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FIND OUT WHAT’S HOT IN BANGKOK

October 2012 08 INSIGHT News, letters, monthly planner, and more 28 SCHOOL REPORT A round up of news from Bangkok’s best international schools 35 EXPAT WOMEN A new society for Thailand’s Filipinas, an interview with artist Elizabeth Romhild, and more 49 GOURMET A round up of all the best restaurant deals and gourmet events in Bangkok 74 BRUNCH TIME Where to find Bangkok’s best weekend buffet deals 83 WHAT’S ON Exhibitions, peformance, sport, networking - we’ve got this month’s best events all wrapped up 94 THAILAND’S FAKE POLICE EMaxmilian Maxmilian Wechsler investigates police imposters 99 SOCIAL Last month’s best events in pictures 123 DIPLOMATS Pakistan’s ambassador talks about the long links between the two countries and the path ahead 129 TRAVEL Deals and news from Thailand’s hottest destinations

WRITE

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The BigChilli Company Ltd., 1/7 5th Fl. Room 504, Siboonrueng Bldg. 2, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, TheBigchilli Bangkok 10500

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Central to boost Silom?

LET’S hope the re-opening of Central Department Store on Silom Road brings some much-needed vigor to this area of the city. Once the city’s prime location, Silom has gone into a decline in recent years, due in part to the deterioration of Patpong as Bangkok’s foremost entertainment area but also because of the relocation of many banks’ head offices to Rama 3. Although it remains popular with mostly small company offices, Silom is not well-served for shoppers, with Central the only major department store since the closing of Robinson a year ago. It’s never boasted a cinema either, which is a most odd omission, especially these days with heavy congestion forcing many employees to linger in the area after work. On the bright side, Silom has excellent transport links, with BTS Skytrain and MRT underground stations at the Lumpini end of this formerly prominent road. There’s no question, it will never win its crown back from Sukhumvit/Ploenchit or Rama 3, both of which are considerably longer and offer many more attractions. But Silom is still a major thoroughfare, and, hopefully, the new Central will restore its health.

Asean workers to the rescue

THE hotel industry in Bangkok makes no secret of the fact that it is desperately short of suitable employees. Despite improvements in pay, allocation from service charges, shorter working hours and all-round better conditions, few locals are coming forward to fill the vacancies. However, there’s hope on the horizon – and it’s called the ASEAN Economic Community

(AEC), whose 10 members will become as one in 2015. In theory, this integration will result in free movement of labour across the region, though the specifics of deregulation are still being debated. Hoteliers are hoping that it will mean a steady supply of keen workers from Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines since Thai salaries will prove attractive enough to lure them away from their home bases. In reality, a trickle from these countries has already begun in Bangkok, especially maids, nannies and service industry restaurant workers. Hopefully, if that trickle becomes a flood, these non-Thais are welcomed here, and not resented by local workers who currently pick and choose their jobs almost at will.

Super-bright billboards are a menace ACROSS Bangkok, major junctions and busy flyovers are being brightly illuminated – not by helpful street lighting, but by huge and extremely powerful outdoor screens that feature non-stop advertising. Just when drivers should be totally focused on the road ahead, these giant high-tech billboards vie for their attention with these ads. Frankly, it’s difficult not to let eyes wander when such super bright images suddenly appear. Which is, of course, very dangerous. How on earth did anyone get permission to erect these attention-grabbing screens in so many strategic locations? Didn’t those responsible see the potential dangers? Their presence on our highways is ridiculous and utterly irresponsible. With so many other obstacles on the road, this latest challenge to our safety should be removed straightaway before lives are lost.

READ THE BIGCHILLI FOR FREE ONLINE www.issuu.com/thebigchilli www.thebigchilli.com

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TheBigChilli

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Publisher Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGING Editor Adam Purcell adambigchilli@gmail.com Editor Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com Sales & Marketing Manager Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com Account Executive Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com Accounting Manager Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com Art & Production Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakawat Photography Mini Bike Gang and WJ Contributing Writers Anette Pollner, Johanna DeKoning, Maxmilian Wechsler, Patra Byrne, Paul Hewitt

Our online handle is ‘thebigchillimagazine’. Simply type this into Facebook’s search box, find the image of our magazine, then just click add.

We are now on Twitter. Find out what’s happening around town, which events to attend, parties to be seen at, and read all the juicy gossip! Follow us at ‘TheBigChilliMag’ No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from The BigChilli Co., Ltd. The opinions and views of the writers are not necessarily the views of the publishers. All details are deemed correct at the time of print, the publisher, the editor, employees and contributors can not be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may occur. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or amend any submitted artwork, photographs, illustrations and manuscripts. The BigChilli welcomes unsolicited contributions but assumes no responsibility for the safe-keeping or return of such materials damaged or lost in transit.

The BigChilli Company Ltd., 1/7 5th Fl. Room 504, Siboonrueng Bldg. 2, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500 Tel: 02 233 1774-6, 02 266 7141 Fax: 02 235 0174 e-mail: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com AD Amomtre_Oct12.indd 1

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TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT INBOX

It’s your

letters

ER LETT HE OF T TH MON

MUSIC MATTERS

■ THANK you for publishing the story about

music laws (“Music Shocker.” Aug 2012). Now can I request the officers in charge come check out our neighbours? Our office is located right next to a small cafe which, for the past three years, has blasted the same music every single day. It’s loud, disruptive to work, and, worst of all, I now even know the entire playlist off by heart (I leave the office every day with the songs rattling around my brain!). While the café may have a license to play the music (which, after seeing the high prices for this in last month’s article, may suggest why they’ve only played the same CD for the last three years) I think that any establishment that plays loud music near offices during working hours should definitely be fined – simply for being noisy and annoying. Fed up office worker, Bangkok

NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT ■ REGARDING your article ‘Dying for Love’ (Sept 2012), I would say nearly every girl/ woman I know, including myself, goes through some form of eating disorder in their lifetime. It’s down to the pressure we get from society, the pressure to be ‘perfect’. Nowadays being skin-deep beautiful is not enough. You also have to be fashion forward, hang out with the right crowd, work for the best company, and be seen with the perfect guy. It’s sad to see how many of us, in the pursuit of this ‘perfection,’ do nothing but cause stress and harm to our bodies. The best thing to do if you suspect one of your friends has an eating disorder is to be there to offer support. You have to be very sensitive and subtle, but as I found with one of my friends, just being there can be enough to help them in the first stages towards getting better. Liza, Not Perfect

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HAVE YOUR SAY! Write to us at: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

BRING BACK THE MAD HATTER!

■ GREAT to see Jen Su again after all these years (Expat Women, July 2012)! We miss the big hat lady who was so chirpy and bubbly on the radio and TV. What this town lacks is a fun character just like her! Hope she will come back to Bangkok soon. Jen Fan, Bangkok

WHAT A WASTE OF TALENT ■ SAD to see artists like Pete Doherty wasting his life and talent being checked into rehab centers around the world (Aug 2012). In his case, I can see another wasted talent going in the same direction as Amy Winehouse. Why can’t they just focus on making music and money? There seems to be a certain ‘glamour’ attached to stars who enter rehab, like they’re heroes or something. They’re not, they’re a mess. And the sooner they’re told this, the better. Sammy C. Chiang Mai

SHARE YOUR VIEWS AND POST CLASSIFIEDS – FOR FREE! ■ THE new BigChilli Forum is now up and running, giving you the chance to share your views about expat living and post classifieds for free. So if you have a condo to rent, a car to sell, are looking for a job, or simply want to sound off about life in Bangkok, here’s the place to do it. www.thebigchilli.com.

TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT NEWS

Restaurateur’s campaign against unsustainable fishing methods The alternative is catastrophic, says Bill Marinelli ■ THE world’s oceans are being plundered at such an alarming rate because of unsustainable fishing practices, the seafood we’ve become accustomed to in restaurants, shops and supermarkets could disappear within a couple of decades. It’s a catastrophic scenario painted by Bill Marinelli, a marine biologist, shellfish farmer and veteran Bangkok restaurateur, who believes the only way to avoid such a natural disaster is for consumers to demand information on the source of their seafood and whether it has been fished in a sustainable manner. “If we want our grandchildren to enjoy seafood, we have to start making choices now about what we eat,” says New York-born Marinelli. “These days, we ask questions about the schools we send our kids to, the grapes used in the wine we drink, and whether the beef we order has been grain-fed. We should be doing the same with seafood.” Marinelli, who owns the Seafood Bar on Sukhumvit Soi 16, is particularly scathing about farmed seafood, which, he says, are depleting the oceans in a totally unsustainable way. “To grow one kilo of farmed salmon takes 3 kilos of fish from the sea,” he says. “Farmed tuna is worse as it takes

Kingdom sponsors this year’s Beaver golf

■ THE 3rd Beaver Invitational, a popular annual charity golf tournament organized by the Canadian community, has signed up Pattaya property developer Kingdom Property as its Title Sponsor for this year’s event, to be held November 9-10 at the Phoenix Golf Club.

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four kilos of fish. The fishing industry is sweeping the seas to feed the salmon and tuna in these farms. And it’s collapsing the chain – there’ll be nothing left.” He’s also critical of the way fish is marketed. “Take snow fish,” he says. “It’s on just about every menu in Bangkok, and yet it’s not snow fish at all. Mostly it’s Patagonian tooth fish, which wouldn’t be as popular because of its name. “Other types of fish are also sold as snow fish. There are even some that

Kingdom Property is currently developing the luxury Southpoint condominium project in Pattaya. The company’s CEO Nigel Cornick commented: “Pattaya is rapidly emerging as a vibrant and unique city that will be a leading hub in Thailand’s future. The association

are on the endangered list which are re-labelled as snow fish to get round the regulations.” As an importer himself, Marinelli rejects suggestions of double standards by saying all his products are sustainably fished in the Alaska region of the Northwest Pacific. His imported shellfish are similarly sustainably farmed. To air his views, Marinelli is holding a lecture “Could there be a world without FISH?” which will include a tasting of sustainable seafood at the Seafood Bar, 7pm, Wednesday, October 31, and again at 1pm, Sunday, November 4, at the Oyster Bar Bangkok, Narathiwas Soi 24. “We’ll be discussing what makes seafood sustainable, and answering such questions as why farmed salmon is depleting our oceans of fish, and which fish are on the ‘green’ and ‘black’ lists.” The dinner and wine are free of charge. Seating is limited, so reservation is required. The Seafood Bar, 41 Somerset Lake Point, Sukhumvit Soi 16. Tel: 02 663 8863. The Oyster Bar Bangkok, 395 Narathiwas, Soi 24, email: info@theoysterbarbangkok. com Tel: 02 212 4809 between this event and Kingdom starts with a shared vision of giving back to the community and involving people from all walks of life.” Mr Cornick met with John Casella, VP of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Michael White, a leading member of the Flying Farangs hockey team, to formally announce Kingdom’s support of the tournament. Several changes are planned to increase the speed of play at this year’s event, including the introduction of a morning and afternoon shotgun for participants. For updates and changes visit: www.beaverinvitational.com. To be a sponsor or book a playing slot, contact the ThaiCanadian Chamber of Commerce at: 02 266 6085-6 or randy@tccc-members.org

TheBigChilli

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TRUTH HURTS

Murder: Let’s not pretend it didn’t happen

BETWEEN THE LINES

‘Terminated’ travel writer who had his own agenda

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MAGINE this. An American decides to base himself in the Middle East in order to pursue a career as a travel writer. After a few years he approaches a national newspaper with a proposal to write a bi-monthly column on ‘spiritual issues.’ The editor agrees, despite having an abundance of local journalists with the same, if not better, writing skills and opinions that reflect the host nation. For the next few years, the American pens his column which gradually moves away from the original topic and increasingly takes on a tone that’s not only anti-Middle East, its politics and its major religion, but is also decidedly pro-the West. How long would the newspaper put up with him? The answer, obviously, is that it wouldn’t have hired him in the first place, let alone allow him to use their editorial space to voice his prejudiced opinions. With that in mind, no one should be surprised that here in Thailand, the Bangkok Post recently ‘terminated’ a bi-monthly column written by an Indian freelance travel writer who took advantage of the space given him to regularly trash western nations – and yet never found it within him to criticize any aspect of the countries and religions that he clearly championed. The only surprise actually is that the Post tolerated his bigoted views for so long.

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HE recent murder of a retired rail worker from the UK allegedly by his young Thai wife and two accomplices doesn’t make pleasant reading. Police say Stephen Phillips, 59, from Torquay in Devon was gunned down by hitmen as he rode his motorbike near his adopted home in the remote northeastern village of Baan Phai. It is also alleged that his 29-year-old wife, Wilaiwan, used money from Phillips’ bank account to pay for the killing. One of the gunmen is apparently Wilaiwan’s lover. She has denied involvement in the murder. The couple met via the Internet. We know all of the above, and more, because of reports in foreign newspapers and websites. Little of the tragedy has been mentioned in the local press. Unfortunately, this is not untypical. Bad news does indeed make uncomfortable reading and some local editors believe it should be swept under the carpet in order to ‘save face,’ at least on home territory. Eventually, or so goes the thinking, people will forget about such things. That, of course, doesn’t usually happen when foreign tourists are involved. Back in their home countries, bereaved families rarely forget and go to great lengths in order to exact some kind of justice. Often the media join the clamor and there’s considerable adverse publicity for the destinations where extreme misdeeds are committed. To be honest, the fate that befell poor Mr Phillips – lonely old man with more money than sense expecting married bliss with an impoverished young woman – is hardly uncommon. Hopefully, justice will prevail in this case, and the guilty receive suitable punishment from the courts. At the same time, let’s stop pretending bad things don’t happen here. They do. And the rest of the world knows it.

INDECENT EXPOSURE

Western movies are far more violent

IT’S a bit rich when foreigners write to the press to complain about violence on local TV stations. While there’s admittedly no shortage of guns and faces being slapped in your typical Thai soap, and children should not be exposed to such things, the equally accessible foreign movie channels often show far more violent stuff. American movies are the worst in the way that they glamorize gun-toting heroes who think nothing of spraying their foes with bullets and missiles. Of course, mindless violence has attained new levels in computer games that encourage users to wipe out enemies with the push of a button from the comfort of their living room. Violence, like smoking on screen, should be pixilated out.

WHATEVER happened to… 1. The ban on dark film for car windows? 2. The commission to investigate “unusually wealthy” politicians? 3. Investigation into the death of the two sisters who died on Koh Pi Pi?

TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT BUSINESS

Know my company: Sutlet Group

Outsourcing the payroll ■ IN the West, workers are used to receiving customised pay slips from our employers on pay day, detailing what they’ve been paid and, sadly, the deductions that the government has deducted. In Asia this does not happen so often, especially in the smaller companies. At best you might receive a spreadsheet on pay day.   Also, differences between the western and the Asian worlds with regard to confidentiality are vast. We would not dream of asking a colleague what salary he or she is being paid, whereas in Asia it is common place to ask this question. However, this openness can lead to all sorts of upset.   Why is Khun Somchai paid more than me, when I work longer and harder than he does? It’s a question that is heard all too often, says Hugh Allen from Sutlet Group, here in Thailand. He says it can cause problems and often the loss of employees through disgruntlement and jealousy.   Sutlet Group has been providing payroll services for several years and one of the areas they advise their clients is on the need for confidentiality. You are never going to stop your staff chatting about their salaries to other members of the company, despite whatever you have in your company handbook, says Hugh.   However, it is worth pointing out to all concerned and trying to let people understand the need to be circumspect with their salaries. This whole problem is more than a little unfortunate, but you can at least take the production of salaries out of your office and give it to a third party payroll professional.   Most payroll companies will calculate salaries and all associated tax deductions, provide a confidential pay slip, reports to the required management and ensure the money is paid into the employee’s bank accounts. It’s a service that can easily be outsourced and often provides a higher level of service

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than in-house staff can or do.   Pay slips are seen in the West as a normal expectation from an employer, but not so much in Asian companies. Staff are only too pleased to receive a pay slip that is, a) confidential and b) not produced as a spreadsheet. When staff are able to provide backup information in the way of a pay slip, for loan or credit card applications, rather than something that can be produced “by anyone” on a spreadsheet (that in the eyes of the bank officer, could be any old data), the chances of success are greater.   Hugh Allen reckons that the cost of payroll services are generally quite low in Thailand, especially for a service that gives so much professionalism to a company and is beneficial to staff. Benefits: • Confidentiality – keeps it out of the office and away from prying eyes. • Pay slips – allowing employees to approach banks for loans or credit cards. • Saves your HR Department time. • Reports can be provided to the accounting department for their figures. • The authorized person, signing off the salaries, has direct reports available to him or her and complete control. Once the client has got used to the system and the staff know that all they need is their ATM ready on pay day, outsourcing payroll is beneficial to all concerned. For further information on payroll services and costs, please contact Hugh Allen at hugh@sutletgroup.com

TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT BUSINESS ADVICE

Word of mouth: It can make or break your business Want your business to go Gangnam-style and receive national or international recognition? Pacharee PantoomanoPfirsch, Marketing Consultant at Brand Now, explains how it’s done ■ YOU may have heard of the old saying, a happy customer tells a couple friends about their experience and an unhappy one tells everybody. With the help of social media, we’re telling more and more people about the good, bad and the ugly. It is as simple as click and share. On a daily basis, we make many choices about things we buy and consume. In the past, we relied upon a third party to tell us if the food at a restaurant was

any good or if a newly released movie was worth seeing. Nowadays, many of our decisions are based on word of mouth. We check out what our friends “like” and what they share on their wall. When we want suggestions, we post it on discussion forums. Recommendations from our friends and peers are considered more credible. We’re inclined to see ourselves like our friends. What they like and approve, we tend to be more open to it. In Q1 of 2012, it is estimated that the average Facebook user has about 245 friends. If we assume each Facebook user shared an experience and 245 people saw it and shared it, the experience would have created 60,000 impressions. These impressions would have created a positive or negative bias towards your product or service. Word of mouth is like a pebble dropped in a pond. Once set into motion, the ripple can create a dramatic result. In 2009, Oliver Beale took a flight from Mumbai to London on Virgin Airlines. He found the food so appalling that he wrote Richard

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Branson, the CEO, a complaint letter. Beale’s letter was tongue in cheek, hilarious, and it contained pictures of the meal he described in the letter. It went viral in a more traditional way, via email. It was picked up by the media and reprinted. Branson contacted Beale to apologize and thanked him for raising the issue. On a different note, Psy, the Korean pop singer, has had an amazing two months with his hit Gangnam style. The music video was first uploaded in July and within two months it has been viewed by more than 260 million people. Throw in the live performances, parodies, mashups, and video responses – Gangnam has garnered over 350 million views. Unlike other K-pop bands, Psy, comes across as authentic and funny. Describing his video as dress classy and dance cheesy, Psy recently signed with School Boy Records, which represents Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen. Word of Mouth is not new. Technology has simply given us a new way to share. It has changed how often and how many people we share information with on a daily basis. With this in mind, consider giving your customer something positive to talk about. Pacharee Pantoomano-Pfirsch is a Marketing Consultant at Brand Now, a marketing and PR agency. If you’d like to send her some Virgin airlines tickets, she’s happy to take them with her to-go meal! She may be contacted at pacharee@brandnow.asia.

Not to miss! BNOW is hosting a Speed Networking evening on Tuesday Oct 16 from 7.30pm to 10.30pm at The Beirut Restaurant, Sukhumvit Soi 55. The plan is simple, we are bringing the professionals of Bangkok together to network with one another while having fun in the process. Meet 40 people in one evening, generating new contacts and potential new business leads. Email bnow@bnow.org for details.

TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT PROFILE • Gala Dinner at the InterContinental Hotel in October 2011, which was attended by representatives from a number of our “sister clubs” from overseas, and members of Rotary Clubs from throughout Thailand. • Two other clubs with ties to RCBS also celebrated anniversaries during the year. Rotary Club Jomtien – Pattaya celebrated their 25th Anniversary in February 2012, and our sister club in Thailand, Rotary Club of Pranarai Lopburi, celebrated theirs in April 2012. • As a result of unprecedented floods, our main fundraising event, Coins on Silom, had to be postponed for the first time in its 14-year history, and rescheduled for the end of January 2012. Just over 2 million baht was raised for our charity projects, the second best result in the history of the

Rotary Club of Bangkok South looks back on its 50th Anniversary Year 2011-2012 ■ ROTARY Club of Bangkok South

(RCBS), the largest Rotary Club in Thailand, enjoyed a unique and challenging year, which ended on June 30. Here, President for that year Mark Butters looks back on 12 exciting months. “In addition to being the year of the Rotary International (RI) Convention, held here in Thailand last May, it was also the year of 50s - the 50th Anniversary of RCBS receiving its Charter from RI, the ‘50 Year Floods’ and my own 50th  birthday. To add an additional personal dimension, my wife also gave birth to twin sons on 27 September 2011.”  

• The 50th Anniversary of the Foundation of Needy School Children under the Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. RCBS has been a major contributor to this Foundation via our Luang Sit Fellowship Program. I had the honour of receiving a plaque from Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on behalf of the club.  

event. • Our second major fundraising event of the year, the 23rd Charity Golf Tournament, held at Thana City Golf Club, raised a further 670,000 baht for our charity projects. • The floods also damaged a number

Club highlights also included:

  • The Club’s Annual Installation Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Outgoing President Andrew MacPherson spoke of the many achievements from the 2010/2011 Rotary Year.  

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of the clean drinking water systems installed by RCBS at rural schools over a number of years. Consequently a Flood Rehabilitation Committee was established for repairs and replacements covering 26 schools and costing some 2.6 million baht. • The popular annual Kids Day Out in March saw 300 children from Baan Khru Noi Orphange, Pakkred Home for the Handicapped and Ram Intra Home for the Blind being transported to the Royal Varuna Yacht Club for a day at the beach.    • The KSN Low Income Community Learning Centre located at Huay Kwang District Office was finally completed in early 2012 and formally opened on 4 April 2012.     • The many service projects of RCBS included our signature Clean Drinking Water for Schools (a total of 454 installed to date in nearly 40 provinces across Thailand), Low Income Communities, including Rama 9 Community Fire Relief, and the purchase of two fire rescue patrol boats for the Ladprao 34 Klong Bangsue Community; several projects at the Thungmahamek School for the Deaf; and our annual donation to the Books for Thailand Foundation run by Burin Kantabutra.

• Among the speakers at our regular Friday luncheon meetings were H.E. Mikael Hemniti Winther, the Danish Ambassador to Thailand; former Bangkok Post Sports Editor Roger Crutchley; former Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij; Dr. Mike Moreton; Dr. Meechai Viravaidhaya; and Bangkok Post columnist Voranai Vanijaka. • Other events included our annual bowling competition, Christmas Dinner Cruise, the annual ‘Paul Harris, Luang Sit, Water and Library Fellows Black Tie Dinner.’ ‘Club delegations’ were made to several clubs, including Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin. • RCBS also expanded its PR significantly, with regular features in Bangkok Post, BigChilli and Pattaya Mail.  • Approximately 35,000 Rotarians and their families, representing 158 countries, attended the RI Convention at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani in May.   • The year finally drew to a close with an installation dinner at the Dusit Thani Hotel.  The unabridged version of Mark Butters’ report on RCBS’ 50th anniversary is available on www.thebigchilli.com AD Foodland_April12.indd 1

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BUSINESS BANGKOK SELF STORAGE

BANGKOK SELF STORAGE: A SAFE HAVEN FOR BELONGINGS BIG OR SMALL Convenient and secure, Bangkok Self Storage offers high quality storage solutions for every budget

• Each storage room is accessed from wide, well lit corridors designed for easy maneuverability even if you are storing on pallets.

SPACE. There’s just never enough of it in Bangkok. Thanks to shrinking living quarters and increasingly cramped work spaces, finding a spot to store your favourite magazines or even archive important documents can become a puzzle of Tetris-style proportions. So, what to do? Well, like most people you could cram everything into one area of your room or office – creating a pile which quickly becomes a disorganized mess – or you could take the sensible option and seek out a professional storage company, such as Bangkok Self Storage. Established in 2005, Bangkok Self Storage offers an invaluable service for anyone who wants to free up space in their homes or offices, or store items while they move house or travel. The company serves both the corporate and consumer markets, and

• All spaces are modern, clean and secure, each one tall enough to store a large range of items.

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unlike traditional storage and warehousing, which may have limited access, long term contracts and added fees, access to storage at Bangkok Self Storage is flexible and free. You can pay by the month and come and go as often as you like, and as long as you like, seven days a week. Security at Bangkok Self Storage is a priority. Any storage unit you hire can only be accessed by you - you’ll be the only authorized key holder, although you can nominate further key holders if you wish. The company also has its own security measures in place, such as closed circuit cameras, digital code access and alarms, and can also arrange insurance for your possessions. A wide variety of storage solutions are available, so no matter if you are looking to store a single suitcase or the contents of your house, you’ll

• The company can accept mail and deliveries on behalf of commercial clients. • Storage for suitcases and backpacks starts at only B100 per item per week. • As long as the space you need is available, you can store your find a storage space to suit your items right away without any needs. What’s more, Bangkok hassles. There is no waiting Self Storage’s friendly pricing time. You can even register and policy means that the longer move-in on the same day. you store something, the less you have to pay. 3249 Rama 4 Road Other highlights at ☎ 02 261 1516-7 Bangkok Self Storage include: : info bangkokselfstorage.com www.bangkokselfstorage.com. • The company can help in Open daily 8am – 6pm nearly every aspect of storagefrom packaging supplies to advice on packing your space.

TheBigChilli

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INSIGHT CHARITY EVENT

FROM SIAM TO SIEM: HOTELIERS GET ON THEIR BIKES FOR CHARITY

Accor team members saddle up this month in support of the esteemed Ecole dʼ Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule in Siem Reap NOVOTEL Bangkok on Siam Square’s new General Manager, David Baldwin, is inviting all BigChilli readers to help him raise funds for charity by sponsoring him on Accor’s Siam to Siem bike ride, which will start in Bangkok on October 19 and end in Siem Riep, Cambodia, on October 21. Riding a total distance of over 400 kilometers, David and other Accor team members from across the globe will need to ride more than 125 kilometers per day – a task made all the more difficult thanks to tropical weather and tough roads. All proceeds from the ride will be used to give Cambodian children an opportunity to study hospitality in the esteemed Ecole d’ Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule. Explains David: “Ten years ago Paul Dubrule, the co-founder

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of Accor, spent eight months crossing over 15,200 kms of land to ride from Paris to Angkor to initiate his personal project, Ecole d’ Hotellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule in Siem Reap. “He established the school to give young Cambodians who need a helping hand the training and qualifications necessary to contribute towards sustainable tourism in Cambodia. The bike odyssey was completed, the school was opened and started to receive its first intake of students. “In those 10 years more than 1,200 students have been trained, while this year’s ride in celebration of the school’s 10th Anniversary will ensure that future Cambodian children can have this exceptional educational opportunity and start their careers in global hospitality.” David and other riders will endure the physical challenge for a few days, but their efforts will contribute to the ongoing vision of the school so that the lives of needy children in Cambodia will benefit for a lifetime. If you’d like to support David on his ride you can make a donation via www.fundraiseonline.com.au/DavidBaldwin. All money raised will be donated directly to the children. For more information regarding the Siam to Siem Project see: www.siamtosiem.com

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ON THE JOB HOTEL GM

FIVE STAR FLAIR AT PATHUMWAN PRINCESS Christoph J Knichel, General Manager of Pathumwan Princess Hotel, on steering the hotel to five-star status and what the upgrade has meant for business Life here has its ups and downs, of course, but after three years here I still very much love living in Thailand. My wife, Nathalie, and I now live in Sathorn – about a 20 minute drive from the hotel – and it’s good to have that life outside of the premises. To have the hotel upgraded last year to five-star was fantastic, and I think well deserved. The hardware was always good when I first came here, but it was nice that I could really be involved with the software – shaping the service, listening to guests’ needs and reacting to them. I mean, it’s always satisfying when you do something and it works. There is no switch that turns when you become five-star that changes the whole nature of the business, that makes you more popular. It’s a gradual process. After-all, there are many five-star properties opening in town which go into every detail of the five star experience – stunning designs, personalized service – so competition is fierce. We have to realize this and position ourselves to match, if not better, what they have to offer. We didn’t raise our prices – this was never the plan. Our returns come from customer loyalty – many of our guests are repeat customers. We also always offer something new, something exciting, something which we believe will entice people to try our young, trendy brand. The hotel owner is a visionary and we’re always doing something new. Unlike some properties which run for years and then shut down for several months in order to renovate the whole property, we always do a bit at a time, that way returning guests always find something new and exciting to rave about. One of our recent changes involves the refurbishment of our poolside Loop Italian Restaurant. This was totally refurbished and is now purely Italian with a focus on fine wines and authentic Italian

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food. The service is more informal, more communicative, and has interactive elements too, with dishes being prepared right at guests’ tables. We wanted to make it more like an independent restaurant, rather than simply a hotel outlet, and the response from diners has been very positive. Our pool area has also been redesigned with new decking, sun loungers, changing rooms, and the addition of fibre optic lighting under the water which looks great at night, and adds plenty of romance to an alfresco evening dinner at Loop. The company behind Indus restaurant will open a new Indian restaurant at the hotel by January next year. Indus has got a great reputation so we expect this restaurant to be a big hit with the Indian community, as well as Bangkok foodies who love top quality authentic Indian cuisine. One of our key strengths is that we encourage our staff to be themselves. Of course we do give them some guidelines, but we don’t get them to operate strictly from a script like robots. This allows us to offer unique personalised service which makes every guest feel like a superstar. I think Thailand has the best hospitality in the world in terms of natural friendliness. Yes, technically, there are sometimes some issues – but the positive attitude to service here is genuine, and this makes a world of difference to guests. The hotel is quite well known – we have a great location next to the MBK center – and everyone should really just come and try it. Whether you become a member of the fitness club, eat a meal at Loop or Kongju Korean restaurant, come for a meeting, or opt to spend a weekend away from home, I think you’ll be very happy with what you find. Pathumwan Princess Hotel, 444 MBK Center ☎ 02 216 3700 : pprincess.com

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INSIGHT CALENDAR

October planner Networking, tradeshows, performances, and sport here’s the month ahead planned and charted

5 6 7 8 Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Monday

Furniture Festival. (Oct 6-14) IMPACT. Television and Electronic Festival. (Oct 6-14) IMPACT.

FCCT: Brian Ward Memorial Lecture, FCCT, 3pm

Saturday

BCCT: Anti-corruption in Thailand - Can the British Chamber contribute? BCCT, 5pm

Beauty, Spa, Health and Sport Festival. (Oct 6-14) IMPACT.

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

13 14 15 16 The Country Wife. The British Club. See p.86

Bangkok International Gift Fair and International Houseware Fair. (Oct 16-21) BITEC.

Tango Legends. Thailand Cultural Center. See p.86

21 22 23 24 Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Bangsaen Thailand Open. (Oct 23-28) Bangsaen beach. See p.88

29 30 31 Monday

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Tuesday

Wednesday

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1 2 3 4

Monday

Tuesday

BCCT: Meeting to discuss formation of a BCCT Education Group, BCCT Office, 5pm

Wednesday

AustCham: Sundowners, 6pm FTCC: Training: Political and Credit Risk Insurance Covers, Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom, 9am

Thursday

BCCT: Joint Professional Women’s Group Networking, Kacho Bar, Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel, 6.30pm AMCHAM: YPC Networking, Dean & Deluca Café Maha Nakhon, 7pm St. David’s Society of Bangkok: Pecha Kucha & Pizza, Bistro 33 (Sukhumvit 33), 6.30pm

9 10 11 12

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

FTCC: Young Professionals & V.I.E. Networking Cocktail, VIE Hotel, 6.30pm Fight Night 2012. Dusit Thani Bangkok. See p.88

AMCHAM: Meet the Board Candidates Social Networking Night, Sofitel SO Hotel, 6pm

Wednesday

Thursday

House & Condo Show. (Oct 11-14) QSNCC.

BCCT: BCCT Half-Day Workshop (How to Handle Negotiation with Confidence), Le Meridien Bangkok, 8.30am

Friday

Saturday

17 18 19 20 AustCham/BCCT/AMCHAM: Eastern Seaboard Networking Evening, Holiday Inn Pattaya, 6pm AustCham: 4th Women with a Mission Charity Golf Tournament, noon

Disney Live: Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show (Oct 18-21). Impact Exhibition Hall 2. See p.86

FCCT: “Paintings from the Bangkok Night” Exhibition by artist Chris Coles, FCCT, 7pm

Amari Watergate & BMW Thailand Charity Midnight Run. Amari Watergate Bangkok. See p.88 Wedding Fair. (Oct 20-21). Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit.

ThaiCraft Fair. CCT Building.

25 26 27 28 Thursday

AMCHAM: Individual Year-End Tax Planning & Updates, noon Thailand Retail, Food & Hospitality Services. (Oct 25-28) BITEC. Baby Best Buy. (Oct 25-28) BITEC.

Lady Gaga. Rajamangala Pet Variety – Super National Stadium. SeeAmazing p.88. Exotic Pet. (Oct 25-28) IMPACT. www.Thaiticketmajor.com

Performance

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Bangkok Rugby 7s. (Oct 26-28) Royal Thai Police Stadium. See p.88 Punchline Comedy Club. (Oct 26-27) Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel. See p.86

Sport

• AMCHAM: American Chamber of Commerce. www.amchamthailand.com • BCCT: British Chamber of Commerce. www.bccthai.com • AustCham: Australian-Thai Chamber of Commerce. www.austchamthailand.com • FTCC: Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce. www.francothaicc.com

Tommy Emmanuel Live and Acoustic. Scala Theatre. See p.86

Networking

Tradeshow

• FCCT: Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. www.fccthai.com • BITEC: Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center. www.bitec.co.th • IMPACT: Impact Convention Center. www.impact.co.th • QSNCC: Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. www.qsncc.co.th

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INSIGHT School report

Anglo Singapore International School hosts debating championship

ANGLO Singapore International School recently celebrated the opening of its second campus at Sukhumvit Soi 64. The school also hosted the 3rd Thailand World Schools Debating Championship under the theme “Colour Your Soul: Bridging the Conflict Divide,” participated by over 200 students from 9 countries. Picture shows the Malaysian winning team members (2nd-5th left) with the royal trophy, bestowed by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn along with runner-ups from Philippines (1st-5th

Bangkok Patana School awarded second Prime Minister’s Export Award

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right). Also pictured is the Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Mrs Chua Siew San (6th left), Dr. Sasithara Pichaichannarong, the Permanent Secretary of Education (7th left) and

BANGKOK Patana School was named a ‘Best Service Provider’ in the Prime Minister’s Export Award 2012. Presented by the Prime Minister, Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, this award is the Royal Thai Government’s highest official award, annually granted to outstanding Thai exporters of products and services in recognition of their high quality and standards. This is the second time Bangkok Patana has received the Prime Minister’s Export Award, having also won in 2002.

Julie Sutanto (right), Director of Anglo Singapore International School. For more info about the school see: www.anglosingapore.ac.th

It is the only international school to have achieved this honour. Dr. Tej Bunnag is the Chairman of the Bangkok Patana School Foundation Board. “It is a great honour to receive this prestigious award.,” he said. “We appreciate being recognised for the efforts we make, and the ensuing success we achieve through our students. The award truly belongs to our teachers and students who, every day, strive for excellence, good character and to fulfil potential. We are very grateful to the Government of Thailand for this award.” Photo shows Thai Prime Minister, HE Yingluck Shinawatra, with Mr Matthew Mills (Head of Bangkok Patana School), Khun Pornpimol Charoen (School Manager), Mrs Laura Stamp (Vice Chairperson of the Foundation Board) and Mr David Humphreys (Foundation Board Member) on the occasion of the school being awarded ‘Best Service Provider’ at the Prime Minister’s Export Award 2012.

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INSIGHT SCHOOL REPORT

KIS opens new Tuesday playgroup

FOLLOWING the success of its Monday, Wednesday and Friday structured playgroups, KIS International School is now opening its playgroup for mums and dads and their little ones on Tuesdays from 10am till 12pm. The playgroup allows expat families with babies and toddlers to have a coffee and snacks and mingle and share experiences, while their children play, sing, dance and do crafts under guidance of the school’s experienced playgroup leader. To make it easy to join, KIS is offering a free pick up and drop-off service by school bus from and to Ekamai BTS station. If parents are interested, KIS will host monthly information sessions for parents on topics of interest, such as “tips for potty training”, “how to read with your child”, “First aid for babies”, etc. Cost is B300 per session or B150 per session if you complete a playgroup registration form at the admissions office of KIS. For more information about the playgroup and the bus pick up service please contact Linda Belonje: linda@kis.ac.th

Sukishi Number 1 Project Runway at Raffles

SUKISHI Buffet Restaurant and Raffles International College (Bangkok Campus) recently teamed up to host a Uniform Design contest to find a new outfit in which to deck out the popular restaurant chain’s staff at all of its branches. Contest participants were required to submit a set of uniform designs for receptionists, cooks, and service staff, and all had to be designed following the same concept. Over 30 students from the Fashion Design department at Raffles International College participated in the contest. Seven finalists were announced on August 19, and the final round took place on September 20 at The Crowne Plaza Hotel, Bangkok. The seven finalists were required to give a presentation about their design, concept and inspiration along with their actual readymade set of uniforms. With an idea of combining beautiful design and practicality, Ms. Ploy Rungsrithananon won the first prize of B40,000. Her uniform designs will be seen soon at all branches of Sukishi Buffet. Other winners included: Ms. Sutita Boonyuen in second place (prize: B20,000), Ms. Heidi Kalapuro in third place (prize: B10,000), Tirapat Rojpanyakit for the Creative Prize (B10,000), Mr. Nutdanai Ampornruengrong for the special prize (prize: B10,000), and Ms. Piyanuch Stickler and Ms. Phan Bach Nga for the consolation prize (B5,000). They also all received a Sukushi Buffet voucher valued at B6,300.

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NIST celebrates its 20th anniversary

THE New International School of Thailand (NIST) kicked of its 20th anniversary in August with a grand birthday celebration at the school’s campus on Sukhumvit Soi 15. NIST students from Years 1 to 13 got together for a school portrait – no mean feat considering there’s 1,500 students in total – followed by a whole school lunch with a great selection of food and surprise entertainment. Around the NIST oval there were magicians, acrobats and even stilt walkers, and photo booths with customized backgrounds meant all students could get a keepsake of this fun celebration.

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SCHOOL REPORT Q&A

HEAD MASTER IN FOCUS: MICHAEL FARLEY Harrow International Schoolʼs new HM talks about his rich international experience, why he likes risk takers, and what he hopes to achieve at the school during his tenure the School has to offer, both in terms of her studies and extra curricular interests. The other day she scored a hat trick for the under 15’s football team and today has headed off for House Camp; so the family’s busy and happy. Is working in a school in Thailand very different to working in a school in Cyprus or Japan? Yes and no. Certainly the culture and traditions of the host country come into the School, whatever the country. In Thailand that is characterized by an emphasis on respect, hard work and the cultural programmes offered to the students; plus wonderful food. This contrasts to the southern European approach where people liked to be a little less formal and there was a strong emphasis on family and down time. Bowls of peaches or bottles of olive oil would appear in the staffroom. Japan was different again, with a very strong work ethic and an inner city school that was caught up in the pace of Tokyo cool. One of the benefits of working in British overseas education is the variety of cultural, climatic and recreation experiences available.

When did you first take up the position at Harrow, and what made you decide to take it? My first day in School was August 10, so I’m still feeling very much the new boy. I was Head Master in Tokyo for several years, so I know of Harrow via the regional British school’s network and very much admire the manner in which it has drawn on the best of both British independent and international schooling. Add to that the ‘to die for’ facilities, a thoroughly professional staff and Thailand’s people and culture as a backdrop and it was an easy decision to make. Where were you based before moving here? I was the Principal of The Junior & Senior School in Nicosia, Cyprus in the beautiful Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus is a country of friendly people, outstanding climate and wonderful food. However, Nicosia is Europe’s last divided city, due to the ongoing conflict between Turkey and Greek Cyprus, and as a small country, Cyprus has been dragged in to the Greek Eurozone crisis, so my time there was very interesting. Have you and your family settled into your new lives here ok? More than OK, we’ve been made to feel very welcome and have taken to it like ducks to water. My wife Catherine is teaching seven year olds and our younger daughter, Phoebe, has gone into Harrow’s Senior School and is lapping up everything 32

How long is your contract at Harrow, and what do you hope to achieve during your tenure? For the first time in my professional life I have a long term contract and plan to be in Harrow for some time. In my tenure the Harrow team will be building on the very strong foundations that are in place to develop a world-class educational programme that will positively shape tomorrow’s leaders. This will involve curriculum initiatives, major facilities projects and further development of Harrow’s famously wide-ranging extra-curricular provision. Do you have your own teaching philosophy? Yes, every child is different and talented and should be given the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in a caring, challenging and happy environment. It’s hardly original to me, but I hold strong to the principle that, whenever I face a decision, so long as I keep in mind what is best for the children I stand a good chance of making the right call. Other than that, I am adamant that life is not a rehearsal; it’s the real thing. I want to see risk takers in my school, who are throwing themselves into every possible opportunity and so learning life skills such as resilience, independence and social responsibility. Harrow is a good match for me. We hear you’re an avid cyclist. Can we expect to see you taking part in any competitions here in the kingdom? The Tour of Thailand perhaps with Farley in the Yellow Jersey on the final day? I’m very much looking forward to exploring, as well as racing on my bike. Adventure Racing might also be an attraction in the future. Right now the School is absorbing most of my time and energy so racing plans are on hold. For more info about the school see: :harrowschool.ac.th

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Expat WOMEN p Put your feet up and indulge

Noemi Prasertsom

Lalaine Ladores

Annabelle Daokew

tAntonette Mercurio

A new society for Thailand’s Filipinas ■ EXPAT ladies from the Philippines have formed a new group known as the Society of Filipinas in Thailand to explore ways of furthering connections between the two countries. “We want to reinvigorate the image of our country’s art, culture, and national products through projects of genuine purpose, and also to increase exchanges between the two nations,” explained founder-president Arlene Rafiq, an expat here for 15 years. Thailand and the Philippines are connected in many fields, including fashion, fabric and art, and the Society wants to draw attention to these ‘cultural’ links.

Arlene Rafiq

By Lekha Shankar

Charitable causes will also feature in their activities, since both countries have been deeply affected by a spate of natural disasters. The Society will announce its presence in the city by supporting a major cultural and charity event, the screening of the award-winning film from Philippines ‘Nino,’ which is being held as part of the new Cinema Diverse Film Series at the Bangkok Art & Culture Centre (BACC), on October 20. The film, by a first-time director, has been shown at more than 20 festivals around the world. The director and lead actress – one of her country’s best-known opera singers – will attend the

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EXPAT WOMEN FEATURE

Bangkok screening. “There are no Filipino organizations in Thailand that cater to the art and culture of our country, so we thought that it’s about time to make a difference,” said Arlene. A week later, on October 27, a ‘Halloween Night’ will be held at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. Proceeds from this fun-filled event will go to charities in Thailand and the Philippines. Other future events planned include a fashion show featuring both Philippine and Thai fabrics. “We have discovered the presence of Philippine fabric in Thailand and vice-versa, and through this fashion show, we hope to raise awareness and appreciation for the two countries’ cultural similarities. This will also benefit the various charities that we support,” added Arlene.

run Corrmet, a company that deals with the provision of corrosion and metallurgical services to industries like oil and gas. Slim and attractive, Lalaine finds Thailand ‘awesome’ and loves the spas beaches and hotels. As an expat, she admitted that running a business in Thailand “is not simple” but she has learned to cope. “We need to be conscientious and open to the culture of the country we live in,” she says, adding that language is essential to the understanding of any country. That was why she learned to read and write Thai. Having to oversee her company accounts, she needs to make sure she understands all the financial records!

“It is up to us, as outsiders, to organize our own values and cultures in the shelves of our minds, and to learn from whatever the host country can offer us”

Members of the Society of Filipinas in Thailand:

A

Arlene Rafiq has been in Bangkok for nearly 15 years with her Afghan husband and runs two companies, one on image editing and another on interior design. She says: “It’s not easy doing business here, but as I love Thailand, I’ve decided to settle down here. “It is up to us, as outsiders, to organize our own values and cultures in the shelves of our minds, and to learn from whatever the host country can offer us,” says Arlene, an attractive and articulate lady, who is immersed in numerous social, journalistic and charitable activities in the city. She has two grown sons, and says her family loves going to the beach whenever they have the opportunity. Lalaine Ladores, Chairman of the Society, grew up in the US before returning to the Philippines. Later she moved to Malaysia and finally to Thailand in 2005. She and her Malaysian husband

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Noemi Prasertsom met her Thai husband at college in the Philippines, and returned with him to Bangkok to build a home together in 1980. She started her own travel company, Dineros Tours, which has proved very successful. “Thailand is the land of opportunities and you have to plan well to get good results,” she says. “Learning the language is absolutely essential.” What does she enjoy most about her adopted homeland. “The 5 F’s - family, friends, food, fashion, freedom!”

Annabelle Daokew also met her Thai husband at college in the Philippines, and returned with him to Bangkok, where she has carved an independent career for herself in the hotel industry. The mother of three grown children, the charming lady will celebrate her 30th year at the Four Seasons Hotel this year, and admits it’s been a learning experience all the way. For an expat to succeed, Annabelle believes that learning the language is essential, as is finding the correct way to handle “sensitive” Thai staff. “Learn their culture first, so that you don’t get culture shock,” says Annabelle. Thais and Filipinos have the same service-culture, which is why she enjoys her hotel job so much. She loves the food, shopping and sightseeing. But she misses family get-togethers, especially during Christmas and New Year. Other key members of the Society include Antonette Mercurio, a marketing and research specialist, and Gloria Simister, a well known artiste.

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EXPAT WOMEN SHOPPING

OPPO’S NEW TECH ■ GADGET geeks on the lookout for a hot new smartphone (aside from the iPhone 5, of course) may want to check out OPPO’s latest model, the OPPO Finder X9017. This Android phone comes with a 4.3 inch Super Amoled plus and Gorilla Glass screen and has 16 GB memory. Top camera quality, high resolution pics and Lomo and ‘funny shot’ modes will please budding photographers. As for executives on the move, like all good smartphones OPPO’s new model is an extension of your office, supporting 3G and cloud computing. The phone retails for B14,990 at leading department stores.

Talking DATE WITH A PLAYMATE ■ LADIES having trouble finding the right bras, look this way. Playboy Intimates’ new collection, Playmate bras, comes with special designs and perfect fitting giving you that extra confidence throughout the day. What’s more, produced from Jacquard textiles, they’re soft and comfortable too. ‘Playmate, it’s my bra!’ is

Shop Hot products and stores demanding your attention

■ ADIDAS is a good choice for skinny jeans fans this winter season. The brand’s new ‘Originals Denim Collection’ features new washes on a wide range of jeans in different colours, from Originals Blue and Grey Reptilaser to Dark Black. For men, the new collection offers two styles: Skinny Fit – a low rise on the hips, tapered legs with skin tight silhouette; and Slim Fit – a low rise on the hips, straighter legs with slim silhouette. For women, there’s the Skinny Fit, and a Super Skinny Fit – a low rise on the hips, a very tight tapered legs with skin tight silhouette. Denim jackets are also available. The jeans are available now at adidas Originals Concept Store, Central World, 1st floor. Price range: B3,190 – B4,490.

NEW DIY SPA GIFT SET FROM ELEMIS available in two cup styles and is available in seven colours; white, black, nude, light blue, green, violet and pastel pink. Each bra is B790. Playmate is available at Kyra Shop and leading department stores. www.kyramode or www.facebook.com

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ADIDAS GETS SKINNY

■ STRUGGLING to find a birthday gift for a friend? Check out the new Elemis Royal Collection box sets by Elemis Spa. Available in his and hers options, and featuring many of the spa’s renowned products and lotions nicely presented in a stylish and reusable gift box, they’re a great present for any occasion. Opt for a box decorated with regal swans, representing royalty, or the traditional Tudor rose from England. The royal collection is available at leading Elemis Spa at The St. Regis Bangkok, Anantara Spa, Mandara Spa, The Spa by MSpa at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, and Royal Garden Spa at Pattaya Marriott Resort. For more information, call 2365 6000 ext: 5089

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EXPAT WOMEN Q&A

Living the artist’s life in Bangkok Artist and sculptor Elizabeth Romhild talks work and life in the City of Angels ■ IT’S a stressful time for Elizabeth Romhild, the renowned Danish-Armenian artist known for her wonderfully expressive and joyously extravagant portraits. Not only is she planning her next exhibition, a joint effort with celebrated Thai artist and architect Sumet Jumsai na Ayudhaya, which promises to be a rare treat for local art lovers, but she’s also contemplating an upcoming hip replacement operation. Of the two, the latter is, of course, infinitely more worrying, but long-term Bangkok resident Elizabeth is nevertheless

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completely resigned to its inevitability. “I’ve been in pain for some time, almost certainly the result of standing for too long and twisting my body to paint,” says 51-year-old Elizabeth, a natural beauty who has more than a passing resemblance to the opera singer Maria Callas in her prime. “So it’s time to get it fixed.”   When it’s all over, and Elizabeth is back in the gorgeous tree-shrouded house-on-the-klong that for more than 20 years has served both as a comfortable home for her Danish husband Peter and

two children, and huge inspiration for her artistic endeavors, the painting that has dominated her life for the past quarter of a century will continue. Born in Denmark to a Danish mother and an Armenian father, Elizabeth credits her family for her talent. “From my mother’s side both my mother and grandmother have artistic talents, also my uncle from my father’s side, so I guess it’s in the genes.” She also points to her background as an additional source of creativity and the individuality that has made her such a successful artist.

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At the age of 26, while posted with Peter to Indonesia, where he worked for the East Asiatic Company, Elizabeth began painting realistic portraits, later moving on to seascapes and landscapes. Gradually her art became bolder and more simplified in portrayals of the female subject both in the twodimensional form of her painting and the imposing three-dimensional forms of her bronze sculptures, many of which decorate all corners of the family home and Elizabeth’s top floor studio. The majority of her exhibitions since 1986 have been held in Denmark and Thailand, with occasional forays to England, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy and the US. Although the economic downturn has meant fewer sales in Europe, interest in her paintings remains high in Asia. The exhibition with Sumet Jumsai, to be held at La Lanta Fine Art on Sukhumvit Soi 31 in March 2013, is expected to yield better results. Apart from La Lanta, Elizabeth’s ‘home’ gallery, her work can be viewed in various locations around Bangkok, including the Bank of Asia, Kuppa, Chulalongkorn Breast Cancer Center, DZ Company and The Barbican. What do you like most about Bangkok/Thailand? The chaos and vibration. What are the biggest challenges for an expat woman here? That you never really belong here and will always be a “guest.” What do you miss most about your home countr y? Four seasons and the culture. What clubs and societies do you belong to? I am a very non-active member of Polo, RBSC and Pacific City Club.

Do you have a lot of friends here? We have many acquaintances here. All these years we’ve seen many come and go. We do not hang out with Danes only; our friends are from all over the world. That’s what I LOVE about social life in Bangkok. Are they more numerous here than back home? In Denmark there is the family, which we miss out here. Through my art I have made many great contacts in Denmark, and some have even become close friends. What’s your current state of mind? Accepting and embracing what’s to come after my hip operation. When and where were you happiest? In front of my easel in my studio. Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life? My husband and our two kids. Do you ever feel threatened or intimidated by the beauty of Thai women? Ha, ha, no. Why should I? What trait do you admire most in people? Balance inside out! Any unfulfilled ambitions or regrets? I have no regrets. Having had an eclectic life I still hope to be able to travel to many corners of the world. To travel is to live! Your favourite restaurants, bars, pubs? Bangkok has many eating/drinking places, and unfortunately many you need only visit once. For me the river is the true Siam, be it the Terrace at the Oriental or the many local restaurants along the river… Favourite place to buy clothes? People in Denmark come here to shop, and I love to shop mainly in Denmark. If I need to shop here in Bangkok, I go to either Paragon,

Gaysorn, Central Chidlom or Emporium. Who is the greatest love of your life? My husband with whom I just celebrated our 33rd anniversary. Can you honestly say you understand the Thai way of life and doing things? Not sure one ever can as a farang. Do you speak, read/write Thai? I can make myself understood, speaking my very basic Thai. Given that you’ve been here for 20plus years, has Bangkok changed for the better or worse? For the better in many ways in terms of convenience and healthcare, but the Bangkok infrastructure and the traffic are still the same if not worse! And what about Thailand as a whole? I hope for the better too. Can you see yourself spending the rest of your life here? Not really. Ideally we’d move back to Europe and spend the cold winter here in Thailand. www.elizabethromhild.com, www.lalanta.com

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EXPAT WOMEN Q&A

Passion for opera

Photography by John Beara

BigChilli’s agony aunt Anette Pollner is more than just a good listener and provider of sound advice. She is also a professional opera director, and the opera is her first and lifelong love. Still buzzing from her recent successful production of ‘Who is Afraid of the Opera” with the Bangkok Music Society, here she tells us what it’s like to direct a performance and lifts the lid on the city’s fledgling opera scene privilege to take them to a new world. Oh, and first you have to create that new world, built on the foundations of music. But the vision is only the starting point. What makes a good director is how she translates that vision into the reality of the stage. Opera productions combine the talents of many musicians, singers, dancers, visual artists and support staff. A hundred people (or more) build on the director’s vision and add their own creativity. Her vision will be realised by others. Scary. Are there a lot of female opera directors? No. Having said that, it’s a lot better than when I started out a few decades ago but the opera world is still very much ruled by old men. That will change, of course.

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You recently directed ‘Who is Afraid of the Opera’ for the Bangkok Music Society. Can you tell us a little bit about it? That production, with the largest audience the BMS has ever seen, was a real labour of love. Conductor Eugene Eustaquio asked me in November 2011 to create a fully staged opera evening with a large chorus. I decided to tell the story of ghosts and supernatural beings in the opera. For five months I worked with the BMS chorus and soloists to realise that vision on stage, including numbers from Wagner’s ‘Flying Dutchman,’ Verdi’s ‘Macbeth’ and various glorious musical numbers which the BMS performers excelled at. It was a time of passion and delight, and it was one of the happiest productions I’ve ever been involved in. People in the audience commented on the extraordinary energy on that stage. You can see I am still in love... What is it like to direct an opera? Have you ever tried to fly a spaceship? No? That’s the only experience I can think of that would even come close to directing an opera. Imagine: you have the most emotional and sophisticated music, the most outrageous plots, wild, romantic, larger than life characters... and you have the

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So women like you were kind of pioneers? Yes, we were I suppose. Like all pioneers, our lives were pretty uncomfortable most of the time and we slept out in the cold a lot (I am saying this so flippantly but there are quite a few tragic stories behind that) but it’s a good feeling to be part of history, however humbly in my case. When did you first discover opera? What is it about opera that you love? I saw my first opera, Wagner’s ‘Flying Dutchman,’ a romantic and very erotic ghost story, at the age of 12 in the Munich State Opera House. I fell in love immediately and forever. Directing plays without music is wonderful, too, but the music allows you to put your inner world of dreams directly onto the stage. How and when did you first get into directing? I directed my first play at the age of 17. Later I attended the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and worked as a director in Germany and the UK. In

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2003, when I was backpacking round the world for a year, the Bangkok Opera (now Opera Siam) gave me the opportunity to direct Puccini’s ‘Turandot,’ a life changing experience for many of us. Two particularly wonderful things have happened to me in Bangkok as a director: I got a chance to direct large groups, including the 60+ chorus in ‘Turandot’ that contained many talented Thai voice students who are now internationally successful soloists – I even gave the first solo role of his career to leading Thai Baritone Kittinant Chins! – and most recently the opera chorus of the Bangkok Music Society for ‘Who is afraid of the opera,’ a program celebrating the chorus and its journey from Wagner to modern musicals. I can’t think of many experiences in life that are as intense, challenging and exhilarating as directing an opera – except perhaps commanding a spaceship. For which directing operas would provide excellent training. What shows have you been involved in here in Bangkok? Puccini’s ‘Turandot’ in 2004 and Wagner’s ‘Valkyrie’ in 2007 with the Bangkok Opera, two of the most difficult and most exciting operas in the classical canon, a bunch of smaller productions in 2008 – 2010, and ‘Who is afraid of the Opera?’ with the Bangkok Music Society in 2012. I’ve also noticed that some of my artistic impulses have already been taken up by others in the opera scene – that is very flattering and would not happen so quickly elsewhere. What are the biggest challenges you face when putting together a show in Bangkok, how do you overcome them? In Bangkok I would say that the biggest challenge is the funding. Opera is expensive because it involves so many people. This is also creating a vibrant artistic community, so well worth the investment, but convincing investors is quite difficult here. However, I’m optimistic. Audiences are growing and people are going home enthusiastic and inspired. Who are the big players in Bangkok’s opera scene? The one person who more or less created the current opera scene in Bangkok is Somtow Sucharitkul. He is a composer and conductor (and internationally famous science fiction writer!) who started the Bangkok Opera (now Opera Siam) with a production of his own opera ‘Madana’

in 2001 and has since put on many opera productions here. It is difficult to overestimate Somtow’s importance in the history of opera in Thailand. Most people have worked with him at some point, myself included. A more recent addition is experienced European opera director Stefan Sanchez who has also worked with Somtow, and has now founded his ‘Bangkok Grand Opera,’ focused on nurturing very talented young Thai opera singers. In my view, the most exciting young opera director in Bangkok is Pattarasuda Anuman Rajadhon of ‘NUNi productions.’ She has a contemporary, very personal artistic vision and a superb command of the director’s craft in realizing that vision on stage. I’m looking forward to seeing more shows by all of these directors (and hopefully by many more...). I also want to direct many more shows myself.

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Is the opera scene here healthy? Do Thais really have an appetite for opera? Opera is exciting and exhilarating. And it could take off in Thailand in a big way if the funding situation improved. There are many young classical musicians and opera singers – and their fans – who could carry a lively opera scene right now. And classical music is really in fashion – in Europe the big concert organisers make more money from classical music and opera than from pop concerts.

How do you see Thailand’s opera scene developing over the next few years? I hope for more productions of all kinds, and especially for productions that can surprise me, challenge me, and take me to new worlds that I never knew existed. I want every opera ticket to be a ticket on that spaceship. Bangkok has the artistic talent and growing audiences for opera. What it doesn’t have, and what would make all the difference to all of us would be an opera house in central Bangkok (there’s one in Hanoi and one in Kuala Lumpur!) that could also be used for large theatre productions. Maybe that will come. Can we expect to see you directing any performances in the near future? It is always difficult to put an opera production together in Bangkok which is why all the above directors have founded their own companies. I am not a producer myself, I’m a director who gets hired by others, but right now I am in the early planning stages of a large scale musical theatre event for 2014 that is very different from anything Bangkok (and in fact, the region) has seen so far. I believe in long preparation times and the right balance between passion and precision. That’s what I learned from Wagner at the age of 12. What would you like to tell people who have never been to the opera? Well, of course, you should have come to ‘Who is Afraid of the Opera?’ It was perfect for converting your fears into enthusiasm. But failing that (although the BMS will put out video clips from the production this autumn on YouTube, the first one, ‘Va pensiero,’ for the anniversary of the flood), go to the opera with an open mind. Don’t assume it’s stuffy or like a museum, and don’t think you’ll be bored. Opera is the most exciting thing you can ever do with two or three hours of your life. Except, of course, flying a spaceship to a world you created out of music. The full interview with Anette about Bangkok’s opera scene is available on thebigchilli.com

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EXPAT WOMEN HEALTH

Is“Rabbit Food” really good for me? Judith Coulson, Executive Director of bkk-health.com, explores the benefits of going on a plant-based diet ■ MORE and more people, especially medically-warned men and women, are changing their eating habits to low meat and mainly plant-based diets. Just the other day, I talked to a top executive who was diagnosed last April with prostate cancer. A real meat lover, he told me that for most of his life he used to eat vegetables, preferably in the processed form of beef, chicken and pork. After being diagnosed with cancer, though, he had a choice: change his lifestyle and eating habits, or take drugs for the rest of his days and most likely retire early from life. As a successful business owner and father of three kids, he decided to do whatever it would take to reverse his condition. With lots of help from his wife, he changed to a non-alcohol, plenty of water, sugar-free and plant-based diet. He also had two weeks of Detox vegetable juicing, as well as a range of carefully selected vitamin supplements to correct nutrient deficiencies and boost his immune system and cell rejuvenation. The effort paid off – I met him last week in Bangkok at a conference where he was the main speaker and he looked really good. Twenty pounds lighter and very energetic. And he had good news: much to the surprise of his doctor, his prostate cancer is now half the size and expected to vanish completely in another

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two months. No drugs and no other medical treatment were involved, simply a change in his eating and lifestyle habits to a mainly plant based diet. He is a truly happy man, not because he’s financially wealthy but more importantly because he’s able to enjoy his fortune for many years to come and see his kids develop, build careers and eventually have families of their own. Is “Rabbit Food” really good for you? Absolutely! Plant-based diets reduce the risk of ischemia, hypertension, and type two diabetes; lower LDL and blood pressure; reduce body mass; and reduce overall cancer rates. Research shows that vegetarian

eating patterns, including vegan diets, lacto-ovo vegetarian diets, and diets that include small amounts of meat, poultry, and seafood, reduce the risk of chronic and cardiovascular disease due to lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol, and increased intake of vegetables with more fiber and phytochemicals, nuts, and soy proteins. While it may seem there is no downside to shifting towards plantbased eating, doing so certainly poses some challenges. One key challenge involves cooking; a skill that is dying out, especially in societies where new condos come with no kitchen and street food is cheaper than shopping. Cooking meat is easy. You can just throw it on the grill or into the pan and dinner is ready. Plant based eating, though, can take more preparation time and require more skills, and this is on top of the time you need to organize all the ingredients. To lead you on the way to a plantbased balanced diet, one you can easily handle and implement in your daily routine, it is good to get some expert advice either from a nutritionist or a specialized cook. For more information about how to lead a healthier lifestyle see www.bkk-health.com

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EXPAT WOMEN PROBLEMS SOLVED

Ask the experts Send your problems to: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

Real Problems Real Solutions

Expat life getting you down? Don’t suffer in silence. Send in your problems and get advice from professional counsellors Anette and Johanna • Anette Pollner Adv. Dipl. Couns., is one of seven international counsellors at NCS Counseling Center in Saphan Kwai. She trained in London and the US and worked as a staff counsellor at Bart’s Hospital in London.

Afraid of commitment

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should be happy. After dating a lot in my twenties, I have found a beautiful girl. We have been together for two years and last month I proposed to her. She said yes. But when I woke up the next day, I felt uneasy. I don’t know why. I do want to settle down and have a family, but my unease is growing every day. It feels as if I am walking into a trap. Sometimes, when I think about it, I can’t breathe properly and I start to shake. Then I remember that I love her. I’m worried. I don’t want to take it out on my girlfriend. She is so happy, planning the wedding. What can I do? Ice, 44, from Bangkok

Anette says: ■ Dear Ice,

You thought you knew what you wanted, and now you have it, you are not so sure any more. Getting married is such a big deal. Of course your life will change, and it will change in a big way. What was a romantic dream until a month ago has now become much more real. You are now discovering that there is another part of you, one that is happy with life as it is right now. Maybe, deep down, that part is even a little afraid. The physiological reactions you describe are normal reactions to stress

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and shock, when the limbic system gets overloaded with emotions and your more complex brain functions are not working on optimal level. Your system gets ready for fight or flight: your heart rate and breathing speed up and your muscles generate energy (through shaking). Basically, you are ready to fight a tiger or run away from it. These reactions are of course very helpful in the case of encountering a real life tiger, but less so when dealing with crises in modern life. However, they show that there is indeed a big conflict going on inside you, maybe bigger than you even realise. Maybe you could sit down and write down what you feel. You could make a list of pros and cons but most of the time a more open, free form kind of writing works better with emotions. Sit and listen to a piece of music that means something to you. Don’t write, just listen. Then write whatever comes into your mind. Then try to remember that moment when you proposed, and then another moment when you started to ‘panic.’ Write whatever comes into your mind, and try not to control it too much. Then listen to the music again and write one last time, whatever comes out. You could try this exercise a few times and compare the results. If you have a good friend who will listen to you (and who can keep his or her mouth shut), you could tell them about your doubts. Ask them not to give you advice (I am sure you can give yourself good advice but it seems that is not enough!) but just to listen and to summarise what you are saying. Often, hearing this from an outside source sheds a lot of light on the problem. Whatever you do, please take your reactions seriously. Not just for yourself, but also for your girlfriend. She deserves a husband who really wants to be with her. Like many people, you may just have a case of cold feet when faced with a long term commitment, even if the commitment is to your own dreams, or there may be something inside you, a voice that you have perhaps ignored, or that you

don’t like about yourself, that is afraid or concerned, not just about commitment in general but about marrying this person, and changing your life in this specific way. What is your worst fear about the marriage? What are you going to lose? What would happen if you didn’t get married? I’m not saying you should necessarily act on this fear, but it is already shaking you, so it needs to be investigated. Depending on the outcome of your self-exploration, you can then share some of your thoughts with your wife-to-be. After all, this is the person you are proposing to share all the future crises and disasters in your life with. Try to approach the subject in a non-confrontational way, maybe ask her how she feels. You may be surprised, even women can sometimes have mixed feelings about getting married! I wish you the best of luck.

Home life ruined by infidelity

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’m worried sick about my 16 year old daughter. She had a boyfriend and was going steady, but then she suddenly broke up with him. Now she is going out with a guy that has the reputation of ‘being a player’ and I am concerned she is going to damage herself. Whenever her father tries to talk with her, she snaps and she tells him to mind his own business as he is no better. Unfortunately, we discovered last month that my husband had had an affair. My husband regrets what he did and we are rebuilding our marriage and family, but our daughter has since then become difficult to live with. She is very angry at home, especially towards her father and calls him a cheater. How can we change this situation and help her to protect herself? Miranda, 48, from the US

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• Johanna DeKoning MS is the Clinical Director of NCS Counseling Center. She trained in the Netherlands and Australia.

Johanna says: ■ Dear Miranda, This must be very hard for you. You have to deal with your own emotions after the discovery of your husband’s affair and now your daughter does not seem to accept what happened and how you decided to solve the issue. It looks like your daughter is in shock and she lost her trust and hope in a steady, committed relationship. She has expressed this by suddenly breaking up with her boyfriend and kind of ‘playing around now’ or intentionally becoming a victim. Different aspects of this behaviour could be: a ‘punishment’ of men by challenging them to fall in love with her and then dumping them while at the same time behaving like a victim, or unconsciously attempting to be similar to you by being ‘betrayed’, too. How is your relationship with your daughter? Did you confide in her about your husband’s infidelity and has she been loyal to you against dad? What was her relationship with her father before his affair was revealed? Did you and your husband sit down with your daughter to explain your decision process or are all those things just happening around her, with no information or explanation? Has her father had time with her and talked with her about his affair, his thoughts and his decision to renew his commit-

ment to his wife and family? I think the first thing to do is make time and tell her you really want to talk. Do not focus immediately on her actions and her new, potentially damaging boyfriend, but talk about what happened between you and your husband and your joint decision to commit to the family. Tell her that you both are sorry that you damaged her trust. Then let her talk and say what is in her heart, which might be painful for both of you to hear. Ask forgiveness and ask if she is willing to begin anew. After this express your love for her and your concern, but tell her that the choices she makes by having relationships that cause her pain are her personal choice and that she is free to decide differently. I would like to stress that both of you need to make this a priority. If she stays rebellious then point out to her again that she is responsible for her own life decisions. You could arrange for some talks with a professional for yourself in order to show her that you do not take this lightly. On the other hand keep in mind that girls of 16 still want (and need) to explore and you need to help her to establish her own values and boundaries for future relationships by talking openly about your own values, living your values, and discussing with her how she could develop her own.

Contact info Web: ncs-counseling.com Email: anette.p@ncs-counseling.com, Tel: 02 279 8503 Send your problems to: thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

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Gourmet p Wine and restaurant news

TABLES Restaurant at Grand Hyatt Erawan is now featuring its signature dishes in a special dinner promotion. See page 52.

What’s Cooking A round up of this month’s best gourmet deals. Yummy! Page 50

Meet the chef We speak to Plaza Athenee Bangkok’s Executive Sous Chef, Thibault Page 62

Dining out

Our favourite restaurants reviewed and listed Page 72 TheBigChilli

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GOURMET NEWS

What’s Cooking Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news Fawlty Towers the Dining Experience

ANANTARA BANGKOK RIVERSIDE, OCT 24 – 29

■ TOP quality dining meets top quality comedy in this internationally acclaimed madcap dinner show, which is coming to Bangkok for what’s sure to be six uproariously funny nights at Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa’s Brio Restaurant. The show, which has been Hot touring the world since 2007, is a loosely scripted, pitch oice! h c perfect tribute to the original Diners form the show’s audiBritish sitcom, Fawlty Towers, ence and are entertained by a cast which was first broadcast in 1975 of warring waiters. In true Fawlty Towand named by the British Film Institute in ers’ style, everything that can go wrong 2000 as the best British television series does with hilarious consequences, with of all time. three talented actors impersonating Basil, Promising hysterical gags throughout Sybil and Manuel, delivering a loosely the evening, the dinner show will feature a scripted, richly improvised and interactive three-course gourmet English dinner contheatre performance. sisting of Pickled smoked ham hocks and Tickets are B3,700++ per person split green pea soup; Rosemary and garlic (B3,500 per person for group bookings spiked rack of lamb or fillets of turbot; of six people and more). The event runs and a traditional British dessert of bread from 7pm-9.30pm. and butter pudding, accompanied by free 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road, ☎ 02 476 0022 Ext. 1416 flowing soft drinks, beer and wine. : bangkokriverdining.com

Unlimited beer and burgers

DEE-LOUNGE, ALL THIS MONTH

■ DEE Lounge, Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit-Sukhumvit’s post-work chillout venue, has marked the arrival of its new house band, The Equator, by launching a ‘No Limit Burgers and Beers’ menu. Priced B399 per person, it offers an all-you-can eat choice of Wagyu beef, NZ lamb, Spicy chicken Tikka, Salmon and Kurobuta pork burgers, all served with condiments and spicy wedges, and as much Chang Beer as you want. The Equator performs a range of Easy Listening and New World music every Fri and Sat night from 7pm-11pm. Novotel Bangkok Ploenchit Sukhumvit 566 Ploenchit Road, 02 305 6000 :novotelbangkokploenchit.com

New afternoon tea

CONRAD BANGKOK, AVAILABLE NOW

■ CONRAD Bangkok has spiced up its Afternoon Tea sets by adding lots of new tasty dishes. The Hyde Park set highlights include Vodka smoked salmon with chive cream cheese and bagel, Apple scones with Devonshire cream, and a delicious Chocolate moelleux cake with chocolate mousse, whilst the Lumpini Park set (vegetarian) highlights include Tomato and bocconcini bruschetta, apricot scones with clotted cream and Mediterranean vegetable quiche with avocado. Live music adds plenty of atmosphere. Served daily 2.30pm-5.30pm. B420 per person or B780 for two. All Seasons Place 87 Wireless Road 02 690 9999 : conradbangkokweddings.com

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Teppanyaki for less HIIRAGI, ALL THIS MONTH

■ FOR great Japanese food that won’t break the bank, Hiiragi restaurant at Novotel Bangna Bangkok is always worth a visit. This month it’s offering its wide range of Teppanyaki (food cooked on an iron griddle) selections from just B320++ per dish (includes a choice of side dishes). Options include Lamb, Salmon, Chicken, Seafood, Korobuta Pork, U.S. Beef, and more.

333 Srinakarin Road, 02 366 0505 ext 1470, 1471 :novotelbangkokbangna.com

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New menu for Kacho

Happy Hour Bakery URBIS CAFÉ, AVAILABLE NOW

KACHO RESTAURANT, AVAILABLE NOW

■ IMPERIAL Queen’s Park Hotel’s Japanese restaurant has introduced a new a la carte menu featuring more than 60 dishes. Lunch and Dinner specialties include signature dishes such as Yawaraka Kani Kara Age (Deep-fried soft shell crab in Tempura batter), Wafu Steak and Shake Teriyaki (Combination of Australian rib eye steak and salmon teriyaki served on a hot iron plate with house sauce and seasonal vegetables) and Hamachi Kama (Grilled yellow tail cheek with sea salt).

Sukhumvit 22, 02 261 9000 ext. 5111-2 :imperialhotels.com

■ IF you like baked goods, here’s a good promotion for you. Every day from 6pm8pm AETAS residence’s signature Urbis Café is now offering 50 per cent discount on all of its bakery items. A wide range of gourmet coffees are also on offer.

Indian Degustation menu

The AETAS Hotels & Residences 53 Soi Ruamrudee, 02 618 9023 :aetashotels.com

RANG MAHAL, AVAILABLE NOW

■ INDIAN food fans will be pleased to note that Rang Mahal, the popular Indian restaurant at Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok, has brought back its eight-course Modern Degustation Menu, which features northern Indian cuisine paired with exclusive international wines. Available daily for dinner (6.30pm-11pm), priced B3,700 per person. Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok 19 Sukhumvit Soi 18 02 261 7100 ext. 7532 : rembrandtbkk.com

Lunch to go on Silom BLUE SAPPHIRE, AVAILABLE NOW

■ NOVOTEL Bangkok Fenix Silom’s lobby lounge has introduced a new menu for those on the go or anyone wishing to enjoy a quick and light meal. Available daily from 9am-6pm, the “Wrap Me” easy-menu features a wide selection of panini sandwiches and desserts. A panini combo set with coffee or tea is B190.

320 Silom Road, 02 206 9293 :novotelbangkoksilom.com

Seafood Parade

THE GLASS HOUSE, OCT 23 – DEC 23

■ EASTIN Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok’s international buffet restaurant has brought back its ‘Seafood Parade’ – an extensive selection of top quality imported fish and shellfish, including Alaskan crab claws, Black and Soft-shelled crabs, Sydney rock oysters, Rock lobsters, Tiger prawns and squid. Running alongside this is the restaurant’s extensive buffet of international dishes, so a feast is guaranteed. B1,199 Baht ++ per person (half price for kids under 16). 33/1 South Sathorn Road,

☎ 02 210 8100

:eastingrandsathorn.com

Sunday jazz sessions – in the dark DINE IN THE DARK, EVERY SUNDAY

■ DINE in the Dark’s pitch-black dining room now plays host to local jazz group, “Woody’s Blue Notes,” every Sunday evening from 6.30pm-11pm. Dining in the dark really boosts all your other senses, so adding music to the mix, and trying to guess where the musicians are, sounds like it should be great fun. A choice of several four-course menus are on offer. 2nd floor Ascott Sathorn,

☎ 02 676 6676 :didexperience.com

Burgers, beers, oysters and wine

MANHATTAN BAR, EVERY TUES AND THURS

■ EVERY Tuesday evening, Manhattan Bar at JW Marriot Hotel Bangkok now offers a choice of three premium burgers at B240 each, plus beers at two-for-one. Drop by on a Thursday, and you can indulge in an entire box of 48 premium oysters for B2,199, or only B58 per piece. 4 Sukhumvit Road Soi 2,

☎ 02 656 9798 Ext.4230 TheBigChilli

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GOURMET NEWS

Buffet bonanaza Where to enjoy a gourmet feast this month

Something for the weekend

WESTIN Grande Sukhumvit’s buffet restaurant, Taste, now offers a weekend feast featuring changing highlights, appetizers, meats, and seafood, for just B1,990 per person. Highlights include rock lobster, snow fish, Australian beef tenderloin, lamb cutlets, and foie gras prepared to order. The buffet is available on Fri and Sat only. ☎ 02 207 8000 :westingrandesukhumvit.com

Antipasti lunch at Jojo

ST Regis Bangkok’s popular Italian restaurant has introduced a new Antipasti Lunch Buffet priced B695++ with a soft drink. Available daily from 12pm-3pm, the buffet is a good option for a quick and light lunch. If you’re feeling more peckish, though, you can also add a main course and dessert (two course menu is B695++ with a soft drink; three courses is B850++ with a soft drink). ☎ 02 207 7815 :stregis.com/bangkok

Seafood and Asian favourites

THE recently renovated Party House One (see our review on page 56) at Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa is now back on the scene with two new buffet nights. Visit on a Wednesday night and you’ll find the Asian Buffet, featuring over 80 dishes from around the region, for B750 per person. Visit on a Friday, and a Seafood Buffet offers a wide range of deep see bounty at B1,499 with a glass of wine. 02 217 3000, 0 2217 3070 ☎partyhouseone.com

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Halloween Treats

ON Oct 31, The Square restaurant at Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square will serve up a spooky international dinner buffet featuring all kinds of Halloween inspired creations alongside its usual international fare. Dinner is B950++ with a “scary” welcome drink. All kids in Halloween costumes will receive a special gift. ☎ 02 209 8888 :novotelbkk.com

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Chefs on the move

Our gourmet spies track the comings and goings of chefs in Bangkok • Inaki Aizpitarte, chef and owner of Le Chateaubriand in Paris, France, is coming with his team to cook their bistro-style cuisine at La Scala, The Sukhothai Bangkok, from Oct 23-27. Recently Inaki’s restaurant was named 15th best in the world, in The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012. • Michelin Star Guest Chef Laurent Peugeot will pair his award winning Burgundian cuisine with the region’s top wines at The Reflexions Restaurant, Plaza Athenee Bangkok, from Oct 23-27. Set dinner is B6,500 (go as two diners and you’ll get a complimentary bottle of Burgundy).

☎ 02 650 8800 :fb.bangkok@lemeridien.com

• Chef Ringo and Chef Wan from the Michelin-Starred Mira Hotel Hong Kong will prepare their cuisine at Loong Chinese Restaurant, Swissôtel Le Concorde Bangkok, from Oct 24-30. An All-You-Can-Eat A-La-Carte menu will be B685.

☎ 02 694 2222 ext 1540

• CONRAD Bangkok has appointment two new chefs to its culinary team: Executive Pastry Chef Frédéric Legras from Lyon, France; and Japanese Chef Kenji Shindo. Prior to joining the hotel, Chef Fr Frédéric worked at a luxury hotel in Ireland where he was in charge of the hotel’s overall pastry needs, which included The Gordon Ramsay Restaurant. Chef Kenji, meanwhile, has many years’ experience cooking his native cuisine, and he’s already added a host of new dishes to DTER’S menu, including his delicious signature ‘Snowfish Sasamushi with Black Truffle.’

Tables’ special dinner promotion ■ FROM now until the end of November, Tables at the Grand Hyatt Erawan is featuring its signature dishes in a special dinner promotion. The deal, priced at B2,200++ per person, is part-buffet and part-set menu with a choice of mains. Created by Chef Michel Eschmann, Tables’ Signature Dinner starts with Seafood on ice, followed by unlimited appetizers presented tableside including Serrano Ham, Scottish Smoked Salmon, Caesar Salad, Lobster Bisque and Champagne Risotto. Next are the main dishes. These include Steak au Poivre, Grilled Australian Lamb Chops, Duck Leg, Sea Bass, and Flamed Tiger Prawns with Pernod. For an additional 300 baht ++, diners can enjoy Beef Tenderloin with Duck Liver and Black Truffle, Dover Sole Meuniere, and Boston Lobster Thermidor. Desserts feature a choice of a European cheese selection or Tables Dessert Platter. Wines begin at B320++ per glass. ☎ 02 254 1234 email: tables.bangh@hyatt.com

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GOURMET NEWS

Oktoberfest New on the scene celebrations El Gaucho Argentinian Steakhouse Bavarian-style fun in Bangkok Robin Hood and Molly Malone’s

TO help Bangkokians enjoy the world’s greatest beer festival – which started in 1810 to celebrate a royal wedding – the Robin Hood and Molly Malone’s pubs are getting into the Bavarian spirit by offering a range of promotions during the whole of October. Chang Draught is running at B100/pint and B180/jug, Paulaner Weiss bier (regular and dunkel) is on promo at B180, and Kilkenny pints are B225. What’s more, you can also tuck into Bavarian delicacies like Crispy pork knuckle, sausage platters, knockwurst (a beef and pork sausage flavoured with garlic and then smoked over oak) and the much adored sauerkraut (fine shredded cabbage which is then fermented). To further assist those looking for an authentic feel look no further that the Robin Hood’s manager Peter – who despite hailing from Scotland is a fluent German speaker – and is happy to converse at length in the Teutonic tongue.

Beers and BBQ

UNTIL Oct 26, Aloft Bangkok - Sukhumvit 11 is marking the occasion by serving selected imported beers (including Warsteiner, Erdinger, H.B. Hofbräu and Paulaner) together with a BBQ featuring an array of tasty bites such as rosemary Lamb Kebabs, Honey and sesame seed salmon, Moroccan style Marinated chicken and more, on the terrace at Crave Wine Bar & Restaurant and w xyz bar, every Friday night from 7pm-10pm. B120 per bottle/per BBQ portion ☎ 02 207 7080 :aloftbangkoksukhumvit11.com

Two-for-one at BeerVault

UNTIL Oct 31, Four Points by Sheraton Bangkok’s BeerVault is offering buy 1 Get 1 free on all German beers, plus a wide range of fun games and some great prizes to be given away. The deal is available every day from 3pm onwards. ☎ 02 309 3201 :facebook.com/beervault

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■ THE first Thailand branch of the ‘Argentinian Steakhouse El Gaucho’ restaurant chain has opened on Sukhumvit Soi 19 offering Argentinian specialties served in an elegant setting reminiscent of Buenos Aires’ best restaurants. With the choice of traditional table setting,s high back chairs with raised table tops as well as intimite VIP zones, the restaurant is an ideal venue for friends and family gatherings as well as business events.The bar, the open kitchen, the warm and modern interior design creates a welcoming and lingering atmosphere suitable for any occasion. The Argentinian cuisine on offer has European and South American influences, resulting in a mouthwatering selection of meat, poultry, herbs and vegetables. Alongside juicy tenderloins, tender lamb chops or hearty rib-eye steaks, you can also tuck into popular pastries, spiced sausages, fresh salads, tasty side dishes and delicious desserts. Open daily 4pm till late. Sukhumvit Soi 19

☎ 02 2552 864

: info.thailand@elgaucho.asia

www.elgaucho.asia

Mandopop ■ MANDOPOP, short for Mandarin popular music, is not your typical Chinese restaurant. The dramatic setting is reminiscent of modern-day Hong Kong and mainland China with a hint of Chinoiserie decadence. Set over two floors, it’s edgy, it’s cool, and will probably pull in the punters with its looks alone. For Chinese foodies though, the food’s another big highlight here. Created by Singaporean Chef Adian Chua, who has over 20 years’ experience in the trade, the menu features dishes such as Pan seared foie gras with crispy duck skin, Tenderloin beef in black pepper sauce, and Pan fried garoupa with fragrant Chili Sauce. There are also a wide range of vegetarian and dim sum dishes to choose from. Drop by in an evening from 6pm-9pm, and as well as catching music from a live DJ, you can enjoy Happy Hour wine at B99++ per glass and cocktails at B250++ per glass. Oriental Residence on Wireless road 02 252 8001-5 :mandopop-bangkok.com

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REVIEW SIAM@SIAM

PARTY HOUSE ONE RETURNS IN STYLE

A brand new look and creative new food menu ensure thereʼs plenty to get excited about at Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spaʼs revamped PH1 AFTER undergoing a recent revamp Siam@Siam Design Hotel & Spa’s Party House One is now back on the scene with an artsy New York-loft inspired design and a new food menu packed with creative dishes. Bold and striking, the venue’s redesign is a real riot of colour. A large bar runs down the centre of the room and displays over 100 spirits illuminated red, blue, and green. Canvases painted with floral images and Picasso-style portraits are dotted around the ceiling; and a mannequin who looks like he’s been the victim of a paintball-gun attack stands near the entrance. At the farthest end of the room, a floor to ceiling window is covered with a huge transparent image of a woodland. During the day, the light filters through the branches and creates a wonderfully serene, outdoorsy atmosphere.

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The best thing about this artistic overhaul is that there’s nothing pretentious about it. Every lick of paint, every addition of furniture, every little tweak to the design, has all been done in the spirit of fun and creativity. What’s more, even the chef has got in on the action. “We wanted to take dishes that people know and put a new imaginative spin on them,” says Executive Sous Chef Stefan Nietsche. “Not just in flavour, but also in presentation. It’s a real ‘fun food’ concept that allows us to present dishes in an exciting new way.” Chef Stefan’s new a la carte menu features a wide range of dishes that are immediately familiar but which come with extra flair, such as the Siam, a vibrant blend Laarb Siam of tuna, salmon, and octopus carpaccio, drizzled with sesame vinaigrette, and Japanese Shimeji Mushrooms (B220++); and Lamb satay, which arrives on a mini charcoal grill so you can keep it hot at your table (B250. Pork and

chicken options available). Other highlights include Siam Chicken Rice Rice, which is a gourmet version of Kow Man Gai served inside a bamboo case (B320++), and Krapow foie gras, chicken breast served with spicy basil sauce and rice, topped with a generous portion of foie gras (B395++). Alongside the a la carte menu, PH1 offers a daily lunch buffet for just B450 net (includes a soft drink). The generous spread includes curries, stir fries, casseroles, stew, an a la minute pasta station, roast meats, a selection of desserts, and more. Every Wednesday night an Asian buffet is available for B750 net, and on Friday nights a Seafood buffet is B1,499 net. At night, PH1’s atmosphere transforms from bright and airy to intimate den and it’s a great place to enjoy a fun get together with friends. A house band takes to the stage to play a blend of swing, jazz, blues, and lounge, and black-and-white classic movies are projected onto a polished concrete wall. A long list of unique cocktails are on offer, all priced B200++. Let the parties begin! 865 Rama 1 Road, Opposite National Stadium (a short walk from the BTS station) ☎ 02 217 3000 : siamatsiam.com

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REVIEW FIREHOUSE

FIREHOUSE PUB & RESTAURANT

Perfect burgers for real burger lovers

FOR or a venue that’s really quite modest in size and open for less than a year, Firehouse is having a massive impact on Bangkok’s popular restaurant scene. It’s captured the imagination of die-hard burger lovers, who rank amongst the world’s most passionate and critical diners, and it’s getting heaps of praise for an amazingly comprehensive menu featuring lots of reasonably priced homecooked dishes like fish and chips, clam chowder and some of the best tacos in town. Named in honor of firefighters, this airy and attractive little restaurant is uniquely decorated with what is surely the country’s largest collection of antique and vintage firemen helmets, and firefighter

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the formidable Black Angus Premium Burger, 180gms of fresh ground Australian Black Angus rib eye and short-loin beef priced at B380. In between are all kinds of gems like the Angus Steak Burger, Champion Chili Burger, Mushroom Burger, Teriyaki Burger, Prawn Burger and the Caprese Burger. There’s also a Veggie Burger. Each is priced at B280 and comes with individual toppings and dressings. memorabilia. Even the red brick Firehouse’s Fish & Chips and wrought iron design gets its (B260) is highly rated by influence from the traditional its British and Australian red brick firehouses and fire customers, while the Seafood stations of Europe and the US. Bucket (B320) proves Located on Sukhumvit Soi consistently popular. 11 (opposite Q Bar), Firehouse Dishes inspired by recipes was the idea of an expat long from real firefighters can be found based in Asia homesick for on the recently launched Fireman the burgers and comfort foods menu. These include the Texashe grew up eating back in his style 100% beef Hot Chili, Pulled native Hawaii. Teaming up with Pork sandwiches, Mac n Cheese, a classically trained Thai chef Clam Chowder, Cajun Shrimp and assisted by a San Diegoand Pork Short Ribs. based restaurateur known for his Also recently added to tasty burgers, the expat created Firehouse’s offerings are the Firehouse’s innovative menu. Danger Dog and Junkyard Most diners come for the Dog, made from smoked restaurant’s Signature Firehouse premium hot dogs, along with burgers, which range from two chili dishes, Chili Cheese the 180gm Premium Burger Fries and Chili Mac. made from Thai-French beef Throughout October, priced at a mere B195, to the three new Meat Lover

Burgers will be sold a special price of just B220. Firehouse stocks a decent selection of bottled and draft beers, sensibly priced wines, and cocktails. To celebrate its 1st anniversary in November, the restaurant will be running some great promotions. For the latest updates, visit the Firehouse facebook page. Firehouse Pub and Restaurant, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (opposite Q Bar) ☎ 02-651-3643 :firehousethailand.com

Weekly Promotions • Daily Happy Hour (4.30pm – 8.30pm) – draft beers and cocktails – buy one, get one free • Tuesday is Chill Night – buy one, get one free any bottle of wine all night • Wednesday is Ladies Night – buy one, get one free cocktails, for ladies all night • Saturday is Date Night – half price on one dish for every bottle of wine ordered • Lunch Special (11.30am – 2:30pm) – free soft drink or small beer with any lunch food order • Afternoon Break (2.30pm – 4.30pm) – free coffee or tea with order of any dessert

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GOURMET NEWS

Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy

The BB&B dining group makes its first visit to Maduzi Hotel and leaves suitably impressed

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HIS was the Club’s first visit to Maduzi Hotel, a very sociable boutique hotel, just a few metres from the hustle and bustle of Asok and Sukhumvit (at the intersection of Sukhumvit Soi 16 and Thanon Ratchadaphisek). The members were greeted in person by K. Koravic, the hotel’s manageress and enjoyed some tasty morsels with sips of Domaine Chandon (Yarra Valley, Victoria) – some slurped! Our group was too large to be accommodated at one of the restaurant’s regular tables so we found ourselves in the Living Room, a tastefully decorated room normally occupied by the guests of the hotel; this provided us with a very cosy ambience, matched by the friendliness of the well-trained staff. First up was Tasmanian salmon marinated carpaccio and jelly caviar with petit organic rocket salad “in chef ’s style.”  With this, we enjoyed Tulloch’s The Boss 2011 Verdelho/Semillon (Hunter Valley, NSW). I almost forgot to mention that Chef Yuya specializes in creating one-of-a-kind French cuisine despite his Japanese roots. The salmon carpaccio was excellent and well matched to the rocket salad.

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Next came Pan-seared black grouper and monkfish liver served with braised vegetables confit infused ginger consommé sauce. This was an adventurous choice on the part of Chef Yuya and did not receive universal approval; similarly, Majella The Musician 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz (Coonawarra, South Australia) was found by most of the group to be too heavy a wine for the fish notwithstanding the strong flavour of the consommé sauce. However, one could find no fault with Roasted wagyu beef served with seasonal vegetables (caramelized mushrooms and onion) and black truffle sauce. Just a minor niggle (one repeated surprisingly often) but some of us thought it would have been better still if the plates had been pre-heated.  The second red (Bad Boy Bordeaux, predominantly Merlot) was great and got better and better as it released its full might and complexity.

The Chef ’s cheese selection of the day turned out to be Danish Blue and Brie de Meaux, both served to perfection, and the Colonial Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 was found to be a good match for the cheeses. To complete an excellent lunch, we tasted Classic chocolate cake (fondant) with ice-crème and Offley Ruby Port, fortunately not too heavy a choice. Our servers did an excellent job for us and received deserved praise from food spokesman (Dick van den Heuvel) and our wine critic of the day (Neil Pawsey).  Our thanks to K. Koravic for sharing the lunch table with us and we look forward to returning soon. 9/1 Corner of Sukhumvit Soi 16. ☎ 02 615 6400 : reservation@maduzihotel.com

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GOURMET MEET THE CHEF

P U G N I V SER

utive enti, Exec m iu h C kok, ault née Bang Chef Thib é th A a z f, Pla otel Sous Che eridien H A Royal M

Favorite ingredients Tomato, peppers, zucchini, sea bass, beef meat, pork (as there are so many different parts to use) and foie gras

Most Used Cookbook Eric Frechon cookbook How to judge a good restaurant Look at price, attention and service

Favourite local restaurant Krua Noi Baan in Soi Lang Suan, a very Favourite dish small local place that to make I enjoy every Foie gras terrine, because you week can accompany it with lots of great things – sweet or savory seasonal ingredients. For me, foie gras is a festive dish and cooking is all about sharing and feasting!

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Favourite restaurant French Laundry run by Thomas Keller in Napa Valley. I’ve been there recently. It’s an amazing experience; everything is so simple but so perfectly executed Watch out for Restaurants that say meat or fish is imported, but actually comes from Thailand Favourite herb Thyme. It’s flavorful and doesn’t overpower the dish

Cuisine without boundaries ■ AFTER training and early hands-on experience in two top-rated Parisian restaurants, Thibault joined the famous Ritz Paris before moving in 2005 to the award-winning ‘Daniel’ restaurant in New York, as a Chef de Partie. Five years ago, he transferred to the Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Meridien Hotel as Chef de Cuisine in The Reflexions restaurant, where he has gained considerable recognition for introducing a raft of innovative dishes. These include Lentil soup with poached foie gras and rosemary emulsion, Mushroom and ricotta cheese ravioli with parmesan emulsion and fresh herb salad, Roasted snow fish with pepper ‘piperade’ baby artichoke and chorizo grimolata, and Duo of lamb with vegetable galette, garlic confit and rosemary brochette, and more. Still in his 20s, France-born Thibault credits his grandmother for his love of cooking. “During family dinners, I saw in her a real passion in cooking,” he says. “I feel free when I create new dishes. There are so many products, so many possibilities, and so many flavours. Cooking for me is an everyday challenge because in kitchen you learn so many new things. “The passion of contemporary French cuisine is limitless. My food is a culinary journey of discovery.”

Favourite wine Burgundy, and I love Champagne – but only a little at a time

France or Thailand Thailand. At my age I couldn’t expect to be an executive chef in a five-star hotel in Paris

Dining with a difference ■ “OUR New Perspectives is like a wine dinner, but with a big difference. We serve a five or six-course dinner in a different place of the hotel where we usually never serve food; we set up in areas of the hotel that guests don’t normally go, such as the kitchens, laundry, executive suites or the terrace. The menu is mainly western, with some Thai appetizers. And the dinner is paired with a top wine. Watch out for the date of the next New Perspectives.” Meanwhile, The Reflexions has launched its “Thank God It’s Friday!” promotion, a four-course set seafood dinner on Fridays only. Priced at B1,900 per diner.

61 Wireless Road (Witthayu), Lumphini 02 650 8800 :plazaatheneebangkok.com

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GOURMET Q&A

Bar Banter This month: Khun Benz

When it comes to creating cocktails, the owner of Chili La Roni certainly knows his stuff. Here, he talks about his passion for mixology and reveals why he sees himself as a ‘liquid cook’

So you have many unique cocktail recipes? Yes sure, many of them. If you have to just try one, though, I suggest ‘Flying in the Sky.’ To make this drink I use the traditional Thai method of infusing flowers with the liquid. This gives it a pleasant taste and scent – very different to the usual cocktails made only with fruit juice.

You don’t normally see restaurant owners getting behind the bar to mix cocktails. Has bartending always been a passion of yours? I started working in the industry when I was 19 and now I’m 45. So I wouldn’t call it just love, it’s my life! I actually started out as a chef, a position I held for nine years, before being promoted to F&B manager. This is where I gained my bartending skills and knowledge. To me, working behind a bar is the same as cooking: you have to be passionate about service and ensure what you serve is of the highest possible quality. This is the same passion I bring to Chili la Roni, which I opened in 1999. What are Chili La Roni’s highlights? One of the biggest highlights here is the atmosphere. The restaurant is set in a garden so guests can enjoy the open air.

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We serve Italian food as well as Asian dishes. We also have an extensive list of wine and cocktails. Our live bands are also a huge hit with our guests. We recently underwent a renovation in the garden where we put up a roof so guests can still enjoy the outdoor seating area during the rainy season. Since the renovation, we have been really packed and there’s hardly enough space to accommodate everyone. What do you like most about bartending? I wouldn’t call myself a bartender. I’m a liquid cook. My priority is to keep my customers happy with my liquid recipes. If they are happy with my creations, then I’m happy too.

Chili La Roni serves a wide range of mouthwatering dishes, what’s your personal favourite? I personally love Italian food and wine from Chile. But my all time favourite would have to be pizzas that are cooked fresh in a wood-fired oven, like what we serve here. What nights are best to visit Chili La Roni and why? I would say during the weekdays because the atmosphere is a bit more relaxed (it gets very busy during the weekends). We have two house bands, one which plays hits from the ’60s, and another which plays jazz, so you’re guaranteed great entertainment every night. To make sure you get a seat, I would highly recommend booking a table. 1055/7 Moo 12, Srinakarin Road, Bangna. Open daily 11am-midnight. ☎ 02 743 0901-2 : chililaroni.com

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GOURMET NEWS

Gourmet scrapbook

Last month’s events in focus

Bangkok Chefs Charity Fundraiser ■ THE city of angels once again witnessed, for the fourth consecutive year, a gathering of Executive Chefs from 21 of Thailand’s leading five-star hotels and Thai Airways International, who created and successfully staged a nine-course feast at the “2012 Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner and Fundraiser,” graciously presided over by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, in the Royal Ballroom of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Initiated in 2009 by General Managers Nuntiya and Patcharin Hame-ung-gull of Gourmet One, importer and supplier of fine foods, the event helps raise funds for Border Patrol Police Schools under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness, as well as underprivileged children in the remote Amphur Omkoy in Chiang Mai.This year a grand total of B14,100,000 was raised.

IMPACT Chefs win culinary competition ■ IMPACT’s chefs won the championship title at the Thailand International Culinary Cup 2012. The team garnered the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup from its achievement of the Overall Best Establishment Award together with a Winner trophy for the highest score in Modern Thai Cuisine and 21 medals in total.

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GOURMET NEWS

Gourmet scrapbook

Last month’s events in focus

World Gourmet Festival a resounding success ■ FOUR Seasons Hotel Bangkok proved once again that its annual World Gourmet Festival, a weeklong gastronomic odyssey, is an event worth attending. The festival showcased a selection of award-winning international chefs, such as Shiqin Chen, Diego Irrera, Galvin Lim, Igor Macchia, Michael Mina, Víctor Quintillà Imbernón, Masa Shimakawa and Frédéric Vardon, who all prepared special menus paired with premium wines, and also held cooking demonstrations. The dinners were well attended by executives, celebrities and some of Bangkok’s hi-so crowd. The event was capped on Sept 9 with a sumptuous Sunday brunch and a special dinner at four of the hotel’s restaurants, Madison, Biscotti, Shintaro and Spice Market.

Miss Asian-European Charity Lunch ■ A GLAMOROUS gourmet lunch was enjoyed by many Thai celebs and luminaries when Hotel Muse’s Thai restaurant, Su Tha Ros, hosted the Miss Asian-European Charity Lunch, a special fundraiser in aid of Thailand’s rural schools. Photo shows (from left): Attasith Damrongrat (the host); Miss Earth Malaysia 2012, Deviyah Daranee; Miss India 2011, Kriti Kapoor; Apinan Pawanalit; Miss Tourism International Singapore 2011, Amanda Leong; Miss Petite World 2012, Irene Tan Yin Fong; Hotel Muse’s GM, Alex Chakarbarti; Miss Malaysia World 2011, Chloe Chen Tien Nee; and Paiboon Sutantivorakun.

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Recipe of the month

Butterscotch Pudding (serves 4) Chef Aom of Jameson’s Irish Pub shares his recipe for a real sweet treat

cut out and keep

GOURMET NEWS

Ingredients • • • • • • •

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream 3/4 cup whole milk 3 egg yolks 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Method 1. Preheat oven to 325°F and set a kettle of water to boil. Set four ramekins or oven-safe bowls out and a large baking dish. 2. In a saucepan melt the butter. Once melted add the brown sugar and salt, stir until well combined. 3. Add the cream and milk to the sugar mixture. Heat until steamy and tiny, pinprick-sized bubbles begin to show around the side of the pot and the ingredients are combined (about 170°F to 180°F). You do not want it to boil or

even simmer as this will cause scalding 6. Lightly tent the entire pan (not or curdling of the milk. Remove from each individual ramekin) with some heat immediately. vented foil. The foil can simply be crimped on two opposite sides, it 4. Slowly, in a thin stream, pour the shouldn’t be airtight. heated sugar-dairy mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that 7. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Be sure the egg yolks are tempered by the to rotate the pan half way through warm mixture, but not cooked by it. cooking. Stir in the vanilla extract. Pour through a fine mesh sieve to catch any cooked 8. Lightly shake the ramekins to see if bits of egg. the dessert is ready – it should have a jell-o-like wobble. It should not ripple 5. Ladle the mixture evenly into the or move like a liquid when you shake ramekins. Place ramekins in a heavy it. Don’t worry as it will set after it cools. bottomed pan and pour the hot water into the pan until the water rises 9. Chill in the fridge for a few hours halfway up the sides of the ramekins. before serving.

About the chef

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CHEF Aom began his career at ‘Perfect Seal’ in Pathumthani before moving to Delaneys (now Molly Malone’s) Irish pub as a helper. With time and experience he progressed to head chef, and this took him two years ago to his job at Jameson’s, where he cooks up a wide range of tasty international dishes such as spinach pie, lamb stew, and this delicious Butter Scotch pudding. The best thing about being a chef? “Telling stories through my food,” he says. “I’ve been lucky to have many good teachers over the past few years, and I want their knowledge and my experience to shine through in every dish I make.” Jameson’s Irish Pub, Shop 6-13, 981 Silom Road (under the Holiday Inn Silom) Tel: 02 266 7703-5 email: info@jamesons-bangkok.com www.jamesons-bangkok.com

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GOURMET DINING OUT

Where to eat

Your ultimate dining companion

Recommended restaurants and bars International Cuisine Circle

•This modern, but comfortable-feeling spot is packed into a

compact and cozy building. There are three floors, two bars, an outdoor terrace, a walk-in wine cellar, and a walk-in cigar humidor. The cuisine is modern USA with Cajun/Creole dishes and some items best described as ‘Californian.’ The blackened halibut and the shellfish bisque with prawn and crab cake garnish make a visit here worth the effort. Circle is popular with locals who drop in after work for drinks and tasty eats.

Wine Connection Deli & Bistro

•Combining a wine shop, wine bar, deli and restaurant, this place

has everything a wine lover could need under one roof. There’s a choice of international wines for as little as 100 baht per glass (500 baht per bottle), a superb selection of cheeses and cold cuts, daily baked breads, scrumptious homemade desserts, and a Mediterranean inspired food menu. All served in a trendy coffee shop atmosphere, there’s nothing pretentious about what’s on offer. It’s simply hearty, tasty food that’s supposed to be enjoyed in the company of friends. Book in advance on weekends – the restaurant is invariably packed. K Village Ground Floor, Sukhumvit 26, Bangkok. Open daily 10am - midnight. Tel: 02 661 3490-2 www.wineconnection.co.th

Ruam Rudee Village, Soi Ruam Rudee (BTS Ploenchit) Tel 02 650 8047 www.circlebangkok.com

Hanrahans

•This Irish pub and

restaurant is located in the middle of all the nightlife action on Soi Nana. It’s an ambitious venue with three floors, pool tables, sports TVs, free wireless Internet for customers, and a kitchen that churns out traditional pub favourites like Bangers and Mash and Shepherd’s Pie. There is a typical 50% off happy hour, plus loads of other specials. Don’t worry about the pub’s location; Hanrahans is all about good, clean fun and the atmosphere makes it a good choice for couples. Sukhumvit Soi 4, near Nana Plaza (BTS Nana or Ploenchit), Tel: 02 255 0644-5

Jameson’s

Offering an extensive selection of hearty, traditional pub grub, Jameson’s is a great place to enjoy an authentic taste of the West. Burgers, fish and chips, and spicy hot wings score good marks here. For brave diners, there’s also the pub’s ‘Hot Wings Challenge.’ This offers prizes to anyone who can eat eight spicy chicken wings in under ten minutes. The spice level: a whopping 200,000 on the Scoville Scale – which is probably like dipping your tongue into malten magma. Ouch. Other draws at the pub include four pool tables, 12 widescreen TVs, and the Minus 5 Ice Bar, where you can sip vodka in a large freezer room. Jameson’s Irish Pub and Minus 5 Ice Bar Bangkok, Holiday Inn Bangkok, 931 Silom Road, Tel: 02 266 7703-5, email: info@jamesons-bangkok.com www.jamesons-bangkok.com / www.minus5bangkok.com

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Woodstock Bar & Grill

•The descendent of a

restaurant once popular at Nana Plaza, this version is much more upmarket, but the music and food remain the same. The menu contains a smattering of items popular in US pubs and restaurants. Great burgers, Mexican dishes, Stews and Argentinean steaks. The ground floor features comfy booths and a snazzy copper bar; it’s suitable for the family and smoke free until 10pm. Upstairs is more casual and devoted to serious drinking, pool, and watching sports on giant TVs. There is parking around back. Thonglor Soi 13, 300m from Soi Thonglor (BTS Thonglor) Tel: 02 715 0202 www.woodstockbkk.com

The Queen Victoria Pub

•Slump into a leather

lounger at this traditional British tavern and you can tuck into a culinary lineup that would benefit a gourmet Steakhouse: rib-eye, sirloin, T-bone steaks, spare ribs, lamb chops. Also pick from a great range of seafood specials and perennial Thai favorites. The interior is comfortable and excellent for watching live sports; an al fresco terrace is the venue for regular barbecue nights. More prudish patrons shouldn’t worry about the pub’s location on Soi 23 (near Soi Cowboy). The Queen Victoria boasts a squeaky-clean image of family-friendly fun. Sukhumvit Soi 23, opposite Soi Cowboy, (BTS Asoke), Tel: 02 661 7417

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Mexican cuisine

Italian cuisine Fuzio

•Hidden away behind the

garrett secret bistro bar on the top floor of the Mini dealership on Soi Ekkamai, this stylish venue is intimate and cozy and serves some delightful gourmet Italian cuisine at excellent value for money. The restaurant attracts lots of regulars who like lounging in its comfy booths while tucking into pastas, pizzas, meat and seafood dishes. Not to be missed is the Grilled Australian aged Black Angus beef fillet mignon wrapped with Italian speck ham and goose liver in Porcini mushroom sauce. Rooftop, Mini Car Showroom (Ekamai Soi 7) Tel: 02 711 6999 www.fuzio.co.th

Da Vinci

•Named after the

greatest artist who ever lived, this handsome restaurant does justice to the wonderfully exciting Italian food of Leonardo da Vinci’s homeland. The sleek tables, comfy seats, traditional wooden cupboard and terra cotta flooring exude the warmth of a typical Tuscan diner. And the menu offers a superb range of Italian delicacies, ranging from cold cuts and cheeses to pastas, pizzas, meat and seafood dishes. An extensive wine list of over 100 labels is well considered and has something for every budget. Rembrandt Hotel & Towers Bangkok (4th Floor), Sukhumvit Soi 18, Tel: 02 261 7100 ext. 7527 http://rembrandtbkk.com, Open 11.30am - 2.30pm (lunch), 6pm - 11pm (dinner)

il Tartufo

•This gem of an Italian

restaurant is located in a wonderfully renovated house with a leafy garden on Sukhumvit 49. The restaurant prides itself on offering Italian cuisine just like you’d find in the north of Italy, and as the name suggests (il Tartufo means ‘The Truffle’) the menu features several gourmet items made using this renowned ingredient. Dine in homely comfort in the dining room, breezy garden, or air-conditioned conservatory. A large private dining room is also available on the first floor. Sukhumvit 49, Bangkok Tel: 02 259 3569, 080 062 7574 email: rsvn@iltartufobangkok.com (Parking available). Open daily from 11.30am-11.30pm

Coyote Bangkok²

T

equila, Margaritas and Mexican food are what this place is all about. The tequila collection is the largest in Thailand and over 75 different margaritas are served. The menu is diverse and not only possesses the requisite Tacos, Enchiladas, and Burritos, but also more elaborate items like Empanadas Carnitas - cornmeal pastries stuffed with spicy pork and a roasted tomato salsa. Although popular at lunch, the Coyote really howls in the evening when the after work crowd stumbles in for margaritas and a bite to eat. The best news is that there are now two branches – one located on Convent road, and one near the entrance of Sukhumvit Soi 33. Coyote on Convent: Convent Road, about 100m from Silom Road, (BTS Saladaeng) Open daily 11.00 - 01.00 Tel. 02 631 2325 www.coyoteonconvent.com Ladies Night on Wednesday, 6-8pm and Saturday 10-midnight. Coyote Sukhumvit: near the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 33 (BTS Phromphong) Open daily 11.00-01.00 Tel. 02 662 3838 www.coyotebangkok.com. Ladies Night on Thursday, 6-8pm.

Steak New York Steakhouse

•This is Bangkok’s most popular

steakhouse. Elegant, but still relaxed, it’s packed every night and reservations are a must. Other things appear on the menu, but steaks are what it’s all about. Features the finest US and Australian meat that is always properly stored and aged. The wine list is extensive and features a large number of wines by the glass. Numerous cocktails are available, but do yourself a favour and try the Classic Martini. It’s the perfect prelude to a steak. This restaurant isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the tariff.

JW Marriott Bangkok at Sukhumvit Soi 2 (BTS Ploenchit or BTS Nana), Tel: 02 656 7700

Tenderloins Sports Bar & Steak House

•Notable for successfully

marrying a crackling bar and an excellent grill featuring some of Bangkok’s best and most reasonably priced steaks,Tenderloins has a lot going for it.The menu is short, but features beef from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Burgers, salads and other items are also available.The wine list is compact and primarily Australian, but it has some excellent inexpensive choices.Tenderloins is a good and affordable choice for an after work drink and a good steak. Sukhumvit Soi 33(BTS Prom Pong), Tel: 02 258 4529 email: info@tenderloins33.com www.tenderloins33.com

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GOURMET FEATURE

Brunch time! Where to get the best weekend buffet deals

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok ■ INTERNATIONAL lunch buffet (every Sun from 11.30am-2.30pm) with a la minute cooking stations, seafood, soups, salads, roasts, carvery and dessert corner. B1,090 B1,300 with soft drinks B1,340 with soft drinks and wine

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao Bangkok 02 541 1234 Ext. 4204 :narisaja@chr.co.th

■ KNOWN as being one of the best Sunday brunches in town (11.30am3pm), the Four Seasons’ brunch features a vast selection of gourmet favourites from Madison, Biscotti, Spice Market, Shintaro and Aqua restaurants. Free flow wines and cocktails add to the fun. B2,700++ per person with free flow wines and cocktails B1,200++ for kids aged 5–11

155 Rajadamri Road 02 126 8866 :fourseasons.com/bangkok/

Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa (Trader Vic’s Sunday Brunch)

Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11 ■ CRAVE Restaurant’s weekend buffet (every Sat and Sun from 12pm-3pm) features a wide selection of seafood on ice as well as Asian favourites. B600 per person

Sukhumvit 11, 02 207 7080 :aloftholtels.com/bangkoksukhumvit11

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■ A longtime expat favourite, the riverside Sunday Brunch at Trader Vic’s (11.30am–3pm) offers a big selection of Asian and international favourites, with a fresh selection of coveted oysters, and crabs and shrimps cooked at live cooking stations. Oh – and there’s free flow drinks. B1,799++ per person with free flow soft drinks, juice, Mai Tai cocktails, sorbet and beer B2,199++ per person with free flow wine

Bangkok Riverside 02 476 0022 ext. 1416 :bangkokriverdining.com

Grand Sukhumvit Hotel Bangkok ■ THE Sunday Sleepover Brunch at Café de Nimes (12pm-3pm) features live cooking stations, fresh seafood and meats, Indian curries, Thai and European dishes, and entertainment by Johnnie One Man Band. B1,295 with soft drinks (add B200 for free flow beer)

Sukhumvit Soi 6 02 207 9999 :reservation@grandsukhumvit.com

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The Pavilion Restaurant at Dusit Thani Bangkok ■ INTERNATIONAL buffet spread including Maine lobster, oysters, panfried foie-gras, US Scallops, choice of shawarma and much more. Entertainment by Clown Eckie at the Kid’s Corner. B2,088++ per person Half price for kids under 10

846 Rama IV Road 02 200 9000 ext. 2399 :dtbkfbcs@dusit.com

Panorama at Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park ■ PANORAMA’S a la carte international buffet (every Sun from 12pm-3pm) offers guests hot and cold dishes of seafood, pasta, salad and a special Brazilian BBQ. B1,530++ per person (excluding drinks) 952 Rama IV Road

☎ 02 632 9000

Café@2 at Conrad Bangkok ■ ALL-day dining featuring a French – Thai buffet (every Sun from 11.30am–3pm) or a la carte selections. Recommended signature dishes include Braised lamb shoulder spiced with herbs polenta, Tom yum koong soup, and Lemon grass light Papaya salad. B1,889++ per person

Anantara Bangkok Riverside Resort & Spa ■ THE Thai Market Brunch (every Sun from 12pm-3pm) by Iron Chef winner Chumpol Jangprai features Wagyu beef sausages, imported oysters, Alaskan king crab, organic shrimp, kurobuta pork, veggies from the Royal Projects, and gourmet renditions of all your favourite Thai dishes. B1,400 per person includes free flow soft drinks, fresh juices, herbal drinks,Thai tea and coffee B1,800 per person includes free flow beer and Thai wines   B500 for kids aged 4-12

87 Wireless Road, Phatumwan 02 690 9299 :reserve@conradbangkok.com

Bangkok Riverside  02 476 0022 :bangkok-riverside.anantara.com

The Imperial Queen’s Park Hotel Intercontinental Bangkok ■ A Champagne Seafood & Jazz brunch at Espresso (every Sun from 12pm3pm) offers top quality seafood such as Japanese-grade sashimi and caviar, Alaskan crab, Maine lobsters, Pacific snow fish, Fine De Claire oysters, and more. B1,699++ per person Add B1,199++ per person for freeflow champagne, wine, beer and cocktails

973 Ploenchit Road 0 2 656 0444 :dining-experience.com

■ “Bangkok’s Biggest Brunch” (every Sun from 11.30am-3pm) offers over 300 dishes imported from 20 countries spread across the hotel’s three signature restaurants: Parkview, Imperial China and Kacho Restaurant. There’s also an indoor children’s playground. Sample food at all of the restaurants for the same price per person by registering with the cashier for a special dine-around pass. B1,600 per person (food only) B2,100 per person includes free flow beverages Kids under 10 eat free when accompanied by two paying adults

Sukhumvit 22 02 261 9300 ext. 4162 :reservation@imperialhotels.com

Landmark Hotel ■ DINERS can pick between Atrium Café for their international buffet or tuck into RR&B’s a la minute menu of western and seafood delights (every Sun from 12pm-3pm). Atrium Café B1,800 per person includes fruit punch and water. Add B790++ per person for free flow cocktails, beer, soft drinks, spirits (house pouring brand) Promotion: “Come 4 pay 2” RR&B B1,700++ per person includes soft drinks Add B 750++ per person for free flow Prosseco and wines

138 Sukhumvit Road 66 2 254 0404 :warawan@landmarkbangkok.com

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GOURMET FEATURE

The Metropolitan Hotel ■ Glow Sunday brunch (every Sun from 6am-2pm) features a continental breakfast buffet serving fresh fruits, pastries, yoghurts, cereals and juices with hot a la carte dishes. B720++ per person

27 South Sathorn Road 02 625 3366 :dining.met.bkk@comohotels.com

Novotel Bangkok Bangna ■ THE Sunday Brunch at The Square

Restaurant (11.30am-2.30pm) offers a wide range of local and international fare. B950++ per person with free flow draft beer, soft drinks and juice Half price for kids under 12

Bangna 02 366 0505 :novotelbangkokbangna.com/restaurant/the-square/

Novotel Siam Square ■ The all you can eat buffet at The Square restaurant (every Sun from 11.30am–3pm) features salads, main courses, grilled meats, Japanese cuisine, fresh baked breads and scrumptious desserts. Kids can enjoy games, drawing and painting. B950++ per person Add B690 per person for free flow of selected wines   Half Price for kids aged 12-16 Kids up to 10 years of age eat free when accompanied by 2 paying adults Siam Square Soi 6

The Square Restaurant at Novotel Bangkok Platinum ■ A GOOD family option, Sunday Brunch here (11.45am-3pm) includes international cuisine, live music by The CH2, and a children’s play corner. B1,099 ++ per person with buy 1 get 1 free Add B350++ per person for unlimited sparkling wine Kids under 12 eat for free

220 Petchaburi Road 02 160 7123 :H7272-FB4@accor.com

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☎ 02 209 8888 :novotelbkk.com

Plaza Athénée Bangkok, a Royal Méridien Hotel ■ SUNDAY Champagne Brunch at The Rain Tree Cafe (12pm–3pm) comes with a complimentary bottle of Champagne, modern gastronomy pass around items and molecular cocktails. B3,040 per person with a complimentary bottle of Laurent Perrier Brut L.P. Champagne N.V. for every two persons B800 for kids under 12

61 Wireless Road 02 650 8800 ext. 4346 :plazaatheneebangkok.com/theraintreecafe

Okura Prestige Bangkok ■ UP & Above restaurant combines Thai favourites and international buffet dishes for all the family to enjoy (every Sun from 11.40am-3pm). B1,800++ per person B2,400++ per person for a luncheon package with free flow cocktails, wines and beers B3,200++ per person includes one bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne per couple, wines, beers, smoothies B600++ for kids aged 7-12 57 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Pathumwan 02 687 9000 :okurabangkok.com

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5/2/12 5:23:43 PM

GOURMET FEATURE

Mandarin Oriental ■ EVERY Sunday (11.30am–2.30pm) enjoy a decadent selection of Shanghai haute cuisine at the China House with a selection of dim-sum and main courses such as Chilled drunken chicken with spicy marinated jelly fish, Honey-glazed ‘Cha Siew’ pork slices, and Hot and sour shredded chicken soup. B980++ per person with free flow of tea B1,380++ with free flow of tea, soft drinks and wine

Soi Oriental, Bang Rak 02 659 9000 :mobkk-restaurants@mohg.com

Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside

Pullman Bangkok King Power

■ INTERNATIONAL Seafood Buffet Brunch at the Terrace@72 (every Sun from 11.30am–3pm) B900++ per person B450++ for kids aged 5-12

2074 Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem 02 688 1000 ext. 118 :ramadaplazamenamriverside.com

■ BUBBLE brunch buffet with an array of local and international cuisines, including appetizing salads, seafood, and desserts in unique homemade style. Special buffet for kids as well as games and activities. B1,330 per person Free bottle of Mont Clair Brut sparkling wine from South Africa for every four paying adults

Ratchathewi 02 680 9999 :pullmanbangkokkingpower.com

Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit

Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, Bangkok Pullman Bangkok Hotel G ■ LAZY weekend lunch menu (every Sat and Sun from 6am-2pm) offers lunch served alongside a Breakfast menu including eggs prepared every way, milkshakes, muffins and fresh pancakes.

188 Silom Road 02 238 1991 :facebook.com/25DegreesBangkok

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■ RANG Mahal offers a Sunday Brunch Buffet (11am-2.30pm) featuring signature Indian dishes such as Tandoori Kebas and popular Middle Eastern favorites. Games and magic shows for the kids. B850 net per person Half price for kids under 12

Sukhumvit Soi 18  02 261 7100 :rembrandtbkk.com/dining/rang-mahal

■ SUNDAY Jazzy Brunch (every Sun from 12pm–3pm) at the hotel’s restaurants (Rossini’s, basil, and The Living Room) features an antipasti section with 50 different enticing appetizers, a wide range of seafood, Asian favourites, and some succulent roasted meats with vegetables. B2,200++ per person Add B699 for free flow beer, wines and cocktails Dining privileges apply for The Grande Club and Starwood Privilege Thailand members.

250 Sukhumvit Road 02 649 8353 :dining.sgs@luxurycollection.com

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Happy Hr. Buy 1 get 1 free every day 4pm.- 1am. (Include bottle of house wine & sparkling wine ) Special for Happy Hr. on Monday all day all nite

, Rum , n i G tails, Whisky k c o , C a ay Vodky Thursd Ever 6-8 pm

Bacchus, 20/6-7 Ruam Rudee, Ploenchit, Bangkok. Open daily 4pm – 1am. Tel: 02 650 8986 www.bacchus.tv

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GOURMET FEATURE

The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok ■ THREE buffets for the price of one every Sunday here, with food available at Taste, Kisso and Zest Bar & Terrace. Children can also play at the Westin Kid’s Club. B1,790 per person B895 for kids aged 3-12 Kids aged up to 10 dine free for every adult dining and half price for every additional child

Sukhumvit 19 02 207 8000 :westingrandesukhumvit.com

Sofitel So Bangkok ■ Red Oven’s Weekend Wine Brunch (every Sat and Sun from 12pm–3pm) includes free-flow wine (partnering with Wine Connection), beer, and soft drinks. Kids can enjoy the kids’ club. B1,900 per person Half price for kids aged 6-12 Sathorn Road,

☎ 02 624 0000 :sofitel.com

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit ■ The Magnifique Sunday Brunch features live cooking stations, imported, pizza, salads, homemade pasta, a wide variety of French artisan cheeses and breads, and much more.

Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok ■ SUNDAY Family buffet (12pm3pm) offers both European and Asian favourites and a live Dixie band playing popular tunes. Highlights include Caesar salad, and Brasserie Europa’s Signature Pork Belly with Iberico Ham and mashed potatoes. Diners are welcome to use the hotel’s swimming pool and let their kids play at the Kempinski Kids’ Club. B1,800++ per person B2,800++ per person includes Moet & Chandon Imperial Rose Brut B600++ for kids over 6 Rama I Road Pathumwan :kempinski.com

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☎ 02 162 9000

St Regis Bangkok ■ “The Dom Pérignon Brunch at the St Regis Bangkok” (every first Sun of the month from 12pm-4pm) provides superior international fare accompanied by great views of The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. B7,900++ per person with freeflow Dom Pérignon Vintage 2002

159 Rajadamri Road 02 207 7777 bangkok@stregis.com or :stregis.com/bangkok

B2,250 per person with unlimited soft drinks B3,200 per person with free flow Champagne, cocktails and house wines Half price for kids aged 6 – 12 yrs Sukhumvit 13-15 :sofitel.com

☎ 02 126 9999 ext.3304

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1/28/12 4:49:52 PM

ENTERTAINMENT HUMOUR

Jokes NELSON’S DILEMMA

Send your jokes to thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com

HTS THOUG E OF TH MONTH

JOKE OF THE MONTH

NELSON Mandela is sitting at home when he hears a knock at the door. When he opens it, he’s confronted by a little Chinese man clutching a clipboard yelling: “You sign! You sign!” while pointing at a truck full of car exhausts. Nelson says: “Look, you’ve obviously got the wrong address,” and shuts the door. Next day Nelson hears another knock at the door. When he opens it the little Chinese man is back with a truckload of brake pads. He thrusts the clipboard under Nelson’s nose, yelling: “You sign! You sign!” Nelson pushes the little Chinese man away: “Clear off! You’ve got the wrong man!” and slams the door. The following day the little Chinese man is back. He thrusts the clipboard under Nelson’s nose, shouting: “You sign! You sign!” Behind him are two trucks full of windscreens. This time Nelson loses his temper. “Look, I don’t want these! You must have the wrong name! Who do you want to give these to?” The little Chinese man looks at him puzzled, consults his clipboard, and says: “So, you not Nissan Main Dealer?”

1. The Government is very worried about childhood obesity. I don’t know what they can do about it really except for strengthening see-saws. – Sean Lock 2. I know someone who’s trying to set up a “Speed Groping” night. It’s touch and go whether it happens. 3. Fifty Shades Of Grey has not made it okay for women to read porn on public transport. I was reading Bum Bandits 5 this morning and the looks I got…– Grainne Maguire 4. My ex-girlfriend’s a lecturer. But, then again, aren’t they all? – Alistair Barrie 5. If men fear commitment, how come so many buy football season tickets? – Luke Toulson

LOST AT SEA

THREE men are stranded in a small boat. After bobbing about for a week they see a huge hand slowly rise out of the water. As they watch, the hand slowly dips to the right, then slowly to the left. It then submerges beneath the waves. “Streuth!” says one of the men. “Did you see the size of that wave?”

SPORTY GRANNY AN old woman goes to a leisure center and asks if she can join the aerobic class. “I’m not sure if that’s a good idea,” says the instructor. “How flexible are you?” “Oh, very,’ replies the old woman. “But I can’t make Tuesdays.”

TOP 10 GAGS FROM THE EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 7.Pornography is often

1.You know who

really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks. – Stewart Francis

2.

4. You know you’re

working class when your TV is bigger than your book case. – Rob Beckett

Last night me and my girlfriend watched three I’m good friends DVDs back to back. Luckily with 25 letters of the I was the one facing the alphabet…I don’t know telly. – Tim Vine why. – Chris Turner

3.

I was raised as an only child, which really annoyed my sister. – Will Marsh

5.

6.

I took part in the sun tanning Olympics - I just got Bronze. – Tim Vine

frowned upon, but that’s only because I’m concentrating. – George Ryegold

8.

I saw a documentary on how ships are kept together. Riveting! – Stewart Francis

9.

I waited an hour for my starter so I complained: ‘It’s not rocket salad.” – Lou Sanders

10. My mum’s so pessimistic,

that if there was an Olympics for pessimism…she wouldn’t fancy her chances. – Nish Kumar

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Y O U R U L T I M A T E W H A T ’ S O N G U I D E F O R O C T O B E R 1 2

What’s on pArt pPerformance pSport pFootball pMovies Movies & Albums pBooks

Tango legends Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa will perform on Oct 14. See page 86.

Have a laugh The Punchline Comedy Club returns with three hot comedians Page 87

Culture One

The fifth edition of this annual music festival looks set to be huge Page 87

Time to run

The Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon sets off on Nov 18 Page 88 TheBigChilli 83

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WHAT’S ON THE ARTS

Exhibitions UNTIL NOV 10 THE IMPERIAL QUEEN’S PARK

A REALITY OF WATER COLOR

NATURE in all its glory is the focus of Chairit Srisa-ngasomboon’s latest series of watercolour paintings, which are stunningly realistic and look like photographs. Part of the proceeds of the exhibition will be donated to the TAPASA Foundation’s Phra-da-bos school project. Sukhumvit 22

☎ 02 261 9300 ext. 5938

UNTIL OCT 20 NUMBER 1 GALLERY

TEMPTING PASSION, VANISHING EMOTION

OBSESSIONS, temptations and dreamlike states are just three of the concepts explored in the quirky new series of paintings by Thanasatith Kongsatith. Characters borne from the artist’s imagination show how various life experiences have left their mark on his mind, which is laid bare here through his art. 919/1 The Silom Galleria, Silom Road, Soi 19. 02 630 3381 email: info@number1gallery.com : numberonegallery.com

UNTIL NOV 30 LE MÉRIDIEN BANGKOK

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON PHOTOGRAPHY

LE Méridien Bangkok and Lonely Planet Magazine Thailand present a stunning series of photographs by the young Thai photographers who recently entered the magazine’s ‘Incredible Journey’ photo contest.

40/5 Surawong Road, 02 232 8888 : lemeridienbangkokpatpong.com

UNTIL DEC 8 EAT ME RESTAURANT

SAN-STI OCT 19 – NOV 14 FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS CLUB OF THAILAND

PAINTINGS FROM THE BANGKOK NIGHT

ARTIST and filmmaker Chris Coles presents some of his most recent large-format acrylic paintings of various scenes and some of the people who populate the Bangkok Night. His paintings, in the Expressionist style, are jagged and emotional portraits, revealing a raw and primitive layer of the human experience. For details about the opening night (free entry) see: www.fccthai.com The Penthouse, Maneeya Center, 518/5 Ploenchit Road 02 652 0580/1 : fccthai.com chriscolesgallery.com

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EXPLORING philosophies and symbolism derived from Buddhist thought, Tanika ‘Pook’ Panyarachun’s first solo exhibition in Thailand features delicately woven structures that evoke both a meditative process and themes of departure, change and renewal. Eat Me Restaurant/gallery, Convent Road (next to the Carmelite Monastery), Silom. Open 3pm-1am 02 238 0931: eatmerestaurant.com

OCT 17 – NOV 18 SOMBAT PERMPOON GALLERY

HUMAN

SAIYART Semangern, 2008’s Honorary Silpathorn Award winner, presents a series of tabletop sculptures which explore how human beings interact with each other – showcasing feelings of love, greed, anger and passion.

12 Sukhumvit Soi 1 02 254 6040-6 : sombatpermpoongallery.com

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OCT 16 – NOV 25 ARDEL GALLERY

WAY OF LIFE: NATURE/ CULTURE

THERE’S plenty to feast your eyes on at this exhibition featuring painting, sculptures, prints and mixed media by four different artists. Srijai Kuntawang’s series brings Lanna lifestyle and culture to life; Opas Chomchuen’s paintings explore how life is shaped by nature; Somsak Phromchak’s sculptures deal with childhood memories and experiences; and Ammarin Kuntawong’s series of prints present northern Thailand in all its glory.

UNTIL NOV 25 DOB HUALAMPHONG GALLERY

ABERRATION

Boromratchonnee Road. Open Tues – Sun 10.30am-7.30pm (closed Mon). 02 422 2092 : ardelgallery.com

NOV 15 – DEC 23 ARDEL’S THIRD PLACE GALLERY

PHYSICAL appearances and human behavior come under the spotlight in Pansa Buddharaksa’s latest series of oil paintings, which explore how many decisions we make are often driven by provocative forces – forces we’re not always aware of.

PEACE IN MIND

ART instructor and travel writer Pishnu Supanimit’s latest work features a series of paintings, prints and photographs which explore how visiting scenic spots can not only broaden the mind, but also create inner peace.

318 Rama 4 Road. Open Tues-Sat 10.30am-7pm; Sun 10.30am-5.30pm (closed Mon) 02 237 5592-4 : ardelgallery.com

Sukhumvit 55, Thonglor Soi 10. Open Tues-Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10.30am-5.30pm (Closed Mon) 02 422 2092 : ardelgallery.com

UNTIL NOV 4 BANGKOK ART AND CULTURE CENTER

THAI TRENDS FROM LOCALISM TO INTERNATIONALISM

THIS huge exhibition features more than 300 artworks created during the past 70 years by nationally renowned artists and young, emerging artists. The artistic creations on display include paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, and video art, all of which have been meticulously selected by Professor Dr. Apinan Poshyananda, Committee of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre Foundation, and a team of highly-regarded curators. Bangkok Art and Culture Center (next to National Stadium BTS) 02 214 6630-38 ext. 519

OCT 18 – NOV 15 GALERIE N

SEEK

JAKKRIT and Pattree Chimnok’s joint art exhibition features two different themes: Jakrit focuses on his inner-self and paints about wisdom, while Pattree’s work represents the story of time and memory. 139/5 Withayu Road, Lumpinee. Open Tues-Sun 10am-7pm 02 654 0522

ONGOING LEAPFROG

UNTAMED BY V64

TEN artists from V64 studio present a variety of paintings, pottery, and sculptures celebrating a world of colours and diversity. Ramada Encore Bangkok

☎ 02 615 0909

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WHAT’S ON PERFORMANCE

10 hot choices OCT 13 THE BRITISH CLUB

THE COUNTRY WIFE

HOT on the heels of its successful ‘funny nunny’ musical “Nunsense,’ the Bangkok Community Theatre returns with a performance of William Wycherley’s hilariously bawdy classic Restoration comedy, “The Country Wife.” While it was written over 350 years ago, the play’s themes of sexual freedom, gossip, double standards and hypocrisy are as relevant today as they were in the 17th Century. Expect lots of laughs and a fun night out. A pre-show buffet will be available featuring traditional British dishes.

2 OCT 14 THAILAND CULTURAL CENTER

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TANGO LEGENDS

Tickets: B800. 081 741 0703 email: bctcountry@gmail.com : bct-th.org

4 OCT 20

BACC AUDITORIUM, BANGKOK ART AND CULTURE CENTER

FILMS FORUM: NINO

THE third film in BACC’s new ‘Cinema Diverse’ Film Series is ‘NINO’, a much-acclaimed movie from the Philippines directed by Loy Arcenas, a theatre-specialist who was based in New York for many years. Offering a strong social portrait of contemporary Filipino society, the film stars Shamaine Centera Buencamin, who recently won an Asian Film Award for her role in the movie. Free entry. Reception starts 5pm. Screening at 6.30pm. Q&A with Director/Actress at 8pm. 02 214 6630/31 filmsforum1@gmail.com

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THE International Festival of Dance and Music will end in style with a performance by Tango legends Mariela Maldonado and Pablo Sosa from Argentina. Tickets range B700-B2,500. Performance starts 7.30pm : bangkokfestivals.com : tangolegends.com

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OCT 18 – 21 IMPACT EXHIBITION HALL 2

DISNEY LIVE: MICKEY’S ROCKIN’ ROAD SHOW

MICKEY, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and many other famous Disney characters take to the stage for a live musical adventure that the kids are sure to love. Performances in English will be held on Oct 19 and 20. Tickets range B900 to B2,000 : Thaiticketmajor.com

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OCT 20 THAILAND CULTURAL CENTER

GREAT ARTISTS OF THE WORLD: JI-YONG

THE Korean child prodigy who set the world of classical music on fire 11 years ago by becoming the youngest-ever pianist to win the New York Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artists Competition at the age of just 10, makes his recital debut in Bangkok. The recital forms part of the celebrations for the Birthday Anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen. Tickets range B400-B2,000 : Thaiticketmajor.com

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OCT 26 AND 27 SUNDOWNER’S BAR, IMPERIAL QUEEN’S PARK HOTEL

PUNCHLINE COMEDY CLUB

8 NOV 2 IMPACT EXHIBITION HALL 1

THE Punchline Comedy Club returns with three of the hottest comedians on the world circuit. Bringing the laughs this time are Eddy Brimson and Mickey Hutton from the UK, and Marcus Ryan from Australia.

CHICAGO

Tickets: B1,500 02-233-4141-2 : thebarbicanbangkok.com

OCT 28

7 SCALA THEATRE TOMMY EMMANUEL LIVE AND ACOUSTIC

ONE of the longest-running and most successful rock groups in history, Chicago is bringing its greatest hits tour to Bangkok. Expect to hear chart-topping singles such as You’re The Inspiration, Hard to Say I’m Sorry, and If You Leave Me Now. Tickets range from B1,500 to B5,000 : Thaiticketmajor.com Show starts 8pm

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FOR finger plucking entertainment at its best, take yourself along to see this acoustic performance by Aussie guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel – reckoned by many musos to be one of the world’s best guitarists. Earlier in the day you can even showcase your guitar skills on stage (www.dotime.com). Tickets range B1,000 to B2,500 : Thaiticketjor.com Show starts 7.30pm

NOV 17 BITEC ARENA, BANGNA

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CULTURE ONE

THE fi fth edition of the annual Culture One Music Festival is set to be the biggest yet, with five-stages, five different genres of music, and over 30 artists. There’ll be DJ sets from Dash Berlin, 808 State, Godskitchen Boombox, Bare Noize, Graeme Park, and live PA from Rawetta and maraca wielding dancer Bez (Happy Mondays). Over at the new Popscene stage, you can catch performances by a host of new and inspiring bands from the Bangkok underground, such as Polar Bare Knuckles, Class A Cigarettes, Mattnimare, and The Standards, as well as top indie acts from the Asian region such as Paranoid City (Manila), Free Deserters (Kuala Lumpur) and Brett Newski & The Corruption (US/Saigon). Headliners are the UK’s Mercury Music Award nominees Young Knives. For a full line-up see: www.culture-one-bkk.com Tickets B2,000 pre-sale and B2,500 on the door (VIP tickets available) : culture-one-bkk.com Gates open 3pm

NOV 5 IMPACT ARENA, MUANG THONG THANI

DAVID FOSTER AND FRIENDS LIVE IN BANGKOK

MUSICIAN, songwriter and producer David Foster put on a cracking show when he and a host of world-class singers performed in Bangkok in 2010. Now he’s returning to do more of the same with a new group of superstar friends: 10-time Grammy Award winners Chaka Khan and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, young New Zealand classical crossover singing sensation Hayley Westenra, ’80s pop sensation Paul Young, and newcomers Dirty Loops from Sweden. Tickets range B1,000-B5,000 : Thaiticketmajor.com

Show starts at 8.30pm

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WHAT’S ON OUTDOOR FUN

Sport OCT 11 DUSIT THANI BANGKOK

FIGHT NIGHT 2012

OPERATION Smile’s first ‘Fight Night’ fundraiser held last year was a huge success, and we reckon this will be just as fun, if not better. The event will feature a four course meal (with free flow beer, wine, scotch and soft drinks), roulette games, a silent auction, and the main event – four live matches featuring wannabe Rocky Balboas and even some pros. Tickets: B3,000 per person or B28,000 per table of 10. : fightnightbangkok@gmail.com

☎ 089 224 5170

OCT 23 – 28 LEAMTAEN, BANGSAEN BEACH

BANGSAEN THAILAND OPEN

HELD since 2006 in Phuket, Thailand’s annual beach volleyball world tournament is moving this year to a new home at Bangsaen beach. The last stop on the 2012 FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour, it’s expected to attract over 60 teams from 30 countries, including the cream of the women’s beach volleyball teams who competed in the Olympic Games in London. Matches start at 9am daily, and admission is free. : www.pentanglepromotions.com

NOV 1 – 18 VARIOUS STADIUMS

FIFA FUTSAL WORLD CUP THAILAND 2012

THE world’s top 24 futsal teams are coming to Bangkok to compete for the title over 52 matches. The four stadiums hosting the action are the Bangkok Futsal Arena, Indoor Stadium Huamark, Nimibutr Stadium, and Korat ChatChai Hall. Tickets range B100 to B900 : Thaiticketmajor.com

OCT 26 – 28 ROYAL THAI POLICE STADIUM, DON MUENG

OCT 20 AMARI WATERGATE BANGKOK

AMARI WATERGATE & BMW THAILAND CHARITY MIDNIGHT RUN

WEAVING through Bangkok at Midnight on roads that have been specially closed off to traffic, this popular annual charity run offers two distances: 6km or 12km. Participants can win airline tickets, hotel stays, luxury watches, dining vouchers, and many other prizes. : www.amari.com/watergate/charity-midnight-run. aspx

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BANGKOK RUGBY 7S

NOV 18 BANGKOK

STANDARD CHARTERED BANGKOK MARATHON THE 25th Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon will see thousands of athletes from Thailand and abroad put their stamina to the test in Thailand’s heat. See page 89 for more info. : www.bkkmarathon.com

The 18th Bangkok Sevens is sure to serve up another great weekend of rugby. International and Thai teams will compete for the Women’s Sevens ‘Check Inn 99’ Cup and Plate events from Fri to Sun, while the Men’s Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield competitions will be played out on Sat and Sun. Entry is free. Refreshments on site. Entry is free. Games start at 11am on Fri, 8.30am on Sat and Sun. : www.bangkoksevens.com

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SPORT Q&A where the runners can see The Democracy Monument. For the longer-distance runners, they will take the scenic Rama 8 Bridge that spans across the famous Chao Phraya River.

express their reason for running through their costumes.

How many people do you expect to take part in the run? Every year the event draws more than 50,000 runners from Thailand and other Apart from Standard Chartered, who are the other countries, so this year we hope that many people will join the sponsors? We partner with our long- marathon and together mark it as the event of the year again. term alliances. They are The National Jogging Association of Thailand (NJAT), Bangkok Plus many more either helping out or cheering on the runners, right? Correct, there will be both

RUNNING FOR A REASON WITH STANDARD CHARTERED The 25th edition of the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon will be held on November 19. Here, Khun Lyn Kok, President and Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank, explains more about the run and why everyone should ʻRun for a Reasonʼ Since this is the 25th marathon organized by the bank, it is clearly a special occasion, right? Yes, it has always been a very special occasion as it is a traditional and premier running event in Bangkok and the AsiaPacific region. And Standard Chartered marathon is run in nine markets spanning four continents. In Thailand, this is the 25th Bangkok Marathon while the 7th consecutive marathon sponsorship for Standard Chartered. Internally, our bank staff raise funds all through the year for the ‘Seeing is Believing’ project, a global initiative to help tackle avoidable blindness. It’s been our commitment since 2003 to raise USD 100 million by 2020. Every dollar raised is matched by our Group which doubles the impact. Since 2003, Standard Chartered

staff have raised USD 43 million and this money has helped 2.8 million cataract sufferers see again, protected 3.9 million people from Vitamin A and river blindness and trained over 68,000 health workers. So, let me reconfirm that this year is a very special event as the marathon is not only about running, but it’s more of aspiration. Is it a full or half marathon, and what is the route? It is comprised of a full marathon, half marathon, minimarathon, micromarathon, and a fun run. For the routing, the Bangkok Marathon is renowned for having one of the most beautiful routes in this region. The scenic passage goes from The Grand Palace to Rachadumnoen Road

Metropolitan Administration, The Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and other private sponsors.

the runners themselves and the marathon crew giving the event a festive atmosphere and making it even more fun and special.

Please explain the title of this year’s event – ‘Run for a Reason’ The marathon gives thousands of ordinary people a reason to feel extraordinary. In continuation of the theme “Run for a Reason,” our marathon characterizes the values and attitude that Standard Chartered believes in, and lives by every day. Our event represents a ‘can-do’ attitude, a priority on strength of trust, and willpower. That’s why this year we encourage the runners to

How can runners register to take part? They can apply at every branch of Standard Chartered Bank and McDonald’s, and also online (see below). Will you, Khun Lyn, be running? Definitely, I will do the 2.5-km fun run as it reflects my personality and it is the most participated category of this running event. For more info: :bkkmarathon.com

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WHAT’S ON sport

Thai Premier League

Soccer pundit Paul Hewitt examines what’s happening in the world of Thai football

Sven’s appointment a great boost for Thai football

S

SVEN Goran Eriksson’s arrival in Thai football is a late-season plus for the domestic game. The veteran Swedish tactician may only be in the Land of Smiles until the end of the season but his technical director role at BEC Tero Sasana has generated some much needed good publicity for the TPL. Eriksson’s appointment made sports headlines around the world and Tero have already expressed a desire to retain the Swede’s services for the 2013 campaign. Tero picked up some good results in the weeks immediately following his appointment at the start of September. Chainat were beaten 4-2 in the league and then the Fire Dragons picked up a very good 1-1 draw at Buriram in the first leg of the League Cup quarter finals. Unfortunately for them, they went out on the away goals rule as Buriram scored a last minute equalizer at Thephasadin Stadium as the match finished 2-2 on the night and 3-3 on aggregate. Another decent 1-1 away draw was secured at Bangkok Glass but the first defeat in the Sven era came when Tero were surprisingly handed a 2-0 defeat by struggling Thai Port. The appointment of Eriksson is a statement of intent by the Pathumwan based club. The 2002 AFC Champions League finalists are determined to bring back the glory days in an era in which Muangthong and Buriram are threatening to totally dominate. Tero have the financial clout but what they don’t have is a substantial fanbase nor a stadium fit for an aspirational well-heeled TPL club. The creation of the latter should produce the former, and Eriksson stated in his first interview in Thailand – with the club’s official website – that a new stadium is in the pipeline. Any new arena will likely be well away from their current home, probably back in Nong Jork where the club used to play.

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PAT Stadium

AS the first two parts of the series covered the two biggest grounds in the capital readers may be expecting another substantial arena this month. Thammasat suggested itself for its size and external architectural merit as did Chulalongkorn and Army stadiums for their large capacities. But I settled on the more humble surroundings of the PAT Stadium in Khlong Toey as it ticks the box of being a football-only venue. It is Thai Port F.C, of course, who play their home games at the PAT Stadium. But when the venue opened after the club’s formation in 1968 the team carried the name Port Authority of Thailand FC and the ground was known as the  Tarua (Port) Stadium. And it’s only in recent years that the ground has developed both its physical and atmospheric presence. In January 2009, the ‘stadium’ comprised just one dilapidated main stand – slightly improved since then – with the other three sides being completely open save for sturdy white railings separating access roads and car parks from the pitch. The reinvention of the club as Thai Port F.C and the relaunch-of-

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Run-in Roundup

AT the time of writing, late September, it’s all but inconceivable that Muangthong won’t win the TPL – their fifth championship in six years. They are thirteen points ahead of Chonburi with six games to play, although Chonburi have one game in hand. The Twin Qilins are still unbeaten in the league although they lost their unbeaten status in all competitions when former tenants TOT knocked them out of the League Cup. Chonburi too look secure in second place as Buriram now lag eight points back in third. The Sharks’ ascendancy has been helped in no small part by completing the league double over the 2011 champions. Buriram are now a huge 21 points behind Muangthong. It’s been an almost exact reversal of roles from 2011 when reigning champions Muangthong trailed Buriram by a similar margin at this stage of the season. BEC Tero are looking good for a fourth-place finish. That’s partly because of a collapse in form by Bangkok Glass. The ever underachieving Glass Rabbits are down to sixth but are at least still in both cup competitions. They really need to win one of those in order to be able to even vaguely justify their massive outlay on players. Two other capital clubs, Army United and TOT, could both still potentially finish above Bangkok Glass. Army have had a solid season – top six is about the best they could have hoped for at the start of the season – and TOT have done really well to get themselves up into mid-table safety. The perennial relegation strugglers are just two points behind the aforementioned BG and are also into the semi-finals of the League Cup. Thai Port, Police United and BBCU are all locked in the relegation battle. It’s highly likely that two out of those three will go down.

sorts of the TPL prompted the club to erect what looked to be a temporary stand on the touchline opposite the existing main stand. As ‘Thai Port’ the club managed to connect with the community in Khlong Toey as never before, the rise in attendances, boosted by successful cup runs, saw a home end added in June 2009 – a simple open terrace with deep metal steps (later replaced by a larger version) – and a second tier added to that increasingly permanent-looking “temporary stand” on the north touchline in 2010. The one remaining open side of the ground, the eastern end to the right of the main stand, was filled with the most basic stand of the new trio – a flimsy-looking collection of poles, struts and bench seats which could seemingly be lifted up and discarded by any of the nearby Port Authority cranes. So the PAT Stadium is very basic, crude even. But, in most cases, a football ground is only as special as the fans that populate it. In the cold light of day the PAT is unremarkable; but brimful of the seething Khlong Toey masses and it becomes a very different beast. Noted stadium writer Simon Inglis once described Millwall’s old Den as “proud, prickly, warm and wild.” This writer can testify that something similar awaits the fan who enters the Port Lions’ Den.

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WHAT’S ON SCREEN AND STEREO

Movies & music Oct 4 Action

Taken 2

LIAM Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the retired CIA agent who stopped at nothing to save his daughter Kim from Albanian kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge, and takes Bryan and his wife hostage during their family vacation in Istanbul, Bryan enlists Kim to help them escape, and uses the same advanced level of special forces tactics to get his family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers one by one.

Oct 18 Thriller

Alex Cross

BASED on the smash hit novels by James Patterson, Alex Cross tells the story of a young homicide detective/psychologist (Tyler Perry) who meets his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits.

Nov 1 Action

Skyfall

A MISSION in Istanbul goes horribly wrong, Bond (Daniel Craig) is presumed dead, and the identities of every active undercover MI6 agent are posted on the internet. In short, the faeces has hit the fan. What’s more, Bond has more than just the baddies to deal with – he discovers some shocking truths about his boss, M (Judi Dench), which will leave him both shaken and stirred.

Oct 11 Sci-Fi

Looper

ALREADY labeled the ‘new Matrix’ by many US critics, Looper is set in a future where time travel has been invented, but it’s only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past, where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good...until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination.

Movie screenings are subject to change. Keep up to date at movieseer.com

Memory Lane

New Music 2nd Law Muse

ON their sixth studio album, British rockers Muse look set to offer up a blend of everything from symphonic rock and dubstep to synth pop and funk rock, with influences from Queen and Radiohead to Justice and Does it Offend You, Yeah? (Release date: Oct 1)

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Willpower Will.i.am

Everything he touches turns to Hip Hop gold, so Will.I.Am’s fourth studio album is sure to be another smash hit. Features collaborations with Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Scherzinger, David Guetta, Mick Jagger, and more big name artists. (Release date: Oct 10)

Take the Crown Robbie Williams

REJUVENATED after his mega-successful Take That reunion, the bad-boy turned good hopes his new solo album will once again see him become an international chart-topping presence. Includes the single ‘Candy,’ penned with Gary Barlow. (Release date: Nov 5)

Topping the UK charts OCt 1982

1. Renee & Renato – Save Your Love 2. Eddy Grant – I Don’t Wanna Dance 3. Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Annie I’m Not Your Daddy 4. Dionne Warwick – Heartbreaker 5. Tears For Fears – Mad World 6. Kids From Fame – Starmaker 7. Wham! – Young Guns (Go For It) 8. Marvin Gaye – (Sexual) Healing 9. Beatles – Love Me Do (re-entry) 10. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)

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FEATURE COPYING THE COPS

THAILAND’S FAKE POLICE

With authentic accessories and uniforms easily available in shops, it’s no wonder the boys in grey are copied Police helmet. B350

Maxmilian Wechsler investigates police imposters, speeding cars with unauthorized emergency lights flashing - and foreigners hassled on the street by the real police

Police cap. B250

Police jacket. B650 Police badge with shield. B300

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Police ID (plastic). B20

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POLICE imposters are unfortunately a common feature of Thailand’s crime scene. They’re involved in an assortment of crimes from drug trafficking, blackmail to extortion, fraud and rape – and the victims may be Thais or foreigners. To instantly pass as a police officer is remarkably easy. You can purchase various authentic police accessories without hassle or much expense from shops and stalls in Bangkok and upcountry, and at places where the real police shop as well.   These accessories include articles of clothing like jackets, caps, T-shirts and other items with embroidered or printed emblems T-shirts or logos of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), Crime Suppression or Division (CSD), Metropolitan Police Bureau, Immigration Division Bureau and other police agencies.   Any person, Thai and foreign, can also buy authentic police emblems, insignias or logos of different sizes made from fabric, plastic or paper stickers that can be attached on clothes, cars, motorcycles or practically anything. These stickers can be bought for 10 to 20 baht each from vendors pushing carts on Bangkok streets.   Also available and quite affordable are transceivers, police riot shields, buttons (some illuminated), various designs of police vests, megaphones, and helmets for motorcycle patrol and traffic police.   You can buy a police shield badge that you can hang on your neck and even pick up a fill-in-the-blanks permit to carry a gun. It takes just a few minutes to attach a photo and fill in personal information on these items. The badge sells for about 300 baht and the gun permit for only 10 baht. If you want to make an even more realistic impression, for 20 baht you can buy a plastic wallet with the emblem of the CSD and keep the permit there.   To prove the point two BigChilli volunteers were transformed into policemen. Few people on the street would suspect that anyone walking around decked out like this was an imposter. For a bit more money to buy the appropriate cap, our graphics designer could become a police colonel (cap with one row of silver flowers) or higher ranking officer (cap with two rows of silver flowers).   Thais generally respect and even admire anyone in uniform and this may explain their popularity. And this doesn’t stop at the police and military; many other professions wear uniforms with lots of flashy of badges and decorations that can all be bought by anyone to impersonate private security guards, teachers, toll collectors on the expressways, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) officers and many more.   All the accessories in the accompanying photos were bought by a Thai woman and foreign man from shops in Bangkok and at a stall near the police station in Hua Hin. During the purchases, no questions were asked either by the sellers or other customers, most or all of whom were genuine policemen, some in uniform. They were buying things like accessories showing police rank, belts, handcuffs, gun holsters and articles of official clothing. With more than 200,000 officers serving in the RTP, it is a thriving business, even without the imposters.    There are in fact laws on the books concerning impersonating a police officer, but when two senior police officers were asked in what circumstances an imposter should be arrested, there was some disagreement.   They differed in opinion on whether a person who is not a police officer but appears in public wearing a cap or jacket with the Royal Thai Police insignia should be arrested. One policeman said that he would be breaking the law and should be arrested and charged. The other said that making an arrest would depend on whether the person was giving an impression to the public that he/she was a police officer.    However, they agreed that if someone approaches a citizen or foreigner wearing clothes with police insignia and badge and introduces himself as a police or other official, then threatens, intimidates or demands money, they should definitely be arrested.

The law:

 B.E. 2499 (1956)

Penal Code of Thailand

Section 145 an official and exercises Whoever claims to be cial cial without being an offi the functions of an offi h wit hed nis pu be ll sha so, having the power to do t no ned ing one year or fi imprisonment not exceed or both. exceeding 2,000 Baht,   Section 146 uniform e the right to wear the Whoever does not to hav islative Leg te Sta of cial, member or insignia of any of offi er of mb me or bly sem As l Provincia Assembly, member of any of use not to have the right to Municipal Assembly, or the lize bo ration or thing to sym official title, rank, deco by another in order to be believed so do to decoration, and things, the right to wear those person than oneself has ing one imprisonment not exceed shall be punished with th. bo ing 2,000 Baht, or year or fined not exceed                                    2(1939)                              Official Logo Act B.E. 248 Section 6 personnel of be used by authorized Official logos may only s. the relevant department Section 7 ing using tate official logos, includ Nobody can copy or imi play copied terials. Nobody can dis different colours of ma s. on any material or good or imitated official logos Section 8 punished n 6 or Section 7 will be Whoever violates Sectio a fine not exceeding one year and with imprisonment not exceeding 2,000 baht. TheBigChilli

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FEATURE COPYING THE COPS

Bright flashing lights

  ANYBODY is free to buy emergency lights or sirens, but a permit from the RTP Office is needed to install and use them on vehicles or motorcycles. The permit must be obtained for police, military, fire brigade, emergency, municipal and all other kinds of official vehicles, and is valid for three years.   The choice of flashing lights and sirens is wide, and one shop offered to install them on our vehicle without asking for a permit.   According to the regulations, different types of emergency vehicles should use specific colours of lights. For example, police, military and fire brigade cars can use red lights, ambulances should use blue, and yellow lights should be used by other emergency vehicles, like those of the BMA, Expressway Authority of Thailand and rescue foundation vehicles. However, these generally use red or a combination of red and blue lights, as do ambulances.

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  One police officer said that owners of vehicles using unauthorized emergency lights and decorating their cars with police emblems could be impersonating police in order to smuggle drugs, transport illegal immigrants or commit other crimes. On the other hand, some are probably just doing it for fun or to show off.   In one incident witnessed by a colleague on September 4 this year, a black Honda Accord with Nakhon Sawan plates zoomed past on the expressway going toward Bangkok with red and blue emergency lights flashing inside the cabin. The car was doing at least 150km/h, zig-zagging and overtaking cars in a dangerous manner.   The car was stopped at a toll gate where the police regularly maintain a checkpoint in the morning. Four policemen, one at each door, approached the car and were talking to the occupant or occupants. The colleague didn’t stick around long enough to see if the driver was arrested.   Another policeman assisting this article described a similar incident at around 3pm on September 11, when a black Toyota Fortuner with Phetchaburi plates, and red emergency lights flashing, raced along the same expressway towards Bangkok. Motorists were getting out of the way and letting it pass, probably out of fear of being rammed by the vehicle.     The policeman said that many vehicles belonging to provincial administration organizations use red emergency lights for motorcades or escorts on provincial roads and think they can do the same in Bangkok. He believes that this applies to the two cases above. It was in February 2010 that Police Major General Panu Kerdlapphol, Deputy Commissioner of the MPB (now Lieutenant General, Commissioner, Provincial Police Region 3) warned motorists not to use unauthorized emergency lights and sirens or decorate their vehicles with police shields.  “I think that these people are half-psycho, half-arrogant. The real police cars normally keep their emergency lights and sirens off,” Mr. Panu said. He ordered Bangkok traffic police to crack down on such vehicles and also asked rescue foundations to use only yellow lights. These foundations responded that yellow lights are not respected and motorists will not make way for them.

The law:

Land Traffic A

ct B.E. 2522 (1

979) Section 13 Cars and mot orcycles cann ot use flashing-li ghts, sirens, whistles, falte ring sound, et c., except emerge ncy vehicles, military and po lice vehicles, or when permitt ed by the regu lation. Penalty for these offe nces are 500 baht.

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Foreigners searched on Sukhumvit

  ON August 12 the Bangkok Post published a letter with the headline: “Paranoia Strikes on the Street.” Following are exerts from the letter: “I was walking along Sukhumvit Road close to Interchange Tower, totally sober and minding my own business, when a policeman standing near a group of motorcycle taxis asked me where I was going. At first I actually thought he was just being friendly, but then he told me to hand over my backpack. He gave it a pretty good search and then asked me to empty my pockets and show him what was inside. “When I pulled out my wallet he took it and looked through it, but didn’t take anything. Then he asked me where I lived before waving me off. It may be that there was a credible reason for stopping me, but his demeanour was kind of creepy and I was happy to be on my way with no complications. “I’m aware of the scams in which police take small bribes from motorists and the one from the ‘cigarette police,’ but in the more than 10 years I’ve lived in Bangkok this is the first time I have been stopped and searched or hassled in any way on the street, which I think says a lot for the Thai police department’s treatment of foreigners in general.” The letter caught our attention because we had been monitoring the vicinity for a while after hearing of similar incidents. In July and August The BigChilli witnessed three searches of foreigners, all males and all Caucasians. In one incident a young foreign man holding a plastic bag was searched at the corner of Asoke and Sukhumvit roads by six policemen. They appeared to be enjoying themselves, joking and laughing while searching the visibly frightened man. The police found a box of Viagra, likely counterfeit, inside the bag and asked him where he bought it. The man was also told to empty his pockets. One policeman waved his hand to direct the crowd of onlookers who had gathered to move on.      Coincidentally, about five meters where the man was stopped were two stalls, one displaying several boxes of “Viagra” and other such sexual aids and sex toys, and the other about 30 counterfeit watches. The police made no contact with the vendors but we noticed after we returned to the location about 30 minutes later that the stalls were still there. The vendors stood nearby and only approached the stalls when foreigners stopped to examine the goods. We also witnessed the search of another foreign man who arrived at about the same spot by motorcycle taxi without a bag. One uniformed policeman wearing a helmet searched him while another officer sat nearby on a motorcycle. They found nothing and let him go.

Another foreigner who was also allowed to move on after police stopped and searched him agreed to talk to The BigChilli. “I was about to walk up the stairs to the BTS station when a policeman who was chatting with motorcycle taxis called out to me in English: ‘Hey, where are you going? Give me your bag!’ “He opened the bag and searched inside pretty diligently. Then he asked me to empty my pockets. He looked at my mobile phone and wallet but didn’t take anything.  “I’m sure both of them were real cops, with real guns. The one who searched me didn’t introduce himself or ask me if I would allow the search. He was about 40 years old. He said he was looking for a bomb, and didn’t ask to see any ID or other documents. Maybe I should have asked which police station he was attached to, but I just wanted to get away. “He was kind of intimidating, not at all polite. If he had been more professional I don’t think I would have minded so much, but the way he conducted himself was totally unacceptable. I don’t know if what he did was illegal, but in my country policemen aren’t allowed to make searches without probable cause, and I don’t think there’s much to distinguish me from the thousands of other foreigners walking down this street every day.” We have also heard reports of several foreigners being stopped and searched on Sukhumvit Road near the Thonglor BTS station for no apparent reason. According to one of our police advisers, before conducting a search the policeman should identify himself and give the reason for the search. “The police can always find some reason to justify the search. Just to say that the person appears suspicious is reason enough,” he said, adding that females can only be searched by a policewoman. A policeman is prohibited from touching a woman.

The law:

Criminal Proced

ure Code of Tha ila

nd B.E. 2477 (193 6) Section 93 The search of an y person in the pu blic place shall be ited, unless such prohibsearch is made by the administra lice official wher tive or poe there are the gr ounds expedien that such person t to suspect has the article in possession to co offence or be ob mmit the tained by the of fence.

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Social  Last month’s best events in pictures

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

El Gaucho opens in style The first Thailand branch of the ‘Argentinian Steakhouse El Gaucho’ restaurant chain celebrated its grand opening on Sukhumvit Soi 19 with a big party showcasing everything for which the restaurant is famed – great steaks, fine wines, and elegant surroundings reminiscent of Argentina’s top restaurants. Special guest on the night was the Ambassador of Argentina to Thailand, H. E. Miss Ana Maria Ramirez.

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

MOVERS & SHAKERS AT THE GLAZ BAR IT was raining, it was pouring, but no one was snoring at the August edition of the monthly Movers & Shakers Charity Networking night, held this time at The Glaz Bar, Plaza Athénée Bangkok, A Royal Méridien Hotel. A large crowd of executives from Bangkok and Pattaya gathered to enjoy a night of free-flow drinks and canapés as well as swap business details in what was yet another fun-filled evening.

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

LOTUS ART DE VIVRE The Residences at St. Regis transformed one of its unfinished units into an elegant art gallery to display masterpieces by Lotus Art de Vivre. The event, hosted by William E. Heinecke, chairman and CEO of Minor International PCL. and Mr. Ralf Von Buren, Founder and President of Lotus Arts de Vivre, also featured a range of products by Primmilai, which left a pleasant lasting impression with its scented candles and diffusers made using Thai flowers.

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BIKE BONANZA

Over 150 motorcycle lovers gathered outside the Hard Rock Cafe Bangkok for the launch of Ducati’s latest model, Diavel Chomo. Mr. Apichat Leenutaphong, the Managing Director of Ducati Thailand, presided over the party along with avid Ducati and Harley Davidson fans.

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MAKE YOUR EVERY SUNDAY BRUNCH MORE PLEASURABLE WITH YOUR FAMILY Indulge in style at our fabolous Family Sunday featuring Open Grill BBQ, only in Sukhumvit 24 Nadimos Lebanese Restaurant

ADULT : 555 THB NET package include buffet food, drinks and open draft beer

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

BAVARIAN FUN AT BEERVAULT BeerVault at Four Points by Sheraton kicked off its Oktoberfest celebrations with a party featuring two-for-one German beers, plates of tasty pub grub, and a series of fun games. For more about the promotion see page 52.

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Every Monday Buy 1 Get 1 Free TOP PLACE IN TOWN

Christie’s Club Happy Hours 5pm. to 9pm. Beer B90/drink

Good time Great atmosphere Stylish venue

Catwalk Model Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday 1/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33 Tel. 02-258-5730, 02-258-5728 www.christies-club.com

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BACARDI’S HIP HOP BEATS

UP and coming Thai hip hop band Boyz Plus The Hoods put on a cracking show when they headlined the Bacardi Plus Party at Demo Pub, Thonglor Soi 10. The band is now off on a tour of 10 provinces to promote their music. Can they steal Thaitanium’s crowns as kings of Thai hip hop? Only time will tell.

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Chic Eats Chill-out in style at Le Bar de l’Hôtel. Savour the flavour of tasty tapas plates and wines of the world From 5pm to 9pm

Daily special offers include: DAILY : Aperitifs THU : Oysters & Bubbles FRI - SUN : Ladies Night

Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit 189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15 Wattana, Bangkok 10110 Thailand Tel: 02 126 9999 www.sofitel.com

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

A TASTE OF ARGENTINA BANGKOK foodies enjoyed an evening of Argentinean food paired with fine wines at the Finca La Linda Argentinean Wine Dinner at Crave Wine Bar & Restaurant, Aloft Bangkok – Sukhumvit 11. The event was opened by H. E. Miss Ana Maria Ramirez, Ambassador of Argentina to Thailand.

TOP WINES AT WINE CELLAR Wine lovers were given the opportunity to sample some of the world’s finest wines at Wine Cellar’s special wine tasting evening, ’90 points.’ Adding to the offerings were some delicious cold cuts and German favourites cooked up by Bei Otto Restaurant.

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

LIVING IN BANGKOK This year’s edition of the popular annual Living in Bangkok event held at Bumrungrad Hospital drew another large crowd of expats new and old, and once again brought together a wide range of businesses which provide useful services for foreigners

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

BRAZILIAN FLAVOUR AT CENTARA CentaraGrand at CentralWorld’s “Tastes of Brazil” dining festival was a feast for all the senses, serving up a riot of colours in vibrant dance performances and plenty of rich flavours in the food. Opened by H.E. Mr. Paulo Cesar Meira de Vasconcellos, Ambassador of Brazil to Thailand, the festival featured the cuisine of special guest chefs Paulo Machado and Thiago Bettin, and was attended by many diplomats and celebrities.

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MULLIGANS ROCKS Thai rockers ‘Hin Lek Fai’ gave their fans a rare treat when the whole band got together after an absence of many years to play a concert at Mulligans Irish Pub on Khao San Road.

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SOCIAL LAST MONTH’S BEST EVENTS

HOT COMPETITION AT PATHUMWAN PRINCESS The second edition of The Supermodel International 2012 contest held at Pathumwan Princess Hotel saw 30 contestants from 30 countries competing for the prestigious title.

KONGJU TURNS 16 Kongju Korean Restaurant at Pathumwan Princess Hotel celebrated its 16th anniversary by holding Bangkok’s first ever Korean Wine Dinner. Among the crowd who turned up to enjoy 16 of the restaurant’s most popular dishes paired with handpicked wines were Thai celebrities Nui Katesarin Eaktawatkul, Zeenam Sunthorn, Run Nathamonkarn Srinikornchot, Candy Chuthima Avery, and Pongchanok Kunklub.

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LEAPFROG UNTAMED Leapfrog Restaurant and V64 art studio celebrated the launch of the Untamed @ Leapfrog art exhibition with a fun party attended by many Bangkok creatives. The exhibition, which features the work of 10 artists, will be on display until Nov 21. Leapfrog is located on the rooftop of the Ramada Encore Bangkok, Sukhumvit Soi 10.

INTER-SOCIETIES PUB NIGHT Bangkok St. Andrew’s Society held another fun edition of its Inter-Societies Pub Night at Bistro 33. Lots of food and drinks and friendly banter ensured all in attendance had a great night.

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SOCIAL AROUND LAST MONTH’S TOWN BEST EVENTS

Samsung launches Galaxy SIII Society SAMSUNG marked the booming success of its “Samsung Galaxy S III” smartphone, which has now sold over 10 million units, by launching the “Samsung Galaxy SIII Society,” with Thai celeb Chompoo-Araya as the brand ambassador.

Mexican celebrations

THE Embassy of Mexico celebrated the 202nd Anniversary of the Independence of México on the 14th September 2012 at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park, Bangkok. The event was headed by the Ambassador of Mexico, Jorge Chen, and attended by the Mexican community in Thailand as well as numbers of the Diplomatic Corps, governmental officials and VIP guests.

Fitness fun at Zen THE new True Fitness at Zen at CentralWorld threw a grand opening ceremony attended by many Bangkok celebs and executives. The gym was officially opened by founder and CEO of the True Group, Patrick Wee. Guest of honour was Allan Namchaisiri, president of Zen department store.

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Foodland’s treat for loyal customers

Regular customers and friends of Foodland were recently invited to a tasting featuring the famous supermarket’s foods and wines at its Soi Thonglor branch. This regular event is Foodland’s way of thanking its loyal supporters.

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Diplomats p Meet the people uniting nations

Mr. Sohail Mahmood

Pakistan’s Ambassador talks about the long links between the two countries and the path ahead Page 124 TheBigChilli 123

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DIPLOMAT Mr. Sohail Mahmood

Ancient ties that bind Pakistan and Thailand By Maxmilian Wechsler

Pakistan’s Ambassador talks about the long links between the two countries and the path ahead

F

FOR more than half a century, the center for Pakistani affairs in Thailand has been the Pakistani embassy compound on Sukhumvit Soi 3, close to the area known as “Little Arabia” due to its popularity with visitors from the Middle East and local Muslim residents.   The 25-strong staff, which includes both Pakistani and Thai officials, has a close attachment to the embassy because of its long-time central role, explains Mr. Sohail Mahmood, Pakistan’s ambassador to Thailand, who adds that its central location also makes its easily accessible for visitors and Pakistani nationals seeking consular advice or assistance.   “We’ve had this place for our diplomatic mission here since the 1950s. Previously there was a smaller house which contained the embassy, but a few years back the old structure was demolished and replaced with new buildings,” said the ambassador.    “I am not living at the embassy because the residence is still in the process of completion. Living at the embassy has its advantages because you save a lot of time on commuting. Another favourable aspect is that you are around other staff members, which is a good feeling.”  

The Ambassador’s background

  Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Mr. Mahmood received his early schooling as well as university education there. For further studies, he attended Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, one of the capital’s major universities. Completing a master’s degree in history in 1985, he joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan as a career diplomat.   “Earlier overseas assignments were in Ankara, Turkey, Washington DC and New York. The assignment in New York was with Pakistan’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. I was part of the Pakistani delegation to the UN Security Council in 2003-2004.”   At the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, Mr. Mahmood served in the South Asia, South West Asia and the Americas divisions. The posting to Thailand is his first stint in Southeast Asia and his first as an ambassador.   “My last assignment before becoming ambassador was as director general in the Foreign Secretary Office. In that capacity, it was my duty to provide substantive support to the Foreign Secretary as he handled the myriad aspects related to Pakistan’s foreign relations.   “I came to Thailand for the first time in May 2009, on my way back from Hanoi after attending an ASEM Ministerial

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meeting. It was a one-day trip but it left a deep impression on me of Thailand’s economic dynamism, as well as the culture, vibrancy and friendly atmosphere of Bangkok.   “The second time I came here was in October 2009, when I arrived as ambassador. In Bangkok, I wear two hats: One as ambassador to Thailand, and the other as permanent representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP).   “As ambassador, my main focus is on the further development and strengthening of Pakistani-Thai relations in all their myriad dimensions – including political, trade, investment, defense, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges. Therefore, close coordination is needed with people in government, parliament, the business sector, civil society and educational and cultural institutions. Close liaison with the media as well as the Pakistani community is also part of the job. “At UNESCAP, which has its headquarters in Bangkok, the focus of my activities is to help promote the organization’s important economic and social development agenda for the vast Asia-Pacific region. Twice during the annual UNESCAP Commission sessions, in 2011 and 2012, I have had the privilege of leading the Working Group on Draft Resolutions, which steered the finalization of key resolutions dealing with a broad range of issues,” explained Mr. Mahmood.   

Daily routine

  “Most days I have meetings both inside and outside the embassy. We have a lot of interaction with our counterparts in various Thai government departments whether via phone or personal meetings. There is also a lot of interaction with the private sector, civil society and of course the Pakistani community in Thailand.     “I follow events in Thailand and abroad as this is an essential part of being an ambassador. I try to understand developments here to get a deeper insight into matters that are of interest to Islamabad. My staff and I communicate these developments along with our assessments [to the Foreign Ministry]. Then there are developments taking place in the region that we also have to be on top of. Pakistan is very interested in enhancing its relationship with ASEAN.”   Mr. Mahmood enjoys travelling outside of Bangkok, both officially and privately, but he doesn’t have the chance as often as he’d like because the level of official diplomatic activities in Bangkok is so high.

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Bilateral relations

“Pakistan and Thailand established diplomatic relations in October 1951, so we have just completed 60 years of diplomatic ties. This milestone was celebrated in a befitting manner by the organization of a series of events in both countries. This process is actually still underway; we recently had an exhibition of contemporary art from Pakistan at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). That was followed by a seminar held in collaboration of the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs, titled ‘Six Decades of Thailand-Pakistan Friendship: Towards Building an Economic Partnership.’ “This year, we are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of the state visit of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit to Pakistan (in 1962). A number of initiatives have been taken to commemorate that landmark visit, including the issuance of special postal stamps by Pakistan Post and Thailand Post. “The Pakistani diplomatic mission initially began with a legation at the charge d’affaires level in Bangkok, which was later upgraded to full embassy status. The first ambassador arrived in 1956. The Thai Embassy in Pakistan was established in Karachi, which was Pakistan’s capital at the time (before Islamabad was built).

“Although the diplomatic relationship between Pakistan and Thailand spans more than six decades, in terms of civilization the two countries and peoples have been connected for over 2,000 years. Pakistan is a proud inheritor of the Buddhist Gandhara civilization, which flourished in major cities like Peshawar, Swat, Takht-e-Bai. Taxila, known in Thai consciousness as the center of knowledge in the ancient world, is about a one-hour drive from Islamabad and remains a crucial cultural link between the two countries. “Over the past 60 years, Pakistan and Thailand have enjoyed cordial ties marked by mutual trust and understanding as well as close cooperation. The two countries were allies in the South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Our multifaceted relations also encompass security, defense, science and technology, education, culture and people-topeople contacts. “Within the framework of Thailand’s ‘Look West’ policy and Pakistan’s ‘Vision East Asia’ policy, which are complementary and mutually reinforcing, we can forge win-win cooperation on the vast opportunities before us. “There has been a long-standing tradition of highlevel visits between Pakistan and Thailand. The most important of these exchanges has been the landmark 12-day state visit of Their Majesties to Pakistan in March 1962. HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn has paid three separate visits to Pakistan. “Recently, in March 2012, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn visited Pakistan as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations. Other high-level visits include that of General Prem Tinsulanonda in 1983 as the Prime Minister of Thailand. In 2002, Prime Minister Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra paid a visit to Pakistan.     “On the Pakistani side, former president Gen. Zia ul Haq visited Thailand in 1987. Subsequently, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali and Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz made official visits.     “Consistent with this tradition, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been invited to visit to Pakistan. “Along with strengthening political ties, the two countries have been engaged in efforts to expand trade and investment. In 2011, bilateral trade exceeded US$1 billion. Both sides are conscious that a huge potential still remains to be tapped. Thailand’s CP Group recently signed a MoU on investment facilitation. “The trade balance heavily favors Thailand, with over $800 million in exports to Pakistan, but we are working on ways to increase the volume of trade the other way. We are also seeking ways of enhancing trade liberalization measures for the benefit of both countries. “Thailand exports a wide range of products to Pakistan, with auto parts being the main export. Others include everything from plastics and chemicals to light machinery to sugar, and the scope is increasing. Our main exports to Thailand are textiles, fishery and seafood items, gems and jewelry and then smaller things like handicrafts. But there is a lot of room for further development and enhancement of trade and economic activity in infrastructure, energy and in food processing and textiles.  “As for investment, there are many Pakistanis who have set up small and medium businesses in Thailand, and there are

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DIPLOMAT MR. SOHAIL MAHMOOD a number of Thai companies operating in Pakistan, some in joint ventures. But again, we believe much more can be done bilaterally in this sphere. “This year we have been focused on two major events in our bilateral relationship. The first is, of course, the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, so a whole range of events and activities were organized, including the issuance of postal stamps, photographic exhibition, presentation of books, cultural performances and so on. The other is the 50th anniversary of the 1962 state visit of Their Majesties. “We have linkages in sports like boxing, golf, field hockey and tennis. Last year one of our tennis players, teaming up with an Austrian player, won the Thailand Open doubles final here in Bangkok. We often have junior teams visiting here for field hockey and soccer. Thai snooker players often go to competitions in Pakistan. “The number of tourists is increasing both ways. Pakistanis visiting Thailand must be upward of 70,000 per year. Although the number of Thais visiting Pakistan is much less, but it is going up. “Thais are going to Pakistan mostly for business, but also for mountaineering in the northern part of the country, where we have some of the world’s highest peaks. Then many Thais like to travel to my country to witness the Buddhist Gandhara heritage. They go to Peshawar, Taxila or to Lahore, where there are artifacts from the Naraperiod and archaeological sites of that civilization.’’ When visiting Pakistani nationals face difficulties the embassy comes to their assistance and tries to coordinate with the Thai authorities, according to the nature of the case. “They may be victims of some kind of scam, or make a mistake such as overstaying their visa. Of course there are also sometimes Pakistani criminal elements coming here, so it is always a mixed story. But again, we will coordinate with the Thai authorities based on the merits of the case.” Mr. Mahmood commented that his embassy has always received good cooperation from Thai law enforcement agencies and other authorities. “We have several thousand Pakistani nationals who are either engaged in their own businesses, are employed for multi-national companies or otherwise in the corporate sector. There is also a fairly large number of Thais of Pakistani origins. Many are now second or third generation. The number is estimated to be about 100,000, and they form an important bridge between the two countries. “Quite a few Thai families live in Pakistan but it is hard to give an exact number.” Mr. Mahmood said the Pakistani government felt a strong solidarity with the people of Thailand during the floods last year. “We ourselves faced massive floods in 2010 and 2011 and were overwhelmed by the response we received from Thailand. So when Thailand faced massive flooding, our leadership immediately conveyed its support. The government of Pakistan sent flood assistance and the embassy tried to support relief activities within our means. “Thailand is an important country in the region. It

represents a very rich culture and is inhabited by very friendly people, so whoever comes in contact with Thai people will invariably have a pleasant experience. “Its cultural richness also attracts a lot of people. Visitors feel welcome here and I think that this is part of the reason why everybody has a good relationship with Thailand. “The working environment is good. Thailand has invested a lot in infrastructure so the road system and telecommunications, for instance, operate on a high level. On the other side, the weather and the traffic can sometimes get you down.” The visit of Princess Sirindhorn to Pakistan in March 2012 as part of 60th anniversary celebrations is a personal highlight for Mr Mahmood, who accompanied the Thai royal on her travels to Islamabad, Taxila, Peshavar and Lahore. “As for my biggest achievement as ambassador, I think it’s the steady and balanced growth of bilateral relations in all fields of common interest during the past three years. Also, I believe Thailand’s consistent support for enhanced partnership between Pakistan and ASEAN is of great importance as well,” the ambassador said. “As for disappointments, the first is that I am not yet a good golfer! Seriously, I wouldn’t say there have been any real disappointments, but there are certain areas where we would like to progress more quickly. For instance, trade liberalization between the two countries, which I would like to move at a faster pace because of the mutual benefits.

“Along with strengthening political ties, the two countries have been engaged in efforts to expand trade and investment. In 2011, bilateral trade exceeded US$1 billion. Both sides are conscious that a huge potential still remains to be tapped.”

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On the media

The ambassador believes that media reports on Pakistan in the Thai press is “balanced” but adds: “A lot of reporting is based on international news agencies, and the international media has its own focus and priorities. This is something all countries must deal with. In every country there are good and bad developments, but focusing on the negatives all the time is never helpful. So our expectation is that all media sources should take reports from our own media.”

A personal note The ambassador and his wife Mahwish Sohail Mahmood have three children, two daughters and one son, and all are at school here in Bangkok. “My wife helps me with the diplomatic work and as the spouse of a diplomat she usually has a lot of participation in social aspects such as entertaining. “In my free time, first and foremost I like to spend as much time as possible with my family. Other ways of relaxing include travelling, reading books (mostly history and biographies) and meeting interesting people. Whenever I have the time, I like to play golf but I am a beginner. “I like to visit old book stores to find good reading material and to add to my personal collection. “The normal term of duty is three years which, in my case, will be up at the end of this year. So we will see what Islamabad will decide for us. It may be an extension here or it may be relocation,” the ambassador noted.

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Travel

p Deals and news from Thailand’s hottest destinations

The Intercontinental Hua Hin has launched a special deal for meeting planners. See page 132.

Mate’s Rates

Friends or family visiting Bangkok? Let them know about these deals! Page 146

Hua Hin

Read more about the town’s best resorts and restaurants Page 132

Pattaya

A round up of hot news and deals from the Eastern Seaboard Page 144 TheBigChilli 129

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TRAVEL BANGKOK

A colourful reminder of Phuket THE Phuket News has released a colouring book featuring 22 scenes for kids to colour, including Phuket town, Wat Chalong, Cape Promthep, and other local sights such as an elephant, street stall and Muay Thai. Authored by artist Sophie Crichton, the book comes with free crayons. Part of the proceeds go to the Phuket Has Been Good to Us Foundation, a local charity. For more info: www.thephuketnews.com/ colouring-book

Bangkok

and Beyond

Oct 14 Banyan Tree Bangkok Vertical Marathon

ANYONE that’s enjoyed a few glasses of wine at the Banyan Tree Bangkok’s famous Vertigo Bar will attest that the building is breathtakingly high. To find out just how high it is, sign yourself up for the hotel’s Vertical Marathon – a race up all the hotel’s steps to the 61st floor. This annual charity fundraiser is now in its 14th year. The race is open to all ages and levels of fitness. Entry of 350 baht includes a T-shirt and, if you make it to the top, a medal. Registration must be made before the day. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the HIV Formula Feeding Fund, a Thai Red Cross initiative under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Soamsawali. Register online at  www.goadventureasia.com/VER/verreg.htm (Fee: B350). Tel: 02 679 1200 www.banyantree.com

Oct 29-30 Mekong River, Nong Khai Naga Fireballs Jazz in Samui

THE third week-long Samui International Jazz Music Festival opens on Sunday Oct 14 at the Amari Palm Reef on Chaweng Beach. Dedicated to the theme of Tropical Jazz, it will feature a series of concerts by international artists, plus a chance to enjoy delicious food and fine wines. Starting off the festival will be a preview concert of Paulette McWilliams, a Chicago native who’s performed with artists like Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Luther Vandross. She’ll then perform a full concert on Oct 20. Other highlights of the festival include Koh Saxman meets Beets Brothers - Tribute to the King; Peter Beets Trio; and Changton Kunjara & Friends. Concert tickets are B500 per person. What’s more, from Oct 17-20, Opera-jazz virtuoso Yves Baron, aka Le Tenor, will be making X2 Samui resort his home for a four-day residency. A five-course jazz dinner will be held on Oct 20 for B1,800 per person. www.samuijazzfestival.com www.amari.com www.X2resorts.com/Samui

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HEAD to the Mekong River in Nong Khai at the end of Buddhist Lent, and you’ll witness the extraordinary Naga Fireballs – reddish coloured egg-sized glowing balls that rise from the depths of the Mekong river for about 200 metres before disappearing. Scientists believe the centuries old phenomenon is due to fermentation of sediment in the river; skeptics think the Naga Fireballs are produced by scuba divers with some kind of gas device; the locals, however, believe the Naga Fireballs come from the Naga, or Phaya Naga – a serpent that lives in the river. Although the number of fireballs varies, there’s usually thousands per night so you won’t be disappointed. Best time for viewing is from 6pm – 2am. www.tourismthailand.org

‘Reaching the World’ international writers’ summit in Bangkok

THE 2012 South East Asian Writers Awards, in collaboration with Asia Pacific Writers & Translators Association (AP Writers) and the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University, will present an international writers’ and translators’ summit entitled “Reaching the World” and a series of Author Showcases at the University’s Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Building from Nov 5-6. “Reaching the World” is Bangkok’s first international festival for writers and translators, bringing together authors from around Asia to share their work in conjunction with one of Asia’s longest-running and most prestigious literary events, The S.E.A. Write Award. Registration fee for the two-day Summit is B1,600 per person. For more info: http://apwriters.org/asia-pacific-writers-supports-s-e-a-write-festival/

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TRAVEL

HUA HIN

Amari Hua Hin opens with a special rate ■ AMARI Hua Hin Hotel has opened in Khao Takeab with a deal – until Oct 31, rates start at the special price of B2,900++ per room per night. Tel: 03 261 6600 www.amari.com/huahin

Social events and competitions at Banyan Golf Club

V Villas launches new Party Package ■ HERE’S a good option for anyone looking to have a fun weekend getaway with their friends: Until March 31, V Villas Hua Hin is offering a new ‘V Party Package’ in its private two and three bedroom pool villas. Rates start at B23,600 for up to four persons and includes one night’s accommodation in one of the Pool Villa Suites, breakfast, High tea, one set grand BBQ dinner for up to four persons with private chef, Karaoke system set up in your Villa with all time favourite songs, 10 per cent discount on all food and beverage services (except alcohol and Room Service), and 30 per cent discount on all spa treatments at V Spa. Tel: 02 309 3939 email: reservation@vvillashuahin.com

■ BANYAN Golf Club always tees up a good selection of social and dining events and this month is no exception. Highlights include: • Golf & Wine Dinner. Sat Oct 13. Tee times from 12.30pm, followed by a five-course wine dinner. B3,300 for golf and dinner. B1,900 for dinner only. • Power Tee Competition. Wed Oct 17. Tee time from 1pm. Play the back, middle & forward tees all in the same round. B1,500 (includes snacks following game). • Banyan Pineapple Pairs Cup 2012. Sat Oct 20. Tee times from 10am. Better Ball Stableford – 3/4 H/cap allowance. B5,200 per pair. • 3rd Annual Rotary Club Charity Tournament. Fri Oct 26. Shotgun start at 12pm. B14,000 per team (includes golf shirt, souvenir bag, pre-dinner cocktail and buffet dinner). Tel: 03 261 6200 email: reservations@ banyanthailand.com www.banyanthailand.com

Chinese specialties come to Hua Hin ■ ALL this month, guest chefs Gua Ruqiao, Deng Chengwen and Ren Biao from Hyatt Regency Dongguan will be cooking their signature dishes at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin’s Figs restaurant. The trio will offer an a la carte Chinese menu alongside the restaurant’s regular Italian menu. Highlights include Wok-baked cod with preserved lemon sauce, Fried noodles with soya sauce and vegetables, Baked duck with beer as well as sour ginger and spring onion in a clay pot, to name just a few. On Tues 2 and 9 and Fri 5 and 12, Figs restaurant will add Chinese specialties to its already extensive buffet menu. The buffet is B1,300 per person for adults (B650 net for kids aged 6 – 12). On Sun Oct 7, the hotel’s McFarland House will also add many Chinese specialties to its Brunch Buffet. Priced B1,300 per person (B650 for kids aged 6 – 12). Tel: 03 252 1234 huahin.regency.hyatt.com

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Baan Laksasubha

Hua Hin’s unique boutique resort A traditional favourite with Bangkok expats

OCCUPYING a superb location with direct access to Hua Hin’s main beach, Baan Laksasubha Resort features luxurious accommodation in 16 colonial-style villas and a choice of studios amid lush tropical gardens. All are perfect for a weekend getaway or long-stay for families and couples, right in the heart of Thailand’s famous seaside destination. Owner M.L. Laksasubha Kridakorn has used her royal heritage to influence the style and design of this uniquely beautiful resort. Facilities include two pools, all-day dining bar and restaurant overlooking Hua Hin’s white sands. The Zaanti Spa offers a host of treatments with traditional Thai care. Modest in size but big in passion, Baan Laksasubha is a favorite hangout for Thais and expatriates, especially over Christmas and New Year when wonderfully hip beach parties are held. For a venue with a real difference, there’s nowhere like Baan Laksasubha.

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TRAVEL

HUA HIN

Enjoy a pampering at Hilton Hua Hin ■ THE Spa at Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa is now offering its two hour ‘Rejuvenating Ritual’ spa package at B3,300++ per person, or B6,000++ per couple. The package includes a Flower bath, Foot massage, and a Rejuvenating Facial by Guinot

Tel: 03 253 8999 email: thespa.huahin@hilton.com

Special deal for meeting planners at Intercontinental Hua Hin

Villa Maroc offers new wedding package ■ THE Moroccan inspired Villa Maroc has introduced a special accommodation deal for couples who want to host their weddings at the resort. Called the “Always Forever Wedding Package,” the deal is priced B49,000++ and includes a one night stay in a luxurious Pool Villa, complimentary in-room breakfast, a candlelit dinner for two on the beach, and non-alcoholic drinks for 30 persons during the wedding ceremony. Tel: 0 2656 0818 email: sales@zinchospitality.com

■ UNTIL Dec 21, The Intercontinental Hua Hin is offering special deals to anyone booking a meetings package at the hotel. Rates start at B5,000 per room per night, for a minimum of 10 room nights. By confirming a booking 30 days in advance of check-in, groups will also receive either a complimentary team-building activity or pre-dinner cocktail, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi internet in all guest rooms, complimentary use of audiovisual equipment and complimentary room upgrade for VIP members of the group. Tel: 02 656 0236 www.intercontinental.com/huahin

Crepes and Co to open in Hua Hin

Indian flavours return to S’mor ■ S’MOR Spa Village & Resort in Khao Takiab celebrated the grand re-opening of its Chinese/Indian restaurant, Club Smo’r, with a dinner party attended by over 100 guests. Fueling the fun for the night were generous portions of the restaurant’s tasty food, lots of drinks, and live music by June, Bimbo and Ella from the Phillippines. For more info about the restaurant see: www.smorspahuahin.com

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■ AFTER having to relocate the popular Crepes and Co in Bangkok from Sukhumvit Soi 12 to Langsuan Road a few months ago, Serge, one of the brothers behind the popular French & Mediterranean all-day dining concept, has decided to open another new Crepes & Co in Hua Hin. Located 1 km west of the city center on spacious tropical grounds, the new venue will be open for the upcoming high season. The good news is that that the majority of Serge’s long time faithful Soi 12 staff are also relocating to Hua Hin, so diners can expect the same varied menu, original tastes and friendly yet professional service that made the Bangkok incarnation of the restaurant a thriving success since 1996. For more info contact Serge on Tel: 032 827 248 email: huahin@crepesnco.com www.crepesnco.com

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REVIEW MONDO VINO

SELLING WINES: THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT! Mondo Vino brings the world of wine to Hua Hin in style

THURSDAY evening at Mondo Vino and the atmosphere is bubblier than a newly opened bottle of Champagne. The terrace is teeming with people sipping wine and tucking into light Italian bites, and ditto inside, where the leather couches are full and the tables are surrounded by expats and tourists engaged in hearty conversation. It’s lively, it’s exciting, it’s fun – community spirit at its best. “Our aim from the beginning was to create a place where people can come and spend long, lazy afternoons or evenings with their friends,” says Mondo Vino owner Peter Kirketerp, a Danish national who has lived in Thailand for over 20 years. “We knew that to do this we didn’t just have to have the right atmosphere – a cozy setting with comfortable furniture – but we also had to offer great wines at affordable prices. After all, people feel most comfortable when they don’t worry about what they’re spending. We also knew we had to be generous – treat people who come here like they’re coming to our home, rather than to our shop.”

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claps her hands with delight. “There’s a real feeling of community here that we’re keen to promote,” she says. “It’s not all about making money, it’s about building trust and rewarding loyalty; we do that by making friends, not just customers.” Prior to working full time at Mondo Vino, Sirikorn was the GM of the award-winning Putahracsa Resort. So it’s no surprise to see she’s introduced a few hospitality elements similar to a five star resort – things like free finger snacks served at every table; friendly service from

Peter and his wife, Sirikorn, Mondo Vino’s managing director, are certainly generous. The first time we dropped by Mondo Vino we saw them open several of their most expensive wines for a potential customer, who was planning a party at his home, to sample for free. Most owners wouldn’t do this, fearing that they may be just pouring money down the drain, but Peter and Sirikorn’s generosity paid off – before leaving, the man put in a huge order. “If we hadn’t opened the wines for him to sample, he may have just walked out of the door without buying anything,” says Peter. “And even if he did just leave after trying them, at least my wife and I would have had a great excuse to finish them ourselves!” Peter and Sirikorn don’t just reserve their generosity for potential big spenders though – visit Mondo Vino any day of the week and, alongside the already good value on wine (wines start at just B100 per glass; and bottles at only B350), you’ll find plenty of tempting deals on offer. Relaxing Thursday is perhaps the biggest draw. Held every Thursday from 6pm-

7.30pm, it offers free-flow red and white wines plus a buffet of pastas, pizzas and other Italian fare, for just B650 per person. (Starting this month, the same concept will be held on Saturdays from 6.30pm-8pm). Daily Sparkling Happy Hours, from 5.30pm-7pm, offer free-flow prosecco, white and red wines, and passaround parmesan cheese for B600 per person; and Sunday Chill, available every Sunday from 2pm-8pm, offers a freeflow selection of six Belgian beers for 90 minutes, served alongside homemade pizza, for just B800 per person. “With our deals we’re flexible too,” says Peter. “If we realize that people are having a good time and aren’t quite ready to go home, then we’ll simply keep the drinks flowing and extend the deal for half an hour or so.” This is certainly the case on the Thursday night we visit. So joyous is the mood, Peter extends the drinking time by 30 minutes and even cracks open a few bottles of Grappa. As he wanders around handing out full glasses and sharing jokes with the appreciative crowd, Sirikorn

knowledgeable staff; luxurious comfy couches to sink into; and a real focus on quality. “For us quality is key,” says Sirikorn. “We could offer the best deals in the world but people wouldn’t come back if we didn’t deliver a good product. So we work with many different importers and will only stock what we consider to be great wines. We also have some exclusive selections of well-known labels, such as Follador Prosecco from Italy. Basically, if you want great international wines at good prices, you come to us.” Alongside the wines, Mondo Vino also stocks

Belgian beers, Italian coffee and pasta, and imported cheeses and cold cuts. The latter are available to eat at the shop from just B350 per platter. Other food available at Mondo Vino comes from the kitchens of the nearby La Grappa restaurant, often hailed as being one of the best places in town for Italian eats. The chefs there shuttle over a decent selection of hot homemade pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, which go down a treat alongside a bottle of wine. “The food menu

is something that we’re developing,” says Sirikorn. “But the homemade pizzas and pastas available at the moment are proving to be really popular, so you can rest assured that they’ll remain on the menu.” With pizzas starting at just B180 for a margherita, and all pasta dishes at B350, the food, like the wine, is also great value for money. Like us, you’re bound to leave Mondo Vino with wide smiles and a wish that all wine bars in Thailand were as fun and generous as this. 22/65 Naeb Kachat Road (near Putahracsa Resort), Hua Hin. Open daily 9am-9pm. ☎ 032 531 493 email: info@mondovino.co.th :mondovino.co.th

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SOCIAL

HUA HIN

Glitz and glamour at Elephant Polo

ANANTARA Resort’s popular annual King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament stormed into Hua Hin last month bringing teams from all over Asia for five action-packed days of fundraising competition. Royals, celebrities, and many other VIP guests also made their way to watch the games as well as enjoy a series of gourmet dinners and evening parties at Anantara Resort Hua Hin. Defending champions Audemars Piguet lost their title this year to offensive powerhouses King Power, won came out 13-9 winners in a hard fought and highly entertaining end to the action on the field. After the final, the event was capped in signature style at the Anantara Hua Hin’s Gala Dinner, where players, dignitaries, celebrities, and VIP guests helped raise a generous sum of 3.3 million baht for the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang, which provides welfare for more than 4,000 wild and domesticated elephants. For more info about the tournament see: www.anantaraelephantpolo.com

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TRAVEL

HUA HIN

Hua Hin Where to sleep Evason Hua Hin and Six Senses Spa

The Cape Nidhra Hotel, Hua Hin

■ This resort-spa is situated at the heart of 20 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and faces the Gulf of Thailand. Pool villas and guest rooms are connected by a series of wooden walkways that meander between lush greenery. This is a retreat for those seeking time to relax and recharge. In The Restaurant guests can sip exotic cocktails, ice-cold beer or boutique wines while watching chefs cook and construct creative appetizers. The award-winning Earth Spa is one of the most visually striking in Thailand.

■ Located in the heart of Hua Hin right next to the beach, this luxury hotel combines comfort and convenience for the perfect escape. Each suite is well-furnished in stylish décor and each has its own private swimming pool. General facilities include a fitness center, a swimming pool, steam rooms, spa, library, and meeting functions. Rocks Restaurant serves up a wide range of international dishes and local favourites, while the beachside bar, and the cigar and whisky bar, mix up some excellent cocktails.

9/22 Moo 5 Paknampran Beach, Pranburi. Tel: 032 632 111

97/2 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin Tel: 032 516 600

Villa Maroc Resort Pranburi ■ Inspired by Morocco’s distinctive architecture, Villa Maroc combines Thai beachside living and service with some of the most luxurious furnishings from the North African Kingdom, making it a unique addition to Southeast Asia’s accommodation scene. The resort is located in Pranburi approximately 30 kilometers south of Hua Hin town. You can tuck into European, Middle Eastern and Thai cuisine at Casablanca, enjoy cocktails and shisha pipes at the Sisha Bar, relax in bliss at Sherazade Hammam & Spa, and much more. 165/3 Moo 3 Paknampran, Pranburi, Tel: 032 630 771 email: rsvn@villamarocresort.com

Sofitel Centara Grand Resort & Villas ■ Set within 13 hectares of landscaped gardens, the property dates back to 1923 and is one of Southeast Asia’s most renowned hotels. The luxurious colonial-era beachfront resort features 207 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites, each one offering comfort and convenience. The Pool Villas include four Deluxe Spa Villas with queen sized twin bed, lounging area, bathroom with rain shower, and oversized Jacuzzi bathtub. Refined dining is available at Sala Thai, Hagi, the Railway Restaurant, and Palm Terrace. Guests can unwind in the Elephant Bar or Satchmo Club.

S’MOR Spa Village & Resort ■ S’MOR Spa Village & Resort is always a great choice for a relaxing holiday. Located in the center of Hua Hin yet in the peaceful area overlooking the Khao Takiab Mountain with a long beautiful beach, this al-fresco resort features six bungalows and eight bedrooms, each well-equipped with all the mod-cons you could need. The seafront bungalow offers you a choice of private outdoor Jacuzzi or indoor Jacuzzi. The resort’s spa is exclusive and distinctive with an extensive list of treatments including traditional Thai massage. For eats, the beachfront S’MOR Spa Beach Bar & Restaurant serves a wide variety of international and local cuisines. 122/64 Takiab Road, Hua Hin Tel: 032 536 800

Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa ■ This imposing resort in the centre of Hua Hin is regarded as one of the best family hotels in the region. Accommodation features comfortable rooms and suites, providing guests with a living space that exhibits contemporary Thai design flair and good in-room amenities. There are also 11 Spa Suites available. The award-winning White Lotus on the 17th floor of the Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa offers sky-high dining at down to earth prices. 33 Naresdamri Road. Tel: 032 538 999

1 Damnernkasem Road, Hua Hin. Tel: 032 512 021-38 140

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TRAVEL

HUA HIN

Hua Hin Where to eat Chom Talay

Hua Hin Where to drink Dune Sky Bar

■ This delightful beachfront restaurant is a great spot for alfresco dining. Pushed up against the water’s edge it has an easy going charm, good food and drink. The menu features a wide selection of delicious seafood dishes. Of note is the stir fried mud crab with X.O. sauce. A piquant tom yam with fresh prawns, pineapple and the flesh of young coconut offers an interesting variation on a classic dish. Open from 11am till 10pm.

■ Located on the rooftop of the boutique Dune Hotel, the Dune Sky Bar offers sweeping views of Hua Hin and is a great place to drop by for boozy cocktails and tasty international eats. Recently given a New York-inspired overhaul, the bar is stylishly furnished with eco-friendly furniture, including dining chairs made of recycled plastic bottles. Chilled out beats and subdued lighting make this one of the hippest relaxed hangouts in town.

Phetkasem Road, Hua Hin, (next to the airport). Tel: 032 547 253-4

Dune Hotel Hua Hin, Tel: 032 515 051-3 email: md@dunehuahin.com

Rocks Restaurant

Mondo Vino

■ This chic all-day-dining restaurant at the Cape Nidhra Hotel, Hua Hin offers a delectable selection of Italian and French favourites together with other international cuisines and local favourites. Designed to enhance a visitor’s holiday experience, this eatery provides a relaxing atmosphere and great a nice view out over the beach. The breakfast buffet is priced at 600 baht. If you stop by in the afternoon, Pavlova is a must to accompany an English Afternoon Tea set. Open 6.30am - 11pm.

■ This stylish-yet-casual wine bar should be the top of any oenophile’s list of places to visit in Hua Hin. You’ll find a large range of wines from new and old worlds (with an emphasis on Italian brands), available by the glass or bottle at more than reasonable prices. Accompanying the premium wines is a selection of cold cuts, cheeses, fresh hams, pizza, and pasta. Monthly promotions and wine tastings mean there is always something exciting going on here – simply check the website to keep up to date.

97/2 Petchkasem Road, Hua Hin Tel: 032 516 600

Tel: 032 531 493 www.mondovino.co.th

Hagi Japanese Restaurant

Sala Wine Bar and Bistro

■ This stylish Japanese restaurant established by the Sofitel Centara Grand Resort & Villas possesses an air of sophistication and understated beauty. Diners can enjoy an excellent selection of contemporary and traditional Japanese dishes, each one beautifully executed and presented with artistic flair. The eclectic menu features sushi, sashimi, noodles, and much more. A 16-seat teppanyaki kitchen turns cooking into theatre, creating a dramatic dining experience. The restaurant has also started to run weekly cooking classes. Open from 3pm - 10.30pm.

■ No visit to Hua Hin is complete without a trip up to Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, home of the award winning Monsoon Valley Wines. Here you can journey into the vineyards to learn more about New Latitude Wines, or simply head straight to the winery’s Bistro, which is housed in a beautiful sala and serves a wide range of Thai and international eats and, of course, Siam Winery’s finest wines. An onsite shop sells premium Thai wines, souvenirs and other quality grape-based products.

Damnernkasem Road intersection. Tel: 032 512 021-38

www.huahinhillsvineyard.com

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Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, Tel: 081 701 8874-5, 081 701 2222, 081 701 0444

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TRAVEL

PATTAYA

Coming soon: Ocean Marina Boat Show 2012 OCEAN Marina Yacht Club and Ocean Property Co Ltd will host the inaugural OMYC Boat Show and open days from Friday November 23 to Sunday November 25. The event will feature marine activities and exhibitions by leading boat manufacturers, brokers, Marine leisure activities and associated groups. Over 60 exhibitors with display their goods in the tropical parklands of Ocean Marina with a further 20 displays of yachts in the water, and all types of water sports and marine leisure items on display on the lawns. In-water displays will be held and you’ll even be able to test sail catamarans, canoes, kayaks and other water craft such as jet skis. A good selection of diving, fishing and related goods are also expected, as well as a chance to book a charter cruise in the evenings. Ocean Marina Yacht Club Hotel will serve food and drinks throughout the event. Many visitors from Bangkok and the Eastern Seaboard are expected to attend. For more info: www.oceanmarinayachtclub.com

Pattaya Soul Club set for big birthday bash

PATTAYA Soul Club will hit its first anniversary on November 24 and the organizers are planning to party in style. Since its inception, PSC has raised over 200,000 baht for charity with its fantastic northern soul nights, and the next one is set to be the biggest and best yet. The anniversary event will be held at PSC’s usual venue, Boomerang at the wombat bar complex Soi Arunothai. The party will kick off at 7.30pm with 2hrs30mins of free-flow (or until stocks last) San Miguel Light, Red & White Wine and the famous Thatchers cider. All guests will receive a birthday goody bag and a free ‘Twister Shot.’ Entry is just B400. For more info see Pattaya Soul Club’s page on facebook

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Asia Fitness Convention returns

THE Asia Fitness Convention returns this month with three-days of fitness and fun at the Dusit Thani Pattaya Hotel (Oct 19-21). Held under a theme of “Inspiration + Passion = Transformation”, it will have a line-up of around 40 world-class fitness and health experts who are living testaments of the theme, such as Peter Twist, a successful trainer and performance coach; Steve Cotter, a world-renowned martial artist and strength and conditioning specialist; and Dr. Emily Splichal, a human movement specialist, expert lecturer and TV personality who has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show. For more info: www.asia-fitness.com

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TRAVEL BANGKOK

s ’ e t a M s rate

amily f r o s d Frien kok? g n a B visiting now about k Let them e deals thes

• Aloft BangkokSukhumvit 11:

Until Dec 31, the hotel’s ‘A-List Offer’ has rates starting at B2,300++ per room per night (room only) and B2,800++ per night with breakfast for two. Rates include free entry to trendy clubs Bed Supperclub, Q Bar and Bash.

the hotel’s ‘City Break’ promotion offers special rates of B1,710++ when booking a minimum of two nights stay. Rates include breakfast. Tel: 02 206 9100 email: H7172-RE@accor.com

Package” available from now until Dec 28 includes accommodation in either a Superior Room or an Executive Suite, round trip limousine transfer, daily buffet breakfast in Colonnade restaurant, a ‘Sophisticated Hidden Bangkok tour,’ and a complimentary 2hr30mins spa treatment. B12,500++ per Superior Room per night; B15,500++ per Executive Room per night. Only valid for minimum of three night bookings. www.sukhothai.com.

Package” is now available offering special rates on family rooms equipped with one King-size bed and two bunk-beds. One Sat night stay is B4,500, two nights stay on Sat (select either Fri or Sun) is B5,500. Package includes family breakfast, 4pm checkout, Sunday Brunch on Sunday stays, and complimentary B500 for in-room mini bar (excluding alcohol). Offer ends Dec 31. Book at www.rembrandtbkk.com via promotion code: FamilyWeekend or Tel: 02 261 7100

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A ‘Relax and Recharge Package’ is now available at B5,100++ per room per night including breakfast for two and 3pm checkout. Minimum stay two nights. Offer ends Dec 31, 2012. Tel: 02 207 8000 or email: rsvn bangkok@westin.com

• Novotel Bangkok Fenix Silom: Until Dec 31,

• The Sukhothai Bangkok: A “Hidden Bangkok

• Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok: A “Family Weekend

• Westin Grande Sukhumvit, Bangkok:

• Grande Centre Point Hotel: Stay a minimum of three consecutive nights and you’ll get a complimentary upgrade to a Deluxe room. The hotel is connected with the Asok BTS and MRT stations. All rooms offer city or lake views. Offer ends Oct 31. Valid for stays from now until March 2013. Tel: 02 681 9000 Ext 4420 www.centrepoint.com

• Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit: The hotel’s

‘Gourmet’s Guide to Thailand’ package deal offers accommodation for two in a Deluxe Room, daily gourmet buffet breakfast for two, a Thai cooking class followed by dinner for two, authentic recipes to take home, and 4pm checkout. B8,400++ per room per night for stays booked and completed from now until March 31. Tel: 02 649 8888 www.sheratongrandesukhumvit.com

• Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit: A ‘Stay 3 Pay 2’ is

available for booking from now until Oct 21 for stays from now until Nov 11. Prices start from B3,500++ per room per night. Tel: 02 126 9900 www.sofitel.com

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The BigChilli October Issue