DINING NIGHTLIFE SHOPPING EVENTS PERSONALITIES ART CULTURE SPAS
OC TOBER ISSN 9857-113
ARRIVING IN STYLE
How to maintain your comfort during travel and still look dressed for success throughout your trip
Centara International Management VP Golden Tulip Southeast Asia MD Amari Hua Hin GM Conrad Bangkok Director of MarCom
ENJOYING THE WAIT
A look at some of the top airline business lounges and their design ideas
MINI GUIDE PATTAYA
Former ‘Sin City’ is geared for families and business travelers today
CHASING MICE OC TOBER 2012 VOL. 41 NO.10
Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions in Bangkok’s most dynamic locales
URBAN RESORT LIKE NO OTHER
The Siam fills the need for a dedicated Bangkok hotel for luxury leisure travelers
The hottest travel news and deals, dining and bar specials, and spa offers this month!
Away Koh Kood Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore Millennium Hilton Sunday Brunch Viu, The St. Regis Bangkok Somtum Der Fatr Gutz Mr. Jones’ Orphanage thb100
Four Seasons Bangkok
SPECIAL FEATURE MICE// 16 CHASING Whatever your corporate meeting needs,
Thailand boasts some of the best meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (or MICE) venues in the world, from sophisticated urban locales to relaxed beachside settings.
travel PATTAYA// 22 MINI-GUIDE: Former ‘Sin City” Pattaya sings a different tune and is geared for families and business travelers today.
ENJOYING THE WAIT: A LOOK AT AIRPORT LOUNGES // A look at some of the top airline business lounges and their design ideas.
Hotels 28 CELEBRATION OF HERITAGE AND MODERNITY //
Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore retains links to its heritage and historical location yet remains contemporary and international in style.
HIDEAWAY// 30 ISLAND If you’re looking for an island paradise to enjoy
real peace and tranquility, Koh Kood is the place to go and the Away Resort resort is the place to stay.
RESORT LIKE NO OTHER// 32 URBAN ‘There are so many good hotels in Bangkok but
one hotel that it lacks is something for the luxury leisure traveler. The Siam fills this need.’
LIFESTYLE FOR BUSINESS// 52 DRESSED How to maintain your comfort during travel
and still look dressed for success throughout your trip.
INTERVIEWS ON EXPANSION// 40 EYE Meet the guy who has not only directed
the introduction of the Centara Hospitality experience to well over 10 countries but also oversaw for the chain an annual gross revenue in excess of US$200-million -- Suparat Chirathivat Uahwatanasakul, vice president of Centara International Management.
42 ENSURING YOUR STAY IS MAXIMIZED//
Meet Simon Dell, general manager of the newly opened Amari Hua Hin, which is introducing fresh, new innovative concepts in their operations from arrival to F&B to spa.
Lookeast | table of contents
Photo courtesy of The Siam
POSITIONING// 44 STRONG ‘Golden Tulip can become the mid-tier
leading group here in Asia, for a simple reason: there’s not much competition in mid-tier, even in Bangkok. We’re in a niche,” says Mark van Ogtrop, managing director, Golden Tulip Southeast Asia
46 ENJOYING THE ‘LUXURY OF BEING YOURSELF’ //
George Reainthong, director of marketing communications for Conrad Bangkok, exemplifies the happy associate at the luxury city hotel, who, like the hotel’s many satisfied guests, also enjoy the “luxury of being themselves” there.
wine & dine HILTON BRUNCH// 56 MILLENNIUM Lookeast take reviews the great value Sunday hotel buffets Flow at the Millennium Hilton
58 SUNDAY BRUNCH A LA NEW YORK//
New York’s legendary brunch culture comes to Thailand with St. Regis Bangkok’s simply jaw-dropping Sunday offering.
ON THE COVER:
regulars 6 10 12 36 38 54 66 68 72 76
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
hen people say you’re a 10 – they pay you the highest compliment. It’s like having a perfect body or a perfect face or even a perfect countenance. October being the 10th month of the year – gosh, the year is almost over – can we say it’s a perfect month when everything will be smooth and perfect? Maybe not, but in fact it heralds a promising season of fun and excitement for us in the Thailand tourism industry. It’s the beginning of the high season, when we can expect all involved in the travel and hospitality industry to enjoy the some kind of windfall in whatever they are involved in – including us. It’s also the beginning of the fun season in tourism circles as suggested by the numerous related activities being organized around us, and we don’t just mean the boat races or other annual cultural festivals although they sure should be interesting for foreign visitors. In Bangkok alone, a big gourmet celebration has been ongoing since last month with different grand culinary events – the recently concluded “World Gourmet Festival,” “Bangkok Chef’s Charity,” “Amazing So Chefs,” not to mention the individual wine dinners at different hotel venues we’ve been lucky to be part of, and the “Food Festival” at Impact Arena. On Samui, a grand culinary event is ongoing until the end of this month, the “Samui Fine Dining Festival.” If you’re heading there, don’t miss this. All kinds of entertaining fare are also all over, ranging from the live concerts of the Maroon 5 and other celebrities to plays produced by the Bangkok Community Theater and Pattaya Players, to all sorts of festivals: “Furniture”; “Fashion”; “Luxury”; “Beauty, Spa and Health”; “House and Condo”; etc. to name a few, and yes, Halloween, which makes me sing lines from an Oskar Hansen poem: “Beautiful October God has gone mainstream…” and makes me celebrate Dylan Thomas, e.e. cummings, or Pablo Picasso -- great Octoberians all. But hey, I see so many people around me who seem to have been inspired to high spirits this month! And I can only expect the avalanche of events to advance and increase in the coming months, making a visit to the Land of Smiles truly memorable and unforgettable for all. For us at Lookeast, October also signals a promising path toward the end of the year and all you have to do is glance at our pages to see that. A great feeling of optimism is in the air, balancing all the “trials and tribulations” the team undergoes each and every issue to become an interesting read for our readers as well as a great platform for our partners. We won’t claim to be already in the perfect 10 circle, but we are certainly working hard to be there and our efforts our paying off, I’m glad to say, if the feedback we’re getting lately is any indication. There is much work to be done for us to rest on present laurels but enough for us to trust that you will enjoy reading what we have assembled in this month’s issue for you, from the business travel related features to our regular travel and lifestyle staples to our monthly tips and guides. Enjoy your Thailand trip and wherever your peregrine wings take you – safe travels. From the entire team at Lookeast Magazine, Sawasdee Krub!
www.LOOKEASTonline.com | October 2012
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october 12 BANGKOK’S 14th INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF DANCE & MUSIC
After a dazzling array of diverse programs from countries as varied as India, Poland, Brazil, Netherlands, not to mention the ever-popular Russian opera and symphony, and an arresting version of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” from Italy, the “International Festival of Dance & Music” has five unique events lined up for October. Top of the charts is Germany’s best-known Staatsballet group from Berlin, enacting the ever-popular “Swan Lake” on Oct. 2 and 3. The grand production celebrates the 150th anniversary of cultural relations between Germany and Thailand. The unique BBC Planet Earth Live is the next program (Oct. 5), which sets the spectacular ‘Planet Earth’ TV series against the grand music of an 80- piece symphonic orchestra, conducted by the famous Richard Harvey. For the first time, a worldfamous illusionist partakes in the festival. It’s Peter Marvey from Switzerland, famous for his ‘flying trick’ above the audience’s heads, a must-see show on Oct 9 and 10. The festival wraps up with two world-famous dance groups. The first is the Limon Dance Company from New York, who has performed at every major venue in the world, including the White House, and are sure to knock out Bangkok’s audiences (Oct. 12). Last but not the least, are 12 top Tango-Dancers from Argentine, who have performed all around the world, and are sure to have the audiences on their feet here, like they have done every year. (Oct. 14). For bookings: www.bangkokfestivals.com; www.thaiticketmajor. com; Tel: 02 226-23191 (LJS)
National Festivals and Events 11-14 Wax Castle & Boat Racing This event is held to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent (Ok Phansa). People in the northeast mould beeswax into miniature Buddhist temples and shrines in order to gain merit, which will determine their future rebirth. Sakhon Nakhon is the best place to witness these crafted models. The annual festival features a grand wax castle procession, competitive boat racing, as well as traditional northeastern cultural performances. Where: Sakhon Nakhon Province
12-15 Chak Phra & Thot Phapa Festival
During “Thot Phapa,” Buddha images are paraded aboard elaborately decorated carriages pulled by the locals in land and water-borne processions. “Chak Phra,” which takes place after, is highlighted by the offering of saffron robes to monks and money to temples. Where: Tapi River Bank, Surat Thani Province
22-24 5,000 Year Celebrations Ban Chiang Civilization
UNESCO considers the Ban Chiang World Heritage Site in Udon Thani s one of the oldest archaeological sites in Thailand. For this celebration, the event will feature exotic art and cultural processions and performances,
Lookeast | calendar
local handicraft demonstrations and displays, international and local sport events, and dazzling light-and-sound presentations. Where: Ban Chiang
works. On view between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Where: Bangkok University Gallery // Contact: 02-350-3626
Art & Culture 1-28 The Man Number 10
Bussaraporn Thongchai’s second solo exhibition presents the complicated relationship between “herself, her father and the men.” On view every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Where: Ardel's Third Place Gallery, 137/1 Sukhumvit 63 (Thonglor Soi 10) // Contact: 02-422-2092
Vietnamese artist Pham An Hai is exhibiting his works in Bangkok. Where: Thavibu Gallery, Bangkok, Silom Road
1-19 An Art Exhibition In The Peace
Fasang Nava-aran and Surapong Maitreedach hold this joint exhibition of their latest works. Where: People's Gallery, 2nd floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Bangkok (BTS: National Stadium)
1-20 The 'Brand New 2012' Art Project
Dontree Siribanjongsak, Thanarat Siripidej, and Latthapon Koakiatarkul exhibit their latest
Road (BTS: Asoke) // Contact: 02-615-0999; E-mail: info@ ramadaencorebangkok.com
1-Nov 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 Center, opposite the MBK Shopping Center (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: 02-214-6630/1
2-Nov 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
1-25 Cosmic Totems
A new exhibition by Albert Yonathan Setyawan, comprising 20 drawings made during 2011-2012. On view TuesdaySunday, 4-10 p.m. Free Admission Where: WTF Café & Gallery, 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 (BTS: Thonglor)// Contact: 02-662-6246; E-mail: somrak@ wtfbangkok.com
1-28 Disco Buddha
The latest works of artist Kamthorn Paowattanasuk, on view daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., except Mondays. Where: Kathmandu Photo Gallery, 87 Pan Rd (near Indian Temple) off Silom Road // Contact: 02-2346700; www.kathmandu-bkk.com
A three-month art exhibition l featuring various pieces from painting and pottery to sculpture pieces by different international artists. Where: Leapfrog, Ramada Encore Bangkok, 21, Sukhumvit Soi 10, Sukhumvit
Concerts, Gigs & Plays 8 Maroon 5 Live in Bangkok The top American rock band – famous for hit songs such as – performs live in Bangkok for the first time.Tickets are priced at Bt4,500, Bt3,500, Bt 3,000, Bt2,000, and Bt1,000 available at Thaiticketmajor.com (www. thaiticketmajor.com). Showtime starts at 8:30 p.m. Where: Arena, Impact Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-262-3456
6 Atif Aslam in Bangkok
The most famous rock legend in the Bollywood music industry comes to Bangkok for the first time. The legendary Atif Aslam has stolen the hearts of millions worldwide, has performed all
calendar over the planet, and had his music featured in many top Bollywood films.Atif is a phenomenal performer, captivating audiences with his unique voice and through the very visible passion that goes into his each and every song. An unforgettable evening of food, drink, exhibition, and lots of performances await people of all ages! Show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets at Bt1,950, Bt2,800, and Bt5,000 available at Thaiticketmajor. Where: Centara Grand Convention Center, Centara Grand at Central World Bangkok (BTS: Chidlom) // Contact: 02-262-3456 or Rise Productions at 083-815-2135; email@example.com
13 Piano Recital by Ancuza Aprodu
D & M Music Studio proudly presents a piano recital by internationally renowned French / Romanian pianist Ancuza Aprodu. Tickets are priced at Bt500 and Bt250, available at Robinson Piano on the 5thfloor of Siam Discovery Center (02658-1080/1) or call K. Mongkol at 081-682-8000. Where: Goethe institut Auditorium, South Sathorn Road Soi 1 // Contact: 02-287-2822
10-13 The Country Wife (Play)
Its theme of sexual freedom, gossip, double standards and hypocrisy are as relevant today as they were in the 17th Century but, above all, the play provides plenty of belly-laughs and a really fun night out. Tickets
24-29 Faulty Towers, the Dining Experience
are Bt800, available at Nelson Hays Library Cafe on Suriwong Road and at the British Club (for members). Where: The British Club, Silom Soi 18 // Contact: 081-937-3600
Trade Shows & Fairs Until 2 Salon Mondial de Haute Horlogerie 2012
Central Department Store presents the “Central International Watch Fair 2012.” The event features a stunning Bt5-billion selection of over 180 of the world’s most respected brands including Corum, Bvlgari, Franck Muller, and more. Enjoy enticing discounts and special offers at Central Chidlom and Watches Department at all branches of Central and Zen.
6-14 Beauty, Spa, Health & Sport Festival
Everything related to Health and Beauty; Natural and Herb products; Cosmetics (natural and herb skincare); etc. Open 10:30 a.m. -9 p.m. Where: Hall 1-8, Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-719-0408
6-14 Fashion Festival
The Best of British Comedy Comes to Anantara Bangkok Riverside this month. Offering interactive dinner theatre entertainment of side splitting British humor, Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa presents “Faulty Towers the Dining Experience” for six uproariously funny nights. Internationally acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, this madcap dinner show is a loosely scripted, pitch perfect tribute to the original British sitcom, Fawlty Towers. First broadcast in 1975, Fawlty Towers is a fictional hotel in the seaside town of Torquay on the "English Riviera." The plots centre around tense, rude and put upon manager Basil Fawlty (John Cleese), his wife Sybil (Prunella Scales), a comparatively normal chambermaid Polly (Connie Booth), and the hapless Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs). Each episode reveals their attempts to run the hotel amidst farcical situations and an array of demanding and eccentric guests. To celebrate the show’s 15th anniversary, Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa is delighted to present this highly acclaimed slapstick dinner event from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the stylish Brio Restaurant. Tickets are at Bt3,700++ per person, and Bt3,500 including tax for group bookings of six people and more. Special packages with accommodation are also available. Where: Brio Restaurant, Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa (Free boat shuttle service from Saphan Taksin Pier) // Contact: 02476-0022, ext. 1416, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; www. bangkokriverdining.com (LJS)
Lookeast | calendar
20 Cinema Diverse
The new film series at the Bangkok Art & Culture Center (BACC), which features award-winning films, in the presence of their director and cast, will screen a new and much-acclaimed film from Philippines this month. “Nino,” the debut-feature of New York-based Filipino director Loy Arcenas, the movie centers on the intrigues, turmoils, and inner secrets of an aristocratic Filipino family, who have suddenly fallen upon bad times. Celia, the opera-singing elder sister tries her best to hold forth, even dressing up her grandchild as “Nino,” the child-Christ, in the hope that it will bring a miracle and improve their condition. The film has a grand cast, and won the top prize at the New Currents section of the Busan Film Festival, as well as the Best Supporting Actress at the Asian Film Awards of the Hong Kong Film Festival. It has been to nearly 20 festivals around the world. Arcenas will attend the screening, together with lead-actress Fides Asensio, one of the best-known opera singers of the country. They will do a Q & A with the audience, after the film screening. The screening is ‘free.’ The Embassy of the Republic of Philippines will serve Filipino food and St Miguel beer, before the film screening. The newly formed ‘Society of Filipinas in Thailand, a dynamic group of Filipina women professionals who plan to involve themselves in cultural and charitable events, are sponsoring the BACC event organized by Films Forum. They are launching themselves this month, with the film-event, at a charitable ‘Halloween Night’ on Oct. 27 at the Sofitel Sukhumvit Hotel. For film event, visit: www.bacc.or.th; Tel: 02-2146630/8, ext 519. For charity event, contact: 081 927-1049 (LJS) Where: Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Rajathevee Road in front of MBK Center (BTS: National Stadium) // Contact: Lekha J. Shankar at 085 811-0080 This fair showcases outfit for men and women; leatherwear; products such as bags and shoes; and jewelry and accessories. Open 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Where: Hall 1-8, Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi // Contact: 02-7190408
16-21 Bangkok International Gift Fair and Bangkok International Houseware Fair 2012 (BIG+BIH)
Gifts, decorative items, home textiles, stationary, toys and games, artificial flowers and plants, handicraft, household products, and small electrical appliance will be showcased in this big annual event. Where: Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC), Bangna-Trad Road (BTS: Bangna) // Contact: 02 5078361/4; www.bigandbih.com
Until Nov Siam Center Pop Cont.l
Siam Center brings to life "Siam CEnter Pop Cont.," the pop-up stores offering top brands in three areas: Discovery Plaza, Siam Discovery; inside Siam Discovery, and inside Siam Paragon. For purchases of Bt10,000, or more get free oneyear subscription of 2 Magazine worth over Bt1,999. Where:Siam Center, Siam Discovery, Siam Paragon (BTS: SIam Square)
Others 20 Charity Midnight Run
The annual “Amari Watergate & BMW Charity Midnight Run” now in its 15th year, will again take place this month. Over 5,000 runners, both local and foreign are expected to join. Where: Street of Bangkok // Contact: 02 6353-9000, ext. 5780-2 or ext. 5021; www.amari.com
5-7 The 2nd Fitz Club Tennis Tournament 2012
After the success of Royal Cliff’s first tennis tournament earlier this year, another fun competition is being launched for all Fitz Club members, guests, friends and tennis-lovers! Where: Fitz Club Health & Fitness Center @ Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Pattaya // Contact: 038-250421 ext.2621, 2622
13 Charity Jazz Duet Concert The "Charity Jazz Duet Concert by the River of Kings" stars Viyada Komarakul Na Nakorn and Nareekrajang Kanthamas, Show starts at 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. at the Menam Grand Ballroom. Ticket price is Bt1,200 per person (inclusive of one standard drink). Proceeds go to charity. Where: Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok // Contact: 02 688 1000.
in theatres now
MOVIES TO WATCH SHOWING IN October
Plot: It all begins in the steamy rural backwater of Moat County, Florida, where things have been done the same way for decades, yet change is bubbling beneath the surface. Boyish Jack Jansen (Zac Efron), son of the local newspaper publisher, has just returned home after being kicked out of college, only to take the lowly job of paperboy. But that too changes when his idolized journalist brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes to town from Miami on the trail of a story that could make his career. Bringing in tow his hotshot writing partner Yardley (David Oyelowo) and the alluring death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), Ward plans to prove that an innocent man has been railroaded on his way to the electric chair. With Jack as their driver, the quartet arranges to meet Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), the seedy alligator hunter hastily convicted of killing the local sheriff, at the prison. But what erupts between them all is a tangled web of sexual tension, mixed motives and shadowy facts that will set off not only a search for the truth but a chain reaction of passion and violence. Observing it all is Jack's only real confidante -- the disregarded family maid Anita (Macy Gray) -- who watches in dismay, as his innocence is turned inside out. Director: Lee Daniels Starring: Zac Efron, John Cusack, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, and David Oyelowo
Plot: A true crime novelist (Ethan Hawke) struggling to find his next big story, moves his family into a house where the horrific murder of an entire family took place. But after finding a box of home videos in which other families are also brutally murdered, his investigation leads him to a supernatural entity that may be placing his own family in harm's way. Director: Scott Derrickson Starring: Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, and James Ransone
Butter Plot: A tale of competition at its most cutthroat, 'Butter' surveys the raw ambition of Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner), the wife of Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell), Iowa's long-reigning champion butter carver. For 15 years, Laura has relished her high-profile role as the beautiful, loyal helpmate to her affable, artistically gifted husband. But when Bob is pressured to retire and allow someone else a chance at glory, an indignant Laura decides to enter the competition herself. She is first in line on sign-up day, only to see her odds of victory fall below 100% with the arrival of an unlikely yet formidable contender: 10-year-old Destiny (Yara Shahidi), the African-American foster child of local couple Julie and Ethan (Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry). And that's not all. Bob's would-be mistress, bad-girl stripper Brooke (Olivia Wilde) also declares her candidacy, as does his #1 fan, Carol-Ann (Kristen Schaal). Facing three opponents, mocked by her stepdaughter Kaitlen (Ashley Greene) and furious with her husband, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to win. And if that means resorting to sabotage -- and recruiting her dim-witted former boyfriend Boyd (Hugh Jackman) as a coconspirator -- then so be it. Director: Jim Field Smith Starring: Jennifer Garner, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Hugh Jackman, and Alicia Silverstone
Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare Plot: 'Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare' tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs -- almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65 of healthcare spending go to preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society. It's not surprising that healthcare is at the top of many Americans' concerns and at the center of an intense political debate in our nation's Capitol. The current battle over cost and access, however, does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system. The film examines the powerful forces maintaining the stats quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. 'Escape Fire' also presents attainable solutions. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech costly system is finally gaining ground. Director/Producers Matthew Heineman and award-winning Susan Froemke interweave dramatic personal arcs of patients and physicians with the stories of leaders battling to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the U.S. military. 'Escape Fire' is about finding a way out of our current crisis. It's a primer on how to save the health of a nation. Director: Susan Froemke, Matthew Heineman
Lookeast | in theatres now
Seven Psychopaths Plot: Written and directed by Oscar-winner Martin McDonagh, the comedy 'Seven Psychopaths' follows a struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) who inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster's (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu. Director: Martin McDonagh Starring: Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Walken
The Oranges Plot: David and Paige Walling (Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener) and Terry and Cathy Ostroff (Oliver Platt, Allison Janney) are best friends and neighbors living on Orange Drive in suburban New Jersey. Their comfortable existence goes awry when prodigal daughter Nina Ostroff (Leighton Meester), newly broken up with her fiancĂŠ Ethan (Sam Rosen), returns home for Thanksgiving after a five-year absence. Rather than developing an interest in the successful son of her neighbors, Toby Walling (Adam Brody), which would please both families, it's her parents' best friend David who captures Nina's attention. When the connection between Nina and David becomes undeniable, everyone's lives are thrown into upheaval, particularly Vanessa Walling's (Alia Shawkat), Nina's childhood best friend. It's not long before the ramifications of the affair begin to work on all of the family members in unexpected and hilarious ways, leading everyone to reawaken to their lives, reassess what it means to be happy, and realize that sometimes what looks like a disaster turns out to be the thing we need. Director: Julian Farino Starring: Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, and Allison Janney
Lanna Boat Races
Thailand hosts a wealth of regional boat festivals through the year, but few produce such memorable moments as this annual spectacle on the Nan River By Percy roxas
eptember and October -- the Thai Buddhist Lent period -- is time for the “Long Boat-Racing Festival” in Thailand because these are the months when river tide is at its highest. Organized by those who live in provinces where big rivers pass such as Phitsanulok and Phichit (Nan River) and Ang-thong, Ayutthaya, and Pathumthani provinces (Chao Phraya River), the longboat races have become much-awaited annual events, not only because of the fun and excitement they promise but also because the revenue derived from spectators who flock to the provinces for the sport spectacle. One of the many Thai traditions that have survived from the Ayutthaya era (about 600 years ago), the boat races started as a means to prepare and boost the morale of the kingdom’s soldiers, as way to develop further their courage and strength by rowing -- as every Thai man were considered vital to the country’s defense at that stage of history time when aggressive neighbors could start a war anytime. Boats used during the festival are carefully chosen – made from auspicious trees that reflect that beliefs of a particular area – and rowed by best trained and most
Lookeast | travel
fit of rowing-crews. But the fun competitive element of the activity was not lost on the Thais and soon, it became a major sport activity, which it has remained till today. Thus, long boat racing festivals are now part of the annual events calendar of many Thai provinces, although many consider those in Phichit and Phitsanulok, usually held in September, to be the most interesting. But in October, another interesting longboat race happens in the province of Nan – the so-called Lanna Boat Races, derived from the traditional name of the region, after the kingdom of Lanna that encompass most of the northern provinces before they became part of Siam (and now Thailand). What makes the Lanna Boat races in Nan most interesting is the way locals regard the boats and the races. Nan temples are famous for their artistic treasures (as all Thai temples are) but they differ in another respect: their compounds contain long, simple shelters where massive dragon boats, often made from a single trunk of wood between 20m and 30m in length, depending how many paddlers they are built to hold, are housed.
Painted in bright colors and with fierce naga heads adorning the prow, these boats are brought out just once a year for the town’s most important sporting and social event — the Lanna Boat Races. As said earlier, the races take place during “Ok Phansa” (the end of Buddhist Lent) and for a few days Nan shakes off its somnolent character to become a pulsing center of wild excitement. Competitors and visitors pour into town and line the riverbanks to watch a traditional pageant on the water before the races begin. Once they start, teams of 50 or more paddlers -- dressed in electric-colored vests --churn up the river with their paddles in an attempt to reach the finish line first, while groups of cheerleaders in identical dress dance and cheer them on from the riverbank. The race lasts for two days, with wildly decorated, long, low-slung crafts zipping down the Nan River, and thousands of people going wild with the excitement inherent in the competition. Thailand hosts a wealth of regional festivals throughout the year, but few produce such memorable moments as this annual spectacle on the Nan River.
pack & bring BEACHREADS
Starting on a new path, making a better you -- don't we all aim for that. We don't have to wait for New Year 2013 to start doing that. So start in the last quarter reading about ways to change whatever’s been nagging at you. It might not last, but at least you can say you tried to work on yourself a bit. Here are some books to start you by: The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid FatLoss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman By Timothy Ferriss The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss fixated on one life-changing question: For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results? Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women. Perfect for: Those looking to improve their bodies. Made by Hand: Searching for Meaning in a Throwaway World By Mark Frauenfelder From his unique vantage point as editor-in-chief of MAKE magazine, Mark Frauenfelder takes readers on a surprising tour of the vibrant world of DIY. The Internet has brought together large communities of people who share ideas, tips, and blueprints for making everything from unmanned aerial vehicles to pedal- powered iPhone chargers to an automatic cat feeder rigged from a VCR. Covers offbeat projects such as keeping chickens and bees, tricking out espresso machines, whittling wooden spoons, making guitars out of cigar boxes, and doing citizen science with his daughters in the garage. Perfect for: Those looking to learn a little DIY Steve Jobs By Walter Isaacson Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values. Perfect for: Those who want to learn from other great minds Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Warren Ellis Moonwalking with Einstein draws on cutting-edge research, a look at the history of memory, and tricks of the mentalist’s trade to transform our understanding of human remembering. Under the tutelage of top “mental athletes,” learn ancient techniques once employed by Cicero to memorize his speeches and by Medieval scholars to memorize entire books. Using methods that have been largely forgotten, Foer discovers that we can all dramatically improve our memories. Immersing himself obsessively in a quirky subculture of competitive memorizers, Foer learns to apply techniques that call on imagination as much as determination-showing that memorization can be anything but rote. Perfect for: Those needing to get a grasp on their memory
Lookeast | TRAVEL
Continuing our theme of New Year = New You are our suggestions for some gear to help you be a better version of yourself. These gifts are perfect for everyone (well OK the beard trimmer is probably a man only gift) and will go a long way to helping you that special person in your life reach their resolution. Some of these might be hard to travel with, but there are great shipping options in Thailand if you need to send them back home.
Kettlebells Price: From Bt1800 A lot of products promise results with minimum effort. Kettlebells promise results but you’re going to need some effort. That’s why, unlike most fad exercise equipment, they actually work. Rumored to have been developed to keep Russian submarine fighters in top condition, these iron canon balls enable a full work out in a limited space. They also don’t require much time…you can wear yourself out in 5-15 minutes if you get the right weight.
Remington Touch Control Beard and Stubble Trimmer Price: Bt2000 New Year means new you. Everyone from artists to CEOs are sporting the stubbled look. Manage it with style with this trimmer that allows you 175 different length options, from 0.4mm to 18mm. That blade’s also titanium coated and self-sharpening, so it should be able to handle even the thickest hair. And it can be charged via a wall outlet, or from your laptop’s USB port if you want one less charger to pack while traveling. Suunto Quest Black Watch Price: Bt8,000 An atypical outdoorsy-sport watch, instead of the usual “extreme” designs often used. The Suunto Quest Black Watch has a subdued design that will work fine as an everyday watch as well as while working out. Of course, being a modern digital watch, it also includes features for time, date, dual time, alarm, stopwatch, and interval timer functionality, the ability to monitor heart rate, speed, distance, running cadence, and laps in real time, the ability to share, plan, and analyze results online, and water resistance to 30 meters. Livestrong LS9.9IC Price: Bt35,000 Step up your indoor exercise biking regime with the Livestrong Limited Edition Indoor Cycle . The ultimate indoor cycle comes from the biggest name in cycling (let’s be honest: for most of us that’s probably the only name in cycling we know). The cycle is made from heavy-duty components and its premium construction will meet the demands of any rider for years to come. The on-console computer lets you track your progress and gives feedback on your training routine, and the many pivot and adjustment points ensure the bike fits you for maximum comfort.
Centara Grand @Central World
Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions in Bangkok’s most dynamic locales By Voralak Suwanvanichkij
ooking to hold a training seminar, an incentive trip to reward high performers, or simply a rally of the troops? Whatever your corporate meeting needs, Thailand boasts some of the best meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) venues in the world, from sophisticated urban locales to relaxed beachside settings. The MICE sector is a vibrant sub-sector of the tourism industry, despite global economic doldrums and recent local catastrophes such as flooding. According to the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), the MICE business generated almost US$ 1.7 billion in 2010 for a number of parties, from hotels and organizers to exhibitors, restaurants, and tour agents, among others. On average, the annual growth rate of the MICE market since 2003 has been around 20% - a reflection of TCEB’s marketing efforts, as well as Thailand’s geographic advantage as the gateway to Southeast Asia, its unique and diverse tourist attractions, good transportation infrastructure, and world famous hospitality. MICE events often involve extensive planning, with agendas that center around certain topics or themes. Outside of large-scale exhibition and event logistics (where the assistance of a local agent or planner is required), organizing a business meeting or conference in a hotel is fairly straightforward. Many hotels, resorts, conference centers, and smaller properties cater specifically to corporate gatherings, customizing packages for various group sizes and requirements. In Bangkok, location is paramount to the MICE experience. The city can be a traveler’s dream (or nightmare), and choice locations are in the heart of the city, where seamless access to the best shopping, dining, and entertainment venues is afforded by the efficient and comfortable BTS elevated train system. Businessoriented hotels, offering 4- and 5-star service and amenities, tend to be clustered on Sukhumvit, Silom, Sathorn, Ratchdamri, and Wireless Roads.
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One such hotel is the Conrad Bangkok on verdant Wireless Road. Nestled within the All Seasons Place commercial and residential complex, the hotel, with luxurious rooms and suites decorated in Thai silk and warm wood hues, is a favorite for the power business lunch. It also offers ample function space, fusing style with state-of-the-art audiovisual technology that can accommodate everything from large conferences to innovative meeting concepts. Support is provided by a fully equipped business center with high-speed Internet access, video conferencing, secretariat room, welcome desk in the lobby, and professional meeting managers. A standard meeting package typically includes meeting rooms, welcome drinks, breakfast, coffee or tea breaks, audiovisual equipment, support personnel, and stationery. Meeting package rates are usually quoted per person, per day (or half day), including accommodation, with a minimum two-night stay. A professional spa, wide array of dining options, and leisure facilities complete the offer. Not far away is newcomer Hotel Muse on tree-lined Langsuan Road. With 174 rooms and suites, this Accor M Gallery hotel blends Euro-Baroque classical aesthetics with dark colors. Hotel Muse is a truly unique experience – a statement in and of itself. Despite its boutique hotel feel, Hotel Muse makes its MICE intentions clear, positioning itself as an intimate meeting and conference venue.Events take place in a far-from-business-like atmosphere; however, from large-scale social gatherings to private meetings, every occasion reflects the hotel’s abiding themes of grandeur and sophisticated pleasure. Cocktail-style affairs and banqueting for up to 150 guests can be held in The Speakeasy on the top floors. Suitable occasions include high-end parties, luxury product launches, and exclusive wine-and-dine events. In the bustling Asoke area, MICE planners enjoy a hassle-free approach at the Grand Millennium Sukhumvit Bangkok. The hotel offers highly personalized service and Thai design flourishes, epitomizing the best of corporate hospitality. Ten adaptable
Special Feature meeting rooms cater to small and medium-sized meetings, seminars, conferences, product launches, and incentive activities. The 500-sqm-ballroom accommodates up to 500 persons in a theater-style arrangement. When it comes to MICE, large chain hotels get the job done. Such chains include the Centara, Novotel, and Amari groups, many of which offer loyalty programs for MICE planners and organizers. Centara Hotels & Resorts offers a comprehensive range of meeting packages, from boardroom-style gatherings to conventions for thousands. Whatever the reason to convene, event management teams handle every detail. Centara also boasts multiple properties throughout Thailand, offering every possible setting to suit a particular MICE theme or requirement. The flagship property is the Centara Grand atop the huge Central World shopping complex in the heart of Bangkok, an is complemented by the Bangkok Convention Centre and World Ballroom. Together, the facility offers over 10,000 sqm of space that can accommodate up to 6,000 delegates in a single, pillar-less environment. The locale is a MICE planner’s dream: a combination of quality facilities with luxurious rooms and amenities such as a fitness center, tennis, open-air pool, and rooftop bistro. Easy access to the elevated train system is the icing on the cake. Novotel provides a similar setting just outside of Bangkok, with a value-for-money proposition. The Novotel Bangkok IMPACT is a 4-star contemporary hotel located in the heart of the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center complex - the largest such center in Thailand. The hotel is directly connected to the convention facility, and it features its own in-house meeting spaces. With 380 rooms, including a Premium Executive Floor, the hotel is equipped with plenty of amenities, including business centers, a fitness center, and a Thai spa. Other conveniently located Novotel hotels in Bangkok with MICE capabilities include Novotel Bangkok Platinum on Petchburi Road, Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square, Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit, and Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom. Amari is another up-market chain with multiple Bangkok locations as well as properties in resort destinations such as Pattaya, Hua Hin, Krabi, Koh Chang, Samui, and Phuket. With a lengthy history in the country, the Amari brand has emerged as a leader in both leisure and MICE markets, and feature quality rooms and facilities, and a renowned tradition of hospitality. Amari Watergate’s, the downtown Bangkok property, is ideal for hosting a range of events, including seminars, conferences, and product launches. A dedicated team of planners guide clients
Gallery Foyer, Pullman G Bangkok
Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square
through the meeting room arrangements, decorative themes, choice of audiovisual technologies, and catering options. The Grand Ballroom can hold up to 1,200 people. Smaller rooms range from the intimate Boardroom, ideal for up to 10 people, and various spaces for 40 to 50 people. Amari Watergate is also within walking distance of the sprawling Central World complex. Of course, another property that should be considered for MICE functions is the Dusit Thani Bangkok, part of another Thai-owned hotel group with lots of properties both Thailand and abroad. And there are others that our space cannot accommodate at the moment, such as The St. Regis Bangkok, Royal Orchid Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, Erawan, Plaza Athenee, Westin Grand Sukhumvit, and many others. As for MICE hotels beyond Bangkok, especially in popular beach towns such as Pattaya, the Royal Cliff Hotels Group readily comes the mind. This long-standing establishment has been the setting for some of the most important political and business meetings in the region, including the Cambodian peace talks, drafting of the new Thai constitution, and an ASEAN Summit. Easily accessed via the Motorway or Highway 3 (Bangna-Chonburi), the Royal Cliff features over 13,000sqm of meeting space, and its events team can host anything, from a board meeting for 30 to a three-day Annual General Meeting for 1,000 guests. The Royal Cliff can also organize gala dinners under a range of themes, replete with live music, performances, and a fireworks finale. Incentives are a resort specialty. The Royal Cliff has arranged a mini-Olympics with an “elephant vs. man” tug of war competition, golf tournament, and scuba excursion off one of Pattaya’s outlying islands. Thailand’s MICE sector is truly dynamic. Its many hotels and resorts are adept at hosting corporate functions, fusing luxury and technology to present guests with cutting edge designs, delectable cuisine, and world-class service.
Other leading MICE hotels in Bangkok Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
Few hotels command much respect whether for business or leisure pursuits such as the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Whatever your event, the venerable hotel can provide a boardroom with the latest technology for 10 people on a corporate brainstorming mission, to a lavish banquet for 460. In each case, commitment to quality, reliability, and ensuring you and your guests enjoy an occasion to remember is non-negotiable. This is assured by the “Meetings by Mandarin Oriental,” a global program that every event at Mandarin Oriental hotel and resorts worldwide abides by and is truly successful. The program is committed to finding the best creative solutions for your business or social gathering, with flexibility and flair, for meetings that are as individual as each hotel or resort.
Four Seasons Bangkok
After it renovated its Ballroom about two years ago, Four Seasons Hotel, Bangkok – located in the heart of the city – now has an even larger space, with more natural lights and versatility for event set-ups. Designed by P49 Design, the 750-sqm Ballroom retains its classic style with hand-painted silk murals. It has also added elegant Thai features including silk panels of burnt orange and gold with side columns in rich gold leaf and silk drapery. The sidewalls open to overlook the lush tropical garden and allow natural daylight to filter in. A pre-function terrace with a gazebo has been added for small gatherings or barbeques, and is surrounded by greenery and shimmering ponds filled with golden carp. A sophisticated computerized lighting system and a new high-tech audiovisual system were also installed to enhance the capabilities of the present systems. “The Ballroom,” says PR Manager Annie Daokeaw, “is ready for any upcoming weddings, product launches, cocktails, conferences, meetings, and any other events.”
Four Seasons Bangkok
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok
One of Bangkok’s landmark riverside properties, Shangri-La Hotel is a popular venue for meetings and functions. The magnificent Grand Ballroom can accommodate over 1,000 guests at an elegant banquet, up to 1,500 people for cocktail receptions, or 1,600 delegates seated theatre-style. Twenty-six function rooms are also available for smaller gatherings. All of the conference and function rooms feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, including complimentary wired or wireless broadband Internet access, satellite and teleconferencing, and simultaneous translation system available upon request, as well as slide, overhead, LCD and direct projectors. Whether signature events or themed events, this is one riverside hotel that is foremost in the minds of MICE events organizers, from both here and abroad.
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Centara Grand @ Central Plaza Ladprao
Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok
This hotel boasts unrivalled meeting, banquet, convention, and exhibition facilities. A wide range of meeting and banqueting facilities are available for large or small social events and private parties, with over 20 superb function rooms, and a total function area of 7,000 sqm to accommodate 10 to 4,500 guests. The prefunction area of 400 sqm together with the 2,506 sqm of the newly renovated Bangkok Convention Centre Hall (BCC Hall) offers great options and can be used for any function or activity, whether it be an exhibition, gala dinner, conference or product launch. This selfcontained facility has been world-acclaimed as one of the premier convention facilities in the region for hosting international events since 1983.
Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok
Another landmark riverside hotel, Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok boasts extensive new facilities and over 500 refurbished rooms after two year’s of re-modeling. “Ramada Plaza is a 5-star brand, so considerable time and money has been spent to upgrade all facilities here. The hotel can now compete with any other Bangkok hotel,” said the general manager of Ramada Plaza Menam. “With 22 function rooms, we will be very attractive to the MICE market and a key revenue channel will be the corporate market.”
Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Bangkok
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok This property guarantees seamless efficiency and inimitable style at every event. The palatial hotel offers eight exceptional meeting facilities, including the Grande Ballroom. It can accommodate up to 500 guests for formal social events, unforgettable banquets, or enriching business meetings. Delegates and guests will take note of the state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment in all event spaces, along with wired and wireless high-speed Internet access throughout the hotel. The hotel’s dedicated professional team will assist you at every stage of planning and hosting to ensure a seamless process for your event’s success. From official ceremonies to unforgettable weddings to cocktail receptions, every function is distinguished by grace, flexibility, and delicate attention to provide guests with exceptional experiences with its exclusive offers.
At the other end of the city, Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel’s meeting and exhibition business has been flourishing since its 2006 opening. The hotel caters to Bangkok's growing meeting and event market with its more than 2,400 sqm of conference space, including a stunning ballroom for as many as 1,000 people, and six additional meeting and function rooms. A re-interpretation of existing airport hotels, Novotel Suvarnabhumi is a pleasant 10-minute walk from the airport through the underground tunnel that links the two buildings, and is located near the Bangkok International Trade Exhibition Center in Bangna.
Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok
Pullman Bangkok King Power
This is another leading venue for corporate conferences and functions, although it is also for leisure travelers. The hotel offers 14 meeting rooms, providing an ideal venue for business meetings. To round off your incentive events, you might want to invite participants to the adjacent 550-seat Aksra Theatre. And there is more. It is strategically located, thanks in large part to the city’s efficient transportation links, and all are fully equipped with facilities and technology to ensure a successful event. The property is manned with dedicated professionals committed to ensuring that the country’s reputation as a MICE hub is kept untarnished, and all guests are served by gracious hospitality with few equals in the world. For every event or function, for every taste and budget, there is a hotel in Bangkok – nay, there is a hotel and resort in Thailand – to satisfy every MICE desire. We just can't cover them all in a single issue. ( by Percy Roxas) October 2012 | 21
Published on Oct 3, 2012
LOOKEAST Magazine, a monthly Insider's Guide to Travel trhoughout Thailand and Southeast asia. Lookeast Magazine provides readers with tips...