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september 2012 100 baht

disco buddha


Publisher’s letter When art takes on religion the results aren’t always pretty, but this month’s photofeature, Disco Buddha, by Kamthorn Paowattanasuk, manages it. A follow up from another Buddhist-themed series in 2008, this collection of digitally-tweaked, surrealist pop photographs critiques Thailand’s money-orientated temple culture to eye-popping effect. Head to p.48 to see what the fuss may be all about, given that this country is more sensitive than most when it comes to matters monastic. And be sure to check out Silom’s Kathmandu, the photo gallery where the full series is now on show. We’ve always been all about getting straight to the point, but that said it has been getting harder and harder to sum up Bangkok, in all its colourful eclecticism, in a snappy style. And so, we’ve increased our number of in-depth features. This month we take a look at acclaimed local flower designer Sakul Intakul’s long-awaited museum; and profile Ark Saroj, the flamboyant video director whose parodies of music videos by such as Rihanna recently went viral, earning his Trasher Bangkok youtube channel millions of hits.

TXT

Meanwhile, we embark on a little, three-pronged foray into Sukhumvit Soi 45, a quiet, dead-end soi that has just started registering a steady bleep on our radar. We try the food at one of the hottest restaurants in town right now, Quince (p.12); meet the outspoken owner of Rock Around Asia, an art gallery with add-ons (p.44); and sleep over at the Cabochon, a new (but old looking) boutique hotel by the team behind the colonial-themed Eugenia (p.20). Heading over the border, on p.34 we feature excerpts from an excellent new book that delves into the past, present and future of Yangon’s colonial-era architecture. Entitled 30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon, it comes at a time when development in the ageing former capital of newly resurgent Myanmar is set to pick up speed. Filled with details that bring these imposing, turn-of-the-century structures to life, it may go on to become one of the best arguments for preserving these mildewed relics of the British Empire. Don’t forget that all this – plus the 101 archive and extras that didn’t make the print edition – can be found online at www.bangkok101.com.

Enjoy.

Mason Florence Publisher

sep t ember 2 0 1 2

What is   Bangkok 101? Independent and unbiased, Bangkok 101 caters to savvy travellers who yearn for more than what they find in weighty, dated guidebooks. It brings together an authoritative who’s who of city residents, writers, photographers and cultural commentators. The result is a compact and intelligent hybrid of monthly travel guide and city magazine that takes you on and off the well-worn tourist track. Bangkok 101 employs the highest editorial standards, with no fluff, and no smut. Our editorial content cannot be bought. We rigorously maintain the focus on our readers, and our ongoing mission is to ensure they enjoy this great city as much as we love living in it.


Contributors

publisher

Mason Florence editor-in-chief

Dr. Jesda M. Tivayanond associate publisher

Parinya Krit-Hat Chulalongkorn University graduate and photographer Kamthorn Paowattanasuk has a long list of exhibition credits to his name, his work appearing in festivals as far flung as China and Japan as well as here in Bangkok. This month’s photo feature, Disco Buddha, rekindles his preoccupation with Buddhism in the modern age, a theme he explored in 2008’s Holy Alloy - Pearly Gates. The full series of eighteen images is on display at Silom’s Kathmandu Photo Gallery until October 28. Very Thai author philip cornwel-smith is a writer, editor and curator specialising in the areas of culture and travel. He has lived in Thailand for over a decade, editing its first listings magazine and the Time Out Bangkok guides, updating Thailand: A Traveller’s Companion, presenting Noodle Box: Bangkok on Discovery Channel, and squeezing Bangkok into the city’s first phone guide for Nokia. Food and travel writer howard richardson lives beside the Chao Phraya River in downtown Bangkok, from where he’s spent 12 years exploring the city as magazine editor and freelance writer. He’s contributed to publications such as GQ, the BBC’s Olive magazine and the New York Times online, and written a monthly column in Sawasdee, the Thai Airways inflight magazine. British-born writer-artist steven pettifor stopped over in Thailand 13 years ago on his way to Japan, but never left. An authority on contemporary Thai art, Steven is a commentator on the local art scene, contributing to international and domestic newspapers and journals. In 2004 he published coffee-table book Flavours: Thai Contemporary Art. When not musing, he is often found travel writing.

managing editor

Max Crosbie-Jones art director

Tawan Amonratanasereegul editorial assistant

Adul Waengmol strategists

Nathinee Chen Sebastien Berger contributing writers

Annette Heile, Scott Coates, Julia Chinnock, Philip Cornwel-Smith, Leo Devillers, Korakot Punlopruksa, Steven Pettifor, Howard Richardson, Noy Thrupkaew, Cassandra Beckford contributing photographers

Dejan Patic´, Jatuporn Rutnin, Paul Lefevre, Ludovic Cazeba, Leon Schadeberg, Marc Schultz, Niran Choonhachat, Frédéric Belge, Somchai Phongphaisarnkit director of sales & marketing

Jhone El’Mamuwaldi

director of business development

Itsareeya Chatkitwaroon director of digital media

Nofel Ait Ouyahia

administrative asssistant

Native-Bangkok writer, photographer and incurable travel addict, korakot (nym) punlopruksa believes in experiencing the world through food. She can usually be found canvassing the city for the best eats. Nym has been a host for music and film programmes, a radio DJ, a creative consultant for TV and a documentary scriptwriter. She is the author of several travel narratives, and her work appears in magazines including ELLE, Elle Decoration and GM.

ava i lable t o b u y at:

bangkok101.com

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Pradchya Kanmanee published by

Talisman Media Group Co., Ltd. 113 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Rd Bangkok 10330 T 02-252-3900 | F 02-650-4557 info@talisman-media.com

© Copyright Talisman Media Group Co., Ltd 2012. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the express written, prior permission of the publisher. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, which accepts no responsibility for them.


Table of COntents city pulse

food & drink

8 metro beat 12 hot plates: quine 14 museum focus: museum of floral art 16 round-up 18 portrait: arj saroj 20 sleep over: cabochon

55 food & drink news 56 meal deals 57 deliciously stinky 58 restaurant reviews: an an lao, whale’s belly, imperial queen’s park 62 eat like nym 64 cooking with poo 65 sweet treat 66 restaurants 71 fresh market : or tor kor 74 wine review

S n a p s h ot s 22 very thai 23 chronicle of thailand

Sightseeing

nightlife

24 histroric homes 24 shrines 25 temples 26 museums 28 parks & flora 29 muay thai

t r av e l 30 upcountry now 32 hotel deals 34 over the border: 5 heritage buildings of yangon

a r t s & c u lt u r e 40 exhibition highlights 42 artist profile : wittaya pised 44 inspace 47 reading & screening 48 photo feature: disco buddha

77 one mont in bangkok 78 bangkok boat party 79 happy hour greatest hits 80 escapade burgers & shakes 81 hotel bars & clubs 82 bars with views 83 bars 86 live music 88 jazz clubs 90 pub review: black swan

shopping

92 new collection: q design 94 unique boutique: code 10 95 thai stuff 96 jatujak market 97 jj gem: bang! bang!

wellness

98 massage & spa

communit y

100 making merit: soi dog’s trade of shame campaign

reference 102 getting there 104 maps 112 my bangkok

on the cover:

One of photographer Kamthorn Paowattanasuk’s eye-popping, Thai Buddhism-critiquing photo montages sep t ember 2 0 1 2

H o t el Par t ners


CITY PULSE

metro beat

Classical

h owa r d Richardson

by

Theatre Bangkok Opera director Somtow Sucharitkul takes his first steps into musicals, writing the songs for the production of Reya the Musical , based on the hit TV soap Dok Som Si Thong, at Aksra Theatre (3th King Power Complex, Rang Nam Rd, 02677-8888; www.aksratheatre.com) from September 14 to October 7. His mother, the novelist Taitao Sucharitkul, who created the character of Reya has written the script, while actress Araya ‘Chompoo’ Hargate recreates her TV performances in the star role of social climbing home-wrecker. Tickets are B1,000-3,000 from Thai Ticketmajor (02-2623456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). London’s West End comes to Bangkok with the Broadway Hits Concert at the Thailand Cultural Centre (02-2470028) on September 7. UK artists Hannah Waddington

(recently the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium), Daniel Boys (Godspell) and Ben Goddard (Sweeney Todd) will perform a repertoire including songs from shows such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang , The Lion King and West Side Story. Music is provided by the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. Tickets are B500-B2,500 from Thai Ticketmajor (02-2623456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). The 14th International Festival of Dance & Music continues a busy month for the Thailand Cultural Centre (02-247-0028) with several shows spread from September 10 to October 14 . The Virsky National Dance Company (Ukraine) will kick start proceedings with folk dance performances on Sept 10, followed by the darlings of 80s flamenco, the Gypsy Kings (Sept 10). Blaze (the Netherlands) showcase street dance on Sept 14 and 15, and other highlights of the month see the Orissa Dance Company (India) perform from The Ramayana on Sept 17; the awardwinning Brazilian dancers of the Quasar Dance Company (19th) and the Chelyabinsk State Opera Theatre (Russia) with Bizet’s four act opera Carmen (27th). Ticket prices vary but are generally available between B700 and B2,500. Get them, plus full programme information from Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

The Bangkok Pro Musica Orchestra conducted by Admiral MLUsni Pramoj will perform a Concert of Royal Compositions written by HM the King, at the Siam Society (02-661-6470) on September 19 . The original jazz or big band versions of the music have been rearranged in classical style. The performance, part of the celebrations for the anniversary year of HM the King’s 84th birthday, starts at 7pm. The monthly Ibycus Sunday Concerts return on September 9 with a series of duets and trios by soprano Sophie Tanapura, flautist Bannaphat Tangpaiboon and Elvira Galiullina on piano. The performance, at the Pullman Bangkok Hotel G (02-238-1991), includes Morlacchi’s The Swiss Shepherd for flute and piano and Adam Schmidt’s Bravour Variations on a theme by Mozart. Tickets are B800.

World Music

The festival Cracking Bamboo brings percussionists from Asia and western countries together for an intercultural dialogue mixing traditional Southeast Asian percussion instruments with their modern western ‘descendants’. After a week of workshops, the participants will present a concert on October 5 at Mahidol University, Salaya (999 Phuttamonthon 4 Rd, Salaya, Nakhon Pathom; 02-849623; www.mahidol.ac.th Entrance is free. The Goethe Institut (18/1 Soi Goethe, Sathorn Soi 1, 02-287-0942; www. goethe.de) has a shuttle bus to the venue costing B100 for the round trip.

Jazz & Blues The Bangkok Convention Centre (1695 Phaholyothin Rd, Chatuchak (Central Plaza, Ladprao), 02-541-1234; www. chr.co.th) hosts the Larry Carlton Quartet in a jazz-rock concert on September 5 featuring Carlton on guitar, Dennis Hamm (piano), Travis Carlton (bass) and Gene Coye (drums). A multi-Grammy Award winner, Carlton is a veteran of gigs with The Crusaders, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan and Michael Jackson. Tickets, at Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor. com), are B1,500-B3,500. bangkok101.com


Pop & Rock

Trade Fairs

The world’s most famous Man City supporter, and one-time front man of Oasis, lands in Bangkok with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds at BITEC (88 Bangna-Trad Rd (KM-1); 02-749-3939; www.bitec.co.th) on September 20. The Manchester-based band are due to release their second album this year following last year’s self-titled debut featuring tracks like ‘AKA... What A Life!’; ‘If I Had A Gun...’; and ‘Everybody’s On The Run’. Also in the band are guitarist Tim Smith; Oasis collaborator Mike Rowe (piano), The Lemon Trees’ drummer Jeremy Stacey and bassist Russell Pritchard of The Zutons. Get tickets (B1,000-B3,000) from Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). Blues-rock guitarist-singer Joe Bonamassa plugs his new album Driving

Towards The Daylight with a gig at Siam Pavalai Royal Grand Theatre (5th Siam Paragon, 911 Rama I Rd, 02-610-8011) on September 22 . The album, featuring Aerosmith guitarist Brad Whitford, is Bonamassa’s 13th and reached #1 on the US Billboard Blues Chart. The guitarist won the 2009 Breakthrough Artist of the Year Award in the UK’s Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, and has also worked with Paul Rodgers, John Hiatt, and Beth Hart. Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com) have tickets from B2,000-B4,000. There’s more background at www.jbonamassa.com. UK poppers Keane play Moonstar Studio 8 (701 Ladprao Soi 80 (Soi Chantima), Ladprao Rd, 02-539-3881; www. moonstarstudio.co.th) to promote their new album Strangeland on October 4 . We can expect the album’s singles ‘Silenced By the Night’ and ‘Disconnected’ along with older fare like ‘Crystal Ball’ and ‘Somewhere Only We Know’. Tickets are B1,800 from We Booking (02-900-9999, www.we-booking.com). Barbies Pub and Restaurant, at 4/4 Sukhumvit 70/1 (083-901-2956) has a bunch of Indie gigs this month, opening with the American metalcore band As Blood Runs Black on September 7 (B900). Then it’s Polish death metal with Decapitated (Sept 11, B1,200), followed by Architects on Sept 12, B900. Flying in from Australia,

Tonight Alive will play tracks

from their debut album What Are You So Scared Of? at Immortal Bar (Soi Bunchoosri, Dindaeng, 082-490-3888) on September 19 . Beat magazine calls them “a five-piece jet engine of a pop punk act”. More poppunk at Immortal, this time from the US, will see The Wonder Years play stuff from albums like The Upsides and Suburbia on September 26 . Both gigs start at 8.30pm and cost B800. bangkok101.com

Bangkok’s position as one of the world’s jewellery capitals will showcase at the 50th Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair, at Impact Arena (tel: [662] 504-5050) from September 13-17. Along with gemstones and precious metals there will be educational seminars and fashion shows. There’s more info at www.bangkokgemsfair.com.

Sport World number 8 Janko Tipsarevic heads the line up of tennis stars at the Thailand Open 2012 at Impact Arena (99 Popular Road, Banmai Subdistrict, Pakkred District, Nonthaburi, 02-504-5050; www.impact.co.th) from September 22-30. Hi challengers for the $608,500 prize money include Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet and the big serving Milos Raonic, one of the fastest rising players in the men’s game. The first two days are qualifying rounds, with the main draw from September 2430. Tickets start from B300 at Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). See the full details at www.thailandopen.org.

Business & Design The symposium Creativities Unfold, Bangkok 2012 continues at the Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC, 6th Fl The Emporium Shopping Complex, 622 Sukhumvit Soi 24; 02-664-8448; www.tcdc.or.th) until September 10 with talks by local and international experts such as James Arizumi, Global Design Director of Nike’s Action Sports Division. They will explore the role of design as a conduit between science and business. For the schedule and details about tickets (B900 per day; B1,500 per activity) see www.creativitiesunfold.com or www. tcdc.or.th.

Film The German Film Series, at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya, returns on September 27 with the 2009 film My Words, My Lies-My Love , directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner. The German language screening with English subtitles relates the story of a shy waiter who pretends to be the author of a novel to win the love of the young woman. The show starts at 5.30pm, entrance is free. sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9


CITY PULSE

metro beat

Art

Cr afts The huge exhibition Art in the Ninth Reign: Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism in-

volves 300 artists in honour of HM King Bhumibol’s 84th birthday year. The works, created over the seven decades of the king’s reign, are presented within themes including experimentation, socio-political struggle, and abstraction and individualism. One of the biggest Thai art exhibitions ever, it’s at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (939 Rama I Road, 02-214-6632; www.bacc.or.th) until October 28 , and also includes artist talks and educational displays.

ThaiCraft, a fair-trade initiative that promotes the work of village craftspeople around Thailand, will hold monthly fairs from September to November, with a big fair to close out the year in December. This month’s ThaiCraft Fair is on September 22 at the CCT Building (328 Phayathai Rd) from 10am-3pm. Over fifty artisan groups will be there with both traditional and contemporary home décor, accessories, toys, and lots more. See www.thaicraft.org for information.

Food & Drink Two food festivals at luxury hotels and starring guest chefs from around the world hit this month, the 13th World Gourmet Festival from September 3-9 and So Amazing Chefs 2012 from September 25-29. See p.55 for more.

Museums

H Gallery Bangkok (201 Sathorn Soi 12, 081-3104428/085-021-5508; www.hgallerybkk.com) shows Extant and Intangible , a series of paintings by Czech artist Jiri Kobos that runs until September 30. According to the blurb the works are a “considered pursuit of authenticity and originality” and “the shadows or ghosts which float across [the artist’s] measured and contrasting surfaces from the canonical tradition of abstraction.” Meanwhile, 100 Tonson Gallery (100 Soi Tonson,

Ploenchit Rd, 02-684-1527; w w w.10 0 t o n so n g a l l e r y. com) is due to reopen this month with the exhibition Speechless by Nipan Oran-

niwesna.

1 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Anyone who saw last year’s Body Show: Asia Tour at the Capitol Club will know what to expect from the new Museum of the Human Body (Chulalongkorn University 254 Phayathai Rd, Pathumwan, 02-218-8635; www.chula.ac.th), which opened last month at the Chulalongkorn University’s Faculty of Dentistry. There are 130 specimens, including whole human bodies, preserved through a technique called plastination. They show, for instance, how muscles and organs work and the effects of disease. The opening hours are 1pm to 4pm every Wednesday. Admission is free, at least in the opening phase until September 14, with fees thereafter to be announced.

Books & Lectures The Siam Society (02-661-6470) hosts a lecture How Theravada is Theravada? by Prapod Assavarirulhakarn, Peter Skilling, Claudio Cicuzza and Arthid Sheravanichkul on September 6 , to launch their book of the same name. The Theravada branch of Buddhism is especially strong in Sri Lanka, Nepal and Southeast Asia, but new research is throwing fresh light on its history and social role. The reception is at 7pm for the 7.30pm lecture. Admission is free. bangkok101.com


bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 1


CITY PULSE

hot plates

Quince

T

by Howard Richardson

here’s been a buzz around Quince for months, generated by social-media savvy partners already well known on the scene through connections with Bed Supperclub and Oskar Bistro, and head chef Jess Barnes, who has been active in pop-up restaurants and other events around the city. Consequently Quince was already packed the night we arrived for a taster just before their grand opening last month. Jess first came to Bangkok to open the Italian restaurant Grossi in the Intercontinental hotel in 2009, then went back for a spell in his native Australia. “I wanted to return to Bangkok, but to do my own thing,” he says. “And that’s Quince. Part of our concept is responsible eating – where possible using local, organic and sustainable produce and supporting the direct community and producers.” Tucked away just off Sukhumvit Road, a five minute walk from Phrom Phong Skytrain, Quince is located behind the furniture shop Casa Pagoda, whose owner – another partner – supplied some of the furniture for the restaurant. It’s a glam factory interior with elements of rustic chic. The de rigueur ceiling of exposed aircon pipes, girders and gaffa tape looms over unvarnished floorboards and hefty wooden tables inlaid with dark metal squares that could 1 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

have been chipped from the blacksmith’s anvil. The wait staff wear aprons like greengrocers or the joiners who just knocked up the furniture. The front room has a bar, dealing in cocktails designed by self-styled ‘mixsultant’ Joseph Boroski, while the back room, dubbed the cellar, has white walls of warehouse brick and an old farmhouse-feel stairway leading to a surrounding balcony and private rooms. The obligatory weathered chandelier hangs from a corrugated metal ceiling. Exposed plaster and an iron armature from the original 1950s’ town house complete the look. The timeless poppy soundtrack shifts from Blue Velvet to Come Fly With Me as I tuck into a starter of sweet watermelon pickle and sticky-soft, toffee-like quince jam bangkok101.com


“We are veering away from m ass production, trying to keep things honest, real and with integrity”

working against a salty black pudding (B200). Alongside I have a colourful salad of smoky eggplant (B250). It’s torn apart and tossed on the plate and decorated with green pearls of edamame beans, white blobs of sour labne, and orange-red dots of spicy romesco sauce. The food is presented to share rather than individual portions, and there’s a Mediterranean feel to it that makes the choice of by-the-glass Spanish reds appropriate, and extremely welcome as a diversion from the ubiquitous Cabs and Merlots from Chile and Oz. There are five by the glass in total (from B210), including Siam Winery’s Monsoon Valley Colombard. “We are trying to avoid clichés and do simple food cooked well,” says Jess. “And the menu changes quite often based on produce available.” Keeping it local, they have lamb and beef from Pak Chong, free range chicken from Kanchanaburi, and Jess says all the seafood is wild caught “except one sustainable fish-farmed barramundi from down south”. The fruit and veg are organic where possible.

“We have also begun to grow our own lines of produce, and this will develop as time goes by,” Jess continues. “We grow our herbs in the garden, churn butter, make quark and labne, and a good friend Michael Conkey bakes bread for us twice a day. We are veering away from mass production, trying to keep things honest, real and with integrity.” bangkok101.com

They’ve made a single concession to excess in a dish of wagyu striploin (“after pressure from the partners and some customers”, B2,800), and for those who need it there are some big hitting wines to match, such as Harlan Estate 2006 (B70,000). It sits among good mid-range labels like Palacios and Zind Humbrecht and grape varieties that stray from the mainstream into areas like Nerello Mascalese. Bottles start at B1,200. Being saintly, we eschewed the wagyu for home-reared lamb shoulder confit – three flavourful slices served with nicely glazed carrots (tops and tails attached) and cauliflower puree. Finish with something from the list of four desserts, include quince trifle (B160) and a tasty chocolate tart with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel (B160). Quince does exactly what it says on the box – simple home cooking at good prices. You could easily walk out of here with three courses under your belt for B800 before wine and taxes. With punters’ support for the concept, let’s hope they can resist the pressure to go the upmarket route of expensive imports. There’s already enough wagyu in town.

ควินซ์ สุขุมวิท ซ.45   getting there

QUINCE [map3/o6] Sukhumvit Soi 45 | 02-662-4478 | 11:30am-6:30pm (with no hot items), 6:30pm-10:30pm (dinner) sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 3


CITY PULSE

museum focus

Deconstructing Dok Mai Thai flower guru Sakul Intakul’s dream museum has finally blossomed. By Max Crosbie-Jones

Y

ou may ask yourself why, in a city where gorgeous arrangements of dok mai (Thai flowers) appear in the most mundane of places, you should seek out the Museum of Floral Culture, which opened last month. But ask yourself this: how much do you know about the spiritually-charged tradition from which they stem, their place in the pantheon of regional flower traditions, and, not least, how they’re made?

For anyone interested in knowing more, a visit to this lush little museum located only a few clicks north of Khao San Road, on the backstreets of the quiet Dusit district, is in order. Its creator is no mere green-fingered hobbyist, but Sakul Intakul, the young engineer-turned-floral-artist who’s chic and contemporary, sculpture-like plant installations inspired by everything from natural forms and shapes to the architecture of the Lanna Kingdom have reinvigorated the tradition. Commissions have come from everyone from Bulgari Hotels & Resorts in Bali to private residences to Her 1 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Majesty Queen Sirikit, the long-time patron of the tradition to whom Sakul has dedicated his museum. A more egotistical floral designer would have devoted this stunning property – a King Rama VI-era mansion within a lush garden – to their own creations, turned it into a pretty vanity project. But Sakul has resisted the temptation, instead crafting an exhibition that draws a lineage from local and regional floral traditions to his own innovative and often avant-garde work. Photos, sketches, installations and objects d’art dominate the house; Sakul’s raw material, living flowers, the garden surrounding it. His hope is that it inspires the public and that his dream museum will blossom. “Eventually I’d like it to be a learning institute where knowledge about flower culture is exchanged and flower arrangement workshops are organised,” he says. Kicking things off is a collection of old photographs sourced from the archives of the department of fine arts. Sepia pictures in gold gilt wooden frames depict floral culture in King Rama V’s reign, the golden-era of Thai floral art. Next door, in the World of Floral Culture room, an old Japanese scroll sits centre place. “Written in 1756, it’s the oldest piece in the museum,” says Sakul. “In it the secrets of Ikenobo, a school of Japanese floral art, are revealed.” bangkok101.com


“Sakul has crafted an exhibition that draws a lineage from local and regional floral traditions to his own innovative and often avant-garde work.”

Surrounding it our other pieces of floral art from across Asia, including Balinese hair-clips and a flower-shaped wood sculpture from Tibet (Sakul, an avid traveller, posits that “because flowers are scarce there, the Tibetans create objects to symbolise them”). Other points worth lingering over on the ground floor include a laboratory-like deconstruction of floral design’s main building block, the petal. “The deconstruction of the flower and its reconstruction into other forms is the heart and the core of Thai floral art,” says Sakul as he walks us past bowls of orchid petals in various stages of preparation, each one overlooked by a magnifying glass. “By changing the form of the flower, taking the petals and making them into new things, we can make their beauty last longer in this harsh tropical climate.” Displayed nearby are flower decorations that result from stringing and sewing these ephemeral building blocks together – malai (garlands) and khruang khwaen (floral pendants), among others. Upstairs is where Sakul’s ingenuity really shines. You could call it the mission control of modern Thai flower design. Original sketches of his work graces the walls, as does a framed thank you note from Jean Paul Gaultier, with whom he collaborated on a film-roll shaped flower installation at the 2007 Rome International Festival. Most prized of all is a framed floral emblem he created for a royal banquet marking the 60th anniversary of His Majesty’s ascension bangkok101.com

to the throne. The final room, FlorESSENCE, is set to open soon. This may well end up being the most revelatory room of all, as according to Sakul it will house his nine, gamechanging principles of modern flower design. Afterwards, one is free to amble around the garden, a “living museum”, as Sakul puts it, teeming with auspiciouslynamed trees and plants, including a good-luck-garnering mayom (star gooseberry) and makam (tamarind) tree. Or enjoy a cup of tea on the quaint veranda, where framed pictures of traditional floral forms such as the krop rup (floral picture frame), krathong dok mai (banana leaf flower container) and phueng mala (wreath) line the wall. Nearby, a classic wooden sala (pavilion) rises from a corner of the garden. It is here, beside flower beds of champee (white champaka), mali (jasmine) and dok rak (crown flowers), that Sakul and special guests will divulge their secrets to small workshop groups – that, he hopes, the green shoots of modern Thai floral design will continue to bud.

พิพิธภัณฑ์วัฒนธรรมดอกไม้ สามเสน ซ.28   getting there

Museum of Floral Culture [map8/g5] 315 Soi Sam Sen 28 (Yaek Ong-Karak 13), Nakhon Chai Sri Road, Dusit | 02-669 3633 | Tues-Sun 10am6pm (closed Mondays) | Entry fee B150 sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 5


round-up

CITY PULSE

Loco for

Locovore

by Yvonne Liang

Pesticide-free food lovers, 2012 is your year! A handful of local food markets have recently popped up around town, each one full of ethically and organically farmed goodness and ravenous locavores. Other than the popular Bo.Lan Farmers’ Market, which is held in the grounds of the restaurant on the first Saturday of each month, there’s also the Shama Sukhumvit Farmers’ Market taking place on the third Sunday of each month, and finally we have the Thai Green Market which is on-going every Thursday. Here’s a round-up of some stalls to look out for, each one worth filling up your reusable tote-bag at.

Adam’s Organic

This farm’s founder, Tim Chung, says that there’s demand for organic food in increasing as locals get wiser about what they consume. And the proof is in the pak choi: their certified organic products are sold in twenty supermarkets around Bangkok. The company slogan is “plant the future”, and that’s exactly what they do up at their farm in Korat province, on the edge of Khao Yai National Park, where the air is crisp and the lands are fertile. Kale, Chinese bitter gourd, bananas, avocados and passion fruit are just a small smattering of what they coax from the earth there. www.facebook.com/adamsorganic

Conkey’s Breads

Conkey’s loafs are baked once a week using organic flour smuggled in from Australia by its founder, Michael Conkey (“If I had a bag of coke this big would I be traveling in economy?,” he likes to tell suspicious immigration officials). A bestseller is the multigrain made with flaxseed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, whole meal flour and rye flour. All the breads are big and chewy with an interesting texture. Michael says it takes about two to three days to make them, especially the sourdough, as it takes time to build up the strength of the starter and fermentation necessary to get that strong flavour. www.facebook.com/conkeysbakery

Green Earth Farm

Owned and operated by Taifa Lopandhsri, Green Earth Farm has been producing fruits and vegetables for over five years. They sell everything from 15 baht fresh coconuts (a real bargain for pesticide free products) to assorted vegetables such as fresh okra, and all for extremely reasonable prices. According to Taifa, she often has to throw away vegetables that have gone bad since no pesticides are used. It’s a price she’s willing to pay to maintain the quality and healthiness of her products. 1 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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Heimat

The brainchild behind Heimat, German-Thai Bendjamin Udomkaewkanjanan, works hard to create great-tasting products such as roasted almond butters, chocolate hazelnut praline spreads, unrefined or infused honey, all natural mueslis, as well as seasonal jams. Loaded with anti-oxidants and best enjoyed chilled, straight from the jar, its most popular product is its deep dark chocolate pudding. Organic geeks may be interested to hear that Heimat’s products are currently marketed as ‘natural’ rather than ‘organic certified’; “I care more about having a low impact on the surrounding environment than a paper certification,” says Bendjamin. www.facebook.com/heimatnaturestable

Sloane’s

A former chef at the Landmark Hotel, Joe Sloane flogs sausages, or ‘bangers’, as he and other Brits like to call them. Varieties available sizzling straight off the grill or in packs to take home include Cumberland, Lincolnshire, pork & apple, pork & leek, dried tomato & garlic, Toulouse, and chorizo fresco. Joe also makes his own bacon and pate from whole pigs delivered straight from Thailand’s local farms, and every part is used (he’s a nose-to-tail aficionado). Also worth mentioning are Joe’s fried chops and homemade sauces sold by the bottle. www.sloanes-sausages.com

  getting there

Bo.lan Farmers’ Market [map3/o9] Sukhumvit Soi 26 | first Saturday of each month 8am-2:30pm

bangkok101.com

Raitong Organics Farm

Raitong’s founders, Lalana Srikram and Bryan Hugill, recently launched something novel called the CSA (community supported agriculture) munching box, which is a box of seasonal organic fruit and veg delivered direct to your door step once a week. Hopefully it takes off, as it’s a great way to support a local farming community and enjoy fresh, pesticide-free products all year round. As well as fresh fruit and veg, their farm up in Sisaket also produces one rice crop a year. Products include black sticky rice and gaba rice germinated in green tea. 08-5915-0961 | www.facebook.com/pages/raitong-organics-farm

Spoonflower Catering

Boasting muffins for every meal of the day, expat Ingrid Truelove’s home-baked creations include apple gingerbread muffins made with whole meal flour and three kinds of ginger and with not a trace of sugar or dairy – perfect for a quick lunch. In many of her snacks and desserts she uses dates or coconut flower nectar as natural sweeteners and she also tries to use local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Her bite-sized bliss balls made of cocoa, tahini, dates, almonds, dried apricots and coconut oil are dangerously addictive (but, not cheap, at five for B300). www.facebook.com/spoonflowernaturalorganiccatering

ShamaSukhumvit Farmers’ Market [map3/b7] Sukhumvit Soi 2 | third Sunday of each month in 9am-3pm,

Thai Green Market [map4/g9] Regent House on Ratchadamri Road every Thursday 8am-12pm

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CITY PULSE

portrait

“I love all the clichés that people – locals or visitors – have about Bangkok. It is the source of the vision I want to give of my home town.”

Video Virtuoso: ARK SAROJ

Y

The video artist behind Trasher Bangkok’s parody music videos, Ark Saroj, channels the clichés, contradictions and crap he finds here, finds Luc Citrinot

ou might see his portrait in a photo gallery dressed like a mythical Thai deity. Or bump into him some evening around the Silom area. Or meet him at one of Bangkok’s underground parties dressed in a weird outfit.

Video artist Ark Saroj seems to be everywhere. This energetic young Bangkokian has no real taboos and – above all – a witty vision of his home town. Ark’s video world is made up of distorted pop stars’ videos, transvestites as well as thousand of the small details found in Bangkok’s daily life. Add a zest of kitsch, a good sense of humour, blend it all together and you have Ark’s high-definition digital jewels, which are posted online as ‘Trasher Bangkok’, the name of the themed costume party night he founded. Global viral hits, to date these parody music 1 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

videos have gained over two and a half million views and counting on the Trasher Bangkok youtube channel. Some of the most hysterical images to be found in them include a youthful and Asian looking Madonna – played in reality by a male comedian – jumping with the help of mototaxi drivers from a tuk tuk into a container; a Thai Mariah Carey being chased away by a (real) security guard as she embraces a (fake) Christmas present in a big shopping mall; a TV-presenter performing a traditional Thai massage on a good looking and shy Canadian here discovering Thailand’s pleasures. “I love all the clichés that people – locals or visitors – have about Bangkok. It is the source of the vision I want to give bangkok101.com


of my home town”, explains the 27year old artist. “Bangkok constructs its image from these stereotypes that I really cherish: tuk-tuk, drivers, food, street kitsch, lady boys, hi-so characters. They symbolise not only Bangkok but also our Thai pop culture. We just slightly reinterpret them,” he says.

enjoy Bangkok’s easy life, with food everywhere at anytime, its permanent bustling and the confrontation between crap and beauty, the uninspired and the weird. Shopping for material is great here because it is cheap, cheaper than anywhere else. And this is important, as it makes creativity affordable to anybody.”

“To understand Bangkok, you need to understand that this city is breast fed by images as we live essentially on a visual culture. Just look around: images are omnipresent. They provide an easy way to absorb and understand for us Thais. With images, people do not need to interpret the message, they just assimilate references by relating an image back to another image. And if I look at myself, I am certainly an archetype of this Bangkok image-fed individual, with a mix of influences coming from my traditional ThaiChinese way of life but also from the permanent presence of television.”

- Ark’s city picks -

For Ark, Bangkok teeters constantly between TV life and reality. There are few cities around the world where the virtual and real world collide together so dramatically and chase each other through the myriad images on view. “This is Bangkok culture as there is indeed no true Bangkok culture as such. It resembles a giant puzzle made of advertising billboards, street signs and the thousands of more or less useful objects on sale on any street corner. Then comes TV, which continuously influences and shapes Bangkok citizens’ life. Programs tell us all about the places we should shop, eat or enjoy ourselves. City people do not in fact experience life as such. Between work and home, between home and work, the only way to escape happens in front of food or the TV screen. It is only recently that TV influence has been gradually replaced by social media on the net,” he explains. If it sounds like Ark isn’t that keen on his hometown, far from it – he’s amazed by it. “I used to hate Bangkok, as I found it in narrow-minded and lacking individuality. But after travelling a lot, I started to love this city again. I bangkok101.com

For creativity : “I live in the vicinity of Chinatown and I feel home there. I am particularly fond of Sampeng wholesale market. Most of my creativity comes from there. You find anything you would like to. Some people even come there and manage to turn crap into sculptures. This is fun.” For shopping : “The train market on Saturday night at the back of Chatuchak Market. The warehouses have been turned into furniture shops, and sell vintage clothes, suitcases and accessories in a very romantic atmosphere. And it is possible to enjoy Bangkok’s street culture such as outdoor beer and cheap cocktails to drink as well as having a great steak.”

For food : “In Siam Square, in the vicinity of the Hard Rock Café, there is a place called ‘New Light Restaurant’. My dad went there and I still love this kind of sixties style atmosphere with very simple Thai food. I love to take my friends there.” For relaxing : “I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and excellent coffee quality of Doi Tung Cafe on Silom Road.” For clubbing : “DJ Station, on Silom Soi 2, is a great place to meet people and have fun in the midst of Bangkok’s gay area.”

- www.facebook.com/arksarojpage - http://vimeo.com/arksaroj - www.facebook.com/trasherbangkok sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 9


CITY PULSE

sleep over

Classy not kitsch

The new Cabochon hotel is a splendidly realised colonial fantasy, says Max Crosbie-Jones

A

new boutique hotel from the makers of one of the most splendidly over-the-top digs of recent years, The Eugenia, has opened; and it’s another colonial reverie, a tantalising (and guilt-free) prospect in a country that’s never been colonised. Like its forerunner, which is now under new ownership, Cabochon is a showcase for the impeccable taste and antique collection of its owner Eugene Yeh, one of Taiwan’s foremost interior designers. Location-wise, you’re in the heart of stress-inducing Sukhumvit, although with the hotel set back about 120 metres from the main road, right at the dead-end of very sedate Sukhumvit Soi 45, you soon forget that fact. Two skytrain stations are within easy strolling distance, the closest, by a cat’s whisker, being BTS Phrom Phong. Thonglor is the nearest drink and dine hotspot, Emporium the nearest shopping mall and at the mouth of the south sits Quince, the restaurant the city’s foodies are talking about.

2 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

The Look It may be brand new, but The Cabochon’s two, gracefully symmetrical four-storey blocks certainly don’t look it. Closer to French colonial than British colonial, the white-washed exterior is luxuriously understated, with Romanesque balustrades, chequer floors and potted tropical plants lending visual appeal. Inside the look is similarly restrained, the white-washed marble corridors, stairwells and rooms lined sparingly with framed covers of Le Petit Journal. Turtle shells, rare corals in glass, trophies and other curios adorn the tables, creating the impression of a tropical hunting lodge in some remote colonial outpost. The turn-of-the-century décor is most extravagant (and atmospheric) in the ground-floor ‘Joy Luck Club’, a clubby, cosy drinking salon cluttered with stout wood furniture, leather sofas, travel trunks, museum cabinets and classic model airplanes. They’re calling the look Shanghai art deco chic, but in truth it’s a mish-mash of old-world styles, albeit a splendidly realised one.

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The Rooms There are only eight units – four studios (26 sqm or 32 sqm) and four suites (47 sqm or 58 sqm) – and they all come with stylishly distressed parquet floors and a mix of turn-of-thecentury antiques and reproductions. Luxuriously subdued furnishings include vintage-style beds with Belgium linen bed sets, side tables and writing desks, chairs, settees and arm chairs, as well as free-standing copper lamps. Double-leave French-style doors lead out to balconies overlooking the front courtyard, with its tall tropical palm trees and car park filled with luxury cars (including the owner’s classic Mercedes Benz). Although the atmosphere is of a stylish bygone age, there are some creature comforts to remind you that you’re still in the 21st century: there’s free Wi-Fi, and hidden away in the vintage cabinets and cupboards is a cable TV and fridge mini-bar.

The Food To the right of the lobby, Thai Lao Yeh is a nostalgic, timberlined Thai restaurant that claims to serve authentic flavours, especially those from the less well-known culinary regions of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Isan and Laos. For a change from the norm, try the gaeng luaeng pla nua aon (yellow sour curry with fish) or one of the spicy north-eastern salads that are prepared in a street-stall located just in front of the kitchen, such as the tam mua (spicy papaya salad with clam, fermented fish and rice noodles). Breakfast is served to the left of the lobby, in the cosy, Parisian-style confines of the Joy Luck Club, which is named after Amy Tan’s famous novel. It’s a simple buffet of fruit, bread, seasonal fruit, yoghurt and coffee, plus one à la carte option, the offerings ranging from fried eggs with bacon and ham to khao tom (boiled rice soup). An afternoon tea buffet is also served between 2-5pm (B230++); and in the evenings guests and outside visitors alike can unwind over canapés, wines and cocktails. Two, very homey private rooms are available for reservation.

The Facilities Within the Joy Luck Club is a library filled with shelves of art, fashion and culture coffee tables books, as well as some best-sellers and magazines. And a 22 metre infinity pool, reached via a wide grey and white marble staircase, awaits you on the roof. Sun worshipers can soak up rays to their heart’s content here during the day, as there are no high buildings surrounding it. On the flip side, those who enjoy a late evening dip may be disappointed to learn that it closes at 7pm, earlier than at most hotel pools. Look out for… Celebs. Local ones are popping by on most nights, their Lamborghini’s and other luxury cars filling up the small carpark, while international bigwigs who’ve been here include the editor-in-chief of Monocle, Tyler Brûlé, who held a small gathering here when he was last in town.

รร.คาโบชอง ถ.สุขุมวิท 45

  getting there

cabochon hotel & Residence [map3/o6] 14/29 Soi Sukhumvit 45 | 02-259-2871-3 BTS Phrom Phong | www.cabochonhotel.com | from B3,999++-B5,999++ until October 31 bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 2 1


S N A P S H OT S

very thai

Truck & Bus Art Customising vehicles both beautifies and protects

Not often does a lorry lift the spirits, but Thai traffic overcomes grimness through frivolity. Bus, truck, tuk-tuk and songthaew (pick-up minibus) beguile the eye with grace, colour and art. Their handmade coachwork spans the range of Thai illustration. Some aspire to high art, most show folk stylisation, and others interpret imported graphics.

  Very Thai

River Books | with photos by

John Goss & Philip Cornwel-Smith B 995

Very Thai – Everyday Popular Culture is a book that almost every foreigner living in Bangkok has on their bookshelf, a virtual bible on Thailand’s pop culture. For page after colourful page, city resident and author Philip Cornwel-Smith guides readers on an unconventional tour of the quirky everyday things that make Thailand truly Thai. From the 60-plus mini-chapters, we present a different excerpt every month. Prepare yourself properly for the sideways logic in what seems exotic, and snap up a copy of Very Thai now at any good book shop.

Looking beautiful may be important, but meaning matters as much. With spirits underwriting any accident, drivers pay extra premiums for divine protection through décor. Chassis metalwork plays shrine, cabins act as altar, talisman-shaped bolts physically hold the trailer together. Like temple trimmings, lacquer cabinets and fruit carvings, truck art displays lai thai, a visual language of traditional patterns with infinite applications. Drawn from plants and animals, it scales up to intricate oceans of texture, or scales down to the core motifs. Inspiration for the metal truck bolt meanwhile is, unbelievably, the flower petal. Joining superstructures of timber and steel struts, the four-pointed prachamyaam flower evokes security from the word yaam (guard). Augmented by more petals into diamonds and chevrons, it adorns painted door lintels, window frames, wire luggage racks. The latest way to see the world – as a wide-eyed manga cartoon – also emblazons trucks and especially buses. And another enduring pop icon glowers from many truck mudflaps: the painted image of Al Pacino from the movie Serpico. The character Serpico busted corrupt police – a subtle warning to officers not to extract bribes from the driver in exchange for allowing common violations like overloading or reckless driving. Truck and bus art thus adapts to changing conditions. Heroes, patterns and talismans continue to keep vehicles safe and beautiful.

2 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


chronicle of thailand

19 September 2006

Coup topples Thaksin government Military installs Gen Surayud as interim prime minister, promises new elections

The government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was ousted in a bloodless coup, marking the culmination of months of political tension and instability, characterised by massive street protests, the dissolution of parliament, nullified election and increasingly acerbic sparring between the Thaksin camp and its vociferous critics. The coup was launched as Thaksin was in New York to deliver a speech to the UN. As tanks rolled through the streets of Bangkok, a desperate call from Thaksin in New York was broadcast on state television, announcing a state of emergency in the capital. Thaksin ordered troops not to move ‘illegally’ and announced coup leader army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin had been removed. But his attempts to counter the coup were futile. The military easily secured control of key locations in the capital, interned senior cabinet members and Thaksin’s broadcast was abruptly cut off the air. The ousted premier remained in exile following the putsch. Led by Gen Sonthi, the coup leaders set up a junta under the name of the Council for National Security and threw out the 1997 Constitution. The leaders of the arm forces justified the coup, which broke 14 years of uninterrupted democratic rule, by saying it was necessary to end corruption and defend the monarchy. “We ask for the cooperation of the public, and ask your pardon for the inconvenience,” Gen Sonthi said in a broadcast. “We have no intention to rule, but to return the power to the people as soon as possible, a preserve peace, and honour the King, who is the most revered toll all Thais.” Plenty of people in the capital welcomed the troops – many with yellow ribbons tied to their guns or tank turrets, symbolising their royalty to the monarchy – hoping Thaksin would be put on trial for alleged wrongdoings. Others hoped the military intrusion would bring an end to the political paralysis that had stifled the country and left it without a working government since February.

 Chronicle of Thailand

EDM Books | editor-in-chief Nicholas Grossman | B1,450

Chronicle of Thailand is the story of Thailand during the reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Beginning on the day he was crowned, 9 June 1946, the book presents a vivid eye-witness­account of Thailand’s development through the major news events of the last 64 years. Alongside a grandstand view of events as they unfolded and quirky aspects of daily life that just happened to make the news, the book features thousands of rare and fascinating pictures and illustrations, repre­senting one of the most comprehensive photo collections of Thailand ever produced.

The junta nominated Privy Councillor Surayud Chulanont, a retired general, to be interim prime minister on 1 October, after creating a temporary constitution that granted amnesty to the junta and their collaborators. bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 2 3


S ights e e ing

historic homes

shrine

M.R. KUKRIT’S HOUSE [map 5 / H 8]

ANANTA SAMAKHOM PALACE Throne Hall [map 8 / F 8]

Uthong Nai Rd, opp. Dusit Zoo Tue – Sun 10 am – 6 pm | B150 dress politely

Located at the tail-end of Dusit district’s stately ceremonial boulevard, Ratchadam­ noen, this stately parliamentary palace was built during the reign of Rama V and completed by Rama VI. Cast in white Carrara marble, it is still used for the ceremonial opening of the first parliamentary session. Influenced by Renaissance architecture, the interior is decorated with detailed frescoes by Italian Galileo Chini of royal ceremonies and festivities. Out front stands a statue of King Rama V mounted on a horse that is still worshipped today.

19 Soi Phra Pinit, Sathorn Rd BTS Chong Nonsi | 02-286-8185 Sat, Sun & Holidays 10 am – 5 pm, Mon – Fri by appt. only | B 50 / B 20 kids

Kukrit Pramoj was one of Thailand’s most-loved statesmen of the 20th century. A natural all-rounder, he was a poet, a writer and even served as prime minister. His peace­ful abode with its lovely gardens is a terrific example of traditional Thai architecture.

บ้านหม่อมราชวงศ์คึกฤทธิ์ ซ.พระพินิจ สาทรใต้

ERAWAN SHRINE [map 4 / G 5]

Ratchadamri Rd, near Grand Hyatt Erawan BTS Chit Lom

Don’t expect serenity here. This is one of Bangkok’s busiest intersections: the crowded shrine to the Hindu creation god Brahma and his elephant Erawan is filled with worshippers lighting incense, buying lottery tickets and watching the traditional dancing group, which performs for a nominal fee.

พระพรหมเอราวัณ ถ.ราชดำ�ริ

พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม ถ.อู่ทองใน ดุสิต VIMANMEK MANSION [map 8 / F 8]

JIM THOMPSON HOUSE [map 4 / A 3]

6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama I Rd BTS National Stadium | 02-216-7368 www.jimthompsonhouse.com 9 am – 5 pm | B100 / B 50 students

American Jim Thompson was the Princeton graduate and former spook who revived the hand-woven Thai silk industry before disappearing mysteriously in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands in 1967. One of the things to do in Bangkok is visit his tropical garden home beside a pungent canal: six traditional teak houses from around the country kept exactly as he left them, and brimful with art and antiques he acquired during his many trips around Asia. Tour guides discuss these exquisite treasures and the much-mythologised life of the man himself. There’s also a shop selling his trademark designs, an art gallery and a café. Ban Krua, the silk-weaving community he commissioned, is also nearby.

บ้านไทย จิมทอมป์สัน ซ.เกษมสันต์ 2 ตรงข้ามสนามกีฬาแห่งชาติ

GANESHA SHRINE [map 4 / G 3]

139 / 2 Ratchawithi Rd 02-281-1569 | 9:30 am – 4 pm | B100

Outside Centralworld and Isetan Department Store | Ratchadamri Rd

The world’s largest teakwood building was originally built on the island of Koh Si Chang, in 1868, and then moved to Bangkok for use by King Rama V. Its 81 rooms spread over three floors overlook a beautiful garden. Inside, many of his acquisitions from international trips are on display, including possibly the first bathtub in the kingdom. Regular tours in English are held daily.

A prayer in front of this pot-bellied gold elephant – the son of Shiva and Parvati – is said to help get the creative juices flowing, as well as protect you from harm. Aside from marigold garlands, bring bananas, ripe mango or sticky rice-flour Thai desserts – Ganesha has an eternal appetite.

พระพิฆเนศวร หน้าห้างอิเซตัน

พระที่นั่งวิมานเมฆ ถ.ราชวิถี เขตดุสิต

TRIMURTI SHRINE [map 4 / G 3]

SUAN PAKKAD palace [MAP8 / K11]

Si Ayutthaya Rd, Ratchathewi BTS Phaya Thai | 02-245-4934 www.suanpakkad.com | 9 am – 4 pm | B100

A former market garden that was converted into a residence and garden by Princess Chumbot. Consisting of five reconstructed Thai wooden houses, Wang Suan Pakkard pays testament to her dedication to collecting Thai artefacts and antiques.

Outside Centralworld and Isetan Department Store | Ratchadamri Rd

If your love life is in the doldrums then this shrine is for you: at 9:30 pm each Thursday it’s rumoured that Lord Trimurti descends from the heavens to answer prayers of the heart. To maximise your chances you should offer nine-red incense sticks, red candles, red roses and fruit.

พระตรีมูรติ หน้าห้างอิเซตัน

วังสวนผักกาด ถ.ศรีอยุธยา ราชเทวี 2 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


TEMPLES

THE GRAND PALACE & WAT PHRA KAEW [map 7 / D 10]

Na Phra Lan Rd, near Sanam Luang Tha Chang Pier | 02-222-0094 8:30 am – 4:30 pm | B 400 incl. entry to Vimanmek Mansion | dress respectfully

Bangkok’s most beloved temple (and top tourist site) is a fantastical, mini-city sized royal complex enclosed by quaintly crenulated whitewalls. Building began in 1782 , the year Bangkok was founded, and every monarch subsequent to King Rama I has expanded or enhanced it. Today, despite being able to visit many sights on its grounds, much of it remains off-limits. The Chakri Mahaprasat Hall – the “Westerner in a Thai hat” – is worth seeing, and there are some state halls and rooms open to visitors. The highlight, though, is the Emerald Buddha – Thailand’s most sacred Buddhist relic – and the temple purposebuilt to house it, Wat Phra Kaew, where hundreds pay their respects each day.

พระบรมมหาราชวัง และ วัดพระแก้ว ถ.หน้าพระลาน (ใกล้สนามหลวง)

WAT PO (reclining buddha) [map 7 / D 12]

Chetuphon, Thai Wang Rd 02-226-0369 | www.watpho.com 8am – noon; 1 pm – 9 pm | B100

The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is the oldest and largest wat in Bangkok. Originating in the 16 th century, it houses the largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand as well as the greatest number of Buddha images. Wat Po is also the centre for traditional Thai medicine and a learning centre for Thai massage (see p.101).

วัดโพธิ์ ถ.เชตุพน

WAT MAHATHAT [map 7 / C 8]

วัดสระเกศ ถ.จักรพรรดิพงษ์

WAT SUTHAT & the GIANT SWING [map 7 /  H 9]

Bamrung Muang Rd | 02-222-9632 9 am – 5 pm | B 20

An amulet market is situated near this 18 th century centre of the Mahanikai monastic sect and an important university of Buddhist teaching. On weekends, market stalls are set up on the grounds to complement the vendors of traditional medicines and herbal potions. Courses on Buddhism are given in English.

Surrounded by perhaps the greatest concentration of Buddhist supply shops in Bangkok, Wat Suthat is one of the most important Buddhist centres in the kingdom and home to excellent examples of bronze sculpture. The city’s iconic Giant Swing, where brave men used to swing up to great heights to catch a bag of gold coins in their teeth during annual harvest ceremonies, sits out front.

WAT ARUN [map 7 / B 13]

วัดสุทศั น์ ถ.บำ�รุงเมือง พระนคร ตรงข้ามเสาชิงช้า

Temple of Dawn | Arun Amarin Rd Arun Pier | 02-465-5640 www.watarun.org | 8 am – 5 pm | B 20

วัดอรุณราชวราราม ถ.อรุณอัมรินทร์ ผั่งตะวันตกของแม่น้ำ�เจ้าพระยา

Referred to as the Golden Mount, this wat on a small hillock is worth the hike up 318 steps for the views of China­ town to the south and the Old City to the north. The hill is all that is left of the fortifications for a large chedi that Rama III planned to construct on the site that gave way under the weight. Rama V later built a smaller chedi on top.

Tha Prachan, Sanam Luang, Maharat Rd 02-221-5999 | 9 am – 5 pm | free

วัดมหาธาตุ ท่าพระจันทร์ สนามหลวง

Across the river from Wat Po is Wat Arun, or the Temple of the Dawn, one of the city’s most important religious sites. Before being moved to Wat Phra Kaew, the Emerald Buddha was temporarily housed here. The five-towered structure is covered almost entirely in pieces of colourful porcelain and designed as a representation of Mount Mehru, the Khmer home of the gods. The temple is believed to have been named by Rama I on his first sunrise visit, but in contrast with its name, it is best visited at sundown.

WAT SAKET [map 7 / L 8]

Chakkraphatdiphong Rd 02-233-4561 | 7:30 am – 5:30 pm | B10

WAT RATCHANATDA [map 7 / K 8]

Mahachai Rd | 02-224-8807 9 am – 5 pm | free

This striking temple on the corner of Ratchadamnoen and Mahachai Road features the bizarre Loha Prasat, a multi-tiered castle-like structure with 36 steel spires. Climb the spiral staircase to the top for good views of the Old City and its many temples.

วัดราชนัดดา ถ.มหาชัย พระนคร

WAT TRAIMIT [map 6 / L 3]

661 Mittaphap Thai-China Rd, Charoen Krung Rd | 02-623-1226 | 8 am – 5 pm | B 20

Housed safely in this unassuming Chinatown temple is the world’s largest solid gold Buddha. Weighing over five tonnes and standing over three metres high, its worth has been estimated at over 10 million US$ . The interesting Yaowarat Heritage Museum (p.27) is located on the floor beneath.

วัดไตรมิตร หัวลำ�โพง (เยาวราช) bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 2 5


S ights e e ing

BANGKOKian museum

Museums – in town There’s a museum for every interest here – hundreds in fact. Here, some of our favourites, both in town and just outside it.

BANGKOK DOLL MUSEUM  [map 8 / L 11, 12]

85 Soi Ratchataphan (Soi Mo Leng), Ratchaprarop Rd 02-245-3008 | www.bangkokdolls.com Mon – Sat 8 am – 5 pm | free

Since opening in 1956 the Bangkok Doll Museum has continually attracted tourists, students and aficionados alike with its remarkable collection of hand-made Thai dolls. Founded by Khunying Tongkorn Chandavimol after she completed a doll making course in Japan, it showcases collections of dolls produced by a small team of artisans in the atelier out back, and clad in traditional costumes based on designs lifted from museum originals, temple murals and illustrations from antique books.

บ้านตุ๊กตาบางกอกดอลล์ ถ.ราชปรารภ

madame tussauds

Madame tussauds [map 4 / C4]

6th F, Siam Discovery Center Rama 1, Phaya Thai Rd BTS National Stadium | 02-658-0060 www.madametussauds.com/Bangkok/ 10 am – 9 pm | B 800 / B 600 kids /  15 % discount for online

Probably the best thing about Bangkok’s version of Europe's famous waxwork museum is the line-up – it’s clearly designed to keep tourists and locals alike snappy happy. About as common as international sporting legends, world leaders in sharp suits, pouting Hollywood A-listers, and sequined global pop stars here are wax likenesses of Thai and regional musicians, soap stars, sportsmen and women, famous monks, poets and statesmen. And once you’ve finished talking human rights with Aung San Suu Kyi, or admiring Angelina Jolie’s Khmer tattoo, there are lots of interactive games to stave off waxwork-fatigue too.

มาดามทุซโซ สยามดิสคัฟเวอรี่ ชั้น 6 MUSEUM OF COUNTERFEIT GOODS [MAP 2 / E 12]

26 F, Supalai Grand Tower Bldg Rama III Rd | BTS Surasak | 02-653-5555 www.tillekeandgibbins.com Mon – Fri 10 am – 4 pm / App. required for textile and computer collections In 1989, Thailand’s oldest international th

bangkokian MUSEUM [MAP 5 / E 3]

273 Charoen Krung Soi 43, Si Phraya Pier | 02-233-7027 Sat & Sun 10 am – 4 pm | free

Smack in the middle of Bangrak, one of the most traditional districts of the city, find this oasis of four traditional Thai houses, one of them lovingly converted into a private museum by the compound’s charming owner, Ms. Waraporn Surawadee. She decided to dedicate the place to the memory of her family and bygone daily life of Bangkok everymen – and open it to the public. While visitors shouldn’t expect breathtaking revelations here, the displays are nevertheless surprisingly fascinating. They include antiques, traditional household utensils and ceremonial items.

พิพิธภัณฑ์ชาวบางกอก ถ.เจริญกรุง 43 2 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

museum of siam

Museum of Siam [map 7 / D 13]

4 Samachai Rd | Rajini Pier 02-622-2599 | www.ndmi.or.th Tue – Sun 10 am – 6 pm | free

A truncated history of Thailand unfurls through this down-with-the-kids discovery museum, located in a beautifully restored former government building that dates back to the 1920s. Design company Story Inc! delivered the conceptual design, replacing the usual ‘don’t touch’ signs and dreary text with pop graphics and interactive games galore. Entertaining highlights include dressing up as a 20 th century nobleman, blowing up Burmese soldiers on elephant-back with a canon (a bit tasteless that one), and mapping out the borders of your own Siam using a touch screen. Tellingly, the place teems with the usually museum-shy – Thai teenagers. Afterwards, enjoy the open-sided corridors and elegant Renaissance-stylings of the building itself, which was designed by Italian architect Mario Tamagno.

พิพิธภัณฑ์การเรียนรู้แห่งชาติ ถ.สนามไชย THE NATIONAL MUSEUM [map 7 / C 6]

5 Chao Fa Rd, Sanam Luang 02-224-1333 | www.thailandmuseum.com Wed – Sun 9 am – 4 pm | B 200 | no photo

law firm, Tilleke & Gibbins, decided to convert their evidence of counterfeit goods into educational tools for law students. To help spread the word about the perils of buying fake it's open to Joe Public too. Over 3,500 items – from Ferrero Rocher chocolates to antimalarial tablets and a fake Ferrari motorbike – are neatly laid out, forgeries next to the originals. While its well off-the-beaten track location means it doesn't see too many drop-in visitors, it's an eye-opening experience, one that would make even the thriftiest market-goer think twice.

Previously a palace during the reign of Rama V, the National Museum features extensive displays of Thai artifacts from all of Old Siam's main historical periods, encompassing the Lanna, Ayutthaya and Sukhothai kingdoms up to the present day. Thai culture is well documented in sections on dance, music and drama. The first example of Thai literature and the Thai alphabet, inscribed by King Ramkhamhaeng on a black stone during the Sukhothai period, is also displayed. Free tours by the Natonal Museum Volunteers group are given in English, French, German and Japanese and take place on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:30 am.

พิพิธภัณฑ์สินค้าปลอมและเลียนแบบ ถ.พระราม 3

พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ถ.เจ้าฟ้า ใกล้ท้องสนามหลวง bangkok101.com


RATTANAKOSIN EXHIBITION HALL [map 7 / K 7]

100 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd, next to Wat Ratchanatda | 02-621-0044 www.nitasrattanakosin.com Tue – Fri 11 am – 8 pm; Sat, Sun & Holidays 10 am – 8 pm | B100

This multimedia museum a short walk from Khao San Road offers a skillfully abbreviated introduction to an area that many admire, but few truly understand: Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok’s glittering birthplace. Wandering its eleven rooms –  free of relics but rich in models, dioramas, interactive videos, text and audio clips in Thai and English – brings the area’s hardto-fathom history, arts, communities, architecture and traditions into much clearer focus. One highlight is the room show­casing Thai performing arts; another sheds light on the trade specialities of local shophouse communities. Up on the fourth floor there's also an observation balcony from which you can peer out over the area you now have a more in-depth grasp of.

นิทรรศน์รัตนโกสินทร์ ถ.ราชดำ�เนินกลาง ROYAL BARGE MUSEUM [map 7 / B 4]

80/1 Rim Khlong Bangkok Noi, Arun Amarin Rd | Thonburi Railway Pier 02-424-0004 | 9 am – 5:00 pm B 30 / B100 photo / B 200 video

This collection of ornate royal barges, some of which are up to 50 metres long, is housed on the Thonburi side of the river in a series of elaborate sheds near the Pinklao Bridge. The barges are best seen in action during rare ceremonial processions on the Chao Phraya where the colourful crews can number up to 64, including rowers, umbrella holders, navigators and various musicians. Beautifully and ornately decorated, these magnificent long craft were completely renovated and restored to their former glory by the present King, who also commissioned the newest boat for his golden jubilee in 1996 .

พิพิธภัณฑ์เรือพระราชพิธี ถ.อรุณอมรินทร์

Royal Barge Museum bangkok101.com

SIRIRAJ MEDICAL MUSEUM [map 7 / A 7]

Siriraj Hospital | 2 Prannok Rd Thonburi Railway Pier 02-419-7000-6363 | www.si.mahidol.ac.th Mon – Sat 9 am – 4 pm | B 40

Located on the west bank of the river, in Thailand’s oldest and most prestigious hospital, the Siriraj Medical Museum is chiefly an educational facility where trainee medical students come to take notes and harden their stomachs. However, fans of the macabre can also pay a visit. Of its many chilling displays, far and away the most famous is the crisped cadaver of Si Ouey, Thailand’s notorious child killer, stood in a phone booth. Other stomach-churning exhibits include the mummified remains of murder victims, and deformed human foetuses embalmed in formaldehyde. Best come before lunch, just to err on the safe side.

พิพิธภัณฑ์การแพทย์ศิริราช ถ.พรานนก YAOWARAT CHINATOWN HERITAGE CENTRE [map 6 / L 3]

Wat Traimit, 661 Mittaphap Thai-China Rd, Charoen Krung Rd |MRT Hua Lamphong | 02-225-9775 |Tue – Sun 8 am – 4:30 pm | B100 / B140 incl. visit to the Golden Buddha

For Bangkok’s Thai-Chinese the story of how their forefathers fled here on leaking junk ships and rose to become an affluent and fully integrated force in Thai society is likely familiar, having been drip-fed to them over the years by their elders. But for the rest of us, the Chinatown Heritage Centre is the next best thing, presenting an engaging history of Bangkok’s Chinese community and their bustling focal point, Yaowarat. Highlights include recreations of a leaking junk ship and bustling street market, a miniature model of Yaowarat during its Golden Age, and a room commemorating the community’s high-achievers. It's located within Wat Traimit temple.

ศูนย์ประวัติศาสตร์เยาวราช ถ.มิตรภาพไทย-จีน

yaowarat heritage centre

out of town ANCIENT SIAM (MUANG BORAN) [map 1 / F 6]

296/1 Sukhumvit Rd Samut Prakan province | 02-709-1644 www.ancientcity.com B 400 / B 200 kids / B1,500 private guide in English for 2 hours

Samut Prakan province’s Ancient Siam crams reproductions of over a hundred of the Kingdom’s most venerable palaces, temples, stupas, stone sanctuaries and traditional houses into a huge map-ofSiam shaped plot of land only an hour’s drive from the capital. Don’t come expecting a tacky themepark. Its late founder, eccentric culture preservationist Prapai Viriyahbhun, demanded that every replica look and feel like the real thing. Teakwood, stone and brick abound; everything looks authentically aged; and amidst the scaled-down and life-size copies are lots of salvaged original buildings.

เมืองโบราณ จ.สมุทรปราการ THAI FILM MUSEUM [MAP 1 / E 5]

94 Moo 3 Bhuddhamonton Sai 5, Salaya Nakorn Pathom province www.nfat.org | 02-482-2013-15 Sat & Sun tours: 10 am, noon, 3 pm; Mon – Fri: by appointment | Free

The good folk at the National Film Archive of Thailand are fighting to preserve the country’s meager film heritage, whether it be by restoring ragged reels of 16mm film to their former glory, screening rare films in its cinematheque, or guiding anyone interested around their museum – for free. Thai film fiends will love inching around this nook-filled two-storey space modeled after the old Sri Krung film studio and filled with old cameras, projectors, props, costumes, posters and waxworks. Guides only speak Thai, so take a translator if possible.

พิพิธภัณฑ์ภาพยนตร์ไทย ถ.พุทธมนฑล สาย 5

ANCIENT SIAM sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 2 7


S ights e e ing

parks – Flora LUMPINI PARK [map 8 / K,L 16]

Entrances on Rama IV, Sarasin, Witthayu and Ratchadamri Rd 5 am – 9 pm; cycling / skating 10 am – 3 pm free

The biggest and most popular slice of public space in Central Bangkok, Lumpini Park is 142 acres of trees and grass sewn together with wide, meandering concrete paths. Busy as soon as the sun rises and again around sunset, Bangkokians of every ilk take advantage of its relative cool and quiet to practice Tai Chi, do aerobics, hold hands or jog around the picturesque lakes. A surprising number of animals also like it here – from turtles and giant monitor lizards, to flocks of crows and the occasional stray cat. Activities include taking a Swanshaped pedal boat out onto the water for a quick spin and pumping iron at the outdoor gym, while live concert recitals and film screenings take place here during the cool season. There are entrances on each of its four sides, all of them open till 9pm, but the most impressive is the one at the corner of Rama IV Road and Ratchadamri Road, where a grand statue of King Rama VI stands sentinel.

bang krachao

Sukhumvit Soi 103, behind Seri Center Pravet | 02-328-1972 | 5:30am – 7 pm | B10

Next to the Phrom Phong BTS Skytrain station and Emporium shopping mall, this is a great place to escape the Sukhumvit rat race – amble around lakes, find shade under a tree, or admire modern Thai sculptures.

Bangkok's biggest park spans 200-acres and features a small museum dedicated to the King, set amongst pleasant botanical gardens with soothing water features.

Suan Rod Fai  PARK [map 8 / M, n 1]

JATUJAK & QUEEN SIRIKIT PARKS [map 8 / M, N 1, 2]

Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd | BTS Mo Chit / MRT Chatuchak Park | 02-537-9221 5 am – 9 pm | free

820 Phahonyothin Rd, Ladyao 02-272-4358 | 5 am – 6:30 pm | free

Also just north of JJ Market, this huge park has lots of open space and wild trees, plus a lotus pond, playground, basketball and tennis courts, and a butterfly garden (see opposite). Young locals flock here on weekends to hire a bike and cycle along its wide paths, and with prices for rental only B20 we highly recommend you copy them.

These two parks situated not far from the mayhem of the weekend market offer some much-needed respite. Jatujak Park hosts a collection of old railway engines and ancient automobiles. Nearby, Queen Sirikit Park has a botanical garden.

สวนจตุจักรและสวนสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ ถ.พหลโยธิน จตุจักร

สวนรถไฟ ถ.กำ�แพงเพชร 3 จตุจักร

7

8

9

Sarasin

6 Radio Station

Lumpini Head Office

5

Raja

dam

ri

Glas House

Food Court

Elderly Center

k 7.56

Playground

Yaovarach Pavillon

Lumpini School

1

m

Youth Center

Aerobic

Bang Krachao, Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan | 02-461-097 6 am – 8 pm | Free

Octagon Pavillon

Lumpini Park

Lanna Thai Pavillon Library

Entertainment Building Lily Pond

4 Rama VI Statue

Silom

N

Thailand China Friendship Pavillon Lumpini Youth Center

JP

Lumpini Hall Chinese Pavillon

Indoor Stadium

Ram

a IV

Bodybuilding 3

Playground Clock Tower

20o ft 100 m

2 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

สวนหลวง ร.9 ถ.สุขุมวิท 103 (หลังพาราไดส์ พาร์ค) ประเวศ

สวนเบญจสิริ สุขุมวิท ซ.22 – ซ.24

BANG KRACHAO [map 1 / E 5]

บางกระเจ้า พระประแดง

RAMA IX ROYAL PARK [MAP 2 / K11]

Benjasiri park [map 3 / L 7]

Sukhumvit Rd, btw. Soi 22 / 24 BTS Phrom Pong | 5am-9pm

สวนลุมพินี เข้าได้ทาง ถ.พระราม 4 ถ.สารสิน ถ.วิทยุและ ถ.ราชดำ�ริ

It’s hard to believe that this oasis of lush orchards and mangroves is just opposite the concrete jungle of Klong Toey. Included within it is the 200-rai Suan Klang Central Park with a large pond where you can rent paddle boats for B30 . Or rent cycles for the same rate and ride a bike around the park then head down to the Bang Nam Pueng Floating Market.

Rama IX Royal Park

Witthayu

lumpini park

2

Lumphini

bangkok101.com


ROSE GARDEN RIVERSIDE (Suan Sampram) [map 1 / D5]

32 Phet Kasem Rd, Yai-Cha, Sampran, Nakhon Pathom Province | 03-432- 2544 www.rosegardenriverside.com 10 am – 4 pm | Garden B 50, Show B 500

Take an hour’s drive out from the city and explore this 70-acre property located beside the Ta Chine River, which includes a hotel resort, golf course, spa, organic farm and botanical gardens. The cultural shows here are as popular as the lush gardens.

โรสการ์เด้น ริเวอร์ไซด์ สวนสามพราน ถ.เพชรเกษม SARANROM PARK [map 7 / E 11]

Intersection of Rachini / Charoen Krung Rd Phra Nakhon | 5 am – 8 pm | free

This ‘green belt’ within the city is located opposite the Grand Palace, built in 1866 during the reign of Rama IV as a royal garden of the Saranrom Royal Palace. It is now a botanical garden and public park, featuring a glass house, and royal bugle pavilion.

สวนสราญรมย์ แยกราชินี ถ.เจริญกรุง

parks – Fauna BANGKOK BUTTERFLY GARDEN & insectarium [map 8 / M2]

Suan Rot Fai Park | Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd BTS Mo Chit / MRT Chatuchak Park 02- 272-4359 | Tue – Sun & Holidays 8:30 am – 4:30 pm | free

This dome-enclosed sanctuary not from JJ Market houses over 500 species of butterflies fluttering freely in the mazes of the landscaped gardens, with their wild flowers, canopied benches, ponds and waterfalls. Besides butterfly watching, visitors can picnic or rent a bicycle for around B 30. It's located within Suan Rot Fai Park, a great big park with open spaces as well as lotus ponds, playgrounds, and basketball and tennis courts.

อุทยานผีเสื้อและแมลงกรุงเทพฯ สวนรถไฟ ถ.กำ�แพงเพชร จตุจักร

DUSIT ZOO  [map 8 / F 8]

71 Rama V Rd, opposite Chitralada Palace 02-281-2000 | 8 am – 6 pm | B100 / B 50 kids

The city’s main zoo, situated to the north of Rattanakosin, is home to a large selection of mammals, reptiles and other animals. There’s also a lake with paddle boats, and playgrounds that the kids can run wild in.

สวนสัตว์ดุสิต ถ.พระราม 5 QUEEN SAOVABHA MEMORIAL INSTITUTE (SNAKE FARM) [map 5 / K 4]

1871 Rama IV Rd, Henri Dunant BTS Sala Daeng / MRT Silom | 02-25201614-120 | Mon – Fri 8:30 am – 4 pm, Sat & Sun 9:30 am – 12 pm (shows at 11am & 2:30 pm) | B 200

Mainly developing antidotes to poisonous snake bites, this research facility is open to the public. There’s an informative slide show followed by displays of live venom extraction.

สถานเสาวภา (สวนงู) ถ.พระราม 4 สภากาชาดไทย SAMPHRAN ELEPHANT GROUND & ZOO [map 1 / D 5]

Petkasem Rd km 30, Samphan Nakhon Pathom Province | 02-295-2938 | www.elephantshow.com 8:30 am – 5:30 pm | B 600/ B 350 kids

Apart from The Elephant Theme Show, watch the Crocodile Wrestling Show or ride on an elephant’s back through the tropical gardens and waterfalls.

ลานแสดงช้างและฟาร์มจระเข้สามพราน ถ.เพชรเกษม สามพราน SIAM OCEAN WORLD [map 4 / D4]

BI F, Siam Paragon | 991 Rama 1 Rd 02-687-2001 | www.siamoceanworld.com 10 am – 7 pm | B 900 / 700 kids

One of Asia's biggest aquariums. If you're not put off by the dual-pricing policy (we are, quite frankly), there’s fun to be had inside, with 8 m high tanks, glass tunnels to walk through, and shark-feeding shows.

muay thai Thai boxing or Muay Thai is very popular in Bangkok with most major bouts held at either the Lumphini or Ratchadamnoen stadiums. This brutal but graceful martial art has been practised in Thailand for centuries. Past Kings are reported to have been champion fighters and one, King Naresuan, introduced the sport as part of military training in the 16th century. Due to the high incidence of deaths during combat, the sport was banned in the 1920s but reintroduced soon after under the more safety-conscious Queensbury rules. Bouts consist of three five minute rounds during which the fighters use every part of the body (except the head) to bludgeon the opponent into defeat. Before the bout begins, a graceful and mesmerising ritual dance named ram muay is performed by both fighters to placate the spirits and show respect to the art and its teachers. Bouts are extremely boisterous, noisy affairs and should be witnessed for the spectacle alone. Be warned though, this isn’t the WWF and the blows are hard hitting and real. Another sore point (albeit a figurative rather than literal one) that puts off some: the price to watch a fight for foreigners is five or six times what the locals pay. Lumpini boxinG Stadium

Rama IV Rd | MRT Lumphini 02-251-4303; 02-252-8765 Fights Tue & Fri 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm; Sat 5 pm – 8 pm; 8:30 pm – midnight B1,000 / B1,500 / B 2,000

สนามมวยลุมพินี ถ.พระราม 4 Ratchadamnoen Stadium

Ratchadamnoen Nok Avenue 02-281-4205; 02-280-1684-6 Fights Mon, Wed, Thu 6:30 pm – 11 pm, Sun 5 pm – 8 pm; 8:30 pm – midnight B1,000 / B1,500 / B 2,000

เวทีมวยราชดำ�เนิน ถ.ราชดำ�เนิน

สยามพารากอน ถ.พระราม 1

Dusit zoo bangkok101.com

Samphran Elephant Ground

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upcountry now!

■■Quiksilver Open Phuket Thailand 2012 Over 300 pros are expected to hang ten at what the organisers are billing as “the largest surfing tournament Thailand has ever seen”, including Stephanie Gilmore, the five time female world champion. Taking place on Phuket’s touristy Patong Beach, the event is the last stage of the International Asian Surfing Tournament and will give a platform to stunt BMXers and skateboarders too. There’ll also be a surf clinic where you can learn surfing basics from a pro, a fashion show by beach clothing brands Quiksilver and Roxy, and a concert featuring local artists.

■■King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament For its 11th installment, this popular charity event will once again be held in the royal seaside town of Hua Hin. As always you can expect the nail-biting main competition, which sees international teams going trunk to trunk to win the coveted King’s Cup trophy, to be broken up with dinners, charity events and fruit buffets (for the elephants only). The website www.anantaraelephantpolo.com has the tournament background, schedules and updates, including details on the VIP accommodation package being offered by the host and organiser, the luxury Anantara Hua Hin resort. September

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■■Mizuno River Kwai International Half Marathon Not only is this the oldest race road in Thailand, it’s also one of the most scenic. Setting off and finishing at the River Kwai Village Resort, it leads you on a gradual climb through lush Kanchanaburi countryside before turning back for a downhill slog at the 10.5 km mark. Entries are limited to 1,500 runners so book early, as the race has sold out in past years. Find out more and register at www.goadventureasia.com/RKH/rkh.htm.

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■■Chick Mountain Music Festival 2012 The great and the good of the local music scene – from mainstream indie band Moderndog to flamehaired songstress Palmy – are all lined up to play the 3rd edition of this annual music all-nighter. Just like last year, the venue is Kanchanaburi’s Khao Chon Kai military training camp and there will be military-themed activities (abseiling, firing ranges, etc) to keep you entertained if and when band-fatigue sets in. Tickets are B990 from www.thaiticketmajor.com and the show kicks off at 5pm (gates open 3pm).

bangkok101.com


■■Ko Lae Boat Races Public boat races take place regularly here, and this month it’s the turn of the Deep South’s Narathiwat province. Held since 1975, this one is unique for its ko-lae, traditional, brightly motifed fishing vessels used by the South’s Malay communities, and takes place at the mouth of the Bang Nara River, in front of Narathiwat City Hall. In addition to the main races, which attract teams from around the region, and will apparently be attended by Crown Princess Sirinthorn this year, the event will also include sales of local products and a traditional bird cooing contest. The dates may change slightly, say the TAT, so call their English-speaking hotline on 1672 to confirm.

■■Study Trip to Kanchanburi Province If you’re knowledge about the history of Kanchanaburi province is limited to the Bridge Over the River Kwai, this weekend field trip will change that. Instead of following the tourist hordes, this two-day itinerary will whisk you by bus to lesser known historical sites: the ethnological museum at Wat Muang, the excavation site at Ban Kao, the Khmer ruins at Muang Sing and the Three Pagodas Pass, an ancient trade route at the Thailand-Myanmar border. The price, B8,850 (or B6,850 for Siam Society members), covers all costs except the hotel, which costs B900. For more information and bookings contact Khun Prasert or Khun Ekkarin at 02-661-6470 or ekkarin@siam-society.org.

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■■Samui Island Marathon Joggers will set off as early as 4:30am for this marathon offering total prize money of over September 3 million baht. Entry fees for the five race categories (full marathon, half marathon, quarter marathon, student marathon and fun run) range from B100 to B800 and there are discounts if you book your place at the starting line (Samui Island’s Nathon Pier) early. Find more info at the sponsors Bangkok Airways dedicated page, www.bangkokair.com/samuiisland-marathon; and the online registration forms at www.goadventureasia.com/SIM/sim.

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■■11th Hua Hin/Cha-am Golf Festival Through September, the 11th Hua Hin/Cha-am Golf Festival is offering green fees of only B800 (excluding caddy and golf cart rental fees) at ten courses in the region. You can also join a two-day tournament for B1,400 and take advantage of overnight rates of B990 and B1,990 at hotel partner properties. Dates and other details are at the TAT’s regional website: www.tiewpakklang. com/index.php?id=1390. Alternatively, contact the TAT Phetchaburi office (03-247-1005) or Prachuap Khiri Khan office (03-251-3885).

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hotel deals

Until Sep 30

■■Getaway Package

Amari Coral Beach Phuket 2 Meun Ngern Rd, Patong Beach, Phuket | 076-340-106 www.amari.com/coralbeach

A long weekend under southern palm trees may be a snip with the Getaway Package at Amari Coral Beach Phuket. It includes a three-night stay in a superior room, daily breakfast for two, round-trip airport transfers, a 45-minute foot massage for two at Breeze Spa and one set menu dinner at Rim Talay Restaurant. Rates start from B14,800++ per three nights for two people. Available until September 30.

Until Oct 31

■■Great Time in Krabi Package

Beyond Resort Krabi Klong Muang Beach, Krabi | 075-628-300 www.facebook.com/beyondresortkrabi Beyond Resort Krabi has opened its doors, and tempts you down there with its Great Time in Krabi launch rate, until October 31. Two-nights in a cottage is B7,500 nett per couple, including daily breakfast, free round-trip airport transfer, a set Thai dinner with soft drink, in room Wi-Fi, and discounts on food and spa treatments. You can also upgrade to a villa for B1,000 or a deluxe sea view room for B2,800.

Until Oct 31

■■Web Saver packages

Centara Chaan Talay Resort & Villas Trat 4/2 Moo 9, Tambol Laem Klud, Amphur Muang, Trat | 039-521-561-70 Koh Chang Tropicana Beach Resort & Spa Managed by Centara 26/3  Moo 4,  Klong Prao beach, Koh Chang, Trat | 039-557-122 www.centarahotelsresorts.com www.facebook.com/centarahotelsresorts Centara’s two Trat resorts have Web Saver packages until October 31. The pet-friendly Centara Chaan Talay Resort & Villas Trat has deals from B1,900 a night from Monday to Thursday, while the Koh Chang Tropicana Beach Resort & Spa starts at B1,880 for a Superior room. Both have offers extending to other rooms and longer stays, and all include breakfast, but you must book online.

Until Oct 31

■■U Love package

U Chiang Mai 70 Ratchadamnoen Road, Sri-Poom, Muang District, Chiang Mai 053-327-096 | www.uhotelsresorts.com/chiang-mai/ There’s romance in the air with the U Love package at the hotel U Chiang Mai. For B6,110++ a night you get a Superior room, whenever/wherever breakfast, a massage for two, round trip airport transfer, candlelit dinner, a bottle of wine and a lantern to float into the night sky. There are free upgrades for two nights and a rate of B3,420 from the third night onwards. Available until October 31.

Until Oct 31

■■11th Hua Hin/Cha Am Golf Festival package

The Hotel de la Paix Cha Am 115 Moo 7, Tambol Bangkao, Amphur Cha-Am, Phetchaburi | 032-709-555 www.hoteldelapaixhh.com The Hotel de la Paix Cha Am celebrates the 11th Hua Hin/Cha Am Golf Festival with the Hole in One rate of B4,500++ per night, including breakfast, and the self-explanatory Three Gets Fore for longer stays. You also get rounds for B800 at nearby golf courses, such as Banyan, Springfield Royal and Palm Hills, plus yoga classes and free Wi-Fi. Until October 31.

Until Oct 31

■■Fancy lazy lazy breakfast-in-bed for two Indigo Pearl Phuket Nai Yang Beach and National Park, Phuket | 076-327-006 www.indigo-pearl.com

If you fancy a lazy breakfast-in-bed for two, head to the Indigo Pearl, in Phuket, where this is included in their special Summer Indulgence rates until October 31. For the duration, these Bill Bensley-designed suites and villas run from B11,250++ up to B21,750++ for a Private Pool Villa set within its own walled garden. Other extras include free airport transfers and late check-out where available. 3 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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t r av e l

over the border

Yangon 5 W Stately Survivors:

Heritage Buildings of

ith all signs pointing to a development boom in Myanmar, the time to take stock of the former capital Yangon’s ageing old architecture is now. Fortunately, a writer called Sarah Rooney has done just that, pieced together the social history of its most architecturally and historically significant British colonialera buildings. Delving into out-of-print books, company records, old city directories, newspaper archives and people’s memories, the resulting book, ‘30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon’, is a tour de force of research that we hope will help ensure the city’s architectural past has a future (something that is by no means assured as the country opens up to new investment and property developers eye up prime plots of land in the city centre). Here are five highlights from the book, which is in the shops now priced at B1,200.

Ministers’ Office

Judged on scale and grandeur, the former Secretariat is the most spectacular colonialera building in Yangon. After the British annexation of Upper Burma in 1886, the colonial government’s administrative work increased exponentially and there was an urgent need to expand the cramped and poorly lit Secretariat, which was originally located on Strand Road. Designs for the new one were drawn by Henry Hoyne-Fox, an architect of the old school who exported the grandiloquent Victorian aesthetic to the East. Once completed, the entire colony was effectively run from within its labyrinthine halls, the number of departments a testament to the fastidious organisational might of the British Empire. The single most significant event to take place here happened on the morning of 19 July 1947, just six months before Myanmar’s independence from Britain. On that day, national leader and founder of the Burmese army General Aung San and six ministerial colleagues were assassinated while attending a meeting of the Executive Council in the southwest corner of the building. It was an event that changed the course of Burmese history. Location: 300 Theinbyu Road Built: 1889-1905

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High Court

In her book Stones of Empire, popular historian Jan Morris describes how British courts in the colonies were designed to intimidate: “The High Courts did not often express a quality of mercy, but generally made the malefactor feel as alarmed as the judge was all confident.” Yangon’s dusky rose-coloured High Court is, as Morris describes, an archetypal colonial administrative building – large and imposing. Built in the Queen Anne style, it includes characteristic features such as rooftop lion statues and a bell clock tower that once rang out the hour. The lion statues, crouched above the Pansodan Street façade, symbolise Great Britain and the regal might of its Empire. As the Indian architect Manish Chakraborti, head of the Kolkata-based firm Continuity,which specialises in the preservation of historic buildings, observed, “The British in India and Burma built as if they were going to be here forever.” Location: 89-123 Pansodan Street Built: 1905-1911

Merchant Road Banks

At 550-2 Merchant Road is the Innwa Bank, which was privately renovated in 2011. The building was originally the premises of Oppenheimer & Company, a firm of general merchants that began doing business in Yangon in 1885. The company dabbled in various trades; supplying uniforms for the British police force in Burma and the Malay States, producing gear for working elephants, and also importing Underwood typewriters, Whitfield’s safes, and Singer cycles, among many other popular brand-name items of the time. The building has been beautifully restored by its current tenant, the Innwa Bank. The former Innwa Bank office, located next door at 554-6 Merchant Road in the former Mercantile Bank of India building, was moved into this renovated property and plans are in place to renovate the neighbouring property as well. Location: Merchant Road, between Sule Pagoda Road and Shwebontha Street Built: 1885 bangkok101.com

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t r av e l

Lokanat Gallery Building

With its Italianate flourishes, this stately building was once one of the city’s most prestigious business addresses. Built by a Baghdadi Jewish trader whose passion was architecture, it remains a tantalising symbol of Yangon’s cosmopolitan past. Here, Yangon residents once purchased Theodoro Vafiadis Egyptian cigarettes, Lighthouse Munich Beer, and candies imported from England. Though the building also housed legal and financial offices such as the China Mutual Life Insurance Company, it was best known for its purveyors of fine liqueurs and commodities. Also located in this building was the Reuters Telegram Company, Ltd., which fed news to Burma in the early years of the 20th century. Another tenant was Peter Klier, a German photographer who came to Myanmar in 1877. Klier ran a shop selling Burmese souvenirs and pictorial postcards; today his photographs remain one of the primary windows onto old Myanmar. Location: 58-62 Pansodan Street Built: circa 1906

Central Post Office

Painted maroon with cream stuccowork and rows of Lancet-arched windows, this building still retains some fine original fittings such as the beaux-arts portico and double-winged stairways in the foyer. It was originally designed as the office of Bulloch Brothers & Co, one of the oldest and most powerful trading firms in Myanmar. Run by two brothers from Glasgow, Scotland, James and George Bulloch, the firm advertised itself as the “Largest rice millers in the East” and operated mills in Yangon, Pathein, Sittwe, and Mawlamyaing. The firm also ran a shipping line between London and Yangon, and imported hardware, salt, and other goods to Myanmar. In 1936, the state purchased this building from them together with the adjoining plot behind it to convert into a new General Post Office. During the 1930s, long before he became President of Burma in 1962, General Ne Win worked in this newly renovated building. As a post office clerk, he was able to help his colleagues in the nationalist struggle for independence by surreptitiously checking mail and telegrams, and informing them of government plans and police movements. Location: Strand Road, corner of Bo Aung Kyaw Street Built: 1908

  30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon

Association of Myanmar Architects and Serindia

Publications | research & text by Sarah Rooney 166pp | B1,200

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sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 3 7


A R T S & C u lt u r e

portrait of myanmar at La Lanta Fine Art 3 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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A R T s   &   c u lt u r e | E x h i b i t i o n s

Arts & Culture Continuing this month is one of the biggest exhibitions the Kingdom has ever seen. Produced in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 84th birthday celebration, the snappily titled Art in the Ninth Reign: Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism is a fresh look at artistic and creative activities during his long reign. Spanning four floors at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre are works by over 300 artists, ranging from highly revered national artists to young emerging talents, from neo-traditionalist painters to experimental artists, from internationally recognised artists to locally celebrated artisans. It runs until October 28 and is being accompanied by related programming from the Thai Art Archives. Other notable exhibitions: portraits of Burmese locals over at La Lanta (pictured); grief-inspired drawings by Bussaraporn Thongchai at Ardel’s Third Place; and satirical paintings by Ong-arj Loeamornpagsin-an at Number 1. Moving away from art to design, the symposium Creativities Unfold, Bangkok 2012 will bring together design experts and influential thinkers, both local and international, to share perspectives at talks and creative workshops until September 10. Influential bigwigs involved this year include Dieter Rams, the designer for German consumer manufacturer Braun. For the full schedule and details about tickets (B900 per day; B1,500 per activity) see www.creativitiesunfold.com or www.tcdc.or.th. bangkok101.com

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A R T S & C u lt u r e

exhibition highlights Desire

Koi Art Gallery [map3 / j4] 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31 | 02-662-3218 | 10am – 7pm | www.koiartgallerybangkok.com | BTS Phrom Phong

Sept 7 - 30

Desire is the theme tying tegether this group exhibition showcasing works by local artists Smai Jundasri, Todsapon Bengrun, Piya Charoenmaung, Amornthep Mahamart and Natthawoot Rangphu. Each of the artists has channelled this emotion in their own unique way, tried to express its meaning to them in their own unique terms and styles.

Portrait of Myanmar

La Lanta Fine Art [map3 / j4] 245/14 Sukhumvit Soi 31 | 02-260-5381, 02-204-0583 Tue-Sat 10am-7pm; Sun by appointment | www.lalanta.com BTS Phrom Phong

Sept 8 - Oct 5

Two of Myanmar’s top artists present portraits featuring local faces from all walks of life. The faces in master artist U Tin Win’s portraitures of tribal people beam with happiness, pride and dignity; while those by Khin Zaw Latt, a recognised name in international art circles, reflect the current social and economic climate, his subjects’ expressions revealing hardship and frustration but also undertones of hope and aspiration.

Revisiting the Visions

BKK Arthouse [map3 / q1] Home Place BF1, Thonglor Soi 13 | 02-712-7878 Wed-Sun 10am-8pm | www.studiomiu.co.th I BTS Thonglor

Until Sep 9

Two years ago BKK Arthouse established itself as one of Bangkok’s few non-commercial art platforms. Originally based in the lower levels of the BACC, unfortunately the gallery was nudged out in favour of more commercial enterprises. Having found a new space over in Thonglor, the gallery recounts its creative presence to date with a mini-showcase of artists it has worked with so far.

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No use importuning bear to be the bearer. (It’s the willing of man). Number 1 Gallery [map5 / d5] Silom Galleria B26-27, 919/1 Silom Rd Soi 19 | 02-6303381 | Mon-Sat 10am-7pm | www.number1gallery.com | BTS Surasak

Until Sep 15

Ong-arj Loeamornpagsin-an is a capable painter known for his satirical representations of societal behaviour. For his third solo exhibition at Number 1, Ong-arj presents paintings reflecting current societal conditioning and how it detrimentally affects our decisions in the paths we take. He proposes that we need to better examine and have faith in our inner perceptions to improve existence.

The Man Number 10

ARDEL’s Third Place Gallery  [map3 / q2] The Third Place, Thonglor Soi 10 | 02-422-2092, 084772-2887, 086-890-2762 | 10am–8:30pm | www.ardelgallery.com I BTS Thonglor

Sept 18 - Oct 28

The writing and drawings in Bussaraporn Thongchai’s second solo exhibition serve as a vehicle for her own journey of self-discovery. Inspired by the loss of her late father and the realisation that she will never meet him again, the simple black and white drawings explore the complicated relationship between herself, her father and men in general.

Art in the Ninth Reign: Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC) [map4 / b4] 939 Rama I Rd, Pathumwan | 02-214-6630-1 | Tue-Sun 10am-9pm | www. bacc.or.th | BTS National Stadium

Until Oct 28

A large showcase exhibition to mark His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s seventh cycle, this presentation follows the development of Thai art through the King’s reign. Curated by influential art historian Apinan Poshyananda, the presentation features over 300 artists that highlight key turning points and defining moments. Themes include socio-political struggle, gender and marginality, and experimentation and media culture.

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  Enjoy these highlights from our sister publication the Bangkok Art Map. BAM is a free city map containing insights into Thailand's blossoming art scene.  www.bangkokartmap.com

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A R T S & C u lt u r e

artist profile

Saying it with metal:

Wittaya Pised By Linjie Zhou

W

ittaya Pised or ‘Taem’ as he is fondly called, was born to humble farming parents from the village of Nong Kleua in the north eastern province of Buriram. When not tending the family’s water buffalo or working the parched dry soil of Issan, Taem, almost without conscience thought, began translating the beauty he saw all around him into pictures as early as he can remember. He was self-taught and had never had a lesson in art until at the age of 12 when his teacher Khun Sujin, at Khean Dong Pittaya Kom school in Buriram, saw a real inner talent and began to foster Taem’s art development. Taem joined local competitions and eventually was presented the highest award in his province for watercolour art works whilst still in high school.

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Taem began With an ambition to become a police oil paintings may well become his most outtransl ating the standing contribution to Thai art. officer, Taem moved from the country to beauty all around Bangkok at the age of 20 to study him into pictures Common motifs in his work include locks and political science at Ramkamhaeng University. He continued to paint in the lotus flower. The latter continues to shape as early as he private whenever he had a moment to and define his work and marks it out as most can remember spare from his studies and supported definitely a ‘Wittaya Pised’ art piece. That himself waiting on tables until 2am every night. Soon, said, it is his anthropomorphic sparrow paintings that many word got around among his friends and within Bangkok’s people are drawn into and look set to become his trademark. art circles that this charming and talented young man was “The way my collections of birds look at each other or fly a true and natural artist. Hearing this, some of Thailand’s around, to me they look exactly like human beings,” he says. most established artists began to support him and helped him take his art to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Currently Khun Taem is not represented by a gallery and is London, Zurich and New York where it was exhibited and living and working within the V64 art studio, an artistic hub successfully sold. and community in the north of the city. Taem’s work comes straight from his heart. His rusty, brown earthy colour palette reflects the milieu of his homeland, mirroring the simplicity of his people, and the authenticity of his commitment to Lord Buddha. His boyhood and life as the son of a farmer, working student and then, developing artist inspires him to use simple everyday materials that others count as useless, such as old sheets of corrugated iron. Forgoing the traditional canvas, these mixed-media bangkok101.com

  Work available at:

Studio B2, V64 Art Studio [MAP2/G4] 143/19 Changwattana Soi 1 Yak 6, Vibhavadi Rd Soi 66 02-973-2681, 085-666-9661 | www.v64artstudio.com, www.facebook.com/V64art | 9am-6pm daily sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 4 3


A R T S & C u lt u r e

in-space

Rock Around Asia

T

he owner of Rock Around Asia, Frenchman Eric Monteil, doesn’t mince his works when it comes to local art. “Contemporary Thai art is a disaster,” he says. During our meeting, Eric laments how a country that produced the glittering fine crafts on display at the city’s Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall could go on to produce the safe and just plain not very good work he sees in our galleries today. “Art is about challenging society,” he says, “but I don’t see any attempt to provoke a reaction.” Whether you agree with him or not (and, for the record, we don’t), his eight-month-old labour of love, Rock Around Asia is a quaint little art and culture stop. Housed on quiet, deadend Sukhumvit Soi 45, this modern townhouse houses a mixture of handmade art and crafts collected on his Southeast Asian travels as well as his own photographs.

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Downstairs is devoted to regional objects d’art, all for sale. Pieces include wood carvings from Bali and Myanmar, Vietnamese bronzework, stone sculptures from Cambodia, most of them devotional or religious objects. There are also fun pieces, such as the floor-standing painted giraffes from Bali, and modern art on the walls, including an arresting painting of an Asian lady by emergent Thai artist Silawit Poolsawat, and original lacquer paintings by famous Vietnamese artist Phong Hoang Thanh Vinh. An IT entrepreneur who sold his business in France at the start of the economic crisis, after which he set off on a 22,000km solo motorbike road trip around Southeast Asia, Eric is now focusing on being a photographer. The second floor reflects the forty something’s career change, the walls displaying around 100 prints of his travel photographs, most of them shot around Southeast Asia. Prices range from B1,200 to B11,900 for prints on glossy paper, and B2,400 to B23,800 for prints on canvas.

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The top floor is a hotchpotch of erotic Asian art, highlights including a paper sculpture by Silapakorn graduate Lue Chantorn; a painting by Kitti Narod; and a swirling abstract number by Burmese artist Yei Mint. There are a few striking pieces admittedly, but given Eric’s forthright opinions on the local art scene, we had to stop ourselves from leveling the same charge at his gallery (“Where is the revolution?,” he says at one point. “Certainly not here,” we felt like replying). Still, what Rock Around Asia lacks in provocative, boundarypushing art it does try and compensate for with activities. Though currently closed due to the rainy season showers, there’s an outdoor terrace on the third floor that they use for open-air cinema screenings. The aim is to create a Frenchstyle cinema club by the sort of fare that makes you feel smarter – indie films, classics, documentaries, etc. They also arrange workshops and classes, disciplines ranging from photography to Thai cookery and, even, body painting.

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Because most of their visitors and regulars are foreigners, and, like them, wanting to get off the beaten track, Eric has also come up with a range of art and culture “treks”. These include trips to discover khlongs (canals), Bangkrajao (the city’s green lung), night and retro antique markets, among other off-piste urban locations. Whether Rock Around Asia is a proper art gallery, or something more or less than that is up for debate; but certainly, there’s nothing else like it in the capital.

ร็อค อราวด์ เอเชีย สุขุมวิท ซ.45

Rock Around Asia  [map3/o6] 5/3 Sukhumvit soi 45 | 02-662-7604, 08-9636-8197 | www.rockaroundasia.com | BTS Phrom Phong | FriSun: 10am-10pm, Mon-Thurs: by appointment only sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 4 5


A R T S & C u lt u r e

B A N G K O K

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reading & screening

  Thai Taxi Talismans

  BANGKOK BOY

Dale Konstanz | River Books 160pp | B 796

Chai Pinit | Maverick House 280pp | B525

A Bangkok taxi ride is more than just a trip from A to B – it’s also a journey through the byways of Thai belief. Most drivers here decorate their cabs with a hotchpotch of talismans, sacred icons, fresh flowers and pop culture bits and bobs. Sometimes its mere beautification, but usually it’s an expression of the driver’s philosophy – a mini altar to the Gods, monks, celestials and spirits that he or she worships. Wealth and safe passage for the car, the driver, and you, the passenger, are just some of the good fortune it is believed they bring. This coffeetable book – four years in the making, as colourful as the cabs it’s about – is the insider’s guide, explaining exactly what that swaying string of beads or fat plastic monk grinning at you from the dashboard means to the driver. Split neatly into themed chapters, it’s a fun, fascinating ride.

In this misery memoir, Chai charts his downward spiral from carefree Isaan village boy to thug, male prostitute, alcoholic, gambler and all-round bad Buddhist. It’s “the story of a stolen childhood,” says the melodramatic cover, implying that his nefarious ways all stem from the sexual advances made towards him by a teacher. We’d posit, however, that Chai is far more perpetrator than victim – beating his girlfriend when drunk is his main schtick, for instance – and really only gets his karmic comeuppance. Sensationalist sell aside, this is a raw, taut and ultimately redemptive tale that explodes the myth that all redlight workers are abject souls bereft of choices. Chai has more than most and yet still he chooses to do anything – and we mean anything – for a quick buck and leg-up on Thailand’s facegaining consumerist ladder. Bangkok Badboy would have been more apt.

  THE GENTLEMEN IN THE PARLOUR

Somerset Maugham White Orchid Press | 276pp | B430 Although best known for his novels and plays, Somerset Maugham is on fine travel-writer form in this account of his 1923 trip through Burma, Siam and Cambodia by steamboat, train, car and horse-cart. Opting to tell human interest stories rather than rave about the scenery, along the way he meets a hotchpotch of Eastern characters – from colonialist misfits to Burmese servants – and also finds time to ponder the nature of travel, Buddhism and metaphysics. Using elegant, redolent prose, he also compares Bangkok’s canals to London’s Oxford Street, gushes over Wat Suthat temple, pens a Siamese fairytale, and even lets us in on his famous stay at The Oriental Hotel, which is sullied somewhat by a nasty bout of malaria and the manageress’s fear of him dying in one of her rooms. Pour yourself a gin fizz and enjoy.

  MEKHONG FULL MOON PARTY

Jira Milagool | 2002 | US$10 from www.ethaicd.com Maligool’s debut film uses a real-life phenomenon – fireballs rising from the Mekhong – to sketch out a loving portrait of the Northeast Isaan region of Thailand. Scientists, TV crews, and tourists have invaded Ponpisai, seeking the source of the fireballs, which some attribute to methane gas, others to human hoax, and still others to the mythical Naga that lives in the river. The film balances its attention to detail – characters who are quirky but not caricatured, exquisitely composed shots of the region’s lush greenery and river mists – with big questions about science and religion, the city-country divide, the hopes and hazards of globalization and tourism. Crackling with cussing and country life, Mekhong Full Moon Party is a tenderly irreverent glimpse into a region too few visitors to Thailand ever see.

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I

disco buddha by Kamthorn Paowattanasuk

f you’d like to know how and what Thai Buddhist temples really contribute to the life of the common man, no answer can be more enlightening than this collection of digitally-altered surrealist pop photographs, the latest work by Kamthorn Paowattanasuk.

Folk art icons of celebrated Thai monks, crudely fashioned from cement, their imperfections covered up by gold paint to make them worship-worthy, are placed on various backdrops: from your basic angels and fairies, heaven and hell, to ATM machines and monk’s begging bowls. Their purpose: to facilitate pleas for divine help with contemporary lusts and desires—for wealth, job promotion, love and sexual charisma. Hallucinatory and mesmerising, hysterical and incisive, the visions of ‘Disco Buddha’ are a comical summation of rising public criticisms of Thai Buddhist monasteries today. They are Kamthorn’s followup act to Holy Alloy, Pearly Gates from 2008, his photographs of the real environs, bling decorations and atmosphere of real temples on Bangkok’s outskirts. You have until October 28 to view the full series of eighteen icons at Kathmandu Photo Gallery (87 Soi Pan, Silom Rd | 02-234-6700 | Tue-Sun 11am-7pm | www.kathmandu-bkk.com l BTS Chong Nonsi).


Disco Buddha

September 1 – October 28

Kathmandu Photo Gallery [MAP5/e5] 87 Soi Pan, Silom Rd | 02-234-6700 | Tue-Sun 11am-7pm www.kathmandu-bkk.com l BTS Chong Nonsi


FOOD & DRINKS

Hors D’oeuvres at An An Lao 5 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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F o o d   &  D r i n k s | x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

AROY tee sud

*very delicious

Food & Drinks news

TWO GOURMET FOOD FESTIVALS HIT TOWN A kitchen load of chefs from around the world will turn up at the Four Seasons Hotel (155 Rajadamri Rd, 02-1268866; www.fourseasons.com) from September 3-9 for the 13th World Gourmet Festival. The chefs include Michael Mina, who has a business partner called Andre Agassi and Michelin stars for his eponymous restaurants in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Other Michelin winners are Igor Macchia, of La Credenza, in Piedmont, Italy and Frédéric Vardon of Le 39V, the rooftop restaurant at 39 Avenue George V, in Paris. As well as dinners and lunches at all the hotel’s venues, the week-long festival includes wine master classes, cigar and rum tasting, cheese tasting and tea mixology. Part of the proceeds of every ticket sold will be donated to charity. For ticket reservations call 02-126-8866 ext. 1517-19 or email wgf.bangkok@fourseasons.com, and for updates see www.worldgourmetfestivalbangkok.com.

NEW RESTAURANT OPENINGS Ash Sutton, of Iron Fairies and Fat Gut’z fame, fattens up with the launch of Mr Jones’ Orphanage (Seenspace 13, Thonglor 13, 02-185-2378), a dessert place that is also a home for abandoned antique teddy bears. It’s based on a children’s book, like Iron Fairies, with the recipes created by his mum and grandma, who published her own book in 1902. And what do you drink with cake and cookies? Chocolate martinis and bubblegum milk, what else?

Yet more chefs come to town for So Amazing Chefs 2012, the foodie fest at Sofitel So Bangkok (2 North Sathorn Rd, 02-624-0000; www.sofitel.com) from September 25-29. The dozen cook meisters, including Patrick Jeffroy, the chef-owner of the Michelin two-starred restaurant of the same name in Brittany, France will present dinners, lunches and cooking classes, ending with a ‘Culinary Showdown’ involving nine teams on September 27.

The new Crepes & Co (59/4 Langsuan Soi 1, 02-653-3990, www.crepesnco.com) has opened to the delight of regulars of their old place on Sukhumvit 12. We expect more of the Spanish, Greek and Moroccan themed crepes to go along with faves like Suzette.

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If meat is more your thing, head to Wholly Cow (34/1 Ari Soi 2, 02-619-8177, www.whollycowbkk.com), which churns out slabs of Aussie beef marinated in a “secret family recipe”, along with fish and chips and other no nonsense favourites. It’s set in yet another glass-heavy structure, with live jazz at weekends, a walk-in wine cellar, Belgian beers and a soon-to-open cigar bar called Holy Smokes.

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meal deals

FOOD & DRINKS

September

7-16

■■Southern Cuisine Promotion

Amari Watergate Bangkok [MAP4 / E2] 847 Petchburi Road | 02-653 9000 | www.amari.com/watergate

They promise the food will be “authentic, hot and spicy” for the Southern Cuisine Promotion at Thai on 4 restaurant from September 7-16. Executive chef Thanasit Lampasuk has put together a short menu with dishes including gaeng pa pla sai khao (spicy whitebait curry with kaffir lime and cumin leaves, B380) and tom son pla chon (snakehead fish in sweet and sour soup with pineapple, peppercorn and lemongrass, B320).

September

30

■■Isaan promotion at basil

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit [mAP3 / F6] 250 Sukhumvit Road | 02-649-8888 | www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com

More regional recipes feature in the Inspired by Isaan promotion at basil restaurant, where chef Kesinee Wanta cooks northeastern food until September 30. Chef says her favourite – spicy papaya salad with crispy Willow Leaf fish – is on the menu, along with plates like Isaan-style tuna tartar; and roulade of wild mushroom and John Dory in a spicy green broth. Maybe finish with a parfait of sweetcorn with shredded young coconut.

■■Japanese High Tea

Until Oct 31

The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel Bangkok [MAP3 / L7] 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22 | 02-261-9000 | www.imperialhotels.com They are adding a touch of refinement to the Lobby Lounge, in the Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, with the introduction of Japanese High Tea from 2:30pm-5:30pm, until October 31. There will be a daily-changing selection including a chocolate fountain, green-tea scones, chicken yakitori and salmon-nori rolls. And, if you have a caffeine habit anything like ours, the free flow Lavazza and Ronnefeldt loose teas alone almost cover the net price of B499.

■■Slow Awadhi cooking

Until Sep 30

Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok [MAP3 / J7] 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 | 02-261-7100 | www.rembrandtbkk.com www.facebook.com/rembrandtbkk Tasty, low and slow Awadhi cooking takes centre stage at Rang Mahal restaurant in the ShamE-Awadh promotion until September 30. The technique will be used in various dishes, including tandoor charred-onion flavoured chicken, and goat shank and chops cooked in a traditional Indian stove called an angeethi. They also promise slowly cooked deep-fried jumbo prawns, which sounds a bit tricky.

■■Moon Cakes

Until Sep 30

Banyan Tree Bangkok [MAP5 / K8] 114/1 Taling-ngam, Koh Samui 0-7733 4069-70 21/100 South Sathon Road | 02-679-1200 | www.banyantree.com/bangkok The traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the yearly harvest, accompanied by various rituals such as dragon parades, match-making dances and the floating of sky lanterns. But most Bangkok restaurants restrict themselves to the devouring of sweet and savoury mooncakes, variously flavoured and usually made of red bean or lotus seed paste. Try them at many places, including the Banyan Tree Bangkok until September 30.

Ongoing

■■Signature Tuesdays at Espresso

InterContinental Bangkok [MAP4 / H4] 973 Ploenchit Road | 02-656-0444 | www.intercontinental.com

The InterContinental Bangkok has launched Signature Tuesday at its Espresso buffet restaurant, featuring signature dishes from the hotel’s other outlets. You can try specials like braised short rib truffle mash from Fireplace Grill, mussels with herb seasoning from Grossi Trattoria & Wine Bar, and wasabi prawn from Summer Palace. It’s available every Tuesday from 6pm-10:30pm, priced B1,259++, including still water, coffee and tea. 5 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


Deliciously Stinky

A new exhibition at the Museum of Siam explores Thailand’s millennia-old infatuation with rotten food

To put it bluntly, the latest exhibition at the Museum of Siam stinks. That may sound like faint praise until you consider the topic: rotten food, namely Thailand’s own ilk of it. Entitled ‘Kin Kong Nao’, which literally translates as ‘eating rotten food’, the free exhibition is a nose-hair-tingling showcase of Thailand’s main food preservation technique, namely fermentation, and the beloved pongy food stuffs that result from it. Jars of pla ra , fermented fish, line the wall by the entrance, yards from a buffet table loaded with plastic recreations of far-from-fresh delicacies: naem (pickled pork sausage), pla som (sour fish fermented with rice) and kanon jeen (fermented rice noodles), among others. Waiters invite you to sit down at a posh restaurant table, the place mats featuring explanatory text about each dish. And a video by celebrity chef Chakrit Yamnam sings the praises of kapi, shrimp paste, the central component in Thai curry paste. The main reason for coming here though is not to play with fake food, but to put rotten food in its historical and regional context, something it does rather well. Placards explain how in the old days, long before microscopes and fridges, these delicacies came about via a sort of rustic science rooted in trial and error. In a nutshell, thousands of years ago people discovered that, under controlled conditions, they could eliminate some of the pathogens in rotten food by using sunlight, heat or adding other ingredients such as salt and sugar. These processes were then fine-tuned to enable the friendly bacteria to multiply while simultaneously suppressing the harmful ones. bangkok101.com

As well as explaining how Thailand’s forefathers made rotten food, the exhibition also explains why, namely necessity – the need to stay alive. “There were no refrigerators back then”, says museum director Rames Phromyen. “Though foods were abundant, resources could get brutally scarce in some seasons, so they had to think of ways to keep fresh food edible long enough to survive the hard times.” Fowl food is also put in its regional context. Beside the pla ra jars, a placard explains that Thailand’s neighbours are also partial to this pungent treat commonly associated with the earthy lower classes. The Cambodians call it ‘prahok’, the Filiphinos ‘bagoong’, and the Vietnamese ‘mam’, we learn. Walk through the walkway done up like a deep-freezer and you emerge into a pungent market jammed full of all the rancid foodstuffs that fill Asian supermarkets here at home and abroad. “Why does rotten food still exist in the modern age, when we don’t really need it?,” you ask yourself. The abridged answer: because rotten food has become an intrinsic part of Thailand’s social, economic and culinary DNA. Thais don’t eat it because it they need it, but because they can’t get enough of it.

พิพิธภัณฑ์การเรียนรู้แห่งชาติ ถ.สนามไชย

Kin Kong Nao Until November 4   getting there

Museum Siam [MAP7/D13] 4 Sanam Chai Road, Phra Nakhon | 02-2252777 ext. 405 Tues-Sun 10am-6pm | www.museumsiam.com, www.facebook.com/museumsiamfan | free sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 5 7


FOOD & DRINKS

An An Lao

Restaurant review by Max Crosbie-Jones

- this trusty old kitchen has lost none of its charm On a recent taxi ride down Thonglor we were shocked to see that An An Lao, one of the trustiest oldie but goodies on the soi, was boarded up. Had one of our culinary nightmares (the other being Gordon Ramsey inspecting the contents of our fridge) come true? This family-run gem become a victim of Thonglor’s inflated rents and gone under? No, we were relieved to discover a couple of nights later, it has just relocated to a virtually unmissable, gleaming new location on Sukhumvit Soi 26, just across from K Village.

With its overhead strip lighting, you’d struggle to call the canteen-like setting pretty, but no one cares, a tribute to the quality of the food. An An Lao’s is a descendant of the food that has resulted from immigration in Thailand’s Deep South. Khun Roongnanpa and her Thai-Chinese family hail from Betong, a mountainous district in Yala province; and it is the not-too-puritanical style of homestyle Chinese cooking that they grew up with down there that has made An An Lao such a fixture among families, businessmen, expats, even celebrity masterchef McDang.

“Community malls have been trying to get us to join them for years,” reveals Khun Roongnanpa, the family matriarch who manages the place and whose sunny disposition makes it a much brighter, livelier place than it would be otherwise. “But that’s not us,” she chirps, “we are not microwave cooking. We need space and we make a lot of noise.”

Since the big move, the menu has been bolstered by the addition of more seafood and Thai dishes (the family also owns a Thai restaurant, Baan Rap Rong, out near Suvarnabhumi Airport). It’s so sprawling that you could dine here ten, fifteen, maybe even twenty times and never encounter the same dish twice. That said, there are some signatures that we, and most regulars, order in as a matter of habit. The steamed betong chicken is the one that no table spread should be without (and the reason why a backlit chicken logo looms large over the entrance). Served in a garlic and soy sauce, initially you’re taken aback by the toughness of the lean, free-range meat (KFC chicken this ain’t); but most are won over by its flavour and sinewy goodness.

They can certainly make a lot of it at their new location on the corner of the upcoming A-Space arcade. It’s massive. Gone is the intimacy of the old branch, but to make up for it there’s a lot more space, plus plenty of parking (a real problem at the original), a bigger kitchen and disabled wheelchair access. Still present and correct is the uniform of old-style Chinese cooking: big round banquet tables covered with red table cloths. 5 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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Coming in a close second is the peking duck, which is An An Lao’s best seller (and loss-leader) due to its pricetag: B350 for the whole bird. On weekends, punters have been known to queue outside the door for one of these beasts, which are air-dried for two days before being roasted, and skinned in view of your table. And we can see why, as you get two dishes: a plate of wafer-thin, deep red skin served with steamed flour sheets, cucumber sticks and sticky hoisin; and the meat served separately in one of four ways, from deep-fried with garlic to stir-fried with bean sprouts. Fowl isn’t the only thing that’s full-on delicious here. There are other, less lauded signatures such as the lightly wok fried, satisfyingly crunchy watercress in oyster sauce. There is also kao yok , thick slices of steamed pork belly interspersed with slices of just as thick taro. Doused in a sweet brown gravy thick with black bean pickles and Chinese spices, it’s a delicious, gratifying dish that we mopped up with hot, pillowsoft slices of mun thow (steamed Chinese bun).

Just when we thought things couldn’t get much better, we then sunk our spoon into a small bowl of the hua pla puak mor fai (fish head’s soup with taro). Dark and mysterious and clogged with chunks of tender (but bony) fish, this was one of the most densely flavoured soups we’ve tasted in a long while. Other honourable mentions: the goong yang (succulent, tender grilled river prawns from Ayutthaya); khao op nam liap (baked rice with salted olive); and, to finish, pu sa tod (a sweet, crispy jujube berry pancake). An An Lao is already back on course, and “non-stop crowded” on weekends as Roonnangpa puts it. We can see why. Aside from the novelty factor of the dishes and the freshness of the ingredients (Roonnangpa likes to hit Klong Toey, the local fresh market, herself), the consistency of the cooking is hard to fault. This probably has a lot to do with the chef, who is the same one the grandparents taught the family recipes when An An Lao opened twenty two years ago. Someone give the man a medal.

อัน อัน เหลา สุขุมวิท ซ.26   getting there

an an lao  [MAP8 / q17] Sukhumvit Soi 26 | BTS Phrom Phong | 02-261-8188 11:00am - 22:00pm | www.ananlao.com

bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 5 9


FOOD & DRINKS

Whale’s Belly Restaurant review by Max Crosbie-Jones

- Expect fine European fare and absolutely no blubber Perhaps we’re just spoilt, but we were expecting more of a wow-factor on entering Whale’s Belly. A cast-iron industrial interior that swirls like a whale’s innards, à la one of Ashley Sutton’s joints perhaps, or something similarly out-there. Alas, what we found instead was a rather innocuous, marine-blue dining room with a ribbed, whale’s belly ceiling and a few fauxantique sea-faring knickknacks scattered here and there. Still, though Whale’s Belly’s ocean-themed décor doesn’t really float our boat, its classical European-style food impressed us no end. And so it should: with starters ranging from B380-B980++ and mains from B490-B19,00, this is one pricey restaurant; the sort of place most of us head for power lunches or special occasions or when someone else is paying. The main reason for the expense, as far as we could tell, is that head chef Apirawit Chaopo-en used to work at Le Normandie, the highly acclaimed (if slightly stuffy) French restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Also, most of the produce, bar some of the veg, appears to be imported (no locavore hipness here). Starters include the Duck & Beets, a long oblong plate of smoked duck breast, pickled beetroot and needle beans in a lemon vinaigrette (B420++), all of them arranged criss-cross along a brush stroke of pureed beetroot. It’s a real post-modern looker of a dish, and, we’re pleased to say, has the taste to match its artful composition: the meat was tender, the vegetables crunchy, the puree sweet, with just a shade of tart. Our mains were just as well plated and executed, especially the Roasted Salmon (B750++). A perfectly roasted fillet – golden skin, white flesh – was served on a bed of mashed potato flecked with threads of crab meat, itself swimming in a white cream sauce dotted with black-caviar. Rich, smooth and luxurious. 6 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Slightly less highfalutin was the ‘Mc’N Cheese’ ravioli with chicken herb stuffing and thick and runny ricotta and parmesan cheeses (B550++). And the duck leg confit (B790) was a real talking point, not just for the quality of the tender, luscious meat, but also the not too sweet prune sauce that went so well with it. Dessert – a dark chocolate ganache with Rocher crisp and Kirsch-laced cherries (B270++) – confirmed the whale in the room, that the chef here has a flair for plating and sumptuous flavours. A fruity, refreshing welcome drink is served on arrival (grenadine, lychee and lime); complimentary palate cleaners, like the cocktail glass of butterfly pea jelly and mango sorbet that we wolfed down, are handed out between some courses; and there’s a wide ranging wine list, a glass of the stuff starting from B280++. They also offer a daily, three course set lunch menu that reduces the damage to a more palatable B500++. Of all Whale’s Belly add-ons though, our favourite is the Grey Goose vodka-sponsored cocktail list by Karn Liangsrisuk, an award-wining bartender who used to work at the Shangri-La (and has just co-founded Escapade Burgers & Shakes; see p.80). Our pick: the Together Forever (B350), a pink-pastel blend of Grey Goose vodka, campari, fresh lychee, cranberry and pink grapefruit juices and elder flower syrup that delights with its earthy notes of cucumber.

บูเลวาร์ด ทาวเวอร์ สุขมุ วิท ซ.39

  getting there

Whale’s Belly  [MAP3/k3] 2nd Floor, 39 Boulevard Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 39 BTS Phrom Phong | 02-160-0333 | 11:30am-2:30 pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm | www.facebook.com/whalesbelly bangkok101.com


Imperial Queen’s Park Restaurant review by Yvonne Liang

- Around the world in 300 dishes Boasting over a thousand rooms, the Imperial Queen’s Park hotel is clearly a great believer in ‘bigger is better’. And the same philosophy applies to its new Sunday brunch, a bountiful behemoth comprised of 300 dishes spanning twenty nations. Its size isn’t the only thing that sets it apart. There’s also the fact that brunchers get to experience three signature restaurants scattered throughout the hotel, from the lobby floor all the way up to the 37th. Now, if that sounds too much like hard work, especially on what’s traditionally meant to be your day of leisure, trust us, you’ll be grateful for the walking to the various venues in between your rounds. Not only does it help lessen the guilt of eating an exorbitant amount of food, it also aids in the digestion process. We started off with in Imperial Chinese Restaurant, where we found chefs were rustling up all sorts of authentic dishes from all over the mainland. In one corner a chef was rolling up portions of mouth-watering Peking duck and serving up sweet roasted suckling pig; in another a chef was spooning out bowls of crab meat in a savoury brown sauce. Another notable dish was the pork spare ribs cooked in Chinese wine, which gave it a rich crimson colour and sugary flavor. Of the whole array of desserts on offer, the steamed bird’s nest and gingko nut in young coconut was clearly the biggest crowd pleaser, as a whole tray of the delicacy was cleared by diners in mere minutes. bangkok101.com

After round one, we then moved up to the 37th floor for more food from the Orient at Kacho Japanese Restaurant. Sashimi, sushi rolls and Japanese styled curry were just a few of the options, but the real highlight was the Canadian Lobster – a few portions of this and you’ll have got your money’s worth. After this, it was down to the vast, airy Parkview Restaurant. Here the Thai and international food guarantees something for every palate, with live-cooking stations, BBQ bites, a ham carvery, hot dishes and Thai and international dessert favorites such as french toast, waffles and crepes being just a smattering of the goodies on offer. Foie-gros fanatics will also be happy with the rich and buttery version served here. But be warned: after all that walking, a deep food coma is a very real possibility. An upscale but reasonably priced extravaganza with a fun, dine-journey concept, this is a solid new addition to our Bangkok brunch options, albeit not the most leisurely.

รร.อิมพีเรียล ควีนส์ ปาร์ค สุขุมวิท ซ.22   getting there

Imperial Queen’s Park  [MAP3/ l7] 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22 | 02-261-9000 ext. 5001-4 | imperialhotels.com/ imperialqueenspark | BTS Phrom Phong | Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm | B1,600 (food only) or 2,100 (inclusive of free flow beverages) sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 6 1


FOOD & DRINKS

ealtike

Nym

Our roving eater Nym knows her local grub inside out –  and thrives on the stories behind the dishes. Each month, she takes an offbeat tour in search of the city’s next delectable morsel …

Saphan Luang’s Kuay Tiew Lord For many foodies, Rama IV road is a traffic-snarled thoroughfare they pass when on their way to Chinatown for some nighttime street food. But I often never even make it that far, as I get drawn in by the shops that line the side of the road as you approach Hua Lamphong, the city’s main train terminus. It’s not quite up there with Chinatown but this area, named Saphan Luang after the Yellow Bridge near the station, still has a solid reputation among Thais for its late night street food. From authentic Vietnamese and old school Chinese in proper shophouses to sidewalk street carts, there’s a wide array of good looking and smelling fare to graze on here. One of my favourite foodie finds among the many is a kuay tiew lord (steamed rice noodles with mixed meat and tofu in the black sauce) stall on the street. The first thing I like about it how the owner always has a cheerful smile for you. The second is the taste of this soft, glutinous, many-textured dish, which I find as enjoyable as her smile. As well as kuay tiew lord, she also sells dim sum, another Chinese-style dish that falls into the much-loved light dinner or snack category and that Thais like to drizzle se-iew (black soy) sauce over. When asked how she makes them, she points to a lovely faced lady sat next to the stall and replies, “I don’t make them, my mother does”. Oh, so that explains why you’re so happy, I think to myself. Their compact cooking space is comprised of a stack of steaming portable pots over a charcoal stove. The upper section is used to steam noodles in little banana leaf cups, the lower section to blanch bean sprouts. Once these two components are on the plate, the sauce, deep-fried garlic and chopped spring onions are added, and voila – you have yourself one tasty dish. On my most recent visit, my friend and I share the space on the fold-up table with strangers. We over order as do our unknown eating companions. As with so much of our capital’s streetfood, over indulgence is the only sane option.

สะพานเหลือง ถ.พระรามสี่   getting there [MAP5 / f1]

Saphan Luang’s street food stalls appear at night, on the section of Rama IV Road just after Thai Commercial Bank on the left hand side and just before Hua Lamphong train station on the right hand side. The kuay tiew lord stall is there Friday to Sunday. 6 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


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bangkok101.com

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*1 child under 10 dines for free per paying adult

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sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 6 3


FOOD & DRINKS

cooking with poo

Stop sniggering at the back! Poo is actually the nickname of one of the city’s most in-demand cooks, Saiyuud ‘Chom-Poo’ Diwong. A long-time resident of Bangkok’s Klong Toey slum, Poo runs her own cooking school as part of the Helping Hands initiative, a community self-help program she started with other residents. The profits help street businesses get on their feet. Each month we bring you a recipe from her cooking book, copies of which are available via her website www.cookingwithpoo.com.

Khiaw Waan Green Curry Gaeng แกงเขียวหวาน

Some people like to add more vegetables to this dish such as carrot, baby corn and bamboo shoots, though in our community, green curry is served with chicken blood, bones and feet. In restaurants this dish is more conventional, and Poo has adapted her recipe for foreigners. The sweet basil combined with hot chilli makes a delicious meal for any occasion, but especially a warm winter’s night. ingredients

• 500ml coconut milk • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn, not sliced • 6 tbs fish sauce /1 tbs of Salt • 1 tsp sugar • 300g chicken/pork/beef • 200g eggplant (any size) • 250ml water • 20 Thai basil leaves

curry paste

Preparation

• 1 tbs kaffir lime rind • 1 tbs galangal diced • 10 green chillies • 1 tbs lemon grass • 3 garlic cloves diced • 1 red onion diced

• Use mortar and pestle to crush the lime rind and galangal • Then add the chilli, lemongrass, garlic and onion and grind until it’s a paste • Add 250ml coconut milk to saucepan and bring to the boil • Add curry paste and stir for 2 minutes • Add torn kaffir lime leaves • Add fish sauce, sugar and meat and simmer until meat is cooked • Add eggplant, 250ml coconut milk and water until eggplant is soft. • Add Thai basil, mix for 1 minute • Serve with rice or fresh vermicelli noodles

 COOKING WITH POO

Saiyuud Diwong | UNOH Publications 112pp | www.cookingwithpoo.com Aus $20 6 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


sweet treat

PURITAN

Of all the many cake shops we’ve stuffed our faces at, Puritan is perhaps the best all-rounder. Japanese trained chef and owner Purinat Tantinahtana’s homemade cakes taste as indulgent as they look, glistening in his glass cake-counter, while his house cluttered with vintage bric-a-brac on suburban Ari Soi 5 has a cosy period atmosphere that most can only hanker for. Pick from one of only four tables in the snug house done out with Art Deco lamps, chandeliers, statues, velvet settees and other curios bought on his travels; or a lush courtyard out front, where tables sit beside faux-Grecian statues and orange, jelly-fish like fabric lanterns dangle from a rain tree. It’s an adorable setting in which to chill in this tropical pressure cooker of a city; especially in the evenings when the fairy lights and cicadas trilling over the Jazz CDs create a bohemian remove from Bangkok’s bustle.

bangkok101.com

A quirky fusion food menu and selection of creative coffees and smoothies are served; but, judging by the generous slabs being ferried to every table, often two or three at a time, it is the low-fat cakes baked fresh everyday for which Puritan is best loved. This rotating selection includes a moreish Cherry Cheesecake, featuring dark chocolate biscuit, moist cream cheese and thick layer of Morello cherries. And a divine Chocolate Cake made from a preposterously sticky and sumptuous dark chocolate. A selection of chunky homemade chocolates is also sold.

ภูริตัน อารีย์ ซ.5   getting there

PURITAN [MAP8 / L7] 46/1 Soi Ari 5 | BTS Ari | 02-357-1099 | www.puritancake.com | Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri &Sat noon-midnight

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 6 5


FOOD & DRINKS

tab chang

Thai Tab Chang [MAP2 / G6]

1 Nakniwat 41, Ladphrao 71, Ladphrao Road | 081-812-2868 www.tabchang.com | Tue – Sun 5:30 pm – 12 pm

Tab Chang is worth doing battle with Ladphrao’s rush hour traffic for. Housed in a tall, open-sided pavilion set peppered with modern Thai and antiqueytouches, and fringed by lawns, a pond and a gnarled Banyan tree, the setting is sumptuous. One can imagine the characters from old folk epic Khun Chaen Khun Phaen strolling idly beside the fish pond, while we can see the wooden decking that lurches over it being a hit come cool season. What really marks Tabchang out though is its ancestral Siamese food, dating back to the late 18th century and slowcooked in accordance with the owner Supada Rattagan’s four rules of cooking. These are: (1) only use the best, most authentic ingredients; (2) only use Thai cooking methods; (3) only use Thai cooks; and (4) don’t compromise your flavours for anyone. This ambitious stack of cards would all come tumbling down if the food were no good. But it is – very good. We opened with a dish new to us, mu krong krang , wok-fried pork nuggets coated in the aforementioned palm sugar (delicious, chewy), and a yum som-o salad (fresh, spicy and super sour due to the breed of polemo used). Of the curries we plumped for the beef massaman (an old family recipe). And for a soup, the pork rib stew with Chamuang leaves from Chantaburi (the sour star of our table). An exotic and modestly priced journey back through the recipe books, the only thing that wasn’t excellent at Tabchang was the service, which is a bit abrupt and short on polish, closer to “local-style” as Supada admits.

ทับช้าง ถ.ลาดพร้าว 6 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

mahanaga

MAHANAGA [MAP3 /J6]

2 Sukhumvit Soi 29 | BTS Phrom Phong 02-662-3060 | www.mahanaga.com 5:30pm-11pm

When Mahanaga appeared on the scene years ago, we were wowed by its seductive atmospheres – the charming main house, the fairy-light lit courtyard, the two Arabesque dining pavilions that border it – and it quickly became one of the hippest places in town for a romantic Thai meal. Bangkok’s dining scene has come a long way since then though, and the management knows it: a while back they phased out the signature fusion food in an attempt to recapture the old magic. Out went the hit-and-miss nouveau creations that never really caught on in favour of straight-up traditional Thai. On the menu, the family sharing menu offers the best value, allowing your table to enjoy politely spiced dishes, like the thick pork green curry, and grilled beef with nam jiew dipping sauce, the communal Thai way. Other highlights include mieng salmon krathong thong , and warm, sweet deepfried bananas with ice cream. One tip: after your meal, take your post-prandial cocktail or coffee in the Moroccan-style main house, where plush sofas and billowing silks threaten to delay your departure by a good half hour. You’re paying for Mahanaga’s sumptuous setting, so you might as well get your money’s worth.

มหานาก้า สุขุมวิท ซ.29

Southern Thai Khua Kling Pak Sod [MAP3 / R 3]

98/1 Thong Lor Soi 5 (Sukhumvit Soi 55) 02-185-3977 | 11am - 2pm; 5:30pm - 9pm

This Southern Thai restaurant is a family affair. It was when we checked out the original branch on Sukhumvit Soi 40, and it remains so at the house they’ve since relocated to on Thonglor Soi 5. Antiques,

somtum der

family heirlooms and Gustav Klimt prints still give the dining room a classy but homey feel, the English-speaking son and daughter still work here in their spare time, Aunty is still on cooking duties, and the family matriarch still sits at her wooden desk, in front of a huge photo of her late husband looking dapper in his youth. More importantly, the Southern food is still as good as we remember – colourful, intense, made with love. The menu lists 21 Southern dishes, most of them family recipes. Dishes that won’t leave you furiously dabbing your brow include the bai leang pad khai (stir-fried bai leang leaves with egg; B120), a mild, simple dish that works as a palliative for mouth burn; and the moreish moo oong (B140): a sweet, brown, smooth curry primed with fatty strips of pork and fragrant with star anise. Dishes that might include the khua kling moo (a dry, fragrant pork curry flecked with fine strips of kaffir lime leaf and tiny birds eye chills – watch out!; B150); and the tongue-scouring hot kaeng lueang pla (the classic fish and bamboo shoot yellow curry, B180). Should you want to mix things up a bit, half the menu is devoted to Central Thai food, all of it well done – but for us this is a place to delve into the flavours of the Deep South. The welcome is warm, the prices reasonable, and the slow-cooked food bold and fresh.

คั่วกลิ้ง ผักสด ทองหล่อ ซ.5

Northeastern Thai (Isan) SOMTUM DER [MAP5 / K6]

5/5 Saladaeng Road,Silom. Bangrak BTS Sala daeng/MRT Silom | 02-6324499 | www.facebook.com/SomtumDer | Mon - Sat 11am - 10pm

Neither fine-dining nor kerbside, the setting at Somtum Der is relaxed and inviting. The air-conditioned shophouse on bangkok101.com


Sala Daeng Soi 1has an outdoor decking area and an upbeat almost art café feel, with lots of light wood and accents of red and orange. Bamboo fish net and rice basket lampshades cast a warm glow both downstairs and upstairs, where photos of pastoral Isan life line the walls. As for the food – about 20 varieties of the namesake raw papaya salad, plus 15 or so other Northeastern dishes – we think this could well become a word-of-mouth hit. Not only is it reasonably priced (the cheapest dish is B55, the most expensive B105), it’s also no mere copy of what’s served on the streets. One of Somtum Der’s nine partners, Korn from Sakhon Nakorn, is responsible for making sure all of the dishes “stick to their roots”, as they put it. The result is a slim yet plucky menu that’s full of surprises (for Bangkok at least), such as the somtum pla tu khao mun, a sweet-and-sour variation starring grilled mackerel and coconut rice. Another, the somtum sua Sakhon Nakorn, stars kanom jeen (rice noodles), crab and eggplant and comes sprinkled with kratin seeds, which add a pleasant nuttiness and crunch. Backup comes from an also intriguing range of specials and other dishes: moo ping kati (sticks of grilled pork marinated with coconut and served alongside three little spindles of vermicelli); a feisty laab pla duk (minced grilled catfish salad with a crispy, crunchy texture thanks to the addition of sundried then deep-fried sticky rice); laab tod (balls of deepfried minced pork); among others.

ส้มตำ�เด้อ ซ.ศาลาแดง สีลม

AMERICAN BURGER FACTORY [MAP3 /T2]

3 Soi Ekkamai 10 | 02-714-4249 | BTS Ekkamai | www.facebook.com/ theburgerfactory | 11:30am-11pm Sun-Thurs, 11:30am-midnight Fri-Sat

How does the latest sign of Bangkok’s ongoing burger obsession measure up to all the competition? First things first: the décor. Stylishly wrought in black metal, the Burger Factory seems to owe more to the ironsmith’s atelier than your typical American-style diner. Not that that’s a bad thing – unlike your typical American-style diner this joint looks every inch the after-work hangout, like a stylish gastro-bar. Indeed, the owners seem keen to promote it as such, with cocktails, wines, beers and happy hours all present. Thanks to the floor-toceiling windows the space is bright, and there’s a small outdoor terrace. As for the main attraction, the restaurant’s monikers don’t lie. Both the buns and patties here are made fresh on-site each day, in the open kitchen that flanks the entrance. Even more impressive: they only serve ground grass and grain fed beef from Australia. We chomped on three from the list of eleven, all of them cooked medium, as is the default here. The first, the Patty Melt (B300), was compact and handsome, with a generous layer of caramelized onions and melted gruyere and Gouda cheeses. The second, the Red Devil Burger (B300), was heftier and messier due to its extras: an omelet and thick layer of spicy sauce. Both hit the spot

burger factory bangkok101.com

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FOOD & DRINKS

Café Tartine

(thankfully, the latter didn’t live up to the menu’s “the most spicy burger on earth” claim); but for us it was the least fancy of the three, the Factory Burger (B290), that impressed the most. Sinking your teeth into this trim bacon cheeseburger, you could taste the homemade-ness, as the patty flaked in the mouth, releasing a succulent burst of flame-grilled flavour. Accompanying it were some squiggly, seasoned curly fries (other options: French fries or homemade potato salad), and washing it down was a vanilla milkshake – a tasty one, albeit lacking the thick, creamy texture we’re used to.

เบอร์เกอร์ แฟคตอรี่ เอกมัย ซ.10

FRENCH Café Tartine [MAP4 / L5]

4 Athenee Residence Retail Space, Soi Ruamrudee | BTS Ploenchit | 02-168-5464 | www.cafetartine.net | Mon-Sat 8am - 8pm

This bright, Parisian-style sidewalk café on Soi Ruam Rudee is a bit with Perrierquaffing Francophiles. Why? The creamy, old world-style interior filled with closeknit pine tables and a bustling counter certainly helps, being one of the more elegant beat-the-heat spots in town. One of the owners, Agathe, greeting arrivals in French adds to the charm too. But no, it’s the pithy menu of no-fuss French baked fare – croissants, quiches, salads, sandwiches etc – that has won over everyone from pram-wheeling expat wives and office workers to ravenous journos like ourselves. Tuck into their cheesy French onion soup served in crock-pot, before hunkering down on an assertivelyflavoured sandwich – each one a whole fresh-baked baguette served with green salad. Our pick: the Poulet Chevre (marinated chicken with strong goat’s cheese and black olives). The café also offers aperitifs and, if you’re in a rush, everything 6 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

mrs. balbir‘s

is available to-go (though Agathe advises that the hot and runny croque monsiers and such like don’t travel well). Café Tartine is also open for Sunday brunch, when the lone long pine table, perfect for accommodating a Ricard-sipping family and friends, really comes into its own.

แอทธินี เรสซิเดนซ์ ซ.ร่วมฤดี

INDIAN Mrs. Balbir’s [MAP3 / D6]

155/1-2 Sukhumvit Soi 11/1 | 02-651-0498 www.mrsbalbirs.com | BTS Nana Tue-Sun (closed on Mon) 11:30am – 11pm

Progressive new curryhouses may have stolen the limelight, but Sukhumvit’s Mrs Balbir’s still has a loyal following. Inside, the fresh, cream white dining room, with its marble floors, tall-back patterned velvet chairs, and furniture and finishes redolent of a camp Maharajas neo-classical palace, is an unexpectedly upscale setting for this gritty part of town, but the real coup here is the good old-fashioned cooking. The friendly owner, Vinder Balbir, a local celeb and former TV chef who divulges her secrets at her popular cooking classes upstairs, offers unswervingly traditional North Indian made using recipes and spice blends that she’s fine-tuned over the years. Our starters, spinach cutlets, were soft, warm, fragrantly spiced bricks served with coriander chutney. They vanished in seconds. Following were lamb tandoori kebabs with a diced onion and spicy dip and the meat done just right. Mains include a bewildering range of regional curries and tandoori dishes, including an elegantly smooth butter chicken, and a grittier, bolder, more complex Punjabi chicken kadai. Paratha and naans were hot and fresh and good for dipping; but it was an emblematic dessert – rasmalai (soft dumplings in a refreshing chilled sweet milk flavoured with cardamom, almonds and pistachio)

above eleven

– that had us itching to log on and check air ticket prices to the Subcontinent.

มิสซิส บัลบีร์ สุขุมวิท ซ.11

INTERNATIONAL Above Eleven [MAP3 / C4]

33rd Fl Frasers Suite Sukhumvit Hotel, 38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana 02-207-9300 | www.aboveeleven.com OPEN Daily 6pm - 2am

The lure of Peruvian should have curious foodies dribbling at the mouth. Add a west-facing 33rd floor rooftop bar with beautiful sunsets, and Above Eleven, on paper, is a winning combination. Chef Omar Frank Maruy brings Bangkok’s first taste of Nikkei cuisine, a PeruvianJapanese fusion developed over 140 years of Japanese immigration. The outdoor wooden deck bar with glass walls for maximum view has a central bar, dining tables, lounge areas and huge daybeds for parties to slumber on. Start with a predinner Peruvian cocktail – maybe a pisco sour, made with Peruvian grappa, lime, egg white and angostura (B350) – before checking out the menu, which also has some Japanese dishes. Starters include Cebiche Above Eleven (B550), in which the crunch of deep fried calamari contrasts well with raw seabass marinated in “Tiger’s Milk”, a blend including shallots, lemon and chilli with flavours similar to Thai, although much more restrained. Five skewers of cubed charcoal grilled beef heart (B240) are served with three Peruvian dips of increasing fieriness, and Kani Causa (B300) is three mounds of yellow coloured mashed potato topped with crab meat, avocado, quail egg and mayo. Plates are served centrally to share and portions are generous, particularly on main courses such as Seco de Cordero (B950), a slowcooked lamb shank seasoned with beer, cilantro, cumin and aji Amarillo (Aji is chilli, bangkok101.com


Restaurant and Wine Bar

rink with the legend

join us every evening from 4:30 until 7:30 for a special 1 for 1 House wine, house pour and draught beer Jim Thompson House and Museum

6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road, Bangkok 10330 Tel: (66) 02 612 3601 www.jimthompson.com

A decadent dining experience awaits you this summer at one of bangkok’s most dazzling venues at just Bath 1,800++ or Bath 2,900++ with paired wines per person.

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FOOD & DRINKS

salt

jojo

which, for cooking, Peruvians use deseeded and pre-boiled). The food we tried was a little low on character and flavour, and homey rather than gourmet, but these are early days, with as yet no imported Peruvian product. There’s a great view, an electro soundtrack with special DJ nights on Wednesday (Latin), Friday (hip hop) and Saturday (house), and this is Bangkok’s only Peruvian, a cuisine with a bit of worldwide buzz. It will suit the adventurous.

เฟรเซอร์ สวีทส์ สุขุมวิท สุขุมวิท ซ.11 SALT [MAP8 / L7]

Soi Ari (near Soi 4) | BTS Ari | 02-619-6886 6pm-midnight (closed Tuesdays)

Housed on a Soi Ari plot that the city’s condo developers would love to get their hands on (and helmed by a group of creatives who are determined that they won’t), Salt is a hipster-luring restaurant-cum-bar

with a post-modern finish. Seating is either out on an outdoor terrace or in a cool, minimal concrete shell – a former condominium sales office no less – with a bar at the far end and lots of raw marble, stone and wooden furniture. Behind them sits an old wooden house which is used to project digital animations and offers extra seating. This is the sort of uber-trendy space that the editors of Wallpaper* and other design bibles kneel down and kiss the floor at, but what makes Salt is the global cuisine that’s coming out the kitchen, from fresh sashimi platters to generously dressed thin-crust pizzas cooked in a proper wood fire. There are also humungous salads (try the green sesame ginger salad); good pastas, like the truffle ravioli; and a Thai influence at work in dishes like the excellent Seasalt Carpaccio, a big plate of raw fish

drizzled in a seriously spicy-tart dressing. Featuring creative concoctions like the Bangkok Mule (a long glass of Mekong rum, brown sugar, ginger ale and diced raw lemongrass), the cocktail list is the work of one of the mixologists from Soi Ruam Rudee’s designer cocktail bar Hyde & Seek. That’s an impressive feature in a restaurant that’s well seasoned with them.

ซอล์ท ซ.อารีย์ (ใกล้อารีย์ ซ.4)

ITALIAN JOJO [MAP4 / G7]

The St. Regis Bangkok,159 Rajadamri Road | BTS Ratchadamri | 02-207-7815; stregis. com/bangkok | 12pm - 3:30pm, 6pm – 11pm

The concept at JoJo is fine dining Italian, serving “premium products and traditional recipes that set us apart from

ad Eat Me 7 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


FResh market: Or Tor Kor Ask the city’s best chefs and home cooks where they buy their ingredients, and the majority of them will tell you Or Tor Kor, despite its slightly far-flung location just south of the Jatujak Weekend Market. For starters, it’s more hygienic. Or Tor Kor looks and smells a lot more pleasant than your average Thai fresh market, with white ceramic paths (instead of mucky concrete) cutting through its neatly divided sections of stalls. But its main attraction, of course, is the selection. Foodies will find that hours pass like seconds here as they browse this storehouse for every form of Thai farm produce imaginable: fruits, veggies, still swimming seafood, meat, all shipped fresh and direct from local farmers, and with not a bruised tomato or withered basil leaf in sight. It’s not all ingredients, though. Those of you who aren’t masters in the kitchen, will be pleased to find that there’s cooked food for sale too, from addictive crispy pork served with lemon garlic dip to coal-grilled king prawns and moo satay (sticks of grilled pork with sweet peanut sauce). The number of Thais in Mercedes who drop by is indicative of Or Tor Kor’s prices, which are higher than at other, grittier fresh markets, such as Klong Toey for example. However, for the quality, it’s still something of a bargain. Such is its standing, that CNNGO recently ranked it fourth in a listing of the world’s best fresh markets, with Barcelona’s La Boqueria Market, Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market and New York City’s Union Square Farmer’s Market being the only ones that beat it.

ตลาด อ.ต.ก. (องค์การตลาดเพื่อเกษตรกร)

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FOOD & DRINKS

Tapas Café

the competition,” according to F&B Manager Steffen Opitz. Much like the look and feel of the rest of the hotel (the cocoon-like spa aside), the design is modern contemporary, with splashes of understated glamour. In JoJo this is represented by a palette of earth tones topped by an iridescent crystal chandelier.  The smartly divided space offers diners choices between relaxed high tables, more formal chairs, or a seat at the bar. One particular standout is the fettuccine alfredo (B320); perfectly al dente pasta served tableside in a wheel of Castelmagno cheese – with origins dating back to the 13th century, only 6,000 are produced every year.  However, if you only order one cheese dish, you have to ask for the Burrata cheese with rocket salad (B800). This magically uncomplicated blend of mozzarella and cream was without doubt the highlight of the night – a solid shell encased a creamy centre that was deliciously divine. Though we could have happily finished right then and there, we’re glad we went with Zaretti’s recommendation to try the pizza al tartufo (B600), a deceptively light tasting thin-crust pizza with truffle, montasio and mozzarella cheeses, and potato.  Indeed, aficionados will be in cheese heaven, with more than 30 exquisite varieties stored in a small cooled space attached to the wine room – itself a design piece.  Other dinner highlights include the carbonara  tradizionale (B280), prepared the traditional Italian  way without cream; the veal ossobuco (B820 baht) with  thick saffron rice cream and cremolata relish; and ovenbaked  seabass (B980) with lemon jam, stir-fried pak choi  and saffron rice.

รร.เดอะ เซนต์ รีจิส ถ.ราชดำ�ริ 

7 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

imoya

SPANISH Tapas Café [MAP3 / D6]

Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana | 02-651-2947 www.tapasiarestaurants.com 11am til late | cash only

Set in a cute loft space with rotating art exhibitions, Tapas Café fills that desire for drinks and a chatty nosh with flair. The charming executive chef rotates his menu every few days, but here are a few plates we hope will stay – a gorgeously moist “tortilla,” the classic potato-and-onion omelette; ham croquetas so delicate it’s a miracle they stay together ; savoury little slices of Angus beef; and tender octopus that will banish the memory of nightmare rubber tentacles. Delicious sangria will get you drunk in minutes – luckily, the food isn’t so salty, often the case with traditional tapas, that you wind up quaffing too much. Keep an eye out for paella and more fusion-y innovations too.

ทาปาส คาเฟ่ สุขุมวิท ซ.11

JAPANESE IMOYA [MAP3 / M7]

3/F Terminal Shop Cabin, 2/17-19 Sukhumvit 24 | BTS Phrom Phong 02-663-5185 | 5pm – midnight

Imoya resembles a gritty Tokyo joint from a noir 1970s gangster flick – and comes off all the more memorable for it. Tatty old Japanese B-movie and beer posters adorn the corrugated iron walls, while the staff flit up and down the skuzzy, oddly alley-like corridors, serving cures for homesickness to Bangkok’s salarymen. Lone sake sippers sit up at the sushi bar while groups grab a table or cubicle with tatami mats, and those allergic to Imoya’s tobacco tang (erm, hello, smoking ban?)

grab the smoke-free seats. Reasonable prices and bags of variety on the plasticbacked menu make this a good place for impulse ordering. Tuck into the sanma yaki fish or kimuchi nabe (vegetable hotpot) and don’t be surprised if you find yourself demanding another – we did. Not that everything’s great. The sashimi’s ok, for example, but not a patch on the stuff you find in the best hotels, while the maguro don (tuna over rice) just left us shrugging our shoulders. Well worth seeking out then – where else in Bangkok can you sink glasses of sake while pretending you’re a yakuza boss with nothing to lose? – but do beware the odd duff dish. From the Sukhumvit Road end of Soi 24, the entrance to this upstairs hidey-hole is located about 100 metres down on the right hand side.

อิโมย่า สุขุมวิท ซ.24

MIDDLE EASTERN Beirut [mAP3 / R 2]

2nd F, 8 Building, Thonglor Soi 8, Soi Thonglor (Sukhumvit 55) BTS Thong Lo 02-714-8963 www.beirut-restaurant.com | 11am – 11pm

Restaurants in malls have to work that bit harder to win our affections, but the original branch of Beirut, in the basement of the Ploenchit Centre, just across from the enclave of Middle Eastern restaurants on Sukhumvit 3/1, is one of the few that has managed it. The reason we keep coming back is simple: its pros (fresh, flavoursome Lebanese food served in big portions) vastly outweigh its cons (bland mall location, unsmiley service). This also holds true for Beirut’s newest fourth branch. While yet again the mall setting is only so-so (but a bit more bangkok101.com


beirut

upscale, with a pleasant outdoor terrace), things take a big upward turn as soon as you commence scarfing on its lemonfresh salads, creamy dips and beautifully marinated meat kebabs, among other welldone Lebanese delights. Begin by ordering in the classics, such as the falafel (chick peas patties served deep fried with tahina sauce; B180) and hummus (super smooth; B120). Another must is one of Beirut’s big, skillfully charred naan breads (B 45) to scoop it up with – few eating pleasures in life are as simple yet satisfying. Also good here are fresh, citrusy, invigorating salads like the tabouleh (B160) and fatoush (B160). Of the meat offerings (and there are many), the not-too-oily chicken and kafta (minced lamb skewers) were especially good. Dessert was baklava (B 70), the treacly layered pastry treat that kebab

bangkok101.com

Vt naem nueang

shops in the West hand out for free. Here, though, it’s worth paying for, with almond, pistachio and walnut variations available, all of them rich, gooey and delectable.

อาคาร 8 ชั้น 2 (ทองหล่อ ซ.8)

VIETNAMESE VT Naem Nueang [MAP2/G8]

Pradit Manutham Rd (behind Palm Street Shopping Row) | 02-935-6524 | vtnamnueng.exteen.com | 10:30am – 10pm

With its crystal chandeliers and plastic tablecloths, the décor may appear slightly confused (an oddly-eclectic soundtrack, which includes Christmas carols, only magnifies the effect) but the brightly-lit dining room at VT Naem Nueang is still a convivial spot in which to sample an

extensive menu of hard to find – but reasonably priced – Vietnamese delicacies. Not everything at this Bangkok offshoot of the famous branches up in the Northeast is a must-try (the goong pan oi – minced shrimp encasing a sugar cane and served with noodle balls and a pickled carrot relish – has, perhaps unsurprisingly, an overriding sweetness). But for most of VT’s clientele of mainly well-to-do Thais its naem nueang is the main draw. These grilled pork rolls are provided with sliced banana, chillis, garlic and mango, together with fresh vegetables and a sweet fermented bean sauce. Wrapped in rice paper, these brilliant bite-sized parcels alone are enough to justify a rush-hour slog to this somewhat awkwardly located restaurant.

วีทีแหนมเนือง ถ.ประดิษฐ์มนูธรรม

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 7 3


FOOD & DRINKS

wine bar

Scarlett

review by David Swartzentruber

Scarlett’s Wine Bar and Restaurant is on the 37th floor of the Pullman Hotel G, formerly the Sofitel on Silom Road. The hotel has been thoroughly renovated and reopened its doors in May of this year and is billed as a “lifestyle hotel.” Pullman is another hotel brand of the French Accor hotel group and true to its French heritage it features not only more than 150 wines from which to choose at Scarlett’s but also a food menu that most wines bars around Bangkok would find difficult to match. The design of Scarlett’s is outstanding with an outside terrace for sunset viewing surrounding the interior wine bar and dining room, together totaling 400 square meters. The “standard” Scarlett’s menu was developed by Manuel Martinez who is the owner of the historic Le Relais Louis XIII in Paris where he has been awarded two Michelin stars since 2001. Martinez makes two or three trips a year to Bangkok to check out Scarlett’s menu and make revisions. The goal of the wine bar restaurant is to encourage dining out without the stuffy accoutrements of formal French dining. The menu consists of four starters and four main courses with prices for the starters ranging from 340 to 690 and the main courses 850 to 990 baht. 74 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Of particular note among the starters were the homemade smoked salmon filet with potato salad and an egg poached in pinot noir (it’s poached for one hour, how do they do it?). From the main course menu: grilled scallops with truffle dressing and roasted lamb shoulder, confit shoulder and ratatouille. As one enters Scarlett’s on each side there are racks that display very expensive wine on the way to the main room, indicating this is a serious wine bar undertaking featuring both Old and New World wines. Wine prices are reasonable starting at B150 and on the day we visited one of Chateuneuf du Pape’s outstanding estates, Domaine du Pegau, was on offer for B400. Few bottles of Pegau reach Bangkok and it is certainly an opportunity to taste this fine wine.

รร.พูลแมน กรุงเทพ จี ถ.สีลม

  getting there

Scarlett  [MAP5 / G5] Pullman Bangkok Hotel G, 188 Silom Road, Suriyawongse 02-238-1991 | www.pullmanbangkokhotelg.com 6pm-1am (closed Sundays) bangkok101.com


CUISINE ART

WEST: The Borderless Boundary Ruen Urai, “the House of Gold,” combines fine Thai culinary art with the elegant ambience. Inspired by Thailand’s diverse regions, cultures, and lifestyles, our gastronomic creations vary from royal Thai cuisine to refined home-cooking. Our gourmet journey traverses beyond borders and merges Western component with Eastern cookery. Through diplomatic and commercial associations, Thailand have welcomed many nations as well as traditions. Adapting new and imported customs and ingredients into our own culture has been known for centuries, for instance, chillies and Indian curries. “Grilled Lamb Chops in Dry Panaeng Curry” pleasingly illustrates how the twain have met. Casual dining and bar from noon to 11 p.m. Plus happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m. daily. Ruen Urai at the Rose Hotel 118 Soi Na Wat Hualumphong, Surawongse Road, Tel: 66 (0) 226-8268-72 Fax: 66(0) 2266-8096 www.rosehotelbkk.com www.ruen-urai.com

Thai Gourmet Journey Ad Series No. 3

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Nightlife

Retox Sessions presents Steve Aoki at LED back in May Photographer: Thered Redone Photo courtesy of 7 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


“last night’s a blur” Nightlife NEWS New neighbourhood hangout now open The recently launched Jam Cafe (41 Charoenrat Soi 1, Sathorn, 02-6739009, www.facebook.com/jamcafebkk) promises a bohemian blend of music and art to help down the alcohol. Promisingly, last month’s Intoxicated Souls exhibition had the punters wearing 3D glasses to view the show. One-off Parties The guys at Bangkok Boat Party have a new, bigger boat and promise better aircon and cheap drinks all night for Bangkok Boat Party 4 on September 8. DJs such as Coran and Mick Dee will play House on the open top deck, with bass music and laser displays downstairs from DizzletheDJ, Tech 12 and Swindle. Two drinks are included in the B800 ticket price. Visit www. facebook.com/bangkokboatparty for schedules. Concept CM2, the Novotel on Siam Square’s basement  nightclub (Siam Square Soi 6, Rama I Rd | BTS Siam | 02-209-8888 | www.novotelbkk.com), will try and pass itself off as Koh Phangan’s Had Rin beach on Saturday September 15, when it hosts a tropical Full Moon Party, only minus the halfnaked backpackers. Entry is B650 including two drinks (and UV paint and glow sticks?). www.facebook.com/conceptcm2 And on the same night, Q Bar (34 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana | 02-252-3274 | www.qbarbangkok.com) will groove to the funky, mid-tempo sounds of Californian DJ and producer duo Classixx, who, if you’re not up to speed, are purveyors of “sun-kissed, disco-inspired grooves.” Graffiti heads will assemble at Black Pagoda (Patpong Soi 2 | www.facebook.com/blackpagodabangkok), a risqué glass-walled nightclub elevated above the red light area’s streets, on Friday September 21 for the unveiling of pieces sprayed on the walls by competition winners. The celebratory hip-hop, electro, dubstep and drum ‘n’ bass tunes start at 10pm and will apparently keeping rolling until 6am. Those interested in entering the contest can find details on their Facebook page. bangkok101.com

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Nightlife

Boat Party Ahoy!

A new breed of club night has been drawing us out of the same old four-walled venues and onto boats, both moored and mobile. The organisers behind Bangkok Boat Party, which has its next waterborne shindig on Saturday September 8, let us aboard early for a quick chat.

ers. Word of mouth has spread and now we are getting all types of crowd which makes the party much more diverse and vibrant. Tell me about some of your past party shenanigans.

No chance. What happens on the boat, stays on the boat.

When and why did you start putting on boat parties?

Is the location and venue the same this time around?

What’s your musical philosophy and party ethos?

We put a lot of love and attention into the line up and make sure that the music played will reach every dancing soul on board. Our top deck will be dedicated to house music, featuring DJs Co2an from the huge Kolor Sunday parties and Mick Dee from Freedom parties and who knows maybe with a bit of luck we can get co-promoter KC to spin a few tunes as well. The bottom cabin will reverberate to deeper, more underground sounds, from hip-hop to drum n bass.

The first boat party happened back in January 2012, but the idea was born back in October 2011. Myself and a friend from UK, DJ Lazcru, had just finished DJing at the full moon party in Koh Phangan. We were both sitting on the beach as the sun was coming up, Lazcru looked to me and asked, “why are there no boat parties in Koh Phangan?” To which I replied, “Why are there no boat parties in Bangkok!?” The idea snowballed from there.   Since the boat party team are also DJs, we believe that music is essence of the party. Mix that in with constantly changing, amazing views from the Bangkok riverside and you have our dream party. We are basically making an event that we ourselves would love to attend and hope everyone else shares our vision. What sorts do you attract?

We receive a mix of partiers from uni students, expats to office workers and party animals who fancy a change from the usual pretentious, bling-bling hiso scene. We are providing an experience that we felt Bangkok was lacking and so far we have had an overwhelming response from party-go7 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

The boat will depart from the same pier (Sathorn), but as the party just keeps growing we had to find a bigger, better and more accommodating one. This time it will be spread over two floors of music (compared to just one on previous voyages), both floors featuring a proper sound and light system. There will be a variety of drinks at fair prices and snacks for those that get hungry. Who’s playing?

Bangkok Boat Party 4 is on Saturday September 8. Entry

price is B800 including two drinks. See p.77 for more.

www.facebook.com/bangkokboatparty bangkok101.com


HAPPY HOUR GREATEST HITS While available in venues all over town, some of Bangkok’s drinks specials have stayed with us (mostly due to the epic nights of Hangover 2-style debauchery that have ensued because of them). Here are some of our favourites, all tried and tested.

Longtable [MAP3 / H8]

Column Tower, Sukhumvit Soi 16 BTS Asok | 02-302-2557~9 www.longtablebangkok.com | 5-7:30pm daily

Sip two-for-the-price-of-one standard drinks while you enjoy widescreen 25 storey-high views over downtown Sukhumvit and nibble free nuts.  O’Reillys Irish Pub [MAP5 / K5]

62/1-4 Silom Rd Bangrak | 02-632-7515-19 www.oreillyspubbangkok.com | 4pm -7pm daily

Right in the heart of Silom’s, the daily happy hours offer half price selected drinks, house wines for B140, and bottled beers B80.  Mellow [MAP3 / Q1]

Penny’s Balcony | Thong Lo (Sukhumvit Soi 55), near Soi 16 BTS Thong Lo 02-382-0065 | www.facebook.com/mlw.bangkok 5pm-8pm Sun-Thu

This hip Thonglor hangout sure does lure them in with its buy one get one cocktails, Asahi draft, wine, sake and umeshu. AMBAR

[MAP3/ E6]

Four Points by Sheraton, 4 Sukhumvit Soi 15 | BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-309-3000 | www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints | 8pm - 11pm

Buy one get one on concktails with complimentary tapas and wine discounts. Coyote [MAP5 / J5, MAP3 / K6]

Silom branch:1/2 Convent Road, Silom 02-631-2325 |  Sukhumvit Branch: 575-579 Sukhumvit Road | 02-662-3838 | www.coyoteonconvent.com Silom: 3-7pm weekdays, 11am-7pm weekends | Sukhumvit: 3-7pm & 10pm-midnight weekdays, 11am-7pm & 10pm-midnight weekends

Warning: this Mexican restaurant’s buy-one-get-one margarita deal can do serious damage to your night out. Also, ladies get there’s free between 6-8pm on Thursdays. The Londoner [MAP3 / L6]

591 UBC II Building, Basement B 104, Sukhumvit 33 | 02-261-0238-9 www.the-londoner.com | 5pm-1am every Wednesday

If there’s a spike in people taking sickies on Thursdays it’s this huge pub’s fault. Beloved by expats, their ‘Wacky Wednesday’ deal (all drinks buy one get one all night!) is one of the most notorious in town. 

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Nest [MAP3 / C4]

Le Fenix Hotel, 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana | 02-305-4000 www.lefenixsukhumvit.com | 5pm-10pm daily

Mojito lovers should head to this chill al fresco rooftop bar on Monday evenings, when they’re buy one get one. Tapas [MAP3 / D6]

1/25 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | 02-651-2947 | www.tapasiarestaurants.com  until 7pm daily 

The original Bangkok tapas bar offers buy one get one free jugs of sangria before 7pm every day. Tuba [MAP8 / T14]

34 Room 11-12A, Soi Cham Chun (Ekkamai Soi 21) | 02-711-5500 www.design-athome.com 5-8pm everyday 

Kitsch furniture store meets bar meets restaurant. Everything from the beers to the sweet cocktails served in glassware so big you need two hands to lift them is buy one get one. Viva Aviv [MAP5 / C2]

River City – Unit 118 | 23 Trok Rongnamkhaeng, Charoen Krung Soi 30 0-2-639-6305 | www.vivaaviv.com | 3pm-8pm daily

At this with stylish riversdie bar, watch boats sail past while enjoying buy one get one glasses of house wine or draught beer.

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Nightlife

ESCAPADE

bar review by Max Crosbie-Jones

- This miniscule Old Town bar punches above its weight Despite what your ex girlfriend screamed at you, smaller is sometimes better, and Escapade proves it. Located on Phra Arhit Road, this is a new hole-inthe-wall bar so minute that you have to squeeze past strangers to enter; and yet, we’d still much rather be sitting on a stool here than at one of the hundreds of other options just around the corner. There are a few reasons why this is so. The first: it’s friendly. Unlike most joints in the vicinity of Khao San Road, where a ‘beer pretty’ (an attractive but surly waitress who tries to flog you the beer brand she represents) redefines bad service all night long unless you cave in and buy her product, Escapade is welcoming. The owners, Khun Karn and Khun Van, are the sorts of locals you might actually strike up a conversion with (and also come out with lines that make a refreshing change from the usual bar-owner hype: “If we wanted everyone to come we would have opened a 7-Eleven”, etc). The second: Karn Liangsrisuk is a whiz with his cocktail mixing jar. A former bartender at the Shangri-La and Mandarin Oriental, two of the city’s top luxury hotels, Karn is widely considered to be one of Bangkok’s best. And if you want proof, look no further than the long list of consultancy work he’s done for restaurants such as The Local and Whale’s Belly, and the fact that he almost won the 2012 Bacardi bartending contest. The third: instead of handing you an expensive list of fancy signature cocktails, much as he would have done at his old gigs, Karn has decided to keep his prices low and split the creative onus with his customers. What do you fancy today, sir? Something strong yet sweet and fruity, you say? Open up, tell him your wildest alcohol-sodden fantasies, and Karn will deliver you the cocktail of your dreams in minutes. 8 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Our manna from bar heaven: a blend of rose and saffron flavoured rum (just one of many homemade rums here), Aperol, apple juice, saffron, rose pea and sakula syrup. Creative, tasty and strong, the only giveaway that we weren’t in some hoity toity joint was the price tag (prices veer from a bargain B140 to a cheap B200 depending on the cocktail’s complexity) and the plastic cup (there’s not enough space to store glasswear apparently). If you’re not a drinker, he also rustles up some very unique teas, shakes and smoothies too. Number four: food. Khun Van, a chef, was equally good at the grill on our visit, rustling us up a trio of lip smacking bar grub. There was the ‘Dead Dog’, which we were pleased to find was not what we thought it was (see p.100 for our story on Thailand’s repugnant dog meat trade) but a hot dog buried in jalapeno peppers and sizzling bacon; a basket of honey-glazed deep-fried chicken (a little sticky for our liking, but tasty); and a burger, the BTS, with a wholemeal bun and filling of bacon, tuna and shallots, that we’ll definitely be coming back for. The homemade ketchup was a tasty touch too. There are probably more strings in Escapade’s bow, but we’ll stop there. Only because we have to. We recall seeing some cool art on the black walls, squeezing past our new friends to take a look at the cosy garden with seating out back, losing our concentration when we saw the freaky mural paintings on the toilet walls; but honestly, soon enough things got a little hazy, just the way a night at a good neighbourhood bar should.

เอสกาเพด เบอร์เกอร์ แอนด์ เชค ถ.พระอาทิตย์   getting there

ESCAPADE [MAP7 / E3] 112 Pra-Artit Rd, Pranakorn | 08-7363-2629, 08-14063773 | Tue - Sun 12pm-12am | www.facebook.com/ escaburgersandshakes bangkok101.com


BED SUPPERCLUB

clubs BED SUPPERCLUB  [map 3 / C 4]

26 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | 02-651-3537 www.bedsupperclub.com | 7:30 pm – 1 am

With its uber-modern oval spaceship design, Bed Supperclub is a hugely successful hybrid, and a Bangkok icon: fine dining on what may be the world’s largest sofas on one side, and an adjoining bar on the other. For the past eight years, Bed has attracted a fashionable crowd, and with its à-la-page white interior is definitely a place to see and be seen. The food is worldclass on the cosy restaurant side, and the sleek design extends to an all-white bar on the club side. Bed has talented resident DJs and brings over top-notch talent (including some very eclectic art) for special events. Big-name DJs tend to spin on Thursdays, house and mash-up hip-hop rules on Friday, and Sunday mixes 1980’s pop hits with house music.

เบด ซัปเปอร์คลับ สุขุมวิท ซ. 11 CLUB CULTURE  [map 7 / J 7]

Ratcha Damnoen Klang Rd (behind Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall) 089-497-8422 | www.club-culture-bkk.com Wed – Sat 8 pm – late

Club Culture comes from the same brains behind the city’s annual dance music festival, Culture One. After being evicted from its original home, a former Thai theatre on Phaya Thai Road, it relocated to this gritty four-storey warehouse hidden away in the backstreets of the Old City in early 2010, much to the relief of its regulars – a cross-cultural mix of hipster Thais and discerning expats. Like the old days they promote new talent, while still bringing in the big guns, ensuring an eclectic roster of indie rock, drum’n’bass and house music of all genres.

คลับ คัลเจอร์ ถ.ราชดำ�เนินกลาง (หลังนิทรรศ์รัตนโกสินทร์)

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Demo

DEMO  [map 3 / R 1]

Thong Lor Soi 10 (next to Funky Villa) BTS Thong Lo | 02-711-6970 8 pm – 1 am | free

Easily the grittiest discoteca in the swish Thong Lor area is Demo: a squat former tenement building turned graffiti daubed brick warehouse. Featuring a terrace and bar outside, and lots of dark corners inside, not only does it look like a venue you’d find in East London or some other hipster-ville. It sounds like one, too: instead of the usual mainstream hip-hop and live-bands, Demo’s DJs blast zeitgeisty nu-disco, house and electro through a kicking sound-system.

เดโม ทองหล่อ ซ. 10 Funky Villa  [MAP 3 / R 1]

Thong Lor Soi 10 | BTS Thong Lor 08-5253-2000 | 6 pm – 2 am

The name Funky Villa conjures images of roller-blading babes in bikinis, all partying at a Hugh Hefner-owned villa in the Med. The reality’s different. Steer your way through the fairground-sized car park, past the BMWs and chic lounge-deck area, and you’ll hit a swish one-storey house, more posh than funky. Some of Bangkok’s gilded youth chill on sofas and knock pool balls around in the front room; but most hit the fridge-cool dancehall to boogie away the week’s woes to live bands and hip-hop DJs. Forget edgy sounds – here it’s all about clinking whisky glasses and getting down with the CEOs of tomorrow.

ฟังกี้ วิลล่า ทองหล่อ ซ.10 GLOW  [Map 3 / G 5]

96/4-5 Sukhumvit Soi 23 BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-261-3007 www. glowbkk.com | 6 pm – 1 am

This boutique club / bar challenges Bang­ kok’s biggies when it comes to delivering innovative music from the world of underground electronic pleasures. An intimate, stylish cave is decked out in dark walls, funky seating, innovative lighting

funky villa

and a dramatic bar. The music palette changes night-tonight but always excludes hip-hop (hurrah!). For details and regular updates, check Glow’s cool website.

โกลว์ สุขุมวิท ซ. 23 INSOMNIA  [Map 3 / F 7]

Sukhumvit Soi 12 (between Times Sq and Soi 12) | BTS Nana / Asok www.clubinsomniagroup.com

In this busy after-hours joints, LED lasers spin and twirl around a huge main room with a giant disco ball at its centre, and DJs spin electro house out of a throbbing mounted speaker system. Some shady ladies and their hangers-on do head here (do we need to spell it out?), but unlike most of the competition Insomnia is not wall-to-wall swarming with them. Guys pay slightly more than the girls: B300.

อินซอมเนีย ซ. สุขุมวิท 12 MIXX DISCOTHEQUE  [map 4 / h 4]

B1 F, President Tower Arcade (next to Gaysorn Plaza), 973 Ploenchit Rd www.mixx-discotheque.com B 350 | 10 pm until late

Most of Bangkok’s after-hours clubs are slightly dodgy affairs, tucked away at the back of car parks or squalid backstreets. But Mixx, in the basement of an annex of the Intercontinental Hotel, is a bit classier. Inside it’s more sophisticated than the competition too: a dimly lit, two-room affair with chandeliers and paintings hanging here and there, and billowing sheets on the ceiling lending a desert tent feel. A mix of banquettes, stools and tall tables surround its two heaving dancefloors, one playing commercial R&B and hip hop, the other banging techno and house. Expect a flirty, up-for-it crowd made up of colourful characters from across the late-night party spectrum. The entry price is B350 for guys and B300 for girls. That includes a drink and, as long as things go smoothly, the ability to make whoopie until nearly sunrise.

มิกซ์ ดิสโก้เทค กรุงเทพฯ ถ.เพลินจิต sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 8 1


Nightlife

route 66

ROUTE 66  [Map 8 / Q 12]

q bar

THE CLUB  [Map 7 / F 5]

29/33-48 Royal City Avenue MRT Phetchaburi | www.route66club.com B 200 foreigners incl. drink / free for Thais

123 Khaosan Rd, Taladyod 02-629-1010 | www.theclubkhaosan.com 6 pm – 2 am | B 100 (incl. one drink)

Rammed with hordes of dressed-to-kill young Thais on most nights of the week, ‘Route’, as its affectionately known, is RCA’s longest surviving superclub. There are three zones to explore (four if you count the toilets – probably the ritziest in town), each with its own bar, unique look and music policy. ‘The Level’ is the huge, all-lasers-blazing hip-hop room; ‘The Classic’ spins house and techno; and Thai bands bang out hits in ‘The Novel’. Route is not a good place to lose your friends but can be a blast if you all get crazy around a table, be it inside or out on the big outdoors area. One sore point: unlike the locals, foreigners are charged a B200 entry fee (but get a free drink).

The walk-in crowd of young Thais and backpackers must surely be amazed to find they’ve entered a techno castle on Khao San Road. The sky-high windows and raised central DJ turret lend a fairytale vibe, while the lasers, visuals and UV lighting hark back to mid 1990s psy-trance. Music-wise, it’s a loud, banging house serving up the full range of 4/4 beats, usually cranium-rattling electro house and techno. The drink prices are kind to your wallet and UV glowsticks handed out for free.

รูท 66 อาร์ ซี เอ TAPAS  [Map 5 / J 5]

Silom Soi 4 | BTS Sala Daeng / MRT Silom 02-632-7982 | www.tapasroom.net 8 pm – 2am

On the groovy little enclave of Silom Soi 4, Tapas is a party institution and one of the few mixed hang-outs on a heavily gay strip of lively bars and clubs. For more than 10 years it’s been pumping out excellent house music and live, bongo-bangin’ percussion sets as well. Multi-levelled, with a dark, Moroccan feel, it’s easy to chill here, whether lounging or dancing your tail off! Like Soi 4 in general, weeknights can be hit-or-miss (usually miss, it has to be said), but weekends are always hopping from about midnights onwards. And if it’s not, there’s always the outside terrace: a great spot to enjoy a few cocktails and some of the best people watching in town. The tipples are mixed strong, and watching this soi’s comings and goings an, erm, eye-opening experience to say the least. The B200 entry fee on Fridays and Saturdays includes a drink.

เดอะคลับ ข้าวสาร Q BAR  [Map 3 / C 4]

34 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana 02-252-3274 | www.qbarbangkok.com 8 pm – 1 am

Long-standing, New York-style night spot Q Bar is well-known for pouring stiff drinks (there are over 70 varieties of top-shelf vodka!) and its strong music policy, with big name international DJs leading the way. Q Bar raised the ‘bar’ for Bangkok nightlife twelve years ago and is still going strong, with a flirty crowd every night and a recent top-to-bottom renovation giving the venue a maximalist style injection. Now, there’s also more room to dance and more lounge space, especially at QUP, the more downtempo upstairs area. Some relative solitude and a pick ‘n’ mix of the expat and jetset scene can usually be found up here and on the outdoor terrace, which is perfect for a breather, people watching and a late evening snack (including burgers brought over from the Firehouse restaurant opposite). In an inspired piece of marketing excellence, ladies get in free on Wednesday nights –  and two free drinks!

คิว บาร์ ถ.สุขุมวิท ซ. 11

cm2

hotel bars & clubs BARSU  [map 3 / F 6, 7]

1st F, Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit 250 Sukhumvit Rd | 02-649-8358 www.barsubangkok.com | 6 pm – 2 am

The informal yet sleek and minimally styled BarSu features the tagline ‘eat, play, dance,’ and appeals to the over-30 Bangkok crowd who feel disenfranchised by the city’s current nightlife offerings. To this end, house, hip hop and techno are banned; in house DJs spin soul, funk, rock, vintage 70s, 80s and world music. An audacious dining concept features a menu of sophisticated bar snacks created by a Belgian two-star Michelin chef. Joining this premium finger food is a menu of creative cocktails priced at B 400 net, live music every Friday and Saturday from 10 pm, plus a slew of specials. Drinks between 5:30 – 8:30 pm on weekdays go for B 250 and include free hors d’ oeuvres, and ladies enjoy drinks for B150 net per glass each Wednesday from 9 pm.

รร.เชอราตัน แกรนด์ สุขุมวิท ระหว่างสุขุมวิท 12 และ 14 CM2  [map 4 / D 5]

B1 F, Novotel Siam Square 392/44 Siam Square Soi 6 | BTS Siam 02-209-8888 | www.cm2bkk. com 10 pm – 2 am

The Novotel Siam Square Hotel’s sub­ terranean party cave still packs them in sixteen years after it first opened, especially on weekends when it heaves with tourists and nocturnal beauties. The big and quite 1980s disco looking (black and metal and neon lighting rule) complex has lots of lounging space facing the dancefloor, plus a sports bar with pool tables, smoking room, and an Absolut Vodka Lounge. It’s mainstream all the way. DJs play what the crowd wants, when they want it, usually the latest electro, funky house or hip-grinding R&B tune, while the rotating line-up of live bands from Canada, Europe and Asia perform as if every song is a potentially

ทาปาส สีลม ซ. 4 8 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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W XYZ

life-changing audition. International / Thai food and a huge cocktail list is served, as is what they claim is Bangkok’s biggest pour – all drinks feature double shots for no extra charge. Check out their Facebook page for news of their popular monthly theme parties and drinks promotions.

รร.โนโวเทลสยามสแควร์ สยามสแควร์ ซ. 6 ST. REGIS BAR  [map 4 / G 7]

12th F, St. Regis Bangkok Hotel 159 Rajadamri Rd | BTS Ratchadamri 02-207-7777 | www.stregis.com Mo – Fr 10 am – 1 am, Sat & Sun 10 am – 2 am

At 6:30 pm each day a butler struts out onto the terrace of The St. Regis Bar, a saber in one hand, a bottle of Moet & Chandon in the other. He then flicks at the collar until ‘pop!’, the cork flies off and bubbly spurts gently out onto the terrace. Come for this, and stay for the view. Stretching along a plate glass window, the rectangle venue – with its suave masculine vibe, long bar, clubby sofas and high-ceilings – eyeballs the city’s Royal Bangkok Sports Club. It’s a lovely spot at sunset, even better on every second Sunday afternoon, when you can spy on the horse-racing with a fine malt whisky in hand. The special promotions come thick and fast here: Tuesdays is jazz night, with Johnnie Walker Black Label for B1,990++ per bottle (7 – 11 pm); Wednesdays is two for one martinis (6 – 8 pm); and ladies get free Bellinis on Thursdays (6 – 9 pm).

รร. เดอะ เซนต์ รีจิส กรุงเทพฯ ถ.ราชดำ�ริ W XYZ  [MAP 3 / D6]

leapfrog

a talented mixologist who specialises in ‘molecular’ cocktails made using all manner of gels, powders, foams and spray mists. More reasons to swing by W XYZ include decent finger foods and Thai-style tapas, the happy hours (50% off select drinks and snacks between 5 – 7:30 pm daily), and, for the budding DJs among you, Tuesday’s Pod Play session, when you get to pump your own iPod through the speakers.

รร.เอลอฟท์ แบงคอก

Bars with views Bangkok offers a clutch of dramatic high-altitude bars (both indoor and out­- door) from where to survey the glittering skyline below …

AMOROSA  [Map 7 / C 12]

4th F, Arun Residence Hotel 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Young, Maharat Rd (near Wat Po) | 02-221-9158 www.arunresidence.com | 6 pm – 1 am

Amorosa is a sultry, Moroccan-style open-air bar featuring balmy river breezes, whisper-soft Latin Jazz, sour-sweet cocktails and a so-so wine list. The showstopper though is the view: perched on the roof of a four-storey boutique hotel, guests gaze out from its balcony terrace onto the Chao Phraya River and, on the far banks beyond, Wat Arun, the stunning Temple of Dawn. Go before sundown and enjoy watching the sun sink slowly behind it. Or come later, when amber floodlights make it glow against the night sky.

moon bar

California-Asian cuisine, such as salmon bites with spicy dip, marinated “Bilbao” baby octopus, and mozzarella cheese balls. In line with its Californian cuisine, the interior and exterior was designed by San Franciscan designer Kevin Christison. You’ll find playful reptilian details throughout the bar and restaurant, from cute and practical metal frog purse hangers to a giant dinasour egg light fixture inside the restaurant. Just outside the restrooms a princely frog complete with a jeweled crown tempts female visitors to give it a kiss. Diners who book the space for private events can also take a dip in the outdoor whirlpool.

รร.รามาดา อังคอร์ สุขุมวิท ซ.10 LONG TABLE  [Map 3 / H 8]

25th F, 48 Column Bldg | Sukhumvit Soi 16 BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-302-2557-9 www.longtablebangkok. | com 11 am – 2:00 am

Top-end Thai food isn’t the only thing drawing Bangkok’s nouveau riche to this impossibly swish restaurant-cum-bar in droves. There’s also the trend-setting twist: a sleek communal dining table so long it makes a medieval banquet bench look positively petite. However, it’s what happens at the end of the room that propels this place deep into the nightlife stratosphere. Where the long table ends, a tall plate glass window and huge poolside patio, complete with bar, begins. Out here, 25 floors up, you can glug signature ‘long-tail’ cocktails or new latitude wines with the best of high-flying Bangkok: a glitzy hotchpotch of celebrities, models and power players; hair-tousling breezes; and – best of all – wide-screen city vistas. A Sukhumvit high point.

Aloft Bangkok | 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 BTS Nana | 02-207-7000 alofthotels.com/bangkoksukhumvit11

อรุณเรสสิเดนซ์ ซ.ประตูนกยูง ถ.มหาราช

Smack bang in the centre of Sukhumvit partyland, the funky Aloft hotel is going after the club crowd craving warm-up cocktails with W XYZ, their laidback lounge bar on the lobby floor mezzanine. This colourful space featuring funky modular furniture, colour changing glass pane floors, and lots of vivid LED lighting has

8 F, Ramada Encore Bangkok 21 Sukhumvit Soi 10 | BTS Nana 02-615-0999 www.ramadaencorebangkok.com

61st F, Banyan Tree Bangkok 21/100 South Sathorn Rd | 02-679-1200 www.banyantree.com | 5 pm – 1 am

The latest addition to the scores of venues perfect for rooftop drinking sessions, Leapfrog is a swank, lofty space where you can sit back and nibble on delicious

This is one place that will get you closer to the moon. The open-air bar lets you take in the urban Moloch from up-above in smart surroundings. Banyan Tree’s Moon

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th

Leapfrog  [map 3 / F 7 ]

อาคารคอลัมน์ สุขุมวิท ซ. 16 MOON BAR  [Map 5 / K, l 8]

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 8 3


Nightlife

nest

red sky

indie/80s/90s worshipping playlist and mellow trestle-and-vine rooftop offering splendid views, over rickety oldcity rooftops, towards the floodlit Golden Mount temple. The booze and Thai food is also cheap as chips, as is most of the modern art hanging on the second floor. Tried to find it before but failed? You wouldn’t be the first. From the Burger King end of Khao San Road, turn right onto Ratchadamnoen, right again and it’s down the first soi on your left hand-side. In the evenings there’s usually at least one vintage VW beetle parked outside.

พระนครบาร์ ซ.ดำ�เนินกลางใต้ ถ.ราชดำ�เนิน RED SKY  [Map 4 / F 3]

Bar is a romantic hideaway. With stunning 360° views, the hotel’s rooftop has been turned into a slick grill restaurant; one end is occupied by the bar. Nothing obstructs your view here, almost 200 metres high up. It’s the perfect spot for honeymooners – take a seat on the smart sofa stations, sip on a classy Martini or a yummy signature cocktail and feel romance welling up. For voyeurs, the telescope and binoculars come in handy. Glamour girls and unwinding business guys feel right at home here, too. Stay until the wee hours, nibble on sophisticated snacks, take in the light jazz – and never ever forget your camera.

loungey and laid-back spot on weekdays and early evenings, with couples enjoying signature martinis and upmarket bar food from the comfort of Thai-style swing beds and Nest-shaped rattan chairs. But on weekends, a more up-for-it crowd ascends, especially during special party nights. These include MODE, a shindig every second Saturday of the month that pumps hip-hop and house beats rather than the usual smooth Balearic sounds. What are the views alike, you ask? With buildings looming above you, not below you, here you feel part of the cityscape rather than detached from it.

รร.บันยันทรี ถ.สาทรใต้

เลอฟินิกซ์ สุขุมวิท ซ. 11

NEST  [Map 3 / C 4]

9 th F, Le Fenix | 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 BTS Nana | 02-305-4000 www.lefenixsukhumvit.com | 5 pm – 2 am

Nest is the rooftop bar of choice for Sukhumvit’s international party crowd. An urbane open-air oasis on the ninth floor of the sleek Le Fenix Hotel, it’s a

8 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

PHRANAKORN BAR  [map 7 / G6]

Soi Damnoen Klang Tai, Ratchadamnoen Rd. | 02-622-0282 | 6pm-1am

When backpacker ghetto Khao San Road wears thin (and it will) flee in search of this multi-level boozer only a five minute walk away. It’s an old favourite of local art students and creatives, mostly for its

56th F, Centara Grand at CentralWorld Rama 1 Rd | BTS Chit Lom / Siam 02-100-1234 www.centarahotelresorts.com | 5 pm – 1 am

Circling the 56th floor turret of CentralWorld’s adjoining Centara Grand Hotel, the al fresco Red Sky offers city panoramas in every direction. Just before sunset is the time to come – plonk yourself down on a rattan chair or oversized daybed and wait for the lightshow to begin. When daylight fades to black, and the city lights up like a circuit-board, a live jazz band kicks in and Bangkok takes on a glam cosmopolitan aura. Upscale bar snacks like slow-cooked baby back pork ribs, and martinis, cocktails and wines are on hand to keep you company while your eyes roam the scenery. Daily happy hours (50 % off selected wines, beers and cocktails between 5 – 7 pm) and prompt, smooth service make the experience all the more enjoyable.

รร.เซ็นทาร่าแกรนด์ แอทเซ็นทรัลเวิลด์ ถ.พระราม 1

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SKY BAR / DISTIL  [map 5 / C 5]

63rd F, State Tower | 1055 Silom Rd 02-624-9555 | www.thedomebkk.com

6 pm – 1 am High fliers hankering after a taste for the dramatic can head over to The Dome at State Tower. Among the world’s highest outdoor bars, Sky bar – attached to Med restaurant Sirocco – offers panoramic views of the city and river below, earning its popularity with visitors new to the City of Angels and those intent on rediscovering it. Indoor-outdoor Distil boasts a roomful of comfy sofas, beyond-premium liquor and The Dome’s signature breathtaking view. Adjacent to Asian seafood eatery Breeze, Ocean 52 sports yet another stunning view from the 51st – 52nd floors. These places are definitely not spots for the casual beach bum, so be sure to leave your flip-flops and shopping bags at home – a strict smart casual dress code is enforced. Given this policy, then, you might think it somewhat ironic that the venue featured recently in the gross-out American comedy hit, The Hangover Part II.

สเตททาวเวอร์ สีลม

BARS BARLEY BISTRO  [map 5 / H 5]

4st F, Food Channel | Silom Rd, between Soi 5 and 7 | BTS Sala Daeng 087-033-3919 | www.barleybistro.com 5 pm – late

This multi-level resto-bar, hidden up some stairs within an enclave of franchise-like restaurants, is one very slick, snazzy spot. The design is chic (blacks and greys, white-on-black stencil art); the drinks funky (lychee mojitos, testtube cocktails etc); the food new-fangled (spaghetti kimchi etc); and the clientele wholesome (Thai office workers mostly). Do check out the open-air rooftop. Though not quite worthy of our ‘Bars with a View’ section – it’s boxed in by buildings – it’s littered with cooling fans, huge bean bags and funky barley-stalk sculptures and perfect for post-work/pre-club cocktails. Live bands play in the bar most nights.

บาร์ลี่ย์บิสโทร ฟู้ดชาแนล ถ.สีลม CAFÉ TRIO  [map 4 / H 6]

36/11-12 Soi Lang Suan | BTS Chit Lom 02-252- 6572 | 6 pm – 1 am, closed on the 2nd and 4th Sun of the month

Cafe Trio is just about the only bar worth seeking out on Lang Suan Road. Tucked down a narrow alley just off the upmarket residential street, this cozy jazz bar & art gallery is a welcome alternative to Bangkok’s raucous pubs and haughty lounge bars – a true neighbourhood place. Cafe Trio overflows with plush couches, the lighting delightfully bangkok101.com

clouds

soft, the music always subdued. The vivacious owner and bartender Patti holds court nightly and has plastered the walls with her Modigliani-esque, Vietnamese inspired paintings – have a few drinks and don’t be surprised to find yourself taking one home. To find it, look for the Chinese restaurant across from Starbucks and head 50 m down the road.

คาเฟ่ทริโอ ซ.หลังสวน CHEAP CHARLIE’S  [map 3 / D 6]

Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana 02-253-4648 | Mon – Sat 5 pm – midnight

This joint is a Bangkok institution, bringing the charm of a rickety hole-in-the-wall bar to one of Sukhumvit’s swankiest Sois. A no-brainer meet-up spot, Cheap Charlie’s draws crowds of expats, NGOers and tourists in-the-know to fill up on B 70 beers and pocket-change G&Ts before heading off to eat and party – though don’t be surprised if you end up here all night. Its location is a winner, situated as it is on a cool little Subsoi (first on the left as you walk down from Sukhumvit) packed with restaurants and a short walk from hallowed Bangkok gin-palaces Q Bar and Bed Supperclub.

ชีพ ชาร์ลีย์ ถ.สุขุมวิท 11 (ซอยแรก) CLOUDS  [ Map 3 / Q 2]

1st F, SeenSpace | 251/1 Thong Lor Soi 13, (Sukhumvit Soi 55) | BTS Thong Lo 02-185-2365 | www.cloudslounge.com

Having shaken up Thonglor’s bar scene with his first two concoctions, Iron Fairies and Fat Gut’z, his third is as we’ve come to expect, something entirely unexpected. Evoking a future where ‘there are no more natural resources’, this slim concrete shell at the rear of Thong Lor’s SeenSpace has a living tree encased in glass in one corner, and concrete blocks, topped with lumps of translucent leaf-encasing acrylic, for tables. Vodka-based cocktails (B  280) by New York mixultant Joseph Boroski are prepped by ‘NASA technicians’ in white overalls, and later on a DJ spins acid jazz

face bangkok

while a female dancer sits atop one of the blocks, calmly polishing her gun and blowing bubbles. They also serve tasty misshapen pizzas, which are cooked in a gas-oven and served in steel trays. It’s not yet a big crowd-puller, but the result is enjoyably bizarre: part ultramodern mausoleum to nature, part space-station drinking hole.

คลาวด์ โครงการการซีสเปซ ซ.ทองหล่อ 13 FACE BANGKOK  [ Map 3 / S 7] 29 Sukhumvit Soi 38 | BTS Thong Lo 02-713-6048 | www.facebars.com 11:30 am – 1 am Jim Thompson, move over. Face’s visually stunning complex is reminiscent of Jim’s former mansion, with Ayutthayastyle buildings and thriving flora, it’s just bigger and bolder. The Face Bar is a dimly-lit place that summons deluxe drinkers with its cosy settees, ambient soundscape, and giant cocktails. Though often empty, the big drink list will stop your body clock pretty fast. The three restaurants – Hazara serving Northern Indian, Misaki serving Japanese, and Lan Na Thai serving traditional Thai – are full of fab all-Asian decor; they’re romantic and inviting, but you might be let down by the tiny portions, and the flamboyant prices. Stay in the Bar and order from the snack menu instead. And have another Japanese Slipper.

เฟซแบงคอก สุขุมวิท ซ.38 FAT GUT’Z  [map 3 / Q 2]

264 Soi 12, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor) 027-149-832 | www.fatgutz.com | 6 pm – 2 am

A place to see and be seen, this sleek saloon is packed nightly with a crowd of beautiful people, there to listen to live blues, indulge in carefully crafted drinks, and, perhaps, catch a glimpse of its in-demand owner, Ashley Sutton, the Australian behind the already legendary Iron Fairies. Unlike his first bar, Fat Gut’z displays a less obvious sense of whimsy – here, the random fittings and industrial decor are replaced by straight lines and sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 8 5


Nightlife

Marshmellow

black-coloured, modern furnishings. It all feels rather serious, until you open the drinks menu. Sutton brought in master New York mixologist Joseph Boroski to create 16 unique cocktails (B285 each), all named – and here’s the rub – after famous WWII shipwrecks. This nautical theme loosely ties in with the short menu, from which the most popular order is, of course, the fish ‘n’ chips (B320 for one person, B600 for two). Made from an old family recipe, it comes served in a wooden tub, turning a takeaway staple into finger food. Tucking in as we listened to the blues band play on the tiny stage, and observed the hi-so crowd sipping politely on their aquatic-inspired cocktails, it was obvious that this bar is an unusual, albeit successful blend of ingredients.

แฟท กัซ สุขุมวิท ซ.55 HYDE & SEEK  [Map 4 / L5]

65/1 Athenée Residence, Soi Ruamrudee BTS Phloen Chit | 02-168-5152 www.hydeandseek.com | 11 am – 1 am

This stylish downtown gastro bar is a deadringer for those chic London haunts that draw the after-work crowd for pick-meup cocktails and good food that doesn’t break the bank. Heading the kitchen is Ian Kittichai, the brains behind the successful Kittichai restaurant in New York, while the bar is helmed by the boys behind Flow, the cocktail consultancy that inspires much drunken fun around the region. The sleek, Georgian-influenced décor has panelled walls, clubby chairs and a large central bar, where snacks like beer battered popcorn shrimps and baby back ribs glazed with chocolate and chilli go well with fancy, custom-made cocktails or Belgian ales. Outside, there’s a spacious terrace with swing seats and a mini-maze of tea plants to partition dining areas. In sum, Hyde & Seek is a rare entry into the huge market for high quality drinks and food at middle prices. It’s busy with the rich and powerful looking most nights, so best book ahead.

แอนธินีเรซซิเดนซ์ ซ.ร่วมฤดี 8 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

oskar bistro

MARSHMALLOW  [map 3 / C 5]

33/18 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana 02-254-1971 | Facebook: Marshmallow 11 am – 1 am

You’d expect the first bar by one of Bangkok’s best known DJs, long-time Bed Supperclub resident Fred Jungo, to be a loud, pumping house, but that’s not the case. “I don’t want Marshmallow to be one of those bars where the DJ gets more and more carried away until customers can’t hear themselves speak,” he says. Occupying the corner building where Soi 11 turns left towards Q Bar, the space has a raised terrace that wraps around its perimeter, beside tall steel and glass doors that are fully retractable. To evict the ghosts of ventures past (previous incarnations Diva and Welfare were both dismal failures), they gutted the interior. Dark wood-planks line the walls and pillars; there’s a mezzanine; a mirror and metalwork-backed bar; and a bohemian touch, bird cage lamps, dangling over the tables at one end. Cocktails come in at a very reasonable B190; champagne and sparkling cocktails B 220; local beers B90. “Food was never meant to be the focus,” Fred told us. However, judging by the dishes we tucked in to – three Fine de Clares (B 290) with condiments, a bright and fresh haloumi cheese salad, a slab of Australian tenderloin with mash and boiled veg (B 550) – it could, with a little tweaking, become their forte. Marshmallow is an affordable and brilliantly located (in Soi 11 clubber terms) spot for drinks and bites.

มาร์ชเมลโล่ สุขุมวิท ซ.11 OSKAR BISTRO  [map 3 / D 5]

24 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana 02-255 3377 | 4 pm – 2 am; kitchen open till 11:30 pm

Lively Oskar has the electro music and low ceiling cellar dimensions to qualify as clubby; and, with a dominant central bar, it’s perhaps more brasserie than bistro. A venue for all seasons, with tables jammed, inside and out, and brown paper menus

that set a tone of streetsy nonchalance where anyone might feel at home. The food choice includes sandwiches, the Oskar burger (wagyu beef – what else?), pizzas and a section of cocottes (French-style individual dishes slow cooked and served in the same pot). Almost all are under B300, which for food of this surprising quality is a steal. Most people come here though not for the food but for a pre-club libation or two: be it glass of wine (start at B145 a glass), imported bottle beer, or reasonably priced cocktail. Close to Bed Supperclub and Q Bar, its own ambient, loungey sounds crank up as the night matures, and – although there’s no dance space – many of the mixed Thai-farang crowd are happy to linger. It’s a good meal and drinks option for a date or business, but also a lively pick-up joint without the pressure of full-on dress-tokill. Book ahead if you want a table.

ออสการ์ บิสโทร สุขุมวิท ซ. 11 ROLLING BAR  [Map 7 / J 5]

Wanchat Rd | 081-867-6568 Mon – Sat 6 pm – 2 am

A big lit up marquee sign on Wanchat Road beckons you to find out what is going on below the street line. Descend a few stairs and in a quiet corner by the water you will find Rolling Bar, a small open space filled with a mixed assortment of retro decor and various model Cadillac cars. Here, every night you can hear familiar old folk and rock covers unplugged. The bar draws a mixed crowd all in the comfort of T-shirts and jeans and ready to throw back a couple of drinks. The menu’s got all the popular Thai favourites, but the bar offers you a little bit more. Owner Khun Sheeva has whipped up his own personal sweet rum, Sheeva Wop; a must try.

โรลลิ่งบาร์ ริมสะพานเฉลิมวันชาติ TUBA  [Map 8 / S 1 4]

34 Room 11 – 12A, Soi Cham Chun (Ekkamai Soi 21) | 02-711-5500 www.design-athome.com | 11 am – 2 am

Some come to this two-storey furniture store to snag a comfy sofa, vintage sign or goofy tchotchke. Others come for the big menu of Italian and Thai dishes tweaked for the local palate. But for us, Tuba works best as a bar, as the unusual setting and generous Happy Hour (buy one get one free between 5 -8 pm daily) mean there really are few cooler places in town to kick back after work with a sweet cocktail in hand (or two hands in some cases  – the glassware can be that big!). Owned by the same hoarders behind Lad Phrao furniture warehouse Papaya, it features room upon room of haphazardly arranged eye-candy, all of which you’re free to skulk through at your leisure. A word to the wise: one cocktail too many and you may leave with more than you bargained for. Another caveat worth bangkok101.com


bearing in mind: smokers are allowed to puff away at Tuba, and many seem to come here to do just that.

ทูบา ถ.สุขุมวิท 63 (เอกมัย 21) THE IRON FAIRIES  [Map 3 / Q 2]

394 Thong Lor (Sukhumvit Soi 55), Thong Lor Soi 12 | BTS Thong Lo 084-520-2301 | www.theironfairies.com

Bangkok’s most bizarre bar is a functioning iron foundry – yes, you can actually buy the eponymous iron fairies themselves – that just happens to serve booze. Drawing heavily from the steampunk genre, it has the labyrinthine otherworldliness of a Terry Gilliam film-set. Walls are daubed black, silent movies are projected on the walls upstairs, an in-house magician tours the tables, and Doris Day classics are belted out from the cast-iron spiral staircase. Beers start from B 120 a bottle, a well mixed dirty martini goes for B 280 and the burgers, served pinned to a wooden chopping board with a steak knife, divine. The moneyed Thong Lor set fill it nightly.

ดิไอรอนแฟรี่ส์แอนด์โค ซ.ทองหล่อ SHADES OF RETRO  [Map 8 / s 1 4]

Soi Tararom 2, Thong Lor | BTS Thong Lo 081-824-8011 | 3 pm – 1 am | cash only

Hipster attic, here we come – Shades of Retro is a hidden Thong Lor spot awash in neo-nostalgia and stuffed with vintage furniture, vinyl records, old rotary telephones. A combo furniture storecafé, Shades provides a quiet hangout for the writer/designer/artiste crowd by day, fun people-watching at night, and nice jazz at all times. Curl up on a nubby couch, flip through a Wallpaper* magazine and soak up the atmosphere, which flirts with being too ironic for its pants. A cool, friendly crowd and bracing cocktails or coffee served up with popcorn humanizes the hip, thankfully.

เฉดส์ ออฟ เรโทร ซ.ธารารมย์ 2 ทองหล่อ WONG’S PLACE  [Map 8 / L 17]

27/3 Soi Sri Bumphen, Soi Ngam Duplee, near Malaysia Hotel | MRT Lumpini 02-286-1558 | Mon – Sat 10 pm – late

It’s amazing how Wong’s Place stays in business. It’s not near any public transport; opens when it wants, closes when it wants; plays crackly videos from Top of the Pops in 1985; has a couple of serveyourself beer fridges and is not much bigger than a living room. Yet it attracts a fiercely loyal crowd of expat journalists, English teachers, hipsters, creative Thais and professional barflies who have been coming here for years and regard owner Sam as a kind of benevolent dictator, knowing better than to take advantage of the beer fridges honour system. Come before midnight and it’s usually pretty dead (the Wong’s Place at the wong time?). Come after the other bars bangkok101.com

VIVA AVIV

close – it’s a mere hop skip and a jump from Silom – and watch the night unfold.

วองส์ เพลส ซ.งามดูพลี VIVA AVIV  [map 5 / C2]

River City – Unit 118 | 23 Trok Rongnamkhaeng, Charoen Krung Soi 30 02-639-6305 | www.vivaaviv.com 11am – midnight, later on weekends

Viva Aviv reminds us of one of the hipper bars along Singapore’s Clarke Quay. Not only does it have the bar tables and stools jutting across a pleasant riverside promenade, inside there’s also a hip designer interior in full effect. Think tropical maritime chic meets dashes of outright whimsy. In the main room, pulleys hang over the central bar made of salvaged wood, yards from a huge mounted moose’s head. And the other, with its leather sofas, rusting anchors and other nautical knick-knacks, could pass for Jaco Sparrow’s front room (if he had one). While the owner, Khun Ae, is responsible for this rustic look, the bar is being looked after by the cocktail designers behind popular gastrobar Hyde and Seek. Their ‘Rough Cut’ Signatures, many of them underpinned with rum (tequila is so last year, apparently), come in slightly cheaper than over at Hyde & Seek, B250. Weekly specials go for B199, along with wine by the glass, during the daily 4-8pm happy hours. Food tip: the risotto-filled croquet balls with yoghurt dip are a must. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for news of new specials and ‘Kolour Sundays’, their shades-down and racuous Sunday DJ barbeques.

อาคารริเวอร์ซิตี้ เจริญกรุง ซ.30 WTF  [Map 3 / Q 6]

wtf

old Thai movie posters on the other, and found items like wooden screen doors and chairs. It works. The Thai-farang owners (an art manager, hotelier and photographer by trade) have made a good fist of cocktails (from B130) with rye whiskies and unusual bitters in the mix, while plates of tapas consist of Thai and Euro choices such as Portuguese chorizo and feta salad. Expect occasional live gigs, art exhibitions upstairs and a mix of indie hipsters, journos and art-scensters to chew the fat with.

ดับเบิลยู ทีเอฟ สุขุมวิท ซ. 51

LIVE MUSIC Performances by top international bands might be thin on the ground here, but there are a clutch of venues where decent live music can be heard. Much, if not all of it, is world-class.

ADHERE the 13TH  [Map 7 / G 3]

13 Samsen Rd (opposite Soi 2) 089- 769-4613 | 5 pm – midnight

Funky, jammy, bare – one of Bangkok’s coolest hangouts is nothing more than an aisle packed with five tables, a tiny bar and instruments. It’s a joint you’d expect to find on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, except for the Chang beer. North of Khao San Road (ask for ‘Ad Here’, once in the quarter), this down-to-earth, bohemian hang-out packs ’em in nightly. On weekends, young Thais, expats and tourists spill out on the sidewalk when the joint is jumpin’. The resident band churns out cool blues, Motown and Janis Joplin; Georgia, the city’s only true Blues Mama, has a voice and figure to match, and would never sing Hotel California.

7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 | BTS Thong Lo 02- 626-6246 | www.wtfbangkok.com Tue – Sun 6 pm – 1 am / gallery from 3 pm

แอดเฮีย 13 ถ.สามเสน บางลำ�ภู

This tiny shophouse – signposted by graffiti on a corrugated tin wall in the street opposite – has a bar on the ground floor, decked out with mirrors along one wall,

265 Khaosan Rd | 02-629-4477 www.brickbarkhaosan.com Mon – Sun 7 pm – 1am | Mon – Thu free /  Fri – Sat B150 incl. one drink

BRICK BAR  [Map 7 / G 6]

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 8 7


Nightlife

SAXOPHONE PUB  [Map 8 / K 10]

3 / 8 Phaya Thai Rd BTS Victory Monument | 02-246-5472 www.saxophonepub.com | 6 pm – 2 am

BRICK BAR

saxophone pub

Just a stone’s throw from the Victory Monument Skytrain Station, this cozy, unpretentious place is a Bangkok landmark when it comes to solid live jazz and blues. Attracting youngish Thais and the odd foreigner, the spacious joint can pack up to 400 people on its homey, low-ceilinged, wood-filled floors. Each night, two talented Thai bands belt out sincere jazz, jazzy funk and R&B while the crowd feasts on hearty Thai and Western fare. All the local live music scene greats have played here and many still pop by when they can.

แซ๊กโซโฟนผับ ถ.พญาไท Found at the rear of the Buddy Lodge shopping arcade, this dark and airy redbrick vault features benches downstairs, an upstairs terrace for people or band watching and plenty of nooks and crannies to party in. A magnet for young live music lovers, it’s jumping most nights of the week with fresh-faced twentysomethings out to catch some of Thailand’s biggest ska, reggae, funk and blues bands, many of whom play their own material. Perfect for friends who’ve just hit town, expect to be clinking whisky glasses with new friends all night.

บริคบาร์ ถ.ข้าวสาร COSMIC CAFE  [Map 8 / Q 12]

RCA Block C | Rama IX Rd | MRT Rama 9

The rebel in RCA’s ranks, Cosmic Café serves a mixed diet of sonic eclecticism in a grungy, open-sided corner bar with outdoor seating and a small dance floor. On one night you might the place jumping, as the Paradise Bangkok DJs host a rare live performance by mor lam legend Dao Bandon. On another a house band dishing out some surf guitar, ska, electronica or blues. The edgiest joint on the block, it draws a lively, musically discerning crowd, from skinny jeaned art-school hipster types to teddy boy expats. An insider’s must.

คอสมิค คาเฟ่ อาร์ซีเอ THE ROCK PUB  [Map 4 / C 2]

93/26-28 Radchatewee, Phaya Thai Rd, (opposite Asia Hotel) | BTS Ratchathewi www.therockpubbangkok.com 9:30 pm – 2 am

If Def Leppard, Aerosmith or Wayne and Garth were in town you’d find them reliving the glory years here, at Bangkok’s very own Castle of Rock. A tacky faux-turret exterior, visible from the Ratchatewi BTS Station, makes you wonder what kind of weird, 1980s theme-park ride you’ve stumbled on, while inside local metal bands with Brian May hairdos thrash out note-perfect renditions of everything from 8 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Black Sabbath to Sweet Child O’Mine and Motorhead’s Ace of Spades. Fans of the extended drum interlude or lightening fast guitar solo will not be disappointed – or able to resist doing the Devil’s Horn.

เดอะ ร็อคผับ RAINTREE PUB  [Map 8 / K 10]

116 / 63 - 34 Soi Ruamjit, Rang Nam Rd BTS Victory Monument 02-245-7230, 081-926-1604 www.raintreepub.com | 5 pm – 1 am

This rustic Thai ‘country’ bar is a sort of all-wooden, pre-consumerist age timecapsule. Raintree hosts musicians playing Pleng Peua Chiwit (Songs for Life), the once phenomenally popular 1970’s folk protest music and soundtrack for Thailand’s politically disaffected. On a stage decorated with the movement’s trademark buffalo skulls, two artists strum nightly: a long-haired singer croons plaintive songs at 8:30 pm, a grizzled band steps up at around 11 pm. Owner Porn Pimon opened Raintree 19 years ago and has changed little since. And why should she? The people are friendly, the beer snacks cheap and tasty, and the music, made famous by household names like Caravan and Caribou, soul-stirring.

เรนทรีผับ ซ.ร่วมจิต ถ.รางน้ำ�

Sonic  [MAP 3 / T 2]

90 Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) BTS Ekamai | 02-382-3396 facebook: sonic.ekamai | 6 pm – 2 am

Hip, mural-splattered Sonic is dedicated to bringing you assorted musical jollies. Not the same old Thai bands or David Guetta wannabes, but nights that sit at the more alternative end of the spectrum, with a tilt toward the indie side. There’s a big semi-outdoor seating area with DJ booth, an indoor bar and deeper in is the main room. On quieter nights stools and tables fill this high-ceilinged, warehouselike space with a bar in one corner and funky brass lamps dangling overhead, but for gigs and other crowd-pullers they strip it bare. Since opening, Sonic has blasted its way into the affections of the city’s hard-to-please nightlife clans with a string of unusual live gigs, including performances by mor lam legends Wong Dontri Molam Theppabut and US indie shoegazers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. See their Facebook page for the next.

โซนิค ซ.เอกมัย (ระหว่าง ซ.10 และบิ๊กซี) TAWANDAENG GERMAN BREWERY  [MAP 2 /E11]

462 / 61 Rama III Rd | Yan Nawa district 02- 678-1114 | www.tawandang.co.th

Inside this ex-garage out in the northern suburbs it’s pure sensory overload. Wallto-wall retro furniture becomes instant eye-candy, while chairs without upholstery dangle from the ceiling. Here, there is a band for every alternative music lover; in just one weekend night you can catch reggae, electronic, rockabilly, and metal. It’s a hike and not easy to find, but worth it.

The one place that every taxi driver seems to know, this vast, barrel-shaped beer hall packs in the revelers nightly. They come for the towers of microbrewed beer, the Thai, Chinese and German grub (especially the deep-fried pork knuckle and sausage), and, not least, the famous Fong Nam houseband. It’s laidback early on, but by 10pm, when the Thai/Western pop, luk krung and mor lam songs are at full pelt, everybody is on their feet and the place going bananas. Great for large groups, especially birthday parties and office outings, but make sure you reserve ahead for the best tables nearest the stage.

ปาร์คกิ้งทอย ซ.มัยลาภ เกษตรนวมินทร์

โรงเบียร์เยอรมันตะวันแดง พระราม 3

PARKING TOYS  [MAP 2 / G5]

17/22 Soi Maiyalap, Kaset-Navamin Highway, Bang Khen (pier 135-136 on left hand side) Lat Phrao district | BTS Mo Chit (then taxi) | 02-907-2228 | 6 pm – 1am

bangkok101.com


brown sugar

Jazz clubs Click your fingers like a hepcat at one of the following respected live jazz venues. Some are all elegant and sultry, others as raw and gritty as that old crooner’s voice.

BAMBOO BAR  [Map 5 / B4]

The Oriental Bangkok | 48 Oriental Ave 02-659-9000 | www.mandarinoriental.com Sun – Thu 11 am – 1 am, Fri & Sat 11 am – 2 am

This Bangkok landmark is a symbol of past glories of the East. Situated in one of the city’s most sophisticated hotels, the 50-yearold bar oozes class, sophistication and style. Reminiscent of a tropical film noir-setting, it features a jungle theme – bamboo, palm fronds and furry patterns. Small and busy, it’s nevertheless romantic and intimate – balanced by the legendary Russian jazz band that’s been on the stage here for ages. Monday through Saturday nights catch the sultry sounds of their current resident songstress, Cynthia Utterbach. Everybody’s sipping on faultless cocktails, mixed by skilled old-school bartenders and served by a superb staff. Ideal for a boozy night on your honeymoon. A definite big Bangkok must.

diplomat bar

DIPLOMAT BAR  [Map 4 / K7]

Conrad Bangkok 87 Witthayu Rd | BTS Ploen Chit 02-690-9999 | www.conradbangkok.com Sun – Thu 6 pm – 1 am; Fri & Sat 6 pm – 2 am

An architecturally striking hotel bar, mixing a funky, stylish décor with soft teak sofas and an arresting chandelier hanging over the massive round bar. Bronze silks and wood dominate this dark, contemporary, but always relaxed place. A boozy, high-profile crowd fills the Diplomat Bar nightly, especially during the elongated, buyone-get-one-free Happy Hour from 4 – 7 pm (standard drinks only). It’s very hip among the diplomatic corps (Witthayu is stuffed with embassies), trendy guys in suits and glitzy society ladies – ideal for people-ogling. But the main attraction here is more aural than visual and exceptional jazz acts are de rigueur.

รร.คอนราด ถ.วิทยุ THE LIVING ROOM  [Map 4 / F6]

Sheraton Grande | 250 Sukhumvit Rd BTS Aso / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-649-8888 www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com 10 am – 12:30 am

Little over a month after it closed down, one of Bangkok’s oldest cosiest jazz venues was back with a new, bigger location near Khao San. Now a restaurant and coffee house by day, it morphs into a live jazz haunt where renditions of bebop and ragtime draw an audience of locals and visitors by night. There’s also be a 200seat space on the second floor that can host art exhibitions, film screenings, plays, poetry readings, concerts and “whatever else you can think of ”. And a monthly ‘Brown Sugar Showcase’ features live performances by international touring acts on the last Friday or Saturday of each month.

Perhaps the cosiest of all Bangkok’s luxury hotel bars, the leather couches at The Living Room are so snug it’ll be hard to get up again once you’re seated. It’s still a stylish place, and the usually middle-aged patrons live it up on great wines, champagne and strong cocktails in a quiet way. The highceilinged foyer offers perfect acoustics for the fabulous jazz band. Be prepared to be well-entertained. World-class talents are booked in continuously, guaranteeing top-notch jazz and always a warm audience rapport. Throughout Feb, The Living Room plays host to Alice Day alongside the Shawn Kelley Trio, performing every Tuesday through Thursday nights from 9 to 11:45 pm, plus Friday and Saturday nights from 9:30 pm to 12:15 am. You can also catch them during the Sheraton Grande’s legendary Sunday Jazzy Brunch.

บราวน์ ชูการ์ ถ.พระสุเมร

รร.เชอราตันแกรนด์ สุขุมวิท

รร.โอเรียลเต็ล ถ.โอเรียลเต็ล Brown Sugar  [Map 7 / J 5]

469 Phrasumen Road | 089-499-1378 www.brownsugarbangkok.com | 6 pm – 1 am

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tokyo joe‘s

Niu ’s on Silom  [Map 5 / E5]

2nd F, 661 Silom Rd | 02-266-5333 www. niusonsilom.com | 5 pm – 1 am

This New York-style lounge – with its hot jazz, old leather armchairs and roses on candlelit tables – has a house band with some of Bangkok’s better local talent. They provide the backbone for various international acts who perform regularly. There’s also a jazz jam every Sunday and occasional concer ts featuring established overseas visitors. Niu’s is a class act, but still casual, comfor table for beers or brandy; and you can eat bar snacks or dine formally in the impressive Concer to Italian restaurant upstairs. Outside seating also available.

นิวส์ ออน สีลม บ้านสีลม Tokyo Joe’s  [Map 3 / N8]

25/9 Sukhumvit Soi 26 | BTS Phrom Phong 02-661-0359; 087-925-4105 8 am – late / music Thu – Sun from 9 pm

When Tokyo Joe’s closed at the end of 2009 it left a huge hole in the Sukhumvit blues scene, so there was much rejoicing when it reopened last October. Bands play on a stage at the back of the room and there’s a forecourt out front with bar. Furnishings inside are sparse, with a few functional tables and, on the walls, posters of musicians and events Tokyo Joe’s hosted in the past, such as the annual Bangkok Blues Festival. The current line-up includes a rotating headliner on Fridays and the Soi Dog Blues Band on Saturdays. Sundays is an open jam session. The food menu includes fancy items like duck confit and spaghetti al salmon as well as typical bar snacks like sandwiches, fries and Thai salads.

โตเกียว โจส์ สุขุมวิท ซ.26

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 8 9


Nightlife

pub review

Black Swan

As soon as you walk through the door of this place, nestled in the shadow of Asoke BTS station, one thing is clear, this is not a concept pub, this is a p roper British boozer. You won’t find any faux-Irish décor, happy hours, or live bands; but that’s what makes it soappealing. It’s a snug escape from the madness of Bangkok with its wood paneled walls, adorned with a collection of mementoes; you even get a classic wise-cracking landlord thrown in for good measure. Its small size and low ceilings give it a cozy atmosphere helped by the low-level lighting and small brick fireplace. On the ground floor there is a scattering of bench seats and tables or romantics can head upstairs with its candle-lit seating. Be warned though this will involve negotiating the metal spiral staircase, a challenge when you have had a drink or three. There is a good selection of beers, with Guinness, John Smith’s and Kilkenny on draught and a menu offering English style pub grub. Make sure you try the fish and chips – the haddock is imported direct from Scotland every Friday.

แบล็คสวอน ถ.สุขุมวิท (แยก อโศก)   getting there

Black Swan  [map 4/ G6] 326/8-9 Sukhumvit Rd | BTS Asok | 02-229-4542 www.blackswanbkk.com | 8am – 1am 9 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

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PUB Crawl

pubs 101  HANRAHANS  [Map 3 / C 7] Sukhumvit Soi 4 l BTS Nana 02-255-0644-5 | 9 am – 1am

JAMESON’S  [Map 5 / D 5]

Gr. F Holiday Inn Silom 981 Silom Rd | BTS Surasak 02-266-7703-5 | 10 am – 1 am

MOLLY MALONE’S  [Map 5 / J 5] 1/5-6 Soi Convent, Silom BTS Sala Daeng | 02-266-7160 9 am – 1 am

O’REILLYS  [Map 5 /K 5]

SILOM AREA

Hidden among the salacious delights of Silom Road, you will still find some of the “grand old men” of libation locales. O’Reilly’s  [ Map 5 / K5 ]  is a slightly dingy affair whose décor matches its demeanour – grizzled, but down-toearth. Even so, it’s popular due to nightly drinks specials, live music, and an outdoor seating area to view the exotic sights of Silom. Just down the street is The Barbican [ Map 5 / K5]  a multi-level contemporary concoction of granite and steel where the mixed crowds of expats and locals enjoy superior food and a wide choice of imported beers. With Kilkenny and Guinness on tap, Molly Malone’s [Map 5 / J5] offers a real taste of Ireland. Drop in during their extended happy hour (5 pm – 9 pm) for live music and multiple big screens for sport. Friendly staff and excellent food (especially their Sunday roast) means this place is always busy. A short stroll down from the infamous Patpong stands basement boozer The Pinstman [Map 5 / J5] . Its look and feel is nothing you haven't seen before, but it does have Asahi, Guiness and Kilkenny on tap and lots of imported Belgian brews available by the bottle. Jameson’s  [Map 5 / D5] sat under the Holiday Inn is a cavernous place but still packs in the punters thanks to fantastic happy hours, including ladies’ night on Tuesday featuring Margaritas for a ridiculously cheap B 29 a glass.

SUKHUMVIT AREA

Sukhumvit Road, a haven for expats, is jammed with joints catering to ale aficionados. Beside BTS Phrom Phong station, The Robin Hood  [Map 3 / L6] offers daily happy hour and drinks specials, including draught Kilkenny and Guinness, as well as live music and sports. Even so, it can sometimes seem a little sedate. Down a nearby alley is The Royal Oak  [Map 3 / L6], whose oakpanelled walls and low ceilings give off a cosy feel. The Londoner  [Map 3 / L6] is a vast subterranean hideaway that brews its own real ale and lager, has good food and a regular house band. Opposite is the ever-popular Dubliner  [Map 3 / K7], a three-storey edifice. Though slightly pricy, the superb food (try the sausages), live music and Guinness pull in the punters. Up the road in the shadow of Asok BTS, is The Black Swan  [Map 3 / G6], a proper British booze abode. No bands. No happy hours. Just snug escape offering a warm atmosphere and a wise-cracking landlord. Tucked down a pedestrian sub-street of Soi 11 lined with international restaurants is The Pickled Liver  [Map 3 / C5]. A shrine to soccer and suds, the décor is unfussy with a focus on big screen sports. But with friendly staff and daily happy hour it’s not just the sport that makes it worth a visit. Finally, Hanrahans [Map 3 / C7] offers a genuine reason to be seen in Nana. Light and airy it ticks all the right boxes with regular music, special drinks deals and daily happy hour. bangkok101.com

62/1-4 Silom Rd BTS Sala Daeng, MRT Silom 02-632-7515 | 9 am – 2 am

The BARBICAN  [Map 5 / K 4] 9/4-5 Soi Thaniya, Silom Rd BTS Sala Daeng, MRT Silom 02-234-3590 | 11:30 am – 1 am

THE BLACK SWAN  [Map 3 / G 6] 326/8-9 Sukhumvit Rd BTS Asok, MRT Sukhumvit 02-229-4542 | 8 am – midnight

The Royal Oak  [Map 3 / L 6]

Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 BTS Phrom Phong | 02-259-4444 11:30 am – 1 am

BULLY’S  [Map 3 / B 7]

Sukhumvit Rd, btw. Soi 2 / 4 BTS Nana | 02-656-4609 | 11 am – 1am

THE DUBLINER  [Map 3 / K 7]

440 Sukhumvit Rd, btw. Soi 22 / 24 BTS Phrom Phong | 02-204-1841/2 9 am – 1 am

THE LONDONER  [Map 3 / L 6]

Basement, UBC II Bldg., Sukhumvit Soi 33 | BTS Phrom Phong 02-261-0238/9 | 11 am – 1am

THE PICKLED LIVER  [Map 3 / C 5] Sukhumvit Soi 7/1 | BTS Nana 02-254-3484 | 2 pm – 3 am

THE PINTSMAN [Map 5 / J 5]

United Center Blg., 323 Silom Rd, btw. Soi Convent / 3 | BTS Sala Daeng 089-012-9922 | 11 am – 1 am

THE ROBIN HOOD  [Map 3 / L 6] PB Bldg., Sukhumvit Soi 33/1 BTS Phrom Phong | 02-662-3390 10 pm – midnight

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9 1


SHOPPING

9 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


new collection

‘Pure Instinct’ by Q Design and Play

Thai menswear label Q Design and Play’s output is nothing if not eclectic. Past collections include Give Peace a Chance, which revisited the seventies, and Before 20th Century, which went even further back into the past with a preppy school-boy look influenced by the work of late Italian surrealist Piero Fornasetti. Now, they’ve hopped in their time machine again yet again with a spring/summer collection that’s inspired by the ‘survival of the fittest’ concept. Whether it’s channeling the recent hit movie The Hunger Games, in which kids were pitched in a fight to the death all in the name of TV entertainment, we’re not quite sure, but there’s certainly a futuristic, dystopian edge to Pure Instinct. Continuing label head Praphat Somboonsitti’s preoccupation with graphic details, especially geometric shapes, the collection is subdivided into three sections. The graphics and earth tone colour scheme of the ‘Hunter’ pieces are meant to resemble a tropical rain forest through which a hunter might roam. Those entitled ‘Victim’ are meant to illustrate the weakness of a prey and their natural instinct to survive, this through the use of tones and colours that enable them to camouflage themselves. And last but not least, the ‘Survivor’ portion employs Q’s flair for graphic and geometric designs to try and convey the complicated layers of society. Whether you get all this or not (and we’re not sure we do), we like some of these getups, especially those utilising unusual cuts, metal and acrylic finishes and other futuristic detailing. Complimenting them are a range of scarfs, necklaces, bags, rings and other accessories. bangkok101.com

available at:

Lido Siam Square Soi 2 | 02-252-4089 CentralPlaza Chaengwattana Chaenwatthana Rd | Pak Kret, Nonthaburi | 02-101-0000 ZEN 5F, CentralWorld | Rajchadamri Rd Central Bangna 3F | Bangna-Trad Rd Central Chidlom 4F | Phloenchit Rd sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9 3


SHOPPING

unique boutique

Code 10 By Yvonne Liang

When you step foot into this 200 sqm fashion store located on Siam Paragon’s glittering first floor, the words that spring to mind are glamour, luxury, and decadence. Code 10 is a labyrinth of dresses for the rich and famous looking for evening and party wear that’s full of drama – in a good way. Not only will you find a show stopping dress at this fancy boutique, you can also get your hands on some matching jewelry by labels such as Aztique, or even a stylish headdress to complete your look for the night. Since its opening in 2008, Code 10 has become the go-to store for fashion-forward members of high society and Thailand’s hottest celebs, such as drag queen extraordinaire Gene Kasidit who is a famous patron of Chai Gold Label. Some of the pieces are made exclusively for Code 10, so you can avoid appearing under the “Who wore it better” section of the fashion tabloids. With all the glam parties going on in this city, Code 10 is definitely filling a niche, serving socialites who want to dress to impress. The entire store features evening wear from sought-after local designers including Pichita, Sanshai, T-RA and Nagara, a label known to offer some of the most exhilarating dresses known to women. It’s the first store of its kind to feature a handful of top local designers within the same walls, the end result being that customers can pick from a wide range of dresses and accessories, all with one common thread running through them – the Code 10 style factor.  9 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Although the dresses are created by different labels and designers, one thing is certain – when you’re wearing one of these numbers, heads will turn. Think bold metallics, classic black and white, and floor sweeping gowns in the deepest hues. Other rising designers exhibited at Code 10 include Tippayapong Poosanaphong, who turns casual crochet normally found in beachwear into ravishing statement dresses that can easily be worn in the most formal settings. Whatever your heart’s desire for the next big social event, Code 10 has something that will make your big evening unforgettable.

สยามพารากอน ถ.พระราม 1   getting there

Code 10  [MAP4 / d4] 1 fl, Siam Paragon | Rama I Rd | BTS Siam | 02-610 8312, 02-610-9794 | www.siamparagon.co.th | 10am – 10pm bangkok101.com


thai stuff

Aromatherapy & Spa

Get a whiff of this lot! Bangkok teems with holistic, spa-inspired local product lines for the body and the home. As a rule the well-established ones are easily found, usually in the special Thai products sections of the major department stores, while the up-and-comers have their own outlets or independent stockists.

AnyaDharu Done out like a Victorian-era apothecary, AnyaDharu dabbles in healthimbuing natural oils, bath and massage oils, shower gels, soaps and body lotions as well as incense sticks, candles and scented sachets. Instead of complex composite aromas they focus on simple ones like green tea, lemongrass, peach, amber, orange blossom and damask rose, and all their products come in opulent, old-world-style packaging.

Erb A department-store staple, Erb employs ancient Thai traditions and herbs to create skincare and home fragrances with holistic benefits as well as heady scents. For example, they claim that the ginger and marigold extracts in their Spice & Shine body lotion stimulate circulation and sooth the skin. Sustainability is also important to Erb: all of their ingredients are certified organic and sourced locally.

Karmakamet At both of Karmakamet’s stores chequered floors and chandeliers dangling overhead provide an elegant atmosphere in which to sniff their nostalgically packaged smellies. Scented glass-candles and sachets with drawstring cloth pouches are among their bestsellers for the home, while their body pampering ranges from massage oils to soaps like ‘The Embrace’, a luscious blend of orange blossom and mint.

Primmalai Launched earlier this year, Primmalai’s range of body lotions, hand creams, shower gels, body polishes, massage oils and scents for the home is currently limited to six fragrances, all of them made from tropical Thai plants. These include the phikun, the white-flowered gardenia, pandanus, Thai magnolias, the cananga and malai flowers. Currently they’re only stocked at one place: Central Chidlom department store.

Chatuchak (Section 3, Soi3); Isetan (4F MBK) www.anyadharu.com

2F CentralWorld; Section 2, Soi 3 Chatuchak Market www.karmakamet.co.th

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5F Central Chidlom; 5F The Emporium; GF & 5F Siam Paragon | www.erbasia.com

5F Central Chidlom www.primmalai.com

Harnn Since 1999, Harnn has been harnessing Eastern herbal know-how for its holistic beauty and aromatherapy range. Think black rice and charcoal soaps; gingseng and green tea foot soaks; and eucalyptus, lavender and ylang-ylang bath oils. Recent additions to the Harnn family include sunscreens made with Indian sal butter; and you’ll be pleased to hear that their Siam Paragon and Emporium branches double up as dreamy spas.

GF & 4F Siam Paragon; 5F Central Chidlom; 1F & 3F; CentralWorld Plaza; 2F & 5F Emporium www.harnn.com

Thann

A highlight of a massage treatment at Thann – just one of many local skincare brands to dabble in the spa business – is getting to lather up with its deliciously scented toiletries afterwards. Its worldly mixtures for washing, moisturising, cleansing and relaxing come in slick modern packaging and grounded in ancient and modern science. Our picks: their logo-embossed rice grain soap bar and exotic tea collection. MF, GF & 5F Siam Paragon; 4F Siam Discovery; 3F Emporium; 2F CentralWorld (incl. spa); 3F Gaysorn (incl. spa) www.thann.info

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9 5


SHOPPING

jatujak market

Jatujak Market

Forget designer malls. Jatujak weekend market is Bangkok’s true paragon of retail. This is shopping as survival of the fittest: only those with finely tuned consumer instincts shall persevere The rest can go and get lost – literally.

Taking a wrong turn’s almost a given in this sprawling, city-sized marketplace, upon which thousands descend every weekend, to trade everything from Burmese antiques to pedigree livestock. Originally a flea market, Jatujak (also spelled as Chatuchak) quickly outgrew the confines of the insect world to become much more than the sum of its disparate parts. These days, young Thai designers take advantage of the low onsite rent to punt their creative wares; if you so desire, you can peruse piles of customised Zippos that once belonged to American GIs; and tasty pickings conveniently punctuate every which way. Additionally, the exotic pet section particularly supports the theory that Jatujak has evolved its own diverse eco-system (albeit one that periodically gets busted for obviously illegal activites). All this can be a bit overwhelming at first, but persevere and a semblance of order should begin to crystallise from the chaos. Go in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the worst of the heat and the crowds. Or come for a leisurely browse on Friday before the real deluge hits; although only the weekend gig gives ardent shopaholics the fully-blown, unadulterated Jatujak fix they desire. ตลาดนัดจตุจักร

9 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

  The Jatujak market of Bangkok

Amber House Books | hardcover B1,950

The Jatujak Market of Bangkok presents photographer Simon Bonython’s visual inter­pre­tation of Bangkok’s world famous week­end market, giving particular emphasis on candid snaps of the general public and the characters who work there. In spite of the dark alleys and typically poorly lit stalls, Simon avoided using a tripod or flash, making for spontaneous, natural shots that capture the heat, buzz and colour of this labyrinthine treasure trove.

bangkok101.com


jj gem

BANG! BANG! by Pattarasuda Prajittanond

If you’re after one of the coolest T-shirt shops in town, then look no further. At Bang! Bang!, the universal item of clothing is adorned by graphic representations of cultural icons such as John Lennon, Audrey Hepburn, Kurt Cobain, Bruce Lee and, ahem, Mr Bean. The illustrations are drawn on white cloth and then sewn onto a colourful array of T-shirts (they can also mix and match to order). Divided into the categories of Portrait, I Wanna Be A Hero, Figure and Take Me Home, the designs also appear on wallets, postcards, brooches and magnets; offering all you style hounds true bang for your buck.

Section 20, Soi 2 | 089-185-8894

Antiques and Collectibles  1, 26 Section 20, Soi 2 | 089-185-8894

Soi

Art and Gallery  7 Books  1, 27 Ceramics  11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 25 Clothing, Accessories  2 – 6, 10 – 26 Handicrafts  8 – 11 Food and Beverage  2 – 4, 23 – 27 Furniture,  Decorations  1, 3, 4, 7, 8 Misc  2 – 6, 22, 25, 26 Pets and Accessories  8, 9, 11, 13 Plants and Tools  3, 4

JJ Mall

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bangkok101.com

Chatuchak

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9 7


WELLNESS

BODY TUNE 

REFRESH 24

HARNN HERITAGE SPA  [map 4 / D4]

4th F, Siam Paragon | BTS Siam 02-610-9715-6 | 10am-9pm | $$$

HARNN HERITAGE SPA

Massage & Spa BODY TUNE  [MAP 5 / K5]

2nd F, Yada Bldg | Silom Rd | BTS Saladaeng / MRT Silom | 02-238-4377 www.bodytune.co.th |10 am – midnight | $$

Appearances will deceive at this hidden gem of a massage institution set just a short stroll from the Skytrain steps. An unassuming glass door leads to a surprisingly welcoming reception area, the portal to the therapeutic journey you are about to undertake. Body Tune is a very clever concept; take the best of the luxury spa experience, dispense with the whale-song chakra fiddle-faddle, and wrap it up into a convenient, accessible package – a concept that has proven popular, since Body Tune boasts two other busy branches in Sukhumvit and Phaholyothin. With its streamlined, massage-only menu and stable of 30 therapists, you won’t find any crystals or rose petals in this joint, yet the end result is just as refreshing. Got some knots which need a little extra attention?, Drop in early when the beds are free and the therapists are revved up ready to go. Remember to switch off those mobile phones!

บอดี้ทูนสาขาสีลม ถ.สุริยวงศ์ 9 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Before you drop from shopping at the monster mall that is the Paragon, stop in here for a spot of soothing. An extension of the high-end Harnn beauty product line, this tiny spa is all Thai, all the time, and offers excellent, traditional therapies. Done up entirely in black stone, the rooms are small but high-ceilinged to compensate for tight quarters. Despite the excellent layout, however, rooms can feel cramped and crypt-like. Once a treatment begins, any claustrophobia melts away – the signature package, which includes a thorough sesame scrub, a very relaxing oil massage, and a hot sesame compress applied to key meridians on the body, is a very complete pampering session. Staffs are wonderfully professional and personable. Done relaxing? Pick up some Harnn products to continue the spa experience at home.

สยามพารากอน ถ.พระราม 1 REFRESH 24  [MAP 3 / N9]

43 Sukumvit Soi 24 | BTS Phrom Phong 02-259-7235-7 | www.refresh24spa.com 9.30 am – 1 am | $

This traditional Northern Thai house is almost a stereotype in its authenticity. Tropical foliage harbours a tall teak and red-brick Lanna structure, inviting in its combo of simplicity and intricate trimming (translate that into high ceilings, pottery and bamboo). Refreshingly simple, airy rooms proffer a calming background for convincing treatments. The short menu contains the absolute classics (plus ear candling, which we love; other favourites are the Eye Treatment and the Scalp Massage). You’ll be hard-pressed to find lower prices even in the dingiest establishments around Nana – Pimmalai’s owners must be goodhearted souls not out for any profit. Plan to spend a whole day here,

ROYAL NATURA L SPA

enjoying several treatments. In between, browse the spa shop, buy sarongs and the whole range of intriguing PIMM bath & body products. Fret not about the location – Pimmalai is minutes away from a BTS Station. An absolute must – one of our all-time favourites, in fact.

รีเฟรช 24 สุขุมวิท ซ.24 ROYAL NATURAL SPA  [map 5 / J 4]

878 Rama 4 Rd | MRT Silom / MRT Sam Yan / BTS Sala Daeng | 02-637-1032-3 | www. royalnaturalspa.com | 10:30am–8pm | $$$

Hmm…opulent or over the top? Royal Natural Spa takes its moniker seriously, which results in Thai décor with an ornate, “royal European” touch – brocade, jacquard, chandeliers, you name it. The spa is expansive, with huge, luxurious rooms –once you start steaming away in your own gilded birdcage of a showersauna, you may decide…opulent, indeed. Services make good use of the natural part of the name, drawing on Thai herbs and fruits – you may get scrubbed down with plai, lemongrass, and ginger, and then basted with a tamarind paste. Packages are creative, well-conceived and change on a monthly basis, so there’s always something new for the spa fanatic. Therapists are expertly thorough and communicate clearly, ensuring that the whole experience is luxurious and polished without being snobbish in the least. Royal and natural – why aren’t more spas like this?

รอยัลเนเชอรัลสปา ถ.พระราม 4   Spa costs

$ :: under B600 $$ :: B600 – B1,000 $$$ :: B1,000-2,000 $$$$ :: B2,000+ bangkok101.com


bangkok101.com

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 9 9


C omm u nit y

making merit

Soi Dog’s

T r a d e o f Sh a m e C a m pa i g n

W

hen images of Thailand are broadcast abroad they tend to be of the holidays-in-paradise sort: of happy elephants frolicking in a river, or white sandy beaches. However, in recent months a new spate of videos that show the Kingdom in a much, much less flattering light have been spreading around the world: Thai dogs crammed into cages for export to meat-eating countries, namely China and Vietnam.

Street dogs and beloved pets alike have fallen fowl of this dastardly and illegal cross border trade, thousands disappearing from streets and homes all across the land. And that is not even the worst of it… the conditions under which these dogs are transported and slaughtered are inhumane to say the least, with many dying from suffocation long before they reach neighbouring countries. They, in reality, are the lucky ones. Often, those that are still alive are tortured for hours before being skinned alive. The reason for this is that people believe that the pain inflicted leads to the tenderising of the meat. Most shocking of all, is that some dogs are still alive when their fur is removed. 1 0 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

How could this be allowed to happen, especially in a dogloving nation such as this one? According to John Dalley, vice president of the Soi Dog Foundation, a Thai charity working hard to end this appalling practice, a lot of the reason stems from the disinterest or ineptitude of the authorities. “No penalties have ever been imposed on the traders who are making millions of dollars per year from what is an unimaginably inhumane trade,” he says. “The trading and eating of dog meat is abhorred by the vast majority of Thais and this multi-million dollar industry in effect run by a criminal mafia. Despite this being open knowledge the Thai authorities appear unable or unwilling to halt the dog meat trade at its source and thereby prevent this suffering from continuing.” Despite the grim outlook, progress is being made. Soi Dog along with other animal welfare groups has presented draft legislation to the Thai Parliament for strong animal welfare laws to be enacted. And since active campaigning was begun in late 2011 more arrests of smugglers have occurred than during anytime in the past. bangkok101.com


In late 2011 arrests were made in the northeastern province of Nakhom Phanom, with more than 1,000 dogs rescued from tiny cages. Four trucks were intercepted attempting to smuggle the dogs out of the country. The dogs, stacked high in metal cages were being transported to Vietnam for slaughter and consumption. 119 had already died of suffocation in the cramped cages. In early January, a Thai navy patrol caught a gang of dog smugglers on the shore of the Mekong River in Nakhon Phanom province back. At least 750 dogs in small, rusty cages on a truck near a ferry ready to take them across the river to Laos were rescued. One Thai man was arrested on charges including illegal transportation of animals, while the other smugglers escaped. More recently, on the 24 and 28 of July, a further 1,300 dogs were intercepted in Nakhon Phanom and Bueng Kan province in two separate raids carried out by the Thai Border Patrol and Royal Thai Navy, assisted by members of the Thai Animal Activists Alliance. Currently, all these traumatised mutts are being cared for in shelters in Buriram and Khemmarat, both in the northeast, as well as one in Kanchanaburi. bangkok101.com

How can you help ensure they pull through and that more don’t experience the same wretched fate? According to the Soi Dog foundation, hard cash is what is really needed, preferably donations of $15, $25, $35 or $45 a month. Not only does this help fund their Trade of Shame campaign (which hopes to end the trade by pushing for stronger enforcement of existing laws and the introduction of stronger legislation), it’s also needed to cover the costs of caring for the thousands of dogs they’ve saved since it began. An estimated half a million baht a month is needed to feed, treat, sterilize and vaccinate the dogs they currently have in their care. Vaccinating them is especially important as without it there is a real danger of them being wiped out by distemper and parvo, as has happened with other rescued dogs in the past. In other words, these dogs can be saved but not without your support and generosity. To find out more and donate visit www.soidog.org/en/tos or see their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/soidogpageinenglish

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 0 1


getting there

victory monument Photographer : Walid Penpan 1 0 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


RAIL

SKYTRAIN (BTS)  The Bangkok Transit System, or BTS, is a two-line elevated train network covering the major commercial areas. Trains run every few minutes from 6 am to midnight, making the BTS a quick and reliable transport option, especially during heavy traffic jams. Fares range from B 15 to B 40; special tourist passes allowing unlimited travel for one day (B120) are available. BTS also provides free shuttle buses which transit passengers to and from stations and nearby areas. www.bts.co.th SUBWAY (MRT)  Bangkok’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is another fast and reliable way to get across town. The 18-station line stretches 20 kms from Hualamphong (near the central railway station) up to Bang Sue in the north. Subways run from 6 am to midnight daily, with trains arriving every 5 – 7 minutes. The underground connects with the BTS at MRT Silom / BTS Sala Daeng, MRT Sukhumvit / BTS Asok and MRT Chatuchak Park / BTS Mo Chit stations. Subway fares range from about B15 to B 39. www.bangkokmetro.co.th Airport Rail Link  A 28 km long monorail links the city’s main international airport, Suvarnabhumi, with three stops in downtown Bangktok and four stops in the eastern suburbs. Trains run from 6am to midnight every day and follow two lines along the same route. The City Line stops at all stations (journey time: 30 minutes) and costs B15-45 per journey. The Express Line stops at downtown stations Makkasan (journey time: 13-14 minutes, trains leave every 40 minutes) or Phayathai (journey time: 17 minutes, trains leave every 30 minutes), the only one that intersects with the Skytrain. One-way Express Line tickets cost B90 while roundtrip tickets are available at the promotional fare of B150 as part of a drive to increase passenger numbers. http://airportraillink.railway.co.th

bangkok101.com

ROAD

BUS Bangkok has an extensive and inexpensive public bus service. Both open-air and air-conditioned vehicles are available, respectively for B 5 and B 7.50 – B 23. As most destinations are noted only in Thai, it is advisable to get a bus route map (available at hotels, TAT offices and bookshops).

RIVER

CANAL BOAT Khlong Saen Saep canal boats operate from Phan Fa Leelard bridge, on the edge of the Old City, and zip east to Ramkhamhaeng University. However, you have to be quick to board them as they don’t usually wait around. Canal (khlong) boats tend to be frequent and cost around B 9 to B19. Tickets are bought onboard. Note that the piers are a little hidden away, which makes them sometimes difficult to find. EXPRESS RIVER BOAT Bangkok’s vast network of intercity waterways offer a quick and colourful alternative for getting around the city. Express boats ply the Chao Phraya River from the Saphan Taksin Bridge up to Nonthaburi, stopping at some 30 main piers altogether. Fares range from B 9 to B 32 depending on the distance, while tickets can either be bought on the boat or at the pier, depending on how much time you have. Boats depart every 20 minutes or so between 5:30 am and 6 pm. Crossriver services operate throughout the day from each pier for just B 3.

MOTORCYCLE TAXI In Bangkok’s heavy traffic, motorcycle taxis are the fastest, albeit most dangerous, form of road transport. Easily recognisable by their colourful vests, motorbike taxi drivers gather in groups. As with tuk-tuks, fares should be negotiated beforehand. TAXI Bangkok has thousands of metered, air-con taxis available 24 hours. Flag fall is B 35 (for the first 2  k ms) and the fare climbs in B 2 increments. Be sure the driver switches the meter on. No tipping, but rounding the fare up to the nearest B 5 or B 10 is common. Additional passengers are not charged, nor is baggage. For trips to and from the airport, passengers should pay the expressway toll fees. When boarding from the queue outside the terminal, an additional B 50 surcharge is added. TUK-TUK Those three-wheeled taxis (or samlor) are best known as tuktuks, named for the steady whirr of their engines. A 10-minute ride should cost around B 40, but always bargain before boarding. Beware: if a tuk-tuk driver offers to deliver you anywhere for B 10, it’s part of a setup that will lead you to an overpriced souvenir or jewellery shop. sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 0 3


REFERENCE

Map 1  Greater Bangkok A

B

Greater Bangkok & the Chao Phraya  Map 2 >

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L MYANMAR

Uthai Thani

1

UTHAI THANI

CHAI NAT

2

Chiang Mai

LOP BURI

Nakhon Ratchasima c

Udon Thani

Nakhon Ratchasima

Lop Buri

Kanchanaburi

Pattaya CAMBODIA Koh Samet Koh Chang

NAKHON RATCHASIM A

SARABURI

3

Andaman Sea

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

Koh Samui

AYUTTHAYA

Phuket

PATHUM THANI 5

b

1 2

MALAYSIA

PRACHIN BURI

f c

RATCHABURI

VIETNAM

Gulf of Thailand

Krabi

NAKHON NAYOK

4

NAKHON PATHOM

Ubon

Bangkok

ANG THONG

KANCHANABURI

LAOS

THAILAND

SING BURI

SUPHAN BURI

6

M 

3

2

SA KAEO

BANGKOK f a

SAMUT SAKHON

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SAMUT

1 PRAKAN

SAMUT SONGKHRAM

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PHETCHABURI 8

Pattaya RAYONG

Cha-am

CHANTHABURI

Rayong Hua Hin

Ko Samet

Muang Chantaburi

9

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN 10

Trat

Gulf of Thailand

M YA N M A R

Ko Chang

Prachuap Khiri Khan

11

Ko Kut

N

20 km 20 miles Country Border Boarder Crossing Province Border

Sightseeing a 

Bang Krachao b   Rose Garden Riverside c   Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo d   Ancient Siam (Muang Boran) e   Safari World f   Rama IX Royal Park

floating Markets   Damnoen Saduak 2   Amphawa 1

  Museums

Nightlife 1 2

Parking Toys Tawandang German

  Hotels

1   Anantara Bangkok   Erawan Museum Riverside Resort and Spa   House of Museum 3   Thai Film Museum 4   Museum of Counterfeit Goods 1

2

  1 0 4 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M

N 

F

Tanya Tanee

PAK KRET

Don Mueng

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Don Mueng Int. Airport

Ko Kret

Sai Mai

F

Royal Irrigation Dept.

3

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The Legacy

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e

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Royal Thai Army Sport Center

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1

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Huai Khwang

Saphan Sung

Bang Kapi

F

Pathumwan

Bangkok Yai Wongwian Yai

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Khlong San

Thon Buri 1

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*

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F

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Suan Luang

Khlong Toei

Sathorn

60th Anniversary Queen Sirikit Park

Krungthep Unico Kreetha Grande

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DinDaeng Ratchathewi

Mini Buri

F

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Khan na Yao

Mo Chit

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Bangkok Noi

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Bang Bon

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MUENG NONTHABURI

Phasi Charoen

1

9

10

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f

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Suvarnabhumi Int. Airport

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F

Summit Windmill

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F

Green Valley

15

PHRA SAMUT CHEDI

SAMUT PRAKAN

16

F

d

17

Bangpoo

Gulf of Thailand

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18

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 0 5


REFERENCE

Map 3  Sukhumvit Road

Su kh

rom

um vit

n Po

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kh

13

Su

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it

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m

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ek

t

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BTS Silom Line BTS Sukhumvit Line

Hotels

malls

1  Robinsons   Conrad Bangkok 2   Terminal 21 2   Sheraton Grande 3  Emporium 3  Seven 4   JW Marriot Markets 5  Rembrandt 6   Four Points 4   Sukhumvit 7   Aloft Sukhumvit 11 8   Ramada Encore 9   Imperial Queen’s Park 10   Westin Grande Sukhumvit 11   Marriott Executive Sukhumvit Park 12   Grande Centre Point Terminal 21 13 Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit 1

hi Niwet Soi K

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ap

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1 0 6 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

Soi

15 13

39 Soi 7 ng - Soi 3

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Arts & Culture 1

  Japan Foundation   Koi Art Gallery 3   Attic Studios 4   La Lanta 5   TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Centre 6   Nang Kwak 7  WTF 8   The Pickture Gallery 9 ARDEL's Third Place Gallery 10 BKK Art House 2

bangkok101.com


q

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Q Bar 2 Bed Supperclub 3 Insomnia 10 Glow 24 Demo

pubs 11

12

13

14 15

16

The Hanrahans The Pickled Liver The Robin Hood The Royal Oak The Londoner Black Swan

bangkok101.com

Nightlife 4

Long Table 5 Beervault 6 Diplomat Bar 7 The Living Room 8 Cheap Charlie's 9 Barsu 19 WTF 17 Tokyo Joe's 18 Club Perdomo 20 The Iron Fairies 21 Clouds 22 Fat Gut'z 23 Shades of Retro 25 diVino

Embassies  IN 

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PH  Philippines

Qatar Ukraine NO  Norway

 QA   UA 

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 0 7

9


REFERENCE

Map 4  Siam / Chit Lom A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

J

K

L

M 

5 Soi 3

Soi 31 Soi 33

Soi 25

Soi 29

12

Soi Tonson

Henri Dunant

Soi Lang Suan

NL

Soi Nai Lert 15

UA

13

d

Soi 2 Soi 3

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

8

Soi 4

Soi 3

i2

Ratchadamri

2

US

Soi 4

Soi 5

Soi 5

Chulalongkorn University Area

N

Hotels 1

  Pathumwan Princess   Novotel Siam 3   Siam Kempinski 4   Baiyoke Sky Hotel 5   Amari Watergate 6   Novotel Platinum 7   Grand Hyatt Erawan 8   The Four Seasons 9   The St. Regis 10  InterContinental 11   Holiday Inn 12   Swissôtel Nai Lert Park 13   Conrad Bangkok 14   Centara Grand at CentralWorld 15   Hotel Muse 16   Okura Prestige   Arts & Culture 2

200 m 1 000 ft Canal Boat BTS Silom Line BTS Sukhumvit Line Railway Airwalk Market

1

  BACC – Bangkok Art and Culture Centre 2   Tonson Gallery

1 0 8 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

KH

BR

Sarasin

Soi 6

9

Soi Ruam Rudi

Soi 7

Sarasin Lumphini Park

Sightseeing

malls

Embassies

a 

 MBK   Siam Discovery 3   Siam Center 4   Siam Paragon 5   Panthip Plaza 6   Platinum Fashion Mall 7  CentralWorld 8   Zen @ CentralWorld 9   Pratunam Center 10  Gaysorn 11   Erawan Plaza 12   The Peninsula Plaza 13   Amarin Plaza 14   Central Chidlom 15   All Seasons Place

 CH 

Jim Thomson House   Museum of Imagery Technology c   Madame Tussads d   Queen Savang Vadhana Museum e   Siam Ocean World f   Ganesha and Trimurti Shrine g   Erawan Shrine h   Goddess Tubtim Shrine b

Nightlife a CM2 b

Red Sky Bar Balcony Humidor & Cigar Bar d P&L Club e Café Trio f Hyde & Seek c

1

2

Switzerland

 BR  Brazil  FI  Finnland  ID  Indonesia  KH  Cambodia  NL  Netherlands  NZ 

New Zealand

 QA  Quatar  UA  Ukraine  UK 

United Kingdom

 US  USA  VN  Vietnam

Shopping 16   17  

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Rajamangala University

2 c

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Siam 16 Siam Square

CH

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Nai Lert Park

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Wat Pathum Wanaram

Soi Chit Lom

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Soi 23

Soi 19

Soi 15

Soi 27

Soi 32

Soi 30

Witthayu Bridge

Exp

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Khlong San

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National Stadium

6

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Prathunam

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Srapathum Palace

1

17

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4

ID

Hua Chang Bridge

3

5

Soi 20

Ratchathewi 2

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Cha

Phetchaburi Soi 18

Phetchab

Soi 22

1

Soi 13

4

Siam Square Pratunam Market

bangkok101.com


Silom / Sathorn  Map 5 E

kho 2

t are akh

Chulalongkorn University

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

Ph

Soi S

aya

ong

Th

ai

Phra

aN Phr Soi

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8 Than Tawan Soi 6

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St. Joseph School

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m

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SG

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Silom

Soi 6

Soi 7

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g

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6 Soi 2

Soi 2 2 Soi P/2 – Prach radit um

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M 

1

Soi Phra Phinit

Suan Phlu Soi 1

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L

V

int Lo

en

Soi 13

Charo aro

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Ch

Ch

Soi 13

1

63

aI

Soi Phiphat 2

Sathorn Nuea Sathorn Tai Surasak King Mongkut’s University of Technology

K

BE

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rn tho Sa oi

3

f

Soi 15

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en Ra

t

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ot

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So

n ar oe Ch an

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g

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chai

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7 d

4

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e

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4

i4

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Phloi

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e

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6

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sway

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in

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pres

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N

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en Kr Post

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Hua Lamphong

Si Phraya

Soi 39

Soi 30

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ha

ung

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Charo

Nak roen

N

6

te E x

hon

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N

Tak s

ang

G

AU

95

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MY

13

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15

p

7 Soi 1

Soi Saw

n

Marine Dept.

Lat Ya

F

Soi 5

D

anagarindra

4

Naradhiwas Raj

C N

as Naradhiwind Rajanagar ra

B

Soi Wanit 2

A

DE DK

Suan

Phlu 6

Ph Suan

AT

Soi Nantha Mozart

lu 8

9

Immigration Office

Hotels 1

bars with views

a  Threesixty   The Peninsula 2   Millenium Hilton d   Sky Bar 3  Shangri-La o  Panorama 4   Center Point Silom p   Moon Bar 5   Mandarin Oriental 6   Royal Orchid Sheraton Nightlife 7   Lebua at State Tower 8   Holiday Inn b   La Casa Del Habano 9   Chaydon Sathorn c   Bamboo Bar f   Niu's on Silom Bangkok 10   Pullman Bangkok g   Barley Bistro & Bar j   Eat Me Hotel G 11   Le Meridien k  Tapas 12   Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Pubs 13   Banyan Tree 14   Dusit Thani e  Jameson's 15   The Sukothai h   The Pintsman  16   Sofitel SO l   Molly Malone's m   The Barbican n  O'Reilly's

Arts & Culture 1

 AT  Austria

  Shopping

 MY  Malaysia

1

 Robinsons 2   River City Shopping 3   Silom Village 4   Silom / Patpong Night-Market 5   Jim Thompson Store

N

 AU  Australia  BE  Belgium

200 m

 BT  Bhutan

1 000 ft

 CA  Canada  DE  Germany  DK  Denmark  GR  Greece  FR  France  MX  Mexico

1

N

River Ferry River Cross Ferry BTS Silom Line Subway Line Market

 MM  Myanmar  PT  Portugal  SG  Singapore  TW  Taiwan

Sightseeing a  b 

bangkok101.com

Embassies

  Serindia Gallery 2   Silom Galleria: Number 1 Gallery, Tang Contemporary Art, Taivibu Gallery, Gossip Gallery 3   H Gallery 4   Bangkokian Museum 5   Alliance Francaise

8

Snake Farm M.R. Kukrit’s House sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 0 9


REFERENCE

Map 6  Yaowarat / Pahurat (Chinatown & Little India )  A

B

C

1

F

G

H

Ma

M ai

Ba n D ok

h1u li n

E

J

itri

Ch

K

L

M 

it

Tr

iP

r ad

u

M it tr ph an

So

Hua Lamphong

Ch aro en Ya ow a r at K r So

i7

3 h

g j i1

Y So i 3

So

Y

un

Y5

2

So ng Saw at

So

i2

Rama IV Y

Phadungdao–Soi Texas

Y So i 9

Pl an g N am

So i 18

So i 6

S oi 4

Y

C

at

Tr i M si ang

2

P

S ong W

a n it 1

it

g

S oi W

ur han

So i 16

So i 21

on M an gk

So i 19

Soi 14 Y Soi 15

Soi 8 Y Soi 17

Y Soi 21 Y Soi 19

Soi 17

Su ap a Ratch awon g

Y S 10 CK S 12

na

Du

ang

5

ut an P h Sa p h

t Phu

6

g

han

N

ae n

S ap

Phu

t

han

Tha Din Daeng

S ap

Memorial Bridge

Hotels   Grand China Princess   Bangkok Shanghai Mansion 1

200 m 1 000 ft River Ferry River Cross Ferry Subway Line Railway Market

Arts & Culture 1

  Chalermkrung Theatre   Samphanthawong Museum 3   Yaowarat Chinatown Heritage Centre 2

Th

a

Princess Mother Memorial Park

2

1

Na

Temples

Markets

1   Long Krasuang Market   Wat Ratburana School 2   Ban Mo ( Hi-Fi Market)   Wat Pra Phiren c   Wat Bophit Phimuk 3   Pak Khlong Talat d   Wat Chakrawat (Flower Market) e   Wat Chaichana Songkhram 4   Yot Phimai Market f Wat Mangkon Kamalawat 5   Pahurat –Indian Fabric Market g   Wat Samphanthawongsaram 6   Sampeng Market 7  Woeng Nakhon Kasem Worawiharn h Wat Traimit (Temple of (Thieves Market) 8   Khlong Tom Market the Golden Buddha) 9   Talat Kao (Old Market) 10   Talat Mai (New Market) Sightseeing a

b

j

1 1 0 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

w Ta

Marine Dept.

et i Ph pir

e

4

Em

aK

R at

N

N

Hua Lamphong Central Railway Station

Rajchawongse

Ba

ha

la n g

Ma

it

a

o nM 3

Ch

i So

N

Th S oi

9

g wo n

9

Y Soi 11

Ch aiy aphun

t

Y Soi 23

Ma ha Ch ak d

nt

c

1

Rachi ni Atsad ang

8

it 1

A nu

2

7

Sam peng Lane – Soi Wan

10

Trok Itsaranuphap

i

6

Sa

Ma ngkon

ar

at hur5 Pha

Lu ean Rit

Soi 8

Soi 10

ha r ap

S

4 oi

1

f

itri

D Din

6

at

W

Yaow

t ar a

Soi Aner Keng

ip Th

m

So i 15

So i 11

9 S oi

6 i So

So

nu

j

i

Ch ak kr aw at

ha

nu

gs Ran

C ha kp he

P ok

oe

Pha

ng

ru nK 1

e

So

i5 Tr

ar

7

t Yo

Bu

Ch

m

So i 13

h at Bo

Charoen Krun g

iP S ir

is

ut

i3

kW

Ti 5

rip

ai Ch ha Ma

an ak Ugn

n ho

on

g

o Tr

Th

4

Sa

8

Ma

p

em

Romaneenart Park

g

a iph

as

3

K h lo n

en

gK

ip

t P h ir

un

i S ir

Wa Thom

Kr

So

b

k Wor ac ha

2

ng

Si Thamm athirat

Lua h at

Trok

Sida

S oi C

D

Chinatown Gate at the Odient Circle

bangkok101.com

an

N

4

K

So

i2

9


Map 7  Rattanakosin (Oldtown) A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

Ra

ma

14

N

So

Rama VIII Bridge

J

K

L

M 

Ph

its

VII

I

et md

k

ata

ha e Ka iC

ok noe Dam Rat

cha

Dinso

6

Memorial Bridge

Boriphat

Chai Maha

Bat

Wo rach ak

ng A

ng

11

ara

So

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op

t

hit

Ch ak kr aw at

Yao w

ph

im uk

Wat Wat Bophit Chakrawat Phimuk

wat kkra Cha

Son

gW at

en

Kr

ho

mW at

Phi

12

ren

un

g 13

14

Ya ow a

ra

Anu

won g

t

aw on g

N

10

15

tch

Market Tot Phimai Market

Soi B an

Ti Thong

ng O

Soi Mahannop 2

Unakan Siri Phong

Chai ng

aro

Ka

7

Cha kph e Pak Khlong t

9

Ra

Ya i k ko ng Ba

Wat Liap

Kh N

So iW at Ka nla ya

apho

Ch

gT

Ma ha Ch an k

Ta l lo

Th

Wat Kanlayannamit

lon

t

m

ng

aK

Phir

Tri Ph e

Set

Rajinee

g lon Kh

bangkok101.com

an thak

ha

i So

Kh

Sri

n ari Am un Ar

N

Phahurat Ban Mo

Soi

Wat Arun (Temple of the dawn)

Phra Phi Phit

Museum of Siam

8

Wat Saket

g

Royal Theatre

Thip Wari

7

Luan

Bor iph at

tu

Che

at

Saphan Phut

at har Ma

Wat Arun

n pho

Soi Sirip at

Sam Yot

Trok Phan um

Lan Luang

Muang

Rommaninat Park

Soi Sa Song Soi Long Tha

6

an

Saw

Phan Fah Leelard

Bumrung

Wat Suthat

Burapha

Tha Tien

Rat

Soi Siric hai 2 Soi Siric hai 1

Ch ak ra Ph sem et

Wat Pho

8

mran

Charoen Krung

at

N

Soi Phra ya Si

i Sanam Cha

Tha

Ratchabophit

Wat Ratchabophit

Saranrom Park

ng i Wa

Trok Sukha 2

Soi Sa

Giant Swing

n kho

ng Rak

g Tai

City Hall

Trok Sukha1

isut

Grand Palace

5

Damro

Klan

Wat Ratchanatdaram

uang

Fuang Nakhon

Khlong Lot

Saranrom

Wat

Tanao

Buranasat

aitri

Wat Ratchapradit

noen

Trok Ratchanatdaram Sin

Bumrung M

Kalayana M

Chao Phraya

Trok Nava

Phraeng Phuthon

Wat Phra Kaew

o

Na

Dam

Ph ra Po kk lao

Tha Chang

Phraeng Nara

Lak Mueang

Na Phra Lan

nL

Democracy Monument

Mahannop

hrut

K Trok

ei Na Hap Pho

Trok W

Soi Silipakorn

Bunsiri

g Nuea

Klang

Trok hep T Sath hida ien Ram

Tri Phet

Wat Rakhang

lang Tai

k Khro lonSgake L ot W at T

ee Rachin ang d a ts A

Ratcha Damn oen N ai

ra Tha

Sanam Luang

Ba

Khlo

noen K

t

Maharat

Wat Mahathat

9

noen Klan

noen

T

Silpokaorn University N

Soi Dam

Soi Dam

Na Ph

Amulet Market

an

Tro k

Dinso

ao

an a Dam

a Ch

g

nN

Tr ok

ho

Ch

i ttr

Kl

Wang Lang

4

on

hu

Bowonniwet ViHara

Ratch

Thammasart University Maharaj Ph r

i

aos

an T ula

10

ap h

So

iS am Ph long sen ra 2 Su Bang me L Wat n amp

Bu

p sa Ka

Pin ra Ph

Kh

Du

N

Kh

ais

Tan i

m Ra

ok Tr

t de m So ge rid

aB National Museum

iW or

Kr

kr aP

ray Ph

National Arts Gallery

National Theatre

So

ng

Wat Chana Songkhram

S

ak

o ha

Bu

Maha

i

ttr

am

R oi

3

Pra cha T

t

asa

C et md

Thonburi N11 Thonburi Railway Railway

tK isu

P

13

N

Phra Atith

hip

W

So

Khlong Bangkok Noi

ith

At

a hr

2

m

i

Sam

ao

s en

Kl 12

N

se g an Ka Lu g k un Lu Kr

Pin ra Ph

Wat Saodung

Phra Pin Klao Bridge

1

an ulo

N

16

5

Rajchawongse

sep t ember 2 0 1 2 | 1 1 1


m y b a n g ko k

Pongsuang Note Experienced Bangkok’s alternative party scene? If so the chances are you’ve seen ‘Note’, spinning behind the decks or dancing on the speakers in a daft costume. A creative design studio boss by day, this young man is a force of nature on the party circuit by night, cooking up wacky theme parties for Dudesweet (www.dudesweet.org), the influential indie club night he founded in 2002, and popping up at all the hippest shindigs. A go-to guy for journos trying to get a handle on what’s in and what’s not, Note knows what he likes and is never shy about telling anyone, as you’ll see below. 

Best place for a drink A tiny bar in a rundown alley with revolving art exhibitions, WTF is not too crowded, nor too arty farty – a great place for a pre-party drink. Best place to eat It’s Happened to be a Closet has many branches, but it’s Siam Square one is the first. It’s happened to be my favourite one too. It’s a clothing shop with clothes scattered everywhere. There’s an Italian restaurant on the second floor. It feels like you’re eating in some fashionable socialite’s walk in closet. It makes you forget that you’re in the middle of busy Bangkok. Most importantly, the food here is amazing. Best place to take visitors Jeh Leib Sea Food. This place has never been recorded in any guidebook, and without any kind of promotion this streetside seafood restaurant keeps on thriving. The seafood here is fresh and reasonably priced. Oysters cost B60 a pop. Every time I eat here I feel happy that I live in a country where food is diverse.

THE SHORTLIST:

WTF [MAP3 / Q5]

7 Sukhumvit 51 | BTS Thong Lor www.wtfbangkok.com It’s Happened to be a Closet [MAP4 / C,D5] Siam Square Soi 3 | BTS Siam

Best place to shop These days I can get almost everything I want online. However, I do like Siam Center on Third because of its cosy size, convenience and unpretentiousness. More importantly, I love Thai designers and Siam Center has been an ardent supporter of them for the past 40 years. Best place to relax Health Land spa has so many branches around town. Strong aunties toss and turn you like playdough. Two hours of muscle relaxation for B400 – it doesn’t get any better than that.

Jeh Leib Sea Food [MAP8 / K11] in front of Phayathai 2 Hospital, Paholyothin Rd BTS Sanam Pao

Best place to impress a date I like to impress my dates by taking them to a place where people are friendly, interesting and creativeminded rather than being stuck in a fancy joint. The Spice Girls once taught me “if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends”. Cosmic Cafe is in no way swanky with women in high heels or men in work shirts and two buttons undone. It’s a simple bar with a college party atmosphere.

Cosmic Café [MAP8 / Q12] RCA Block C www.facebook.com/cosmiccafe.bkk

Best place for a real Bangkok experience Patpong, of course. 

Siam Center on Third [MAP4 / C,D4] 3rd Fl, Siam Center | BTS Siam

1 1 2 | sep t ember 2 0 1 2

bangkok101.com


E

F

Wat Khema

G

H

L 

M

Wat Soi Thong

22

Prach a Rat Sai 2

N

Dir Domection est Don ic A irp Muen ort g

23

N

Rama VII Bridge

Province Border

Bang Po

River Ferry

1

K

en

24

N

N

N

J

25 Pilbul 1

N

a Chu

D

on tha bu ri

C

P ra c h

B

Kru ng the p-N

A

Suan W Bench

Queen Sirkit Park

Jat P

Canal Boat BTS Silom Line BTS Sukhumvit Line

21

N

t han

Am

18

N

Payap Wat Thepnahree

17

N

Na

16

ko

N

rn

nu

ay

Ch

in

v y

Na

Witt ha

Son

Su an

yu

Ratchadamri

Marine Dept.

n

Sri Ph N

r ay a

Sam Yan

Lumpini Park

Si Lom

10

3

N

S ur a

2

Wat Muang Khae Wongwian Yai Railway

Phloen Chit

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

4 – SI A M  / Ch it Lo m

Hua Lamphong

4

Si Phraya

N

wo n

g

S ilom

Krung Thon Buri

u Chong Nonsi

orn 5  –  s

Saphan Taksin

Sathorn

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S at h

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Oriental Wongwian Yai

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Hua Lamphong Central Railway Station

gW at

N

ow

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un ant

t

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hai

ra

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at

g

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un

Wireless

National Stadium Thong

Kr

N

Pratunam

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6  –

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Ya ow a

Rajchawongse

C h at

Chit Lom

Ph ay a T

N

Ram

k halo ank S aw w ay re s s E xp

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aro

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Memorial Bridge

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Phaya Thai

ri

Baan Krua Nua Sapan Hua Chang

Ba nt hat

N

11

Ratchathewi

2 nd State Ex pr

Rajinee

7

Sapan Charoenpol

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Phan Fa Lilat

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9 Victory Monument

8

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ai Sanam Ch

N

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Royal Turf Club

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ith

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Thonburi Railway

W

Thonburi Railway

13 ra Ph

N

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Ph

Ari

2 nd

14

12

2

cha

o

N

aV

V

R at

7

t 1s S t a t e E x pr

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Rama VIII Bridge

ir i

ai

Dusit Zoo

3

N

Phra Pin Klao Bridge

at

am

ma

oth

n

7 – Oldtown

kr

Ra

Suk

15

ais

ng

Pradiph

I

Krung Thon Bridge

So

Saphan K

Tho

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20

N

Irrigation N19 Dept.

Kamphaeng Phet

et D

ha

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Airport Rail Link

M

6

5

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Kjak Kai

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MRT Subway Line

Surasak

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Kh


N

O

P

Q

R

S

t

reference | B angk o k cit y M ap 8

Phahon Yothin

1

Wachira hathat t

Map 8  Bangkok

29

2

tujak Park

Lat Phrao

Sightseeing a 

Wat Arun Grand Palace c   Wat Mahathat d   Wat Pho e   Wat Chana Songkhram f   Wat Ratchabophit g   Wat Bowornniwet Viharn h   Wat Suthat & Giant Swing j   Democracy Monument k   Wat Ratchanatda l   Wat Saket m   Ratchadamnoen Boxing Stadium n   Vimanmek Mansion o   Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall p   Wat Benchamabophit s   Suan Pakkad Palace t   Bangkok Butterfly Garden u   Lumpini Boxing Stadium   Arts & Culture b 

3

Chatuchak Park

Mo Chit

Ratchadapisek

La

Khwai

tP

hra

4 o

5

Sutthisan Sutthisan

6

7

gsi

t

Huai Khwang

an

iR

v ad

t ur at

  Siriraj Medical Museum   Royal Barges Museum 3   National Museum 4   National Theatre 5   Museum of Siam 6   Rattanakosin Exhibiton Hall 7   Numthong Gallery 8   Aksra Theatre 9   Goethe Institut 10   Galerie N 11   Bangkok Doll Museum 12   Siam Niramit 1

2

8

12

9

Thailand Cultural Centre

10

Phra Rama 9

hit / E

11

Ram a IX

x pre s

2 nd S

s w ay

Phetchaburi

Nana Nua

12

Italthai

Nana Chard

Wat Maichonglom

Bandon Mosque

Prasanmit

E xpr

essw

2

ay

Direction Internat Suvanabhum ional A i irport

Asoke/Phetchaburi

Pe tc h

12

13

a b u ri

14

ana oi 5

5

Sukhumvit vit S hum

um

S oi 6 umvit Suk h

16

m ai –

kh

vit

Ekka

Su

15

3

S uk or – ng L

Benjasiri Park

Tho

Benjakiti Park

Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre

Thong Lo

hlong Toei

3  – Ram

a IV

 S u

kh

D BT irect S S ion tat ion

um

Ekkamai

vi

t

17

Be

 Amorosa   The Club 3   Phranakorn Bar 4   Brick Bar 5   Adhere The 13th 6   Rolling Bar 7  Pullman 8   Raintree Pub 9   Saxophone Pub 10   Wong‘s Place 11   Route 66 12   Cosmic Cafe 2

Klongton Bridge

Phrom Phong

  nighlife

Ratchapraprop

1

Charn Issara

Asok

  Pak Khlong Talad   Khao San Road 3  Thewet 4   Ratchada Night Market 5   Talat Rot Fai 6   Jatujak Weekend Market 1

t ate

Makasan 11

  Markets

  Hotels 1

  Pullman King Power

ari

Phra Khanong

ng

18

© Copyright Talisman Media Group Co., Ltd 2012. www.bangkok101.com


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