Thani Talk 2019 April

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April 2019

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

Cover Story: Bangkok: Central Shopping District Pages 6-15

Charity: NNR Grants to Local Charities Page 5

Community: New Businesses Page 46-47

Travel: Antarctica! Pages 42-43 Thani Talk is generously sponsored by: September 2018

T h a n i Ta l k

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 by hosting the NNR Annual Charity Bazaar. Additionally, NNR hosts monthly socials and organizes monthly tours. There are no membership dues, and anyone living in Nonthaburi is already a member.

Connect with NNR

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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 2018-2019 Chairperson

Liz Garrigan

Vice Chairperson

Sally Elliott


Francesca Whitehead

Activity/Tour Coordinators

Pascale Kervyn Maida Muslic-Kovar

NNR Socials

Chantal Bremner

Charity & Volunteer Coordinators

Liz Garrigan Imogen Lee

Advertising Director

Ginny Condra

Thani Talk News Team

Liz Lu (Editor) See below for Thani Talk Team

Distribution Coordinators

Birgit Sund

Communications Director

Kiki O’Connor

nnrcommunications@gmail. com


Thani Talk Team: Advertising Director and Proofreader (Ginny Condra), Graphics Consultant (Bill Fear, Rose Marie Academy), Restaurant Reviewers (John Marinos, Vara Sumetanon, Barb Lewis), Grapevine Tips Coordinator (Laurie Burin), Distribution Coordinator ( Birgit Sund). 2 April 2019 T h a n i Ta l k

Letter from NNR’s Chairperson

NNR’s Mini Bazaar Coming in May NNR’s muchanticipated Annual Bazaar in November is our organization’s largest fundraiser of the year, the community event that makes our yearround financial support of local charities possible. NNR gives grants to local charities three times a year. For details about NNR’s latest round of grants awarded to charities in March, please see page 5. Shoppers at our November charity bazaar loved the hand-made crafts and gifts and the amazing food offered by vendors as well. So we’re pleased to announce that, for our last NNR social of this school year, we will once again be hosting a May Mini Bazaar. Please mark your calendars for the morning of May 24. NNR’s May Mini Bazaar will be held in a Veranda home that Nichada is very generously providing. More information to come…. Liz Garrigan, NNR Chairperson

Inside This Issue NNR Social

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach

A volunteer group serving the Nonthaburi community and supporting local charities since 1994 Calendar of Events

Letter from NNR’s Chairperson NNR News Charity News Cover Story: Exploring Bangkok Heard It Through the Grapevine Fitness & Activities Nonthaburi & Beyond Highlights: NNR March Tour Feature: ATW Foundation Travel: Antarctica Travel: Day Trip Community News Restaurant Review

3 4 5 6 20 22 23 28 34 42 44 46 49

April 1: April Fool’s Day April 13-15: Songkran Water Festival April 26: Comedy Show, p. 19 April 27: Songkran Party at Nichada Club, p. 17 April 27: Health Fair at Bumrungrad, p. 18 Full calendar listing on p. 23

Cover photo Siam Paragon Bangkok, Thailand

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach April 2019

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NNR News

Volunteers needed for a fun and easy job. We could really use your help delivering Thani Talk in these following compounds: Gharan: 16 houses Tropical Residence and Condos: 8 houses and 42 condos Estate: 20 houses Park View: 7 houses Premier Place II: 20 houses Baan Samarnmit: 11 houses Thani Talk will be delivered to your door once a month (8 times a year), and all you have to do is walk around your neighborhood and give all your lovely neighbors a copy in their mailbox. You can do it as a fun family time or while walking the dog. If you are interested in helping out or have any questions at all, please contact Birgit Sund at or via Facebook.

Join the NNR Board! Inviting New Board Members of All Nationalities Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach (NNR) is a volunteer group founded in 1994 here in Pakkred shortly after International School Bangkok moved to Nonthaburi from downtown. NNR serves our entire community of Thai neighbors and expatriates by providing helpful information, resources and socials that bring neighbors together. NNR also raises funds to support local charities and other community projects. The NNR Board has been staffed by volunteers 4

with a wide range of cultural backgrounds: Belgian, Chinese, British, American, German, Canadian, Indian, Scandanavian, and more. Everyone is welcome to volunteer their time! As we prepare for upcoming moves that will create anticipated vacancies on the NNR Board, we encourge you to volunteer as an NNR Board member. For more information, please contact NNR’s new chairperson, Liz Garrigan, at

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April 2019

Charity News

NNR Grants to Local Charities March 2019 Thanksgiving Home Tuition fees and uniforms for school and college Sparrow Home Tuition, school bus and uniform fees, water filter, roof repair, printer repair Sailom Project Carts, slippers, day trip movie tickets, extension cord, fan, birthday party food and gifts 1Step2Step Medicine, feeding tubes, laundry trolley, toys, microwave, hair clippers, bookshelves, books, batteries iCare Foundation (Baan Pomwaet for Boys) Ceiling fans, storage sets, prickly heat powder, medicine, shorts, soap, milk iCare Foundation (Baan Kredtrakarn for Girls) English books, school supplies Home for the Destitute (homeless shelter) Exercise equipment, ping pong table, paddles and balls, fabric for diapers, electric floor fans, badminton sets, hygiene masks, fruit Home for Hope Speaker system, kitchen pan, knife set, hair clippers and scissors CCD (Christian Care Foundation for Children with Disabilities in Thailand) TV screens, digital thermometers, blood pressure machine, hairdryers, extension cables, weighing scales, swim nappies, cold compress Bumble Bee Free Library NNR Scholarships for tuition, uniforms and school supplies, storage shelves, Thai newspaper for BBFL Reading Corner at homeless shelter, library book cards & pockets

Nonthaburi Neighborhood Reach April 2019

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Cover Story: Exploring Bangkok

Exploring Bangkok Central Shopping District Last month, Thani Talk introduced readers to Nonthaburi province and its major landmarks. This month, as part of Thani Talk’s series on exploring our neighborhood and the greater metropolitan area, we bring you a walking tour of Bangkok’s central shopping district. Future editions will focus on other aspects of exploring Bangkok, such as Life on the River, Iconic Landmarks, Chinatown, etc. For the exploration of Bangkok’s central shopping district, we zero in on the Sukhumvit-Ploenchit-Rama I corridor, almost seamlessly accessible by a system of

pedestrian walkways that spare visitors the challenge of walking on uneven sidewalks and the thick fumes of car exhaust at street level. It is fitting that the walking tour takes us from EmQuartier, one of the newest shopping meccas along Sukhumvit Road, to Maboonkrong (MBK), renowned decades ago as the largest and most expensive retail center in downtown Bangkok. Before we embark on that walking tour, we first bring you a little bit of background about the City of Angels.

In addition to Thailand’s 76 provinces, there are two special administrative areas. One is Pattaya, and the other is Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Bangkok, also known as the City of Angels and more informally in some circles as The Big Mango, has a population of 8.2 million, officially. But due to the presence of seasonal workers from upcountry who come to the kingdom’s capital in search of work, the actual population fluctuates slightly throughout the year depending on rice harvesting season. At one time, Bangkok was also known as Venice of the East, for .the city’s network of canals. A system of commuter klongs remain, but other canals, such as the one that used to run along Sathorn Road, has long been covered to accommodate multi-lane car traffic. Bangkok was founded in 1782 by King Rama I, who moved the capital from the west side of the Chao Phraya to the east side of the river. Previous capitals were Ayutthaya (founded in 1350) and Sukhothai (founded in 1238). The Thai name for Bangkok is Krung Thep Maha Nakhon, or Krung Thep for short. The full name of the city is a mouthful: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit At 168 letters, the full name is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest place name in the world. Translated into English, it means: city of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest. Bangkok is divided into 50 districts (see map on p. 7),

with the Chao Phraya River running through the middle, flowing south to the Gulf of Thailand. For most readers, districts such as Sathorn, Dusit, Yanawa, Klong Toey and Din Daeng may sound the most familiar. Outside of Chinatown and Silom, Sukhumvit Road has been the the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district for decades. Since the entire city of Bangkok is built on slowly sinking marsh land in the Chao Phraya river delta, and without proper drainage in the old days, Sukhumvit road used to suffer from chronic flooding with knee-deep rain water flowing down the street. Sukhumvit often turned into an urban river with cars inching their way through the flood waters. International School Bangkok, located on Sukhumvit Soi 15 before the school moved out to its current location in Pakkred, used to close for flood days when Sukhumvit Road became impassable. Before metered taxis were introduced in the late 1990s, passengers used to stop a taxi and proceed to hold up traffic while bargaining a fare through the car’s open window. Metered taxis, incredibly still with the same flag drop price of 35 baht after all these years, were a major improvement. Also ameliorating Bangkok traffic was the introduction of the BTS Skytrain network and the addition of the MRT underground system (MRT’s new Purple Line and other suburban routes are above ground). Along with all of these changes, the SukhumvitPloenchit-Rama I corridor also saw massive, modern mega malls pop up through the years. Many are connected to the BTS and MRT with walkways, creating the network of pedestrian skywalks that we will explore on the following pages.


Liz Lu, Editor

Liz Lu Sources: Wikipedia, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ministry of Tourism and Sports,, Personal experience.

T h a n i Ta l k

April 2019

Cover Story: Exploring Bangkok


Free Vector Maps


(Left): Seal of Bangkok. (Below) Flag of Bangkok (Above): Bangkok’s 50 districts. Map by Thani Talk graphics consultant Bill Fear.

April 2019

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Cover Story: Central Shopping District

EmQuartier/ Emporium We’ll start the walking tour of Bangkok’s central shopping district at the BTS Phrom Phong station, which is flanked on each side by EmQuartier and Emporium. The two shopping complexes are both owned by The Mall Group. The Mall Ngamwonwang in Pakkred is also owned by The Mall Group. If you exit the BTS station on the north side of Sukhumvit Road, you’ll find two entrances to EmQuartier. Take the one to Building A. Emquartier is divided into 3 sections: Helix Quartier, the Waterfall Quartier and the Glass Quartier. Elevators in Building A take you to the Helix Quartier where on floors 6 through 9 there are scores of restaurants lining the spiral ramp up to the 9th floor. As you twirl your way up the ramp, mini escalaters offer shortcuts between floors to shorten your spiraled walk up. On the 5th floor you’ll find a playground and spacious garden. If you exit the BTS station on the south side of Sukhumvit, you’ll find two entrances to Emporium, which opened in 1997, or 18 years before EmQuartier. Emporium has similar high-end designer stores and is anchored by the Emporium department store. The Emporium was the first mall in Bangkok to have direct access to the BTS Skytrain.


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April 2019

Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Terminal 21

Since there is no pedestrian skywalk between EmQuartier/ Emporium and our next stop, Terminal 21, the best option is to hop on the Skytrain and ride one stop to Asoke station. Take the exit west of Soi Asoke (also known as Sukhumvit Soi 21) and walk to the Terminal 21 shopping complex. Terminal 21 was built by L&H Property Co., Ltd. and is managed by Land and Houses, a real estate company. The company has opened a Terminal 21 in Pattaya as well. The decor theme of Terminal 21 is travel, so staff members at the information desk are dressed like flight attendants. Escalators are marked as departure gates for cities such as London, Istanbul, and Tokyo. On each floor, decor matches the destination city. So there’s a miniature Golden Gate Bridge on the San Francisco floor and a British bus on the London floor. Restaurants are similarly themed. For example, on the San Francisco floor, you’ll find sourdough bread and a Swensen’s ice cream parlour. The Swensen’s company was founded in 1948 in San Francisco. If you venture down to LG (lower ground) floor, you will find the newest branch of the famous Din Tai Fung (DTF) restaurant in Bangkok. Founded in Taiwan, Din Tai Fung is known for its handmade xiaolongbao dumplings. There is a DTF at Central Embassy, and the brand new one at Terminal 21 just opened on March 23rd. From Terminal 21, hop back on the BTS and ride to Ploenchit station. From Ploenchit station, you’ll be able to use skywalks and connecting ramps to walk all the way to National Stadium station in relative comfort. April 2019

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Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Rajprasong District: RWalk

From the BTS Ploenchit station, you can use the pedestrian skywalk and take a connecting ramp to HomePro, which is a rarity to find in the middle of downtown’s high-rent district. Continue on that skywalk to cross over Wireless Road, and you’ll come across another connecting ramp, this time to Central Embassy. Operated by the Central Group, Central Embassy sits on land where the British Embassy used to be located. Thus the name for the new shopping complex. Although the skywalk stops at Central Embassy, you can continue your walk in comfort all the way to Central Chidlom. On Level 2 of Central Embassy, there is a connecting escalator and walkway that takes you to Central Chidlom, which is famous for being Central’s flagship department store. The very first Central department store started in Chinatown. Once you exit Central Chidlom at the BTS level, you can pay 15 baht to enter and exit the BTS Chidlom station in order to continue your walk on the skywalk. After exiting Chidlom station on the other end, to your left you will see Maneeya Center (where the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand is located), and past that, Amarin Plaza, where the Starbucks and McDonald’s are open 24/7. On your right is the Intercontinental Hotel. This section of the skywalk is in the heart of Bangkok, in a section known as the Rajprasong district. Retailers have nicknamed that portion of the skywalk RWalk. From your skywalk vantage point at this bustling intersection of Ploenchit and Rajdamri roads, you can see Erawan Shrine to your left and Central World to your right. This busy intersection, when lit up at night, is a sight to behold. 10

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April 2019

Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Erawan Shrine

At this point in our walking tour, let’s pause briefly to focus on activities at Bangkok’s famous Erawan Shrine at the Rajdamri intersection. The shrine houses Phra Phrom, the Thai version of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. The golden Brahma image depicts the deity’s four faces, and the shrine is a popular destination for tourists. So many Chinese visitors want to visit the shrine that many taxi drivers know what to do when a Chinese passenger says “Four Faces” in English or “Si Mian Fo” (Four Face Buddha) in Mandarin. Of the 38 million international tourists who visited Thailand in 2018, 10.5 million (27.6%) were Chinese, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Visitors can hire dancers and musicians to accompany them when they offer prayers to Phra Phrom. Prices are written in Chinese, and the more dancers hired, the higher the price. For example, two dancers cost 260 baht, and eight dancers cost 710 baht. Marigolds and incense are also on sale, and the hawkers bark out prices in Mandarin. Even the Thai girl selling birds to be released for good luck can quote her price in Mandarin, “One bird for 500 baht,” she said. The Erawan Shrine was the site of a terrorist bomb attack in 2015 that killed 20 people and injured 125. But the tragedy has not dampened the desire of visitors to pay their respects to Phra Phrom at the shrine. April 2019

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Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Siam Paragon & Siam Center

After gawking at the Erawan Shrine, continue your stroll west along the skywalk towards the BTS Siam station. On your right you will pass Central World, where the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre are located. This portion of the skywalk opens at 6am daily and stays open until midnight. Every evening, the skywalk is full of visitors and commuters making their way between Chidlom and Siam stations. While walking towards Siam station, you will pass Wat Pathumwanaram and Thai police headquarters before reaching Siam Paragon. One evening as I approached Siam Paragon, I spotted yet another Gucci store, perhaps the 3rd or 4th one I saw during my walking tour. I wondered, how many Gucci stores does this city need? I entered Siam Paragon, and lo and behold I saw a line of people queueing to wait for their turn to shop at Gucci. (see photo top right) Question answered! Remember, 38 million tourists visited Thailand in 2018. In the basement of Siam Paragon is the Sealife attraction, a playland showcasing underwater adventures. Exiting Siam Paragon, you can continue west towards the next shopping complex—Siam Center. At the entrance of Siam Center, there is a big sign announcing that there are free shuttle buses to Iconsiam. Enter Siam Center to continue your journey. 12

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April 2019

Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Siam Discovery, Siam Square Past Siam Center is Siam Discovery. Both complexes are owned by the Siam Piwat company. Siam Paragon is a joint venture between Siam Piwat and The Mall Group. It is built on land leased from the Crown Property Bureau. As owner and developer of the three complexes, Siam Piwat is branding their trio of complexes as One Siam. All three complexes are open 10am to 10pm daily. On the 4th floor of Siam Discovery is Madame Tussauds, the wax museum featuring celebrity images. On the ground floor I stumbled upon Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant. Across the street from the three shopping complexes is Siam Square, built in 1970 by Chulalongkorn University as an income-generating project for the school. At the modernized Siam Square, the open-air shops popular with university students and other young people are still in business. The famous Scala Theatre, Bangkok’s oldest single-screen theatre, opened in 1969 with 1,000 seats. It continues to show movies, host film festivals, as well as other events, such as comedian Jim Gaffigan’s March 22 stand-up comedy show. From Siam Square, continue on the skywalk towards one of Bangkok’s oldest and most famous malls—MBK.

April 2019

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Cover Story: Central Shopping District

MBK/National Stadium

When Mahboonkrong (MBK Center) first opened in 1985, it was the largest shopping mall in Asia. The 8-story building, packed with 2,000 shops, was built on land leased from Chulalongkorn University. The developer named the complex after his parents, Mah and Boonkrong. The closest BTS station is the National Stadium station. To keep up with competition, the 39-year-old MBK has refreshed its exterior and interior with a modern look. MBK remains popular with young Thais and tourists. It offers practically everything: clothing, shoes, food, gadgets, souvenirs, printing services, etc. The Pathumwan Princess Hotel has an entrance connected to MBK. Despite growing competition, MBK continues to enjoy high foot traffic of approximately 100,000 visitors daily, as reported by the MBK Center management. 14

Right next door to MBK is the National Stadium, built in 1937. The stadium was the venue for the Asian Games in the 1960s and 1970s. Before Impact Arena in Pakkred came along, the stadium used to host international performing artists, such as Michael Jackson. Today, the stadium is used mainly for football and other events.

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April 2019

Cover Story: Central Shopping District

Bangkok Art & Cultural Centre (BACC) At the end of the pedestrian skywalk linking BTS’s Ploenchit and National Stadium stations, you will be rewarded with a cultural oasis in the midst of mega shopping malls. Opposite MBK is the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre (BACC). A portrait of King Rama IX, reaching the full height of one side of the building, towers over the plaza near the BTS National Stadium station. BACC was built by Bangkok’s governing body, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA). The approval and construction process survived three Bangkok governors. After much delay, BACC opened in 2008. It is refreshing, after winding through a long string of massive shopping malls, to finally find refuge in a public space dedicated to art. On the day I visited, one exhibit showcased drawings by Christian refugees from Vietnam and Pakistan. Another displayed a collaborative exhibit from Hong Kong called Tian Tian Xiang Shang. Inside BACC, visitors stroll up a spiral ramp similar to the Helix Wing of EmQuartier and reminiscent of the spirals at New York’s Guggenheim museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Shops and restaurants are unique; one shop specializes in selling spray paint for art work on buildings. Storage lockers are free. Hours: 10am-9pm. For me, the crowning jewel was the art library in the basement. I ended up spending four hours exploring BACC. What a pleasure it was! Liz Lu

April 2019

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“Personalized Healthcare”

27 – 29

Wed – Fri

10.00 – 16.00 hrs. G Floor

Bumrungrad International Hospital (BIH) Building

30 – 31 Sat – Sun

10.00 – 16.00 hrs. M Floor

Bumrungrad International Hospital (BIH) Building

30 – 31 Sat – Sun

10.00 – 20.00 hrs. Central World

Central Court on the G Floor (near the main glass elevator)

Exclusive health check-up packages available at the Bumrungrad Health Fair only. Special healthcare seminars led by Bumrungrad doctors on various topics in Thai language. Basic health screenings available.

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

Ice Skating in Pakkred At the Esplanade

One way to stay cool as the hot season approaches is to go ice-skating right here in Pakkred. Sub-Zero ice skate rink, located on the 4th floor of Esplanade Mall on Ngamwongwan-Khaerai Road, is open 7 days a week (Mon-Fri noon-8:30pm, and Sat-Sun 10:30am8:30pm). Discounts are offered every Wednesday, when a 90-minute session costs 200 baht instead of 250 baht. Liz Lu

Mr. D.I.Y. is a Fabulous “Dollar Store” I’d like to thank Tara Osterstock for this tip about a nearby Mr. D.I.Y. store in Pakkred. While teaching Story Time at Bumble Bee Free Library, she handed out gorgeous jewel-like stickers to the children for their crafts project. I was in search of unique stickers for ESL class. Tara had bought her stickers at a Mr. D.I.Y. store in Chinatown, but she sent me the link to a Mr. D.I.Y. branch here in Pakkred, located at the Crystal PTT Chaiyapreuk (99/9 Moo 5, Chaiyapreuk Road). It is just across the Rama IV Bridge near the Pakkred Pier, so I dashed over and to my delight, discovered a wonderful, well-stocked shop similar to discount “dollar stores” such as the Japanese Daiso shops elsewhere in Bangkok. Mr. D.I.Y. is better organized and has a wider selection of knickknacks for crafts, as well as everyday 20

and specialty items such as kitchenware, tools, birthday decorations and just in time for Songkran—water guns! I definitely recommend Mr. D.I.Y. when you need craft supplies and other household items at reasonable prices.

T h a n i Ta l k

Liz Lu

April 2019

Heard It Through the Grapevine

Renewing A U.S. Passport

Recently I had to renew my U.S. passport, not a task anyone looks forward to. However, I got through the process relatively unscathed and wanted to share some tips with you that will help if you also find yourself needing a new passport. 1. Passport renewal must be done in person at the U.S. Embassy (95 Wireless Road, Bangkok). 2. An appointment is required. Appointments can be booked at: https://th.usembassy. gov/u-s-citizen-services/acsappointment/. 3. Passport photos can be taken at Print One, located on the 7th floor of Central Chaengwattana Mall, across from the movie theater. Passport photo rules are strict (i.e. no glasses, no earrings, no hats, ears and eyebrows must be visible, etc.) Photos must have been taken

within six months before passport renewal. 4. There’s no parking available at the U.S. Embassy. Some people park at the nearby GPF Witthayu Towers (93/1 Wireless Rd), right next to the embassy. If possible, arrange drop-offs and pickups by car or taxi. 5. All electronic devices (includng telephones), headphones, drinks, and large bags must be checked in at the door. Keep this in mind because you will be asked to fill out a return envelope (100 baht) for your new passport and, if you are as ridiculous as me, you may realize AFTER you’ve waited in line that you have no idea what your zip code is off the top of your head. If this happens and you have to go retrieve the information from your phone, you will have to begin the entire process ALL OVER. Ugh! 6. Your current passport will be cancelled immediately (so plan your travels accordingly), and your new passport will be mailed to your home in about two weeks. 7. Adult passport renewal fee is USD$110. Cash (USD or THB) or credit cards are accepted. Laurie Burin


Book Depository Delivers Books to Your Door Do you miss going to a bookstore to find that next book you’ve been dying to read? I know I do! There’s something about the vibe and smell of a bookstore that always makes me feel at home. Of course nowadays with access to online shopping and e-readers, bookstores are sadly becoming a thing of the past. However, if you’re still old-school like me and enjoy feeling real book pages in your hand, ordering books from the Book Depository is a great option, especially if you don’t have access to Amazon here in Thailand. Book Depository offers great deals on books and provides free worldwide delivery. What could be April 2019

better? Visit, create a free account, and enjoy receiving some great new reads delivered right to your door.

T h a n i Ta l k

Laurie Burin


Fitness & Activities Community FitnessNeighborhood & Activities Listings Nichada

Yoga & Fitness Classes Community Fitness & Activities Listings Kundalini Yoga - Baan Shakti Alignment Based Yoga with Napisa

Ashtanga Yoga with PanZen PanZen, 097-227-6999

Napisa Pant, 086-975-7187 FB: yogawithnapisa

Ashtanga Yoga with Marie Marie Massard, 098-882-8990 Class fees donated to BBFL.

Underdog Wellness Fitness Classes (UW) Yoga, Booty Barre, Mat & Reformer Pilates Stacy Klob, FB: Underdog Wellness

Iyengar Yoga Juan Bodan, 081-285-3050 Monday Kundalini Yoga 7:45-9:15 Iyengar Yoga 7:50-9:20 Napisa Restorative 8:45-10:15 Mixed level Napisa Evening Yoga 5:00-6:15 pm

Weekly Schedule Wednesday

Tuesday Hatha Yoga w/Katja 8:30-9:15 (Baan Shakti) Iyengar Yoga 7:50-9:20 Gong & Meditation 9:30-10:15 Underdog Wellness 9:30 Booty Barre 10:30 Yoga Ashtanga Yoga PanZen 3:45-4:45

Kundalini Yoga All Levels 7:45-9:15 Napisa Alignment Flow 7:45-9:15 Level 2 Iyengar Yoga 7:50-9:20 Underdog Wellness 9:30 Yin Yoga Kerstin Yoga for Kids 3:00-3:45 Ashtanga Yoga PanZen 3:45-4:45 Napisa Restorative 3:45-4:45

Kerstin Wild, 086-372-9750 Private classes available

Das PowerHaus Pilates + TRX Reformer, Mat with props, TRX Joanna Brittingham, 089-846-6610 FB: @daspowerhausnichada



Iyengar Yoga Kundalini Yoga All Levels 7:50-9:15 7:45-9:15 Underdog Wellness Napisa Alignment Flow 9:30 Mat Pilates 7:45-9:00 Beg-Level 1 Ashtanga Yoga PanZen Iyengar Yoga 3:45-4:45 7:50-9:20 Napisa Teen Yoga Ashtanga Yoga Marie 5:00-6:00 pm 9:30-11:00 **Sunday** Ashtanga Yoga Marie 7:30-9:00

Meditation Learn TM (Transcendental Meditation) Expert instruction by a 35-year teacher of meditation. Â Contact Ellie:

Meditation - Dynamic & Vipassana Meditation Monday 9:00-10:30, Terrace Residence/Nichada Thani Teaching, meditation and Q&A Marie Massard, 098-882-8990 (What’s App & Line)

Dance Bollywood Dance Suitable for all levels! Wed & Thurs 9:30-10:30 Afternoon Classes: Tues or Wed 5:00-6:00 Contact Irit: 086-004-4840 Zumba Chaengwattana Community Church Mon, Wed & Friday FB: Zumba Nichada Thani Class fee donated to charity!

Sport Masters Swimming - Nichada Pool, Tues & Thurs 7:30-8:30 Contact: Kerstin Wild, Biking - Meet at Sichaitong gate! Weekday rides Mon & Wed at 7:30 am. Contact: Henrietta Bullinger, Weekends at 7:00 am. Contact: Chris Oglesby, Tennis with Coach Sagi - Nichada tennis courts Contact: Sagi Luft, 092-271-2110,

Tutorials World English - Oral English & composition instruction, 30 yrs exp. Deborah Funthorn, BA, MFA, TESL, 083-055-9785, Piano Lessons - Exp. professional from Westover School in Connecticut, 091-878-6283


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April 2019

Nonthaburi & Beyond

Exhibitions and Events Exhibition: Style Fair is a combination of three major fairs: 1) Bangkok International Fashion Fair and Bangkok International Leather Fair (BIFF & BIL), 2) Bangkok International Gifts and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG + BIH), and 3) Thailand International Furniture Fair (TIFF) Date: April 17 - 21 Times: 10am - 6pm Location: EH 98-104, at Bangkok International Trade & Exhibition Centre (BITEC) Website:

Concert: An Evening with John Mayer Date: April 3 Time: 8:30pm Location: Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani Tickets: 2,000 to 7,000 baht. Tel. 02-262-3456

Exhibition: Architect 2019 Living Green Largest exhibit of architecture and interior supplies in ASEAN. Showcasing products of 850 companies from around the world. Date: April 30 - May 5, 2019 Time: Opens at 10am daily Location: Challenger Hall 1-3, at Impact Website: April 2019

Calendar of Events

April 1: April Fool’s Day April 3: John Mayer at Impact, p. 23 April 13-15: Songkran Water Festival April 17-21: Style Bangkok, p. 23 April 26: Comedy Show, p. 19 April 27: Songkran Party at Nichada Club, p. 17 April 27-31: Health Fair at Bumrungrad, p. 18 April 30-May : Architect 2019 Living Green, p. 23

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Yoga of Awareness Kerstin Wild 
 Integral Sound Healing What is it? Sound Therapy is effective in not only achieving a state of relaxation but it also has a way of moving through blockages in the body. Sounds or vibrations are well known to treat conditions as stress, shock, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, specific health issues & symptoms, pain, addiction or drugissues… Group classes Gong-Bath & Meditation: - Tuesdays, 9:30-10:15am - Wednesdays, 4:15-5:00pm New class Private classes - Only few time slots

Kundalini Yoga Class – 90 min Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 7:45-9:15am 450.00 Thb drop in / 400.00 Thb 10-times-ticket First class The 300.00

Which tools can be used in a private session? - Kundalini Yoga - Pranayama Exercises - Meditation - Mantras - Reiki - Gongs - Singing Bowls - A variety of other sounds Please contact me for more information and to register to classes.

Gong-Bath & Meditation – 45 min Tuesdays: 9:30-10:15am Wednesdays: 4:15-5:00pm NEW Class 250.00 Thb drop in / 200.00 Thb – 10-times-ticket

Yoga for Kids – 45 min / 6-9-years-old Wednesdays: 3:00-3:45pm 250.00 Thb drop in / 200.00 Thb – 5-times-ticket

(tickets are valid 6 months)

Baan Shakti
 163 Nathakorn Park

Highlights: NNR March Tour

A Living Museum and Or Tor Kor Organic Market Highlights of NNR’s March Tour

On Friday morning, 22 March, the NNR tour team organized a visit to Khun Preeda Phongpitakvisek’s private museum called “A Living Museum’’ and Or Tor Kor Organic Market. A group of 11 lovely ladies joined the tour. Khun Preeda and his sister gave us a very warm welcome with snacks and drinks immediately after our arrival. It gave us a relaxed feeling while we were very thirsty on a hot and humid day. Khun Preeda is 70 years old. His life-long dream is to uphold the traditional Thai way of living and share it with the next generation. He started his journey in 1972 by collecting antique monochrome and other artifacts, as well as furniture made of teakwood and rosewood. Wonderfully displayed, his collections reveal his talents as an interior decorator. Many of his artifacts are over 40 years old. He continues to add to his collection. We visited his two-story, eco-friendly house made of teakwood. The upper floor of the house is decorated with antiques and furniture made of rosewood. Excellent wood carvings of flowers and animals in monochrome, and polychrome porcelain bring to life traditional Thai homes from centuries ago. The house offeres a sense of peace and holiness. The ground floor has a showroom of blue and white porcelain and various intricately carved rosewood furniture with mother of pearl inlays. It’s very shiny and gorgeous. 28

Khun Preeda’s home is a living museum, and he is always improving it. At the end of our visit, we bought lots of beautiful porcelain showpieces from his museum shop. Around noon, we headed to the Or Tor Kor Market, which is very close to Chatuchak Sunday Market. It is a local market that sells premium, organic produce. This market is very clean, well organized and is separated into different sections. It offers an incredible range of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, fish, meats and many other products. Although prices are slightly higher at Or Tor Kor Market than at other markets, you get good quality products all in one place. We also visited an outlet of the Royal project that sells fresh vegetables and organic products. There is a plant market adjacent to the Or Tor Kor Market. It has all types of plants, including orchids in vibrant colors. No doubt, we all enjoyed our morning, learning so much by visiting a microcosm of Thai culture and tradition. We also learned by spending the afternoon in a very authentic local market.

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Jesmin Ara Tarana April 2019

Highlights: NNR March Tour

Photos by Piercarlo Abate April 2019

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JANUARY 14-MAY 27, 2019


JANUARY 16-MAY 29, 2019



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April 2019

April 2019

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Feature: ATW Foundation

A Rescue Charity Needs Rescue!

After The Wave (ATW) is reaching out to the Nichada community. The foundation will be forced to close down if it is unable to find new volunteers to take on important roles. BACKGROUND ATW is a registered foundation established and run by ISB faculty, staff and students. The foundation was established after the 2004 tsunami which devastated the coast of Phang Na in southern Thailand. ISB lost two primary school students in the disaster, and their parents were in critical care for many months after. As well, ISB staff had family members killed or severely injured. As a result, ISB became involved in relief efforts, first by helping with the search for the missing kids. It took several weeks before their bodies were found, all the while the mom and dad were in intensive care at Bumrungrad Hospital. ISB then dedicated time and resources to helping the affected communities in Phang Na recover. A school was chosen which had been flattened by the surge of water. ISB created the Tsunami Relief Network, and with donations from within Thailand and the international community, built a new school - known today as the “R35” school. ATW began soon after construction was completed. Faculty and staff at ISB realized that many families near the R35 school had been thrown deep into poverty because of the tsunami, and help was needed for kids to continue at school and be successful. Since 2006 ATW has assisted over 1,000 families. ATW’s support for an individual is long term; continuing assistance into college/university. 34

Nathida’s Success Story One case in point is Nathida. Her family struggled to earn enough to pay for all the daily living expenses, and Nathida, as she grew older, would be called upon to miss school in order to babysit while granny went to work, or to work herself, selling fruits at a local market. AT W began supporting Nathida in middle school, providing school uniforms, books and other basic supplies, including bus transportation to school each day, to reduce the burden on her family. Nathida had always dreamed of a career in medicine, and eventually she became a veterinarian and has a working practice in the same community where she grew up. ATW made this possible by continuing to support Nathida throughout college, helping to pay for expenses not covered by government loans; basics such as rent, food, clothing, utilities, and more. Said Nathida in 2018 when she visited ISB to address the grade eight class, “If it wasn’t for ATW and ISB, there is no way I would be where I am today. ISB IN THE WILD!! The Story of Mui and Ju Now that the R35 community in Khao Lak has recovered economically, ATW began providing the same type of support to families neighbouring ISB’s wilderness campus, Environmental Wilderness Campus (EWC) in Phetchaburi province. Currently ATW supports 18 families with children ranging in ages from 4 - 19 years old. For instance, ATW supports Mui (aged 10) and Ju (aged 8). The sisters have lost their parents, and the elderly grandmother does her best to provide for the girls through

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April 2019


ATW Foundation Seeks Volunteer work as a farm labourer. The pay is typically 350 baht a day, and the work is seasonal. ATW provides the girls with school uniforms, supplies, clothing items, and other household needs. We make sure the grandmother has what’s needed so the girls attend school everyday. AFTER THE WAVE NO MORE! Unfortunately, key volunteers are needed to sustain ATW and continue to provide support to families in Khao Lak and at ISB’s wilderness campus. The commitment requires about 10 hours per week, but more when key events are happening. There will be an important transition period where you’ll work alongside current coordinators. It is incredibly valuable work and rewarding to be able to make a direct difference in people’s lives. Please contact Stephen Romary or email Stephen Romary Photos opposite page: (Top) ATW scholarship student Nathida now working as a vet in her Khao Lak community. (Bottom) Sisters Mui and Ju of neighborhood near ISB’s wilderness camp, Environmental Wilderness Camp (EWC), in Phetchaburi. Photos this page clockwise from top: 1) Mui and Ju with ATW gifts of backpacks. 2) Little house where Mui and Ju live with their grandmother. 3) Students from R35 school in Khao Lak. 4) Teacher from the Princeton-in-Asia program, supported by ISB grants, with her students at R35 school. New P-i-A teachers arriving in May will teach near EWC. April 2019

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April 2019

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April 2019

Call Khun Jum to make a booking for your next holiday!

Located in Nichada Secret Garden

For archive issues of Thani Talk dating back to 2012, check out this link: nnrthanitalk

Buy 1 Suit Get 1 Complimentary Shirt

Travel: Antarctica

Antarctica: Trip of a Lifetime!

Our 16-day trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica was always going to be a trip of a lifetime, but it exceeded every expectation. From colonies of 300,000+ King Penguins, singing Humpback Whales circling our zodiac boat, Gentoo Penguins nibbling on our boots and monstrous ice bergs that were so huge it took two hours to sail past; each experience more overwhelming and every day topping the one before. It was a truly incredible experience. We started our trip with One Ocean Expeditions in Punta Arenas, Chile, a Canadian Company leasing a Russian Research Vessel “Akademik Ioffe”. We were flown to the Falkland Islands where we met our ship, comfortable and functional with a few little extras such as a masseuse, gym, sauna and great food, this was not your typical cruise ship but it suited the voyage. In our cabin, a twin with private facilities, we found our loaned basic outdoor gear of boots, waterproof pants and coat, a dry bag (essential for keeping camera equipment dry on the Zodiac boats) and a pair of binoculars. 42

The One Ocean Team, made up of enthusiastic expert naturalists, conservationists, ornithologists, historians, photographer, and marine biologists were all passionate about their topics and spent their time sharing their knowledge in general chats with us but also in lectures such as “A Whale of a Tale”, “Polar Photography 101” and “If Looks Could Krill”. Our first lecture was on Biosecurity. With the unique and isolated environments we were to visit, it was stressed that everything we took to shore was clean, so we were taught to have “bio parties” where we vacuumed our clothes, scrubbed and sterilized our boots. Our second lecture on Zodiac Boats immediately followed. All landings were going to be wet so we needed to learn how to get off the ship, onto the Zodiac boats, and off the Zodiac boats onto land (and vice versa) without falling into the sea! Excursions were all subject to weather; fortunately for us we were incredibly lucky with relatively calm seas and manageable winds for most of our trip. We managed 19

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April 2019

Travel: Antarctica

Things to consider: Style of Trip Cruise Ship gives 5-star luxury, viewing from ship with occasional landings Expedition Ship offers as much time as possible off ship, exploring waters by Zodiac and the land by hiking. Size of Ship There are strict rules that limit 100 passengers on land /ice at one time. Our ship had 96 passengers, meaning that everyone had the maximum time on land. Timing November / December: pristine ice, larger ice bergs, breeding seals, blooming fauna. January / February: Penguin Chicks, Seal Pups, Warmer Weather (just above zero), Whales.

landings over 16 days and since we had 6 days of pure sailing between land this was impressive. Highlights included Falklands Bleaker Island where we were introduced to Rock Hopper Penguins and a lone Magellanic Penguin; South Georgia Islands, Grytviken where we explored an old whaling station; Stromness, Ernest Shackleton’s Grave and aggressive fur seals: Salisbury Plains’ 100,000 breeding pairs of Kind Penguins and their fluffy babies where sheer numbers were overwhelming to see and smell! Then in the Antarctic we encountered sleeping Humpback Whales, ice bergs that looked as large but as delicate as a Cerulean Blue Fairy Tale Castle and more of the fearless, inquisitive penguins who wanted to become friends. Helen Weir April 2019

Location Antarctic Peninsular for Whales, Seals, Penguins and Ice Bergs Antarctic Peninsula, Falklands and South Georgia where you see the huge penguin colonies, King Penguins, wandering albatrosses and a huge range of birds, wildlife, fauna. Seasickness As a sufferer, I was glad we flew into the Falklands and out from King George Island, avoiding the dreaded Drake Passage as much as possible. While out at sea I took Dramamine, applied a motion sickness patch which supplemented the acupressure wrist bands I wore throughout the trip. Since I felt great throughout the trip something was working! Cameras You want the best camera possible to immortalize your memories of this incredible experience.

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Travel: Day Trip

Day Trip: Suphanburi Province

Cultural Center Promotes Understanding of Farm Life One day, I had to go to Suphanburi Province, one of the historical and agricultural provinces about an hour and half north from Nichada. I finished my errands faster than I expected so didn’t want to just come back home right away. I decided to visit a place call “Na Here Chai” or as it also known, the Lifestyle and Spirit of Thai Farmers Learning Center. Na Here Chai provides information to the public about rice farming, such as how to take care of it and prevent or manage problems in the field, such as insects and disease. The center includes sample paddy fields to show visitors how they look. As now is not the paddy growing season, there were not that many fields to see, but I believe many more will be cultivated from the planting season (June-August) to the harvest time (December - February). The other part of the center focuses on local culture. Many sections display the recent lifestyle of Thais from the central region. Different rooms display tools and decorations used in traditional Thai houses. I was happy that I had seen most of the tools, furniture, and decorations in my childhood. They brought up memories about what they were for and how to use them. Model shops also display various old time products that were used in homes: soap, soda glasses, toys. One fantastic experience you should not miss is the climb up the “Warning Tower for Farmers.” Wooden steps lead high up to the tower, which shakes a bit when the wind blows. Make sure to have one free hand to hold on the railing. I didn’t like the combination of height and wind! It’s worth it though for the views over the center and the surrounding area. Water buffaloes were the traditional working animals on Thai farms until they were replaced by the “iron buffalo,” a small two-wheeled plough/tractor. At the center, water buffaloes were kept in a pen in the shade, so you can sit and study them while they eat or rest. Sunscreen is recommended as it is quite hot these days. Water should be kept nearby, though a coffee shop in the center offers an air-conditioned escape from the heat. A noodle shop and snacks are on the grounds, but other than that, not much food is for sale. A small massage area is available for you to enjoy after walking. Wipha Risser Address: 150/6, Moo 8 Bang Pho, Suphanburi Tel. 035-446-955 No entrance fee. 44

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April 2019

Community News

New Cafe Opens on Soi Samakkee

A true little oasis of a watering hole opened in early March opposite the Oasis shopping complex on Samakkee Road. Sheltered by hanging plants and other green foliage, “The Holy Kickz� shophouse offers coffee, baked sweets and, yes, beer in a relaxed setting. Once you pass through the glass-paned folding doors, you forget about the heavy traffic outside. Manager Jup Hamavanich opens the place at 8am and serves coffee, desserts and other drinks until 8pm. If you prefer something stronger, remember these hours: Alcoholic beverages are served 11am to 2pm, and again from 5pm to midnight. Khun Jup offers friendly service, and her hot, honey-lemon drink, made with giant pieces of yellow lemons, not small green limes, is soothing. She also serves cakes, toast and pancakes. The owner, Mas Delokpongsakda, named his cafe/bar after his successful sports shoe business, which has a shop at Siam Square. He also runs a successful business buying and selling designer handbags. Khun Mas asked an interior designer friend to create the loft/industrial look of the cafe/bar. One wall is lined with sheets of painted corrugated aluminum, while the main wall above the counter showcases a striking and colorful piece of designer Hermes textile. Customers are welcome to relax and use free Wifi, sip their drinks and meet up with friends. You can work at small tables or sit back and sink into a love seat. The Holy Kickz is not a big place, but the vibe is warm and friendly. With 8am to midnight hours, the doors are practically always open. Tel: 094-789-5577 46

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Liz Lu

Community News

New Barbershop Outside Nichada’s Main Gate

A new barbershop for men and boys opened in January near Slider Shack just outside Nichada’s main gate. The Neversaycutz barbershop, part of a national chain with branches stretching from Phuket to Chiangmai, is known for its fashion hair cuts and shaves. A basic men’s hair cut is 400 baht. Adding special designs to a customer’s hair costs extra, from 50 baht to 2,000 baht, depending on the complexity of the design, said weekend manager Khun Neung Namsri. Hair cut and shave is 500 baht. Cuts for infants and

toddlers 1-5 years old cost 350 baht. Beard and eyebrow trim is 300 baht. The barbershop is open daily, 10am to 9pm. Now that Thai schools are on summer break, the shop is seeing a lot of students who want to get a “free-style” cut during the holidays, said Khun Neung. Telephone number for the Nichada branch of Neversaycutz is: 02-038-9988.

White Elephant Trunk Sale

Writers & Photographers

Liz Lu

Moving this summer? Big clean over Songkran? Come and sell those lightly used items at the White Elephant Trunk Sale on Sunday, April 28 from 8am-10am at the Nichada Secret Garden. For 200b you can rent a spot and sell your items from the trunk of your car, your golf cart or set up a table and make a pop-up shop! To secure a spot or for more information please contact kocisabroad@


Mary Kocis

Got a flair for writing? Good with a camera? Great at meeting deadlines? Contact Liz at April 2019

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Restaurant Review

In-Dus-Three A Hipster Hangout in Nichada’s Backyard Located close to Nichada is a fun place for coffee, beer, nice food, and a hipster-like atmosphere. In-DusThree can be found on the other side of Chaengwattana Road from where Home Pro and the Tawandang Germany Brewery are located. It’s easy to load on Google Maps, and it’s a about 10-minute drive from Nichada. There is a large spacious parking lot. During the day, In-Dus-Three is sunny and inviting. There is a full selection of coffee and teas, and you’ll see millennial types working on their laptops. In the evening the atmosphere is better suited to trying a cocktail or the huge selection of craft beer available from Japan, the UK and many other locations. If you enjoy sampling a variety of unique beer, then this is a great place to try. The menu is quite big. There are selections of soups, salads, and different western meat dishes such as steak or pork chops. There are a variety of spaghetti dishes and burgers. The pulled pork burger is especially delicious and a favorite of my kids. The second page of the menu is mainly Thai food. -rice dishes and curries. Notable dishes include fried rice with crackling and grilled pork (much yummier than it sounds). The tom yam goong fried rice is also delicious. There is a beef green curry in coconut milk with roti that is possibly the best green curry I’ve had in Thailand. Strangely placed towards the end of the menu are a long list of appetizers. These are sizeable dishes and can easily be someones’ meal. My kids really enjoy the fried chicken wings and the fried pork belly. Delicious spicy options include Thai spicy minced duck salad with tortilla (imagine duck laab nachos). The Thai spicy salmon salad features big chunks of raw salmon, and the pork chop with spicy Thai salad is surprisingly yummy. A word of caution; when a dish on the menu which has the word “spicy” in the name of the dish, they are to be believed. Other fun quirks are the fact that they provide free drinking water with constant refills. Also, the selection of ice cream includes strange and exotic options including Thai cha, Hojicha, and Red Bull. Finally, you can easily order from In-Dus-Three using Food Panda or LINE Man. It is a nice place to visit as well as a tasty supplement to the usual delivery options in the neighborhood. John Marinos Photos by Nansaphan Namkeaw April 2019

In-Dus Three Address: 208 Moo 5 Pakkred By Pass Road, Pakkred, Nonthaburi Telephone: 097 149 9870 Hours: Daily 9am-12am. Closed on Wednesdays Facebook: InDusThreeLoftBar

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Want to Reach Thani Talk Readers? Print Edition reaches 1,300 local households. Online edition offers unlimited reach. New! Includes listing on new community website.

Interested? Contact Ginny: 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


Clark Hatch Fitness Center


Le Bouchon Food Delivery


Foot Heaven


The London Pie Shop


4 Legs Pet Shop Grooming


Hair by Jib




Happy Teeth Dental Clinic


Mr. Enzo’s


Great Massage


New York Diner






Le Studio Hair


Que Pasa


Nichada Customer Relations


Pandit Carpets


Salad Factory






Rex Pharmaplus




Rose Marie Academy




Shawn Carpets


Slider Shack




Villa Market


Vapor Restaurant




Xuan Mai Restaurant



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April 2019