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December 2017

N o w o n l i n e a t : w w w. i s s u u . c o m / n n r t h a n i t a l k


Serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994

Bazaar News:

Charity News:



Thanking All Supporters

Spotlight on Volunteers

Comedy Club; Surprise for Milkman

Holiday Hash Bike Ride

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Pages 18-20

Thani Talk is generously sponsored by:

Pages 25-29

Pages 38-39

NNR (Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach) is a not-for-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994. We achieve this by publishing Thani Talk, a free monthly magazine that has a distribution of 1,400 copies, as well as hosting an annual charity bazaar. We host monthly socials and organize monthly tours. There are no membership dues, and anyone living in Nonthaburi is already a member.

Connect with NNR

Thani Talk Ad Rates 1 page

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Rates per issue, discount for 8 and 4 month contracts Based on space availability Deadline for all ads is the 10th of each month Contact for more information

DISCLAIMER: The placement of advertisements and articles in this newsletter does not constitute or imply endorsement by the NNR of any product or service. The NNR accepts no responsibility for any claims made in any advertisement and the opinions expressed in any articles are not necessarily the views of the NNR committee.

NNR BOARD 2017-2018 Chairperson

Henrietta Bullinger

Vice Chairperson

Sally Elliot


Sandra Wilson

Activity/Tour Coordinators

Susanne Rodrigues Pascale Kervyn

NNR Socials

Chantal Bremner

Charity & Volunteer Coordinators

Mare Harvey Cyndy Henry

Advertising Director

Ginny Condra

Thani Talk News Team

Liz Lu (Editor) See below for Thani Talk Team

Distribution Coordinator

Alyson Espinoza Diaz

Communications Director

Kiki O’Connor


095-247-5692 090-656-9930

Thani Talk Team: Advertising Director and Proofreader (Ginny Condra), Graphics Consultant (Bill Fear), Restaurant Reviewers (John Marinos, Vara Sumetanon, Barb Lewis), Distribution Coordinator (Alyson Espinoza Diaz) 2 December 2017 T h a n i Ta l k

Letter from NNR President

Grateful for Community Support of NNR Charity Bazaar As the holiday season approaches I like to reflect on the things I am grateful for. I count myself fortunate to be a part of this wonderful and generous community. The NNR Annual Charity Bazaar raised a record amount of money to support the poor and needy here on our doorstep in Pakkred. I feel fortunate to be a part of this organization and be able to give back to the Thai community in this country that is our home. The bazaar was held on November 2 and we had over 300 people visit. I am grateful to all who helped to make our annual charity bazaar such a success. This year we initiated a “Family and Friends” sponsorship category, I am overwhelmed with the generosity of so many of you, ranging from families who have been a part of the community for decades, to those who have just recently arrived. Thank you for shopping, for buying raffle tickets, and for bidding on the silent auction. Thank you for selling your wares, for donating fabulous raffle prizes and auction items. Thank you for your time and energy

volunteering. A special thanks to our amazing Bazaar team headed by Sally Elliott. Thanks to the raffle team Nathalie Lollback, Cigdem Koc and Ginny Condra, and to Sandra Wilson and all the bakers who made our café such a success. We are also very grateful for the backing from our major sponsors – Bumrungrad Hospital , Yoga for Awareness, Rose Marie Academy, Harrow International School, St Andrews Samakee, Nichada, ISB, Asian Tigers and the Chaengwattana Community Church. It is through their continued support as well as the support of the community, our volunteers and donors that we can provide for our local charities. Cheers Henrietta

Inside This Issue NNR Social

Calendar of Events

Letter from NNR President NNR December Social Highlights: NNR Bazaar Charity News Spotlight on Volunteers Fitness & Activities Community News Highlights:NNR November Social Highlights: NNR November Tour Heard it Through the Grapevine Travel PEOPLE Restaurant Review

3 4 10 18 20 22 25 30 32 34 38 42 49

Dec. 8: Booster Club Year-End Sale, p.8 Dec. 8: Casual Connections Nichada, p. 25 Dec. 9: Secret Garden, p.47 Dec. 12: NNR Cookie Exchange, p. 4 Dec. 15: Comedy Den Pakkret Grand Opening, p. 25 Dec. 16 : Holiday Hash Bike Ride, p. 38 Dec. 31: Last Day of business for Bumrungrad Nichada Family Clinic, p. 4

Cover photo by Piercarlo Abate

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach December 2017

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NNR December Social

NNR Christmas Cookie Exchange

Please join us for the December coffee morning at my home for a cookie exchange! Tuesday, December 12 10:00 am - 12:00 pm 362 Casa RSVP Requested. Rules: 1. Bring one dozen of your favorite cookies from your favorite recipe, ready to share. 2. Bring three dozen of the same recipe packaged in groups of 2 for you to swap. 3. Email me your recipe by December 8th. I'll be gathering all the recipes to share. 4. Exchange will take place at 11:30 am, please arrive before then. 5. RSVP to this event please! RSVP (with your recipe) by December 8, 2017 to: Chantal Bremner, NNR Social Chairperson

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CANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE December 24 ď ´ 6-7 PM Chaengwattana Community Church Join us for traditional music and celebration Nursery Provided

Happy Holidays from the ISB Booster Club! Unique gifts for family and friends can be found right here at the ISB Booster Hut! Open every Friday from 8:45 am to 2:45 pm. Don’t miss our year-end sale on December 8! Sweatshirts, t-shirts, tanks, short and pants all on on special discount including new and discounted items.

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Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Thank you to our major sponsors for their generous support of The Annual NNR Bazaar 2017! Major Sponsors


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December 2017

Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Introducing New Sponsorship Program Family & Friends With Appreciation to the Following Private Donors Friends & Family Sponsors

The Kabat Family Jan Van Ekeren and Kevin Sypolt Vic and Gill Adams Rick and Terri Thomas Graham and Sally Elliott Bill, Mare, Jasper and Dylan Harvey Curt and Liz Garrigan & Family Greg & Raye Drury Anonymous

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Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Non-Vendor Raffle Prize Donors Thank you for your generous support Angelina Silver Ayla Design Baan Kimchi Bamboo Spa BEKO Butcher Beef and Beer Expat Holidays Thailand Happy Teeth Dental Clinic Lazgam Laser Game Le Bouchon Minor Incorporated including: *Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort *Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel *Anantara Layan Phuket Resort *AVANI Riverside Bangkok Hotel *The St. Regis Bangkok

Nestle Dolce Gusto Panipa Paul’s Antiques Pegas Travel Pim’s Frame Shop Radisson Suites, Sukhumvit Punjab Grill Que Pasa River Tree House Sayan Vet Clinic SJ Jewelry Silder Shack SpiceRoads Cycling Sundance Yoga Studio The Thai House

Vendors Thank you for participating in the NNR Bazaar 2017 and for your donation of raffle prizes Ablerind All About You Arlani Design Group Arts & Hearts Henna Tattoos Asylum Access Babypicks Bake the Sprout Bangkok Bounce/ Organic Island Below Eleven Ice-Cream Bodhi Creations Bon Appetit Nathalie Carry On Let Chaengwattana Community Church CCD Dainty Jewelry Desert Diamonds 12

Elephants Art n Décor Elsewear Eschlo Cosmetics Fearless Sports Felt & Co. Fresco Organico Home for the Destitute I-Care (Baan Poomwaet - boys) Janice Santikarn Books Karamella Kathy Mannikko Photography Kids Action for Kids Lao Song Crafts lil n hip Living Recovery Centre London Pie Company

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Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Lotus Crystal Mango Mekong Quilts Melody from Paris Menoquinas Nancy Chandler NicethorBag Handmade Nina Heyer Bags NNR Life in Bubble/Charity Card/ISBean Nong Massage O Chocolah Odomyas Olive Mediteranean Restaurant Optima Jewelry Pakistani Refugee Support Pansy’s Beauty Center Petit Coeur Pia Jewlery Pita Jewelry Pure Harmony Spa Products

Pure You Clothing Rai Tuan Lom Rai Im-Em Co. Ltd Raja Fashions “RinB, Restaurant In Box” Royrak Sala Stainless Steel SCBKK SILC Sop Moei Arts Tata and Ali Thai House Homestay & Cooking Classes Thanksgiving Home TOM K Just be Jewellery Urban Pantry Urbana Viva La Casa/ Anna Beads / JOYA VIVIN Wayuu Bags / Nanso Accessories XOCO Chocolates Yesterday Once Again

Silent Auction Prizes Bazaar shoppers enjoyed the option to bid on several Silent Auction items selected from the very generous raffle donations. Congratulations to all the winners! Antique Chinese Chest from Yesterday Once Again 2 Night Stay at the Anatara Layan Phuket Resort Teak Khantoke Tray from Paul’s Antiques SpiceRoads Cycling Adventure for 2 Chinese Teak Chest from Mango Staycation at Banyan Tree Bangkok offered by Expat Holidays Thailand

Come Claim Your Raffle Prizes! Missing! A few lucky raffle winners. There are still a few unclaimed prizes from the Bazaar raffle that I want to make sure find their home: An advent calendar, lovely jewelry, vouchers (for massages, restaurants, jewelry and more!), table runner, baskets, waffles, toys, decorative items plus, plus. Natalie Lollback and I are looking for you! We’ll be reaching out to you, and if I’ve missed you please contact me 095-247-5692 or Ginny Condra December 2017

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Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach


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December 2017

Highlights: NNR Bazaar

Thank You for Supporting the NNR Charity Bazaar 100% of Proceeds Go to Local Charities

Home for Hope Residential home for 90 children whose parents are unable to care for them Nonthaburi Reception Home for the Destitute Government shelter housing 400+ homeless adults and children Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities (CCD) Thai NGO with multiple programs serving disabled children 1 Step, 2 Step Program supports Ban Feung Fa, a government home for disabled children I-Care (Ban Poomwaet Boys Home) I-Care supports Ban Poomwaet, a government home sheltering boys rescued from human trafficking and other forms of abuse I-Care (Ban Kredtrakarn Girls Home) I-Care supports Ban Kredtrankarn, a government home sheltering girls rescued from human trafficking and other forms of abuse Thanksgiving Home Home for 25 children and youths with various disabilities SaiLom Project SaiLom teaches life skills to disabled boys and young men at the Rachawadee government home Bumble Bee Free Library Non-profit that offers free access to books, activities, and English classes Pakkred Babies Home Government home for orphaned and abandoned babies

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Charity News

ISB Teens Share Music at Local Charities

Krin Muangsiri is a grade 8 student at ISB and has a passion for music. After being inspired by a band trip that he and his fellow ISB bandmates took last year to Khao Lak, Krin decided he wanted to do more to share the joy that music brings to those who are less fortunate. So Krin took it upon himself to organize a group of friends and to spend time on the weekends visiting orphanages and government homes to bring the residents happiness through their music. This fall they attended Home for Hope and put on a mini concert for the kids performing well known Thai pop songs. Krin explained that the kids loved it so much that they started dancing and singing along. When asked what impacted him most about playing at the orphanages and government facilities, Krin had the following to say “Performing to the less fortunate not only provided happiness through music but created a meaningful experience for myself and my peers. Performing at Home for Hope strongly impacted me the most out of all charities because we had a chance to play Happy Birthday for one group of kids that were born during that month. They acted like it was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to them which made me feel a strong 18

sympathy for these children whose lives are much different than ours. That feeling really motivates me to keep moving forward with this project. One little thing we gave them can contribute to a big difference that may positively lead to a change in their future.� Krin and his friends are another example of a group of kind and generous young people who are trying to make a difference in the lives of others.

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Cyndy Henry

December 2017

Charity News

Family Volunteers Together at Home for Hope

Earlier this year, Claudia Navarro contacted the NNR to ask about volunteer opportunities for her and her family. Of the options provided, Claudia decided that Home for Hope would be a good fit for her family. Home for Hope is an orphanage that provides a safe place to live for up to 90 children and youth. Father Paolo runs the orphanage and has dedicated his life to making sure that his kids have the best lives that they can considering the circumstances they come from. When asked to provide some feedback on her and her family’s experience at Home for Hope, Claudia had the following to say: “It was a great experience. As it was our first visit, we focused on learning about the Home, the routine the children have, where they come from and so on. Our son found his spot right away playing soccer with the boys. My daughter and I used ThaiEnglish books to read stories….the girls would read in Thai and we would repeat in English. Then we shared lunch with them. There is a lot of work to do in the houses, but Father Paolo emphasized that December 2017

beyond thinking about what to give or bring to the house, the children needed attention and affection. Their feelings of abandonment manifest themselves in the boys as aggression and sadness for the girls, so Father Paolo encouraged us to come back and spend time and let it just flow with the children. We’ll definitely be back.” The sentiment that Father Paolo shared with Claudia is one that we hear from all of the charities that NNR supports. They are always thankful for the goods and financial support that we provide but they would love to have more interaction with volunteers and families willing to simply spend time and play with their kids. Cyndy Henry If you and your family would like to visit Home for Hope or any of the other charities that the NNR supports, please contact Cyndy and/or Mare at:

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Spotlight on Volunteers

Rino LeClerc Canadian Volunteers at Four Local Charities

I am a Canadian Maritimer and have been a stay-at-home spouse in Nichada since September of 2016. We have two grown children (ages 21 & 23) living in Quebec, Canada. I volunteer at several NNRsupported local charities: SaiLom, Thanksgiving Home, One Step Two Step, and the Nonthaburi Reception Home for the Destitute, a government shelter for the homeless. At the shelter, you will find not only destitute residents who are Thai, but also Cambodian refugees awaiting their immigration process. Among the detained refugees are many women with children of different ages. As a volunteer at the homeless shelter, my task is to devote my time with the children who spend the majority of their time during the week without contact or exposure from the outside world. During our presence there, the children can participate in different activities. For instance, badminton, drawing, coloring and puzzle making to name a few. Our volunteer group at the homeless shelter consists of approximately 12 volunteers. Note that we occasionally have some home schooling children who volunteer as well. This makes it interesting for the shelter children and gives them a chance to interact with others from the same age group. For me, it is really heartwarming and gratifying to see how 90 minutes of my time (once a week) 20 Than

can be so meaningful and appreciated by both the children and their mothers. Should anyone wish to give some of their time towards a volunteer program please send an e-mail to The NNR Charity Coordinators, Mare Harvey and Cyndy Henry, will gladly assit you with any inquiries you may have with volunteering. Rino LeClerc


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Fitness & Activities

Nichada Neighborhood Community Fitness & Activities Listings Yoga & Meditation KUNDALINI YOGA


Be the Master of your Mind • Wednesdays & Fridays 7:45-9:15 am All levels are welcome! Yoga for Beginners • Tuesdays 9:30-11:00 am 450 THB per class or 10 classes for 4000 THB *** First class try for free! *** Danicha Condo 39/289 Contact Kerstin 086-372-9750 Visit


A great way to improve your flexibility, core strength and get balance in your life. Breath, Body and Mind. All levels - beginner to advanced. • Tuesdays 3:45-4:45pm - Intermediate • Wednesdays 3:45-4:45pm - Advanced • Thursdays 3:45-4:45pm- Intermediate • Saturdays 9:30-10:30am - Beginner For more information: Contact: 097227-6999


Iyengar Iyengar yoga yoga classes classes at at Regent Regent from from Beginners Beginners to to Advanced Asanas. Advanced Asanas. •• Monday Monday to to Friday Friday 7:50-9:20am. 7:50-9:20am. Contact: 081-285-3050, Contact: 081-285-3050, Juan Juan Bodan, Bodan, Iyengar Iyengar and and Ashtanga yoga certified. For more information Ashtanga yoga certified. For more information about about Juan Juan please please visit visit

POWER VINYASA YOGA Inspired by Baron Baptiste combining elements of classical yoga, Ashtanga, Iynegar and Bikram. This is a powerful asana practice that will help build overall strength in the mind and body. No Air-con. All levels welcome. Monday 9:30 – 10:30 am Tuesday 7:45 -9:00 am Friday 7:45 – 8:45 am, Journey to Power Sequence. Need to have taken 1 Baptiste class before. Contact Kelly: 061 872 7534 FB: kellyporetyoga

Alignment Based Yoga Practice • Mondays 8:45-10:15 am: Restorative Yoga & Meditation, All levels; Evening Yoga 5:30-6:45pm • Wednesdays 7:45-9:15 am: Level I - II • Thursdays 5:00-6:00 pm: Yoga for Teens • Fridays 7:45-9:00am: Beginner I-II Contact Napisa C. Pant, 086-975-7187, FB: yogawithnapisa

MEDITATION COURSES Individual or Group Learn TM (Transcendental Meditation). Relieves stress and anxiety. Improves health, academic, athletic and professional performance. Anyone can learn. Expert instruction by a 35-year teacher of meditation. Contact Ellie:

The Community Fitness and Activities page lists local classes/groups that meet regularly. Some have fees associated with them, while others are free. Please contact each group leader for more information. If you would like to list your group here, please submit your announcement by the 15th of each month to 22

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December 2017

Exercise Classes and Sports PILATES MAT

BOLLYWOOD DANCE Bollywood dance is an exciting and upbeat fusion of Western and Eastern dances with traditional classical Indian dance styles. It’s funky, it’s sexy, it’s fun...and it’s a great workout! If you love to dance – this is for you! Suitable for all levels. Morning Classes: Wednesdays or Thursdays 9:30-10:30am. Afternoon Classes (new!): Tuesdays or Wednesdays 5:00-6:00pm All classes held in Nichada Studio above Starbucks. Contact Irit: 086-004-4840

Pilates is a full-body exercise. It focuses on the core while training the entire body as an integrated system. The workouts improve strength and balanced muscle development, flexibility, and increased range of motion. Monday-Friday (Morning, Afternoon & Evening) 500 baht per session or 10 sessions for 4000 baht First session free! Sign up easily online! Das PowerHaus (Just outside Seechaithong Gate) Contact Joanna: 089-846-6610 Facebook: @daspowerhausnichada


MASTERS SWIMMING Nichada Pool Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:30-8:30am Every swimmer is welcome. Contact Catherine Miller: 06-2001-0000, or Kerstin Wild: 086-372-9750


Weekend bike rides leaving from the back gate at 7am, 50+km on mountain bikes. Contact Chris: Weekday rides leave the back gate at 7:30 a.m. Distance and terrain varies with groups for both road bikes and mountain/hybrid bikes. Contact Henrietta Bullinger:

TENNIS WITH SAGI Certified tennis coach, teaching the Play & Stay method at Nichada tennis court for all ages and levels. Private lessons and groups of up to 4 players. 7 days a week, flexible hours. Tennis is EASY, FUN and HEALTHY. See you on the court! Contact Sagi Luft at 092-271-2110 Email:

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Zumba meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the Chaengwattana Community Church. • Monday and Friday @ 7:45 • Wednesdays@ 7:30 The cost is a donation basis, and it goes directly to the surrounding community non-profit organizations. If there is a class cancellation or changes to the schedule students can find out via our FaceBook page, Zumba Nichada Thani or Google Group, https://!forum/zumbanichada.  

Tutorials WORLD ENGLISH Enjoy refining skills in oral English and composition with American, Deborah Dunthorn, BA, MFA, TESL Cert. 30 years international experience coaching academic, professional and other clients of all ages and levels of proficiency. To discuss private or group tuition contact 083-0559785 or

PIANO LESSONS FOR ALL AGES By experienced professional with a Masters from University of Ariz. in Piano Performance. Experience teaching at Westover School in Connecticut. Place: 39/891 Regent Price: 1000 baht per 30 minutes. Contact Info: Tel: 091-878-6283

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Community News

Comedy Den Nichada: Grand Opening on December 15 Comedy Den Pakkret, an entertainment company owned by ISB graduate Delfin Solomon, will launch its opening night in Nichada on Friday, December 15. Delfin, a 30-year-old Indonesian and a member of ISB’s Class of 2005, has four years of experience in the comedy business. He said he founded Comedy Den Pakkret in order to reach and entertain the expatriates living outside of downtown Bangkok. The Dec. 15 grand opening of Comedy Den Pakkret will be held at the Nichada Function Room, located by the lake just before the former Le Bouchon restaurant. For the December 15th inaugural show, the headliner will be award-winning comedian Jinx Yeo from Singapore. Joining him will be standup comedian Maitreyi Karenth from India. Pre-sale tickets are available at 300 baht for those under 18, and 400 baht for adults. To purchase tickets, call 085-134,8230 or email Tickets will be delivered free of charge to homes in Nichada Thani only. Liz Lu

Casual Connections Nichada Dec. 8: A Grand Potluck Christmas Celebration On Friday December 8th, Casual Connections Nichada, organized by American Women’s Club, will host a Christmas celebration at the home of Gill Adams in Nichada Park. The potluck luncheon takes place from 11am to 1pm. Everyone in the community is invited to join the festivities at Gill’s lovely home, which is beautifully decorated for the holidays. Come see her months' work of very sumptuous Christmas decorations. Everyone is welcome, no matter what nationality, how long you have been here or how long you plan to stay, member or nonmember alike. And for added fun, there will be prizes for winners of a fun Christmas quiz. The December 8th CCN luncheon will be head at 39/214 Soi 5 Nichada Park. No need to RSVP, but do bring a favorite dish to share. Suchada Smith


Community News

Readers Surprise Neighborhood Milk Delivery Couple with Dream Come True Gift

On Saturday, November 11, Thani Talk readers who had pooled their resources to give a surprise gift to our local milk delivery team gathered at Mansions in the Park to present a special present. Upon arrival at Mansions, Khun Sa-oat and his wife Khun Maew were surprised to find many of their regular customers from all over Nichada waiting with big smiles. They were invited to sit in the lobby to read a letter explaing the gift. They found out that after readers learned in the October issue of Thani Talk that the hardworking couple have not had a vacation in decades, a group of their fans and customers joined forces to make their dream vacation to Chiangmai possible. K. Sa-oat and K. Maew were elated by the cash gift, enough for a 5-day vacation. They decided to take their niece and her 2 children with them and all drive up together to Chiangmai in their delivery truck. Some readers may remember that in addition to delivering milk, eggs, and other fresh products, K. Sa-oat and K. Maew also take care of their niece’s baby three days a week so that the young mother can go to work. Wherever they go, the baby goes. Their 7-month old great nephew is getting heavy, K. Sa-oat said, and asked if there’s a second-hand stroller for sale. After news of his request was shared, Susan Yates generously donated her stroller. Again, K. Sa-oat and K. Maew were flabbergasted 26

by the community’s generosity. They promise to take lots of photos of their vacation to share with readers. Thank you to everyone who supported this impromptu project to let K. Sa-oat and K. Maew know how much they are appreciated by their friends and customers. Liz Lu

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Community News

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Community News

Crafters Use Talent to Raise Funds in Support of Life-Changing Surgeries

For volunteers of Kids Action for Kids, creating holiday crafts not only helps raise money to fund cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, but it also provides a wonderful opportunity to make friends. Before Christmas and Easter each year, neighbors of many nationalities meet in Nichada on a regular basis to produce handmade crafts for sale. “I think it started as a Scandinavian group,” said volunteer coordinator Kjellaug “KJ” Bakkejord. “ But I don’t want to exclude anyone. Whoever wants to help can come.” One recent evening, friends joining KJ, who is Norwegian, at her home for crafts included Emma Pratt of Great Britian and Sabine Lingenfelder of Germany. Others in the group include ladies from Malaysia, the United States, the Philippines and Sweden. About once a week, the ladies meet at 7:30 pm, after most of their children are in bed, and work steadily for three to four hours, sewing and chatting. “It’s fun just to do something in the evenings to get together. It’s very social,” said Emma. “You learn to make something, and it’s for a great cause.” To prepare for sales at NNR’s recent Nov. 2 charity bazaar as well as at a Nov. 30 sale at her home, KJ started before last summer to source materials such as yarn and fabrics. She estimates that volunteers make about 1,000 pieces of ornaments and home decor items for sale. The traditional Scandinavian Santas, at 1,000 baht each, were so popular that at the NNR Bazaar, they were sold out within 30 minutes, she said. Every baht raised by Kids Action for Kids is matched by its charity partner, the Benchachinda company. Each 28

surgery costs 25,000 baht, and KAFK made enough at the NNR Bazaar to fund four surgeries. With the matching funds from Benchachinda, the group in effect raised enough money to fund eight surgeries. To explain why she personally is so committed to KAFK’s mission of funding cleft lip/palate surgeries, KJ recounted a story shared by her friend Torgunn Reggestad. The majority of surgeries are for children, Torgunn told her, but during one surgery mission trip, a man in his 60s showed up at the clinic. When the staff asked if he wanted the surgery too, he said yes. They asked, “You have been living with this for so long. Why now?” The man replied, “I just want to be able to kiss someone.” His heart-wrenching answer stunned KJ. “I cried,” she said. “I can’t believe it. It just hit me.” She’s happy to report that the elderly man did get the surgery he had wished for all his life.

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Liz Lu December 2017

Community News

Want to join the KAFK Crafts Team? Contact KJ at: December 2017

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Highlights:NNR November Social

November 14th NNR Christmas Social Thank you to all for coming out and supporting our November coffee hosted by the one and only Gillian Adams! Our host welcomed the community to her Nichada Park home and was instrumental in providing all those in attendance a wonderful time and our first taste of Christmas! She invited Santa Claus and even made it “snow”! We can’t thank you enough Gill! Guests also got a chance to shop for beautiful dresses by Ambre Jolie and unique clutch bags by Sian Seamer. In addition to all the yummy treats the guests brought, we would also like to thank the London Pie Guy and Billy’s Bites for their scrumptious contributions. Chantal Bremner NNR Social Coordinator

Photos by Piercarlo Abate


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Highlights: Social

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Highlights: NNR November Tour

Highlights: November Tour of Museum of Floral Culture

The Museum of Floral Culture is definitely one of Bangkok’s lovely hidden gems. Located in the residential area of Dusit (approximately 12 km from Nichada), this small, but quaint attraction is housed in a wonderfully preserved 100 year old teak colonial styled mansion that is partly wrapped with a gorgeous porch. The grounds surrounding the house are, of course, landscaped with beautiful plants and flowers to create a Zen-like atmosphere. The garden is highlighted by a lovely pool and large covered deck area to enjoy quiet peaceful environment away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. The museum is the creation of the internationally renowned Thai floral artist Sakul Intakul and is for not only lovers of flowers, but anyone interested in history and Thai culture. Our tour was conducted in English and was even partly guided by the charming Sakul himself! Each room in the house focused on the importance of flowers in Thai culture and throughout Southeast Asia using historic photographs, artwork, and replicas of arrangements Sakul has made for the royal family. We were also given a demonstration of the intricate manner in which flowers are weaved and sewn together creating the quintessential Thai floral arrangement. The guided tour lasted about an hour and concluded on the porch or the Dok Mai Thai Salon du Thé where we enjoyed a beautifully Asian inspired tray of deserts and were offered wide variety aromatic teas. (A variety of coffees and traditional warm scones were also available.) Finally, the museum also houses a small gift shop that had samples of amazing coffee table books, small, but very elegant bud vases in both 32

ceramic and bronze, and an elephant inspired tea set all designed by Sakul Intakul. One other short note about this exquisite place…in March 2017, Sakul opened a floral inspired restaurant and dining experience on the side of the house called Midnight Moon. Midnight Moon is only opened on Friday-Sunday 6pm-midnight and reservations are required. You can find out more about the artist Sakul Intakul, the museum and the restaurant on Facebook and in feature articles in Thailand’s ¬The Nation and Forbes Magazine. The museum and the restaurant are definitely on my list for something different and special to share with out of town guest in the future or for a unique night on the town with friends or the husband. A special thanks to Susanne Rodrigues and Pascale Kervyn for organizing the trip!

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Kelly Mott December 2017

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Heard it Through the Grapevine

Heard it Through the Grapevine

This column offers a chance to share all those good finds and tips that are helpful to others. If you have tips to share, please send them to Liz at

Bagels – Fresh From the Oven to Your Door I got a taste of Remi Taflan’s bagels at the American Women’s Club’s October gathering -- Casual Connection Nichada. Since good chewy bagels are hard to get in Thailand, I was thrilled when I found out that I could order these bagels. Lucky for us, Remi herself is a bagel fanatic, and she started making her own bagels when she couldn’t find the type she liked here. Remi makes plain, sesame, garlic, onion and cinnamon flavors. They come in two sizes, mini bagels at 280 baht per dozen, and the regular size at 420 baht per dozen. Yummy cream cheese with everything is 160 baht for an 8 ounce container. Remi tries to deliver them before 9 am so that her customers can enjoy fresh bagels in the morning. To order, call or send a Line message at 095164-4373. Orders can also be placed via email: For more details, visit her website: Netra Ruthaiyanont

Nursing Room for Moms at Central Chaengwattana Hi Nichada Moms! If any of you are new to the area like me and have babies, this tip is for you! At the Central Chaengwattana mall there is a great mother's room located inside Central Department Store. It's located on the level with the children's and baby items. But take note! The door clearly says "Women Only", however during one of my previous visits there were two male/female couples who came in to change their baby's diaper. I didn't mind so much as the breastfeeding areas are curtained off and private. It's a nice area to feed your baby in private and change a diaper away from the toilets and general public. Tiffany Dozier 34

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Heard it Through the Grapevine

A Healthy Treasure in our Midst Popular Vegetarian Restaurant near Ngamwongwan Road

Gather some friends and put a date in the diary to venture out for a delicious lunch just a short drive from Nichada. Khun Churn originally opened in Chiang Mai and is recognized as one of the best vegetarian restaurants in town. They’ve now opened two restaurants in Bangkok delivering their hallmark fresh and healthy vegetarian cuisine. The Khun Churn branch off of Ngamwongwan Road is an all-you-can-eat Thai vegetarian lunch buffet. The chefs use tofu, an array of yummy mushrooms and a unique assortment of vegetables to prepare a range of tasty northwestern Thailand dishes. The khao soi, a northern Thai noodle specialty, is divine along with delicious curries, a red rice dish I’m still dreaming about and several build your own salad stations with abundant offerings. Friendly staff warmly welcome you for the daily lunch buffet from 11:30 to 2:00 pm for 199 baht. Best to get there early.

Khun Churn on Ngam Wong Wan is a little tricky to find but well worth the effort. The villa is located on Soi 6 near the expressway entrance. You’ll see the cars lined up along the small soi before you see the villa, but you’ll know you’re in the right place. Ginny Condra

Khun Churn – Healthy Vegetarian Cuisine Soi 6 Ngam Wong Wan, Near Expressway Entrance 082-581-4456 or 02-951-9529

Baking Supply Store Next to Makro If you love baking, check out the convenient one-stop shop called Baker Mart next to Makro on Chaengwattana Road. It is located where the old food court used to be. It offers a wide range of baking supplies and equipment, including nuts and cream cheese sold in bulk. The shop also stocks cake decoration paraphernalia such as sprinkles, flavorings and speciality cup cake cups. If you need KitchenAid blenders, including models for home use or industrial purposes, this shop has them. Liz Lu December 2017

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Bike-Hashery in Bangkok December 16 Holiday Hash Invites Locals to Try Mountain Biking

Fancy a mountain bike ride through the Thailand countryside? If so, the Bangkok Hash House Bikers (BHHB) may be just the group for you. There’s a December 16 ride that is ideal for new riders. The BHHB is a group of people who like to take mountain bikes out for a (mostly) off road ride once a month, in various locations within three hours of Bangkok. We get together for a Saturday ride of 40-50 km, socialize over a few beers afterwards and at dinner, and stay overnight at an inexpensive resort. Then we do it again on Sunday, on a slightly shorter and less technical course. The Bike Hash has been active since 1992, and marked both its 500th ride and its 25th anniversary in 2017. My family and I first started riding with the Bike Hash in 2012 near Kaeng Krachan National Park, when we first moved to Thailand, and we try to attend the monthly rides whenever we can. It is strangely addicting, excellent fitness, and a wonderful way to see beautiful parts of Thailand you would not see from your car. And you get 38

to learn wonderful new Bike Hash terminology. The rides are essentially a paper-chase – the “Hares” lay out a secret course in advance marked by bits of shredded paper. The riders pay their “Hash-Cash”, and then “Roll-Off” following the course, yelling “On-On” or blowing a whistle when “On-Paper”. Frequently the devious Hares break the course with false trails and “Checks”, prompting loud calls of “Off-Paper” or “Checking”, requiring the riders to work together to find where the trail continues, mark it with paper for the following riders, and continue the ride. Typically, the stronger riders or “FRBs” (come to a Hash to find out what that means) break the checks and leave a continuous trail for the following riders. The Sunday ride is referred to as the “Family Ride” for some, as it is generally geared for smaller riders, although it is also occasionally referred to as the “Hangover Ride” for those that may have over-socialized on Saturday night. Both rides are followed by “Circle Time”, one of the

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time-honored Bike Hash traditions, facilitated by the highly-respected Grand Spoke and other members of the executive committee. Riders share experiences over food and beer (“Hash-Piss”) or soft-drinks (“Softies”), pay respect to the esteemed Hares, tell stories, give each other colorful nick-names, present special awards, and generally laugh a lot. And sing. Badly. I am one of the Hares for our next event on December 16, a special holiday version of the Hash. It is a one-day version, closer to Bangkok, in Pathum Thani, and perfect for new riders. It will be about 40 km, relatively flat, with one water-stop at about 20 km, short cut options, and an optional FRB loop for the stronger riders. It is also staged from a unique location you won’t want to miss, known only as Jimi Hendrix. Further information can be found on the Bike Hash website ( I hope to see you there! Bill Harvey December 2017

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Tony and Jah HybridTraining Training Tony and JahHemsley Hemsleyof of Lifeforce Lifeforce Hybrid “find himself”. Because of his interest in physical training and weight lifting (he is a staunch admirer of Arnold Schwarzenegger), he tried a 6-month stint working with a physiotherapist in his hometown but decided it wasn’t what he was interested in. He then pursued his interest in photography and was accepted into the London College of Fashion to study fashion photography and styling. However, he said he did not quite fit in and felt like an outsider. He went back to Finland to work with a relative doing commercial photography. At the same time, he started to pursue mixed martial arts; the path which would eventually lead him to Thailand.

Upon emerging from the Lifeforce Hybrid Training Gym one day, I met an acquaintance who casually asked me “What do you do in there? There’s barely any equipment!”. I looked back in the gym, and sure enough, there was ample empty space and minimal equipment. I cannot explain what we do in a few words, so I decided to interview the two co-owners of the gym themselves, Tony and Jah Hemsley. Tony, towering at about 190 cm tall, is in his mid 30’s and hails from a small town called Rauma in Finland, where he grew up and lived until around the age of 16. Jah, the youngest of three siblings, is from Udon Thani, Thailand. Together, they have built a personal training gym here in Nichada, at the plaza where Panipa’s Hair Salon is located. The road to establishing their own fitness business was accomplished after much work and a life-changing health scare for Jah. Growing up, Tony said he was a bit rebellious and did not like school. After finishing Finland’s mandatory school requirements at age 16, he spent two years trying to 42

Tony first came to Thailand to train in Thai boxing at the Muay Thai Plaza Gym. On his third trip, he met his future wife, Jah, and they fell in love. They married and started living their lives here in Thailand -- Tony teaching at the downtown jujitsu club and Jah later working there as well. Their life together in the beginning was a struggle, Tony said. “We had little money, but we were happy.” Other than working at the jujitsu center, the couple also had a little business selling Thai textiles and other products to Finland, but it didn’t prosper. “I am never a good businessman,” Tony said with a laugh. Then something happened that would drastically alter the course of their lives. Jah started getting sick. In the beginning, they thought it was a common cold and did not bother going to the doctor. Money was also an issue. After a while, her condition worsened, to the point where she struggled to breathe, gasped for air, and could not walk. Rushed to a hospital, she had to have a tube inserted into her lungs to help her breathe. The hospital had neither the proper equipment nor a specialist to treat her, so it was decided that she should be transferred to a government hospital due to their lack of insurance, but no bed was available at any government hospital. Private Phayathai

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PEOPLE Hospital was the closest hospital but refused to admit her unless a 50,000 Baht advance payment was made. By then, one of her lungs had already collapsed. The jujitsu community and club that Tony worked at helped raise the 50,000 Baht needed. Finally, Jah was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit for two weeks. Afterwards, she spent a few more weeks bedridden at home, trying to regain her strength. Even the doctors could not believe that she had eventually pulled through. “That was our absolute rock bottom”, Tony said. “Our lives have been going upward ever since then.” Health-wise, that was also Jah’s major wake-up call. According to Tony, she was a “skinny fat girl”; a girl who appears skinny but has no muscle tone whatsoever. Her health scare was the reason she started training and taking better care of herself. With teary eyes, she said, “Tony made me promise I would take better care of myself because he almost lost me. I almost died.” Looking at her now, it is hard to imagine that she used to weigh only 42 kilograms. Little by little, Jah started training. Daily exercises such as 50 body-weight squats, 30 glute bridges progressed to doing them with weights (5-litre water bottles at home. They did not go to the gym at the time).

“Before, we used to fight all the time when I had to train. I always cried. I was still lazy and wanted to just lie down.” Jah said with a laugh. However, when she started seeing results, and when she saw that Tony, who started eating differently, had so much energy and was in a happy mood most of the time, she wanted to do more. She started eating differently too or as Tony put it “eat the Lifeforce way”. “You basically start stuffing yourself with nutrients,” Tony said. He added that it also involves no processed food, eating a protein-based diet, fasting, etc. Afterwards, Jah’s weight steadily climbed from 42 to 49-50 kilograms that was mainly muscle. At around the same time in 2013, Tony’s stint at the jujitsu club downtown came to an end. He started training kids at other places, including Nichada. One would think Tony must have always been fit and muscular. But he said, “That was actually the fattest time of my life. I was always a fat kid.” He said he got sick and December 2017

tired of being sick and tired all the time. He decided he didn’t care about losing weight; he just wanted to have more energy. So he put together a new eating plan and soon started feeling better. “I dropped 17 kilos so fast,” he said. “You can’t approach diet with a diet; it has to be connected with other things in your life. I am hard on people. I push hard on techniques, and that’s because I believe in it and that’s also because I live it myself.” Once he started looking different, people started taking notice. More people in Nichada asked him for private training sessions. Eventually the couple moved into the Chaengwattana area to pursue this full time and opened the Lifeforce Hybrid Training Gym. “People who see us nowadays don’t quite realize how far we have come, both physically and mentally”, Tony said. “We used to be so shy and had no self-confidence whatsoever.” But through training, they have changed so much, he said. And that’s why they want to help people. Lifeforce training is not just about fitness or losing weight, it’s also about creating and boosting selfconfidence. “We are so proud of what we do, especially when we can see real changes in people both mentally and physically,” they said. Lifeforce gym recently expanded from one room to two rooms in order to accommodate more people. They never advertise. Every client they get is through word-of-mouth. Tony said he doesn’t like being called a personal trainer. “I feel like we build relationships with people. We have a lot to offer. Just call me coach Tony or Tony”. Asked if they plan to expand their family, they laughed and said “We already did! We adopted two cats, TJ and JT.” As for Jah, she’s in perfectly good health now. She still sees a specialist for a yearly checkup. But other than that, she’s busy training people at the gym. In their free time, she and Tony go and train at a local gym. If you are looking for an individualistic, endurance, strengthtraining philosophy that is unlike anything out in the fitness realm, then come give Lifeforce a try. Vara Sumetanon

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BWG CHRISTMAS LUNCH 7th December 2017 10.00am - 3.00pm The Chatrium Riverside Hotel Members 1,700 Baht - Guests 2,000 Baht Christmas Lunch with all the trimmings Vegetarian option on request Christmas market from 10am, the perfect place for all your Christmas Shopping Complimentary welcome drink, complimentary red or white wine, on the table (One bottle of each) Pre-order your red, white & sparkling wines with free corkage Fabulous raffle prizes & much more! To reserve your tickets email with your menu choice and wine order. RSVP by 28th November Tickets and wine must be pre-paid, locations to be announced for collection/payment of tickets throughout October and November as well as lunches and coffee mornings. All proceeds will go to BWG supported charities. 46

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Restaurant Review Mekiki No Ginji at K-Village in Bangkok There are probably hundreds of Japanese restaurants in Bangkok. What is so exciting about this place? It is located in K-Village, a fun little shopping centre on Rama IV Road. The seafood is fresh, the cuisine is typical of Okinawa and southern Japan and they celebrate happy hour with seasonal drink menus and cocktails from Japan. That is all exciting, but not unique. The décor is based on traditional Japanese fish buckets. This is fun, especially if you get a table in one of these buckets, but you can’t eat interior design, right? Dear friends and neighbors, the reason I get excited about this place is the uni sauce. I admit that I am not overly knowledgeable about Japanese cuisine. Maybe uni sauce is more common than I believe. All I know is that this place features several dishes with uni sauce, and it is heaven in a bowl. Uni is the Japanese name for sea urchin roe. Having been featured in Japanese cuisine for ages, uni is quite trendy these days and is popping up in cuisines around the world. Uni can be prepared in many ways, but this creamy delicious sauce is truly amazing and more than justifies a trip downtown.

Located on the ground floor of K-Village, the restaurant’s distinctive exterior stands out. When you walk inside, all the staff shout a Japanese greeting to you. If you’re lucky you can snag one of the private dining rooms. The menu is also quite intimidating for someone like me. It is lengthy, and includes many unfamiliar words. Most items have a photo, which is occasionally helpful. On my recent visit, I ordered a sashimi sampler. It included fresh tuna, salmon, Japanese oyster, scallops, octopus, and several other fish. Sashimi is available a la carte as well. It was very fresh and delicious. It arrives in an impressive presentation complete with dry ice. But I wasn’t distracted. I was here for the uni sauce. Perhaps their most popular dish is ‘riceball served with dipping December 2017

uni sauce’. It is essentially Japanese sushi rice wrapped in seaweed. You can pour a bit of sweet soy sauce on it, then pick it up and dip into a succulent bowl of rich, creamy uni sauce. (Please note, I am not versed in the finer points of Japanese table etiquette… Perhaps dipping a rice ball like chips into salsa is frowned upon in polite society…) I also ordered the Hotate (scallops) in Uni sauce Yaki. Of course, it was amazing. But that is the point. Everything with uni sauce is delicious. On previous visits, I’ve had Japanese omelet with uni sauce. The Yakitori is very tasty (and you can recycle the uni sauce from the rice ball dish). They have a sizzling beef dish that is also delicious.

They have a wide selection of juice, tea, Japanese beers, sake, and other drinks. The happy hour offers unique (to my eyes) drinks that change every season. During the ‘summer’ they offered lemon flavored beer. This time sparkling sake was on offer. They also had a happy hour game which involved rolling the dice to see what kind of discount you’d receive. All in all, it’s a good time and the prices are not unreasonable. I would say the only drawback is that there are not many options for kids. There is a ‘kid’s meal’ consisting of fried rice, chicken wings, shrimp tempura and other nibbles. Unless your children are somewhat comfortable eating Japanese food, they may struggle a bit here.

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Delivery Restaurant


Local Business


Baan Kimchi Korean BBQ/Thai Cuisine


Bamboo Spa


Burger King/Pizza Company


Bank Krungsri


Cafe Kabul (Indian & Afgan)


BeWitch Salon


Cherry’s Cakes


Blue Sky Cafe


KFC & Pizza Hut


Bumrungrad Family Clinic


Clark Hatch Fitness Center


Le Bouchon Food Delivery


Foot Heaven




Hair by Jib


Mr. Enzo’s


Happy Teeth Dental Clinic


New York Diner


Great Massage






Le Studio Hair


Que Pasa


Nichada Customer Relations


Salad Factory


Pandit Carpets








Rex Pharmaplus




Rose Marie Academy


Shawn Carpets


Slider Shack




Vapor Restaurant


Villa Market


Xuan Mai Restaurant




4 Legs Pet Shop Grooming



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December 2017

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December 2017

Thani Talk 2017 December  

Thani Talk, a monthly magazine published by the volunteer group Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach, serves expatriates living near Bangkok, Thail...

Thani Talk 2017 December  

Thani Talk, a monthly magazine published by the volunteer group Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach, serves expatriates living near Bangkok, Thail...