factor. A more subtle silver or gold shimmer will complement all skin tones, from a sun-kissed glow to beautiful bronzed skin. Shiny material such as sateen is also often used, as both the main swimsuit material and trim. Sequins are also everywhere, appearing in all colors and complemented with beading, crystals, and embroidery. Sparkling studs afford a bit of edgy glamour - a sure hit at the beach or by the pool this year.

For all Shapes and Sizes

One-piece swimsuits have been steadily making their way back onto the swimwear scene for the last few years. There are many figure flattering benefits of wearing a one-piece, and they are thus suitable for all body types. For example, the one-piece can create the illusion of a longer torso and better define the waistline to give the appearance of a flatter, firmer stomach. They are also highly versatile: new sculptural styles with cut out details or statement straps appeal to the fashion conscious wearer, while the modesty of more traditional (and covered) suits appeal to the shyer set. Women also have their choices of halters, low backs, one-shoulder, and strapless versions. La Perla also features swimwear designed in conjunction with Jean Paul Gaultier; such one-pieces reflect the designer’s penchant for daring corsets and lace-ups. While the timeless barely-there string bikinis remain a staple, many designers have paid tribute to and modernized the 1950's style swimsuit, resulting in classic and high waisted bikini styles. These functional pieces are made for lounging around the pool, evoking an era of unencumbered living with a hint of retro glamour. The high cut of this style makes legs appear longer and waists smaller. It can be tricky to pull off for those who are curvier around the hips and bottom, however, as the high waist can emphasize a fuller figure. Such high-waisted bottoms are often accompanied by a more structured top with bra cups and underwire, creating an ultrafeminine silhouette. They also pair nicely with a bandeau bustier top. Keep in mind that bandeau bikinis generally suit women with small breasts, as support is not their strong suit. While this is a hot

Last May, Hansar Samui launched its own collection of beach wear (shown on these pages), which consisted of 10 different styles of beach dresses and caftans to fit all sizes. Designed by the general manager, Indra Budiman, they can be worn over bathing suits around the pool or throughout the resort. The beach dresses are made of floaty silk crepes and cottons in a variety of colors and ranges from Bt1,400 to Bt2,000. Photos by Hansar Samui.

trend, they do not work for everyone, and may have disastrous consequences. Another feature that requires some caution includes ruffles. They have been everywhere on the runway, adding a touch of sweetness and innocence. But for those who want to look slimmer, ruffles are to be avoided at all cost, as they draw attention to the hip area. The rule of thumb for great swimsuit style is that body shape should always be taken into consideration and there will be a style that better suits certain body types than others. Also, the swimwear color, pattern, and form should also be reminiscent of the wearer’s personality!

Covering Up

Cover up beside the pool or beach with a choice of funky kaftans, maxi dresses, printed sundresses, crochet dresses, light cotton shifts, cotton pants or shorts. These items help protect one’s skin from the harsh rays of the afternoon sun, as well as keep the wearer looking casual and chic. One favorite is the billowy La Perla cover-up made of satin with contrast trim. With a boat neckline and wide three-quarter sleeves slit from the shoulders, this light garment hits above knee, adding instant luxe to any resort ensemble. Outside of swimwear and cover-ups, the resort chic looks encompass light neutrals. Lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as sheer and natural cotton and linen, are ideal. These can be paired with bright, sunny colors. Khaki, shades of white and ivory with sea foam, orange, fuchsia, and azure look great by the shimmering sea. The glam factor is be augmented by accessories such as large cuffs, a cocktail ring, or more demure gold jewelry. Worn with simple cotton clothing, accessories can instantly create a more polished, sophisticated look. An easy wedge, flat sandal, or leather flip-flops completes the effortless look. 

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lifestyle

spa for kids

For the Little Ones

Spas have long given babies and toddlers the cold shoulder; after all, the whole spa experience is about relaxation and solitude. My BeBe Spa, however, is set to change that perception by offering Bangkok’s littlest residents a haven of their own By Voralak Suwanvanichkij

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ocated in the Mille Malle community mall on Sukhumvit Soi 20, My BeBe Spa is a warm, tranquil space decked in bright, cheerful hues. Its menu of offerings is impressive, from infant massages and swimming to baby haircuts and pre-scheduled playdates. “In a world of increasing specialization, we bring to Thailand the concept of a comprehensive spa for babies and young children, a haven for every mother’s bebe,” says Pavan Narula, managing director of My BeBe Spa. She further explains that My BeBe Spa is a place to bond with one’s baby in a relaxed environment. Not only does the baby get special soothing treatment or pampering, mothers also get a break from the often-daunting experience of motherhood. Infant swimming for babies up to 24 months in age is one of My BeBe Spa’s choice offerings. As babies have a natural affinity with water, having spent nine months in their mothers’ womb, “they take to the feeling of floating in warm water. Our individual warmwater spa tubs resemble the intrauterine environment that the baby instantly recognizes,” says Pavan. The baby is equipped with a float that is especially designed to go around the neck, ensuring that the head is safely kept out of the water and the baby enjoys a full range of movement.


Aside from the comforting sensation, the tubs provide hydrotherapy benefits to newborns in strengthening development of the brain, respiratory and digestive systems. Research has also shown that infant swimming fosters a growing sense of selfesteem, confidence, and independence. Babies can literally test the water. “A newcomer should start with 15 minutes and slowly build up the time in our pool to half an hour,” suggests Pavan. Regular visits are welcome. Some mothers have found that infant swimming improves a tot’s appetite and helps with sleep. Another popular offering is baby massage by trained certified specialists. A regular nurturing touch aids relaxation and sleep, relieves wind and colic, and promotes healthy development along with physical and mental wellbeing. My BeBe Spa only uses gentle, vegetable-based oils, and encourages parents to learn infant massage techniques from the therapists in order to regularly massage their babies at home. The baby salon is a thoughtful touch, providing a service for the mother who would like to hold her child during his or her first haircut; this even includes keepsake snippets of hair. Those with active toddlers will appreciate the car-shaped entertainer seat that

keeps kids somewhat still while they get groomed. Kid spa services also include massage for toddlers to older kids in a private space; body scrubs using specially formulated homemade scrubs followed by an oat bath soak; and natural facials. Girls will especially enjoy the nail salon, replete with a pedicure pit and manicure station. Little nails are soaked and then gently filed and shaped before the application of organic massage creams. The final and fun touch is in choosing a non-toxic polish from a variety of colors. “Come individually or in groups,” invites Pavan. “In addition to doing nails, we can schedule playdates for up to five babies for spa tub fun.” My BeBe Spa also houses a retail shop that offers unique baby clothing, accessories, and development enhancing toys. Understanding the sometime unpredictable temperament of infants and young kids, My BeBe Spa is flexible and works with parents to give their children the best treatments that afford healthy development in the most effortless and enjoyable way. “Our specially trained staff will provide each child with a rich experience while focusing on exceeding parents expectation by being child-paced and baby friendly. Come see what a difference a little TLC at the spa can do,” says Pavan.  November 2012 | 61


lifestyle

spa offers Secret Charm Get a free onehour "Secret Charm Rich Body Scrub" or a one-hour "Secret Charm Silky Hair Treatment" with your two-hour Signature Massage from now until Dec. 31 only at Oasis Spas around Thailand. Created from naturally effective ingredients, and proven by over-centuries of use, the Secret Charm product line offers modern women the beauty secrets of the most alluring ladies of ancient Siam. These advanced spa therapy products contain ingredients such as Golden Silk Cocoon and Sal Butter and infused with aromatherapy scents to promote health, purification, love, relaxation, and peace. Try them at Oasis Spas and take them home for spa-like results. For more information visit the Oasis Spa locations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket

Body Massage Oil Candle The uplifting aroma and the gentle warmth of the Vie Body Massage Oil Candle soothe tired muscles, leaves your skin wonderfully soft, and your body refreshed. Other therapeutic benefits include a reduction of stretch marks especially after pregnancy, the reduction of scarring and wrinkles, improved skin elasticity, restoration of sun-damaged skin and regeneration of skin cells. The 60-minute "VIE Body Massage Oil Candle" is priced at Bt2,400 net; Bt2,700 net for 90 minutes. VIE Spa is on the 10th floor of VIE Hotel Bangkok (BTS Ratchathewi). For more information and reservation, call 02-309-3939

Antidote Revival The Antidote Spa on the 7th floor of Grand Millennium Sukhumvit has just introduced a new signature treatment – “Antidote Revival Experience,” which combines European aromatherapy with traditional Thai massage provided by professionally trained therapists. The 90-minute treatment, described as a unique solution to relieve deepseated tension and muscular stress, is priced at Bt3,400++. For more information and reservations, call 02 204-4144

Centara opens new Cense by Spa Cenvaree value brand at 3 hotels Centara Hotels & Resorts is rebranding three existing spas under its new Cense by Spa Cenvaree brand, which is now being rolled out at selected properties. Rebranding of the spas at two of the properties, Centara Hotel Hat Yai, and Away Suansawan Chiang Mai, which is part of the Centara Boutique Collection, has already been completed, while the third, at Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui, will be completed by the end of November. Cense by Spa Cenvaree was launched earlier this year as a spa concept that focuses on essential treatments for guests who do not require full spa facilities. Cense by Spa Cenvaree at Centara Hotel Hat Yai features seven treatment rooms, while that at Away Suansawan Chiang Mai has six treatment rooms, an herbal steam room, Jacuzzi and sauna. The spa at Centra Coconut Beach Samui will feature two couple rooms, a Thai massage room, and a foot massage pavilion. All three feature the Cense by Spa Cenvaree core menu of spa treatments, which offers a selection of body massages, body scrubs and facial therapies, ranging in duration from 45 to 90 minutes, together with a choice of packages that combine treatments and which are a maximum of 120 minutes in duration. Centara is now in the process of preparing the next three Cense by Spa Cenvaree spas, with Centara Hotel & Convention Center Khon Kaen due to open later this year, and Centara Watergate Pavilion Hotel Bangkok and Centra Central Station Bangkok in 2013.

Oriental Fusion Massage From now until Dec. 31, Quan Spa, Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel, presents the “Oriental Fusion Massage,” which offers harmony between the methods of East and West. A strong and intense treatment it claims the mind and relieves body aches. Enjoy 90-minute massage for the price of Bt2,500++. or more details and reservations, call 02-125-5100 or 02-125-5000, ext. 8880

Treatments for Men The Peninsula Spa at The Peninsula Bangkok has created a new treatment program designed especially for today’s men. The “Total Rejuvenation for Men” program, available until Feb. 28, 2013, is prices at Bt3,700++ per person. The 150-minute experiencesincludes a 90-minute Swedish massage, 30-minute full body exfoliation, and 30-minute hand and foot paraffin soak. For more information and reservations, call 02-626-1946.

Authentic Hammam Treat Sherazade Hammam & Spa introduces the Moroccan beauty spa package “Authentic Hammam Treat for Spa Lovers” at Villa Maroc Resort in Pranburi. Pamper yourself with the relaxing 90-minute spa package at Bt2,500 net per person. Starting with a 30-minute Moroccan and then 60 minutes of your preferred choice of full body relaxing massage or soothing your skins with ‘Cooling Body Gel’ for 50 minutes and Mini Organic Facial for 10 minutes, the “Authentic Hammam Treat for Spa Lovers” package is available from now until Nov. 30 only. For more information, call 032-630-771 or e-mail: spa@ villamarocresort.com.

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Neva Pampering Treat yourself to a fantastic spa program billed as “Four Elements,” provided by professional massage therapists. Relax your body completely and relieve all those aches and pains with this customized course, designed according to your birth-month, for only Bt1,699 (normal price Bt3,060) for one-hour and extra 30 minutes pampering. As special bonus enjoy an “Aromatic Facial” treatment on the same day at the special price of just Bt1,000 (normal price Bt2,590). Make a reservation two hours in advance for both treatments to receive a free extra 30 minutes of Body Exfoliating treatment (valued at Bt1,400) in this luxurious package priced at only Bt2,699. For more details, call 02 262-1234.


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We are located directly across the Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok. Just ask the staff for directions. 117-121 New Rd., Bangrak 44 (Beside Shangri-La Hotel), Bangkok 10500, Thailand. Tel: +662 237 3229, +662 237 3216 Fax: +662 236 4459 Mobile: +668 1837 9807 E-mail: ts@alexsfashion.com/ alex@alexsfashion.com Visit us at http://www.alexsfasion.com


wine & dine

hot tables

Dumplings Divine

The darling of dumpling lovers that has recently opened at CentralWorld, Din Tai Fung, lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s top restaurants By Percy roxas

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alk about humble beginnings, and the Taiwan-originated Din Tai Fung – now in Thailand -- easily comes to mind. The story of how this legend in Asian dining was born seems to have come straight from an Asian boobtube melodrama: from the founder Bingyi Yang’s birth in Shanxi province (China) to his eventual move to Taiwan at age 21, and work as a delivery man with Heng Tai Fung; from his opening of a small cooking oil business, which he called Din Tai Fung in gratitude for his first work in Taiwan and “Din Mei Oils” and its subsequent transformation into a humble dumpling stall in Taipei, to how his signature delicacy xiao long bao made his business an internationally successful enterprise that continues to capture the hearts and stomachs of people from around the globe. Din Tai Fung today, with branches in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, the UK, the U.S and Australia, continues to change the way diners perceive Chinese dumplings, even raising the bar in several culinary hubs where they happen to open. Known primarily for delicate steamed pork dumplings (xiao long bao), it was ranked by The New York Times as one of the world’s top 10 restaurants in 1993, among the many awards it has garnered through the years.

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In just 10 months in Bangkok, its divine dumplings and other delicacies known for their exquisite quality and high standards lived up to its founder’s legendary legacy. What makes Din Tai Fung different from the usual dumpling houses that are a dime-a-dozen in Bangkok? A visit to the restaurant on the 7th floor of CentralWorld Shopping Center gives us the answer. Din Tai Fung is no ordinary dumpling (dim sum is a word the restaurant seems to avoid) eatery indeed. First, of course, is the obvious attention on how to make sure that the restaurant, while set in a shopping mall, doesn’t look like a fast-food joint or something to that effect. The corner location was deliberate, with lots of natural light flowing through glass inside a classy dining area with a very embracing friendly vibe. You can just sit here for hours while your friend goes on a shopping splurge and you absorb “the world’s tastiest dumplings ever,” as world-renowned chef Ken Hom once described it. But that’s secondary to the art of dumpling dining that Din Tai Fung presents. We are amazed in fact, that there is even such an art to eating dumplings, naïve as that might sound. I guess we have considered dumpling (or dim sum to others) as common and natural


Hot Tables dining trends

restaura cafe

to Asians as breathing. Of course we were wrong. Every Din Tai Fung dumpling, we are to learn later, has a signature point of reference. For example, each of the signature dumpling xiao long bao is delicately handmade to measure between precisely – yes, precisely – 4.8 and 5.2 grams at conception, with an exact 6cm diameter before being stuffed to weigh between 20.6 and 21.4 grams. Even the pouring of sauces – black vinegar and soy sauce with ginger – must be measured, and controlled for consistency of blend, if you are to really enjoy the experience of the eating at Din Tai Fung. Such scientific precision and quality control, says Palyn Konlachak, assistant brand manager of the restaurant, makes Din Tai Fung stands out from the rest. (I’m one for instinctive rather than scientific but this – consistent quality and taste -- works for me.) Consistency – in offering the best in service, quality and gourmet food – is the operative word here. To achieve this, a team of experts is stationed at any Din Tai Fung branch and Bangkok has two. All members of the team undergo rigorous training with master chefs in Taiwan to ensure food preparation and hygiene standards are maintained and observed. Continuing training is conducted as well to make sure quality control is upheld. “The art of making xiao long bao is a delicate process,” Palyn says. “The flour wrap must be of a certain consistency – too thick and the dumpling is doughy, too thin and it will break easily. Even the soup within cannot be too abundant or too greasy; nor can the meat be overcooked. Each piece of xiao long bao is wrapped in fine – yet firm – translucent skin, and each dumpling has at least 18 exquisite folds. The meat within, steamed to perfection, is plump and juicy to the bite.” And each is made fresh when you order; undergoing a 40-minute process before serving. Of course that is also true whether you order other favorites such as steamed vegetables and pork dumpling, steamed shrimp and pork dumpling, steamed fish dumpling, and even the signature steamed chicken soup and fried rice. The menu is comprehensive indeed and they all look good, you might find it difficult to choose, which one to try. Fortunately, the wait staff can help you decide. There are also small icons to suggest whether an item is spicy or not, or exclusively served in Thailand. New dishes created specifically for the Thai market include the green chili with marinated stuffed minced meat – a clear winner for me; noodle with spicy sesame sauce, noodle with fragrant char-grilled sliced pork, and sliced duck with spring onion pastry. When the signature dish, steamed pork dumpling, arrived, Palyn showed us a proper way to enjoy it. First you lift the dumpling with your chopstick, then dab it a little bit on the sauce, just enough to give it an added zing. Then you “suck” it fast to make sure no juice is wasted before swallowing it to savor each and every bit of flavor as only the best pork, with the right mix of leanness and juiciness, says Palyn, are used. Din Tai Fung wants every guest to enjoy the pure flavor of the food, that even the sauce and condiments may not be necessary at all to add any additional taste. Of course it’s all a matter of personal taste but the signature dumpling was juicy and flavorful – and from the first bite you realize how seriously delicious these dumplings can be indeed. In the words of Ken Hom, again: “Devouring this dumpling is a great experience, with explosion of rich, steaming hot soup oozing onto the groove of your tongue.” The signature chicken soup was another great example of how the Din Tai Fung philosophy of pure, unadulterated taste should be enjoyed in every dish. The soup has that distinct Chinese taste but

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not quite the same: it has a sparkling-clear soup with the chicken meat delicately tender and melt-in-the mouth good, thanks to many hours of meticulous simmering. The fried rice was again amazingly light, with a clean taste, and beats even my favorite crab fried rice. Even the pork chop on top of the fried rice makes your palate tango in increased appetite, appealing even for those conscious of their potential fat content. Again, Palyn tells us that the restaurant has a policy of selecting only the best pork with the right leanness and flavor. Overall, food at Din Tai Fung is light but satisfying. Delicious but healthy – definitely! The atmosphere is quite comfy and even with a full house, you don’t feel crowded as all as the tables are set apart accordingly. Also, there is no apparent pushiness among the wait staff (as in other restaurants) and you can linger in the restaurant as long as you want. Service is quite fast too, not to mention polite and friendly. And for the quality of food, this is definitely good value for money. If you ever wondered before why you have to wait for a queue outside this restaurant – said to be the biggest in Central World– during lunch and dinner, now you know. To say that you are in for a treat at Din Tai Fung is an understatement. The food is wholesomely good; the xiao long bao divine! Even if you’re not a dumpling lover, we suggest trying out this restaurant. The food is good quality yet simple and light, but utterly satisfying. They are easy to love! Contact Details: Din Tai Fung 7th floor, CentralWorld Shopping Center, Rajdamri Road (BTS: Chidlom Station) Tel: 02-646-1282 November 2012 | 65


wine & dine

More Than Just A Soothing Cuppa

With dishes carefully developed and infused with its own select tea blends, TWG Tea Salon & Boutique at The Emporium offers a new fine dining experience in Bangkok. By Percy roxas

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WG Tea Salon & Boutique – the first in Thailand – opened in Bangkok last August. One of the three TWG Tea locations unveiled in Asia this year (along with Tokyo and Manila), the Bangkok branch boasts a unique location – at the ground floor entrance of the city’s premier shopping mall, The Emporium. This distinctive posh location, formerly occupied by a Mandarin Oriental food outlet, is a trademark of all TWG Tea salons, where it fulfills the promise of providing an extraordinary new experience. We first visited the tea salon incognito a few days after its opening, wanting to test TWG’s high reputation, and was surprised to find a queue already (The place can seat 54 only). But were we glad to note that Bangkok finally has a stunning tea salon to enjoy “the illustrious tea traditions around the world infused with a contemporary, epicurean sensibility.” TWG Tea is recognized as the world’s finest tea brand and a leading purveyor of premium tea. Our first visit wasn’t that long, just enough to browse over the tea list, which is eight pages long and probably more than 400 varieties of tea. In fact, we have read somewhere that TWG Tea has conceived over 800 blends of tea and tea-based products, being the tea-innovators that they are. We tried an easy one, one of the famous original blended teas, the Geisha Blossom, which is green tea with the fragrance of mango or peach. We didn’t even tried anything from the patisserie, as at the time we were in a hurry.

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On our next visit, we came with the Lookeast team. Again, the place was reasonably packed considering that it was a Tuesday. This time we were ready to stay as long as possible; we were ready to experience it to the hilt. TWG at The Emporium incorporates three integral elements: a cozy tea salon, a tea boutique featuring hundreds of brightly hued packaged teas and tea accessories, and a takeaway patisserie counter. This is one elegant location, sheltered within a remarkable, especially crafted artisanal glass wall and a lush garden featuring columns of verdant plants and iconic pillars with a treasure trove of objets d’art. The tea salon is decorated with nostalgic furnishing bearing the trademarks of the brand – warm polished wood tables and panels, TWG’s own fine bone china, crisp white linen, and vases of brightly colored exotic plants. The timelessly chic, wood-paneled tea boutique celebrates the voyage of the tea clippers, spiced with elegant samovars, brass weighing scales, Italian marble floors, and hardwood tea counters. The tea boutique’s most impressive feature is an astonishing rotating tea wall, which when turned reveals TWG Tea's signature yellow artisan tea tins filled with 450 of the most celebrated fine harvest and exclusive tea blends in the world. The takeaway patisserie counter carries all the teas served by the salon, packaged in whimsically bright colored containers. Guests can buy the tea and tea blends by weight


All photos by TWG Tea

from 50 grams in sachets or perfectly accessorized in one of TWG Tea’s 45 bespoke tea tins. For our tea tasting, we tried a number of varieties and blends. Teas here by the way, are proposed in all their states: hot or cold or in party colors blended with fresh juices or sparkling wine. Harvests from the most prestigious gardens – India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Africa and other places -- are infused behind the bar according to TWG Tea’s exact rules. First we shared the signature 1837 Black Tea, a unique blend of black tea infused with fruits and flowers from the Bermuda triangle, which leaves a lingering aftertaste of ripe berries, anise, and caramel. Timeless classic, definitely! Then one of my companions tried the Silver Moon Tea, a blend of green teas accented with a grand berry and vanilla bouquet. I can see from his smile how he was enjoying the tea. For me I chose a Chinese yellow tea – said to be the most expensive in the collection – and it had the most amazing taste: delightfully refreshing to say the least, in fact exquisite! We also sampled other tea blends, including a local one blended with tea harvested from the North of Thailand. My two companions also tried some lunch items from the TWG menu – although, strictly speaking, this is not a restaurant – while I went straight for desserts: I chose the mango crumble, which made me almost shout “wow.” It is so rich, creamy and flavorful, I thought of getting an encore. To sweeten the afternoon further, we ordered macaroons, of which TWG Tea Salon & Boutique had eight: Napoleon Tea and Caramel; Moroccan Mint Tea; Camelot Tea & Praline; Earl Grey & Chocolate; Bain de Roses tea; Lemon Bush Tea; and Grand Wedding Tea, Passion Fruit & Coconut --– which as expected brought out the fine flavor of the teas even more. These crispy almond biscuits with a soft center are indeed a memorably unique confection. Of course, as the name suggest, they are infused with tea – as is everything served in the salon, if you look at the menu. (Oh, forget the Lipton dusts kind please.) Indeed while TWG is being advertised as a tea salon and boutique, one of the goals of the management is raise the level of awareness on the delicious pleasures and healthy benefits of the finest tea but also uplift the drinking enjoyment to connoisseur level. TWG tea is meant for more than just a soothing cuppa. Open from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., every day, the salon serves set breakfast, all day dining, lunch and dinner, of course tea time (3-6 p.m.) along with a range of beverages, cocktails, mocktails, wine, and champagne. Bangkok is not exactly famous for gourmet tea culture. But – with TWG Tea Salon & Boutique now here -- that may change soon. Contact Details: TWG Tea Salon & Boutique The Emporium, 622 Sukhumvit Road, (BTS: Phrom Phong) Tel: 02-259-9510

The Twg Tea Story Established in Singapore in celebration of the island’s great history as a trading post for teas, spices, and fine epicurean products, TWG Tea is a luxury concept that incorporates an international distribution network to professionals, unique and original retail outlets, and exquisite tearooms. A veritable tea institution, TWG Tea is passionate about sharing their expertise and has become a point of reference for tea lovers thirsty for knowledge. (TWG stands for The Wellness Group) TWG Tea tasters travel thousands of miles across the globe every year, sampling hundreds of teas in search of the most desirable harvests direct from source gardens. Offering over 800 single estate fine harvest teas and exclusive blends, as well as tea patisseries and other tea infused delicacies, TWG Tea is internationally recognized as a veritable innovator with the creation every season of new varieties of tea in collaboration with the world’s most renowned estates. The TWG Tea team shapes the aesthetic image underpinning all the brand’s products, constantly updating the notion of TWG Tea even as they respect the Asian and European traditions of elegance and beauty on which it is based, now spiced with a touch of sensuality and originality. Offering the world’s greatest harvests and the finest collection of exclusive tea blends, TWG Tea also boasts an exquisite collection of tea accessories. TWG Tea Salons serve signature tea-infused savory dishes and patisseries, and are decorated with nostalgic furnishings, accented by fine bone china, crisp linens and vases of brightly hued exotic blooms. All the TWG Tea Salon’s patisseries are freshly handmade and crafted daily by Executive Pastry Chef Philippe Langlois. November 2012 | 67


wine & dine

Pizza, Sandwiches, and More

diPizza indeed is a great option for pizza (and Italian cuisine in general) in Thonglor By Devi Bajaj

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enny’s balcony in Thonglor is full of wonderful establishments, including House of Beers (HOBS), Mellow Restaurant and Bar and of course Di Vino wine bar. The owner of Di Vino felt the complex was missing authentic Italian food which prompted him to open a pizzeria which he calls di Pizza. Initially the concept was to be a place that only served pizza, but as time passed the owners realized that their customers (half of them were foreigners) only considered pizza enough for a daytime meal but for dinner there were requests for pasta and other dishes as well. Making sure that they cater to customer’s satisfaction, the owners and managers decided to expand their menus to include not only pastas, but salads, soups and bruchettas as well. On to the details of the menu; the most popular pizza is the Pizza diPizza, made with cherry tomatoes, broccocini, basil, rocket, and fresh mascarpone. The cheese melts in your mouth and adds rich flavor to an otherwise very simple dish. Another popular pizza is the Pizza Thong Lo, made with mozzarella and brie (two types of cheese that complement each other very well), porcini mushrooms, rocket, and truffle oil. The ingredients here are all imported yet very fresh, making all dishes absolutely delicious. For pasta the Spaghetti Rock Lobster is wonderful and can be made spicy for those of you who like it hot. Then of course there are the standard choices of Penne Arrabiata and Spachetti with Garlic and Cheese. Other dishes include a rack of lamb, sirloin beef and Italian sausages. Dessert here

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is homemade ice cream, with a variety of flavors from your typical chocolate and vanilla to passion fruit and pistachio; all very creamy and yummy. The décor of this tiny restaurant is simple yet inviting. There are wine glasses and bottles on the walls, with di Pizza tags on the bottles for purchase. There are wines from all over the world but 90 percent of the grapes are Italian. The menus are laminated and conveniently used as placemats. There are about ten tables total (a few outdoors but majority inside) and it seats 38 people. This would be a great place to throw a wine and cheese party considering they have a “Cheese Room” where they do tastings. In this room there is also have a mini store where they sell imported products from Italy including truffle oil, jams, honey, tuna and olives to name a few. They even sell readymade pasta with truffle and/or pesto already in the packaging so when you boil the pasta all you need to do is add some olive oil and you’ll get the taste of fresh truffle and/or pesto (depending on which package you buy)! Open seven days a week, Di Pizza is a great option for pizza (and Italian cuisine in general) in Thonglor! There is a great set lunch menu of Bt290++ inclusive of a salad, pizza/pasta/sandwich, and a tea/coffee, which is very popular with the Japanese housewives. Between lunch and dinner from Monday through Friday they are closed from 2 to 5 p.m. but open again for dinner until midnight. Last order is 11:15 p.m. so when you’re hungry late at night you know where to go. Also, if you don’t feel like going in to the store don’t worry they are soon starting delivery with Food by Phone and Chef XP – there are many options to experience di Pizza, choose one so you don’t miss out!

Contact Details: diPizza Bangkok Penny's Balcony, Thonglor 16, Sukhumvit 55 Bangkok Tel: 02-392-3518

November 2012 | 69


wine & dine

Food is like Art

Mazzaro Boutique & Restaurant is a Thai-Italian eatery where classic selections from Thai and Italian cuisines are the main attractions, but the surprises don’t stop there By Percy roxas

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went to Mazzaro not expecting much. To be honest, before now I didn’t even know it existed. Imagine my surprise when I found out that this restaurant has been open for four years now. Of course, the Bangrak area is not one I commonly associate with great dining experience but personal alibis aside, it’s great in a way to visit a place you don’t know much about beforehand. That leaves your mind open to possibilities and enhances your joy of being surprised. For Mazzaro, probably one of the most underrated Thai-Italian restaurants in town, is full of surprises. Located on the small road leading to Shangri-La Hotel, it is easy to miss the restaurant. For, very much like its owner and manager Rompho "Pin" Phothisoontorn -- a 29-year-old Product Design graduate who later decided he loved cooking more -- Mazzaro is not flashy. Although in fact the restaurant’s frontage looks different from the line of clothes shops that share its building, there is not much to suggest to passersbys that the restaurant promises fine dining. More to the point, it does not instantly blind one with elegance or sophistication. But go inside and you will find a sleek eatery that could have been instant phenomenon in hubs like Thonglor, Langsuan, or elsewhere. The boutique and restaurant – as it calls itself – is divided into four sections: a dark-colored dining room with a lofty ceiling and exposed board walls, a sunny back room punctuated with plants and a small veranda area, and two private rooms upstairs for exclusive special occasions. All in all, it can only accommodate something like 100

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persons -- 70 to 80 people in the lower levels and 20 in the upstairs section. If you happen to be hungry and you’re in the area, you might be content to sit on the streetside section as many tourists are wont to do, but this will deprive you of discovering the inner sanctum of the restaurant, which I prefer. Once you’re inside, it doesn’t feel like Bangrak anymore. I took a seat on a table under a canopy of bulbs (decoration) over my head, surrounded by abstract paintings in bright colors and décor and design set in mix and match fashion that somehow looks effortlessly pretty. The table settings are classy, and the ambience is great – as even the music seems to have been carefully chosen. For sure, much thought had been given in decorating the premises and creating its atmosphere, but it is not pretentious at all, again much like Pin. And much like Mazzaro’s food. Pin styled his restaurant as a Thai-Italian restaurant where classic selections from Thai and Italian cuisines are the main attractions. No it wasn’t fusion, but Pin says he makes sure his creations are original, and with the Italian dishes given a unique Thai twist and the Thai dishes spiced up with a Western flair. Pin, a scion of a well-to-do business family in Bangrak, grew up in a family where everybody gets to cook somehow and love eating, he says, because his grandmother used to own a restaurant. When he was sent to San Francisco to further his studies, he worked in a restaurant and there realized his passion lies elsewhere than just product design.


He even told his mother that he wanted to open a restaurant there, but she said “No.” It was not until one day that he got a call his mother, complaining about not getting a seat in a restaurant she loves to eat in Chiang Mai so many times, and when she finally did she was already angry, told her son to come back, and open his own restaurant in Bangkok, but not before finishing studies at Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School. “It’s really home-style cooking served in a home-style atmosphere,” says Pin. “My recipes are from traditional recipes, classic menu: pasta, pizza, those kind of stuff -- but they differ in ingredients and taste. I put the Thai taste into all of them. When guests eat here, they see a simple menu but the taste, the smell, and the other sensory elements are rich and full. Food is really like art, you just change the colors into the ingredients.” Pin served us three dishes that he says are signature house dishes. First off was phad Thai tiger prawn, which he said was the “the best in my restaurant,” based on his grandma’s recipe. His personal favorite is seafood pasta. The presentation was delightful. The head of the tiger prawn was resting in the middle of a banana heart, with the noodles, prawn meat, and other ingredients cleverly spread in the shape of the prawn's body, up to the tail. Two little green stems of fresh shallot leaves were tucked on top, giving the dish a more balanced color. On the side of the dish condiments were artistically smudged to complete the ravishing look. Amazing indeed: the best phad Thai we have ever tasted in a long while, with the delicate tiger prawn meat flavor blending perfectly with the distinct sauce obviously made from his grandma’s secret recipe. Next was pasta Thai tai, another much-ordered dish. Here, one gets a better sense of what he means when he said putting a Thai taste in a dish. It was hot, as only the Thais can make it so, but not fiery hot as to burn your tongue. It was deliciously spicy with every bit of flavor:

bits of bacon, asparagus, mushroom, etc., coming up together like a symphony of flavors in your palate giving the lowly pasta a special zing. Yummy. Third was foei gras, my eternal favorite. There it was in front of me, sitting on a bed of red tomato, topped with sliced lemongrass and greens, resulting in a fantastic mouthful with the herbal taste “orientalizing” the very Western staple; my kind of dish indeed. Of course, there are more than just these three in the menu but you get the idea. The colors, the shape, the texture, the smell, and the flavor – I just hope the quality of food is consistently this good and the service consistently warm as they are fast and slick. But perhaps no need to worry as Pin says, “I love Italian food, and I want my guests to share my love for that cuisine. I want them to feel like they are eating at home with a warm atmosphere, with the best of Mama’s cooking. Everything is important - taste, presentation, and little twist of Thai and Italian. Even the monthly specials that I am creating will certainly reflect that.” And the price of the food? The food isn’t particularly cheap – but depending on the dish you want to order, average cost of a meal can be as measly as Bt300 (without drinks) certainly a good value of money for the quality you get and overall satisfaction. Oh, there’s something like 100 labels of wine, mostly Italian, to complement the meal if you’re up to it. And the restaurant is available for private party bookings – at the back room and upstairs areas – just make sure you make a reservation three days in advance. We didn’t have time to check the parking area or the restrooms, but if Pin’s personality is any indication – he is a stickler for details – guests will know they’re in good hands. Contact Details: Mazzaro Boutique & Restaurant Charoen Krung 42/1 (road going to Shangri-La), Bangrak, Tel: 02-235-3626; www.mazzaro.com November 2012 | 71


wine & dine

Enjoying Southern U.S. Hospitality For the past 26 years, The Bourbon St. Restaurant has brought the best of Cajun cuisine from the Deep South of America to Southeast Asia. By John Howe

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ast night I dreamt I was sitting on the banks of a vast river enthusiastically devouring a Cajun spicy gumbo as the dark and brooding waters of the mighty Mississippi meandered lazily by. This was no dream but a fantasy easily imagined for I was tucking into a range of authentic Cajun food at Bangkok’s long established Bourbon St. Restaurant and Oyster Bar. In the 17th and 18th centuries French settlers established villages and small towns on the Atlantic regions of British North American that they called Acadia, now Canada. The French settlers were well assimilated with their British neighbours but in 1754 French and British North American colonies were at war over trapping and fishing rights. The British in retaliation established a re-settlement program and the French Acadians were driven from their lands and properties eventually to locate in southern Louisiana. These refugees were eventually joined by freed slaves, Spaniards from the Canary Islands, native Americans, and French Creoles from the Caribbean all of whom mixed and mingled. They again called their country Acadia and Cajun is simply an evolution of Acadia. Settling on the Gulf of Mexico the coastal waters were teaming with marine life; fish and shellfish along with available wild vegetables and roots formed the basis of Cajun cooking. The Bourbon St. Restaurant has been a Bangkok culinary institution that for the past 26 years has brought the best of Cajun cuisine from the

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Deep South of America to Southeast Asia. American Doug Harrison, the owner, is a life-long epicurean of this famed good ol’ Southern States food. Most of his recipes were gleaned from his grandmothers’ and mother’s apron strings when as a child he would stand at their elbows looking and learning the alchemy of the spices and herbs, the marinades and sauces that go to make a real Cajun dish. All of his life Doug has collected a cook’s encyclopedia of original Cajun recipes from friends and family and proudly presents them to his customers to tempt and tantalize their tastebuds. It was one Tuesday evening when a couple of friends and I decided to enjoy southern U.S. hospitality and visited the restaurant. My dining companions and I scrutinized the extensive menu and as a first choice I chose a deliciously creamy slightly spicy pork gumbo, pieces of superbly tender pork melted on my tongue and the piquant yet creamy tomato-based sauce evaporated almost instantly but left a scrumptious residue of flavor on the short grain rice. The gumbo is a bargain at Bt150 for a not–so-small plate and a reasonable Bt210 for a large plate of Cajun delight. Now they say you can’t have too much of a good thing, one of my fellow diners ordered boiled crawfish and was presented with six or seven fish their tails tightly curled underneath a sign that the crawfish were exceedingly fresh as they hit the boiling Cajun seasonings. They


reposed on a bed of Mediterranean-style rice liberally laced with boiled shrimp. Half a kilo will set you back only Bt530 and a full kilo is a snip at Bt950. Like an invading band of 17th century marauding British soldiers advancing on the Acadians the food kept on coming. And glad I was to see it. The next treat to be devoured was the archetypical Cajun dish – Jambalaya. A thick slab of grilled pork lay on a plinth of rice fried in a light tomato sauce and seasoned with Bourbon St.’s special Cajun spice mix. The rice was further fortified by a light blizzard of diced fried chicken and pork. A satisfying portion for Bt225 will provide a meal that to satisfy even the most rapacious appetites. As is fitting for people whose livelihood is derived from the sea and fishing the next dish to tempt my senses was an agreeable salmon Florentine. The grilled salmon was topped with a creamy dill sauce and rested on a mattress of sautéed spinach served with a generous side helping of angel hair pasta. The salmon flesh was pink and tender the carapace of dill sauce spilled over to the spinach it elevated the salmon and particularly the spinach to the extraordinary. At Bt410, another not-to-miss dish. Then like a procession of culinary royalty my companion was presented with a colorful crab au gratin, or crabmeat draped in a light cheese sauce, served with sautéed zucchinis (better known to me as courgette). I could not resist a taste and stole a bite or two from his plate; the cheese had a bite that was tempered by the tender crab meat that was so tasty that I swear I the zing of ocean-fresh brine accompanied every mouthful. This gleeful dish is a very reasonable Bt350 and worth every satang. Now my companions -- not yet gratified by the delectable main courses -- were tempted by the dessert menu. I chose a bread pudding, now in my younger days my mother often made bread pudding but not like this one. Unlike Mum’s it was light and creamy. I wanted the experience to last, but then I spied one of my companion's strawberry shortcake. A large fluffy brick of melt-in-your-mouth shortbread drizzled with strawberry coulis scattered with delicious fresh strawberries. This was a dessert gourmand’s delight, which simply begged to be savored and devoured. A perfect end to a perfect dining experience. The restaurant’s speciality is Cajun food but on Tuesday there is a Mexican buffet. Eat like a Mexican charro on grilled chicken or shrimp fajitas, beef or chicken tacos, generously garnished with olives, salsa, sour cream, and jalapenos.

Make you own nachos with chicken, beef or sausage, topped with sour cream, jalapeno cheese sauce, blackened chicken and bacon bits. Other Mexican classics are available too burritos, chilli con carne, quesadillas and an extensive salad bar. One regular customer I spoke to lauded the buffet as being the best Mexican food this side of the Rio Grande. On Tuesdays you can dine as a Mexican charro for well under Bt500. Doug, Bourbon St.’s genial owner is always to be found sitting at the bar or chatting to his customers some of whom are regulars of many years standing and consider him to be a personal friend. Besides Cajun food Doug’s other great love is golf, which he combines with charity work. He is the founder and promoter of the annual Fr. Joe Golf Tournament, which raises funds for disadvantaged and street kids. If you think that American food is just hamburgers and hot dogs, or KFC and McDonald’s, the Bourbon St. Restaurant is there to prove differently. The food is authentic and steeped in the history of the American Deep South. The restaurant is open daily for breakfast from 7 a.m. to late supper at 1 a.m. Contact Details: The Bourbon St. Restaurant and Oyster Bar 9/39-40 Soi Tana Arcade, Sukhumvit 63 (just a short walk from BTS: Ekamai), Klongton Nua, Bangkok Tel: 02-381-6801/3 www.bourbonstbkk.com November 2012 | 73


Wine & Dine

relax & unwind Simply Barbra & Frank at The Living Room

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit presents two extraordinary musicals, “Simply Barbra” and “Simply Frank” in November. Music lovers can experience the magic of Barbra Streisand and relive the timeless songs of Frank Sinatra in 12 unforgettable shows performed in the intimate surroundings of The Living Room. Delighting the audience with sparkling celebrations of two of the world’s most iconic stars of the stage and screen, “Simply Barbra” will be staged Nov. 15 -18 and 22-25 followed by “Simply Barbra & Frank” from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. Created and performed by acclaimed New York cabaret artist, Steven Brinberg. “Simply Barbra” is a hilarious and affectionate pastiche of a living legend, which has even received praise from Ms. Streisand herself. The many highlights of “Simply Barbra” will include renowned hits such as “Don't Rain on My Parade,” “Evergreen,” ‘The Way He Makes Me Feel,” and “Memories.” Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 8:30 p.m.. Tickets are Bt1,700 for show only plus 1 drink at The Living Room; Bt3,300 for show, dinner buffet at Orchid Café plus 1 drink at The Living Room; and Bt 3,500 for show, dinner set menu at Rossini’s plus 1 drink at The Living Room. For “Simply Barbra & Frank” Together at The Living Room” you can relive the magic of Sinatra in the sophisticated surroundings of The Living Room with “Simply Frank”, an enchanting musical starring the gifted Richard Shelton as “Ol’ Blue Eyes” himself. In the sophisticated surroundings of The Living Room, Richard Shelton as Sinatra will perform together with Brinberg as Streisand. Richard will sing all-time favorites such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “New York New York,” “My Way,” and special requests from the audience. The srepertoire will also include duets and many of Streisand’s greatest hits. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are Bt 1,900 for show only plus 1 drink at The Living Room; Bt3,500 for show, dinner buffet at Orchid Café plus 1 drink at The Living Room; and Bt3,700 for show , dinner set menu at Rossini’s plus 1 drink at The Living Room. Book now until Sunday Nov. 11 to receive 20% discount on show and dinner packages. For reservation, contact: 02 649-8353 and e-mail dining.sgs@luxurycollection.com or visit www. sheratongrandesukhumvit.com/en/store/

PARTIES & GIGS

Full Moon Party under Laser Beams Moon beams shine during the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan. But at Concept CM² of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, it’s laser beams that light the party aglow and set the atmosphere right while resident DJs, crazy drink offers and islandinspired dance show bring the atmosphere alive. But the party really gets going when Bangkok’s latest live band sensation, ClAZZ-X, takes to the stage for an electrifying live performance of R&B, Pop, Hip Hop and contemporary dance hits from 10:30 p.m. until late. Join the Full Moon Party on Nov. 28 for only Bt650 net per person, inclusive of two drinks. Where: Concept CM², Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam Square) // Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. CM²

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Jazzy Nights under the Stars On Nov. 16-25, Banyan Tree Bangkok is bringing back for the 7th consecutive year, a strong line up of jazz musicians to Vertigo, where discerning patrons will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most gifted local jazz maestros performing dailyfrom 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Entry fee is Bt600 net, inclusive of one standard drink. A performance schedule is available at the Restaurant Reservations Desk. Where: Vertigo, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road // Contact: 02679-1200

PARTY PACKAGES V Party Package Party in style at V Villas Hua Hin from now until March 31 with this special offer: the “V

Party Package,” with rates starting from Bt23,600 for up to four persons and includes the following benefits: One night accommodation in one of the Pool Villa Suites, V Breakfast at Villazzo Restaurant, High Tea in your Villa or at Villazzo restaurant, One set grand BBQ dinner for up to four persons with private chef, Karaoke system set up in your Villa with all time favorite songs, 10% discount on all food and beverage services (except alcohol and Room Service), and 30% discount on all spa treatments at V Spa. Terms and conditions apply. For details and reservations, call 02-309-3939, e-mail to reservation@vvillashuahin.com

HOT VENUES 180 Degrees: Ultimate Outdoor Experience Experience the soothing breeze of the cool season from 180 Degrees on the 8th Floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel and enjoy light fares, cocktails and wines in an informal setting on the Outdoor Bar Terrace while gazing out to the tranquil views over downtown Bangkok. It’s

your tipple of choice, snuggled up to your loved one or among friends in a cozy corner, from imported beers, wines from most regions of the world, contemporary and classic cocktails, virgin affairs and fruit shakes. As the sun sets the fun rises every evening from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. with nightly Happy Hour, 8-10:30 p.m. with all drinks at only Bt149 net. Where: 8th floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 20818

Latitude Lounge & Bar Throughout November, visit Latitude Lounge & Bar for a taste of the legendary Spirit of Thai Hospitality, and savor Thai inspired cocktails and spirits, everyday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. *Opening hours is subject to weather conditions. Where: Latitude Lounge & Bar Located on 51st– 52nd Floor, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road // Contact: 02-679-1200

BANDSTAND

Siam Cubano@Le Bar L’Hotel Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit’s fashionable and distinctively contemporary Le Bar de l’Hôtel is the perfect place to relax in style and experience some of the best live music in town. Every Thursday, Siam Cubano gets the audience up and dancing to sizzling Salsa rhythms at the chic bar. Intense and seriously seductive, and with over a decade of experience playing in Bangkok’s leading venues, the nine piece band’s


restaur cafe ENTERTAINMENT/NIGHTILIFE Bar & CLUB specials

bar/lou

mall/sh fresh and exciting Latin sound is guaranteed to spice up your week. Siam Cubano features Kawin Pruschainimmit on vocals and Dontra Kunkhetpai on vocals and saxophone. Keeping the rhythm is Lester Esteban on drums, Dusit na Songkhla on percussionist, and Weerachit Tangsamutr on bass. The vibrant Salsa sound is enhanced by Sompol Phadungsang on guitar, Roong Chareonchai on keyboards, and bold brass from Watchara Ajchariyawaranont on trumpet and Kiattipat Singreung on trombone. Guests can sink in sofas, armchairs, and daybeds and listen to the music while attentive bartendees serve drinks and irresistible light bites. Treats include the chef’s delicious take on street Thai food and innovative tapas with a touch of French savoir-faire. Music lovers can also chill-out at the chic venue and enjoy fusion and jazz funk with the Neung Jakkawal Band on Wednesdays, and classic Rhythm & Blues from Chai Blues and his Band on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. – midnight. Where: Le Bar de l’Hôtel, Lobby Level, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit (BTS: Nana) // Contact: 02-126- 9999, ext. 3300

boutiqu

Jazz Romance in Pattaya Finding it hard to get sophisticated jazz in Pattaya? Maybe you haven’t been to dusitd2 baraquda pattaya, which has lately launched “Romance Jazz at the Rooftop” at its stunning Rooftop Sunset Lounge. The jazz performances feature Aht Gunlayanakupt, runner up in the 2011 “Thailand’s Got Thailand” show and generally recognized as the “Kenny G of Thailand” every Friday and Saturday since last month until Jan. 31, 2012. Aht will dazzle guests with his magical solo saxophone styling’s while they sip their favorite cocktails amid a backdrop made more enchanting by the cool gentle breeze from Pattaya Bay and a breathtaking view of the city at night. The Rooftop Sunset Lounge crowns the 6th floor of the dusitd2 baraquda pattaya, and offers the best view of the Pattaya skyline at dusk. Open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; it has become a trendy chill-out and hangout place, a perfect prelude to an unforgettable night on the town. Aht starts performing at 8 p.m. The dusitd2 baraquda pattaya is a boutique hotel noted for its unique design and incomparable no-fuss service. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, just 90 minutes away from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport (Bangkok) and within easy access to the beach, entertainment district, department stores and the local café’ scene. Where: Rooftop Sunset Lounge, dusitd2 baraquda pattaya, Pattaya City // Contact: 038 769-999

‘Brunch on the River’ Launched Millennium Hilton Bangkok recently launched its innovative “Brunch on the River,” a new leisurely brunch -- with food and drinks from various outlets –- to be held every Sunday at FLOW. Guests can enjoy their own personal “best” combination of cuisines and wines from exotic lands – all at the Millennium Hilton Bangkok, located on Klongsan Road. The launch was attended by some of Bangkok’s glitterati: distinguished personalities, celebrities, movie stars, and KPN winners. Main photo shows Denis Richter (5th from left)., hotel manager welcoming the guests (from left to right): Kanokchat Munyadon, ‘The Best’ runner-up from KPN Award 2011; Ko Teerasak Puntujariya; Hana Tatsanawalai Chakrapong; Pimpaka Siengsomboon; Richter; Nuchanard Raveesangsoon; Srisuphang and Andrew Morris; Paopetch Charoensook, winner of Popular Vote (KPN Award 2010); and Watanyoo Chittisatienporn, KPN Award winner 2011

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Wine & Dine

indulge & enjoy Loy Krathong on Pattaya beach

On Nov. 28, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya, joins the Loy Krathong celebration with activities traditionally associated with the festival. Of course, every guest gets a krathong to float and enjoy seafood and BBQ dinner for only Bt1,299++ (adults) andBt650++ (kids under 12). Where: Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya

// Contact: 038301-234 ext 4314.

Apsara Loy Krathong

Through the years, Loy Krathong has become a muchawaited fun festival.To make the dazzling event more memorable, Apsara Diner Cruise presents a Royal Thai set menu at Bt 2,800 net, inclusive of a krathong and Thai traditional performance. Where: Apsara River Cruise // Contact: Banyan Tree Bangkok at 02-679-1200

Hotel Muse Loy Krahtong

Chef Purida, head chef at Hotel Muse Bangkok presents an innovative take on Thai classics for a memorable Loy Krathong feast. To mark the occasion, Chef Purida, winner of Iron Chef Thailand, displays a completely uncompromised Thai menu priced at Bt1,800 ++ at Su Tha Ros, with limited places on Nov. 28. Begin with pan-friend Hokkaido scallops, betel leaf and roasted coconut, minced shrimp and Chinese sausage or prawns with ginger and egg, with a delicious wing bean salad and chili jam to reset the palate – ahead of a fiery “tom yum rakam goong” with herbs and zalacca. Mains include massaman lamb, intensely pure “pla hima pad cha,” grilled rock lobster, shitake mushrooms and steamed jasmine. Coconut creme brûlée will put out the fire and make way for unforgettable post-feast chatting, in one of the city’s most amazing panoramic restaurants. The Loy Krathong Festival Menu is available for dinner. Reservation is highly encouraged and Le Club Advantage Plus members receive 10% discount. Where: Su Tha Ros, Hotel Muse Bangkok Lnagsuan, 55/555 Langsuan Road (BTS: Childom) // Contact: 02 630-4000

Chef Anthony Pane @Imperial Queen’s Parkview

On Nov. 20-24, at 6-10:30 p.m., Parkview Restaurant of Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel presents Seattle’s Anthony Pane as guest chef. Chef Anthony, originally from Chicago, has worked with some of the “windy city’s” most talented chefs before his passion for fine ingredients and the freshest seafood delivered him to Seattle on the U.S. West Coast. In his short time in Seattle he rediscovered the simplicity of using the best ingredients to create stunning food. By 2010, after joining Renee Erickson’s team at a newly opened oyster bar named The Walrus & The Carpenter, he became an acclaimed hero of oyster and fresh seafood-based cuisine. Bangkok foodies will get a chance to sample Chef Anthony’s special seafood-based cuisine at Parkview for five days only. He will present simple preparations of imported and local fish, shellfish, and oysters prepared in such a way to make the ingredient the true star of the dish. Expect a free flow of premium oyster imported from Washington; grilled sardines with walnuts, parsley and shallots; Royal project crawfish; Harissa Butter with cilantro; Royal Project trout and scallop tartare and a variety of a la carte menu preparation. Tantalizing food and wine will be integrated in Parkview’s gourmet buffet dinner. As chef’s visit also coincides with America’s Thanksgiving Day, Delta Airlines is giving two lucky diners the chance to win airfares for two to visit The Walrus & The Carpenter Restaurant in Seattle to experience Chef Anthony’s cuisine first-hand. Price is Bt1,500 net/person (food only) plus Bt150 net/person for free flow of fruit juices and soft drinks. Add Bt700 net/person for free-flow of red, white, and sparkling wine; draught beer; fruit juice; smoothies; and soft drinks. Where: Parkview Restaurant, Lobby level, The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Sukhumvit 22 // Contact: 02-261-9000, ext. 5001, 5004

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Tables Signature Dinner

In November, Tables – dubbed as Bangkok’s first and only European restaurant with tableside cooking, invites diners to experience the new “Tables Signature Dinner” promotion created by Chef de Cuisine Michel Eschmann. The promotion features all of Tables’ signature dishes including a selection of appetizers presented tableside, a choice of signature main course, cheese table or signature desert platter, all for just Bt2,200++ per person, and is available seven days a week. Where: Tables, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Rajdamri Road (BTS: Childom) // Contact: 02 254-1234; e-mail: tables. bangh@hyatt.com

Romsai ‘Festival of Lights’

On Nov. 11-15, Romsai celebrates Diwali -- probably the most wellknown of all Hindus festivals. Also known as the “Festival of Lights,” it is celebrated, like most cultural festivals, with festive meals. For the occasion, Romsai presents a selection of rich, tasty, and spicy Indian dishes. Buffet dinner is priced at Bt1,250++ SundaysThursdays, Bt1, ,600++ on Fridays; and Bt 1,500++ on Saturday. The Sunday Brunch is priced at Bt1,700++ Children aged between 4 and 11 pay half price. Where: Romsai, Lower Lobby Level, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road // Contact: 02-679-1200

Fresh from Seoul

Senior Korean cuisine specialist and chef extraordinaire, Madam Hanna Kim, returns from Korea with a fresh selection of new dishes from Soeul’s finest restaurants. Now available for you to enjoy at Kongju Korean Restaurant, the new menu features dishes such as steamed prawn with pine nut sauce; grilled eel, beef or pork spare ribs in pumpkin; mustard salad and pan-fried mungbean pancake. Where: Kongju Korean Restaurant: 2nd floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phyathai Rd (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: 02 216-3700, ext. 20230


Lookeast recommendations November Dining Specials

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White Triffles and Pio Cesare Wines

On Nov. 10-30, Biscotti pairs great truffle dishes with wines from Pio Cesare, known for its excellence, richness and the true art of Italian winemaking. Biscotti chef Daniele Cason, a native of Rome, will feature an impressive menu using white truffles from Piedmont. Delight your tastebuds with Chef Daniele’s truffle dishes, which include Hokkaido scallop, quail egg, pencil asparagus paired with Pio Cesare Langhe Arneis; bluefin tuna tartare, cucumber, coriander, and horseradish sauce paired with Pio Cesare ‘Piodilei’ Langhe Chardonnay; and pan-seared foie gras and nutmeg, potato foam paired with Pio Cesare ‘Fides’ Barbera d’Alba and many more. The price for the wine dinner is Bt7,500++. A la carte menu also available at prices ranging from Bt1,200 to Bt4,500++ per dish. Where: Biscotti, Four Seasons Bangkok, Rajdamri Road (BTS: Rajdamri) // Contact: 02-1268866, ext. 1229 and 1230

Okura Sunday brunch

The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s popular Up & Above Restaurant is combining favorite Thai and international buffet choices with main course dishes prepared and cooked-to-order to add real value to the Sunday Brunch. This new signature Sunday brunch presentation is priced at Bt3,200 per person, inclusive of one bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne per couple, wines, beers, cocktails, juices, soft drinks and smoothies. Options include a luncheon package with free flow cocktails, wines and beers for Bt2,400 and an alcoholfree lunch for Bt1,800. Children aged 7 to 12 years dine for Bt600. Where: The Okura Prestige Bangkok, Park Venture Ecoplex, 57 Wireless Rd, Bangkok (BTS: Ploenchit) // Contact: 02-687-9000

Thanksgiving Seafood Bonanza

presented by Chef Lisa and her team at only Bt1,050++. Where: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam Square) // Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. The Square or visit www.novotelbkk.com

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Healthy Chinese Food

This month the creative chefs of top-rated Chinese restaurant, the Golden Palace, present a delightful array of Healthy Chinese Food to satisfy even the most health conscious foodies. Highlight of the month is “Double-boiled winter melon with seaweed and ginseng,” a true-blue taste please that proves healthy can be very delicious too! Where: Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, Windsor Suites Hotel, Sukhumvit 20 // Contact:

“Gourmet Experience” Package

Diners can enjoy exceptional dining at the renowned Sunday Jazzy Brunch and a buffet dinner at Orchid Café during weekdays. Valid from now until December (excluding festive dining) the “Gourmet Experience” package includes two unforgettable buffet feasts for just Bt2,999 net. The hotel’s Sunday Jazzy Brunch brings sparkle to the weekend with an extraordinary gourmet feast, live jazz, and entertainment for children. The package also includes a dinner buffet at Orchid Café. Terms and conditions apply. Where: Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Road (BTS: Asoke) // Contact: 02-649-8368

12/12/12 Offer

On Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12) Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square offers guests some very special discounts which are valid only on the day with exciting promotion for only Bt1,200. Enjoy a 12-course Chinese set menu, savor 12 Seafood Buffet Selections, and open bottles of spirits at Concept CM². Where: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam (BTS: Siam Square) // Contact 02-2098888, ext. The Square/Lok Wah Hin/Concept CM²

Japanese Set Menu On Nov. 22, The Square of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square presents a “Seafood Buffet Bonanza” to celebrate Thanksgiving. Expect an overflow of fresh seafood, shellfish and crustaceans from the Gulf of Siam and the Andaman Sea, along with an expansive array of all-American Thanksgiving treats,

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Japanese food lovers rejoice: Your most wanted Japanese Set Menu, such as “Saba Steak Set” and “Salmon Steak Set,” returns this month at the Youzen Japanese Restaurant to titillate the All-Nippon palate. Come and enjoy the exclusive food promotion of Japanese sensory delights. Where: Youzen, Windsor Suites Hotel, Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262-1234

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‘Wild Affair’

Chef Charles has just returned from the woods, bringing forth a basket filled with wild ingredients for the “Wild Affair” at Loop Italian Restaurant Terrace and Bar. Experience alfresco dining and delight in a menu created from a fresh assortment of mushrooms and wild beasts in signature dishes that include wild boar stew with homemade fettuccini and wild berries, porcini tart with Parma ham, wild sea bass and chilled fine de claire oysters, considered to be the finest in the world. Where: Loop Italian Restaurant Terrace & Bar: 8th floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phyathai Road // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 20818

‘Magnifique’ Sunday Brunch Executive Chef Aurélien Poirot invites you to relax in style and experience his spectacular gourmet buffet at Voila! A feast of French, Asian and international cuisines, the gourmet “Magnifique Sunday Brunch” features a sumptuous buffet and ‘Cuisines on Stage’ with delectable dishes prepared by passionate chefs at live cooking stations. Price is Bt 2,250 net with unlimited soft drinks and Bt3,200 net with free flow Champagne, cocktails and house wines; 50% off for children aged 6 12, free for under 6. Where: Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Road (BTS: Nana) // Contact: 02-126 9999, ext.3304

Peking Duck

China’s most famous dish can be enjoyed in the provincial Chinese village setting of Lok Wah Hin Chinese Restaurant throughout November for only Bt899 (from the regular price of Bt1,080). Hong Kong national Chef Leung first presents the crispy duck skin, served accompanied by traditional and signature sauces, condiments and noodle sheets, followed by the succulent roasted meat, prepared in the Chinese dish of your choice. Where: Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Siam Square Soi 6 (BTS: Siam Square) /Contact: 02-209-8888, ext. Lok Wah Hin or visit www.novotelbkk.com. November 2012 | 77

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indulge & enjoy A Young Talented Thai Chef

Le Méridien Bangkok has appointed of Attapol Naito Thangthong as its new executive chef. With many years of culinary experience with international five star hotels in Egypt and wellknown restaurants in Australia, Executive Chef Attapol has gain insight knowledge of different cooking culture. Following his return to Thailand he worked at many five star hotels including Sheraton Pattaya Resort & Spa. “I am glad that I had a chance to work abroad where I discovered the difference in culinary culture and technique. It really shaped my cooking style and also creativity,” said Chef Attapol. “Now I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my boundaries and look forward to offer culinary experience to guests of Le Méridien Bangkok.” Chef Attapol has won many prestigious awards including the “International Culinary Competition 2010” and the “International Buffet Competition 2011.” With those remarkable awards, he becomes in the know to the market and respected by the community. With his signature cooking style, he draws his inspiration from his childhood and believes that familiar tastes and flavors can bring comfort and joy to diners. The love and passion for cooking, the memory of family dining and the taste of his mother’s recipe are elements that inspired the way he cooks today. “Food is not only our family history from our ancestor but also love. Most of us prefer taste and it must be our family preferred taste. Nowadays, people in Thailand don’t cook themselves at all. I loved to see my mother cook in my childhood and that’s when I decided to become a chef”, he said. “It would be my pleasure if I can inspire people to cook at home. And I believe that it would lead to the reunion of families and people you love in a dining table.” Meet Chef Attapol Naito Thangthong at Le Méridien Bangkok and experience an intriguing gourmet cuisine where he will be performing at Latest Recipe, banqueting for meeting and events, as well as cooking demonstration class.

Disney Live! Sunday Brunch

Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok's director of PR & marketing communications, Elizabeth Dass-Brown presents a framed souvenir photograph to Mrs. Phecharin and family who enjoyed the hotel's Sunday Brunch with the Disney Characters recently. The hotel is the official partner with Disney Live for the u live stage production “Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin Road Show” produced by Feld Entertainment Oct. 18-21. In conjunction with this delightful road show, the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside organized a“Fun-filled Sunday Brunch with Disney's Favorite Characters” at The Terrace@72 Buffet Restaurant recently.

Bangkok’s Biggest Brunch

Three specialty restaurants for the price of one – this is a new experience in Bangkok’s Sunday Brunch scene, indeed. For just Bt1,600+ per person (food only) or Bt2.100 (with free-flow beverages), foodies can enjoy a dine-around journey at The Parkview restaurant (international cuisine), Imperial China Restaurant (Chinese cuisine), and Kacho Japanese Restaurant (Japanese cuisine). Eat all you can from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Where: The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, Sukhumvit 22 (BTS: Phrom Phong) // Contact: 02-261-9300, ext. 4162

Vertigo’s New Menu

Award-winning Vertigo announces the arrival of an exciting new menu crafted by talented Executive Chef Jai. Inspired by the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and fine classic European preparation and cooking techniques, the new menu is a seamless blend of “sophisticated simplicity,” culinary artistry, bold flavors and healthy creations. The menu will be available starting this month to take your dining

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experience to a whole new level. Where: Vertigo, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road // Contact: 02-679-1200

Simply Scandinavian

The “Simply Scandinavian Festival” on Nov. 24-Dec. 2 will showcase Scandinavian food and live Jazz music at the new Flavours Restaurant. Come to enjoy many mouthwatering Scandinavian specials prepared and cooked by Chefs Bjorn Ekstrand and Jack Jansson from Indigo restaurant, Finland. Accompanied by the music of Gus Dahlberg Quartet and Deri Rowlands. Enjoy a Scandinavian ”Smörgåsbord” buffet and Jazz music for Bt899 net per person from 6-10:30 p.m. Where: Flavours Restaurant, 1st floor, Rembrandt Hotel, Sukhumvit 18 // Contact: 02-261-7100 ext. 7505

Wine Buffet, Canapé and Tapas Promotion

Two Forty Eight Café & Bar presents a“Wine Buffet, Canapé and Tapas” promotion this month. Enjoy all-you-can-eat canapés and tapas along with free flow wine and draft beer for two hours. The promotion is available every Friday night starting from now until Nov. 30 at only Bt599 net per person. Where: Two Forty Eight Café & Bar, Northgate Ratchayothin

Serviced Residence, Ratchadapisek Road // Contact: 02-939-7949; e-mail reservation@ northgatebangkok.com

Old Siam in Contemporary Surrounds

Experience the traditional taste of ancient Siam during the nightly Thai Buffet dinner at CitiBistro. Select from the daily highlights and watch as the team of talented chefs prepare your dish from the central live kitchen. Start with your choice of fresh prawns or mussels, mingled among a garden salad with fresh baked breads, before drenching your tastebuds into the traditional dishes from across Thailand, accompanied by different varieties of rice and spicy side dishes. All for only Bt890 net person. Where: CiTi BiSTRo: ground floor of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center, Phyathai Road // Contact: 02-216-3700, ext. 20100

Japanese Set Menu

Japanese food lovers rejoice: Your most wanted Japanese Set Menu, such as “Saba Steak Set” and “Baked New Zealand Mussel with Ebiko Sauce,” returns this month to titillate the All-Nippon palate. Come and enjoy Youzen Japanese Restaurant’s exclusive food promotion of Japanese sensory delights.“Come 4 Pay 2” Mon-Wed, until Nov. 30. Lunch a la carte menu, Buffet Seafood Dinner at Bt699++ /person. Where: Youzen Japanese Restaurant, Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit 20 // Contact 02-2621221, ext. 1408

Milk of the Sea

Oysters have been a favorite of every food lover for centuries, and in Japanese cuisine they are likewise considered a seasonal delicacy, better known as “Milk of the Sea” because of their rich taste and nutritional value. Throughout November, Tahei will serve some of the best Japanese oysters, such as Kumamoto and Kushi, and of course Shigoku and the giant Iwagakis which are harvested in small volumes, prepared in a variety of different ways. From raw with Ponzu sauce to Tempura with lemon sauce, Fried or Boiled with miso sauce. Where: Taihei Restaurant, 53rd-54th floor, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathorn Road // Contact: 02-679-1200

Mediterranean Dinner Buffet

This month, the Le Marin Restaurant at Cape Racha Hotel, Sriracha presents the distinctive flavors of Mediterranean cuisine, seasoned with exotic spices and herbs, in a wide selection of authentic dishes from Spain, France, Italy, Morocco, Lebanon and Greece during the “Mediterranean Dinner Buffet.” The buffet is held every Monday and Friday, 6-10 p.m. Only Bt450 net per person, children under 12 get 50 percent discount. Where: Le Marin, Cape Racha Hotel, Sriracha, Chonburi // Contact: 038-314-288


Lookeast recommendations november dining speciaLs

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Healthy Chinese Cuisine

For November, the creative chefs of Golden Palace, present a delightful array of Healthy Chinese Food to satisfy even the most health conscious foodies. Highlight of the month is “Double-boiled winter melon with seaweed and ginseng," a true-blue taste please that proves healthy can be very delicious too. Special price for Peking Duck at Bt549 net until Nov. 30 only. Dim Sum buffet lunch is Bt499++/person and Bt699++/person (with shark’s fin soup) Where: Golden Palace Chinese Restaurant, WIndsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262 1234, ext.1410

Salmon Thai Herbs

Exquisite French food comes your way in November as our talented chefs presents our French Food Promotion, highlighted by Duck liver pate on our comprehensive buffet spread. Don’t miss the signature dish of month – Salmon Thai Herbs – if you’re ordering from the a la carte menu. Dining pleasure guaranteed! Buffet Lunch is Bt499++/person; Seafood & International Buffet Dinner at Bt699++/person. Where: Windsor Suites Cafe, Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Sukhumvit 20 // Contact: 02-262 1234, ext. 1406

(Sathorn 6), North  Sathorn Road,  Silom,  Bangrak,  Bangkok  10500 788-­‐9    Fax.  02  235   275341 Soi Piphat (Sathorn 6), North Sathorn

Dine in Bangkok… Fly to Paris

StoneFish Wines

The deVine Wine Club of Royal Cliff Hotels Group hosted a fabulous ‘StoneFish’ wine tasting event at the Grand Hotel’s Head of State Chamber (Grand Ballroom). Featuring an impressive selection of StoneFish Wines, the evening was well-received by old and new wine members alike. Photo shows: Royal Cliff Hotels Group managing director Panga Vathanakul (2nd from left) cutting the ribbon with Anirut Posakrisna, chairman of Wine Dee Dee Co., Ltd (2nd from right) along with Royal Cliff GM Christoph Voegeli (far left) and StoneFish Wines owner and MD, Peter Papanikitas (far right).

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David Baldwin (left), general manager of Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, joins Kirk Albrow (right), general manager Thailand of Etihad Airways, and Pittaya Vorapanyasakul, executive vice president of KTC (center), in bringing forth festive happiness with special give-away offers at the hotel's restaurants, which included a chance to win two return air tickets, flying Etihad Airways, with four nights accommodation in Paris for two persons. Pay by KTC card to get discount and more chance to win the trip.

“Creativity, design and taste of food are the art of cooking, and superb service quality is mandatory”

Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel. 02 237 2788-9 Fax. 02 235 5341

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Directory

dining AmericanA

French

BOURBON ST. RESTAURANT &

4 Garcons 113 Thonglor soi 13

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

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.

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

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

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 CAFE@2 All day dining brasserie. French and

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

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 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.

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Jojo Traditional Italian cuisine with simplicity

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

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

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

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

German

Pizzeria Limoncello Friendly and relaxed

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

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)

INDIAN

zanotti Described as “an expression of the

Bei Otto Nice traditional German and good

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

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

Indus “Best Indian Restaurant” winner from

Japanese

HAZARA Best of Indian cuisine with an Afghan

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 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

Drinking Tea, Eating Rice

Representing the culinary spirit of Japan, the restaurant features a sushi corner, sizzling teppanyaki table, and private tatami rooms. Exclusive range of Japanese sake. Conrad Bangkok, 3rd Floor All Seasons Place, 87/3 Wireless, Bangkok (BTS: Ploenchit) //Tel: 02690-9999

ISAO Famous for sublime fusion sushi -- sashimi and rolls -- with a Western flair. Sukhumvit Soi 31// Tel: 02-258-0645 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

Korean 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.

7 th Floor, Grass Thorglor Tel: 02-726-9222

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

nippon tei Extensive menu for all occasions.

Steakhouses

Mugendai

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.

SHINTARO Get the finest quality slabs of

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

ZUMA Contemporary Japanese Cuisine.

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

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. FiFTY FIVE Bangkok’s highest steakhouse right

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.

Tea Rooms ERAWAN TEA ROOM Serves traditional Thai

Soul Food Mahanakorn 56/10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor) // Tel: 085-9042691 Bo Lan 42 Sukhumvit 26 Soi Pichai

Ronnarong Songkram // Tel: 02-260-2962

Naam Sathorn Tai // Tel: 02-625-3333

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

Thai on 4 Amari Watergate Bangkok, 4th

Agalico 20 Sukhumvit 51 Rd, Bangkok //Tel:

Su Tha Ros Hotel Muse, 19th floor 55/555 Langsuan Road Lumphini, Pathumwan Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-630-4000

floor, 847 Petchburi Rd, Bangkok // Tel: 02-653-9000

Route 66 Long-time favorite for young farangs

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.

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/

SPASSO An Italian restaurant by day; nightclub

NEST Wonderful little rooftop bar on the top of

– 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.

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

Bars

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

Thai

Diplomat Bar In the afternoon, the cozy

Q BAR Once notorious for crowds but has

02-662-5857

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique

BALEE LAOS Arguably the best of Laos

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

Baan Khanitha & Gallery Winner of

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

Blue Elephant Another great Thai

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 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

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

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

CLUBS BED SUPPERCLUB The only club in 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 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. 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

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

MIXX Discotheque Bangkok All night dance lounge featuring house and hip hop rooms. 973 President Tower, Room B06-B10 in the basement of the Intercontinental Hotel (BTS: Chidlom); Open daily: 10 p.m. - late 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

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

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

Dubliner A favorite for it’s weekly quizes and

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

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

FAT GUTZ Innovative cocktails, chic decor, and surprisingly good fish and chips. 264 Thonglor soi 12 Sukhumvit 55 (BTS: Thonglor) // Tel: 02-7149832 Live music 9p.m. - 12 a.m.; www.fatgutz. 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

IRON FAIRIES Antique factory with live metal-

WINE BARS

crafting, wine bar and restaurant. 394 Thonglor Road Sukhumvit Soi 55 (BTS: Thonglor) // Tel: 084-425-8080; www.theironfairies.com

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 SAXOPHONE Bangkok’s most popular jazz 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

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

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

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.

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

Diplomat Bar Jazz bar/lounge in the midst

SCARLETT Panoramic views of the Bangkok

Blue Velvet Entrance is is a castle facade,

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. www.conradhotels.com/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.

Glaz Bar Sit and sip a cocktail and also enjoy

the innovative Thai tapas on this posh Wireless Road watering hole. Plaza Athenee Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel, 10 Soi Ruam Rudee, Wittayu-Wireless Rd (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02 -650-8800 Open daily: 6:00 p.m.-2 a.m. www.plazaatheneebangkok.com/theglazbar

November 2012 | 81


Directory

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

AMARI BOULEVARD 2 Soi 5 Sukhumvit Rd

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

REMBRANDT, THE 19 Sukhumvit Soi 8

IMPERIAL QUEEN’S PARK 199 Sukhumvit

RENAISSANCE BANGKOK RATCHAPRASONG HOTEL

22 (BTS: Phrom Phong) // Tel: 02 261-9000 // www.imperialhotels.com/queenspark

(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

JW MARRIOTT BANGKOK 4 Sukhumvit

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

9743 Ploenchit Rd (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-656-0444 // www.intercontinental.com Soi 2 (BTS: Ploenchit) // Tel: 02-656-7700 // www.marriot.com/bkkdt

KANTARY HOUSE HOTEL & SERVICED APARTMENTS BANGKOK

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

(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

Hilton Pattaya hotel 333/101 Moo 9

SHERATON GRANDE SUKHUMVIT

GARDEN CLIFF RESORT & SPA

(BTS: Saphan Taksin) // Tel: 02 236-7777 // www.shangri-la.com 250 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Asoke/MRT: Sukhumvit) // Tel: 02 649-8888 // www.starwoodhotels.com/bangkok

S31 Sukhumvit Hotel

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/

siam kempinski 991/9 Rama I Rd

CENTARA GRAND @ CENTRAL PLAZA LADPRAO

MILLENNIUM HILTON BANGKOK

SOFITEL BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT

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

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

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Ploenchit

(BTS: Saladaeng) // Tel: 02 200-9000 // www.dusit.com

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

Eugenia, THE 267 Soi Sukhumvit 3 //

Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom

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, just three minutes walk 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

HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BANGKOK SIAM 889 Rama 1 Rd (BTS: National Stadium) // Tel: 02-238-4300 // www.holidayinnexpress.com

82

Lookeast | DIRECTORY

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

NOVOTEL BANGNA BANGKOK

333 Srinakarin Rd // Tel: 02 366-0505 // www.novotelbangnabangkok.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: Saphan Taksin to hotel ferry) // Tel: 02-439-2258, 02-659-9000 // www.mandarinoriental.com OKURA PRESTIGE

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

SHANGRI-LA, THE 89 Soi Wat Suan Plu

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

Centara Grand at CentralWorld 999/99 Rama 1 Rd

D2 BARAQUDA

DUSIT RESORT PATTAYA 240/2 Pattaya

S15 Sukhumvit Hotel

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

277 Moo 5, Naklua, Banglamung, Pattaya // Tel: 038 301-234 // www. centarahotelsresorts.com

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

LANDMARK BANGKOK 138 Sukhumvit Rd (BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-254-0404 // www.landmarkbangkok.com

BANYAN TREE BANGKOK

CENTARA GRAND MIRAGE BEACH RESORT PATTAYA

217 Sukhumvit 15 // Tel: 02 651-2000 // www.s15hotel.com 545 Sukhumvit 31 // Tel: 02-260-1111 // www.s31hotel.com (BTS: Siam Square) // Tel: 02-162-9000 // www. kempinski.com/

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

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

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

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

ST REGIS BANGKOK 159 Rajdamri Road,

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

UNICO PREMIER METROLINK

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

(BTS: Rajdamri) // Tel: 02-207-7777 // www.starwoodhotels.com

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

UNICO EXPRESS

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

VIE Hotel Bangkok 117/39-40 Phaya

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

WESTIN GRANDE SUKHUMVIT

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

OUtSIDE BAnGKOK – EAST 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 RATILANNA RIVERSIDE SPA RESORT

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

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

PATHUMWAN PRINCESS MBK Center

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

HUA HIN

PANVIMAN KOH CHANG RESORT

DUSIT THANI HUA HIN 1349 Petchkasem Rd,

444 Phayathai Rd (adjacent to MBK Shopping Center & BTS: National Stadium) // Tel: 02 216-3700 // www.dusit.com

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

KOH CHANG CLIFF BEACH RESORT

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

PATTAYA

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

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

SHERATON HUA HIN RESORT & SPA 1573 Pechkasem Rd, Tumbol Cha-Am, Cha-Am // Tel: 032 708-000

PLAZA ATHENEE 10 Wireless Rd

ALL SEASONS PATTAYA 425/9 Moo 9

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

AMARI NOVA SUITES 254 Moo 9, Soi

Petchtrakool Nongprue, Pattaya City // www.amari. com/novasuites.com

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

RADISSON SUITES BANGKOK SUKHUMVIT

AMARI ORCHID RESORT & TOWER

KOH SAMUI

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

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

Pattaya 2 Rd. Soi 5 Central Pattaya // Tel: 038-418-888 // www.allseasonspattaya.com

Pattaya Beach Road // Tel: 038-418-418 // www.amari.com

CAPE NIDHRA HOTEL, HUA HIN

AMARI PALM REEF RESORT

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


176/34 Moo 4, Tambon Maret, Koh Samui, Suratthani // 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

12/12 Moo 1, MaenNam, Koh Samui // Tel: 077-422-767

THE LIBRARY

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

SHERATON KRABI

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

SOFITEL KRABI PHOKEETHRA GOLF & SPA RESORT Klong Muang Beach,

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

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

TONGSAI BAY COTTAGES & HOTEL

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

PHUKEt

// serviced apartments

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

ANGSANA LAGUNA PHUKET 390/1 Moo 1,

Srisootorn Rd, Cherngtalay Thalang // Tel: 076-324-416 // www.lagunaphuket.com

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

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

THE ASCOTT BANGKOK www.the-ascott.com

CAPE HOUSE SERVICED

APARTMENTS 43 Soi Langsuan, Plonechit 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

EMPORIUM SUITES 622 Sukhumvit 24 Rd

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

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

DUSIT LAGUNA RESORT 390 Srisoontorn

GRAND PRESIDENT 14-16 Sukhumvit 11

JW MARRIOTT PHUKET RESORT & SPA 231 Moo 3, Mai Khao, Phuket // Tel: 076-338-000, ext. 35252 // www.marriott.com

LE MERIDIEN PHUKET BEACH RESORT 29 Soi Karon Nui, Karon, Phuket //

Tel: 076-370-100 // www.lemeridien.com

SRI PANWA PHUKET

( BTS: Nana) // Tel: 02-651-1200 // www.grandpresident.com

HOPE LAND ExECUTIVE SERVICED APARTMENT

35 Sukhumvit Soi 24 // Tel: 02-661-1999, 02-661-1691 // www.hopeland.co.th

MAYFAIR MARRIOTT ExECUTIVE APARTMENTS 60 Soi

Langsuan (BTS: Chidlom) // Tel: 02-672-1234 // www.execapartments.com

Sri panwa, Phuket 88 moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Vichit, Muang, Phuket // Tel: 076-371-000

NATURAL VILLE 61 Langsuan Rd (BTS:

THE KANTARY BAY HOTEL PHUKET

OAKWOOD CITY RESIDENCE

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

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

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

KRABI AMARI VOGUE RESORT 149 Moo 3

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

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

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

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

PRESIDENT PARK 95 Sukhumvit 24 //

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

PRESIDENT SOLITAIRE

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

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

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NoVeMBeR 2012 | 83


where to

TRAVEL

my favorite place

contact/ TRAVEL DIARIES EXPERIENCES & TIPS

Patcharee Bunma Director of Sales and Marketing of Aloft Bangkok- Sukhumvit 11

TIPS TO SHARE

Must-Do: Beach hopping, there are many different beaches around the island which can be reached by less developed land routes or more fun by sea. Don’t Do: If you dive, don’t touch the coral. Must-See: Sail rock, best spot for divers Sleep at: Rasananda Resort Eat at: Any beach side restaurant, they all provide freshest seafood Drink at: There are many great places to drink especially on Haad Rin. Bring: Swim Suit, Sun block and spirit of adventure Don’t forget: Turn off your mobile, leave your laptop at home Anything else? Check out Haad Salad, it used to be a pirates hide out where they waited until their ships were full of booty and slaves before setting off to trade. It’s a beautiful and secluded beach set it a little cove surrounded by high jungle hills.

84

LOOKEAST | TRAVEL

Koh Phangan

P

BY EARTH SAISWANG

atcharee Bunma sees herself as an optimistic, inquisitive, and self-motivated person. “I have lots of interests in so many different areas of life,” she says, "and I believe that life is a great big adventure, with so much to discover and learn in every day of our lives. This has led to my passion for traveling, working in different countries, and exploring new places and cultures.” She loves nice, quiet, beautiful beaches or islands somewhere, and the splendid colors of nature: the cobalt seas, the turquoise lagoons, and the fiery orange sunsets. And that’s why she loves Koh Phangan, an island under the jurisdiction of Surathani province. “I love it, not for the famous Full Moon Party, but for the real beauty of nature unspoiled,” she says. “Phangan has so much to offer, from a simply lazy day on one of the many beaches to lots of fun activities like trekking in the jungle, swim in waterfalls, so suit surfing, elephant riding, snorkeling, diving or ever learn Thai boxing.” She has been there three times already; the first being in 2008, but still can’t get enough of its beauty.” She said she would definitely visit Koh Phangan again, with her sister and friends, “When I can take proper time off (a week at least). Probably should be around the best time to visit the island, which is between February and August.” She thinks Phangan deserves an airport – you have to either fly to Surat Thani or Samui Airport then connect ferry or speed boat to reach the island these days – but added it’s not that bad really, "because you can enjoy some sun while sitting on the desk of the ferry." 

travel/d


LOOKEAST November 2012  

LOOKEAST November 2012 Issue

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