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April 2017




The Magnificent Seven - changing the face of central Bangkok


Thailand’s worst aviation disasters


20 Negroni MasterClass:

The new face of Thatien

Rediscovering the quintessential aperitivo with Daniele Pirotta, Michele Montauti, and Hideyuki Saito


Last month’s best events in pictures

CONTENTS 12 THAILAND BUSINESS AWARDS 2017 All winners from Thailand Business Awards & Expat Entrepreneur Awards 2017 18 INSIGHT News, gossip, and opinions 24 SECRET BANGKOK A lesser-known attraction in the spotlight 36 FOOD & DRINK Restaurant deals and dining news

58 STORIES FROM THE PAST A famous story from the past 72 THE HOT LIST 16 great things to see and do in Bangkok and beyond 76 EXPAT WOMEN Shopping, advice, health tips, and top local schools 114 HUA HIN & PATTAYA News and deals to help you get the most out of your trip



The art of negotiation is the secret to the famous Swiss diplomacy

Downlo our dig ad edition ital for

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50 NEW ON THE SCENE Hot new restaurants & bars in Bangkok

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Editor’s Blog Expat entrepreneurs: Amazing people and their brilliant ideas

IN the 17 years since the BigChilli was launched, we have consistently followed the fortunes of countless enterprises established in Thailand by foreigners who not only believe in Thailand but also believe they can build and grow successful businesses here. Not all survive, of course, but many succeed in ever increasing numbers, and some enjoy spectacular success. To salute their courage, dedication, hard work and even genius, we organised the inaugural Expat Entrepreneur Awards two years ago. It was a highly successful event, which recognised their sometimes underestimated contribution to the Thai economy. We repeated the event last month in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand’s inaugural Thailand International Business Awards. Once again, it proved a hugely popular occasion, with more than 100 foreign companies being nominated for our Expat Entrepreneur Awards. The winner was X-Treme Sports Gear, an export-oriented company based in Bangkok founded by former international rugby player Eddie Evans from Canada. The full list of nominations and Special Recognition Awards can be seen on page 12 Obviously, not every nominee can win, which is a shame as there are so many truly amazing and innovative expat companies in Thailand. We would like to mention a few that didn’t get a mention at the awards but thoroughly deserve credit for their commitment to Thailand. Carsten Fischer – a one-man enterprise from Denmark, carving beautiful pipes from blocks of wood and exporting them around the world. Tim Beaumont and his architectural firm, the Beaumont Partnership, making Thailand, Myanmar and elsewhere look better. Tim and his team also run a school project in Northeast Thailand. Joe Sloane, a butcher who started his company with a single pig and is now a leading supplier of all kinds of meat and dairy products. Dale Lee. If you like coffee, you’re probably enjoying the beans from his company Coffeeworks. Then there’re small enterprises like cheesemaker Jo Stevens’ Artisan Cheese, Steve Mines who bakes delectable pies and pastries at the London Pie, and Elizabeth Romhild, who creates beautiful ceramics and paintings. Congratulations to everyone. See you next year.

Second-hand property is a bargain, but buyers are few

Property prices in Bangkok are scaling to new heights. That’s good news for developers and owners, but bad news for property-less people wanting to get on



the property ladder. An inner city project by Sansiri on Wireless Road (a superb product) is being sold at an eye-watering 500,000 to over 700,000 baht per sq m. Apparently, many of its units have already been sold. This will have a ripple effect across Bangkok, with developers of other projects, buoyed by Sansiri, increasing their prices and making it even tougher for lower-income people to join the property market. The problem could be solved if banks and other financial institutions were more willing to lend money or provide mortgages on second-hand condominiums. There’s plenty of used condos in Bangkok at knock-down prices, but few buyers. That’s why their asking price is often half that of a new project just a few doors away. It’s all very well paying top dollars for a new condo, but unless it is one of only a handful of projects, don’t expect a profit when you come to sell it.

Long live the BRT

Bangkok’s BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) system has been given a temporary reprieve after a survey carried out by the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority found there was demand for the service to be retained. Some people had called for the BRT to be axed, citing financial losses and low usage, neither of which carries much weight in the debate. It also faced criticism from motorists who said the reserved bus lanes denied them full access to the roads. So, for now, at least, BRT commuters can relax. Is there a future for BRT? The BigChilli most certainly think so. We believe that its potential in our congested city is enormous. Let’s face it, since there’s no room to build more roads, and the number of cars using them continues to increase, we can only expect even worse traffic woes. Why not take out one traffic lane on either side of main roads like Sukhumvit, Rama IV, and Petchburi and reserve them for BRT buses. At least some commuters will be able to make their way with relative ease through the congestion. If anybody’s still in doubt, ask a motorist who regularly faces monumental hold-ups on Narathiwat Road, currently served by BRT, whether an additional lane would help traffic flow. The answer would most definitely be ‘no.’ Apart from its efficacy, the BRT system is unquestionably much cheaper to implement than additional BTS and MRT stations. To make Bangkok a more liveable city, the authorities should declare a limited war on cars and extend BRT services.

Street vendors defy the BMA

The vendors have returned to Silom. After their banishment several months ago, they’ve gradually sneaked back with their wares and now occupy the sidewalks. If the BMA can’t control street vendors, what can they do?

Publisher Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com MANAGiNG editor Morgan Thanarojpradit morganbigchilli@gmail.com editor Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com sAles & MArketiNG MANAGer & CoNteNt ACquisitioN MANAGer Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com ACCouNt exeCutives Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com ACCouNtiNG MANAGer Saranya Choeyjanya fatcatbigchilli@gmail.com ACCouNtiNG AssistANt Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com Art & ProduCtioN Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat CoNtributiNG Writers Drew McCreadie, Judith Coulson, Maxmilian Wechsler, Kelly Harvey



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 ☎ 02 233 1774-6, 02 266 7141 Fax: 02 235 0174 :thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com :thebigchilli.com Strip AD_Pullman_Mar17.indd 1

2/23/17 10:05 AM




The Magnificent Seven changing the face of central Bangkok 6

Siam Chit Lom

The seven major projects are:


Ratchadam ri Road

Royal Bangkok Sports Clu b

Lang Su an Road

Ploen Chit

Phayathai Road

■ THE Wireless Road Silom district of Bangkok is confirming its position as the international heart of the city, with a number of prestigious commercials, hotel and residential developments coming onto the market and changing the face and role of this area. They’re also pushing up property prices to record levels.


5 Sarasin Road

2 The Dusit Thani, located on the corner of Silom, is set to be demolished (along with adjoining properties on Rama IV Road) in 2018 to make way for a new hotel and department store in a joint venture between the Dusit and Central Pattana. 3 Opposite the Dusit Thani, the former Robinson’s department store on Silom is to be renovated and upgraded.



Lumpini Park

ad g Ro won Sura oad mR Silo

3 4

Sala Daeng


Wireless Road

Sam Yan

1 The former night market on Wireless Road, opposite Lumpini Park, is the largest single project. This is being developed by property and liquor tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi whose TCC Land will build a convention centre, hotel, offices, and department store on the currently empty plot.



oad orn R Sath

4 The Sivadon/Sriboonruang building on Silom is to be demolished early 2018 to be replaced by a new office and retail development by the Minor Group. 5 Langsuan Village, an upmarket residential project on Soi Lang Suan and Soi Sarasin, is being developed by Siam Sindhorn and the Crown


Ram a IV

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Property Bureau. 6 The former British Embassy site on Wireless Road has been acquired by the Central Group for redevelopment. 7 98 Wireless, Sansiri’s luxurious new condominium, is setting record prices at 580,000 to over 700,000 baht per sq m.

Bangkok 2017

Michelin Guide is coming to Thailand Bangkok’s foodies are in for a treat ■ Bangkok has long been known as a food destination, famed for its abundant street food; but a new wave has hit Bangkok with the emergence of fine dining restaurants opening up across the capital. a rich and thriving food scene is taking over Bangkok and there’s no stopping it. For years Bangkokians have been awaiting the announcement of the Michelin guide in Thailand, and it finally came in February. The Thai government has confirmed a 143.5 million baht budget for the Tourism authority of Thailand (TaT) to bring

in the Michelin guide for a five-year contract. The prestigious guide is expected to arrive by the end of 2017 and is set to explore Bangkok before heading to other major cities. To most Bangkok foodies the confirmation came as no surprise after the Thai capital stole the spotlight at this year’s asia’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony held at W Hotel Bangkok on February 21. For the third consecutive year, Bangkok’s gaggan was named the Best Restaurant in asia. another eight restaurants made the list making Bangkok one of the best performing cities at the awards ceremony. Bangkok and Singapore each counting nine restaurants, Tokyo with eight, and Hong kong with seven. nahm (5), Bo.Lan (19), Issaya Siamese Club (21), and Eat Me (31) made repeat appearances while with newcomers Sühring (13), The House on Sathorn (36), Le Du (37), and L’atelier de Joël Robuchon Bangkok (40) made their debut at the awards. a total of 10 new entries were added to the list including the four from Bangkok. Many questions are still on the lips of those in the culinary know-how. Will Bangkokians accept the Michelin guide? and will the Michelin guide be accepting of Bangkok’s food culture? Will it be an unknown pad Thai vendor to earn the first Michelin in Thailand, or will it be one of the recently celebrated restaurants from asia’s 50 Best. and what about the costs – how much will a meal at a Michelin restaurant set us back? only time will tell; Bangkok’s foodies are gonna have to sit tight for the time being.









& CONGRATULATIONS • Winner of The 2nd BigChilli Expat Entrepreneur Awards announced • Spectacular event held in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand’s inaugural Thailand International Business Awards • Foreign businesses recognised for their contribution to the Thai economy • X-treme Sports Gear is Expat Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 THAILAND’S rapidly growing community of foreign businesses has been acknowledged in spectacular fashion for their valuable contribution to the Thai economy at the 2nd BigChilli Expat Entrepreneur Awards held last month in front of a packed audience at the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. Organised in conjunction with the British Chamber of Commerce Thailand’s inaugural Thailand International Business Awards (TIBA), the Expat Entrepreneur Awards attracted more than 100 entries from SMEs operated by the country’s foreign business sector. After careful scrutiny by a panel of judges, a final list of three companies was nominated for the prestigious award. Their final choice for Expat Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, announced by BigChilli Publisher Mr Colin Hastings, went to X-treme Sports Gear, run by Canadian businessman Eddie Evans. X-treme Sports Gear exports a wide range of sports equipment and clothing designed and manufactured in Thailand. The two runners-up were Caviar House, run by Alexey Tyutin from Russia, which raises sturgeon at a fish farm in Hua Hin to produce black caviar for local and overseas markets; and Andragogy, whose British founder Kate Jackson offers tailor-made training in communication, customer service, and presentation coaching to major companies. The judges also gave Special Recognition Awards to a number of foreign businessmen who have made impressive contributions to the Thai economy. They included: Karma Sound Studio, a world-class music facility built by award-winning musician Chris Craker in Bang Saray. Dennis Harte, whose company the Tuk Tuk Factory manufactures emission-free electric versions of Thailand’s famous three-wheeler. Patrick Gauvain, who has run Shrimp Asia, an advertising agency, in Thailand for more than 50 years. Richard Bell, whose company Cornerstone has operated successfully in the local business industry for 17 years. Peter Wainman, whose company Equator Pure Nature, manufactures a range of cleaning products made from entirely natural produce, including pineapples. In his speech, Mr Hastings also congratulated a number of other business people for their creativity and entrepreneurial skills. He also thanked sponsors for the Expat Entrepreneur Award – DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Sukhumvit, Centara Grande Lad Prao, and Indigo, with support from the BCCT.



Congratulations to the winner of Expat Entrepreneur Award 2017 Eddie Evans

Expat Entrepreneur Of The Year Eddie Evans

Most Creative Entrepreneur Chris Craker

Expat Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalist Kate Jackson

Most Innovative Award

Expat Entrepreneur Of The Year Finalist Alexey Tyutin

Dennis Harte

Lifetime Achievement Award Patrick Gauvain

CSR Award Richard Bell

Most Sustainable Award Peter Wainman



Night Of The Awards





Thailand International Business Awards, organised by BCCT, winners: • • • • • • •


Winner Winner Winner Winner Winner Winner Winner

of of of of of of of


the Most Innovative Company: AstraZeneca (Thailand) Outstanding Small Company (maximum 30 employees): Factor y Talk Co., Ltd. Most Promising New Business (less than 3 years old): Adelphi Digital Consulting Group Outstanding Company: GrabTaxi (Thailand) Special One-Off ‘Social Impact’: International School Bangkok (ISB) Young Professional (less than 30 years old): Maxim Sheaib Thai Entrepreneur: Sunsanee G Davies


The ArT lOver’s hAven Offering an exceptional collection of rare and beautiful art and antiques from across Asia




NOWN as Asia’s largest art and antiques hub, River City Bangkok has become widely accepted among the art connoisseurs who frequent the complex. Situated on the banks of Chao Phraya River, the boutique shopping centre is a haven for all art lovers. With the largest collection of art and antiques in Southeast Asia, River City Bangkok presents a mesmerising array of rare and valuable masterpieces in a monthly auction certified by the Association of the Propagation and Promotion of Objets d’Art.

Recognising the importance of contemporary artists in Asia, River City Bangkok also plays host to various contemporary art pieces and art exhibitions from both local and international artists. Further solidifying its place as an art and antiques complex in Bangkok,

River City Bangkok recently launched its first art exhibition entitled ‘La Femme’. Featuring eight talented international artists from seven countries across three continents, the art exhibition was the first celebration of international women’s art in Bangkok.

A free shuttle boat running between River City Bangkok and Sathorn Pier is available to visitors for convenient connections to the Saphan Taksin BTS Station – making the journey short but truly memorable.

River City Bangkok 23 Charoenkrung Soi 24, Talad Noi, Sampantawong, Bangkok, 10100 www.rivercitybangkok.com




Daniele Pirotta demonstrates how to make the perfect Negroni

Negroni MasterClass Rediscovering the quintessential aperitivo

YOU can’t help but fall in love with Negroni while listening to Campari Brand Ambassador Daniele Pirotta talk about the classic Italian cocktail. Originally hailing from Florence himself, and with Negroni practically flowing through his veins, there wasn’t a more suited host for this year’s Negroni MasterClass. Presented by Independent Wine & Spirit (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (IWS), the trade-focused educational and bartending class was held at the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel. Led by Daniele along with two highly acclaimed barmen,



Michele Montauti from MIKYS Cocktail Bar and Hideyuki Saito from Bronx Liquid Parlour, the masterclass aimed to help bartenders rediscover the classic Negroni while also taking an in-depth look at current trends in mixology, notably the aged cocktail revolution. Sparing no detail, the trio focused on the Negroni’s history and development, from its invention in Florence in 1919 by Count Negroni to its current popularity as a classic cocktail as well as its modern variants, including the ‘Negroni barrel-ageing’.

The Negroni is born


N adaptation of the Americano – a simple blend of Campari, vermouth, and soda – the Negroni is said to be created in 1919 by Count Camillo Negroni from Florence when he asked bartender Fosco Scarselli for the soda in his daily Americano to be substituted with a slug of gin. “Garnish it with an orange peel,” he said to Scarselli, “so that everyone in the room will know I’m drinking my own creation.” And thus the aromatic and dangerously alcoholic Negroni was born. Since then Italians have adopted the much-loved drink as both an appetite-building pre-dinner apéritif, and a palate-cleansing digestif. Almost a century since its birth and the classic cocktail has rarely been tampered with. From Florence to New York, and from London to Bangkok, the Negroni can now be found in hip pubs and cocktail bars across the world. Whole Negroni menus are emerging, and if they’re really good, they’ll have a barrelaged variety too. Barrel ageing not only smoothens out the Negroni, but also softens the mouth feel. In basic terms, mixologists put Negroni in a barrel and wait. The alcohol extracts colour and flavour from the wood over time. As it oxidises (creating the distinct nutty flavours you know and love) the wood reacts with the cocktail creating sugars the give the drink its softness and help integrate the different elements. Mixologists will taste the Negroni every couple of weeks and empty the barrel when it tastes just right. Once ready, the aged Negroni is decanted and stored in a refrigerator to slow down the oxidation process. Then served on the rocks and garnished with an orange peel – just how the Count would like it.

With equal parts of bitter Campari, aromatic gin, and sweet vermouth, a Negroni is considered both an aperitivo (or apéritif) and a digestif. “Ask for a Negroni and you’ve given the password to a bartender for the perfect anytime cocktail”, says Michele. Although the classic cocktail has long been popular in the West, it’s only over recent years that the Negroni has grown in popularity among discerning drink lovers in Thailand and particularly in Bangkok. “The drinking culture in Bangkok is growing,” says Daniele. “This new love for classic cocktails is not a fad; Bangkok is currently rediscovering craft drinks and speakeasy bars, and with some of the best bartenders in the world here this is the best city to see growth.” As for the aformentioned barrel-aged cocktails, they too are being rediscovered. Barrel-ageing not only matures the Negroni, but brings out intense flavours of vanilla, caramel, and oak, explains Hideyuki. While there are do’s and don’ts to barrel-ageing, there are no set rules or guidelines. The ageing process is dependent on both the wood and the size of the barrel; the higher the wood to liquid contact ratio, the quicker the ageing process. Although it may sound simple, it’s best to leave this craft to the professionals as only taste can tell when the aged Negroni is ready to be served. Aged Negronis are available in cocktail bars across Bangkok. Be sure to ask bartenders about this aged cocktail and try it for yourself! For more information about the classic cocktail and its aged counterpart visit iwsthailand.com TheBigChilli



Hotel of the month

Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya Put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

■ AFTER 15 years of rockin’ and rollin’, Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya is still turning up the volume and upping the amp to keep you entertained. Only a 90-minute drive from bustling Bangkok, Rock Hotel Pattaya stands out among the crowds with its unique theme that celebrates the American Rock ‘n’ Roll history. Upon entering, guests are greeted by an infectious atmosphere of love for music and passion for life. With vibrant American ‘Rock Hall of Fame’ memorabilia strewn across the walls, it doesn’t take long until rock ‘n’ roll is pumping through your veins. Its 323 rooms and suites are fully equipped with modern amenities and



include Rock Star Suites, luxurious digs for composers and executives, and Sea and City View Deluxe rooms to take in the scenic views. New accommodation catered for families with children is now also available. Guests can opt to dine at the famed

Hard Rock Café offering classic Southwest American favourites including wraps, burgers, ribs, fajitas, cocktails, and more; or at the Starz Diner, the Shack, Soul Lounge, and Pizzeria where guests can take their pick from Pan-Asian fusion dishes or a Mediterranean fare. Great fun and games are available at the Lil’ Rock Club and Tabu Club for teens and families. For mom and dad the Rock Spa, Rock Shops, and live gigs and happenings are sure to keep you entertained all day long. The newly renovated free-form sand pool – the largest in Pattaya at 2,000 sq m – offers an array of water sports and other fun group games. Also, available are the extensive conference facilities – popular with clients who want to add a rock-star touch to the otherwise mundane business meetings or conferences. The 390 sq m pillar-less ‘Hall of Fame’ and other music-themed meeting rooms can also be complimented by teambuilding activities like water sports, treasure hunts, and other games. ‘Love All, Serve All’, is the motto of this four-star property. Staying true to their credo the highest standard of service is guaranteed.

429 Moo 9, Pattaya Beach Road, Chonburi 20150. 038 428 755. pattaya.hardrockhotels.net


Forest in the City: Pa Nai Krung Only 15 minutes away from Suvarnabhumi International Airport is one of the largest man-made forests in Bangkok By Morgan Thanarojpradit


n a lesser-know Each month, the spotlight attraction in

GROWING accustomed to the concrete jungle we live in today, nothing brings us back in touch with nature more than immersing ourselves in a large span of lush greenery. The Pa Nai Krung – which literally translates to ‘forest in the city’ – is the Petroleum Authority of Thailand’s (PTT) brainchild project that has become a new environmental landmark in Bangkok. Located in the eastern part of Bangkok on Sukhaphiban 2 Road, this 12 rai man-made forest was once a garbage dumping area. Now it’s covered with an array of native greens, ponds, streams, unimposing exhibition buildings, and even a waterfall. Separated into three sections – 75% forest, 10% water, and 15% land – the area is yet to be as dense as it should be, but it’s still early in the planting stage. The land is populated with a diverse range of native trees including lush shrubs, waterfall plants, and evergreen and riparian forests. Upon entering, guests can choose whether or not to sit through a sevenminute introduction video in Thai. Once the video is over, the far wall of the air-conditioned projector room swings open where guests are guided outside to the entrance of the skywalk leading to the tall viewing tower.



The skywalk hovers just over the canopy of trees below with plenty of photo opportunities every step of the way. Dotted along the skywalk are various information stands offering details of the surrounding plants and trees. The viewing tower is constructed of sturdy steel and wood. Guests can climb the winding staircase to the top where they can enjoy a 360-degree bird’s eye view of the whole area. The air feels much different here, clear and fresh as it should be. To get back to the exhibition building simply turn around and walk back along the skywalk, or for a more intimate feel under the canopy, descend to the ground level from the viewing tower and take a beaten track lined with old railroad ties onto the path. Shaded

from the sun by the growing trees and flowers below, the path leads right back to the exhibition building. On top of the exhibition building is a rooftop garden where various kinds of flowers are planted and with wooden seats built in at intervals. The purpose of this rooftop garden is to help blend the building with the forest and insulate it from the heat, but it also makes an ideal spot to sit back and enjoy the view.

How to get there From Udom Suk BTS Station, take a taxi to Pa Nai Krung Opening time: Tuesday – Sunday from 9am – 4pm Admission: Free pttreforestation.com


V38 Fitness

From an endless pool system to kids yoga, this unique training facility offers something for everyone


S part of the RENT V38 apartment complex, V38 Fitness is a unique place to exercise in the heart of

Chatuchak. Designed for both discerning athletes and beginners, members can take their fitness to the next level with the help of highly specialised facilities and a host of knowledgeable personal trainers. From altitude training and an endless pool system to Muay Thai classes and kids yoga, V38 Fitness accommodates people of all fitness levels and ages. Â For the more serious athletes, V38 Fitness boasts the highest simulated altitude training system Southeast Asia, which boasts a number of benefits when it comes to physical fitness. The endless pool system turns the swimming pool into a water style treadmill meaning you can swim for as long as you want without needing to turn; creating a challenge for anyone at any level. There is also a sauna for when you just want to relax and detox and a BMI machine to give you a technical overview of your body mass. For beginners and those who



prefer to train in groups, a selection of classes are held daily including Muay Thai, TRX, Pilates, bikini class, boot camp, muscle mass, kids yoga, and even a class for busy mums after they drop the kids off at school. Â V38 Fitness is open to both external members and RENT V38 tenants, who have full access to the facilities and receive discounts for courses and personal training sessions. For more information visit rentv38. com or v38fitness.com. 2/17 Vibhavadi-Rangsit Soi 38. 092 260 4270


All that jazz with Coco at The Zuk Bar ■ THE Zuk Bar at The Sukhothai Bangkok will never seem the same again as the mood and tone of the music will be completely jazzed up by Coco every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, for 45 minutes, hourly from 8pm. She will perform alongside the resident Philipino three-piece band that consists of guitar, bass guitar, and piano. All gourmands who regularly enjoy the Sunday Brunch will also be able to enjoy the soulful sound of Coco’s voice every Sunday. Coco has been pouring out her own special blend of music for audiences around the world for almost twenty years. After attending her first concert at the tender age of seven to see Rufus, featuring Chaka Khan, Coco’s destiny was realised. Some thought it started at the famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City when Coco entered into the legendary talent competition ‘Amateur Night at the Apollo’ where many of the legends of jazz and soul music made a name for



themselves, including the likes of Ella Fitzgerald (her favourite singer of all time), James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Jimi Hendrix.   Others say it was the talent competitions and pageants she entered in as a young girl that gave her the stage confidence she needed, allowing her to win the biggest pageant of her lifetime – Miss H.D. Woodson Sr. High School. In 1984, Coco was crowned and never looked back! However, those that knew her growing up in the capital of the United States of America, as Debra Worsley, knew by the tender age of four that she would be a star. She began by simply imitating the sounds that came from her talented mother, who even now inspires her daily before she takes the stage. She joined the concert choir in junior high school and worked most summers in musical theatre. That prepared her for a new chapter in her career – cabaret. Her performances at Don’t Tell Mama Cabaret & Piano Bar

(the most famous cabaret venue in New York City) and being trained by the legendary Sidney Meyer helped her learn how to enjoy an intimate relationship with her audiences. New York was also where Coco discovered jazz. She was hired as the lead female vocalist with The Jerry Kravat NY Orchestra (Tribeca Rhythm) for New York’s high society weddings and corporate events in Manhattan’s most prestigious hotels, restaurants and landmarks.   “I am so grateful for a life full of music. So extremely blessed to be able to sing, and what better way to discover Bangkok than by staying at The Sukhothai! I’ll be close to everything, and locals and travellers alike will be near enough to experience my special brew of jazz, bossa nova, soul – and lots of love!” says Coco. The Sukhothai Bangkok. 13/3 South Sathorn Road. 02 344 8888. sukhothai.com


The new face of Thatien Once a flourishing community where people plied their trades along the banks of the Chaophraya River, the aged old town finally received a facelift


NCE known as one of the most significant communities in the Rattanakosin era, particularly during 1782-1868, Thatien has stood the test of time to become one of the smallest but most vibrant communities in Bangkok. Although frequented by many tourists, the café-culture of Thatien is beginning to boom. The old town as once the resting grounds for a palace belonging to one of the Thai princes; after the major fire in the reign of King Rama IV, the area was replaced with a foreign court and accommodation for visiting foreigners. The ubiquitous shop houses followed when the area became more populated with locals and foreigners alike. Recently, the sidewalks have been cleared to make way for various shops and restaurants as well as other up-and-coming developments. This month, The BigChilli team revisited the neighbourhood to find the best spots to eat, drink, and sit back and relax in Thatien.

Above Riva Located on the fourth floor of the charming Riva Arun Hotel along the banks of the Chaophraya River, the recently opened Above Riva rooftop restaurant and bar offers breathtaking panoramic views of Wat Arun and Wat pho. The retractable rooftop is perfect to provide cover during the rainy season making this new rooftop restaurant and bar a new must-visit spot in the old city. The menu offers both Thai and international cuisine including crispy duck and foie gras salad (B390), crab and lobster creamy capellini (B650), spicy chorizo spaghetti (B470), to name but a few, as well as a selection of signature cocktails. 392/25-26 Maharaj Road. 02 221 1188. snhotels.com/snc/rivaarun Opening hours: 7.30am–11.30am, 6pm–11.30pm



Elefin Coffee Founded by Somboon Chayavichitsilp in 2006, Elefin started as a single café on Sukhumvit Soi 1. In following years it expanded to Siam Museum, Hansar Bangkok Hotel, and its most recent venture, a third branch near Wat Pho on Maharaj Road.

Sourced from the Doi Chang region along the Thai-Myanmar border, the coffee beans are carefully selected and sourced with a simple mission to share the passion for Thaigrown coffee with locals and beyond.

Served fresh using 100% Thai Arabica coffee, the signature coffee is the Elefin Cold Brew (B100) and comes in a unique bottle with sugar syrup and milk. Made from Elefin’s homemade coarse-ground coffee beans soaked in water overnight at room temperature, filtered then chilled. The coffee isn’t allowed any contact with heated water causing it to have a different, more concentrated, and sweeter taste due to its lower acidity level. A guaranteed eye-opener perfect for breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up drink.

The menu features Thai, Thaifusion, and western food. One dish not to be missed the Green Curry served with rice and roti (B125). Guests can even request how spicy they’d prefer. Providing free WiFi service, this café slash bed and breakfast is the perfect hideaway from the sun after a walk around the old city or a quiet and comfortable resting place for visitors. 394 / 1 – 2 Maharaj Road. 02 622 1115. elefincoffee.com Opening hours: 7am–10pm

Baan Thatien Café This small but bustling café is located directly on Maharaj Road, making it very easy to find. The café offers á la carte traditional Thai dishes on their menu with an array of coffee and refreshments. It also offers a bed and breakfast services. 392/2 Maharaj Road. 095 151 5545. facebook.com/ BaanThaTienCafe Opening hours: 7am–6pm




Make Me Mango This cute and yellow-themed café is all about its name sake. The two-storey shop house was turned into a bright yellow café serving Thai food, desserts and beverages. Included in the menu are Phad Thai (B135), grilled pork with sticky rice, and Som Tam (B135), but their bestsellers are the desserts.

Their signature treats include Make Me Mango – mango sticky rice that comes with an ice cream, Thai custard, and mango pudding (B185); mango and durian sundaes (B165, B185); and Bingsu (starting from B175). 67 Maharaj Road. 02 622 0899. facebook.com/makememango Opening hours: 10.30am–8pm

Tonkin Annum

Vivi The Coffee Place Located at the end of Soi Punsuk on Maharaj Road, ViVi The Coffee Place offers stunning views of the Chaophraya River from both the indoor and outdoor sitting areas. The café’s décor is minimal with a plush corner perfect for selfies, reading books and magazines, or just chilling out. The café is best known for its baked goodies and fresh coffee. Other items on its menu include cakes and homemade ice cream as well as blended drinks, passion fruit juice, and Italian soda (B65). 394/29 Soi Punsuk, Maharaj Road. 02 226 4672. facebook.com/vivithecoffeeplace Opening hours: 10am–8pm



To reflect their Vietnamese heritage, the proud owners of this eatery offer a family-oriented atmosphere with every dish on the menu derived from home cooked family recipes. Opened in late 2016, this two-storey shop house turned restaurant offers both traditional and modern dishes that combines Vietnamese flavours with the fresh local ingredients. 69 Maharaj Road. 093 469 2969. facebook.com/tonkinannam Opening hours: 11am-11pm

Eat Sight Stor y (ESS) Deck This riverside venue owned by Sala Arun offers breath-taking and uninterrupted views of Wat Arun, and top notch Thai fusion food to go with. Decorated with old wooden doors and furniture and a mix of both Asian and European bric-a-brac , preserving the history of the old pier.

Led by Executive Chef Tony Wrigley from the UK, the eatery and bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating over the water dining deck. The dishes served offer a variety of international and traditional Thai favourites. Whet your appetite with sweet and sour Soft Shell Crab Salad – deep fried crispy soft shell crab with organic salad and red vinegar dressing (B260), and Khao Neaw Moo Yang – honey grilled pork neck and sticky rice (B240). For

mains try the Hawaiian Pizza – pizza base topped with ham, crab meat, mozzarella cheese, and pineapples (B290). Lastly, for dessert, the signature Kanom Krok Sam Sri – a traditional Thai coconut pudding offering rich local flavours. Sala Arun also owns the refashioned commercial property, Sala Rattanakosin, a luxurious riverside boutique lodge with 17 stylish rooms. Each decorated in the

‘Bangkok Period’ style and feature balconies with spectacular views. The recently renovated history SisSino-Portuguese house, known as Arun Residence, offers accommodation on the riverside and features balconies with an unfolding panorama of one of Thailand’s finest views. The Deck by the River restaurant at Arun Residence too overlooks the river and serves á la carte breakfast, light lunch, and dinner daily. The venue also houses Arun Gallery displays local and imported decorative items and art exhibitions and hosts drawing and painting classes, charity shows, and meetings or private parties. 45/1 Maharaj Road. 02 622 2163. facebook.com/ESSDeck Opening hours: 11am–11pm

Blue Whale This nautically themed three-storey café offers photogenic interiors as well as photogenic food and beverages. The interior is covered in graduated blue and green tiles that mimics the scales of a fish and sketches the scenery under the sea. Upon entering, guests are welcomed by friendly baristas, as well as the ceiling-high hand-drawn blue whale. The signature drinks too stick to the colour scheme with the blue butterfly pea latte (B90 hot and B120 cold), while the signature menu boasts hunger-busting healthy bites like the Hamburg – teriyaki chicken topped with cheddar cheese, rice and sunny side up egg with a side of fresh organic vegetables (B210).

The café is outfitted with simple wooden furniture mirroring the neighbourhood’s nostalgic feel with blue photo ops all around. 397/, 37 Maharaj Road. 081 641 4514. facebook.com/bluewhalebkk Opening hours: 10am–8pm

How to get there: From Saphan Taksin BTS Station, take the express boat to Thatien pier. Walk straight for a few minutes until you come to Maharaj Road. TheBigChilli


Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Let’s do brunch EVERY SUNDAY AT GOJI KITCHEN + BAR BANGKOK Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park will be showcasing a huge selection of dishes and delicacies from around the world at its main restaurant, Goji Kitchen + Bar. Multiple live cooking stations, Asian treats, traditional Thai favourites, and a selection of mouth-watering desserts are all on offer. Priced at B1800++ per person, children aged 7 – 11 eat for half price and children aged 0 – 6 eat for free. Available from 12pm – 2.30pm. 199 Sukhumvit Soi 22. 02 059 5999. marriott.com

Sensational seafood FRIDAYS AND SATURDAYS AT VOILA! INDULGE your passion for seafood at the spectacular Seafood Night Market Buffet at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. The vibrant dinner buffet includes a Brazilian rock lobster per person, a bountiful catch of Mediterranean sea urchins, freshly shucked oysters including Fine de Normandie, Grey and Mediterranean Bouzigues, as well as langoustines, Baridi snow crab and fresh razor shells, and much, much more. Available from 6pm – 10.30 pm. Priced at B 1,950 per person, 50% discount for children aged 6 – 12 years and free for children under 6 years. 189 Sukhumvit Road. 02 126 9999. sofitel.com/Sukhumvit

Summer Solace Afternoon Tea THROUGH APRIL 30 AT THE LOBBY, ANANTARA SIAM BANGKOK HOTEL EXECUTIVE Pastry Chef, Laurent Duffaut and his pastry team have created a delicious and refreshing afternoon tea set to celebrate summer. Nibble on passionfruit and elderflower domes, coconut lime canelé, Thai basil and coconut scones, and more while sipping on the world-renowned Mariage Frères teas, including a specialty Thai-Inspired Tea collection. Available daily from 2pm – 6pm. Priced at B850++ per set on weekdays and B950++ per person on the weekend. 155 Ratchadamri Road. 02 126 8866 ext The Lobby. siam-bangkok.anantara.com

The new definition of ‘Breakfast and Brunch’ DAILY AT THE COFFEE CLUB THE all-day café from Australia revealed the new breakfast and brunch menu, bringing the classic eggs benedict together with carefully chosen Thai ingredients. The Roasted Salmon Eggs Benedict, Mushroom & Spinach Eggs Benedict, and Bangkok Eggs Benedict are available at branches throughout the city. coffeeclub.com.au/thailand



Mango season is finally here! DAILY AT T@LOBBY, PATHUMWAN PRINCESS HOTEL ONE of Thailand’s most popular and enticing fruits comes into season in April and t@Lobby is making the most of its availability with a selection of 3 exceptional desserts. Sweet and tangy Mango Charlotte, Mango & Chocolate Cheesecake and Mango & Passion Pudding are packed full of deliciousness and are available from early morning to late evening for just B140 each. Open daily from 6.30am – 10pm. 444 MBK Center. 02 216 3700 ext 20105. pprincess.com


THIS Easter, share in mouthwatering traditions and surprises from east to west with a casual brunch buffet from 12pm – 3pm. Discover fun and games for the whole family. From a bouncy castle and creative activities for the little ones, to a kids’ fashion show and finding hidden treasures on the Easter egg hunt. Priced at B2,328 per person including soft drinks, juices and signature cocktail or B3,498 per person including house wines, beers and sparkling wine, and B1,111 per child aged 5-12 years.

All that jazz

SUNDAY APRIL 16 AT THE DRUNKEN LEPRECHAUN THE excitement of Easter has arrived at The Drunken Leprechaun. Bounce into their food and drinks specially prepared for the occasion, including Grilled Lamp Cutlets (B450), Country-Style Pork Spare Ribs (B350), and a local bottled beer at (B99).

AVAILABLE NOW AT THE ZUK BAR NOTHING beats good food accompanied with good music. Thursday through Saturday evenings you’ll find Coco performing jazz hits alongside a three-piece band at The Sukhothai Bangkok’s The Zuk Bar. Sink your teeth into Australian Beef Bulgogi and Korean Kimchi (B680++); Classic Cheese, Bacon and Pickles Burgers (B790++); Crispy Pork Skin and Sweet Chilli Paste Dip (B250++); or Hokkaido Scallops, Citrus and Caviar (B890++) while listening to the sweet sounds of jazz.

4 Sukhumvit Soi 15. 02 309 3000. fourpointsbangkoksukhumvit.com

13/3 South Sathorn Road. 02 344 888. sukhothai.com

257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road. 02 476 0022 ext 1416. bangkok-riverside.anantara.com

Jumping for joy this Easter

Rock around the clock!

The ultimate meat feast in a bun

AVAILABLE NOW AT HARD ROCK CAFÉ GET half price on liquors, cocktails, mocktails, and draft beer every night from 9.30pm until closing. Just tell the staff the special code, “all is one”, to get your happy hour drink.

THROUGH APRIL 30 AT 25 DEGREES BURGERS BAR CHEFS at 25 Degrees have created a heavenly burger using premium quality USA striploin beef, dry-aged for 28 days to produce tenderness and a beautiful mature flavour. The succulent dry-aged burger is made with a 200g beef patty topped with bacon, cheddar cheese and dressed with green pepper mayonnaise, all held between a soft homemade rye bread bun. The burger is served with potato wedges, all for B450++.

424/3-6 Siam Square Soi 11. 02 658 4090. hardrock.com/bangkok

188 Silom Road. 02 267 5272. facebook.com/25DegreesBangkok



challenging stages of competition for professional bartenders who are ready in all respects to present their potential, skills, and creativity in creating their own cocktails to be witnessed by people around the world. Moreover, Bacardi is also determined in finding a legendary cocktail to join the classic cocktails of Bacardi such as Bacardi Daiquiri, Bacardi Cuba Libré, and Bacardi Mojito. This will be the priceless legacy for the bartenders and cocktail lovers. This year the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2017 was held for the 4th consecutive year. We intend to elevate the standards of Thai bartenders to be competitive with the global competition. Now, we have our winner: Mr. Hideyuki Saito, from Bronx Liquid Palour who initiated the cocktail “El Blanca”. Q: How will the winner prepare for the next stage of the competition?

Bacardi names Thailand’s top bartender Hideyuki Saito takes the top award at this year’s Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition ■ FOR the fourth consecutive year, Bacardi (Thailand) Co., Ltd held the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2017 Thailand Grand Final. This year it was the Japanese bartender, Hideyuki Saito, from Bronx Liquid Parlour who won the honourable award of top bartender in Thailand and will go on to represent Thailand at the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition which



will be held from 18 – 24 May in Berlin, Germany. Brand Manager Suraglin Limparatkanjana tells us what to expect next. Q: Tell us a bit more about the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition A: Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition is one of the most

A: We have approximately 2 months to practice, develop skills, and learn new techniques prior to the real competition date. The representative of Thailand will take to the honourable stage together with other competitors around the world. Bacardi will support Hideyuki throughout the year to help him progress in his career and achieve the goal, as well as grant him the chance to work with other esteemed bartenders and present the cocktail – the “legacy” – in the world’s leading bars. Q: Will Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition be held again next year? A: Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition will be held continually; next year will be the 5th consecutive year. Anyone wanting to participate in the competition must be well prepared. We will open again for applications in September. Catch up with the latest news about the competition at facebook.com/ BacardiThailandOfficial

Meet the Chef SERVING UP Samuele Alvis

Favourite cookbook? Enoteca Pinchiorri. Most difficult ingredient to work with? Raw red tuna. Three words that best describe your cooking? Desirable, understandable, particular.

The Italian Chef of Brio at Anantara Riverside Bangkok shares a few of his culinary secrets

Most influential chef? Davide Scabin.

The biggest mistake you made when you were a brand new chef? I did many, the biggest one maybe stick my left hand in a slicing machine.

focus TheBigChilli

Best advice you’ve ever received? To be patient. Biggest culinary myth? Boiling water is a must for pasta.

■ SAMUELE Alvisi’s culinary expertise lies in creating Italian and Mediterranean flavours, where classics are redefined with modern techniques. With more than eighteen years experience in various restaurants and deluxe hotels, Samuele brings true Italian flare to satisfy guests at Brio as its Italian Chef. Brio. Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort. 257/1-3 Charoennakorn Road, Bangkok. 024 760 022. bangkok-riverside.anantara.com


Best meal you’ve ever had? At Don Alfonso in Macau. Utensils you can’t do without? Knife. Greatest achievement to date? Managing a full operating restaurant and deli shop. What do you like to do when you’re not busy cooking? Try new or foreign dishes and drinks.

Music you listen to whilst cooking? Exhaust fan, no music in the kitchen. What’s your signature dish? At the moment, my carpaccio.

Chef in

Favourite wine? Sangiovese.

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Desirable Dish Tofu with crab meat and egg white in a carrot and spinach broth

Carrot broth A sweet carrot broth that gives a touch of warmth with its hint of spices and salt - perfectly complementing any main ingredients of the dish.

Crab meat

A mixture of soft and crunchy textures and sweet and bitter broths – at Xin Tian Di, Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park

Seasoned Cantonese-style crab meat sweet and delicate flavour.

Mushrooms sautéed in egg whites Mushrooms sautéed and cooked with egg whites until soft to bring out unique notes of sweet earthiness.

Fresh housemade tofu Made using only premium ingredients and traditional Chinese techniques to create a light, creamy, and subtly sweet tofu.

Xin Tian Di signature deep-fried tofu Perfectly deep-fried for a tender centre surrounded by a well-seasoned, crisp crust – the perfect base to any appetising Cantonese dish.

Spinach broth A classic healthy broth rich in nutrients that has garnered spinach the reputation for being one of the healthiest vegetables on earth.

The chef behind the dish BORN and bred in Singapore, Chef Lam Kok Weng grew up with a passion for cooking. At the age of 20, Lam left secondary school to pursue a career as a professional chef. After a decade of cooking experience in Singapore, Lam moved to Indonesia to learn a new style of cooking. One year later he returned to Singapore and went on to become the assistant chief chef for a four star hotel. Now, you’ll find him sharing his culinary creations with guests as Chinese master chef at Xin Tian Di restaurant. Xin Tian Di. Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park. 952 Rama IV Road. 02 632 9000. bangkoklumpinipark.crowneplaza.com/xin-tian-di Open for lunch from 11.30am – 2.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays and 11am – 2.30pm on Sundays and national holidays and for dinner from 6pm – 10.30pm daily. 42


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Jim Beam Double Oak Fashioned American Whiskey Brand Ambassador Adam Harris, gives us his recipe for this classic cocktail Ingredients: • 2 parts Jim Beam® Double Oak • 4 dashes Bitters • 2 sugar cubes • 1 orange peel • 1 lemon peel

Instructions: • In a Jim Beam Old Fashioned glass, stir ingredients over ice. • Strain over fresh ice and garnish with orange and lemon peel, making sure to release the oils of the peels.

Brand ambassador in focus:

Adam Harris 44


ADAM developed his love of bourbon and a good cocktail while working in New York City bars. During his time in New York, the cocktails he created were published in several prominent publications, including the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. He took his first job with Beam Suntory in 2006 and since then he’s been sharing stories and promoting Beam Suntory’s American Whiskey portfolio in the US as well as around the globe. Known for his enthusiasm and approachable style, Adam spends time throughout the year working with the master distillers and teams at both Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark to learn all aspects of the bourbon craft as well as tasting and helping select new products. In 2010, he was named a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the Commonwealth in recognition of his contributions. More recently, in 2017 Adam won the Whisky Magazine “Icons of Whisky America” American Whiskey Ambassador of the Year, an award he was Highly Commended for just the year prior.

cut out and keep


Dining Out By Morgan Thanarojpradit / Photos by Kelly Harvey

Piri Piri Flaming Chicken

More than just Portuguese-style chicken


IRST launched at the Emporium Shopping Complex in 2001, Piri Piri Flaming Chicken – the European-inspired restaurant chain – has gone on to open more branches in Thailand including The Mall Ngam Wong Wan, Siam Paragon, Terminal 21, Don Muang Airport, and in Koh Samui’s famed Chaweng Beach.



Signature dishes Famous for its signature chicken, the Piri Piri birds are marinated, glazed, and grilled and come with a side of fried rice and French fries. Not to forget the spicy sauce that is the very heart of this restaurant’s menu – Piri Piri; Lemon and herbs; Honey mustard; Cajun; Bombay curried; and Thai salsa are all on offer. Grab yourself a whole chicken for B450++. Another must-try dish is the juicy

marinated chicken burger – glazed and grilled spicy chicken breast, crunchy lettuce, and mayonnaise with French fries on the side and served with fresh vegetables and hot fries (B250++). But it’s not just Portuguesestyle chicken that Piri Piri Flaming Chicken has to offer. Their fresh, share-worthy salads including Caesar, mixed, or Mediterranean and succulent seafood specials including the hunger busting Seafood Platter that comes with freshly cooked prawns, squid, and mussels covered in homemade delicious Piri Piri-style sauce(B1,345++) are among some of the praiseworthy menu items. A big part of the restaurant is the Piri Piri’s homemade sauce – a spicy blend of chilli, garlic, olive oil, and some secret ingredients we’re not privy to know but can guarantee is the perfect accompaniment with fish, chicken, or beef. Be warned though that it packs a heck of a punch so make sure to have a cold drink at the ready before trying. You are definitely in for a treat at Piri Piri Flaming Chicken.

For more information about Piri Piri Flaming Chicken and its locations in Thailand visit piripiribangkok.com

Dining Out Guest review by



HIS was our eighth visit to Artur – home to one of Bangkok’s best places to find Côte de Bœuf and we were amply rewarded. Drinking started around the bar with the classic Domaine Pinon Vouvray Brut NV (Loire) while nibbling on nuts and cheesy pastry. Artur Kluczewski is in the midst of re-decorating but we were promised that the surroundings will continue to be as described in the publicity, ‘Elegant gourmet steakhouse with an emphasis on fine dining.’ Dining started with an Amuse Bouche – Green Pea & Wasabi Velouté and Whipped Goat Cheese served with 2015 Juliane Eller Weissburgunder Juwel (Alsace). The

Followed by House Cured Salmon, Fava Beans, Mango, and Light Lime Dressing and more Pinot Blanc. The salmon was very nice and our food spokesman, Alan Rankin praised it at length – congratulating Chef Hugo for his innovation. Cromesquis of Duck & Foie Gras on Black Truffle Risotto came next along with 2013 Massolino Nebbiolo (Piedmont, Italy). The Risotto was

wine was as elegant as the appearance of the winemaker, Ms Juilane, earning praise from our wine spokesman, Andrew MacDowell said it was a wine one could drink all day (and promptly confessed to having attempted to do that). It has all the juicy green apple Pinot Blanc flavours one can ask for while being dazzlingly fresh and pure. The fat texture and mid-palate intensity are remarkable. It finishes with lovely spice and minerals to burn. It has length, freshness, delicacy, richness, and a gobsmack of green apple fruit. Full marks to Thomas Boedinger for finding and choosing this wine!

excellent and the Cromesquis provided a hearty tasty filling. The Nebbiolo was perhaps a less than perfect match for the Cromesquis but enjoyable nevertheless and offered a vibrant and fruity on the finish. Andrew thought it was a very nice light wine with a good bouquet which again could have been drunk all day. The main course was Côte de Bœuf with a choice of sauces or mustards, Gratin Potato and veggies. As always, Artur had a field day expertly carving the beef and two of our number found the bones impossible to miss. Alan was full of praise for the cooking, the presentation, and even the final touch


Bangkok Beefsteak & Burgundy


that Artur provided of draining the last of the juice onto the carved meat. The accompanying wine, 2007 Alemany I Corrio Sot Lefriec, Spain was a mouthful and accurately described by a critic as exhibiting ‘dry, soft acidity, medium to high fine-grained tannins and a dense, concentrated, chewy mouthful of a wine’. It was not to Andrew’s liking but I and others thought it was a good match. A Passion Fruit Espuma followed to cleanse the palate before Vanilla Millefeuille flavoured with Pamplemousse concluded the banquet. The dessert was an excellent example of French patisserie. This was served with a third red, 2008 Feudo Maccari Maharis (Sicily), which I found interesting and a refreshing change from the Spanish Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon. However, Andrew felt it might have been better matched with cheese. (For the record, as usual, all the wines were selected by the Club). After coffee or tea and Madeleines, we thanked the whole team led by Artur, Chef Hugo and Ms Suriya for their hard work and professional delivery. Bliston Residence, 9 Soi Tonson, Ploenchit Road. facebook.com/ARTUR-Restaurant. 02 658 6288

Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

High Tea Jubilee @ Ratchaprasong RATCHAPRASONG Bangkok Downtown has partnered with Bangkok Bank and eight tea rooms within luxury hotels and shopping centres in Ratchaprasong to open up an experience of fascinating tea cultures from various countries at the second annual ‘High Tea Jubilee @ Ratchaprasong’. Promising to put off the afternoon heat with a variety of afternoon tea sets and an exquisite selections of delightful desserts, the festival will run until April 30 under the them ‘Summer Tea Party’.

Basque Country dining ARROZ – Spanish Rice House brought some Basque gastronomy to town! Victor Burgos alongside Pedro Samper, Executive Chef of The Langham Hong Kong, featured special dishes for the occasion, along with Rioja wines from Beronia, Basque Txakoli and, of course, Patxaran too.

Chef’s Table at UNO MAS JOAN Tanya Dot, Chef de Cuisine Manager of UNO MAS restaurant, Centara Grand at CentralWorld recently invited Thailand’s leading media to join the ‘Chef ’s Table’ and watch his creations unfold right before their eyes. The menu offered a variety of items including: snacks, cold cuts, cold tapas, hot tapas, fish, meat, dessert or cheese and petit fours.



Crack 49 OFFERING brunch, dessert, and fine coffee, this pastel-coloured café designed by Party/Space/ Design serves the perfect rectangle waffles Brussels style. Open Monday-Friday from 10am - 9pm, Saturday-Sunday and holidays open from 10am - 10pm. RQ49, Sukhumvit Soi 49. 085 359 2656. facebook.com/crackbkk

New on the


Hot new restaurants, bars & cafes in Bangkok

My Kitchen INTRODUCING a new hip hangout destination, My Kitchen – a 1,000sq m space with enough room to accommodate 250 hungry diners is situated on 4th floor of Siam Discovery. On offer are Thai dishes from Nara, Isaan dishes from Café Chilli, Japanese favourites from Yuzu by Yuutaro, Cantonese from Man Fu Yuan, Western comfort food from Kuppadeli, and desserts from Brix. Open daily from 10am - 10pm. Siam Discovery 4th Floor, Phayathai Road. 02 252 1763. siamdiscovery.co.th

Err Urban Rustic Thai Le Cochon Blanc THIS live fire BBQ restaurant serves American inspired dishes. You'll find BBQ ribs, chowder with mussels pot, homemade pate, beef tartar, crepinette burger and much more on this mouth-watering menu. 26 Phrom Chit, Sukhumvit 31. 02 235 9800. Lecochonblanc.com

ERR Urban Rustic Thai prides itself in making in-house preserved food from quality Thai ingredients. Serving street food and á la carte dishes including Issan style pork sausage cured with organic gaba rice, one day sun-dried pork with native coriander seed, chicken satay with cucumber relish, peanut sauce, toasted brioche, and more. 394/35 Maharaj Road, Thatien. 02 622 2291-2. errbkk.com



Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

A Japanese – Italian culinary love affair SCALINI restaurant at Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok organised a teaser event to welcome Japanese guest chef from Hilton Okinawa Chatan, Chef Masanori Tezuka, and his amazing blend of Japanese and Italian cuisine. While in Bangkok Tezuka-san marveled guests with his live cooking at Scalini during March 2–5, while his special à la carte menu tantalized taste buds throughout March.

Goût de France / Good France TO celebrate French gastronomy, 15 restaurants combined their cooking talents to offer menus with strong French accents (and a hint of a Thai influence too) at the third edition of the Goût de France / Good France held at the residency of the French ambassador. Organised by internationally renowned Chef Alain Ducasse and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the event showcases the French way of life, regional products, and France as a tourist destination.

Wining & dining with Kendall Jackson SHOWCASING the freshest and finest ingredients, Kendall Jackson is one of the most trusted and celebrated wineries in the world. To celebrate this world-renowned wine, the PRIME culinary team hosted a four-course wine dinner set menu paired with free-flow tasting of selected Kendall Jackson wines.




Norbert – the Oriental’s legendary chef Now enjoying a much deserved retirement, the hotel’s famous chef talks about his many years in “the world’s best hotel”


N all the years that I’ve known Chef Norbert A. Kostner – and that’s a very long time – I can’t recall ever seeing him in anything but his chef’s uniform. But then, because of his self-imposed gruelling work schedule of up to 18 hours a day, six days a week while he worked for more than four decades at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok that’s hardly surprising. Norbert has always



been the consummate chef, married to his kitchens and loyal right up to the last guest’s order. You have to wonder whether he occasionally slept in his all-white tunic. Probably he did. Even for this interview, two years after he retired from the Oriental, the hotel where he gained legendary status for 41 years’ immaculate service, he’s wearing his chef’s outfit. Sitting in the Oriental’s elegant Authors’ Wing, he says he’s back at

By Colin Hastings

the hotel temporarily to prepare a Gourmet Tour dinner for 150 guests to be held at the Royal Project in Doi Angkang in northern Thailand. Staff spot him immediately and come over to pay homage to the dapper little man who devoted so much of his life to this hotel. You have to wonder whether they would have recognized him if he hadn’t been wearing that all-white uniform.


orbert is an Advisor to the Royal Projects, and fiercely proud of his appointment. This particular assignment is a one-off. These days Norbert is enjoying his welldeserved retirement and, apart from these royal functions, he dismisses any possibility of a ‘celebratory’ or ‘guest chef’ appearance at the hotel he served so well, or anywhere else for that matter. He’s much happier just reminiscing about his amazing life as one of Asia’s most famous chefs.   Born in Ortisei, a small village in northern Italy in 1945, Norbert often refers to himself as someone “from the mountains.” From humble beginnings in the Alps, he went to neighbouring Switzerland to learn his trade, working his way up in a number of renowned restaurants.   He first arrived in Thailand in 1970 to become Assistant Executive Chef at the newly opened Dusit Thani Hotel. It was a three-month contract that lasted four years, with Norbert rising through the ranks to become Chef of the Main Kitchen and Chef Grande Manager.   In 1974, he moved across town to the Oriental where he was appointed Executive Sous Chef. Like his counterparts in other Bangkok hotels at that time, Norbert faced challenges that would confound today’s chefs.

“Back then, imported food products were in short supply. For example, we didn’t even have cream. So we had to make our own, using milk from a local Indian dairy and pasteurizing it. Potatoes were impossible to find and the only beef we got was smuggled in through the American military bases stationed in Thailand.   “Today, we have access to everything – the best wagyu beef, imported fish, vegetables and all the top products.”   In 1977, the Oriental expanded with the opening of the River Wing in a spectacular celebration overseen by Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. It was a momentous and exciting time that saw the hotel voted the world’s best, a title it held and trumpeted with gusto for ten consecutive years. Internationally acclaimed singers like

Eartha Kitt and Tina Turner jetted into town to entertain guests in the hotel’s Golden Barge (now Lord Jim’s) and its sumptuous ballroom. Celebrities from across the globe regularly checked in to see what all the fuss was about. Behind the scenes, however, Norbert and his team were facing a different kind of challenge.   “We had new kitchens in the River Wing, but we weren’t involved in their design, nor did we influence the choice of equipment. They just removed a partition and announced: ‘This is your new kitchen.’ We just had get on with it. From the old kitchens, we managed to keep one cutting machine that was destined for the scrap heap. We hid it for two months – until they got fed up looking for it. Then it went to be used for another 20 years.”



Insight With the hotel enjoying full or near-full occupancy on most days, the kitchen staff increased from 70 to 150 workers. The hotel was abuzz with non-stop activity.   Ever the loyal employee, and loving his job, Norbert set himself a schedule that was relentless and unchanging for the next four decades. “I arrived at the office every day at 6 am, or thereabouts, to make sure everything was alright. Hotel guests are 24 hours a day. We had to be here for them.   “I often worked late, maybe to 11 pm or even later, and I always attended our outside functions. If a young trainee or commis chef was expected to stay until the end, then I’d have to be there too. ‘Chef’s gone home’ is not what should be heard.”    In 1980, Norbert was appointed the hotel’s Executive Chef, in charge of all the Oriental’s kitchens, succeeding Michel Grange, the man accredited with turning the Normandie Grill into one of Asia’s top restaurants and the hotel into a destination for genuine gourmets. It was going to be a tough act to follow, but Norbert’s dedication to the job hadn’t gone unnoticed.



Norbert remembers the day of his appointment as if happened last week. “The hotel’s general manager, Kurt Wachtveitl, called me at nine in the morning – he never called me that that early in the day, so I knew it was about something very important. He sounded very serious.   “When I walked into his office, Kurt had a huge smile on his face and said ‘congratulations, you are the hotel’s new executive chef.   “Kurt then told me to take a holiday the next day. I went back to my office and opened a bottle of champagne. Back then, I didn’t even have a suitcase, but I did go on holiday, though I can’t remember where.”   t was a life-changing moment, but one that did not fit into Norbert’s original plans. “Actually, I had tried to leave the Oriental several times in the past. I wanted to work in China. That was my dream, even though I’d never been there. I’d even started to learn Chinese. But then I’d got married here in Thailand, started a family and then the new job.”   For the next 35 years, Norbert ran the Oriental’s kitchens. The responsibilities were vast, complex and time-consuming. For in addition to the hotel’s restaurants and in due course, some years after, the Oriental’s three retail outlets located around Bangkok, he oversaw the


catering of a long list of prestigious events, such as the SEA Write awards and the Bangkok Chef’s Charity, as well as numerous royal banquets presided over by members of Thailand’s Royal Family. He also catered for visiting royalty as well as numerous foreign heads of state.   Ensuring that every event went without a hitch was always uppermost in Norbert’s mind. Once, while catering an important function at Chakri Hall, he instructed his staff to dismantle some of the hotel’s kitchen equipment and transport it to the venue. “They had their own equipment, which was just fine, but I wanted to make sure that we had a back-up, just in case.” On the night, the hotel’s equipment wasn’t need, but Norbert’s contingency plans are a measure of his dedication.   That said, he is fully aware of his fallibility. “I learned to cook in a small restaurant and I’m still learning. With cooking, you never know it all. Recently I made some butter cookies for my daughter. She said they weren’t as good as the ones she bought in a supermarket, so I’ll make them again.”    Not surprisingly, the name of Kurt Wachtveitl, his boss for all but the last three years of Norbert’s career, features in many of his conversations about the past. Their careers at the Oriental overlapped by many decades and both played key roles in the hotel’s day to day operations; mutual respect was absolutely essential.

That they got on so well was clearly a significant factor in the hotel’s longtime success and international recognition. “Kurt was an exceptional general manager and a genuine connoisseur,” says Norbert, still clearly in awe of the man reckoned by many to be Thailand’s finest-ever hotelier. Kurt retired in 2009 after 44 years at the helm. “You could see it in the way he dressed, the suits and the shoes he wore. And he was always right. He had a sixth sense.   “Kurt was always there – he knew everything. Before a function, he’d come to the kitchens and ask to taste the food. It happened often. He wanted to know everything was in order.   “He’d often eat with me in my office – it was always something simple to eat. Kurt said food must be fantastic and memorable. If a guest returns a year and ask for the same dish, even if it’s something simple like a club sandwich, it must taste the same.   “His motto was ‘simplicity is elegance.’   “Under Kurt I never had complaints about food costs. In fact, sometimes he wondered if they were too low.”    General consensus is that the 1980s under Kurt were the Oriental’s ‘golden decade,’ Norbert, with typical diplomacy, won’t join the chorus. Asked about this, he replies: “They were all golden years, from 1974 until I retired in 2015.”   ll of Norbert’s reminiscences are seemingly coated in gold. Apart from one incident when his staff ran short of a soup starter for a function because of accidental spillage and smaller serving cups had to be used instead “without a single complaint from the guests”, he claims that he can’t recall any kitchen disaster in over 40 years.   Norbert talks endlessly and passionately about the profession he still loves. “You have to cook as if you’re cooking for a blind person – a duck has to taste like a duck, a trout like a trout. But you have to start with the best products. For a good tomato sauce, for example, you have to use a good tomato. For Thai food, you


Bio Data: Name: Nationality: Date of Birth: Place of Birth Marital Status: Work Experience: 2012 – 2016 1980-2012 1974 – 1980 1970 –1974

1964 –1970 1961 –1964 Others: Special position: Languages: Interests:

Norbert A Kostner Italian 21 May 1945 Ortisei, Italy Married with two children (son and daughter)

Culinary Director Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Executive Chef Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok Executive Sous Chef Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok    Assistant Executive Chef Chef of the Main Kitchen and Chef Grande Manager Dusit Thani Hotel, Bangkok Worked in several renowned hotels in Switzerland Before coming to Thailand Apprenticeship in Italy

Advisor to agricultural Royal Projects in Chiang Mai, Thailand English, German, Italian, French and Thai Languages, Sports and Ancient Philosophy

use Thai ingredients, and for Italian dishes, you use Italian ingredients. It’s simple, really. “Being a chef is like conducting an orchestra – the musicians can play by themselves, but they’re much better with a conductor.    “These days, chefs are different. They work with computers. I drew every course by hand.     “I came from the mountains in northern Italy and back there they think I’m the best chef in the world. That’s important to me.   “Like a durian, you either love being a chef or you hate it. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve loved it,” he muses.

Norbert has a son who has followed his father as a chef, and a daughter who works in finance. Sadly, his Thai wife passed away 17 years ago. His favourite chefs are the American Thomas Keller and Joël de Robouchon.   Soon to celebrate his 72nd birthday, Norbert splits his time between Bangkok and Europe, where he keeps fit by undertaking long walks in Italy and Spain.   As we part company, I wonder for a brief moment whether I too would recognise Norbert if he wasn’t wearing his chef’s uniform. Actually, I’m not sure I would.




Kids’ organic garden raises hopes for similar projects in Bangkok Rotarians and Father Joe’s Human Development Foundation joins forces in new project for preschoolers


N a poor neighbourhood of Ramkhamhaeng, in the eastern suburbs of Bangkok, possibly the world’s only organic garden tended primarily by preschoolers is flourishing. The lush 200 sq m

garden on the grounds of a small kindergarten is a joint project of the Rotary Club of Bangkok (RCB) and the Human Development Foundation (HDF), also known as the Mercy Centre, founded by Father Joe Maier. Father Joe is keen to expand the

By Maxmilian Wechsler

project to all 23 of the preschools run by the Mercy Centre throughout Bangkok. The planning and any necessary construction for the garden were carried out by the Young Smart Farmers Organization in September

Mercy Centre Mercy Centre, located in Klong Toey district of Bangkok, is one of Bangkok’s largest and best known non-governmental organisations. It is dedicated to improving the lives of under privileged communities in Thailand. Originally built as the last refuge for the marginalised on the site of a former Buddhist temple site on property owned by the Port Authority, the Centre has stood in some shape or form for nearly 40 years. In order to maintain an ever-increasing list of services, in 2000 Mercy Centre began the construction of a new shelter for street kids, five orphanages, a hospice and a home for mothers and children with HIV/ AIDS. Mercy Centre also maintains 23 kindergarten schools in poor areas of Bangkok, including the Nawamin school. Mercy Centre is dedicated to helping children and communities in Bangkok’s many slums by building and operating schools, improving options for poor families’ health and welfare, protecting the rights of street children, combating the HIV/AIDS crisis, responding to daily emergencies, and offering shelter to orphans and street children, as well as all children and adults with HIV. 56


Sufficiency Economy Philosophy

2016. Parents joined with students and teachers to do the initial planting. The garden is now entirely maintained by students and teachers at the kindergarten and provides them and their families with a plentiful source of healthy produce. It also gives the young farmers an opportunity to acquire skills and attitudes that will be useful throughout their lives, in line with the Rotary Club’s core mission of enhancing children’s welfare and educational opportunities. The idea for the project came from Ido Berger, an innovative entrepreneur who is active in Bangkok Rotary. The inspiration was from late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. Vegetables and herbs grown in the garden are

The Chaipattana Foundation describes the Sufficiency Economy as a philosophy based on fundamental principles of Thai culture. It is a method of development based on moderation, prudence, and social immunity, one that uses knowledge and virtue as guidelines in living. Significantly, there must be intelligence and perseverance which lead to real happiness in leading one’s life. The Sufficiency Economy was developed by late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the early 1970s two decades before sustainability became a global trend. King Bhumibol will always be remembered as one of only a few national leaders in the history of the world to devote their lives to actively helping their people. Through his ideas and work millions of individuals were able to get out of poverty, take responsibility for their future and make a good and sustainable living for themselves, their families and their communities. Sufficient Economy is about respecting people, nature and wildlife. It’s about education, dignity and self-development, both physical and spiritual. Ido Berger

Father Joe and the team behind the project

cooked and eaten at the school, and the excess is brought home to the children’s families. “This is a pilot project, and definitely not the only one,” said Ido. “The garden is an expression of the wishes of everyone involved to honour the memory of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej and to transform his Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy, the King’s greatest gift to his people, into practice. Hopefully, our initiative will encourage others to follow this example.” Everyone involved in the Nawamin kindergarten organic is extremely enthusiastic, as can be seen from the photos.




Thailand’s worst aviation disasters Everyone remembers an air crash, but the death toll is far lower than on this country’s roads By Maxmilian Wechsler


F you’re frightened of flying, then you should be scared to death of taking to the road in Thailand. According to World Health Organization, some 24,000 people lose their lives annually on the kingdom’s roads, an average of about 66 per day. During the past 50 years, a mere 743 lives were lost in commercial aviation accidents and incidents. The loss in terms of plane crashes seems almost insignificant when compared to Thailand’s roads, especially when you consider the current volume of traffic at Thailand’s 11 international and 22 other airports. Last year close to 56 million passengers on 336,354 flights transited through Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport alone.



And yet the special horror that air disasters evoke in the public guarantees they won’t be forgotten or ignored, unlike the daily carnage on the roads. Since 1967, there have been 12 lethal aviation accidents in Thailand, resulting in the deaths of 657 passengers and 67 crew members, along with 19 people on the ground. The death toll excludes the four terrorists who hijacked a Garuda Indonesian flight in March 1981 and diverted it to Bangkok’s Don Muang International Airport, where they were killed by commandos. This was one of four hijackings involving Thai airspace. The country’s worst air disaster was in 1991 when a Lauda Air Boeing 767-3Z9ER flight crashed, killing all 223 passengers from 18 countries, including 36 Thai nationals. There were also a


number of aviation-related incidents in which there were no fatalities, but in some of these cases, there were injuries. Mechanical malfunctions and pilot error have been blamed for various aviation accidents, but in many cases, the official findings have been disputed by concerned parties. A detailed account of the relatively few breaches of Thailand’s air safety record is given below.

Fatal flights August 4, 2009 (Flight PG 266) A Bangkok Airways ATR72-212A flight carrying 68 passengers and four crew members on a domestic flight from Krabi International Airport veered off the runway and hit a not-in-use control tower building at Koh Samui Airport. The captain was killed and 10 people were seriously injured. The plane was totally destroyed and the airport was out of commission for two days.

September 16, 2007 (OG 269)

November 21, 1990 (PG 125)

A One-Two-Go McDonnell Douglas MD-82 aircraft on a domestic flight from Don Muang International Airport crash-landed in bad weather at Phuket International Airport. The plane rose sharply over the runway, stalled, crashed into an embankment on one side of the runway and burst into flames. Five of seven crew members and 85 of the123 passengers were killed, including one who died in hospital due to burns a few days after the crash. Forty people were injured, many seriously, and the plane was completely destroyed.

A Bangkok Airways de Havilland Canada DHC-8-103 plane with five crew members and 33 passengers on a domestic flight from Don Muang to Koh Samui crashed during bad weather in the midst of a coconut plantation. Everyone on board was killed.

March 3, 2001 (TF 114) While preparing for a domestic flight from Don Muang to Chiang Mai International Airport, a Thai Airways International Boeing 737-4D7 was rocked by an explosion, followed by a fire. One flight attendant was killed and seven others were injured. The plane was completely gutted. Early reports indicated that the plane was destroyed by a bomb in an assassination attempt against then Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was due to board the plane shortly. However, authorities later said no explosives were found in the wreckage.

September 16, 2007

September 9, 1988 (VN 831) May 26, 1991 (NG 004) A Lauda Air Boeing 767-3Z9ER flight that originated at Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong made a stop in Bangkok on its way to Vienna. Fifteen minutes March 3, 2001

May 26, 1991

December 11, 1998 (TG 261) A Thai Airways International Airbus A310-204 with a crew of 14 and 132 passengers left Don Muang on a domestic flight to Surat Thani Airport but stalled and crashed in a rice field on its third attempt to land during bad weather with low visibility. Eleven crew members and 90 passengers lost their lives. The plane was completely destroyed.

December 11, 1998

A Tupolev TU-134A jet belonging to Hâng Không Viêt Nam (Vietnam Airlines) departed Hanoi-Noi-Bai International Airport for Don Muang. The aircraft encountered a heavy

thunderstorm not far from Don Muang and was reportedly flying too low before crashing into a rice field in Lam Lu Ka district in Pathum Thani province. The plane disintegrated upon impact, with the debris covering about 500 metres. Three of the six crew members were killed and only 11 of the 84 passengers survived. August 31, 1987 (TG 365)

after the plane departed Don Muang with 10 crew and 213 passengers, it stalled and went into an uncontrollable descent before breaking up and falling into the mountainous Phu Toei National Park in Suphan Buri province. All 223 passengers from 18 countries were killed, including 83 Austrians. Thirty-six Thai nationals lost their lives in the worst airline disaster in Thai history. An investigation concluded that the cause was the uncommanded deployment of a thrust reverser on the No. 1engine, resulting in a loss of control of the aircraft.

A Thai Airways Boeing 737-2P5 plane with a crew of nine and 74 passengers on a domestic flight from Hat Yai International Airport to Phuket stalled during its descent to landing and crashed into the sea about15 kilometres from the airport. All 83 people on board died. April 15, 1985 A Thai Airways Boeing 737-200 on a domestic flight from Don Muang to Phuket crashed into a mountain while



Feature descending. The plane was totally destroyed by the impact and fire that followed. All seven crew members and four passengers died. The aircraft apparently lost both engines.

However, a short time later cracks developed in the windshield and the crew diverted the aircraft to Chumphon Airport, where the plane landed safely. August 30, 2015 (DD 7805)

April 27, 1980 (TG 231) A Thai Airways Hawker Siddeley HS748-207 Srs. 2 left Khon Kaen Airport en route to Don Muang and flew into a thunderstorm. The aircraft crashed about 10 kilometres northeast of Bangkok killing all four crew members and 40 passengers. Nine very lucky passengers survived.

A Nok Air Boeing 737-800 on the domestic route from Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport to Don Muang was climbing with 139 passengers and six crew members when a large bird was sucked into one engine. The plane was diverted to Surat Thani Airport, where it landed safely. August 31, 2014 (DD 7805)

December 25, 1976 (MS 864) An Egypt Air Boeing 707-366C that departed from Cairo International Airport with 44 passengers and eight crew members crashed during landing into an industrial compound about two kilometres northeast from Don Muang. Everyone on board was killed, as were 19 people on the ground. December 25, 1967 (TG 002) A Thai Airways Douglas DC-3 carrying 28 passengers and four crew members crashed during landing about 200 metres from Chiang Mai airport. Two passengers and two crew members were killed.

During a Nok Air Boeing 737-800 flight from Nakhon Si Thammarat to Don Muang was climbing with 139 people on board, the plane flew into a flock of birds receiving a number of bird strikes. The plane was diverted to Surat Thani where it safely landed. October 6, 2013 (DD 8610) A Nok Mini Airlines Saab 340B aircraft on a domestic flight out of Chiang Mai with three crew members and 25 passengers veered off the

runway during its landing at Udon Thani International Airport, causing the nose landing gear to collapse. The pilot took the decision to hit the earthen wall on the side of the runway, bringing the plane to stop. Damage to the plane was extensive. September 8, 2013 (TG 679) A Thai Airways International Airbus A330-321 with 288 passengers and 14 crew members arriving from Guangzhou Baiyun Airport in China veered off the runway during landing at Suvarnabhumi, causing the nose gear to collapse. About a dozen passengers were slightly injured and transported to the hospital. The damage to the aircraft was substantial. August 6, 2013 (DD 7411) While accelerating on the runway prior to takeoff at Trang Airport, a Nok Air Boeing 737-800 aircraft with 142 passengers and crew veered off the runway and came to a stop on soft ground on the side of the runway. All passengers had to disembark on the runway.

Some non-lethal aviation mishaps August 25, 2016 (Flight DD 8826) A Nok Air de Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft left Don Muang on a domestic flight to Nan Airport with 81 passengers. While climbing out of Don Muang the inboard lefthand main tyre burst. The plane immediately returned to Don Muang where it landed safely.

August 6, 2013

May 30, 2013 (DD 8714)

June 17, 2016 (DD 7313) A Nok Air ATR-72-212A on a domestic flight from Ranong to Don Muang carrying 62 passengers and four crew was climbing out of Ranong when a bird hit the captain’s windshield. As no damage was seen by the crew at first, the plane continued in its flight.



June 17, 2016

A Nok Air Boeing 737-800 on the domestic route from Don Muang to Chiang Rai lost its right-hand nose wheel during flight. The plane with 162 people on board experienced strong vibrations in an emergency landing but was able to come to a safe stop on the remaining left-hand nose wheel.

September 11, 2005

August 3, 2008 A Boeing 747-481D All Nippon Airways craft being cleaned at a maintenance facility at Don Muang was damaged beyond repair when a cleaning agent burst into flames in the cargo area of the plane. The plane was damaged beyond repair.

October 25, 1993

June 21, 1980

The nose wheel fell off a Sahakol Air Embraer EMB-11OP2 Bandeirante during takeoff on a test flight from Don Muang. Only the two pilots were aboard the plane, which returned for an emergency landing. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

Thai Airways Hawker Siddeley HS748-243 Sr.2 with 3 crew members and 18 passengers on domestic couldn’t get airborne and overrun the runway at Chiang Rai and stopped on the banks of a stream. No one was injured, but the plane was beyond repair.

April 28, 1987

September 1, 1979

A Thai Airways Hawker Siddeley HS-748-243 Srs. 2 on a domestic flight from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai experienced problems when its landing gear didn’t open. The plane stopped beside the runway with all four crew members and 39 passengers safe.

While en route from Hanoi-Noi Bai International Airport to VientianeWattay Aiport, a Lao Aviation Antonov AN 26 aircraft with 68 passengers and six crew members lost its way in a storm. The plane ran out of fuel and safely made an emergency landing in a cornfield near Ban Mai village inside Thailand.

September 23, 1999

Shortly after Air Vietnam Boeing 727-121C took off from Don Muang en route to Saigon-Tan Son Nhat International Airport with 48

September 11, 2005 (VAP 326) A Phuket Air NAMC YS-11-500R aircraft on a domestic flight from Don Muang with four crew members and 24 passengers skidded off a runway while landing at Mae Sot Airport. The plane hit a fence and the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. September 23, 1999 (QF 1) While making a stopover en route from Sydney to London, a Qantas Boeing 747-438 with 410 passengers and 19 crew members overran the runway during landing at Don Muang. The plane collided with a ground radio antenna and careened about 200 metres before coming to a stop with its nose on the airport perimeter road. The plane was severely damaged and about 38 people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation. October 22, 1994 A Thai Airways International Airbus A300B4-103 was damaged beyond repair after its right wing was hit by the nose of Thai Airways MD-11. The plane was performing an engine run-up when it apparently went outof-control, overrunning the parking block at Don Muang airport.

September 5, 1973



rom 1967 to 2017 there was a number of aviation accidents and mishaps involving Thai military or police aircraft in non-combat situations. The Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) was involved in at least 26 of these incidents; the Royal Thai Navy in two; and the Royal Thai Police in one. These incidents resulted in the deaths of 58 flight crew members plus four ground personnel. In addition, there were even non-combat incidents involving US Air Force (USAF) aircraft, resulting in the deaths of 30 flight crew and four ground crew. The USAF deployed to combat and supporting aircraft at several Thai air bases from 1961 to 1975. Planes based in Thailand went on bombing runs over South and North Vietnam and also Laos and Cambodia in what is known as America’s “Secret War.” One Air America Dougles VC-47A operated by the Central Intelligence Agency crash-landed at U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield on April 29, 1975. The aircraft had taken off in Saigon while Viet Cong was taking over the city. The list of military-related aviation incidents given above is incomplete. There have been a number of crashes and other accidents involving combat aircraft and trainers and helicopters belonging to the RTFA, other branches of the Thai military and USAF aircraft. It is difficult to assess the exact number. Recently an RTAF Swedish-made Saab Jas 39 multirole fighter burst into flames after it took a nose dive during the Children’s Day air show at Hat Yai airport on January 14. The pilot, 34-year-old Group Captain Dilokrit Patawee, didn’t eject and was killed.



Feature passengers, an explosion occurred in the galley of the aircraft, injuring two stewardess and two passengers. The plane returned immediately to Don Muang and landed safely. The blast was caused by a defective broiler in the galley and not by a bomb blast as initially suspected. The plane was repaired and returned to service. May 7, 1971 During landing at Mae Hong Son Airport, a Thai Airways Douglas DC-3 on a domestic flight gave everyone on board a scare when the main wheels of the plane struck the edge of the runway. The plane bounced, veered to the left of the runway and stopped near a concrete wall. None of the four crew members and 17 passengers was injured but the plane was declared a total loss. July 9, 1969 A Thai Airways International Sud Aviation SE-210 Caravelle III plane with a crew of seven and 68 passengers took off from Hong Kong and was approaching Don Muang in very bad weather when the ISL (Instrument Landing System) failed. The plane made a “heavy landing”, forcing the main gear through the wings. No one was injured, but the plane was reportedly damaged beyond repair.

Mai, three armed men with knives hijacked a Thai Airways Shorts 330200 aircraft and diverted it to Chiang Rai Airport. The hijackers negotiated with authorities and were presented with a pickup truck in which they escaped into the countryside with seven hostages. The hostages were subsequently robbed and released. Two hijackers were later captured, but there is no information on what happened to the third. June 30, 1982 An Alitalia Boeing 747-243B with 260 occupants and crew was hijacked by a Sri Lankan male after the plane left Delhi-Palam Airport in India. The plane landed at Don Muang, and the man held all passengers hostage. He threatened to blow up the aircraft and demanded US$ 300,000 and to be reunited with his wife and child who were in Italy. The hijacker released a few passengers and two escaped. All remaining passengers were set free after the man’s wife and child came aboard and the ransom was paid. He family was then flown to Sri Lanka, where the hijacker was arrested and sentenced to 20 years to life.

Palembang Airport in Jakarta and Medan-Polonia Airport in Medan. Five crew members and 48 passengers were on board. The hijackers demanded the release of 80 of their comrades held in Indonesian jails, US$ 1.5 million and a plane to take the prisoners to an unspecified destination. They forced the plane to land in Penang, Malaysia, where one hysterical woman was released. The plane took off again and entered Thai airspace, finally landing at Don Muang. After three days about 20 Indonesian Kopassandha (now Kopassus) commandos received permission from the Thai government to storm the plane. Four hijackers were killed by the Indonesian commandos while Royal Thai Air Force commandos secured the tarmac to make sure none of the hijackers escaped. One pilot and an Indonesian commando died later at Bhumibol hospital in Bangkok, and two passengers, one an American, were injured during the siege and were treated in hospital. All other passengers and crew made it through the harrowing ordeal safely. The leader

Four hijackings October 6, 1981


wo Myanmar nationals commandeered a Myanmar Airways Fokker F-28 during a flight from Myeik Airport in Myanmar to Yangon. The hijackers carried two explosive devices and made political demands. The plane landed at what was then called U-Tapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in Rayong province, where the hijackers were arrested by Thai police and all 85 passengers were released unharmed. Januar y 18, 1983 During a domestic flight from Phitsanulok Airport to Chiang



March 28, 1981

March 28, 1981 (GA 206) Five heavily armed Indonesia men belonged to the Islamic extremist group known as Komando Jihad hijacked Garuda Indonesia Airways Mc Donnell Dougles DC-9-32 plane during an internal flight between

of the hijackers, Imran bin Muhammad Zein, was captured, brought back to Indonesia and sentenced to death by a court in Jakarta.

Sources: Aviation Safety Network, AeroInside, Plane Crash Info, The Aviation Herald, and B3A Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives

Expat Sport

SINGAPORE BARBARIANS TAKE HOME THE VICTORY Strong competition at the 12th annual Bangkok International Rugby Tens, featuring local and overseas teams.

Former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad hands a trophy to the Nak Suu children’s rugby team

BANGKOK International Rugby Tens attracts rugby fans from far and wide to enjoy and participate in a weekend of fun and games in the very heart of Bangkok. With over 5,000 attendees and more funds raised than in any previous year, the 2017 Tens went above and beyond the organisers’ expectations. All funds will be donated to the Nak Suu children’s charity which was founded by the event organiser, Eddie Evans, himself a veteran rugby player. The charity organisation provides children in Bangkok’s slums with free rugby training and helps them develop important life skills and values, giving them the chance to make a positive change in their lives. This year’s champions, the Singapore Barbarians, beat the New Zealand legends in an exhilarating final game. After their victory, they spent the evening celebrating together with the other teams and the event’s generous sponsors. The 2017 edition of the Bangkok International Rugby Tens was proudly supported by Hooters, Four Points By Sheraton Bangkok, RockTape, RugbyPass, Singapore Rugby, Bumrungrad Hospital, Bangkok Patana School, APAC Assistance, Health Box, Allied Pickfords, X-treme Sports Gear, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn, Nestle Pure Life, S5 Agency, Flow House, Spectrum Optix, Nexoptic and Midas PR Group, their PR partner.

Singapore Barbarians celebrate winning the cup at the Bangkok International Rugby Tens 2017 64


Anantara’s King’s Cup Elephant Polo

THE 15th King’s Cup Elephant Polo Tournament was wrapped up after four days of festivities and fun on the bank of Chao Phraya River. The charitable event raised over B6million this year taking the total raised to date to over B50million. The funds will be donated to various projects including the Positive Reinforcement Target Training programme for mahouts and vets and the Zoological Parks Organisation of Thailand.



Expat Sport

Horsin’ around 68


The BigChilli team dons our jodhpurs and visits Karen Wainwright and her horse Tango at the Horse Lover’s Club to find out more about owning horses in Thailand Story by Kelly Harvey

Karen Wainwright and her horse, Tango

IT’S true that Thailand is not yet on par with the likes of Western and European countries in terms of facilities and care for horses, but over her 25 years of owning and riding horses in Thailand‘s capital Karen Wainwright has seen a definite improvement. “Stables here employ a lot more grooms so that when you come to ride your horse will be tacked up and ready for you and taken care of after you ride”, said Karen. “In Europe you would often be expected to do that yourself. Also, if you have your own horse stables here provide full livery whereas elsewhere you have options of full, half or DIY livery. “In Europe stables tend to be in more rural areas with access to land for hacking out and trail riding, which is not really the case here. Riding here is purely arena based. Horses also tend to live out more in the fields in Europe, especially in summer. Here, mainly because of the climate, this is not possible so horses tend to spend less time turned out and more time stabled.  “Riders in Thailand need to be extremely heat-conscious and should only ride at certain times of the day. Luckily the Horse Lover’s Club has two indoor arenas so we can train throughout the day. Every stable is equipped with at least one fan and a cooling system similar to that of chicken farms. Motorised walking machines are also a common piece of equipment found at riding clubs in Thailand. “Equipment is limited and extremely expensive, but has improved over the years. Most horse owners still import their saddles and tack from Europe due to the high prices. Unfortunately, there are no saddle fitters or repairers in Thailand yet so any repair work usually entails the owner carrying their saddle overseas for repair. “In terms of facilities for horse owners, there are several smaller riding clubs within Bangkok. On the outskirts of

Bangkok you’ll find more space and bigger clubs. Nonthaburi Equestrian Sports Club, Thai Polo & Equestrian Club, Equestrian Paradice, Bangkok Equestrian Centre, and the Horse Lover’s Club are some of the most popular riding clubs in Bangkok and its surrounding areas.” When speaking about the costs involved Karen said: “The fees involved are extremely high. As conditions are not suitable for breeding, most horses are usually bought outside of Thailand and shipped over. Thereafter it will cost the owner up to 100,000 baht in yearly membership fees and up to 4,500 baht in monthly fees. These prices vary from club to club. Livery costs roughly 20,000 baht per month and private lessons range from 2,500-3000 baht per lesson depending on the club and teacher.” Despite the high costs, horse-riding has wonderful benefits. It’s provides an enjoyable form of exercise, allows you to connect with animals, teaches disicpline, and is a healthy interest for young girls and boys. But for Karen it’s benefits extend much further than exercise: “It gives you a structure and focus to your day which many expat women lack; horse riding is far better than coffee mornings and shopping that’s for sure.” But it’s not just expats enjoying the company of our large four-legged friends; over the years the number of Thai riders has dramatically increased. Major competitions including the Thailand Championships, FEI World Cup Jumping SEA League, FEI World Challenge in showjumping and dressage the biannual Southeast Asian Games, and the Asian Games (held every four years) have become coveted events on the Thai-equestrian sporting calendar with smaller competitions sprouting up across the country. With the equestrian sports becoming increasingly popular in Thailand, hopefully we will see an even greater improvement in terms of facilities and care for horses in years to come.

TheBigChilli 69


Ancient Sands of Angkor

By Joseph Henry

When the opportunity to participate in the Ultra Trail Angkor 128 kilometres presented itself, I didn’t have to think twice


’VE participated in a few distance Ultra Trail competitions over the years and was so ready to race again in 2017. Once I heard that my friend Ross announced he signed up for the Ultra Trail Angkor 128km run, I and another friend, Mikkel, immediately jumped at the chance to tag along. This was the perfect excuse to challenge myself, doing what I love while visiting the fabled temple.



Considered that I’ve been living in Bangkok for over 20 years, I often wondered why I never visit the Angkor Wat sooner. Built in the early 12th century AD during the Khmer Empire ruled by King Suryavarman II, the Hindu temple remains the largest religious site in the world. To my surprise it just a 40-minute flight from Bangkok, closer than Phuket. How could I have not visited before? The starting time was scheduled

at 10 pm. All competitors would be running through the night, the next day, and possibly into the second night to complete the trail. Once we arrived at the meeting point for the bus ride to Angkor Wat, I was greeted by a room full of seasoned athletes with a single-minded focus on the grueling run ahead. There was a sense of excitement in the air as we entered through the ancient arched gates of the elephant steps and marched to the starting line. Everyone was ready. The horn blew and I was off! We immediately headed into the Angkor complex. I was somewhat disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to see much of Angkor since we were running at night. It was at this time that I accidentally twisted my right ankle. It wasn’t bad enough to stop but it would come back to haunt me later into the race.


he reality that most if not all the competitors were hardcore runners began to set in after about 15km. I was able to set a pace soon after. Ross and I began to break off from the pack. Sand is truly not the easiest surface to run on. We must’ve been a fantastic entertainment for the locals since there were families, adults, and young children gathering on the roadside to watch us. Carried by the cheer of the crowds, we completed the first 42km in six hours. Ross and I got ahead of Mikkel and we were right on target for eight and a half hours into our first 64km. We were hot on the heels of the stronger group in front of us. Then my left knee started to hurt. It grew steadily worse until I had to walk the final 7km to the halfway point. By this time, we had been running all night and I confessed to Ross that I might not be able to finish the full race. I was distraught at this point. I didn’t want to give up. Arriving at the rest station, the smile of the staff and the organising team was a welcomed sight. Time to regroup, have breakfast and rest. I iced my knee and the onsite physiotherapist put on some sports tape on me. Mikkel arrived about 20 minutes later with massive blisters. I had lost much of my confidence and was considering dropping out of the race or walking the last 64km. Ross wouldn’t let us quit and kept on encouraging us. We agreed to push on. Mikkel kept having to stop due to the pain from the blisters while I had to run and walk in the interval to ease the pain in my knee. We literally ran

From left : Joseph Henry, Ross Cain, and Mikkel Nielson

and walked for 10 hours. The sun was beating down on us with little shade in sight. Luckily we had grown accustomed to the heat after living in Thailand for so many years. The heat worked to our advantage because we were able to catch up and pass other runners. Phnom Bok is one of three templemountains built by Yasovarman I in the late 9th or early 10th century. This peaceful but remote location receives few visitors. The small temple is gorgeous but the views of Phnom Kulen and the plains of Angkor from its 250m peak that made the trip worthwhile. It was a 500-step climb which I found to be easy, however, the descent exacerbated my knee and the pain was almost unbearable. I was quickly left alone to slowly limped my way down clutching to large tree branches along the way to take the pressure off my hurt knee. Once reached the checkpoint at the bottom, I rested my knee and was grateful for the delicious pumpkin soup they served at the stop. I have brought some painkiller tablets for emergency and now was as good as any time to take it. The painkiller started to work on my knee and I was getting my

energy back, setting my mind on catching up with all the runners who left me behind on the hill – it was payback time. Walking and running in intervals, I managed to gain some distance and caught up with and passed every runner from Phnom Bok and then some. Mikkel and I found each other again and his blisters were beyond ripe and were causing him great pain. But he was determined to finish and so was I. My knee was no longer hurting but the sprained ankle was starting to swell. We were now 108km into the race. It was pitch black; we were exhausted and instead of being competitors, we became comrades with the mutual aim to finish the race together. The last 20km proved confusing and tough. Some people removed the ribbons marking the course and we wasted time getting lost in the jungles. Thanks to the staff who retrieved us and set us on the right course. Finally, we arrived at the elephant steps with the finish line in view. Mikkel, Laurent – a French man we met on the race – and I ran hand in hand across the finish line together. There were hugs and cheers all around. I couldn’t image being more gratified and tired at the same time. We ran 128km through the obstacles that mounted against us with no sleep for 41 hours (at least for me), and it was all worth it. The experience was unbelievable! Next year, I will run the 64km race that starts in the morning instead, and make sure that I see the Bayon temple.



By Kelly Harvey


16 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond...


01 XTerra Phuket

April 1 Phuket AFTER the success of XTerra Samui in September, AMA will host the next off road Triathlon in Phuket. XTerra Phuket will again offer something for everyone with the triathlon sprint and standard, duathlon and multi distance trail run. As always the triathlon includes an ocean swim, mountain bike and trail run along beautiful beaches and challenging trails. www.ama-events.com

02 The Colour Run Thailand

April 1 – 2 Makkasan Airport Rail Link Station REGISTRATION is now open for the ‘happiest 5km on the plantet’. This fun-packed run promises lots of laughs as competitors throw handfuls of coloured powder at eachother during the race. Dress in white and prepare to look like a newly splattered canvas. www.thecolorrun.co.th

03 ____Was Here

April 2 – 9 JAM FEAURTING images by photographer Kimmo Kauko, taken at Jam during the past two years. What started as a one-off photo shoot became a passion which led Kauko to regularly return and to explore the subconscious connection between himself, the environment, and his models. All pictures were taken at Jam and the pictures are shown at the exact spot they were taken. www.kimmokauko.com




04 Coldplay

April 7 Rajamangala Stadium MULTI-AWARD winning British rock band, Coldplay, is coming to Bangkok as part of their A Head Full of Dreams Tour, named after their latest 2015 album release. Since 1996, the band has gained international fame stardom as a post-Britpop, alternative band selling more than eighty million records and winning a host of awards. Fans can expect all-time favourites including The Scientist and Viva la Vida as well as some of their latest releases such as Hymn for the Weekend. Tickets range from B1,800 – B6,500 www.thaiticketmajor.com

05 Kolour Warehouse Party

April 22 Tigger Twins Studio PROMISING to bring you sound that makes your body wobble and a lighting show that will take you to the next dimension at Bangkok’s first major warehouse party. Headlining the 10-hour day/ night event in a modern industrial warehouse are two heavy-hitting international artists, Wankelmut and Breach, who will be joined by local Djs Alex Fischer, Chote, Coran, and Gramophone Children. Tickets: B800 pre-sale and B900 at the door www.eventpop.me


06 Bike Zone Tri Dash Bangkok

April 23 Bangpoo Golf and Sports ORGANISED by Go Adventure Asia, this grass root series offers beginners a safe environment to get started in triathlons and allows advanced athletes to tune up for bigger races. The 2017 series comprises of 8 races over the traditional Dash distance of 400m swim, 20km bike, and 5km run. www.gotorace.com

07 Together Festival 2017

April 28 – 30 BITEC Bangna BACK for the sixth edition, Together Festival is bringing some of the biggest names in EDM back to Bangkok. Headlining this year’s event are Martin Garrrix, Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Marshmello, and Armin Van Buuren. Tickets: B3,286.85 www.togetherfestival.net

08 The Singha Obstacle Run IX

April 29 – 30 Fishing Park, Nong Chok THE ultimate extreme obstacle course is back in its ninth edition. Embrace the spirit of adventure and prepare to run, climb, swim, wing, slide, and crawl your way to the finish line. Categories include 7,5km and 15km for solo entries or enter as a team of five runners and take on the 30km race. www.amaevents.com




09 Bondax

April 30 Live RCA DARK White and Live RCA are proud to present the return of the electronic music duo to Bangkok. The duo consisting of English musicians Adam Kaye amd George Townsend, gained prominence from BBC Radio and have since gone on to perform at a number of music festivals across Europe. www.facebook.com/livercabangkok

10 Crystal Castles

May 20 Live RCA MEDIUM Rare and Moonbeats Asia present Crystal Castles live in Bangkok. Known for their energetic live performances, the electropunk, synthpop band are bringing their hit singles Crimewave, Not in Love, and Frail among others to Bangkok crowds.


12 River Kwai Trophy Adventure Race 2017 May 27 Felix River Kwai Resort, Kanchanaburi THE most popular and largest Adventure Race in South East Asia is back for its 12th edition. Over 200 international teams will run, mountain bike, swim, and kayak their way through challenging scenic trails exploring the mountains, farmlands, jungles of Thailand and the historic Kwai valley. www.ama-events.com

13 Laguna Phuket Marathon

June 3 – 4 Laguna Phuket LAST year saw 6,000 runners from more than 60 nationalities take to the trail for this familyfun affair. In conjunction with the Laguna Phuket Foundation, the event is held in support of educational and social development of local communities, marine and natural environmental conservation. Five distances are available: 2km, 5km, 10.5km, half marathon, and marathon.


14 Noise Market

June 3 – 4 Museum Siam THE sixth biannual market is bringing back the noise. Focusing on the concept of precycling, this year’s market promises to bring indie art, craft, design, music, books, and films to the fore as always. Enjoy a friendly atmosphere where children can run, families can sit back and relax, artists can draw, readers can think, musicians can rock, experimentalists can test, and tourists can shopping. www.facebook.com/noisemarketfest

15 Karma Kruise Volume 2.0


April 8 Asiatique The River Front THE Karma Klique team are back, spreading good vibes and infectiously danceable tunes along the mighty Chao Phraya River once again. This year they’re kicking things up a notch with a bigger boat, custom sound and lighting system, international headliners, and a massive afterparty. Entirely run by volunteers, all profits from Karma Kruise go towards helping Warm Heart Worldwide and their Stop the Smoke campaign, working at a grass roots level to tackle the devastating effects of burning local crop waste in Chiang Mai.



Tickets: B1,190 www.ticketmelon. com

11 Val

Through May 21 S Gallery IN memory of artist Valérie Goutard, who tragically passed away in a road accident in Thailand last year, S Gallery will be hosting an exhibition to showcase some of Val’s first sculptures to her last series produced at the end of 2016.


16 Karma Kruise 2.0 Afterparty

April 8 Whiteline FOLLOWING Karma Kruise Volume 2.0, the Karma Klique crew will be transforming each floor to have its own identity and atmosphere. Bringing Whiteline to life with a custom light and mapping show, pure vinyl showcase, and a second floor featuring the city’s best local talent plus a double team of international guests DJ Zig Zach and Ocean Lam to keep things going until the early hours. Tickets: B300 at the door or free for all Karma Kruise ticket holders www.facebook.com/karmaklique

For more hot events, and to submit your own, go to thebigchilli.com

TheBigChilli 73


Is humour different for men and women? By Drew McCreadie

■ IS humour different for men and

The Comedy Club Bangkok Sukhumvit 33/1 above The Royal Oak Pub (BTS Phrom Phong) comedyclubbangkok.com



women? Research of dating profiles has indicated that men and women treat ‘a sense of humour’ quite differently, at least as far as dating goes. While both men and women say that they want a partner who has a good sense of humour, women tend to mean that they want someone that will make them laugh whereas men are looking for a woman who will laugh at their jokes. What’s with that honesty? Of course there are all sorts of societal parameters that would need to be eliminated from the equation to fully test if this difference is genetic, but some researchers don’t have time for that and have ploughed forward with the theory anyway. The theory is that humour is a sign of a high intellect and power. This intellectual prowess is an attracting characteristic for women looking for a mate (or a hilarious one-night-stand). Women, therefore, are more attracted

to men who are intellectually creative and have a strong head-muscle. Women, according to this theory, are looking for a man who is able to think up funny stuff fast enough to convince them that they can provide a good supply of genetic material to help create the woman’s offspring (which most men can, provide the genetic material I mean, not necessarily think up funny stuff). Men, on the other hand, seem to like women who laugh because it signals interest by the woman in the man and for men that’s all they need: some interest. Any interest at all. But other research sees humour as a way our brains deal with confusion and complication in life, like a form of coping mechanism that keeps us from killing each other. And there is nothing more complicated in life than dating. So, from this perspective, it should not be surprising that both men and women are looking for someone with a good sense of humour. It’s as if we are all subconsciously saying to one another, ‘dating me is going to be a lot of work, so I hope you have a good mental coping mechanism in place for dealing with me.’ Other research points to laughter as a way of gaining status from a group, or as neuroscientist nerds Franklin and Adams call it: where one person is surrounded by others captures the attention of the group and delivers the necessary cognitive structure and elements to produce a mirth response and receive the social capital that comes with it. In short, being funny makes people like you, and being someone who laughs at funny stuff also makes people like you. Research has also debunked the myth that men are funnier than women. Men and women receive laughs in about the same proportion. When getting naked for the first time, however, men still receive more laughs (this is from personal research conducted.)


Depression: Let’s talk D

EPREssION affects people of all ages, from all walks of life. It causes mental anguish and impacts on people’s ability to carry out even the simplest tasks with sometimes devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends, and the ability to earn a living. Yet, depression as any other chronic disease can be prevented. What is depression? Depression is an illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities. In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms: -

a loss of energy a change in appetite sleeping not enough or too much anxiety reduced concentration indecisiveness restlessness feelings of worthlessness guilt, or hopelessness

Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, but that alone doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests a faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, a stressful lifestyle both emotionally and physically, medication use or underlying medical problems contribute to developing a chronic depression.



Here are some things you can do improve or prevent depression Exercise and be physically active Many studies have established that regular physical activity can help you feel better and prevent or recover from depression. The type of physical activity really doesn’t matter. Just choose something that you enjoy. Start slowly but regularly for 30 min a day. Try exercising with a friend or relative, or sign up for a group class. Sharing the activity with someone may help you stick to a new activity. Get some sunlight You might find that getting some sun can put you in a better mood. Some people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression that typically recurs during the fall and winter when days are getting shorter. In Thailand however, many people don’t get enough sunlight while avoiding the sun and the heat. Only 10 - 15min of outdoor activities or even just having a drink in the garden or on the balcony can make a difference.

Get enough sleep, but not too much Depression, and sometimes the treatment for it, can interfere with your sleep. Some people with depression sleep too much. Not getting enough sleep can have a huge impact on your mood. Stay on a regular schedule. Don’t nap. Physical activity during the day may help you sleep, but don’t exercise 2-3 hours before bedtime. Before getting into bed, unwind with a good book or soothing music. Avoid watching TV or staring at a bright computer or mobile phone screen in bed, as the blue LED light can trick your circadian rhythm. Eat a healthy diet Next to physical activity and a sensible sleeping pattern, food is the most important item on a prevention and recovery plan. A balanced diet including mostly plantbased, unprocessed whole foods and natural fat sources is the basis for every disease prevention and health promotion effort. Talk to a nutritionist for advice.

Judith Coulson is a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist, Medical Nutritionist and Lifestyle Coach working with individuals, executive teams, schools and companies based in Thailand and Hong Kong. lifestylefoodclinic.com, corporate-wellness.asia

Tr y expressing yourself creatively Creativity can have many different forms and you don’t need to be especially good at it. Writing a journal or short stories, painting, music or crafting are great ways to express yourself other than with the spoken word. Avoid alcohol and drugs Alcohol and many illicit drugs can contribute to depression and make it worse. In fact, substance abuse often goes hand in hand with depression. If you think you have a substance abuse problem, you need to get help. Addiction or abuse can prevent you from fully recovering from a depression. Alternative therapies Learning and practising cognitive therapy techniques, one properly, may work as well as antidepressant medicines for depression and prevent recurrences. You might also try relaxation techniques, meditation, hypnosis, massage, or acupuncture. More resources about depression, visit: lifestylefoodclinic.com/lifestylefood-news/big-chili-resources, password: bigchili



Expat Women

‘Jane of all Trades’ An expat since her teens, Jane Puranananda is living proof that living overseas can be richly rewarding by Ruth Gerson


t’s often said that expat women lead meaningless lives based on coffee mornings and accompanying husbands to cocktail parties by night. In fact, the opposite can be true, provided they take advantage of their surroundings and the many opportunities on offer here in thailand and postings in other southeast Asian countries. such has been the lot of Jane Puranananda, an American lady who was propelled out into the big wide world while still in her teen years. Long-term Bangkok expat Jane tells how at the age of fifteen she found herself attending three different schools in one school year, with moves that were to later define



her future. Calling herself a “second generation expat”, Jane and her family followed her father’s career that took them initially to Belgium. In the Belgian capital, Brussels, Jane was enrolled in a French speaking high school for the following two years. she couldn’t speak a word of French but this didn’t seem to faze her father. ; “It wasn’t an obstacle as far as he was concerned. For me it was a life changing experience”, says Jane. Indeed, it taught her how to adapt quickly to new situations and led to her becoming a fluent French speaker, a valuable skill that worked in her favour on many occasions in the years to follow. After moving back to the Us, Jane attended Barnard College of Columbia University in New York

where she met and married her thai husband, Chemi, who would eventually take her to the Far East and to thailand. Her husband’s work took them first to singapore in 1983; it was a country that suited Jane well. Because of her deep interest in Asian art, Jane volunteered for the singapore National Museum, helping to catalogue its collection of thai Buddha images. Later she took over as editor of the museum publications, and also began writing articles for its Heritage magazine. In 1985 Jane’s husband was transferred to Hong Kong. At this point she was determined to develop what she calls a “suitcase career” being often on the move. A position as a proofreader at B-International, a high end women’s magazine came

up, and she took it. Within a year the magazine’s managing editor left and Jane filled the vacancy. soon after, her responsibilities expanded with several new magazines being added to workload. the five years she spent in Hong Kong were a great time for growth and creative activity, she recalls, as the city was leading the region’s fashion and lifestyle scene. It was also a testing time for Jane as she juggled various jobs, assignments and tasks, but somehow also found time to be involved in her teenage children’s lives. “You could call me ‘the Jane of

all trades’”, she says. through her work at the magazine Jane met numerous fascinating and famous people – movie stars like Audrey Hepburn, racing drivers and art experts, but mostly fashion industry people, including Paloma Picasso and Karl Langerfeldt. 1990 saw another transfer, this time to thailand. Although adept in the field of publishing, Jane did not want to carry on the life of “deadlines” that publications require, and instead set herself up as a communication consultant. Her first client through a word of mouth was a human resources company, followed by an advertising company and later a half-day a week job at the shangri La Hotel in Bangkok as communication consultant. this latter position

lasted for ten years, during which Jane helped arrange unusual and interesting programs for media guests. At the same time Jane met the head of the prestigious law firm DejUdom & Associates and was offered a position, initially three days a week, but later a full time position. that was 26 years ago. For Jane one opportunity led to another. In 2000, the James H. W. thompson Foundation was organising an international symposium on textiles, and Jane was recruited to translate text from French to English. this resulted in

her becoming a consultant to the foundation. At the same time, Jane wrote two books aimed at encouraging children to appreciate thai art and culture. the first, ‘the Mystery of Bangkok’s Golden treasure’, was followed by ‘the Mystery of the Vanishing Vase at the Jim thompson House’. A major challenge for Jane was mastering the thai language. On her arrival here 27 years ago and for the following 24 years, she took weekly lessons in thai, with the aim of being able to read works on art history in thai. today, she says her fluency in spoken thai is one of her most valuable assets.

Jane marvels at the great opportunities available in Bangkok to expats. In particular she points to the siam society, and the National Museum Volunteers in which she actively participated. she even had a spot for a while on thai tV Channel 11, and served on the committee that helped train Indochinese journalists – the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation. Finding herself single a few years back, Jane got in touch with an old flame from her Belgian high school days. After an interval of 40 years, the two reconnected and now happily spend half a year in thailand and the other half in France. thanks to the internet and modern technology, Jane continues to highlight the possibilities available to expat women and works virtually for her thai law firm and maintains much valued connections with thailand.




Keepin’ it cool SUMMER is upon us and with it comes a new wardrobe full of cool clothes and accessories – and by cool we mean it in every sense of the word. Dresses and hats, swimsuits and sunglasses, bags and bracelets – everything you need to keep both cool and fashionable in this hot weather. Expect to see feminine cuts and silhouettes this summer as well as plenty of monotones paired with playful pops of colour.

DITA dita.com

Dior dior.com

Essentiel Antwerp essentiel-antwerp.com

Lulu Guinness luluguinness.com



Hermes hermes.com Misty Mynx mistymynx.com

Prada prada.com

UniQlo uniqlo.com KIMHÄ’KIM kimhekim.com

Oskar The label oskarthelabel.com H&M hm.com TheBigChilli



Well Spa at Well Hotel Bangkok Five-star treatments at Well Hotel Bangkok’s signature spa


HE hustle and bustle of city life can be a serious pain, causing those painful knots and lumps to plague your body and mind and leave you feeling cluttered, fatigued, and in desperate need of pampering. The solution: a pair of skilful hands belonging to an experienced masseuse who can get straight to the root of all the aches and pains. Well Spa offers a range of 30 to 90-minute stress-busting treatments and therapies specially designed to soothe the aching muscles, dissolve toxins, and brighten the minds.

Occupying the 7th floor of Well Hotel Bangkok on Sukhumvit Soi 20, Well Spa makes use of a contemporary design that is simple and uncluttered to ensure peace of the mind, body, and soul; a blissful hidden gem in the middle of the city. Upon entering, guests are welcomed with herbal drinks and



chilled towels. Guests can choose the type of treatment they need and which areas they wished to focus. Well Spa offers a unique blend of essential oils, according to your condition. Freshly made before each treatment, the essential oil mixture lends its healing effects to the body and mind enhancing each treatment even further; and with 14 different essential oils to choose from there is no limit to the combinations. The most popular signature packages include: the Well Stress Relief Massage – a 60 or 90-minute aromatherapy massage with a silky smooth touch to help harmonise the body and mind, promote good health, reduce anxiety, relieve emotional

and physical stress, and encourage restful sleep; and the Well Warm Candle Massage – a 60 or 90-minute aromatherapy massage that uses a blend of sweet almond oil, shea butter, and beeswax to melt away accumulated tension, soften the skin, and enhance your mood for days to come. At the end of the treatment, guests are served with a freshly brewed herbal drink made with lotus roots to give you that extra boost, making sure that you are ready to take on the world once again.

Well Spa, Well Hotel Bangkok. 10 Sukhumvit Soi 20. 02 127 5995. wellhotelbangkok.com

Expat Women

THANN elecTric AromA diffuser

THANN recently introduced the ‘THANN Electric Aroma Diffuser’ – an aroma diffuser that one can be customised in your own style, various famous celebrities shared their secret in how they selected their favourite aromatherapy for all occasions for the projet.

ANoTHer sTory reveAled Ny jewellery brANd ANOTHER Story, the lifestyle concept store, revealed an exclusive luxury brand ‘Ginette NY’ from New York for the first time in Thailand with Ploychompoo Umpujh as brand ambassador. Attended by various A-list celebrities, guests had the opportunity to experience the ‘Skin Jewellery’.

bfs spriNg/ summer collecTioN IN collaboration between 11 leading Thai fashion brands, Bangkok Fashion Society (BFS) recently unveiled the Spring/Summer 2017 Collection at Qurator Zone, on the 2nd Floor of The Emquartier Shopping Complex.

New cell dNA lAuNcHed iN sTyle

FOR the first time in Thailand, skincare brand ‘J’ENNIE’ hosted a launch for the new anti-aging products ‘New Cell DNA’ attended by A-list celebrities at the Maneemoncha Home, Ambassador Court.



La Femme Art Exhibition RIVER City Bangkok’s dynamic art space, Artery Gallery played host to ‘La Femme’, the first International Women’s Art Exhibition in Bangkok. Held to celebrate the International Women’s Day (on March 8), the exhibition showcased the work of renowned women artists from around the world.



Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair SEEN again this year at the 59th Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani was the returning Gemstoneuniverse. Discover the secret power of Jyotish gemstones and how it can help transform and add sparkle to people’s lives with a consultation with astrologer and planetary gem advisor Abhijita Kulshrestha.

Diplomatic Coffee Morning THE International Women’s Club hosted another successful Diplomatic Coffee Morning at Saneh Jaan Restaurant led by its president, Kathleen Pokrud. This annual affair is to express an appreciation for the support given to the club by Heads of Mission from various countries and their spouses.



School Report

A new era

in education

CRIMSON Education – a personalised education and mentoring company founded in 2013 in New Zealand to help students gain entry into top-ranked universities around the world and to accelerate their career trajectories – launched its Bangkok office recently. This is in line with the plans to extend its global reach and to provide the students from around the world with equal access to its premier network of over 2,000 tutors, consultants, and mentors.


first open house

BRIGHTON College Bangkok announced its first Open House event on April 6, 2017, to celebrate its innovative curriculum within its Pre-Prep School and allow parents to meet with the leaders of the Prep and Senior Schools and find out more information about the unique Brighton College education now also open to children aged between 9 and 15 years old. For more information or reservation, visit brightoncollege.ac.th or contact the admission team at 02 136 7898, admission@brightoncollege.ac.th.



Harrow Bangkok students took first prize  STUDENTS from Harrow Bangkok took first prize in this year’s Junior Achievement Company of the Year competition in Tokyo. Team KASCA – composed of Jessica, Teddy, Oh, and Kitty from Year 11 – beat 76 students from 13 locations representing 19 student companies with their concept of a sustainable, multi-functional board made from compressed rice husk. The item attracted the judges’ attention as its manufacture can provide a much needed extra income for rice farmers. The student companies were evaluated by a panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs, academics, and representatives from the local business community and KASCA stood out as the clear winner.

School Report

On top of the world As Traill International School celebrates its 50th anniversary, the school looks back on five decades of achievements, including its academic record which saw a Traill student ranked as the world’s best


NE of the most important criteria for parents when choosing an international school for their child is not the look or reputation of the place, but rather the school’s academic prowess. After all, their children will one day be sitting their IGCSEs and soon after that, their A levels. And, as we know only too well, how well students do in these exams can have a big impact on their future, especially for those pursuing further education. Traill International School is proud of its academic track record, and has consistently scored highly in both IGCSEs (originally O levels) and A levels since its establishment. With the support of highly experienced, well qualified and enthusiastic academic staff, many of them sourced directly from the UK, students at Traill have an excellent chance to



succeed in both examinations. Last year, Traill secured an 84 percent pass rate in IGCSE level entries at grade C or above, an 88 percent pass rate for AS levels, and a 100 percent pass rate for A levels. Over the years, including 2016, students from Traill have achieved numerous Best in Thailand recognition for IGCSEs, AS, and A levels. Doing the school particularly proud however was student Pichada Charoenpanit (Palm), who came away with Cambridge’s Top in the World award for her ICT A level exam result. She also achieved Best in Thailand for her ICT, Economics, and Mathematics A levels. Cambridge International Examinations are taken in over 160 countries, making these awards truly impressive. Another academic high in 2016 for Traill was the participation of four students in the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair (KLESF) Challenge in Malaysia, making Traill

the only school in Thailand to be invited to exhibit a project at the event’s School STEM Project Exhibition. Studying the effects of fabric softener on the flammability of fabric and the mosquito trap, Traill’s Health Science project was well received. The annual event is a Malaysian government initiative, seeking to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) amongst students, with potential benefits for their future careers and the ASEAN region. Traill has become a consistently high achiever academically and plans to consistently maintain such standards into the future.

School Sport BIYFF football festival

BANGKOK Soccer League (BSL) – a well-known community youth soccer club established 28 years ago to provide competitive and community soccer for international school children – hosted a youth soccer competition with players from across the ASEAN region as well as Japan, China, and India.




p Last month’s best events in pictures



Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Negroni MasterClass 2017

AIMING to encourage innovation in the products, recipes, and techniques used and services provided, Independent Wine & Spirit (Thailand) Co., Ltd. presented the ‘Negroni Master Class 2017’; offering a trade focused educational and bartending class for all bartenders at Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel.



St. Patrick’s Day at FourPoints Hotel

THE Drunken Leprechaun hosted the ‘St. Patrick Week’ party with food and drinks specials while the nights were packed with various entertainments at FourPoints Hotel by Sheraton.



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Artist playground by Pullman Hotel

UNDER the concept ‘Artist Playground by Pullman’, Patrick Janssen, Hotel Manager of Pullman Bangkok Grande Sukhumvit welcomed Josh Roxas, a multi-awardwinner Filipino artist in the launching of Coloured Cities art gallery at the hotel.



Sansiri Market Fest

SANSIRI Market Fest returned bigger and more diverse this year. This fun-filled event served as the official launch of Habito Retail Mall – Sansiri’s first foray into the shopping mall businesses.



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All that jazz at The Zuk Bar

THE Zuk Bar at The Sukhothai Bangkok gets jazzed up with a performance by Coco alongside the resident Philipino 3-piece band every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.



KHUN’S DNA Exploratorium

SANSIRI PCL and Rangsin Kritalug, COO of BTS Group Holdings PCL, hosted the first world-class lifestyle experience party in Thailand, KHUN’s DNA Exploratorium by Bompas & Parr – a London-based party and event creator – attended by several A-list celebrities.

Guns ‘n’ Roses tribute night

FANS flocked to Hard Rock Pattaya on Rockin’ Friday for the Guns ‘n’ Roses Tribute Night. Performed by the Hubris band, fans enjoyed all the best-loved classics by their favourite rock band. TheBigChilli


Social|Last Month’s Best Events

Dining by the pool ALDO’s Bistro and the Cascade Club hosted a rare poolside dinner with Natasha Patamapongs and the Mellow Motif band to lift the atmosphere while Chef Herve Frerard presented guests with delectable dishes for a memorable night.



My Kitchen grand opening party

SIAM Discovery recently held the grand opening party for ‘My Kitchen’ – the latest hangout spot where diners can eat, meet and mingle under the concept of ‘Convergence of Food, Art and Technology.’

Gaysorn Village ‘Eye On You’ art exhibition GAYSORN Village presented the ‘Eye On You’ art exhibition under the ‘Let It Be Love’ campaign highlight. The exhibition showcased a gigantic 15m jewellery installations and over 300 jewellery pieces at the Gaysorn Village Atrium Gallery.

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Gold Elite Paris luxurious smartphone launch

GOLD Elite Paris in collaboration with Siam Paragon introduced the ‘Gold Elite Limited Edition’ smartphone under the concept ‘The Value of Life’ featuring various healthcare packages and superior privileges.

Jim Thompson Home Furnishings Showroom Grand Opening

JIM Thompson’s Bangkok Home Furnishings Showroom has undergone an impressive transformation. The concept for this renovation is aimed at promoting “beautiful living”, and encouraging visiting clients to embrace the use of colours and bold design, which are synonymous with the brand. The grand opening of the showroom was warmly received and a great night was had by all. 102


Mekhong King’s Cup Elephant Polo MEKHONG, under the management of Thai Beverage Marketing Co., Ltd., co-sponsored the 15th King’s Cup Elephant Polo – the biggest charitable events in Southeast Asia – for the sixth consecutive year under the concept, ‘The Spirit of Thailand.’

Alfresco 64 at Le Bua

LE Bua Bangkok scaled new heights with the world’s highest whisky bar. Located on 64th floor of the hotel, Alfresco 64, a Chivas Bar, is the highest outdoor whisky bar in the world offering connoisseurs and jet-setters the ultimate whisky drinking experience over stunning views of the Bangkok Skyline and the Chaophraya River.

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St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Eastin Grand

HOSTED by the Ambassador of Ireland to the Kingdom of Thailand H.E. Brendan Rogers, Bangkok’s Irish community and friends celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in style at the Surasak Ballroom, Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn Bangkok and were joined by fellow ambassadors from Austria, Australia, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Portugal, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and an EU delegation and their spouses.

Lacoste celebrated L.12.12 collection

I.C.C. International PCL hosted a special ‘Lacoste L.12.12 Pop Up Roadshow’ event to officially launch the L.12.12 collection in Thailand at CentralWorld’s Eden 2 Zone. Lacoste’s new premium collection was designed to pay a tribute to the brand’s founder. 104


iseA Women’s Week in BAngkok HILTON Sukhumvit Bangkok in conjunction with Hilton Worldwide in Thailand organised the ISEA Women’s Week in Bangkok to collect donated bras, women’s clothes, and sanitary packs to send to the Prison & Correctional Facility of Pratumthani which houses around 200 female prisoners.

AsiA’s 50 Best RestAuRAnts 2017

MEKHONG recently reaffirmed its position as the Spirit of Thailand by taking part in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. Kamolnai Chaixanien, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs of Thai Beverage Co., Ltd. congratulated Chef Julien Royer for winning the Highest New Entry Award sponsored by Mekhong.

ChuA hAh seng lAunChed neW PRoduCts

BW PRemieR ColleCtion AsiA

BEST Western Hotels & Resorts unveiled plans to bring its new upscale hotel concept, BW Premier Collection, to Asia. The property will benefit from Best Western’s global support network.

CHUA Hah Seng Food Product Co., Ltd. specialises in the manufacturing and sales of a palatable selection of sauces, pastes, and condiments including chilli pastes, chilli oil, chilli sauces, and sweet chilli. TheBigChilli 105

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CAPellA hotel gRouP to lAunCh neW hotel in BAngkok

COUNTRY Group Development, the leading Bangkok-based international real estate developer, is bringing the prestigious luxury hotel brand Capella to Bangkok’s waterfront development. The hotel is scheduled to open in summer 2018.

FReestyle FootBAll ChAmPionshiPs

SUPERSPORTS stores under the management of Central Group led by Mr Tony Morton, President of CRC Sports Co., Ltd. in association with Freestyle Football Thailand organised the inaugural ‘Supersports Freestyle Football Thailand Championships 2017’.

VeRde unVeiled its VintAge-style ResidentiAl Building

A HIGH-END exclusive condominium project by property development company Subjective, Verde, recently opened the doors to its luxurious vintage-style showroom for the seven-storey building containing 31 units. The construction of Verde condominium is scheduled to be completed by July 2017. 106


exPloRe moRe With QAtAR AiRWAys QATAR Airways – the award-winning and fastest growing airline in the world – announced the launch of 15 new destinations in 2017-2018, encouraging more Thai travellers to take advantage of Qatar Airways’ extensive network of over 150 destinations on six continents with the ‘Going Places Together’ campaign.

DIPLOMATS ď ° Meet the people uniting nations

H.E. Ivo Sieber

The art of negotiation is the secret to the famous Swiss diplomacy, says Swiss Ambassador

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Diplomat: His Excellency Ivo Sieber, Ambassador of Switzerland

Neutrality doesn’t mean indifference, says Switzerland’s Ambassador Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

Switzerland is widely regarded as a prime example of a prosperous and enlightened civilization. With a strong commitment to neutrality and democracy, Switzerland – known officially as the Swiss Confederation – is also admired for its compassionate diplomacy.


IN a recent interview at his office inside the large Swiss embassy compound on North Wireless Road, His Excellency Ambassador Ivo Sieber provided some insight on his nation’s enviable record of cultural, economic, and humanitarian achievements.   “We in Switzerland have a long multicultural and multi-lingual tradition, and a tradition of a very participative and inclusive democracy. This perspective penetrates society and reflects how we deal with individuals and issues. Switzerland is a funny country in a way. There isn’t really a definitive Swiss culture or anything like it. People are more or less forced to learn several languages. Some say that we only exist thanks to our institutions, which emphasise direct democracy, subsidiarity and multiculturalism. We have a federal system that provides for compensation to those who need it and a social organisation that allows minorities to feel included and not marginalised.   “A former Minister of Foreign Affairs [MFA] put it very well. She often said: ‘I am in four or five ways a minority. I am a socialist, a woman, a mother, French speaking, and a Catholic. But I have never felt marginalised even though I have all these characteristics, because this is an inclusive society.’”   The ambassador’s own background is a good illustration of the multiculturalism and inclusiveness that characterise the Swiss people. Not only does he speak four languages German, French, some Italian, and English – but he discovered at an early age that he has an affinity for international relations. He was born in the eastern town of Altstätten on the border to Austria in August 1957 and will



celebrate his 60th birthday in the same month as the Swiss National Day. “I went to school in Zurich, studied law and when I graduated I worked with a law firm for a couple of years in Zurich. I followed-up with a Master’s Degree in Law at the University of Sydney, Australia, and then worked for a law firm in Sydney for a little before returning to Switzerland to take the entrance exam for the diplomatic service. I have been with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1988.”   Asked why he decided to join the MFA after a promising start in the field of law, he replied: “I started travelling at an early age. I was in a student exchange program when I was in high school and spent a year in the United States. I felt comfortable in a multicultural setting and I enjoyed inter-acting with people.   “Practicing as a lawyer and doing business was interesting and fascinating, but I realised I wanted something that focused more on international relations. Journalism was one of the options I was looking at. I also had a job offer with the International Committee of the Red Cross, which can be described as a humanitarian diplomatic service. I seriously contemplated that option, but finally decided to join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and I have never regretted it for a moment. I am a career diplomat and committed to it,” said Ambassador Sieber.   In Switzerland, perhaps more than any other country, this means cultivating the art of negotiation. “This is the ‘secret’ of Swiss diplomacy. We have good relationships with all countries, and of course we have a tradition of neutrality. We also have a long tradition of offering our diplomatic services for negotiations and mediation between countries. We have quite a good capacity in the Ministry of Foreign


Education · 1982:  Master of Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland   · 1988:  LL.M., University of Sydney, Australia Professional career · 2010-2015:  Ambassador to the Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands   · 2006-2010:  Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission, Swiss Embassy Stockholm · 2004-2006:  Head of Information and spokesperson of the Foreign Minister, Bern  · 2001-2004:  Counselor and Head of the Economic Department, Swiss Embassy London   · 2000-2001:  Head of Section, International Environmental Affairs, Bern, Switzerland · 1998-1999:  Secondment to Swiss industrial corporation Sulzer AG · 1994-1998:  Counselor and Deputy Head of Mission, Swiss Embassy Bangkok · 1990-1994:  First Secretary, Permanent Observer Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations, New York · 1988-1989:  Attaché and Deputy Head of Mission, Swiss Embassy Harare, Zimbabwe · Practiced law in Zurich, Switzerland and Sydney, Australia before joining the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988.

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Affairs and other ministries to deploy that sort of diplomacy when requested by two parties in conflict, for example.   “This function was at its highest with the so-called ‘protection mandates’, most of which were set up during the Second World War. Then we had several dozen mandates to represent countries that were at war with each other. Several of these mandates continued during the Cold War and continue even today.   “For example, we represented the United States in Cuba and Cuba in the US from 1961 until two years ago, when the two countries re-established diplomatic relations. In 1991 Switzerland was also invited to represent Cuban interests in the US after the break-up of Czechoslovakia, who previously held this mandate.”    “Right now, we represent the US in Iran. We also act on behalf of Russia in Georgia and Georgia in Russia after the two countries severed diplomatic relations in the wake of their border war in 2008. Even with the number of these mandates has diminished since the Cold War, this area of expertise remains an important part of our diplomatic mission.”  

No stranger to Thailand

“I visited Thailand for the first time 40 years ago, in April 1977. It was my last holiday before final exams in high school,” the ambassador recalled. “I met friends in Thailand and in Malaysia. I came to the region for three


Grand Tour of Switzerland through Graubuenden



weeks, starting in Singapore, then Malaysia and ending up in Bangkok for a few days. Bangkok was a very different city then. I stayed in a guesthouse because as a student I didn’t have much money. It was somewhere right on Sathorn Road, close to the Dusit Thani Hotel, which was the tallest building in Bangkok. At that time Sathorn was lined with one and two-storey traditional Thai-style buildings. The klong was wide and on both sides of a two-lane road. I remember that half of the way from Don Muang airport was through rice fields. It was a trip from the countryside to the city. “I came to Thailand again after I finished my studies in Australia and did some travelling in the region. I went to Myanmar and then spent some time in Thailand. From time to time I came back for holidays. This is actually my second diplomatic assignment in Thailand. I worked at the Swiss embassy here from 1994 to1998.    “I became an ambassador in 2010 and this is my second ambassadorial assignment. The term is usually four years, but it’s not fixed. My predecessor was here for six years. My first ambassadorial post was in the Philippines, with side-accreditations to Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands. Climate-wise it’s the same as Thailand where I already spent four years during my first assignment. I also served five months in Malaysia in the late 90s, as part of a two-year secondment by the Swiss foreign ministry to the Swiss industrial corporation Sulzer AG. I am already a year and a half in Thailand as Ambassador, so I have spent a lot of time in tropical Southeast Asia.   “I arrived in Thailand as ambassador in midSeptember 2015 and received full accreditation from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 1. I am also accredited as ambassador to

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces along Lake Geneva, a UNESCO World Heritage site

the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the Kingdom of Cambodia. I travel to both countries quite frequently but it really depends on the activities taking place there. In both Laos and in Cambodia we have a development cooperation office implementing programs with the respective government and with other partners as well. Switzerland also maintains a program for the Lower Mekong Region which on a regional basis also extends into Myanmar and Thailand.” The ambassador said that even though he prefers a cooler climate and still perspires a lot here, he’s very happy with his current assignment. “Thai people are absolutely spectacular. They generate such positive

emotions and they are extremely welcoming. I have very good friends here. I spend most of my time in Bangkok. It is a truly cosmopolitan environment but there are also possibilities to live out very traditional experiences if you want, like in Chinatown. “You can also take short trips outside the city to get a complete change of scene. It takes about three hours to drive to Nakhon Ratchasima province where you see a very different side of Thailand. Thailand has a long and fascinating culture, and this is one reason the Swiss travel and live in Thailand in such big numbers.”  

Iconic embassy


St. Moritz

witzerland and Thailand established diplomatic relations in 1931 and the first Bangkok embassy was inaugurated in 1949. The current embassy building was opened in 1961 and became a kind of icon, partly for its spectacular location, and also because of its architectural design.   “Conceived by Hans Hoffman, a well-known professor at the Federal Technical University in Zürich, who himself studied under the famous Swiss architect and designer Charles-Eduard Jeanneret ‘Le Corbusier’ also designed Switzerland’s 1939 National Exhibition as well as the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi. In fact the embassy building here in Bangkok was finished after the architect passed away,” said the ambassador.   “I live at the embassy, so I am only a few meters away from my office,” said Mr Sieber with a smile. “That has its pros and cons. In a city like Bangkok where I would otherwise spend a lot of time commuting, it is very good because sometimes I need quick access to my workplace. Having my residence here is also good because we are doing a lot of activities entertainment, conferences, meetings and so on – at the residence. It is very easy and practical to use the adjacent office and residence as a functional space for diplomacy. The only downside to living here is that it makes me spend a little more time in the office than I should. “We have altogether 52 people working at the embassy, with 14 transferrable staff who are dispatched from Switzerland. We also have a few locally employed Swiss. Naturally we also employ a number of Thai nationals. Quite a few of them have lived and worked in Switzerland providing valuable know-how and experience to complement the Swiss capacity and expertise and facilitating the cultural interface. It is an excellent mix in the well-established tradition of Swiss multiculturalism.”          The ambassador said the embassy staff is very fond of the green and spacious compound and the surrounding area, but he noted that recent property transactions signal a change is coming. The nearby Swissôtel Nai Lert Park was recently sold, and a low-rise structure close to the

embassy has been torn down to pave the way for a highrise building. “It’s not a great prospect to be surrounded by high-rises, but there’s very little we can do about it.”

Thai-Swiss relationship stands test of time

Bangkok is now the most popular tourist destination in the world in terms of the number of visitors, more than even Paris, London, or New York. They come for the sun, the culture, the airports, the welcoming environment, and great Thai food, among other things. But the Thai-Swiss romance goes back before Thailand’s discovery as a tourist mecca. “We have long-standing and deep personal and business connections. For example, DKSH, a large and prominent Swiss trading and marketing company, has been in Thailand for 110 years. We have extensive business relations going back to the late 1800s. The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej spent 17 years in Switzerland with his family, which strengthened the ties between our two countries decisively. The Princess Mother lived in Switzerland until the late 1980s. “Relations between Thailand and Switzerland are excellent and have been for a long time, but there’s always room to improve them. The comprehensive set of bilateral agreements concluded between our two countries and covering such areas as the avoidance of double-taxation, investment protection, legal assistance in criminal matters or the transfer of prisoners provide a solid basis to further extend our relations.”   “About 150 Swiss companies have holdings here, with some of them major investments. The trade-exchange between our two countries is more or less even in the value amounting to a total of US$ 5.2 billion in 2015. Swiss imports from Thailand are composed of watch components, precious stones and metals, some agriculture products, machinery, textiles, clothing, vehicles, and components for planes. We export to Thailand gemstones and jewellery, watches and watch parts, machinery, pharmaceutical and chemical products, and medical devices. The trade volume of watch components going

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from Thailand to Switzerland is more or less equivalent to the watches sent from Switzerland to Thailand. “Thailand hosts the largest Swiss community anywhere in Asia. There are around 10,000 Swiss expats registered with the embassy, three times more than in the Philippines, for example, another popular destination for Swiss migrating to Asia. Thailand is also by far the most popular destination for Swiss tourists visiting the region. Last year 207,000 Swiss travelled to Thailand compared to and 204,000 in 2015, with their average stay extending to around 2 weeks. There are also sizable tourist numbers going the other way.   “In 2015 about 97,000 Thai people visited Switzerland, a number which increased by 13 percent to 109,000 in 2016, despite the fact that Thai nationals require a visa to visit Switzerland. They usually come in spring and fall as Thai visitors like the cooler seasons but not so much the cold. If they go to Switzerland in March or April they can still see snow if they want to.”  

Guns and culture

Switzerland’s traditional neutrality has kept it from direct participation in Europe’s wars of the past one-and-a-half centuries. But as the ambassador pointed out – a credible defense posture comprising of a standing army is necessary to maintain an active neutrality. The military extends to all able-bodied males. Women may serve as well but aren’t required. There is a core of professional soldiers but for the most part it is a militia system made up of reserve soldiers. “I did my military service just like everyone else. “At the end of the Cold War Switzerland scaled down the size of the military just like other European countries, resulting in a notable smaller number of reserve soldiers. They are allowed to keep their guns at home, and this includes automatic rifles. Once a year, reservists have to do a shooting program to stay in practice. This is usually done on Saturdays. Frequently on Saturday morning you see people taking the bicycle with the gun on their backs and going to do their shooting.”


sked about the rate of crimes involving guns in Switzerland, Mr Sieber said it was in the lowest quintile among the 36 OECD member states, despite the second highest small-arms ownership rate. “It is not the guns that kill, it is people. Crime doesn’t come from the fact that people have guns. What matters is the way people handle their guns and the cultural associations they have with them. Every Swiss person who has a gun goes out once a year to shoot. Apparently, this contributes to satisfy whatever urges they may have to use the gun. “For example, in Zurich where I live we have an annual tradition of holding a shooting competition for kids between the ages of 12 and 15. They have five tries to shoot, using the regular army rifles. The kids, both boys and girls, experience the power of guns and this sort of takes away the attraction.  

Standing firm on immigration

Policies on immigration are a hot topic across Europe, and Switzerland is no exception. “We continue to accept



refugees. There has been debate on this subject recently in Switzerland, but as it stands now the official policy still comes out on the side of humanitarian assistance. On a number of occasions in the past such as the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the Czechoslovakian revolt in 1968 against the invasion of the Warsaw Pact armies or the Balkan wars in the 90es, large numbers of refugees fled to Switzerland and found asylum there. Over the course of the recent history, sizable groups of Tibetan and Tamil refugees found safety and resettled in my home country. “Moreover, Switzerland experienced a large wave of migration in the 1960s and early 1970s from Southern Europe. Because of the Balkan wars, Switzerland has the largest Kosovar-Albanian community outside Kosovo.”   The ambassador acknowledged that the traditional policy of accepting refugees is causing some strain in society. “Right now the foreign population in Switzerland amounts to almost one quarter of all people living in the country. In cities like Geneva, almost half of the residents are foreigners. In the last couple of years, pressure has been building in Europe over immigration and there has been a great deal of debate, also in Switzerland. Our experience in the past with waves of migrants has consistently been that integration efforts were crucial and that they contributed to the development, strength and vibrancy of society.”   When asked if immigrants from particular countries tend to live together, Mr Sieber replied: “It depends. Experience shows, that initially, this often is the trend but over time they generally integrate into society as a whole. This is a policy that we actively pursue for foreigners coming into Switzerland, whether they be refugees or migrants. We assist them in adapting to and becoming part of society as much as possible, so they are not sidelined and can become active, find a job and contribute to the community.   “Moreover, Switzerland agreed in 2014 on a package deal with the EU which opens the border to all EU citizens who wish to work in Switzerland. Anybody from the Czech Republic, Spain, or Slovakia can work in Switzerland, and Swiss nationals can work in these countries as well. At the time, this was a courageous thing; Switzerland with a population of eight million and a quite attractive economy opening up its labour market to 360 million Europeans was not a simple feast. While this resulted in a substantial inflow of EU nationals into Switzerland, it actually helped to sustain and to build economic growth.”  

Private life

The ambassador said that when he has free time he mainly likes to spend it with his family. “In addition, I like to play tennis and read or take private recreational trips, but I must say that I don’t have much disposable time to follow these activities.   “When I can I like to explore countries by driving around and going off the beaten track as much as possible. Thailand has some excellent highways. Right now, I plan to branchout and explore the neighbouring countries by road. “I will stay in Thailand for another two years, until 2018. After that there will be three more years left until I reach retirement age.”

SureStay Plus  SURESTAY Plus Sukhumvit Soi

Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld

UNTIL December 31, Bangkok business travellers can take advantage of the hotel’s latest business incentive package ‘Business Essence Package’. Guests who book a Deluxe World room for B5,800++ per night with either a single or double bed will receive a complete array of luxurious facilities, services and special benefits, including unlimited wifi access, daily buffet breakfast for two at The World Restaurant, three pieces of laundry washed and pressed per day, a B500 drink voucher, a welcome drink upon arrival and a late checkout. 02 100 1234 ext 6761-6763. centarahotelsresorts. com/cgcw

2 – the first SureStay Plus hotel in Bangkok – is set to open in December 2017. The new hotel will feature 85 modern, comfortable rooms and, as per SureStay Plus brand standards, all guests will be offered complimentary breakfast and in-room Wi-Fi. There will also be a “business corner” area providing corporate travellers with a selection of convenient services. surestay.com

Mates’ Rates Friends or Family visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals

Let’s Relax Spa  LET’S Relax Day Spa recently opened two

new branches in Aonang, Krabi and Karon, Phuket. Let’s Relax now has 22 day spas conveniently located across the country for everyday revitalization, including: Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Phuket, Bangkok, Hua Hin and Koh Samui with recent expansion to Kunming, China. letsrelaxspa.com

Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok  UNTIL June 30, CHI, The Spa at ShangriLa Hotel Bangkok is offering an earlybird special whereby guests can treat themselves to a 60-minute treatment during 10am – 3pm, Monday to Thursday for B1,900 per treatment. Choose from a variety of treatments including the Jasmine Rice Body Glow body scrub, Oriental Foot Massage, or a traditional Thai Massage. 02 367 777 ext 6072. shangri-la.com

Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers UNTIL October 31, guests can enjoy  the ‘Sheraton Club Room Package’ and

receive a range of benefits including: overnight accommodation in a Club room or suite; private check-in and checkout within the lounge; complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and canapés served in the lounge; complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel; and complimentary use of the Sheraton Club Boardroom. Rates start from B5,750++ per night for a Club Deluxe Riverview Room.

Well Hotel Bangkok  TO celebrate its first anniversary, Well

Hotel Bangkok is offering special deals on rooms, food & beverages and spa treatments throughout April. Using the promo code 1WELL guests can get 11% discount on top of any promotional rate when booking your stay in April on the hotel’s website. Each booking will be entitled to a lucky draw, free gift, 25% discount at Well Spa, 25% discount on food and beverages at the hotel’s restaurants. The lucky draw prizes include free drinks, free spa, free upgrade, 50% discount coupon on food and spa, and a One Baht room voucher. 02 127 5995. wellhotelbangkok.com



02 665 3165. royalorchidsheraton.com

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa Nai Yang Beach  UNTIL June 30, the ‘Luxury Villa Experience Package’ features an unforgettable stay in a stunning Beachfront Villa complete with a private plunge pool, separate living and dining areas, and an outdoor sun deck. The warm waters of the Andaman Sea are just steps way.Guests are also offered daily buffet breakfast at the Andaman Kitchen, a daily set dinner for two, round-trip limousine transfers between the resort an Phuket International Airport, and a daily 60-minute Thai or aromatherapy massage at the serene Quan Spa. Rates start from just B11,499+++ per night and a minimum two-night stay is required. 076 625 555. phuketmarriottnaiyang.com

Hua Hin 01

INDULGE in the new Colonia  afternoon tea set at the Museum Coffee &

Tea Corner, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin. The highlights include a variety of gourmet cakes, sandwiches, warm scones with strawberry jam & fresh cream, lamington cake, red velvet cake, almond cobbler, and white chocolate dipped strawberries. Priced at B550++ including a glass of sparkling wine or B1,100 for two including two glasses of sparkling wine. 032 512 021-38. centarahotelsresorts.com/ centaragrand/chbr

01 Colonial Afternoon Tea Set at Centara Grand 02 Romantic getaway at Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi 03 Stay 3 Pay 2 promotion at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin 04 Magnificent Seven at Dusit Thani Hua Hin 05 Uno Mas comes to Hua Hin 06 Egg-citing family Easter 05 EXPERIENCE a one of a kind  romantic getaway at Sheraton Hua Hin


CENTARA Grand Beach Resort  & Villas Hua Hin welcomed Chef Joan

Pranburi Villas with a private pool villa, romantic dinner under the stars, and more. The Romantic Getaway package starts at B7,000 for a Duplex Pool Villa inclusive of breakfast buffet for two, spa voucher, and F&B credit. 032 708 080. facebook.com/Sheraton

Tanya Dot, Chef de Cuisine of Uno Mas Restaurant at Centara Grand CentralWorld Bangkok to Coast Beach Club & Bistro. Chef Joan showcased an array of tapas, live Paella cooking and succulent roasted pork with a free flow of Sangria completed with a Gipsy Night performance by Keith DeMagalhaes. 032 512 021-38. centarahotelsresorts. com/centaragrand/chbr

04 THE Magnificent Seven – seven  renowned chefs from Dusit Thani – are

bringing special creations inspired by famous song titles to all restaurants at the Dusit Thani Hua Hin. 032 520 009. dusit.com/dusitthani/huahin

03 IMMERSE in the beauty of Thailand’s  premier beach resort and enjoy the ‘Pay

for 2, Stay for 3 Nights’ promotion at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin and The Barai. Book up to three consecutive nights stay and receive the third night as complimentary. Rate starts from B5,000++ for Hyatt Regency Hua Hin and B18,000++ for The Barai Suite. 032 521 234. facebook.com/ HyattRegencyHuaHin




CELEBRATE the Easter holidays with  family and loved ones while keeping the kids entertained with ‘Egg-Citing’ Family Easter fun at Marrakesh Hua Hin Resort & Spa. All families are invited to enjoy the egg hunt for free at the beachfront lawn and enjoy sweet and exotic Easter eggs collection specially created by the executive chef at B850 per set from Thursday, April 13-16, 2017, 11am-10pm at Al Hamra restaurant. 032 616 777. marrakeshresortandspa.com

Hua Hin

Monsoon Valley Harvest Festival HUA HIN Hills Vineyard rebranded its name to ‘Monsoon Valley Vineyard’ and continued its much-anticipated annual fest, ‘Monsoon Valley Vineyard’s Harvest Festival 2017’ with informative and fun-filled activities and unforgettable experience.

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Coconut creations at Hilton Pattaya LAZGAM Laser Games launched in Pattaya Hard Rock pool party is back Renaissance to debut in Pattaya THE legendary pool party at Hard „ Rock Hotel Pattaya is back with guest DJs, percussionists, hot Hard Rock dancers, and lots of foam. Join the party every Saturday from 9.30pm-1am as DJs rev it up and dance the night away. For In-house guests entrance fee is B200 inclusive of 1 drink and walk-in guests entrance fee is B380. Only for guests that are 20 years old and above. 038 428 755-9 ext 8323. facebook.com/ HardRockHotelPattaya



CENTRAL Pattana PCL and Laser ƒ Game Asia Ltd. held an official opening of LAZGAM Laser Games – the first worldclass entertainment experience in Pattaya – at Central Festival Pattaya Beach with several honorary guests joining in on the fun.

THIS month, Hilton Pattaya is  introducing coconut creations as the main ingredient in food, desserts, and drinks. Indulge in fresh seafood including tiger prawn, scallop, and mussel in red curry served with steamed fish in curry paste and coconut at B1,100 and grilled pork salad with coconut miso sauce at B350. Available daily at Flare restaurant from 6pm-10.30pm. 038 253 000. Pattaya.hilton.com



RENAISSANCE Hotels prepares to „ welcome its first resort in Pattaya. Located in Na Jomtien district, the low-rise resort will offer a fashionable beachfront retreat within easy reach of the town’s attractions. The property is scheduled to open on September 1, 2017. 02 694 2299. Renaissancehotels.com


Smirnoff Midnight Festival HOSTED by Smirnoff Midnight 100, a collection of A-list Thai rockers and pop artists along with Chiang Mai’s top EDM DJs joined forces at the Smirnoff Midnight Festival at Prasert Land, Chiang Mai.

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The BigChilli April 2017  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine entertaining readers for 17 years. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. April 2017.

The BigChilli April 2017  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine entertaining readers for 17 years. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. April 2017.