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Phuket Vegetarian Festival Date: 5 – 13 October 2013 Location: Phuket Town Considered one of the most dramatic events in Thailand, Phuket Vegetarian Festival is an annual event held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar. During this time, locals of Chinese ancestry are on a vegan diet for the purposes of spiritual cleansing and merit making. Sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals and ascending ladders with bladed rungs are performed by entranced devotees known as “Ma Song”. For more information, visit www.phuketvegetarian.com
Art Exhibition by Nitimonster: A Tale of Phantoms Date: 4 – 31 October 2013 Location: WTF Café & Gallery, Sukhumvit Soi 51 A conceptual art exhibition “A Tale of Phantoms” by Nitimonster, a network of citizens from Chiang Mai, examines the process of shaping social structures and how human beings place themselves within it voluntarily or rebel against it. It reflects the power of social authority and the voice of rebellion which is like a phantom. The exhibition comprises video, installation, public art, performance, and participatory art, discussion about forgetfulness, ignorance, and the consequence of injustice law. For more information, visit www.wtfbangkok.com
L.O.C. Live in Bangkok Date: 12 October 2013 Location: Overtone Music Cave, RCA Presented by MusicTrillion, Danish rapper Liam O’Conner, known as L.O.C., will perform Live in Bangkok on Saturday October 12. Doors will open at 7.00pm with opening act by Thai hip hop artist followed by DJ from Denmark. L.O.C. will start his performance at 10.00pm. Price is THB 2,500 per ticket. Tickets are limited. L.O.C. is one of the most popular rappers in Denmark. If you are interested, contact Christian at email@example.com or Per at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buffalo Racing Festival Date: 14 -20 October 2013 Location: Chonburi Provincial Hall Held annually in October, the colourful festival features buffalo races (classified by sizes) and various activities such as a healthy contest, a buffalo beauty pageant, Miss Farmer beauty contest, a comic buffalo costume contest with the concept beautiful, creative and fun. Rides for children, folk concerts, and food stalls will be available for participants to enjoy. For more information, visit www.tourismthailand.org
BIG + BIH Date: 19 -23 October 2013 Location: BITEC, Bangna The Bangkok International Gifts and Bangkok International Houseware Fair (BIG + BIH) features a variety of quality design and lifestyle products such as gifts, decorative items, home textiles, stationery, toys and games, artificial flowers and plants, handicrafts, household products and small electrical appliance. Held twice a year (April and October), the fair attracts a large number of buyers from all over the world. The fair is jointly organised by Department of International Trade Promotion and the Thai Lifestyle Products Association. For more information, visit www.bitec.co.th
6 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
TSCC networking back in business By Wachiraporn Janrut
he summer is over and it’s time for the Swedes to get back in business. On September 5, the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce held the first monthly networking event after the summer break. Sponsored by Oriflame, the networking event was held at the Huntsman’s Pub on the basement of the Landmark Hotel in presence of the Swedish Ambassador, H.E. Klas Molin, and the president of Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Jan Eriksson. Over 60 participants enjoyed themselves sharing their summer holiday experiences and exchanging business views while drinking beer and wine in a pleasantly cozy atmosphere. Swedish meat balls and canapés such as nachos and fried chicken were also available for guests to nibble. Overall, it was a nice evening for all to catch up.
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 7
The Royal Thai Air Force receives last batch of Gripen jets By Wachiraporn Janrut
espite one of the Gripen jets being hit by lightning in India on the way from Sweden to Thailand, the three planes safely landed in Thailand on September 4. As the three planes are the last batch of 12 gripen jets that the royal Thai Air Force ordered from Saab in 2008, the Gripen Integrated Air Defence System commissioning ceremony was held on September 11. The event took place at Wing 7 in Surathani province in presence of Air Force Chief Prajin Juntong, Air Chief Marshal Ittiporn Supawong, Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew, Admiral Narong Pipatanasai, General Sirichai Distakul, Swedish Ambassador Mr. Klas Molin and other notables in the Royal Thai Air Force. At the event, Chief of Defence Forces General Thanasak Patimaprakorn of the Royal Thai Army and Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong also flew Gripen 39D jet. Air Force Chief Prajin Juntong said that The Royal Thai Air Force was considering buying six additional Gripen fighter jets from Sweden at a cost of 18 million baht, reported Bangkok Post. However, any future purchase of the jets would have to wait for the government’s approval. The Gripen Integrated Air Defence System, comprising 12 Gripen fighter jets along with two Saab 340 AEW early warning aircraft and a Saab 340 transport plane, will be included in the armed forces’ national defence programme on 1 April 2014. Air Force Chief Prajin added that Sweden’s Saab group, which manufactures the aircraft, had installed a new computerised flight control system in the jet that was struck by lightning after it was found to have a glitch in one of its electronic components.
8 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
SAAB inaugurates its Asia Pacific HQ office in Bangkok By Wachiraporn Janrut
n September 17, Defence and security company Saab inaugurated its Asia Pacific Headquarters office on the 24th floor of Two Pacific Place building on Sukhumvit road, Bangkok. The event was held in presence of Mr. Dan Enstedt, President & CEO, Saab Asia Pacific, Swedish ambassador Klas Molin and a large number of high- profile Swedish business people in Bangkok. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place and guests then enjoyed a good selection of canapĂŠs and wine while mingling with each other at the new office Saab has identified Asia Pacific as a focus Market Area where the company will significantly enhance its presence in order to participate in opportunities across the region. The Bangkok office will operate as a hub for the region, and will support the successful Gripen, AEW and frigateprogrammes and future business opportunities in Thailand. Saab has offices in Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Australia and China. On the occasion, Saab also launched its Thailand specific section on its main website on www.saabgroup. com/thailand. Thailand has been among the top 10 markets for Saab over an extended period of time. The company has extensive engagement with both defence and civilian sectors of Thailand.
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 9
Grand style installation of new Swedish priest in Bangkok By Gregers Moller Photos by Disraporn Yatprom
ars Ryderstad, the new Swedish priest in Bangkok, was installed in his new assignment in grand style on Saturday evening the 14 September. The Bishop of Visby, SvenBernhard Fast was dressed in full gear, complete with the Shepherd’s stick – called a crosier – and the special cap – called a mitre. The other clerical participants in the installation were also dressed up to the full. They were Stefan Bergqvist, the regional head of Svenska Kyrkan i Utlandet, Anders Roos, the vicar of Sollentuna and Maria Eksmyr, the Swedish priest from Phuket and of course Lars Ryderstad himself. From Pattaya, also the out-going Norwegian priest Jan-Olaf Johannesen took part in the installation. Lars Ryderstad’s wife Karin played the church organ during the installation, but she will otherwise only be coming for vacations to Bangkok. “We have been away from our children for nine years, it’s about time one of us stays home with them,” she said. Given the time of the installation – Saturday evening – the number of participation from the congregation in the event was not overwhelming. But the few who had taken the opportunity to join the event were treated to a champagne reception with canapés from F.A.B.
10 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
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ECCO sponsored DanCham networking evening By Sine Neuchs Thomsen
anCham’s September networking event took place on Saturday 19 and was sponsored by ECCO. Danish shoes manufacturer ECCO, who was the sponsor of the event, and Thai-Danish Chamber of Commerce welcomed guests from all foreign chambers and business associations to 12th floor at Eastin Grand Hotel in Bangkok. In the end of the room ECCO displayed a number of different ECCO shoes, so the guests had the chance to see the products. To introduce the networking event, Bo Grabowski, the Managing Director of ECCO Thailand, held a speech putting some words on the current business in Thailand. He also reflected on the flooding back in 2011, where the company learned a great lesson in cooperation with the local contact, because the situation forced them to. Afterwards the guests had the chance to enjoy networking with each other while eating well-cooked finger foods. Lucky draws later took place where many ECCO umbrellas and shoe gift cards were given away to lucky participants.
IKEA holds the biggest IKEA catalogue launch in Thailand
n August 27, IKEA Bangna held the biggest IKEA catalogue launch in Thailand, with over 1.2 million copies of the 2014 catalogue ready to be delivered to homes throughout Bangkok. “We are thrilled to activate our third annual, and biggest ever, IKEA catalogue launch in Thailand,” said Ms. Lacia Sherlock, Store Manager, IKEA Banga. “And to reaffirm our commitment to offering a wide range of quality furnishings at very affordable prices, we will introduce more than 1,200 new products over the next 12 months.” In-line with IKEA’s 2014 ‘living with children’ theme, the new release list includes many family-friendly items. With the addition of the new items, customers will be able to choose from more than 8,500 products at the IKEA Bangna store. The 2014 IKEA catalogue delivery in Thailand followed major launch events in Sweden, many parts of Europe, and the United States in July and early August. Consumers can follow the Thailand catalogue launch journey at www.IKEA.co.th/IKEAcatalogue2014.
12 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Finnish Formula1 star promotes Angry Birds drink in Thailand
he Finnish company Just Drink It Co. Ltd., the producer of Angry Birds Fruit Juices in Thailand, has signed up the Finnish Formula 1 Champion, Mika Hakkinen, to promote the drink. Mr. Jyrki Komulainen, CEO of Just Drink It Co.
Ltd. in Thailand, explains why signing up Formula1 Champion Mika Hakkinen is the right move. “Because our Angry Birds fruit juices are a healthy option to other drinks we thought a sports superstar would be the perfect fit,” said Mr. Komulainen. “And Mr. Hakkinen has a huge following worldwide.” Mika Hakkinen was in Thailand to sign the agreement and participated in the event announcing him as promotional partner for the drink. “This is a great opportunity for me to get involved with a fresh, new product in this exciting market,” Mika said. Mika Hakkinen is a Finnish former racing driv-
er and two-time Formula One World Champion. After retiring from Formula One, Hakkinen drove in the DTM series, in which he won three races with Mercedes before announcing his retirement from competitive motorsports in 2007. In cooperation with Malee, the Angry Birds Fruit Juices are produced in three flavors. Distributed by Durbell, the products have been available exclusively in 7-Eleven stores nationwide since July. According to the company, sales have exceeded all expectations, with 1.4 million cans being sold monthly since the launch. The three three colours follow Angry Birds colours: The most famous Angry Birds character is ‘Red’, the juice represented by ‘Chuck’ is orange, and the strawberry flavored juice is represented by ‘Stella’. Just Drink It Co., Ltd. is also in the process of launching a new Mango flavor based on the character ‘Boomerang Bird’ or ‘Hal’. Just Drink It Co. Ltd. expects to sell around 10 million units in the remainder of 2013 through its partnership with 7-Eleven as well as other outlets nationwide. Mr. Mika Hakkinen in Thailand
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 13
Danish Ambassador met Thailand’s Minister of Public Health
Swedish Jonas Engwall new CEO of RTL CBS Asia
n September 25 the Danish Ambassador in Thailand and Danish medical company Danish Medical Industry A/S (DMI) met with Thailand’s Minister of Public Health. The Royal Danish Embassy in Bangkok’s good relations to the Thai government was once again serving its role as the possibilities for extended collaboration within the healthcare and medical technology sector was discussed, the Embassy states on their website. With the assistance of the Embassy Mr. Michael Nørregaard of DMI, accompanied by Ambassador of Denmark to Thailand Ambassador Mikael H. Winther, Commercial Counsellor Mr. Asbjørn Christiansen and Senior Commercial Officer Ms. Nantima Angkatavanich, met and discussed with H.E. Minister of Public Health Mr Pradit Sintavanarong. The Embassy helps Danish companies promote their businesses in Thailand. Through years of experience and a wide expanding network the Embassy plays an important role for Danish companies to succeed in the Thai market.
From left: Senior Commercial Officer Ms. Nantima Angkatavanich, Managing Director of DMI Mr. Michael Nørregaard, Commercial Counsellor Mr. Asbjørn Christiansen, Ambassador of Denmark to Thailand Mr. Mikael H. Winther, H.E. Minister of Public Health Mr. Pradit Sintavanarong, Director of Bureau of International Health Dr. Sopida Chavanichkul and Director of Bureau of Health Administration Dr. Thongchai Keeratihuttayakorn
wedish executive Jonas Engwall has been appointed the new CEO of RTL CBS Asia Entertainment Network, the recently formed joint venture between CBS Studios International and pan-European broadcaster RTL targeting the Asian market. Jonas Engwall will be based in Singapore, reporting to the new company’s Board of Directors. He will oversee the launch of two branded RTL CBS thematic channels — RTL CBS Entertainment HD and RTL CBS Extreme HD — in up to 29 Asian markets including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The channels will combine programming from CBS such as hit series “Under the Dome” and “Elementary” with that of RTL. “This is an unprecedented partnership between two leading global broadcasters in a region with huge growth potential,” says Engwall. “Our new channels will offer world-renowned content including exclusive first runs of some of Asia’s favourite reality programmes America’s Got Talent, Fear Factor and The X Factor USA; dramas Under the Dome, Elementary and Beauty and the Beast and daily shows Entertainment Tonight and Late Show with David Letterman. I am very confident that these programmes will prove extremely popular across our footprint and represent a highly valuable proposition for all our partners. We have already had very positive feedback from all premier platform owners in the region.” For the past three years, Engwall has led RTL’s expansion into India and Asia, which included the launch of RTL’s Indian channel, Big RTL Thrill, last year.
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14 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Telenor will make Thailand its fifth 4G country
Swedish embassy participates in launch of EUNIC-Bibliobus
orway’s Telenor is ready to invest in fourth-generation mobile broadband service in Thailand due to “unexpectedly high” data revenue growth, Bangkok Post reported. Thailand will be the fifth country after Norway, Sweden, Malaysia and Hungary where the Norwegian telecommunication company Telenor will provide 4G services. Telenor has experienced a strong growth in the revenue due to “crazy increase” in mobile data usage, thanks to the proliferation of smartphones and the availability of 3G services, Mr. Brekke explained. Telenor holds the major share of Total Access Communication (DTAC) in Thailand, and the demand on the Thai market has surprised the Telenor Group in Asia. “Thailand (via DTAC) contributed the largest proportion of revenue in Asia,” executive vice-president and head of Asia operations at Telenor Group Sigve Brekke said to Bangkok Post. “It’s time for us to provide 4G technology for data-hungry users in Thailand,” he added. Telenor also aims to roll out its 2G and 3G network in Myanmar by mid-2014 under an undisclosed investment once it receives a mobile license from the Myanmar government to provide services.
UNIC Thailand and EU joined forces with the BMA and launched the “EUNICBibliobus” in Bangkok on September 11. The mobile library contributed to Bangkok World Book Capital 2013 was ofﬁcially ready to go “on tour“, bringing over 200 titles of translated European children books to Thai children while spreading the motto “Reading is fun!”. Mini samples of activities that take place along with the bus line from time to time are storytelling and quizzes about European children’s books were also introduced on the launch day. The Swedish Embassy in Thailand attended the ceremony and has been involved in the preparation and support of the Bibliobus and has picked out several books to be available in the bus, all written by Astrid Lindgren. This will introduce the young students to Sweden and to some of Sweden´s most famous literature for children.
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 15
Swedish MPs visit Bangkok
n September, Swedish Moderate Party MPs Anti Avsan and Isabella Jernbeck visited Bangkok. During their five days in Bangkok, the MPs visited the Klong Prem prison, the Nordic Police Liaison Office and the Royal Thai Police headquarters. The delegation also visited the Thai parliament as part of the Interparliamentary Union cooperation. Anti Avsan and Isabella Jernbeck are members of the Parliament Standing Committee on the Administration of Justice and the Committee on Social Questions. Isabella Jernbeck, Anti Avsan and Second Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Mr. Visut Chainaroon Photo: Andreas Magnusson
Scania opens office in Yangon, Myanmar
cania, Swedish manufacturer of heavy trucks and buses, has recently expanded its business in Myanmar with the opening of a new office and service center in Yangon. The inauguration ceremony of the new office was held on September 10 in presence of Lisbeth Hellvin Stålgren, Counsellor Embassy of Sweden, Mr. Aik Htun, Chairman of Shwe Taung, U Hla Myint, Mayor of YCDC, and Mr. James Armstrong, Managing Director of Scania, South East Asia. Located in Mya Sein Yaung Industrial Zone, the center will sell and service buses, trucks and gensets.
16 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
After 93 years SSS is now a legal entity
candinavian Siam Society, which has existed since 1920, is now a registered association under Thai law. On July 31 Scandinavian Siam Society (SSS) finally received the certificate that proves the existence of the old Scandinavian community. It happened after one year of bureaucratic fight with Standard Chartered Bank who contacted SSS’s treasurer in June 2012 to inform, that there was a time limit on three months to register SSS as a legal entity if they wanted to keep their account in the bank. The time limit collided with the already planned two-month travel of the treasurer and a list of other challenges made it almost impossible for SSS to register before the time ran up. Thanks to the SSS member khun Wichien Harnpraween, who is a prominent lawyer, they succeeded in navigating through the bureaucratic jungle and eventually after one year – and 93 years of existence not to mention – Scandinavian Siam Society can finally call itself a legal entity.
H&M opens its world’s second largest store in Bangkok
n August 31, the Swedish retail-clothing company H&M opened the world’s second largest H&M store in CentralWorld, Bangkok. The new store is the fourth H&M store in Bangkok. The grand opening of the H&M Flagship store in the Bangkok shopping mall CentralWorld took place on August 31 from 10 a.m. Since it’s the second largest H&M store in the world, the volume of the opening was set to match the store’s size. The red carpet was rolled out and a list of VIP guests, famous artists, actors/actresses, and celebrities were invited to celebrate the opening. For the H&M fans there was also a good reason to show up. The 1st shopper in line acquired a 5,000 baht voucher and the 2nd-5th shoppers a 3,000 baht voucher. The next 200 shoppers got a 500 baht voucher and all first 500 shoppers received limited edition tote bags.
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 17
Farewell to Norwegian Priest Jan Olav Johannesen
fter four years of impressive dedication, it’s time for Norwegian Seamen’s Priest Jan Olav Johannesen to leave the Norwegian Church in Pattaya and return to Norway. A Farewell Service was held on Sunday 29 September at 11.00 where the Scandinavians and other good people had a chance to wish him well in his future endeavours back home in Norway. The choir from the children’s home Baan Jing Jai contributed with a few songs and coffee and cake were served after the service.
Gunnebo Security Group opens offices in Bangkok and Yangon
unnebo’s new office in Thailand is aimed at improving the company’s presence in a region that continues to experience fast growth, the company announced in a press release. This will mean quicker reaction times to capitalize on emerging opportunities and better support for existing customers, the Sweden-based company says. “We expect a lot of development in the security sector in Thailand, mainly as a result of increasing wealth and improvements being made to the infrastructure,” said Gunnebo president and chief executive officer Per Borgvall. “Our extended service offering here will allow us to better meet emerging customer needs.” The second new site, a branch office of Gunnebo Singapore, is in Yangon and will give Gunnebo direct access to the local market. The office will introduce Gunnebo security solutions to local customers and provide them with technical support and services. “By expanding our presence in Southeast Asia, Gunnebo continues to take advantage of the growing opportunities in the region,” Borgvall said. “Strategically these territories are of great importance to the group.” The Gunnebo Security Group provides security solutions to customers around the globe. It employs 5,800 people in 33 countries across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas, and has a turnover of 580 million euros (Bt24.5 billion). Gunnebo specialises in bank security and cash handling, secure storage, global services and entrance control.
18 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Norwegian wins international award for its inflight WiFi
espite recent publicity concerning technical problems with Norwegian Air’s Dreamliners planes which caused flight cancellations and the postponement of its launch party in Bangkok in September, the airline was awarded Best Inflight Connectivity and Communications for its free inflight WiFi at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards 2013 in Anaheim, California on September 12. Norwegian takes home the award for second year running. Norwegian competed against Emirates, Oman Air, PIA and Virgin America. The award proves that Norwegian’s inflight WiFi has gained recognition beyond The Nordics. Norwegian currently has a fleet of 79 aircraft, whereof 60 new Boeing 737-800s are WiFi-equipped. Another 14 aircraft will be online this winter. Norwegian’s fleet has an average age of 4.6 years, making it one of the most modern in Europe.
Danish ambassador and Novo Nordisk met with Thailand’s Deputy PM
Chulalongkorn Film Festival ends with Danish film “The Hunt”
he 2013 edition of the Chulalongkorn International Film Festival ended on Friday September 6 at Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University with the Danish film “The Hunt” on the big screen. The film is about a teacher, who is accused of being a paedophile in a small Danish town. The main character Lucas is played by the award winning Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who won the Best Actor Award for his role in the film at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, the film is also in the run for next year’s Oscar in the category for best foreign language film.
n September 4, Danish Ambassador to Thailand Mr. Mikael H. Winther, Commercial Counsellor Asbjørn Christiansen and Senior Commercial Officer Nantima Angkatavanich from the Trade Council at the Royal Danish Embassy together with General Manager Mr. Hans Duijf for Novo Nordisk Pharma (Thailand) met with H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr. Phongthep Thepkajana and representatives from the ministry at the Government House. The purpose of the meeting was to exchange views on healthcare – especially diabetes and elder care. Furthermore, a possible collaboration between Denmark and Thailand in the healthcare sector was discussed. From left: General Manager Mr. Hans Duijf for Novo Nordisk Pharma (Thailand), Senior Commercial Officer Nantima Angkatavanich, Commercial Counsellor Asbjørn Christiansen, Ambassador Mikael H. Winther, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Mr. Phongthep Thepkajana and representatives from the ministry
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 19
Mikael Avatar Despite having cerebral palsy, Swedish artist Mikael Avatar lives his life with a positive force and has achieved much more than the average person. He broke the world record long jump at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics, went on a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean, practiced judo, went to a music school and studied Science. Mikael is now a personal coach, a public speaker and an artist. By Wachiraporn Janrut
20 ScandAsia.Thailand â€˘ October 2013
rom June 28 to July 21, Olive Bistro on Sukhumvit 33 road in Bangkok hosted an art exhibition featuring abstract paintings entitled “Avatar Energy Art”, by Swedish artist and motivational speaker Mikael Avatar. “It’s called ‘Energy Art’ because it’s aimed at creating positivity. If you are positive you are lucky. That’s what I wanted to create when working on my art here,” says Mikael. At the art exhibition opening, Mikael delivered an inspiring speech concerning his life story and played music to impress participating guests. One of his paintings was sold for 100,000 baht that evening.
Life story of Mikael Avatar In 1968 in Sweden, Mikael Avatar was born dead for 40 minutes before coming back to live. As a result of oxygen deficiency, however, he was diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Despite the doctor’s statement that he would not be able to live a normal life in a community, Mikael grew up with a positive energy and no sense of self-limitation. “I have never thought that I am disabled but people around me think I am but I don’t act upon it,” said Mikael at the opening of the art exhibition. When asked by his mum at a very young age what he wanted to be, Mikael said that he wanted to be a mountain climber. With a diplomatic character, his mum told Mikael that mountain climbers don’t make money. However, Mikael proved her wrong as 15 years later he was one of the instructors for a climbing group showing people how to climb on vertical walls. When Mikael was young, he saw his friend on a bike and wanted to do the same. While the special commissioned bicycle was being ordered for him, he taught himself to ride a bike using his friend’s bike in the yard. As no one told him that it was impossible for him, Mikael believed he could ride a bike like his friends. And by the time the special bike from the social service arrived, he could already ride a bike by himself. “I like to be positive. I have always been positive,” said Mikael. Living a normal life would, in fact, be an understatement for Mikael as he has actually done more than the average person. Mikael practiced judo, went to a music school, studied science in regards to cerebral palsy for ten years and was an Assistant Professor. Also, he trained more than 10,000 hours for Paralympics. “When I had a passion for something, I always went for it. I have done everything with passion,” said Mikael. Mikael went on the first sailboat crewed by
disabled people across the Atlantic Ocean. He made the world record in 1996 Atlanta Paralympics in long jump, which he held for 12 years. “I never doubted that I couldn’t break the world record in the Paralympics in front of 68,000 people,” he said. On top of that, he is a personal coach, a public speaker, and an artist. With his inspiring life story, he has had an impact on lives of over thousands of people across the globe.
A personal coach and a public speaker Mikael started coaching a group of ten to 20 people how to train when he was ten. At the time, he had a mentor who taught him about life. “Because of my condition, I don’t scare people. I think I have chosen the way to come in this earth so I could reach people without them thinking I’m crazy. “I give my audience the pictures of my life. It’s a true story and they react. That’s what I do when I do public speaking. I don’t tell people what is right or wrong. It’s up to them. When people listen to my talk, they forget about me because they see themselves,” said Mikael. Mikael has been a personal coach for over 30 years, and a public speaker and an artist for over 20 years. “Whatever you do, don’t wait. Just do it. Don’t care what people say. If you have the passion, go for it and you’ll be good at nearly everything. It’s
five per cent talent and 95 per cent practice. “Many people want many things and have different goals in their lives, but to be a painter you need to paint. You don’t need to be good but you need to paint at least every week. “When I started I didn’t know how to paint. I just knew I wanted to paint and I decided that I would do 100 paintings before deciding whether I should continue. When I finished 100 paintings, I knew it was for me. However, I know that the best painting I’ll make would be in 10 years from now,” said Mikael.
Moving to Rayong,Thailand As Mikael’s physical condition means he often has cramps, especially in cold weather, he decided to move from Sweden to tropical Thailand four years ago. Through a long-term connection between his Swedish ex-wife and well-known Swedish education expert Lars-Erik Uneståhl, Mikael joined the mental coaching & training centre in Rayong called “Center for Excellence in Thailand (CET)”, which is an affiliation of Skandinaviska Ledarhögskolan. “That’s one of the reasons why I came here. Without him, I have nothing in Thailand,” said Mikael. Located near Thaihem, a Swedish villa community, the centre is about 20 kilometres east of Ban Phe, 100 metres from the sea and just 25 minutes from the famous Koh Samet. Mikael plans to offer weekend coaching sessions at the centre in Rayong to anyone who is interested. “It will be a mini coaching session to help you understand yourself and your life, or what you really want to do with your life,” he said.
I believe that human beings come to this planet with a purpose. After you find it, walk that path until the end.
Mikael believes that human beings come to this planet with a purpose. He said he has met and coached many people, where he has been by their sides finding their purposes. “Finding a purpose for your life is important. For me I have many but for some, one is enough. It doesn’t matter what you choose. After you find it, walk that path until the end,” said Mikael. “I met many good sportsmen who started their paths but didn’t have enough passion to go to the Olympics because they didn’t have the strength to train 50 hours more per week to pass that line,” he added. At the moment, Mikael lives in Rayong with his Thai wife “Khun Kai”, whom he has been with for two years. Mikael’s next goal is to make great music and wow the crowds with his live performance. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 21
New Danish coach s ’ d n a l i a h T r o f national m a e t l l a b d n a h Thailand’s national handball team has appointed Danish national Mr. Carsten Carlstedt as its new chief coach. With over 25 years of experience in coaching, Carsten hopes to take the team to the next level. By Wachiraporn Janrut
22 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
ounded in Denmark, handball is one of the most popular sports in Scandinavia. Though the sport is not as wellknown in Thailand, it has increased in popularity over the years. As Denmark is among the top teams internationally, Thailand has been after the Danish style of playing handball and employed many trainers from Denmark in the last decade. In October this year, Carsten Carlstedt was appointed as new chief coach for Thailand women’s national handball team. He believes in the team’s potential and hopes to develop it further. “Thais can do Thai boxing because they are quick and tough. I think they also have talents for handball. I’d like to motivate the association to make a long-term plan. Why not talk about participating in the Olympics one day. If South Korea can do it, Thailand can do it too,” says Carsten. To achieve that, however, Carsten says that Thailand has to beat Vietnam and be number two in the Asian Cup before 2016. That’d be a reasonable goal, he says.
Coaching to connect Carsten served the royal Danish Air Force for many years in Denmark. Due to the nature of the job, which meant he had to move around to many places, Carsten saw coaching as a quick way to integrate into new communities. “It’s a shortcut to connect with people where I go. Handball is exactly the same size everywhere, and the game spirit is the same wherever you are in the world. I have a passion for that,” says Carsten. Coaching since the age of 20, Carsten has over 25 years’
Besides coaching, Carsten is Country Manager in Thailand for Periamma – a Danish initiated NGO organisation aiming to support learning and unlock the potential in children, families and communities in developing countries. Carsten surrounded by local school teachers and authorities in Surin
experience of teaching handball. For the Thai team, he aims to develop both individual member’s skills and the team spirit. “I want to help each player reach her personal goals. And I want them to play well together as a team,” says Carsten. Carsten also plans to further continue what the former coach has built. Among the challenges that he has learned is the Handball Association of Thailand’s lack of structure and a long-term plan. “The system here is different. The team is trained just for the next championships. It’d be nice to have a two-year plan. We need a structure here like in Europe,” says Carsten.
Moving to Thailand In the beginning of August Carsten moved to Thailand with his wife, who was offered a job as a consul at the Danish Embassy in Bangkok. “We chose to come here because we love Thailand. We like the climate and the food here. Actually we have been here on vacation many times before,” says Carsten. “But I told my wife I needed to get a job so I contacted the handball association in Thailand and they told me that the former coach’s contract would finish in the end of September.” Before taking up the new position in October, Carsten joined the training camp in Chiang Mai with the team for ten days in September to get to know the team’s members and their practices. Looking into the cultural differences, Carsten reveals that he favours the sport culture in Thailand. “There are many rules here that don’t exist in Europe. For example, when the match is over players of each team would change their places and go say thank you to the other team’s coach. That’s very nice. Players here also respect a referee’s judgments. I like that,” says Carsten.
go to Surin,” says Carsten. Carsten has a picture in his home of a little girl having lunch at one of the Periamm-supported schools in Surin. “Look at this girl, this picture made my day. She’s a poor girl but she looks happy here because she got lunch at school,” says Carsten. “This is worth working for.” In Surin, Periamma cooperates with the local society and works to support schools and children from poor families. “To prevent poor families from sending their girls to work in tourist areas, we aim to support children to study and finish their education. If they have good education, they can fight better for their future,” says Carsten. At the moment, Periamma generates income from two sources; a parentship contract from Denmark and sponsorship from companies. Through the parentship contract, a student is supported by a Dane or a family in Denmark who sends money every year for school uniform, tuition fee, and other fees for participating in educational projects. “We work with many schools in Surin. Currently, we support 13 schools and there are 112 children sponsored by Danes in Denmark,” says Carsten.
Looking for sponsorship Carsten is working to get in touch with Scandinavian companies in Thailand, to get their support for local school projects such as renovation of buildings, installation of water pumps, making new toilets and so on. Though money is the main essential, interested companies can also support Periamma with all kinds of learning materials. “In India, Microsoft supports the project with computers for local schools. Another example is ‘Lego learning boxes’ which Lego specifically made to help teachers teach English at local schools,” says Carsten. Carsten also promotes Periamma’s projects in Surin on social media. One of his goals is to have 1,000 followers on Twitter in the next few months. “I want the world to know about our good activities in Surin. Small profits from a company can make a difference here,” says Carsten. Carsten plans to organise an event in November to gather Scandinavian companies and people who are interested in supporting Periamma’s projects in Thailand. If you are interested in participating, please visit www.scandasia.com for updates.
Students enjoying lunch at one of Periamma-supported schools in Surin
Periamma – supporting local communities Besides coaching, Carsten is Country Manager in Thailand for Periamma – a Danish initiated NGO organisation aiming to support learning and unlock the potential in children, families and communities in developing countries. The organisation operates in India, Uganda, Kenya and Surin province in the Northeast Thailand. “The chairman of Periamma knew that I was moving here so he asked if I could be a country manager in Thailand. I work for them for free. The only things they support me with are transportation expenses and bed & breakfast when I October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 23
Danish entrepreneur shows Thailand how to dress
Martin Toft Sørensen aims to build the biggest fashion platform in Thailand through WearYouWant.com, which currently offers over 900 fashion brands to the Thai market. By Anders Holm Nielsen
ome 15 years ago, when Martin Toft Sørensen was still a young boy, his father owned a clothing shop in the hometown of Odense. Every once in a while Martin would travel to Italy with his father to look at new products. Today, far away from Odense, Martin runs one of Thailand’s biggest online fashion platforms and is bringing good taste to the Thais. Danish Martin Toft Sørensen has become a major influence on what the average Thai decides to wear, as he is currently building one of the biggest fashion platforms in the country. WearYouWant.com offers more than 900 different brands, while plans of bringing the site regional are already in the works. “What makes us unique is that we sign individual shops, which often don’t have an online presence. That way, shops don’t have to hire anyone to create a site, maintain or promote it. We connect our traffic with their products.” Martin explains. The future looks bright for WearYouWant as the platform recently came in at number 11 on Tech in Asia’s “24 startups in Asia that caught our eye” list. Furthermore, WearYouWant.com has teamed up with a number of major Thai banks, and tele-companies to increase the brand awareness and more aggressively try to conquer market shares.
Inspired by a Danish platform While Martin was bottled on good taste back in Denmark, he explains that it was not a specific wish to target fashion, but a combined interest in fashion and inspiration from the growing Danish platform called Miinto that set him off. That inspiration and a virtually untapped market in online fashion gave the Danish entrepreneur an idea. He partnered up with Julien Chalté, a French programmer and entrepreneur, whom he met in Bangkok while working at Visit Beyond, a Danish travel agency. To Martin, the partnership with Julien is essential. “I believe it’s important to team up with partners, who have some qualifications that you don’t possess yourself. It’s a perfect match with me and Julien - me in charge of sales and business development and Julien who in charge of all the technical aspects.”
Scoping young talents Not only big brands that Martin and Julien are after, but the website also features small and upcoming designers which are a big part of the 24 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
platform. However, Martin says that it can be a challenge in both scoping young trendsetters and convincing them, as well as their parents, to get on the WearYouWant-train. “We have a lot of young designers, some under 18, but the family is often behind the business, so we actually have to sell the whole idea to the parents. It can be quite a challenge to explain the 50-year-old father who doesn’t know a thing about e-commerce, that his daughter should pay 15,000 baht upfront to have her brands on our site.” However, Martin and Julien have managed to create a hype with young designers and buyers by using a large number of celebs, mainly from the popular Thai soap operas or what is called by locals ‘Lakhon’. The actors and actresses are used as models and are regularly brought to their photo-studio, where they are photographed and video recorded wearing new items. As explained on the website that it offers “a unique possibility to have a look inside the celebs’ wardrobes”, the Thai visitors can see what is trending with their favorite stars by visiting the celeb bar or “Dara” on the site. For instance, actress and TV-host Apple Sisangien was recently interviewed about her favourite colours, latest buys and her idea of the best dressed man. In the near future, Martin says, the company will launch the design of their new blog. This will bring a new dimension to the way they present and cooperate with the Thai celebs.
The Road to Thailand The road to Thailand and his own Bangkok business was a winding one for Martin. He had been back and forth in Thailand on several occasions, first as a backpacker, then as a student at the University of Ramkhamhaeng, and finally as an employee at Visit Beyond, a Danish travel company. During his studies at Ramkhamhaeng he met a girl named Jureerat. When he came back to Thailand to work at Visit Beyond, the two started dating, and in March 2011 Martin and Jureerat married. With a marriage and an expanding business to take care of, Martin feels at home in Thailand, and the support from family has made it easy to adjust. “There has been a big support from family and friends back home. They often come to visit me, so I am fortunate that I have a whiff of Denmark flown in every now and then,” he says and explains that Bangkok has all he needs.
“You can have everything you want in Bangkok. You can live in the middle of everything surrounded by open and friendly Thais. And just a few hours away you can kick back in Hua Hin or go chilling in Koh Samet.”
Working with the Thais Although things are promising at the moment, starting WearYouWant was not without complications. Things run differently in Thailand and takes a bit longer, Martin explains. Especially the recruitment was a challenge. “Getting a Thai to work at a startup sometimes takes a great deal of persuasion. When potential candidates said they were interested, they sometimes didn’t show up to the job-interview. When new employees were hired, they sometimes didn’t show up on the first working day, and sometimes they would be here for a week and then quit without leaving a message. Recruiting can really be a challenge. Most likely one of the biggest we have faced so far.” Even maintaining the workforce can be difficult, and having a Thai onboard is the key to success, Martin says. “Having a Thai in charge of human resources is a good idea. Especially at first, it can be hard for a Thai to tell his foreign boss if there is a problem. They are more honest with each other and they have more restraints to us, at least at first.”
With startup issues being out of the way, and 20 trusted employees on the payroll, Martin is optimistic when it comes to brainchild WearYouWant, and the plans are big. There is a large untapped market with almost 70 million Thais, and it is expected that online sales will make up for five percent of all shopping by 2015 compared to the current 1 percent. Thais are gaining trust in online shopping and the market is promising. WearYouWant is not yet profitable but is expected to break even early 2014.
WearYouWant goes regional In order to reach its goals, WearYouWant has allied itself with DMP and AVG, two VC’s operating in SEA, yet Martin and Julien still call the shots. ”Our investors care mostly about growth in orders and exploring our different marketing channels. To them it is important that the model has regional potential and that we understand how to operate it.” Despite the success in Thailand, Martin, Julien and WearYouWant are headed abroad to secure growth. “It is essential that we expand to other markets such as Malaysia or the Philippines, depending on which countries suit our business model the best, and where we have other business connections. Potentially during the first quarter of 2014, we will make our move to other countries.” With a marriage and a successful business to take care of, Martin seems rooted in Thailand, but still hesitates to calling it a definitive goodbye to Denmark. ”When you settle down and start your own business, it becomes less likely that you return home. This is not a final farewell to Denmark, but it means that I am here on a long term. The business takes a lot of time and energy, and I expect to spend at least three to four years on WearYouWant. It’s hard to say where I end up after that, but I’m sure there will be plenty of new adventures to explore.” WearYouWant offers to display the products of a brand on their website in exchange for 15,000 baht upfront and 20-30 percent of the online sales. When a purchase is made on the site, the shop is informed and then sends the product directly to the consumer. This allows WearYouWant to have an enormous range of products without actually having anything in stock. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 25
Directing Dreams Although busy shooting parts of what is to become Denmarks Radios next big TV-Series, The Legacy, Danish director Mads Kamp Thulstrup took time off to talk to ScandAsia Magazine about his experiences with filming in Thailand and about the struggles an upcoming director has to go through before the taste of success is within reach. By Lars Pinnerup
26 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
t has been a long journey but now he is here. Danish director, Mads Thulstrup, pendles between engaged sparring cyphers with actors and crew and his director’s chair placed under a primitive tin roof protecting him from the burning Siamese sun. From his childhood fascination of great story telling in movies and books to being close to smelling the sweetness of success and reaching a position in the Danish film business where actually being able to launch some of his own projects of fiction might be right around the corner has been a drive down a long bumpy road. But now he is here. Rewarded with the job as 2nd unit director on some the episodes of Denmark’s Radios latest project, The Legacy, Mads Thulstrup sees himself in Thailand paying the dues that later might enable him to see some of the ships he has put in the water set sail. Ships, that are what Mads Kamp Thulstrup likes to call all the ideas he gets or becomes involved in, that never makes it out of the drawing board, only makes it halfway, or actually becomes something we can enjoy rolling across our TV screens in our living rooms.
Documentary breakthrough for the fan of fiction After Mads Kamp Thulstrup finished film school in Denmark, he struggled, and he still does he claims, like any other aspiring movie director to get a foot in the door and have the right people call him at the right time. He believes that his breakthrough perhaps came when he, to his own surprise, earned recognition, when the sports documentary “Og det var Danmark” (“And it was Denmark”), which he directed together with Carsten Søsted, won the first prize for best documentary at CPH:DOX film festival in 2008. “I was lost for words. That we would take this one home in the competition against really good, established documentarists was not easy to grasp. I mean, we did not see ourselves being in their league. We saw ourselves as two directors of fiction on foreign territory, and yet we managed to win. It was not until the day after, that I really understood what had happened and really started to feel a sensation of pride and happiness attempting to get out from within,” Mads Thulstrup explains, before he continues to elaborate on the documentary that made his name reach the surface. Originally “Og det var Danmark” was supposed to be a ten episodes TV series about the Danish National Team, but producer Karoline Leth pushed us towards compressing it into a
Mads Kamp Thulstrup 2005: “Danmarks sjoveste mand”, graduation movie from The Danish School of Films. 2008: “Danish Dynamite”, winner of best long documentary at CPH:DOX 2008 2009: “Livvagterne” (”Protectors), TV-series, Denmarks Radio Channel 1, director of episode 13+14. 2010: “Jernhårde Ladies”, documentary. 2011: “Nabolandskanalerne - et vindue til verden”, dokumentary/campaign movie. 2011: “Pigen i papkassen”, short film, preliminary to the movie “Skoven”(The Forest) 2013: “The Legacy - 2nd unit”
Ongoing projects: “Skoven” - Movie “Den sidste Bastion” - Documentary
90-minute documentary instead. Obviously the change worked for the better, and Mads Thulstrup sees the making of the documentary as a great achievement and challenge. “Most of what we had to work with was archive material, so the challenge was, with that material in hand, to instill a sense in the viewer of watching things happen at the time they actually took place, and not leave them with the feeling of watching a nostalgic retrospective look at the hey days of the Danish Dynamite boys,” Mads Thulstrup reveals. Following up on the success Mads Kamp Thulstrup gets to direct another sports documentary, “De jernhårde ladies”, which this time is about the success female all-national handball team of the 90’s.
Dreams coming true Later, another opening appears for Mads Thulstrup. While working as an assistant director for friend and fellow film director Kasper Gaardsøe on the Denmark’s Radio series “Livvagterne” (“Protectors”), Mads Kamp Thulstrup is approached by producer at Denmarks Radio, Sven Clausen, asking Mads if he is up for the challenge of directing episodes of “Livvagterne” himself. “They must have liked what they saw, when I worked for them, and of course I accepted. When you get the chance to do fiction for Denmark’s Radio you grab it. Denmark’s Radio is a well-oiled
machine with the best scriptwriters, the best actors and crew you can imagine. At the same time I felt a certain pressure to deliver, when doing this,” a humble Mads Kamp Thulstrup tells. And obviously Mads Kamp Thulstrup delivered when he was thrown at the lions debuting as director for Denmarks Radio, because now they have sent him to Thailand, as 2nd unit director for two episodes of The Legacy, which will entertain Danish viewers from January 2014 and onwards. And filming in Thailand is a great experience, says Mads Kamp Thulstrup. “It is a fantastic experience coming here for shooting film. Obviously I find it more fun shooting here in Thailand than if I was sent to the Danish island of Lolland,” Mads Kamp Thulstrup says with a laugh and continues: “It is very intense working here. We have been working non-stop since we landed, and it’s really great working with such a professional and experienced film crew like the local crew from Living Films that we are working with here in Thailand. Actually I would love to come back and do more work here. I see many great opportunities for shooting some documentaries here for example.”
Doing commercials and corporate movies are exciting challenges Dreams do not come true every day, and even film directors need to put food on the table. Film directors live the unpredictable life of freelanc-
ers, never knowing what will land on their bank account at the end of the month. So there are more moments than one, where an up-coming director cannot be picky, which actually, says Mads Kamp Thulstrup, suits him well. Additionally, Mads Kamp Thulstrup puts an emphasis on being consistently active in his film career, meaning that he is not afraid of taking on assignments that not necessarily match his dreams of one day making large budget Hollywood productions. “I also do commercials and corporate movies. And I actually like it. Unlike a movie, where you have 90 minutes to communicate your message to the viewer, you often have less than 30 seconds to do the same in a commercial. That requires a lot of skill and precision,” says Mads Kamp Thulstrup. “Same with corporate movies. How can you take something, that in many peoples ears – and eyes might seem difficult to understand, and communicate it in ways where what needs to be said comes across clearly and precisely to the recipients, while at the same time staying true to the image and brand of the company? I see interesting and exciting challenges in this kind of work that additionally will help me improve in my other work.” Mads Thulstrup is currently working on the script for his own movie, a horror drama taking place somewhere deep inside the dark Norwegian woods, as well as trying to get his hands on more directing jobs, whether it be movies, TV series, commercials or corporate movies. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 27
SKAGEN DENMARK Boosting Danish Design in Asia
Beyond a sleek minimalist look, Danish design encompasses a mindset, a philosophy which adds new dimensions to the general perception of design worldwide. With its distinctive Danish design, SKAGEN DENMARK aims to be a leading lifestyle brand, inspiring the global community. By Wachiraporn Janrut
28 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
or over 24 years, Skagen Denmark has been a lifestyle brand offering engaging, elegant and superbly designed accessories to its customers at accessible prices. Since 2003, Skagen Denmark has been available in major retailers across Asia Pacific. Today, the brand’s products ranging from watches to jewellery are sold in more than 1,600 retailers in Asia. “We are currently working on expanding our
sales network to 2,000 retailers in Asia in 2014,” says Anita Jensen, Skagen Denmark’s Brand Director for the Asia Pacific Region, based in Hong Kong. Born and raised in Naestved in Denmark, Anita has been working for Skagen Denmark since 2003. “I love Danish design and feel very privileged to work with Skagen Denmark. The past 10 years has been a truly inspiring journey for me,” she tells ScandAsia.
About Skagen “Skagen” takes its name from an old fishing village located at the Northern tip of Denmark. For many centuries, many artists have travelled to Skagen to experience and find inspiration from the stunning natural light, beautiful nature and unparalleled blue sky. Additionally, the town is full of fascinating contrasts, such as the cozy traditional yellow houses with red tile roofs located just around the corner from world class modern architecture.
Skagen Denmark Many people might not know that the logo of Skagen Demark is a symbol of ‘Kattegat’ and ‘Skagerrak’ – the two seas meeting at Skagen. The striking blue colour in Skagen comes from the salt crystals thrown into the air at the meeting point of the seas. “With our anchor solidly planted in Skagen, our scope of inspiration is not only the beach and the sea in Skagen, but also the whole village of Skagen and its rich history and texture, as well as its duality as a remote fishing village and an international cultural epicenter,” says Anita. “Moreover, our scope includes how Skagen Denmark is part of Denmark and how this society has spawned the institution that we know as Danish Design,” she adds.
Anita Jensen Skagen Denmark’s Brand Director for the Asia Pacific Region
Less is more
Danish design Danish design is a style of functional design and architecture that was developed in the mid-20th century. Focusing on the ideas of simplicity and functionalism, Danish design’s key element is the genuine interest in the users of a product and its functionality. The characteristics developed are user-friendliness, respect for materials, simplicity, and a desire to achieve a certain honesty and simple beauty. “We strive to inspire our global community, showing the utmost hospitality, warmth, and respect to all,” says Anita. “Caring is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
To achieve its goal of becoming a leading lifestyle brand, Skagen Denmark continuously launches new distinctive design classics with an emphasis on unique Danish expression. For its Fall Winter 2013 collections, Skagen Denmark offers pure aesthetics with a global influence. Anita reveals that consumers can expect the colours to be clean, the unadorned palette reflecting the simplicity and imperfection of nature. “We are conscious of when to use colour and when to hold back. We want to reflect the Danish design with the mindset that less is more,” says Anita. “The brand will move closer to being a lifestyle brand with leathers and possibly home goods in the future. We want our fans to see us as the curator of Danish design in an array of categories.”
Skagen Denmark & Fossil Group In 2012 the Fossil Group, the S&P 500 company based in Dallas, Texas, saw a big business oppor-
tunity and acquired Skagen Denmark. For Skagen Denmark, it meant that the brand could increase its presence and expand into more markets. “We now have access to 400 more retail locations and 13,000 employees supporting the brand venture. Next year we will reveal to the public what we have been working on in the past year. It’s a very exciting brand journey,” says Anita. 2014 will also be a big year for Skagen Denmark as it will mark the brand’s presence of 25 years. The company plans to celebrate its 25th birthday in grand style. “It’ll be a big celebration featuring lots of new concepts,” says Anita with excitement. “Highly anticipated, the event will have something to wow consumers all around the world.”
Skagen Perspektiv Launched in April this year, Skagen Perspektiv is a new lifestyle collection of men’s and women’s timepieces featuring an uncomplicated, minimalist design in a sophisticated style. Inspired by elements in nature, this collection presents more daring colours, distinctive materials and new evolution in Danish design. For men, Skagen Perspektiv introduces durable genuine leather bands in an earthtone palette of stark black, soft gray, classic brown and natural green. Keeping with a sleek urban feel, watch dials are encased in a 42mm diameter matte black case with matching black faces and indicators. For ladies, Skagen Perspektiv introduces high-quality genuine leather straps in pebble gray, dark brown, camel and burgundy. A slim case design in polished silver, ion-plated gold or rose-gold features a 34mm case diameter and 7mm depth with reflective glass dials in silver, rose-gold and gold, lending an air of clean sophistication. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 29
DNB Bank’s new head of Asia will continue the safe ride After eight years in Shanghai the Norwegian Vidar Andersen is taking over the position as Head of Asia for DNB Bank based in Singapore. He replaces Erik Borgen, who has served the bank for 34 years. By SIne Neuchs Thomsen Photos by Rasmus Taun
service their Nordic clients in Asia. Based in Singapore he is going to be responsible for the bank’s operations across Asia. He already has long and well repudiated experience with the bank. After eight “fascinating” years in China, Vidar Andersen and his wife eyed the chance to move further. “Mainly we decided to move here because of the job. My new role here is very exciting and offers me a greater area of responsibility, and also a chance to try out new unknown areas,” the busy Norwegian explains. With that said he does not hesitate to mention, that it also in a personal view seemed to be a good time to move on. “There is some sort of limit for how long you can stay in a country, where you cannot imagine yourself staying forever. That time had come for us, and so Singapore seemed to be a good place to raise our son,” Vidar Andersen says. The couple had their first child eight months ago. “Furthermore, Singapore is the centre in the region which gives us the chance to go explore the area in the weekends. It is going to be a big experience personally,” he believes. It also relates to the fact, that we had a son eight months ago. In terms of that, Singapore offers many great opportunities,” Vidar Andersen adds.
Will not change the strategy
idar Andersen hardly had the chance to get to know his new country. After moving to Singapore in mid August and officially taking on his new responsibilities on September 1 he has been nothing but busy. Business trips to China and India have filled up his calendar, and though he is convinced that the level of being out of time is related to “how it is to get a new job in a new country”, it is not like he will get bored in the nearest time to come. Already next week he is off again, this time to Europe. Head of Asia is the title of his new role in the Norwegian DNB Bank, which specialises in shipping, offshore and energy financing in addition to 30 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
For the tall red-haired Norwegian the new job will be more diverse than it used to be in China. Even though China is a big multifarious country the system and the culture is relatively the same, he explains. He expects his new job to be considerably more diverse, as each country in Asia has its own system and rules for running business and banks. That does mean that his entrance to the bank will cause any bigger changes in the way the bank operates. “First of all DNB Bank shall continue doing well. But the strategy of the bank has been more or less the same for 20 years, we are long-term and relationship oriented. So I did not come here because I am going to change anything radically compared to what we are used to do in DNB
Vidar with his wife and 8 months-old son Bank,” he stresses. And if DNB Bank looks different in a couple of years, it will “be more related with the change of the world than with me,” he says. “Globally the financial sector is not the same after the bank crises in 2008-2009. With an increased focus on control and regulation of banks, you can no longer put up a five year to come strategy and then follow that blindly for years to come. As a bank you must be flexible and adaptable because the world is constantly changing,” he says.
100 new colleagues In Singapore Vidar Andersen also has a task getting to know his almost 100 new colleagues but that does not scare him “When you come to a new place, the first couple of weeks a lot of things will seem unknown; the office, the city. It will take a little time to find my own way, but in a short while all the unknown things will become familiar,” he says. Eased by many years of experience from being expatriates the shift to what some will call “Asia for beginners”, the life in Singapore might not become such a big deal for the little family. Vidar Andersen also used to work and live in New York. Even though it has been a long time since he lived in Norway, he still thinks of opportunity to come back one day. Being abroad means missing out on many things counting family and friends, and as the true Norwegian he is, of course skiing. Luckily he found a new way to spend his holidays that allows him to explore a whole other world. “Diving is probably my biggest interest out here, and is has that advantage that you can continue diving no matter what your age is. I really like the way you can escape from the world, while exploring another one so different,” he tells. To escape the current world on land might become an issue later on, but right now Vidar Andersen seems to be incredibly excited about his new job. And before the next moment has passed he is off to his next appointment.
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 31
Tips for choosing the
preschool for your chi What do we, as parents, have to consider when searching for the ‘ideal school or kindergarten’ for our children? By Nina Jagota
he first day of school or kindergarten will for most children - and their parents - be the day they will always remember. The process of saying goodbye at the gate can be almost as difficult and exhausting as the weeks of deciding which school is the right school for your child’s first schooling experience. For weeks or even months leading up to this day, the parents have been through an often difficult process of selecting which school, pre-school or kindergarten they consider the best for their child.
Location and fees When looking for a kindergarten or a pre-school, two crucial factors are the location of the school and the cost of the school fees. So first step is to find out what international schools, kindergartens or pre-schools are available within a reasonable distance from your home. Going back and forth between your home and the school will be part of your daily life for years to come. It is important to be honest: Convenience matters! For your child, a short distance to school certainly also offers benefits. No need to be pulled out of bed in the early hours of the day, rushed through breakfast only to sit sleepy in the car for an hour. If you are in Bangkok, remember to count in all the opportunities along Bangkok’s excellent BTS / MRT systems. Distance is no longer just a question of kilometers, but rather a question of time. When you have found four or five nearest options, it is time to look at the school fees. Do not just rely only on what is posted on the websites, it is highly advisable to call the schools and kindergartens that you are considering, and ask them what your real costs will be. Again, it is important to be honest - don’t go shopping for a Benz if all you can really afford is a bicycle. Now you are probably down to two, maybe three options without having exhausted yourself too much. This is important since you will for sure need all your energy for the next crucial step – your visit to the school or kindergarten.
The classroom teacher What should you be looking for exactly at each kindergarten or school visit? Meeting the classroom teacher is a must. Your child will be spending several hours per day 32 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
under the supervision and care of this person. Notice how she is interacting with the other children in her class - she will be interacting with your child in the same way. Do you hear the other children talking, laughing, singing, asking questions, and expressing their ideas, expressing their preferences and points of view? Do you hear the teacher speaking warmly, kindly, and respectfully to the children? Do you hear the teacher inviting the children to make choices, decisions, and be a part of the activities in progress? The teacher should emphasize on promoting open-ended questions, prompting the children when interacting. This can encourage the children to experience new ideas, and furthermore, enable them to be creative, critical, reflecting to new ideas and enhance their problem solving skills. Overall, the one thing well-qualified teachers do have in common is that they are usually attentive listeners. Children are very expressive, and a teacher with good understanding would be acting upon the children’s verbal and non-verbal cues in the process of constructing an enjoyable learning experience for your child. Smaller classes help. It is significantly easier to give one-on-one attention and be responsive to each child in the room when there are fewer children in a class. At your school visit, you can ask about this ratio in your child’s class. The relationship that you would be having with the teacher once your child enrols in the school should be a strong, trustworthy, respectful and honest relationship. In the process of finding the right school, it is also suggested that the school you are visiting should have a welcoming gesture towards you to encourage your involvement as parental inputs in your child’s class. Every child has a unique background both culturally and sociologically. It is impossible for the school and the teacher to understand and know the children fully if they exclude the parents and family from the child that they are working with in the class.
The environment Another important factor to consider when visiting a kindergarten is the overall environment. A stimulating and creative classroom environment can help children to progress effectively in their development. The learning environments that stimulate
children’s physical and social experience could be both outdoor and indoor but there should be rich resources that are flexible and easy to use. The environment should also be filled with activities that stimulate critical thinking skills. For example, the activities and the toys should be inviting to the children as well as providing opportunities for interaction, hands-on play and exploration. The recommended learning environment for children in the early years is learning through play. The kindergarten should have centre play areas such as, easel painting, art table, science, books, puzzles, play dough, blocks, and water/ sand play. This means that activities should be well organized in clearly defined areas in the classroom, and most importantly, should be accessible to children. Having papers, markers, and blocks on shelves that children can reach would help build their independence. A quiet reading corner and dramatic play area are also important to encourage their concentration, creativity and imagination. A corner as simple as a dramatic play area is more essential than it may seem. Studies have in fact shown that the imaginative play in the form of daily ‘pretend play’ actually improves emotional and behavioural skills, which could lead to improved academic performance later in their schooling years. Outside play should also be a part of a typical day. The outdoor area should be where children can run, climb, walk, explore, and participate in other types of play with their friends. There is a direct correlation between the gross motor skills practice that children achieve through outdoor physical play to their long-term health.
No “perfect recipe” The perfect recipe for choosing the ‘ideal’ school for your child does not exist. Many parents simply go by their own parental instincts. This is natural, and there is certainly nothing wrong in trusting your own instinct in the process. After all, you should feel comfortable and confident in leaving your child at the school gate in the mornings. However, the few professional tips and suggestions above should give you some ideas about what to look for when making up your mind. Keep in mind the important role you are taking in deciding the right choice for your child’s first school will contribute to your child’s progress toward a crucial foundation and an enjoyable first schooling experience.
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 33
Velkommen - V채lkommen - Mieluinen
NIST celebrates the outstanding results achieved by its Class of 2013 NIST’s graduating Class of 2013 achieved outstanding results, improving on the strength of previous years. Of 98 students the average score of candidates who passed the IB Diploma was 35, compared to the 34 point average in 2012 and 33 point average in 2011. Additionally, 97% of students from the Class of 2013 successfully passed the IB Diploma, a significant improvement from the 85% pass rate last year. Notably two students, Jenny Holloway and Ritah Chumdermpadetsuk received a perfect total score of 45 points, placing them in the top 0.25% of candidates worldwide. In addition, Emily Daykin and Marten Dondorp achieved a near-perfect score of 44 points. In total, 16 members of NIST’s graduating Class of 2013 attained marks of 40 points or higher, placing them in the top 6.6% of the world. The Class of 2013 – IB Results & University List 2013
World Avg. Students with ≥ 43 points (%)
Students with ≥ 40 points (%)
Students who passed the Diploma (%)
Average total points
Total number of DP students
Percentage of Bilingual Diplomas (%)
Average points per subject for those who passed the Diploma
Members of the Class of 2013 received offers to study a great range of courses at diverse universities across the globe. Below are the universities they will be attending: University
Course / Major
Amsterdam University College Ateneo De Manila University Babson College Biola University Bond University Chulalongkorn University Chulalongkorn University City University Drexel University Emerson College Emory University Emory University George Washington University Hotel School of The Hague Imperial College Imperial College King's College London College of Fashion Long Island University Loyola Marymount University Macquarie University Mahidol University Mahidol University Mahidol University McGill University Miami University Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts New York University Northeastern University Northeastern University Northeastern University Northwestern University Oxford Pennsylvania State University Pratt Institute Princeton Purdue University Queen Mary University of London
Sociology Business and Management Business and Entrepreneurship History and Anthropology Hotel and Resort Management Language and Culture Economics Accounting and Finance Biological Science Writing Literature and Publishing College of Arts and Science Liberal Arts Psychology Business and Management Mechanical Engineering Electrical Engineering Law Fashion Design Health Science Liberal Arts Actuarial Science Business Finance Environmental Science Liberal Arts Business Fashion Merchandising Liberal Arts Liberal Arts Landscape Architecture Business Engineering Japanese Psychology Interior Design Engineering Finance Business Management
Course / Major
Rangsit University Reed College Ringling College of Art and Design Royal Veterinary College in London Santa Clara University Simon Frasier University Syracuse University Syracuse University Thammasat University Tufts University Tufts University UC Berkeley UC, Santa Barbara
Dentistry Liberal Arts Game Art and Design Veterinary Medicine Business Chemistry Communications Sociology and Journalism Law Pre-Med Liberal Arts Biology Liberal Arts/ College of Letters and Science Early Childhood Education Dentistry Psychology Mechanical Engineering Business and Finance Economics English and Drama Commerce Engineering International Relations Sciences Human Geography The Arts Psychology Mathematics Land Economy Social Anthropology and Human Development Sociology Business and Management Marine Biology Accounting and Finance Industrial Engineering
Unitech Institute of Technology University of Adelaide University in Australia University of Bath University of Boston University of Bristol University of Bristol University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of British Columbia University of Cambridge University of Cambridge University of Edinburgh University of Edinburgh University of Exeter University of Hawaii University of Hong Kong University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign University of Manchester University of New Brunswick University of New South Wales University of New South Wales University of New South Wales University of Pennsylvania University of Pittsburgh University of Queensland University of Southern California University of Strathclyde University of Sydney University of the Arts London University of Toronto University of Toronto University of Tsukuba University of Washington University of Western Ontario University of Wisconsin Madison Webster University
International Business Economics and Finance Marine Biology Media Communications and Journalism Medicine Computer Science Mass Communication Media Military Nursing Education Undecided Sport Technology Psychology Interior Design Political Science Social Sciences Sociology Psychology Biomedical Science Economics and Political Science Advertisement and Marketing
Written by: Jared Kuruzovich
Picking the Perfect School For You
s the 2015 deadline for the ASEAN Economic Community looms, the number of international schools in Thailand—already higher than virtually any other Asian nation—is only expected to increase. With such rapid growth, the inevitable question of quality must be addressed, as international education has become a profitable industry for many investors, both Thai and foreign. Unfortunately, that profit often comes at the expense of the customers, as schools simply are not businesses and should not be treated as such. While many thus claim the title “international school,” they fail to display key characteristics that truly enable them to provide a high-quality education for their students. Before considering any other factor, any quality school should be a member of the International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT). ISAT requires that all of its member schools receive accreditation from one of small number of approved agencies, among them the CfBT Education Trust, Council of International Schools (CIS), New England As-
36 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
sociation of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This ensures that the school has been externally evaluated by a professional education organization, both in respect to its operations and quality of academics. A second significant indicator of quality is reflected by the school’s teachers and leaders. Superior international schools should hire teachers with either degrees in education, or their respective subject areas at the secondary level. Moreover, a large majority should possess master’s degrees. Challenge both teachers and supervisors: How do you adapt your curriculum for an international student body? What evidence—internal and external—do you have to demonstrate the quality of your school? How do you ensure that staff members continue to learn and develop? Experienced educators should not only be comfortable answering these questions, but also enthusiastic and passionate. Lastly, a quality school always re-
members that its task, first and foremost, is to meet the needs of each and every student. Just as members of a business organization possess highly differentiated skills and interests, so too do students. The best teachers and schools embrace diversity and adjust the curriculum, schedules and assessments for each student as much as possible. When you visit schools, feel free to ask to see samples of the curriculum maps and lesson plans to demonstrate that point. Placing your child’s education in the hands of others can be daunting, particularly for expatriates new to Thailand. However, careful research and questioning goes far, and can ultimately turn a frightening prospect into a rich and rewarding experience.
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 37
38 ScandAsia.Thailand â€˘ October 2013
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 39
The First Steps International Pre-School
The First Steps International Pre-School was established by M.L. Laksasubha Kridakon with Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana overseeing the opening in 1997. The First Steps was situated on Sukhumvit Soi 43 for 13 years until, under new ownership, the school moved to the Soi 31 campus in July of 2010. Students range from 18 months to 6 years of age, Nursery to Year 1, with future expansion planned to year 3.
Location: The First Steps International Pre-School is conveniently located on Sukhumvit Soi 31 in the heart of Bangkok, between Asoke and Promphong BTS stations, with free tuk tuk transfer to and from Sukhumvit road. It is a school that your children will think of as a second-home, where they can play, learn and grow with teachers and friends from all around the world. The student body represents almost 20 different countries, no small achievement with fewer than 100 students!
Philosophy: The First Steps is a place where children develop a greater sense of self and a better understanding of the world around them. With an effective combination of teaching methods and activities, as well as a great selection of specialist and extra-curricular classes, and a fantastic group of teachers acting as guides, your children get a head start on life and education! Ultimately, The First Steps’ philosophy is to provide a secure, natural learning environment with a well-rounded teaching approach. The aim is to produce a happy and successful child ready to enter the world of “big schools” with confidence.
Curriculum: The First Steps is open for children aged of 14 months to 6 years of age following the British National Curriculum. The school has weekly swimming & physical education classes run by their partners LETS ASIA who are specialists in these fields, there are also music classes with an enthusiastic qualified instructor. The First Steps believe that a caring environment full of fun and enjoyment makes learning easy. The standards at First Steps are comparable, or above those in the U.K., which makes changing school later in life easy.
Campus: The First Steps is known as the ‘small school with BIG school facilities’. They have a generous grass playground with play equipment, as well as a bicycle / toy car riding area, and a covered sand pit. There is also an indoor air-conditioned activities room / gymnasium with a sports floor, and a 15m indoor swimming pool which is heated with salt water and covered for year round swimming – they have everything your child could possibly need or want.
German and French Language options: All students at the First
www.thefirststeps.ac.th E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 40 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Steps speak English and follow the British curriculum, but they also have optional German and French language programmes. They are the only school that offers this service with the option of full time or part-time German study, and part-time French. It is exhilarating to stand in their garden and listen to the many languages being spoken by the students as they communicate with one another learning all the time!
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 41
Leading IB World School in Phuket, Thailand
huket International Academy Day School is a leading International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Thailand. It is a wonderful school, staffed by outstanding professionals, which seeks to ensure that all students receive a world-class education that is appropriate to their ages, aptitudes and abilities. PIADS has a truly international student body, drawn from 28 different nationalities, with no one dominant nationality. Its internationally recruited teachers are highly qualified and experienced professionals. PIADS is situated on the extensive Thanyapura campus, which is nestled on the boundary of a mountainous national parkin the north-east of Phuket Island, Thailand. This location provides the school with a beautiful, pollution-free and nature-rich environment and enables PIADS students to have plentiful opportunities to explore the surrounds with the aim of enhancing students’ respect and appreciation for nature and the world around them. PIADS is authorized to teach the Primary Years Programme (PYP) of the International Baccalaureate (IB) for the primary school (ages three through eleven) - early childhood (PYP one – PYP three) and junior years (PYP four – PYP eight). It also has a nursery class for children aged between 18 months and three years old. 42 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
The school is implementing the IB’s Middle Years Programme (MYP) in MYP one through MYP five (ages 11 through 16) and holds candidate status for offering the IB’s Diploma Programme (DP) for DP one and DP two (ages 16 through 18) as from the summer of 2014. The school, which is liberal in nature and progressive in outlook, provides a wide school curriculum by combining academics, the arts and sports. Its ability to be able to do this is considerably enhanced by its being a constituent part of the world-famous Thanyapura organization, which allows the students to benefit from the use of some of the finest sporting facilities in south east Asia, including Olympic-standard swimming facilities and tennis courts and an IRB-standard rugby football field. PIADS is fortunate to be a Thanyapura, not for profit, affiliate, and as such, the students of PIADS also have access to Thanyapura Sports and Leisure Club (TSLC). TSLC is a unique international leading-edge sports and leisure centre where world-class sporting facilities meet the highest level of professional training. Many PIADS students participate in the unrivalled range of academies with competitions, teams and training at all levels and ages. The recent addition of the purpose-built performing arts centre provides PIADS students with exceptional facilities both for curricular and enrichment activities in the performing arts PIADS is unique in that itis a global leader in the budding movement to embed evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programmes into its curriculum. The approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) and mindfulness at PIADS focuses not only on the integration with the learner profile and the larger IB framework, but also on the aspiration of establishing a positive school culture by tending to both intrapersonal awareness and interpersonal sensitivity. PIADS uses a variety of developmentally appropriate resources including the latest in cognitive neuroscience, social and emotional skill development, mindful awareness practices, and research on positive emotions, all of which help further to bring the school mission to life.
For more information about Phuket International Academy Day School please go to www.phuketinternationalacademy.com or email Dennison MacKinnon, the Head of School, at email@example.com Tel:+66(0)76 336 076
• High academic standards - International Baccalaureate World School • A world-leader in evidence-based social and emotional learning • Top tier, internationally qualified teachers and educational leaders • Exceptional teaching and sports facilities • International student body representing 28 nationalities, with no one dominant nationality • Natural and safe environment: the school is contiguous to the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." - William Butler Yeats Please contact us on T:+66 (0)76 336 076 to schedule a visit. 115/15 Moo 7 Thepkasattri Rd., Thepkasattri, Thalang, Phuket 83110, Thailand www.phuketinternationalacademy.com
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 43
Traill International School Kindergarten Programme
raill International School is one of Bangkok’s oldest and established international schools. The school is accredited by CfBT from the UK and has just completed a new purpose built campus for its kindergarten. Careful thought and attention has gone into the design to create an atmosphere of a warm and homely environment. Traill focuses on the education of the whole child with 48 years of graduates who are accepted to the world’s leading universities. Likewise the kindergarten reflects this with the use of a wide range of facilities that enhance the learning process of the child – ICT labs, swimming pool, library, multi-purpose sports hall and a purpose built bicycle and toy-car track.
44 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
The National Curriculum Early Years Foundation program is play based, but allows us to reach high academic standards in a way that is extremely motivational for young pupils. There is a lot of individual attention, with the planning of lessons tailored to meet the needs of each individual child. This is only possible by the school student:teacher ratio of 8:1. However, the key to our success is the high caliber of our experienced teaching staff with extensive knowledge of the National Curriculum of England. The transition from Kindergarten to the Primary School is smooth and easy for the children. Both the Kindergarten student and main-school teacher will have worked together and know
each other prior to entry into Year 1 of the Primary School. We expect all children to attain a certain level by the end of each year. The progress of each child is monitored and tracked carefully to ensure this will be maintained. Successful children are happy confident children. Fundamental to this is the partnership between parent and school. All parents are warmly welcomed to participate in celebration assemblies, sports days, the parent and teacher association, open days, and workshops. www.traillschool.ac.th E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A wonderful world of learning at
Shrewsbury International School ‘What have you done at school today?’ At Shrewsbury International, we hope your child will say, ‘I played!’
t Shrewsbury International School, young learners are given carefully planned play experiences which help them to develop core skills as well as the positive and enthusiastic attitude to learning they will use to reach their full potential. Our Early Years unit, which caters for children age 3-5 years, is set within Shrewsbury’s Pre-Prep building with classrooms arranged around two inspiring garden areas. Our team of Early Years teachers, mainly recruited from the UK, and teacher assistants is specially trained to support young learners. At Shrewsbury, we aim to develop each child to be the best that they can be academically, socially and emotionally. Our Early Years curriculum is planned to meet each child’s individual needs and interests. As children move into more formal learning in Years 1 and 2, they learn through half-termly topics that make the curriculum both exciting and relevant. Learning based on the British curriculum also includes an array of dressing up days, trips and special events throughout the year. Specialist teachers lead lessons in PE, swimming, Music and Thai. You know your children best and you are still the most important teachers in their lives. When your child starts at Shrewsbury International School, we will work together with you to ensure your child has rewarding and enriching learning experiences to develop a life-long love for learning. To request a prospectus or to book a school tour, please call Ilka Hodapp on 02 675 1888 ext 1110 www.shrewsbury.ac.th E-mail: email@example.com
Exceptional people Outstanding opportunities Academic excellence To find out more call +66 2 675 1888 or email Ilka Hodapp at firstname.lastname@example.org
Be part of the Shrewsbury success story SHB-Exceptional people Ad on Bambi June'13.indd 2
9/26/13 4:19 PM
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 45
Starting the Learning Journey at
Bangkok Patana School
s we all know for a building to withstand the test of time it needs strong foundations. The same is true for a child’s education. From the very start of their school experience, even the youngest students at Bangkok Patana School are supported to achieve their full potential, whether that be academically, in the arts, sports, and/or by performing community service. The school prides itself on providing a varied, balanced and exciting curriculum, enriched with practical experiences and matched to the needs of each child. In Foundation Stage (Nursery and Kindergarten 1 and 2) and Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) this educational philosophy aims to develop an interest and curiosity about learning in all children, equipping them with an ability to share their enthusiasm with others, and an enjoyment of school. The school was founded by Mrs Rosamund Stuetzel in 1957, and is the original British international school in Bangkok. The founder’s mission was to nurture a lifelong love of learning in students attending Bangkok Patana. Now home to over 2,200 children, catering for students from their first day right through to graduation, the school upholds this aim by providing educational experiences that support students of all ages throughout their school life and beyond. www.patana.ac.th Email: email@example.com
Using the UK Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum as a guideline, our young students explore and develop through play. To find out how our outstanding teaching staff encourage children of all ages to become effective, life-long learners, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 02 785 2206 www.patana.ac.th |+66 (0) 2785 2200 | 643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105), Bangna, Bangkok Bangkok Patana is an IB World School accredited by CIS and NEASC 46 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Early Years at KIS Where it all begins
f you find yourself in one of the Early Years classrooms at KIS International School, you will hear the happy sounds of inquiry based learning. KIS is a full International Baccalaureate school and as such one of the programmes offered is the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children from 3-12 years old. The curriculum is structured around Units of Inquiry (UOI) or ‘transdisciplinary themes’. Take for example the Unit of Inquiry that the Early Years 1 class recently focused on: “Who We Are”. Students explored the central idea of how relationships can affect our well-being. They learned that everyone is unique and people have some similarities and some differences. After watching a short DVD called “My Favourite Pets” the children discussed their favourite animals. They then made a bar graph to show their thinking. Using sticky notes the children wrote their name and placed it under their favourite animal. Fun activities set up around the classroom are usually centred on the UOI and this helps give the children context to their learning. For example, after discussing the children’s favourite pets, the maths activity of counting, graphing and sorting the children’s favourite animals is all part of helping the children learn about themselves and their class mates as well as learning essential mathematics skills. Other activities are also set up to help the development of fine and gross motor skills, socialization, language, reading and play based learning. The teachers guide the children to learn social and thinking skills as well as academic learning. Further attention is given to developing attitudes such as empathy, confidence and creativity. The Early Years teachers at KIS are warm, caring people who love teaching children. They are experienced and qualified to teach Early Years, ensuring that our young children receive a positive start to their educational journey. We’d like to invite you to come and visit the Early Years Center at KIS.
www.kis.ac.th E-mail: email@example.com
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 47
IPC International N Kindergarten
www.ipcthai.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
48 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
estled in the heart of Bangkok’s prestigious Asoke district you will find a hidden treasure, one that has been around for over 30 years. This special place has been a fun and safe place for children where they will receive the best early education Thailand has to offer. Come and discover IPC International Kindergarten. IPC is Thailand’s oldest and longest running boutique international nursery and kindergarten to date. Winning multiple awards, IPC is also a parent’s perfect choice to obtain a quality British education for children aged 18 months and older. IPC has educated over 7,000 children and covered most of the globe by hosting on average 20 different nationalities every year. What started as and still remains a Chirathivat family owned business, was built by a loving mother in search of the perfect school for her own daughter. Over the years IPC now grown to be a gem in the Bangkok community. We are known for our vibrant teaching style and for our 100% acceptance rate into all of the best International schools around the world. More importantly, we are also known as a school where children have the most fun whilst learning! From the new IPC mini- lagoon to our Rock Climbing Wall for kids, IPC has created a unique atmosphere where the children’s imaginations can run wild. If you would like to come to visit IPC International Kindergarten, we offer an in-depth tour of our boutique school and a free trial day. Come in and see why IPC is such a lasting favourite with children and parents alike.
t. Andrews International group of Schools is comprised of 3 campuses: Sathorn, Sukhumvit 107 and Green Valley, Rayong on the Eastern Seaboard. The schools are British International until graduating years 12 and 13, where the curriculum transitions to the IB Diploma Programme. Sathorn is a Primary Specialist Campus with Sukhumvit 107 and Green Valley Rayong going right through to graduation in the IB Diploma. Green Valley Rayong campus also offers the exclusive Dutch Stream curriculum.
Early Years Programmes are run at all 3 St. Andrews campuses All 3 campuses enjoy purpose built, dedicated, air conditioned Early Years classrooms that are bright and stimulating. Toddler, Nursery, Kindergarten and Reception class teachers follow the principles and curriculum of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework for the U.K. With international, qualified teaching staff, a low teacher-student ratio at all campuses and secure environments; with a creative well-resourced curriculum and age-appropriate play areas that are safe, secure areas for play and for the development of our youngest students, St. Andrews offers the best that Thailand can offer in Early Years education (and beyond)!
1) Sathorn Early Years Centre – Sathorn campus is set in a beautifully renovated heritage building in the middle of Bangkok’s Central Business District. Teaching and learning for the children has a high emphasis on structured creative play and interactive learning. Activities are planned for both indoor and outdoor play. The Early Years Programme accepts students from approx 2 years of age to 5. 9 Sathorn Soi 4, North Sathorn Road, Bangrak Bangkok 10500 Tel. 02 632 1995
2) Sukhumvit 107 Early Years Centre – Sukhumvit 107 campus is set in a vibrant and green campus at the foot of BTS Bearing making the school easily accessible to all parents. The school sits on expansive grounds which makes it suitable for a wide variety of outdoor sports. NEWLY renovated with special safety matting, a bike track, security system and brand new shading makes this dedicated area one of the most updated in Bangkok. The Early Years Programme accepts students from approx 1.5 years of age up to 5 years. 7 Sukhumvit 107 (Soi Bearing), Bang Na Bangkok 10260 Tel. 02 393 3883
3) Green Valley Rayong Early Years Centre – Green Valley Campus is set in the beautiful lush green surroundings of Green Valley Country Club. The extensive playing fields and dedicated Early Years Centre allows for seamless indoor/outdoor activities. The safe and relaxed environment allows for maximum growth of potential in personal, emotional and physical development ensuring that each child builds a positive attitude towards learning. The Early Years Programme accepts students from approx 2 years of age up to 5. 1 moo 7 Bangchang-Makham Koo Road, Bangchang Rayong Tel. 038 030 701
For more information about all year levels, please visit us at www.standrews-schools.com or E-mail email@example.com
Modern Montessori International Modern Montessori International Pre-school (Thailand) is a very unique place, where your child learns by discovery. We follow the British Curriculum based on the Montessori Method of Education for children aged 18 months â€“ 6 years. We provide a programme that caters to the individual needs of each child. The inquiry based and child centred Montessori Method fosters and encourages self-help skills and independence among children. Our curriculum includes Practical Life Exercises, Sensorial Education, Language and Literacy, Mathematics, Science, Phonics, Creative Writing, Music and Movement, Physical Education and Swimming, Field Trips, and After School Activities. Our facilities include fully-equipped Montessori classrooms, swimming pool, playground, indoor gym, library, music room and canteen.
MMI Pre-School promotions: 30% off registration fee by July 2014; 50% off registration fee for BAMBI members and 70% off registration fee for Diplomatic families, Embassy staff and members of Thai-Japanese Association.
Modern Montessori International Training Centre (Thailand) offers a Di-
www.mmithailand.com www.facebook.com/mmipreschool E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
50 ScandAsia.Thailand â€˘ October 2013
ploma in Montessori Method of Education. This one year programme is designed for parents, teachers and to-be-mothers/fathers who wish to have a firm understanding in child development, Montessori philosophy and effective parenting skills. This internationally recognised diploma is awarded by Modern Montessori International, London. The training covers the following aspects: Montessori Philosophy and Theory, Child development, Curriculum Planning, Practical Life, Sensorial Training, Language, Mathematics and Cultural Subjects.
Spelling, Reading and Writing
Michael Juul Jensen is a teacher at the Europa Skolen in Bruxelles. He started setting up his new school Dansk i Hele Verden this spring and is now ready to admit Danish students living anywhere in the world.
Danish By Gregers Moller
ansk i Hele Verden is a new internet based school offering to teach Danish children reading and writing in their native Danish language while living abroad. The aim is that the children should be able to enter the Danish primary school system on the same level as their current grade abroad. The founder of the school, Michael Juul Jensen has been teaching Danish primary school students living in Brussels for the past eight years. The idea to expand this to distance learning came to him this spring and he has since been working on setting up the school online. It has been a real entrepreneurial experience. Michael Juul Jensen has never set up a website before and the commercial side of the business was also completely new territory for him. “I have done everything myself and sometimes it has been quite difficult,” he admits. The marketing only started by the end of August this year. “At first I joined the various groups of Danes abroad on Facebook and posted a note about my school, but soon the note was far down on the list and no longer noticed by the members. Then my own children told me that I had to establish my own Facebook page and when I post something there, the currently 250 people who have signed up will then get a notification,” he explains.
Right games for the right level Dansk i Hele Verden starts by evaluating the child’s level of language skills using the same diagnostic reading and spelling tests as Danish schools in Denmark. The tests are sent to the parents
with instruction how to use them. The child needs for instance to read a sentence silently that says “Mads er paa jagt med Trofast” and then there are five drawings and they need to mark the one that depicts the sentence. By marking the picture of the man and the dog hunting and not marking the one of the man hunting alone the child shows that they understand the sentence. The parents also need to note the time it takes for the child to take the test. There is a similar diagnostic test for spelling where the level of difficulty progresses through the test until we see if the child knows how to spell not pronounced characters or words where the vocal has changed sound like in the word “dukke” which we pronounce with an å like “dåkke” Michael Juul Jensen will also evaluate the reading level based on a conversation over skype. When the level has been determined, he will put together a tailor made study plan covering the coming month using all the engaging options available by using computers. The games I give them are very popular among my students here in Bruxelles. They are fun and challenging. My job is to put a package together that exactly matches their level and that will bring them forward towards the target. “Let us assume that we are working with unpronounced letters then I can sit here in Bruxelles and check how many correct replies the student in Thailand is getting. I know that the subject is not fully learned until we reach a correct percentage of over 90, so I can continue sending over new games until we are there.” Younger students will find it fun and motivating to learn to spell and write. Older students
will be able to focus on developing their written language and literature understanding to the point where they are able to pass Danish primary school exit exams.
Try it for free The cost for the tuition is 69 Euro per month with 20 pct off if you buy more than 3 months. “Currently I am offering to join for free for a week to test if the technology works for them. But you will not be given the tests and games before you actually start up the course,” Michael Juul Jensen explains. “What I expect to see is that people will probably buy a month first and if they see it works for them and their family then they will sign up for half a year or a full year.” It is important to note that although the course involves the parents, the monkey is not just moved to sit on their shoulders. “The parents’ simply need to support the child as they would in an ordinary school, the rest is provided by Dansk i Hele Verden,” he says, adding that with an effort of only two or three hours per week, parents should experience great progress in her child’s reading, writing and spelling skills. “The offer is to teach children who speak Danish to some extend already how to read, spell and write Danish. But since starting up Dansk i Hele Verden it is clear to me that there is also another need out there. There seems to be many children of Danish parents or people married to Danes living abroad who do not speak any Danish, but would like to learn Danish. There could be an expansion into this market in the future,” he says. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 51
Danish Supplementary School in Singapore
The Danish Supplementary School has recently launched weekly Danish language lessons Tirsdagsundervisningen for Danish students to learn their mother tongue. ScandAsia talks to the school board, parents and students. By Ika Forssell
t is Tuesday afternoon, and the Danish language becomes more prominent than usual at Overseas Family School in Singapore (OFS). The Danish Supplementary School has its weekly lessons, the so called “Tirsdagsundervisningen”, and Danish children and parents gather quickly and efficiently at the Middle School courtyard before the kids head into their designated classrooms.
School organization and funding The school board consists of a group of very able and enthusiastic women. I had the opportunity to meet a few of them this afternoon. On the
52 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
picture you can see, from left to right, Jette Breum, vice chairman, Rikke Paulsen, librarian, Gry Gølnitz Thomsen, chairman, and Kirsten Newbigging, treasurer. (photo 1) The school is fully financed by its members’ tuition fees, which surprisingly are not particularly high. There is no financial support provided by the Danish government. All of the posts on the Board of Directors are voluntary and only the teachers are paid for their work. Furthermore, some money is spent on new books that are added to the library once in a while. Initially, the school received some sponsorship from Danish companies to buy books for the library, and many books have been donated to the
school by Danish families. OFS is generous enough to lend the teaching space free of charge.
History The idea about a Danish school was initially hatched by five enthusiastic parents in 2008, and the school opened its doors at OFS in Singapore in 2009. Today it offers years 0 to 9 and preschool as well as private tuition and lessons for adults. At the moment there are around 90 students enrolled at the Danish School. In addition, about 10 adults take lessons as well as a varying number of private students. The number of teachers is 9. So far, there has been no problem filling the teaching positions with willing and qualified people. Certified Danish educators who are living in Singapore are naturally prioritized for the teaching jobs, but any remaining vacancies are open for anyone who loves to work with children. After having spent a couple of years as an assistant teacher, they may well be ready to take on a position as a teacher.
A popular school among the students Students at DSS come from several different schools around Singapore, and just about five minutes before the classes start, a busload of students arrives from Canadian International School. The CIS parents have joined forces and organized a weekly bus, taking turns acting as a “bus auntie”. I catch one of the students rushing to his lesson
accompanied by his mom and little sister for a comment. Erik is in Danish class 1, and although he would much rather play sports, he thinks it is reasonable to come to the Danish school once a week. It’s Erik’s third year at the school already, since he started already in pre-school. It will soon be time for little sister to join too. (Photo 4) Another student, who came a little early for class this afternoon, is Julia, who is in class 2. She goes to Chatsworth International School and has been in Singapore 3 years. Julia is very happy with her weekly lesson at the Danish school. “It’s fun to meet my Danish friends here every Tuesday”, she says. (Photo 5) 4th-graders Albert, from OFS, and Mattias, from UWC, enjoy meeting each other and their other Danish class mates on Tuesdays. Albert, who has been in Singapore for six years, thinks it is a very good idea to stay up to date with his mother tongue. In case his family will move back to Denmark it will definitely come in handy. (Photo 6) While the lessons are going on, many parents gather in the OFS cafeteria to chat. I meet Louise and her daughter, Josephine, who is waiting for her lesson in grade 6 to begin. Since the older classes start an hour later, and the younger sister, Maise, is in grade 1, Louise spends two hours at OFS. The time is well spent, though, as the two sisters take the opportunity to do their homework while waiting for each other. Maise, who started Danish school when the family came to Singapore in January this year, loves Tuesdays, be-
cause she gets to speak Danish. (Photo 2)
The library Librarian Rikke Paulsen talks to me a little bit about how the library works. All the books are stored in large plastic boxes, which in turn are stored in a cabinet near the Middle School gathering area. Rikke takes out the boxes for the students to browse and borrow. This is mainly done before and after the classes, but every once in a while a teacher might bring out the class to borrow books or use the library for teaching purpose. The books are listed in a file, and Rikke registers each loan by writing down the names. It’s a simple system, and it works well, but the Board is looking into improving it in the future. (Photo 3)
Not only language When living abroad, it may be difficult to keep up with all traditions that your home culture practices. The Danish school not only aims at teaching its students to read and write the Danish language, but also to gain an understanding for the Danish culture and its traditions. They communicate with the Danish church and the embassy to make sure that the Danish community does not miss out on any important festivity or event. One such important tradition is Fastelavn, which is held at the Danish church in February and involves a fun carnival with dress-up costumes. The school plans to organize a Christmas event this December. October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 53
Sri Panwa Phuket Luxury Pool Villa
Phuket By Gregers Moller
famous rendezvous for the rich and the glamourous of the world, Phuket has been named “St. Tropez of the East” What comes to mind when Scandinavians talk about Phuket? A few bad crime cases have scarred the reputation recently, but Phuket will most definitely be among the top answers! Phuket has a lot to offer its visitors in terms of a rich natural heritage, culture, nightlife and many world renowned diving sites. All the major beaches - such as Patong beach, Kata beach, Karon beach, Nai Han beach, Mai Khao beach , Nai Yang beach - offer diving, snorkling, wind surfing and sailing. Phuket also offers an abundance of accomKata beach
54 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
modations ranging from renting a pool villa up in the hills over luxurious resorts, to humble backpacker bungalows. In addition, a number of vacation activities can also be found on this island. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walk of life.
Up, up... All that is still there. But Phuket is fast becoming way more than that. Many new hotels open on the established west coast but as land is getting scarce, “new” beaches are competing for the island visitors’ attention. Thus there are more hidden gems than
before for those who opt to look off the beaten track. There are now also hillside and cliff pool villa resorts that can compete internationally on luxury, design, amenities, ocean views and price on par with similar properties in the world. Luxury residencies on the hills of Surin and along the ‘Millionaire’s Mile’ south of Kamala push Phuket towards the “St. Tropez of South East Asia” that many Phuket fans would like to see. A supporting trend is that more visitors now come here all year round.
Sophisticated Patong Meanwhile, Patong has become a pulsating city with new hotels and apartment buildings mush-
rooming. Shopping has also increased here much thanks to the large mall Jungceylon. After dark, Patong turns into a neon-washed pulsating downtown with huge crowds along the streets. Noteworthy then is that the even the seedy side of this beach resort especially along Bangla road is getting less dominant, making room for more quality venues and other new concepts. The beach clubs – 88 East Beach Lounge, Catch Beach Club, Baba Pool Club, and Cape Sienna are a trend in itself. Sit down on a lounger with a chilled glass of wine, champagne on ice, or a cold beer, with the sound of the sea lapping on the shoreline along with that perfect beach music soundtrack…and you have landed in the right state of mind!
Steeped in history In the early Christian Era, the cape of Phuket was referred to as Jung Ceylon. Locals called it Thalang, which evolved to the name of the main town to the north of the island, Trang. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China and aslo Scandinavia. During the 16th century, the island was also a popular trading port for tin. Chinese and foreign businessmen migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving wealth based on the mining industry. Phuket Town is probably the most intact place on the island in terms of preserved heritage with its laidback charm and intriguing Sino-Por-
tuguese/Peranakan culture especially in the Old Town, not to mention excellent dining.
Don’t! A few warnings are in place: If you think of renting a water scooter, then change your mind. Scams take place all the time where tourists are forced to pay heavily for scratches they didn’t cause. And if you plan to go swimming in the sea, check if the red flag is up! If it is, don’t. A strong undercurrent along the coast tragically costs the lives of tourists every year! But why go for the sea when you can stay near the pool right next to your fancy umbrella drink? Jungceylon
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 55
There are so many things to do in Phuket - indoor, outdoor, daytime, nighttime, anytime. By Gregers Moller
huket is action packed - and still you can do nothing... just loaf around, read that book, soak that sun. But when you are done with that, here are some suggestions what to do.
Learn Scuba diving The Andaman sea and in particular the protected waters on the east side of Phuket is teeming with marine life. If you have no license, don’t worry, you can go down with an experienced instructor and get a taste of the pleasures of Scuba diving. The fascinating forms of life and the closeness you can enjoy with these creatures is absolutely fascinating.
Phuket Marine Biological Centre You don’t need to be a zoologist or a Scuba diving enthusiast to enjoy a visit to the PMBC, which was by the way established with a strong Danish influence and financing from DANIDA. The section with the turtles is my favorite. Here, the small turtles are also marked and released and then tracked on GPS to help us understand better how these gentle giants live.
Kick Ass! Muay Thai Boxing is the indigenous Thai martial art, which is spreading fast abroad - and especially popular in Sweden. Several Swedish Champions fight every year for the world championship which is, however, still on Thai hands. You can see the real thing if you visit Singpatong Sitnumnoi Muay Thai training camp . This is an authentic Muay Thai boxing training where you get the chance to meet and greet the real Muay Thai champions.
Shopping, shopping Shopping therapy is one of the best ways of feeling alive and kicking! Go to Jung Ceylon and endulge yourself in all the gorgous stuff you can find and all the things that make you bless yourself for not having left your credit card in the hotel! This activity is a perfect forerunner for the next activity, a spa visit!
Get pampered! There are infinite pleasures to be found in the myriad of luxury Spas scattered all over Phuket. The experience is worlds apart from the nice, inexpensive beach rub down that you can find on most beaches. The services in the real Spas range from aromatherapy, facials, exfoliation, herbal baths, meditation, and other natural healing treatments. Want a trip on a pink cloud, become oblivious to the outside world for a few hours? Dig into the luxury spa wold - see the new Your on the other side!
Play Golf Are you a golfer? Then you don’t need this advice. Are you not a golfer? Then why not get your first introduction to this fascinating sport while visiting Phuket? Chances are that you will be hooked for life as so many others who have tried it. Phuket has some of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the country with trainers and caddies ready to give you that introductory course that will get you started. Give it a swing! 56 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Crayfish parties hit Phuket with great success
C Andersen Family Restaurant in Kamala hosted two successful crayfish parties in cooperation with The Swedish Bakery in Phuket. Tickets were sold fast after a ScandMail had announced the first two crayfish parties in Phuket to take place at HC Andersen family restaurant in Kamala on August 31 and again on 7 September 2013. Encouraged by the response, Peter Top, owner of HC Andersen, and his fellow party organizer, Johnny Hansen, owner of Swedish Bakery, ordered 75 kilos of crayfish from IKEA and cooked them the correct Swedish way. The entertainment happened all by itself. “When people eat crayfish and drink beer and snaps, the happy crayfish party songs come all by it selves,” Peter Top says. Among the many guests was also the Danish consul on Phuket. Next year, parties are likely to be even bigger since Peter Top and Johnny Hansen plan to hold them closer to the start of the crayfish season the first Wednesday of August. That way some of the Swedish tourists who had this year left for Sweden by the end of August could participate in the Fest. Both The Swedish Bakery and HC Andersen Family Restaurant want to thank all their guests for two delightful evenings. 58 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 59
Get wet at Ban’s
Literally thousands of people flock to Koh Tao each year to obtain their Open Water Diving Certificate. It’s a diver’s heaven, and for a fifth of the price in Scandinavia and with crystal clear waters all located on a tropical island paradise, it’s easy to see why. By Sebastian Buur and Ida Holt Photos by Stijn Smekens and Sebastian Buur
60 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Diving Resort B
an’s is the biggest dive resort on the island and one of the biggest in the world, with an average of 300 students a month. If this sounds like an awful lot of people, it’s because it is. Luckily, with about fifty instructors there’s still plenty of leeway for you to not get stuck in a group numbering 50 people. It goes without saying that the peak months are the most visited, with the days adjacent to the Full Moon Party on neighbouring Koh Phangan a close second. Still, we were there just after said party, in the start of July, and it didn’t feel cramped one bit. Diving with Ban’s is sure to be a highlight for everyone who fits it into their travel itinerary. It’s easy, fun and cheap, and will open up an abundance of doors to underwater worlds all across the globe and Southeast Asia, from Bali to Myanmar. At Ban’s we experienced all the muscle and professionalism of a big company, while still having the feeling of intimacy you get from going with a small one. Our instructor was always there to take good care of us, always having the time, the patience and skill to see us through it in our own pace. One of the upsides of dealing with a big company is that they can teach in almost any language. At one point, we strayed from our Swedish instructor to chat with a Danish dive master before standing in line to the cookie jar behind a Japanese group. They don’t teach courses in Swahili (although, on second thought, they might), but for the majority of budding divers language won’t be an issue. So what is an Open Water Certificate? Simply put, it’s your ticket to an amazing underwater world, which you always feel like going back to after your first dip. It will let you go down to 18 meters depth, and after having completed the four day course, you are forever more entitled to go fundiving around the world and splash in the wonders below. The certificate is issued by several different diving organizations around the world. At Ban’s you dive with PADI, which is the most recognized. In other words, with PADI you can show up anywhere and they will know that you are a certified diver. Other than that, the certificates are all but the same. There might be different approaches, but what you are allowed to do with the various degrees of certificate is the same all around.
Small pool to mighty ocean
Ban’s Diving Resort Website www.bansdivingresort.com Prices: Open Water Diver Certificate: 9800 Baht Adv. Open Water Certificate: 8500 Baht (10% discount for former students at Ban’s) Various courses and fundives are available
Having endured a rather hilarious, old school video introduction, which must have been recorded in the eighties, we were more than looking forward to don our equipment for the first time and get in the pool. It all starts with a confined water dive, which in Ban’s case is a multileveled swimming pool. This is where most of the technical stuff takes place, and getting to know your gear is an important part of diving, where above everything else, safety rules. Together with colourful coral, breathtaking views and huge schools of fish it is your main focus at all times. Not in the pool though.
In the pool, it’s all about skills. Finding your regulator (what you breathe through), inflating and deflating your BCD (what you’re wearing, Buoyancy Control Device) and taking off your mask and putting it back on. Especially the mask part can be tricky underwater, and can make some people feel uncomfortable. We had a somewhat hard time getting the hang of it, but thankfully our instructor never let time be an issue, and nothing felt rushed. A few hours later our fingers looked like raisins, and we had had our first go at breathing underwater. Next stop, the big sea.
Do we have to get out of the water? Now, if you are one of those people who get into hobbies easily and already feel like you have too many, diving is not for you. Once you make that first jump from the railing and break the surface it’s too late. You’ll have one more thing to fill up your spare time, your daydreams and your life. It’s that amazing down there. On Koh Tao, the water is around 29 degrees celsius, the visibility is 15-30 meters most of the time, and the aquatic life on display is like nothing you have ever seen before. Regardless of age, your first dive will make you feel like a small child again, and discovering this whole new world, just there for you to take in, is mind-blowing. The colours are extravagant and the sheer numbers of fish almost disturbing. Swimming through a school of fish or seeing your first triggerfish will stay with you forever. During the course you have to do all the skills from the pool all over again, and you can be hard pressed to keep your attention on your instructor as some of the weirder creations of the sea catch your eye. Better to do the skills as fast as possible though, because when you’re done you get to just enjoy the many reefs around the island. Including the confined one, you get five dives during the course, which will leave you longing for more. Luckily, you can add just two more days and get not only five more dives but also go up an extra level to Advanced Open Water Diver. Not only are these dives far more along the lines of fundives, which means less skill practicing and more time to just enjoy the diving, it will also let you go down to a whopping 30 metres and go diving without someone leading you. You’ll even get a night dive, which is truly something different. The days we spent with Ban’s and the waters surrounding Koh Tao are some of the best days we’ve had in Southeast Asia. Diving gets under your skin, and not only is obtaining the permit a blast, it’s an investment that will stay with you for all of your travels to come, be they in the Red Sea or some cold lake in Norway. It doesn’t matter if you’re into adventure, extreme sports or nature, diving offers something for everybody. And for us, it will stay that way for many years and many dives to come.
October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 61
Tourists are running from Samed Island Despite the fact that only a small part of Ao Phrao Beach on the western side of Samed island was affected from the oil spill in July, the tourists have cancelled their bookings all over the island. By Sine Neuchs Thomsen
he empty bungalows are lying side by side. Here and there you see a few Thai tourists who have taken the tour from Bangkok to enjoy a long weekend - this weekend it is in celebration of the Queen’s birthday. Usually it is a more mixed audience, that book bungalows and beach houses at this time of the season, and even though it is low season, it is lower than it used to be on a long weekend, explains manager at Viking Holiday resort Nathapant Phimchan. “One week before the oil spill happened, we had many bookings but over night all the tourists cancelled their bookings. 100 percent cancellaClean and white Wai beach
62 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
tion,” he says and points at the book, where now all the reservations are crossed over. Last year and previous year they had plenty of bookings in long weekends like the one just ended, the manager tells. He adds that he has spoken to his colleagues from the other beach resorts along the east coast and they have the same problem. “Especially the Scandinavian tourist cancel their bookings. They have seen the news and think that the oil affects the whole island, but that is not the situation here,” he says. All along the eastern side of Samed Island there are no problems to see from the oil at all. The sun reflects everywhere in the white sand
Manager Nathapant Phimchan shows on a map, that the oil affected area is on the opposite side of the island. The staff at the Viking Holiday Resort is waiting for the tourists to come back to Samed Island so they again will have work to do. where there is not the least track of oil to see. On a map over the island, Nathapant Phimchan points out the affected area on the opposite side of the island, from where his resort is, and that is the only place where the oil has caused trouble. Another resort manager at the east coast estimates that the oil problem has cut 50 percent of their bookings. Back at the Viking Holiday Resort, manager Nathapant Phimchan tells that the tourists even have cancelled their bookings several months ahead. “We have no bookings on our bungalows from now and until October,” he says and puts his hands on his forehead before he adds: “This is a big problem for us.”
October 2013 â€˘ ScandAsia.Thailand 63
Bhiraj Tower at EmQuartier pre-leases offices to Regus
mQuartier Shopping Mall and Bhiraj Tower, known as Emporium 2 shopping mall and UBC III office building, are scheduled to be completed in the last quarter of 2014. While the construction is taking place, the Bhiraj Buri Group has recently successfully negotiated with Regus, the world’s largest provider of serviced offices, to commit to lease almost 2,000 square metres at the Bhiraj Tower before its completion. Located opposite the existing Emporium department store in Bangkok, the project is a mega complex with a total area of 254,000 squre metres. The project consists of four buildings; Building A is Emporium Department Store-II (EM-II), Building B is a shopping plaza, Building C is a car parking and Building D is Bhiraj Tower – the 45 floor grade A office building on top of the shopping plaza. Buildings B, C and D are known as UBC-III. The project will offer a direct link to Phrom Phong BTS station.
Dr. Prasarn Bhiraj Buri (2nd from left), CEO of the Bhiraj Buri Group, exchanging the pre-commitment agreement with Mr. Christoph Hodapp (2nd from right), Country Manager of Regus Thailand
The Red Tiger Pub opens in Sukhumvit
n Friday September 6, The Red Tiger Pub held its grand opening party, gathering a large crowd of expats and partygoers in Bangkok, who enjoyed themselves in a fun atmosphere with live entertainments and some complimentary beers and canapé on offer. Located on Sukhumvit 20 road on Ground Floor of Rembrandt Towers Serviced Apartments, within walking distance from MRT and BTS stations, the pub aims to bring the premise of “The Local” to bar-going patrons in Bangkok. Offering an extensive range of classic ales from around the globe, the pub is sure to delight Real Ale fans. Currently, its majestic 20-foot long granite-topped bar boasts nine premium draught beers with IPA and Speckled Hen. The Red Tiger Pub’s food menu includes a wide range of British favourites such as Pie and Mash, Cottage Pie, The Full English, and The Full Scottish. The entertainments at the pub include a custom-made pool table (free to play), a professional standard darting set up in the games room, and a private function room which is available for meetings, events and parties. Sports fans are also welcome as English Premier League football, rugby, cricket, golf, F1, tennis and any other live sporting events will be shown on one of the pub’s many screens. On October 30, the pub will celebrate “Oktoberfest 2013” with an offer of a good selection of German beers, and traditional German and Thai food buffet. A German “Ooom-pah” band (Traditional German music) will be flown in from Munich German to entertain guests at the party. Seats are limited. Interested people are suggested to make reservations in advance. For more information and reservations, contact 02 259 5960 or visit www.theredtigerbangkok.com 64 ScandAsia.Thailand • October 2013
Tasty Thai Turmeric Infused Cuisine at basil
Thai restaurant at Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit is known for its award-winning and authentic Thai cuisine in a sophisticated setting. Throughout October, Chef Kesinee Wanta at basil turns her focus to turmeric or khamin and creates menu using fresh and powdered turmeric to add earthy and citrusy notes and a vibrant yellow color. Prized for its anti-oxidant properties, turmeric is a rhizome and a member of the ginger family. New dishes on her menu include the traditional goong gula phad phrik khing, stir-fried tiger prawns with turmeric chili paste, and nuea jorakhae khamin khao prik Thai dam, stir-fried crocodile with young turmeric and black pepper sauce. There are also sen mee gaeng poo, red turmeric curry with crab meat served with rice vermicelli, and nuea seekrong yang khamin, grilled turmeric marinated rib eye. Diners can also discover dishes from the south of Thailand including geang som pla hima, a deliciously spicy regional curry made using premium quality snow fish, and pla krapong daeng tord khamin, deep fried red snapper with red turmeric and Thai herbs. Chef Kesinee’s cuisine ends with kanom koh khamin sod, turmeric rice dumplings stuffed with sweet shredded coconut. Taking Thai food to new heights, Chef Kesinee has been delighting diners for more than 25 years. With her trademark style, she skillfully balances the Thai tastes of spicy, sour, salty and sweet, and brings sophistication to the dining experience with the use of premium quality ingredients such as salmon, snow fish, fresh Phuket lobster and prime Angus beef. basil is open for lunch Monday to Friday from 12.00 – 14.30 hrs., and for dinner from 18.00 - 22.30 hrs. Monday to Sunday. Price starting from Baht 370++ per dish.
Sen mee gaeng poo
For reservations, please call 02 6498366 or visit www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com/en/store
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October 2013 • ScandAsia.Thailand 65
Homemade bounty bars By Sine Neuchs Thomsen Evil
Ingredients • 15 oz milk cooking chocolate • 3 cups shredded coconut • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Directions • Mix coconut and sweetened condensed milk to make a thick and sticky paste. Shape the paste to the wished size. If you use your hands, make them a little wet before, so the paste will not stick on your hands. • After shaping the bars put them in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. It will make it easier to dip them in chocolate.
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• Meanwhile you melt 2/3 of the chocolate (avoid contact with water and steam whilst melting). Add the remaining 1/3 chocolate and keep stirring until it is fully melted. This process is called tempering chocolate which allows the chocolate to have a glossy texture and the right “crack”. • Now you can start dipping. Use two forks and roll the coconut rectangle to cover all sides with chocolate. Lift the bar from the chocolate and place it on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. Put it back in the freezer and the chocolate will get “shocked” and get stiff. • Your homemade bounty bars will keep fresh in up to five days in an air tight container.
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