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Volume 8, Issue No. 3

February 2014

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4 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

UNMASKED By Dave Stamboulis

T

he beginning of this month welcomes in the Chinese New Year for 2014, and what better place to be welcoming in the Year of the Horse than Bangkok’s Chinatown, where raucous celebrations take place throughout the week. While dragon dances, concerts, and a huge parade presided over by the Royal Princess are highlights for most visitors, why not use this opportunity to take a peek at one of Chinatown’s better-kept secrets, the colorful world of Chinese opera? Chinese opera has been around a lot longer than you or I. With roots going back to the Tang Dynasty around AD 700-800, this makes it one of the oldest performing arts in the world. Combining literature and musical performance, the operas are an engaging visual spectacle, with an astounding attention to detail being a vital part of the show. Originally performed for Chinese emperors, Chinese opera came to Bangkok around 200 years ago, brought over by the large migration of Teochew Chinese that created the strong Thai-Chinese community the city has today.

Additionally, lines painted on the face also have symbolic meaning. A character with white lines around the nose is nowhere near as malevolent as someone whose entire face has been marked with white stripes. Despite the rituals and engaging performance, Chinese opera has waned massively in popularity over the past several decades. The arrival of video and then the Internet meant more people staying home, with less need to go out for entertainment, and the rise of the middle class amongst the ThaiChinese meant that other forms of entertainment and socializing became accessible. Additionally, the younger generation no longer speaks Chinese, meaning they cannot understand the performances, and in the age of Facebook and video games, not many young people have the patience to sit through long, drawn-out stage performances.

Yaowarat Road, the main artery in Chinatown, was a popular venue for opera performances, which were the number-one form of entertainment during the hardship times of the early Chinese settlers. The performances were drawn-out affairs, with elaborate makeup preparations involved in getting into character. The opera performers use masks and highly exaggerated facial painting to illustrate their roles and show off character. Different colors represent different emotions or traits. Red stands for bravery and loyalty, These days, performances are limited to hired shows for blessing shrines for while green shows impulsiveness or lack of control. Black faces show fierce- new buildings and shops, and then during the auspicious holiday periods ness, and white shows evil, worn by the main villain in each performance. and events, such as the Vegetarian Festival or, now, during Chinese New Year.


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6 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

The opera troupes today are often composed of members made up of Thais from Isaan who have learned to mouth the Chinese lines needed to perform, as well as being willing to work the long, hard hours with little pay that the life of a Chinese opera performer now entails. The makeup rituals that go on each night backstage at the performances are mesmerizing, and anyone who ventures forth is welcomed by the troupe to come in and watch them prepare, as the entire proceedings are open to the public, and hailed by the performers, who appreciate the attention given to them. If one stands backstage in the shadows several hours before a show, a middle-aged Chinese gentleman can be seen to transform himself into a beautiful young woman, involved in the lengthy process, which can take several hours, as the peror a woman turn herself into a beauty queen. The process is mesmerizing… former makes the transformation into another gender and personality. The and painfully slow. Powders, paints, hairnets, and a lot of mirror gazing are actors and actresses are proud of their work and spend a lot of energy trying to get their characters just right. A saying among the actors is that “one minute’s performance takes ten years of practice.” One can usually find the makeshift theaters, made from wooden planks and steel beams, set up in and around popular shrines, such as the Wat Mangkok Kamalawat Temple, Chinatown’s main place of pilgrimage during the New Year, as thousands come to light incense and joss sticks, as well as place candles in lotus flowers and ask the monks to bless them for the coming year. Another popular venue is in the small shrine that is found at the end of Charoen Krung 20 and its winding passages. Chinese Operas seem like a dying art, with no place in today’s fast-paced world of electronic entertainment and digital technology. Yet, this vanishing archaic performance is trying hard to survive. While some folks may look down on the performers, seeing them as rather itinerant gypsies, the troupe members don’t really mind. As one older troupe member remarked, “I know it is a dying art. The audience is dwindling. But our performances are meant for the gods and ghosts.” With such a distinguished audience, they have all the more reason to get their roles just perfect.


8 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

FINDING THE PURRRFECT CAFÉ By Voicu Mihnea Simandan

A

lthough the concept of cat cafés didn’t really start in Japan, but rather in Taiwan, where the world’s first cat café was opened in Taipei in 1998, it could be argued that it was the Japanese’s endless love for cats and cute things that made this trend go global. Japan’s first cat café opened in Osaka in 2004, and now there are similar establishments all across the world, from Austria to the UK, from Korea to France. And even Bangkok has its own reputable cat cafés… no, really! While there are almost forty cat cafés in Tokyo alone, the Thai capital sports only five, but for cat lovers, these are more than enough, and their locations are well known by true cat aficionados. I recently went on a tour of these Bangkok cat cafés and was lucky enough to have had as a guide Miss Waranya Ruangkriengsin, a young Thai art director and cat lover who has been regularly going to these cat cafés for almost over a year now. “I can’t get enough of them,” she confesses while stroking a furry cat at our first stop. “I love being next to and playing with the cats, especially kittens who are still playful. I also love the big, fat cats who just slouch on the armchairs and take the customers’ seats. Whenever I feel the need to relax after a hard day’s work, I call my friends and we meet up at one of the cat cafés 2. Cataholic Café – on.fb.me/1dN5Mwm – based on an addicted cat-aholic, to have an iced drink, sit for a chat, and, of course, play with the cats and post is a bit more difficult to find, as it is tucked away on the second floor of the our pictures on Facebook and Instagram.” Ozono Plaza, but it can be reached most easily via Petchaburi Road on Petchaburi 38/1 or, alternatively, from Sukhumvit 39. It’s open from Tuesday to Friday And that’s exactly what we did on a quiet weekend afternoon. What really sur- from 12 to 9 p.m., while on the weekend, it opens a bit earlier at 11:30 a.m. prised me most was the vast variety of cat breeds that the cat cafés in Bang- Cataholic also has a large following on Facebook, with over 23,000 fans but kok actually house. Luckily, I had an expert with me to tell me which feline was the place is smaller than Purr Cat Café. One could argue that the decorations a Maine Coon (or American Longhair), or a Scottish Fold (with its distinctive aren’t that fancy, and customers sit on the floor at Japanese-styled tables. folded ears), or a Persian (one of the most popular breeds in the U.S.)… or a Napoleon (with its dense coat and short legs)… or an American Shorthair 3. Chico Cat Café – www.chico.co.th – is located in a beautiful house with a (which can come in eighty different colours and patterns)… or a blue-eyed garden, and it’s exquisitely decorated by its Japanese owner, who also allows Ragdoll – to name just a few! customers to bring their own cats to play with the house cats. The café is also located on Sukhumvit 53 and is open from Wednesday to Monday and TuesAs a general rule in Thailand, unlike Japan, there is no cover fee for going into day from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. As most of the updates on their Facebook fan the cat cafés and playing with the cats, but drinks and food can be quite ex- page are in Japanese text only, this means that they have a weaker following, pensive, although of very good quality. Some places are strict when it comes but, nonetheless, the food and desserts they serve are most certainly top of to handling the cats and the relevant hygiene, but if you’re a cat lover, then the range. just being around the cats while you’re having an ice-cold drink on a rather hot day will give you all the comfort that you need. House rules are posted 4. Kitty Cat Café – www.fb.com/kittycatcafee – can be a relaxation place for at the entrance of each cat café, and some even fine customers for breaking those who don’t live downtown, who don’t want to face the Bangkok city trafthem (for example, lifting and placing a cat onto your lap can set you back fic, and who want to stay out late. This café is located within Town in Town 1,000 baht). (Tree Square Avenue) on Intharaphorn Road in Wang Thong Lang, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can easily find them So, without further ado, here’s are the five cat cafés you can find in Bangkok: on Facebook for pictures and videos of the cats they have and the food they serve. 1. Purr Cat Café Club – www.fb.com/PurrCatCafeClub – is located on Sukhumvit 53, about a 5-10-minute walk from BTS Thonglor station. They’re open on 5. Charming Cats Café – on.fb.me/1muE7Eb – is, perhaps for some cat lovers, Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., while on the weekend, it a bit out of the way being located on Ladprao 71 (Soi 46) and is open only on stays open until 9 p.m. Their Facebook fan page has a staggering 30,000 fans, Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. However, during the weekdays it and it is considered, by far, the best and most hi-so cat café that Bangkok has also operates as a pet shop that offers supplies and accessories for both doto offer. mestic cats and dogs.


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10 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

DEMENTIA & ALZHEIMER’S: Helping patients and caregivers Earlier intervention offers better options to boost quality of life for patients who have degenerative brain disorders.

I

t used to be a rare event: At a sporting event or shopping mall, an urgent voice is heard on the public address loudspeakers pleading for help in locating an elderly person who has wandered off and gone missing. It’s no longer so rare, as greying populations confront the growing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Dementia = Alzheimer’s?

on with everyday tasks and activities. But more severe memory loss – the kind that impairs one’s normal daily activities – is a troubling sign requiring professional medical attention. “As Alzheimer’s progresses further,” Dr. Itthipol notes, “patients will exhibit more signs of cognitive impairment – reduced language proficiency, poor judgment and reasoning, and changes in behavior and personality – resulting from the increasing damage to “Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells,” brain cells.” says Dr. Itthipol Tawankanjanachot, a board certified neurologist at Bumrungrad who specializes Age and genetic abnormalities are the chief risk facin treating Alzheimer’s disease. “When cells from a tors for dementia. An estimated five to eight percent particular region of the brain are damaged, normal of adults over 65 have dementia, and the risk rises tobody functioning becomes impaired. The damage gether with age. For those in the 90-and-older brackaccumulates gradually, affecting a larger and larger et, the prevalence is much higher – about 50 percent. portion of the brain; as the damage continues to spread, other functions start to become impaired. Dementia’s reversible forms By the time symptoms first appear, the degenera- There are two categories of dementia disorders: retive process has been in progress and worsening for versible and irreversible. “With reversible forms of many years.” dementia,” notes Dr. Itthipol, “the decline in cognitive performance can be traced back to a metabolAlzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia charac- ic-related problem that’s more prevalent among seterized by cell damage that originates in the hip- niors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high pocampus – the region of the brain that serves as cholesterol, and certain types of heart problems. If the command center for learning and storing new the root causes are correctly identified and properly memories. “This explains why short-term memory treated, the patient’s dementia-like symptoms usuloss is an important initial indicator in diagnosing ally improve and may be resolved completely.” Alzheimer’s,” notes Dr. Itthipol. “Memory loss by itself doesn’t signify Alzheimer’s disease; we have to consider whether the memory problems are having a significant impact on a patient’s daily life.” The terms dementia and Alzheimer’s disease tend to be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Indeed the two are closely related, but dementia and Alzheimer’s are not identical. Dementia is the medical term that groups together several different disorders based on similar symptoms; Alzheimer’s is the most prevalent type of dementia.

Lapses in memory that happen from time to time – misplacing a cell phone or forgetting where you put your keys – aren’t something to worry about as long as they don’t affect one’s ability to carry

“Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. The damage accumulates gradually, affecting a larger and larger portion of the brain.” –Dr. Itthipol Tawankanjanachot

The irreversible forms of dementia usually stem from neurological disorders. “The exact cause of brain damage is still not fully understood,” says Dr. Itthipol.“But a widely supported theory attributes it to the build-up of amyloid proteins in brain tissues. It’s normal to see some accumulation of amyloid proteins in an aging brain, but factors we still can’t identify are responsible for much higher levels of protein accumulating in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.”

Diagnosing dementia A number of factors are examined in the process of diagnosing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. A review of the patient’s medical history is conducted with input from the patient and family members. The doctor will perform a physical examination along with laboratory tests and an assessment of behavioral and emotional changes in order to confirm the type of dementia present and its possible causes. “It’s not easy to gather sufficient information on the patient’s unusual changes based only on the observations of family members,” Dr. Itthipol explains. “Although Alzheimer’s and dementia produce a number of common symptoms, early symptoms tend to be dismissed as normal changes due to getting older rather than early indicators pointing to a serious disease. To improve accuracy, doctors have a number of tests to help diagnose dementia and to rule out other conditions. Tests enable doctors to evaluate the patient’s thinking abilities, termed cognitive function, and determine whether the impairment might be reversible. In addition, a physical examination of the patient helps doctors identify the likely cause of the brain impairment, the severity of impairment, and the optimal treatment strategy. When treatment begins earlier, patient outcomes are better regardless of the actual cause. In the next issue of Mango Metro, we will look at treating Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.


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mango metro FEBRUARY 2014 15

A Tale of Two Islands By Dave Stamboulis

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n old friend and I were recently lamenting the vanishing of the ‘good ole days,’ remembering with fondness sleeping in bamboo bungalows on the beach on Phi Phi Island in 1995 for the absurd price of forty baht, or having to walk an hour through the jungle on Koh Chang to get to our bungalow because the road there was just a dirt path. These days there aren’t any more bamboo bungalows on Phi Phi, and the paved roads on Koh Chang have brought 7-Elevens, KFCs, and plenty more development onslaught. Yet while the days of forty-baht sleeps may be long gone, the joy of spending the weekend on a quiet sleepy island can still be found, especially on such southern Andaman gems as Koh Sukorn and Koh Kradan, places that even locals have sometimes never heard of.

other than gaze out at mountainous Koh Petra across the bay and enjoy the majestic sunsets that can be seen from here. There are no bars or discos here to disturb you, but plenty of cold bottles of Chang available from the restaurant, along with inviting hammocks to curl up and drink them down.

Koh Kradan While the thatched roof bungalow may have disappeared from Phi Phi, you can still find it on Koh Kradan. Kradan is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand, and yet still falls under the radar of most sun seekers. Named ‘paper island’ because it is relatively flat, the long brilliant white sand beach along Kradan’s eastern side is one of Thailand’s best, as is the emerald water fronting it that affords some excellent snorkeling. While Kradan is slowKoh Sukorn ing starting to be built up (in a decade, it has gone from one place to stay Koh Sukorn is what I’d call a working island, home to about 3,000 inhabit- to around ten!), it still retains some hippie-day charm to go along with its ants who make a living through fishing and growing rubber. As there are knockout scenery. At the rustic Kradan Island Resort, all you get is a matonly a handful of resorts on the island’s west coast beaches, tourists are not seen as cash cows and are left pretty much to their own devices. There is plenty of old-school charm and smiles to go around, and a morning jaunt on a bicycle or motorbike can take in the main village of Siammai’s crab market, when all the fishing boats come in delivering nets full of blue swimmer crabs, which are abundant in season. There are also hauls of squid, stingray, shark, and we even spotted a spiked stonefish during a walk along the beach. The south of the island is lush and open, with verdant rice paddies flanked by coconut palms and an incredible array of birdlife to be seen. There is another boat pier at the southern end, but most traffic comes into the main port at Siammai. The day I arrived, I was the only tourist on a small longtail carrying eight passengers, three bags of beans, and a monstrous big screen television! At the long and spacious Lo Yai Beach, one will probably have the greatest ratio of sand per person anywhere in the Andaman, even during high season. The few resorts here are spaced well apart, and at the welcoming Sukorn Beach Bungalows, beach chairs and umbrellas, and even kayaks, are provided free of charge. There isn’t too much to do along this beach,


16 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

By The Way Stay. Koh Sukorn Beach Bungalows – www.sukorn-island-trang.com – is the best spot on the island, with just twenty cozy cottages set in a garden along the 600-meter beach, all giving fabulous sunset views and wonderful peace and quiet. The amiable owners can arrange local village tours or further afield to nearby islands for snorkeling. Tel. 089 647 5550. Koh Kradan Island Resort – www.kohkradanislandresort.com – is the place to experience Thai island life of years past. Basic thatched roof bungalows equipped with only a mattress, fan, and hammock sit so close to the water you can practically dive into the emerald sea from the porch! Sand and sea are the only words you’ll need to know here. Tel. 088 821 3732 and 087 382 3058. Go. Air Asia (www.airasia.com) and Nok Air (www.nokair.com) provide multiple daily flights from Bangkok to Trang. The Wunderbar – www.wunderbar-trang.com – just across from Trang’s railway station can arrange every type of boat and other transfer to all the islands around Trang. There is a daily songthaew/boat transfer to Koh Sukorn leaving daily at 11 a.m., and the mini-van and boat transfer to Koh Kradan leaves at the same time. Tel. 087 624 8728.

tress on the floor of a traditional rattan hut, along with a mosquito net and fan (for all of the six hours of power the resort gets at night), but you also get some of the most premiere beach frontage in the Andaman, as the turquoise water literally laps right up to your porch hammock in high tide. While excursions can be made from here across to nearby Koh Mook and its famous Emerald Cave, or if you crave some exercise, up to the scenic viewpoint over tiny Sunset Beach on the west side of Kradan, this is one island where most of your time is just spent doing nothing but staring out at the paradise in front of you.


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18 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

TAKING FLIGHT By Voicu Mihnea Simandan with photos by Regin Reyno

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asketball is certainly not the most popular sport in Thailand, and compared to its neighbors, Thailand isn’t even close to showing the skills that basketball players in the Philippines – the regional champions for many years now – nor Malaysia or Indonesia have developed. Yet, at a national level, Thailand has both a professional and an amateur association, and the county is represented in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association and FIBA Asia, the international federation governing the game of basketball. All this sounds good and gives Thai teams the chance to qualify and participate in major competitions, but before Thai players can reach that level, more focus and effort needs to be concentrated on the grassroots level. If one ignores the heat, intense humidity, and the high level of pollution in Bangkok, anyone who would like to tune his or her basketball skills can easily find a community park to play in. The Thai capital has quite a few specially-designed paved areas under bridges and elevated highways, where the neighborhood kids and health-conscious members of the community gather in the evenings to bounce a ball and get some exercise.

and basketball knowledge of his young students. Like all professionals who have been through a rigorous training system, Ike’s Top Flight Academy focuses on the teaching and reinforcement of the fundamentals of basketball. Once a strong foundation has been laid, then it is possible to work towards creating successful players who have none of the bad habits one gets from playing basketball without the careful supervision of a mentor or professional coach.

Shooting, passing, ball handling, footwork, If people want to play a game of basketand defense practice make up the core ball, there’s no lack of basketball hoops skills taught at Top Flight Academy, while to shoot at. Additionally, there is a score routines and drills help students with of proper basketball courts ready to both their physical conditioning and masbe used, at no cost at all, in most of the tery of the game. As basketball is a team major parks, sport complexes, univergame, being around friends and children sity campuses, and even some interof a similar age can be great fun, espenational schools throughout Bangkok. cially when everybody is on the court to Equipment costs are also at a minimum. share their interest and passion and comA shirt, a pair of shorts, a pair of good petitive nature in the same sport. basketball trainers or sneakers, and a basketball per team will do it. What we To keep the students engaged, fun activilack here in Thailand is solid expertise and coaching, plus the kind of street ties and games are integrated into the training program, but the “Top Flight culture one has in the United States, where basketball is almost a part of Five Golden Rules for Success” have to be observed at all times. Teamwork, every kid’s life. courage, a strong desire not to give up, discipline, and believing in one’s self are five character traits that, Ike believes, will make a successful basketball Nigerian-American Ike Nwankwo, an ex-NBA player for the Los Angeles Lak- player. ers professional basketball team, saw this lack of professional coaching in Thailand and decided to tap into the market. After a 14-year playing career, Top Flight organizes a yearly trip to Los Angeles, where students will have during which he also played in professional leagues in countries on four a chance to attend three of the top instructional basketball camps in the continents, he trained with some of the world’s top coaches, and even met world: Camp Lakers, Nike Basketball Camp, and the UCLA Bruins Basketball President Bill Clinton, who congratulated him on his achievements as an Camp. Obviously, such a trip is rather expensive, with the cost of the flights, athlete, before Ike moved to settle in Bangkok. accommodation, registration fees, and activities adding up to a whopping 170,000 baht. With 25 years of experience and an imposing height of 6’ 11” (211 cm.), Ike opened the Top Flight Basketball Academy, an institution that specializes In Thailand, most of the training takes places at the basketball courts of sevin teaching and promoting basketball at youth and high school levels. Re- eral international schools in Bangkok and, every Saturday, at Planet Footmembering the importance of his years as a high school All-American at Cy- ball in Pattaya. Students don’t necessarily have to go to these international press Creek High School in Orlando, Florida, from where he graduated and schools to be able to enroll. For schedules, registration, and pricing, visit Top moved on with a full scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles Flight Basketball Academy’s official website at www.topflightbangkok.com. (UCLA), Ike realized that the future of basketball in Thailand can and will be found in the local high schools. Top Flight also runs a Men’s League (www.topflightmensleague.com) and a Varsity League (www.tfvarsityleague.com). Visit their websites for schedules, He started organizing basketball clinics, after-school programs, camps, and statistics, and registration details to learn how to get out there onto the private training for individuals or groups, patiently improving the skills courtyard – and fly high!


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For Shrewsbury’s Higher Education team the work to get the Class of 2014 ready for the university application process began even before the start of the academic year started in August with the launch of the School’s ‘Jump Start’ programme.

Shrewsbury students receive Oxbridge offers Whilst most of us were enjoying Christmas parties and getting ready for a relaxing break, a group of Shrewsbury International School students were heading to the UK for one of the most nerve-wracking moments of their young lives – an Oxbridge interview.

This new initiative is designed to engage our Year 13 students in the application process at an early stage, well ahead of many of their peers and competitors from other schools. It is specifically assists students in drafting strong and effective personal statements, and to help them understand how best to present their own qualities and strengths in a way that makes them stand out from the crowd. In addition, the School has also hosted a series of Higher Education events over recent months, including October’s CIS fair, at which over 30 US colleges were represented. Events such as these have further helped our Sixth Formers to understand the huge range of choices open to them, and have led to a large number of applications to other top UK, US and Thai institutions.

offer to read Economics at Girton College, Cambridge. Deputy Head Girl Phapimol Yoovidhya In the current global economic climate, was also successful at Cambridge with an offer competition for places at the most prestigious from Pembroke to read Computer Science. Universities and Colleges is especially tough. However, the success of our Oxbridge candidates Over at Oxford, Pasakorn Punyaratabandhu has is a real testament to the ambition, drive and been offered a place at New College to read dedication amongst Shrewsbury’s students; Engineering Sciences. Their success reinforces qualities that continue to set them apart from Shrewsbury’s position as a pathway to A Level the competition, and stand them in good stead examination success and the gateway to entry to for life both in University and in the careers that the world’s leading universities. follow.

Even being selected for interview at Oxford or Cambridge University is a major achievement given the competitive nature of the application process. Cambridge alone receives five applications for every available place and at Oxford the number of applications is even higher for a simi- Academic excellence is at the heart of what lar number of places. Shrewsbury does. Throughout their time in the Sixth Form, students are supported by a dedicatHowever, three outstanding Shrewsbury students ed team of UK and US College Counsellors who have been able to stand out from the crowd and recognise and understand each student’s indihave been rewarded with the offer of a place: Sam vidual needs as well as preparing them for their Dolton, who moved from the UK to join Shrews- successful transition to university or the working bury International School in 2012, has received an environment.

To find out more, please call Ilka Hodapp on 02 675 1888, email admissions@shrewsbury.ac.th or see www.shrewsbury.ac.th

www.shrewsbury.ac.th


mango metro FEBRUARY 2014 21

Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya celebrates a tremendous 2013

About Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya is one of the premium real estate projects from Blue Sky Group Co., Ltd. It is adjacent to the heart of Pattaya on Thapphaya Road that lies between South Pattaya and Jomtien Beach. The project includes its first Grande Caribbean project with four 8-storey buildings and followed by a striking 30-storey building “The Cruz Grande Caribbean” after closed sales of its first phase. For more information, please visit www.grandecaribbeanpattaya.com Pattaya – Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya under the Blue Sky Group, a real-estate asset developer, recently celebrated the success of its developments in the year 2013 with the “Grande Caribbean presents Sea of Dreams” party and invited all Bangkok and Pattaya media to share in the experience as gratitude for being a part of the company’s accomplishments over the past year. Apichart Gulati, Project Manager of Blue Sky Group Co. Ltd, said the purpose of the “Grande Caribbean presents Sea of Dreams” party was not only to thank and reward the commitment of all partners, who have always provided support and been an integral part of the company’s success story, but also to celebrate the success of the 2-billion Baht value Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya. The Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya is a premium real estate project by the group that takes the concept of holiday homes to the next level, by offering a completely turnkey approach with prices starting at 1.89 million Baht per unit. Another of the group’s celebratory milestones in 2013 was the launch of “The Cruz Grande Caribbean”, a 30-storey condominium development that followed the success beyond expectations of the first phase. The launch of the project in February 2013, along with the “Buy at the Cruz, Win a Cruze” promotion, garnered a positive response from both Thai and oversees clients, stimulating market interest and boosting sales figures to achieve reservations to date of almost 80% for both projects. To create further interest and achieve similar results in 2014, the Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya has launched the campaign “Double Your Luck”. Customers who purchase a unit will be entered into a lucky draw for a chance at winning one of two prizes worth 20 Baht weight in gold. The campaign is taking place from now until 8th March, 2014. Moving forward into 2014 the Blue Sky Group will continually strive to further improve the quality of every development, in order to advance closer to the goal of being acknowledged as the leading company in real estate management. For more information of the Grande Caribbean Condo Resort Pattaya project, please visit www.grandecaribbeanpattaya.com.


22 mango metro FEBRUARY 2014

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Mango Metro – Volume 8, Issue 3 – February 2014