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august 2012 100 baht

The Kids are All Night | City pulse Smith | Travel  Yunnan | Food & Drink  All Six to Twelve | Shopping  Skin on Skin

august 2012


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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 

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18

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


Publisher’s letter My night-clubbing days are well and truly over, but Bangkok 101’s aren’t: in this month’s photo-essay we go raving with the city’s cool kids. Ok, so we’re not New York or London, but as any night owl worth their salt will tell you, the club scene here is looking pretty damn healthy at the minute, with techno, house, hip-hop and other DJ nights drawing crowds to venues big and small most nights of the week. For proof you need only to click on to Siam2nite.com, the slick nightlife website photographing all the best and biggest parties in a fun and hyper-kinetic style. The Kids are All Night, our gallery of wild and candid pictures in conjunction with them, starts on p.48. Exorbitant wine-prices might be holding back Bangkok’s desire to become a world-class fine-dining destination, but there’s no doubt we’re getting closer all the time. Just the latest sign: Smith, a new restaurant by the boys who brought us Hyde & Seek. Head to p.10 to find out why they’re hogging the limelight. Also in our City Pulse section, we review Traces, an exhibition aiming to unite ASEAN countries in the run up to closer economic integration; and check-in at the Sofitel So, a luxury hotel with a hip, Gallic-Thai design edge. Meanwhile, our travel section lists all that’s happening upcountry right now, and finds writer Dave Stamboulis waxing lyrical about South China’s Yunnan province: “one of the best kept secrets in Southeast Asia,” he believes.

TXT

The art buffs among you should head straight to our art section, where we profile an up-and-coming artist in residence at the studio at V64, plus speak to the B-Floor crew, a Bangkok-based theatre troupe whose most recent, politically charged show has just travelled to New York. And as usual, we’re out there sampling restaurants old and new; checking out funky boutiques; interviewing outgoing locals; and, in Metrobeat, giving you the full rundown of all the biggest happenings going on the month. 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

august 2012

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 Founded by Swiss expatriate Stefan Wicki in August 2011, Siam2nite is Bangkok’s No. 1 online resource for night clubbers. It lists forthcoming events, particularly dance music, but by far its most popular feature are its photo galleries of past events. This month’s photofeature, The Kids are All Night, features a selection of shots taken from the over 450 events their team of six Thai photographers have covered over the past year. www.siam2nite.com 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. 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.

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

Erika Teo

administrative asssistant

Peeraya Nuchkuar circulation

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.

ava i lable t o b u y at:

bangkok101.com

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

6 metro beat 10 smith 14 traces 16 sofitel so

57 food & drink news 58 restaurant reviews : all six to twelve, rasayana raw food café, lok wah hin 62 meal deals 63 mother’s deals 64 eat like nym 66 cooking with poo 67 restaurants 71 fresh market : or tor kor 74 wine

s n a p s h ot 18 very thai 19 chronicle of thailand

Sightseeing 20 22 22 23 24 26

sightseeing focus : house of museum histroric homes shrines temples museums parks & flora

nightlife

t r av e l 28 upcountry now : xana beach club opens 30 upcountry now 32 hotel deals 34 over the border: yunnan

a r t s & c u lt u r e 40 exhibitions 46 artist profile 44 in space 47 reading & screening 48 photo feature: the kids are all night

77 one night in bangkok 78 happy hour greatest hits 79 clubs 80 hotel bars & clubs 81 bars with views 84 bars 87 live music 88 jazz clubs 90 pub review: the australian

shopping 92 new collection: skin on skin 94 unique boutique : urface 96 market focus : saphan phut 97 jatujak market 97 jatujak & jj gem of the month

wellness 98 massage & spa

communit y 100 making merit : the camillian home

reference 102 getting there 104 maps 112 my bangkok

on the cover

Clubbers go wild at the Retox Sessions presents Steve Aoki party, at LED back in May. Photographer: Thered Redone august 2012

H o t el Par t ners


CITY PULSE

Cl assical

h owa r d Richardson by

According to the Los Angeles Times Dmitry Sitkovetsky is “breathtaking in vitality and virtuosity”. The Russian violinist plays with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra conducted by Chikara Iwamura at the Thailand Cultural Centre (14 Thiamruammitr  Road, 02-247-0028) on August 9 . The programme includes the Karelia Suite Op. 11 and Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, both by Sibelius, and Symphony No. 9 in E Flat Major, Op. 70 by Shostakovich. Tickets, available from Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com), are B500-B2,500. Also on August 9 , the Thailand Inter-Universities Chamber Choir with the Mahidol University Baroque Orchestra presents a Baroque Concert:

Music in the era of Louis XIV, featuring Symphonie

Pop & Rock Swedish grindcore band Nasum bring the Bangkok leg of their Farewell Tour to Barbies Pub and Restaurant (4/4 Sukhumvit Soi 70/1, 083-901-2956) on August 13 , with support from Masochist. The show is at 8.30pm, tickets are B1,200.

Culture In one of those wonderful, ain’t-theinternet-great moments, the Siam Society Journal was last month made available free of charge online. That’s all 2,000 articles in 99 volumes going back to 1904! Among the gems are English translations of King Chulalongkorn’s letters, the Ayutthaya Chronicles, and testimonies of Siamese war captives in Burma. Whether your interest in Thailand is fleeting or scholarly, this is one of the most exciting developments of the decade. Tune in, as they said in 1934, at www.siam-society.org/ OJS/index.php/JSS/index.

6 | august 2012

by Jean Baptiste Lully and Requiem by Jean Gilles. The performance is at 8pm at the Goethe Institut (18/1 Soi Goethe, Sathorn 1, 02-287-0942). Tickets are B400.

Jazz & Blues New York composer and sax player Joseph Marchione leads a quartet featuring Dan Phillips (guitar),

Tae Rogue (bass) and Hong Techatananan (drums) at Niu’s on Silom (661 Silom Road, 02-266-5333) on August 17. The band will mix originals and standards by musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Bennie Golson and Bobbie Timmons.

Canadian singer Freedom takes the jazz vocal chair at the Bamboo Bar in the Mandarin Oriental hotel (48 Oriental Avenue; 02-659-9000) until October 31 , backed by the fine, mainly Russian house quartet. Catch her nightly, except Sunday, from 9pm.

Travel There should be a host of tourism ideas, airline deals and hotel packages at the Thai International Travel Fair at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (60 New Rachadapisek Road, 02-2293000) from August 16-19 .

bangkok101.com


C I T Y P U L S E | metrobeat

Spas

Film The Thai Film Archive, in Salaya, screens the 2008 German film Krabat , directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner, on August 30. The film, in German with English subtitles, examines the conflict between power and loyalty to a backdrop of the 17th-century Thirty Years War. The show starts at 5.30pm, entrance is free. The Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (939 Rama 1 Rd | 02-214-6632) hosts the 16th Thai Short Film and Video Festival from August 16-26 . In addition to local and international competitions, a wide ranging programme will feature a selection of the best films shown at the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, as well as sections on the Best British Shorts, Shorts for Kids and The Queer Musical. Not all Thai films have English subtitles. For the full schedule see www.thaifilm.com.

Sport & Leisure

Now Bangkok’s urban surfers can truly hang ten at Flow House Bangkok (A-Square, Sukhumvit Soi 26, 02-108-5210, www.flowhousebangkok.com), the capital’s first flowboarding facility, which opens on Sukhumvit Soi 26 in August. Flowboarding is a hybrid sport that combines snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing. The venue, described as an urban beach club, has imported the Double FlowRider, a machine that jets a sheet of water shaped like a wave over a ski slope frame. You’ll never have to wait for that surf again. They have instructors to get you started, retail outlets, and food and drinks at the Flow Bar & Grill, where you can share those tales of wipeout. Runners leave at 6am on the TTM Mini Marathon at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (60 New Rachadapisek Road, 02-229-3000) on August 12 . The events include fun walkruns of 1.8km and 5km and 10km mini-marathons in ten categories, all for charity. Entry fees are B250. bangkok101.com

Yunomori Onsen & Spa (0-2259-5778) opens this month on Sukhumvit Soi 26 with the concept of ‘Hot Springs in the Garden’. They offer 20 “discreetly separated” spring baths for men and women using mineral waters from Japan and from local sources such as Ranong. It’s open daily from 10.30ammidnight and costs B450. See more at www.facebook.com/ YunomoriOnsen.

Business & Design The Thailand Creative & Design Centre (TCDC, 6th Fl The Emporium Shopping Complex, 622 Sukhumvit 24; 02-664-8448) holds a symposium from August 25 to September 10 called Creativities Unfold, Bangkok 2012 . The event will have three parts – a Creative Space Workshop, International Workshop and International Symposium featuring local and international experts. Among them will be James Arizumi, Global Design Director of Nike’s Action Sports Division; Anuvat Chalermchai, the design and innovative force behind Cotto’s global success; and Gaggan Anand, the chef at Bangkok’s Gaggan restaurant. They will discuss the role of design as enabler between science and business. Tickets are B900 per day and B1,500 per activity for the International Workshop. For full the details and schedule see www.creativitiesunfold.com or www.tcdc.or.th.

Nightlife They say over half a million people have experienced the dance and music spectacular Sensation since its launch in Amsterdam in 2000, and now it’s Bangkok’s turn. Sensation: Ocean of White at Impact Arena (99 Popular Road, Pakkred District, Nonthaburi, 02-504-5050) on August 18 will transform the venue into a water world, complete with a canal and 48 fountains. We’re promised “acrobats shooting over the ceiling and giant jellyfish hovering above the dance floor” as DJs spin and dancers, fire eaters, actors, lasers and fireworks take the stage. The dress code is full white only, “top and bottom”. Admission over-20s (take ID); tickets are B2,500-B3,500 from Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com). august 2012 | 7


CITY PULSE

Exhibitions

Events Thailand celebrates HM the Queen’s Birthday on August 12 , which is also Mother’s Day. The centre of events will be at Sanam Luang, where an alms-giving ceremony will be held in the morning followed by a music and culture festival. Ratchadamnoen Avenue will be a sea of decoration and restaurants around Bangkok will have special dinners. It’s best to book ahead if you want to dine out that night.

Art The editorial and political cartoonist Stephff, who appears in the Nation newspaper and publications such as the International Herald Tribune , is at Thavibu Gallery (Silom Galleria Building, 3rd Floor Suite 308, 919/1 Silom Rd, 02-266-5454) until August 25 with the 20 graffiti drawings and paintings under the title The Dark Side of Stephff. In honour of HM King Bhumibol’s 84th birthday year, the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (939 Rama I Road, 02214-6632) presents

Art in the Ninth Reign: Thai Trends from Localism to Internationalism from August 16 to October 28 . The exhibition has

works by over 300 artists covering the seven decades of the king’s reign, arranged by themes such as Abstraction and Individualism; Experimentation; and Socio-political Struggle. It’s billed as one of the largest ever Thai art exhibitions and will include artist talks and educational displays. 8 | august 2012

It’s 100 years since the sinking of The Titanic in 2012, and to commemorate the event CentralWorld shopping mall presents Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition , which runs until September 2 . After the ship hit the iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives, hundreds of artifacts were salvaged. The exhibition contains many of these and background information about the passengers and their final journey. Tickets are B500 and B350 for children from Thai Ticketmajor (02-262-3456, www.thaiticketmajor.com).

Food & Drink From August 6-12 , China House at the Mandarin Oriental hotel (02-659-9000) welcomes chef Man-Sing Lee of Hong Kong’s Man Wah restaurant, which has been in the news this year for winning its first Michelin star. Man-Sing will present a traditional Cantonese menu alongside seasonal dishes with “touches of modern flair”, including spotted grouper, crispy ginger, crabmeat and egg white sauce. The Sunday Jazzy Brunch at the Sheraton Grande hotel (250 Sukhumvit Rd, BTS Asok/MRT Sukhumvit; 02-649-8353) will have Mother’s Day Feasts & UNICEF Charity Auctions each Sunday from August 12-September 2 . The brunch is held on a single floor, where an international jazz trio performs in The Living Room and the restaurants Rossini’s and basil, provide food, along with items from The Orchid restaurant downstairs. It runs from noon to 3pm, priced B2,700++. The 4th Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner and Auction at the Mandarin Oriental hotel (48 Oriental Avenue, 02-659-9000) on August 20 presents a nine course wine paired menu in aid of charities for underprivileged children. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will attend as 22 chefs, mainly from hotels around the city, work together on dishes such as river prawns and pumpkin ravioli, red curry and coconut foam. Michelin star chef Alfredo Russo of the restaurant Il Dolce Stil Novo, in Turin will run the kitchens for dinner service at Rossini’s in the Sheraton Grande hotel (250 Sukhumvit Road, 02-649-8353) from August 23 to September 1 . There will also be a wine dinner on August 24. Every Wednesday, the wine bar Decanter at the St Regis (159 Rajadamri Road, 02-207 7829) presents free flow wine and imported cold cuts to the sounds of live saxophone. Women get half price if they bring a guest. And every Friday and Saturday it’s free flow wine cold cuts and antipasti, but no cheap deal. Both run 7pm-10pm, priced B950++. bangkok101.com


C I T Y P U L S E | metrobeat

restaurant

L’Appart Imagine a Parisian apartment: four rooms comprising restaurant, open kitchen, bar and library. The main dining space is 19th century drawing room with old clocks and slender statuettes above a marble fireplace, the neutral tones are offset by woods, velvets and granite in the (rather low) tables and chairs. Occasional tables, lamps and mirrors are scattered around. The soundtrack is funky electro, a mix of soul, jazz, and the cool French that Serge Gainsbourg would have smoked a Gitanes to. He looks down from a photo in the lobby. Bardot is here, too, artily pixellated. You could sit next door, watching chef Jeremy Tourret cook at the open kitchen, his background with Daniel Boulud and other Michelin stars apparent in a sense of invention. The three section menu breaks down to Fresh from the Market (creative items that change regularly); à la carte (traditional French); and a section of cute, superior tapas (from B100). From the first, the all-sweet luscious textures work well in pan-fried foie gras ravioli with tom kha foam and ginger cracker (B700), although coconut is the only recognisable flavour as tom kha in the foam that hides three pieces of ravioli inside a refined fish bowl. From à la carte comes Beef Rossini, My Way (B1,400) the foie gras stuffed inside the beef rather than on top. It perhaps loses on presentation, and also means you get hits of foie gras when you find them, rather than when you want them. Finish with a super tart lemon tart topped with soft meringue. The short wine list (from B1,060/bottle) rolls out the red carpet with six champagnes by the glass. End with a digestif to one of those high balcony views that are now such a familiar part of the Bangkok landscape. L’Appart is busy. There is early-days curiosity, no doubt, but it’s elegant, has an interesting menu, and is reasonable on the wallet (prices are net). Expect it to remain popular and book ahead.

รร.โซฟิเทล กรุงเทพ สุขุมวิท ถ.สุขุมวิท (13-15) bangkok101.com

  getting there

L’Appart [MAP3 / E6] Fl 32 Hotel Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Road, btw Soi 13-15, 02-126-9999 OPEN Daily 7pm-10.30pm (restaurant), 5pm-1am (bar). august 2012 | 9


CITY PULSE

Offal Tasty

The city’s first nose-to-tail restaurant is currently hogging the limelight – and deservedly so. By Max Crosbie-Jones

T

he footprint marks leading up to the front door don’t exactly scream all-the-rage restaurant. Nor does the corrugated iron shack it’s housed in. And then there are the blacksmith’s tools dangling on the wall, something you might expect to see at a place you go to get a table bent into shape or have a kidney forcibly removed. Yet walk in to Smith on any given evening and you’ll be taken aback by the sight of a restaurant that’s packed with groups of diners, despite not even being officially open yet.

nond Purananda is on tipple duties while the food is by Ian Kittichai and Peter Pitakwong, two celebrity chefs with sprawling CVs and serious cooking chops. Given the success of Hyde & Seek it’s not surprising that they’ve teamed up again. What is surprising is that, instead of going the easy route and giving us yet another gastro bar, they’ve gone for nose-to-tail dining – that scoff-the-wholebeast food ethos that gained traction among adventurous, ethically-minded foodies back in the UK almost a decade ago.

Even more surprising is that none of the city’s gourmet kitchens has tried it here before. Think about it… English nose-totail pioneer Fergus Henderson’s oft-quoted maxim – “If you’re going to kill the animal it seems only polite to use the whole thing” – could easily have been written after a foray through To put it another way: if Smith were a farm animal, it would Bangkok’s streets, with their stalls flogging bowls of guay jup be a pedigree pig enjoying its day in the sunshine. The (Chinese innard soup), offal on sticks, gristly laabs (minced talent behind one of the hottest meal tickets in town right meat salads) and other off-cut laden treats. now (the other being Sukhumvit Soi 45’s Quince) are the same Thai dream team who brought us hit gastro-bar Hyde & Seek. Why, then, has it taken so long for Bangkok’s fine-dining Regional cocktail consultant and interior designer Cha- scene to dip its snout in the nose-to-tail trough? Perhaps its 10 | august 2012

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C I T Y P U L S E | offal tasty

lack of imagination on the part of restaurant owners. Or maybe its snobbery – the Thai upper crust’s predilection for only the best things money can buy, melt-in-your-mouth wagyu or some other premium cut of meat included. However, speaking to the Smith boys in the stylishly austere confines of their latest project, I get the impression that it might just be because no one came across a location that fit the bill until now. “As soon as we saw it all three of us new exactly what the concept should be without even saying anything to each other”, says Chanond, while showing me around this deceptively spacious, reclaimed 40-year-old warehouse spread over two floors. “It used to a factory for export furniture but we instantly thought meat-packing and the theme fell into place.”

corrugated iron exterior; the walls are distressed concrete or sterile white tiling not dissimilar to that seen in an abattoir; old machinery sits in random places; and the chandeliers are made of meat hooks. At one point, Chanond pulls back some shutters with a loud metallic screech and declares with relAlready, Smith during dinner service (they’re not open for ish, “I love that sound – it’s all part of the Smith experience.” lunch yet) is an impressive sight. Chanond and his bartenders in butcher’s aprons rustle up cocktails and pull pints on For now at least, a menu printed on stapled sheets of A4 paper the bar side, just to the right of the entrance. Peter’s big, spick is also part of the Smith experience. This isn’t corner cutting white open kitchen plates up the orders on the other. And – it’s a sign that Smith is still mixing things up as it experiin between them is the open-plan dining room dotted with ments with different suppliers and moreover, begins rolling chunky, teak and black metal tables. Outside, there are patios out a food eating ethos that has, apart from a couple of recent with space for extra tables, events and Smith’s herb garden. pop-up dinners, been hitherto untested on local fine-diners.

And upstairs, there’s another kitchen that will be used for “We’re going to introduce the concept slowly not ram it down chef’s tables and tailor-made cooking classes, plus space set people’s throats” says Peter. “We have familiar cuts as well as aside for a knife showroom, of all things. strange cuts.” Nose-to-tail purists will be pleased to hear that “It would have been a lot cheaper if we had just gutted the most of them are sourced locally. “We work a lot with local place and started from scratch,” confesses Ian. However, I for producers: the lettuce is from Chiang Mai, coffee is from one one am thankful that they didn’t, as Smith is very much a of my friends in the North, and most of the meat is from Pak tactile and visual pleasure as well as a gastronomic one. The Chong farm in the northeast. He raises veal, beef, goat, lamb, look is a restrained mix of slaughter-house chic and indus- and even does his own milk, crème fraiche and butter. Last trial minimalism; illustrations of butchered meat cover the week we bought a whole lamb, this week we got the belly.” bangkok101.com

august 2012 | 11


CITY PULSE

Speaking of meat cuts, just how gruesome do Smith’s dishes get? To find out, I ventured inside on a rainy Tuesday evening, images of barely disguised body parts and gloopy bowls of spleen swirling in my head. What I got instead were neat dishes of simple, flavourful, often summery comfort food. My first dish was not even on the menu at all: thinly sliced calves heart garnished with slivers of sweet plum, starfruit and coconut blossoms. Despite the exotic ingredients, it was resolutely, reassuringly unfancy. Our other two starters were the steak tartare with crispy deep-fried capers and garden herbs, and braised pig’s tail with tuna and foie gros torchon. Again, both were full of interesting flavours and textures and lent a summery feel due to the garnish of edible flower blossoms. For our main we went for more porcine goodness: the verjus glazed pork belly (B350). “We cook it for three days,” says Peter. “We fry it one night, then smoke it, then braise it, and finally pan fry it.” Served alongside slivers of sweet plum, lentils and yet more edible flowers, the meat looked fantastic and tasted it.

transports you to a garden in summertime Europe every time you swig it. Alternatively, there are also beers on tap (and four spare ones for dining parties who want to buy their own keg – “we give you four days to drink it,” says Chanond).

Bangkok’s love of a food trend is such that, six months from now, restaurants all across the city will probably be feeding from the nose-to-tail trough. “Already some younger chefs With dishes such as these already the talk of the town among cooking molecular food want to switch because of what we’re foodies, Smith’s desserts and cocktails are destined to get less doing,” says Ian. For the time being, though, all you need to attention; but that’s not to say they’re a letdown. Far from it. know it that this particular pig is ready for market. Banana splits, chocolate terrine, baked alaska and the British upper crusts variation on strawberries and cream, the Eton สมิธ ถ.สุขุมวิท 49 Mess, are the current sweet finishes. And the drinks list is as   getting there extensive and full of surprises as you’d expect from the team SMITH [MAP4 /p6] behind Hyde & Seek. To name just one, the Garden of Good 1/8 Sukhumvit Soi 49 | BTS Thong Lor | 02-261-0515 & Evil is a light blend of Hoegaarden, lychee and ginger that www.facebook/smith | Mon - Sun 5pm - midnight 12 | august 2012

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CITY PULSE | XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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august 2012 | 13


CITY PULSE

Promoting

ASEAN Togetherness The Jim Thompson Art Centre has united photography and video from across the region in the hope that it will do the same for its people

B

efore we work with each other more, let’s get to know each other more. That’s the thinking behind Traces, a free multi-media exhibition at the Jim Thompson Art Centre that’s trying to foster cultural exchange and understanding between ASEAN nations.

The timing couldn’t be much better. After decades of stopstart geo-political integration, the ten member countries that make up the Association of Southeast Nations are now cosier than ever. For starters Myanmar, long the unruly bad boy in the bloc, is finally growing up, with recent tentative political reforms resulting in it being invited to chair the 2014 summit. Then there’s the arrival of the ASEAN Economic community (AEC) in 2015, a momentous move that will, among other trade liberalisations, open up the labour market. Some commentators are worried about this. Recently, there have been quite a few pieces in the local press, most of them ringing alarm bells about Thailand’s ill-preparedness for a single market that allows for the free exchange of labour as well as goods. Poor English and working skills are the main concern, but it doesn’t take a Harvard sociologist to work out that there is a socio-cultural divide to worry about too. In

14 | august 2012

other words, if ASEAN were a small village, it would be a rather unfriendly one. The neighbours would brush past each other in the street, stopping only to brusquely do business with each other before they head back to their respective ghettoes. Traces is an attempt to tackle this – ASEAN’s sorely lacking cultural dimension – at the grassroots level. Or, as the exhibition notes put it: “the aim is to help us to get to know each other and our history through contemporary art, to help us to understand who we are and to see the communal sense of Southeast Asia, so we can continue our collaboration in the future.” To that ambitious end, the curators have handpicked photo and video works by ten artists and researchers from across the region (and two from America). And there’s a lot to take in: the themes are wide-ranging, some of the exhibits quite heavy-going and scholarly. Rather than try to get you head around each one, then, it’s probably better to let them wash over you at first and then gravitate toward those that draw you in. For us, this included Myanmarese performance artist Moe Satt’s video and photographs of him performing a range of different hand and facial gestures, some meaningless, some a silent comment bangkok101.com


C I T Y P U L S E | traces

on repressive state society. There are also thought-provoking contributions by two local artists, both questioning Thai customs. Filmmaker Sompot Chidgasornpong’s 16 minute video pairs footage of Bangkokians standing still for the twicedaily broadcasting of the national anthem with Eric Satie’s melancholic piano ditty Gymnopédie. Stripped of the music we’re used to hearing, the viewer is left wondering why Thais stop in their tracks, really. On the wall opposite, Nattapas Jirasatitwarajul’s fun portrait photos broach another somewhat antiquated social requirement: regulation school haircuts. Social researcher Philip Jablon is American not Thai, but also has something to say about the Kingdom’s social sphere. He contributes photos of many of the old stand-alone movie theaters he’s visited and then documented on his website, the Southeast Asian Movie Theatre Project, over the years (viewing these, it’s clear that one of the most depressing things that unites ASEAN countries culturally is a disregard for the architectural and historic importance of these structures). Post-colonialism and the Vietnam-American war – something many Thais know diddly squat about – are also tackled head on. Ho Tzu Nyen’s Utama - Every Name in History is I is a painterly, part-fictional film about the pre-colonial founder of Singapore (as opposed to the commonly touted one, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles). Nguyten Trinh Thi’s Chronicle of a Tape Recorded Over features interviews with the people who lived along the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War. And Vandy Rattana’s photographs in Bomb Ponds record parts of the Cambodian countryside left ravaged by the US bombing campaigns between 1964 and 1975. bangkok101.com

All three hint at the lingering memories, traumas, resentments and on-the-ground realities caused by Western meddling in the region. But none do it with more wit than Wong Ho Cheong’s video installation Relooking. Broadcast from within a mock-up of a middle-class Malay living room located in the centre of the gallery, his 27 minute mockumentary presents a fake history in which empire making is turned on its head: Malaysia colonises Austria. One of the youngest exhibitors, Nattapas Jirasatitwarajul, said it best: “each of these works hides a deeper meaning about the respective nation that I wasn’t aware of before”. With more tourists than locals likely to wander into Traces, it’s just a shame that many of the intended audience will probably never find it.

บ้านไทย จิมทอมป์สัน ถนนพระราม 1

TRACES Until 31 October   getting there

The Jim Thompson Art Centre  [MAP4 / A3] Upstairs Jim Thompson House, 6 Soi Kasemsan 2, Rama 1 Road | 02-612-6741 | www.thejimthompsonartcenter.org | Free :: See the Jim Thompson Art Centre website (www. thejimthompsonartcenter.org) for the timetable of special events and educational programs that will accompany the main exhibition, including a screen of Cambodian short films at 2pm on Saturday August 11. august 2012 | 15


CITY PULSE

sleeping over

So far, So good

The recently opened Sofitel So is a sight for sore eyes – and we’re not just talking about the views By Max Crosbie-Jones

So what?” and a shrug of the shoulders is our usual response when we get wind of yet another new luxury hotel opening, but after sleeping over at the Sofitel So we have to admit we’re (excuse the cheap pun), So impressed. The rooms, location, style and service – all combine to make this a luxury hotel with just a bit more pizzazz than we’re used to.

The first Sofitel So to open in Thailand (Sofitel So is a funkier, design-led spin-off of the Accor Group’s Sofitel brand), it’s high-rise tower sitting on a glass, zinc and stone podium cuts a tall, dark and sleek figure on the edge of Lumpini Park. Inside, there are 238 rooms (not all of them completed yet), plus more facilities and restaurants than most guests will know what to do with. As well as the prime central location on the corner of Sathorn and Rama IV Roads, only a few steps from an underground station, the main highlight for many will be the Manhattan-esque views over Lumpini Park’s lush tree tops, complete with soaring skyscrapers in the distance.

The Look Thai architect Smith Obayawat, a leading figure in the Association of Siamese Architects, designed the 30 storey, new build structure, while the guestrooms, public areas and

restaurants are by five of the biggest interior designs in town. Their brief: express nature’s five elements, as seen in neighbouring Lumpini Park.

Stylish flourishes abound. Our favourites: the wooden birds-

nest lamps that dangle over the check-in area cum hotel bar Mixo and the metal llamas we spotted beside the elevators. There’s another creative force at work here as well… the

hotel’s uniforms (think traditional Thai meets French ba-

roque), Tree of Life emblem, mobile sculptures and soon-toopen club lounge were all designed by the eccentric French

couturier Christian Lacroix (Yes, as Eddy from British TV comedy show Absolutely Fabulous would bark if she ever checked in here, “It’s Lacroix, darling!”).

16 | august 2012

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C I T Y P U L S E | so far , so good

The Rooms

centerpiece, a red Molteni oven where the dishes are cooked live and to order. For a more intimate or romantic dinner, Separate floors have been assigned to each ‘element’, with the head up to Park Society on the 29th floor, where you can gaze theme of each zone visible in the public areas just outside the out across the city while supping on modern international. rooms as well as inside them. The Facilities The Metal rooms are stark white, immaculate spaces with spiraling, Ramayana-inspired cloud sculptures above the A state-of-the-art fitness center and 34 metre long infinity headboard. The wood element rooms are, well, woody, with pool are both located on the 10th floor, along with 24 hour wall murals depicting scenes of Old Siam and classy grey changing rooms with steam and sauna facilities. The panostone bathrooms divided from the main sleeping area by ramic view is similar to the one in the lobby – stunning, only Northern Thai-style wooden slats. And the highlight in the here you get the open sky above too. One floor up, the So Spa dark and manly, not-yet-finished water rooms will surely be has seven rooms themed after a part of the mythical Himthe sunken bathtub next to the window, allowing you to eye- mapan forest, and a treatment list that ranges from hydroball the city while you soak. However, we camped out in the therapy to scrub treatments. Wide-ranging business facilities most fantastical of the bunch, the earth rooms, and thought include The Box: a 50 square metre gathering space that juts them a lot of fun. Mimicking caves in the northeast, these out from the building’s façade, nine stories above the street. have curving walls and door archways and ravishing blue Look out for... walls overlaid with the designer’s take on prehistoric art. The candle-lighting ritual in the lobby at sundown – and the Rooms don’t only differ according to their elemental inspiraforthcoming Club Signature lounge offering a long-list of tion, but also their layout, size and view. There are eight difextras (unlimited local calls, free laundry, late check-out) as ferent categories, with sizes starting at 37 square metres and well as surreal, Lacroix-designed wall frescoes. rooms split roughly between city and park views. All come with the same standard amenities: Illy coffee machines, sep- รร.โซฟิเทล โซ ถ.สาธร arate bathtubs and showers, 40 inch LCD TVs and an Apple Mac mini. Simply put, this little wonder of the modern age allows you to surf the internet, send emails or watch movies, youtube or even a webcam streaming live footage of the view from the hotel’s roof; and, thanks to the wireless controller keyboard, all while kicking back on your feather soft MyBed.

The Food Chocolab, the chocolate deli shop on the ground floor, sells treats made on-site using only premium French Bonnat chocolate. Mixo, at the opposite end of the 9th floor’s casual check-in area, is a bright and light-toned space for cocktails and riveting views (especially on Mondays, when they have a two hour cocktail marathon between 7-9pm; B599++). Most visitors, though, are going to be drawn to 7th floor’s Red Oven: this expansive, all-day diner offers a farmers’ market-style buffet made up of no less than nine food stations, highlights including the imported cold cuts, organic produce and the bangkok101.com

  getting there

Sofitel So Bangkok  [MAP5 / M7] 2 North Sathorn Road | 02-624-0000 | MRT Lumpini www.sofitel.com | Starting from 5,200++ august 2012 | 17


s n a p s h ot s

Photos by  John Goss

GHOST STORIES

Haunted houses, restless souls and supernatural soap operas   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.

18 | august 2012

Old wooden houses set the Westerner swooning with nostalgia, but cause many a Thai to freak. No wonder refined mansions are so readily demolished in Cement Age Thailand – they’re presumed to be haunted. The same goes for beautiful old furniture. Suspicion that a stranger died horribly on the bed, or the chest belonged to a drowned aunt, sends exquisite teak heritage into the trash in favour of new plastic or chipboard replacements. Haunted houses are hardly unique to Thailand. What’s unusual is the number of them and how much phii (bad spirits) affect day-to-day perceptions. Ghosts are a mainstay of newspapers, magazines, soap operas and movies. Spine-chillers spin a major thread through Thai literature, from the mid-20th century ghost yarns by Hem Wejakorn and “One Baht” pulp horror booklets through to today’s comic strip ghouls. Most potent remains the oral tradition. A purported 80 percent of Thais believe in the supernatural, taking seriously those who’ve experienced a visitation, or someone who knows someone who has. Some believe that dogs howl at night on seeing a ghost, others that you can see a ghost’s true form when looking back between one’s legs. Even sophisticated urban Thais who poohpooh superstition find themselves assuaging the phii “just in case”, and uttering mantras at moments of fright. bangkok101.com


snapshot | Chronicle of thail and

3 August – Beijing

Thai team puts some spin on ping-pong diplomacy

Squad heads to China for international table tennis tournament in an effort to improve strained Sino-Thai relations Thailand and China literally entered into ping-pong diplomacy in a bid to improve relations. Beijing invited Bangkok to send a delegation of ping-pong players to slap paddles in an international tournament in China. US-backed Bangkok opposed communist China’s efforts to spread its political ideology in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, but the games were designed to ease hostilities. Thailand joined 25 other teams from the Middle East and Asia in the first Asian Table Tennis Championship in Beijing on 2 – 13 September. The Thai squad entered China on 27 August, the first official contact between the two nations since communist seized Beijing in 1949. Outstanding issues between the two nations included Beijing’s alleged support for communist guerrillas in Thailand, suspicion about the Royalties of ethnic Chinese living in the kingdom, and Thai trade deals with Taiwan. The Thai were invited on a tour of the country after the tournament and returned on 22 September with praise for the people of China. Thai officials also met with Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai in a historic meeting in the Great Hall of the People, moving the nations toward trade and other bilateral relations short of full diplomatic ties. ‘[Mr Chou] welcomes friendship on a basis of equality,’ said National Executive Council member Prasit Kanchanawat.

  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.

Thai ping-pong team leader Gen Chumphol Lohachala, however, seemed more concerned with the local entertainment hot spots than international diplomacy. ‘We felt rather lonely. There was no nightlife,’ he said. bangkok101.com

august 2012 | 19


S i g h t s ee i n g

A recreation of an early 20th century apothecary at the House of Museums 20 | august 2012

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sightseeing | xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Bringing the near past

back to life

Museum Focus: HOUSE OF MUSEUMS Badly damaged by last year’s floods, but now open again, the House of Museums is the eccentric pet-project of Anaka Nawigamune, an historian and prolific author widely considered to be one of the foremost authorities on 20th century Thai culture. Teeming with art and photographs lifted from old novels, newspapers, posters and pamphlets he’s hoarded over the years, his books offer a fascinating window into a lost age. And the same can also be said of his modest townhouse museum located on a dusty backstreet in Nakhom Pathom. Making it all the more evocative is the fact that most of his huge stockpile of Thai ephemera isn’t just presented haphazardly, but rather arranged in a series of nostalgic reenactments of Thai lifestyles back in the day. Stirring up nostalgia for a time most Thais forgot – or never even knew existed – on the ground floor are pitch-perfect recreations of a toyshop, barbershop, gold-shop and coffee shop. Old signage for imported US brands like Brylcream and Ovaltine as well as domestic and Chinese ones line the walls (if these, and much of the iconography here, seem familiar that’s because they’re all influenced by that ubiquitous 20th Century export: Americana). bangkok101.com

Upstairs, you’ll find all manner of bits and bobs in glass display cases, many donated by people who heard about Nawigamune’s madcap preservation project and wanted in. Kitchen utensils, movie handbooks, old film posters and, our favourite, shelves lined with old Thai potboilers with adorable painted sleeves abound. Photography throughout is encouraged. “How else will a newfound respect for Thailand’s near history be spread throughout the Kingdom?” seems to be the House of Museums’ thinking. getting there Drive along Phutthamonthon Sai 2 Road toward the railway track or Khlong Maha Sawat HOUSE OF MUSEUMS  [MAP1 / E5 ] Sala Thammasop, Phutthamonthon Sai 2 | 089-200-2803, 089-666-2008 | http://houseofmuseums.siam.edu

august 2012 | 21


S i g h t s ee i n g

historic homes

M.R. KUKRIT’S HOUSE  [map 5 / H 8] 19 Soi Phra Pinit, Sathorn Rd BTS Chong Nonsi | 02-286-8185 Sat, Sun & Holidays 10 am – 5 pm, ANANTA SAMAKHOM PALACE   Mon – Fri by appt. only | B 50 / B 20 kids Throne Hall  [map 8 / F 8] Kukrit Pramoj was one of Thailand’s mostUthong Nai Rd, opp. Dusit Zoo loved statesmen of the 20 th century. A natural Tue – Sun 10 am – 6 pm | B150 all-rounder, he was a poet, a writer and dress politely even served as prime minister. His peace­ful Located at the tail-end of Dusit district's abode with its lovely gardens is a terrific stately ceremonial boulevard, Ratchadam­ example of traditional Thai architecture. noen, this stately parliamentary palace was built during the reign of Rama V and com- บ้านหม่อมราชวงศ์คึกฤทธิ์ pleted by Rama VI . Cast in white Carrara ซ.พระพินิจ สาทรใต้ 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.

พระที่นั่งอนันตสมาคม ถ.อู่ทองใน ดุสิต

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 22 | august 2012

VIMANMEK MANSION  [map 8 / F 8] 139 / 2 Ratchawithi Rd 02-281-1569 | 9:30 am – 4 pm | B100 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.

พระที่นั่งวิมานเมฆ ถ.ราชวิถี เขตดุสิต

Shrines

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

GANESHA SHRINE  [map 4 / G 3] Outside Centralworld and Isetan Department Store | Ratchadamri Rd 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  

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.

TRIMURTI SHRINE  [map 4 / G 3] 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 bangkok101.com


sightseeing | temples

TEMPLES

WAT PO  (reclining buddha)  [map 7 / D 12] Chetuphon, Thai Wang Rd 02-226-0369 | www.watpho.com THE GRAND PALACE &   8am – noon; 1 pm – 9 pm | B100 WAT PHRA KAEW  [map 7 / D 10] The Temple of the Reclining Buddha is Na Phra Lan Rd, near Sanam Luang the oldest and largest wat in Bangkok. Tha Chang Pier | 02-222-0094 Originating in the 16 th century, it houses the 8:30 am – 4:30 pm | B 400 incl. entry to largest reclining Buddha statue in Thailand Vimanmek Mansion | dress respectfully as well as the greatest number of Buddha Bangkok’s most beloved temple (and images. Wat Po is also the centre for traditop tourist site) is a fantastical, mini-city tional Thai medicine and a learning centre sized royal complex enclosed by quaintly for Thai massage (see p.101). crenulated whitewalls. Building began in วั ดโพธิ์ ถ.เชตุพน 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 purpose-built to WAT MAHATHAT  [map 7 / C 8] house it, Wat Phra Kaew, where hundreds Tha Prachan, Sanam Luang, Maharat Rd 02-221-5999 | 9 am – 5 pm | free pay their respects each day. An amulet market is situated near this 18 th พระบรมมหาราชวัง และ วัดพระแก้ว century centre of the Mahanikai monasถ.หน้าพระลาน (ใกล้สนามหลวง) tic 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.   WAT ARUN  [map 7 / B 13] Temple of Dawn | Arun Amarin Rd Arun Pier | 02-465-5640 www.watarun.org | 8 am – 5 pm | B 20 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.

วัดอรุณราชวราราม ถ.อรุณอัมรินทร์ ผั่งตะวันตกของแม่น้ำ�เจ้าพระยา bangkok101.com

วัดมหาธาตุ ท่าพระจันทร์ สนามหลวง

  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 SAKET  [map 7 / L 8] Chakkraphatdiphong Rd 02-233-4561 | 7:30 am – 5:30 pm | B10 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.

วัดสระเกศ ถ.จักรพรรดิพงษ์

  WAT SUTHAT &   the GIANT SWING  [map 7 /  H 9] Bamrung Muang Rd | 02-222-9632 9 am – 5 pm | B 20 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.

วัดสุทัศน์ ถ.บำ�รุงเมือง พระนคร ตรงข้ามเสาชิงช้า

  WAT TRAIMIT  [map 6 / L 3] 661 Mittaphap Thai-China Rd, Charoen Krung Rd | 02-6231226 | 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)  

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S i g h t s ee i n g

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]

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.

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 มาดามทุซโซ สยามดิสคัฟเวอรี่ ชั้น 6 traditional costumes based on designs lifted from museum originals, temple murals MUSEUM OF COUNTERFEIT   and illustrations from antique books. GOODS  [MAP 2 / E 12] 26th F, Supalai Grand Tower Bldg บ้านตุ๊กตาบางกอกดอลล์ ถ.ราชปรารภ Rama III Rd | BTS Surasak | 02-653-5555 www.tillekeandgibbins.com bangkokian MUSEUM  [MAP 5 / E 3] Mon – Fri 10 am – 4 pm / App. required 273 Charoen Krung Soi 43, for textile and computer collections Si Phraya Pier | 02-233-7027 In 1989, Thailand’s oldest international law Sat & Sun 10 am – 4 pm | free Smack in the middle of Bangrak, one of the firm, Tilleke & Gibbins, decided to convert most traditional districts of the city, find their evidence of counterfeit goods into this oasis of four traditional Thai houses, educational tools for law students. To help one of them lovingly converted into a pri- spread the word about the perils of buying vate museum by the compound’s charm- fake it's open to Joe Public too. Over 3,500 –  from Ferrero Rocher chocolates ing owner, Ms. Waraporn Surawadee. items  She decided to dedicate the place to the to antimalarial tablets and a fake Ferrari memory of her family and bygone daily motorbike – are neatly laid out, forgeries life of Bangkok everymen – and open it to next to the originals. While its well off-thethe public. While visitors shouldn’t expect beaten track location means it doesn't see breathtaking revelations here, the displays too many drop-in visitors, it's an eye-openare nevertheless surprisingly fascinating. ing experience, one that would make even They include antiques, traditional house- the thriftiest market-goer think twice. hold utensils and ceremonial items.

พิพิธภัณฑ์ชาวบางกอก ถ.เจริญกรุง 43

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พิพิธภัณฑ์สินค้าปลอมและเลียนแบบ ถ.พระราม 3

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.

พิพิธภัณฑ์การเรียนรู้แ้ห่งชาติ 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 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.

พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติ ถ.เจ้าฟ้า ใกล้ท้องสนามหลวง

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s i g h t s e e i n g | M u s e um s

RATTANAKOSIN EXHIBITION   SIRIRAJ MEDICAL MUSEUM  [map 7 / A 7] HALL  [map 7 / K 7] Siriraj Hospital | 2 Prannok Rd 100 Ratchadamnoen Klang Rd, Thonburi Railway Pier next to Wat Ratchanatda | 02-621-0044 02-419-7000-6363 | www.si.mahidol.ac.th www.nitasrattanakosin.com Mon – Sat 9 am – 4 pm | B 40 Tue – Fri 11 am – 8 pm; Located on the west bank of the river, in Sat, Sun & Holidays 10 am – 8 pm | B100 Thailand’s oldest and most prestigious hosThis multimedia museum a short walk pital, the Siriraj Medical Museum is chiefly from Khao San Road offers a skillfully an educational facility where trainee mediabbreviated introduction to an area that cal students come to take notes and harden many admire, but few truly understand: Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok’s glittering their stomachs. However, fans of the macabirthplace. Wandering its eleven rooms –  bre can also pay a visit. Of its many chilling free of relics but rich in models, dioramas, displays, far and away the most famous is interactive videos, text and audio clips in the crisped cadaver of Si Ouey, Thailand’s Thai and English – brings the area’s hard- notorious child killer, stood in a phone to-fathom history, arts, communities, archi- booth. Other stomach-churning exhibits tecture and traditions into much clearer include the mummified remains of murfocus. One highlight is the room show­casing der victims, and deformed human foetuses Thai performing arts; another sheds light embalmed in formaldehyde. Best come on the trade specialities of local shop- before lunch, just to err on the safe side. house communities. Up on the fourth floor พิพิธภัณฑ์การแพทย์ศิริราช ถ.พรานนก there's also an observation balcony from which you can peer out over the area you YAOWARAT CHINATOWN   now have a more in-depth grasp of. HERITAGE CENTRE  [map 6 / L 3] นิทรรศน์รัตนโกสินทร์ ถ.ราชดำ�เนินกลาง Wat Traimit, 661 Mittaphap ThaiChina Rd, Charoen Krung Rd |MRT ROYAL BARGE MUSEUM  [map 7 / B 4] Hua Lamphong | 02-225-9775 80/1 Rim Khlong Bangkok Noi, |Tue – Sun 8 am – 4:30 pm | B100 / B140 Arun Amarin Rd | Thonburi Railway Pier incl. visit to the Golden Buddha 02-424-0004 | 9 am – 5:00 pm For Bangkok’s Thai-Chinese the story of B 30 / B100 photo / B 200 video This collection of ornate royal barges, some how their forefathers fled here on leaking of which are up to 50 metres long, is housed junk ships and rose to become an affluent on the Thonburi side of the river in a series and fully integrated force in Thai society is of elaborate sheds near the Pinklao Bridge. likely familiar, having been drip-fed to them The barges are best seen in action during over the years by their elders. But for the rare ceremonial processions on the Chao rest of us, the Chinatown Heritage Centre Phraya where the colourful crews can num- is the next best thing, presenting an engagber up to 64, including rowers, umbrella ing history of Bangkok’s Chinese commuholders, navigators and various musicians. nity and their bustling focal point, Yaowarat. Beautifully and ornately decorated, these Highlights include recreations of a magnificent long craft were completely leaking junk ship and bustling street market, renovated and restored to their former a miniature model of Yaowarat during its glory by the present King, who also comGolden Age, and a room commemorating missioned the newest boat for his golden the community’s high-achievers. It's located jubilee in 1996 . within Wat Traimit temple (p.25).

พิพิธภัณฑ์เรือพระราชพิธี ถ.อรุณอมรินทร์

Royal Barge Museum bangkok101.com

ศูนย์ประวัติศาสตร์เยาวราช ถ.มิตรภาพไทย-จีน

yaowarat heritage centre

out of town ANCIENT SIAM   (MUANG BORAN)  [map 2 / j 17] 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-of-Siam 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

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S i g h t s ee i n g

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 Swan-shaped 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

Benjasiri park  [map 3 / L 7] Sukhumvit Rd, btw. Soi 22 / 24 BTS Phrom Pong | 5am-9pm 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.

สวนเบญจสิริ อยู่ระหว่าง สุขุมวิท ซ.22 – ซ.24 JATUJAK & QUEEN SIRIKIT PARKS  [map 8 / M, N 1, 2] 820 Phahonyothin Rd, Ladyao 02-272-4358 | 5 am – 6:30 pm | free 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.

บางกระเจ้า พระประแดง 26 | august 2012

RAMA IX ROYAL PARK  [MAP 2 / K11] Sukhumvit Soi 103, behind Seri Center Pravet | 02-328-1972 | 5:30am – 7 pm | B10 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.

สวนหลวง ร.9 ถ.สุขุมวิท 103 (หลังพาราไดส์ พาร์ค) ประเวศ Suan Rod Fai  PARK [map 8 / M, n 1] Kamphaeng Phet 3 Rd | BTS Mo Chit / MRT Chatuchak Park | 02-537-9221 5 am – 9 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.

สวนจตุจกั รและสวนสมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิรกิ ติ ์ิ สวนรถไฟ ถ.กำ�แพงเพชร 3 จตุจักร ถ.พหลโยธิน จตุจักร 7

8

9

Sarasin

6 Radio Station

Lumpini Head Office

5 Glas House

Raja

dam

ri

สวนลุมพินี เข้าได้ทาง ถ.พระราม 4 ถ.สารสิน ถ.วิทยุและ ถ.ราชดำ�ริ BANG KRACHAO  [map 1 / E 5] Bang Krachao, Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan | 02-461-097 6 am – 8 pm | Free 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

Food Court

Elderly Center

k 7.56

Playground

Yaovarach Pavillon

Lumpini School

1

m

Youth Center

Aerobic Octagon Pavillon

Lumpini Park

Lanna Thai Pavillon Library

Witthayu

lumpini park

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

Lumphini

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s i g h t s e e i n g | P a r k s   &  S p o r t s

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upcountry now! xana Beach Club opens Designer beach clubs are all the rage on Phuket these days, and Xana just the latest to arrive on the island’s shores – the shores of Bang Tao beach to be exact. A sleek, white, multi-level affair offering pool lounging by day and a slowly building party vibe by night, the project is a collaborative effort between the Angsana Laguna Phuket hotel, which Xana backs on to, and the Attica Group, a Singapore-based nightlife promoter. Judging by the wild and well-attended grand opening last month, it could be one of the island’s more glam, high-end hot spots if they play their cards right. At the peak of the night, white angels in wings swung coquettishly back and forth on swings hung above Xana’s centerpiece – a 35 metre pool with swim-up bar – while raunchy dancers, all of them girls, danced provocatively on floating island platforms beside them. Meanwhile, bubbles were blown onshore by the evening breeze, above the heads of the thousand or so glammed-up revelers all wearing touches of shocking pink, Xana’s signature colour and the dress-code for the evening. It was all very Ibiza-lite, right down to the headline DJ set by Paul Harris of Grammy award-winning British dance act Dirty Vegas fame, who spun not too pumping house music from the club’s raised Thai pavilion-style DJ booth. Xana is well set up for big parties of this sort, especially with the lush Angsana Laguna hotel only a few steps away and a relaxed place for Bangkok escapees to flee the city for. Fingers crossed they can pull more events like it out the bag, but even if they don’t Xana is worth a look in. Wines, cocktails and food are available all day and into the night. There’s chill lounging space aplenty, including four cabanas for up to 14, daybeds, sun loungers and a pine-treeshaded lawn area. And judging by our visit, sunsets are just a bit special here, making Xana a good bet for sundowners.   GETTING THERE

Xana Beach Club with Attica Angsana Laguna Phuket, Bang Tao Beach, Srisoonthorn Road, Phuket 076-324-101 | www.xanabeachclub.com | 11am-late

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Upcountry now!

August 3 Buddhist Lent

August 1-31 Phuket Seafood Fiesta 2012

Big discounts on lobster, scallops and other fruits of the sea will be available throughout August at venues all over the island. Thousands turned out last year for the Seafood Fair on Rawai Beach, while Lobster Week is a festival within a festival. Expect to also encounter seafood contests and pop-up seafood markets and BBQs.

Known as Khao Phansa, Thai Buddhist Lent is a time devoted to study and meditation. Starting from the first day of the waning moon of the eighth lunar month (August 3 this year), Buddhist monks remain within their temple grounds and do not venture out again for three months, until the fifteenth day of the waxing moon of the eleventh (Oct 30). It’s a nationwide practice governed more by moderation than celebration, but there are some colourful festivities that tourists can enjoy, including Ubon Ratchathani’s Wax Sculpture and Candle Procession Festival (see below).

Until August 3 Wax Sculpture and Candle Procession Festival

In the temple courtyards of this Isaan city, men folk sharpen their knives and carve impressive Buddhist sculptures, from great big Garudas to representations of Lord Buddha himself. These are then paraded through town and presented as merit-making offerings. The festivities, which kicked off in late July, centre around Thung Sri Muang Park and the Ubon Ratchathani National Museum and will climax on August 3 with the street parades. Some of the wax sculptures will be on display for another week or so too.

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August 6 -12 Hua Hin Regatta

This year marks the 12th edition of this sailing event in honour of His Majesty, who has long been an avid fan of the sport. Races will kick off in front of Hua Hin’s Rajamangala University of Technology and the closing ceremony be at the Hyatt Regency Hua Hin Hotel. There’s an application form and more information (in Thai) at the Yacht Racing Association of Thailand website: www.yrat.or.th.

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t r av e l | U p c o u n t ry n ow

August 9-18 Phuket Pineapple & the Annual Flower Expo

August 12

Held at Sapanhin Park in Phuket Town, this event involves pineapple peeling and processing contests, as well as flower arranging competitions. Gardeners from all over Southern Thailand will also converge here for the festival.

Wichit Phrae Wa Silk Festival

HM Queen Sirikit has long been a supporter of phrae wa silk, a variety unique to the Phu Thai, an ethnic group who live in the Northeast’s Kalasin province. Usually held on her birthday, or Mother’s Day, at Kalasin town’s Rim Pao Hotel, this one-day festival honours her patronage with a silk contest, fashion show of silk dresses, a cultural parade, demonstration of silk weaving and sales of this fine ilk of silk.

August 19 The Queens’ Cup Hua Hin International Triathlon 2012

There’s still time to sign up for the fourth addition of this annual lungburner, created to celebrate Her Majesty’s 80th birthday. This time around the location for this always wellattended swimming, biking and jogging medley is ten kilometres south of Hua Hin, in the vicinity of an idyllic fisherman’s village called Kao Tao. The race is open to individuals as well as teams and B200,000 of prize money up for grabs. The race schedule, registration form and rules are all at www.huahintriathlon.com.

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Late August Akha Swing Festival

One of Chiang Rai province’s ethnic hilltribes, the Akha, celebrate their biggest festival this month. In each village a giant swing made of bamboo and braided vines is built by the village elder. For three days there is singing, dancing and ritual offerings, plus a whole lot of toing and froing on the crude contraption. The festival celebrates the end of the labour intensive weeding work in the fields and is used to wish for a successful upcoming harvest. Additionally, the Swing Festival is often used to mark the arrival of adulthood from youth, with Akha girls garbed in traditional headdresses to celebrate the transition. As it falls on the 120th day after the village planted its rice, dates vary between villages, but a local NGO specialising in community-based tourism in the area, the Akha Foundation (053-166-750, www.akha.org), says that most celebrations will start late in August and continue into the first week of September.

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Hotel Deals

Through August

Until Sep 29

Until Sep 30

We Love Mom! Deal U Inchantree Kanchanaburi 443 Mae Nam Kwai Rd, Thamakham, Kanchanaburi | 034-521-584, 086-3687-014 www.uhotelsresorts.com/inchantree

‘Stay Clever’ deal Holiday Inn Pattaya 463/68 Pattaya Sai 1Rd Nongprue, Chonburi | 038-725-555 www.holidayinn.com/stayclever

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

August 12 is Mother’s Day, and to mark the occasion Kanchanburi’s riverside U Inchantree resort presents this month-long ‘We Love Mom!’ promotion. The rate of B3,060 net per night in a superior room includes bonuses that will make her feel number one: a riverside tai chi or yoga class for the family (12 hours notice required), a 30% off coupon for food & beverages, 50% off wines at Peppers restaurant, and a one-hour massage with her choice of tea.

Why pay stupid prices for a Pattaya hotel room, when you can ‘Stay Clever’ at the Holiday Inn? Here’s how it works... if you book five days in advance (full prepayment, non-refundable) between now and September 29, they‘ll offer you up to 30% off room rates. Not only do these rates include breakfast, but also internet, free lodgings and food for kids under 12, plus late 4pm check-out (depends on room availability).

Looking to flee Bangkok for white sandy beaches, emerald bays and swaying palm trees? Blessed with all three of them, the Amari Coral Beach Phuket is now offering the Getaway package (B14,800++ for two persons): 3 nights in a superior room with Andaman sea views, daily breakfast for two, round-trip Phuket Airport transfers, a 45-minute Foot Massage and a set menu dinner at its Rim Talay Restaurant.

Until Oct 31

Until Oct 31

Until Oct 31

U Chiang Mai’s ‘U Love’ package

Centara Samui’s Summer Holiday Opening Rates Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui 114/1 Taling-ngam, Koh Samui 0-7733 4069-70 | www.centarahotelsresorts.com/cbs/cbs_default.asp

Summer discounts at Chiang Mai Centaras Away Suansawan Chiang Mai 43/1 Moo 6, Mae Rim-Samoeng Rd, Mae Ram, Chiang Mai |   www.centarahotelsresorts.com/ flexinetrate.asp | 05-304 4095

The new Centra Coconut Beach Resort Samui has views across to Koh Tan and Koh Mutsum, two renowned diving and snorkeling spots. To lure you there, opening rates until the end of October range from B1,410++ a night for a superior pool view room to B1,890++ for a deluxe villa. Rates exclude breakfast and are on the basis of two adults sharing, although two children under 12 are allowed to share their parents‘ bedding.

Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai 132 Loykroh Rd, Chang-Klan, Chiang Mai | 05-390 5000 www.centaraduangtawanhotel.com  

U Chiang Mai 70 Ratchadamnoen Road, Sri-Poom, Muang District, Chiang Mai | 053-327-096 www.uhotelsresorts.com/chiang-mai This award-winning boutique resort is offering a deal tailor-made for lovers. For B6,110++ per night, couples get the following benefits: a Royal Siam or classical swedish massage and candlelit dinner for two, airport transfers, complimentary bouquet and bottle of wine, whenever/ wherever breakfast and a floating lantern launch into the night sky, among others. Stay two nights and you’ll also be upgraded to a deluxe room; stay three and you’ll get a room price of B3,420++.

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The Centara group is offering packages at two of its hotels in Chiang Mai for anyone staying for three consecutive nights or more. Rates at the Away Suansawan Chiang Mai have been discounted by 20%, prices ranging from B950++ per night for a superior room to B2,050++ for a family vacation villa. Meanwhile, over in the city centre, guests who stay at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai for three nights pay for only two (however, the third day breakfast must be paid for).

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t r av e l

over the border

The Treasures of Yunnan Story and photos by Dave Stamboulis

D

espite being easily accessible via a short flight to its capital Kunming (with its user friendly Thai Consulate) or via express boat up the Mekong through Laos from Chiang Saen in northern Thailand, Yunnan province tends to fall under the radar for most visa runners or those seeking a holiday escape from Bangkok. Which is probably fine, given that those who do go get to hog more of the rewards all for themselves.

Yunnan is possibly the best kept secret and most diverse travel destination in Southeast Asia. It is far away from the maddening crowds and prices of Shanghai and Beijing, and home to some of the most amazing landscapes and collection of ethnic minorities in all Asia. While pleasant Kunming is known as the ‘city of eternal spring,’ due to its elevation and southern latitude, meaning not bone cold in the winter or an oven in summer, the rest of the province is wildly diverse. The northern areas receive snowfall and frozen temperatures for five months, while the Xishuangbanna region bordering Laos in the south is best visited over Xmas and New Years, when the subtropical heat and humidity are most bearable. Zhongdian

CHINA

Lijiang

Dali

Kunming Yuanyang Xishuangbanna

VIETNAM MYANMAR

LAO

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Bangkok bangkok101.com


t r a v e l | T h e T r e a su r e s o f Yu n n a n

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t r av e l

While an entire guidebook rather than a short feature might be the only way to pay homage to all of the treasures of Yunnan, here are some of the top highlights that might inspire you to start making travel plans: Yuanyang, a mountainous area located in the southeast, near the Vietnamese and Lao borders, is home to one of the world’s true natural wonders. Inhabited by several ethnic minority groups, it recently was named one of the top twenty most beautiful places in China due to its beautiful scenic location and exquisitely sculpted rice terraces, which plunge hundreds of metres down the mountainsides. The Hani (Chinese version of the Akha) people who inhabit the region have crafted an intricate system of irrigation channels and mountain walls with their bare hands for over a thousand years to create an agricultural lifeline and manmade natural wonder. Especially in the winter months, from November to March, the dazzling terraces are flooded with water to prepare for the coming planting season, and the effect is a photographer’s dream, with the pools reflecting the clouds, sunrises, and sunsets.

Hani, Yi, and other neighboring hill tribes are worthy of a visit themselves, providing a look into a rapidly disappearing lifestyle. All colorfully dressed, the ethnic minorities cling to their traditions, hold bustling markets, and seasonal festivals to celebrate their harvests and planting cycles. Moving further north, throngs of mainland Chinese tourists make their way to the ancient cobbled streets of Dali and Lijiang, pretty temple towns that have traditional architecture and are also home to minorities. The Naxi dominate Lijiang, famed for being a matriarchal culture and for building highly advanced irrigation systems. The Chinese government was duly astounded when a mega earthquake flattened the city in 1996, yet most of the Naxi buildings survived. UNESCO was impressed as well, designating the entire area as a World Heritage Site, including the nearby dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge, where the Yangtze River runs amok amidst deep canyons.

Four hours north of here, the area becomes a high plateau ringed by mountains, and is inhabited by Tibetans, allowing one to get a glimpse of Tibetan life without having to go to this heavily restricted and permit needing country. The Chinese, in their continued Disneyfication of the area, chose to rename In addition to the rice terraces and scenic walking paths that the town of Zhongdian “Shangri La,” trying to recreate and connect the stunning scenery and quaint villages, the local put a tourist face on Hilton’s famous novel and mythical par-

36 | august 2012

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t r a v e l | T h e T r e a su r e s o f Yu n n a n

adise. While the turning of places like Lijiang and Zhongdian into a giant amusement park has tarnished some of Yunnan’s other worldliness, you don’t have to go more than an hour or two from Shangri La to reach the Meili Snow Mountains or Kawa Karpo as they are known to the Tibetans, considered the second most sacred mountains for them after Mount Kailash. The trekking, traditional culture, and breathtaking scenery here rivals anything one will find in the Himalayas, and it is here that some of Asia’s longest and deepest rivers, the Mekong, Yangtze, and Salween, all meet, plunging miles to the bottom of abyss-like gorges, watched over by 6,000 plus metre ice capped mountains.

up around its large university. The city, with its excellent climate, is relatively free of the extreme pollution, congestion and noise that plague most other towns of the same size in Asia. From Kunming, one can access Lijiang, Yuanyang and Shangri La all within a day’s travel, and the bus and train connections from here to all points are excellent.

For those in search of something a little warmer, the southern part of Yunnan known as Xishuangbanna, is more akin to Thailand and Laos, subtropical, humid, and inhabited by the Dai people, whose language and culture will be familiar to anyone who lives here (Xishuangbanna is understandable in Thai as ‘Sip song pan na’, or 12,000 rice fields”). Songkran and its wild wet New Year Northeast from here, yet another gorgeous Tibetan area is is celebrated here just as exuberantly as in Thailand. also home to some of the most superlative scenery one will So make a pilgrimage to Yunnan and spread the word, but ever find in China. Up near the Szechuan Province border, Yading so quietly. Nature Reserve is a sacred mountain sanctuary that was unknown to the outside world until the 1990’s, and has a landscape rivaling Yosemite National Park, with giant granite Getting there peaks and snow and ice draped 6,000 metre holy peaks tow- Thai Airways and China Eastern Airlines have daily flights from ering over flaming golden larch forests come autumn. Scores Bangkok to Kunming. During high water levels, Jinghong in of Tibetans come to these spots to do pilgrimages adding a Xishuangbanna is reachable by express boat from Chiang Saen, and can also be reached in a long day by bus from Chiang Kham surreal cultural element to a visit. via Luang Nam Tha in Laos. Within Yunnan, excellent domestic Kunming itself makes a great base, is a modern and clean city bus service goes everywhere, and Shangri La, Dali and Lijiang with beautiful parks and some vibrant food and party spots all have airports. Trains run from Kunming to Dali. bangkok101.com

august 2012 | 37


A R T S & C u lt u r e

‘InNoSense – a journey of love’ at v64 art studio 38 | august 2012

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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 There are lots of notable exhibitions to pick from this month, but for sheer scale, a group exhibition that starts over at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre on August 16 is going to be hard to beat. Produced in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 84th birthday celebration, 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 the building’s 3rd-5th and 7 th-9th floors will be works by over 300 artists, ranging from highly revered national artists to young emerging talents, from neo-traditionalist painters to experimental artists, from internationally recognized artists to locally celebrated artisans. It runs until October 28 and will be accompanied by related programming from the Thai Art Archives. For regional film buffs, the BACC is also the building to be this month, as the 16th Thai Short Film and Festival will be staged here from August 16-26 (see p.7). Meanwhile, exhibitions that you only have this month to catch include film director and photographer Mingmongkol Sonakul’s vibrant mosaic prints over at Ardel; and a retrospective of mid-1960s studio photography from the rural Northeast at Kathmandu. Sukhumvit Soi 31’s Koi is also displaying and selling replicas of the originals from Elephant Parade, a global charity auction of one-off, artist made elephant statues. bangkok101.com

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A R T S & C u lt u r e

exhibition highlights Photocubism 2 Ardel Gallery of Modern Art [MAP2 / B8] 99/45 Belle Ville, Boromratchonnanee Rd (Km 10.5) 02-422-2092 | Tue-Sat 10:30am - 7pm, Sun 10:30am - 5:30pm www.ardelgallery.com Until Aug 12

As an independent director and producer, Mingmongkol Sonakul is recognised for her position in the Thai film industry. Yet, prior to her career in film, Mingmongkol’s first passion was for the medium of photography. A series of vibrant mosaic composite prints, her latest presentation of photographs draw parallels to 20th century Cubist artists Picasso and Braques.

Author of the Past DOB Hualamphong Gallery [MAP5 / F1] Resident One Property Co, Ltd, DOB Building 2F, 318 Rama IV Rd 085-482-3566 | Tue-Sun 10am - 7pm I MRT Hualamphong Until Aug 12

Memory and interpretations of personal history form the backbone of Pachara Piyasongoot’s atmospheric paintings. Using symbolism in the selective recording of memory, the artist delves into the chosen keepsakes and memoirs we construct to formulate identity and towards an ultimate definition of self-truth.

InNoSense – a journey of love V64 ART STUDIO [MAP2 / G4] 143/19 Changwattana Soi1 Yak 6, Bhangkhen Laksi 089-143-0986 I Daily 9am-6pm I www.v64artstudio.com Aug 19 - Aug 31

Based on author/photographer Nick Langat’s art book of the same name, this photo exhibition portrays a timeless journey of love through 48 countries around the world, from Argentina via Thailand to Vietnam, experienced by two young men. The photos are accompanied by poetry that describes the mystery of the human soul in search of beauty and tenderness, discovering love, ultimately facing death and thus gaining eternal love

40 | august 2012

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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

The Dark Side of Stephff THAVIBU GALLERY [MAP5 / D5] Suite 308, Silom Galleria F3, 919/1 Silom Rd, Soi 19 | 02-266-5454 | Mon-Sat 11am-7pm | www.thavibu.com l BTS Surasak Until Aug 25

French resident Stephane Peray, a.k.a. Stephff, is the long-time political cartoonist for The Nation newspaper. Long aware of the self-censorship of mainstream media, and the negative impact this has on artistic expression, here he presents twenty graffiti drawings that truly let rip, showing off his brutally honest musings on modern politics.

Pornsak Sakdaenprai 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 Until 27 Aug

For the latest in its ‘Seeking Forgotten Thai Photographers’ series, the bohemian photo gallery presents 30 black and white prints of young villagers from the Northeast posing as their favourite luk thung (Thai country-music) gods and goddesses. Shot by Pornsak Sakdaenprai at his photo studio between 1965 and 1967, the images stand as poignant reminders of the idolatry the Golden Age of Thai country music inspired.

The Care Parade Koi Art Gallery [MAP3 / J4] 43/12 Sukhumvit Soi 31 | 02-662-3218 | 11am-7pm www.koiartgallerybangkok.com | BTS Phrom Phong Until Aug 31

The first Elephant Parade, an open-air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues, was held in the Netherlands back in 2007. Afterwards, the elephants, each of which are hand-painted by a different artist, are auctioned off, the proceeds going towards saving the near-extinct Asian elephant. Koi is showcasing limited edition, hand-painted replicas of the originals, all varying in size from 10 to 75cm.

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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

Profile

Photos by Ekaphop Duangkham 

Aranya Kunchawattichai It’s hard to work out exactly what expression the characters in thirty-four year old painter Aranya Khunchawattichai’s paintings are wearing – and that’s much of their power. Atmospheric and inscrutable, her work hints at a dark temperament, an inner sadness. During her career, this mid-career artist, who ranked second in the 2001 Young Artist Award of Thailand, has created three series, all of which touch on this theme and have an eerie, almost world-weary quality. The first was about kids and featured a fairly bright colour palette; the second was about woman and beauty. Or, rather, woman and the beautiful sort of sadness they are capable of. This series also introduces a common trope in her work, the use of dolls, and Aranya’s penchant for antique-style clothing (she previously did a two-year stint as a fashion designer). The third is a continuation of the style of series two, but is painted using oils rather than acrylics and has a softer tone. After finding inspiration by flicking through fashion magazines, Aranya sketches her work on canvas and then adds colour. What’s next for her? “I plan to soon have a solo exhibition at V64, the artist community where I’m in residence. And my next series will continue my exploration with oil paint and depict farmer girls wearing fashion clothing.” 42 | august 2012

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A R T s  &  c u l t u r e | ara n ya k u n c h a w att i c h a i

  Available at:

Studio B2, V64 Art Studio [MAP 2/G4] 143/19 Changwattana Soi1 Yak 6, Vibhavadi Rd Soi 66 | 02-973-2681, 085-666-9661 | www.v64artstudio.com | 9am-6pm daily Section 7 Soi 1, Jatujak Market [MAP 8/M3]

bangkok101.com

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A R T S & C u lt u r e

back stage

back Stage: B-Floor Theatre

In a stifling political climate, B-Floor’s productions are a breath of fresh air. By Yvonne Liang

Avant garde Thai theatre group B-Floor is known for producing some of the most provocative works that this country has seen. Since its establishment in 1999, B-Floor has not only wowed audiences locally, but also represented the best of Thailand’s art and culture overseas in Singapore, Wonju, Tokyo, Taipei, Cairo, Edinburgh, Miami and New York. Staged locally at Soi Thonglor’s Pridi Banomyong Institute, their productions are highly energetic and visually stimulating, often using mixed media to tell stories through an acutely Thai perspective. Their most recent show, Oxygen, was perhaps their most successful yet, encapsulating the physicality of their theatre perfectly. According to actress Nana Dakin, the actors and actresses had to physically condition themselves for the production. A good amount of time was also dedicated to experimenting with different conceptual ideas and how to translate that into movement without speech. Nana explained that the challenge in creating such abstract and physical plays is using the various movements to hold the audience’s 4 4 | august 2012

attention. It’s important for the performance to include a lot of different movement “qualities” such as light, warm, sharp, airy, strong, ordered, chaotic, dramatic and comical. This kind of variety in terms of the movement quality makes BFloor’s productions more akin to dance or performance art. If proof were needed that their work has cross-cultural appeal, last month the theatre group took Oxygen to the Big Apple, performing it at New York’s Undergroundzero festival. The show is the final part in a trilogy that started two years ago with the plays Flu-O-Less-Sense (2010) and Fool Alright (2011), both of which examined Thailand’s complicated political situation. According to Director Teerawat Mulvilai, Oxygen has a more general message: “revolves around the act of reflecting upon ourselves, how we breathe and its effect on our lives.” Drawing his inspiration from the phrase “every move we make is political”, he asks questions such as, “If every breath we take triggers our movement, what kind of air are we breathing in? How does it affect our actions? What are we accepting into our system that defines who we are?” bangkok101.com


A R T s  &  c u l t u r e | B - f l o o r t h e atr e

Photos by Withit Chanthamarit and Kornkrit Jianpinidnan

He reflects on the countless political movements that occur around the world in places where people have been estranged from their own governments, giving examples of the political crisis in the Arab Spring, and the “Occupy” movements in Wall Street and London. As a director, Teerawat is interested in the ideals of these people and what ‘breaths’ or ideas they took in that caused them to act that way. Also, as many of B-Floor’s productions do, Oxygen is about people who feel shackled by their situations and attempt to free themselves. “If we believe that the power of the people is greater than the power of government and institutions, than we should believe that we are the ones who should be in control of our own lives,” he says.

can inflict on a society. “The performers play around in this space, which is vast yet caged, filled with the breath and vapours of news and other polluted things in the air,” he says.

In several pivotal scenes in Oxygen, the performers portrayed moments of delusional madness that were amusing to watch, but actually carried a serious message. As director Teerawat Mulvilai explains, “humans can be filled with madness, wisdom, intellect, foolishness and all kinds of things we don’t expect – it all depends on what their thinking and what they’re taking in.” These ideas and indoctrinations can come from a person’s family, educational background, personal experience, books, movies, etc. In the scenes where the performers go mad, Teerwat says, “it’s like their spirit is free in some B-Floor often makes use of the stages to facilitate it’s story- way”. The danger lies in the fact that others take hold of them telling. In Oxygen, a backdrop made up of newspapers and and calm them, bringing them back to a subdued, submissive painted tarp served as a visual statement that supported the form that is the same as everyone else. Herein, perhaps, lies play’s political stance. Production designer Wasurat Unap- the power of B-Floor’s productions: their work can be seen as rom designed the set according to his concept of a freezing an attempt to prevent this from happening. room, with a massive collage of newspaper representing the B-Floor Theatre   [MAP3 / R5] history of people and their social norms from the past until 65/1 Pridi Banomyong Institute, Thong Lor (Sukhumthe present. This wall of newspapers with no exit created in vit Soi 55) | 089-167-4039 | www.bfloortheatre.com, the viewer the sense of not being able to see anything clearly www.facebook.com/bfloor.theatre.group – a visual metaphor for the kind of imprisonment that media bangkok101.com

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A R T S & C u lt u r e

46 | august 2012

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A R T S & C u l t u r e | r e ad i n g &  s c r e e n i n g

 Sacred Tattoos of Thailand

 BANGKOK DAYS

Lawrence Osbourne

Joe Cummings & Dan White

Harvill Secker 288pp | B395

This coffee table book comes from the same team who brought us 2009’s Buddhist Temples of Thailand: British photographer Dan White and American travel guidebook author, Joe Cummings. What sets it apart from other books on sak yan, Thailand’s magically charged tattoo tradition, are its sprawling profiles of many of the Kingdom’s most revered tattoo masters, or ajhan. Much of Joe’s research for the book entailed travelling to meet and spend time with these men, watching them at work in their samnaks (tattoo huts). Hardwork, no doubt, but worth it… from the story of Ajahn Noo, the master who gave Angelina Jolie a haa theaw (five rows) design back in 2003, to his meeting with Ajahn Kamthorn, a monk who passed away shortly after his visit, this is first-rate research that will be serving tattoo scholars and enthusiasts for generations to come.

British journalist Lawrence Osbourne spends his nights wandering the city, hanging out with old, sleazeball westerners, trying to fathom why it is they come here. Duh, the sex? Not necessarily, he suggests in this meandering and lyrical, not-quite travelogue. What they’re often seeking here, in “the slutty Cinderella of Southeast Asian cities,” is the tactile interconnectedness that Bangkok’s cramped streets and cheap massages provides. It’s a compelling idea and, though Osbourne does the city a disservice by only exploring its seamy side, and is an occasional fabulist (his gigolo experience in particular beggars belief), to his credit he says a lot more about male solitude than he does sex. Titillating trash this is not. In fact, we haven’t read anything so immersive and downright well-written on low-life Bangkok since Pico Iyer’s Love in a Duty-free Zone. We were hooked, start to finish, even if it didn’t always ring true.

Marshall Cavendish | 200pp | B995

 Buddhist Murals of Northeast Thailand

Bonnie Pacala Brereton & Somray

Yencheuy | Mekong Press | 96pp | B695 Books on Thai murals have tended to focus on those commissioned by the elite, namely those in Bangkok’s temples. Until now, that is. This glossy text casts its gaze on the more democratic, fun loving and pastoral murals that encircle the sim, or ordination halls, of temples in the Kingdom’s northeast, Isan. Honing in on temples in Khon Kaen, Kalasin and Roi Et, it’s an accessible primer to this unsung sub-school of Thai painting, with chapters on everything from the Buddhist and folk tales told, to how to ‘read’ them. The authors also draw intriguing links between them and the pha pha wet, or horizontal cloths, paraded at Isaan festivals. Full-colour close-ups of often bawdy scenes, which were painted using natural dyestuffs on a pale cream background, and in places look like Southeast Asia’s answer to the Anglo-Saxon’s Bayeux Tapestry, appear throughout.

reading  

 Beautiful Boxer

& screening

Ekachai Uekrongtham | 2004 | DVD B199 Cinderella Man in stilettos. Beautiful Boxer is based on the true story of Parinya Charoenphol, or Nong Toom, whose main motivation for knocking heads in the ring was to earn enough money for gender-reassignment surgery. Despite the clumsily episodic and-thenism of the typical biopic (Nong Toom wins temple-fair bout, and then starts training and then sneaks lipstick…) and coy skirting around its subject’s erotic life, Boxer’s refutation of the shrieking-queen stereotype so popular in Thai entertainment, Uekrongtham’s skill in depicting the balletic ferocity of a muay Thai fight, and above all the whole-hearted and sensitive performance of real-life kickboxer Asanee Suwan in the title role make this film a champ. Where else can you see a Rocky-esque training montage that includes fist-wrapping and foundation application? bangkok101.com

august 2012 | 47


W

hen it comes to capturing Bangkok’s up-for-it club scene, no crew do it better than Siam2nite.com. Sweaty electro parties packed with glow-stick waving ravers, indie-rock singalongs, drum ‘n’ bass sessions... you name it, if there’s a rocking party on tonight, they’ll be out there photographing it, and in a hyper-kinetic style that matches the energy of the music spinning. Since it was founded late last year, this online nightlife resource has racked up nearly 30,000 followers on Facebook, thanks in part to its comprehensive listings but mainly due to its diligent coverage of all the big events. In the past nine months their team of six photographers, all of them Thai, have lugged their camera gear to over 450 raves, gigs, festivals, openings and other DJ-helmed events. A day or two later, the fun, candid galleries of revelers high on life (not disco-biscuits) are made accessible to all their online members. Consider this roundup of some of our favourite shots proof that, despite club closing hours being a lot earlier than they were back in the day, the kids are still all night.

P h o t o g r a p h y b y : A n a t K o r n k a s e m , H e y N u M r i k h a s o n t h i , I Va n i l l a S . S h a t t a , J u m p e e g a S a e n g c h a t , K i t t i p o n g J u n e Ta n g k a m o n k i t , T h e r e d R e d o n e


P h o t o g r a p h y b y : A n a t K o r n k a s e m , H e y N u M r i k h a s o n t h i , I Va n i l l a S . S h a t t a , J u m p e e g a S a e n g c h a t , K i t t i p o n g J u n e Ta n g k a m o n k i t , T h e r e d R e d o n e T h a n k s t o : w w w. s i a m 2 n i t e . c o m


FOOD & DRINKS

Baked Nachos at all six to twelve 56 | august 2012

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AROY

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

*tasty

Food & Drinks news NEW RESTAURANT OPENINGS

NEW WINE PRICES AT BED

A produce-driven designer eatery by some of the most exciting creatives in the business, Quince is now, finally, open for business on Sukhuvmit Soi 45. There are currently only limited seats, and “the phone might not be answered after 8pm” they say, but Aussie chef Jess Barnes’ kitchen is up and running, We’ll be checking out his modern Australian food made with locally sourced produce next month.

To soften the blow for all you wine lovers (Thailand’s wine taxes tally up to a ridiculous, head-slapingly high 380%), Bed Supperclub have just slashed their prices. “This will open up a whole new range of premium wines to our guests and also a much broader variety in the lower price bracket as well,” says Paris Batra, one of the Bed owners behind this Wine Democracy initiative. “We want our guests to no longer think twice before ordering wine.” Best of all, they’re not just doing it for the mediocre plonk. Around 80% of the wines have the stamp of approval from top wine critic Robert Parker and have a rating of at least 80 out of 100. And others have been selected by another wine guru, Randy Chinn. Prices per glass start from B250, prices per bottle from B990.

Packing them in already is Fat’r Gut’z (Seenspace, Thonglor Soi 13), the second branch of bar scene hero Ashley Sutton’s fish and chip saloon. Occupying a corner of Seenspace’s perky ground floor, this one retains the maritime-theme of the slightly claustrophobic original but is bigger all-round, with seating inside and out, plus a more extensive menu of modern seafood and fusion. Other new entrants include Escapade Burgers & Shakes (112 Pra-Artit Rd | www.facebook.com/escaburgersandshakes) a hole-in-the-wall bar out in the Old City (promisingly, the kitchen ventilation unit has ‘Fxxk MSG’ graffiti scribbled on it); and a gastrobar serving small plates of contemporary French American and inventive drinks: Little Beast (44/9-10 Thonglor Soi 13 | www.facebook.com/littlebeastbar). And let’s not forget little Pigwit (44/12 Soi Convent, Silom | 087 040 0061 | thepigwit.com): a gourmet sandwich and bagel delivery company that cures and smokes its own meats and has a few tables at its leafy townhouse HQ. We swung by during our lunch break recently and really enjoyed our Vietnamese-style shredded chicken served in crispy baguette, despite the long waiting time.

Sheraton Grande introduces personal sommelier Wine ignoramuses need not fret when dining at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit’s Italian restaurant Rossinis (250 Sukhumvit Rd | 02-649-8888 | www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com), as there’s now a friendly master sommelier called Guilio Saverino on hand to help you pick the perfect bottle to go with Chef Stefano Merlo’s cuisine. This is part of a wider concept, ‘primoVino by Rossini’s’, that aims to introduce guests to “top shelf wines at cellar prices” thanks to an exclusive partnership with local wine merchants BB&B, G Four Wines, Italasia Group and Wine Gallery. Prices start at B160 per glass and B900 per bottle.

Champagne Brunch at the St Regis Sundays just got a whole lot more light-headed with the launch of the free-flow, Dom Pérignon brunch over at the St Regis hotel (159 Rajadamri Road | 02-207-7777 | www. stregis.com/bangkok). For every first Sunday of the month from now on, they’ll serve their lavish gourmet spread at the 12 floor’s Viu restaurant along with flutes of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002. B7,900++ per person. bangkok101.com

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All Six to Twelve Restaurant review by Max Crosbie-Jones

- finally: a place to get the party started on Lang Suan There aren’t many hard and fast rules on Bangkok’s drinking and dining scene, but here’s one: you don’t go to upmarket Lang Suan Road for a casual session with friends. Not a cheap one anyway. However, that might be about to change for us at least, as we just recently discovered a trendier and cheaper than the norm bar restaurant on it. All Six to Twelve’s setup is very Lang Suan. This lofty space sits at the end of a neat, frangipani-lined driveway, on the ground floor of the Fraser Place Urbana Lang Suan, which is a slick serviced residence catering to expats and longstayers. Décor wise, it’s a pleasant enough space that takes its semi-industrial, New York loft theme and runs and runs with it. It’s all raw concrete and exposed vents and bricks. A mural of dapper 1950s Italian gents on the far floorto-ceiling window adds some jauntiness to an otherwise we-could-be-in-Singapore setting. And, it works.

of dill worked very well together. We kept on coming back to it. Meat mains appeared to be simple, arriving rich-saucefree, slow-cooked and with greens. The out-and-out fave was the chicken steak with five-spices (B180). The meat was ultra flaky and flavourful. More of a lunch-time bite, the high-rise cheese sandwich (B130) was good too, a toasted double-decker foccacia so tasty that one of our dining party developed a clingy obsession with it.

Quite a bit more expensive (fingers crossed they introduce a happy hour of some sort), but just as tempting are the tipples. The bar here shakes and stirs a selection that would put many of the bars along Thonglor or some other party hotspot to shame, from old standbys to rather luscious signatures to the aptly titled Lava party set. Order in one of the latter and, after watching an evil blend of tequila, Singha beer, brandy, vodka and sambuca being set on fire and then cascaded into 3, 6 or 9 cocktail glasses (B700-B2,000), the party will, indeed, be started. And probably not end until None of this touches on the main reason why you should you fall out of your taxi at 3am. That’s more like it Lang Suan. consider coming here – the food. Normally, these sorts of joints turn out fancy-pants international fare at wince-induc- เฟรเซอร์ เพลส หลังสวน ถ.หลังสวน ing prices. But All Six to Twelve’s menu of modern Thai, plus a smattering of Western and Japanese, is very reasonable. And most of it pretty tasty, we thought. Salads are simple beds of fresh lettuce, rocket and other greens laced with herbs, protein and a fresh, tangy Thai dressing. Our pick: the tuna mango salad (B120). The tart lime dressing, cubes of soft sweet mango and lingering hint 58 | august 2012

  getting there

All Six to Twelve  [MAP4 / J8] Fraser Place Langsuan, 55 Langsuan Road, Lumpini 02-250-6799 | Mon-Sun 6am-midnight www.facebook.com/allsixtotwelve bangkok101.com


F o o d  &  D r i n k s | r e S t a u r a n t s r e v i e w

Rasayana Raw Food Café Restaurant review by Yvonne Liang

- uncooked doesn’t have to mean unexciting Veganism is still a fresh concept in Bangkok’s food colours. The Mushroom Burger (B180) is more filling, suitscene, with just one raw food joint in the city – able for those with a larger appetite, and the mushroom Rasayana Raw Cafe on Sukhumvit Soi 39. patty almost, almost tastes like meat. Our all-time favourite though is the Hawaiian Pizza (B170) which is great for The eatery is part of a colon-cleansing spa retreat so you those who prefer sweet to savoury thanks to the pineapple know these chefs are serious about putting healthy food chunks. The perfect-for-one pan-sized pizza is topped with in your stomach. The all-vegan menu is rooted in the idea a myriad of fiery-looking peppers, red onions and tomatoes. that cooked food loses all the important enzymes and nutrients that thrive in raw and uncooked food. Although it There’s nothing like a completely guilt-free dessert to may be daunting for meat lovers and those with a soft spot finish off your meal at Rasayana Cafe. It’s hard to befor deep-fried delicacies, one meal at this health food haven lieve that these sweets are good for you, especially proves how easy it is to consume food that’s totally good the gloriously dense brownie (B160) made of cashfor you. ews, carob, raisin, honey, orange, almond and coconut oil. The brownie gets sort of droopy if it’s not held in We’ve tried a good number of Rasayana’s dishes, in all its aluminum cup, and it’s a bit sticky too, so we recomtheir uncooked glory, but we normally start with a freshly mend having it with a scoop of Rasayana’s homemade ice squeezed juice such as the Rasayana combo (B85): a blend cream, when it’s available. Of all their sweets, the Banofof carrot, beet, celery and apple juice. It’s so tasty that you fee Pie (B160) most closely resembles the real deal, with forget there are veggies in it! If you’re looking for something layers of walnut, dates, sliced banana, cashews and cocao. that will give you the strength of the Incredible Hulk, then try the green and mean Rejuvenator (B85), made of spinach, รัสยานา สุขุมวิท ซ.39 (พร้อมมิตร) lettuce, parsley and carrot juice. Keep in mind, this one has a taste that is less easy to swallow. We also like the carrot cream (B150) soup made with carrots and almond milk, topped with a flavourful powder of fennel and celery that adds an extra kick to the soup. For main course, try the eggplant lasagna (B190) made of layers of marinated eggplant, zucchini, marinara and avocado sauce, which together give this pseudo-lasagna its rainbow bangkok101.com

  getting there

Rasayana Raw Food Café  [MAP3 / M3] 57 Sukhumvit Soi 39 (Soi Prom-mitr), Sukhumvit Rd 02-662-4803 | 10am - 8pm daily www.rasayanaretreat.com august 2012 | 59


FOOD & DRINKS

Lok Wah Hin Restaurant review by Yvonne Liang

- a taste of hong kong in the heart of siam squareOf the many eating options at the Novotel Siam Square Hotel, Lok Wah Hin is easily it’s classiest – a Chinese restaurant with an opulent, faux-traditional village interior that works and Shanghai, Canton and Szechwan cuisine by a new chef from Hong Kong.

Another good dish was the snow fish baked with black beans sauce, which gave the fish an attractive orange colour while maintaining the luscious, buttery texture of snow fish that we love. You may also want to try the hai wei yi ben guo, or imperial seafood pot. It’s name comes from the idea that the dish is so heavenly it is fitting for the banquet of the emChinese Chef Hok Yeung Leung recently took over the peror. The dish consists of braised fresh fish maw, goose’s kitchen here, and is now making full use of his culinary exweb, scallops, shiitake mushrooms, and sea cucumber with pertise and experience working as a chef in world class resChinese herbs served in a hot clay pot. taurants. We started of the meal with an hors d’oeuvres platter featuring an assortment of four traditional Chinese Desserts, such as the crispy deep-fried pancakes filled with delicacies. The chilled jelly fish topped with mini slices of sweet date paste, mean that at Lok Wah Hin you get a fairly fresh cucumber and flavored with sesame oil and red chilies authentic Chinese dining experience from start to finish. was crunchy and refreshing. Our favourite was the salted baked silver fish which was perfectly crisp and reminiscent รร.โนโวเทล สยามสแควร์ of good Chinese home-cooking. Chef Leung’s specialty dishes embodied some true Hong Kong flavor. The bee fung tang or ‘typhoon shelter’ pepper crab is named after a famous typhoon shelter in Hong Kong where fishermen would cook this famous crab dish by stir-frying crab with on-hand ingredients of garlic, pepper and little black beans. In this way, the fried crab could be reheated to get the fishermen through bad weather days. 60 | august 2012

  getting there

Novotel Siam Square  [MAP4 / D5] Siam Square Soi 6 Rama I Road | BTS Siam 02-209-8888 | 11:30am - 2:30pm, 6:30pm- 10:30pm | $$ bangkok101.com


ad Banyan Tree

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

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MEAL Deals

Aug 16 – Sep 30: Salmon Lovers Event The Glass House , Eastin Grand Hotel Bangkok  [MAP5 / D7] 33/1 South Sathorn Rd, Sathorn | BTS Surasak | 02-210-8100 www.eastingrandsathorn.com Breaking with the all-the-rage locavore trend, the Eastin Grand’s Glass House is serving the finest salmon from Scotland, Norway and Tasmania. Expect to see the likes of Nordic Gravadlax, salmon tartare and blackened Cajun salmon along with the regular international buffet and a chocolate fountain. Available Friday through to Sunday night, the buffet costs B1,199++ per head with a discount for under 16s. Through Aug: Tomahawk Steak at Park Society Sofitel So Bangkok  [MAP5 / M7] 2 North Sathorn Rd | MRT Lumphini | 02-624-0000 5pm-1am (bar), 6pm-10pm (restaurant) www.sofitel.com Ultra-chic rooftop bar restaurant Park Society is serving a five-course menu starring Tomahawk steak, a larger version of the heavily marbled and tender bone-in French ribeye steak. The menu, which includes Tomahawk tartare, wagyu M5 and Tomahawk Tataki, costs B3,499++ per person and closes with a B101 favourite: chocolate mille feuille. Reservations are highly recommended, say management.

Until Sept 30: ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ Lunch Buffet The Hub, Ramada Encore Bangkok  [MAP3 / E7] 21 Sukhumvit Soi 10 | 02-615-0999 www.ramadaencorebangkok.com The Hub at the Ramada Encore Bangkok is offering a buy one get one deal on its international lunch buffet. That’s B450 net for two or B225 net per person. As well as Thai, American and Italian favourites, highlights of the spread include a live carving station seafood salads and appetisers like sashimi and New Zealand mussels. Ongoing: Bottomless Dim Sum at Déjà Vu Déjà Vu, Pullman Bangkok King Power  [MAP8 / K10] 8/2 Rang-nam Rd | BTS Victory Monument | 02-680-9999 www.pullmanbangkokkingpower.com We don’t need a good excuse to stuff our face with dim sum, but here’s one anyway. Held on Saturday and Sunday, this all-you-can-eat at the Pullman King Power pairs wooden tray upon wooden tray of the aforementioned, plus soups, live-cooked seafood dishes and desserts like sesame dumpling in ginger syrup. Groups of eight or more also get a complimentary Peking duck. Pricing: B888 net per person; timings: 11:30 am-2:30pm. Ongoing: Modern Degustation Menu Rang Mahal, Rembrandt Hotel [MAP3 / J7] 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 | 02-261-7100 ext. 7532 www.rembrandtbkk.com Still one of the most elegant spots for Indian cuisine in town, Rang Mahal at the Rembrandt is now serving a modern, dinner-only degustation menu for B3,700 net per person. That’s eight courses of classic Northern cuisine made using modern techniques and paired with selected wines. Private dinners can be arranged for a minimum of six guests but you need to reserve a day in advance. Ongoing: Bangkok Biggest Brunch The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel [MAP3 / L7] 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22 | BTS Phrom Phong | 02 261 9300 ext. 4162 | Buffet Brunch: 11.30am – 2.30pm | www.imperialhotels.com Three restaurants at the Imperial Queen’s Park have combined to bring you what the management are touting as the biggest Sunday brunch spread in town. You‘ll be able to grab platefuls of brunch favourites at Parkview on the lobby level, before heading upstairs to feast on Catonese and Japanese delicacies at Imperial China and Kacho. The price is B1,600 net per person or B2,100 net if you fancy free-flow beverages. 62 | august 2012

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F o o d  &  D r i n k s | m o t h e r ’ s D a y DEALS

MOTHER’S Day DEALS

When the Queen’s birthday falls here on August 12, so too does Mother’s Day. It’s a public holiday, so mothers all across the land really get lavished with the attention they deserve. Get in on the act by treating mother dearest to one of the following slap-up feeds. And for her sake, book in advance!

The Sukhothai Bangkok (02-3448888) will host its Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch at Colonnade restaurant from noon to 3pm. It ain’t cheap, at B2,900++ per person, but includes lavish dishes such as foie gras custard with truffle and mushroom consommé. She’ll also be given a Molton Brown beauty product set.

grilled lamb chops. The lunch or dinner, Mother’s Day only set menu will set you back B2,100++ per person, while the à la carte dishes range from B560-1,500++. Meanwhile, mum dines for free at the

Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn’s The Glass

House (02-210-8100) when accompanied by three paying adults. The international buffet spread costs B699++ per person for lunch, B1,199++ for dinner, and includes a ‘catch of the day’ seafood selection. There’s also a 50% discount for under 16s – and a 15% discount for ‘Early Bird’ families who book before August 12.

Nearby, the Le Méridien Bangkok (02-232-8888) is offering 50% off its Mother’s Day brunch on August 12-13 for families of four or more. Spend over B5,000 and you’ll also get a voucher worth B1,000 to recoup at the hotel’s spa. The normal price is B2,220++ per person including free flow wine or Prosecco, soft The same deal is also being offered at drinks and coffee or tea. Giant sugar heart the Pullman Bangkok King Power’s cookies will bolster the fat spread. Cuisine Unplugged (02-680-9999). Here the lunch buffet costs B1,330 net and the For its equivalent, the InterConti- dinner-time equivalent B1,430 net (mininental Bangkok (02-656-0444) is offer- mum number of diners: mum plus one). ing a Champagne and seafood variation featuring “12 irresistible reasons to dine”. Ditto the Banyan Tree (02-679-1200). These include: Alaskan crab and pacific For ever family of four, mum’s meal will be snow fish, Wagyu beef prime rib and pantaken of, whether you dine at the Lobby fried French foie gras. The price is Lounge (afternoon tea B350++, Thai high B1,699++ and it runs from midday-3pm. tea B300++ from 1-5pm), Thai restaurant Romsai (buffet brunch B1,700++ with Just down the road, at the recently free flow bubbly; dinner buffet B1,250++, refurbished Biscotti in the Four Seasons add B499++ for unlimited wine), Chinese Bangkok (02-126-8866 ext. 1229/1230), restaurant Bai Yun (dim sum lunch buffet Chef Daniele will “honour motherhood”, B1,000++) or on board the hotel’s Apsara as they put it, with dishes like Fin De river boat (Thai set dinner B2,200 net). Claire oysters, black ink stringozzi and bangkok101.com

And if money is no object, the Crowne Plaza’s (02-632-9000) Chinese Chef Lam

Kok Weng will prepare two set menus priced at B12,000 and B15,000 per set. Both the ‘Om Gord Rak’ (hug of love) set and ‘Im Oon Rak Mae’ (filled with love for mother) set star nine top-end dishes, from braised sliced alabone with homemade bean curd to pan-fried Canadian lobster with black bean sauce.

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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 …

Star of the South: Dao Tai Ever since I can remember, my aunty has always had a good memory for the little things, such as backstreet short-cuts and where to find a good restaurant. And, I’m pleased to report, nothing has changed – on a recent trip back to our old neighbourhood, the other side of the Chao Phraya River, she led us zigzagging through the area’s super narrow sois and to an old family standby called ‘Dao Tai’. Like her sense of direction, this authentic Southern Thai restaurant is just the way I remember it, too: a tiny, familyrun shophouse with an interior more than half filled with trays of food. All that’s left is room for a tiny walkway to enter via and a few wooden dining tables.

with shrimp paste). Now, not everybody loves the bitter taste or texture of the southern sator bean, but I’m very much in the love camp. Certainly, it’s a dish every Thai food lover should try once. Kou kling moo is another iconic southern dish done well here. That’s minced pork wokfried with chili and turmeric-based paste. The aroma of it comes partly from turmeric and partly the thin strips of kaffir lime leaf that are worked through it.

Southern food a bit too strong, too spicy for you? When ordering the above, don’t forget to pair these Dao Tai staples with something milder, like moo wan (caramelised pork) or goong wan (caramelised shrimp). Another way to put out the blaze in your mouth is, no, not by chasing Just like the old days, on this return visit we got a warm water but by eating the raw fresh vegetables on your table. welcome and ordered lots. Too much even (note: taking Chewing these absorbs the heat like magic! the left-overs home is no problem here, and most of the food can last overnight. If anything the flavours intensify). ร้านดาวใต้ ถ.พรานนก All these years later, I’m still a total sucker for their kaeng lueng pla nam dokmai (yellow soup with barracuda fish). Mercilessly spicy, this dish has the potential to make you smile and cry at the same time, all thanks to it’s extraordinarily complex taste. It’s hard to explain, but imagine turmeric and tamarind doing a little disco dance together along with spices and herbs and fish meat and you’re half way to understanding. Divine. Another must order is the pad sator kapi (fried sator beans 64 | august 2012

  getting there

Dao Tai [MAP2 / D10] 508/26 Phran Nok Road, Bangkok Noi 02-412-2385 | 7am-8pm daily bangkok101.com


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

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Cooking with Poo Stop sniggering at the back! Poo is actually the nickname of one of the city’s most indemand 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.

Phad Ga Pow Gai ผัดกระเพาไก่ (Chicken with Basil)

Eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this dish is a favourite among Thai people and foreigners alike. Chicken with Basil is traditionally made with lots of chilli, and Thais love eating it during the cold and rainy seasons to warm them up. ingredients

• 2 tbsp oil • 3 cloves garlic, crushed • 3 red chillies (the smaller you dice it, the spicier your dish will be) • 400g chicken (sliced or minced) • 2 tbsp oyster sauce • 1 tsp soy sauce • 30 leaves Thai basil • a lime for garnish Preparation

• Heat oil in frypan • Add garlic and chilli and stir fry for 1 minute • Add chicken, stir fry until cooked through • Add oyster sauce and soy sauce and mix together for 1 minute • Add Thai basil • Serve with rice and a wedge of lime 66 | august 2012

  COOKING WITH POO

Saiyuud Diwong | UNOH Publications 112pp | www.cookingwithpoo.com Aus $20

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F o o d   &  D r i n k s | r e S t a u r a n t s

The Local

THAI The Local [MAP3 / G4] 32 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Klong Toey | BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-664-0664 | 11:30 am – 2:30 pm; 5:30 pm – 11:30 pm The biggest new Thai restaurant to open so far this year is run by the same family behind Soi Convent’s very upscale Naj. It’s hard to not compare it with Bo.lan, the hit restaurant that shook up the Thai fine-dining scene a few years back. Both are located in converted townhouses tucked deep inside Sukhumvit soi, both aim to preserve Thai culinary heritage (and plunder old recipe books in their search for near-extinct dishes), and both source all their ingredients, yes, locally. However, The Local is a much bigger proposition housed across two quite over-the-top buildings. One of the VIP rooms, for example, is themed after the Damnoen Saduak floating market, another is lined with oars and a copy of Kap He Chom Krueng Khao, the famous food-invoking love poem that King Rama II composed while rowing across a lake. None of these touristy elements bother us particularly; but they do seem slightly jarring in light of the food, which is anything but. Unlike Bo.lan, which offers a lifeline to Thai food novices in the form of a balanced set menu, here there’s only a flowery à la carte menu to pick from, one that even the locals find baffling in places. Dishes on our table ranged from the slightly unusual, such as the satisfyingly crunchy fried curried shrimp cakes with polyscias leaves (B180), to the head-scratchingly obscure, such as pla ta pia dtom khem (B 380), a notoriously bony fish that they stew for 30 hours, until the bones have disintegrated and the meat is borderline pate (tastier than it sounds). For us, though, no dish summed up The Local experience better than the gaeng lan juan (B240): a nam prik-based beef curry with a backstory as complex as its sour, scouringly hot flavours. Did we adore every dish? No. Still, if you consider yourself open-minded or a food adventurist, this is one ‘authentic’ new Thai restaurant that you should try.

เดอะ โลคัล ซ.สุขุมวิท 32 JUST ONE [MAP8 / L17] 58 Soi Ngam Duplee (Sathorn Soi 1), Rama IV Rd | BTS Sala Daeng, MRT Lumphini | 02-679-8033 | 11am-11:30 pm Intrepid eaters in Thailand are frequently face with the challenging choice between décor and dining – either a trophy restaurant with stunning looks but mediocre food, or a repast fit for the gods served up in a decidedly less-than-divine space. Luckily, Just One isn’t looking to just coast on its atmosphere. The perfect romantic restaurant for a special visitor, Just One is set in what looks like an enchanted garden – a giant, gnarled tree towering over outdoor tables, and an airy, almost greenhouse-like indoor space. Food is polite Thai – fresh, with a low chilli factor for tender tongues. With its sensitive spicing, wide-ranging menu, and dreamy look, Just One might be too timid for food crusaders, but is perfect for out-oftowners who may have touchy palates, or those who seek cuisine that suits a serene atmosphere.

จัสวัน ซ.งามดูพลี bangkok101.com

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FOOD & DRINKS

Parata Diamond

Taling Pling [MAP5 / E6] 60 Pan Road, Silom | BTS Surasak | 02-236-4830 | 11am – 10pm Hit Taling Pling for a Thai meal that’s neither chi-chi nor curbside. The standalone twostorey house roughly midway down Pan Road is part of its enduring, 25-year appeal among just about everybody. Low-ceilings, silk-backed chairs and vibrant walls hung with old sepia Bangkok photographs lend an understated stylishness to proceedings. However, not until the thick orange menu thuds onto your table do Taling Pling’s true talents become clear: pure-bred Thai food at sane prices. If there is a more photogenic menu in town, we haven’t seen it. And the dishes themselves rarely disappoint. A must try is the meang taling pling: a plate of coarse chicken paste, raw garlic, peanuts,

68 | august 2012

chilies and pieces of the namesake sour fruit that you wrap in betel leafs and pop in your mouth. That usual suspect, beef green curry, is also praiseworthy. In its herbilicious depths lurk hunks of chewy beef and whole birds eye chillies – proof that an elegant Thai meal doesn’t always mean betraying your spice-thrillseeker ideals.

ตะลิงปลิง ถ.ปั้น

AMERICAN Parata Diamond [MAP 8 / T15] Ekamai Soi 24 (Sukhumvit Soi 63) | BTS Ekamai | 08-5167-6489 | facebook: Parata-Diamond | Mon – Sat 6pm – 1am This gastro bar is a very slick proposition.

There’s the location down an Ekamai backstreet, only a short hop from all the nearby clubs. There’s the big, converted 1960s townhouse with a dark and sophisticated Moroccan feel, lots of nooks sparingly graced with daybeds, tables or sofas, and a leafy garden. There are artsy add-ons such as exhibitions of local art upstairs, and open-air cultural shows every Wednesday. And then there’s the food, which, instead of the usual Thai and international, is ‘New American’.What’s New American cuisine? Upscale, contemporary cooking that’s not afraid to fuse flavours from across America’s huge melting pot. Which basically means anything goes. So it is that Nhoi, a young female chef who trained and worked in Denver, rustles up everything from Polish-style Pierogi puffs with pork belly confit and an Indian-ish pineapple relish to Southern-Thai style spaghetti and bowls of chrysanthemum panna cotta. Which is kind of fun, we think. Not that every dish is a total success. Our swiss chard lasagna with wild mushroom béchamel was rich and comforting whole food, an excellent dish; but the watery, spicy Thai-style sauce that accompanied what followed – a slab of pan-roasted salmon atop a bed of steamed mussels – didn’t quite work we thought. Still, this is one of the more interesting menus in the area. While the kitchen appears a pretty tight ship, the rest of Parata is more volatile, eager to keep you guessing – and we like that too. Happenings range from belly dancers to DJs (Friday / Saturday) to screenings of old movies (see their

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F o o d   &  D r i n k s | r e S t a u r a n t s

gros with caramelised apple (B420) and lamb cutlets in red curry (B350). Washing it all down was a bottle of dark and fruity Dutch beer La Trappe Dubbel (B255), one of five pricey Trappist brands (beers brewed under control of Trappist monks) on sale. Bottles of Leffe, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois are available, as are a smorgasbord of wines.

แบงคอกบิทเทอร์ ทองหล่อ ซ.5

BANGKOK BITTER

Dine in the Dark

Facebook page for their latest “‘Artist’ Shit some sofas, coffee tables and red brick walls with arched windows on the other. In Happening”). the centre, just yards from the TV screenภารตะไดมอนด์ เอกมัย ซ.24 ing sports matches (a jarring feature for a bistro in our opinion), sits a long raised wooden table with raised stools. This is the first restaurant for former banker Khun INTERNATIONAL Tae, and a skeptic would say it shows in the predictable Western food. However, while there is little to get excited about, there BANGKOK BITTER [MAP3/Q4] can be no arguing with starters like the 2nd floor, No. 88 mini-mall, 88 pate cognac (B150). While the BKK Bitter Thong Lor Soi 5 | 02-712-7997 | Seafood Salad (B350) was a little bland, we BTS Thonglor | Tue-Fri 11am-2pm, also enjoyed both our angel hair anchovy 5:30pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 11am-11pm pasta and pick from the fourteen-strong On the second floor of a pint-sized com- pizza selection. Called the Bangkok Bitter munity mall, Bangkok Bitter feels like a Special (B250), it was a thin crust marvel scaled-down version of one of the many featuring wisps of smoked and parma ham wine bistros now in the Thonglor area. on a rustic black dough. Warm, salty, and Inside, it’s spacious, with a blue wall and satisfying. Mains, which include a smatterrow of banquette seating on one side, and ing of Thai fusion, are more fancy: think foie

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Dine in the Dark [MAP 5 / G 7] 2nd F, The Ascott Hotel 187 Sathorn Tai Rd, near Soi 9 |BTS Chong Nonsi | 02-676-6676 | www. didexperience.com | 6:30 – 11pm In the past few years, sightless dining has spread worldwide, beginning in Switzerland back in 1999 before popping up in Paris, London, the US and then Asia. Here’s how it works: on arrival at the restaurant’s nightclub-like reception area, a friendly hostess asks you to pick your mystery three-course set menu (Thai or international B850, vegetarian B750). Then, you meet your visually impaired waiter for the night and are led by them, past thick curtains, in to the pitch black. If that sounds like a case of the blind leading the blind, it’s not – they know exactly where they’re going and soon enough you’ve arrived at (what feels like) your table. Soon enough you begin to calm down and enjoy yourself. Sort of. The whole experience was an adrenaline rush, a slightly unsettling journey into the unknown, and yet chatting to our waiter Khun Gap, a blind student who

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FOOD & DRINKS

at the deep-fryer and soup pot as it is the pestle and mortar. The golden-fried tub tim fish is sublime, the gaeng hed poh (spicy popping-mushroom soup) beguilingly spiced, and the laab tod a deep-fried, crackling variation on the minced meat salad and just one of several playful signatures. Best of all are the pocket-friendly prices – though the owner pays inner-city rents she charges the same as at her other branches in the ‘burbs. For assertive, flavourful Isaan food in a bright, clean townhouse setting, Baan Somtum’s a no-brainer. Plentiful parking too. BAAN SOMTUM

PHILIPPE RESTAURANT

works here part-time, was an inspiration (10% of the proceeds go to a blind charity). I also found sitting in a void liberating. No one is going to think you’re a loon if you use your napkin as a turban for example, or, have a shimmy around the table (because they won’t know). Revelling in the fact that you no longer need to confirm to fine-dining conventions is only one small part of it, though. What we didn’t see coming was how the loss of sight changes how you respond and interact with food. Our salad, main and dessert were all tasty enough (we’re won’t reveal the dishes, that would be the dine-in-the-dark equivalent of a plot-spoiler) but we honestly didn’t detect the heightened taste that others report. Or maybe we did but our other senses were just too amped up for us to notice. Either way, you emerge back into the entranceway with a sense that you’ve

seen the light – in more ways than one.

แอสคอทท์ สาธร ถ.สาธรใต้

Isan (Northeastern Thai) BAAN SOMTUM [MAP5 / D6] 9/1 Soi Srivieng, nr Sathorn Road | BTS Surasak | 02-630-3486 | 11am-10pm | Love somtum? If so your ship has come in: this smart Isaan restaurant serves a staggering 22 types of Northeastern papaya salad. There’s porkneck somtum, salted egg somtum, even a Luang Prabang somtum (yep, we’re intrigued too). Any good? Let’s just say that we tried the somtum pu ma… and marvelled at its fiery tang and legs of horseshoe crab. As for the other Issan dishes – all 80 of them – the kitchen seems just as skilled

บ้านส้มตำ� ซ.ศรีเวียง

FRENCH PHILIPPE RESTAURANT [MAP3 / M5] 20/15-17, Sukhumvit Soi 39 | BTS Phrom Phong | 02-259-4577-8 | www. philipperestaurant.com | 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-late (last food orders 10.30pm) Tucked away on a side street near the Phrom Phong BTS station, Philippe Restaurant provides a welcome dose of French charm to an area thronged with Japanese eateries. Since 1998, Philippe Peretti has been feeding the city’s happy Francophiles with defiantly unfusioned, fine traditional fare, including foie gras, served in great silky lobes, hearty country stews with oxtail and beef tongue, and raspberry mille-feuille, layers of perfect pastry stacked with fruit and a gorgeous buttermilk crème. The décor may be a bit staid, but it doesn’t detract from the beauty of

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

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

Saras

elegantly done French classics and the very correct service, which is attentive without being hovery. Come for the B550 lunch deal – a three-course steal, perfect for a leisurely business lunch.

ฟิลลิปเป้ สุขุมวิท ซ.39

INDIAN Saras [MAP4 / J7] Sukhumvit Soi 20 (near Windsor Hotel) 02-401-8484 | www.saras. co.th | (home delivery via ChefsXP: 02-204-2001) Mon – Fri 8:30am –10:30pm, Sat – Sun 8:30am – 11pm Saras serves delicious Indian fast food, all of it 100% vegetarian. Secreted away down a driveway on Sukhumvit 20, it’s a utilitarian canteen with solid wood furniture and a food court-like ordering system. The upside of this stripped down set-up are the prices. Roughly 350 plus dishes of panIndian – sit on the menu and nearly all come in well under B150. Even more intriguingly, the majority are the sorts of authentic down-home delicacies that sell in the tens of millions each day in their homeland but rarely seem to make it on to the menu of curryhouses here or in the West. To name but a few, the dahi puchka are little cuplets of crispy puri (bread) filled with a potato and pea mixture, drenched in a cool and slightly tart curd, and topped off with herbs and a mild tamarind sauce; the chupa rustam kebabs tandoor-cooked little culets of heavily spiced potato with a surprise – mozzarella – waiting inside; and the mushroom momos, from the Indian-Chinese section, moreish gyoza-like dumplings served with a pickled tomato dip. More treats await, no 72 | august 2012

THE LIIT

doubt. If knowing what to plump for off the text menu proves tricky, then opt for one of their five thali sets. Available in Rajasthani, Gujarati and North India variations, these come served with their own unique array of vegetable and lentil dishes and different breads. Speaking of breads, one to try here is the kulcha, a more fragrant alternative to the usual naan. It’s also worth finding room for Saras’ freshly made sweets, all handsomely displayed in the glass display cases.

onion ice cream with home-smoked fish on a crispy wafer of Parma ham. All astringency is salted out of the onion before preparation, so you’re left with a salty, crunchy, creamy, and perhaps a little too sweet blend that nevertheless works very well. This is a tough location for a restaurant like this, but such experimental, chefly panache is well worth supporting if you’re in the area.

เดอะลิตท์ สุขุมวิท ซ.26

ซาราส สุขุมวิท ซ.20

JAPANESE ITALIAN THE LIIT [MAP4 / O9] 202, 2nd Fl, K Village | Sukhumvit Soi 26 | 02-665-6447 | www.facebook. com/theliit | 11am – 10pm A quiet, unassuming, too-bright restaurant tucked away from the ground floor crowds of K Village is a surprising place to find such inspired cooking. The Liit has some classic Italian dishes, but chef Emanuele Serra, from Sardinia adds a personal signature he describes as “unconventional. I’m just looking for good tastes combining my home experience with the country of Thailand.” A good example is the cold spicy spaghettini salad, a standard Sardinian recipe using tomatoes, celery and good strong shavings of bottarga, but with the addition of Thai salad elements. There are stabs of chilli and coriander, and while this is not as sour as a Thai salad, the cured fish roe is well within the Thai flavour spectrum. The dish is one of the more successful I’ve tasted of the many Bangkok attempts at melding Thai and Italian flavours. Other good choices include

RAMEN CHAMPIONS [MAP3 / R1] Arena 10, 10 Sukhumvit 55 | BTS Thong Lo | 02-392-9561 | www.facebook. com/ramenchampion | Sun - Thu 11am – midnight, Fri & Sat 11am – 3am Continuing its takeover of the Bangkok dining scene, Japanese restaurant group Oishi’s latest endeavour is Ramen Champions off Thong Lor. The concept is deceptively simple: take six of Japan’s most famous ramen restaurants, and have them fight to the death for customers in a winner takes all format. While the kitchens are helmed by Thais only, the head Japanese chefs were brought in to train up the staff to assure the authenticity of the ramen, as well as uphold the reputation of their restaurants. Unless you’re an expert or expatriate Japanese, it’s unlikely you’ll know which outlet to choose. In this situation, it’s always best to go with the busiest, which is exactly what we did, settling on Nidaime Tsujita. If you’ve ever eaten at a ramen house, the décor and layout should be familiar enough – a small space filled with wooden tables and counter seats facing an open kitchen. The ramen, however, is distinctly unfamiliar. bangkok101.com


F o o d   &  D r i n k s | r e S t a u r a n t s

RAMEN CHAMPIONS

Xuan Mai

The signature Nidaime ramen (B250) here comes served in a heavy, gravy-like broth accompanied by thick slices of beef, a filling bowl that is more winter stew than fast-food. There are also lesser known dishes such as Tsukemen (B260), where you dip your cooked ramen in an accompanying broth made from pork ribs, and Karaage (B150), diced pieces of deep-fried chicken served in a bowl filled with bright red chilies. Of course, the beauty of this new concept from Oishi is that if you don’t like the offerings at one outlet, then next time you can try one of the other six. Ready, Ramen Champions, fight!

ราเมน แชมเปียน อารีน่า 10 (ทองหล่อ ซ.10)

morning. Follow that up with a healthy portion of young lotus shoot salad with shrimp and BBQ pork, contrasted beautifully with a side of peanut crackers. The ridiculously tender tamarind braised pork with rice was XUAN MAI [MAP3 / Q1] delicious, but despite being a Vietnamese 351/3 Sukhumvit 55 (near Thong Lor restaurant, you’ll be doing yourself an injusSoi 17) | 02-185-2619 | BTS Thong Lor tice if you don’t save room for the passion | www.xuanmairestaurant.com |Tuefruit crème brulee. Served in a coconut, it’s Sun 11am-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm Former FBI agent and unintentional chef irresistibly creamy and you won’t be able to Meyung Robson’s popular Vietnamese stop from scraping the tender and aromatic restaurant left the former homey confines meat off the sides of its shell. of Soi 13 for the main stage of Thong Lor ซวนมาย ทองหล่อ ซ.17 back in 2009. Small, friendly and delicious, this homey restaurant has an army of followers that all migrated along with Meyung. Spring rolls are definitely the way to start: these feather-light, deep fried Imperial rolls will have you still salivating the next

VIETNAMESE

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august 2012 | 73


FOOD & DRINKS

Wine Loft Langsuan winebar review by David Swartzentruber

For as far back as we can remember, Langsuan Road has been home to a group of eclectic, trendy restaurants, but there was a shortage of good wine bars until Wine Loft opened its newest branch on the second floor of The Portico community mall back in February.

donnay by the Tuscany mainstay producer, Ruffino. It had a delightful honey-lemon and herbal bouquet and a smooth aftertaste. To accompany the wines, a kitchen operates from 5pm through to midnight. Premium cheese and cold cuts, duck and pork sliders (a platter of three sliders goes for B150) and freshly prepared pasta are just a few of the This is the third Wine Loft in Bangkok, with the other two dishes available. located on Sukhumvit Soi 31 and at the Market Place over on Thonglor. Retail wine outlets as well as wine bars, their It’s not going to set the wine scene alight, but this is a welsignature feature are enomatic wine dispensers that keep come addition to the moneyed Langsuan district, especially your bottle of wine as fresh as the day it was opened. Usual- if one is not in the mood for a sit-down dinner but still in ly 24 wines are offered by the glass with prices starting from need of restful surroundings to enjoy a decent glass and B150. Bottle prices start at B690 and all wines are owner- lighter fare. selected to ensure quality. Another Wine Loft initiative helping to make wine more accessible to Bangkokians is a monthly free flow offer that features 24 wines. Priced at a hard-to-argue-with B599, the free flow for this month is set for Wednesday, August 15 and will feature wines from a host of wine-producing countries. Another tasting featuring premium wines produced by Marina Cvetic, in the Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo DOC in south-central Italy, is also set for two days later. One of the wines that I recently tasted was a 2005 Char74 | a u g u s t 2 0 1 2

เดอะ ปอร์ติโก หลังสวน ถ.หลังสวน

  getting there

Wine Loft Langsuan  [MAP4 / J5] The Portico, Langsuan Road | 02-652-1965-6 | BTS Chidlom | daily 11am-midnight | www.wineloft.com bangkok101.com


EAST: The Splendour of Spices

CUISINE ART

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 continues to North-eastern Thailand, the much-loved land of “Isaan.” Being a neighbour to the Mekong countries of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, primitive Thai flavours might have been originated among these terrains. The simple cooking methods with the indigenous herbs and spices make “Isaan” food very popular. “Grilled River Prawns with Spicy Herb Salad” has been interpreted by the blod honesty of “Isaan” folk art. 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. 2

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august 2012 | 75


Nightlife

Zutou Presents: Lust Party at LED Photo by IVanilla S. Shatta 76 | august 2012

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Nightlife | xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

one month in Bangkok Nightlife NEWS One-off Parties Most international DJs flying in spin electro or house, so we’re pleased to announce that three US hip hop heavyweights will bring the house down at RCA’s LED on August 4. Fronting the Adidas Breathe and Stop Party will be Ali Shaheed Muhammad (A Tribe Called Quest/Lucy Pearl), Shortkut (ISP/Beat Junkies/Triple Threat) and Maseo (De La Soul). Move-busting b-boys and b-girls will also do battle up on stage. Tickets on the door will set you back B800. www.facebook.com/ledclubrca Believe it or not, August 5 is world beer day. The only venue we know for sure is marking this occasion with a session is the Beervault, over at the Four Points by Sheraton (Sukhumvit Soi 15 | 02-309-3000). As well as a live band, beer trivia quiz and BBQ buffet, they’ll be laying on free flow brews for only B500 between the hours of 12-3pm and 6-9pm. Don a funny hat and you’ll also get a pint of Singha free, they say. The beer-swilling will last from midday till midnight (and the hangovers probably just as long). www.facebook.com/beervault Q Bar (Sukhumvit Soi 11 | 02-252-3274) has a full schedule this month, with highlights being Hed Kandi with DJ Andy Norman and violinist Roxy P (B700 includes two drinks) on August 10, and deep house sounds with DJ Aaron Ross on August 17. www.qbarbangkok.com Concept CM2, the Novotel on Siam Square’s basement nightclub, will try and pass itself off as Koh Phangan’s reveler-filled Had Rin beach on Saturday August 12, when it hosts a tropical rave-inspired Full Moon Party. Entry B650 including two drinks (and glow sticks?). www.facebook.com/conceptcm2 The Speakeasy presents Funky Friday In a bid to lure in the Friday night straight-from-work crowd and keep them there, the Prohibition-era themed rooftop bar at Hotel Muse (55/555 Langsuan Road | 02-630-4000) has slashed its early evening drink prices to only B120 net per house pour. The offer includes a few beers as well as premium spirits and is only valid between 5-7pm, after which the price goes up to a still reasonable B200 net. www.hotelmusebangkok.com For other nightlife shenanigans see p.7.

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august 2012 | 7 7


Nightlife

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 – not to mention hangovers – that have ensued because of them). Here are some of our favourites, all tried and tested.

viva aviv

Coyote [Silom MAP5 / J5, Sukhumvit MAP3 / K6] Silom branch:1/2 Convent Road, Silom 02-631-2325 |  Sukhumvit Branch: 575-579 Sukhumvit Road | 02-6623838 | 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 buyone-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.  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.  78 | august 2012

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Molly Malone’s [MAP5 / J5] 1/5 Convent Rd, Silom | BTS Sala Daeng 02-266-7160 | www.mollymalonesbangkok.com 7-9pm daily  This Irish-themed pub has some decent deals going between 4-7pm (pints of Heineken, Tiger or Chang for B85, etc) but the one we take advantage of are the jugs of Heineken or Tiger for only B200 from 7-9pm. 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.

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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N i g h t l i f e | c l ubs

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 world-class on the cosy restaurant side, and the sleek design extends to an all-white bar on the club side. Bed has talented resident DJ s and brings over top-notch talent (including some very eclectic art) for special events. Big-name DJ s tend to spin on Thursdays, house and mash-up hip-hop rules on Friday, and Sunday mixes 1980 ’s pop hits with house music.

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 เบด ซัปเปอร์คลับ สุขุมวิท ซ. 11 BMWs and chic lounge-deck area, and you’ll hit a swish one-storey house, more posh CLUB CULTURE [map 7 / J 7] than funky. Some of Bangkok’s gilded youth chill on sofas and knock pool balls around in Ratcha Damnoen Klang Rd the front room; but most hit the fridge-cool (behind Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall) 089-497-8422 | www.club-culture-bkk.com dancehall to boogie away the week’s woes to live bands and hip-hop DJs. Forget edgy Wed – Sat 8 pm – late Club Culture comes from the same brains sounds – here it’s all about clinking whisky behind the city’s annual dance music festi- glasses and getting down with the CEOs of val, Culture One. After being evicted from tomorrow. its original home, a former Thai theatre on ฟังกี้ วิลล่า ทองหล่อ ซ.10 Phaya Thai Road, it relocated to this gritty four-storey warehouse hidden away in the GLOW  [Map 3 / G 5] backstreets of the Old City in early 2010, 96/4-5 Sukhumvit Soi 23 much to the relief of its regulars – a cross- BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-261-3007 cultural mix of hipster Thais and discern- www. glowbkk.com | 6 pm – 1 am /  bar challenges Bang­ ing expats. Like the old days they promote This boutique club  new talent, while still bringing in the big kok’s biggies when it comes to delivering guns, ensuring an eclectic roster of indie innovative music from the world of underrock, drum’n’bass and house music of all ground electronic pleasures. An intimate, stylish cave is decked out in dark walls, genres. funky seating, innovative lighting and a คลับ คัลเจอร์ ถ.ราชดำ�เนินกลาง dramatic bar. The music palette changes night-tonight but always excludes hip-hop (หลังนิทรรศ์รัตนโกสินทร์) bangkok101.com

route 66

(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 ROUTE 66  [Map 8 / Q 12] 29/33-48 Royal City Avenue MRT Phetchaburi | www.route66club.com august 2012 | 79


Nightlife

q bar

B 200 foreigners incl. drink / free for Thais 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).

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 hitor-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.

ทาปาส สีลม ซ. 4 THE CLUB  [Map 7 / F 5] 123 Khaosan Rd, Taladyod 02-629-1010 | www.theclubkhaosan.com 80 | august 2012

cm2

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.

6 pm – 2 am | B 100 (incl. one 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 fairy-tale vibe, while the lasers, visuals and UV lighting hark back to mid 1990s psy-trance. Music-wise, it’s a loud, banging รร.เชอราตัน แกรนด์ สุขุมวิท house serving up the full range of 4/4 beats, usually cranium-rattling electro house and ระหว่างสุขุมวิท 12 และ 14 techno. The drink prices are kind to your walCM2  [map 4 / D 5] let and UV glowsticks handed out for free. B1 F, Novotel Siam Square เดอะคลับ ข้าวสาร 392/44 Siam Square Soi 6 | BTS Siam 02-209-8888 | www.cm2bkk. com Q BAR  [Map 3 / C 4] 10 pm – 2 am 34 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana The Novotel Siam Square Hotel’s sub­ 02-252-3274 | www.qbarbangkok.com terranean party cave still packs them in six8 pm – 1 am teen years after it first opened, especially on Long-standing, New York-style night spot weekends when it heaves with tourists and Q Bar is well-known for pouring stiff drinks nocturnal beauties. The big and quite 1980s (there are over 70 varieties of top-shelf disco looking (black and metal and neon lightvodka!) and its strong music policy, with ing rule) complex has lots of lounging space big name international DJs leading the way. facing the dancefloor, plus a sports bar with Q Bar raised the ‘bar’ for Bangkok nightlife pool tables, smoking room, and an Absolut twelve years ago and is still going strong, Vodka Lounge. It’s mainstream all the way. with a flirty crowd every night and a recent DJs play what the crowd wants, when they top-to-bottom renovation giving the venue a want it, usually the latest electro, funky house maximalist style injection. Now, there’s also or hip-grinding R&B tune, while the rotating more room to dance and more lounge space, line-up of live bands from Canada, Europe especially at QUP, the more downtempo and Asia perform as if every song is a potenupstairs area. Some relative solitude and a tially life-changing audition. International / Thai pick ‘n’ mix of the expat and jetset scene can food and a huge cocktail list is served, as is usually be found up here and on the outdoor what they claim is Bangkok’s biggest pour – all terrace, which is perfect for a breather, peodrinks feature double shots for no extra ple watching and a late evening snack (includcharge. Check out their Facebook page for ing burgers brought over from the Firehouse news of their popular monthly theme parties restaurant opposite). In an inspired piece of and drinks promotions. marketing excellence, ladies get in free on รร.โนโวเทลสยามสแควร์ สยามสแควร์ ซ. 6 Wednesday nights –  and two free drinks!

คิว บาร์ ถ.สุขุมวิท ซ. 11

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

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 bangkok101.com


N i g h t l i f e | c l ubs &  H o t e l B ars

W XYZ

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 horseracing 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] Aloft Bangkok | 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11 BTS Nana | 02-207-7000 alofthotels.com/bangkoksukhumvit11 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 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 … bangkok101.com

leapfrog

red sky bar

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.

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.

อรุณเรสสิเดนซ์ ซ.ประตูนกยูง ถ.มหาราช

อาคารคอลัมน์ สุขุมวิท ซ. 16

Leapfrog  [map 3 / F 7 ] 8th F, Ramada Encore Bangkok 21 Sukhumvit Soi 10 | BTS Nana 02-615-0999 www.ramadaencorebangkok.com 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 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.

MOON BAR  [Map 5 / K, l 8] 61st F, Banyan Tree Bangkok 21/100 South Sathorn Rd | 02-679-1200 www.banyantree.com | 5 pm – 1 am 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 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.

รร.บันยันทรี ถ.สาทรใต้

NEST  [Map 3 / C 4] 9 th F, Le Fenix | 33/33 Sukhumvit Soi 11 BTS Nana | 02-305-4000 LONG TABLE  [Map 3 / H 8] 25th F, 48 Column Bldg | Sukhumvit Soi 16 www.lefenixsukhumvit.com | 5 pm – 2 am BTS Asok / MRT Sukhumvit | 02-302-2557-9 Nest is the rooftop bar of choice for www.longtablebangkok. | com 11 am – 2:00 am Sukhumvit’s international party crowd. An

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Nightlife

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Nightlife

red sky

urbane open-air oasis on the ninth floor of the sleek Le Fenix Hotel, it’s a 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 Nestshaped 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.

sky bar

พระนครบาร์ ซ.ดำ�เนินกลางใต้ ถ.ราชดำ�เนิน

RED SKY  [Map 4 / F 3] 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 เลอฟินิกซ์ สุขุมวิท ซ. 11 aura. Upscale bar snacks like slow-cooked baby back pork ribs, and martinis, cocktails and wines are on hand to keep you comPHRANAKORN BAR  [map 7 / G6] pany while your eyes roam the scenery. Soi Damnoen Klang Tai, Ratchadamnoen Daily happy hours (50 % off selected wines, Rd. | 02-622-0282 | 6pm-1am When backpacker ghetto Khao San Road beers and cocktails between 5 – 7 pm) and wears thin (and it will) flee in search of prompt, smooth service make the experithis multi-level boozer only a five minute ence all the more enjoyable. walk away. It’s an old favourite of local รร.เซ็นทาร่าแกรนด์ แอทเซ็นทรัลเวิลด์ art students and creatives, mostly for ถ.พระราม 1 its indie/80s/90s worshipping playlist and mellow trestle-and-vine rooftop SKY BAR / DISTIL  [map 5 / C 5] offering splendid views, over rickety old- 63rd F, State Tower | 1055 Silom Rd city rooftops, towards the floodlit Golden 02-624-9555 | www.thedomebkk.com Mount temple. The booze and Thai food 6 pm – 1 am is also cheap as chips, as is most of the High fliers hankering after a taste for the modern art hanging on the second floor. dramatic can head over to The Dome Tried to find it before but failed? You at State Tower. Among the world’s highwouldn’t be the first. From the Burger est outdoor bars, Sky bar – attached to King end of Khao San Road, turn right onto Med restaurant Sirocco  –  offers panoRatchadamnoen, right again and it’s down ramic views of the city and river below, the first soi on your left hand-side. In the earning its popularity with visitors new evenings there’s usually at least one vintage to the City of Angels and those intent on VW beetle parked outside. rediscovering it. Indoor-outdoor Distil 84 | august 2012

boasts a roomful of comfy sofas, beyondpremium 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-onblack 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.

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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 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

cians’ in white overalls, and later on a DJ spins acid jazz 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.

industrial decor are replaced by straight lines and 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 คลาวด์ โครงการการซีสเปซ from an old family recipe, it comes served ซ.ทองหล่อ 13 in a wooden tub, turning a takeaway staple into finger food. Tucking in as we listened FACE BANGKOK  [ Map 3 / S 7] to the blues band play on the tiny stage, and 29 Sukhumvit Soi 38 | BTS Thong Lo observed the hi-so crowd sipping politely on 02-713-6048 | www.facebars.com their aquatic-inspired cocktails, it was obvi11:30 am – 1 am ous that this bar is an unusual, albeit successJim Thompson, move over. Face’s visually ful blend of ingredients. stunning complex is reminiscent of Jim’s former mansion, with Ayutthaya-style buildings แฟท กัซ สุขุมวิท ซ.55 and thriving flora, it’s just bigger and bolder. The Face Bar is a dimly-lit place that sum- HYDE & SEEK  [Map 4 / L5] mons deluxe drinkers with its cosy settees, 65/1 Athenée Residence, Soi Ruamrudee ambient soundscape, and giant cocktails. BTS Phloen Chit | 02-168-5152 Though often empty, the big drink list will www.hydeandseek.com | 11 am – 1 am stop your body clock pretty fast. The three This stylish downtown gastro bar is a deadrestaurants – Hazara serving Northern ringer for those chic London haunts that Indian, Misaki serving Japanese, and Lan Na draw the after-work crowd for pick-meThai serving traditional Thai – are full of fab up cocktails and good food that doesn’t all-Asian decor; they’re romantic and invit- break the bank. Heading the kitchen is Ian ing, but you might be let down by the tiny Kittichai, the brains behind the successportions, and the flamboyant prices. Stay ful Kittichai restaurant in New York, while in the Bar and order from the snack menu the bar is helmed by the boys behind Flow, instead. And have another Japanese Slipper. the cocktail consultancy that inspires much drunken fun around the region. The sleek, เฟซแบงคอก สุขุมวิท ซ.38 Georgian-influenced décor has panelled walls, clubby chairs and a large central bar, FAT GUT’Z  [map 3 / Q 2] where snacks like beer battered popcorn 264 Soi 12, Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thong Lor) shrimps and baby back ribs glazed with 027-149-832 | www.fatgutz.com chocolate and chilli go well with fancy, 6 pm – 2 am custom-made cocktails or Belgian ales. A place to see and be seen, this sleek saloon Outside, there’s a spacious terrace with is packed nightly with a crowd of beautiful swing seats and a mini-maze of tea plants to people, there to listen to live blues, indulge partition dining areas. In sum, Hyde & Seek in carefully crafted drinks, and, perhaps, is a rare entry into the huge market for high catch a glimpse of its in-demand owner, Ashley Sutton, the Australian behind the quality drinks and food at middle prices. It’s already legendary Iron Fairies. Unlike his first busy with the rich and powerful looking bar, Fat Gut’z displays a less obvious sense most nights, so best book ahead.

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 techni- of whimsy – here, the random fittings and bangkok101.com

face bangkok

แอนธินีเรซซิเดนซ์ ซ.ร่วมฤดี

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Nightlife

Marshmellow

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, 86 | august 2012

oskar bistro

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-to-kill. 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 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 store-café, 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 bangkok101.com


N i g h t l i f e | l i v e mus i c

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 serve-yourself 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 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 shadesdown and racuous Sunday DJ barbeques.

อาคารริเวอร์ซิตี้ เจริญกรุง ซ.30 bangkok101.com

WTF

WTF  [Map 3 / Q 6] 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 | BTS Thong Lo 02- 626-6246 | www.wtfbangkok.com Tue – Sun 6 pm – 1 am / gallery from 3 pm 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, old Thai movie posters on the other, and found items like wooden screen doors and chairs. It works. The Thaifarang 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 artscensters to chew the fat with.

ดับเบิลยู ทีเอฟ สุขุมวิท ซ. 51

VIVA AVIV

BRICK BAR  [Map 7 / G 6] 265 Khaosan Rd | 02-629-4477 www.brickbarkhaosan.com Mon – Sun 7 pm – 1am | Mon – Thu free /  Fri – Sat B150 incl. one drink 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 freshfaced 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 LIVE MUSIC serves a mixed diet of sonic eclecticism in a grungy, open-sided corner bar with outPerformances by top international door seating and a small dance floor. On bands might be thin on the ground here, one night you might the place jumping, but there are a clutch of venues where as the Paradise Bangkok DJs host a rare decent live music can be heard. Much, live performance by mor lam legend Dao if not all of it, is world-class. Bandon. On another a house band dishing out some surf guitar, ska, electronica TH ADHERE the 13   [Map 7 / G 3] or blues. The edgiest joint on the block, it 13 Samsen Rd (opposite Soi 2) draws a lively, musically discerning crowd, 089- 769-4613 | 5 pm – midnight from skinny jeaned art-school hipster types Funky, jammy, bare  –  one of Bangkok’s to teddy boy expats. An insider’s must. coolest hangouts is nothing more than an คอสมิค คาเฟ่ อาร์ซีเอ aisle packed with five tables, a tiny bar and instruments. It’s a joint you’d expect to find THE ROCK PUB  [Map 4 / C 2] on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, except for 93/26-28 Radchatewee, Phaya Thai Rd, the Chang beer. North of Khao San Road (opposite Asia Hotel) | BTS Ratchathewi (ask for ‘Ad Here’, once in the quarter), this www.therockpubbangkok.com down-to-earth, bohemian hang-out packs 9:30 pm – 2 am ’em in nightly. On weekends, young Thais, If Def Leppard, Aerosmith or Wayne and expats and tourists spill out on the sidewalk Garth were in town you’d find them reliving when the joint is jumpin’. The resident band the glory years here, at Bangkok’s very own churns out cool blues, Motown and Janis Castle of Rock. A tacky faux-turret exterior, Joplin; Georgia, the city’s only true Blues visible from the Ratchatewi BTS Station, Mama, has a voice and figure to match, and makes you wonder what kind of weird, would never sing Hotel California. 1980s theme-park ride you’ve stumbled on,

แอดเฮีย 13 ถ.สามเสน บางลำ�ภู

while inside local metal bands with Brian august 2012 | 87


Nightlife

BRICK BAR

saxophone pub

SAXOPHONE PUB  [Map 8 / K 10] 3 / 8 Phaya Thai Rd BTS Victory Monument | 02-246-5472 www.saxophonepub.com | 6 pm – 2 am 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. เดอะ ร็อคผับ Attracting youngish Thais and the odd foreigner, the spacious joint can pack up to 400 RAINTREE PUB  [Map 8 / K 10] people on its homey, low-ceilinged, wood116 / 63 - 34 Soi Ruamjit, Rang Nam Rd filled floors. Each night, two talented Thai BTS Victory Monument bands belt out sincere jazz, jazzy funk and 02-245-7230, 081-926-1604 R&B while the crowd feasts on hearty Thai www.raintreepub.com | 5 pm – 1 am and Western fare. All the local live music This rustic Thai ‘country’ bar is a sort of scene greats have played here and many still all-wooden, pre-consumerist age timepop by when they can. capsule. Raintree hosts musicians playing Pleng Peua Chiwit (Songs for Life), the once แซ๊กโซโฟนผับ ถ.พญาไท phenomenally popular 1970’s folk protest music and soundtrack for Thailand’s politi- Sonic  [MAP 3 / T 2] cally disaffected. On a stage decorated with 90 Ekamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) the movement’s trademark buffalo skulls, BTS Ekamai | 02-382-3396 two artists strum nightly: a long-haired facebook: sonic.ekamai | 6 pm – 2 am singer croons plaintive songs at 8:30 pm, Hip, mural-splattered Sonic is dedicated to a grizzled band steps up at around 11 pm. bringing you assorted musical jollies. Not Owner Porn Pimon opened Raintree 19 the same old Thai bands or David Guetta years ago and has changed little since. And wannabes, but nights that sit at the more why should she? The people are friendly, alternative end of the spectrum, with a the beer snacks cheap and tasty, and the tilt toward the indie side. There’s a big music, made famous by household names semi-outdoor seating area with DJ booth, an indoor bar and deeper in is the main like Caravan and Caribou, soul-stirring. room. On quieter nights stools and tables เรนทรีผับ ซ.ร่วมจิต ถ.รางน้ำ� fill this high-ceilinged, warehouse-like space with a bar in one corner and funky brass PARKING TOYS  [MAP 2 / G5] lamps dangling overhead, but for gigs and 17/22 Soi Maiyalap, Kaset-Navamin other crowd-pullers they strip it bare. Since Highway, Bang Khen opening, Sonic has blasted its way into the (pier 135-136 on left hand side) affections of the city’s hard-to-please nightLat Phrao district | BTS Mo Chit life clans with a string of unusual live gigs, (then taxi) | 02-907-2228 | 6 pm – 1am including mor lam legends Wong Dontri Inside this ex-garage out in the northern Molam Theppabut and US indie shoegazers suburbs it’s pure sensory overload. Wall- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. See their to-wall retro furniture becomes instant Facebook page for the next. eye-candy, while chairs without upholstery โซนิค ซ.เอกมัย (ระหว่าง ซ.10 และบิ๊กซี) dangle from the ceiling. Here, there is a band for every alternative music lover; in TAWANDAENG GERMAN just one weekend night you can catch reg- BREWERY  [MAP 2 /E11] gae, electronic, rockabilly, and metal. It’s a 462 / 61 Rama III Rd | Yan Nawa district hike and not easy to find, but worth it. 02- 678-1114 | www.tawandang.co.th May hairdos thrash out note-perfect renditions of everything from 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.

ปาร์คกิ้งทอย ซ.มัยลาภ เกษตรนวมินทร์ 88 | august 2012

The one place that every taxi driver seems

Sonic

to know, this vast, barrel-shaped beer hall packs in the revelers nightly. They come for the towers of micro-brewed 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.

โรงเบียร์เยอรมันตะวันแดง พระราม 3

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-year-old 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 never theless 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 bar tenders and served by a superb staff. Ideal for a boozy night on your honeymoon. A definite big Bangkok must.

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N i g h t l i f e | j a z z c l ubs

Brown Sugar  [Map 7 / J 5] 469 Phrasumen Road | 089-499-1378 www.brownsugarbangkok.com | 6 pm – 1 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 200-seat 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.

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 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 high-ceilinged foyer offers perfect acoustics for the fabulous jazz band. Be prepared to be well-entertained. Worldclass talents are booked in continuously, guaranteeing top-notch jazz and always a warm audience rapport. Throughout Feb, The Living Room plays host to Alice บราวน์ ชูการ์ ถ.พระสุเมร Day alongside the Shawn Kelley Trio, performing every Tuesday through Thursday DIPLOMAT BAR  [Map 4 / K7] nights from 9 to 11:45 pm, plus Friday and Conrad Bangkok Saturday nights from 9:30 pm to 12:15 am. 87 Witthayu Rd | BTS Ploen Chit 02-690-9999 | www.conradbangkok.com You can also catch them during the Sun – Thu 6 pm – 1 am; Fri & Sat 6 pm – 2 am Sheraton Grande’s legendary Sunday Jazzy An architecturally striking hotel bar, mixing Brunch. a funky, stylish décor with soft teak sofas รร.เชอราตันแกรนด์ สุขุมวิท and an arresting chandelier hanging over the massive round bar. Bronze silks and wood Niu ’s on Silom  [Map 5 / E5] dominate this dark, contemporary, but 2nd F, 661 Silom Rd | 02-266-5333 always relaxed place. A boozy, high-profile www.niusonsilom.com | 5 pm – 1 am crowd fills the Diplomat Bar nightly, espe- This New York-style lounge – with its hot cially during the elongated, buyone-get-one- jazz, old leather armchairs and roses on free Happy Hour from 4 – 7 pm (standard candlelit tables – has a house band with drinks only). It’s very hip among the diplo- some of Bangkok’s better local talent. matic corps (Witthayu is stuffed with embas- They provide the backbone for various sies), trendy guys in suits and glitzy society international acts who perform regularly. ladies – ideal for people-ogling. But the main There’s also a jazz jam every Sunday and attraction here is more aural than visual and occasional concer ts featuring established exceptional jazz acts are de rigueur. overseas visitors. Niu’s is a class act, but

รร.คอนราด ถ.วิทยุ

bangkok101.com

dy; 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

still casual, comfor table for beers or bran-

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Nightlife

THE AUSTRALIAN PUB & BBQ pub review

If you’ve never made it Down Under, The Australian is Bangkok’s next best thing: an expansive pub on Sukhumvit Soi 11 offering toilets for “blokes” and “sheilas”, Socceroo cheerleader waitresses in short skirts, and pine weatherboard walls hung with Aussie icon portraits. Plus, it serves all things antipodean – everything from imported Aussie grog to live cricket, copies of The Age to tasty tucker like VB-battered fish & chips. Sip a schooner in the quiet upstairs mezzanine. Or enjoy the buzzing open-plan downstairs from a LCD TV-flanked pine booth, table or up at the 15m-long bar. Apparently the longest in Thailand, it extends out onto the large streetside patio: a great spot for people and sport watching, on the big screens. Beers are a tad pricey (B160 a bottle won’t win over Soi 11’s cheap charlies) and, yes, the décor verges on kitsch Aussie theme-park. Still, all things considered, The Australian makes a sunny change from the dour Irish and Pommie pubs that prevail here, and a nifty spot for pre-club tipples. Also, the Filipino 7-piece, 7-Senses, who provide the acoustic accompaniment are spot-on (full band WedSun, acoustic Sun-Mon) and know everything from their Clapton to their Rihanna.

ออสเตรเลี่ยนผับ สุขุมวิท ซ.11

  getting there

THE AUSTRALIAN PUB & BBQ  [MAP3 / D6] 37 Sukhumvit Soi 11, Klongtoey Nua | 02-651-0800 9:30am-1:30am | BTS Nana | www.theaustralianbangkok.com 90 | august 2012

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N i g h t l i f e | P ub C raw l

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Collection 2.0 by Skin on Skin 92 | august 2012

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SHOPPING | XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Collection

2.0 by Skin on Skin

So much of what passes for Thai women’s fashion these days seems to have been made for cute dolly birds with match-stick physiques and a penchant for all things frilly and floral. But Skin on Skin’s third collection is different. Very different. “This collection can comfortably be described as boyish, confident and edgy,” says its founder, UK-trained designer Bow Monrissa Leenutaphong. In other words, this is one for the girls who walk down the street with a bit of hip-hop-star like swagger; the girls who would rather bust out some moves in front of Street Dance than demurely sit on the sofa watching My Fair Lady. Pieces with attitude include furry animal print hoodies (B1,300), light and stretchy loose tops (B1,100) and army camo shorts (B1,500). And for those who still like to rock a nice dress, there’s the ‘Loso’ available in shades of mustard yellow or pinkish beige (B2,180). Long, loose and super stretchy this can be seen as a stylish and very wearable stab at Thailand’s obsession with the ‘Hiso’, or high-society, scene. If further proof were needed that Bow doesn’t give a hoot about traipsing along the well-rutted routes to fashion success, just take at look at her store. In a move that would probably have her fellow fashion entrepreneurs questioning her sanity, Skin on Skin’s store is located, not in fashion hotspots like Siam Square or Siam Discovery, but in the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, a state-run facility attempting to straddle the divide between art and commerce. “To preserve fashion in its purest form it must be kept away from excessive commercialisation so that the work can speak for itself,’ declares Bow, who defines herself as being quirky, whimsical and a sufferer of obsessive compulsive disorder as far as attention to detail is concerned. “I love art and that’s why I’m here, it’s that simple.” bangkok101.com

 available at:

3rd Floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, 925/9 Rama 1 Road | 08-7799-0781 www.skinonskin.net | Tues-Sun 10am-9pm august 2012 | 93


SCHI TOYP P U I NLG SE

Unique Boutique

URFACE review by Thitipol Panyalimpanun

Ever passed a stranger in the street and noticed you’re both carrying exactly the same bag? Not a nice feeling is it? Shop at Urface and such cringe-inducing moments will be eradicated forever – this Siam Square stall flogs “insanely exclusive” bags featuring all-limited edition designs. Urface is not just run by rich kids trying to get richer; it’s the work of a trio of young and artsy go-getters who are trying to revive authenticity in a mass-produced world. Since starting in 2011, founders Joker, Mamafaka (yes, you read right) and Chubbychai – dabblers in street brand management, graphic design and fashion photography respectively– have produced and sold over 400 designs. Only a few are made from each print, each one coming with its own limited edition number and artist’s signature – plus the guarantee that it will “never” be reproduced, insists Joker. In other words, each bag is a one-off, whether its been designed by the Urface crew themselves or as part of their artists’ series, a bi-monthly collaboration with a local artist, such as Note from indie party night Dudesweet, or 18-artist strong graphic design and graffiti collective P7. All this keeps their badass and celebrity-approved bags fresh and fun – and those awkward, keep-your-head-down moments in the street to a minimum. Variations on Urface’s brash, mobile and very practical pop-art include messenger bags, wallets and reversible tote bags, all of them made from canvas; prices range from B980 to B3,850. As for their store, it used to be on Siam Square Soi 10, but they just recently moved to a sterile white tiled, New York bakery-style kiosk located upstairs at the Siam Vintage fashion market.

เออร์เฟส สยามสแควร์ ซ.9-10

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  getting there

URFACE  [MAP3 / D5] A13 Siam Vintage, Siam Square Soi 9-10 | BTS Siam 081-458-6778 |www.urfacestore.com, www.facebook.com/urfacestore | 12am-7:30pm bangkok101.com


S H O P P I N G | l o c a l th r e a d s

FULL of world class functions for living

FEEL the meaning of vivid lifestyle

FUN A new landmark of departure for vivid urban living and lifestyle

Splendid and exhilarating. Stunning architecture and interior dĂŠcor that surpasses the rest, on the best and most convenient location, with access to BTS and MRT, the most convenient modes of transport are situated just in front.

Grande Centre Point Hotel & Residence Sukhumvit-Terminal 21

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2, 88 Sukhumvit Soi 19 (Wattana), Sukhumvit Rd., North Khlong Toei, Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Telephone: +66 2 681 9000, Fax: +66 2 681 9100-1 Website: www.grandecentrepointterminal21.com

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SCHI TOYP P U I NLG SE

Market Focus

Saphan Phut While the Memorial Bridge (aka Saphan Phut) Night Market isn’t much more than throngs of tented stores and makeshift tables selling cheap goods, the regal backdrop is incomparable. Built in 1932 during the reign of King Rama VII (and dedicated to his predecessor King Rama I), the brightly-lit Memorial Bridge soars majestically over the Chao Phraya River, as a motley crew of barges, hotel boats, longtails, and cruise ships pass underneath. In the evening, the scene becomes more ethereal, as the bridge is bathed in a halo of light, while Wat Po and the Temple of Dawn glow in the near distance. Take your time before heading to this night market, as it’s not until after dinner (usually eaten around 6pm) that the market gets busy. If you’re up for a culinary adventure, take a taxi down to Chinatown first before making your way over to the Memorial Bridge Night Market. The famed Yaowarat Road boasts an array of excellent Chinese-style street food and restaurants. Starting underneath the Memorial Bridge and then stretching further north along the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, by 7:30pm the streets are filled with shirtless men setting up make-shift shops from which to display their merchandise, though it’s not until 8:30pm that the market fills up with pedestrians and vehicles. As if navigating the mazes of stalls and traffic isn’t dizzying enough, the bizarre variety of things for sale –from counterfeit kicks to CDs to pet rabbits – is bewildering, with street artists even on hand to draw your caricature. If it all gets too much, take time out from shopping and go for a stroll over the bridge itself, sit down for a late-night snack; or head over to the next door Pak Khlong Talat– the famous Flower Market. While you may have already visited this historic part of town during the heat of the day, it’s now time to see it in a completely new light. Krittana Khurana ตลาดนัดสะพานพุทธ

  getting there

Saphan Phut [MAP7 / G15] MRT to Hua Lumphong then taxi to Memorial Bridge / Tha Saphan Phut or BTS to Saphan Taksin / Silom Pier and take Chao Phraya Express Boat to Saphan Phut / Memorial Bridge stop (N6). 96 | august 2012

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S H O P P I N G | J at u ja k

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 or affectionately abbreviated to just ‘JJ’) quickly outgrew the confines of the insect world to become 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.

jj gem: Kham Luang by Pattarasuda Prajittanond

Located in section 25, opposite the Bangkok Bank, this ramshackle two storey shop is a poster child for recycling. For the last 17 years, Khun Aree and her brother have transformed all manner of waste into an incredible array of environmentallyconscious home décor items. These include flowers made from recycled paper, tribal-looking masks that were once toilet rolls, and used seeds converted into musical wind chimes. Remarkably, every single item on sale was handmade by the pair. Prices vary, with nothing costing over B500.

Section 25 Soi 3/1 Room 182-183 | 02-735-1325 aree03@hotmail.com

ตลาดนัดจตุจักร

  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.

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WELLNESS

DAHRA BEAUTY & SPA

LAVANA

long Swedish and sports-massage strokes with very detailed work on problem areas – they take computer-knotted shoulders and other ailments as a matter of personal concern, and banish those tweaks and twinges DAHRA BEAUTY & SPA  [map 5 / g 5] with wonderfully intense kneading and mus154 / 8-9 Silom Rd | BTS Chong cle release work. The deep-tissue work can Nonsi | 02-235-4811-2 | www. border on painful, but therapists are careful dahra-spa.com |10am-11pm | $$ It’s a tribute to the glowing health of the to adjust to your responses. local industry, or perhaps Bangkok’s status ลาวาน่าสปา สุขุมวิท ซ.12 as a regional spa hub, when a small outfit such as this one can offer a whopping PIMMALAI [map 2 / H11] 17-page treatment menu. That’s a whole 2105/1 Sukhumvit Rd (between Soi 81 & 17-pages of slack-eyed indulgence, includ- 83 |BTS On Nut | 02-742-6452 | www. ing the intriguing likes of the ‘Desincrusting pimmalai.com | 10:30am–10 pm | $ Aromatherapy Facial’, and ‘Chocolate This traditional Northern Thai house is Hydrotherapy’, which sounds somewhat almost a stereotype in its authenticity. self-defeating. I opted for a Shiatsu, which Tropical foliage harbours a tall teak and was mercifully nicer than it sounded. red-brick Lanna structure, inviting in its Seriously, though, the menu at this cute combo of simplicity and intricate trimming two-storey spa, which is tucked next to (translate that into high ceilings, pottery and the Triple Two Hotel, is extensive enough bamboo). Refreshingly simple, airy rooms to rival the choice offered by more upmar- proffer a calming background for convincket establishments – and the damage is a ing treatments. The short menu contains mere snip by comparison. Plus, for each spa the absolute classics (plus ear candling, package sold Dahra’s eco-conscious Dutch which we love; other favourites are the Eye owner plants a tree via PATT Foundation Treatment and the Scalp Massage). You’ll (www.plant-a-tree-today.org) be hard-pressed to find lower prices even in the dingiest establishments around Nana ดาห์หร่า บิวตี้ & สปา ถ.สีลม – Pimmalai’s owners must be goodhearted souls not out for any profit. Plan to spend LAVANA  [map 3 / F 7] a whole day here, enjoying several treat4 Sukhumvit Soi 12 | BTS Asok / ments. In between, browse the spa shop, MRT Sukhumvit | 02-229-4510buy sarongs and the whole range of intrigu2 | 9 am – 11:30 pm | $$$ Lavana does its treatments right. Spa ing PIMM bath & body products. Fret not options are refreshingly clear-cut, and pri- about the location – Pimmalai is minutes marily focused on massage. Scrubs and away from a BTS Station. An absolute must facials are also available, along with the unu- – one of our all-time favourites, in fact.

PIMMALAI

Massage & Spa

sual and intriguing Shirodhara oil treatment, in which warm oil is drizzled along the“third eye” in the forehead and massaged into the head and neck. Those seeking a tidier signature option should choose the herbal ball oil massage – Lavana’s dedicated therapists manage to pack a restful eternity into a well-priced 90 minutes. Masseuses combine 98 | august 2012

พิมมาลัย ระหว่าง ถ.สุขุมวิท ซ.81 และ 83

RUEN NUAD [map5 /i6] 42 Convent Rd | BTS Saladaeng |02-632 2663 | 10am-9pm | $ Set off Convent Road, a century-old house shelters a boutique spa that gives you oodles of atmosphere and world-class mas-

RUEN NUAD

sages for prices you’d pay in the dingiest Silom parlours. There’s no menu to speak of. Just choose between the length of a traditional Thai, aromatherapy of foot reflexology massage – that’s it. Once upstairs, you’ll pause to settle into peaceful surroundings. A labyrinth of semi-private rooms have been installed into the highceilinged second floor (inspired interior ideas from the serene décor). Two VIP rooms are breathtaking. The Glass Room has a private outdoor shower amid a tiny tropical garden; the Room with the Downstairs Shower is self-explanatory. The therapists here enjoy a good reputation for their knowledge and friendliness – a standard massage can turn into a medical Q&A. The studio next door offers excellent facials. Few come here just once. This is one place you’ll still be thinking about on your way to the airport.

เรือนนวด ซ.คอนแวนต์

  Spa costs

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


WE LLN E S S | s pa

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C omm u nity

making merit: THE CAMILLIAN HOME

O

ne of Thailand’s dirty little secrets is that the disadvantaged often get left behind, especially vulnerable children with special needs. The Camillian Home, a non-profit children’s charity located in Latkrabang, on the outskirts of Bangkok, aims to help as many as it can while also serving as a model for how Thai society should care for them. Established by Father Giovanni Contarin, an Italian Priest who has done extensive work for the poor here over the past 25 years, the Camillian Home helps orphaned and abandoned children who are living with disabilities or HIV/AIDS. It is run and directed by members of a Catholic community called the “Camillians”, but not out to show children the light: all of them are brought up and taught values based on their own beliefs and cultural backgrounds. Everyone is free to express and follow their faith, whatever it may be.

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comm u n i t y | T H E C A M I L L I A N H O M E

More importantly, this unique facility gives each child specialised treatment and care in a stimulating family environment, regardless of the severity of their condition. Or, to put it another way: this is a place where even an eleven year-old girl who is blind, autistic, wheelchairbound, HIV-positive and orphaned is now living a life in which she smiles and laughs every day. The Camillian Home is run by a full-time staff of caretakers, physical therapists and a resident nurse, but they’re always in need of extra hands and, therefore, interested to hear from prospective volunteers (at a recent speaker event held last month, Pechakucha Bangkok, we were humbled to learn from one young speaker that those who offer to give up their free time can be as young as eleven). Step up and you’re likely to be called on to help bath, feed, teach and play with the children, as well as occasionally help with administrative tasks, like writing newsletter articles or report keeping. If you’re professionally trained you can also use your skills. As it receives very little government support, the Camillian Home also relies on donations from individuals and corporations. In fact, they’re essential to its survival, as every baht given helps to pay for the basics (housing, food, school fees, etc), life-saving medicines and specialist care, and the small yet vital things which all children should have: days out at the beach, toys, etc. To get involved or just to find out more, log onto www.camillianhomelatkrabang.org, call 02-360-7852 or drop them a line at camillianhome@gmail.com.

bangkok101.com

  getting there

THE CAMILLIAN HOME [MAP2 / N10]  81/2 Luangphang Road, Khumthon Latkrabang 02-360-7852 camillianhome@gmail.com www.camillianhomelatkrabang.org

august 2012 | 101


getting there

victory monument Photographer : Walid Penpan 102 | august 2012

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RAIL

SKYTRAIN (BTS)  The Bangkok Transit System, or BTS, is a twoline 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). 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 CANAL BOAT  Khlong Saen Saep tuk-tuks, fares should be negotiated canal boats operate from Phan Fa beforehand. Leelard bridge, on the edge of the Old has thousands City, and zip east to Ramkhamhaeng TAXI  Bangkok University. However, you have to be of metered, air-con taxis availquick to board them as they don’t able 24 hours. Flag fall is B 35 (for usually wait around. Canal (khlong) the first 2  k ms) and the fare climbs boats tend to be frequent and cost in B 2 increments. Be sure the driver around B 9 to B19. Tickets are bought switches the meter on. No tipping, onboard. Note that the piers are a lit- but rounding the fare up to the neartle hidden away, which makes them est B 5 or B 10 is common. Additional passengers are not charged, nor is sometimes difficult to find. baggage. For trips to and from the EXPRESS RIVER BOAT  Bangkok’s airport, passengers should pay the vast network of inter-city waterways expressway toll fees. When boarding offer a quick and colourful alterfrom the queue outside the terminative for getting around the city. nal, an additional B 50 surcharge is Express boats ply the Chao Phraya added. River from the Saphan Taksin Bridge up to Nonthaburi, stopping at some TUK-TUK  Those three-wheeled taxis 30 main piers altogether. Fares range (or samlor) are best known as tukfrom B 9 to B 32 depending on the tuks, named for the steady whirr distance, while tickets can either of their engines. A 10-minute ride be bought on the boat or at the pier, should cost around B 40, but always depending on how much time you bargain before boarding. Beware: if have. Boats depart every 20 minutes a tuk-tuk driver offers to deliver you or so between 5:30 am and 6 pm. anywhere for B 10, it’s part of a setup Cross-river services operate through- that will lead you to an overpriced out the day from each pier for just B 3. souvenir or jewellery shop.

RIVER

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REFERENCE

Map 1  Greater Bangkok A

B

Greater Bangkok & the Chao Phraya  Map 2 >

C

D

E

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G

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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

  104 | august 2012

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refere n ce | B a n gk o k cit y M ap 1  /  2

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august 2012 | 105


REFERENCE

Map 3  Sukhumvit Road

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106 | august 2012

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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 2

bangkok101.com


refere n ce | B a n gk o k cit y M ap 3

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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

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PH  Philippines

Qatar Ukraine NO  Norway

 QA   UA 

august 2012 | 107

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

14

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Henri Dunant

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d

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8

Soi 4

Soi 3

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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

108 | august 2012

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

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Siam Square Pratunam Market

bangkok101.com


refere n ce | B a n gk o k cit y M ap 4  /  5

Silom / Sathorn  Map 5 E

kho 2

t are akh

Chulalongkorn University

Royal Bangkok Sports Club

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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   All Seasons Sathorn c   Bamboo Bar 10   Sofitel f  Niu's on Silom 11   Le Meridien g   Barley Bistro & Bar 12   Crowne Plaza j   Eat Me k  Tapas Bangkok Lumpini 13   Banyan Tree 14   Dusit Thani Pubs 15   The Sukothai 16   Sofitel SO e  Jameson's h   The Pintsman  l   Molly Malone's m   The Barbican n  O'Reilly's

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N

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200 m

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

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N

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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 august 2012 | 109


REFERENCE

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

B

C

1

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Memorial Bridge

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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

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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 Chinatown Gate at the Odient Circle

110 | august 2012

w Ta

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bangkok101.com

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N

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refere n ce | B a n gk o k cit y M ap 6  /  7

Map 7  Rattanakosin (Oldtown) A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

Ra

ma

14

N

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J

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bangkok101.com

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16

5

Rajchawongse

august 2012 | 111


Jolanda Van Zeeland m y b a n g ko k

Sultry and soulful, Dutch-Thai Eurasian Jolanda Van Zeeland is an architect by day, a regional songstress by night. When not project managing some new, mega-bucks project at Bangkok’s Orbit Design Studio, this multi-talented 29-year-old (aka Miss Jolanda) spends her time gigging at parties or at one-off high-profile events around town. That or honing her songwriting skills in the studio with local producers such as Paul Romaine of Pacifico Music, Moodwax and Florian de Lux. Follow her ascent via her Facebook page (Facebook: MissJolanda) while pressing repeat on her debut music video single, See Ya, over at http://missjolanda.com.

Best place to take visitors Bang Krachao island… Think rustic walkways, authentic floating markets and ancient temple ruins.

THE SHORTLIST: Bang Krachao island [MAP1 / E5] Bang Krachao, Phra Pradaeng, Samut Prakan 6am – 8pm | Free Siam Square [MAP4 / C,D5] Siam Square | BTS Siam | 10am – 10pm Rasayana Raw Food Café [MAP3 / M3] 57 Sukhumvit Soi 39 (Soi Prom-mitr) BTS Phrom Phong | 02-662-4803 www.rasayanaretreat.com |10am - 8pm Hyde & Seek [MAP4 / L5] 65/1 Athenée Residence, Soi Ruamrudee BTS Phloen Chit | 02-168-5152 www.hydeandseek.com | 11am – 1am Long Table [MAP3 / H8] 25th F, 48 Column Bldg | Sukhumvit Soi 16 BTS Asok/MRT Sukhumvit | 02-302-2557-9 www.longtablebangkok.com Mon – Sun 5pm – 2am Sofitel So Bangkok [MAP5 / M7] 2 North Sathorn Rd | MRT Lumphini 02-624-4000 | www.sofitel.com WTF [MAP3 / Q6] 7 Sukhumvit Soi 51 | BTS Thong Lor 02-626-6246 | www.wtfbangkok.com Tue – Sun 6pm – 1am, gallery from 3pm Bed Supperclub [MAP3 / C4] 26 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | BTS Nana | 02-651-3537 www.bedsupperclub.com | 7:30pm – 1am Pak Klong Talad [MAP7/E14] Chakphet Rd | Phra Nakorn 112 | august 2012

Best place to shop I still prefer Siam Square and neighbourhood shops to any glossy shopping mall. The malls can be so overly generic with minimal soul (no matter how many concepts they cram into their floors). Bring back the one off boutiques! The best steal I found was in a tiny second hand store next to the Lido Cinema in Siam Square – it’s the closest I've come to finding something resembling a genuine retro store from London Best place to eat Raw food restaurant Rasayana is imaginative and unexpected and healthy. Best place for a drink I guess I’m supposed to insert some new cool kids place here, but really, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to boozing, so I'm going to play it safe and dream of the rose water cocktail the boys at Hyde & Seek often shake up for me... Bliss. Best place to relax My poolside and with my headphones firmly plugged in. Out with the noise, in with the poise! Also, the Asia Herb Association for traditional Thai massage. Unlike many joints there you get a private room that’s dimly lit and always smells of aromatic lemongrass. Best place to impress a date Hmmm, I’m not sure if I’ve managed to impress a date yet with my venue selection! But nice venues to go for a drink and to be able to just not feel like too many eyes are upon you would be Al Majilis. Or, perhaps a breathtaking sky bar such as Longtable or the Sofitel So Hotel near Lumpini Park – on a good day the view reminds me of New York. Best place for a real Bangkok experience Pak Klong Talad, the night flower market in the Old Town. Best place for live music Kolour Sundays events and Big Mountain Festival and WTF. Also, the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra puts on some of the best shows – imagine an entire orchestra playing classics and pop songs such as Thriller! Best place for clubbing Thursday nights at Bed Supperclub, when promoters Champion Sound pull in the big name DJ talent. bangkok101.com


Bangkok 101 August 2012