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APR 2011


Elephantastic Everestti


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Din investeringsrådgiver, der møder dig på din hjemmebane, forener ekspertise på højt niveau med en afslappet og imødekommende facon. Derfor vil du straks føle dig velkommen i Sydbank (Schweiz) AG.


Poststrasse 17 · CH-9000 St. Gallen Tel +41 (0) 71 227 81 00 Fax +41 (0) 71 227 81 01 ·

Allan Hvii Senior Vice President +41 (0)71 227 81 60

Søren Dickmeiss Vice President +41 (0)71 227 81 54

Coming Events Hua Hin Ladies Luncheon in May Date: 2 May 2011 Location: La Grappa, Hua Hin

Your FREE ScandAsia Magazine in Thailand

Since the successful first Danish network evening at, the off-season is not felt in Hua Hin. New members and new initiatives have emerged. Among these is the upcoming Ladies Luncheon, that is the starting point for a wide range of activities for women in Hua Hin: monthly ladies’ luncheons, book club, Excursions, monthly cocktail nights, networking evenings and more.. The first Ladies Luncheon is held May 2nd, 12:30 La Grappa (20 / 5 Poolsuk Rd, Hua Hin), where the Italian chef, Andreas Bonifacio will ensure that the beautiful women is having a great start with a delicious 3 course lunch incl 1 glass of wine for Baht 500 pr. woman. Find the menu on our website and enroll yourself directly to Beate Cecilie Stampe Rasmussen at

Simply Scandinavian in Bangkok Date: 13 - 22 May 2011 Location: Plaza Athenee Bangkok - A Royal Meridien Hotel The 7th Simply Scandinavian in Bangkok takes place on 13 - 22 May 2011 in Bangkok. This year, the programme features the Swedish actor and vocalist Annica Risberg and the Stockholm “City-Jazz” Quartet. On the food side, the Visiting Finnish chef Bjorn Ekstrand presents his signature dishes from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. More details here: php?coun_code=th

ScandAsia is the only magazine that covers all the Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish residents in Thailand. We also publish a ScandAsia magazine in China, Singapore and the rest of South East Asia.

Please sign up for your own FREE copy: Publisher: Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. 4/41-2 Ramintra Soi 14, Bangkok 10230, Thailand Tel. +66 2 943 7166-8, Fax: +66 2 943 7169 E-mail:

The TFCC Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament

Editor-in-Chief: Gregers A.W. Møller

Date: 7 May 2011 Location: The Royal Gems Golf Club The Thai Finnish Chamber of Commerce invites golfers to the annual Ambassador’s Cup Golf Tournament, on Saturday the 7th of May 2011. This year the tournament will be Royal Gems Golf Club where was an official European Senior Tour in 2010. Prior to the tournament you will able to receive great tips & tricks by PGA pros at the driving range. You can also warm up your putting skills at the exiting putting competition at the clubhouse before teeing off. The tournament is loaded with built in competitions on the course with ‘nearest pin’, ‘longest drive’, ‘best in 2’ etc. Singing up and payment must be done before 27th April 2011. Bring your family, friends, colleagues and business partners to this great golf event. For more information please visit Question and enquiry please contact Bjarne Kjersner (BJ), Email:, Phone: +662 762 7880.

Advertising: Finn Balslev Piyanan Kalikanon Nattapat Maesang Graphic Designer: Supphathada Numamnuay Distribution: Pimjai Chaimongkol Printing: Lake & Foundtain Printing Co., Ltd.

Daily news and features here:

DanCham Field Trip to Date: 26 May 2011 Danish Thai Chamber of Commerce will take you to visit PANDORA Production Co., Ltd. where is the manufacturing arm for global jewelry brand PANDORA. PANDORA’s head office is in Denmark, and currently PANDORA jewelry is sold in more than 50 countries through the company’s sales organization with offices in USA, Canada, UK, Australia, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia. Please mark the date in your calendar and stay tuned at, email: or phone: +66 2 354 5220.

Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa

“Live with Nature, Party with the moon”

One of the most beautiful beach on Phangan island, and it’s just five minutes walk from Had Rin beach, Full Moon Party.

We provide varieties of accommodations. With nice private beach, you can really relax and enjoy the breeze. Let have fun! Cocohut Beach Resort & Spa 130/20 Had Rin Nai, Sun set, Leela or Seekantang Beach, Moo 6T. Bantai A.Koh Phangan Suratthani 84280 Thailand Tel. +66 (0) 77 375 368-9 Fax +66 (0) 77 375 368 Email :,

Debut Party of Danish Network in Hua Hin


t was the first networking party of the Danish Network in Hua Hin on 25th March 2011. The party was held at Mondo Vino who also arranged the fantastic buffet, house wine, cold beers, and comfortable venue. It was a remarkable night for Danish residents who live in Hua Hin. Close to 60 members and guests gathered in the evening as the rain started drizzling. It was the best forum for Danish residents to meet their oldie friends and newcomers. Some live here permanently, some visit here during summer in Hua Hin and some run businesses here. The founder Steve Laursen greeted all guest by himself at the registration desk. At 7.30 pm, he gave his speech to the guests: “It’s has been 4 months since the establishment of the Danish Network in Hua Hin. Now we have 14 corporate members and 200 individuals. I am so happy about your good response. Thank you for coming to night and hope you enjoy with your friends” He talked about the future plan: “I have many activities in mind but I have not decided yet what’s gonna be next. Maybe golf tournament? I want to hear your suggestion.” Besides he introduced some members to others guests and welcome everyone to meet new friends at the party. If you are interested to be member, please contact Steve Laursen at info@







1. From left: Torben Balle, Christian B. Hansen. 2. From left: Marck Christiansen, Steve Laursen, Ole C. Jorgensen. 3. From left: Thomas Skyum, Rene Schwarz. 4. From left: Jan Sorensen, Ole and Anni Svendsen. 5. Erik and Marta Jensen. 6. Kjemtrup family: Marianne (daughter), Maria (mother), Flemming (father).

Fastelavn with Princesses, Pipi and a Panther


tiger, a panther, several princesses, Alice in Wonderland, Bob the Builder, Pippi Longstocking and a ladybug were among the many participants at the Danish Women's Network's celebration of the Danish tradition Fastelavn in Little House on Thong Lo in Bangkok. The baking hot weather was clearly not an obstacle or spoiled the mood for the children and their parents. While parents chatted during and after the Danish lunch, their children were running around in the garden playing with each other. Some seemed happy just to have found a cool spot to sit. The makeup on some of them smeared out because of sweating so some changed from their hot costumes to something more comfortable. By 12.30, the King and Queen was awarded their crowns for breaking the barrels and the organizers awarded also two of the participants for most fancy dresses.


1-2 The best costumes went to Pippi Longstocking, who had changed the stockings to something more pleasent, and a feisty little tiger. At the same time the kings and queens got their crowns for respectively being the ones breaking the barrel. 6 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011




3-4 Besides beating the barrel, there were other small games like eating donuts from a string and eating apples from a tub of water. A very difficult discipline but a success for many who tried.

Nordic Chamber Networking with Air Berlin


atchasuwan Phaenprom was the luckiest participant who got the free Air Berlin ticket at Nordic Chamber Networking on 16th March 2011. She expressed her feeling: “My friend invites me to this party. I am very surprised that I get free ticket and I don’t decide where to go in Scandinavian yet.” The Nordic Chambers Networking was organized by the 4 Nordic chambers in Thailand (Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish) sponsored by Air Berlin. The Globe Bar at the Cetara Grand @ CentralWorld was packed by 200 guests. The nice weather outside, catchy music, fusion food, and free flow drinks were perfect combination of the party. General Manager of Air Berlin Mr. Stefan Magiera greeted the entire guest: “Thank you all for showing up tonight even it is raining outside. I hope you enjoy tonight and I must say Skal”

1. Mr. Per Eriksson (right) and his friend. 2. Mr. Goran Ehren, former TSCC Executive Director Mr. John Svengren (middle) with his wife Khun Sirin Mungpoonklang-------. 3. Kim Heggland (right) and his friend. 4. Salween Solutions Co., Ltd.; Jeppe Bogh Svendsen, Charles Symons and friend. 5. Mr. Zoltan Kosa, Managing Director, Santa Fe (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (left) with TFCC President Marc Spiegel (right). 6. Ms. Ratchasuwan Phaenprom (middle) with Air Berlin General Manager Mr. Stefan Magiera (left).







British Club Keeps Trophy


unday Scandinavian Society Siam and British Club held their annual Golf Turnament against each other on Sunday 06 March 2011. The trophy will stay one more year at the British Club because this year again - the match ended even. Since 1989 the two clubs have teamed up every year to fight for the right to hold the trophy and for more than five hot hours golfers of the SSS and BC were sweating through the 18 holes fighting for their rights to be keepers of the silver cup. Twenty participants from BC and twenty from SSS made sixteen teams and playing three different matches. For every game won the team had a point. At the end of the day the results was 6-6.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 7

Unique Thai-Danish AGM Party


he Thai-Danish Club held its usually very unique AGM with some 45 participants on 2011 at The Royal Bangkok Sports Club on Wednesday 23 March 2011. After a welcome by Khun Watinee ‘Dear’ Kharnwong and Parkh Tvesuk we were served ‘biksemad’. Next was a mysterious game. Members were handed out images cut in four and they had to find their ‘image buddies’. The report of what the Club had done for the members during the past year was presented by Chairman Ajarn Somsiri who promised a traditional Thai-Danish Club outing ... soon! The theme of the evening was “Sense of Denmark”in which Khun Prakorb once again this year took the prize for most charming outfit. Female winner Khun Jiew won for her beautiful red dress with a crochet white shawl. After a group photo we could finally end the night with the annual Bingo! game in which Khun Virat translated the Thai numbers into Danish with stunning speed - it must have been part of the drill while he learned how to milk cows in Denmark! Enjoy larger photos here:







1. ‘Gate Crasher’ Siriluck Lertsirimongkolchai with former AFS students Chanon Chaiyaputh and Athikhun Kulkitkamchorn. 2. Another ‘Gate Crasher’ was Atle who had come with Sawaeng Kongpetsak. 3. Eid Alexandersen presented a Winner Duck to Khun Bloom. 4. Sawaeng Kongpetsak and Claus Gundersen. 5. Palle Havmoller enjoyed the biksemad - this was second helping! 6. Cutest participant of the AGM was little Sun whose mother Som had attended the previous meeting when she was pregnant.

Successful Event for Young Professionals


he Nordic Chambers of Commerce joined forces with Le Fenix Hotel by Accor, Sukhumvit and hosted on Friday 25 March 2011 an event for younger persons working or studying in Thailand. In the restaurant of Le Fenix Hotel on the 3rd floor, the about 120 attendants did enjoy good food from the Nordic style tapas buffet accompanied with wine and soft drinks from the bar. The 500 Baht entrance ticket proved to be value-for-money. With no other agenda for the event than to come and enjoy an evening together, the young professionals mingled and chatted with fellow colleagues and potential friends. From the many smiles seen on 3rd floor this evening the event looked like a big success.

8 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Singapore Churches Brought Their Love to the Children of Baan Chivit Mai


orwegian and Swedish ladies from Singapore visited Baan Chivit Mai in Chiangrai in the North of Thailand on 28 February to 3 March 2011. The visit was organized by the Swedish and Norwegian church in Singapore. The main purpose of the trip was to visit the famous institution, have fun activities and bring gifts to the children in the orphanage. Diana Wiking and Lise-Beate Ringsby from the Church of Sweden in Singapore arrived with the group of 19 ladies at Chiangrai International airport on 28 February. They were met by Madeleine and Inge Ekelyck of Baan Chivit Mai who took the group to check-in at Wienginn Hotel.. After having refreshed themselves, the group had dinner at Baan Chivit Mai Bakery in town. Next morning, after breakfast, the group visited the second location of Baan Chivit Mai in Mae Chan district. Most of the children there are kindergarten or elementary school students. After the visit they went on a sightseeing tour around the beautiful North of Chiangrai. It was interesting to see the Long Neck Village, fun to go shopping in Mae Sai - the border of Thailand and Myanmar, and the boat trip to Golden Triangle was beautiful. In the evening, the ladies shared a remarkable night together with the children at Baan Chivit Mai in Hua Doi district. The teachers and staff had in cooperation with the children prepared BBQ and some Thai food for the ladies. After dinner there was a campfire where all the ladies and children sat in a circle watching the children’s performance. The ladies sang Swedish and Norwegian songs and had an easy choreography so the children could learn and dance with them. Although the two groups spoke totally different languages, all enjoyed the show, laughing, smiling, and dancing. On 2nd March, the ladies visited the local school named Hua Doi School. Every morning all students gather to praise the Kingdom, Buddhism and Chakri Royal Family. The ladies were amazed that all children paid full attention to the ceremony. After the group had seen the school they went to Wat Rong Kun (The White Temple) built by Chaloemchai Khositphiphat, a famous Thai artist. In the afternoon, they took about an hour up to the Doi Chang Mountain where the premium coffee is grown. The ladies tasted the fresh coffee surrounded by hill on the windy day which added to the wonderful flavour. Then the group went to a new branch of Baan Chivit Mai in Mae Suai District. This is brand new house facilitating up to 32 children where will officially open on 5th March 2011. The last day of the visit, the ladies visited a Karen Village by boat and after that went for a ride on elephants in the morning. They had lunch at Baan Chivit Mai Bakery in town where they came on the very fiurst day of the visit and eventually in the afternoon they had to leave back to Singapore. Diana Wiking who had arranged this trip said: “Apart from the fun of the sightseeing tour in Chiangrai, I can feel that all the ladies had a wonderful time with the children. We will all remember their gratefully smiling faces.” “It is not because of our donation but we brought our love to the children and that was the most important part of this trip,” she added.







Elisabeth Froeyshou Danielsen, Assistant at the Norwegian Seamen’s Church in Singapore confirmed that she had indeed enjoyed her time with children. She started to work at the church in August 2010 and will there for the next 3 years. “I had really looked forward to this trip, said Camilla White, another of the participants. “First time I heard about this trip, I knew I have to come because I love children and I have never been to Thailand before. The Children took me around to show me their house even I can’t understand their language, but I could see the happiness through their eyes,” she added. Madeleine Ekelyck and her husband Inge, who is working for Baan Chivit Mai based in Sweden, said: “Back in Sweden, I am very busy with contacting people and raising funds for Baan Chivit Mai so I can only come here a couple of times a year. This time I came to greet this group because they continuously come to visit us every year. They are very supportive to children in Baan Chivit Mai” “Our new branch in Mae Suai opens on the 5th of March so now the teachers, staffs and children are all helping with the ceremony,” she added.


1. Elisabeth Froeyshou Danielsen with flower given by children. 2. Diana Wiking at the airport. 3. Inge and Madeleine Ekelyck who work hard for Baan Chivit Mai. 4. New branch of Baan Chivit Mai in Mae Suai District. 5. The Ladies was at Baan Chivit Mai in Hua Doi district. 6. Children in Baan ChiVit Mai in Hua Doi district. 7. Camilla White with children.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 9

ScandAsia News Brief ‘Kidnapped’ Daughter Lost And Found

O AGM at the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce


he Annual General Meeting of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce was held on Tuesday 29 March 2011 at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. The AGM welcomed the following new members of the Board of Govenors: Bjorn Tarras-Wahlberg, Said Irandoust, Bjorn Richardsson and Stefan de Bekass who replaced the resigning Govenors: Joacim Damgard , Roby Jansens, Chaiyot Piyawannarat, Hakan Olsson and David Romlin. TSCC have suffered a loss for 2 years and also lost members and the board has decided on a new strategy including organisational changes and improved income and reduced cost. The economy should be recovering this year as the presented budget for 2011 shows a surplus as revenue has been improved and costs has been reduced. TSCC has also established 6 working committees. The Chairman asked for comments on the Annual Report of Activities. There were no added comments. The Annual Report of Activities was acknowledged and approved.

New Executive Director John Svengren who has for the past ten years been the Executive Director of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, had resigned shortly before the AGM to take up the challenge as Director of the new EU ASEAN Business Centre (EABC) in Thailand. To replace hinm, Mr. Peter Björk was appointed as new Executive Director as of 21 March, 2011.

10 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

n Wednesday 2 March, 4 year old Niza Engdahl was abducted from her school in Hua Hin by her mother, Surat Enmak. Niza had not seen her for two years and at first denied that she was her mother. The teacher accepted, however, that Surat Enmak stayed and played with Niza and went to a meeting. When she returned, both Surat Enmak and Niza Engdahl were gone. For almost two weeks Niza’s father Henrik Engdahl life was turned upside down. Searching and hanging posters of missing Niza in Pattaya, Bangkok and Buri Ram where the mother is from, did not get him further of finding his daughter. Finally, Henrik Engdahl contacted the Swedish Embassy and they contacted the Thai police. The Thai police then contacted Surat Enmak and finally Henrik Engdahl got his daughter back.

New Board Members of TNCC


hai-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce’s Annual General Meeting was held 21 March at Sheraton Grande Hotel. A number of new board members were elected or re-elected at the meeting in which about 30 members participated. Mr. Petter Børre Furberg from dtac was appointed as the new treasurer. He has taken over after Roar Wiik Andreassen, who has moved back to Norway. Mr. Jørn Unneberg will take over as Managing Director in Jotun, and replaces Eric Mallace on the Board. Eric Mallace is moving to Indonesia this summer. Mr. Bent Kilsund Axelsen from Yara was elected new member of the Board. Mr. Niels Henrik Hansen from SAS was elected as new members of the Board. Khun Piyanuj (Lui) from Tilleke & Gibbins was re-elected as a member of the Board. Leaving the board was Mr. Jan Egil Amundsen from DNV, Det Norske Veritas President Axel Blom, who agreed to continue one more year, thanked Jan Egil Amundsen, Roar Wiik Andresassen and Eric Mallace for their contributions to the Board as well as Vibeke Eidsaae Corneliussen as the outgoing Executive Director of the Chamber.

Flooding in South Thailand


bout 51 people died, 117 acres of land was destroyed and about a million people remain affected by the flooding in the South of Thailand. The rain started Thursday 24 March and did not stop for a week, soaking the land and the mountains. Mudslides tore several villages away near Krabi and killed 12 people. In Surat Thani roads were still flooded two weeks after the heavy rain and Thai military had to help travelers to and from Surat Thani airport. Donations to the victims of the flooding in South Thailand came from everywhere in Thailand and the Thai government has granted the victims an amount of 1.5 billion bath.

IKEA Bangkok Celebrated Roof Capping


t its traditional Swedish party, taklagsfest på svenska, IKEA confirmed that the mega store is looking at the end of this year, specifically November 3, 2011, to launch its new store in Bangkok which will be the largest store in Southeast Asia. Around 200 guests attended the “Wholeheartedly Warm” themed party to celebrate the roof capping of the store, and were given a taste of what to expect via video presentations. IKEA Bangna is situated as part of the MegaBangna and will provide a wide selection of 7,500 furnishing designs. The store also comes with approximately 700 seats in the restaurant and 1,300 car parking spaces.

Thai Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar 2011


he Thai Diplomatic Red Cross Bazaar was held at the Siam Paragon, Bangkok on 26 February 2011. with HRH Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presiding over the opening Hosted by the diplomatic wives together with the Thai Red Cross Society, the bazaar presented booths from 52 countries, including Denmark and Norway, exhibiting their national handicrafts, food and specialties for the public to see and buy. Southeast Asian countries such as China, Indonesia, Singapore, Phillipines and Malaysia also promoted their cultural ornaments at the bazaar. “The Red Cross Society receives the fund from this bazaar and once they get it, they distribute it through their respective channels,” explained the Royal Danish Embassy’s Ratanawadee Hemniti Winther.

Strong Earthquake Frightened Thailand


strong earthquake hit on 24 March Burma only few kilometers from the Thai border town Mae Sai, sending tourists and residents running out of the buildings and in some cases sleeping outside the rest of the night. Reports from Danish Brian Sorensen, Hugo Thomsen and Swedish Baan Chivit Mai told of the quite scary experience. “It was big. For me this is the first time I have experienced an earthquake, but people we knopw who have lived here long are quite upset,” Brian Sorensen said. “One corners of my neighbors house simply collapsed,” Hugo Thomsen said. “Our children panicked and had to run out of their houses and we all gathered in the playground during every shaking of the ground,” Khun Meechai Wongworawhitt, the Director of Baan Chivit Mai said. During the following days, news of the damage and loss of life inside Burma followed and a short lived debate started in Thailand, whether high rise buildings in Bangkok and the main water dams upcountry could withstand a stronger earth quake. April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 11

Norwegian Pensioners Angry with Taxation Norway has since the beginning of 2010 decided to tax pension with 15% tax before disbursement to recipients outside the country. “It is so blatantly wrong and unfair that we will fight it with all legal means, “ says Arthur Sandberg, head of Emigrant1, an organization for Norwegians abroad affected by the decision. By Steen Poulin Nielsen


orway has since the beginning of 2010 decided to tax pension with 15% tax before disbursement to recipients outside the country. The organization Emigrant1 finds this to be a violation of international treaties, among others, the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Together with a Norwegian organization, APTRT (Aksjonsgruppen for pensjonisters og trygdedes rettigheter i Thailand) the Emigrant1 has established a special department, Norsk Pensjon-og Skatteråd Utland (NORSKAUT) now preparing a legal investigation and a possible lawsuit against the Norwegian government. “It hurts us that we must take action against our country, but the situation is so blatantly wrong and unfair that we feel compelled to fight with all legal means,” says Arthur Sandberg, head of Emigrant1. Apart from Norwegians in Thailand, the decision affects also Norwegians living in other countries where the authorities do not tax pension as an income.

The Norwegian/ Thai Tax Treaty A tax treaty was signed in 2003 between Norway and Thailand in order to avoid double taxation of the same income in both countries. In Norway the treaty ensures that the pension become taxed either in Thailand or in Norway at the same rate as in Norway. “We have no understanding that the Norwegian authorities manage the agreement in such matters”, says Sandberg and continues, “We experience that we are being dismissed by the Norwegian authorities by letters not answered and nothing is done at all to simplify the documentation and paperwork. We do not find that Thailand has officially changed a comma in the agreement with Norway since 2003. ” According to Sandberg only Norwegian mid-level bureaucrats has being involved in the new 15% tax withdrawal. The communication 12 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

between the Revenue Department in Thailand and the Norwegian Ministry of Finance seems to be settled through private e-mails between bureaucrats and not by regular documents. Sandberg finds that the Norwegian taxation steals from poor countries such as Thailand. He says: “The only thing that Thailand achieves is that hundreds of Norwegians will leave Thailand and move back to Norway. Because people with low-and middle pensions are in fact tax-free people in Norway.”

Double taxation or not Skatt nord does not agree that the 15% tax on pensions is double taxation. “If the citizen shows eligible documents, proving he is a taxpayer in Thailand and that the pension is taxed, then he will be granted exemption from withholding tax in Norway. There appears no such thing as double taxation”, says Arvid Jansen, førstekonsulent i Kildeskatt på pensjon at Skatt nord. But this is not the case according to Sandberg, he says: “We see a large number of Norwegians who live abroad-and they are affected by the fact that their pension has been pre-drawed all through 2010.”

The German way Arthur Sandberg suggest the German approach to the subject. The German model which is the OECD’s Model Agreement, has made things much easier for their elderly and disabled people who move to warmer locations. When an emigrant holds a “Certificate of Residence” then the person will no longer have to pay tax in Germany as long as he is living outside Germany. But this is not an option for Norwegians, Sandberg says: “Norway is a paying member of the OECD since 1960. It´s strange that Norway does not accept the OECD's documentation schemes.” Sandberg does not want to go into further details about the preparation of any lawsuit against Norway.

Norway is a paying member of the OECD since 1960. It´s strange that Norway does not accept the OECD’s documentation schemes.

Elephantastic Everestti By Steen Poulin Nielsen Photos by Søren Bang Clemmensen


earing up for the Elephant Parade this summer in Copenhagen the Danish artist, Marco Evaristti took the long way to Chiang Mai to let an elephant do his work painting a sculpture of a baby elephant. The Elephant Parade will be the first of its kind in Denmark. The Elephant Parade is a concept developed by Marc and Mike Spits, father and son. The first Elephant Parade

was held in the hometown of its founders: Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2007. This first edition showcased 50 elephants, painted by local and Thai artists. The exhibition was an instant success: according to the city mayor, it was ‘the most photographed event ever’ Elephant Parade wants to attract the most renowned artists worldwide. So far, top artists like Paul Smith. Jack Vettriano, Tommy Hilfiger, Corneille, Diane von Fur-

stenberg and Lulu Guiness have painted one or more elephants. The painted elephants fetch big money when sold at auctions. At Elephant Parade London in 2010, the top piece was sold for the staggering amount of 1,3 million Danish kroner. It was an elephant designed by the scottish painter, Jack Vettriano.

Art of an elephant

in Thailand was actually perfected following trials undertaken at the Toledo Zoo in Ohio, U.S.A. using Asian elephants back in 1995, according to the website: http://www. Elephant painting in Thailand started in 1998 following the successful training of elephants at four different locations around Thailand. Calling elephant painting an art form is heavily disputed though.

The concept of Elephant painting

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 13

The Origin of Thai

One school in Bangkok has replaced the benches and tables with massage mattresses. The school is the Wat Po school of Traditional Thai massage. Photo feature by Soffi Chanjira Larsen


nside the Wat Po temple, or Wat Phra Chetuphon, tourists are fascinated by the huge size of the Recling Buddha. Not so many know, that the temple is also where many recovered artifacts from the old burned down city Ayuthaya are preserved. Among these items are the original text of Traditional Thai Massage some now carved in the walls of Wat Po. Carved in stone so they would not be burned, as many ar-

tifacts had been trough history, by the enemy. From this old knowledge the temple is Thailand's oldest school of Traditional Thai Massage. In his school holiday Yottin Pasarayothin has decided to learn the ancient teach of Traditional Thai Massage. “I like learning about the body and its functions, and maybe one day I can get a well paid job.” Says Yottin Pasarayothin. And it can be a well paid job to work as a masseuse. At most

In Traditional Thai Massage 10 points are most important. But in total there are hundreds.

14 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Massage Every morning starts with a ceremony to pay respects to Dr. Jivaka Kumara Phaccaha also called Khru (teacher) Jivaka, the father of Traditional Thai Massage.

clinics the masseuses and clinic owners splits the payment per costumer. The technics in Traditional Thai Massage have been passed over from generation to generation for hundreds of years. Descriptions was then written on palm leaves in Pali, an old Indian language. It is said that the father of Traditional Thai Massage Dr. Jivaka Kumara Phaccaha lived at the same time as The Buddha in India, more than 2550 years ago. When a Thai masseuse prays before starting

There is one teacher per 5-6 students.

the massage it is to honor his teach. Yottin Pasarayothin is only 16 years old but know that this is what he wants for the rest of his life. Looking at the pushing and squeezing it already seems painful for the hand and fingers and it is difficult to understand how you can work like this all your life. “It is not that hard, you use mostly your body weight to press�, Yotting replies and smiles politely. Traditional Thai Massage is fo-

cused on the energy lines 'sen,' where the power flows. They will lead to specific points on the body. Ten points are the most important in Traditional Thai Massage. Stretching and pressuring is the main massage technic and reminds about reflexology. Thais believes this method is releasing tensions and stiffness and it leads to a better health and comfort mentally and physically. Many foreigners are taught at Wat Po. The first day Thais and for-

eigners are taught separately in the theory of Traditional Thai Massage. The general course at Wat Po is for five days starting everyday. In additional there is several other courses to build on the general course. Yottin Pasarayothin is adding another five days, about the human anatomic, to his general course. Later on he would like to become a physiotherapist and maybe get work at a hospital. But first he has got to finish his high school.

During most of the course both Thais and foreigners are instructed together.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 15

16 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Rectifying the Image of Frederik C. C. Købke Throughout the years stubs and articles have been written about Frederik Koebke, the first Dane to serve as Consul of Denmark in Thailand. The problem is, that the newer ones tend to build on the older ones - adding a bit of flavour here and a dash of spice there. We therefore get a picture of the Consul as ‘the black sheep’ of his family. This was certainly not the case.

Constantin Hansen (famous for ’The Constituent Assembly 1489’) who was a brother in law of Frederik Koebke, must have painted this portrait while Frederik was on home leave in 1865 -A young man full of life and courage.

Captain and Consul Frederik Carl Christian Koebke, 1837 - 1881

By Flemming Winther Nielsen


n ‘The Danish Geographical Journal, Vol. 1 1877’, there is an article about Siam, modern written and without all the usual prejudices of that time. It starts: “When I landed in Bangkok, I immediately went to where all Danes go when they arrive, knowing that they will be well received; namely to our fellow countryman Consul Købke. He has been living in Siam for 18 years and has been Danish Consul for ten, he is a loyal friend of all his countrymen, and it is undoubtedly because of him that we are more numerous here than all other Europeans combined” The author? Young Andreas Richelieu, 23 years, Lieutenant Captain in the King of Siam’s Navy, later Commander in Chief and Vice Admiral. Throughout the years stubs and articles have been written about Frederik Koebke. The problem is, that the newer ones tend to build on the words from the older ones - adding a bit of flavor here and a dash of spice there but no references; therefore we get a picture of the Consul as ‘the black sheep’ of his family - which was certainly not the case. This article will concentrate on facts, mostly taken from original

documents, such as the fragile Consulate protocol, stored in the cellars of The National Archives in Copenhagen. Hence, since ScandAsia Magazine is an open www source, we can expect future writings and articles to be more balanced. But no doubt, Frederik Carl Christian Koebke was a man of a big caliber who liked to do things in style. In the year 1878 for example, two elephants, Eng and Chang, knocked the gate of the newly opened Copenhagen Zoo; a gift from the Consul and his then 76 years old mother, widow and ship-owner Mette Marie Koebke, born Bruun, of the strong willed and sharp minded Bruun dynasty in Fredericia. Frederik Carl Christian Koebke was born in Fredericia in 1837 and had his childhood there, in the straight and right angled streets behind the ramparts; a planned and neat town of defense, indeed a contrast to the chaotic and dirty mangrove town, just waterways and a big kraal, but maybe that’s why he liked it. Frederiks father N.C. Koebke was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Engineers, he died in 1849. His mother Mette Marie, born in 1798 died as late as 1888 in Copenhagen. The Bruun family owned the biggest general store in Fredericia, warehouses, a small fleet of tall-ships sailing on

Kiel and Lubeck, a tobacco factory and later a cloth factory in Bruunshaab near Viborg. Among the more spectacular assets can be mentioned three churches near Fredericia, one of them, Egeskov, functioned as the family burial place. Still, a little brick laid family ‘Teahouse’ is there to be seen. Frederik went sailing in an early age; Richelieu and many others did the same. It was the way out for those boys who couldn’t sit still, but not necessarily black sheep at all. We next meet him in Bangkok, 22 years old and first mate on a British schooner. It is noted that he should have failed in getting Danish Navigation Certificate; maybe so, but I suppose he then passed British examinations, that was common and most likely, since for example Lloyd’s of London would not insure ships and cargo sailed by non-qualified crew. So he then registered to Consul Mason in the newly opened Danish Consulate 26.07. 1860. King Mongkut, Rama IV, opened Siam up in 1855. Before that, the country had been as closed as Japan and also isolated up there by the bottom of the Siam bay, far from the trading routes. The king made a trade and friendship treaty with Great Britain that year, allowing for-

eigners to settle and establish businesses. In 1858 a similar treaty was made between Siam and Denmark. Koebke was one of the first to settle down, more followed and immediately after the Danish defeat to the Prussians in 1864, Danish ship-owners and captains from the lost provinces, for example from Aabenraa, Soenderborg and Flensborg relocated and made Bangkok their base and registered at the consulate. The establishment of a Consulate was a must. The treaties stated that the home countries should continue to carry the jurisdiction over their subjects. Siam had no judges and no courts; in principle it was up to the sovereign to negotiate disputes and decide the faith of people, often misdeeds were met with draconic punishment such as beheading. The Consul therefore had real authority; he was a judge, marriage registrar and policeman, settled disputes between the Danes, between Danes and other parties, foreign or local. The rulings were to be followed, he could fine his countrymen, eventually deport them home. Furthermore the consulate registered arrivals and departures, birth and deaths, marriages and other private affairs. The most important commercial task was maybe

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 17

Frederik Carl Christian Koebke to keep the ‘Ship list’ updated. In this was registered all Danish ships calling on Bangkok. During these early years Koebke served as captain on Chinese owned Siamese bark ships. The Chinese merchants in Bangkok owned many ships; they imported porcelain and various kinds of kitchen wares and utensils from mainly Shanghai and Hong Kong. Koebke fathered a son with a Siamese spouse, he was named Christian. The British colonialists wrinkled their nose over those who ‘went native’, so their own affairs were kept discrete and Victorian double standard. Frederik Koebke, ahead of his time, just stood by his choices

Time took its early toll on the Consul. In a very short span of years he had lived through changes and sorrows enough for more lifetimes. and deeds -so much for immorality. During his years as Captain, it seems that he had no problems regarding commands, cargo and crew - no shipwrecks, no accidents reported; although the China route from Bangkok to Shanghai was demanding and extreme in the season of the typhoons. It is furthermore known, that Koebke got well acquainted with King Mongkut, we have no documents, but they shared interest and knowledge regarding astronomy and navigation. Bangkok in those days was a small place indeed and the king much occupied with gaining western knowledge -when he could find the time. He was blessed with 35 wives and 82 children. Koebke could not have sailed on China without a profound knowledge of astronomic navigation, the use of the sextant etc. The King later successfully calculated when and where in Siam an eclipse of the sun would occur. We also know that Frederik Koebke, at a certain point was ap-

pointed Royal Inspector of the newly erected Custom Authority. Furthermore appointed agent for the insurance network, Lloyd’s of London, a most prestigious position. In 1865 Koebke went on leave to Denmark. He again met his cousin, Bolette, two years younger than him, and now a young woman; they had known each other since childhood. They got married in Copenhagen 10.09. 1865 and thereafter started the long sea-journey to Siam. They arrived early January 1866, still the pleasant part of the year. After half a year Bolette died from dysentery, this atrocious decease which took so many of the foreigners and Siamese alike. The story tells that the whole Danish Colony followed her to her grave at The Protestant Graveyard, Charoum Krung Road Soi 72/5. The mourners, although tough seamen, all wept and cried, she had been loved for her spirits and wonderful use of the Danish language, she made them remember home, mothers, sisters and other loved ones. All what is left now is a flat, light grey, marble tombstone on hers and her husband’s burial place. The inscription says: Hereunder rest the dust of THORA BOLETTE MARIE KOEBKE 19/12 1839 in Vraa, dead 27/6 1866 in Bangkok. She was a good woman and a lovable wife. In 1868 Frederik Koebke was appointed Royal Danish Consul, a position he kept until 1879-80. Sitting in the medieval rooms of The National Archives, reading his notes and memoranda is a strange experience; you are taken back to the early town in the mangroves and to the river and the sea. The protocol is fragile and with spots, yellowed. You read about life but more often about death. The town in the stinking mangrove swamp was utterly unhealthy in those days, there are many notes regarding death of this and that person, mainly from cholera or dysentery, but the handwriting of Koebke remains firm, distinct and easily read. A note catches the eyes: Martha Soerensen. Born the 12/4 1876 on the Sea, baptized in Bangkok 4/5 1876, dead the 1/8 1877, buried at The Protestant Graveyard, daughter of Captain Soerensens wife O.M.S.J. born Petersen. Registered in the Danish Consulate in Bangkok the 7/5 1876. But there were also the marriages and the naming ceremonies. Many children were given the middle name ‘Koebke’. In December 1869 the Suez Canal was opened for traffic. The canal was the precondition for the

18 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

tremendous growth and development in trade, traffic and cooperation between The Far East and Europe. The first Danish steamer ‘H.C. Oersted’ passed in 1872. Also Koebkes Shipping Company flourished these years. He traded mostly on Java, Singapore and Hong Kong. In the articles written about Koebke there are some open ends and mistakes about his tall-ships, especially the bark ‘Absalon’ of 201 tons and bark ‘Esbern Snare’ of 381 tons; impressing deep sea ships in those days. In ‘Danmarks Handelsflaade 1873’ [The Danish Merchant Marine 1873] we read that the two ships are owned by ‘widow, Madam Mette Marie Koebke of Copenhagen’ and registered there. Consul Koebke is the fully responsible operator. No black sheep! Other of his ships must have been registered in Bangkok, if at all, he may also have chartered. This cannot be traced. We only know for sure, that he had steam tug boats (for towing out the sailing ships) and a house boat with which he made pleasure tours up the river. Visitors came to Bangkok. Captain Soelling of the old big bark ‘Aarhus’ had to stay for a fortnight, waiting for higher tides. He was the guest of Koebke on a 3 days tour in Koebkes house boat; they sailed up the river to Bang Pa-In and beyond. One day Soelling and other captains were invited for a tour in the Consuls pony chaise. The occasion was the cremation of the bones of a dead princess, sister to the king. The pyre was fired in front of the palace, where Charoen Krung Road starts; the usual festivities followed. From a distance the captain heard, to his astonishment, that a horn orchestra played Danish music. The baffled Soelling asked whether this was to honor the Consul. Koebke replied; “No, but I have obtained music from Copenhagen, and the Siamese find that it sounds better than their own”. After some waiting the King arrived with his entourage, and when that happened the orchestra played the Danish King’s official and most pompous hymn ‘King Christian stood by the mast so high’. Maybe a trifle misplaced or a black joke by the esteemed Consul. Finally gifts were given out to the audience. Soelling got a nice little silver box, although it later showed to be made of brass. On departure from the festivities they listened to the tunes of: “And will you then just let the hen alone”, a spicy popular song from Tivoli. Soelling, who much later wrote his memoirs, was a trustworthy and most respected old salt. Later in life Envoy to the British Government regarding fishing rights in the North Sea. All dogs have their day, but clouds

were gathering. The 18th of September 1873 the American Banking House ‘Jay, Cooke & Company’ collapsed. That was the trigger of a latent world financial and economic crisis (sounds familiar?) that lasted more than eight years. Almost everything came to a standstill, after some delay also in Siam. Not much trade for Koebke, not much cargo and in case; very low tariffs or rates. The dominating international Trading House ‘Borneo Company’ in Bangkok had to reef the sails severely. In April 1875 young Richelieu arrived. He stayed as the house-guest of Koebke for a period, presumable until he got his command as shipmaster of HSMS ‘Regent’ bound for Phuket. In fact, Richelieu was the last real sailor to arrive in Siam, after him came mostly landlubbers such as a doctor, bakers, soldiers and a piano tuner! The crisis speeded up the transition in the merchant marine, steam engines took over from sails, faster and more reliable, they could themselves pass the Suez Canal. The captains and tall-ship owners such as Koebke stood there as unsurpassed masters of an ancient old sailing tradition - that was suddenly no longer in demand or esteemed. Time took its early toll on the Consul. In a very short span of years he had lived through changes and sorrows enough for more lifetimes. The most peculiar thing that happened in his later years was the arrival in 1876 of the 26 years old Dr. Sophus Deuntzer. He also stayed in Koebkes house until he got himself a consultation established. By character the man was cantankerous, complained and quarreled. At the same time he was characterized as maybe the best doctor in the Far East. Why he came in the first place is a mystery, but he did and stayed on for 30 years-without illnesses. In his capacity as judge Koebke received a complaint from Mr. Knox, a relative of the British Consul General. According to this a servant in Deuntzers household had, with the doctor knowing, stolen a rudder belonging to Mr. Knox’s boat, modified it and installed it on the doctor’s own boat. The man of medicine was therefore ordered to show up at the Consulate a certain day and time. In another case the reputable Captain Benedictsen complained that instead of sending a bill by letter, the doctor showed up in person and also charged for that. It all ended up in an embarrassing exchange of letters to ‘The High Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ in Copenhagen. Dr. Deuntzer complained that the Consul was often seen drunk during daytime, that he played ‘sjavs’ (cards) in low-key es-

tablishments, that his clothing was lacking, his house dirty and so on. The Consul should be relieved from the job. The complaint letter became known in Bangkok and the Danish colony got furious, Frederik Koebke was loved for his loyalty towards all Danes, high and low; he often helped out and often used his own wallet. Our Lieutenant Captain Richelieu in the Royal Siamese Navy took the initiative and wrote a letter of defense on behalf of the entire colony. To this Deuntzer replied: “This is written by people who, regarding manners, belong to an utterly low placed class. I am the only Dane here with an academic education and furthermore the one who has the highest income, so I believe my points should be heard”. That was the last of it. Deuntzer had gone too far; Koebke remained as Consul of course, the sailors had won but it was their last victory, after them came the landlubbers and the bureaucrats. No doubt that Frederik Koebke, for all the reasons mentioned, was tired and that things were going downhill also regarding consumption, Captain Soelling mentions the consuls thirst, especially he was fond of Danish Schnapps. The story also tells that he had the contour of his liver tattooed on his skin at the right place, promising himself that it should not grow bigger than that. And then, a man of caliber still. In 1877 he fathered his second son Dan and in 78 he provided, as mentioned, two elephants for Zoo.

Finally it came to an end. It has also been suggested that Koebke by the end of the day was laid off, but this was not so. On the 13th of January 1879 he writes the Ministry, the handwriting still firm and powerful: “Since I for reasons of illness, by my doctor, have been advised to leave Bangkok for a period, and because I maybe will not come back, I have forwarded the Danish Consular Archive and Seal to Mr. Thomas Knox, Her Britannic Majesty’s political agent and Consul General who has promised, until further notice, to take care of Danish interests. Bringing the High Ministry my thanks for shown good will I allow myself to ask for retirement as Danish Consul here” …..Signed It dragged out, Koebke came back, and nobody had taken up the task, although the Ministry, in a letter dated 31. October, had accepted the resignation. Mr. Clark was appointed but on business travel; asked from Copenhagen Koebke states that there is no Vice-consul. On March 1st 1880 he sends his final and last letter to the Ministry containing the vital ship-list for 1879 and a few other documents. Now the handwriting is looser and open, the firmness has gone. Frederik Carl Christian Koebke died from dysentery and liver infection the 27th of October 1881, aged 44. (All translations from Danish are done by the author.)

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 19

Krabi’s Danish Gold and Diamonds Expert Almost right in the middle of the street, down by the beach in Ao Nang, Krabi, you find a Danish guy in a cozy small shop selling silverware, gold, and diamonds. Lars has sold jewellery for almost 20 years, and he is widely known for his fine quality and ability to do everything you want. By Søren Lykke Bülow


ars Krog Rasmussen is standing by one of his many lockers. He is trying to help out a couple. The husband wants to to buy his wife a new bracelet. The couple is Danish, but that is not unusual here in Chok-Dee-Handmade in Ao Nang which is renown for its service in gems, gold, silver, and diamonds. “I think this is the right one,” the wife says. Lars invites the two Danes to come and have a better look and a real try at the cash register. If the size does not fit, it is no problem. Lars will just make it fit. He knows his business. “We can do everything with gold,” he says. It is early evening in Ao Nang and the entire area is busy with people are on their way to the local restaurants and bars, but who might just have time for a short look at some of the jewellery in Lars’ store. He is married to a Thai woman, and his niece is helping out in the store right now. “I speak Southern Thai quite fluently,” Lars says. “But if I speak like that when I

am in Bangkok - they won’t understand a word,” he laughs.

A Danish street salesman Lars came to Thailand as a 23-yearold, and this year he can celebrate his 20th anniversary in Thailand. When he came in the first place, he sold jewellery at beaches, where he folded out a blanket presented his goods as a street salesman. 20 years later, he has two shops and a warehouse. “I am good with gold. And diamonds. My diamonds are the best. You can’t even go to the finest stores in Denmark and get the same quality of diamonds,” he claims. He points to a table on the wall besides him. Lars’ diamonds are of a quality known as “Top Wesselton (F-G) - VVS1”, “River (D-E)”, and “IF”. That might leave all normal, unaware people in a confused state of mind. But for the diamond lover, these are some of the finest diamonds in the market. “You can even go to Georg Jensen - one of the finest diamond dealers in Scandinavia - but you won’t find as good quality diamonds,” Lars says.

20 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

The ultimate guarantee

Buying jewellery in Thailand

All the fine diamonds have an enclosed GIA Certificate with a tiny laser inscription on the edge. “This is the ultimate guarantee you can get on a diamond, and you get all the specifications about the stone,” he says. These specifications are the diamond’s weight, colour, quality of polishing, symmetry, shape, style of polishing - all the details to live a life on the safe side. Lars stops talking and gets up from his chair behind the counter. He wants to show off his current finest diamond. A tiny, but incredibly valuable stone. In Danish kroner it is valued around 75,000 - more than 400,000 baht. In the different lockers, Lars displays his GIA Certificates and some valuations from Danish jewellers. “This one,” he says pointing to one of the papers of valuation, “was a diamond I sold for the equivalent of 11,000 Danish kroner - 60,000 baht - and when the buyer got a valuation of it back home in Denmark, it was valued at 27,000 Danish kroner - or 145,000 baht,” Lars says.

Thailand has been known as a place where it is incredibly easy to be cheated when buying jewellery. And so you might think the same about Lars. So, what is the trick? Well, according to Lars, there is no trick. He imports the diamonds from a diamond distributor in South Africa. All the gems he gets directly from the stone polisher, and at the same time, Chock-Dee-Handmade make their own pieces of jewellery. “We are the first link in terms of the stones and the production which means that we can sell the jewellery at a distributor prize - and still earn money on them,” Lars explains. He also explains the importance about not being drawn down by expenses like large taxes, VAT, and customs duties. “It’s a part of what makes this job fun. We can make expensive and good quality jewellery, but we can sell it at a very good price,” he points out. Once again, a customer enters the shop. Lars has to provide his expertise on the jewellery. He also


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has another shop in Ao Nang, only about half a kilometre from this one. And then he has a workshop where the jewellery is made. He usually spends around 50 percent of his time in the workshop - the other 50 percent in the shop.

Economics and golden rings “Jewellery is a luxury item. Of course we felt the global meltdown of the economy. People thought twice before buying jewellery. But now there is once again an economic upswing, and we’re doing okay,” Lars says. He states that the low sea-

son can be tough, but at this time he and his employees spend a lot of time getting jewellery ready for the high season, where the shop is usually visited by thousands of Scandinavians. Back in 2004, Ao Nang was not destroyed by the tsunami, but with so many shops and buildings right next to the beach, some places were affected by the catastrophe. Lars' shop was looted too, but it wasn’t more than what could be handled quite easily. “People don’t seem to fear a new tsunami anymore, so that doesn’t effect our business, although we could of course feel the effect right after it happened,” Lars recalls.

Doing business as ‘farang’ Doing business in Thailand is not always easy. Lars recalls when he was about to open his shp and thenh suddenly was arrested. There you go. A Danish jewellery salesman who ends up in jail. “It was not that dramatic, though,” Lars laughs. “At that time, this was a very small community, so we all knew each other. I had to find some painters to paint my new shop, but no one had the time, so I just bought some paint and did it myself. Two of my Italian friends came over and 22 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

helped me getting the job done.” “Suddenly, the immigration police showed up, and we were arrested for working as painters in Thailand. We ended up sitting in the jail in Krabi for half a day. Luckily, my wife knew some quite well-known people here in this area, so they bailed us out.” As a Dane, Lars still feels it was a bit odd to be arrested in that way. “Arrested for painting my own shop? Well, maybe some of the Thai’s down here wanted to see if they could give me a hard time getting started. But it all ended pretty good, and since then I haven’t really experienced big troubles about coming here as ‘farang’ and trying to do business,” he says. “It’s a great business, because I feel that I’m contributing somewhat to people’s lives. My small things can make people feel great, and I like that thought,” Lars says. And although Lars seems like a person who loves living his business, he reveals that there is also another side to his personality. “In the low season I like to arrange wild survivor’s trips into the jungle. If anyone is ever interested in joining me, they are more than welcome.” Well, that will be next time, maybe.

It’s a part of what makes this job fun. We can make expensive and good quality jewellery, but we can sell it at a very good price.

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Psychologist with Thailand at Heart

Danish author and psychologist Kenno Simonsen has deep insight into Thai-Western challenges. He loved the country from his first visit more than 20 years ago and now he has written a book to western professionals about how to manage Thai workforce. By Steen Poulin Nielsen


he Danish Author and psychologist Kenno Simonsen has strong ties to Thailand. He loved the country from his first visit back in 1987 when he was on a trip to Asia exploring another of his interests, martial arts. He then visited a number of Asian countries and he says: “There were two places I really liked. One was Nepal, the other was Thailand. Both because of the inhabitants. Thailand became my choice because I could get on a train or a bus and it would take me to my destination. In Nepal infrastructure is not at the same level.” Simonsen was hooked on Thailand and his next trip to Thailand was during his studies. He and a friend travelled together partying and drinking quite a lot of booze. He felt the need to add some structure to his days and signed up for a Thai language class in Chiang Mai. Later on the trip he met a girl and he decided to write his cross-cultural thesis in Thailand allowing him and his girlfriend to spend time together. Kenno Simonsen was now both fascinated and involved. One night he met a Dane married to a Thai. The man told Simonsen that he would never understand the Thai

24 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

way of thinking. “I clearly remember that there was something that triggered me that night. I really wanted to understand,” Kenno Simonsen says.

The Key to Thailand Simonsen recently launched his latest book “Nøglen til Thailand” (“The key to Thailand”). The book caters to individuals and companies working with Thai staff. Written in Danish, the book gives a detailed account of cultural, communicative and management aspects, which differ significantly from a Scandinavian mindset and corporate culture. The book is based on personal experiences and scientific work done in Thailand. “The social structures of the Thai’s environment is of utmost importance. A Thai can not always make the same decisions independently as we can in Scandinavia. Often he has to consult his close social network before he is able to commit himself,” Simonsen explains. The book not just analyzes and explains the Thai situation. The reader will be enligthened by a mixture of theory and examples, and, after reading find himself with a number of tools for immediate use. Kenno Simonsen now offers his

The social structures of the Thai’s environment is of utmost importance. A Thai can not always make the same decisions independently as we can in Scandinavia. Often he has to consult his close social network before he is able to commit himself.

knowledge and experience to companies in Thailand as a consultant.

Thai-Western challenges Kenno Simonsen seems focused and calm when talking about his beloved Thailand. His long experience with Thailand learned him a lot about the challenges about the cultural meeting between Westerns and Asians. “When a Western man marries a Thai woman he does not only marry a woman; he marries her family too. If the man is not aware of this the woman can find herself in a conflict of loyalties between the spouse and family. In particular, if she is the eldest daughter in the family. She has a strong commitment to caring for the parents,” Simonsen explains.

Who to invite for brunch At the end of this interview, ScandAsia asked Simonsen who in Thailand he would invite for a Sunday brunch. “I am quite interested in the political development so Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is a good choice. I was pleasantly surprised how he handled the riots last year. He waited long enough to let the people all over Thailand see the consequences of the conflict. I think it was a wise choice,” says Simonsen.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 25

Scandinavian Design Studio in Bangkok Designers Field celebrated its Grand Opening on Silom Road in Bangkok this February 2010. The company is founded by the two Danes, Kenn Thaysen and Julie Ploger. By Steen Poulin Nielsen


esigners Field creates Scandinavian designs with a touch of Asia, offering lamps, furniture, textile and wood accessories to the professional market. The business was founded as a Thai company last October and the new showroom and the office in Silom is a result of the growth the company experienced so far.

Sourcing and branding The business is two legged. Sourcing of products to retail chains is one of them, the other one is Designers Field´s own brand, Puji, sold to im-

porters and wholesalers worldwide. ”The origin of the name is my friend´s daughter. She had a problem pronouncing the Danish word for cushion - pude - instead she said puji. So Puji it is”, says Julie Ploger. Kenn Thaysen has a management background from the Fast Moving Consumer Goods market. His last position was Country Director in Sweden for Mars Inc. Julie Ploger is skilled in advertising and design. “When we relocated to Thailand we became an international company overnight. Now we are recognized by potential costumers from both the US, Africa and Asia-Pasific. These costumers we never met at the Danish trade fairs,” tells Kenn Thaysen.

Market trends The company identifies new trends in the market. Since the financial crisis functionality has been increasingly important, design without function is no longer asked for. Also renewable products are interesting. Costumers asks for products made from recycled materials or products that can be recycled as the financial crisis has brought an increased awareness on

26 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

environmentally friendly materials. The latest edition of cushions from Puji combines silk from Chiang Mai and Pakistan with a significant Scandinavian touch. To mix new and old looks is a trend at this moment.

High hopes One of the reasons for relocating is to be close to the manufacturers. The couple finds that Denmark is too far away to be able to secure the quality of the products. Both Thaysen and Ploger are very happy with their decision. "It is very exciting to run a business here. It seems that everything is possible. The high cost in Denmark puts a hold on many good ideas, while here in Thailand we can afford to concentrate on innovation and product development", says Kenn Thaysen. Designers Field has high hopes for the future. The company will stick to sales, marketing and design. All other aspects of the business like manufacturing, logistics and accounting are outsourced. And the Danish couple sees no dark clouds in the sky.

Scandinavian Bodyguard Training in Thailand The Danish Bodyguard Jesper Køngerskov has protected Bill Gates, The Rolling Stones and Madonna. Now he is training other bodyguards how to protect their client. By Bjarne Wildau


anish Bodyguard Jesper Køngerskov of the Danish Security Academy successfully offers a new generation of bodyguards a two weeks education as a bodyguard in Thailand. “Seven students signed up to the first course I held about a year ago. The course in the autumn had the same number of students. Normally eight will be max, so seven is fine,” says Jesper Kongerskov. Two courses are planned in the spring 2011, and another two courses in the autumn too.

Go Go and security “The cost for the course is 19.500 kroner included the airplane ticket,” Jesper explains. The program includes two days introduction to Thai culture in Bangkok, - including a visit to the notorious Go Go and sex centre Nana Plaza. “So far, none of my body guard students have been to Thailand before. Therefore it’s important for me to show them all facets of the Thai society. The sex tourism is a usually quite a shock,” says Jesper.

For the bodyguard training, the students move from Bangkok to Pattaya.

Distractions of the night Every morning the students practice professional martial arts, swimming and other physical training, before the bodyguard education starts. Then the students learn to handle and escort VIP clients, VIP driving, learning learn to handle weapons, Search after bombs and spy equipment, safety on a yacht and shooting. One of the highlights of the course is a shooting session with the police on the beach in Jomtien.

Students want to stay ”After the course two or three of our students prefer to find a job in Thailand,” Jesper says. “The standard of VIP handling in Thailand and the rest of Asia is not that impressive. I am sure that there are a lot of possibilities for western standard. So it’s definitely not impossible that some of my students can get jobs in Asia”. Jesper Køngerskov plans to

28 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

open his own Bodyguard company in Thailand within a year or two.

Norwegian and Swedish students “At the moment we mostly have Danish students but later I will accept students from the rest of Scandinavia”, says Jesper. So why Thailand, why not in the Philippines or South America, you can ask. “I came to Thailand first time five years ago. Like thousands of other Danes, I really enjoy living here. I am a single father and I would love to give my daughter a life in Thailand,” says Jesper Køngerskov. Jesper started in the unusual business of bodyguarding back in 1993, when he went to England and enrolled at International Bodyguard Association (IBA). Since then Jesper has guarded almost all the rich and famous from the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, to the Rolling tones and Madonna. Once in Denmark he got the task to look after the world famous footballer Thierry Henry. A man tried to attack the player

with a knife. “When my partner took control of the attacker his friend took a huge axe out of a back, and had the axe over his head before I managed to neutralize him. That’s the closest I have ever been to violence while during my job as abodyguard”, Jesper explains. In 2000 Jesper became a part of the public education centre for security, Århus Tekniske Skole (ATS) in Arhus Denmark. Five years later it was time to start his own security trainingDanish Security Academy doing more the less the same as at ATS, namely educate doormen and other people in the security. “Seven students signed up to the first course I held in the spring. And the course in the autumn had the same number of students. Normally eight will be max, so seven is fine”, says Jesper Kongerskov. “At the moment we mostly have Danish students but later I will accept students from the rest of Scandinavia”, says the founder of the first private Danish training centre for security and VIP protection.

Amber Sands --- BEACH RESORT ---

experience peace on Koh Chang’s tranquil east coast

A family-owned and managed boutique style resort on an almost deserted beach. With only 8 air conditioned chalets we offer friendly hospitality, personal service and attention to detail. Tel: +66 (0) 3958 6177 or +66 (0) 8 2212 0698

HUA HIN Thailand’s Royal Beach

30 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011


Hua Hin is Thailand’s oldest and most traditional attractions as a holiday destination with the charm and fascination of the still active fishing port. While most other Thai holiday destinations cater mainly to foreign tourists, Hua Hin is a holiday resort for both foreigners and Thais alike.


ua Hin was discovered in the early 1920s by King Rama VII as an ideal getaway from the sultry metropolis of Bangkok. The tranquil fishing village was turned into the Royal resort and consequently became popular among Siam's nobility and upper-class. The construction of a railway line from Bangkok ensured its accessibility and popularity with a wider part of the Thai public. But it was the resort's royal endorsement which has given Hua Hin a special character of its very own. In 1928, King Rama VII built Klai Kangwon (Far From Worries) Palace which remains until this today an official royal residence. It is still frequently used by members of the royal family and is open to the public for visits. Hua Hin continued to develop in its own leisurely way, both as an aristocratic resort with the added attraction of an 18-hole golf course, and as a fishing port. The Railway

Hotel, today's Sofitel Central Hua Hin, was built by the State Railways of Thailand in 1923 in the architectural style of old Siam. Many of Bangkok's rich and famous built their own beachfront summer homes to the north and south along the curving sandy bay, enjoying leisurely family weekends in a resort which has maintained its unique identity.

Charming city

Today's visitor to Hua Hin will still sense this special atmosphere and old world charm. The quiet, winding streets of the town give the place an atmosphere of calm and sophistication, as found in Europe in the traditional, exclusive resorts in the Riviera and the Cote d `Azur. In the evening the winding roads with a great variety of shops make a great stroll. And the restaurants built on stilts into the sea offer superb seafood in the legendary and unsurpassed preparation of the Thai cuisine.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 31

Hua Hin is glamorous, but not at all snobbish. The Thais in Hua Hin have no arrogance towards foreigners as it has unfortunately become the case at other destinations. Possibly because the majority of the population in Hua Hin are engaged in small business, trade, crafts and fishing. So there is a Thai market, where housewives buy daily needs, and a fishing fleet that runs every night to catch all sorts of sea creatures.

The lovely weather

In June, Hua Hin’s rainy season officially begins. Paradoxically, this is when Bangkok’s expat community prefers to visit Hua Hin. The place is quiet, the prices are low and an occasional warm shower is not only pleasant, it also turns the place into an ever-green tropical garden. In September the term ‘rainy season’ may actually make sense. Some days this month, the rain can start in the afternoon and continuing long into the night. Mid-December to February is when Hua Hin has it’s coldest time.

The maximum daily temperatures barely reach 30 degrees and at night it can be quite chilly, so a jacket or sweater is advisable. These months, a fresh breeze blows in from the sea and the day on the beach is very pleasant. The wind conditions in winter are ideal for windsurfing and kiteboarding, the wind is blowing onshore wind speeds of 4-6. A real insider tip. From February, temperatures start rising until in April and May daytime temperatures reach 3235 °C. The stay at the beach is still pleasant, as a fresh wind is blowing. And at night it cools down considerably and the silky evening air is ideal for a stroll.

Clean beach

The beach Hua Hin is one of the cleanest in Thailand. The public beach is just over 8 kilometers long and an average of about 150 m wide at low tide. It is therefore ideal for long walks. In recent years the Government has created an exemplary sanitation international standards, together

32 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

with an efficient and modern sewage treatment plant. The local authorities pay great attention to the cleanliness of the beach and the water quality and continuously carry out checks. The jellyfish problem Hua Hin during the rainy season should not be overlooked: On rainy days during the rainy season (and only then!) jellyfish may appear near the beach. The touch of the tentacles can cause painful skin irritation. During these months, swimming in the sea should be avoided or exercised with caution. If stung, the important trick is to apply plenty of vinegar and carefully lift off - not brush! - any tentacles left on the skin. Families with children who like to play in the water should pack a bottle of vinegar in their beach bag just in case. Near Hua Hin, there are other attractive beaches which are mainly used by the local Thais. Particularly noteworthy here is Suan Son, about 10 km south of Hua Hin, with relatively high waves and casuarinas. The water temperature is about 27

to 30 °C, depending on the season.

Family Holidays

The clean beach, the quiet streets and excellent recreational facilities make Hua Hin a perfect destination for family vacations. There is plenty of water sports and horse fans are riding horses and ponies for rent. A musical school and other educational institutions are available if you have not only come to ;ie in the sun. Golf is a popular sport and Hua Hin provides the highest density of world class golf courses anywhere in Thailand while it's yet virtually undiscovered as an international Golf destination. Green-fees and other costs are currently among the lowest in the world while course maintenance and services are superb. A key advantage of Hua Hin, is that you can safely move about as a pedestrian. There are foot paths along all major roads and smaller sois are used only by very few vehicles. Hua Hin has all the ingredients for a very special holiday experience.

Where to Eat?

La Grappa Italian Restaurant - Pizzeria


a Grappa is an Italian restaurant and pizzeria situated in the heart of Hua Hin, which offers a pleasant and enjoyable lunch or dinner, or in short “L’abbinamento”. Grappa is a colorless brandy with an alcoholic content of about forty percent, distilled from the pressed skins and pips of the grapes left after wine making. Dining at La Grappa’s would allow customers to appreciate and enjoy affordable dining with the perfect match of authentic Italian food, grappa and wines served by friendly staff in a relaxed yet pleasant and stylish ambience. Amongst the popular suggestion for a good end to your meal at La Grappa’s is by having one of the tempting Dolci, or selection of Italian Cheese that goes well with the remainder of your red wine. With a chef that believes innovation and respect for the original taste and recipe are the only way to produce authentic Italian food around the world, customers of La Grappa are in for a perfect Italian experience.

The Rak Talay Beach Restaurant


Maharaja Indian Restaurant


f authentic Northern Indian food is what you are looking for, Maharaja’s is a place to try out. The restaurant is situated not far from the Hilton Hotel in Hua Hin and serves a nice variety of dishes at attractive prices. The menu includes mouthwatering choices of Tandoori chicken, wide selection of curry and satisfying vegetarian menu. Some of the recommended dishes include the mutton and chicken Masala (finely cut lamb/chicken cooked in spicy herbs). With Indian interior decorations, the restaurant gives customers a genuine Indian feel as they walk in because of the additional smell of natural Indian spices and traditional Indian music playing in the background. Other dishes served are kebabs, chicken tikka masala, jalfreizi, vindaloo, roghan josh and many others especially for those who want to try out the Indian cuisine. 34 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

he Rak Talay restaurant is situated beside the sandy beach on the courtyard of the Wora Bura Resort & Spa providing a fine dinner on openair terraces overlooking the panoramic view of the HuaHin bay. Rak Talay means “Love the Sea” and this restaurant is known for its reputation as the romantic restaurant because of its location with seating overlooking the sea. Some of the popular dishes on the menu are its grilled seafood specialties, classic international cuisine and homemade pasta. Those who are looking for a serene dining experience with delectable seafood dishes priced reasonably, Rak Talay restaurant is a must.

Where to Stay?

You and Your Lover @ Aleenta Hua Hin

W The Heart of Hua Hin


he Hilton Hua Hin is probably the one hotel most closely associated with staying in style in Hua Hin. The located in the middle of the action is so well known, that all the shops in its vicinity use it as a landmark to define their location. Hilton Hua Hin is the tallest building in the city centre, and it’s prime location on the beach and in the middle of the tourist area provides magnificent views from the rooms.

hisk your loved one away for a 3 days, 2 nights special with Aleenta’s ‘cheek to cheek’ package. Relax in a luxury suite, dine on gourmet breakfast and enjoy a soothing massage. Aleenta Hua Hin - Pranburi Resort and Spa is the original award winning boutique luxury resort upon which Aleenta started. This special boutique luxury resort and spa features 23 unique suites, most with a private pool. Each suite is located within steps of the beach and offers commanding views of the stunning sunset sea view of the Gulf of Thailand. The romantic ‘cheek to cheek’ package costs from 10.500 to 12.500 THB per couple depending on the luxury level of the room. The most expensive package is for staying at the Penthouse - a large and very private circular-shaped suite set high above the resort’s grounds. Special features include a stone tub for two. Just you and your lover… Alone… Together… Office address: Aleenta Resort and Spa 3 Lardprao Soi 95, Wangthonglang, Bangkok 10310. Reservation : +662 514-8112 / Email:

My Way @ Hua Hin


y Way at Hua Hin is a unique new boutique family resort, which started from being at first only a Yamaha music school in Hua Hin. Now the owners have expanded it to be a hotel with a charming ambience as a “Home Away from Home” in Hua Hin. Staying at My Way, you can take music lessons in Thai and classical music. Or you can swim and take scuba diving lessons in the large pool, kick up a sweat in the fitness room for cardiovascular and weight training - or just relax and enjoy yourself with a book or a movie in your room.. My Way is also ideal as a conference location. Two function rooms with banquet area of 1,200 Square meter can accommodate 80 person and 15 person respectively My Way is located between Hua-Hin Soi 106 and Hua-Hin Soi 108 off main Petchkasem Rd. with entry from either of the two sois. Not far from the city and close enough to thye sea to enjoy breeze.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 35

What to Do?

Music Festival 14 May on Hua Hin Beach


onda Summer Fest on 14 May will again this year bring young people to Hua Hin beach for four types of activities - extreme water sports, cutting-edge fashion shows, movies and musical performances. Last year, many young party goers came down from Bangkok and elsewhere just for this festival. Many didn’t bother booking a room - they simply slept on the beach through the night! The show’s organizer, Honda Automobile and Fresh Air Festival, said the event’s highlight is a variety of music and a beach party like no other. Thai acts to watch out for include Joey Boy, T-Bone, Thaitanium, Lipta, Tu Phop Thorn, Champion Supachai. Chirathivat, ETC, Teddy Ska Band, Spydamonkee, Kai-Jo Brothers, Tamone Band, Mocca Garden, and Buddha Bless, among other exciting performers. Meanwhile, international artists include Pistol Valve and Sweet Vacation from Japan; Uprooted DJ Team from China, Kingkapisi from New Zealand, and more. The Honda Summer Music Festival is on 14 May all day from 12 noon to 12 midnight. The free show will start at midday at Hua Hin’s Khao Takiab beach. The first 5,000 visitors who wear orange shirts will get free gifts.

Beach Horse-riding


isiting Hua Hin beach without being tempted to go for a horse ride is almost impossible. Horseriding along the beach is one of the most famous mustdo activities in this sophisticated resort town. While other beaches offer more adrenaline-pumping ways of getting around, Hua Hin beach keeps its serene scene with the more graceful option. There are numerous horse-riding services on offer by local residents on this sandy strip but for those new to the activity, the service by Sofitel Central Hua Hin Hotel is popular among firsttimer tourists.

Hua Hin Hills Vineyard


ua Hin Hills Vineyard is the only vineyard where you can have an elephant ride through the vines! In fact the vineyard is built on a former elephant coral where wild elephants were domesticated. The terrain of loamy sand and slate and constant ocean breeze allow international grape varietals to thrive and produce aromatic and award-winning Monsoon Valley Wines. Siam Winery started developing the site after successfully experimenting at the nearby Royal Research Station at Huay Sai in 2003. Visitors are welcomed daily from 10 am to 6 pm. A complete tour of the vineyard includes transport to and from the vineyard, tasting 3 wines with little snacks, a glass of grape juice, an elephant ride and a goodie bag with some chocolatey things. The salon is a very nice building with a restaurant, bar and shop, and you can have a stroll around the vineyard and gardens. It’s a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and the wine is nice too!

36 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Elephants Are Calling… Think of all the amazing times you have spend with an elephant. These giant creatures have so much power, but are still so calm and friendly. Many places around Thailand you will get the chance to hug and kiss an elephant. These elephants are working to serve you and make money to the Mahout’s family, but have you ever wondered what happens to them when they get too old to work or get injured?


n the way to the Pala-U Waterfall, Just outside Hua Hin, you will find The Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. Three businessmen who wanted to build a place for old or injured elephants to retire started this foundation nearly four years ago. The foundation has currently eight elephants. Not all of them are retired, some are still working to make money for the older ones. One of the retired elephants has been working in Bangkok walking around the city selling bananas to tourists. One night she got hit by a truck, so now she has some problems with walking and could not make money for the mahout any longer. Another elephant was very undernourished when she first came to the foundation. She is now around 84 years old and is enjoying life in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of foods. The little darling of the foundation is Songkran. She is an elephant baby, nearly 3 years old. She has been living at the foundation all of her life because her mother rejected her when she was born.

Another elephant needs your help Last week a mahout who owns an injured elephant contacted The Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. His elephant was out working and she entered the pond wrong, so the mahout would like the foundation to take care of her because he does not has the money to give her the right treatment. The Foundation would like to save her and give her the treatment she needs, but the price of the elephant is 300.000 Baht and the

foundation do not have that money. You can help by coming to visit the foundation and have a great day at the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation. There are opportunities to meet the Mahouts and even offer your time as either a short or long time volunteer.

The Hutsadin Elephant Foundation 176 Moo 7, Huahin-Nongplub Road Prachuabkhirikhan 77110 web:

Aesthetic of relaxation Family Resort of Hua Hin

Music Hotel

My Way... The Best Way for Your Relaxation. Room Types: Studio, Studio Extra, Standard, Standard New Wing, Superior, Delux, Villas • Swimming Pool 25m x 12m • Pool Bar • Conference Rooms • Fitness • Children pool 8m x 4m • Scuba Diving Course

Room Rate Starting from *899 THB for studio room * (from May - October 2011)

Text and photos by Helle Deleuran

20/53 Soi Hua Hin 108, Petchkasem Road, Nhongkae, Hua Hin, Prachuabkhirikhan 77110 Tel: +66 3251 1397, +66 3251 6556-7, +66 3251 6333 • Fax: +66 3251 2502 Email: • Website:

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 37

Charming Veranda

Veranda Lodge is an idyllic and timeless resort directly facing Hua Hin’s best sandy beach. By Gregers Moller


eranda Lodge was first established 7 years ago. It was just called Veranda Grill at that time, a small family restaurant. Today, the place offers not only excellent food at the very same beautiful spot on the Hua Hin beach, but also luxury accommodation, some located right on the beach overlooking the crystal clear sea. From the moment you put down your weekend bag in the reception, you get the impression that the staff takes an almost personal pride in ensuring your stay will create a pleasant memory of your “secret place in Hua Hin”.

Easy to find Veranda Lodge lies in the middle of the old part of Hua Hin, tucked away on a quiet lane leading down to the beach south of the old railway hotel and the Marriott Resort and Spa.

38 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Coming from Bangkok, you reach Hua Hin on the main road coming in from Cha-am. At the main intersection where you see the iconic Clock Tower proceed slowly further South. The first Soi on your left hand is 63, then comes 63/1 and 65. Pass by Marriott and the next lane on your left hand is Hua Hin Soi 67. This is where you turn in towards the beach. Go as far as you can - and there it is - your little secret place for relaxation and tranquility surrounded by the lush garden of the Veranda Hotel.

Boutique hotel charm Veranda Lodge has retained all the history and memories of the old age charm of Hua Hin, but includes all the superior amenities that guests enjoy from a boutique hotel. The hotel remains run by the family that owned it since it was only

a superb restaurant on the beach. This might be the explanation why it still feels so homely, a nice combination of peace and tranquility in a beautiful setting. At Veranda Lodge, each room has its own color theme and the furniture is chosen with care and with a taste for design and decor. Rooms are fully furnished with among other DVD player, refrigerator, telephone and hairdryer.

Veranda Grill Down by the beach is where the legend started, This is where you find The Veranda Grill. The Veranda Grill offers both a relaxed outdoor atmosphere on the beach front, along with an indoor dining experience, featuring exceptional views across the Gulf of Thailand. The setting is perfect for sampling some of the sea’s freshest delights. You can choose from a

Lodge in Hua Hin

wide selection of authentic Thai cuisine along with continental dishes, all of which are carefully prepared to our chef’s exacting standards. Sit down. Relax. And enjoy the delicious exotic cuisine, the stunning setting, and let the personal and friendly staff pamper you. The kitchen serves breakfast all day and you are not obliged to stand up at a certain time to reach the most important meal but just get lost in time. In the evening, the restaurant is a wonderful place to enjoy for instance fresh seafood from the grill while you enjoy Hua Hin’s sunset. The opening hours of Veranda Grill and the two other food outlets are: Veranda Grill Serving seafood and gourmet continental dishes (7.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m.) Pool Side Bar Serving refreshment, sandwich and snacks (10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.)

Veranda on Beach Serving refreshment, sandwich and snacks (10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.)

Hua Hin is fun! Just relaxing in the sun is nice. But you may want a bit more action. Veranda Lodge’s Beach Club offers a wide range of water sports, wind surfing, kayaking and even sailing. You could also go out explore Hua Hin - all the action is within easy walking distance from Verandas Lodge. In the day time - and indeed at night time too - Hua Hin offers all the hustle and bustle you would expect of a vibrant town which has its own life beyond the tourists, that enjoy to be part of it. The Night Market is absolutely a must to visit. With countless outlets along the street, you can find handmade seigniors, garment, jewelry etc. Apart from that there

are plenty of seafood restaurants serving all the famous Thai dishes. This market opens daily from 6 p.m. to 12 am.

Pa-La-U Waterfall A day trip popular with many tourists will take you to the Pa-La-U Waterfall located about 60 Km west of Hua-Hin, near the Burmese border. The impressive 16 steps of water fall makes it one of the bigger water falls in Thailand. Along the way, you could enjoy rare wild life animals animal and hundreds species of butterflies. You could also visit the Hill tribe village which settled around 200 years ago by Burmese origin and see their way of living.

Kaeng Krachan jungle A personal favorite of mine is to get up early - so early that it is still dark - and hit the road north out of Hua Hin to make it to the Kaeng Krachan

National Park while the fog called the “sea of mist“ is still covering the valleys in its white mystery. From the top of the mountain you can hear the gibbons calling each other across the vast expanse of the jungle. After the sun is up, stay around for a unique view of the giant horn bills sailing from the jungle clad mountain side below you, across the valey to disappear in the green jungle on the other side. A majestic view indeed. Kaeng Krachan is Thailand’s largest national park (2,915 sq km). With wide variety flora and fauna, more than 400 species of birds can be seen along with wild animals. You can visit also Kaeng Krachan reservoir which made covers an area of 46.5 sq km and has a capacity of 710 million cubic meters.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 39

Luxury in Pranburi “Barefoot Luxury” is Jon Plate’s description of his Modena project on the Pranburi beach front - Thailand’s next Hua Hin. By Steen Poulin Nielsen


n February 24 highend property developer, Sukhothai Capital Co. Ltd. launched the 400 million Baht condominium and villa project Modena at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The about 25 persons at the press conference proved the interest from local media. Modena, with its four pool-villas and twenty seven condominiums, is situated in Pranburi and the location is by no means coincidental. Jon Plate, Managing Director of Sukhothai says: ”Pranburi seems to be the next Hua-Hin. The area is already officially pointed out as a priority area for sustainable tourism. Pranburi is completely unspoiled with no mass tourism.”

The location was recently highlighted as one of the world’s ‘Next Best Places’ to look out in Condé Nast Traveller magazine.

tumers because they deliver what they promise. This is exactly what I want to do,” says Jon Plate.

First Thai project

Pranbury is interesting from a logistic point of view. Now just two and a half hours drive from Bangkok it seems feasible to spend the weekends in Pranbury. Plate identifies the potential costumer to be either Thai living in Bangkok or expats from Bangkok. A smaller group will be Scandinavian tourists mainly because of the architecture and design of Modena. The Modena project aims to capture the essence of seaside living what Jon Plate refers to as ”’Barefoot Luxury” creating a calming space from the pressure of modern life. Most units will have both sea- and mountain view.

For Jon Plate, Modena is his first experience as a developer in Thailand. But he is an experienced developer with a portfolio of skiing condominiums in France, luxury apartments, beachfront houses and a hotel project in Denmark. He has been living and working in Thailand for 11 years and Modena will be his reference for his future projects in Thailand. It was important for Plate to set up a team of partners with long time experience in Thailand. ”There are some property developers in Thailand who I admire. They build up a base of loyal cos-

40 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Barefoot Luxury

About twenty percent of the condominiums are already sold and Modena is fully financed why a presale will not be in effect. The sale of the condominiums will start early August and Modena will be completed around November. For the off-plan investor Modena offers a projected 5-years Return of Investment around 30-45 % and estimated rental yields are in the band 8-12%. According to Jon Plate property development is a slow process why he is working on more projects already. It is premature to tell about new projects. ”Our niche is locations with great beauty, not exposed to mass tourism where we will add high-end quality design, architecture, planning and building,” Plate says.

Tharathip Resort Stylish


Tharathip Resort on Koh Pangan is a small resort attractively decorated in a typical local Thai style. Set amidst a tropical lush green garden with towering coconut trees, Tharathip Resort is peaceful and quiet with probably the most beautiful view of the sunset on Koh Pangan. Tharathip Resort offer either King and Twin beds, private balcony, hot and cold showers, minibar, electronic safety box, TV with 30 news and entertainment channels and Wi-Fi.

Tharathip Resort : 73 Moo 4, T. Phangan, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 Tel. +66 (0) 77 377 861-2, +66 (0) 8 7889 4499 / Website : / E-mail :

Surrounded by Nature Located in Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan, Thailand One of Koh Phangan’s most beautiful beaches. Value to your vacate. Welcomes you to enjoy the best of Koh Phangan.


CENTRAL COTTAGE RESORT Thong Nai Pan, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 THAILAND Tel: +66 (0) 77 445 128, +66 (0) 77 445 031 / Fax: +66 (0) 77 445 032 / Email: /

More Valuable Memories A When guest buy a group tour from Asien Travel it might very well be produced and guided by one of the three owner themselves. By Bjarne Wildau

sien Travel, a travel agency established in Denmark last year, is focusing on small group tours to Thailand and the surrounding countries for guest who are ready to pay extra for high quality. The owners of the agency are three Danish tour guides that 12 years ago worked for the then Alletiders Rejser. Brian Harry Boysen and Søren Lindahl Madsen remain based in Thailand, while Lasse Rasmussen will handle Asien Travels sales from his office in Djursland in Denmark. “From the very beginning it was clear to us, that we didn’t want to go into the market just like another travel agency trying hard competing on the already loaded cheap end market”, says Brian Harry Boysen, well know from Evolution Tour, his own company in Koh Chang. “The three of us has more than 35 years of experience in the travel trade, and we simply try to learn from our past, to create some quality experiences for our guest, by focussing on the very best, in stead of counting every single dollar”, Brian Harry Boysen says. Before establishing the agency, the three founders exchanged hundreds of emails, talked hour after hour, to ensure what Asien Travel was going to be about. Quality before saving dollars. The product is group travels. According to the highly respected Dane, one of the ways to increase the quality is to make smaller groups. While other tours pack 25- to 30 people together in one group to make the travel cheaper the profit for the agency higher, Asien Travel guarantee their guest that there will be max 16 person in a group. “The travel starts with the plane trip. All our guest will fly with Thai Airway. A better start of at group tour is hard to imagine”, Brian Harry Boysen says. “All the three of us, Søren, Lasse and I, have done dozens of

42 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

group tours since we entered the tourism industry and we all know what works and what does not. We can easily see what is excellent and what is just OK”. “All our trips are based on our own experience. We aren’t just picking up the phone, trusting an agent. No. We pack a suitcase and go our selves, checking up on every single detail”. “Many of our tours will even be guided by Søren and Lasse. Its unique that our clients actually buy the travel from the very same person who produced the tour, speak the local language and has deep insight about Asia - and eventually might even lead the group himself!” During its first season which is now coming to an end, Asien Travel has arranged the following tours: 1. Minority-people in NorthThailand and the Islands in the South. 16 days. A combination of exciting program in North-Thailand and then island hopping on Koh Mak, Koh Kood and Koh Chang. 2. Vietnam. A 16 days program with focus on central Vietnam. Compared to other roundtrips in Asia, this tour includes also Boun Ma Thout and the Central Highlands; Visit to the Mnong People; Visit to the DMZ zone north of Hue. 3. Grand Thailand. 21 days. The longest roundtrip in Asia compared to other Danish travel agencies. Lasse has with his many years of experience in Thailand tailor made this roundtrip with all the best of Thailand. 4. Myanmar, a 17 days program to this quit new roundtrip country on the Danish market. We visit the fascinating Bagan and our clients can experience the Balloon over Bagan (picture attached). We travel by land to Mandalay and meet the locals. We stay at the old British hill station Pyin U Lwin and ride a local train. Final stop us is the beautiful Shan State with Inle Lake. E-mail:

A chance to completely unwind and enjoy the serene scenery found on Koh Phangan and in

“The natural you need we all have here�

Salad Buri Resort & Spa

Salad Beach ReSoRt

welcome to paradise of you holiday and stay in a peaceful nature.

Salad Buri Resort & Spa 60/2 Moo 8, Haad Salad, Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280 Thailand Tel: +66 (0) 77 349 146, +66 (0) 77 349 147 / Fax: +66 (0) 77 349 148 Email: /

Salad Beach Resort Haad Salad Koh Phangan Suratthani 84280 Thailand Tel: 66 (0) 77 349 149, 66 (0) 77 349 274 Fax: 66 (0) 77 349 275 Email:

Phra Nang Inn P

hra Nang Inn is located on the Ao Nang Beach, set among lust tropical garden with the best panoramic view of Krabi’s islands, and only a short stroll away from the shopping & dining strip of Ao Nang Beach. Established since1987, Phra Nang Inn is one of the first hotels in Krabi. We have undergone a complete renovation in 2007, offering a fresh touch while maintain the old charms that are uniquely Phra Nang Inn. We offer characterized accomodations with friendly and personalized services. The guest rooms are decorated with local materials such as seashells and coconut wood together with fresh colors to create a unique and refreshing atmosphere. Lover Saver Package 4 days 3 nights 17,950 THB per 2 persons Room type applied : Deluxe Beach wing and Deluxe Spa wing Validity : Now – 31 May 11 Package inclusion : • 3 Nights accommodation included ABF for 2 persons • 2 glasses for cocktails • 1 Dinner Set & 1 bottle of sparkling wine • 1 Full Day tour 4 Island with Lunch • 1 full day tour Hot spring spa at Waree Raksa • Round trip transfer from Krabi Airport • Complementary Wifi • Tropical welcome drink • Room set up with flower

For information please contact Phra Nang Inn Krabi : P.O. Box 25, Krabi 81000 Thailand Tel: +66 75 637 130-3 Fax : +66 75 637 134-5 Bkk Office : 140/389 Sathorn House, North Sathorn, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: +66 2236 4141, 236 2345 Fax: +66 2236 3344 Reservation : Sales : Remark • Rates are net ,inclusive of daily breakfast. • Cannot combined with other promotion.

Welcome to Salad Beach Resort


ituated in Koh Phangan, the most natural destination in the eastern sea of Thailand. Salad Beach Resort nested on the unspoiled beautiful beach in Ao Salad, the northwest of Koh Phangan, Surat Thani province. Salad Beach Resort welcome you to paradise of you holiday. You will stay in a peaceful nature Salad Beach Resort offer 28 rooms in luxury hotel and 26 rooms in bungalow, equipped with air condition or fan, bathroom with hot and cold shower, cable TV, mini-bar, room service and refrigerator.

For information please contact Salad Beach Resort Haad Salad Koh Phangan Tel: +66 77 349 149, +66 77 349 274 Fax : +66 77 349 275 Email:

44 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Special Packages Special Promotion (Bonus Night) “Stay 4 nights pay only 3 nights” 16 Jul - 31 Aug ‘11 Book Advance 7 days Discount 25% 01 Sep - 31 Oct’11 Book Advance 7 days Discount 40% • Complimentary breakfast during free night • Applicable for new booking only Cancellation Policy • No charge for cancellation 7 days prior to arrival. • Late cancellation / No show / Early check out , the fee of one night equivalent will be charged. ** NON REFUNDABLE **

“Studio Saver” Promotion at Northgate Ratchayothin Serviced Residence


orthgate Ratchayothin Serviced Residence introduces “Studio Saver” promotion, offering a 15% discount from regular leisure rate when booking 2 consecutive nights or more in a Studio Room. The leisure rate for Studio Room is THB 2,500* per night. Rate is inclusive of breakfast for two persons, free Wi-Fi internet access everywhere in the hotel and free use of the swimming pool, fitness gym, tennis court (day time) and shuttle van service to MRT Chatuchak Park Station (schedule applies). Northgate Ratchayothin Serviced Residence is located in the Chatuchak District in northern Bangkok, which is renowned for its pleasant residential area. It is conveniently located by the main road, providing easy access to the city’s major business center, shopping arcades, beautiful public parks and Ratchadavipavadee golf driving range. A variety of entertainment and dining venues are within walking distance. The “Studio Saver” promotion is available from now until September 30, 2011. Reservations can be made online by visiting or contact our reservation officer at Telephone +662 939 7949 Email reservation@northgatebangkok. com or Zinc | InVision Hospitality’s Sales & Marketing office at Tel.+66 2 656 0818 Email *Remarks: Rate is inclusive of 10% service charge and 7% applicable tax

For more information, please contact: Vipasiri Napawongdee (Ms.) Director of PR & Marketing Communications Email: Jittra Pornpitakkul (Ms.) Asst. PR & Marketing Communications Manager Email: Pichaporn Krisadatikarn (Ms.) PR & Marketing Communications Executive Email: Tel +66 2656 0818

Welcome to Para Resort Koh Chang


For information please contact Para Resort Kohchang 15/4 Moo 4 White Send Beach, Koh Chang Trat Tel. +66 3955 1078, +66 8 6003 6555, +66 8 1620 4411 Fax. +66 3951 1077, E-mail:

hite Sands beach is perhaps Koh Chang’s most popular destination. “Para Resort” is a short walk to the beautiful white sands beach. Our bungalows and family suites are surrounded by our own private gardens. You are welcome to make yourself at home here and relax in the natural surroundings. We have 9 beautiful family suite rooms with sea view balconies, at unbeatable value on Koh Chang. We also have 14 fantastic bungalows in our forest garden with double bed and air conditioning. We have some great packages available involving all day snorkelling around 4 of the beautiful coral islands of Koh Chang. Take an evening out rowing through the mangroves by the light of the dancing fire flies. Admire the fire throwing skills of the performers at White sands beach, and relax with a fine feast of the best fresh sea food. Although it is only a short walk to white sands beach “Hat Sai Khao”, we happily provide a free shuttle taxi service to and from the beach and shops. Please enquire at reception. For foot passengers arriving by ferry, we have a pickup service which can carry up to 10 persons. For mini bus and travel from further afield, Trat Airport, Chanthaburi, Rayong, Bangkok please see our online booking form. Family Suite (Two Big Bed + Incl.Abf.) High Season 2,975 Baht, Low Season 2,380 Baht. Double/Single Bed (Bungalow+ Incl.Abf.) High Season 1,275 Baht, Low Season 850 Baht. * Season Festival is Nomal Price April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 45

From Ice-Hockey to Soccer Although he had been actively involved in an ice-hockey team back in Finland, 10-yearold Jaakko Satuli has adjusted very well to local weather suitable sports activities. By Kristene Silva Marie Photos bu Soffi Chanjira Larsen


aakko moved to Bangkok with his family, his father, mother and four-year-old sister, in July last year and when he did he was unable to converse in English. He spoke about his favourite subject, Physical Education (PE), where he gets to play outdoors with his classmates. He is especially fond of sports activities such as tennis and soccer and admitted that his favourite soccer club was Barcelona. According to his mother, Taru, he doesn’t really miss Finland. When he was there he used to be very active in ice hockey so before moving she was worried he may miss it and packed all the ice hockey equipments to bring, but apparently upon arriving to Thailand, that did not become a problem. “He quickly got interested in other sports activities like tennis and soccer, and it seemed like he totally forgot about ice hockey,” she said laughing. Taru said she chose KIS after looking at around five other international schools. She found KIS to be non-discriminating and friendly. She also found it to be generally small and cosy which meant it was less crowded than many other schools. The fact that it was away from the noise from the big roads con-

vinced her that it was the best place for Jaako to attend. The KIS school timing is also convenient for his parents because in Finland, children have to spend their afternoons alone as school ends at 12pm. Here he stays in school a little longer and then there is someone to come and pick them up. “KIS is a fun place to study in,” Jaakko said.

Challenges Among the worries that Taru had about Jaako was that he would not be able to cope with the education because of its difference to the Finnish education system and also because of the language barrier. Due to his limited English exposure, Jaakko was assigned a special teacher to help explain to him what was happening in class. This showed Taru that the student support system was really good. He does not require one anymore as his English language has improved tremendously. When Jaakko first enrolled in the school, he was assigned a “buddy” who he was to follow and mingle around with. His “buddy”, Thomas helped him stabilize his social relationships and get comfort-

46 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

able in the new school. Jaakko has transformed from a boy with little English language skills to being able to express himself socially to teachers and friends. He takes English as an additional language and gets added support concentrating on the language academically. His mother is very impressed with his improvement and even more because not only has he learned to speak English, he has also picked up Thai. “It’s been amazing to see how fast the language develops and Jaakko is really making good friends here,” she said. Before leaving Finland, the mother was encouraged to find a school which had the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme so if ever they were to move, he could still choose a school in that country which provides the IB programme where the education system is the same. The most obvious difference he feels between KIS and his previous school in Finland is the students. They are more international and with different backgrounds and nationalities than his school back in Finland.

Participation in Non-Academic programmes As part of the IB programme, Jaakko has had to participate in certain themed projects. He had helped put together an exhibition of Ancient Rome for the theme Past Civilisations. During the project, he and his peers had fun dressing up as ancient Greek athletes and take part in sports items that were part of the Greek Olympics such as athletics, long jump and others. The current theme is People in Need. Jaakko explained that during this period there are hand bands sold to anyone who wants to buy it at their choice of price. “They can choose to buy it for any amount from 100 Baht or more. The money collected will go to those in need in Japan,” he said showing his white hand band with the words United for Japan engraved on it. Jaakko has been in Thailand before moving here. His first time was to Phuket Island when he was four years of age. Later in 2007, he came visited again. This time he came to Bangkok for holidays with his family. Jaakko and his family have not gone back to Finland to visit yet but they are planning one for the summer holidays this year.

International school scholarships within your reach

think, therefore IB

KIS International School, a full IB school, is offering scholarships in these 3 categories: One Million Baht IB Diploma Scholarship No tuition fees for grade 11 and 12. All nationalities. Ready to enter grade 11 in August 2011. Well-rounded student, outstanding academic ability. Secondary School Academic Scholarships 30% to 50% off tuition fees. All nationalities. Ready to enter grades 6-10 in August 2011. Well-rounded student, excellent academic ability. Financial Scholarships 30% to 90% off tuition fees. For international-profile students of any age. Based on financial need.

Lard Prao


Rama 9 Petchburi

Ekamai (Sukhumvit 63)

Asoke-Ratchadapisek (Suk.21)

For full conditions and more information about the scholarships please visit or contact or


Area map only. For directions see Tel +66 (0) 2274 3444

From Gloom to Bliss Elephants, jungles, beaches and shopping were just some of the things Evelina Rosander expected from, Thailand before moving here. Her poor English, among others, was an unpleasant surprise. By Kristene Silva Marie


lthough 18-year-old Evelina often saw her dad, Kaj Rosander, Saab, travel to different countries for work purposes, it came as a big shock to her when he a few years ago broke the news that the whole family was moving to Thailand. “I didn’t know what to think when my dad told me we were moving. At first I did not even know what it meant to leave my friends and home,” she said. Upon reaching her new home, Evelina faced some intense challenges which not only involved missing home in Sweden but also speaking English. “I could not speak English very well and because of that, the first half year was the most challenging phase for me,” she said. She then started English as a Second Language classes and there she improved tremendously with the guidance of a teacher who helped and pushed her to learn. “He was like a role model for me,” she gratefully added. She also acknowledged that during the process of transition, she had many friends here who were willing to help and support her all the time.

I am leaving..! Evelina admits that sometimes it was just so difficult that she wanted to pull out, go home and get her old life back. “But then, they were also times that I felt so special and different because they all wanted me to stay and that changed the way I thought and turned things around making me enjoy my stay,” she said. She said what she misses most is the Swedish lifestyle - like walking to school and hanging out or going shopping with friends whenever she wanted to. Sometimes when the workload gets too heavy, she wants to get the whole school life over and done with but with the support of her friends she soon realises that she has to stop and just enjoy her learning experience.

Activities Evelina may not look it but she has been playing football for 10 years and was very actively playing at nonschool clubs in Sweden. “I really wanted to play here but since they only had a school team, there were a very limited number of people to choose from,” she said. Apart from football, she also plays softball in school. Evelina also shared about her classes and brought up an interesting course requirement, CAS (Cre-

48 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

ativity Action Service). Through this programme, students are required to get involved in an art or music class for the Creativity component, a sport activity for the Action component and some charity work for the Service component. As part of this, Evelina and her group, Footy for Friends, usually visit an orphanage home, Mercy Centre, and organise fun activities and trips to the school to give them an opportunity to play some sports, such as football or basketball. “We plan and arrange transportation then we carry out some activities for the children and play with them,” she said. This experience taught Evelina to be conscious about others around her and the smiles on the children’s faces make her want to give more.

Family When Evelina and her parents moved here, her brother, who was 18 years old at the time, stayed home in Sweden. He only had half a year more before he was done with his studies. She admitted that leaving him was really tough but as time passed by, she felt their relationship grew stronger with the distance. “It is also probably because we are both much older and more ma-

ture now,” she added. Even her relationship with her family has strengthened as she realised that when she faced challenges she needed her family more. Selecting New International School of Thailand was easy. Her father’s colleagues had mentioned the school to them and since there were not many schools to choose from and given the school’s proximity to their new home, it was a given that this was the school she would attend. Evelina said in Sweden, she had limited knowledge of how the world is but now mixing around with her multinational friends, she has cultivated a bigger view of the world. She happily expressed that she has adapted well to her school and friends and is in fact really enjoying her stay here. “After this, I don’t think I’ll be going back to Sweden to enroll into university. I personally want to go to the United States or United Kingdom,” she said. She pointed out that if she had stayed in Sweden, she would have never thought about the possibility of going abroad to study. But coming here had changed the way she looked at things opened up many possibilities of what she can do in the future.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 49

Boarding at Sigtunaskolan

Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Laroverket is located on a hill part of Sigtuna, closed to Stockholm, Arlanda and Uppsala.


igtunaskolan Humanistiska Laroverket is one of the most modern boarding schools in Europe. Approximately 500 pupils attend the school, of whom 260 are boarders. SSHL offers both the national curriculum natural sciences(NV), and the social sciences programmes (SP). In addition, the International Baccalaureate Diploma, administered by IBO in Geneva,

has been offered at the school for many years. Good results from these three programmes provide access to most colleges and universities around the world. SSHL also offers the Middle Years Programme (MYP), a programme which is based on evaluation of the entire educational process, not just the results. This provides a natural link between the middle and the high school years.

Sigtunaskolan Humonistiska Laroverket, SSHL PO.Box 328, 5E-193 28 Phone: +46 (0) 8 592 571 00 Fax: +46 (0) 8 592 572 50 E-mail: Website:


We offer secondary schooling between grades 7 and 12 with teaching in both Swedish and English. Twenty five years experience of the IB programme with excellent results.


50 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

St. Andrews International Schools St. Andrews International Schools offer an education that extends beyond the English National Curriculum. The St. Andrews philosophy encompasses the whole child and each of its three campuses is small and exclusive.


t. Andrews International School, Green Valley, is a unique school located in the Eastern Seaboard of Thailand. St. Andrews International School, Sathorn is set in beautiful surroundings in a heritage building and is focused on Primary education only. While St. Andrews International School, Sukhumvit, near the Bearing BTS stop, has a close-knit school community, is friendly, welcoming and vibrant. We promise: Independent, confident lifelong learners. At St. Andrews International Schools, children are encouraged to become enthusiastic, lifelong learners. This is the commitment we make and we ensure it is lived through the daily experiences in school.

St. Andrews International Schools Sathorn: tel. +66 (0) 2632 1995; email: Sukhumvit: tel. +66 (0) 2393 3883; email: 2011-4ScandThai.psd Green Valley: tel. +66 (0) 3803 0701; email:

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 51

Nyborg Gymnasium


yborg Gymnasium is an unusual Danish college, offering both STX (a standard Danish A-level), HF (2 year exam that gives access to university studies) and IB (International Baccalaureate) - and further takes in boarders. As a consequence, young people from the local town of Nyborg meet young people from other regions of Denmark and from abroad at Nyborg Gymnasium. It gives a special educational atmosphere, being local, national, and international at the same time. All three educational lines are characterized by • a high educational standard and personal attention to each student • development of the student in terms of competence in the subjects, excellence in cooperation and an appetite for further learning • participation in the IT education and it-based communication between students and their teachers related to their everyday working environment • tolerance, involvement and responsibility for creating a safe and pleasant living atmosphere for all • positive and fun experiences, school parties, sports days, etc. Read more on our website: and our school magazine:

International School of Bergen


he educational programme of the International School of Bergen (ISB) has been developed to help prepare its students for a successful future, whether that future is in the Hordaland region or outside the borders of Norway. Parents also choose ISB for the English language learning environment, the small class sizes and the challenge of the International Baccalaureate programmes. Our mission is to provide an internationally accredited education which serves the Bergen and business communities. An education at ISB is recognized as quality far and wide. The school is accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization to offer their Primary Years and Middle Years Programmes. ISB is working towards achieving authorized status for the Diploma Programme in 2011. ISB is committed to the ethos of continual school improvement and strategic planning which are essential features of accredited schools.

Our students and staff

ISB provides educational programmes in English to children between the ages of 3 and 18. The students represent more than thirty different nationalities. The teachers all hold university degrees and appropriate teaching qualifications. Class sizes are small with normally 16-18 students. Address: Wilhelm Bjerknesvei 15, 5081 Bergen Phone: +47 55 30 63 30 Fax: +47 55 30 63 31 Website: E-mail:

• • • • • • •

EngElskspråklig privatskolE for barn og ungdom mEllom 3 og 18

Få elever i hver klasse Trygt læringsmiljø med god individuell oppfølging God kontakt med foreldre Internasjonalt godkjente og utfordrende læreplaner Utmerkede resultater i internasjonale og norske nasjonalprøver Sentral beliggenhet med bybanestopp rett utenfor døren Nyhet fra høsten 2010 – Internasjonal Videregående med godkjenning fra Lånekassen Contact us for more information: Tel 55 30 63 30 eller

52 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

“Ni hao!” at Stenhus Kostskole


he Chinese Dragon has come to stay at Stenhus Kostskole in Denmark. The Chinese classes at Stenhus Kostskole work closely with the two sister schools in Tianjin and in Shijiazhuang in the province of Hebei in North China. Stenhus Kostskole aims to strengthen the understanding of crosscultural communication, so the students can understand the world around them, not least understand China today. “The Chinese Dragon is awake and alive, and we have to follow its pace,” the school says. In August 2010 on a study tour to Beijing and Tianjin, students from Stenhus met their Chinese counter parts . In 2012 the first Chinese students will visit Stenhus Kostskole in Denmark. For Danish children to learn and experience the Chinese culture, it gives them respect and a drive for the future.

Stenhus Kostskole DK-4300 Holbæk Phone: +45 59 43 02 69 E-mail: Website:

New Danish BioTech College Degree


agsvaerd Boarding and High School in Denmark has established Denmark’s first five year BioTech College with a vision of turning out some of the brightest future BioTech researchers. Starting in Grade 8 and for the next five years, the students are taught at the highest level within a range of science disciplines, including biology, physics, chemistry and mathematics. Experiments, field trips and internships in connection with major written assignments will be an important part of the educational activities. Bagsvaerd Boarding and Highschool cooperates with the Danish Technical University and BioTech Academy in forming the education so the students can get be affiliated with mentors from these institutions. “We want to equip our students for tomorrow’s global job market while at the same time provide our boarders a consistent and secure home with space for both studies, homework and friends,” says Head Master Jimmy Burnett Nielsen. For more information: Bagsværd Kostskole og Gymnasium Aldershvilevej 138, 2880 Bagsværd Att: Boardingschool Inspector Soren Borgesen tlf: +45 44980065 e-mail: website:

BioTek - Danmarks første

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Bagsværd Kostskole & Gymnasium løfter den faglige overligger. I samarbejde med Novozymes, DTU og KU tilbyder vi nu en femårig gymnasial BioTek-uddannelse for elever, der har talent inden for naturvidenskab og bioteknologi. Uddannelsen indebærer bl.a, at BioTek-elever i 9. klasse vil blive undervist på det, der i dag svarer til 1.g niveau.

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April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 53

A Social Club for Mothers 28-year-old Linda SuomelaHemangkorn is a mother of two and a business owner. In her case, that fits together perfectly: In November 2010, she opened up ISIS, a leisure spot and a safe haven for mothers in Bangkok. By Anya Palm


inda Suomela Hemangkorn looks at her one-year-old son who just woke up from a nap and looks puzzled more than anything else. And no wonder a lot is going on around him. “Lucas is very lucky. He has friends over to play every day,” she says. In November, Finnish Linda opened up ISIS, a social club for mothers in Bangkok and in Lucas’ home there is now a café, a spa, a play room, several classrooms and a reception with children’s toys and clothes on display. Without knowing so, Lucas and his brother Oliver were the inspiration for it all:

“As a mother, I found myself always looking for a place to meet with friends, but there never was a convenient place to bring the babies and relax at the same time. I wanted a place, where you can have coffee and have an eye on your kid”, Linda Suomela-Hemangkorn says. In 2010, she rented a house on Sukhumvit Soi 51 and turned it into something in between a day care and a leisure spot: ISIS - a social club for mothers. And it has proven to be muchneeded. “I get women calling me to book a time at the spa for anything, no matter what. ‘Just give me an hour of sleep!’ they say. “

54 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

Linda laughs - she knows exactly what the women are talking about. There is a freelance-masseuse connected to ISIS to take care of the mothers in the spa, while two full-time nannies watch the children, while mom gets pampered for an hour. The nannies get to know the children gradually when they come more than once, but if the mother prefers, the child is also welcome in the spa - the focus is on the mothers and their needs at ISIS. One mother after the other comes through the front door. Some are shy and looks politely around with their children on the arm, while others are clearly familiar with ISIS and walks straight over and greets Linda. Irish Emma Boudha is in the last category. She had Quiller eight months ago and was the first guest at ISIS, when it opened. “Me and your mom was here”, she says jokingly to Linda and continues with a more serious tone:” This place is God sent. I mean, it is clean, the faces and toys are familiar to Quiller and I get to meet other mothers in the same situation as me.” She agrees that it matters less what activity she participates in. For her, ISIS is a hangout place: “When you get a baby, you always plan around that - where is there a changing station? where can you breast feed? In Bangkok, that limits the places you can go, but here we are both welcome. It is easy and that is why we like it,” she says and sips of her espresso from

the new espresso machine-a small, but much appreciated feature of ISIS. While Emma and Quiller head upstairs to one of the class rooms - today there is a baby wear demonstration - Linda takes a break from greeting the stream of mothers and kids coming in. Having been open for a couple of months, she is starting to get good dialogue with her patrons. “Our activities really depend on what the mothers here feel like. If they suggest something, we can probably work something out”, she says. Recently ISIS started offering language classes and exercise and both have been popular. Upstairs there are several empty rooms, cool from the air conditioning. “We don’t have a big need for furniture in the classes, because most of it happens on the floor anyway”, she explains. What the future holds for ISIS remains to be seen, Linda SuomelaHemangkorn says with a coy shrug - she is open for suggestions and as of now, the activities are popular enough. However, she has one wish: “I am hoping to get the Finnish community more involved here. I am a bit concerned about the Finnish language, so I would like to have more Finnish children coming here”, she says. Around her are children from Japan, Sweden, England and pretty much all other countries happily waddling around ISIS where no places are off-limits. In the corner, the espresso machine sputters.

Swiss School Bangkok S

wiss School Bangkok is emphasizing on European education as from August 2011: A new English profile is introduced from Kindergarten up to grade 3. Not many know that there are even two Scandinavian teachers at Swiss School Bangkok: a Swedish Secondary School teacher and a Finnish Head of Primary Department. “It´s my fifth year in Bangkok and I definitely enjoy working at our school. I think the Swiss and Scandinavian education systems have a lot in common: offering customized, individualized teaching in small classes and seeing the student in a holistic way. For us all our students are valued individuals - and I am so proud of our teachers creating this “European atmosphere” in the middle of Bangkok and enabling our students to study later everywhere in the world, especially in Europe”, says Finnish Johanna Vänskä.


your children a NORWEGIAN

summer of FUN and LEARNING!

Norgesskolen July 10 - 29, 2011 Join children 9-18 years from around the globe for a summer in Norway! Children receive 3 weeks of intensive language training combined with fun activities and outings in an idyllic campus setting at Råde, south of Oslo, Norway. Registration deadline: May 15, 2011

For more information: Telephone: +47 23 35 71 70

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 55

Fighting the Strong Thai Baht By Niels Seeberg *)


e hear so many Scandinavians crying in their beer about the good old days in Thailand when they were getting much more Baht for their own currency instead of the current paltry exchange rate. Then they go on to moan about inflation here and how, over the past two years, taking currency appreciation into account, their cost of living has jumped by nearly 40 per cent. Many foreigners never made any attempt to save privately while they were working and are now retired here on a state pension. One can only feel sorry for them as they are powerless over the circumstances eating away at their lifestyle. Some of the younger pensioners have managed to get jobs teaching but it may not be the most dignified way to spend their “golden years”. However many would consider this a better option than having to live on state benefits in a snowy Europe.

Owners of a lump sum The expats who have saved during their working lives, who have sold a property at home or have managed to amass a lump sum by other means, are the people I am appealing to. If you have a lump sum of say Euro 100,000 or more and are using it to subsidize your pension income then you have the power to fight the Baht’s strength. You can easily nullify this of course by leaving your capital “safely” on deposit earning 2 per cent or even in a guaranteed fund earning 5 per cent. There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to face up to a crisis. Some may not consider a deteriorating lifestyle brought about by circumstances beyond our control a crisis but I do.

So what can you do? Try this. You can move to equities and allocate your savings around the world denominated in different currencies. Let me just show you year to

56 ScandAsia.Thailand • April 2011

date performance on five different funds around the world. Barings Asia 42.4 pc JPM Europe 31.6 pc BSF Latin America 40.37 pc Prosperity Russia 42.9 pc Aberdeen India 36.72pc. Impressive performance figures for eleven months.

Cheaper property? For the next twelve months I highly recommend a good global property fund. When has property been cheaper? We all know that property always rises in price in the long term. The beauty of a property fund is that it is much more liquid than buying a house and trying to rent it for income. Through a property fund you can get income straight away and surely get great capital appreciation over the medium long term. If you need your capital in an emergency you normally don’t need to wait to sell. All the above mentioned funds and any world property funds are available through a good portfolio

bond provider. This will ensure tax free growth, tax free income; IHT mitigation and all your investments can be written in trust. One point to note is that if you were to purchase the above mentioned funds separately outside the portfolio bond not only would they be more expensive but also on your demise your beneficiaries would need to get probate in each country. The lawyers could hardly wait for you to die. At the very least after reading this article is it not good to know if you have adequate capital you can sit and think how wonderful it is, to live in Thailand.

*) Niels Seeberg is a Danish journalist living in Hua Hin since 2005. As a financial writer, he is associated with Swiss Invest Center,

The Peak of Good Health Most people are enjoying their retirement by the age of 72, but not Bent Henriksen. He’s ‘summit’ special.


he company director, of Mitford, Northumberland, recently returned from a grueling trek to Everest’s Base Camp with his two sons, proving that age is no barrier to reaching the top! Bent, who is originally from Denmark, has lived in the North East for more than 30 years, and puts his extraordinary good health down to the vitamins and supplements he takes everyday. He says “I’m s firm believer in the importance nutrition for good health and I’ve been taking dietary supplements for the last 25 years. They keep me fit, active, and healthy, and I wouldn’t go a day without them. “For a physically demanding trip like Everest, I made sure I took plenty of Coenzyme Q10, a vitamin-like substance, which provides a natural energy boost.” Bent set off Newcastle International Airport with his two sons, Rasmus, 35, and Troels, 46, on Friday October 1 before joining up with his friend Alan Nathan’s family and their guides Noel Hanna and Pasang in Kathmandu. Bent says “This was a private trek made up of two families, the

Henriksens, myself and my two sons, and the Nathans, my friend Alan and his sons Jeff, Rob, and Sean. “Our expedition was led by the brilliant Noel Hanna, an endurance athlete and adventure sports trainer from C 2 C Sports Ltd in Northern Ireland, who was a superb guide on the mountain. I’d also like to thank Jane Walker of Northmbria Mountain Sports in Morpeth for helping with the equipment.” After Kathmandu, the group flew through the mountains on a 14-seater plane to Lukla (which reportedly boasts the 2nd most dangerous airport in the world) before a 4-hour walk to Phakding. The next day, the group managed a 8-hour trek to Namche before acclimatisation training by climbing above the airport at Svangboche and onto Khumjung. It was here they got their first glimpse of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, and Everest itself at 8,850 metres. From Namche Bazhar it was off to Tengboche, Pherich, Gorak Shep, Lobuche, and Kala Patthar, before they made the final ascent to Base Camp on Day Seven of their trek on October 9. Bent says “We set off a 6pm on empty stomachs to get up to Base

Camp and back before breakfast. According to the map it looks like a fairly straightforward gradual climb, but it is actually a very hard slog. “It’s also very cold, but the views are amazing as the scenery suddenly transforms into a ‘moonscape’ when you get down onto the Khumba glacier. Another two and a half hours later, we got to Base Camp. It was great to have been there and the views of Everest (Hilary Step and South Summit) were spectacular.” The group then began the long trek back the way they had came arriving back at Lukla on October 13 before flying to Kathmandu to recover their strength by sleeping in a comfortable bed (for the first time in nearly two weeks) and eating a few hearty meals. Bent’s son Troels has written a diary of the trek for his family to keep, which reveals regular poker games, beer, red wine, yak steaks, and sweet black tea also kept spirits up during the trek to Base Camp. Troels says “My father showed amazing stamina throughout and kept up with us right to the end. I was very proud of the old man.” Bent may be 72, but it is difficult to call him ‘old’ after completing such an impressive achievement.

Noel, who acted as guide for the group, paid tribute to Bent. Noel says “Bent did brilliantly. It was a long, hard slog for everyone, but the trek went very well and I must say Bent’s good health and fitness is a testament to the vitamins and supplements he takes. I take Bio-Quinone Q10 myself so I know how much of an energy boost it can give you.” And if anyone knows the importance of dietary supplements for good health, it’s Bent. For the last 25 years, he has been Managing Director of Pharma Nord UK, a distributor of pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements based in Morpeth. Bent is now back at work and is very proud to have completed the trek with his sons. “It just goes to show what you can do, regardless of age, if you look after your health,” he says.

For more information about Pharma Nord and it’s range of vitamins and supplements call Pharma Nord SEA, Thailand office: +66 2361 4091 or go to

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 57


Pork Liver Pâté



nexpensive and simple to make, this dish serves as a great starter or light meal and is healthy choice of light eating. Although usually eaten with Danish rye bread, the pâté can also be spread on any cracker of you choice. Tweaking the recipe to fit personal taste can make it better and especially more personal when served. This amazing dish does great at parties and gatherings.

Ingredients 1 lb pork liver (pork liver is great) 10 ounces pork fat 1 medium onion 3 anchovies 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup light cream 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1/4 teaspoon allspice

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Directions • Put the liver, anchovies, suet & onion through a meat chopper at least 3 times or use a food processor. • The mixture should be quite fine in the texture. Mix in the flour, cream, eggs, salt, pepper and all spice. • Spoon the mixture into a buttered loaf pan. • Put it in a pan of water and bake in a 350F oven for an hour. • If the pate is browning too quickly place a piece of foil loosely over it. To serve, unmold the pate. This dish is usually served with fried mushrooms, bacon bits, and cucumber pickles on Danish rye bread.

The pork liver pâté is a tasty mix of ground liver and fat minced into a spreadable paste which is later added with a choice of vegetables, herbs, spices, or wine.

April 2011 • ScandAsia.Thailand 59

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ScandAsia Thailand - April 2011  

Magazine for residents from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland living in Thailand.

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